By Joe Ostrowski–
(CBS) Week 7 has been the easiest to figure out lineups for 50/50s and head-to-head matchups for daily fantasy. That doesn’t guarantee anything, but the number of must-plays and value guys jump off the screen. The challenge will be identifying which of these highly owned players to stay away from in tournaments.
Let’s take a look at the week’s top plays:
QB in cash games: Cardinals’ Carson Palmer vs. Ravens
This is a toss-up between Palmer and Philip Rivers. Palmer gets the nod because of the higher projected team total at 27.5 points, against 24.5 for the Chargers. Baltimore gives up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks and third-most passing yards. Palmer has at least 45 pass attempts and 350 passing yards in two of his last three games. The pass attempts might not be there, because Arizona is favored by 10 points, but the touchdowns will be.
Another option: Chargers’ Philip Rivers vs. Raiders
QB in tournaments: Colts’ Andrew Luck vs. Saints
Palmer and Rivers will be the highest-owned quarterbacks, so Luck will have lower ownership following some struggles Sunday night. The Colts-Saints over/under of 52 is four points higher than any other game. Luck threw the ball 50 times in returning from injury, and you should expect much of the same as Indianapolis will be trying to get back above the .500 mark. New Orleans has the worst pass defense DVOA, according to Football Outsiders.
Another option: Patriots’ Tom Brady vs. Jets
RB in cash games: Rams’ Todd Gurley vs. Browns
St. Louis was expected to ease in rookie Gurley coming off a torn ACL. Jeff Fisher tried that for one week. Gurley has 51 touches and 320 total yards in his last two games, and Cleveland has been gashed on the ground, allowing 154 more rushing yards than any other team. The Rams are also six-point home favorites. Gurley will be in every lineup of mine this weekend.
Another option: Falcons’ Devonta Freeman at Titans
RB in tournaments: Cowboys’ Christine Michael at Giants
Dallas traded for Michael days before the start of the season, and all signs point to him getting his first real crack at the job. Heading into the bye, running backs coach Gary Brown said, “We want to take the reins off him and let him rock.” Michael was hyped up in Seattle, and the fantasy world wants Dallas to find its workhorse back. This is very high risk that could produce a high reward.
Another option: Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell at Chiefs
WR in cash games: Cardinals’ receivers vs. Ravens
Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins is the easy call, but we’re trying to provide multiple options. Hopkins is on a record-setting targets pace, including in the red zone. Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown are the top options in a premier offense without the high price tag. Fitzgerald has been as consistent as any receiver, and Brown exploded for 196 yards against the Steelers’ weak secondary. Baltimore is even worse than Pittsburgh against the pass.
Another option: Steelers’ Antonio Brown at Chiefs (if Ben Roethlisberger starts)
WR in tournaments: Jaguars’ Allen Robinson vs. Bills(in London)
FanDuel’s Thursday contests showed that Robinson’s low ownership will continue, so he’s a great option if your slate of games includes Sunday morning. Robinson is averaging more than 10 targets per game, and Blake Bortles has at least 50 pass attempts in two of his last three contests. That level of volume is hard to come by.
Another option: Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr vs. Cowboys
TE in cash games: Chargers’ Antonio Gates vs. Raiders
In Gates’ two games since returning from suspension, he has 27 targets, 187 yards and two touchdowns. Oakland has given up six touchdowns in five games to the tight end position. There’s a chance that Keenan Allen and/or Stevie Johnson will be out. This is the easiest call of the week.
Another option: Bills’ Charles Clay vs. Jaguars (in London)
TE in tournaments: Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski vs. Jets
Gronkowski’s ownership will be low with Gates being one of the highest-owned players of the week and only being targeted by Tom Brady five times in each of his last two games. There are multiple reasons for this. Gronkowski has been dealing with double coverage, and the Patriots’ offensive line is in shambles, so his help is needed. Keep in mind that Julian Edelman will take a trip to Darrelle Revis island, and it’s still Gronk.
Another option: Chargers’ Ladarius Green vs. Raiders
Joe Ostrowski is an executive producer at 670 The Score and co-hosts “Chicago’s Fantasy Football Today” on Sundays from 8-9 a.m. CT. He also discusses fantasy football on The Laurence Holmes Show on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. CT on WSCR-670 and670thescore.com/listen. Follow him on Twitter @JoeO670 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.