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Week 7: NFL DFS Tiers

by Hayden Winks
Updated On: October 19, 2018, 2:01 pm ET

Update: Removed Rob Gronkowski, and gave a boast to Julian Edelman for tournaments. 

Expect updates to the rankings until lock when news starts flowing in. Please reach out to me on Twitter (@HaydenWinks) if you have questions about the game mode or about this slate.

Unlike most weeks, this is not a huge week for stacking games. Patrick Mahomes is playing at home and is projected to score multiple points higher than any other quarterback in Tier 1. It’s hard to build any lineups, even in tournaments, without Mahomes in it. That eliminates stacking all of the QB/WR and QB/RB stacks from Tier 1 at least in my eyes. … There are often Tier 3 stacks, but the only player to stack this week if you opt to go all in on Mahomes like me is Alvin Kamara with Drew Brees from Tier 2. Usually we get a nice QB/WR pairing from the Tier 2 and Tier 3 but not this week… Those two things alone really make building tournament lineups different this week. It's a lot more naked plays.

Game Stack Rankings for GPPs

CIN (25.75 implied points) vs KC (31.75) - There are eight players spanning across four tiers from this game… The biggest lock of the week is in Tier 1 with Patrick Mahomes (29.5 DK points), who has averaged 5.4 more DK points per game than the other quarterbacks in Tier 1 despite playing on the road in 4-of-6 games. He’s now coming home to KC. I have gone 100% on players in Tiers tournaments this year, but I haven’t done so at quarterback yet. That will change this week, which means Andy Dalton has been eliminated from my player pool. … In Tier 3, Tyreek Hill (23.7) and A.J. Green (19.1) deserve some exposure to stack up this game with Mahomes, but I like Adam Thielen (28.5) in this tier a lot. I will have plenty of lineups with Hill and Green still. … In Tier 4, running backs Joe Mixon (18.6) and Kareem Hunt (19.1) will make up a lot more of my tournament exposure than Hill and Green. Mixon is facing a Chiefs Defense that has given up the second-most points to running backs this season (if you think defenses matter). Hunt went crazy as a receiver last week, so there is some Mahomes-Hunt correlation stack upside. But it’s Hunt consistency that is also attractive. Hunt has at least 15 DK points in five straight games. … In Tier 5, Tyler Boyd (18.8) and Travis Kelce (17.8) are attractive options and are certainly worthy of tournament lineups, but Robert Woods, Zach Ertz, and Stefon Diggs are also in play. Of the two, I like Kelce more to stack up with Mahomes.

To conclude, I will possibly have 100% tournament exposure to Patrick Mahomes in Tier 1. Hill and Green are viable in Tier 3, but I prefer using Mixon/Hunt in Tier 4 with Kelce in Tier 5. Tyler Boyd is also an option in Tier 5.

NE (26) vs CHI (23.5) - There are seven players spanning across five tiers from this game… I’m going to take a bold stand and say that Tom Brady (21.2) is a better play than Mitch Trubisky (23.4) in Tier 2. In the two games with Julian Edelman, Brady has scored 25.8 and 32.5 DK points. I’m not expecting a blow up spot on the road coming off a huge win, but he is among the best quarterbacks for tournaments in Tier 2, especially with the stackable options on the Pats. … James White (19.0) is in Tier 5 with a lot of great options. The other players -- Woods, Ertz, Diggs, Kelce, Boyd -- are better plays this week, so White will be in maybe just a lineup or two with Brady. … Tier 6’s Allen Robinson (12.8) is suddenly questionable after missing Thursday’s practice. He’s not an option with the injury concerns and the lower projected production. … Julian Edelman (14.4) is a decent option for Brady lineups in Tier 6 with Rob Gronkowski very likely out. … Tarik Cohen (15.6), Sony Michel (15.0) and Josh Gordon (9.0) are in Tier 7. From a pure point projection standpoint, I’d rank them Michel > Cohen > Gordon, but if you are creating a Brady lineup then I’d rank them Cohen > Gordon > Michel. The Josh Gordon breakout game is coming soon, but I think we are one week away.

NO (23.75) vs BAL (26.25) - There are eight players spanning across five tiers from this game… Drew Brees (27.0) gets to avoid Patrick Mahomes and the Tier 1 quarterbacks, but Brees faces the league’s best defense on the road. Although the Saints were winning big early, Brees threw the least passes of the year in Mark Ingram’s first game. It’s notable since Brees struggled to score touchdowns himself last year with Ingram scoring 12. I’ll be fading Brees here. … Joe Flacco (18.5) is also in Tier 2 with Drew Brees and I’m guessing many will overlook Flacco because he is Flacco. Let’s be clear. Joe Flacco isn’t good but that’s irrelevant in fantasy. Flacco has three games this season with over 21.7 DK points, and no defense has given up as many DK points to quarterbacks as this Saints Defense. Flacco is an interesting low-owned tournament play. … Alvin Kamara (30.4) remains in Tier 3 despite a disappointing 6.9 DK point game in Ingram’s first game back. Kamara fell out of game script with the Saints leading big early, so it would be surprising if things went that bad once again. The bigger issue for Kamara is the Ravens Defense that held capable RB pass catcher James Conner to three receptions and 25 yards and seven targets a few weeks ago. Kamara won’t be in my cash lineups and isn’t super attractive in tournaments either. … Michael Thomas (24.0) draws a tough matchup coming off the bye as well, and I’ll be chasing the points with Joe Mixon, Kareem Hunt, and Christian McCaffrey in Tier 4. … Mark Ingram (21.3) had a big game in positive game script in his debut, but it’s unlikely that the Saints are in a situation to give Ingram 16+ carries. I won’t be playing him. … but .... I will be playing John Brown (14.1) from Tier 7 in tournaments. The Saints have been bad, and Tier 8’s Michael Crabtree (12.7) will draw the Saints best cornerback for much of the game. That will free up Brown, who was leading the NFL in Air Yards before last week, to run routes against poorly graded CB Ken Crawley. Brown is an excellent tournament option and may end up in my cash lineup.

CLE (23.5) vs TB (27) - There are six players spanning across five tiers from this game… Jameis Winston (22.1) unfortunately landed in Mahomes’ tier, so I won’t be playing him. … but … Baker Mayfield (15.7) is in Tier 2 facing the 29th ranked Bucs pass defense. Mayfield has passed the ball 43 and 46 times in his last two games, and he even posted 22 DK points against the Ravens elite defense. Mayfield is a tournament option. … Jarvis Landry (14.0) has struggled with Mayfield -- he’s scored less than 14 DK points in three straight games -- but he’s still being targeted at an elite rate. The bigger issue for Landry is the other options in Tier 4. Landry is not a player I’ll be rostering unless I make a Mayfield lineup… Tier 4’s Mike Evans (20.9) will do battle with CB Denzel Ward, so the Bucs could lean on DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin, and the tight ends this week. Evans’ isn’t in my player pool, especially with Winston stuck in Tier 1. … DeSean Jackson (19.8) is the best option for the Bucs this week with Ward on Evans. Jackson’s the perfect DFS tournament option, and I’ll have some exposure to him once again this week.

Game Stack Pairings for GPPs

The different colors represent different games. For example, the light yellow are players from the NO vs NYG game. The idea here is for you to see which games go well together and the colors should help. These aren’t full lineup recommendations because I don’t think it’s optimal to only use players from two or three games to fill all eight spots. With that being said, we definitely need to be pairing some players together for GPPs. As Sam Hinkie says, “I can imagine that some of these sound contradictory… That yin and yang is part of it.”

Non-QB Game Stack Rankings for GPPs

1. Joe Mixon (4) with Travis Kelce (5)

2. Tyreek Hill (3) with Joe Mixon (4)

3. A.J. Green (3) with Travis Kelce (6)

4. A.J. Green (3) with Kareem Hunt (4)

5. Christian McCaffrey (4) with Alshon Jeffery (6)

6. Christian McCaffrey (4) with Zach Ertz (5)

7. Alshon Jeffery (6) with Devin Funchess (8)

8. Julian Edelman (6) with Tarik Cohen (7)

9. Zach Ertz (5) with Devin Funchess (8)

10. Julian Edelman (6) with Taylor Gabriel (8) if Allen Robinson is out

Cash Game Considerations

There are 4,915,200 different ways to build a Tiers roster this week. My cash game considerations will help you narrow down your options for H2Hs, 50/50s, and Double Ups. The players listed below are in the order of my rankings, meaning the top option in each tier is included in my most used cash game lineup.

Tier 1

1. Patrick Mahomes (vs. CIN)

Tier 2

1. Tom Brady (@ CHI)

2. Andrew Luck (vs. BUF)

3. Carson Wentz (vs. CAR)

Tier 3

1. Adam Thielen (@ NYJ)

Tier 4

1. Kareem Hunt (vs. CIN)

2. Joe Mixon (@ KC)

3. Christian McCaffrey (@ PHI)

Tier 5

1. Robert Woods (vs. SF)

2. Stefon Diggs (@ NYJ)

3. Zach Ertz (vs. CAR)

Tier 6

1. T.J. Yeldon (vs. HOU)

2. Golden Tate (@ MIA)

3. Julian Edelman (@ CHI)

Tier 7

1. Sony Michel (@ CHI)

2. John Brown (vs. NO)

3. Tarik Cohen (vs. NE)

Tier 8

1. Devin Funchess (@ PHI)

2. Michael Crabtree (vs. NO)

3. Alex Collins (vs. NO)

4. Taylor Gabriel (vs. NE)