It’s that time of the year! You know, the time when the leaves are turning, there’s a brisk chill in the air and Halloween is right around the corner. For Michiganders like myself, it’s the same time that coincides with Michigan St. and the Detroit Lions football seasons being over. And, we start saying things like “well, maybe we can beat Michigan”. Or, in the case of the Lions, we begin turning our attention toward our real Super Bowl–next year’s draft! As you may be able to tell, fantasy and gambling is all I have had left by November for many, many football seasons.
At least last week I was able to have–what we like to call in the industry–a nice “bounce back” after a subpar Week 5 showing. Quinn Ewers was straight fire in his return from an injury leading what looks like will be a potent Longhorn attack (more on this later) in 2022. LSU’s Josh Williams and Kayshon Boutte weren’t great but salvaged their days with one touchdown each. And, both Tennessee receivers showed out in that same game blowing the Tigers out in Baton Rouge.
In the night contest, an in-game injury to Cougar running back Nakia Watson was a big blow. But, injuries are an unpredictable part of real and fake football, and I can accept that. Arizona’s offense underperforming at home in what looked like a decent matchup I can not accept. Nor do my lineups. Oh well. Onto the next one!
As always, the purpose of every post I make here is to attempt to identify value for any particular slate. I am never going to offer the most expensive, obvious, and essentially best players as my “suggestions” or “picks” for a slate. I’m trying to point out options that could help you afford those players and/or options that I believe could provide similar results at a cheaper price based on logic and statistical evidence. That said, let’s talk about some of my favorite plays for the Week 7 Saturday slates!
Will Mallory | TE | Miami $3,500
There are a couple of tight ends that come at a great price in the day contest given their potential output. Since losing top receiver Xavier Restrepo, Canes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke has had to develop better connections to keep the offense moving. Over the last two games sans Restrepo, the veteran tight end Mallory and Clemson wideout transfer Frank Ladson Jr. have seemed to benefit the most. And more importantly, their prices have not quite yet adjusted to their fair market rates.
Over those two games, Mallory leads the team in yards with 165 on 12 catches (second only to Ladson Jr.), and FLJ leads the team in catches grabbing 14 for 124 yards. The upside may be somewhat limited in a game that Vegas projects to be relatively low scoring. But, the combo of solid volume at sub 4k prices is well worth the investment based on what each can do for salary cap flexibility.
Also, fellow pass catcher Brashard Smith is at the contest minimum price. He has absolutely proven that he can be trusted for a 2-3 catch floor with reasonable potential for more like he did in their last game with a 5-59 line against North Carolina.
Ja’Tavion Sanders | TE | Texas $3,700
This would be the other tight end whose lack of price adjustment has arrived at ludicrous speed levels. Sanders’s immediate connection with Quinn Ewers seemed pretty clear before Ewers went down with an injury against Alabama. After last week’s drubbing of Oklahoma behind Ewers elevated quarterback play, the upside on Sanders and the offense as a whole is as crystal clear as Hudson Card hitting the transfer portal.
Anyways, the prices on Sanders, Jordan Whittington, and especially Xavier Worthy are all comically low at the moment. Even Ewers at $5,700 is one of, if not the best, paydown options at the quarterback position for this slate in my humble opinion. Speaking of….
Graham Mertz | QB | Wisconsin $5,300
Never thought I’d be discussing this guy here, but a combination of the matchup and a coaching change have brought me to this dark CFB DFS place of recommending a Badger quarterback. Gulp!
The helpless Michigan St. secondary continues to be irreparably compromised after last week’s depantsing by the Buckeyes. Of course, no one is ever going to accuse Mertz and the Badger offense of being able to match the Buckeyes no matter how good of a matchup it is, but Mertz’s career day in the first game after Paul Chryst being let go may not be a complete coincidence.
Under Chryst’s 1990s run heavy with zero creativity offensive “scheme”, the fact that Wisconsin almost equaled their season average of first down passes in an opening half in just their first two series against Northwestern is very telling of how interim HC Jim Leonhard differs in philosophy. As one of the most highly recruited quarterback prospects in recent history for Wisconsin, maybe this switch combined with his experience will be what propels the junior to what is already looking like a breakout season with all of his numbers up across the board.
At the very least this week, Mertz should be able to attain his average 17 DK points per game this season with plenty of upside in a Charmin soft matchup. Also, keep an eye on Badger receiver Chimere Dike. He blew up last week as Mertz’s clear top option posting a monster 10-185-3 line. He’s a great price and looks to be the most likely beneficiary at receiver in the Jim Leonard era for 2022.
As the sun goes down, I’ll very likely be entering into a Tarheel state of mind. The values on quarterback Drake Maye and wideout Antoine Green for North Carolina are about as good as it gets at their respective positions. Maye’s counterpart for Duke, Riley Leonard has consistently demonstrated an ability to maintain high floors due to his rushing ability. His sub 6k price in a plus matchup that features the highest total in the contest makes him a strong paydown option at quarterback for a smaller slate like this.
Two more sub 6k options in another solid matchup is quarterback Holton Ehlers and his top receiver Isaiah Winstead for East Carolina. Ehlers is averaging 25 DK points this season against similar competition. And, Winstead is severely mispriced at this point in the season based on his track record in the Pirates six games. Both have the right circumstances to outperform their very friendly price tags.
Checking in on the LSU offense, it’s pretty much a mess and can’t be trusted. But, how much do you need to trust Kayshon Boutte when he is still sub 5k and trending in the right direction? Or, what about running back Josh Williams who still sits at the contest minimum price?
Checking in on the Irish offense, they’ve found their stride. Especially against garbage opponents like they have Saturday night at home against what used to be Stanford! At this point, tight end Michael Mayer and running back Audric Estime should both be approaching (or possibly surpass in Mayer’s case) a 7k price point.
Good luck in Week 7! Follow me on twitter @realBobbyAdcock compliments and insults are always appreciated.