Welcome to the Week 7 edition of the FanDuel DFS mail bag. Every week I'll take questions on Twitter pertaining to daily fantasy strategy and particular players on FanDuel. If you'd like to have your question featured, shoot it to me on Twitter (@MattHarmon_BYB), and it may just find its way into the mailbag.
Todd Gurley will be one of the most popular plays in daily fantasy this week, as the Rams are fully committed to him as their offensive centerpiece. He averaged 25.5 touches over the last two games, and frequently showed off his all-world talent. His matchup against the Browns is just about perfect. No team gets run on more than Cleveland, and they give up the second-highest yards per carry figure in the NFL. To top it all off, Gurley is still quite the value. He's only the eighth ranked running back on FanDuel for Week 7.
Of course, with this prime interception of talent, value and matchup, the public will be all over Gurley. I personally won't be surprised if he's well over 30 percent owned come Sunday. That could put him in prime territory for at least a partial fade in certain formats. However, I'll always preach that you can't completely avoid these positive situations just due to ownership percentages. Check back in for the Daily Fantasy Roundup on Friday for more advice on how to handle Gurley after we get some ownership data from the Thursday night slate.
A Rams D/ST and Gurley stack will be a mainstay in some of my lineups. Josh McCown turned back into a bit of a pumpkin last week, turning the ball over in the mind-numbing variety we're used to last week. The Rams pass rush is far fiercer, and the entire defense faster, when they play at home. They'll probably be my anchor.
The Dolphins make for a good upside play if you don't believe in Brian Hoyer keeping up his current pace. If you've watched Matt Cassel play football in the last few years, you know the Giants are in play. The Steelers D/ST is playing above expectations, and the Chiefs may well be missing over 50 percent of their offense with Jamaal Charles out for the year and Jeremy Maclin in danger of missing this contest with a concussion.
However, my favorite play of the week may well be Washington's D/ST. They play at home in a game against Jameis Winston, who averages 1.6 turnovers per game. Adding to the appeal, Washington should be able to play their brand of football on offense; control the clock with a power run game. Alfred Morris and Matt Jones are both slated to play in this contest, against a front that can be run on. Even if Doug Martin plays well in this spot, a few turnovers can make Washington a week winner.
I'm all about value plays at quarterback this week, but if I'm going that low at the position, I'll personally be targeting Landry Jones over Mettenberger. There are some real hardcore Mettenberger truthers out there, and I'm not among them. He's the exact style of quarterback mainstream circles consistently overrate, and I just don't care for. All that being said, he's certainly a superior prospect to Jones. However, I'll take the latter as a leverage play off his all-star supporting cast and plus matchup against a Chiefs pass defense that is bottom-seven in terms of quarterback points allowed per pass attempt.
I'm still not fading Freeman in that format yet. In those games, it's best to always chase volume. Freeman averaged 27.25 touches over the course of his dominant four game stretch as the Falcons feature back. It's hard to find better volume than that. Not to mention, he's been wildly efficient. In other formats of DFS, we need to monitor his ownership percentage, which has only gotten more and more out of control over his stretch as a starter. Again, check back in with the Daily Fantasy Roundup tomorrow when we'll have a better understanding of that potential picture.
I can see the logic in using both this week. Allen Robinson is an every-week play at this point. He averages 10 targets per game, and is the WR4 in standard fantasy leagues. He also leads Jacksonville in red zone targets with seven, converting 57.1 percent of them into touchdowns. Volume and scoring potential is what we're after in DFS. However, I like Mike Evans as a contrarian upside play. We have to hope Evans' health improved over the Week 6 bye, and that will help get him fully inundated in the offense once again. Jameis Winston can easily get locked onto either one of his big outside receivers in any given week. If it's Evans turn, he can absolutely go nuts on a Washington secondary that gives up the 10th-most fantasy points per pass target to wide receivers. He'll continue to be extremely low-owned as he struggles to meet season-long expectations. (Editor's note: This user deleted their tweet, which is why the format looks strange)
I won't be messing around with any of the running backs, but I want heavy exposure to their passing game. Larry Fitzgerald is still holding relatively strong, leading the team in red zone targets for the season, and averaging 8.7 targets the last three games. John Brown on the other hand, is trending way up from his early season output. He leads the team in targets, red zone targets, yards and catches over that same three game stretch. This of course all leads back to Carson Palmer, and the trio's matchup with the Ravens, who allow the third-most passing yards in the NFL. I'm playing all three in spades this weekend.
I'm definitely interested in DGB this week, in a very small sprinkling of lineups. All the talk out of Tennessee this week projectsDorial Green-Beckham for more work. Harry Douglas is trending toward missing this matchup with the Falcons, and that would provide the needed open snaps to make room for Green-Beckham. I was a big believer in his talent, and hold fast to the idea that he has all the ability to dominate in the NFL. As for this week, he makes for a good value punt play with upside. Zach Mettenberger carries the unflinching gunslinger attitude to just launch the ball downfield to this big target.
I was on Michael Floyd in this variety last week, and will be again this week. His value has not gone up from last week, despite his strong game against the Steelers, so he's still in play for Week 7 against an even worse secondary. You're just not going to find many receivers in that bargain range who were former first-round picks, play in one of the league's best offenses and have a more than 70-percent snap share.
He won't be one of my top targets, but much like Devonta Freeman, he's impossible to ignore because of his volume of touches. In the four games he's played this season, Chris Ivory averaged 22.25 touches per game. The Patriots are weak in the heart of their defensive line, giving up 4.57 yards per carry (fifth-highest in the NFL), they just haven't been scored on much. The Jets offense is surprisingly frisky, with two great outside receivers, Ivory and a competent quarterback. This should be a good back-and-forth game, and Ivory will have a chance to pound one in for six.
I'm watching with extra scrutiny to see how Christine Michael is deployed this week, and how often he plays. However, I won't be playing him anywhere. The team's assurances weren't so strong that we can pencil him in for even double-digit touches, and Joseph Randle is still the nominal starter. Wait for more certainty before proceeding with Michael in your lineup.
Not at all. In fact, I think it's a perfect pivot play. We know the Raiders are dreadful in defending the tight end position. However, that's the issue. Everyone knows that. I wouldn't be shocked if Antonio Gates' ownership percentage pushes the 40 to 50 percent range. That would make him completely unusable in DFS. Also, Gates reportedly tweaked his knee on the final drive of the Green Bay game, and did not practice on Wednesday. If he doesn't play, Ladarius Green becomes a strong candidate for a top-five week at the tight end position. Regardless of Gates' status, it's worth pivoting to Green, who played a near equal snap share with the veteran tight end the last two weeks, in multiple lineups.
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