FanDuel Friday: Chargers hold great Week 7 DFS value


FanDuel Friday: Chargers hold great Week 7 DFS value

There's really no recipe for success when it comes to Daily Fantasy Sports. No matter how much you study each matchup, it's a total crapshoot each week.

If only it were as easy on-the-field halftime interviews, right Jim Tomsula?

Regardless, we've done our very best to give you a wide range of options for this week.

Check out our FanDuel lineups for the Week 7 slate of games and If you've got specific questions, drop us a question on Twitter @CSNFantasy or use #CSNFantasy and we'll give you our take.

And as always, good luck this weekend.

John "The Professor" Paschall

Most are excited about the possible production the Cardinals offense could have on Monday night against the Ravens. And I get it. On paper it looks like a great matchup and that's one of the reasons why I have Brown in my lineup.

But I'm more of a fan of what the Chargers could do this week. Rivers and the Chargers have one of the best passing offenses in the league as they lead the NFL in passing yards and are third in attempts. Rivers freaking threw the ball 65 (!!) times last week. That's insane. In fantasy, it doesn't matter if the real life team is any good like the 2-4 Chargers. They are going to be slinging it all over the place against a Raiders defense that stops the run but can't stop the pass. Remember how bad Oakland is at stopping tight ends? Green should be the beneficiary this week with Antonio Gates not practicing this week. Allen claims he's healthy and I believe he will perform exceptionally well even if he's not 100 percent.

[MORE: Get all your Fantasy Sports coverage for the week here]

Bell is my expensive spend of the week. The Steelers will likely try and lean on him with Landry Jones starting on the road. Gurley will be an immensely popular pick and with good reason. He's great and the Browns run defense ain't. 

When Andrew Luck is in, Moncrief continues to catch touchdown passes. It's that simple. And against this Saints defense, he could see a few of them. 

Mike Smith

I started my lineup around 4-5 matchups I really like, and that starts with Larry Fitzgerald going on Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens secondary has really struggled this year, and Fitzgerald seems to play well in primetime games. Another elite play this week is Todd Gurley, who faces a Cleveland Browns defense allowing 5.0 yards per carry. In his last game, Gurley rushed 30 times even with his team trailing most of the game and I expect him to see at least 20-25 carries against a weaker opponent. I believe Antonio Gates is going to be in almost everybody’s lineup this week, but for good reason. The matchup against the Raiders is too good, with Oakland the only team in the NFL allowing over 20 fantasy points per game to opposing Tight End’s.

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At Quarterback I’m sticking with the Chargers and going back to Phillip Rivers and pairing him with Keenan Allen. The Chargers are 5 point favorites and Las Vegas projects this to be one of the higher scoring games Sunday. Lastly, there was some conflicting news about T.Y. Hilton possibly missing Friday’s practice, but it appears he was just given a day of rest. Whether or not Hilton plays, I think Donte Moncrief will continue his breakout year. He has scored double digit fantasy points in 5 of 6 games and at only $6,500 he is one of the safer value plays this week.

Scott Krinch

There's a reason why Philip Rivers is in the majority of DFS lineups this week. The Chargers like to pass (65 times in a Week 6 loss to the Packers) and they're going up against a horrible pass defense in the Oakland Raiders.

Todd Gurley is still extremely cheap and it won't stay that way for very long. He's a star in the making and he will continue to shine bright like a diamond against a shaky Browns defense. Lamar Miller looked like the guy we all thought he was going to be in his first game post Joe Philbin.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans]

I went big at my first two wide receiver spots with Julio Jones and Antonio Brown. The Titans are thin at cornerback and will line Bildi Wreh-Wilson up against Jones. HELLO, easy money. My guess is Brown, despite the absence of Big Ben, turns it around against the league's worst pass defense in the Kansas City Chiefs.

No Jamaal Charles. Possibly no Jeremy Maclin. And an offensive line which has given up the third-most sacks in the NFL? Steelers will eat that Chiefs offense alive on Sunday.

Tony Andracki

I'm putting my money on Brown this week.

Antonio Brown has been downright terrible in fantasy lately, but I'm betting he has a comeback game, especially since Landry Jones may get the start, and the young QB seems more inclined to look Brown's way over Michael Vick. The Chiefs give up the most points in the NFL to opposing WRs, so everything about this seems like a great option. John Brown also has a great matchup and coming off a 10-catch, 196-yard performance last week, the Cardinals receiver is primed for another huge game.

I'm also high on Brandin Cooks and love his matchup against the Colts. It's about time Cooks makes good on his potential and becomes a top-flight fantasy WR. Carson Palmer is going up against the worst secondary in the game and is already a Top 5 QB each week. Todd Gurley is coming off a Bye, so he should be completely healthy and rested and he's already shown he is a stud. Is this the week he finds the endzone?

I went with other great matchups plays with Latavius Murray and Travis Kelce, both of which came right around average in terms of their price. The Giants offense should rebound this week, so I'm taking a chance on Josh Brown (told you I was putting my money on Brown this week). Since I couldn't take the Seahawks defense (who were money against the Niners' sad offense), I guess the next best option is the Panthers, who have been very solid this season.

Three reasons why the Bears' offense should have success against the Patriots' defense

USA Today Sports Images

Three reasons why the Bears' offense should have success against the Patriots' defense

Every team will try to scheme against what its opponent does best. Not every team does it as well as Bill Belichick consistently has in his Hall of Fame tenure as the coach of the New England Patriots. 
This is what Belichick is famous for, beyond the five Super Bowl trophies and historic partnership with Tom Brady. That thing your team’s offense does best? He’s going to take it away. 
That can create a mental challenge for an opposing coach during the week. Do you focus on doing something other than what your offense does best because Belichick is going to identify and scheme against it, or do you try to accentuate what you do best so it can’t be taken away? 
“That’s that whole chasing the cat’s tail thing,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said. “All of the sudden you start out-thinking to yourself, ‘What the heck?’ That’s the mystique, and that’s what they do. They’ve earned that over time because of the success they’ve had. 
“When you don’t go too crazy with that and balance it and control what you can control. Then in the end, win, lose or draw, no matter what, you at least feel good you approached it the right way, and you weren’t, ‘Oh shoot, I should have done this. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.’”
When Taylor Gabriel and the Atlanta Falcons faced the Patriots in Super Bowl LI, everybody on that team knew Belichick would do what he could to take Julio Jones out of the game. But that didn’t make preparations any easier. 
“We knew he was going to take away Julio, but we didn’t know how he was going to do it,” Gabriel said. “So it’s just just something you kind of have to adjust to when you get in the game.”
Jones only had four catches in that game, and the Falcons were able to quickly adjust to how he was taken away — though it wasn’t enough to keep them from a historic collapse and ultimate overtime loss. 
Tight end Dion Sims played New England eight times during his four years with the Miami Dolphins, and came away with a healthy respect for the scheme and the players on that defense. 
“They’re fundamentally sound, they got good coaching over there, a good staff,” Sims said. “You gotta be prepared because they come out and they play their ass off.” 
But what should give the Bears confidence they can mentally and physically beat New England’s defense?
1. The Patriots’ defense isn’t what it once was
The way Bears coaches and players have talked about New England’s defense this week has been with reverence and respect. But lately, the Patriots’ defense production hasn’t quite equalled its reputation. 
Maybe it started with Nagy’s Kansas City Chiefs launching 42 points and over 500 yards of offense against New England in 2017’s nationally-televised season opener. Maybe Super Bowl LII, in which the Philadelphia Eagles ripped off 41 points with a backup quarterback, was another turning point. Or maybe the Patriots’ 43-40 win over the Chiefs on Sunday night, which looked more like a Big 12 game than an NFL game, further chipped away at that mystique. 
New England’s defense heads to Chicago ranked 18th in points allowed (24.7) and has allowed 400 or more yards of offense in four of six games this year. They’re 19th in defensive DVOA, though Pro Football Focus’ grades do peg this group fourth, behind only the Bears, Rams and Eagles. 
What this defense does well is take the ball away, with eight interceptions and four fumble recoveries critical in propping up a defense that isn’t good on third down (44 percent conversion rate, 25th) or in the red zone (68 percent, 26th). But as long as the Bears' ball security is better than its two-turnovers-inside-the-five-yard-line showing in Miami on Sunday, an offense that scored 48 and 28 points in its last two games should be in good shape. 
2. Multiple weapons
How Belichick schemes against a Bears offense that’s been explosive and productive in its last two weeks will be fascinating to see on Sunday. Maybe it’ll be Tarik Cohen, who Belichick said is “a special player that you gotta know where he is at all times.” Maybe it’ll be making sure Taylor Gabriel doesn’t beat them deep (“The execution on that was like 99 out of 100,” Belichick said of Mitch Trubisky’s 54-yard deep ball to Gabriel against Miami). Or maybe it’ll be dropping seven or eight guys into coverage, spying Trubisky and forcing the second-year Bears quarterback to make good decisions and fit passes into tight windows. Or maybe it’ll be something else entirely. 
This goes back to the guessing game, though, and it’s one the Bears can’t allow themselves to play. 
“I think you can spend too much time on that,” Nagy said. “I look at that and I think I've said it before, it can be kind of like chasing the cat's tail. You've got to be careful of that and when you just start worrying about what you do — and of course here or there you might so something a little bit different — but if you just start doing things different because of one coach, now you've stopped worrying about just controlling what you can control and I haven't found too much success with that.”
The good news for the Bears, though, is they seem to have the multitude of weapons necessary to have success against a Belichick defense. Kansas City showed it on Sunday — when the Patriots took away Kelce, Kareem Hunt racked up 185 yards from scrimmage, while Tyreek Hill gouged New England for 142 yards on seven catches with three touchdowns.
So if the plan is to take away Cohen, that could lead to opportunities for Gabriel, or vice versa. Or if the plan is to drop seven or eight into coverage, that would give Jordan Howard an opportunity to carve out yards on the ground.  
“They utilize all their players, the backs, the tight ends, the receivers, the quarterback, they all have production, so if you take one away, they just go to the next guy, and that’s hard to defend,” Belichick said. “There are a lot of options on some of those plays, which guy is going to end up with the ball based on a quarterback’s decision, if it’s a check-with me type of play, bubbles and look passes and RPOs and things like that, it’s up to the quarterback to make the right decision and Trubisky’s done a good job of that. I think all those things, they keep getting better and they’re hard to defend.”
3. History repeating itself
In Nagy’s only meeting with New England as Kansas City’s offensive coordinator, his offense scored 42 points — and that’s a number that has resonated in the Bears’ locker room and practice fields this week.  
“You have to go into this game with confidence and know that we’re playing against a great group of guys who’ve been there, been to the Super Bowl and then they also have Tom Brady on the other side,” Sims said. “It’s important that we capitalize on everything and try to be mistake-free.” 
“What the defense is giving you is what the offense will take — what good offenses will do,” Gabriel said. “I feel like we have those type of minds up there in the booth and on the field with us to figure out what those guys are doing and how we want to attack it.”
The Bears’ offense is young, from the coach to offensive coordinator to most of the players that populate it. Beating New England, even if its defense isn’t what it used to be, would send a message around the league that the Bears are for real. Until the Patriots are dethroned in consecutive years, or even finish a season with fewer than, say, 12 wins, they’re still the Patriots.  
But while this team is young, it does have a handful of guys who’ve competed against New England on some of the NFL’s biggest stages. So expect guys like Gabriel, Burton and even Nagy to not allow this team to let facing the Patriots become daunting on Sunday. 
“It’s not difficult at all,” Gabriel said of avoiding thinking about that mystique. “Just like this team, we have the weapons to take advantage of those one-on-one matchups. I don’t care what defense you are, you’re going to have a one-on-one matchup somewhere unless you’re dropping everybody. So as long as you’re staying the pace and being confident in what you’re doing, I feel like we’ll be okay.” 

Bears return to Soldier Field as home underdogs against the Patriots

Bears return to Soldier Field as home underdogs against the Patriots

The Bears were getting used to life in the big chair. Chicago was favored in each of their last four games, but it all came crashing down at the hands of Brock Osweiler in overtime last week.

The Miami Dolphins pulled off the upset, and now the Bears return home to take on one of the best teams in the league.

Even if they had won in Miami, Chicago likely still would have been underdogs to the New England Patriots on Sunday, but as it stands, Bill Belichick and company are favored by three on most major sportsbooks, according to Vegas Insider.

The line initially opened at Patriots by 2.5, but it would seem that money placed on New England pushed the spread a little more in the Bears’ favor.

Vegas is expecting another higher-scoring game for both teams, with the over/under sitting at 49. Given that the Patriots have scored at least 38 points in each of their last three games, the Bears’ defense may have some trouble keeping this game low on the scoreboard.

In Week 6, home underdogs went 4-1 against the spread and 3-2 straight up. According to Bet America, home underdogs have covered in 20 of their 30 games this season, which bodes well for a Bears team facing a tough task at Soldier Field.