Fri Oct 11 11:56am ET
By MIKE BARNER
Ryan is a top play for Week 6
Week 6 brings our first slate with four teams on a bye. It will leave us with fewer choices than we have been accustomed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still come away a winner in DFS. Here are some players to consider across the price scale, as well as a few to avoid, while compiling your entry.
Top-tier option: Matt Ryan, ATL at ARI ($6,200): There are six other quarterbacks who are priced higher than Ryan, but his upside is as high as any of them based on this matchup. He’s attempted at least 43 passes in four of five games this season and has already racked up 11 touchdown passes, including three games in which he had three scores each. Facing him will be a Cardinals’ defense that has allowed 12 touchdown passes, which is tied for second-most in the league. Ryan looks to be in line for a monster performance.
Cheap target: Gardner Minshew II, JAC vs. NO ($5,700): Minshew Mania has taken the league by storm. With top free-agent signing Nick Foles (collarbone) out, Minshew has not only helped the Jaguars remain competitive, but he’s thrived. He has produced two touchdown passes in three straight games and has yet to throw an interception through his four starts. While his yardage totals might not always be off the charts, he could provide value against a Saints defense that has allowed the 10th-highest passer rating (100.9).
Player to avoid: Joe Flacco, DEN vs. TEN ($5,700): If there is an argument to be made for playing Flacco, I don’t see it. Yes, he’s cheap. However, he’s thrown an interception in four straight games and has thrown one or no touchdown passes in four of five contests this season. The Titans have allowed only eight touchdown passes all season while recording five interceptions, so it makes much more sense to roll with Minshew considering he can be had for the same price.
Top-tier option: Mark Ingram, BAL vs. CIN ($7,300): Despite the Ravens not looking all that impressive lately, this has the makings of one of the more lopsided games of the week. The Bengals have been just awful, compiling a 0-5 record in part because of injuries, but also because of terrible offensive line play. Their defense has been torched on the ground, allowing the second-most rushing yards per game to go along with seven rushing touchdowns. No need to overthink this one, Ingram carries an incredibly high floor into this matchup.
Cheap target: Kenyan Drake, MIA vs. WAS ($5,000): As far as unappealing games go, this is about as bad as it gets. Both the Dolphins and Redskins are searching for their first (and what could be their only) win of the season. The good news is that this game still has plenty of fantasy appeal, especially with Drake. The Dolphins’ top rusher could be in line for a productive afternoon with the Redskins allowing the fifth-most rushing yards per game.
Player to avoid: LeSean McCoy, KAN vs. HOU ($5,900): Week 5 was one to forget for McCoy considering he logged a season-low 14 offensive snaps. He didn’t receive a single carry, finishing with two catches on two targets for 23 yards. He had issues with pass protection, which contributed to his limited role. Also, it doesn’t help his cause that both Damien Williams and Darrel Williams are healthy. Since he doesn’t come at much of a discount, McCoy’s limited upside doesn’t make him a viable target.
Top-tier option: Julio Jones, ATL at ARI ($7,700): Stacking Ryan with Jones could be one of the more popular duos of the weekend. Despite coming off back-to-back disappointing games, Jones had 265 yards and four touchdowns through the Falcons’ first three contests. His ceiling is about as high as it gets serving as the Falcons’ top receiver in a game against a horrible secondary, so don’t hesitate to add him to your entry.
Cheap target: DeVante Parker, MIA vs. WAS ($4,300): Run defense hasn’t been the only problem for the Redskins since they have also allowed the most passing touchdowns (13). Despite underperforming in the early part of his career, Parker has actually shown some improvement by catching seven of 10 targets for 126 yards and a touchdown with Josh Rosen starting at quarterback the last two games. Preston Williams ($4,800) will probably be a more popular option in DFS among the Dolphins’ pass catchers, making Parker someone to target in tournament play.
Player to avoid: Nelson Agholor, PHI at MIN ($5,200): Agholor posted valuable back-to-back performances in Weeks 2 and 3, catching 16 passes for 157 yards and three touchdowns. The key was that he received 23 targets during that stretch. However, he only has one reception on four targets in two games since. With Alshon Jeffery now healthy, Agholor should continue to receive limited opportunities to contribute.
Top-tier option: Austin Hooper, ATL at ARI ($5,500): Could the trio of Ryan, Jones and Hooper lead to some hefty DFS payouts? Hooper has certainly been impressive with the Falcons throwing the ball a lot, catching at least six passes in four of five games. He has received at least six targets in each contest, which is noteworthy since he only had six games with at least six targets all of last season. With the Cardinals giving up monstrous numbers to tight ends, Hooper is difficult to resist.
Cheap target: Will Dissly, SEA at CLE ($5,000): While he’s not overly cheap, Dissly makes a lot of sense at this reasonable price. After playing under 60 percent of the Seahawks’ offensive snaps in each of their first three games, he’s logged 79.4 percent and 89.2 percent of them, respectively, over the last two weeks. With at least 50-receiving yards in four straight games and four touchdowns already, he has a favorable opportunity to keep things rolling versus the struggling Browns.
Player to avoid: Delanie Walker, TEN at DEN ($4,500): It’s difficult for Walker to be productive on a reliable basis given the inconsistent play of Marcus Mariota. Walker has only received four targets across the last two games and has posted 39 receiving yards or fewer in three of five contests. Dissly has a much higher ceiling and isn’t that much more expensive, so it might not be best to take a chance on this being one of Walker’s better performances, especially since the Broncos has allowed the fifth-fewest passing yards per game.
Mike Barner has been covering fantasy sports since 2007. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, SportsLine and RotoWire. Mike was also a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Follow Mike on Twitter @rotomikebarner.
New York Jets tight end Daniel Brown caught his only target for a 20-yard touchdown in a win Sunday in Washington. Brown got the scoring going with a touchdown to cap a 75-yard opening drive touchdown, the fourth week in a row New York has found the end zone on their first drive. That would be all for Brown in the game, however, as starting tight end Ryan Griffin had a big afternoon. As a backup tight end on a disappointing offense, Brown has no fantasy value.
New York Jets wide receiver Demaryius Thomas made four catches for 44 yards in a win over the Redskins Sunday. Thomas was targeted five times as his target share continues to be wildly inconsistent from game-to-game. As the third wide receiver on the depth chart it's hard to trust Thomas in anything other than a very deep league as his targets have been too unpredictable and he's yet to find the end zone.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston completed 30-of-51 passes for 313 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions in the Bucs Week 11 loss to the Saints. Winston was unable to get out of his own way the entire afternoon, and all but sealed the win for the Saints after tossing a pick-six with just 5:07 remaining to put the Saints up by 17. Winston is currently on track to throw more than 28 interceptions on the season but has still been able to put up useful fantasy numbers. He will have a much easier matchup in Week 12 with the Falcons on deck. Fantasy owners can slot him in as a low-end QB1 for that one.
New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder made five catches for 76 yards and a touchdown against his former team Sunday. Crowder has now scored a touchdown three straight weeks as he continues to be Sam Darnold's favorite target. Crowder has had 76 or more yards in five of seven games played with Darnold healthy and has been his most trusted receiver in the red zone. Fantasy managers should continue to start Crowder with confidence with a run of good matchups still to come for the Jets.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Peyton Barber did not have a rushing attempt the entire afternoon in Week 11 but was able to save his day with a six-yard touchdown catch. Barber caught 2-of-2 targets for 11 yards on the day but was totally uninvolved after scoring late in the fourth quarter with the Bucs in a deep hole. Barber's usage has continued to decrease weekly as Ronald Jones II has become the clear No.1 option in this backfield. Fantasy owners who are still holding on to Barber can drop him now. Needless to say, he will not be a recommended start in Week 12 against the Falcons.
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson caught one of three targets for six yards and a touchdown in a win over the Redskins Sunday. Anderson has now reached the point in fantasy where he disappoints his owners even when he scores a touchdown as this is the second straight week he's made only one catch. Quarterback Sam Darnold just seems to have a better connection with Jamison Crowder and Ryan Griffin than with Anderson as Darnold has struggled to get the ball downfield to Anderson all season. He'll remain a boom-or-bust flex option in deeper leagues with more favorable matchups on the horizon.
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell carried the ball 18 times for 59 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Redskins. Bell also had two catches in the game to give him 20 total touches for the seventh time in 11 games this season. This is the second straight good-not-great performance from Bell where he saved his fantasy day with a touchdown. It's fair to wonder if the Jets start to split carries more with Bilal Powell, the latter received seven carries for the second straight week. Powell averaged six yards per carry to Bell's 3.3 so they may rely more on the fresh legs more moving forward. Despite the inefficiency from Bell, his typical volume makes him a must-start RB in fantasy.
New York Jets tight end Ryan Griffin exploded for 109 yards on five catches and scored his fourth touchdown of the season Sunday in Washington. Griffin was invisible last week in starting tight end Chris Herndon's (hamstring) only game this season. That was not the case in this one as Griffin made a major statement in the week he became the rest-of-season starter with Herndon going on IR. Griffin hasn't had much use in fantasy most of his career, but he seems to be making a real connection with Sam Darnold and is in the low-end TE1 streaming conversation next week vs Oakland.
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell carried the ball seven times for 42 yards in a win over the Redskins on Sunday. Powell added one catch for five yards as his role in the offense continues to grow. This isn't the first time we've seen the Jets use their veteran running back later in the season so Powell could very well become a usable running back in deep leagues. In standard size leagues, however, Powell's fantasy impact will likely be how much work he takes from Le'Veon Bell as this is the second straight week Powell has gotten seven carries.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II rushed for just 13 yards on four attempts, while also adding two catches for one yard in the Bucs loss to the Saints. The Bucs were down 20-0 midway through the second quarter, and that all but sealed Jones' fate for the rest of the afternoon. Fantasy owners who were looking for Jones to build off of his eight-catch, 77-yard performance in Week 10 were badly disappointed in this one, but on the positive side, Jones did out-touch Peyton Barber and looks to be the No.1 option in the Bucs backfield. Jones has a much easier matchup in Week 12 with the Falcons on deck, he will be on the RB3/4 borderline for that matchup.
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold completed 19 of 30 passes for 293 yards and a season-high four touchdowns in a win over the Redskins. This is the second week Darnold was 19-for-30 passing but this one was much better for fantasy owners with the four touchdowns. Darnold has had his rough games this season, but he's taken advantage of a soft schedule lately. He'll try and stay hot in another good matchup next week at home against the Raiders.
Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Kirk caught six of his nine targets for 41 yards in a 36-26 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 11. He also gained one yard on one carry.
Fantasy Spin: Kirk has been busy in recent weeks, catching at least six passes in three of the last four games. He can be a WR3 or flex option in PPR formats.
Detroit Lions backup quarterback Jeff Driskel did his best on a day where the Lions Defense was nowhere to be seen, but it was ultimately not enough to get the win. Driskel completed 15-of-26 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns, while also adding 51 rushing yards and a score on the ground in the Lions loss. Driskel has shown impressive mobility through two games, routinely extending plays and getting out of trouble. He was unable to play the hero in this one though. The second-year quarterback will have his easiest task of the season with the Redksins coming up in Week 12 if Matthew Stafford (back) remains sidelined, and he will definitely be a recommended fantasy option after how well he's performed against the Cowboys and the Bears. He will slot in as an upside QB2 for that matchup.
Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald caught all five of his targets for 37 yards and a touchdown in a 36-26 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 11.
Fantasy Spin: Fitzgerald scored for the first time since Week 11, and his yardage totals have been pedestrian. He's a WR3, at best.
Detroit Lions running back Bo Scarbrough took control of the Lions backfield in Week 11, rushing 14 times for 55 yards and a touchdown in the loss. Scarbrough surprisingly out-snapped both Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic and had 14-of-19 Lions rushing attempts just one day after being promoted from the practice squad. It is very possible Scarbrough reverts back to irrelevance in the coming weeks, but with how good he looked today, fantasy owners may want to get him on their rosters. Both Johnson and McKissic have not been able to take control of this backfield, so the opportunity is there for Scarbrough. The Lions will face the Redskins in Week 12, Scarbrough will slot in as a mid-range RB3 in that matchup.
The New Orleans Saints Defense bounced back tremendously in Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. New Orleans recorded two sacks and four interceptions, one of which was returned 55 yards for a touchdown. The Saints took advantage of a mistake-prone Jameis Winston, as four different defenders tallied an interception. They'll take on the Carolina Panthers in Week 12 led by quarterback Kyle Allen, who just threw four interceptions of his own against the Atlanta Falcons. New Orleans will be an appealing option once again.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones had a big day in the Lions Week 11 loss to the Cowboys, catching 4-of-5 targets for 43 yards and two scores on the day. Jones proved to be a useful fantasy piece even with backup quarterback Jeff Driskel under center for the second consecutive week. The Lions did get their running game going somewhat in this matchup, and Jones did see the same amount of targets as Danny Amendola and Kenny Golladay, so this likely won't keep up. The chemistry between Jones and Driskel is apparent though. Jones will slot in as a WR3 in Week 12 when the Lions travel to Washington to take on the Redskins.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith was targeted once but failed to catch a pass in Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Injuries and inconsistency have plagued the 23-year-old, who hasn't exceeded three catches or 50 receiving yards in four games played. He's too risky to trust right now ahead of a Week 12 matchup with the Carolina Panthers.
New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz enjoyed a great game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 11. Lutz contributed to the Saints victory by making both field-goal attempts, including a long of 44 yards, and all four extra-points. The 25-year-old has now made five field goals in a row after missing three in Weeks 7 and 8 combined. Lutz should continue to have success, given that the Saints offense seems to be back on track. He'll take on the Carolina Panthers in Week 12.
Arizona Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake rushed 16 times for 67 yards and caught six of his seven targets for 13 yards in a 36-26 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 11.
Fantasy Spin: Drake has tallied at least 16 touches in all three games since joining Arizona, and David Johnson didn't touch the ball at all against the 49ers. Drake looks like the No. 1 back in Arizona, and he should be a RB2 the rest of the way if his current usage continues.