Week 6 is upon us and it looks to be a fantastic opportunity for us to make money in what, at first glance, appears to be the most competitive week of football this year with 9/13 games have spreads within 3 points. But first, in the name of transparency, let’s do a quick recap of last weeks results. It turned out it was the lowest week for fantasy scoring this year with around 2.8-2.9x being good enough to Min-cash the MillyMaker. We had 7 players that smashed value last week with Davante Adams, Adam Thielen, Bengals D/ST, Tyler Lockett, Saquon Barkley, Christian Kirk and Russ Wilson all scoring at least 3.75x value. We had 3 decent plays coming in at around 2.5x which were McCaffrey, Graham and Jordy. Then we, unfortunately, had 7 busts which included Alshon Jeffrey, Golden Tate, Amari Cooper, Doug Baldwin, Dede Westbrook, Rhett Ellison and Brandin Cooks. All in all, it was a mildly profitable Sunday given the low scoring nature of the slate. With all that out of the way let’s move on to the picks for week 6.
Disclaimer: All picks use DK pricing and are based on a PPR format as well as only including players from the main slate of games (7pm/10:05pm/10:25pm EST kick-offs).
High-End Plays 7000$ and up
Antonio Brown (8700$)- When you watch A-B this year it certainly does seem like something is a bit off with him and the whole offence in general. Is it Le’veon? Maybe, it could also be something more widespread like Mike Tomlin losing the locker room because he is more of a bro than a coach. In any case, it looks like Brown is in an awesome match-up and contrary to fading the big total games last week, I love them this week, and it starts in this game which has a 52.5 point total. Let’s start with the game-script, we all expect the Bengals to score points on this Steeler’s defense, who has quite frankly been awful since Ryan Shazier’s injury. That should lead to more pass attempts by the Steelers either trying to increase a lead in a tight game or by chasing the game from behind. Some people will flat out not play A-B on the road because of the home-road splits, which is a perfectly reasonable stance for not playing Steelers guys this weekend. However, he is coming off a 30+ point performance and his price is down 400$ against a similar secondary he faced in week 5. I say we leverage public sentiment here and look for a big game from Brown in a big AFC North showdown.
AJ Green (8000$)- To the other side of the same game, a guy who I feel is overdue for a slate-breaking kind of performance. We have to pay a premium for him this week as he has seen an 800$ increase in price on last weeks performance. Despite the Steelers being garbage on defense, this pick has also to do with the injuries that the Bengals have sustained thus far this season. Eifert, Ross and Bernard are all injured and all took some of the targets away from Green. This trio
was also out last week and Green saw 10 targets and went for over 100 yards in a game which they played a far better defense than the one they will see this Sunday. The weather for this one is also expected to be perfect for football with partly sunny skies and only 5-mile winds.
Julio Jones (7900$)- A lot of people will not be overly happy with this pick as he pretty well burned 1/3 of the entire DFS community with his 5 receptions for 62 yards performance last week. However, you are getting a guy who is averaging over 35 DK points versus Tampa in his last 4 games. You are getting a guy off of a bad game reducing both salary and ownership. You are getting a guy coming home to face a horrific defense and a team he generally owns. My point is that there are a lot of real-life reasons to like Julio and a lot of nothing but recency bias keeping many players from clicking that ‘’Draft Player’’ button come Sunday. I would suggest taking a bit of a leap of faith that the Atlanta coaching staff decides to get the ball in the hands of it’s best player in what is essentially a must-win game for the Falcons, no matter how hard that can be given last week.
DeAndre Hopkins (7700$)- A little bit of a DFS anomaly with this pick as you will not see Draftkings reduce a players price twice off of back to back 150+ yard performances very often. Yet that is the situation we are presented with and if it wouldn’t be for a possible negative game script he would be an absolute lock for me. That really is the main knock on this pick, how many points will the Texans score before they call it a day? Will the Bills be able to score at all and even keep this semi-competitive? The answer to that last question is probably not and it presents us with a bit of a predicament in selecting DeAndre. So we can start looking at some mitigating factors to see why we should play Hopkins this weekend. First, Will Fuller looked pretty darn hurt out there last week and is likely just a decoy for the other receivers while he gets back to full health. Secondly, what is Hopkins ownership going to look like in week 6? In week 4 against the Colts, he was only 6% owned in what was perceived to be a better match-up and game script. It really is making me wonder if that perpetual Q beside DeAndre’s name really is keeping the masses off. If he is anywhere close to under 10% ownership he is an absolute steal taking into account the price. I am not pressing the lock button here, but pretty close, as he will be in plenty of line-ups come Sunday.
Mid-Range Plays 5000$-6900$
TJ Yeldon (6400$)- He is going to be very chalky this week but on paper, he appears to be in an absolutely perfect match-up/situation. He is completely game script-proof, if the Jags go up early he is the bell-cow running back getting all the work, if they fall behind early he will be utilized in the passing game and create great upside. There is also no real back up to steal touches as he was on the field for 93% of all of the Jags offensive snaps last week. I do not expect that to change too much with the inclusion of Jamaal Charles and Dave Williams into the squad with them needing time to get up to speed with the Jags offence. He is also getting to go against the 22nd ranked DVOA defense against the running back position. The play through and through is very solid here, the only decision is if we want to eat the chalk on a Jaguars offensive player or not. I certainly will be, as he is the best-looking player in terms of raw projected points per dollar along with all the reasons listed above.
Desean Jackson (5900$)- An absolute burner who has the ability to meet value in one play is probably the best way to describe D-Jax. Going through advanced analytics with this guy is all fine and dandy, he has a great aDOT, his defensive match-up is outstanding, the total of the game is quickly approaching 60, but this pick really comes down to that beautiful green carpet in the dome. Last time Desean played in a domed environment was week 1 this year against the Saints and he went absolutely bonkers for nearly 150 yards and 2 TD’s and quite literally helped someone win a million dollars that week. He also gets Jameis Winston back this week who loves chucking it way downfield to his main deep threat. A scenario very likely to occur in a game I expect them to be trailing in. This is kind of like the Amari pick last week with a guy who can end up with 3 or 33 points and anything in between wouldn’t surprise either making him the perfect GPP target for us this week.
John Brown (5500$)- I typically don’t rely too heavily on the Ravens offence to get me my weekly quota of fantasy points, but this seems like a spot too good to pass up on here in week 6. He was targeted 14 times last week against the Browns and 7 of those were deep downfield passes that could have led to 60-yard home-run touchdowns. The Titans rank 28th in DVOA against WR1’s and this presents a perfect bounce back spot for Brown and the Ravens as a whole. Joe Flacco is also slingin’ it with 56 pass attempts last week and at least 40 passing attempts in every game except week 1 versus the Bills (a game which Baltimore won by 44 points). Do watch the weather report on this one though, it is expected to be 9-mile winds as of Friday, which is fine, but if it creeps closer to 15mph he becomes a worse and worse pick.
Value Plays 4900$ and below
Chester Rodgers (4500$)- Plenty of reasons to be high on Rodgers’ chance of making value this week with the Colts receiving corps depleted. He has seen 22 targets over the last two games and I do not see that changing as the Colts do not even pretend they are going to run the ball anymore. Luck is out there throwing the ball 50+ times routinely and in a full point PPR that helps us establish a great floor for his WR’s very quickly. The Jets are decent against the WR position and the Colts are on the road, but the amount of volume Rodgers is drawing easily makes him worth rolling the dice with at this bargain of a price.
Chris Godwin (4400$)- The same great match-up as D-Jax at a fraction of both ownership and price, sounds pretty good to me. He is a guy that caught a TD in each of his first three games this year before both Godwin and the Bucs collectively laid an egg in Chicago in week 4. He should also see a positive game-script in a game I believe the Falcons will win. I don’t think I need to ramble on here about how God-awful both of these defenses have been, so lock Godwin into a few lineups this Sunday, and get extra exposure to what should be a pretty crazy game.
Chris Carson (4400$)- This is a little bit sneaky because the perception of this backfield is that it is a 3 headed monster when in fact it looks like Carson is their guy. Carson had 19 carries against the Rams for 116 yards in a game that was not particularly game-script friendly too him with the Seahawks needing to throw for all of the game. This game could shape up differently, however, and if the Seahawks bolt out to an early lead you are likely to see plenty of Chris Carson in this one. With the prospect of getting 20+ touches against a Khalil Mack-less Oakland front 7 a likelihood here. I would strongly consider playing him at 4400$ and hope he can crack that 100-yard mark again and meet value in a week without much value at running back.
Strategic Wild Card Plays
Todd Gurley (10 000$)- In a smash spot and with the WR value available this week you can build a reasonable lineup around him. Keep in mind though that at this price he may need to eclipse 40 points to win a GPP, so I will be using him here and there in specific roster constructions.
Mike Evans (8100$)- He is high priced and going to be highly owned but I will still have him in my lineups. This game is just going to be raining fantasy points and I want as much exposure as possible.
Emmanuel Sanders (6700$)- I was going to write him up in the main article but Courtland Sutton returned to practice Thursday and that was enough to relegate Sanders to the also considering list. I do think he can still have a great game in a positive game-script and certainly not facing the greatest defense ever.
Russell Wilson (5700$)- Too cheap and going up against the worst defense he has seen all year. Wilson continues to be a good value each week. Also a good pivot off of Jameis Winston.
Doug Baldwin (5300$)- Does the squeaky wheel get the grease? I think so in this spot even though it blew up in my face last week. Baldwin was involved in over 85% of offensive snaps and the Seahawks put up 31 points and he caught 1 ball for 1 yard. I am hoping this was an anomaly and not the rule here with this pick.
David Njoku (3800$)- Has been getting plenty of targets since Baker took the helm and provides a great pivot off of Brate who will also be super chalky. Seems really overdue for a breakout game too.
Cardinals D/ST (2000$)- Bad team, decent defense and a defense who can easily meet value at the absolute minimum salary. They have shown they are able to pressure the QB and the Vikings have shown they don’t have the best O-line in the world. I am going to jam the Cards D into a lot of lineups this weekend to help fit the studs in.
Final Note: The main thing I want you guys to watch out for is the weather, we are getting to a point in the season where it is going to make more and more of an impact on the totals of these games. Make sure to prioritize wind over rain because that has a far greater impact on scoring in the NFL. Cheers and good luck to all of our readers in week 6.
Contributing Journalist: Christopher Straub