Maximizing your fantasy points per salary dollar is the key to cashing in DFS. If you want to afford the best cash plays on the slate, dumpster diving for underpriced value plays is the way to go. Late-week injury news has opened up insane values on the slate, meaning we might be looking at a chalky week in cash. Here are the best DFS Flex values for Week 7 based on PlayerProfiler’s advanced stats, metrics, and analytics.
Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers
DraftKings: $4000, FanDuel: $5000
With Aaron Jones listed as questionable late in the week with a calf injury, Jamaal Williams sets up as a free square RB. Late-week injuries never bode well for Sunday, and the Packers have shown a willingness to lean on their veteran back. When Williams last played a game without Jones in 2018 (not counting a meaningless Week 17), he saw 46 rush attempts and 15 targets in three contests. While the Packers did draft A.J. Dillon in the second round this offseason, Williams has clearly played ahead of him, seeing 33 (No. 43 among qualified running backs) carries to 13 (No. 80) for Dillon and 14 (No. 36) targets to Dillon’s zero. Aaron Rodgers clearly trusts his veteran back the most, and that goes a long way for playing time.
Aaron Jones is not present at practice. He’ll be on the injury report. He’ll still talk to reporters in a bit.
Robert Tonyan & Marcedes Lewis returned to practice.
Also not practicing: David Bakhtiari, Kevin King, Darnell Savage, Tyler Ervin, Tyler Lancaster & Montravius Adams.
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) October 23, 2020
The Packers are set up for their best matchup of the season as well. The Texans let Derrick Henry go nuclear for over 200 rushing yards and two scores. While Williams isn’t close to the Big Dog, Houston still ranks No. 28 in Defensive Rushing DVOA and have allowed the most fantasy points to RBs this season. The Packers have the highest implied total on the slate at 30.25 points. Given his receiving ability and role without Jones, Williams will have 20 touches against this soft front and has massive touchdown equity.
Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
DraftKings: $4200, FanDuel: $5800
After practicing in full two days in a row, Diontae Johnson is poised to return to Pittsburgh’s starting lineup this Sunday. He’s been in and out of the lineup for weeks now since dealing with toe and back injuries. The last time we saw him fully healthy was in the first two weeks of the season, where he saw 23 targets and posted 14 receptions for 149 yards and a score. Johnson’s 31.5 percent Target Share from those games was borderline elite, and his 19.5-percent Hog Rate is No. 4 among qualified receivers.
Check out Diontae Johnson on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Weekly Rankings and Projections:
Johnson is unlikely to return to his voluminous ways given Chase Claypool‘s emergence, but he was still dominating targets the last time we saw him, and that matters. Claypool is more of a death sentence to the James Washington truthers. JuJu Smith-Schuster has also been a major disappointment and hasn’t topped 50 receiving yards since Week 1. Ben Roethlisberger will likely funnel targets to his more productive receivers.
The Titans have been beatable through the air, ranking No. 24 in Defensive Passing DVOA. They have also been incredibly efficient on offense, ranking No. 3 in Offensive DVOA. The Steelers offense hasn’t been pushed much given their elite defense, but this Titans offense is equipped to turn this game into a shootout. That would be massive for this passing attack and for Johnson’s DFS upside.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Green Bay Packers
DraftKings: $4100, FanDuel: $5400
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers were exposed against the Buccaneers on Sunday. The offensive line couldn’t hold up against Tampa’s elite front, forcing Rodgers into multiple interceptions for the first time since the 2017 season. He should have an easier time finding his receivers this week as he takes on the 1-5 Texans. Houston’s pass rush isn’t anything to scoff at though. Where Tampa ranks No. 2 in adjusted sack rate, Houston is right behind them at No. 5. The only difference is their pass coverage. Tampa is No. 2 in Defensive Passing DVOA and Houston is No. 20.
While Davante Adams will soak up the majority of looks, Marquez Valdes-Scantling has quietly seen monster volume in high-leverage situations. Not only has he broken a 90.0-percent Snap Share in three straight weeks, he has a 38.3-percent (No. 7) Air Yards Share and has drawn 12 (No. 5) Deep Targets. This is the ideal role for him given his freaking 117.6 (97th-percentile) Speed Score. The only issue is he’s dropped five balls from Rodgers, which is the third-most among receivers. The drops are frustrating, but the usage indicates a major spike game is imminent.
This matchup with the Texans has the highest total on the slate at 57.0, and the Packers have the highest implied team total at 30.25 points. Gaining cheap exposure to this game is an easy strategy in DFS, and MVS checks all the boxes. He has slate-breaking upside if he can squeeze the ball this week.
Tre’Quan Smith, WR, New Orleans Saints
DraftKings: $4000, FanDuel: $5300
Late-week news has opened up a new chalk receiver on the slate. With Michael Thomas (hamstring) ruled out and Emmanuel Sanders on the COVID list, Tre’Quan Smith figures to lead Saints receivers in targets. He’s produced two solid outings without Thomas, posting 13.6 (No. 29) fantasy points in Week 2 and 21.4 (No. 11) in Week 4, but busted in the other two. Now without Sanders as well, he’s a near-lock for double-digit targets and projects to be among the best value plays on the slate.
tre’quan smith every draft, every time.
*big play explosiveness
*x receiver size
*multiple 25+ pt games
*elite blocker = snaps
*sanders efficiency fading
*nfc south pic.twitter.com/N0ztVlpKu4
— the podfather (@Fantasy_Mansion) August 17, 2020
The matchup is soft as well, with Carolina ranking No. 21 in Defensive DVOA. Smith will see a mix of Rasul Douglas and Corn Elder while running the high-percentage shallow routes that Sanders and Thomas generally dominate. He’s also converted two of his four (No. 33) red zone targets into touchdowns, so expect Drew Brees to look his way in scoring position.
Breshad Perriman, WR, New York Jets
DraftKings: $3700, FanDuel: $4800
Breshad Perriman finally made his way back onto the field in Week 6, seeing eight targets from Joe Flacco. He caught four for 62 yards, but his 134 Air Yards easily ranked first on the team. It seems as though the Jets want to utilize the 4.30 (100th-percentile) speed that sets him apart from the rest of the weapons in this offense. While Jamison Crowder will still dominate with his 31.5 percent (No. 2) Target Share, Perriman will see the deep shots that lead to GPP wins. The Jets will also get back Sam Darnold. While the entire offense lacks talent, Darnold is a young gunslinger able to make things happen.
Perriman was expected to see a good bit of Josh Norman, who currently ranks No. 83 in PlayerProfiler’s cornerback rankings. Unfortunately for DFS gamers, Norman has been ruled out. Though his direct backup, Cam Lewis, is an undrafted rookie out of Buffalo who has been released and re-signed multiple times. He also runs a 4.56 (32nd-percentile) 40-yard dash, so the Jets would be wise to take advantage of Perriman’s speed. As a unit, Buffalo ranks No. 28 in Defensive Passing DVOA, so this matchup is advantageous regardless of who lines up opposite the speedster.
David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns
DraftKings: $3000, FanDuel: $4500
A random appendectomy for Austin Hooper has opened up a punt play at TE in the form of David Njoku. He has been injured for much of the season, but when he’s been on the field he’s produced five (No. 53) receptions for 63 (No. 47) yards one (No. 24) touchdown on seven (No. 56) targets. While it’s a tiny sample size, he’s been Baker Mayfield’s most efficient option with a +35.3-percent Target Premium. Now that he is healthy and without Hooper, he’ll be competing with rookie Harrison Bryant for snaps. Rookie TEs are notoriously slow at developing, and Njoku played more snaps and saw more routes and targets than Bryant last week.
Njoku has also been on the trade block since this summer, giving the Browns an ideal opportunity to feature him and sell high. He was one of the best TE prospects we’ve seen, posting a 24.6-percent (77th-percentile) College Dominator Rating with a 20.2 (79th-percentile) Breakout Age at Miami. He also has at least 80th-percentile athleticism across the board and clearly has talent. The Bengals have been exploited by TEs, allowing the second-most targets, fifth-most receptions, and fourth-most yards to the position this season. He isn’t the safest option, but for those looking to punt the position, Njoku is the way.