DraftKings NFL GPP Lineup Advice: Week 7 (2019)
This week, I offer an unusually high number of one-off plays. A quartet of intriguing standalone plays at a wide swath of price points are highlighted below. They’re joined by the rare quarterback/running back stack to round things out.
Chris Conley (WR – JAC): $3,500 at Bengals
Conley posted a big fat bagel in the receptions column last week on three targets, and he’s facing a defense that’s yielded the second-fewest DraftKings points per game to wideout this year, according to Pro-Football-Reference. Why in the world would anyone want to use Conley? Well, Cincinnati’s low scoring output allowed to receivers is largely a product of getting stomped by backs as opposed to being exceptional against receivers. They’ve faced the third-fewest targets (80) but ceded 55 receptions for 727 receiving yards, good for 13.22 yards per reception to them this season.
The Bengals are tied for the 10th-most 20-plus yard passes (22) and tied for the 11th-most 40-plus yard passes (4) allowed this year, per NFL.com. Their propensity for surrendering big chunk plays through the air pairs perfectly with Conley’s field-stretching skill-set and usage. Also, Cincinnati’s struggles should only be amplified with starting corners William Jackson and Dre Kirkpatrick hurt.
Conley’s 418 Intended Air Yards are the 40th most among receivers and tight ends this year, according to Sports Info Solutions. Furthermore, among receives and tight ends targeted a minimum of 20 times this season, Conley’s average depth of target of 16.7 yards is third highest. He only needs one big play to deliver value at his small salary, but he could also get a volume bump with Dede Westbrook appearing on the injury report and not practicing unexpectedly Thursday. Even if the injury doesn’t sideline Westbrook this week, I’ll be firing a few GPP bullets with Conley and suggest you do the same.
Hunter Henry (TE – LAC): $4,000 at Titans
Evan Engram is going to be super chalk against the Cardinals. I like him. In fact, I like him a lot this week and will use him on some teams. Having said that, he’s not worth $2,500 more than Henry.
Henry has a plus matchup of his own against the Titans. The Titans have coughed up the 12th-most DraftKings points per game to tight ends this year, according to Pro-Football-Reference. Henry returned from injury to make a huge mark in a Sunday Night Football loss last week.
The 24-year-old tight end turned in a fantastic 8-100-2 line on 9 targets while playing 66% of the Chargers’ offensive snaps. He wasn’t used like a typical tight end, either, enhancing his appeal in fantasy.
#Chargers essentially used Hunter Henry as a wide receiver in his return on SNF. Spent 73% of his routes in slot/out wide and his 10.9 air yards per target is ridiculous for a TE: pic.twitter.com/2H0c7ELsfZ
– Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) October 14, 2019
Graham Barfield of NFL.com’s Next Gen Stats tweet above showcasing Henry’s usage against the Steelers last week is a thing of beauty, from a fantasy perspective. Enjoy the comically low price Henry carries this week, as it won’t last.
T.Y. Hilton (WR – IND): $5,900 vs. Texans
Is Hilton going to be a chalk play this week? Damn right he is, and I’m fine with that. The Texans have been thumped by wideouts this year, allowing the sixth-most DraftKings points per game to them. Furthermore, Hilton’s been a one-man wrecking crew against them in recent matchups. Working chronologically from his two games in 2016 to his two games in 2017 and concluding with his two games against them last year, he’s posted 3-49-0, 9-115-1, 5-175-2, 3-14-0, 4-115, and 9-199-0 against the Texans. The third and fourth lines above were posted with Jacoby Brissett playing quarterback in 2017.
Brissett’s made strides this year since starting back in 2017, and he’s heavily utilized his No. 1 receiver in the four games Hilton’s played in. Hilton’s caught four or more passes in every game and scored at least one touchdown in three of four contests. He’s been a frequent recipient of targets in the red zone, too. Hilton’s seven targets in the red zone this year are tied for the ninth most among receivers, per Lineups, and all four of his touchdowns have been scored in the red zone and are tied for the most red-zone touchdowns among receivers. I’ll be picking other spots to swerve from the chalk.
Dalvin Cook (RB – MIN): $8,000 at Lions
I’ve seen chatter on football Twitter about Leonard Fournette being the top play at running back for a few pundits this week, and I get it. I’ll have ample exposure to Fournette, and he’s $1,000 cheaper than Cook. Having said that, Cook has a slight edge in yards from scrimmage (773 for Fournette compared to 796 for Cook) and broken tackles (12 to 9), and he has an even bigger gap in production from Fournette in the eyes of Football Outsiders (FO).
FO ranks Cook first in Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR) with 150 and second in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) at 26.6% on the ground. Conversely, Fournette ranks 21st in DYAR with six and 21st in DVOA at -7.4%. There’s a big gap in their receiving work, too. FO ranks Cook eighth in DYAR (51) and 10th in DVOA (26.3%) receiving while ranking Fournette 31st out of 41 backs who’ve been targeted at least 12 times in DYAR (-3) and DVOA (-15.5%). In short, Cook has been the better back by FO’s advanced measures, and he has a soft matchup, too, against a Lions team that’s coughed up the third-most DraftKings points per game to backs. I’m expecting Cook to outscore Fournette, and he could do so at a lower ownership rate when factoring in the aforementioned salary gap. Sign me up for that.
Among games on the main slate this weekend, the Cardinals and Giants boast the second-highest over/under total at 50.5 points, per DraftKings Sportsbook. The road-bound Cardinals are 3-point underdogs, but their implied team total of 23.75 points isn’t too shabby. They also have a delightful matchup against the Giants porous defense. FO ranks the Giants 23rd in overall defense DVOA, 28th in pass-defense DVOA, and 13th in rush defense DVOA. There’s track meet potential as well, with both teams playing uptempo football.
FO ranks the Cardinals first in both overall pace and situation neutral pace, and they rank the Giants eighth in overall pace and 11th in situation neutral pace. With both teams looking to run plays in bunches and keep their respective feet on the accelerator, this contest has a chance to be a fantasy football treasure trove. Murray and Johnson are my favorite pieces from either team, with honorable mention going to the previously Engram.
Murray is having an impressive fantasy season as a rookie, eclipsing 300 passing yards in three of six games, and erupting on the ground of late with 221 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in his last four games. He’s gone back-to-back games without throwing an interception, and he’s taken only one sack in those two contests. He has a great matchup to keep his roll going.
Johnson’s a well-rounded back, but his best work is done through the air, which makes him a great stack partner with Murray — assuming he continues to trend in the right direction this week while nursing an ankle injury. Last week, Adam Levitan of Establish the Run credited Johnson with playing five snaps in the slot or wide.
DJ’s back appeared fine yesterday, but ARZ still got Edmonds into the mix a bit.
– Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) October 14, 2019
The Giants have been burned by backs in the passing game. They’ve allowed the third-most receiving yards (349) to backs this season, and quarterbacks have completed 35 of 39 targets to the position, good for an eye-popping 89.7% completion percentage to backs. The G Men have also been steamrolled by backs on the ground, yielding the sixth-most rushing yards (679) at a solid if unspectacular 4.47 yards per carry clip.
When Arizona is in scoring territory, expect Johnson to be utilized. Johnson’s 19 touches in the red zone are tied for seventh-most among backs, per Lineups. He’s turned four of those touches into touchdowns. There are enough value plays available this week to make rostering the not-included Fournette as well as the duo of Cook and Johnson — not to mention the others featured in this piece — doable.