FanDuel Picks: Week 6 Edition
Welcome to the weekly “one stop shop” for all things DFS. I tout my favorite plays of the week after breaking down all of the games, looking at matchups, and considering all relevant weekly and season-long injuries/suspensions. As a guide, you can think of the “Top Plays” sections as cash game recommendations and the “Under The Radar” sections as GPP tournament recommendations. Confused on the difference? Check out a recent DFS Strategy article I wrote. However, I refuse to specifically title the sections in that way because I believe it boxes in the picks. Many players can and do fall under both categories in any given week. I delve more into that in the article linked above as well. When reading, keep that in mind. Now let’s get to it, starting with my top Bonanza candidates.
Domination Bonanza Candidate: Pittsburgh Steelers blowing out the Miami Dolphins
Back and Forth Bonanza Candidate: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
Top QB Plays Of The Week
Drew Brees vs CAR, $8,500
We all know Drew Brees excels playing at home in the Superdome. This week he’ll get his chance to pick apart a horrible Carolina Panthers secondary that just gave up 503 passing yards to Matt Ryan while on the road just two weeks ago. Brees is my favorite QB play of the week in what could turn out to be a Back and Forth Bonanza.
Tom Brady vs CIN, $9,000
406 yards and 3 TDs. Not bad for Brady’s first game of the season huh? He now gets to play his first game at home against a Bengals defense allowing the 6th most passing TDs (11) so far this season. Brady has too many weapons in the passing game to even count and the Bengals have already allowed Trevor Siemian to be the overall QB1 earlier this year.
Cam Newton vs NO, $8,900
Cam Newton still needs to be cleared but if he is, I love him in this spot. Last year’s QB1 has a phenomenal matchup against a putrid New Orleans Saints defense. The Saints are giving up the 4th most passing yards per game and the 7th most rushing yards per game this year. Cam Newton, the definition of a dual-threat QB, should take advantage via the air and the ground with ease on Sunday. Oh ya, he also threw for 331 yards and 5 TDs in New Orleans just last season.
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar QB Plays
Russell Wilson vs ATL, $8,400
Coming off the bye, Wilson should be well rested and his nagging injuries should be less of a hinderance. He’s in a great spot this week at home against Falcons defense that is tied for the most pass TDs given up (14) this season and have also allowed the 7th most passing yards per game. Hopefully being in better health allows Wilson to rip off a few of his vintage runs in this one as well.
Marcus Mariota vs CLE, $7,600
Marcus Mariota finally performed like the dual-threat QB we know he can be last week throwing for 163 yards and 3 TDs while also rushing for 60 yards and a TD. Only 163 passing yards is concerning, but his matchup this week is not. He gets a Browns defense at home that has given up the 3rd most pass TDs (13) so far this season and have also allowed the 8th most passing yards per game.
Top RB Plays Of The Week
LeSean McCoy vs 49ers, $8,200
With Sammy Watkins out, the Bills offense revolves around LeSean McCoy. He is currently 4th in the NFL in rushing yards and you couldn’t think of a better matchup than the one he has this week. McCoy could go absolutely bonkers against a 49ers defense giving up the 2nd most rushing yards per game. They’re decimated as well with LB NaVorro Bowman, LB Ray Ray Armstrong, and NT Ian Williams all on IR with injuries. Lock McCoy into your lineup and don’t think twice about it.
Le’Veon Bell vs MIA, $9,300
For my money, Le’Veon Bell is the best RB in the NFL. He’s a dual-threat back that gets it done in both the rushing and passing games. Just like McCoy, Bell could absolutely go nuts this week against a Dolphins defense giving up the most rushing yards per game. He’s had two solid games since returning from suspension yet he hasn’t seen the end zone yet. That will change on Sunday.
DeMarco Murray vs CLE, $8,800
Here are DeMarco Murray’s touch totals in every game starting with Week 1: 18, 19, 21, 27, 32. That’s a positive trend right there if I’ve ever seen one. Murray is the main guy in the Titans offense right now and he’s getting it done on the ground and through the air. He gets a Browns defense giving up the 13th most rushing yards per game and Cody Kessler struggling to move the ball for the Browns will only mean more opportunities for Murray.
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar RB Plays
Lamar Miller vs IND, $7,900
Lamar Miller has yet to score a TD this season and was just held to 24 total yards on only 9 touches last week. That is why he falls under this category for Week 6. Last week’s game was against the Vikings so let’s just throw that one out. Before that, Miller had seen over 20 touches in all four games to begin the season. I expect that to be the case again this week as the Texans offense should find much more success at home against a bad Colts defense. That should mean Miller also finds success against a Colts defense that made T.J. Yeldon relevant two weeks ago and that also was gashed by Jordan Howard in the rushing and passing games just last week.
Jonathan Stewart vs NO, $6,300
Jonathan Stewart chose a great time to return to the lineup. He gets a Saints defense giving up the 7th most rushing yards per game and that is tied for the most rush TDs (8) allowed so far this season.
Top WR Plays Of The Week
Antonio Brown vs MIA, $9,700
Jordy Nelson vs DAL, $8,300
Aaron Rodgers has generally played better at home and that trend continued even during a down year in 2015. Rodgers averaged 4.38 more completions, 0.37 more pass TDs, and 51.37 more passing yards at Lambeau Field last season. Rodgers has also thrown 6 TD passes in two games at home this year and Jordy Nelson has been a big reason why. Nelson has caught at least one TD pass in every game so far this season. Here are his target share (percentage of passes that are thrown to one player) totals in every game starting with Week 1: 27.3%, 30.6%, 29.2%, and 29.5%. He’s clearly the #1 option in Green Bay’s offense as those per game target shares are massive. As far as the matchup goes, it doesn’t scare me as Nelson gets a Cowboys defense that is tied for the 8th most TD passes (9) allowed so far this season.
Allen Robinson vs CHI, $8,600
Allen Robinson has also seen some very healthy target shares so far this season. Here are his target share totals in every game starting with Week 1: 38.5%, 10.2%, 28.9%, and 30.3%. That 10.2% looks like the outlier here and it was the only game he did not see double-digit targets. If Robinson does see the target volume that the other three games so far this season suggest he will, he could have a great game against a Bears defense that just gave up 10 catches, 171 yards, and a TD to T.Y. Hilton last week.
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar WR Plays
Chris Hogan vs CIN, $5,600
Chris Hogan has only played one game with Tom Brady. He went over 100 receiving yards in that game. Although there are tons of mouths to feed in the Patriots offense, Hogan really has no competition as the deep threat on the team right now. Plus, he’s a cheap way to get exposure to the Patriots offense.
Will Fuller vs IND, $6,900
The Vikings defense is so good, I’m throwing out the results of last weeks game. Before that, it had become pretty clear that the two relevant pass catchers in the Texans offense were Deandre Hopkins and Will Fuller. Fuller’s target shares from weeks 1-4 were: 31.4%, 21.2%, 18.4%, and 25%. A threat to go deep on every play, Fuller has a good matchup at home against a Colts defense giving up the 5th most passing yards per game.
Anquan Boldin vs LA, $6,000
It sounds like Eric Ebron will miss another game and there’s a chance Theo Riddick will miss this one as well. If they do, I’m very interested in Anquan Boldin. I want exposure to a pass catcher that is tied to Matthew Stafford this week and Boldin would be a cheap way to get it. He has outscored Golden Tate in each of the Lions last 4 games, is a red zone target, and is the de-facto tight end on the team without Ebron in the lineup as well. I expect this Lions passing game to find success at home against the Rams.
Top TE Plays Of The Week
Greg Olsen vs NO, $8,100
Greg Olsen’s stats in his two games against the Saints last season: 17 catches, 263 yards, 2 TDs. So far this year, Olsen leads all tight ends in targets and has 200 more receiving yards than the next closest tight end. Olsen is a fantastic play against a horrible Saints defense if you’re looking to pay up at the position.
Jimmy Graham vs ATL, $6,900
In the two weeks before Seattle’s Week 5 bye, Jimmy Graham saw 17 total targets and target shares of 30.3% and 25%. If those data points are to be believed, Graham is back to being a big part of the Seahawks offense and he has a good matchup at home against Falcons defense that is tied for the most pass TDs given up (14) this season and have also allowed the 7th most passing yards per game.
Delanie Walker vs CLE, $6,700
Delanie Walker has led the Titans in targets in each of the past two weeks. He saw 8 targets and a target share of 28.6% in both contests. A big part of the Titans offense, Walker should have a solid day against a Browns defense at home that has given up the 3rd most pass TDs (13) so far this season and have also allowed the 8th most passing yards per game.
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar TE Plays
Coby Fleener vs CAR, $5,600
Coby Fleener benefits from catching passes from Drew Brees and will be playing in a potential Back and Forth Bonanza. If you’re looking to save some money at the tight end position, you could likely do worse than rostering Fleener. The matchup isn’t a terrible one as the Panthers are tied for the 8th most pass TDs (9) allowed so far this season.
Charles Clay vs SF, $5,300
Charles Clay is a more important part of the Bills offense with Sammy Watkins out of the lineup. Over the past two weeks he has seen a total of 12 targets and target shares of 18.4% and 23.8%. I expect the Bills offense to find success on Sunday and believe Clay has a chance to catch a TD.
Top Kicker Plays Of The Week
Steven Hauschka vs ATL, $4,800
Well rested coming out of their bye week, I expect Russell Wilson and Seattle’s offense to find plenty of success on Sunday. Steven Hauschka hasn’t missed a field goal all year and he should add to his total this week.
Dan Carpenter vs SF, $4,700
The Bills have a good defense and a good running game. Both should have success this week. That’s a good recipe for multiple field goal attempts for Dan Carpenter on Sunday.
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar Kicker Play
Ryan Succop vs CLE, $4,500
Just like the Bills, I also expect the Titans defense and running game to both find success on Sunday. Ryan Succop will get his chances.
Top Defense Plays Of The Week
Buffalo Bills vs SF, $4,800
The Bills are 4th in the NFL in sacks this season with 17 and get to face Colin Kaepernick while at home this week. The last time we saw Kaepernick, he was a turnover machine last season. The Bills should possess a solid floor in this one with the added bonus of potentially hitting the jackpot if they’re able to turn a few turnovers into TDs.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs MIA, $4,800
The Steelers are one of the best teams in the NFL. They should beat the Dolphins rather easily. When Ryan Tannehill is forced to throw in the second half, we just might see multiple sacks and turnovers.
Shattering The MainSTREAM: Under The Radar Defense Play
Tennessee Titans vs CLE, $4,700
The Titans are actually tied for 8th in sacks this season with 12 and they get to face a banged up rookie QB in Cody Kessler while at home this week. Kessler definitely has the potential to turn the ball over multiple times in this one.