Week 6 featured some monster performances from two players in particular, as both Derrick Henry and Justin Jefferson exceeded 40.0 DKFP. As you’d imagine, players with performances like that will see an increase in their salary and that’s what the purpose of this article is: To see how some of the biggest increase or decreases in salary ahead of Week 7.
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JuJu Smith-Schuster ($5,500) vs. Tennessee Titans
Week 6 Salary: $6,600 ($1,100 decrease)
I was all about playing Smith-Schuster in Week 6. I figured Chase Claypool ($5,700) was going to be massively popular, which he was, drawing 27.6% ownership in the DraftKings Millionaire Maker and averaging 23% overall. So in my eyes, getting Smith-Schuster at very low ownership — he averaged 6% overall — was a great tournament play.
Well, he wasn’t.
Granted, the Steelers led this game early and Ben Roethlisberger ($6,600) only made 22 pass attempts, but of those, Smith-Schuster saw only four targets. Over the past three weeks, he’s only playing on an average of 73.5% of the Steelers’ offensive snaps. In the first two weeks before their bye, he played on 88.4%. Making it even worse, Diontae Johnson ($4,200) has a legitimate chance of returning this week, which could make this situation even worse for Smith-Schuster, as if it wasn’t bad already. This matchup on paper is good, as the Titans secondary is not one to fear by any means. They’ve allowed an average of 43.9 DKFP, 196.5 receiving yards through four games with four touchdowns scored by opposing receivers. However, it’s getting extremely tough to trust him. I’d feel much better on playing a similarly priced Tee Higgins ($5,300) in a better matchup.
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DJ Chark Jr. ($5,500) vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Week 6 Salary: $6,300 ($800 decrease)
Another big-name receiver took a massive dive in salary ahead of Week 7. Chark saw by far his heaviest volume of the season with 14 targets against a poor Lions secondary. While he was able to grab seven of those, he was only able to gain 45 receiving yards and 11.5 DKFP. This volume was extremely encouraging, as entering this game, Chark drew a total of 20 targets through the first four weeks of the season. If anything, this game showed that Chark, who played on 89% of the Jaguars offensive snaps, seems to be recovered from his ankle injury.
I think this is a great spot to buy-low on Chark. His salary has taken such a decline due to a slow start that he could end up being a massive steal on this slate. Truly, if you look in that price range, how many WR1’s do you see? None. Chark isn’t in a bad matchup, either, against a Chargers’ secondary that’s hovered around league average in terms of fantasy production allowed, averaging 37.5 DKFP and 177.4 receiving yards per game with three touchdowns. With the Jaguars big +7.5 underdogs, this game sets up extremely well for a Chark resurgence.
D’Andre Swift ($5,400) vs. Atlanta Falcons
Week 6 Salary: $4,500 ($900 increase)
We finally saw a week where the Lions were willing to let Swift handle a much larger workload and he responded. While Adrian Peterson ($4,600) still led the teams in carries with 15, Swift was right behind him with 14. The biggest takeaway was the Lions willingness to let Swift handle carries in the red zone, as both of his touchdowns last week came inside the 10-yard line. Previous to Week 6, Swift handled only 9% of the red zone rushes while Peterson had a stranglehold at 43.5%.
Week 7 brings what could be a great matchup for Swift. The Falcons, to their credit, have a good run defense. We’ve yet to see a team rush over 100 yards against them, while they’ve averaged 3.8 YPC overall. Where you can beat the Falcons is through the air, as opposing backs have 317 receiving yards — the second-most in the league. The Lions have shown a willingness to throw to Swift and if the added carries remain, he could be easily be in line for 15-20 touches in this projected shootout. The increase in salary is still too cheap for someone seeing that much work.
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