When entering an NFL season, many experts try and predict the strength of schedules for teams and players leading an individual to believe in better matchups. Some still resort to old strategies and use the previous years’ stats and trends as a measure. But the truth in those numbers is far from the reality of the current state of a defense with missing pieces whether it be through trades, free agency or now as we are into the season, injuries. Also, from a coaching staff perspective, new coaches in new places also affect the way a team performs and gameplans.
The sample size we now possess to lean on, with the information and outlook on injuries and how they impact a team. Week 7 brings us value with a few different players so look to have some of these quarterbacks in your lineups.
Chalk of the Week
Jared Goff FD $8,300 DK $6,600
The Rams high flying attack has the entire fan base of the NFL believing this offense is unstoppable. A lot of the credit for the improvement lies in the team’s huddle leader. The ability to understand Head Coach Sean McVay’s scheme and the trust they both have in each other has opened the entire playbook. This week Goff is the highest priced Quarterback on Draftkings but 3rd on Fan Duel. He faces a San Fransisco defense that has allowed the 6th most points to Quarterbacks, and that’s with their numbers skewed after facing lonely Arizona in week five only allowing 10.5 points.
In every other game, they have given up multiple touchdown passes, allowing three passing scores in 50% of their games. Goff is Top 10 in fantasy scoring, touchdowns and yards. The 2016 Overall number 1 pick has been extremely efficient this year ranking 4th in DVOA for his position. Goff is projected to carry 10% ownership, and I fully expect him to have time in the pocket as the 49ers struggle to create pressure and rank 22nd in sacks (12). The Rams thrive on keeping a clean pocket and rank top 10 doing so on 83.6% of dropbacks, The San Fransisco defense has been hit with five passes of 40+ yards, and the inability to get to create pressure will see Goff dominate downfield.
Contrarian Pick of the Week
Drew Brees FD $8,300 DK $5,700
Over time, we got accustomed to Brees being a top 10 Fantasy quarterback behind an air raid type offense that allowed him to get the ball downfield behind plenty of pass attempts. Over the last two seasons, we have seen a change in the approach of the New Orleans play calling, and that has seen Brees dip to 18th in dropbacks and 14th in pass attempts this season.
Good with the bad, and while attempting passes he is ranked #1 in the league in Quarterback DVOA (42.7%). To give you a measure of how efficient that is, there are only four QB’s over 30% this season and he is the only one over 40%. Brees ranks 3rd in completions with 29.6 per game but drops to 25th for Starting Quarterbacks in aDOT (avg depth of target) at 6.78.
The 39-year-old will be asked to avoid a Ravens defense that loves to get to the quarterback. Coming off 11 sacks in week 6, Baltimore averages a league-high 4.5 sacks per game. The stifling D leads the NFL in points allowed giving up 12.8 per game while ranking top 10 in plays of 20+ yards allowed and not giving up a single reception of 40+ yards all season.
So why would we go to the NFL’s all-time passing yards leader? His ownership is projected to be extremely low at 2.5%. He carries a +11 Salary ranking difference from Draftkings to Fan Duel, as he sits second most expensive on FD but 10th on DK. If you want to be a contrarian this week, don’t overlook Brees on Draftkings.
Fan favorite play of the week
Baker Mayfield FD $7,100 DK $5,800
The hype around the rookie has been there since preseason when he was still listed as second string. Now, with the sample size we have at our disposal, who was Baker been in the last 3 weeks?
The 18th overall quarterback with a 4-5 Touchdown to Interception ratio. A dual-threat passer that can use his legs is what we expected, but the sample size we have shows us since week 4 he only has 41 rush yards and 0 touchdowns putting him 20th in fantasy points at his position.
A trend we are seeing is an increase in his dropbacks as they have risen from 24, 44, 48 and a season-high 51 in week 6. Working in his favor, landing in the top 10 in aDOT (9.15) in 4 games.
This weeks matchup is that of a fairy tale facing the leagues worse scoring defense that allows 34.6 points per game. Tampa Bay has now allowed 16 passing touchdowns this season with only one interception. The Buccaneers pass defense has been historically bad surrendering 9.3 yards per pass attempt. Think about that, that’s almost a first down per pass attempt.
Another hurting stat on Tampa’s defensive side is their inability to get sacks ranking 29th with only 9 the whole season, that’s 4.3%. Although the Browns are allowing the most sacks per game 4.7, I imagine Mayfield will get more time than the past few weeks allowing his receivers to get downfield. The Bucs have been burnt 24 times for passes of 20+ yards and I expect a few big plays from the rookie this week.
With a projected ownership of 10%, tied for 2nd, Baker won’t be a surprise to anyone. The public has learned to start anyone facing Tampa Bay.
What were you thinking play of the week
Derek Anderson FD $6,300 DK $4,300
Sometimes if you flick a booger, it might just stick to the wall. That’s what the journeyman Anderson has been in the league. A guy that manages to stick around after only tossing two touchdowns and five interceptions in his brief appearances the last three seasons.
The Indianapolis defense has improved this year getting to the quarterback ranking 4th in sacks (19). The only problem here is they are still allowing an abundance of points ranking 31st, giving up 30 per game. While the defense has a decent TD-INT ratio at 10-6, they concede a bottom 10 ranking in yards per attempt (7.9) and have allowed the leagues 4th most first downs.
Ultimately, Anderson faces a defense that will get to you but still allows plenty of passing yards. A true punt play that may have you scratching your head, the price tag of $4,300 makes him worth a few lineups in huge GPP fields. A few touchdowns and 200 yards pays off the price, and he can certainly do that vs. that Colts D.
Well, and also Anderson has the Gem if it’s worth anything to you. A speech like this surely merits a punt