Week 5 wasn’t the greatest week we’ve ever seen but the Win Daily crew still managed to see some green screens. For now, I’ve left the Falcons and Vikings game in the article. I tend to believe that game isn’t played on Sunday but that’s strictly a guess right now. Also, the games are a bit out of order since the slate posted so late this week. There’s still a lot of other games to discuss so let’s jump into NFL Game by Game Breakdown Week 6!
QB – It’s been an odd year so far for Lamar Jackson. He’s 24th in passing yards before the Tuesday night game. That’s not wildly out of place from 2019, when he finished 22nd. What is different is he’s dipped to under 50 yards per game rushing, which puts him on pace for roughly 800 yards this season. That would be great but would also knock 40 points off his total. After flirting with three touchdowns a game last season, he’s totaled 10 through the first five weeks this year and only one has been rushing.
The Eagles are in the bottom 10 in passing yards allowed so far this season with a 10:2 TD:INT ratio allowed. This stat really doesn’t carry a ton of weight but they have also allowed the fewest rushing yards to the position as well. Philly has yet to face an accomplished rushing quarterback, with Patrick Mahomes as the most dangerous one on the ground. Still, continuing to be the most expensive option makes it tougher to play Jackson. The flip side is if he goes off, he’s not going to be very popular.
RB – Baltimore remains in the top 12 in rushing attempts per game and yet their running backs are basically unusable for fantasy. In PPR formats, J.K. Dobbins has been the most valuable player and he checks in as the RB37. Not only is that a terrible spot to be the leader in fantasy points, the only reason he’s that high is two touchdowns and nine receptions. None of Dobbins, Mark Ingram nor Gus Edwards is even breaking the double-digit fantasy point mark per game. Philly isn’t the best matchup to change that trend either, since they’ve only allowed 384 rushing yards in five games.
WR/TE – As it was last week, I’m combining these two positions. Coach John Harbaugh did say already this week he wants to get the ball to Mile Boykin a little more. That’s great, but the tandem of Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews continue to run this passing game. They have combined for over 48% of the targets and over 70% of the air yards. Brown himself has a massive 44.7% air yards share, which is the fourth-highest mark in the league. Brown almost had a massive day last week but some Jackson inaccuracies and his own issues prevented it. Brown doesn’t have the easiest path to success this week with a matchup with Darius Slay. He hasn’t always been someone I’ve avoided but he’s only allowing a 1.20 point per target rate.
Andrews is a prime target since the Eagles linebackers have been destroyed by the position this year. Even this past week, Eric Ebron posted 5/43 and had at least one drop and a fumble. Andrews is coming off a 6/56/1 himself from the Cincinnati game and Philly has given up the third-most DK points per game to tight ends. Andrews is tied for third in the NFL with end zone targets and fourth in red zone looks, so he has some of the best touchdown equity on the board this week. He’s also the only spend up option, which is not a bad path to take. This seems more like an Andrews games.
D/ST – The Eagles have had all sorts of issues along the offensive line and tackle Lane Johnson needs a second opinion on an injury this week. That’s led them to allow the second-most sacks and Carson Wentz owns the interception lead in the league. Baltimore is expensive but absolutely in play here.
*Update* Johnson is out for the Eagles and they are currently missing six offensive lineman
Cash – Andrews, D/ST
GPP – Brown, Jackson, Boykin
QB – Carson Wentz definitely played better than I thought he might on Sunday at Pittsburgh but it continues to be tough to recommend him for fantasy. He’s not in the top 12 yet and isn’t in the top 15 in passing yards. He threw another two picks and while one of them was a desperation heave on a fourth down, it still counts.
Surprisingly, Baltimore has allowed the ninth-most passing yards on the season. With only six passing touchdowns allowed, they’ve held the points against down but you just don’t expect to see the Ravens so high in yardage. With the general lack of weapons I can’t say Wentz interests me but I suppose he could get there in garbage time. The Ravens are seventh in passing DVOA as the cherry on top.
RB – What an odd day for Miles Sanders on Sunday. He ripped off a 74-yard touchdown run early in the game and finished with 80 rushing yards on 11 total carries. That really scares me for a couple reasons. One, the Ravens run defense is stout with just 368 yards allowed. Second, Sanders has a total of 28 touches the past two weeks.
That’s baffling considering where the Eagles offense is injury-wise right now. Zach Ertz has disappeared, Dallas Goedert is out and the receiving corps is down to the third-string. Sanders is highly volatile right now and he’s not trustworthy in cash. The GPP case is he does have almost 60% of the team’s rushing attempts, nine red zone carries to lead the team and 15.7% of the targets. He’s not someone I’m using very heavily as only Pittsburgh boasts a better run DVOA.
WR – One of the bigger questions of this game is trying to figure out how real the breakout for Travis Fulgham is. He dominated this week with 13 targets, 10 receptions and 150 yards. He and John Hightower were the only players with an air yards share over 8% in this past game as well. Fulgham has been cut by two teams in the last three months, so it’s hard to think this production is here to stay. Additionally, DeSean Jackson could be back this week and Alshon Jeffery could make his season debut. Fulgham is still wildly cheap. Fulgham likely sees Marcus Peters, who has been solid so far He’s allowing 1.60 points per target and a 74.3 passer rating.
*Update* Jackson and Jeffery are both out for this game
TE – Ertz has been abjectly terrible this season if we’re being honest. PPR settings have been the wheelhouse for Ertz for awhile, but he’s outside the top 15 tight ends in that format. He’s 21st in yards among his position despite being fourth in receptions. What’s somewhat odd is his aDOT is only a yard worse this year compared to 2019. The lack of production isn’t entirely his fault with 65.7% of his targets deemed catchable, but you have to wonder if something is wrong as far as playing hurt. Ertz is running routes at a top three rate for tight ends and so many metrics are at the top of his position. Yet, here we sit. I’ll continue to shy away from him at his salary.
D/ST – The Eagles do have 18 sacks through the first five weeks but Jackson has only been brought down 12 times and pressure could easily backfire here. Jackson could be a lot quicker to take off out of the pocket and if he can negate the pass rush, Philly doesn’t have much else to hold onto.
Cash – None
GPP – Sanders, Fulgham, Wentz, Ertz
QB – You’d really have to twist my arm to warm up to Kirk Cousins this week. It’s a fantastic matchup, but so was last week’s against Seattle and we saw Cousins was once again just average. He didn’t even exceed 250 yards and threw two touchdowns to two turnovers against the defense that has allowed the most passing yards by about 160. Granted, the Falcons are second but the trust factor with Cousins doesn’t exist with another game under 17 DK points.
Cousins is the QB25 on a points per game basis and still sits outside the top 20 in passing attempts. If Minnesota can run the ball, that’s what they’re going to do and it’s hard not to think they can. Only three teams average more rushing yards this season per game so Cousins is a GPP only play for me, regardless of his salary.
RB – We could have been looking at the chalkiest play on the entire slate in Alexander Mattison but DK really took the price to new levels. Mattison is over $7,000 because Dalvin Cook has a groin issue and is likely to sit out this game. If Cook is inactive as it is lining up, Mattison inherits a spot that should lead him to shine. He already racked up over 100 rushing yards in last week’s game, and Cook didn’t depart until the third quarter.
Mattison has averaged 4.7 yards per carry in his career so far and proven capable in the passing game on top of that, going 18-for-21 and almost eight yards per reception. Atlanta is allowing under 100 yards per game on the ground, but backs gouged them through the air for the second-most yards and tied for the most receptions. I’m actually happy that DK priced him so high. People will shy away but I don’t think that should be the case. Minnesota doesn’t change their philosophy with no Cook and Mattison is going to get fed the rock. Atlanta is 30th in run DVOA and Mattison can be a facsimile of Cook for at least a week. You’d play Cook at this price, wouldn’t you?
*Update* Cook is officially out
WR – After a week where Justin Jefferson came back to Earth a little bit as far as production, it’s a good time to remind everyone that Adam Thielen is a monster. He leads the league in air yards share at 48.1%, is second with a 33.1% target share, is tied for second in EZ targets and tied for third in RZ targets. I mean, we can’t really ask for more from a fantasy receiver. It just so happens that the Falcons get thrashed by the position on top of it. The high salary always makes me hesitate with a low volume passing attack, but the metrics are too good for Theilen to ignore.
Having mentioned that Jefferson sputtered a little last week, this is a great bounce back spot. We only have to look at Week 5 to see two receivers from the same team doing well, as Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore both had good fantasy games. Jefferson still easily ranks second on the Vikings in target share at 18.8%. There’s no matchup in the secondary that we should sweat.
TE – I’m not exactly sure where the random Irv Smith game came from but I’m not inclined to think it repeats. He still only saw five targets and no RZ or EZ work so I’m not sure there’s a role change imminent. It’s good to see him get more targets than Kyle Rudolph but with a passing attack that’s reticent to cut it loose, this isn’t a play that I’m looking at very much. The only stat to hang on to is the Falcons have allowed the most touchdowns to tight ends at seven. Rudolph or Smith could score but Rudolph has 1 RZ target and they both have just one EZ target. I don’t mind Smith in GPP since he’s so cheap.
D/ST – The way the Falcons looked this past week, you could build a case but the coaching change could bring about some good for the Falcons. It’s certainly not a lack of weapons on the offensive side of the ball. Matt Ryan only has been sacked 11 times so far so the risk outweighs the reward for Minnesota.
Cash – Mattison, Thielen
GPP – Jefferson, Cousins, Smith
QB – It’s not been a good couple of weeks for Matt Ryan. He’s out of the top 15 at his position and out of the top 20 in points per game. The yardage is there at the fourth-most but only seven touchdown passes is just brutal this far into the season. Minnesota does allow the fifth-most yards to quarterbacks and two touchdowns per game, so this should be a decent spot. Surprisingly, the Vikings have the ninth-best passing DVOA which is not what I would have guessed. The fears would be Minnesota just controls the ball for 30-35 minutes and limits the opportunities for Ryan and this offense. Once you factor in the price tag, I’m likely out on Ryan this week for the most part.
RB – I’m still kicking myself for not being heavier on Todd Gurley last week in the spot that begged to play him. On paper, this spot isn’t much worse. Minnesota has allowed the seventh-most rushing yards and five rushing scores already. Carolina has actually allowed fewer yards than the Vikings. Gurley owns 67.5% of the running back attempts on the Falcons and his 22 RZ attempts are tied for first in the league (disclaimer that Derrick Henry would be leading if the Titans weren’t so far behind the schedule). The 79 attempts ranks eighth overall in the NFL as well. You could pick at the 6.5% target share for Gurley but with the RZ work and the volume, he’s still in play in this matchup. He’s cheap when we look at the volume as well.
WR – Calvin Ridley remains the most expensive Falcon but a good bit and Julio Jones has yet to practice since he left Monday Night Football early two weeks ago. Ridley is seventh across the league in targets and he carries the seventh-highest air yards share as well. Aside from the bizarre goose egg against the Packers, Ridley has been an absolute stud. His low score in the other four games is 19.7 DK while Minnesota has allowed the fourth-most yards to receivers and are tied for the most touchdowns allowed. There’s a strong case if Julio is out, Ridley is the best spend up option at the position.
*Update* Not only is Julio playing, he doesn’t even have an injury designation. He’s under $7,000. All aboard.
With the struggles of Ryan last week, the secondary receivers like Russell Gage and Olamide Zaccheaus did virtually nothing. They did split nine targets but only generated 5.9 DK points total. Gage has a relatively tough matchup with Jeff Gladney, who’s only allowed a 56.7% catch rate. Zaccheaus would draw Mike Hughes and his 2.20 points per target and 11.5 yards per reception. We’ll see if Julio plays but I’m assuming not.
TE – The assumption was that Hayden Hurst would at least fill some of the role left behind by Austin Hooper but that hasn’t exactly happened yet. Hurst only is averaging three receptions per game and has two scores, so he doesn’t really have much of a calling card. The Vikings have allowed the ninth-most yards to the position so it would be a good spot if you could trust Hurst. He does have the 11th most targets among tight ends so he’s worth a GPP shot. The loss of linebackers for the Vikings has shown through so far.
D/ST – It’s almost impossible to find good reasons to play the Falcons defense. They only have seven sacks and even though Cousins does have turnover issues, it’s a question if Atlanta can do anything about that.
Cash – Julio, Ridley, Gurley
GPP – Ryan, Gage, Hurst
QB – This is a super interesting spot for Baker Mayfield. Cleveland ranks 29th in passing attempts but at least so far in 2020, the passing game has been the weakness for the Steelers. He’s 22nd in points per drop back and 25th in points per game, so perhaps he flies under the radar here. The salary is one of the best selling points since Carson Wentz hit the Steelers for 19 DK points, but this isn’t a passing game I want to invest in too heavily. He’s still banged up with a rib injury so I won’t have any parts of him this week. Cleveland likely doesn’t just leave him back in the pocket to face the highest pressure rate in football from the Steelers.
RB – At least on paper, Kareem Hunt couldn’t have a tougher matchup as far as rushing defense. The Steelers lead the league in rushing yards allowed to the backs and are the second-best rushing defense overall. They have faced some excellent running backs as well, including Saquon Barkley, Miles Sanders and Melvin Gordon. To be this stout to the position is impressive at this point. Hunt is going to see the volume to be in play for GPP as he’s top 12 in attempts and has 10.6% of the targets. Past that, it’s not a play that I want to venture into. Sanders did prove that you can get a big play now and then but Hunt likely isn’t the optimal play. Since D’Ernest Johnson only has one target in two games, he seems too one-dimensional to play in this spot.
WR – Odell Beckham may well be a top 15 PPR receiver by the total points, but he’s living off one big game in Dallas that involved two trick plays for longer touchdowns. Past those two splash plays, Beckham has been remarkable silent so far. Now, it’s a little tough to get the images of Fulgham walking the Steelers secondary up and down the field Sunday. Beckham is absolutely a better player but the Browns offense for fantasy production leaves something to be desired. OBJ has an air yards share over 38% and a 27.5% target rate, which is great in a vacuum. The 21 receptions he has are tied for 21st though so the volatility is really there. Facing Joe Haden isn’t likely to make it easier, as Haden has a 1.30 point per target and a 50% catch rate allowed.
It’s even harder to get behind Jarvis Landry just with a lack of ceiling. He’s in the slot about 49% of the time and Steelers corner Mike Hilton patrols that area 48% of the time. Hilton has been targeted 28 times and has allowed 20 receptions and a 115.0 passer rating. This comes down to his health and if you think there’s enough volume to support him.
TE – On paper it’s not the best spot for Austin Hooper as the Steelers have allowed just 13 total receptions to the position and one touchdown. However, Hooper has seen his targets rise the past two weeks, totaling 17 in these games. That would be third on the team even if he had zero targets through the first three weeks and only Beckham has more RZ and EZ targets than Hooper. We’ve hit the point where the price doesn’t mach the potential, even though I still don’t think he’s a must-play.
D/ST – The Steelers may not give up a lot of sacks (just six on the year) but Myles Garrett has been a one-man wrecking crew this year. With pressure comes turnovers and the Browns lead the league with 30 QB hurries this year. They may not stop the Steelers from scoring, but should get some points for fantasy via other routes this week.
Cash – None
GPP – Hunt, Hooper, Landry, Beckham
QB – If Ben Roethlisberger ever hits a deep pass, the rest of the league is in big trouble. His downfield accuracy has been about his lone issue in his comeback from elbow surgery, with a 10:1 TD:INT ratio and over 250 passing yards per game. He’s only sporting a 23.5% completion rate on deep ball and that’s a big part of the reason the ceiling games haven’t happened yet for Big Ben. Being 26th in intended air yards is not great, especially when you’re not completing them at a very high rate.
The good news is Ben is 12th in fantasy points per drop back and the Steelers are 12th in passing attempts per game. Cleveland is 18th in passing DVOA and have allowed the third-most passing yards in the league already. That yardage mark has come despite four of the five opposing quarterbacks ranking 14th or below in passing yards going into this week. They’ve been gouged and this could possibly be the spot where Big Ben gets loose.
RB – In what is almost a mirror image to the Steelers, the Browns have been stout against the run with the fourth-fewest rushing yards allowed to backs and overall rush yards per game. It’s easier to buy into those stats when it’s backed up by the 11th best run DVOA in the league, so it’s not a smash matchup for James Conner. He had an ankle issue in Week 1 but he’s been the bell cow that we’ve come to expect from the Steelers the rest of the time. Conner has racked up 66 touches total in basically three games, so it’s nothing to sneer at. He’s a hair too pricey for my blood as I think the Steelers get a little pass-happy in this game.
*Update* Lineman David DeCastro is out, and that’s going to make life even harder on Conner and the offense in general.
WR – The question of the slate – what in the world do we do with Chase Claypool? He’s going to be popular, I’d have to imagine after he DESTROYED the world in Week 4. It’s easy to say “he won’t repeat that” and walk away, but that’s not good enough. Here’s my concerns with Claypool –
There’s a lot of factors that could work against Claypool in this game. I’d like to think that he at least passed James Washington on the depth chart, but that’s not guaranteed either. Pittsburgh does play in three receiver sets about 67% of the time so if Claypool is now a mainstay in those formations, there’s a better chance for success.
If Claypool comes in chalky, I may well load up on Johnson. He’s left the past two games with injury, but they seem flukey in nature. That could leave the field underweight on him and they likely shouldn’t be. Johnson was in the top five in target rate before the past two games and he actually still leads he Steelers in targets and is second in air yards share. It’s possible that both these players go off, and likely one of them will. Unless you get points for Instagram videos, I’m not sure JuJu Smith-Schuster is the greatest option. The target rate is only 17% and the air yards share is brutal at 12.4%. If it wasn’t for the RZ and EZ targets of three each, I’m not sure what he would have going for him.
*Note* I am a biased Steelers fan, so grain of salt with the JuJu remark of Instagram. With three games under 16.5 DK points, he’s expensive.
*Update* Johnson is out, so Claypool is likely chalk. In cash at least, I’m eating it but in GPP you could certainly fade him.
TE – It’s honestly weird how these teams are similar. Eric Ebron is the new tight end in Pittsburgh and has seen his involvement grow the past couple games, just like Hooper. Cleveland is worse to the position with the eighth-most yards allowed and four touchdowns. Ebron only has 1 RZ and EZ target so the touchdown equity isn’t great, but folks won’t play him after a mediocre performance last week.
D/ST – With the amount of sacks and pressure Pittsburgh generates, they are absolutely in play. Mayfield has only been sacked six times but with their passing game not being the strength, they won’t be comfortable throwing the ball a ton. Pittsburgh has 20 sacks and hasn’t got great play from their secondary yet this year.
Cash – Claypool, D/ST
GPP – Big Ben, JuJu, Conner
QB – If we’re looking for volume, it doesn’t get much better than Joe Burrow. With the injury to Dak Prescott, Burrow is the active leader in attempts so far this year but is only 14th in passing yards. He’s still third in intended air yards and eighth in deep attempts on the year. One issue for Burrow is he’s all the way down at 31st in fantasy points per drop back so he really needs all the volume he can get.
Perhaps the biggest issue is the completion rate under pressure, which is a ghastly 16.3%. That’s 33rd in the league and considering there’s 32 teams, that is sub-optimal. The Colts have the eighth-highest pressure rate and the best passing DVOA in football. I won’t be using Burrow this week and he’s only a large-field GPP option at best. If the completion rate under pressure holds this week, it’s likely to be a rough one.
RB – It’s not much easier on paper for Joe Mixon going against the fourth-best run DVOA in the league and he’s now had just one good week out of five. It’s such an odd thing to see. Mixon will be no worse than third in carries already this year (pending Henry on Tuesday) and his offense is sixth in pace numbers. His 23 targets is fourth on the team and tied for sixth among backs. There’s nothing else we can ask for in terms of volume especially with 13 RZ attempts.
So far, it’s really just a lack of touchdowns that’s holding him back a bit. He does have three on the year but with the fifth-most rushing yards, he should be better for fantasy. The inconsistencies are coming from a really poor offensive line and probably some growing pains with a rookie quarterback (albeit a good one). Mixon is cheaper than a volume king should be, just be aware the results haven’t been special most of the time so far.
WR – There’s really only two receivers that I’m considering and A.J. Green just isn’t one of them. He may never be the same after a slew of injuries the past couple years, turning 34 targets into 14/119/0 through five games. The Bengals are reportedly trying to trade him (good luck) and it’s the Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins show now. These two have combined for 35% of the target share (Higgins is only 10 targets behind Boyd for the lead) and right around 47% of the air yards share. Higgins is slated o see Xavier Rhodes who has only been targeted 20 times, allowing just 10 receptions and a 50.0 passer rating. Kenny Moore hasn’t been much worse at a 52.8 passer rating allowed and a 1.40 points per target. Both receivers should have their hands full.
TE – It has to be pointed out that Drew Sample is tied with a whole bunch of players for third in RZ targets, but he hasn’t exactly draped himself in glory since C.J. Uzomah has gotten injured. Indy has been the second-best ranking against tight ends, only giving up 134 yards and no scores through their five games. It’s hard to get behind Sample since he hasn’t shown much upside yet at any point past the Thursday Night Football game when Burrow threw 60+ times.
D/ST – The Cincy defense might actually be worth a punt here. The pressure rate is the worst in the league but they do have nine sacks and five turnovers. Indy is 17th in points per game and Philip Rivers is tied for the fourth-most interceptions with five. At basically minimum price, they certainly don’t need to do a whole lot.
Cash – Boyd
GPP – Mixon, Higgins, Burrow, D/ST
QB – Speaking of Rivers, I can’t find much of a reason to play him even at the salary. The Bengals rank 10th for passing DVOA and Rivers is the QB30 in fantasy points per game. The 28th ranked points per drop back would back that up as well and the Bengals have also only allowed the ninth-fewest passing yards per game. Lastly, they have given up a 7:5 TD:INT ratio so to me, Rivers is a pretty quick fade. He flat out doesn’t pass the eye test right now.
RB – The trend of frustration for Jonathan Taylor continued this week, with just 14 touches. He has 57% of the team’s rushing attempts but it certainly doesn’t seem like it. Taylor is also under 50% of the snaps and that is had to stomach at his price point. He is tied for fourth in RZ carries which helps a bit. The Bengals are 22nd in rushing DVOA and have allowed the second-most rushing yards to backs. You just have to hope the Colts give him enough touches and that’s a questionable facet right now.
You would think that since the Colts trailed the Browns by multiple scores, Nyheim Hines would have had a good score on DK. You would think wrong with just five total touches and only four targets. We did finally see Jordan Wilkins phased out of the offense for a week with just two snaps, but this backfield seems a lot more volatile in game than we thought it would be when Marlon Mack was lost for the season. The good news is players aren’t on Taylor and as one of the biggest favorites this week, he should have a big game.
WR – Did you know that T.Y. Hilton is the best fantasy receiver for the Colts and he’s the WR57 (!!!) in PPR? That’s not going to work at all, and the 10 targets from Week 5 represented almost a third of his targets for the season. Hilton only turned that into 6/62/0 and he’s had a good schedule as well. Facing the Jaguars, Vikings, Jets and Browns and still barely being in the top 60 is strictly disaster. The matchup isn’t set in stone since Mackensie Alexander is questionable, but you have to play Hilton in GPP only. Even at the salary, we have many other upside plays past Zach Pascal. The Bengals have struggled with speedy outside receivers but the question is can Rivers take advantage of it?
TE – I’m not sure he carries the same value in non-PPR settings, but Trey Burton could be the premier salary saver for the tight end position. He’s come back from the IR and accumulated 11 targets in two games. Mo Alie-Cox only had one target and is nursing a knee injury. Jack Doyle has seven targets in four games, meaning that Burton is the player to chase at the position. Burton already has one RZ and EZ targets and we know Rivers loves the tight end position and Rivers is 23rd in air yards per attempt. The intermediate field is Burton’s sweet spot.
*Update* Alie-Cox is out, which only makes Burton that much more viable on DK.
D/ST – The Colts are the best DVOA defense overall, so the price does make some sense. A lot of the fantasy production can be chalked up to three defensive scores, although the 11 sacks and nine interceptions is nothing to scoff at. They are holding opposing offenses to just 16 points per game and with the issues Burrow and the Bengals have, they make for a great play if you spend up.
Cash – D/ST, Burton
GPP – Taylor, Hilton
QB – Coming out of the bye week, Matthew Stafford is going to be awfully tempting. The Jaguars got scorched by Deshaun Watson last week and now rank dead last in passing DVOA. It hasn’t been the most spectacular start for Stafford but with the Jags also giving the fifth-most passing yards he has to be able to take advantage. Stafford is fifth in on target rate so far and is 10th in intended air yards. That’s a really good combo to have coming into this matchup. The price is attractive as well with the bottom rung of quarterbacks not looking especially great this week. Stafford is only 20th in points per game but he’s averaging over 21 and only has three turnovers to go along with the 11th most red zone attempts.
RB – It would be awesome if the Lions came out of the bye and realized that D’Andre Swift deserved more work, but we can’t trust that. As it stands, Adrian Peterson easily leads in rushing attempts on this team with 54 to just 12 for Swift. Kerryon Johnson is sandwiched in the middle with 21 carries on top of that. Peterson is also hogging all the RZ attempts at a 12-5-2 ratio with Swift dead last there as well. Swift does lead in targets with 16 and that’s been good for a 12% share, but we have to remember that Kenny Golladay missed a couple weeks. I don’t love any back here but if you believe the game script favors a shootout, Swift makes the most sense for the PPR upside. If you think the Lions control, AP is the better bet for 15+ carries and a score.
WR – In my eyes, Golladay is pretty underpriced on his slate. He’s gotten right back to what he does best and that’s catch touchdowns, with a score in each game so far. The receptions and yardage haven’t been anything special so far, but he has a 24.6% target rate in his games and 30.4% of the air yards. Additionally, the four RZ targets and two EZ targets are what we want from Golladay. There’s no reason not to love him this week.
Finding the secondary receiver has been tougher so far. It used to be Marvin Jones but since Golladay has come back, he’s only had five total targets for 60 total yards. Danny Amendola has only had seven and Stafford is spreading the ball around. There’s no corner in the Jaguars secondary that should worry you. Golladay is going to get his work and neither of the secondary options look especially appealing.
TE – One of the players he’s spreading the ball to is T.J. Hockenson. The second year tight end is the only player to rival the RZ and EZ share that Golladay has, with four targets in each zone. He’s also carved out a 15.2% target share which isn’t terrible. Jacksonville has given up four touchdowns to the position and the third-most yards, so Hockenson is a solid play that likely doesn’t get a ton of attention.
D/ST – Knowing a team like Washington is only $300 more and The Dolphins are $100 cheaper makes me really not like the Lions. They have the fourth-worst pressure rate and only five sacks, not to mention just four turnovers.
Cash – Golladay, Stafford
GPP – Hockenson, Jones, Swift
QB – Gardner Minshew is getting priced as he deserves seeing as how he’s eighth in passing yards and has thrown 10 touchdowns. He’s fourth in attempts which shouldn’t change in the near future and he’s second in RZ attempts. The Lions are right about mid-pack in yardage allowed and has the 13th ranked passing defense in DVOA. Just looking in this game, I do prefer Stafford to Minshew. There’s not a ton to say for Minshew because he’s almost locked in for a heavy workload every week with the putrid defense on the other side of his team.
RB – It couldn’t have been a much bigger dud for James Robinson in a great spot last week, but that’s just the way it works some weeks. He still got 18 touches in total, he just didn’t score. After running rampant early, Houston slammed to door on him. Detroit actually has the lead in rushing yards per game allowed so this is a great spot on paper. I wonder how many folks go right back to the well. I might be one of them since the touches were there as they always have been this year. He has a whopping 92% of the running back carries for the Jaguars and and 11.9% target share. He’s the definition of a bell cow running back even with poor results last week.
WR – This receiving corps is a real pain to figure out. No player has a target share over 15.6% and that’s Keelan Cole. The de facto number one is D.J. Chark but it hasn’t been the target-fest we expected in the offseason. His share is just 13.9% and he’s only averaging five targets per game. What Chark does have going for him is the RZ work at 20.8% and 22.8% of the air yards, but it’s a little slim for a price this high. You also have to deal with the merging Laviska Shenault who has 20 targets in the past three games along with two rushing attempts. He might see some of Desmond Trufant (if active) and he’s allowed a massive 2.90 points per target in his limited work. Shenault might be a hair safer a salary but Chark is a solid GPP play as well.
*Update* Chark has not practiced all week and is questionable, but you have to think he’s not super likely to play this week.
TE – Tyler Eifert is a touchdown or bust option and has been all season. He’s yet to crack 95 yards receiving and is averaging right about two receptions a game. Detroit has allowed two scores to the position but only 10/96 otherwise, making Eifert and his 12.4% target share not that appealing.
D/ST – I refer you to may same points about the Washington and Miami defenses.
Cash – Robinson, Shenault
GPP – Chark, Minshew
QB – If Kyle Allen can make it as the starter for this game, I suppose you could talk me into it. I was pretty lukewarm on him last week but he did start well enough. He went 9-13 and scored a rushing touchdown before being hit in the head and forced out. The value quarterbacks are few and far between and Allen is cheap. The Giants defense doesn’t scare me with the 23rd ranked passing defense in DVOA. Garbage time points count too and my biggest two fears are A. Allen turns the ball over 3-4 times and that leads to B. Alex Smith comes on in relief. I doubt I would take this risk in cash.
RB – While I do wish J.D. McKissic would chill in the passing game, I really think it’s Antonio Gibson week. The price is super appealing and we’ve seen Gibson continue to get involved in he offense. For the second straight week, Gibson was targeted five times in the passing game and saw double-digit carries as well. The Giants have allowed 460 rushing yards and four scores, not to mention 231 yards in the air with another two scores. The run DVOA for the Giants is 12th but that’s not enough of a factor to dissuade me from Gibson much this week. With McKissic getting eight targets each of the past two weeks, he’s not the worst punt on DK. Just know that Gibson has 10 RZ carries to three for McKissic and he won’t produce much outside the passing game.
*Update* Guard Brandon Scherff is back from the IR which is a really nice boost for the Washington line.
WR – I’m torn with Terry McLaurin this week. On the one hand, all his metrics point to him being a monster with the third-highest air yards share in the NFL. The 27% target share is great as well and he’s about the only player going in the Washington passing game that isn’t a running back. What’s the problem then? His name is James Bradberry and he’s been excellent for the Giants so far. He was a primary reason that Amari Cooper didn’t do much last week. This offense is such a mess right now that I can’t find a reason to play Dontrelle Inman even with Steve Sims on the IR.
TE – Logan Thomas pretty much falls into the same category as Inman because I’m having trouble figuring out why to play him. He has 32 total targets but is only sitting at 14/106/1. Even at a value price, I have no real interest here and will find other options. Through five games, the Giants have only allowed 177 total yards to the tight end and no touchdowns.
D/ST – I love the Washington defense in this spot. They’ve been mediocre lately but have 15 sacks on just a 20.3% blitz rate. The Giants have nine turnovers already and have given up 16 sacks. Washington is priced fairly and are one of my favorites to chase on the week, seeing how they have the fourth best overall DVOA.
Cash – Gibson, D/ST
GPP – McLaurin, Allen
QB – I will have absolutely no shares of Daniel Jones this week. He couldn’t muster up double-digit fantasy points playing the Cowboys, hands down one of the worst defenses in the NFL. He hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since Week 1 and is just 21st in passing yards overall. There has been no real redeeming qualities to his play for fantasy and he’s honestly a pretty quick skip for me.
RB – The only player of moderate interest is Devonta Freeman. He is a volume style play here with 19 touches last week, following up on his 15 touches the week previous. Washington is only mid-pack in DK points allowed to the back so the matchup is fairly neutral on paper. The DVOA follows at 16th so Freeman is in play, but there’s an issue for me with playing almost any Giant right now.
WR – I wish I had the guts to be heavier on Darius Slayton last week, since he went for just about 24 DK points. That was likely the best window we had, even though he does have a 43.2% air yards share and leads the Giants with a 23.4% target rate. You have to trust the QB to get him the ball and that has happened sparingly this year. Seeing Kendall Fuller on the other side isn’t going to help either. He’s only been targeted 16 times in three games and has allowed under 100 yards and a passer rating of 0.0. That’s not a typo and the points per target is 1.00. Golden Tate has yet to exceed 47 yards in any game, nor does he have more than five receptions. He also only has one RZ target and even in PPR, the appeal is pretty limited.
TE – I just don’t understand how when you have a struggling passing game, you can’t find more targets for Evan Engram than two. He is second in target share on the Giants but man, the production is just not there in the least. He’s barely inside the top 20 for tight ends and if he didn’t have a really weird rushing touchdown, it could be worse right now. Everything seems to be going wrong for Engram right now and the price doesn’t make sense. The only facet he has going for him is Washington is bad against the tight end, but they faced Dallas Goedert and Mark Andrews alone already this year.
D/ST – Knowing that Allen was a terrible quarterback in real life last year does have me sort of interested in the Giants this week. I don’t love the price because I don’t think they’re as talented as Washington but they do have the 11th ranked defense as far as DVOA. Additionally, they have six turnovers, 12 sacks and a score. Both offenses rank 30th and 31st in points scored per game, so there’s a case for either.
Cash – D/ST
GPP – Freeman, Engram
QB – Well, we’ve seen two starts for Nick Foles now and I can confidently say they haven’t been all that good. He hasn’t cracked 250 yards in either, despite throwing the ball 42 times in each game and he has a 2:2 TD:INT ratio in this starts. He had spurts on Thursday night where he played well, but that was marred by some atrocious throws in other spots. Perhaps the mini-bye week can get him ready to go for this one, but I’m not sure on that one.
We have to give the Panthers a little credit, since they are 13th in passing DVOA on the year. That tracks with only allowing the 10th fewest passing yards in the league so far, with just a 6:3 TD:INT ratio. Foles is just 28th in point per drop back and 33rd in yards per attempt. Nothing here screams he’s a must play with a tougher-than-perceived matchup.
RB – I’m in on David Montgomery this week without a doubt. The jury can still be out on whether he’s a good real life back or not, because the fantasy implications are too good to ignore. Since Tarik Cohen was lost for the season, Montgomery has played 83% of the snaps and has handled 20 of the 27 rushing attempts. Additionally, he’s seen 14 targets and that’s tied with Darnell Mooney for second behind Allen Robinson. I’ll sign up for that usage under $6,000 all the time and especially against the Carolina run defense. Not only are they 29th in run DVOA, they’ve given up the sixth-most rushing yards to backs and allowed the most rushing touchdowns with eight. They can’t stop anyone and that trend doesn’t stop this week. Additionally, the Panthers just lost Kawann Short so the defensive line just got worse.
WR – We sort of know the story with Robinson at this point. He’s super talented and doesn’t have the greatest QB to work with. Welcome to his whole career. The good news is the 31% target share and 39.6% air yards share with Foles as the starting option. He’s at his season-high salary but I can’t argue with it. Corner Rasul Douglas has a 1.50 points per target and a 94.8 passer rating allowed, so the matchup certainly doesn’t stop me either.
What confuses me is why Mooney is minimum price. Sure, his production hasn’t been sparkling the past two weeks. Foles missed him horribly on a long touchdown throw which would have altered the perception of Mooney in this game. He’s accounted for 14 targets in the past two weeks and has out-snapped Anthony Miller, who has seen just nine targets in that span. The secondary play at receiver is Mooney in my eyes, especially at salary.
TE – Jimmy Graham is an option in this offense, but man is the price high. Foles has targeted him 10 times, two of which have been EZ targets. It’s nice to have that sort of touchdown chances but the $5,000 mark for a player that hasn’t hit even 2x at that salary in four of five weeks is a tough ask. Carolina has only allowed one touchdown to the position so far and Graham seems like a very unsafe bet to hit the 3-4x mark we shoot for.
D/ST – The Bears are just too expensive for me. They’re not a bad real life defense, only allowing 20 points per game but the fantasy production is just alright. They have 11 sacks but are bottom 10 in QB hurries and barely mid-pack in overall pressure rate. Carolina has only allowed eight sacks and turned it over five times.
Cash – Montgomery, Robinson
GPP – Mooney, Graham, Foles
QB – It’s certainly a far different matchup than last week, but I’m not sure why Teddy Bridgewater barely saw his price move this week. He’s now had back to back weeks of 23.8 DK points or higher and yet, he saw only $100 bump. Teddy B is slinging it with the second-highest completion rate in football and 0.44 point per drop back. He’s fifth in passing yards and even though he’s also fourth in YAC, it still all counts.
He’s only the QB15 because the passing touchdowns have been a little low at just six so far. It’s definitely possible that the matchup prevents him from having a monster game since the Bears are sixth in passing DVOA. They are average in yards given up but have only allowed four passing touchdowns, which could cap the ceiling for Bridgewater. He’s in play for GPP’s but is likely viewed as a floor play this week with the matchup at hand.
RB – Christian McCaffrey is not ready to come back off the IR so this is still the Mike Davis show in the backfield. It feels like the price is high, but since CMC has been hurt, Davis is the number one fantasy running back. He has 33 targets and only Alvin Kamara has more at 37. The Bears only have the 17th ranked rushing DVOA and we just saw Ronald Jones roll up a big game against this defense. Davis has been roughly 90% of CMC and the price is really still too low.
WR – Robby Anderson has really blossomed with coach Matt Ruhle and Bridgewater at quarterback. He’s the WR6 in PPR formats which I have to admit, I didn’t see coming in the least this year. He’s leapfrogged D.J. Moore as the go-to option in the Carolina receiving corps with a 27% target share and 36.5% of the air yards. That last part is really interesting.
For the past couple of weeks, Moore has been a candidate to break out of the slump by looking at his air yards. Since Week 3, Anderson has the team lead in air yards share at 41.3% to 34.4% for Moore. Anderson should draw Jaylon Johnson who has had a great rookie year so far. The catch rate is 47.8% and the points per target is 1.30. Anderson is not a need but he’s well in play. With Moore taking such a backseat (15 targets in three weeks), I’m not too interested.
TE – Ian Thomas is not in play for any reason, having 10 targets on the year and coming off a goose egg performance last week.
D/ST – I honestly can’t even really look that hard at them with Miami against the Jets at the exact same price.
Cash – Davis, Anderson
GPP – Bridgewater, Moore
QB – I know Deshaun Watson is coming off his best game of the year by far, but the $7,000 salary feels like a lot. Aaron Rodgers is just $500 more and I think I’d rather go to Rodgers given their play this year. The trouble with Watson is trying to parse his season stats with the fact that Bill O’Brien is gone. If the first game is any indication, Watson is back in the form of stud quarterback that fantasy players know and love. He finished with his second-most attempts in a win, so that’s a big step. Further, his 10.3 yards per attempt was his season best by a significant amount as well. The Titans are average to the position in DK points per game and has the 11th best passing DVOA, so the matchup doesn’t dictate that he is a must-play. I think he’s fine in GPP’s but that is likely the extent for me.
RB – Tennessee has gotten run on this year with the sixth-worst yardage per game allowed and the 19th ranked rushing DVOA. David Johnson isn’t expensive by any means but has yet to show really any ceiling. Since Week 1, he’s not scored over 12.6 DK points although he did churn out 96 yards on the ground last game. The 5.6 yards per carry is the best since Week 1 as well and this is clearly still his backfield. Duke Johnson only received two touches last week and doesn’t appear to be any threat. DJ has earned an 11.4% target share on top of sitting 13th in carries so far. The volume is there, the production hasn’t been.
WR – One spot that Tennessee has gotten bit by is receiver and that could mean a big day coming for Will Fuller and maybe Brandin Cooks. Fuller is going to face off mostly against Malcolm Butler who has allowed 19 receptions on 33 targets. Butler has also only allowed a 53.3 passer rating but the catch is he runs about a 4.6 40-yard dash. That might not be enough to keep up with Fuller, who has a 28% air yard share and 18.9% target share in four games worth of targets.
Cooks should square off with Jonathan Joseph, who has allowed 2.00 fantasy points per target so far and a 94.1 passer rating. What’s really concerning for Joseph is his 16.7 yards per reception allowed. Cooks has his own zero fantasy point game so we know where the floor is, but he rebounded with a monster game last week and another 12 targets. He leads the Texans in snaps and is right behind Fuller in air yard share.
TE – If Jordan Akins is healthy, he’d be the preferred play. Before his injury, he was routinely out-snapping Darren Fells and still has more targets than him as well. We’ll need some clarification on injuries here, but neither is more than a dart. The Titans haven’t let up a ton of yards to the position but they’ve also let up three scores. There’s value in the price for GPP.
D/ST – The way Tennessee is rolling right now, I don’t really have any interest. The Titans have all of one turnover, have only given up three sacks and a pressure rate under 20%. Seeing as the price is not minimum, it’s hard to find reasons for the play.
Cash – Fuller, Cooks
GPP – Watson, Johnson, Akins
QB – I mentioned earlier that the value quarterbacks didn’t offer a lot, but Ryan Tannehill is well in play in all formats. He has a 9:1 TD:INT ratio through four games and was razor sharp in Tuesday’s night game with four total touchdowns. The yardage isn’t wildly impressive at 251 yards per game but he is still under $6,000.
Tannehill is fourth in points per drop back and a top-10 QB in fantasy so the price really doesn’t make a lot of sense. The Texans do have the 12th best passing DVOA and are allowing under 20 DK points per game but they also don’t have an interception yet. Houston has allowed nine touchdown passes already and Tannehill is tied for the second-best completion rate in the red zone. There’s no reason not to consider him this week.
RB – If it feels like Derrick Henry hasn’t been that great this year, you’re not exactly wrong. He’s the RB11 in PPR formats which is slightly disappointing. However, this could be the explosion spot we’ve been waiting for. He’s second in carries to only Josh Jacobs by five attempts and in one fewer game. Also, Henry leads the league in RZ attempts and is tied for third in rushing touchdowns. When a back is disappointing and sits third in rushing yards, it tells you where the ceiling is. He’s under $7,500 and Houston is 26th in run DVOA, in addition to allowing the most rushing yards in football and six rushing scores. It’s going to be hard to turn away from him at this price in this spot.
WR – The Titans might have some receivers back in the lineup this Sunday, but the headline is A.J. Brown and his strong return to the lineup Tuesday. Brown was targeted nine times and in his two games has a 25% target share and 33.5% air yard share. He should see a good bit of Bradley Roby who has allowed a 106.5 passer rating and 1.70 points per target. Brown should not be this cheap and is a great way to stack Tannehill as well.
Adam Humphries will be back in the lineup and has a slot rate of over 77%. With only 20 targets, he might not seem like a very relevant piece of the offense but that’s almost seven targets a game. It’s not likely to keep up with Brown back, but he’s at least on the radar here if you think this game does shoot out.
TE – Here’s a fun FYI – Jonnu Smith and Mark Andrews are in a basic tie for the TE4 on the season, with the exact same receptions and touchdowns. Andrews has one more yard and that’s the only separation. He’s easily the leader in RZ and EZ targets with six and four, which explains the touchdowns so far. It’s a little scary to think what happens if he’s not scoring since his route percent is only 65.9%, 24th at his position. If you believe Henry sputters again, Brown and Smith are a great double stack to run back with Fuller or Cooks.
D/ST – Any defense against the Texans is always in play to some extent since they’ve allowed the third-most sacks but it doesn’t appear that the Titans can take advantage of it. They only have five on the season but have mitigated it with nine takeaways through four games. As has been the case with most defenses, I have eyes on other spots this week.
Cash – Tannehill, Henry, Brown
GPP – Smith
QB – Denver should get their starting quarterback returning in this game, with Drew Lock practicing in full on Wednesday. He’s tough to measure so far with only one full game under his belt and having a shoulder injury already. The Broncos could be down three of their main skill position players this week as well, which isn’t going to do Lock any favors. We always try to give every player a full shot to make out lineups, but I can’t find a good reason to play Lock in New England. He did have a 10.2 air yards per attempt in his limited action but the Pats have only surrendered four touchdown passes to players not named Russell Wilson this season. The 22nd DVOA passing defense will have to wait to get attacked.
RB – We would have to assume that Melvin Gordon isn’t going to play this weekend, unless the Broncos are just that dense. He was arrested for DUI and speeding Tuesday night so the reigns might be handed to Phillip Lindsay. Just like Lock, Lindsay only has one game played and has a total of eight touches. It’s very difficult to evaluate him but the Pats have the 18th ranked rushing DVOA. That tracks perfectly since they rank 18th in rushing yards allowed per game. Lindsay is a very cheap volume play and does have some PPR upside if he’s the lead back, but I can’t say I’m falling over myself to click on his name.
*Update* Gordon is at practice, and I’m a bit surprised by that.
*Update* Gordon is now not practicing with a non-Covid illness and non-disciplinary reasons.
WR – Due respect to Jerry Jeudy but it’s been Tim Patrick who has the fantasy point lead the past couple games without Courtland Sutton. Jeudy leads the team in targets by one over Noah Fant but Patrick has quietly been excellent the past two weeks with a combined 40 DK points and two touchdowns. Patrick should see mostly Jason McCourty who has allowed 3.20 points per target. McCourty only has a 38.4% snap share and the secondary is up in the air. Stephon Gilmore came off the Covid list, so Jeudy is going to have a tough matchup in this game.
TE – Fant dodged a serious ankle injury but is just now slowly working his way back into practice. He does have the RZ and EZ target lead on the team, but that’s with just three and two of each. He’s also second on the team in receiving yards with 219 so he’s a vital piece of the passing attack. I’m not a large fan of the price, and the Patriots could well choose him as the man they eliminate. They’ve already done it to Darren Waller of the Raiders and have only allowed one touchdown to the position.
D/ST – The Broncos just don’t seem to have the playmakers to make a lot of splash plays, and that’s not surprising with their injuries. The 10 sacks is fine but only two turnovers forced won’t help. New England surprisingly does have seven turnovers but most of the interceptions came from backup quarterbacks. I don’t see Denver paying off at the price especially.
GPP – Patrick, Fant, Jeudy
QB – You have to wonder if Cam Newton is fully healthy coming into this one. He’s off the Covid list, which is fantastic news. However, multiple athletes have said they just don’t feel right afterwards and they fatigue can be an issue. Seeing as how it’s been a few weeks since Cam had a signature game, he could be a dynamite GPP play. Denver hurries the quarterback about 12% of the time this year and maybe Newton is forced to scramble. Of his 35 rushing attempts, only four have been scrambles to this point.
Newton is averaging 0.55 points per drop back, in the top 10 in the league. At his average, Newton would sit fourth in play-action passing attempts and his completion rate is over 72% on those throws. Denver has allowed over 1,110 yards passing in just four games and seven touchdown passes. There’s no real discount with Cam but if he’s under 10%, he’s certainly a great play in what projects to be a positive game script.
RB – You obviously can’t fully trust a Patriots running back, but Damien Harris did a solid job of staking his claim to a gig in Kansas City. He rolled up 100 yards on 17 rushing attempts, but was not targeted in the passing game. The issue beyond no passing floor is Rex Burkhead took 11 carries himself and James White had three. You almost have to nail the game script, which should be the Patriots up in this game. Denver has been in the top half of the league in rushing yards allowed but they’ve also been hit on the defensive side with injury. The notable one in-season has been lineman Jurrell Casey, who excels as a run defender. The Broncos have given up 340 yards to the backs in four games but only one total touchdown. Harris would be my lean, but no one really jumps out if Cam is back with his 12 RZ carries.
WR – We really shouldn’t hold last game against the receivers with Newton out and Julian Edelman could be in prime position here. He’s predominantly in the slot as usual and should see Essang Bassey. The rookie has been targeted 24 times and has allowed 18 receptions doe 221 yards and a 116.8 passer rating. Edelman is eighth in the NFL in air yards share at 40.2% and he has a 24% target share. His price on DK is especially appealing with the full PPR.
Corner Michael Ojemudia is another rookie and he should match N’Keal Harry. Ojemudia has allowed 1.60 points per target and 13.5 yards per reception but Harry is under 20% of the air yards share, third on the team. He easily leads in RZ targets with high and three EZ targets but the ceiling has been fairly low. Damiere Byrd has played over 90% of the snaps and has a 17.6% target share but is an absolute roller coaster of production.
TE – There is no tight end with more than eight targets on the season so there’s no reason to play them.
D/ST – If you can afford them, it’s not a bad idea with how many pieces Denver should be missing. Having said that, spending $4,100 on a defense is a tough sell. New England is solid with only 21.5 points allowed and eight turnovers, but they do have just six sacks. I almost never pay top dollar for defense and the pricing this week is on the tighter side.
Cash – Edelman
GPP – Cam, Harris, Harry, Burkhead, White
QB – I have no interest in Joe Flacco whatsoever. Miami is in the top 10 in passing DVOA and have only allowed seven touchdowns. Miami has managed to generate a 22.7% pressure rate and has 14 sacks. Flacco is an easy pass with one of the worst environments in football.
RB – There might be some attempts to play Frank Gore but I’m shutting that down right now. Just because Le’Veon Bell is in KC (ughhhhh) now does not change anything. He’s been on the IR and Gore has 21.1 DK in those four games…TOTAL. Miami is dead last in rushing DVOA but I will steadfastly not play a Jet back, especially with lineman Mekhi Becton likely out again as well.
WR – I’m not sure how Jamison Crowder keeps doing it, but he’s been excellent when he’s played this year. He has 28.2% of the targets and a respectable 28.9% share of the air yards. I’m impressed he didn’t miss a beat with Flacco. He also gets the better of the cornerback matchups in Nik Needham. It’s not that he’s been terrible with an 80.0 passer rating and a 1.30 point per target, but he’s also not Xavien Howard or Byron Jones. Neither corner has gone into the slot more than 7% this season and Crowder is the only receiver to look at.
TE – Can someone trade for Chris Herndon already??
D/ST – The Dolphins have allowed the 18th highest pressure rate and only eight sacks, so the appeal isn’t high for the Jets defense. New York only has seven sacks themselves so it doesn’t seem like they can get to the QB much here.
Cash – Crowder
GPP – D/ST
QB – You’re always afraid the bottom falls out, but Ryan Fitzpatrick sits 12th in passing yards overall and he’s a top 10 quarterback on the season. With the Jets having the 31st ranked passing DVOA, this is a great spot to use Fitzpatrick again under $6,000. Fitzpatrick has been on target with 82.1% of his throws, the eighth-best this year.
The Jets have allowed the 10th most passing yards already and what’s saving their bacon is only eight touchdowns allowed. That shouldn’t stop you from using Fitzpatrick and I don’t think we should be fooled by the red eight next to his name for the matchup.
RB – Now that Myles Gaskin has dodged the Lev Bell bullet, he’s a nice value this week. New York is odd since they sit in the top 12 of the league in run DVOA but they’ve allowed the eighth-most rushing yards. Gaskin has 58.8% of the running back attempts on his team and he’s in danger of getting vultured by Jordan Howard. We have to look at the volume and Gaskin still has 17 RZ rushing attempts. He also has a 14.9% target share which is fairly impressive. He’s just under a bell cow and his price really leaves him in play in all formats.
WR – This is another offense that spreads the ball around a good bit and no receiver has over a 20% share of the targets. DeVante Parker leads at 19.2% and even the air yards are equal between Parker, Preston Williams and Mike Gesicki. The Jets will counter Parker with Pierre Desir who has gotten smoked so far. He’s been targeted 20 times and allowed 253 yards, three touchdowns, 116.7 passer rating and a 3.00 points per target. Williams sits at fourth on his own team in targets with Isaiah Ford seeing six more targets. He’ll see Brian Poole who has actually only allowed a 1.30 point per target.
TE – I hate to be that guy, but if Gesicki didn’t rip off a 70-yard play on a busted coverage, he would have had his third straight terrible game. He’s getting the targets with the 16.8% share and has an 11.3 aDOT. He’s always a big threat to score with seven RZ targets and six EZ targets but that’s a lot to pay for potentially TD or bust. The Jets are just middle of the pack in DK points allowed so I won’t force Gesicki in this spot.
D/ST – If you can’t get to the Washington defense, Miami is my favorite. They have 14 sacks and a solid pressure rate, while the Jets are the lowest-scoring team in football. They have virtually no weapons and Flacco is a far below average quarterback. Miami has also forced eight turnovers and are 10th in points allowed per game.
Cash – Fitzpatrick, Parker, Gaskin, D/ST
GPP – Ford, Williams, Gesicki
QB – I would have to say that Aaron Rodgers is my favorite spend up option at quarterback. Tampa is a tough matchup on paper but I don’t care at all with Rodgers at the helm. He may only have the 17th most yards total, but Green Bay is third in passing yards per game and Rodgers has thrown 13 touchdowns in just four games. Rodgers is also seventh in intended air yards per attempt, which is excellent since Davante Adams has missed time. This game could shoot out with the Rodgers vs. Tom Brady narrative and Rodgers certainly seems to be reminding folks that he’s not washed just yet.
RB – If Derrick Henry doesn’t make you comfortable, Aaron Jones is your man. Not only is he the RB2 in points per game in PPR, he’s under-priced in the matchup. Yes, Tampa is nasty and allows the fewest rushing yards per game. However, I’m not sure we can over emphasize the loss of defensive lineman Vita Vea for the Bucs. He was the anchor of that line and a huge part of the front seven. Jones also is 10th in receiving yards at a 17.9% target share and only Raheem Mostert is ahead of him with fewer games played. Anytime Jones is under $8,000, he deserves a long look and he’s not that bad of a stack with Rodgers either.
WR – Welcome back to Adams, just in time for Week 6. He’s only had one healthy game and that saw him accumulated 17 targets en route to 44.6 DK points. The Packers are still down Allen Lazard so the target share certainly isn’t going anywhere. He’ll mostly see Carlton Davis who has only allowed 1.60 points per target and a 64.3 passer rating. That doesn’t much matter with Adams who is in play in all formats.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling should still be a decent part of the passing game with no Lazard and is a fine GPP play. He should see some of Jamel Dean who has allowed a 1.70 point per target. He does have 35.9% of the air yards share but that’s tough to hang your hat on with Adams having been out so long.
TE – Rodgers has only thrown one incompletion to Robert Tonyan, who has five touchdowns on 13 receptions. That’s…living your best life but I still don’t hate Tonyan. The price tag may well scare folks off with the return of Adams, but that just means even less coverage for Tonyan. He is not a cash play at the price and Tampa has only allowed two scores but there’s a chemistry that could be developing here.
D/ST – The Packers have the second-worst pressure rate but they do have 12 sacks. With just three turnovers, I have issues at the price and do think there are better options. The Bucs have only allowed the fourth-lowest pressure rate on the year.
Cash – Rodgers, Jones, Adams
GPP – Tonyan, MVS
QB – Green Bay is down to 25th in passing DVOA and this could shape up to a big game for Tom Brady. He might be getting some weapons back this week and this game could really be high-scoring. Everything hasn’t clicked quite yet for Brady as he’s above 19% for bad throw rate and is 27th in on target rate. He’s also only 18th in points per drop back but is still 15th in deep ball completion rate. What’s interesting is Brady has been victimized by the most drops in the league at 15. He’s not going to go down without a fight and is 10th in yardage with all the issues. If things come together, Brady could have a massive game.
RB – We need to see what the health of the running back room is before deciding much. The Packers have a matching 25th ranked rushing defense, so this is a spot that can be had. Ronald Jones has played pretty well with the absence of Leonard Fournette. In those two games, he’s racked up 217 rushing yards and bought nine passes. He’s not doing a ton with it but it’s better than his normal receiving work. If Fournette is out, Jones is likely under-priced while Ke’Shawn Vaughn would be in play if LeSean McCoy is out.
WR – Another skill position group that we need news on, the Bucs receivers are banged up. Mike Evans has the best chance to play and could draw Jaire Alexander, who is a pretty good corner. He’s only allowed a 59.3% catch rate and 189 yards on 27 targets. Evans is still a threat for multiple scores (Week 3 he went 2/2/2, a running back line) but I’m not super thrilled with the price.
Chris Godwin could be back as well and he brings a 60% slot rate with him. That would leave him away from Alexander and Kevin King for a good portion of the game. Godwin only has played two games but has an 18.6% target share and is tied for second in RZ targets. He’s not cheap but he would be my favorite, while Scotty Miller is a GPP candidate with a team-leading 22.7% air yards share.
*Update* Godwin and Miller will both be active this week and I really like Godwin a lot
TE – Even with the loss of O.J. Howard, there was still a split in tight end targets between Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate. Each saw six targets last game and that would likely fall if the receivers get healthy. Gronkowski played almost double the snaps, yet couldn’t seize a lead in targets. The Packers have yet to allow 200 yards to the position nor a touchdown.
D/ST – Tampa is a fine real life defense but there’s no way I’m playing them against Rodgers and company.
Cash – Brady, Godwin, RoJo (if no Fournette)
GPP – Evans, Vaughn (If no McCoy)
Derrick Henry, Kenny Golladay, Alexander Mattison, Julio Jones
As much as I still love Andrews and Gibson, circumstances dictate pieces of the Atlanta/Minnesota game. Julio should never be this cheap with no injury designation and I’d rather punt a tight end to squeeze Henry and Mattison in together. It’s a little easier than I thought for those two backs and I assume the chalk trio is those two and David Montgomery. I’ll be making sure to have shares of Gibson and Andrews elsewhere.
Falcons/Vikings – Ryan, Julio, Mattison, Thielen, Ridley, Jefferson, Smith, Hurst, Cousins
Packers/Buccaneers – Rodgers, A. Jones, Adams, Godwin, R.Jones, Brady, Tonyan, Evans
Lions/Jaguars – Stafford, Golladay, Robinson, Hockenson, Chark, Shenault, Minshew
Texans/Titans – Henry, Tannehill, Brown, Fuller, Cooks, Watson
Bears/Panthers – Montgomery, Davis, Robinson, Anderson, Teddy
Steelers – Big Ben, Johnson, Claypool, Conner – Run Back with Hunt or Landry
Ravens – Andrews, Jackson, Brown – Run Back with Fulgham
Patriots – Cam, Edelman, Harris – Run Back with Patrick
Dolphins – Fitzpatrick, Parker, Gaskin, Gesicki – Run Back with Crowder
Let’s get after it this week my friends!
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