NFL

4 Daily Fantasy Football Players to Avoid in Week 7

As you're filling out your DFS lineups, it's always tempting to simply target the biggest superstars. However, player salaries don't always align with their expected production in a given matchup.

In this preview, I'll highlight a few players who might ordinarily be on your radar but are probably best to avoid this week. These aren't going to be players you absolutely must avoid due to injuries or playing-time demotions but rather players who are in a bad spot due to a matchup or a salary that has risen too high to justify rostering.

Let's take a look at five players who may not live up to expectations this week. All references to betting totals and spreads are from the FanDuel Sportsbook. All stats are from Pro Football Reference unless otherwise noted.

Cam Newton, QB, Patriots

DraftKings Salary: $6,300

FanDuel Salary: $7,600

The New England Patriots have the lowest implied total (23 points) of any favorite on this slate. In a projected defensive battle against the San Francisco 49ers, Cam Newton has a lower ceiling than usual.

Additionally, the Patriots have turned into one of the most run-heavy teams in the league this season. New England is throwing ball on just 50.1 percent of their plays, the third lowest rate in the league, and Newton has attempted more than 30 passes only once in four games. Newton's fantasy production has been elevated by five rushing touchdowns, but he's producing those at a highly unsustainable rate. This could be the game when his production falls back in line with a more expected output for his usage.

Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals

DraftKings Salary: $6,300

FanDuel Salary: $7,400

Joe Mixon is questionable to play this week, so this decision may be taken out of our hands. But if Mixon is healthy, it's still best to avoid him in a tough matchup against the Cleveland Browns.

The Cincinnati Bengals run the ball out of 11 personnel on 74 percent of their attempts, according to Sports Info Solutions. The Browns' defense is allowing just 4.0 yards per rush attempt when opponents are in 11 personnel, the third best rate in the league. In their first meeting, the Bengals picked up just 68 yards on on 24 carries, so this appears to be a meaningful mismatch between these opponents.

Melvin Gordon, RB, Broncos

DraftKings Salary: $5,500

FanDuel Salary: $6,700

On the DraftKings platform, Melvin Gordon is averaging 17.4 fantasy points per game, the most for any running back with a salary under $6,000. His value on FanDuel isn't quite as strong, but his 15.0 FanDuel points per game still ranks among the best steals from a salary perspective. However, there's reason to believe Gordon's fantasy scoring isn't likely to continue at this pace.

A whopping 40 percent of Gordon's points on FanDuel have come off touchdowns (34 percent on DraftKings) -- the fourth highest rate among the 35 highest scoring running backs. That's often an unsustainable clip for any running back -- particularly one on a struggling team. The Denver Broncos implied total of 18 points is the second lowest on this slate, setting a fairly low ceiling for Gordon even if he doesn't experience a drop-off in his touchdown rate.

D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seahawks

DraftKings Salary: $7,200

FanDuel Salary: $7,300

In a potential shootout with the Arizona Cardinals, you can justify sliding D.K. Metcalf into some lineups, but he's probably isn't someone to build the majority of your lineups around this week. Heading into this one, 44 percent of Metcalf's targets have come at least 15 yards downfield, and the Cardinals have excelled at defending the deep ball.

According to Sports Info Solutions, teams are completing just 25.8 percent of their passes 15 yards downfield against Arizona, the lowest rate in the league. Based on these numbers, the better Seattle Seahawks receiver to target against Arizona is probably Tyler Lockett, who sees 76 percent of his targets under 15 yards.


Ryan McCrystal is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ryan McCrystal also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username cfbfilmroom. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.