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.
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone thinks the team relied on the pass too much in quarterback Nick Foles' return in Week 11 against the Colts. Jacksonville set a franchise record for the fewest rushing attempts in a game with nine -- six of them coming during the first half. Running back Leonard Fournette had five first-half carries and only rushed the ball three times in the second half. "That was my mistake. That was a big mistake by me. . . . I thought we needed to score points in a quicker fashion," Marrone said, via the teams website. "Thats what led to the increased pass attempts. Thats on me as a head coach. We need to be more balanced moving forward." Thankfully Fournette was heavily involved in the passing game as well, but that's two straight disappointments on the ground for him. He should be able to bounce back as a solid RB1 in Week 12 against the Titans.
The New England Patriots officially activated left tackle Isaiah Wynn (toe) from the Injured Reserve on Tuesday, according to a source. Wide receiver Gunner Olszewski (ankle, hamstring) was placed on Injured Reserve in a corresponding move. Wynn is set to return for Week 12 against the Cowboys, which will be a big boost for New England's struggling offensive line. While Wynn won't be a guaranteed upgrade on Marshall Newhouse, it's a good sign after the Patriots afforded Tom Brady little time to throw in the Week 11 win over the Eagles. Dallas' defensive front will be another tough test, so hopefully Wynn will give Brady better protection on his blind side.
Indianapolis Colts running back Jordan Wilkins (ankle) and rookie wide receiver Parris Campbell (hand) were both listed as limited participants in Tuesday's estimation of their walkthrough practice. Wilkins was inactive in Week 11 but looks to be on track to play in Week 12 on Thursday against the Texans. It's notable with Marlon Mack (hand) out up to a month, but Jonathan Williams remains the more likely candidate for early down work on Thursday with Mack sidelined. Nyheim Hines should maintain his role as a third-down pass-catcher. Williams is the running back to target off waivers if you're in need, although both Williams and Wilkins could wind up sharing touches. Campbell is making progress but isn't expected to return until next month. He's a fine dynasty stash, but we wouldn't expect much fantasy production from him in redraft leagues the rest of the way.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (calf) and tight end Eric Ebron (ankle) both remained sidelined for Tuesday's estimation of their practice report. The Colts aren't ruling Hilton out for a return on Thursday night against the Texans, but fantasy owners would like to see him at least get in a limited session on Wednesday. While he's been out since Week 8, Hilton would have high-end WR2 upside against a weak Texans secondary if he were to return this week. He's been notorious for having huge games against Houston in the past. Ebron looks to be in danger of sitting out on the short week. If that were to happen, Jack Doyle would have low-end TE1 appeal after throwing up a donut in Week 11. Zach Pascal has been the team's primary receiver in Hilton's absence, but he's a low-upside flex in this run-first offense.
Dallas Cowboys WR Noah Brown (knee) recently underwent a second surgery on his knee and is not expected to play this season. Brown is expected to be ready for the start of the offseason program, however.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion, knee), WR DIontae Johnson (concussion) and DE Olasunkanmi Adeniyi (concussion) were officially placed in the league's concussion protocol Tuesday, Nov. 19.
Los Angeles Rams WR Brandin Cooks (concussion) is expected to return from a two-game absence and play in Week 12 versus the Baltimore Ravens.
Fantasy Spin: Such news in previous years would have been cause for celebration, but Cooks' poor production this season - mostly due to the regression Jared Goff has experienced - makes the 26-year-old receiver a risky fantasy starter, especially given the matchup. There's also the matter of Cooks' troubling history with concussions, and the fact one more in 2019 could put his season - if not his career - in some jeopardy.
Arizona Cardinals RB Chase Edmonds (hamstring) was held out of practice again Tuesday, Nov. 19.
Fantasy Spin: It was likely a light session with the upcoming bye week, suggesting Edmonds isn't anywhere close to a return. Kenyan Drake appears to have taken control of the backfield for now, but we'll see if David Johnson can use the time off to close the gap and earn back some touches.
Indianapolis Colts CB Pierre Desir (hamstring) is expected to be a game-time decision for Week 12 against the Houston Texans on Thursday, Nov. 21.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill (hamstring) will have an MRI on his hamstring in the next day or so, and there will be a better timetable after that.
Fantasy Spin: The Chiefs are on a bye in Week 12, and it's possible that he could avoid missing time. However, hamstrings are usually multiple-week issues.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (hamstring) will undergo an MRI exam on his hamstring in the next day or so, according to a source. At that point they'll have a better idea for a timeline. Hill missed both of his targets on Monday night against the Chargers before leaving the game and never returning, so it was a tough pill to swallow for his fantasy owners. The good news is that the Chiefs are on their bye in Week 12, so Hill may not end up missing any games as long as his MRI yields positive results. If he's forced to miss time, Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson would once again be attractive flexes in deeper leagues behind Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins.
Arizona Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds (hamstring) was not seen at the portion of practice open to the media on Tuesday. The Cardinals are going on their bye in Week 12, so Edmonds will have another week to rest up. He's been out since Oct. 27 against the Saints. In the meantime, the Cardinals signed Kenyan Drake, and he has now leaped an injured David Johnson on the running back depth chart. Edmonds could get some run in Week 13 if he's ready and DJ is still slowed by his injuries, but Edmonds is still unlikely to have any standalone value the rest of the way. He can be left to the waiver wire in most leagues.
Free-agent TE Orson Charles (Broncos) re-signed with the Denver Broncos on an undisclosed deal Tuesday, Nov. 19. FB Andy Janovich (arm) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (calf) can play Thursday, Nov. 21, if he receives medical clearance from doctors and clearance from the team, according to head coach Frank Reich.
Fantasy Spin: It's still pretty questionable with the short week. Hilton would be a WR2 against the Houston Texans.
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said he's "excited about the potential return" of rookie running back Benny Snell Jr. (knee) for Week 12 against the Bengals. Snell has missed the last two games and will be evaluated in practice this week. The 21-year-old has 28 rushing attempts for 118 yards in five games this season. He could have a role in the team's backfield if he returns this weekend if James Conner (shoulder) remains sidelined, but Jaylen Samuels would still likely see most of the touches as Pittsburgh's lead back. Snell is only worth stashing in deeper leagues if you own either Conner or Samuels.
Retired tight end Rob Gronkowski won't rule out a return to football in the future, but he has no plans to come back in 2019. If he had planned to return to football this season, Gronk would have to do so by Nov. 30, per league rules. The Patriots offense could surely use Gronkowski on the field this year, as they predictably haven't gotten much production from the tight end position without him. The combination of Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo and Benjamin Watson has left a lot to be desired. The veteran Watson has become the primary pass-catching tight end of late, but he's a low-end TE2 for fantasy purposes. It looks like the Pats will continue to roll with Watson for the foreseeable future.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (knee) is expected to play in Week 12 against the New England Patriots. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones himself is the source here, who said he expects his top wide receiver to play in a huge game against the 9-1 Patriots. Cooper played on just 55 percent of offensive snaps in Week 11, but Jones stating this early in the week that Cooper will play could be good news. Fantasy owners should keep a close eye on practice reports this week to see how limited Cooper is leading up to Sunday.
The Miami Dolphins waived running back Mark Walton on Tuesday morning. Walton was already suspended for violating the league's personal conduct policy, but the Dolphins were, "made aware of a police matter earlier this morning regarding Walton" according to Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier. Kalen Ballage will continue as the lead back for the Dolphins presumably for the rest of the season. Walton, still only 22 years old, may already be running out of chances in the NFL.
Cleveland Browns FS Morgan Burnett (Achilles') was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Nov. 19.