NFL DFS Picks Week 6
This week we lost the Thursday night game to a COVID-related reshuffle of the schedule and we also see four teams on bye for the first time this season. As I write this on Friday morning the Colts are dealing with some positive test results from overnight and the Patriots have closed their facility already this morning due to another positive test in that organization. At the moment, both games are a go, but in 2020 everything is a fluid situation and the NFL has not been shy about rescheduling games. Should one or both of these be pulled from the Sunday slate, even more ownership will be concentrated in the slate’s projected shootouts in Minnesota, Jacksonville, and Tampa Bay. That means targeting an ugly game on paper could be a nice leverage spot in tournaments. Remember, Philadephia @ Pittsburgh went over the total by more than three touchdowns last week and the week’s top scorer, Chase Claypool, was a key to victory in more than a few winning lineups.
Every week this article breaks down a handful of players at each position to consider for your FanDuel and DraftKings cash and tournament lineups. While some of the plays may be on the safer side, you’ll also find some high risk-high reward options if you want to swing for the fences. Remember, even in tournaments there’s often no need to get super-weird and roster a lineup full of contrarian plays. Instead, look to build a strong core with upside and then identify a player or two that you think most of the field will be off and has a chance to have a big day.
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers (GPPs): Rodgers was without top target Davante Adams in Week 3 and still posted 283 passing yards and three scores, much of it (146 yards and a touchdown) coming from second-year wideout Allen Lazard. With Lazard lost to a core muscle injury and Adams still out, Rodgers torched Atlanta for 327 yards and four touchdowns on Monday night, ahead of the Packers Week 5 bye. Green Bay’s offensive line has been excellent in pass protection to date and through four games Rodgers is averaging better than 300 passing yards per contest and has tossed 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions while completing over 70% of his passes. Adams is expected to return in full this week and Green Bay may have found something in the third-year tight end Robert Tonyan. The matchup against Tampa Bay looks worse on paper than it is in reality, with the Bucs among the five stingiest in fantasy points allowed to the quarterback position. Those numbers are bolstered a bit by matchups against Nick Foles, rookie Justin Herbert, and Jeff Driskel over the past three weeks. That’s a far cry from facing future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers playing at a high level.
Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions (Cash or GPPs): I’m normally not a big fan of playing Stafford on the road, but the matchup against Jacksonville is tough to get away from. Detroit has a Vegas-implied total of 28 points entering the weekend and the Jags have allowed 30 points or more now in four straight games, and over 300 passing yards in each of their last two. Coming off the bye the Lions receiving corps, and most importantly, Kenny Golladay is at full strength. Detroit has also yet to get things going on the ground and through four games is passing on over 60% of their offensive snaps.
Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan (Cash or GPPs): Through five weeks the Falcons and Vikings are both in the bottom four in total fantasy points allowed per game, making the quarterbacks for both teams strong plays on Sunday’s main slate. To date, Atlanta has allowed at least 30 real-life points in four of their first five games, while Minnesota has allowed 30 points or more in three of their first five. Dalvin Cook looks likely to miss this week, which may mean Cousins has to shoulder even more of the offensive load for Minnesota. I like him slightly more than Ryan, who looks like he will be without Julio Jones, but both quarterbacks are top five options.
Others to Consider
Tom Brady – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (GPPs): He’s the other side of the Aaron Rodgers play, but a banged-up group of pass-catchers that looks like it may be without Chris Godwin again and the presence of an elite corner in the Packers Jaire Alexander makes him the less attractive of the two.
Daniel Jones – New York Giants (GPPs): He’s only in play in tournaments, but the Giants offense showed some signs of life last week and will host an atrocious Washington team on Sunday. The price is right and there’s the possibility that these two mediocre offenses can turn this into a shootout by attacking each other’s very weak secondaries.
Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers (Cash or GPPs): Injuries among the pass catchers in Green Bay have resulted in at least 15 carries and 4 targets, not to mention a score, for Jones in each of the Packers first four games. While the touchdown pace (6 on the season) isn’t sustainable the way he’s being used in the offense gives him massive touchdown equity each week. Tampa Bay has been among the best run defenses in the league so far this season, but they’ve already allowed the fourth most (286) receiving yards to the running back position so Jones is in a position to do damage either way.
James Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars (Cash or GPPs): Robinson has seen 21 and 18 touches, respectively the last two weeks, but his price has been held largely in check due to his failure to find the end zone. Hitting paydirt seems like a strong possibility this week against a Detroit team that has surrendered six touchdowns to running backs and is allowing a league-worst 170.3 rushing yards per game to the position on 5.2 yards per carry so far this season. It’s also worth noting that Jacksonville may be without top wideout D.J. Chark this week, and with Chark sidelined in Week 3, Robinson played a prominent role in the passing game, catching six balls for 83 yards.
David Montgomery – Chicago Bears (Cash or GPPs): Montgomery is a bit of a plodder, but with the injury, to Tarik Cohen, he’s become a plodder with an outsized role in the Bears passing game. Over the past two weeks, with Cohen out, Montgomery has totaled 10 catches for 60 yards on 14 targets and draws a Carolina defense that has already allowed 288 receiving yards to running backs on the season. His 3.9 yards per carry will almost certainly see an uptick as well this week, with Carolina allowing 5.4 yards per carry on the season and having just surrendered 121 rushing yards to Todd Gurley last week on just 14 carries.
Others to consider
Ronald Jones – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (GPPs): Tampa Bay’s once-mighty legion of pass catchers is all sorts of banged up, and in the meantime, Jones has run for over 100 yards in back-to-back games and has tacked on nine catches for 36 yards over the stretch as well. The Packers are allowing 4.8 yards per carry to running backs on the season and have already coughed up five rushing scores to the position.
Myles Gaskin – Miami Dolphins (GPPs): It’s a solid spot for Gaskin with Miami favored by 10 points at home. The Jets have already allowed nine rushing scores over their first five games and there’s nothing that suggests this team is going to get better anytime soon. The risk with Gaskin is that this game turns into a blowout, and with the Dolphins looking like a contender so far he could find himself sitting in favor of Matt Breida by the time the fourth quarter rolls around.
Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos (Cash or GPPs): The matchup with New England is terrible, but after Melvin Gordon got popped for a DUI on Wednesday night, he may be forced to sit this week. That would leave Lindsay, who hasn’t played since suffering a Week 1 toe injury, with the backfield to himself. If Gordon is inactive he should have the lion’s share of the backfield touches to himself this week and checks in as a top value play.
Davante Adams – Green Bay Packers (Cash or GPPs): Adams is back and practicing in full this week, which means he’s a virtual lock for double-digit targets. The Packers draw a Tampa Bay defense that is allowing nearly a 71% completion rate to opposing quarterbacks and has one of the highest Vegas-implied point totals on that slate at 28.5. Adams is the focal point of this passing game, and the Bucs lack any sort of true shutdown corner that can match up with him.
Adam Thielen – Minnesota Vikings (Cash or GPPs): Over the past two games, Thielen has 17 receptions for 194 yards and three touchdowns on 23 targets. It’s not surprising given that he’s faced the porous pass defenses of Seattle and Houston in back to back weeks. On Sunday he draws his third choice matchup in a row against an Atlanta defense allowing 27.78 fantasy points per game to wide receivers, the seventh-worst mark on the season. He likely gets a small bump in usage with the expected absence of Dalvin Cook and should have no trouble finding running room throughout the Atlanta secondary.
A.J. Brown – Tennessee Titans (GPPs): While Tennessee is playing on a short week, they draw a very soft Texans defense and are another team with a Vegas-implied team total north of 28 points. Brown seems to have emerged from Tuesday night without any setbacks from his previous injury, and should be able to build on the 7-82-1 stat line he posted against Buffalo. While the yardage numbers haven’t been gaudy for wide receivers facing Houston, they have allowed six touchdowns to the position already and the status of both Corey Davis and Adam Humphries is still a bit up in the air.
Olamide Zaccheus – Atlanta Falcons (Cash Punt or GGPs): Zaccheus disappointed in a good spot last week with Julio Jones out, but his price has barely moved across the major sites. If Julio sits again I think you can go back to the well here, as he’ll draw a Vikings defense that has been bottom five in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers.
Others to Consider
Kenny Golladay – Detroit Lions (GPPs): Golladay draws a favorable matchup with a weak Jacksonville defense this week, as noted concerning Matthew Stafford above. While he’s a fine play across the industry given his role and matchup, his DraftKings price is absurd. For a frame of reference, he checks in as the seventh-most expensive wide receiver on FanDuel, at $7,200, while he’s just the fifteenth-most wideout on DraftKings, just ahead of guys like Jamison Crowder and Justin Jefferson.
Allen Robinson – Chicago Bears (GPPs): Offensive opportunities are highly concentrated in Chicago, with Robinson receiving 39 targets over the last three games. He’s turned them into 27 receptions for 314 yards and two touchdowns and the Bears have an implied team total north of three touchdowns.
Terry McLaurin – Washington Football Team (Cash or GPPs): Assuming Kyle Allen is under center, McLaurin has quite a bit of upside against a very bad Giants defense. As I noted last week, Allen thought nothing of peppering D.J. Moore with targets in Carolina last season, and McLaurin is unquestionably the most talented offensive weapon on the Washington roster.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling – Green Bay Packers (GPPs): You’ve probably figured out by now that I don’t have much love for the Tampa Bay secondary this week. MVS makes for an intriguing and inexpensive tournament dart throw due to his big-play ability and the likelihood he sees plenty of one-on-one coverage with Adams back on the other side.
The tight end position is a dumpster fire this week with Travis Kelce and Dalton Shultz off the main slate, Darren Waller and Hunter Henry on a bye, and Noah Fant questionable to play in a bad matchup. Additionally, the Packers bye week gave FanDuel and DraftKings time to juice the price on Robert Tonyan, who now checks in as the second and sixth most expensive tight end on the two sites respectively. Those six players represent half of the top-12 tight ends in fantasy production so far this season.
Marc Andrews – Baltimore Ravens (Cash or GPPs): Andrews is one of the safer plays on the slate facing a Philadelphia defense that has been bottom five against tight ends this season and has already surrendered five touchdowns to the position. He’s not a volume pass catcher and Baltimore is throwing only 51% of the time, but Andrews is tied for second in the league in red-zone targets across all positions with nine. There’s double-digit touchdown upside here if Philadelphia can keep this game competitive.
Jonnu Smith – Tennessee Titans (Cash or GPPs): Smith’s price is starting to rise across the industry, but it’s hard to argue with the consistency we’re seeing from him. The touchdown pace is completely unsustainable (five through four games), but he has at least four receptions in every game and the 5-40-2 stat line on seven targets from Tuesday night is encouraging, especially with A.J. Brown back in the mix. Monitor the news heading into Sunday, but as long as Corey Davis remains out, Smith should continue to function as the number two option in the passing game for the Titans.
Irv Smith Jr. – Minnesota Vikings (Cash Punt or GPPs): Smith can be had for a song across the industry, and that’s exactly what makes him the type of cheap dart throw that makes sense this week. Through five games we’ve seen each of Olabisi Johnson, Justin Jefferson, and Smith function as the number two target behind Adam Thielen, but Smith is coming off a four catch, 64-yard night against Seattle, and the matchup with the Falcons poses the same type of shootout potential. There’s zero safety here, but the price tag makes the risk palatable.
Others to Consider
Evan Engram – New York Giants (GPPs): The matchup with Washington is outstanding, as they’ve already allowed five touchdowns to tight ends on the season and are surrendering nearly 70 yards per game to the position so far. Less outstanding is the fact that Engram saw just two targets last week in a game where Daniel Jones threw the ball over 30 times. Perhaps his usage in the run game, where he scored a touchdown to save his fantasy day last week, is a sign of things to come, but he needs more than two carries and two targets to be worthy of consideration. If there’s a place for New York to figure out how to consistently integrate Engram into the offense, this is it. Sterling Shepard appears to be out for one more week so the opportunity should be there.
Eric Ebron – Pittsburgh Steelers (GPPs): Ebron has seen five, seven, and six targets over the Steelers last three games respectively. He’s also eclipsed 40 yards receiving in each of those contests and does have a touchdown under his belt as well. The Browns are one of just nine teams that have allowed more than 300 receiving yards to tight ends on the season and they’ve also be tagged for four touchdowns. Ebron comes into the week battling a hand injury, which isn’t great for a guy who’s struggled with drops at times, but he does seem to have carved out a consistent role in the offense.
Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens sacked Joe Burrow seven times last week and took a fumble back for a touchdown. This week they face Philadelphia’s suspect offensive line and the quarterback that’s been sacked the second-most times behind Burrow’s 22 times is Carson Wentz (19). Wentz might take over as the league leader in sacks taken by the end of the first half.
Miami Dolphins: They will likely be popular, but the Dolphins are a midpriced defense across the industry and are hosting a woeful Jets team that just jettisoned arguably their best offensive skill position player. Miami has also recorded 11 sacks over their last three games. Only three teams have recorded more over that span and the Jets offensive line has plenty of issues these days.
Good luck this week!