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Weekly Fantasy Football Week 7: Love/Hate

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Week 7 is shaping up to be full of chalk plays, which of course is great for cash games, but makes it tough to decide when to go with the flow and when to be contrarian in GPP. Also, with some major shifts in pricing (welcome to the top, DeAndre Hopkins), we’ll have to take another look at which players present a good value, and which will just bust your budget.

But before we get started, let’s take a look at last week.

Week 6 Loves:

Andy Dalton (Price: $7,600, FPts: 21.52) — Dalton started off slow against the Bills defense before finishing up with 3 passing TDs and no INTs.

Devonta Freeman (Price: $8,000, FPts: 31.6) — Freeman continued his incredible streak of high-scoring games, scoring both on the ground and through the air.

Eric Decker (Price: $6,100, Fpts: 11.9) — Decker started the game off with a fumble, but rebounded with 59 yards receiving and a TD for good measure.

Martellus Bennett (Price: $5,800, FPts: 8.9) — Hampered by a quad injury late in the week and the return of Alshon Jeffrey to the lineup, Bennett managed 59 yards without a score.

Week 6 Hates:

Russell Wilson (Price: $8,000, FPts: 18.94) — Wilson boosted his fantasy day by running for 53 yards on eight carries.

Frank Gore (Price: $7,000, FPts: 10.4) — Gore finished with his fewest carries in a game (13) since Week 1 against the Bills (8).

Randall Cobb (Price: $8,100, FPts: 4.8) — Cobb continued his disappointing run, snagging only two passes for 38 yards.

Charles Clay (Price: $5,700 , FPts: 10.7) — A target monster (13), Clay converted his looks into nine receptions for 62 yards.

A couple of points as always: the prices listed will be for FanDuel, and the threshold for a success/failure in this column will be hitting value (read our article on properly calculating value here) or not. Next week, we can have a look at how we did.

Players I Love for Week 7

QB: Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans

While people will be fawning over the matchups of more expensive options like Carson Palmer and Philip Rivers, Hoyer enters Week 7 with back-to-back 20+ FPPG and the full confidence of head coach Bill O’Brien. It doesn’t hurt that he also has one of the game’s top wideouts in DeAndre Hopkins to throw the ball to 15 times per game. Though Miami is a tougher-than-average matchup for the journeyman QB, he’s also shown that he knows how to feed his top targets (anyone remember Josh Gordon?) and at a low price of $6,900, offers plenty of value at the position.

RB: Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams

I could’ve gone with Devonta Freeman in consecutive weeks, but that was almost too easy. Instead I’ll look at Gurley, who seems good for a couple big runs per game, and looks the part of a prototypical workhorse back. Priced at $7,400 and facing the fourth-worst fantasy defense against the run, expect Gurley to pay big dividends for investors this week.

WR: Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers

When Landry Jones took over at QB in the second half last week, he seemed locked in on Bryant, allowing the second-year player to go off for 137 yards and 2 TDs. Don’t expect the same output this week, but at a manageable $6,900 price tag and going against a very beatable Chiefs secondary, expect Bryant to produce a very fantasy-friendly stat line.

TE: Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers

Yawn. Fantasy’s top TE since his return and going against an Oakland defense that seems allergic to stopping tight ends? This pick is so obvious, it’ll probably backfire on me in the worst way. Nonetheless, with a still-low price of $5,800 and a 19.9 FPPG, there’s just no excuse to not start Gates this week (unless you’re playing the 1PM only slate). Update: Got burned last week with an injury to Martellus Bennett, and it looks like the same (or worse) could be the case again this week—keep an eye on Gates’ status going into Sunday, as he currently carries a “Questionable” designation. If he’s unable to go, Ladarius Green ($5,100) could be a nice fill-in.

Players I Hate for Week 7

QB: Tom Brady, New England Patriots

The Jets defense is no joke, and they have the talent to back it up. Outside of Denver (on bye this week), New York has presented the toughest challenge to opposing QBs this season. For as great as Brady has been this year, it’s reasonable to expect his top targets to be held in check, meaning a more balanced attack and fewer opportunities for passing yards and scores. Brady will get his, but at a price of $9,000 (highest of all QBs this week), he’s unlikely to be worth it.

RB: Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints

Ingram ($7,600) remains the Saints’ workhorse, but since CJ Spiller’s return, he’s seen his role in the passing game diminish somewhat. Against a Colts team that has Andrew Luck back and is expected to air it out, the game flow could quickly shift to an aerial battle. Though the potential for a high score may afford some opportunities near the goal-line, Ingram isn’t the high-ceiling play he was earlier this year.

WR: Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This one has nothing to do with matchups, and everything to do with production. Since returning from injury this season, Evans has eclipsed the 10 FP mark just once (@HOU). As a player still commanding a second-tier price tag ($7,500), it’s unfathomable why Evans should be in any DFS lineups. Surely players like Larry Fitzgerald, Amari Cooper, and Jarvis Landry would offer much better value at a similar price point.

TE: Gary Barnridge, Cleveland Browns

Barnridge has been very good to fantasy owners and continues to sport a reasonable price tag ($5,900), so why does he wind up on the “hate” list this week? Simply put, I don’t see the Browns having a lot of offensive success against the Rams this week, who will be coming off a bye week to boot. Though one of Josh McCown’s top targets, he managed only three receptions last week (though two of them went for TDs), and he may be called upon to block a bit more against St. Louis’s formidable front four. It’s possible I whiff on this one, but you’re still apt to find a better bet elsewhere.

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