Welcome to Week 6 of the NFL! We are finally starting to see some usable sample sizes and learning how coaches will be using their players in high leverage situations. Also the BYE weeks add an extra dynamic when it comes to roster construction and recency biases.
Coming Off The Bye
His numbers aren’t eye-popping but I am intrigued by the volume that Mark Ingram is seeing right now. In a game against the Chargers two weeks ago, the Saints trailed for the vast majority of the contest which normally would force teams to abandon the running game. Ingram still handled 18 carries, with no one threatening his touches on the ground. Believe it or not, he was actually the Saints leading receiving with six catches for 49 yards. That’s 24 touches on a potent offense. I certainly don’t expect Ingram to lead the team in catches very often, but it’s nice seeing him getting those looks. He has now tallied 14 catches over the last three games.
Are we quietly seeing the resurgence of Jimmy Graham? Remember when he was a prolific TE option every single week? Well he’s not earned 17 targets over the last two weeks, converting them for 12 catches and 213 yards. Russell Wilson should be very close to full health after the BYE week and the Hawks get the ideal matchup with the Falcons.
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Under The Radar
Do you know who has scored the most DraftKings points over the last three weeks? Any guesses? Julio Jones jumps to mind, maybe David Johnson. It’s actually T.Y. Hilton with 87.7 DraftKings points in the last three weeks. That’s interesting because for the most part, Hilton is flying under the radar as being an elite fantasy option, but his stats say different. Hilton is clearly QB Andrew Luck‘s favorite receiver and he has been targeted at least 10 times in every game this season.
Sticking with the “under the radar” theme, Carlos Hyde has continued to produce each and every week this season. Hyde is the 6th highest scoring RB in the last three weeks with 66.8 DraftKings points and has been a touchdown monster this season. With six TDs already, it’s certainly possible we see some regression, but Hyde has carried the ball 20+ times in three of five games this season. Hyde, along with LeGarrette Blount, Lamar Miller and Ezekiel Elliott are the only backs in the league to carry 20+ times in at least three games.
The tight end position is incredibly volatile, so finding some stability can be difficult. Since Brian Hoyer took over as QB for the Bears, Zach Miller is the highest scoring tight end in the league. He’s hauled in 18 catches and three TDs in that span. Miller has been the biggest beneficiary of Hoyer taking over the starting role but also a depleted wide receiving corp. Kevin White is on the IR and Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal are banged up. Keep a close eye on the injury reports as the week progresses but Miller should continue to find himself in a plus situation.
Obviously redzone targets a high-value opportunities for players since touchdowns can be so volatile. The more redzone opportunites, the more chances for scoring (obviously). What’s interesting is that there are two RBs that amongst the league leaders in RZ targets. Those two are DeMarco Murray and Theo Riddick. they rank 5th and 6th respectively in RZ targets. Think about that. There are only four RBs in the top 40 of RZ targets, so to have Murray and Riddick gaining that many is impressive. Murray should be in the best chance to keep good times rolling as the Titans will battle the lowly Browns this week.
The Falcons offense is creating a ton of redzone opportunities. The interesting part is that, both RBs (Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman) are benefitting! Freeman has seen 18 redzone carries (4th in the league) to Coleman’s 12 (11th most). Atlanta leads the league in redzone rushing attempts. Now the concern is that the Falcons will battle the Seahawks defense this week, but keep them in mind moving forward. After this week, they have a plus rushing matchup on a near-weekly basis.
There’s a lot to like about Lamar Miller, but it just hasn’t come together for him yet this season. The Pros: he’s earned 101 carries this season (4th in the league). He hasn’t scored a TD yet, which could also be a con, but it’s highly unlikely that he hasn’t scored yet. In fact, his 101 carries are the most in NFL history through five games WITHOUT scoring a TD. The cons: he laid an egg last week with only eight carries against a tough Minnesota defense. This week he earns the Colts, at home, who have allowed the 5th most points to opposing RBs.
As much as I love Jordan Reed, this might not be the week for the big fella. Reed has been the main target for QB Kirk Cousins, but he has yet to tally more than 73 yards in any game. His production comes from finding the endzone. The problem with him this week is that he’s going to be facing the Eagles who have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing TEs this season. They’ve also only allowed three passing TDs this season, the third fewest in the league.
Remember when the Bills started 0-2 and everyone wrote them off? Since then, they are the highest scoring defense in the league, tallying 54 DraftKings points in the last three weeks. They are doing everything right from a defensive standpoint, piling up the sacks, interceptions and have scored a defensive TD in three of the last four. Now they are going to get the Niners who probably have the worst QB situation in the league, traveling from the West Coast to play the early game in Buffalo which is notoriously difficult transition for West Coast teams.
Monday Night Hero
I’m actually going a little under the radar here and suggestion the Cardinals defense as a premier option on slates that include Monday Night. The Jets offense has surrendered the most points in the league to opposing defenses at 13 DraftKings points per game. The Jets have 13 total turnovers (10 INT, 3 FUM), which is second most in the league. And of course, it’s the Cardinals who lead the league in takeaways. This is a chalky defense, but ownership will be vastly different across the separate slates.
Kick Your Way To A Win
The league’s best kicker, is not-surpringly, Adam Vinatieri. He’s 43 years old and continues to perform at any incredibly high level. He’s in the midst of a perfect season, nailing all 13 FGs and 12 XPs. Not only has he flashed his massive upside with 23 fantasy points last week (highest total for a kicker this season), he’s also tallied the most games of 10+ fantasy points (4). The Colts should have no problem moving the ball on Houston this week and Vinatieri should be right at home on the newly-turfed NRG Stadium.
Keep a close eye on the Panthers injury report pertaining to Jonathan Stewart. If Stewart misses another game, consider Cameron Artis-Payne whose $3,700 price tag came out before he carried 18 times for 85 yards and two TDs on Monday Night. The matchup could not be any better with the Saints who have allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing RBs this season.
How about consideration for Brandon LaFell checking in at only $3,200 on DraftKings? There will be value for any receiver who claims the #2 WR spot in Cincy and LaFell might be the front-runner after 11 massive targets last week, hauling in 8 catches for 68 yards and two TDs. He travels to battle New England in a game that the Bengals will likely have to throw a ton to compete.
I am such a glutton for punishment, but what about Golden Tate? It’s been a miserable start and huge letdown for a guy who many expected to have a massive season. Tate has been outshined by teammate Marvin Jones who leads the league in receiving yards. Tate has floundered around, never racking up more than 41 receiving yards in any game? So what’s to like about him this week? Well, first, the value is really good. He’s checking in at only $4,400 on DraftKings this week, a huge drop from the $7,300 price tag he had in Week 1. The Lions are still going to throw the ball every chance they get, currently throwing on 63% of their plays. Finally, Detroit is making an effort to get Tate going. They rushed with him three times against Philadelphia and ran plays specifically designed for him, which can only be a position moving forward.
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