Thursday, October 22, 2015

Staff Thursday Cash Plays - Week 7

We’re on to Week 7 of the NFL season and the week’s daily fantasy surprises keep on coming. Calvin Johnson finally started producing like Calvin Johnson, Steve Smith overcame microfractures in his back to continue his ridiculous year and Antonio Gates had his second straight big game in a row.

The Footballguys staff is back and has their Thursday cash plays up for your perusal, so as always we’re here to cherry pick a few interesting things that jumped out to us from the group.

Staff Trends

Gobs of Gates
Twelve out of fourteen staff members have Antonio Gates in their lineup which I suppose means he’s ‘chalk’ this week. As he’s going up against an Oakland Raiders defense which, save for one time against Denver, makes every tight end look good, they should make Gates look great. His price ($5800) is really solid as well, so you can get plenty of bang while saving plenty of bucks for other positions.

More Freeman
People keep riding the Devonta Freeman train and against Tennessee, who can blame them? The price has gone up quite a bit over the last few weeks and as we said in our rushing matchup piece, Freeman “is the #1 fantasy running back in the land, with 54/321/5 rushing and 5/20/1 receiving.” He’s as close to a sure thing as you can find at running back and you can tell the staff is still excited by him. Everyone but me had him in their lineup and the only reason I didn’t is because I spent the money on wide receivers, Gates and Le’Veon Bell. Also I can be a contrary son of a gun.

Hopping with Hopkins
Eight out of fourteen staff members grabbed DeAndre Hopkins. Like Freeman, his price has been on the rise, but he has been so productive of late that he is worth the money. He’s had four straight games with over 100 yards receiving, three of them 148 yards or better. He’s caught 30 balls in that time and three touchdowns. He has never had less than double digit targets as well this season, and has seen 51 of them in the last three games (89 for the season). He’s that good.

Glaring Omissions

Tom Brady
While our site rankings have Brady as a QB1 this week, the price and the Jets have scared off the staff. Nobody used him, opting instead for Philip Rivers, Cam Newton, Carson Palmer and a few other middle tier guys (and Andrew Luck for Hindrey).

Julio Jones
A lot of people are feeling the concern on Jones’ constant injuries. That and the price have moved the staff off him, especially when you can have cheaper but relatively equal production from guys like Larry Fitzgerald, Hopkins and Steve Smith.

Diamonds in the Rough

Props to Chad Parsons for rolling the dice on Landry Jones ($6000), who Parsons described as having “unlocked the bevy of Steelers passing game weapons after Michael Vick could not in Week 6.” With Martavis Bryant, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, it’s a value we might all want to think about. Risky too though as we don’t know what the Chiefs will dial up for an inexperienced quarterback.

Both Michael Crabtree ($5900) and Robert Woods ($4900) look like solid value plays. Woods has always had nice chemistry with EJ Manuel (who will get the start this week) and the matchup against the Jaguars is tasty. Crabtree has come on a bit this season and while he is inconsistent, you have to think the Chargers go all in on stopping Amari Cooper, leaving Crabtree in single coverage, which he should be able to exploit.


  1. Any concerns about starting Gates or Decker on the Thursday slate with both of them missing practice today?

  2. I'd definitely avoid Gates for the Thu slate. He looked super gimpy after he was hurt and now hasn't practiced 2 days.

  3. It's been a very long day and I am not seeing the link...can someone let me know where the link to the lineups is located?