WEEK 6 DRAFTKINGS/FANDUEL SELECTIONS

QUARTERBACK

Matt Ryan: vs TB (DK 6800; FD 8300)

It could be the Atlanta offense doesn’t play well in the state of Pennsylvania or just being out of the dome as they’ve averaged 14.5 points in their first two road games.  The Falcons return home where they’re scoring 34.6 points a game against a Buccaneers defense that is hemorrhaging passing yards and touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks; had Carson Wentz suited up in week 2, the Bucs would be guilty of allowing 300+ passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns in all 4 games.  Matt Ryan’s expensive salary is the only thing that would keep me from paying up for a 24 point floor as he is the most expensive QB on DraftKings and 3rd most on FanDuel.  It’s a no brainer though if extra salary exists in your lineup.

Jared Goff: at DEN (DK 6000; FD 8200)

Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp are expected out of the concussion protocol before Sunday according to Sean McVay which is contingent on rostering Jared Goff this week against a Denver defense that the Jets devoured in week 5.  If the Jets offense can do that to this “superior” Denver defense, why can’t the Rams?  Goff’s price on DraftKings is discounted because he’s playing what the public perceives as a good Denver defense; that defense allowed 27 and 34 points respectively to the Ravens and Jets.  His home/road splits indicate he has played much better at home thus far.  However, this is a good spot to get him at lower ownership on the road as he has thrown for 300+ yards in four straight games.  Again, wait for Kupp and Cooks to clear the protocol and once they do, Goff makes for a good start at a reasonable salary.

Jameis Winston: at TB (DK 5800; FD 7400)

Like Tampa Bay’s defense, Atlanta is also struggling against the quarterback position, allowing 3 touchdown passes in four straight games while opponents are averaging 36.25 points per game in the last four against the Falcons.  The difference between Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston: a savings of $1000 on DraftKings and $900 on FanDuel.  The injuries have decimated Atlanta’s defensive unit that the Bucs don’t need Fitzmagic or any magic for that matter to move the ball in this game.   Although it’s Winston’s first start this year, that shouldn’t slow the Buccaneers offense down as they’ve had two weeks to prepare for this divisional tilt.

RUNNING BACK

Jordan Howard: at MIA (DK 6500; FD 6200)

The targets have sadly decreased each week but Jordan Howard finds himself in a good spot against a Miami defense that has given up at least 90 yards on the ground in four of the first five games.  He should have lower ownership after leaving a sour taste in those who rostered him two weeks ago against Tampa Bay.  Had this game been at Soldier Field, the Bears would be six or seven-point favorites.  Nonetheless, this is a good rebound spot for Howard as a three-point favorite at Hard Rock Stadium, especially at his discounted price on FanDuel.

T.J. Yeldon: at DAL (DK 6400; FD 7100)

Leonard Fournette is inactive, Corey Grant is on IR, Brandon Wilds was released by the team, and Jamaal Charles is learning the playbook after being signed this week.  This all bodes well for T.J. Yeldon to see nearly all of the running back touches this week.  He faces a Dallas team that is allowing the 4th most receptions per game to running backs.  With Fournette exiting games or being deactivated, when Yeldon has been given the chance to be the lead back, he has performed well and his 6.2 targets per game are perfect for each site’s respective PPR formats.  He’s too cheap for the amount of volume he will see with the lack of available running back help this week for Jacksonville.

Nyheim Hines: at IND (DK 5100; FD 6300)

Nyheim Hines has caught 16 passes off 20 targets over the last two weeks as the Colts have spent a majority of the last two games playing from behind.  Not only that, Jack Doyle and T.Y. Hilton weren’t available against the Patriots last week and that same scenario presents itself again this week against the Jets.  This should bode well for Hines as additional targets should come his way whether the Colts find themselves leading or trailing in this game.  He’s more of a option in DraftKings full PPR scoring system as he’s only averaging three yards per carry.  If he can continue his eight catch per game rate over the last two games against the Jets, returning value on DK shouldn’t present an issue in this spot.

Carlos Hyde: vs LAC (DK 4900; FD 6600)

Especially on DraftKings, this salary for someone who is touching the ball 21.2 times a game is too low.  Ideally, we’re looking for someone who averages more than Carlos Hyde’s 1.2 receptions off two targets per game in full point PPR scoring but the good news is the Browns offense rushes for the second most yards per game at 144.6.  Essentially, he is a way to get to those expensive wide receiving options against a Chargers team that has allowed a +9.74 FPPG differential on the road to running backs in full PPR scoring.  Getting in the end zone will be imperative for Hyde to be successful in this spot and the good news for him is this Los Angeles defense has allowed both of its rushing touchdowns away from the StubHub Center.

WIDE RECEIVER 

Mike Evans: at ATL (DK 8100; FD 8000)

Usually there is the luxury of playing the opposing running back against the Falcons.  However, only two teams have rushed for less yards per game and no team has a worse yards per carry than the Buccaneers, not to mention trying to figure out who will get more touches between Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber.  The Buccaneers have feasted on soft secondaries like the Steelers and Eagles and Mike Evans has been a huge part of that, accumulating at least 6 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown in each of the first three games prior to playing a tougher Bears secondary.  It doesn’t get softer than an injury-plagued Falcons secondary that is missing Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen and one that has given up a league-high 10 touchdowns to wide receivers.  DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin are definitely cheaper options that warrant consideration in what should be a shootout but paying up for Evans lands you the receiver that is playing 82% of the Bucs offensive snaps and seeing 27.27% of the team’s offensive targets

Julio Jones: vs TB (DK 7900; FD 8500)

Mohamed Sanu: vs TB (DK 4800; FD 5800)

The last time Julio Jones scored a regular season touchdown was against these same Buccaneers, two of them in fact, in a 44.8 FD/53.8 DK point effort.  That was 10 games ago but the good news is Tampa Bay allowing a touchdown to each team’s top receiver through four games; this includes Nelson Agholor when Alshon Jeffery was still recovering from rotator cuff surgery.  Whether it’s Carlton Davis or Brent Grimes lined up opposite Julio, he has the advantage in either matchup.  Both him and Mohamed Sanu will have their opportunity to feast on M.J. Stewart who has struggled since filling in for Vernon Hargreaves.  Sanu spends 75% of his snaps in the slot so he will see much more time opposite Stewart in an outstanding matchup as the Bucs allow the most fantasy points to slot receivers.

Tyler Boyd: vs PIT (DK 6000; FD 6300)

Tyler Boyd’s three game streak of 15+ FD/20+ DK points came to an end against a Dolphins team allowing the 11th fewest fantasy points to slot receivers.  He has a good shot at making it four out of five weeks against a Steelers secondary that has been shredded by slot receivers, allowing the second most fantasy points.  Boyd is still reasonably priced for being the highest targeted receiver in the Cincinnati offense; his 40% WR target share is three percentage points higher than A.J. Green.  His schedule after this game remains soft as the Bengals face the Chiefs and Buccaneers next, both teams that struggle against receivers in the slot.  If this game plays out in his favor, Boyd won’t be any cheaper than he’s priced this week.

Amari Cooper: vs SEA (DK 5200; FD 6400)

Playing him comes with risk as he’s either been boom or bust with no middle ground in 2018.  Then again, Amari Cooper has been that kind of player for most of his career.  Also note that this game in at Wembley Stadium in England and not Oakland.  He will have favorable matchups lining up on the outside opposite Tre Flowers and Shaquill Griffin, not to mention Earl Thomas being out for the year only helps Cooper’s cause in this game.  His salary has dropped $2100 on DraftKings since week 1 and it’s at a point where it’s too low to ignore.  He’s definitely worth a look in tournaments given the cornerbacks he will face and his ability to post the wicked numbers.  Just hope Derek Carr targets him more than he did last week.

TIGHT END

Eric Ebron: at NYJ (DK 5400; FD 6500)

What do the Lions, Dolphins, Browns, Jaguars, and Broncos all have in common?  The tight end isn’t the focal point of those offenses so it’s deceiving when the Jets have allowed the fewest fantasy points to tight ends to this point.  New York will face its first true test against the position in a Colts team that targets the tight end at the third highest rate in the league.  With Jack Doyle and T.Y. Hilton inactive for this game, it makes paying up for Eric Ebron that much more appealing.  He’s the most expensive option on the board on both sites but with the aforementioned players not suiting up, Ebron should see double digit targets for a fourth straight week and turn in another successful fantasy performance.

Austin Hooper: vs TB (DK 3500; FD 5600)

He made this column last week against a Pittsburgh defense giving up the second most fantasy points to tight ends, turning 12 targets into nine catches for 77 yards.  Against this horrid Buccaneers secondary, it’s highly unlikely that Austin Hooper is the leading Falcons receiver for a second straight week but he should find success against a team allowing the most fantasy points to the position.  As mentioned last week, this is inexpensive exposure to the game with the highest total on the main slate this week and returning value on DraftKings shouldn’t be an issue here.  The goal for Hooper is finding the end zone and getting to 5x-6x territory.

C.J. Uzomah: vs PIT (DK 3000; FD 5100)

The big question last week was determining who would see the most snaps with Tyler Eifert out for the year.  That question was easily answered with C.J. Uzomah seeing 92% of the Bengals offensive snaps compared to Tyler Kroft’s 40%.  No team allows more targets and receptions to the tight end than the Steelers as they’ve allowed 389 yards to the position in the last four games.  In what is a dumpster fire at the position with Gronk, Kelce, and Ertz off the main slate, Uzomah presents an opportunity for a dart throw with upside against a Steelers team allowing the second most fantasy points to tight ends in 2018.

DEFENSE

Houston: vs BUF (DK 3500; FD 4700)

After an 0-3 start to their 2018 campaign, the Texans have won their last two and have a chance to get to .500 against a Bills team that is 2-1 with Josh Allen as the starter.  Expect the Houston defensive line to make it uncomfortable for Allen as the Buffalo offense allows an average of 4.4 sacks and 1.6 turnovers per game.  The Texans won’t be fooled as the Vikings and Titans were, start the defense of the 10-point favorites with confidence in front of their home crowd.

Baltimore: at TEN (DK 2800; FD 4000)

The Tennessee offense has been lethargic so far under offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, averaging just 17.4 points a game.  Combine this with 1.8 sacks and 1.4 turnovers allowed per game and it’s a recipe for success for a Baltimore defense that has allowed an average of 13 points in the last two games heading into the final game of their three game road trip.  The price is affordable on both sites and will open up salary for other areas of need this week.

Cleveland: vs LAC (DK 2600; FD 3200)

Until both sites give the Cleveland defense the respect it deserves, keep rolling them out at the inexpensive salary.  In each of their first five games, the Browns have sacked the quarterback at least twice and forced at minimum two turnovers.  If the belief is another Browns upset as a 1 point underdog, the Chargers have allowed defensive touchdowns in each of their losses to the Chiefs and Rams.  If Cleveland can contain the Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and Baltimore offenses, all units that have at one point scored 40 points in a game, why can’t they contain the Chargers?

PRICE SHOPPING

Each week, I will identify what players are bargains based on the salary cap percentage difference they represent on the respective site.  Here are the notable week 6 bargains from both sites:

NOTABLE DRAFTKINGS BARGAINS

QB Jared Goff: 1.66

QB Alex Smith: 1.53

RB Todd Gurley: 4.17

RB Carlos Hyde: 1.2

TE Austin Hooper: 2.33

DEF Dallas: 2.23

DEF Baltimore: 1.06

NOTABLE FANDUEL BARGAINS

RB Jordan Howard: 2.67

RB Joe Mixon: 2.5

RB Chris Thompson: 2.04

WR Cooper Kupp: 1.67

WR Tyler Boyd: 1.5

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