Welcome to Week 6. Last weekend was a real treat as the scoring trend rolled right along. The Browns went to overtime, again. The Vikings avenged their NFC title loss to the Eagles. The Texans won the battle for Texas. With many redemption performances by some of the biggest names in fantasy football, it was also a firm reminder as to why the stars are valued so highly.
I played two variations of fantasy lineups Sunday on FanDuel with both lineups based on my Week 5 picks. One entry scored 149, placing second in a ten-entry contest. The second put up 119, placing fourth in a ten-entry contest. Both cashed, so I consider it another strong week. With a $60,000 starting budget, a score of 120 in a standard nine-player roster constitutes a favorable outcome. In most contests, this is typically the point total by which a DFS entry will cash (excluding super contests and head to head).
As for my picks last week, Big Ben and Bortles came through with great weeks. Todd Gurley and T.J. Yeldon both had great games with 52 points combined. Adam Thielen (21) had another big week. JuJu was decent, but he still found the end zone. Zach Ertz was a monster, putting up 22 points. Kittle broke 10 again, and Matt Breida managed 12.6 before going down in the first quarter with an ankle injury. Matt Ryan underperformed, but still managed enough points to not ruin your week. Aside from Matt Ryan, only some of the lower-priced players failed to have good games.
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A look ahead to Week 6
The strategy of chasing shootout games has certainly worked out well for us this season, to this point. With four game lines set at 52.5 and above, it should be another great week to get in on the madness. Quarterbacks are at a premium this week and rightfully so. If you are looking to have a big week during Week 6, you’ll be best served going with one of the big dogs and hoping you can stack a cheaper receiver from one of their corresponding teams.
The trend of rushing attempts decreasing this season is a real thing. Look for running backs this week on favored teams, and look for value with the passing down backs in those shootouts. There’s a good chance the positive game script will keep those running backs busy. As for defenses, it’s very difficult to predict. Expect to continue to see familiar tight ends in my picks each week, since the value at the position is so top-heavy.
As it is set every week, the prices on FanDuel and DraftKings are listed next to every player in parentheses.
Without further delay, let’s get into the picks for Week 6.
|Colin's Picks For Week 6|
|QB||Tom Brady (DK-$6,600/FD-$8,800)||Matt Ryan (DK-$6,800/FD-$8,300)||Andy Dalton (DK-$6,300/FD-$7,500)||Jameis Winston (DK-$5,800/FD-$7,400)|
|RB||Todd Gurley (DK-$10,000/FD-$9,100)||James Conner (DK-$7,700/FD-$8,200)||James White (DK-$6,900/FD-$7,100)|
|WR||Julio Jones (DK-$7,900/FD-$8,500)||Julian Edelman (DK-$6,100/FD-$6,900)||Sammy Watkins (DK-$5,400/FD-$6,400)|
|TE||Travis Kelce (DK-$7,100/FD-$7,700)||George Kittle (DK-$5,700/FD-$6,400)||Cameron Brate (DK-$3,700/FD-$4,500)|
|Defense||Vikings D (DK-$3,800/FD-$4,600)||Titans D (DK-$2,500/FD-$3,800)|
|Flex||Chris Carson (DK-$4,400/FD-$6,400)||Tyler Boyd (DK-$6,000/FD-$6,300)||Mohammed Sanu (DK-$4,800/FD-$5,800)|
Tom Brady (DK-$6,600/FD-$8,800)
Tom Brady is back. Well, he never really left. He’s just playing his way into form here, like he does every season in October. With Edelman and the supremely dangerous Josh Gordon, Brady will get to use his newest weapons against the 31st ranked passing defense in the NFL. The Chiefs just surrendered 430 yards to Blake Bortles, at home. I think it’s safe to assume Brady will have no issues moving the ball downfield in this one. With the over/under at an absurd 59.5, Brady will be very busy.
Matt Ryan (DK-$6,800/FD-$8,300)
This is at least the second straight game I’ve chosen Ryan. It’s hard not to like this matchup at home versus the worst passing defense in the NFL. This is another one of those games expected to go into the 50s with points scored, so I think Ryan is a lock for 300 yards and a couple scores. Last game was a letdown as Ryan’s team simply couldn’t stop Pittsburgh and the Falcons fell into a deep hole in the second half. With the Bucs invisible secondary making the trip to Atlanta, they’re going to have their hands full in this one.
Andy Dalton (DK-$6,300/FD-$7,500)
After a brief hiatus, Andy Dalton is back in the column. A home matchup with Pittsburgh will indeed be an important game, as the Steelers sit 1.5 games back from the division-leading Bengals. Following an improved effort at home against the Falcons, the Steelers will be looking to thwart this improved Bengals offense. Though Dalton struggled against a tricky Dolphins pass defense, the Steelers are 29th against the pass, so this might be the ideal matchup for Dalton to get the train rolling again.
Jameis Winston (DK-$5,800/FD-$7,400)
We can’t afford to go cheap with quarterbacks this week. As I stated earlier, there are four games with a total line of 52.5 and better. It is absolutely imperative to secure a good arm to headline your team this week. Winston is, in many ways, a bit of an unknown commodity thus far. This is his first official start and it’s on the road >against the 23rd best pass defense. The offense was tweaked in the offseason to promote a heavy passing attack, so the success of Fitzpatrick should carry over to Jameis. He’s definitely a risk, but if you’d like to load up on pricey running backs and receivers, you’ll need a guy like Winston to roll the dice with. If you’re playing on DraftKings this week, you will not find a better value for the price.
Todd Gurley (DK-$10,000/FD-$9,100)
Gurley returns to the column this week after putting up 31 points en-route to the second-highest total for the week amongst running backs. This week, Gurley faces the 30th ranked rushing defense in the Denver Broncos. As if it weren’t tasty enough, consider the fact Gurley should be in a positive game script throughout this game. The Broncos have been destroyed by running backs this season, so expect the carnage to continue when the best running back in football rolls into town this weekend. The value certainly isn’t great, but he’s a great anchor and the closest thing to a sure bet we have this week amongst all the shootouts.
James Conner (DK-$7,700/FD-$8,200)
James Conner had a fantastic Week 5. He led the league in running back points and really buried the Falcons early in the contest. This week, Conner has another prime matchup against the 23rd ranked rushing defense in the NFL, the Bengals. Though Conner is on the higher end of running backs this week, his usage warrants his price tag. Opportunities will be there in this matchup.
James White (DK-$6,900/FD-$7,100)
James White had 13 targets last week against the Colts. He cashed in on the opportunities and produced 77 yards and a touchdown. With White essentially serving as the full-time passing down back for the Patriots, his target rate puts him on the same level as Antonio Brown and Adam Thielen this season. He is an elite receiver disguised as a running back and his value ($7,100 on FanDuel) does not reflect that. Take the amazing value and run with it. This is going to be a huge week for pass-catchers, so if you can fill a running back slot with a high volume pass-catcher, do it ASAP.
Julio Jones (DK-$7,900/FD-$8,500)
I am calling it this week: Julio Jones will find the end zone in this one. He will erupt for about 140 and two touchdowns. Though he has been shut out of the end zone this season, the Bucs are the best target on the schedule to make this happen. I’ve yet to roster Julio to this point but this has all the makings of a vintage Julio eruption. The worst passing defense in the NFL will have an absolute nightmare of a time dealing with these wideouts. Green light your Falcons receivers this week.
Julian Edelman (DK-$6,100/FD-$6,900)
Edelman made a seamless return to the lineup last week in a blowout win against the Colts. This week, the abysmal Chiefs secondary will be dazed and confused in their game planning against this mysterious group of Patriots receivers. There are two certainties in this matchup. One is the trust Brady has with Edelman, and the second is the insane passing numbers both teams will put up in this contest. Josh Gordon might be a cheaper alternative here as well, although I prefer Edelman due to familiarity and passing volume. For the price, Edelman should be a worthy roster fill this week.
Sammy Watkins (DK-$5,400/FD-$6,400)
Sammy Watkins will be healthy this week. As I just mentioned, this game is going to feature two quarterbacks throwing the ball around 100 times. For Watkins, he is the least dangerous breakaway threat amongst the corps of regular receivers. That’s saying a lot. Tyreke Hill will be the main focus of the Pats, but Watkins is a good enough receiver to find openings and exploit imbalanced coverages. There are simply too many weapons on this Chiefs team. Watkins is going for a measly $5,400 on DraftKings. I still can’t quite understand why he’s so cheap this week. Regardless, he should get plenty of action in this barn-burner.
Travis Kelce (DK-$7,100/FD-$7,700)
Kelce had a solid five catches for 100 yards last week, versus the Jags. This week, the Patriots will have to deal with him. If last week’s 105 yard, two touchdown performance from Eric Ebron is any indication, Kelce should be running wild and free all day against the Patriots. If you can afford him this week, Kelce is a solid candidate for a big week.
George Kittle (DK-$5,700/FD-$6,400)
I’m jumping on the Kittle train again this week. With a lack of talent in the skill positions in San Francisco (Matt Breida is out), I expect Kittle to get even more work this week when his 49ers travel to Green Bay. In a game that will be difficult to see evolving otherwise, the potential negative game script will allow Kittle to run a high number of pass routes. A proven threat in the open field, Kittle might garner additional focus from the defense, but the talented tight end should get plenty of work on the day.
Cameron Brate (DK-$3,700/FD-$4,500)
In case you didn’t know, Jameis Winston loves throwing to Cameron Brate. Aside from the success in the past between these two, Brate signed a large contract in the offseason to stay in Tampa. Contracts aside, OJ Howard will be out this week, so Brate should get a decent amount of work from Winston, especially in the red zone. At $4,500 on FanDuel, Brate is a wolf in sheep’s clothing this week.
Vikings D (DK-$3,800/FD-$4,600)
The Vikings are at home against a bad O-line and a rookie quarterback. I don’t believe this warrants much of additional explaining, but the Vikings defense seemed to play a lot more indicative of their perceived reputation last week. If the fire has indeed been lit, stay in the flames this week when the Cardinals roll into town.
Titans D (DK-$2,500/FD-$3,800)
The Titans have been a solid defense this season with an improved pass rush. Though Joe Flacco has shown improvement in the passing game this season, he is prone to turning the ball over on the road. I see this as a pretty tough matchup for the Ravens and a good opportunity for the Titans defense to continue their strong play at home this week.
Chris Carson (DK-$4,400/FD-$6,400)
Chris Carson might be ceding snaps to Mike Davis, but it hasn’t mattered in the past two games he’s played. Carson is averaging 27 touches and 125 yards in his last two games, so volume might not be as big an issue as one might think. For $4,400 on DraftKings, he is an absolute bargain this week and could round out a top-heavy roster for next to nothing.
Tyler Boyd (DK-$6,000/FD-$6,300)
Boyd underperformed last week, but he still managed seven targets, which tied him for the team lead. This week’s matchup versus the Steelers should allow Boyd to work a soft matchup, much like Mohammed Sanu did last week in that number two role. Boyd’s route running and effectiveness this season have brought a level of offensive potency to this Bengals team, the likes of which we haven’t seen for years. With Joe Mixon back, the defense will be at the mercy of Dalton this week. Let’s hope the Red Rifle can pull the trigger on Boyd a lot.
Mohammed Sanu (DK-$4,800/FD-$5,800)
Sanu is quietly having a fine season. In this ideal matchup against the worst pass defense in football, Sanu will benefit from the presence of Julio and friends. Expect a moderate to high workload for Sanu, as long as this game stays close. This pricing on Sanu is another head-scratcher. I wouldn’t be shocked if Sanu had a monster week, but I would be surprised if he only played to the level of his low-price this week. This is a sneaky-good start in Week 6.
Collin is a former Army Intelligence and Logistics officer who got a little too into Football analysis. Since leaving the Army, he’s practically the Jack Ryan of football analysts. But he spends most of his days with his wife and two daughters, so he is clearly a better father than Jack Ryan.
Follow Collin on Twitter @CollinHulbert