Week 6 of the Daily Fantasy Football (DFS) picks was a mixed bag. There were some big hits (Melvin Gordon, Mitchell Trubisky) and just two bad misses (Chris Carson, Charles Clay, but the rest can be summed up with one word — meh. But that's the way the fantasy cookie crumbles sometimes, right?
Here's hoping for better results as we shift our focus to Week 7. This is the first week with more than two teams on bye, and there are some big names sitting this week out. No Aaron Rodgers, Antonio Brown, James Conner, Russell Wilson, Davante Adams, Ben Roethlisberger, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marshawn Lynch... you get the idea.
This just gives the savvy DFS players a chance to show their stuff by digging deep into the talent pool and finding those hidden gems. Maybe one of the value plays listed below fits the bill?
So let’s get into the Week 7 DFS Picks, shall we?
Teams on bye: Green Bay, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Seattle
Week 7 Core Plays
These are the top plays for the Sunday-Monday slate of games. These are players you should try to have in as many lineups as possible. A reminder that for cash games going with an elite quarterback is typically recommended. If you go value at quarterback he MUST meet value for your loaded lineup to be worth it.
QB: Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco ($8,300 FanDuel/$6,600 DraftKings)
Yes, it was a poor showing fantasy-wise for Goff last week against Denver, but he's not the first QB to struggle in the Mile High City and the Broncos' vulnerability to the run (Todd Gurley had 208 rushing yards) pretty much dictated the Rams' game plan. However, Goff remains a top-10 fantasy QB and he has an appealing matchup against a 49ers team that just got carved up by Aaron Rodgers on Monday night. Goff is not cheap, but he should be worth the investment.
RB: T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville vs. Houston ($6,800 FanDuel/$6,400 DraftKings)
This one comes with a bit of a caveat as there are rumblings that Leonard Fournette (hamstring) could be ready to return. Assuming he's out again, Yeldon should see in the neighborhood of 15-20 touches against a Texans team that gave up close to 100 total yards to LeSean McCoy last week. The Jags have to be smarting after last week's 40-7 loss in Dallas, so expect an aggressive game plan that may tilt a little more towards the run given Blake Bortles' recent struggles. As long as Yeldon doesn't share the workload with Fournette, his value should meet his price with the potential for more.
WR: Adam Thielen, Minnesota at New York Jets ($8,700 FanDuel/$8,600 DraftKings)
Make it six straight 100-yard games for Thielen, who currently leads the NFL in receiving yards. He's also had a touchdown catch in three straight games, as the Vikings continue to let Kirk Cousins air it out even though they ran for nearly 200 yards last week against Arizona. Next up is game against a Jets defense that's among the most generous against WRs thus far, including allowing the second-most catches and third-most yards.
WR: Julian Edleman, New England at Chicago ($7,100 FanDuel/$6,600 DraftKings)
Edelman didn't fill up the stat sheet in the win over Kansa s City, but he did get seven targets and caught his first touchdown pass. Even with the addition of Josh Gordon and the emergence of Sony Michel, you know Tom Brady is going to look for his favorite target. The Bears' defense has been solid for the most part, but got shredded last week by Dolphins backup QB Brock Osweiler and wide receiver Albert Wilson. Brady is a considerably better quarterback than Osweiler and has many more weapons at his disposal, so you have to figure Chicago will have a hard time completely shutting down the Patriots. Not a bad price for a No. 1 WR, especially with guys like Antonio Brown, Davante Adams and JuJu Smith-Schuster among those on bye this week.
TE: Zach Ertz, Philadelphia vs. Carolina ($7,500 FanDuel/$7,100 DraftKings)
Ertz leads all tight ends in targets (67), receptions (48) and yards (480). It's no secret that Carson Wentz loves throwing to Ertz and now that the Eagles have gotten healthier, he is finding more room to operate in the middle of the field. Carolina has had some issues against TEs, allowing three to score double-digit fantasy points (PPR). Philadelphia seems to be finding its stride on offense and you know Ertz will remain a focal point of the game plan moving forward.
Value Plays of the Week
QB: Baker Mayfield, Cleveland at Tampa Bay ($7,100 FanDuel/$5,800 DraftKings)
Yes, Mayfield has more turnovers (seven) than touchdowns (four), but this one is really about the matchup. The Buccaneers are last in the league against the pass (355.6 ypg), have surrendered 16 TD passes (with just one INT), and allow the most fantasy points to QBs. Every quarterback they have faced except for one (Nick Foles, Week 2) have thrown at least three TD passes, with Mitchell Trubisky tossing six a couple of weeks ago. Don't be surprised if this is the week Mayfield puts up some big numbers.
RB: Tarik Cohen, Chicago vs. New England ($6,600 FanDuel/$5,100 DraftKings)
In his last two games alone (Weeks 4 and 6), Cohen has gotten 17 targets, which he has turned into 14 catches for 221 yards and a touchdown. He had another TD catch wiped away by a penalty last week against Miami. Even with all of the targets, Cohen is averaging more than six carries per game (5.1 ypc) and is clearly a big part of head coach Matt Nagy's game plans. He should be part of your DFS plans for Week 7.
WR: Taylor Gabriel, Chicago vs. New England ($5,900 FanDuel/$4,700 DraftKings)
Staying with the Bears, Gabriel has put together back-to-back 100-yard games and had two TD grabs in Week 4 vs. Tampa Bay. Mitchell Trubisky is throwing the ball plenty and while he's spreading it out, Gabriel remains near the top of the pecking order with nearly seven targets per game. Considering his success rate (79 percent) and big-play ability (four catches of 30-plus yards), Gabriel could pay off in a big way against a Patriots defense that has had some issues.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.