Hey everybody, I’m back again for Week 6 of the NFL season and I hope everyone had a solid Week 5. We’re over a quarter of the way through the season so we need to make sure we’re taking advantage of this while we can! Also, just wanted to remind everyone that last year’s data is getting less and less relevant. With 5 weeks in the books, we have to get rid of our past biases. For example: the Denver Broncos give up points to running backs this year. Something we completely avoided last year and early parts this season. Might be hard to believe, but numbers don’t lie right?
Let’s take a look at my picks from last week and see what I got right/wrong. I went with Derek Carr as my cash quarterback given the high scoring potential of the game and the banged up backfield. He proceeded to have his best game in his last ten games, scoring 26 points. Pretty happy with how that turned out. Hoyer also had a phenomenal game, especially given his cheap price tag, scoring 26 points. The three running backs I wrote about all were solid plays this week. Jordan Howard was by far my biggest exposure on the weekend and he was fantastic, running for 118 yards and catching a touchdown pass for 28 points. Gurley and Freeman both scored over 18 points and had very low ownership as well. Freeman was only $5,000 and scored 21 points against a struggling Broncos defense against running backs.
Unfortunately, I really missed on the wide receivers last week. Again, I’m looking to point out players that may not be as chalky in these articles so sometimes this happens. Quincy Enunwa was in a great spot, but Fitzpatrick seemed to be dialed in with Marshall all game. Robert Woods saw 6 targets, which is completely fine given his $3,900 price tag, but only caught two of them. Jordy was held in check after his early score and only ended up with 13.8 points. My tight end picks were hit and miss. Ertz was the chalk and only had 3 targets from Carson Wentz. Zach Miller was a beast against the struggling Colts and I pivoted to him in most of my tournament lineups knowing he would be much lower owned than Ertz. He ended up with 7 catches for 73 yards. Had he found the endzone he would’ve had a huge game.
My tournament defense played well given their cheap price tag of $2400. The Bucs had 2 interceptions and only allowed 14 points, scoring 9 points on DraftKings. The surprising pick was the Broncos really struggling again. Maybe that Falcons offense is for real?
Let’s take a look at the players I have my eye on for Week 6!
*Cash* SEA – Russell Wilson ($6900) – The Seattle Seahawks are coming off a bye this week to play the Falcons at home. The long flight certainly doesn’t help the Falcons and I think Russell Wilson has a chance to have a big game. The Falcons are one of the worst defenses against quarterbacks, ranking 31st in ppg to the position and 26th against the pass according to Football Outsiders (from here on out written as DVOA). He’s also a nice pivot from all the high priced quarterbacks that are sure to be highly owned this week given their matchups. Rostering Wilson will give you the cap space to differentiate your lineup. Lock it in your cash lineups and win all the money baby.
TEN – Marcus Mariota ($6100) – Mariota finally broke out last week and of course it’s the first week I had zero exposure to him. Funny how things work sometimes, right? Regardless, he’s going against the Cleveland Browns this week who are 28th in the league against opposing quarterbacks on DraftKings. The Browns rank 28th in overall passing DVOA and are 30th against tight ends, making a Delanie/Mariota stack very appealing. He might be higher owned this week because of his big game last week, but ownership is spread out at the QB position so I don’t tend to worry about it too much here. Cash game viable with the upside that can win you a GPP.
*Tournament* ARI – Carson Palmer ($6000) – If you’re playing the full slate, the Arizona Cardinals face the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. I’ll be all over the Arizona passing game given the struggles of the Jets defense through the air. Carson Palmer being $6,000 in this spot is nearly laughable (Derek Anderson is $6,400 if you were curious). The Jets are the worst team in the league through the air and very stout against the run. Pairing Carson with John Brown will probably be one my favorite plays of the week given how low-owned it will be and the big play ability of Brown is always enticing.
*Cash* HOU – Lamar Miller ($6600) – Miller is in a great spot this week to put up some solid numbers against the Colts defense. The Texans are currently a home favorite of 3 points, which is a great situation for a running back as we all know. This should also be a decently high scoring game with these offenses trying to keep up with one another. Forgetting last week, considering Miller was going against arguably the best defense in the NFL in the Vikings, he’s almost guaranteed 20 touches in this game against a bottom two defense in almost every statistical category. He’s one of my favorite plays since a lot of people will be on McCoy and Bell.
BUF – LeSean McCoy ($6900) – The San Francisco 49ers will be traveling across the country to face the Buffalo Bills. The Bills are currently 7.5 point home favorites with a high team total of 26 points, which is fifth highest on the slate. The 49ers are decent against the pass, but rank 23rd in DVOA against the run and give up the 5th most fantasy points to opposing running backs. McCoy has been nothing short of fantastic this season with three straight games of at least 20 points. Look for him to continue that trend this week and be highly owned.
*Tournament* ARI – David Johnson ($8000) – Everyone is going to be on LeVeon Bell, LeSean McCoy and Demarco Murray this week because of the matchups and their performance this season. I’ll definitely have exposure to those players, but I see David Johnson as being much lower owned this week because he’s facing a defense that ranks 3rd in DVOA and 5th in giving up points to running backs. Those are numbers that make us shy away from players, but not players that are matchup independent which I believe David Johnson is. He’s an absolute stud that can do it all and I still see him getting to his 20 point floor. If he hits, it could prove to be huge if the others don’t have good games. Lots of leverage to be had here.
There isn’t much value at running back this week and it’s certainly something to be aware of. We usually have a cheap guy around $3,500-$4,500 who is in line to get a ton of work, but so far that isn’t the case this week. That being said, most people are probably going to pay up at running back and look for value at wide receiver. Just something to keep in mind when building your lineups.
HOU – Will Fuller ($5900) – Fuller had a bad game against the Vikings last week and I’m hoping that keeps his ownership down. He’s facing a Colts secondary with Vontae Davis shadowing DeAndre Hopkins and not much else. The Colts got destroyed by some dude named Cam Meredith last week and Will Fuller should eat all day long. Not sure I have to repeat this, but the Colts are awful against the pass and just not a good defense in general. The Texans should have plenty of offense this week and I think Fuller gets two touchdowns and 150 yards. You heard it here first.
LARM – Tavon Austin ($3900) – Tavon is always a hit or miss guy, but I think he has a solid chance of putting up some solid numbers this week. He’s actually seeing a lot of targets and going against the worst overall defense in the NFL in the Detroit Lions. Tavon has seen double digit targets in two games this year and should see at least seven so his floor is decently high given his low adot (average depth of target). He has huge GPP upside given his multiple touchdown capabilities on the ground, through the air or on a punt return. Pairing him with the Los Angeles Rams could make sense hoping for a punt return touchdown and an inconsistent Matthew Stafford.
ARI – John Brown ($4500) – Another Arizona player that in order to get to you’ll have to be playing the Monday slate as well. In case you haven’t noticed, I like the Arizona Cardinals to have a solid week against the Jets. John Brown was a monster in his two previous games with a real quarterback at the helm in Carson Palmer. He saw 11 and 16 targets in those games and I expect much of the same against the worst ranked team in DVOA against the pass. John Brown will also be much less owned than Larry Fitzgerald after his two touchdown performance last week.
SEA – Jimmy Graham ($4900) – Jimmy Graham is one of my favorite plays of the week. The price, matchup and recent performances are all exactly what you want to see. He’s coming off a bye and facing the Atlanta Falcons who might actually put up some points on the Seahawks, forcing Russell to throw more than they’re used to. Regardless, the Falcons are awful against tight ends and rank 22nd in DVOA against tight ends and are second to last in terms of fantasy points given up to the position. Graham has at least 6 catches for 100 yards in his last two games. Clive Walford, Coby Fleener and Greg Olson have torched this Falcons defense and I see no reason why Jimmy Graham won’t as well.
TEN – Delanie Walker ($5500) – The Titans are facing the lowly Cleveland Browns this week. Not sure I have to go on, but I will. The Cleveland Browns rank 30th in DVOA against tight ends and are dead last in terms of fantasy points to the position. Delanie Walker is nearly guaranteed 6 catches for 70 yards in this one and will probably do more. A Mariota/Walker stack is one of my favorites this week.
Tennessee Titans ($3300) – *Edit – Kessler is back at QB for the Browns, but Titans are still a play on defense.* The Titans excel at stopping the run and that’s the only way Cleveland can move the ball. I see the Titans getting a few turnovers and hopefully a score this week.
Arizona Cardinals ($3800) – You can never have enough Arizona Cardinals right? Facing Fitzpatrick and the Jets at home with the Jets flying across country. The Cardinals are a surprising 2-3 and this could feel like a must win type of game for them. Expect the defense to show why they’re one of the best and turnover Fitzpatrick several times. This was a guy who threw nine interceptions in two games and only has five touchdowns on the season. Should be a turnover feast for the hungry Cardinals this week.
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