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King for a Day: PPR Is Matt's Forte

Jerry Donabedian

Jerry Donabedian

Jerry Donabedian writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Welcome to King for a Day - Our new weekly feature focusing on DraftKings' Fantasy Football contests.

For the uninitiated, DraftKings runs fantasy salary-based football contests where users can take home cash each week instead of waiting for the end of the season. It's a great time to start playing fantasy football contests on DraftKings, as new depositors receive a free qualifier ticket into the Millionaire Grand Finale.

Like most fantasy football formats, it's all about value on DraftKings. Don't be afraid to scroll down a bit when picking players, as the beginning of the season is the best time to cash in on some of your "sleepers". Is there a rookie who you believe is headed for instant stardom? If so, now would be the best time to pick him on DraftKings. If he breaks out like you think he will, the player's cost will rise over the course of the season. He may be one of the cheapest options at his position this week, but that won't be the case after a string of 100-yard games.

Now, on to some of the best values in Week 7:


QUARTERBACK

Jay Cutler, CHI, $7700 vs. WAS
– Cutler is finally on a team conducive to fantasy production, as the Bears have taken a step back on defense and a step forward on offense. The DraftKings’ price doesn’t seem to have caught up, with Cutler carrying the 10th highest price tag among quarterbacks, despite a fantastic Week 7 matchup against the leaky Washington defense. Cutler is healthy, his supporting cast is healthy and the Bears are facing a team that’s allowing 8.6 yards per pass attempt.

Tony Romo, DAL, $9200 vs. PHI – It doesn’t take a genius to figure this one out. Romo has been a top fantasy performer (non-Peyton Manning category) this season, and the Eagles have the league’s 31st ranked pass defense. Sure, the price is high, but Romo should be worth every dollar. If you aren’t convinced yet, he tore the Eagles apart last year, completing 41-of-53 passes for 512 yards, with five touchdowns and no interceptions in two games.

RUNNING BACK

Matt Forte, CHI, $7600 vs. WAS
– The Washington defense deserves credit for showing signs of improvement the last two weeks, but it’s still one of the shakier units in the league, with poor numbers against both the pass and run. Forte is a DraftKings monster, as he’s caught at least four passes in every game this season, and is on pace for 88 receptions. Of course, he’s also piling up 73.6 rushing yards per game and 4.4 yards per carry, so he should be able to produce, regardless of the game context.

Joseph Randle, DAL, $4800 vs. PHI – With starting RB DeMarco Murray (knee) and top backup Lance Dunbar (hamstring) both expected to miss Sunday’s game, Randle figures to make his first career start. While the Philadelphia run defense has actually been decent this year, it’s hard to ignore a $4800 price tag for the lead back in a high-powered offense. Even if he doesn’t do the heavy lifting, Randle could end up poaching a few scores from Tony Romo and the Dallas passing game. If you want to dig even deeper, Phillip Tanner carries a $3000 price tag and figures to serve as Randle’s backup.

Ryan Mathews, SD, $4500 vs. JAX – While the Chargers can’t really be trusted to build up a lead in any situation, Week 7 will bring a better chance than usual against the woeful Jaguars. Mathews is coming off a 22-carry, 102-yard performance versus the Colts, and he’ll be facing a Jacksonville defense that surrenders 152.5 rushing yards per game (last in the NFL) and 4.8 rushing yards per carry. This is also a nice opportunity for Mathews to pick up his first rushing touchdown of the season, as Denver’s Knowshon Moreno ran for three scores against the Jags last week. At the very least, the Chargers should avoid a blowout, allowing Mathews to stay active in the offense throughout the game. Though Danny Woodhead ($5200) has been the better play this season, Mathews looks like the superior option for this week.

WIDE RECEIVER

T.Y. Hilton, IND, $5300 vs. DEN
– Hilton has been targeted on 23 percent of the Colts’ pass attempts, but Andrew Luck simply isn’t throwing the ball as often as everyone expected. A matchup against Peyton Manning should put an end to that trend, as Luck may need to throw 40+ times just to keep up. Hilton has clearly emerged above Darrius Heyward-Bey as the Colts’ No. 2 receiver, and the team doesn’t have any other reliable options, with TE Dwayne Allen (foot) out for the season, and Coby Fleener struggling badly. RB Trent Richardson hasn’t been very involved in the passing game, so Hilton and Reggie Wayne should continue to hog the targets.

Dez Bryant, DAL, $8800 vs. Phi – Bryant is the highest priced receiver for a very good reason, as he’s up against a lousy Philadelphia defense that’s been torched by bigger wideouts over the last few weeks. Looking at the Eagles’ last three games, Vincent Jackson, Hakeem Nicks, and Demaryius Thomas combined to produce 27 receptions for 342 yards and four touchdowns in their matchups against Philadelphia’s 31st ranked pass defense. Bryant has an excellent chance to bounce back from his 36-yard Week 6 dud, and he’s a good bet to find the end zone for the seventh time in five games.

Keenan Allen, SD, $4600 vs. JAX – This will undoubtedly be one of the most popular picks of the week, as Allen carries a lower-to-middle tier price tag, despite turning in 20 receptions for 302 yards and two touchdowns over the last three weeks. Given that he also has a friendly matchup against the Jaguars, Allen looks like an easy choice. Of course, the fact that he’ll be a popular selection limits the value of his production, as many of your opponents will also benefit. It’s something to consider, but not something that will keep me from using Allen at $4600 against the Jacksonville defense.

TIGHT END

Julius Thomas, DEN, $5600 vs. IND
– The Colts have shut down opposing tight ends this season, but that’s mostly because they haven’t had to face any real threats, outside of Antonio Gates in Week 6. True, the Colts kept Gates quiet (four receptions for 28 yards), but they also surrendered 109 yards to the second-best tight end they’ve faced this season, Miami’s Charles Clay. While Thomas hasn’t been a reliable source of yardage on a weekly basis, he’s still on pace to finish the year with 83 receptions for 1,016 yards and 19 touchdowns. He’s scored in five of the Broncos’ six games, including a pair of multi-touchdown performances.

Jordan Cameron, CLE, $4900 vs. GB – Cameron’s price is down after consecutive disappointing performances, making this an excellent time to pounce. Even after his last two outings, Cameron is still on pace to finish with a ridiculous 101-1,227-13 receiving line on 141 targets. As if the price isn’t enough motivation, he’s facing a Green Bay defense that has struggled against opposing tight ends this season, surrendering 31 receptions for 386 yards and four touchdowns in five games.

Heath Miller, PIT, $3600 vs. BAL – I’m not a huge fan of the discount tight ends this week, but Miller appears to be the best of the bunch. While he’s yet to score in three games, the Steelers’ long-time starting tight end has been highly involved in the offense, with 15 receptions for 189 yards on 19 targets. Have people already forgotten that Miller produced 816 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games last season?

TEAM D/ST

PITTSBURGH, $2600 vs. BAL
– Despite their struggles as a team, the Steelers have actually been solid on defense this season, and they finally forced some turnovers (two interceptions) against the Jets in Week 6. The Baltimore offense doesn’t make for a great matchup, but it isn’t a bad one, either. The Ravens haven’t had any success running the ball this season, and the offensive line has struggled to protect Joe Flacco. The Pittsburgh defense has some nice upside this week at a very reasonable price.

SAN DIEGO, $3100 vs. JAX – Coming off a solid performance against the Colts, there still isn’t much to be said for the San Diego defense. This is solely a reminder that you can get the Jaguars’ opponent without breaking the bank. Even with Blaine Gabbert (hamstring) expected to miss another game, Jacksonville makes for a juicy matchup. Of course, we’ll forgive you if you’d rather avoid the bargain bin approach, and would prefer to fork over $5,500 for the Seattle defense against Carson Palmer and the Cardinals.

KICKER

Billy Cundiff, CLE, $3000 vs. GB
– While I wouldn’t trust him to hit a game-winning field goal, Cundiff is 9-for-11 this season, with a pair of conversions from beyond 50 yards. Most of the other sub-$3300 kickers are facing tougher matchups, though Cundiff is attached to a shaky Cleveland offense. Still, the Browns have done a decent job moving the ball in recent games, including last week against the Lions.