WEEK 7 – THE AMBUSH
This article is not only intended to help YOU the reader out with your NFL DFS enjoyment for the week, but it’s also my Bible that I will rely upon each week to do my lineups, contest selection, bets, GIFs, angry twitter rants or whatever else I need for that given weekend of NFL action. You can expect this article to come out on Saturday’s as Friday nights are my grind time (… no, not that kind of grinding, cmon people …) to get this article done and ready for the weekend. I’m a big CFB player so Saturday’s are reserved for watching college football (or doing actual life stuff), but I will then come back to my article on Saturday night and make sure all my lineups and entries are set before eventually going to bed for the evening. You can expect me to not want to change a single thing on Sunday’s and I’ll likely not even want to answer any questions you have on Sunday’s. If you want the best time to get your lineups done, it should be Saturday night’s when you are reading this article.
Here’s a recap of what this article covers
- This article will cover plays that I am using on my MAIN lineup & what that is being entered into.
- This article will cover plays that I am using on my SECOND tier lineups & what contests those are being entered into.
- This article will cover plays that I am using on my THIRD tier lineups & what contests those are being entered into.
- This article will cover my favorite weekly BETS for the weekend games.
- This article will cover who I feel is chalk and how it should be addressed.
- This article will cover all my NFL thoughts in one spot.
What are The Ambush plays? These are my plays that I feel warrant the most attention for a given week. It’s a mix of three types of players/teams each week. We’ll cover the stud you gotta have no matter what. We’ll cover the contrarian pivots. We’ll cover my favorite games/stacks of the week.
The first thing we must do each Week is understand the landscape of the slate and any injury or weather or miscellaneous information that we need to monitor from the time this article comes out (Saturday’s) until lock on Sunday at 1PM EST.
Here are TEN things you need to know about this weeks MAIN DFS slate which has 11 games on DK and FD.
- The highest over/under on the board is 54.5 between the Rams and Falcons in Atlanta. There are four games right below it witih totals of 50.5 (ARI/NYG), 49 (BAL/SEA), 47 (HOU/IND) and 46.5 (OAK/GB).
- Pick a defense that you trust this week. We have two VERY GOOD defenses in Buffalo and San Francisco who are facing the two worst teams in the league (Miami and Washington). Pick a defense you are comfortable with FIRST and then fill out your roster. Don’t wind up kicking yourself because you punted a defense. I’ve seen recommendations for the Dolphins this week because they are cheap. Stop. There’s gonna be good defenses that score 15+ points this week. Play them.
- Quarterback is better than it has been all season. Four of the top rushing Quarterbacks (Jackson, Wilson, Jones, Murray) are all facing each other in high scoring spots. Fading one is okay, fading all four seems problematic in my mind, although since they are playing each other, the game flow theory fade could work out. But it’s a deep position this week.
- Running Back, however, is NOT deep. No CMC, No Zeke, No Kamara, No Bell.
- Would you play someone that is going to be chalky, who nobody considered on the Showdown slate last week when they did a ton of lineups? No, you shouldn’t. I’m referring to Allen Lazard.
- The biggest injury question mark of the week is Todd Gurley. If he plays, he is that slice of pizza that you shouldn’t eat but really want too. Kamara is going to sit and most WR who are questionable should play.
- No weather issues.
- Your FLEX spot this week should once again fall into my “FLEX THE CHALK” method. As you build your lineup, FLEX is okay to fill in last but when you get there take the player with the probable highest ownership and move on rather than trying to get too cute. This assumes that you can keep your 4PM player in the FLEX spot as best possible to allow flexibility. Someone who fits this criteria perfectly this week is Leonard Fournette. If you have that $ left over, take him and move on.
- The Falcons Blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl
- Here’s the Chalk Report For Week 7
DraftKings Chalk Report – Week 7
|Position||Chalk Player||Chalk Level?||Possible Ways to Pivot|
|QB||Lamar Jackson, $6800||15-20%||The rest of the guys in this tier are chalky as well, Daniel Jones the best $ for $ pivot|
|QB||Kyler Murray, $6700||15-20%||The rest of the guys in this tier are chalky as well, Daniel Jones the best $ for $ pivot|
|RB||Leonard Fournette, $7000||35-45%||Play the Jags WR instead (DJ Chark)|
|RB||Saquan Barkley, $8900||15-20%||None|
|WR||Cooper Kupp, $7400||20-30%||See below|
|WR||John Brown, $5500||15-20%||See below|
|WR||Allen Lazard, $3000||15-20%||Don’t be a sheep, no need for this deep dive value IMO.|
|TE||Evan Engram, $6400||20-30%||TE is a value spot for me this week. No good pivot in his price range. Coming off Engram will change the construction of your lineup from the chalk alone.|
|DEF||Bears, $3000||15-20%||They are too cheap in a good spot. Hard to bad mouth them as your best value defense on the slate.|
CONTEST SELECTION REMINDERS
Reminder on a couple things you should be looking for each week are as follows
- Tournaments with less than 1k users in them
- Tournaments with less than 300 users in them
- Tournaments that pay 10x to first not 50x to first
- Higher paylines (% of people who get paid)
- How much does 10th place get? 20th place?
Focus on not first place but below that. Make sure you are playing a tournament that is one you can win in and will not have a ton of tilt by entering a lineup and having to worry about every single person who scores on the slate. You’ll find that in the long run any tournament that only pays 10x to first is one you will profit in.
A GAME TO FADE
If you are reading my article every week then you know I am not a 150 lineup MME person and I don’t feel there’s quality analysis in doing breakdowns that list 12 Quarterbacks on every single slate to consider. With that comes the need to have the guts to completely fade games that appear to be fantastic plays on weekly basis. For me this week the Rams-Falcons game was one that a week or so ago I saw upcoming on the schedule and had the Rams down as blowing out the Falcons. Then with Talib going on IR I moved to loving Julio Jones more than any other play this entire week. Then Peters left, and in came Ramsey. You’ll now notice Julio Jones is gone from this article (he’ll still do okay, but I don’t want okay). The other player I was big on for the Rams was Todd Gurley, and I will still be on Gurley as one of my RB this week assuming he does suit up. But all in all, I feel there’s SOOO MUCH bad noise on this game with moving parts here and there that I would rather take my stand with going to another game over this one as my main “game of the week” spot. There’s no need to explain that Cooper Kupp should get a high volume against the Falcons secondary, that’s known. But consistently the WR position is one to make some pivots around and at $7400 I’ll take pivoting down to $6700 for Keenan Allen who should see a similar volume in a must win spot vs Tennessee. Rather than chase Robert Woods disappearance last week at $5900, I’ll take TY Hilton for $5900 vs a team he owns and Brandin Cooks? Okay, he probably catches a 50 yard TD but that’s one of his few targets as they run the ball a ton, so gimme the volume of Tyler Boyd at $5600 instead. The point here is that we have pivots. Plenty of them off the chalk WR and guys who are arguably more likely to get the high volume with less mouths to compete with. For Atlanta, I loved attacking the Rams secondary without Talib but Ramsey certainly locks down Julio and trusting Ridley/Sanu isn’t worth it for me considering Matt Ryan will say hike and see Aaron Donald in his face immediately. Pick a game to fade. For me, it’s the RAMS-FALCONS game.
AMBUSH PLAY #1: Start your analysis off by crossing a game off. The AMBUSH fade is the RAMS-FALCONS. It will never feel good to fade a game, but it requires a spine. Have a spine!
A GIANT BUTT WHOOPING
Over the past season and a half as more and more teams become accustomed to the Thursday Night Football mandated schedule we have seen them adjust their weekly routines and consistently come out the following week and play well. Especially those who lost on TNF the week before. Below is a table that shows so far through this season how the teams that played the prior week on Thursday Night have fared the following week with 10 days rest and almost always playing a team who had to play the following Sunday.
Following Week Games For TNF Teams
|Week||Game||Road Team||Home Team|
|Week 1||Packers 10 at Bears 3||Packers won 21-16 vs Vikings||Bears won 16-14 at Denver|
|Week 2||Bucs 20 at Panthers 14||Bucs lost 32-31 vs Giants||Panthers won 38-20 at Cardinals|
|Week 3||Titans 7 at Jaguars 20||Titans won 24-10 at Atlanta||Jaguars won 26-24 at Broncos|
|Week 4||Eagles 34 at Packers 27||Eagles won 31-6 vs Jets||Packers won 34-24 at Cowboys|
|Week 5||Rams 29 at Seahawks 30||Rams lost 20-7 vs 49ers||Seahawks won 32-28 at Browns|
|Week 6||Giants 14 at Patriots 35||Giants home vs Cardinals||Patriots away at Jets|
The Teams in BOLD are the ones who LOST the TNF game
The most glaring item here is that every team who played at HOME on Thursday Night came out and won the following week, but more specifically only the Rams last week came out after a TNF game and completely looked bad getting wiped out because one can argue that the Bucs should have won vs the Giants if not for a Matt Gay missing a chip shot Field Goal because his coach took an intentional 5 yard penalty at the end of the game. We also have a scenario where the losing team went on the road four times and WON in spots that they likely weren’t necessarily expected to win (maybe outside the Bears). So yes, the Giants are the lone loser who is back at home just like the Rams but the point here isn’t to find 100% perfection with the data but rather to see if there is anything there to support the theory. When coming up with a theory I prefer to have the theory before looking at the data to see if it supports it. And the theory is that the team with the extra rest AND coming off a bad TNF game gets a nice reset, cleans up some fundamentals and prepares better for the game.
Now as for the match-up itself this week versus Arizona? Glorious. They can’t stop the run, can’t stop the pass, have to travel West to East again for a 1PM game and the whole world is pumping up Kyler Murray when Daniel Dimes is the side you want to be on as the home QB coming off a long break. Dimes + Barkley is a combination that very few will do in Single Entry spots this week. Both rush a TD (or 2) in as the Giants march their way to a 40 point game.
AMBUSH PLAY #2: Giants are a team you can get a stack from but Danny Dimes is the rookie QB that shines. Giants jump out 21-0 on the Cardinals and cruise to a HUGE 40 point performance that nobody see’s coming.
HEY TY! And T.Y….. Oh, HEY TY….
Every week the most interesting position for me in NFL DFS is the Wide Receiver spot. It’s the position that has the most upside associate with lower ownership. Far more than Running Back where it’s hard to fade all the volume players who gain good ownership each week and more than Quarterback which really doesn’t have much chalk to begin with on most weeks despite the hype. But Wide Receiver? We’re dealing with a position where the best guys might get 8 to 10 touches a week and most good teams will have three to four legit pass catching options for touchdowns and so the WR TD roulette wheel is always the spot that tends to decide the dominant lineups from just the good ones.
So with that said, you may have noticed I consistently am targetting a triplet core of Wide Outs who I like as my three guys to stand out on a given week, with mixed ownership and not always from the same game. This weeks triplets are TYler Boyd, T.Y. Hilton and TYler Lockett…. Lets just call them The Ty’s? How do we measure them? Not by their scores of course….. I’ll pause here and if you don’t know the answer to how you measure the TY’s against the other Wide Receivers then you should go re-watch Caddyshack and then come back. Otherwise, you know that you measure them by Height!
So lets wax poetic now about T.Y. Hilton week against the Houston Texans, a team he has had a huge amount of success against in his career. Most of the HUGE games have come in Houston and obviously with Andrew Luck at Quarterback, but Jacoby Brissett is playing well and with the Colts coming off a BYE and the Texans coming off the big road win in K.C. this sets up nicely for Indianapolis this week as a whole. Hilton has produced the following game lines against the Texans:
- 5-85-0, 9-199-0, 4-115-0 [ Got Hurt ], 3-14-0 [ Got Hurt ], 5-175-2, 9-115-1, 3-49, 3-29, 5-88, 4-50, 9-223-1, 8-78, 7-121-3
Those are some incredible upside games that cannot be ignored. We saw last week Tyreek Hill burned the Texans slow secondary for 2 Touchdowns and teams have had lots of success all year with speedy WR against them. Hilton or Deon Cain is going to get in the end zone on a big bomb this week but Hiltons high volume is where I plant the favorite flag this week. He’s our first TY to lock in.
The second TY is Mr. Tyler Boyd against the Jacksonville Jaguars who are likely glad to be rid of the Jalen Ramsey fiasco – but that part really should have no barring on Boyd this week. The reason I like Boyd is because I honestly don’t think the Bengals can run the ball well even against this Jacksonville Defense and they will have to get work done through the air. Boyd has been the man at home for Andy Dalton with back to back 10 catch 100+ yard games against the 49ers and Cardinals. He continues that trend this week with 10 & 100 again against the Jaguars.
Our third and final TY is Mr. Tyler LOCKETT — he of the 1 inch short TD last week which would have given him a nice score as part of the AMBUSH plays. I am never afraid to go back to someone from the AMBUSH section a week prior and Lockett. This is a game that I love for offense on both sides of the ball and even though the Ravens might have a secondary full of names now, they’re still not gonna shut down Russell Wilson in a big game this week where both teams will put up a ton of points. Check for Lockett to get into that box as our third TY of the day.
AMBUSH PLAY #3: TY Hilton, Tyler Boyd, Tyler Lockett.
GAME OF THE WEEK: The Angry Birds
The game of the week will be broadcast at 4:25 PM Eastern this Sunday. Nope. It’s not the game most of the country will see (Bears-Saints). That game is gonna come down to which team can kick a FG to win 3-0. The game of the week is the Angry Ravens and the Angry Seahawks.
Seriously, take a look at their logo’s closely. They’re both angry.
This is a game that on paper someone mentally will have a hard time coming past the names of the teams and thinking hard hitting defenses, but neither is really that this year. The Ravens, shockingly, come in with the #1 ranked offense and Seattle is 5th. Both Quarterbacks are playing at extremely high levels with Jackson relying on his teams solid rushing game and Wilson doing what he does which is extend plays and throw darts to his receivers as they break loose and run unconvential routes. You know my love for Tyler Lockett, so I obviously love Wilson in this spot, but Lamar Jackson’s rushing upside here makes him equally a solid play and with Hollywood Brown likely back on the field he should have a great target to pair him with for big plays. It’s Brown and/or Andrews for Lamar this week if you run the Ravens stack, but either way this is the game I love to correlate and see hitting a good # this week.
Ravens. Seahawks. Teams with angry looking birds as their mascots. Lock it in.
AMBUSH PLAY #4: Ravens / Seahawks game stack.
RECAP OF THE AMBUSH PLAYS
- Find your game to fade — Rams / Falcons
- WR Triplets of the week: TY Hilton, Tyler Boyd, Tyler Lockett
- Giants Stack — Danny Dimes, Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram
- Game of the week — Ravens vs Seahawks
FULL AMBUSH RANKINGS
I rant a lot about Quarterback not mattering but no week has felt this good at Quarterback as this week. Lots of good options here. So how do you decide? Well, for one don’t force in a Quarterback just out of fear of fading that Quarterback, this isn’t College DFS where we have QB’s going for 40+ points on a weekly basis at 50% ownership. Second, we have lots of QB this week who have perceived rushing upside with them and I would say if you play one of those guys naked it should be one of the QB’s at home (Wilson, Jones) where as if you are playing the game stack idea then it’s the road QB (Jackson, Kyler).
- Lamar Jackson
- Daniel Jones … Barkley being back obviously hurts him a little bit, but not as much as you probably think. Barkley should still be a pass catching option for him and I am standing by my prediction that Jones rushes a TD in as well. Giants are exploding this week.
- Russ Wilson … He’s the best QB so far this season, read what I wrote above about picking between him and Lamar in terms of the game flow.
- Jacoby Brissett … Hard not to like him if I love Hilton and Cain.
OUT IN LEFT FIELD QB
- Philip Rivers … Desperation time for the Chargers and Titans. Are the Chargers this bad? The Titans funnel everything to the passing game and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Rivers throw for 350+ yards this weekend. Tough to fade the other QB on this slate, but he is the one guy at 2% ownership I kinda like on a third lineup.
Is it me or is there absolutely ZERO hype at Running Back this week? Everyone is locking in on Fournette and then just moving on. With Kamara (likely) OUT, No CMC, No Zeke, No LevBell, we just have a ‘quiet’ week at Running Back and I expect some mistakes to be made here. I have a fairly consistent system for picking Running Backs and I’m gonna stick with it this week.
TIER ONE BACKS
- Saquon Barkley … He is cleared to go. Has an amazing matchup. Im not gonna overthink or overhype this. He’s #1.
- Josh Jacobs … The Packers are frauds (sorry D.Roy). The method to beat Green Bay is still on the ground, and the Raiders despite flying all around the world should be rested and ready to pounce on the Packers who stole a win on MNF last week. Upset of the week will be the Raiders going into Lambeau and Gruden winning in a spot where nobody expects the Raiders to win again. Three in a row for the Raaaaaiddaaaahs? You bet and that starts and ends with Josh Jacobs on the ground. Opposing RB in Lambeau have been great all year scoring pretty much every single week and that continues this week.
TIER TWO BACKS
- Leonard Fournette … If you said I want to fade Fournette I would stand up and give you a standing ovation. His volume has been tremendous for the Jags and they’re facing a very bad rush defense this week in Cincinnati. But it’s Fournette and that injury game is coming.
- LaTavius Murray … He’ll be the primary RB for the Saints in a spot where they’d be foolish to not run the ball 20+ times and at his cheap price tag it’s hard to see others beating him in turns of value. Don’t expect a 150 yard rushing day or anything magical like that, but he’ll touch the ball a ton this week.
PLAYING TIME RISKS
- Frank Gore / Devin Singeltary … I really wanna use Singletary, but I also see no reason why the Bills wont just split the work here assuming Singletary plays. If he is out then Gore is in play again.
- Todd Gurley … I mentioned he was the one tempting play in this game. Returning home.
MY 3 MAN –
Is that allowed? Can I do a 3 person Mt. Rushmore? Yes? No? Everyone else in the NFL DFS industry seems to want to do a CORE 4. What a stupid term. FOUR should be MT. RUSHMORE, no? So I guess because we’re gonna be backwards I am going to steal the Mt. Rushmore but chop off one of the heads. I mean, I guess we cut off Teddy from Mt. Rushmore because he got the shaft on the spot he gets but then the Nationals are in the World Series so maybe he’ll finally win the Presidents Race at the Nationals games??!?! Okay, I’m getting completely off base, but you get the idea. To everyone who has a CORE FOUR, I say booo, use the Mt. Rushmore term. I’ll copyright the Triplets idea for listing the 3 WR to lock in each week.
- T.Y. Hilton … I go full insane for TY when he’s IN Houston but VS Houston is still a good enough spot.
- Tyler Boyd
- Tyler Lockett
- Keenan Allen
- Hollywood Brown
- DJ Chark
SNEAKY VALUE WR
- Damiere Byrd (upgrade to Christian Kirk if he is IN)
- Deon Cain
- Dante Pettis
And this is where I improve on my writing style each week for you the reader. I have ranked my top 3 WR to pair together above. Now for the decisions on the rest of the WR field for you and to do this I am going to do a comparison of two players per price range to rank them for you.
Not the best of weeks for Tight Ends but we do have some guys that are fantastic values in my mind and in good sneaky spots. Evan Engram (TE vs Cards) will be the chalk and is a fine fade IMO.
- Darren Fells … It’s 3:37 PM on Sunday afternoon. Darren Fells just caught his second TD for the Texans to make it 27-19 pending the XP. OT is potentially looming in this game and you are sitting there wondering do I go on Twitter and thank @steve_renner for the amazing Darren Fells over Evan Engram play now, or do I wait and see if he catches a third to send this game into OT?
- Mark Andrews
- Evan Engram
- Trey Burton
- Josh Hill … Happy Josh Hill TD week for the Saints! (This is a 4PM only slate play. Please do not play Josh Hill on your main lineup)
The Bears and Saints game should be relatively low scoring and the only DFS skill position plays there are guys who are cheap getting decent volume. I do suspect both teams play it fairly conservative though and we don’t see a ton of sacks on either side of the ball, so you need a defense to score in that spot and the Bears make sense for that. It’s hard to not like the 49ers at Washington and the Bills at home vs the Dolphins — unless you think Fitzmagic beats up his old team?
A new section that I am bringing to my article each week. This is my sneaky way of providing thoughts on lots of the games without actually “touting” or recommending specific plays each week. It’s for those of you who love to ask questions on Twitter, Slack or via singing telegrams with kids dressed as Taysom Hill on Halloween about every other play which I didn’t even mention….. So here we go…
Hey which Rams WR do I Play? Clearly you didn’t read above, the answer is Keenan Allen > Cooper Kupp … The PPR machine debate for me is that Keenan has NO other mouths in that offense I trust right now for Rivers, where as Kupp has to battle with Woods, Cooks, Everett and the RB. Keenan will get all the targets for me from Rivers this week.
What Cardinal WR do I correlate with the Giants scoring 40 points? Christian Kirk or Damiere Byrd > Larry Fitzgerald … I like Larry this week to get his usual 5+ catches but it’s speed WR that kill the Giants. So the big play threat would be Kirk or Byrd.
Which Packers WR? None of them. Don’t chase that min priced guy who just cought a TD on MNF and now you wanna play him as chalk. Fade the Lizard.
Player to correlate with Tyler Boyd? I’m not forcing a game correlation, but D.J. Chark is going to score a Touchdown this week, so if you want someone with Boyd, he’s your guy.
How many points are the 49ers scoring on Daniel Snyder? A lot. Most from their defense, but Dante Pettis makes an appearance as well.
Should I play a Texan WR? Nope.
Chargers suck, if you think Rivers is scoring, shouldn’t I play a Titan? I will never recommend another Titan again. This team is confusing. I’d rather not make a guess than guess wrong and put you in a weird spot.
Did you seriously just write an entire article without recommending Taysom Hill? Good call. Taysom TD bomb to Tedd Ginn!
BETS AND PROPS
- Giants 1st Half -3, Giants -3.5
- Rams -3.5
- Darren Fells Over 3 Receptions
- Danny Dimes OVER 16.5 Rush Yards