Week 7 FanDuel Top Shelf & Bargain Bin Plays: Carson Palmer leads Desert Storm Attack

Carson Palmer

Holy cow! Week 6 was full of some record-breaking performances from a few quarterbacks. No one was more impressive than Philip Rivers who traveled to Green Bay and did his best Dan Fouts impression passing for a Chargers record 503 yards. The Packers defense came through in the final minutes of the game stopping the Chargers in the red zone and preventing the game-tying score. Speaking of the Packers they remained undefeated along with the Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, and New England Patriots. Matthew Stafford finished as the top scoring fantasy player after putting up 405 yards passing and four touchdowns in an overtime win over the Bears. Carson Palmer had a big game in a losing effort versus the Steelers. Looking forward to Week 7 Carson Palmer tops my list of quarterbacks I’m highlighting this week. There will be a desert storm attack on Monday Night Football this week and the Ravens are in Palmer’s crosshairs. Without further ado here are my Week 7 FanDuel Top Shelf and Bargain Bin plays. Good luck this week in your cash and tournament games.

Top Shelf Picks

Quarterback

Carson Palmer- Arizona Cardinals $8200

vs Baltimore Ravens (MNF)

I highlighted Carson Palmer last week as a “Bargain Bin” play and he didn’t disappoint versus the Steelers. Palmer completed 29 of 45 passes for 421 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Believe it or not this was his highest yardage output since Week 9 of the 2006 season. Palmer’s FanDuel salary has finally caught up with him currently sitting at $8200. Up next is a juicy Primetime matchup versus the Baltimore Ravens who just made Colin Kaepernick look like Joe Montana. Ok, maybe that’s going a little too far but it’s no secret that the Ravens have been torched by opposing quarterbacks. They’ve allowed an NFL worst average of 22.7 fantasy points to the position. I’d rather invest in Palmer this week than higher priced options like Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Palmer has everything working in his favor this week and will continue to build on his magical season versus a porous Ravens secondary.

Andrew Luck- Indianapolis Colts $8900

vs New Orleans Saints

He’s back baby! We’re finally getting to witness a healthy Andrew Luck and he’s only getting started folks. It’s no secret that Bill Belichick has had Luck’s number early in his career. He’s 0-5 lifetime versus the Patriots and had thrown ten interceptions in the four previous meetings. Luck was a gunslinger Sunday night completing 30 of his 50 pass attempts for 312 yards and three touchdowns. He’ll improve on those numbers in week 7 against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Saints have allowed the eighth-most passing yards (1,629) while giving up 11 scores through the air. Vegas currently has the over/under at the highest line of the week (52 points). This matchup pits two high-powered offenses versus two of the worst defenses in the league. This game should turn into a shootout and Luck should be well on his way to another 50 pass attempts. I’m banking on a huge performance from Luck and with Rodgers on bye, he’s the cream of the crop at the position if you’re paying up. He’ll be my quarterback in the majority of my cash games this week.

Bargain Bin Plays

Philip Rivers- San Diego Chargers $8000

vs Oakland Raiders

Philip Rivers is coming off one of the best performances ever by a starting NFL quarterback. In Week 6 versus the Packers Rivers completed 43 passes in 65 attempts for 503 yards and two touchdowns. This amazing performance put him in the top ten for pass attempts in a single game, and in a tie for second for most completions. Rivers would have had the opportunity to break Van Brocklin’s 64 year NFL record of 554 passing yards had the game gone to overtime. It’s pretty impressive when you take into consideration what he accomplished on the road at Lambeau Field against a Dom Capers led defense. Rivers deserves more credit and the numbers don’t lie. Rivers leads the league with 2,116 passing yards, is sixth with 12 touchdowns, and fourth in fantasy points scored. This week Rivers gets the luxury of facing the Oakland Raiders at home in San Diego. Only the 49ers and Giants have a higher passing yards per game (299) average than the Raiders. With or without Keenan Allen expect another monster performance by Philip Rivers. He has plenty of targets with his main squeeze Antonio Gates back, an emerging Ladarius Green, wily vet Malcolm Floyd, and the return of Stevie Johnson. I see Rivers as an elite play in Week 7 and one who can be had at a major discount at $8000 on FanDuel.

Ryan Fitzpatrick- New York Jets $7100

at New England

They say not to fear the beard but I strongly disagree when it comes to Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Harvard alum finished Week 6 as the eighth-highest scoring fantasy player. Only Matthew Stafford, Philip Rivers, Andrew Luck, and Tom Brady were better starts in week 6 at the quarterback position. Fitz is rolling right now and is locked in with his top targets Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. The Jets feature the NFL’s most dangerous rushing attack led by Chris Ivory which helps take the pressure off Fitz. This opens up the vertical passing game and allows him to take shots downfield with his big targets. The Jets offensive line has been very good and has only allowed Fitz to get sacked twice this year. This has allowed Fitz to stand upright in the pocket and given him ample time to read through his progressions. Fitz will never get the respect he deserves but currently has the fifth-best QBR at 76.6. A trip to Foxborough awaits the Amish Rifle in Week 7. The Patriots secondary has been vulnerable to the pass this season. I’m expecting Fitz to pass a lot in catchup mode versus the Patriots. If you’re looking for a good stack this week you could do a lot worse than Fitz-Marshall or Fitz-Decker stacks.

Top Shelf Picks

Running Back

Devonta Freeman- Atlanta Falcons $8700

at Tennessee Titans

I’ll keep going back to the well until it dries up when it comes to certain players like Devonta Freeman. It’s been a hell of a ride for Freeman this year and I see no signs of him slowing down. Similar to Carson Palmer his salary is finally starting to catch up to his level of production on FanDuel. Freeman has graduated from being a bargain bin player to a Top Shelf pick. He’s been a touchdown machine and scored nine touchdowns over the past four weeks. I prefer Freeman this week over higher priced options Le’Veon Bell and Adrian Peterson. This Falcon is flying high so buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Arian Foster- Houston Texans $8600

at Miami Dolphins

Arian Foster continues to see a massive amount of snaps and is starting to get his legs back under him. While his overall rushing numbers may not reflect it with 45 carries for only 104 yards (2.3 AVG) Foster has been running hard and breaking tackles. Foster is a permanent fixture in the passing game catching 14 balls over the past two weeks which adds to his appeal. Brian Hoyer has been a boom to the Texans offense since supplanting Ryan Mallett as the starter under center. Foster travels to South Beach to take on a Dolphins team that has surrendered the second-most rushing yards per game with 141. Only the Cleveland Browns have allowed more rushing yards on average per game. Foster will feast on the Phins and have another very productive day therefore he’s going to be in the majority of my cash lineups.

Chris Ivory- New York Jets $7800

at New England

Chris Ivory has been the second biggest surprise running back this year in fantasy after the aforementioned Devonta Freeman. I guess it’s fitting that he’s second in fantasy points per game to Freeman. The biggest difference for Ivory this year has been the faith the Jets coaching staff has shown in Ivory to carry the load. He’s been handed at least 20 carries in all but one game this year and has produced RB1 numbers in all of those contests. Over the past two weeks Ivory has 49 carries for 312 yards (6.36 AVG) and two touchdowns. He was involved in the passing game last week with three receptions for 50 yards which was a nice bonus if you played him. I’m willing to ride the hot hand and I’m sure Todd Bowles is too when it comes to Ivory. The Jets will look to establish the run versus the Patriots and keep Brady off the field so expect another heavy workload for their feature back.

Bargain Bin Plays

Todd Gurley- St. Louis Rams $7400

vs Cleveland Browns

Todd Gurley has been a beast since he came back from his injury and has run hard against some decent teams in the Cardinals and Packers. We have a short sample size to judge him on with only 55 carries but he’s averaging the highest yard per carry average (5.7) of any starting back. Jeff Fisher will continue to lean on their franchise back and feed him the rock making him a must-play at his current FanDuel salary of $7400. This is a prime matchup given how bad the Browns have been at defending the run this year. They’ve given up almost 150 yards a game to opposing running backs and Gurley is better than any previous back they’ve faced so far. I’d bet the house Gurley scores his first NFL touchdown this week and continues to separate himself from the richest class of rookie running backs we’ve seen in years.

Lamar Miller- Miami Dolphins $6700

vs Houston Texans

Well I guess all it took was a coaching change for Lamar Miller to finally get his opportunity. Miller was given a season-high 19 totes and managed to register his first 100-yard rushing performance of the season versus the Titans. Last year he only eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark twice so it’s time to buy Miller and start realizing his arrow is point up. The Houston Texans defense has struggled and allowed the Falcons four rushing scores a couple of weeks ago. Miller is a great tournament play at his current FanDuel salary of $6700 and I believe you can also trust him in your cash games.

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Top Shelf Picks

Wide Receiver

DeAndre Hopkins- Houston Texans $9200

at Miami Dolphins

Nuke continues to keep up his historic pace and is quickly becoming one of the best, if not best wide receivers in the NFL. Step aside Julio Jones because there is a new sheriff in town and he resides in Houston. Hopkins leads the NFL in targets (90) and receiving yards (726) while trailing only Keenan Allen with 52 receptions. This is a prime week to go cheap at quarterback and/or running and pay up for Hopkins. He’s going to be heavily owned but for good reason having averaged 21.8 pts a week on FanDuel. That’s higher than any other receiver who has played in two or more games. Go ahead a fire up Hopkins in your cash and tournament lineups because he’s a game changer with elite ball skills.

Larry Fitzgerald- Arizona Cardinals $7800

vs Baltimore Ravens (MNF)

One of my favorite stacks this week will be Carson Palmer-Larry Fitzgerald. A healthy Carson Palmer is the key to Larry’s resurgence in 2015. Rumor has it he found the fountain of youth somewhere in the Arizona desert. Fitz is licking his chops for his upcoming matchup in Week 7 versus a Ravens defense that has been torched by opposing receivers. They’ve allowed the second most fantasy points per game at 31 points per game. Last week Torrey Smith burned his ex-team with three receptions for 96 yards and a score. Anquan Boldin did his best Andre Johnson impression in a revenge game against his former team registering nine receptions for 102 yards. Colin Kaepernick managed 340 passing yards last week versus the Ravens so I’m expecting a Philip Rivers type performance this week from Carson Palmer with lots of targets to go around. Fitzgerald has been the model of consistency this year finishing with at least six receptions and at least 87 yards receiving in every game except one.

Bargain Bin Plays

Martavis Bryant- Pittsburgh Steelers $6900

at Kansas City Chiefs

It sure didn’t take Martavis Bryant long to make an impact after returning from his four-week suspension and knee injury. In his first official week back Bryant exploded with Landry Jones under center for six catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns. With so much attention being paid to Antonio Brown opposing teams will force someone else to beat them and that man is Bryant. I believe this is more than a one-week thing and that Landry has some chemistry with Bryant. We’ve seen this script many times before when the backup or third-string quarterback comes in he feels more comfortable throwing to the secondary options. This week’s opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs have allowed the most fantasy points per game (34) to receivers this season. Bryant could be the next Josh Gordon and like Gordon he’s going to get his regardless of who is tossing him the pigskin. Let’s just hope he can keep his nose clean and if he does the sky is the limit for Bryant.

Donte Moncrief- Indianapolis Colts $6500

vs New Orleans Saints

I’m sure if anyone was happy to see Andrew Luck back under center it was Donte Moncrief last week. To date this season Moncrief has 49 targets compared to 59 for Hilton. The number that stands out to me is that Moncrief has four touchdowns compared to only one score for Hilton. Another sign of Moncrief’s breakout season is that Luck has connected with him for a touchdown pass in every game he’s started this year. This should further cement Moncrief as Luck’s preferred target moving forward and most trusted red zone threat. If I was choosing an Indy wide receiver this week it would be Moncrief over Hilton since Moncrief is $1200 cheaper on FanDuel than his teammate. The matchup versus the Saints is good considering they’ve allowed 11 receiving touchdowns. I’ll have my fair share of Luck-Moncrief stacks and really love Moncrief as a tournament play this week.

Top Shelf Pick

Tight End

Antonio Gates- San Diego Chargers $5800

vs Oakland Raiders

The Philip Rivers-Antonio Gates connection is one of the sweetest combo’s in the league. I’m sure that Brady and Gronk would argue they’re better and it would make for a great debate but nonetheless they make it look so effortless. I just love watching Rivers throw it up to Gates like they’re playing a pickup game in the backyard. Rivers trusts him to come down with the ball and beat his defender every time he throws it in Gates direction. Gates backed up his two touchdown performance in week 5 with nine receptions for 95 yards last week versus the Packers. He was targeted a team-high 16 times in the game further cementing him as a must-start option moving forward. Gates is averaging an unbelievable 19.9 fantasy points on FanDuel since returning from his suspension. So you can pay up for Gronk or save $2300 and go with Gates for $5800. Oh I almost forgot to mention the matchup, this week Gates gets the Oakland Raiders at home. Yes the same Raiders team that were torched by Tyler Eifert, Crockett Gillmore, Gary Barnidge, and Martellus Bennett. While I do expect him to be heavily owned he’s locked in my cash and tournament lineups. His salary and matchup is too enticing to pass up and allows you the flexibility to upgrade other skill positions in your lineup.

Bargain Bin Play

Charles Clay- Buffalo Bills $5500

vs Jacksonville Jaguars (London)

Charles Clay has been one of the most consistent options at the tight end position this year. He’s registered more targets, catches, and as many scores as Travis Kelce. Charles Clay has been a target monster and is currently tied with Greg Olsen for the second-most targets (45) at the tight end position. Last week with E.J. Manuel filling in for an injured Tyrod Taylor he was targeted a season-high 16 times and came away with nine receptions for 62 yards. I have zero reservations about starting Clay regardless of who is starting at quarterback since it’s clear he’s a focal point of the offense. He is the number one receiving option for the Bills. He’ll see even more targets moving forward with Percy Harvin and Sammy Watkins both on the shelf.

Defenses To Target

Arizona Cardinals $5100

vs Baltimore Ravens (MNF)

If I’m paying up for a defense in Week 7 the Arizona Cardinals would be my top choice. They return to the desert to play the Baltimore Ravens under the bright lights of Monday Night Football. In this Primetime matchup I expect them the take advantage of a beat up Ravens team. Steve Smith is gutting it out and playing with multiple microfractures in his back while Justin Forsett is nursing an ankle sprain that may or may not be the high-ankle variety. The Cardinals come home with an axe to grind after losing to the Steelers in Pittsburgh to a third-string quarterback. They’ll want to make a big statement in this game and will dial-up plenty of blitz packages to keep the pressure on Joe Flacco. This is a secondary that has already recorded ten interceptions with the likes of Honey Badger, Patrick Peterson, and Rashad Johnson. The kicker for me is that they have an electric rookie return specialist in David Johnson who is a threat to score whenever he touches the ball.

St. Louis Rams $4500

vs Cleveland Browns

The Rams have had a tough schedule so far but have still managed to produce respectable numbers. The loss of linebacker Alec Ogeltree certainly stings but they still have plenty of playmakers. Aaron Donald is a one-man wrecking crew and a matchup nightmare for opposing offensive coordinators to contain on the interior. The secondary is composed of some big-time playmakers in Janoris Jenkins and T.J. McDonald who are very athletic with great ball skills. The Cleveland Browns come to town led by a turnover prone quarterback in Josh McCown. McCown crumbled under the pressure last week versus the Broncos throwing two interceptions, one of which went for a pick six. I’m expecting a lot of the same this week which makes the Rams one of the best defenses to target at a very affordable FanDuel salary of $4500.


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