Are we ready for NFL Week 7 DFS? Seems like the 2022 NFL season is just flying by as we are just a little shy of halfway through. Thursday Night Football gets underway with what could be a solid NFC battle as Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals play host to the New Orleans Saints. You also have the debut of NFL superstar wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Neither team has gotten off to the start they were hoping for as both are 2-4, but that just means we’ve got two teams desperate for a win. And when desperation comes into play, guys take chances they normally may not take and the results could be explosive. The 43.5 game total doesn’t exactly scream barn-burner, but we’ve seen both teams, most recently the Saints, put up some big points. There do seem to be a lot of moving parts, so building winning DFS Showdown lineups could take some maneuvering. Fortunately, we’ve got you fully covered with recommendations here and you could even throw it over to our NFL Lineup Generator to see what else you can do.
Now before we begin, for those who are new to the process, please take a moment to understand what exactly you are getting yourself into by playing single-game Showdown Slates. We love to have some skin in the game, for sure, but these slates are, for all intents and purposes, a lottery ticket. Sure, there are times when the chalk hits and everyone shares in the prizes, but, more often than not, you need to hit on that random dart-throw that differentiates your lineup from that of the herd in order to claim the top prize. As a result, we encourage you to play responsibly and not over-invest. Stick to the GPP contests (single-entry preferred), don’t blow your whole bankroll, and understand that, unless you are a max-entry player, you should prioritize having fun.
OK. Lecture over. Let’s get to tonight’s action.
New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals
Spread: Cardinals -2.5
Weather: Clear skies with temperatures in the low-80s w/ winds blowing WSW at 5 mph
New Orleans Saints
- Michael Thomas, WR – toe (out)
- Jarvis Landry, WR – hamstring (out)
- Keith Kirkwood, WR – ankle (questionable)
- Adam Trautman, TE – ankle (out)
- Andrus Peat, LG – pectoral (out)
- Calvin Throckmorton, LG – hip (questionable)
- Paulson Adebo, CB – knee (questionable)
- Marshon Lattimore, CB – abdomen (out)
- James Conner, RB – ribs (questionable)
- Darrel Williams, RB – knee (out)
- Rodney Hudson, C – knee (out)
- Justin Pugh, LG – knee (out)
- Matt Prater, PK – hip (questionable)
- Dennis Gardeck, LB – ankle (out)
- Trayvon Mullen, CB – hamstring (questionable)
- Jalen Thompson, SS – hamstring (questionable)
2022 DVOA Defensive Rankings
New Orleans Saints
- vs Pass: 21st
- vs Run: 14th
- vs Pass: 24th
- vs Run: 11th
**Please note that players not listed below are not necessarily a complete fade and any player listed can certainly be used as the MVP/Captain. These are merely suggestions for players to use when setting Showdown lineups.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR ARI – Welcome back, Nuk! It’s been a rough six weeks without him and we’re going to witness first-hand just how much he was missed by his team. There is no Lattimore in the secondary for the Saints and their next best corner, Paulson Adebo is not at 100-percent. The rest of the Cardinals receiving corps is pretty average, at best, so look for a boatload of targets. After all, it’s not like he’s working his way back from an injury so expect him to go all out tonight.
Kyler Murray, QB ARI – With the ground game banged up and up against a pretty solid run defense, Murray should probably take it to the air plenty. Opposing quarterbacks have been pretty efficient against the Saints, posting a 98.1 passer-rating and allowing nine touchdowns through the air. Murray gets his top target back tonight and is also good for some rushing yards as well.
Chris Olave, WR NO – Considering our inability to trust the Saints with regard to who gets the rushing touchdowns, at least we know which receiver is likely to get the majority of targets and red zone looks. Olave missed last week while recovering from his concussion, but he’s been back at full practice for a few days and doesn’t seem to be showing any ill-effects. If these two teams start going back and forth in the second half, Olave could see a ton of work, especially if it’s Winston under center.
Mid-Tier Priced DFS Plays
Taysom Hill, TE NO – Ugh. Time for all the Taysom-truthers to come crawling back out of the woodwork, right? The problem here is that it’s boom or bust so you either have to fully commit or stay away completely. And by fully commit, I mean, if you are a single-lineup player and want to use Hill, you have to do it assuming that Kamara won’t be getting into the end zone and that whomever the Saints quarterback is, he will be neutered with regard to touchdowns. The choice is yours. Maybe build a second lineup without him just to protect your investment.
Jameis Winston/Andy Dalton, QB NO – We believe Dalton will get the start and Winston, who was removed from the injury report, will be available as the back-up. That should mean we’ll see Winston in the second half if the Saints are behind and the offense has been rendered ineffective. You’ll probably see low ownership on both guys because of the possibility of a mid-game shift. If you are looking to differentiate from the pack, then hoping for a second-half Winston breakout is probably your best play.
Alvin Kamara, RB NO – If Dalton stays in the game and it’s competitive, then Kamara could be in-play for some heavy passing/check-down work. That’s usually the way it goes. You obviously have to be concerned with Hill poaching all the red and green-zone rushing work, so the touchdown upside for Kamara is seriously limited. Arizona does rank last in DVOA against running back pass-plays, so sing Kamara works if you think the game stays close and Dalton stays in. You could try and hedge by using Kamara and Hill together but that’s a big commitment for your budget.
Eno Benjamin/James Conner RB ARI – We are awaiting word on James Conner’s status for the game and won’t know until warm-ups, apparently. The two are close enough in price that you can build a lineup with Conner and then just make the pivot if he is out. The Saints’ run defense is solid, but they have allowed 120.8 rushing yards per game and they’ve allowed five rushing touchdowns on the season. If Conner gets the nod, use him. Benjamin will have a complementary role, but likely wont be featured near the goal line. If Conner is out, then you should be fine with Benjamin carrying the majority of the workload.
Zach Ertz, TE ARI – Even with Hopkins returning, Ertz warrants your consideration because his role probably stays similar to what it’s been in recent weeks. He handles the underneath routes and, while he failed to record a single red zone look last week, he is still sought out by Murray in the end zone. Ertz may not see the nine targets per game average he’s seen over the first six games, but after leaning on him so heavily, Murray isn’t just going to stop, even if the Saints usually do a good job against the tight end.
Tre’Quan Smith, WR NO – The snaps distribution should be interesting to see with Thomas and Landry out. Callaway has seen more snaps, but it’s Smith who is looked at inside the end zone more. Or, at least that’s how it feels. The DFS sites have Smith as a much higher-priced option as a result, so if you’re looking to pivot off Olave but not go completely contrarian, then Smith is your guy.
Marquez Callaway, WR NO – If you want to pivot off Olave and want to be a lot more contrarian, then Callaway is going to be your guy. He actually could have/should have had a touchdown last week, but it got batted out of his hands at the last second. His snap percentage was slightly higher than Smith’s last week and he saw seven targets to just three for Smith, so maybe he’s not so contrarian after all.
Rondale Moore, WR ARI – He saw 10 targets last week which will put a ton of Rondale-truthers on him, but you have to pull back on your enthusiasm as he will lose targets with Hopkins back. He and Ertz are likely to share the underneath work, but given some of the injuries to the Saints’ secondary, he could be worth a flier if you think Murray gets him in stride for some yards after the catch.
A.J. Green, WR ARI – He knows his days are numbered after the Robbie Anderson signing and maybe that motivates him to do better with regard to getting separation downfield. With Hopkins likely to garner most of the attention from the Saints defensive backs, Green could find his way into a long pass or two, possibly even for a touchdown.
Dart Throw DFS Bargains
Juwan Johnson, TE NO – Every so often Johnson becomes a little bit of a DFS darling and the six targets he saw last week have to be encouraging. Both Dalton and Winston have leaned on him at times and consider the Cardinals rank 29th in DVOA against the tight end and are allowing an average of nearly 80 yards per game to them.
Robbie Anderson, WR ARI – Here’s your ultimate dart-throw. Kliff Kingsbury already said that Anderson, if he even plays, will be limited, so we’re not banking on much. But we do know his specialty is the long touchdown and who’s to say he doesn’t make a big splash in his first game?