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.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (back) missed another practice on Wednesday, but he wants to play again this season when he's cleared by doctors. However, Detroit is currently 3-6-1 and has very little chance of making the playoffs, so it's not like the Lions will rush their starting quarterback back. Stafford is expected to miss his third straight game after his streak of 136 straight starts was broken two weeks ago. He doesn't when it'll be, he just wants to make it back this season. Stafford was second in the NFL at the time of his injury with 19 touchdowns, and he was leading the NFL in 20-plus yard completions (41). He remains week-to-week, and fantasy owners must come to grips with the fact that he might not help them again in 2019. Jeff Driskel will remain the starter while Stafford is out.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (toe) was limited in practice on Wednesday. Adams will be fine to play on Sunday night against the 49ers. The 26-year-old has seen a healthy 21 targets in his two games since returning from turf toe, and he went for 118 yards before the Week 11 bye against Carolina. Adams is a must-start as quarterback Aaron Rodgers' top target, but the Niners have been very good at limiting opposing wideouts in 2019. Consider him more of a low-end WR1, and he'll be looking for his first touchdown of the season this weekend.
Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay (foot, wrist) was limited in practice on Wednesday. Barring a setback in practice later this week, Lindsay will be good to go for Week 12 against the Bills. The second-year back has mostly been a disappointment in 2019 while sharing backfield work with Royce Freeman in an offense that doesn't score many points, but Denver proved last week that they plan on giving more work to Lindsay to close out the season. The 25-year-old had his most carries (16) since Sept. 22 against the Packers. He's the better fantasy back in Denver's backfield and will have low-end RB2 appeal this weekend.
Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle had been one of the most consistent players on the team before he disappeared in Week 11 with no targets or catches. In Week 12, you can't count on him to produce a lot, and his ceiling was never all that high anyway. He only has three touchdowns on the year, and he's only gone over 50 yards in a game one time this season. Good fantasy football tight ends are hard to find, especially when two or three of them are on byes this week, but you can still find a better option than Doyle.
Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines saw his stock shoot up earlier this week when starting running back Marlon Mack (hand) was announced as out for Thursday's game with the Houston Texans. In PPR formats, Hines can easily get you 10 to 12 points with his ability to catch passes out of the backfield. The Texans have given up more receptions to running backs than any other team in the NFL this season. Hines still doesn't present much value in standard leagues, but he gives you a decent flex option if you're short-handed this week in PPR leagues.
Indianapolis Colts running back Jordan Wilkins has essentially been a non-factor all season, but with starter Marlon Mack (hand) out for Week 12, he presents some deeper league sleeper potential. Running back Jonathan Williams was the hot hand in Week 11, but Wilkins is more experienced with the team. Head coach Frank Reich could opt to split carries and ride whatever running back is rolling. Wilkins could be that, as he boasts a career yard-per-carry average of 5.8. Unless you're desperate, though, don't count on him for anything consistent.
Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Williams was thrust into a major role after starter Marlon Mack (hand) left the game in Week 11. In Week 12, he'll receive a fair bit of work against the Houston Texans, but it's tough to tell how much. The Colts were up comfortably for much of their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he was the hot hand on the afternoon. Against the Texans, the Colts could go for more of a committee approach, which could lower Williams' ceiling. If he gets rolling like he did last week, he's a great play. Otherwise, he could come out with a dud. He shouldn't be relied upon unless absolutely necessary, especially since he could play second fiddle to Jordan Wilkins on early downs.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (calf) is questionable heading into the team's Week 12 matchup with the Houston Texans, but if he plays, you almost have to start him. He's been an elite player when he's been on the field this season, and he's consistently torn up the Texans in the past. He's about two weeks removed from his injury, and it's still questionable if he'll be able to suit up. With Hilton's talent and the Texans' inability to stop opposing pass-catchers, he's startable this week if he's active.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal has steadily been fading over the last month of the season. In Week 12, he has some upside against the Houston Texans, who he went for six catches, 106 yards and two touchdowns against earlier this season, but he's been too inconsistent to rely upon every week. There are a number of good offenses with good wide receivers that are on byes this week that could force you into playing Pascal, and he has the ability to score a fair bit of points. However, his inconsistency should have you looking elsewhere. With T.Y. Hilton (calf) potentially returning as the team's No. 1 receiver, it'll give you even more reason to fade Pascal in this run-first offense.
Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron remains firmly in the TE2 category thanks to his athleticism and abilities in the red zone. In Week 12 against the Houston Texans, he is again a TE2 with upside thanks to a soft defense. You likely drafted Ebron to be your top tight end, and he hasn't been that this season with just three touchdowns through 10 games. This could be the week he gets back into the end zone, but there are still a few players with better matchups and outlooks than him.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett has a matchup with the Houston Texans in Week 12, and he has the potential to have a big week. The Texans have the offense to put up a lot of points, but their defense has been suspect due to injuries and player moves. The Colts will be without running back Marlon Mack (hand), which will put more work on Brissett's shoulders. The Colts Defense has given up points at times this year, and they gave up 23 in the first matchup of these teams. Brissett and the team put up 30 in that matchup, and if wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (calf) is able to play, his ceiling shoots way up.
Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Williams might be counted upon to start the Week 12 game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on Thursday, Nov. 21 with RB Marlon Mack (hand) out. If Williams gets the start, it will be in the building where he had his last starting assignment in the 2014 Texas Bowl for the University of Arkansas.
Fantasy Spin: Williams went for over 100 yards last week once Mack went down, and Jordan Wilkins is coming off an ankle injury, so it's likely a good bet Williams gets first crack at the lion's share of the work. By the way, he had 105 yards in that Texas Bowl win over the Texas Longhorns, so fantasy owners hope lightning strikes twice at NRG in Week 12.
Indianapolis Colts QB Jacoby Brissett enters the Week 12 game Thursday, Nov. 21 against the Houston Texans with a 4-0 career record with seven touchdowns, no interceptions and a 107.2 passer rating, going 3-0 with the Colts and 1-0 as a member of the New England Patriots.
Fantasy Spin: Brissett will have the good fortune of not having to face J.J. Watt, since he is out for the remainder of the season, too. He's not a bad low-end QB1 in fantasy leagues of 12 or more teams, and it sounds like he'll have T.Y. Hilton back, too.
Indianapolis Colts WR Devin Funchess (collarbone) has not yet been activated from the Reserve/Injured list, so it is extremely unlikely he plays in Week 12 against the Houston Texans.
Fantasy Spin: Funchess hasn't shed his non-contact jersey, and the team is unlikely to rush him and risk aggravating his injury. Fantasy owners will want to see him officially return and knock off the rust, making it through a full game without any setbacks. Unfortunately for most owners, time is running out for that to happen in the fantasy regular season.
Indianapolis Colts RB Nyheim Hines is still expected to see his normal role in the passing game in Week 12 against the Houston Texans, and not an increase in work despite the loss of RB Marlon Mack (hand).
Fantasy Spin: Hines will see his regular work on passing downs, but it appears Jonathan Williams and/or Jordan Wilkins will be counted upon as the workhorse back for carries.
San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert (knee) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Mostert has been limited during practice over the last few weeks but has not missed a game. He has been held to 35 yards or less in each of the last three games and probably can be avoided in most leagues.
San Francisco 49ers DE Dee Ford (hamstring, quadriceps), PK Robbie Gould (quadriceps) and OT Joe Staley (finger) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 20. DT D.J. Jones (groin) was limited during practice, while LB Azeez Al-Shaair (concussion) fully participated in practice.
San Francisco 49ers WR Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Sanders did not practice last week but was able to play in Week 11, so he may not do much during practice this week. He should be a starting option in all leagues if he is active for the game.
San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle (ankle, knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Kittle has missed the last few games because of the injuries and probably will miss another game if he does not practice. Fantasy players should check on his status later in the week but will need other options available.
The Oakland Raiders Defense is coming off back-to-back stellar weeks and is in a superb spot to keep the trend going in Week 12. Led by the reigning Defensive Player of the Week Maxx Crosby, they've piled up 10 sacks and five turnovers in their last two games, helping them earn double-digit fantasy point totals in each contest. Their Jets opponent this weekend is allowing the second-most fantasy points to the D/ST position, and the third-most sacks in the league (41). Managers looking for a streaming option this week should ride the Raiders defense with confidence.