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Four-Down Duel: Greener Pastures Ahead

Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

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Here’s a look at some recommended plays on FanDuel for Week 7:


Quarterback

Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF, $7100 – If I told you a quarterback had 279 passing yards, no touchdowns and one interception, you’d think it was a mediocre game at best. However, in Fitzpatrick’s case this is what he’s done over his last two games. So why should Fitz get the recommendation here this week? This, as usual, is all about the matchup. The Tennessee Titans head into Buffalo with YPA of 8.1 against and they’ve lost all three games on the road by an average of 25 points while giving up 38, 38 and 30 points in those games. Again, this isn’t an endorsement of Ryan Fitzpatrick as some sort of special NFL quarterback, the stars just appear to be aligning for him this Sunday.

Josh Freeman, TB, $7300 – Freeman had a monster game in Week 6, finishing the day with 328 passing yards and three touchdowns. While some might be quick to point out that performance was against the worst pass defense in the league (the Chiefs have surrendered an 8.9 YPA), things aren’t going to change much this week. The Buccaneers welcome to town the Saints, who are the second worst team in the league in YPA (8.6). Plus, the improved offense of the Saints (considering them versus Kansas City) means this could be a high-scoring game in which Freeman has to throw a lot.

Running Back

Felix Jones, DAL, $5600 – With the injury to Demarco Murray, the Cowboys will turn to Felix Jones to start at running back for them against Carolina. Jones looked good carrying the ball Sunday in relief of Murray, finishing with 18 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown. Jones is also a solid pass-catcher out of the backfield, making him even more valuable in the Fanduel 0.5 PPR format. Phillip Tanner will occasionally spell Jones and both have a great matchup against a defense that’s giving up 4.4 yards per carry.

Alex Green, $4500 – Green’s 22 carries for 65 yards against the Texans doesn’t jump off the page, but while watching the game he appeared to “pass the eye test.” Green shows a burst and agility that Cedric Benson had been missing (his whole career). Plus, Green received a vote of confidence from Packers head coach Mick McCarthy, who said Green would handle a full workload despite James Starks being back in the mix. Green has a decent matchup this week in St. Louis, who is giving up 4.0 (16th in league) yards per carry.

Wide Receiver

Justin Blackmon, JAC, $4900 – This has to be one of the craziest picks I’ve ever written about given that Blackmon is averaging just 4.1 Fanduel points per game. I liked this pick for a few reasons. I think he’s overdue and despite a decent game defensively against the Falcons, I don’t think the Raiders are good on defense, especially their secondary. This pick becomes even more interesting after Jags head coach Mike Mularkey said the team had plans to get Blackmon more involved with the offense coming out of the bye. Finally, playing with Maurice Jones-Drew will keep opposing defenses honest trying to guard against the run.

Steve Johnson, BUF, $5900 – Remember how people were giving up on Jeremy Maclin, Jordy Nelson and Antonio Gates? Week 6 worked out for all three of those players and this should be the week for Steve Johnson to bounce back. Prior to the Cardinals game, Bills general manager Buddy Nix said that Johnson looked the best he has all season during practice and appears over the early-season groin injury. Johnson finished the game against the Cardinals with six catches for 82 yards and could be in for an even bigger day given the aforementioned road struggles of the Titans. Another plus for Johnson is that he’s the main target in the Bills’ offense as he has had at least 10 targets in each of the last four games.

Tight End

David Thomas, NO, $4500 – This recommendation is completely based on the possibility that Jimmy Graham misses the Saints’ game this weekend. If that turns out to be the case, Thomas would be in line to start and become a big target for Drew Brees. Much of the Saints offense is centered around Graham and him being one of the first two options on pass plays. As a result, Thomas could be in for a surprising day given the New Orleans’ potent offense if Graham isn’t able to suit up.

Defense

Minnesota D, $5000 – Last week my crazy recommendation of the Bills defense paid a nice return after recording five sacks and picking off two passes (one almost for a touchdown). Sticking to the adage, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” the Vikings are looking like a strong play this weekend. They welcome the same terrible offensive line from the Cardinals and have a better defense than the Bills do. Look for the rusty John Skelton to be in for a long day.