Let's start the Week 7 daily fantasy football (DFS) Picks off with a public service announcement: Don't forget to hit the "confirm" or "OK" or whatever the appropriate button is on your choice of DFS site. Actually, that goes for when setting your seasonal fantasy football lineups too. Maybe you still cash. But once you realize your mistake, you'll be left doing a Michael Scott impersonation. I've done it. There are other fantasy analysts I know whose identities I will protect who have done it. Learn from those mistakes.
Speaking of mistakes, I definitely had some mixed results last week. I absolutely crushed it with my Stefon Diggs pick. But the Gardner Minshew pick... not so much. But a friend who knows said that the sharps took a beating last week on Minshew, so I feel a little better. I think.
But I'm going to go back to Minshew. See below to see what other players I am picking for Week 7. I am off to make sure I hit confirm on my lineups!
Teams on bye: Carolina, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay
Week 7 DFS Picks
Safe QB: Josh Allen vs. Dolphins (DK $6700, FD $7700)
To be perfectly honest, there are no safe options this week. Early in the week, I had Deshaun Watson penciled into this spot. A lot of others think Watson is a safe pick this week, but he's not.
In addition to Watson's price jump, a closer look at this week's matchup sends up some flares. He's playing the Colts. In Watson's three games against them last year he managed only five total touchdowns. In the playoff game against them in particular, he really disappointed, putting up a meager 4.8 yards per pass attempt. The Colts usually play a zone-style defense, similar to what the Carolina Panthers play. That's significant because Carolina held Watson to 160 passing yards in Week 4. I know it's tempting to play Watson in DFS, but don't.
Save some salary and go with the easy play of Allen. He might have a quiet game as the Bills just run the ball down the throat of the Dolphins all day. But we know Allen is not going to have a bad game. His floor is one of the highest this week. Despite being run on all year, Miami still has given up the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Make the safe pick and move on. Or maybe gamble but save even more salary with the next pick perhaps?
High Risk/Reward QB: Gardner Minshew at Bengals (DK $5400, FD $6900)
As mentioned earlier, Minshew did me wrong last week. But I was not alone in getting burned. With the multitude of owners that Minshew burned last week, I think his ownership rates will be lower than they should.
Just three spots up from the Dolphins are the Bengals when it comes to giving up fantasy points to QBs. Like Josh Allen's situation, the Jaguars might be content to run the ball all day. At least we know the Bengals will not be handing out Minshew mustaches...
On the flip side, I do love Minshew's teammate this week.
Safe RB: Leonard Fournette at Bengals (DK: $7000, FD: $7900)
Probably the easiest cash game play of the week. Cincinnati has given up more fantasy points per game to running backs than any other team (even more than Miami!). Fournette is on a tear. He has the sixth-most fantasy points of all running backs the last three weeks. He won't be slowing down against the Bengals either.
Meanwhile, let's look at a player who has done next to nothing this year for a high upside pick.
High Risk/Reward RB: Devin Singletary vs. Dolphins (DK: $5400, FD: $5800)
There's a ton of risk given that Singletary hasn't played a snap since Week 2. In addition, it is likely that Frank Gore continues to be Buffalo's primary back as he's averaged a decent 4.4 yards per carry so far. But I would be surprised if Singletary doesn't see at least 10 touches. I don't expect him to continue to average 12-plus yards per carry as he has so far this year. But Singletary has the explosiveness that Gore now lacks and I like the rookie to get his second touchdown this week. Against the lowly Dolphins, that's not asking too much.
Safe WR: Cooper Kupp at Falcons (DK: $7400, FD: $7800)
Because you always start your stud WRs against the Falcons. Next.
High Risk/Reward WR: Jake Kumerow vs. Raiders (DK: $3600, FD: $4500)
I will tell you right now that I'm not going to be able to duplicate the success I had last week in this space with the Stefon Diggs selection. So instead, I will go super deep in the hole and go with Kumerow.
This is one that comes with multiple warnings and reminders to check the inactive report before the game. As of Wednesday night, none of the Packers' top three wide receivers had practiced. I am sure at least one will be active, making Kumerow likely a WR2 at best. However, no Packer saw more snaps last week than Kumerow (65). Even if he gets 50 snaps this week, I am sure he will outperform his low price tag.
Why? The reason is Oakland has given up the seventh-most fantasy points to wide receivers. There's enough potential here for Kumerow to have his best game of the season. Just double-check which Packers WRs are suiting up on Sunday, that's almost as bad as not hitting confirm!
Safe TE: Evan Engram vs. Cardinals (DK: $6500, FD: $6800)
In my TE rankings earlier this week, it wasn't clear if Engram would be healthy enough to play. We now have our answer.
We know this year that you start your tight ends when playing Arizona. Engram is a tight end and a great one. Though I wouldn't blame you if you decided to instead start...
High Risk/Reward TE: Hunter Henry at Titans (DK: $4000, FD: $5700)
I liked what I saw this past week. Henry returned from injury and promptly put up a 100-yard game to go along with his eight catches and two touchdowns. The Titans have not been quite as generous as the Steelers, but they are still giving up more than 12 fantasy points a week to the tight end position.
I expect Henry to easily smash through that average.
Safe DST: 49ers at Redskins (DK: $4100, FD: $5000)
If you don't know by now why the 49ers are a safe play, you aren't paying attention. Let's move on because my next pick is going to require a little explaining.
High Risk/Reward DST: Jets vs Patriots (DK: $2100, FD: $3300)
The New England Patriots are leading the NFL with 190 points. So I'm sure, you are probably thinking something similar to this:
But hear me out.
First off, look who New England has played. The only team currently with a winning record (Buffalo) held the Patriots to 16 points. Miami, Washington, and the Giants are not exactly stonewall defenses this year.
Secondly, the Patriots' defense has been a big reason why the defending Super Bowl champs keep winning, not their offense. A team with Tom Brady is always going to be strong, but is the New England passing attack really striking terror? Teams like the Raiders and Broncos have had more success passing for a first down this year than the Patriots have. And the Patriots' rushing offense is not even in the top 20.
Furthermore, the Jets' struggles without Sam Darnold have masked how good their defense has been. The Jets are actually the sixth-best fantasy defense this year. They have kept every opponent under 400 yards. And now that Darnold is back, expect the defense to be a little better rested.
It's a gutsy call, I know. But the Jets DST is dirt cheap this week. And if you do something stupid, like forgetting to hit confirm, you might need to make a gutsy call. But don't be stupid! Good luck with your DFS Week 7 picks!
— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.