Ten members of the Footballguys DraftKings staff compiled value-based rankings for Week 7 of the NFL season. Those results are shown below with the highest ranking at the top. Each position is ranked as follows: (A dash indicates that player was not ranked).
Quarterback - Top 8
Running Back - Top 12
Wide Receiver - Top 12
Tight End - Top 8
Defense - Top 5
To determine the average ranking, any player not ranked received a value of the lowest rank for that position, plus 1 (LR+1). For example, the Top 8 quarterbacks are ranked by each staff member. If one staff member did not rank a particular quarterback, but others did, the ranking for that quarterback is 8+1 or 9. Instead of displaying a 9 in the table, a dash is used to show that player was not ranked, after average rank was obtained.
The value-based, collaborative results provide a window into which players are the best options for this week's slate of games. I'll explain why certain players are ranked as they are and also provide additional commentary volunteered by various staff members.
DraftKings Consensus Rankings: Quarterback
|Blake Bortles||JAC||vs OAK||6200||1||-||1||1||1||2||6||5||5||1||3.2|
|Tom Brady||NE||at PIT||7900||5||2||4||3||4||4||-||2||4||6||4.3|
|Andy Dalton||CIN||vs CLE||6000||8||3||-||4||5||1||2||-||7||2||5.0|
|Kirk Cousins||WAS||at DET||5900||2||-||3||2||-||8||4||4||-||4||5.4|
|Matt Ryan||ATL||vs SD||7200||4||8||8||8||3||6||-||1||2||7||5.6|
|Jameis Winston||TB||at SF||5900||-||1||2||6||-||-||8||-||6||5||6.4|
|Marcus Mariota||TEN||vs IND||6000||7||4||-||-||6||5||-||3||-||3||6.4|
|Matthew Stafford||DET||vs WAS||6400||-||5||6||-||-||3||5||-||3||8||6.6|
|Philip Rivers||SD||at ATL||6500||6||-||5||-||-||-||7||-||1||-||7.3|
|Tyrod Taylor||BUF||at MIA||5500||-||7||7||-||-||-||1||6||-||-||7.5|
|Colin Kaepernick||SF||vs TB||5300||-||-||-||7||2||-||3||-||-||-||7.5|
|Alex Smith||KC||vs NO||6100||3||-||-||-||-||-||-||8||-||-||8.3|
|Drew Brees||NO||at KC||7400||-||6||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||8.7|
|Russell Wilson||SEA||at ARI||6700||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||7||-||-||8.8|
|Trevor Siemian||DEN||vs HOU||5200||-||-||-||-||-||7||-||-||-||-||8.8|
|Andrew Luck||IND||at TEN||7000||-||-||-||-||7||-||-||-||-||-||8.8|
|Derek Carr||OAK||at JAC||6300||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||8||-||8.9|
|Joe Flacco||BAL||at NYJ||5800||-||-||-||-||8||-||-||-||-||-||8.9|
The consensus is high on Blake Bortles ($6,200) vs. Oakland this week. Oakland has been a doormat for opposing quarterbacks this year, but they've improved recently and kept Alex Smith out of the end zone last week. The expectation is that Bortles and the Jaguars have the ingredients to find success against the Raiders pass defense. Usually when Bortles starts strong, he has a decent game. If it takes him time to get into a rhythm, the results may not be as likely.
Other options: Tom Brady has looked outstanding in his two games this year, but he has a tough road test against a Steelers defense that has their backs against the wall after losing Ben Roethlisberger for a few weeks. The Steelers defense has not allowed more than 2 touchdown passes in a game this season and have allowed only 1 touchdown pass in the last two games. But this is Brady we're talking about. I'd rather play Brady at home, or against a softer defense, but when you're hot, you're hot.
Andy Dalton ($6,000) Kirk Cousins ($5,900) and Matt Ryan ($7,200) are good alternatives. Dalton hosts the Browns who have given up the 2nd most DK points to opposing quarterbacks over the last three games. Interestingly enough, Dalton's home splits are not just worse, but much worse than his road splits this year. But this is the Browns at home. Trends go out the window in this case. Dalton is a solid play.
Kirk Cousins has had some struggles this year and this is a road game for him this week. The good news is that Washington's opponent is Detroit, who Case Keenum recently gashed for 321 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Lions have allowed 11 touchdown passes in their last four games. This is a favorable matchup play and one that merrits a look.
Matt Ryan is quickly becoming a favorite target of mine this week. The Falcons offense is firing on all cylinders and this is a home game for him, where he thrives. The Chargers lost their top cover corner Jason Verrett, which makes the matchup for Julio Jones that much more favorable. I expect Ryan to air it out on occasion with Jones being the main target. A Ryan-Julio Jones stack will be popular, especially after they connected so well against Carolina. San Diego is capable of putting up points, which could lead to a back and forth battle that yields a big day for fantasy production. In the same breath, Philip Rivers ($6,500) who is $700 less than Ryan, is also someone to consider.
Andy Dalton vs. the winless Cleveland Browns? More of this please. At 6000? Even better. Bortles isn’t sexy as a pick, but the Raiders are terrible at defending the pass, and the Jaguars are playing at home. Without a running game, Tom Brady is the most expensive QB this week, but against the Steelers, he’s going to have a big game. I’m not going anywhere near Colin Kaepernick this week. Not until he proves he’s someone you can count on. Cheap doesn’t mean better.
I love Winston. He’s struggled season-to-date, but his schedule has been brutal and now gets amazingly easy. He’ll be low owned and should be in position to return 3x his value this week.
Blake Bortles is coming off a bye week this week, and his ownership is going to be lower than it otherwise should be as he hasn’t had the dominant games that we saw last year. However, in three of his five games this year he has had very solid games by either going for 300+ yards or the 2 passing 1 rushing touchdown game he had against the Colts. Bortles is a player who is going back home for the first time in about a month, and facing the worst passing defense in the NFL, this is a prime spot for him to have a breakout game this week.
Ryan is off to an MVP-level start, and a home date with the Chargers is very sexy. They've allowed an average of 25.4 DraftKings points over their last three road games.
Mariota's volume isn't good for a cash QB, but with his newfound legs, his floor is very solid. That's especially true against a pathetic Colts defense that's allowed either 25 DraftKings points or 269 passing yards in each of their last three contests.
Expect the Chargers and Falcons game to shootout. Both QBs are at the top of my board this week.
DraftKings Consensus Rankings: Running Back
|Jacquizz Rodgers||TB||at SF||4300||4||4||-||1||5||2||1||-||1||1||4.5|
|Melvin Gordon III||SD||at ATL||6400||12||-||3||5||6||4||-||8||-||5||8.2|
|Terrance West||BAL||at NYJ||4800||3||3||12||2||-||-||-||-||9||7||8.8|
|Frank Gore||IND||at TEN||4700||9||-||8||-||8||8||9||4||-||8||9.3|
|James White||NE||at PIT||4600||7||-||-||-||10||5||3||9||-||-||9.9|
|Matt Jones||WAS||at DET||4200||11||-||5||3||-||-||10||12||-||-||10.6|
|LeSean McCoy||BUF||at MIA||7600||-||-||-||6||-||-||-||5||6||-||10.8|
|Jerick McKinnon||MIN||at PHI||4300||-||-||10||7||12||-||11||-||-||-||11.8|
|Duke Johnson Jr||CLE||at CIN||3900||-||-||6||9||-||-||-||-||-||-||11.9|
|Christine Michael||SEA||at ARI||6700||-||-||-||-||11||11||-||-||10||9||11.9|
|Isaiah Crowell||CLE||at CIN||4000||-||-||7||-||-||10||-||-||-||-||12.1|
|Lamar Miller||HOU||at DEN||6000||-||12||-||10||-||-||-||10||-||-||12.3|
|LeGarrette Blount||NE||at PIT||4900||-||7||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||12.4|
|Mark Ingram II||NO||at KC||5400||-||-||-||-||9||12||-||-||-||12||12.4|
|Jordan Howard||CHI||at GB||6000||-||10||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||12.7|
It's difficult to fade a player like DeMarco Murray ($7,200) who has consistently produced as a rusher and receiver this year. He has topped 100+ total yards in four of the Titans six games this year. To make this matchup more enticing is the fact that the Colts have averaged over 170 total yards to opposing running backs over the last three games. Murray's 6 touchdowns in six games fit into this matchup perfectly.
Some cheaper alternatives high on the rankings list include Jacquizz Rodgers ($4,300) at San Francisco, Giovani Bernard ($4,300) vs Cleveland, Terrance West ($4,800) at the Jets and Frank Gore ($4,700) at Indianapolis.
The consensus loves Jacquizz Rodgers with Doug Martin (hamstring) out again for the Buccaneers. The 49ers defense, particularly their run defense, has struggled since losing their defensive captain, Novorro Bowman in Week 4. San Francisco is dead last in DK points allowed to opposing running backs since then averaging 192 yards on the ground and over 200 yards total to opposing running backs. Rodgers is a diminutive back in stature and he's not exactly one to maintain a full head of steam over 20+ carries. This game is all the way across the country for Tampa Bay, so there may be some jet lag involved, but Rodgers is primed for a decent game at worst with a high chance of reaching 3x value or higher, especially if he starts out strong. All teams make adjustments, especially on defense, but this may be a player you can't ignore, even if the ownership percentage will be high.
Giovani Bernard leads all running backs with 29 receptions and has reached or been close to 100 total yards in three of his six games this year. His receiving efforts alone make him an attractive option this week. Terrance West is coming off a two-touchdown effort and is doing his part to keep Kenneth Dixon from taking over the main rushing role in Baltimore. For now, West is the back new OC Marty Mornhinweg is turning to. The Jets have allowed the fourth most DK points to opposing running backs over the last three weeks. West's value is peaking and his price hasn't completely followed suit. At $4,800, he's a bargain against a struggling Jets run defense.
Don't forget about Devonta Freeman ($5,900). The Falcons offense stops for no one and Freeman is a big reason for it's success this year. This is a home game for the Falcons who have only played two games in their home dome scoring 24 and 48 points respectively. A battle of points could be the setting for Atlanta, which favors Freeman in this matchup.
Giovoni Bernard and Jeremy Hill split carries pretty evenly, but Bernard will come out as the winner on DK because of the full PPR league. Jaquizz Rodgers doesn’t scare anyone, but he’s the main back in Tampa and the 49ers can’t stop anyone who runs the ball. He’s cheat at 4300. Freeman is another guy who is value-priced against a weak San Diego defense, and between him and Melvin Gordon III, both make great options this week in a game that’s expected to score more than 53 points.
Bell is a shakier proposition than normal with ho-hum Landry Jones running the offense. But his floor is much higher than those of his peers, thanks to his receiving production.
Jamaal Charles is working his way back in, but Ware has been among the league's most efficient backs all year. He'll likely keep the lion's share of work
DraftKings Consensus Rankings: Wide Receiver
|Mike Evans||TB||at SF||7800||-||2||1||3||6||1||3||-||1||1||4.4|
|Pierre Garcon||WAS||at DET||3700||2||-||4||2||1||2||-||10||-||2||6.2|
|Amari Cooper||OAK||at JAC||7900||-||7||7||-||11||3||8||5||7||4||7.8|
|Tyrell Williams||SD||at ATL||4400||-||1||2||10||2||5||-||7||-||-||7.9|
|T.Y. Hilton||IND||at TEN||7700||-||3||-||6||9||6||4||-||5||-||8.5|
|Cameron Meredith||CHI||at GB||4700||3||6||-||1||-||10||-||-||-||-||9.8|
|Marvin Jones Jr||DET||WAS||7000||-||8||-||-||-||12||9||-||10||7||11.1|
|Michael Thomas||NO||at KC||4700||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||3||-||-||12.0|
|Terrelle Pryor||CLE||at CIN||6200||-||5||-||-||-||-||11||-||-||-||12.0|
|Mike Wallace||BAL||at NYJ||5800||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||9||8||12.1|
|Alshon Jeffery||CHI||at GB||6900||-||-||-||5||-||-||-||-||-||-||12.2|
|Jamison Crowder||WAS||at DET||4300||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||9||-||-||12.6|
|Brandin Cooks||NO||at KC||7500||-||10||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||12.7|
|Michael Crabtree||OAK||at JAC||6600||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||11||12||12.7|
|DeSean Jackson||WAS||at DET||5700||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||10||12.7|
Mike Evans ($7,800) is the popular choice for top wide receiver value this week. The Buccaneers play at San Francisco and Evans is clearly the best receiving option for Jameis Winston. Vincent Jackson was placed on IR earlier in the week giving Evans the opportunity to expand on his target share dominance. Evans has the possibility of putting up elite numbers at a WR2 price.
If you're looking to max out your salary with a low risk, high reward player, Julio Jones ($9,200) at home vs San Diego is an excellent option who should pay dividends with at least one touchdown and 100 yards. He'll need slightly more than that to reach 3x value, but if anyone can do it, Jones at home against a Chargers team with no clear shut down corner is a good recipe for success.
If you want to shy away from the heavily owned Julio Jones, consider A.J. Green ($8,600) at home against the Browns. Allen Robinson ($7,300) is due for a big game and the Raiders may give him that opportunity.
Some cheaper options include Pierre Garcon ($3,700) at Detroit, especially if DeSean Jackson (shoulder) is unable to go this week. We already know Jordan Reed will likely be out another game, so this is looking more and more favorable for Garcon. The Lions have averaged 205 yards receiving to opposing wide receivers over the last three games. Garcon would only need a few big plays to reach 3x value. If he scores, he's nearly assured of reaching that milestone.
Others to consider - Golden Tate ($4,900) vs Washington, Michael Thomas ($4,700) at Kansas City, Cameron Meredith ($4,700) at GB, Kenny Britt ($4,300) vs NY Giants (in London) and Michael Floyd ($3,900) vs Seattle. There's a lot of cheap options at wide receiver this week. Follow the favorable matchups and the better the quarterback, the better chance of reaching paydirt with your receiver.
Mike Evans is seeing double-digit targets week after week. He isn’t cheap, but against the 49ers, those targets will turn into points. Washington isn’t an offensive powerhouse, but Pierre Garcon is averaging 5 receptions a game. At 3700, he’s a good price on DK this week against the Lions. A.J. Green against the Browns makes a great stack with Dalton this week in GPP and even cash games.
Allen Robinson has been fairly quiet, but remains in the driver's seat to be the next No. 1 wideout that scorches the Raiders.
DraftKings Consensus Rankings: Tight End
|Rob Gronkowski||NE||at PIT||7200||5||2||-||2||1||-||-||2||2||4||4.5|
|Kyle Rudolph||MIN||at PHI||3500||6||4||5||4||5||4||4||5||-||2||4.8|
|Gary Barnidge||CLE||at CIN||3200||1||-||4||1||3||-||2||7||-||1||4.6|
|Jack Doyle||IND||at TEN||2500||2||-||6||5||-||2||1||-||6||3||5.2|
|Cameron Brate||TB||at SF||2900||-||-||-||3||7||3||3||-||4||5||6.1|
|Jimmy Graham||SEA||at ARI||5800||-||3||1||-||-||-||-||4||3||7||6.3|
|Dennis Pitta||BAL||at NYJ||4000||-||5||3||-||2||8||6||6||-||8||6.5|
|Martellus Bennett||NE||at PIT||4500||3||1||-||-||-||6||-||1||-||6||6.2|
|C.J. Fiedorowicz||HOU||at DEN||2500||-||-||-||7||6||1||-||-||-||-||7.7|
|Vernon Davis||WAS||at DET||2900||-||6||-||-||-||7||5||-||-||-||8.1|
|Coby Fleener||NO||at KC||3800||-||7||-||-||-||5||-||-||8||-||8.3|
|Hunter Henry||SD||at ATL||3600||8||-||-||-||-||-||-||8||5||-||8.4|
|Zach Miller||CHI||at GB||3800||-||-||-||6||-||-||-||-||-||-||8.7|
|Charles Clay||BUF||at MIA||3000||-||-||-||-||-||-||8||-||-||-||8.9|
There are two high dollar options this week in Rob Gronkowski ($7,200) and Jimmy Graham ($5,800). Both have two 100-yard efforts in the last three games. With Greg Olsen on a bye this week and Jordan Reed likely out another week with a concussion, Gronkowski and Graham make up the muscle in this week's tight end crop.
If you elect to go the cheaper route, consider Jack Doyle ($2,500) at Tennessee. Doyle is coming off a 4-63-1 game and he's expected to see an increase in involvement due to the injury to Dwayne Allen. Andrew Luck has thrown 5 of his 11 touchdown passes to the tight end this year, which makes Doyle all the more intriguing.
Other options include Kyle Rudolph ($3,500) at Philadelphia, but the Eagles have been stingy against opposing tight ends this year. Rudolph has been a clutch performer for the Vikings, making timely plays when it counts. You can bet Sam Bradford will have a little something extra for the Eagles who traded him away this offseason. Gary Barnidge ($3,200) is playing better lately with 4, 5, 7, 5, 3 receptions in his last five games. He's especially appealing this week with Terrelle Pryor (hamstring) likely not 100% and he may miss the game. Barnidge would then see a bump in targets if Pryor can't go, or if he's used as a decoy.
Hunter Henry ($3,600) has been a key fixture in the Chargers offense lately and he could see a decent share of targets this week at Atlanta. This has the feel of a back and forth battle where both teams trade points on the scoreboard. Such a game script would favor Henry.
I have been burned by Gary Garnidge a few times this year, so he’s a guy that I’m going to fade this week. But if Josh McCown takes back over as the starter, that opinion might change. Keep an eye on this as the week continues. C.J. Fiedorowicz is a guy that is still flying under the radar, yet he’s pulling in four or more receptions in each of the last three weeks, including 2 TDs. Great value for a guy at 2500.
Gary Barnidge has met cash-game expectations four weeks in a row, and the Bengals struggle mightily to slow tight ends
Plenty of TE options this week. Travis Kelce is in a great matchup at home vs the Saints.
DraftKings Consensus Rankings: Defense
|New England||NE||at PIT||2900||1||4||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1.3|
|Tampa Bay||TB||at SF||3200||-||3||-||-||-||-||-||5||-||-||5.6|
The three top ranked defense options this week are New England ($2,900) at Pittsburgh against Landry Jones, not Ben Roethlisberger. Minnesota ($3,700) at Philadlephia and Cincinnati ($3,600) at home against Cleveland. The Bengals are the only home team in the Top 3, but it will be difficult to pass on New England at an affordable $2,900 against Landry Jones.
Buffalo ($3,400) at Miami is team to take a look at. The Bills have three defensive scores this year, 12 takeaways and 20 sacks. They are a team on a mission since losing to the Jets in Week 2.
Baltimore ($2,800) at New York Jets is another defense to consider and so is Denver ($3,800) at home against Houston in Brock Osweiler's home coming in his first game back to Denver. Kansas City at home is always a good option. This week's opponent New Orleans may keep you away, but for $2,600 there is potential for a big defensive scoring opportunity. Drew Brees is a different quarterback on the road than at home and the Chiefs have scored twice on defense this year already.
We’ve talked about the Patriots and the Vikings in the roundtable this week, and both of these options are almost ‘no brainers’. The Patriots face a backup quarterback and Vegas expects them to win big. They make a great option this week, especially at a price tag of 2900. The Vikings are one of the most expensive, but with good reason: They are the top defense in the league. The Broncos can’t wait for Brock Osweiler to return on Monday night. They are going to throw everything they can at the Texans this week.
Facing Landry Jones makes them nearly a free square. They're wildly underpriced for such a cherry matchup.
New England and Minnesota are my top 2 defenses. Then Buffalo in a tier by themselves, then a steep drop off at the position.
Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org