Fantasy Football: Top smash plays, upgrades and fades for Week 7 | Fantasy Football News, Rankings and Projections | PFF

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Fantasy Football: Top smash plays, upgrades and fades for Week 7

Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley (18) runs after a catch against the Washington Football Team in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Week 7 of the NFL season is here, and so is the weekly look at the top smash, upgrade and fade plays for fantasy football. I'll integrate NFL totals, spreads, implied points and proprietary PFF matchup data each week, looking for players who score highly or poorly across all metrics.

We will also look at the projected DFS rostership for additional context for building tournament lineups.


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KEY:

  • SOS: PFF's Fantasy Strength of Schedule (SoS) metric provides a league-wide, season-long view of opponent matchups for each fantasy position.
  • OL Pass Block Advantage (OL PBA): offensive-line pass blocking matchup; derived from the OL/DL Matchup tool (pass blocking advantage — the higher the percentage, the better the matchup for the offensive line, and vice versa).
  • OL Run Block Advantage (OL RBA): offensive-line pass blocking matchup; derived from the OL/DL Matchup tool (run blocking advantage — the higher the percentage, the better the matchup for the offensive line, and vice versa).
  • WR/CB Matchup Advantage (WR/CB MU): wide receiver versus cornerback matchup; derived from the WR/CB Matchup tool (matchup advantage grade — the higher the grade, the better the matchup for the receiver, and vice versa).
  • TE Matchup Advantage (TE MU): tight end versus linebackers and safeties; derived from the TE Matchup tool (matchup advantage — the higher the percentage, the better the matchup for the tight end, and vice versa).
  • Projected PPR Points (PPR Proj)

QUARTERBACKS

For quarterbacks, we are looking for big point totals and implied points. The spread doesn't matter as much for pass-heavy teams, but we are looking for trailing scripts that could cause run-heavy offenses to throw more than usual.

Smashes
Player Opponent Total Spread Implied Points QB SOS OL PBA PPR
Patrick Mahomes @TEN 57.5 -5.5 31.50 5.4 13 24.0
Matthew Stafford DET 50.5 -15.5 33.00 10.0 20 22.4

Mahomes and the Chiefs throw the ball more than any other NFL team in close game scripts — within 3 points — and rank fourth when leading and seventh when trailing.

The Rams and Stafford aren't as pass-happy as the Chiefs, falling into the pass-balanced category. Typically, a quarterback favored by 15.5 points doesn't make the smash section. However, the implied points and perfect quarterback strength of schedule metric against the Lions are undeniably great.

  • Scoring Environment: second-highest game total and the No. 1 implied points
  • Matchups: top-rated QB SOS and third-best OL PBA
Upgrades
Player Opponent Total Spread Implied Points QB SOS OL PBA PPR
Kyler Murray HST 47.5 -17.5 32.50 5.5 24 24.3
Tom Brady CHI 47.0 -12.5 29.75 5.9 9 23.4
Aaron Rodgers WAS 49.0 -7.5 28.25 6.3 -44 20.9

Murray and the Cardinals have trailed the second-least percentage of plays in the NFL, and Week 7 looks to provide a similar situation against the Texans as 17.5-point favorites. Over the last three contests, they have trailed by 4 or more points on 0% of snaps, leading to dismal dropback rates of 53%, 57% and 49%.

However, Murray ranks fourth in percentage of designed-rush attempts, has plenty of weapons and draws a solid matchup and scoring environment for Week 7.

  • Scoring Environment: fifth-best game total and second-highest implied points
  • Matchups: sixth-ranked QB SOS and second-best OL PBA
Related content for you: Erickson: NFL Week 7 fantasy football start 'em or sit 'em via Andrew Erickson

Brady and the Buccaneers are also heavy favorites, and what Murray makes up for his legs, the Hall-of-Famer makes up for with a passing offense that throws in all game scripts.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ pass rate vs. NFL average by game script:

  • Trailing (down by 4 or more): +16%
  • Close (within 3 points): +5%
  • Leading (up by 4 or more): +14%

So, regardless of the 12.5 spread, we will still see Brady throw plenty, and the matchup is delectable.

Rodgers is a boom-bust fantasy quarterback for the same reasons that Brady isn't. The Packers drop back to pass less than or equal to the league average in all game scripts:

  • Trailing: -8%
  • Close: +2%
  • Leading: +1%

However, this week, Rodgers draws the type of matchup that could allow for a boom week within the constructs of this less-is-more offense.

Fades

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