Week 6 DFS Breakdown
By: Nick Zylak
Le’Veon Bell ($6,400) vs Cowboys
Taking price into account, Bell is the top RB play on the slate (assuming DJ plays…or else that prize goes to Edmonds). Bell has been a true workhorse this season, with reception totals of 6|10|4|7…and touch totals of 23|31|22|22. The Jets are home in this one, and finally get Darnold back…so I really think this game is going to be closer than people think. Darnold should be a full go (since he’s not really coming off an injury), and the Jets desperately need him back. Their offense has been horrible this season, producing just one total green zone touch, and and an atrocious 9.8 points per game. What exactly was Bell expected to do? His offense couldn’t even get first downs, never mind get close to the goal line. Despite being in the worst possible situation, Bell currently ranks 12th in DK PPG. If the Jets can improve the offense just a little bit, then Bell is going to smash. He’s about 1K too cheap, and makes for one of the strongest plays in both cash games and GPP’s.
Chris Carson ($6,000) @ Browns
Carson is currently questionable with a shoulder injury, but I haven’t seen anything that suggests he might not play. If he’s out, then just fire up Penny. Assuming Carson plays though, he’s a solid option. The Browns rank 23rd in rush DVOA, and 29th in yards per carry allowed to RB’s. Carson has over 20 fantasy points in 3/5 weeks, and has seen more than 15 touches in every game. He also ranks first on the team with 6 green zone touches (3 more than any other player), and I shouldn’t need to remind you what Breida and Coleman did to them on Monday night. Carson is a strong play for a reasonable price.
Mark Ingram ($6,600) vs Bengals
Mark Ingram is one of the top tournament plays on the slate, and he makes a strong cash game play as well. His floor is a bit lower than we would like in cash (becasue of the zero target possibility), but not this week. The Ravens are currently 12 point home favorites, and have the highest team total on the main slate at 29.75. So Ingram is a massive home favorite RB, and his team is projected to post the highest score on the week. But the good news is just getting started. Ingram also leads the team with 13 green zone touches, while the Bengals rank 26th in rush defense DVOA, 31st in YPC, have allowed a 125/636/6 stat line (5.09 YPC) to RB’s, and the most receiving yards to the position. Ingram also has a score in 3/5 weeks, joining CMC and Aaron Jones as the only players with more than 5 rushing TD’s. You should always be careful about assuming game script, especially in cash, and especially with a RB that needs the right game script…but this week is just such a smash spot. The Bengals are now down to their third string left tackle, and Boyd is likely going to get shut down by Marlon Humphrey. The Bengals are going to struggle to move the ball on offense, and there are going to be plenty of red zone touches for Ingram to convert. He might feel a bit over priced at 6.6K, but if he were closer to 6K then everyone would play him. Ingram is a sharp play this week, so let others fade him.
George Kittle ($5,200) @ Rams
Kittle is too cheap. This is likely the first week I’ll be playing him this season, so I’m sure he’ll post a dud, but how on earth is he only 5.2K? The only concern that you could possibly bring is that the 49ers have suffered a number of injuries to their blocking game. Their down multiple lineman, and their FB, so it’s possible that they ask Kittle to block more than usual. The thing is, this isn’t going to be as much of a cake walk as they had on Monday night, so they’re going to have to throw the ball…and Kittle has the best matchup on the team. The Rams have been an attackable matchup over the middle of the field, so if they decide to feature Kittle, then he’s going to have a good week. Also, it means next to nothing, but Kittle’s last 4 games against the Rams have produced the following stat lines:
Update: Kittle now has a groin injury. It’s become a situation to avoid for me
Austin Hooper ($5,000) @ Cardinals
This has the makings of a 2 TE week, which isn’t common. The flow chart says play any TE playing Arizona, especially if that TE has any sort of real role on the offense. Well, Hooper ranks 6th in air yards, 3rd in receiving yards, and second in receptions among TE’s. Oh and he’s only 5K. In fact, let’s talk about that. Hooper is averaging 8.4 targets and 17.5 DK PPG this season. That’s the same production as Allen Robinson, Deandre Hopkins and Julio Jones. Robinson is on bye, but Hopkins and Julio cost 7.4K and 8K…not 5K. He absolutely has a lower floor becasue he’s a TE…but his worst game on the season is 6 targets against the Eagles, and even that might be enough to pay off against this defense. You need to play Hooper in cash (given his expected ownership), and I’d strongly consider playing multiple TE’s this week (Assuming we don’t get both DJ and Gurley sitting…since that would lead to enough value where I’d probably just play Hooper and use the FLEX spot on a third RB).
Malcolm Brown ($4,300) vs 49ers | Chase Edmonds ($4,600) vs Falcons
Brown and Edmonds have the chance to be very strong plays this week if one of Gurley or DJ are out. As of writing this, both are questionable, with DJ looking like a true game time decision. We’re going to need to watch both of these situations closely, and hopefully we get some clarity on this situation before 1:00 lock. If Gurley misses, the Brown will take over as the lead back, and top red zone option…while Henderson would likely take over some passing downs. If DJ misses, then Edmonds would be thrust into a 20 touch role in one of the best RB matchups. Edmonds would be the preferred play if both miss, but both would be top end salary saving options. The risk with Edmonds is that the game starts at 4:05…so I’m hoping we know well before then. If we don’t then he’ll likely be lower owned, but with the obvious risk of disappointing is DJ ends up being active. At the end of the day, we’ll just have to wait and see with these two.
As intriguing as it might be to pay down at QB this week…I wouldn’t do it. There are some decent cheap options at skill positions, and it’s not like the high end QB’s are all that expensive. Mahomes ($7,500) is still under priced for his ceiling (and he’s one of the QB’s you can, and should, play naked in cash), Matt Ryan ($6,400) has thrown for over 300 yards in every single game…and now faces the Cardinals, Watson ($6,700) has monster upside in that game environment, Kyler Murray ($6,500) has finally started running the football…and he might get Kirk back this week, then finally Lamar Jackson ($6,900) remains one of the highest floor and ceiling QB’s in the league. I just don’t see the reason for paying down for someone who could post numbers close to these guys. They aren’t all going to bust, so I’d pick the one you feel best about, or that fits the rest of your roster the best.
Top Game Stacks
Texans @ Chiefs (55 Point Total)
This game currently has the highest over/under on the week, and rightfully so. Houston just scored 53 points on their own last week, and the Chiefs almost never score less than 26 points at home. There’s a very real chance that both sides get well into the 30’s, and if that happens, you’ll want stacks of this one. I’ve said for a few weeks not that Mahomes ($7,500) is under priced, and that remains true. He comes with one of the highest floor/ceiling combos we’ve ever seen at the QB position, so I’d want to be overweight on him, even at his price. Not many QB’s have 400/5 in their range of outcomes, but that’s well within his. The interesting part about this game is the number of ways you can stack it. Sammy Watkins is expected to miss, but Hill is expected to play. That leaves Hill ($6,900)/Robinson ($5,900)/Pringle ($3,500)/Hardman ($5,300)/Kelce ($7,000)/Damien Williams ($5,600)/McCoy ($5,600) as potential pairings with Mahomes. Because of this, you could realistically make this game your center piece, alter your stacks in different ways, and just differentiate around that. It’s absolutely possible to make 150 different game stacks of this one. There’s also a case to be made for just playing Mahomes naked. I rarely recommend doing this, but Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are the exceptions. Mahomes could easily post the top QB line on the slate, while no Chief skill position player posts a need to have score. And since it’s tough to figure out who the TD’s will go to, you could gain your exposure the the KC side by playing Mahomes and moving on.
As for Houston, they’re a bit more condensed. Fuller ($6,000) finally went off last week, and while part of the spike was a result of him getting unlucky in nearly every other game, a lot of it was due to the coverage. Hopkins ($7,400) was doubled on every play last week…even seeing triple coverage at times. I can’t imagine the Chiefs will look at last week and try to implement what ATL did (the did give up 53 after all), so Hopkins should be in line for a bounce back game. Fuller might come at elevated ownership, but it won’t be anything crazy. His price went up enough that there’s an actual opportunity cost in playing him now. Carlos Hyde ($4,400) has the best matchup on the team. KC can’t stop anyone on the ground, and Houston has been willing to give him 20+ touches when the matchup and game script work out. If you want to fade this game, then it’s not a terrible idea to play Hyde at next to 0 ownership. After all, points will be scored, and if you play Hyde, then you could capture multiple TD’s while others chase duds in the passing game. Hopkins is my favorite piece on this team, followed by Fuller, then Hyde. Watson ($6,700) is one of the top QB’s on the slate as well. I would definitely pair him with someone though. And that someone needs to be Hopkins or Fuller…or both. I’d leave Duke alone…his role is just too small right now.
Falcons @ Cardinals (52 Point Total)
I expect this to be the second most popular game to stack. The Cardinals are a mess on defense, and the Falcons haven’t exactly been much better. Especially with Desmond Trufant already declared out, there’s really nothing scary about the Falcons secondary. This game just sets up perfectly for a shootout. Atlanta much prefers passing to running, and that’s exactly how you’re supposed to attack Arizona. They want to use Hooper ($5,000) and Sanu ($4,500) short, while featuring Julio ($8,000) and Ridley ($5,700) on intermediate to deep routes…well Arizona is playing another game without Peterson. As for Arizona, the Falcons have allowed the second most points per game at 30.4, grade out 6th worst in pass coverage, and just allowed Watson to throw for 426 yards and 5 TD’s…while running for another 47. Oh and both Vegas and my model project this game to finish within a field goal. Christian Kirk ($5,200) has been practicing, and if he returns, then this game becomes even more appealing. If he’s in, then you can target both him and Fitz ($6,100) in the receiving game. David Johnson ($7,600) is fighting through a back injury. He looks like he’s going to play, but if he’s out, then Chase Edmonds ($4,600) is a lock button play. Kyler Murray ($6,500) can be played naked, or in a stack with these guys. He carries 100 rushing yard upside, and they spread the ball around enough where he, like Mahomes, could post the top score without one of his skill players doing the same. My favorite plays for each team are listed, in order, below.
1) Chase Edmonds (If DJ is OUT)
2) Kyler Murray
3) Christian Kirk (If active)
4) Larry Fitzgerald
5) David Johnson (If active)
6) Chase Edmonds (If DJ is IN)
1) Austin Hooper
2) Matt Ryan
3) Calvin Ridley
4) Julio Jones
5) Devonta Freeman
6) Mohamed Sanu
Seattle @ Cleveland (46 Point Total)
The last time Odell was $6,800 was in week 13 of 2014 (his rookie season). He posted a 7/90 stat line, then 4 consecutive games of 33+ DK points. He’s been terrible this season (as has the entire offense), but I don’t think I could forgive myself for fading him at that price. This game is in Cleveland, Vegas thinks it’s going to be close, Seattle is most attackable through the air (19th in pass defense DVOA and 26th YPA allowed), and this kid is too talented to have 4 total receptions over the last two weeks. The Browns are not a well coached team, which is leading to them misusing their players (including Odell). But they’re 2-3 after getting embarrassed on Monday Night Football, so they need this one. This isn’t a dream matchup, and I get it if you want no part of Odell…but you can’t honestly tell me he should be $6,800.
You don’t need to make a game stack when playing Odell. You can play him on his own and attack other games. But if you think the Browns put up points, then it’s not a bad idea to have pieces from Seattle. The top option is Chris Carson ($6,000). I talked about him above, so refer to that…but he would make sense in multiple game scripts. If Carson scores multiple times then it means the Browns need to lean on the pass. Also if Odell scores a few long TD’s, then Seattle might need to increase their pace, leading to more potential scoring opportunities…and receptions. You could also consider stacking Wilson ($6,600) with one of his pass catchers. Lockett ($6,400) is the top option, since he’s dominating the target share. Dissly ($4,900) is fine, but with so many TE’s in smash spots, he needs a monster score.
Dallas @ NY Jets (45 Point Total)
This is more of a mini stack than a full game stack, but I like the idea of pairing one of Amari Cooper ($7,000) or Michael Gallup ($5,600) with Le’Veon Bell ($6,400). Bell is a perfectly strong play on his own, but you can tap into a potential back and fourth game script by running him back with a pass catcher. I wouldn’t include Zeke ($8,500) in the stack. The Jets are a difficult matchup for RB’s, his receiving game involvement is down from last season, and he needs to post a really strong game to pay off his massive salary.Also, if Zeke goes off, then it likely means the Jets ran fewer plays, and that the Cowboys took an early lead. Pairing Bell with Cooper or Gallup could mean that the Jets are forcing Dallas to throw, leading to potential quick scores, or turnovers as well. It’s not that Zeke and Bell can’t go off, it’s just that if Bell goes off, it’s more likely that one of Cooper or Gallup had strong days as well.
Top Low Owned Plays
Byron Pringle ($3,500): 2% Owned (Only if Watkins misses)
Damion Willis ($3,000): 1% Owned
Adrian Peterson ($4,500): 5% Owned
Damien Williams ($5,700): 6% Owned
Gerald Everett ($3,600): 5% Owned (Only if Cooks is out)
49ers ($2,700): 3% Owned
QB: Play the obvious guys