Fantasy football Week 7 is already here. I don’t know about you, but the crazy performances have led to some highs and lows for me this year in all of my standard teams, but especially on my daily lineups at FanDuel, Draft Kings and Draft Day.
I have to tell you guys about Draft Kings and their awesome game types, but the sand is nearly through the hourglass here today.
Here are some key matchups to target this week based on my formula, which factors in defensive points allowed and yards allowed:
1. Miami vs. Buffalo — Buffalo is the top target in my passing opportunity index and the No. 2 target in the rushing index. Ryan Tannehill is a value play in all daily formats and his receivers have PowerBall potential. Buffalo hasn’t allowed a ton of points this year so I don’t think Caleb Sturgis and the Dolphins defense are no-doubters, but they are good plays.
2. San Diego vs. Jacksonville — San Diego’s defense hasn’t scored a lot of fantasy points. Jacksonville could at least make them serviceable this week. Elsewhere, the big question is when does mop-up time start for Philip Rivers and company? If Justin Blackmon and Maurice Jones-Drew can keep the Jags in it this week, we could see massive points from the weapons in the Chargers passing attack. I think Nick Novak is the top kicker this week. He is a virtual lock for a top-5 performance.
3. Philadelphia vs. Dallas — As I write this there is still some uncertainty about who will QB the Eagles this week. Avoid that issue for early lineups, but get LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson in there. Brent Celek could be a super sleeper TE play. And K Alex Henery could have a big week.
4. Minnesota vs. New York Giants — The Giants have dropped in the overall index, but they are still a strong play, particularly giving up rushing yardage and points. Find a way to get Adrian Peterson in a lineup or two this week. The Vikings defense and Blair Walsh are also decent plays. Walsh is questionable with a hamstring injury. You’ll want to avoid him in Thursday lineups.
5. Indianapolis vs. Denver — The Broncos are going to put up points and opposing teams are going to try and fail to keep up. Garbage time is fantasy football winning time. I could see Reggie Wayne and/or T.Y. Hilton getting top-5 receiving performances this week. Of course, if they’re going to have good games it probably means Andrew Luck is going to have a decent game.
6. Kansas City vs. Houston — The Texans have been terrible against the run and the Chiefs have, arguably, the best PPR back in fantasy football, Jamaal Charles. Houston has also allowed a ton of points, they could be without Matt Schaub and the Chiefs defense is scary good. Pay for the KC D this week. Ryan Succop could be a decent value play at K, too.
7. Seattle vs. Arizona — The Cardinals aren’t on the passing or rushing indexes, but they have allowed a lot of points. I’m picturing not uncommon low-yardage, high-TD games from Marshawn Lynch and/or Russell Wilson. The Seahawks defense, which has outscored its projections at Yahoo for three consecutive weeks, feels like a must-start in Thursday lineups.
8. Carolina vs. St. Louis — The Rams have been a mess against the run and have given up a lot of points. The points allowed leads me to think Carolina’s defense will be a good play this week. Cam Newton and DeAngelo Williams could each get into the end zone.
9. Washington vs. Chicago — Chicago is a good passing matchup. Then again, Dallas was a good passing matchup last week and the Redskins couldn’t capitalize. Risky, but the numbers say Robert Griffin and his receivers could have a big week.
10. New York Giants vs. Minnesota — This is the game the stats say will be the offensive showdown of the week. Both teams are in the top six of the points allowed index. Minnesota is weaker against the pass, so we could see a PoweBall play from Reuben Randle, Hakeem Nicks or Eli Manning, who is an extreme value if he gives a top-10 performance.
Matchups outside the top 10: The Eagles are 11th in the overall index, meaning that matchup with Dallas could be a shootout. However, like I said above, the Cowboys-Redskins had the same pedigree on paper but that play busted. The Eagles are poor against the pass and with DeMarco Murray hobbled, Tony Romo and company are excellent plays. Jason Witten should be the top TE this week. … The Pittsburgh-Baltimore tilt didn’t make the overall index, but there are probably some values to start there. Pittsburgh has allowed a lot of points this year. Baltimore is week against the pass and the run. … Indianapolis is No. 3 on the run index, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Knowshon Moreno puts on another show this week for Denver. … New England is No. 10 in the pass index, which means Geno Smith might be worth a what-the-heck play this week. … Houston doesn’t have much to proud of outside of Arian Foster at the moment. While the Chiefs defense has devoured quarterbacks in the backfield this season, they are No. 9 in my rushing opportunity index. Foster could be a good play. … Cincinnatti’s Giovani Bernard and Benjarvus Green-Ellis could be in for decent performances against the No. 10 team on the rushing opportunity index, Detroit.