He won't come cheap, but Alvin Kamara is well worth the cost this week
You might want to avoid my Week 7 daily fantasy (DFS) football picks. Because I took an absolute beating in Week 6. I wasn't feeling a takedown, but I definitely had confidence that I was going to cash. Of course, that was before the Aaron Rodgers debacle. I still came close to cashing, but given the number of Davante Adams shares I had, it just wasn't happening.
But this is a new week, which is one of the great things about DFS. Despite having to lick my wounds after last week, this week brings with a whole new set of possibilities. I've been smart with my stake management and still have plenty of funds to invest heavily this week. And I will.
So who do I like this week? See below for my Week 7DFS picks.
Teams on bye: Baltimore, Indianapolis, Miami, Minnesota
Safe Quarterback Week 7 Pick
Justin Herbert, Chargers vs. Jaguars (DK $6400, FD $7500)
Like most of the football world, I suspect that Arizona and Seattle will put up much closer to a grand of combined offense than 500 yards. But Arizona, for example, has not been that kind to quarterbacks, having giving up the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to that position. The Jaguars, on the other hand, have given up nearly 28 fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks and would be a lot closer to 30 if D'Andre Swift hadn't had a career day against them last week.
Herbert, meanwhile, has been spectacular the last couple of weeks and now has a 3:1 TD-to-INT ratio. Not too bad for a rookie quarterback! He also has run one in on the ground. As his pass catchers get healthier, I expect Herbert to be even better. I understand the upside with Kyler Murray or Russell Wilson, but Herbert has an extremely high floor this week and, at these prices, one I'd gladly take.
High Risk/Reward Quarterback Week 7 Pick
Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers at Saints (DraftKings $5800, FanDuel $6800)
In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that I recently traded for a cheap Bridgewater in my primary keeper league where I just lost Dak Prescott. So perhaps I like Bridgewater more than I should. But I do believe that he is a gosh darn good play this week in DFS as well.
Bridgewater is coming off the worst game of his season so far, but the Chicago secondary is far better than what New Orleans will put out on the field on Sunday. While the Bears have given up the fewest fantasy points to QBs this season, the Saints are on the opposite end of the spectrum (second-most).
The matchup is ideal. In addition to a weak secondary, we have an over/under set for this game of more than 50 points. It's well known that shootouts seem to occur in the Superdome frequently, and I don't foresee this week being any different.
Plus, while Bridgewater might not be elite, he is a decent quarterback. He's completing 70.9 percent of his passes, and he's on pace for more than 3,500 passing yards. Given that there are only about half a dozen starting QBs priced lower than him this week, Bridgewater makes for a great value play.
Safe Running Back Week 6 Pick
Alvin Kamara, Saints vs. Panthers (DK $7900, FD $9300)
The ceiling might not be as high on Kamara as some other weeks, yet it is still pretty close to cathedral-level high. Moreover, I absolutely love the floor this week on this all-purpose back who already has seven touchdowns and almost 700 combined yards in six games.
The Panthers are giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to RBs, and, given how much Sean Payton loves to establish the run, I am expecting Kamara to get double-digit carries and perhaps double-digit targets as well. If you want to go for the caviar option this week, Kamara is the easy choice.
High Risk/Reward Running Back Week 7 Pick
Zack Moss, Bills at Jets (DK $4200, FD $5400)
This is not a pick for the risk-averse. Unless you are looking for a "punt play" at RB, don't even consider this option. However, to see why I like him, see my Week 7 RB rankings.
Safe Wide Receiver Week 7 Pick
DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals vs. Seahawks (DK $8000, FD $9000)
Let's make it a point to scare everyone away from Hopkins, and I will do my part by retweeting this here:
Kliff Kingsbury is “hopeful” that WR DeAndre Hopkins will play Sunday night vs. SEA and be full speed because of the same ankle injury that’s been “lingering.”— Josh Weinfuss (@joshweinfuss) October 23, 2020
"Hoping he can have the bye and really clear that thing up,” Kingsbury said.
There were reports during the middle of last week as well that Hopkins was not 100 percent, but he still played on Monday night and burned the Cowboys for 36.5 yards per reception. I would pay up for Alvin Kamara over Hopkins only because Hopkins is not coming off a bye as Kamara is. And I will likely find a way to fit both of them into at least one lineup. Because all Hopkins is doing right now is leading the NFL in receiving yards.
And if you thought he made the Cowboys secondary look frightful, best turn the little one's eyes away from the Seahawks' defensive backfield. Seattle is actually worse than Dalla and has given up the most fantasy points to WRs this year — more than 300. That is particularly alarming given that Seattle is coming off of a bye, meaning that's just in five games. If Hopkins is active and seems to OK, get him in your lineups this week.
High Risk/Reward Receiver Week 7 Pick
Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers at Patriots (DK $4100, FD $5500)
Given some of the less successful attempts at hurdling a defender in the Giants-Eagles game on Thursday night, I will remind you again that Aiyuk knows how it's done:
*chef's kiss* pic.twitter.com/zFLrItCbcm— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) October 5, 2020
Aiyuk is more than just an amazing hurdler. He has three touchdowns in his last four games. The lone exception was the one outlier game for the entire 49ers offense two weeks ago against Miami. With Jimmy Garoppolo having found his mojo again, expect a solid game from Aiyuk. I see Jimmy G attempting close to 30 passes this week against New England. And speaking of the Patriots, these ain't your much older brother's Patriots. They are allowing the fifth-most PPR points per target (2.05) to opposing WRs this season. Although they do still have Stephon Gilmore, he is likely to draw Deebo Samuel in coverage. Even if Aiyuk gets matched up with Gilmore, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year hasn't been at his best this season either. It's not horrendous, but Gilmore has been victimized for 13-of-21 passing for 192 and two touchdowns so far.
Many will stay away from the Aiyuk, but I won't be one of those people.
Safe Tight End Week 7 Pick
Travis Kelce, Chiefs at Broncos (DK $6300, FD $7900)
Kelce has had at least 50 yards in every game this season. He has five touchdowns already. We know he can put up a huge game at any point. I don't know if it will come against the Broncos, who are middle of the road against tight ends this year. But floor or ceiling or anything in between, Kelce is an easy pick this week.
High Risk/Reward Tight End Week 7 Pick
Logan Thomas, Washington vs. Cowboys (DK $3500, FD $5000)
Thomas scored last week against the Giants, but the Cowboys might be an even better matchup. The Cowboys have allowed the eighth-highest catch rate to opposing tight ends. They are allowing an average of 14.3 fantasy points to the position this season. Given that Thomas put up double-digit fantasy points for both sites last week, expect him to do it again this week.
Safe Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 7 Pick
Bills at Jets (DK $4700, FD $5000)
This week's entry of "whichever team is playing the Jets."
High Risk/Reward Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 7 Pick
Washington vs. Cowboys (DK $2500, FD $3800)
If you want another great defensive play that won't be as popular as the Bills, go with the Chargers. But the Chargers are still a pretty safe pick this week. You want something a little edgier? How about picking the defense going up against the Cowboys, the team that leads the league in passing yards by more than 400 compared to No. 2.
Andy Dalton is a solid QB, but this Dallas team is not the same without Dak Prescott. I don't think Dalton even approaches 300 yards on Sunday. And this Washington defense is far better than you think. Washington has allowed the sixth-fewest yards per game. This defense also is tied for ninth in sacks and forced fumbles as well as tied for third in INTs. WFT could be a very sneaky play this week.
— 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.