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.
San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida is expected to miss "a week or two" after aggravating a low-ankle sprain in the Week 10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. It's mostly good news, and there was some concern Breida would have to miss a more significant amount of time. Tevin Coleman will operate as the clear lead back in Breida's absence, but Raheem Mostert suddenly climbs into fantasy consideration while he fills Breida's place on the depth chart.
Indianapolis Colts QB Jacoby Brissett (knee) will practice fully Wednesday, Nov. 13, and he'll start this weekend, barring any setbacks.
Fantasy Spin: It'll be a midrange matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. They have a good pass rush, and coming off a knee injury, Brissett is a midrange QB2.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (calf) is out of practice Wednesday, Nov. 13, but there's a chance he could practice later in the week.
Fantasy Spin: It sounds like Hilton could return against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but it's still too early to get excited. He'd be a WR2 in a so-so matchup.
The Dallas Cowboys Defense makes for a strong addition to a Week 11 fantasy lineup. The Cowboys defense has been a bit more hype than performance so far this season, but Week 11 lines up as a good one. Taking on the Detroit Lions, who could be without quarterback Matthew Stafford, the Cowboys defense shouldn't have too much of a hard time racking up fantasy points this week.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Randall Cobb has been trending up lately and could have another solid performance in Week 11 against the Detroit Lions. Facing a much stronger Vikings Defense last week, Cobb caught six passes for 106 yards and a touchdown and has now caught six passes in two straight games. He'll continue to work behind Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, but when the Cowboys offense clicks, there can be plenty of targets to go around. Cobb has the lowest floor and ceiling of all the Cowboys receivers, but he could still end up as a valuable bye week filler.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is not a strong starting option in Week 11. Even with quarterback Dak Prescott throwing 46 passes last week against the Vikings, Witten ended up with just two catches for 17 yards. He was targeted five times, so he could have done more, but his role is still a very low-upside one. The Detroit Lions Defense doesn't do much well, but one thing they are okay at is defending opposing tight ends. Witten is no more than TE2 floor play this week.
Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku (wrist) told reporters that his broken wrist feels "great" on Tuesday. Njoku has been on the injured reserve since fracturing his wrist during Week 2. He also indicated that he is very optimistic about his chances of being activated from IR when he is first eligible next week. Njoku's return would provide a big boost to a Browns offense that has not gotten much production out of the Ricky Seals-Jones/Demetrius Harris duo. Njoku is worth a waiver add if you need a tight end in your league.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Blake Jarwin does not make for a strong starting option in Week 11. Jarwin actually caught one more pass (three) than Jason Witten last week in a loss against the Vikings, but he was only able to turn that into 35 scoreless yards. The Detroit Lions don't do much in terms of defense, but one thing they are decent at is limiting opposing tight ends. Jarwin is a dart-throw in case he scores a touchdown, but most leagues will have much safer picks available on the waiver wire.
Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher is a strong fantasy choice like usual in a Week 11 matchup against the Detroit Lions. Maher gets a boost in value in fantasy leagues that offer bonus points for distance, as he and the Cowboys have shown that they are not afraid to send out the kicker for attempts well over 50 yards at times. Maher is right in the middle of K1 rankings this week, coming in as the overall K6.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper makes for an excellent fantasy starter in Week 11. Cooper and the Cowboys take on the Detroit Lions and their giving defense one week after Cooper caught 11 passes for 147 yards and a score against a much stronger Vikings secondary. Cooper should have an excellent game with an easier matchup and is currently ranked as the overall WR6 for Week 11.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup is set up for a strong game in Week 11 against the Detroit Lions. Gallup caught four passes for 76 yards and a touchdown last week, but he was targeted 10 times so he could have had a much bigger game. Facing a much softer defense this week, Gallup should have no problem at least matching what he did against the Vikings. He's a strong WR2 choice with some legitimate upside.
The Cleveland Browns Defense will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night in Week 11. Cleveland shapes up as a solid fantasy option as they face off against second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph. The Steelers have run a very conservative offense under Rudolph, which limits the team's fantasy upside. The Browns are installed as 2.5-point home favorites in a game with a low 40-point over/under, which is also good sign for their defense's chances. Cleveland's defense has been among the league leaders in sacks this season and their fierce pass rush could be an issue for the inexperienced Rudolph. Treat the Browns as a top-12 fantasy defense in Week 11.
Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper is expected to miss about a month with a sprained MCL. Hooper was leading the NFL in catches by a tight end, catching 56 passes for 608 yards and six scores. The four week timetable brings him back in Week 15 assuming everything goes well, meaning Hooper can likely be dropped in redraft formats. The Falcons will rely on their wide receivers in Hooper's absence, as the next guy up on the tight end depth chart is block-first Luke Stocker.
Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Tony Pollard remains one of the league's best handcuffs, but he is not a starting option despite that excellent upside. Pollard has received just four carries in the past two games and is firmly behind three-down back Ezekiel Elliott. The Detroit Lions Defense is generous to opposing running backs, but that will benefit starter Elliott much more than Pollard. Pollard needs to be held in all formats, but shouldn't be in a starting lineup at this point.
Atlanta Falcons TE Austin Hooper (knee) is expected to miss a month with a sprained medial collateral ligament.
Fantasy Spin: No one on the roster is a serviceable fantasy pickup. You're likely going to have to play the matchups if you have to replace Hooper. Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson has the matchup this week if he's available on waivers.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry heads into his Week 11 game with a two-game touchdown streak. The veteran slot receiver has been Cleveland's most consistent receiver, drawing double-digit targets in three straight games. He does have a tough matchup on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh just held star slot receiver Cooper Kupp without a catch in Week 10, which could be a concern for Landry this week. That being said, Landry's recent volume is tough to ignore when deciding who to start in Week 11. Treat Landry as a low-end WR2 in PPR leagues and a WR3 in standard formats.
Cleveland Browns tight end Demetrius Harris settles in as a shaky fantasy option in Week 11. Harris will face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers at home on Thursday night. The Steelers have been solid against the pass this season, although they have been susceptible to enemy tight ends. On the season, Pittsburgh is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game to the position. That being said, Harris has been mostly an afterthought in the passing attack, as he will operate as the No. 5 option at best on Thursday night. Harris has yet to catch more than three balls in a game this season and should be treated as a touchdown-dependant TE2 for Week 11.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott should have a strong bounce back week in Week 11 against the Detroit Lions. Elliott was shut down by the Minnesota Vikings in Week 10, running for just 47 yards on 20 carries. The Lions Defense does not offer that kind of performance, so Elliott and the Cowboys offense should have much less trouble getting things going on the ground. Elliott is this week's overall RB3 and is as surefire an RB1 as there is in Week 11.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is a great starting option in Week 11 fantasy lineups. Prescott is coming off a strong 397-yard performance last week and gets a Detroit Lions Defense that has been very generous to opposing quarterbacks. Prescott has emerged quite a bit this season and proved it last week when he led the offense extremely well despite Ezekiel Elliott being almost completely shut down. Dak is a top-five quarterback for Week 11.
Miami Dolphins LB Andrew Van Ginkel (foot) was the second player designated to return from the Reserve/Injured list. CB Aqib Talib (ribs) and DE Jonathan Ledbetter (ankle) will not come off IR.