Madness. The chalk hit and it hit hard in Week 5. We saw multiple 40-plus-point fantasy days from guys who were in smash spots. It was an insanely high-scoring week in fantasy football and I’m pretty sure Will Fuller just scored another touchdown. Anyway, we head to Week 6 (already?) with four more teams off. Pricing is a lot better this weekend but there are still avenues to target. Let’s do it. Here is a preview for all Week 6 NFL Matchups.
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For Thursday’s single game breakdown for the Giants at Patriots, click HERE
For the Sunday Night single game breakdown between the Steelers and Chargers, click HERE
NFL DFS Early Slate
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens | New Orleans Saints @ Jacksonville Jaguars | Seattle Seahawks @ Cleveland Browns | Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs | Washington Redskins @ Miami Dolphins | Philadelphia Eagles @ Minnesota Vikings
NFL DFS Late Slate
Week 6 byes: Buffalo, Chicago, Indianapolis, Oakland
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens
Line: BAL -11
Bengals passing game
It was an absolutely terrifying ride, but the Red Rifle arrived at his destination on Sunday against the Cardinals. Andy Dalton was a popular streamer/cheap quarterback play in DFS contests at home against Arizona and he finished with a respectable 262 yards and two touchdowns, giving him right around 20 fantasy points. Given the lack of weapons in the passing game, as well as the fact that it is still Dalton, I should just immediately pass on him this week as he travels to Baltimore. However, the Ravens defense has not been anything to write home about for most of this season, as only the Miami Dolphins are allowing more yards per play (6.7). They have also allowed at least 340 passing yards in three of their last four games, while the Ravens are also allowing 13.0 yards per completion, the third-most in the league.
Because the Bengals have been so bad, their average scoring margin is -11.2, the fourth-worst in football. That has led to plenty of passing, as Cincinnati ranks second in all of football in passing play percentage at 70.4 percent. They are 11-point dogs here against a struggling, banged-up Baltimore defense, keeping Dalton on the streaming radar, though I’ll look to cheap signal-callers in daily formats this week.
Tyler Boyd was quiet for much of the day last week but then exploded for five catches, 100 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter alone Boyd had been a strong floor play for much of the year but finally had a ceiling game, while seeing nearly 37 percent of the team targets in his first game without both A.J. Green and John Ross. He has now caught at least six passes in four of five games, while seeing double-digit targets in all but one game. Boyd has now seen 26 percent of Cincinnati’s targets this year, which is the seventh-highest rate among all wide receivers through five weeks of play. Boyd is now tied for third in the league with 53 targets. In fact, he is the only player in the NFL with at least four double-digit target games, giving him a super-high floor each week.
This week’s matchup with the Ravens isn’t too bad, especially if Jimmy Smith misses another game with his knee injury. Baltimore also just lost safety Tony Jefferson for the season. Per The QuantEdge, opponents’ pass success rate jumped up three percent with Jefferson off the field in 2018, while their yards per attempt went from 6.5 to 7.0. We also know they’ve struggled to defend the slot.
As we talked about last week, the Ravens allowed over 100 yards to both Arizona receivers in Week 1, 90 yards and a touchdown to Mecole Hardman and then over 150 yards to Jarvis Landry in Week 4. And while his touchdown didn’t come from the slot, Baltimore allowed 75 yards and a touchdown to JuJu Smith-Schuster last week. Boyd is lining up in the slot about 64 percent of the time this season and that number actually jumped up to 74.4 percent last weekend. Consider Boyd a high-end WR2 this week with an insane target floor.
After dropping an early touchdown on Sunday, Auden Tate looked like he was set to be bad chalk. However, as the Bengals continued to chase points, Tate found the end zone, finishing with three receptions, 26 yards and said score. With Ross sidelined, Tate played every single snap for the Bengals in this game, though you wish he saw more than six targets. Still, there is clearly opportunity here until Green or Ross return, making him worth a look in deeper leagues where you need receiver help.
Tyler Eifert couldn’t get it done in the dream spot. I think this chapter is now closed. All jokes aside, he’ll have some end zone targets because the Bengals are so depleted at the receiver position right now. He is fifth among tight ends in end zone targets with three but has failed to haul in any of them. Eifert also ran just 13 pass routes on Sunday and played a season-low 18 snaps, putting him at 41.1 percent of the snaps for the year, while C.J. Uzomah is at 55.1 percent.
Bengals running game
Joe Mixon has seen his yards per carry climb in each of his last three games. He looked good on Sunday, rushing for 60 yards on the opening drive, ultimately finishing with 93 yards for the day. Mixon saw nine of his carries on the first two drives of the game but with Cincinnati once again falling behind, he only had seven carries in the second half. Still, the 19 carries is good to see, as well as the improved efficiency. With Cincinnati looking like a bottom-three team, game script could be an issue for Mixon, especially with Giovani Bernard still serving as the team’s no-huddle running back.
The Bengals are fair underdogs in this game but the matchup is interesting, as Baltimore has allowed seven running back touchdowns over the last three weeks. They did, however, get defensive tackle Brandon Williams back last week, which will make a huge difference. His presence could give this Bengals offensive line fits, as they are generating 1.83 yards before contact per rush, the third-worst rate in football. Mixon is no longer a surefire RB1 but his volume keeps him as a mid-range RB2, while his DK price tag is very intriguing.
Ravens passing game
After a scorching start, Lamar Jackson has slowed down a bit as of late, at least as a passer. Jackson has thrown five interceptions over the last two weeks, while ranking just 25th in yards per attempt (6.6) during that stretch. Of course, the fantasy production has remained strong, as Jackson has rushed for 136 yards on 25 carries over the last two weeks. He has now run 50 times so far this season, averaging a healthy 10 carries per game, helping him also average 0.65 fantasy points per dropback, the third-most in the league. The rushing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and Jackson should find more success against a passer this week against a Bengals defense allowing 12.0 yards per completion (fifth-most) and a 70.3 percent completion rate (sixth-highest).
The Bengals have also been very generous to rushing quarterbacks, as Kyler Murray just got them for 93 yards and a touchdown. Cincinnati is now coughing up the most rushing yards per game to opposing signal-callers on the year (30.6) so consider Jackson a top-three play at the position once again this weekend.
Marquise Brown found the end zone last week but only played 36 snaps due to an ankle injury. He later returned to the game and the Ravens have said it is nothing serious and shouldn’t impact him going forward. That is fantastic news, especially as he prepares for this week’s matchup with the Bengals. There is so much weekly upside with Brown, who ranks seventh in the league with 10 deep targets, while 29 percent of his targets are coming 20 yards or more down the field. Meanwhile, the Bengals have allowed 20 pass plays of at least 20 yards, the fifth-most in football, as well as 12 yards per completion, the fifth-worst mark in the league.
Brown will match up with Dre Kirkpatrick, who has allowed 242 yards and three touchdowns in coverage so far this season. Kirkpatrick is also one of the slower corners in the league. He is being targeted on 23 percent of coverage routes, a top-10 rate in the league. Look for Hollywood to shine here in Week 6.
Once again, tight end Mark Andrews entered last week’s game limited in practice with the foot and played 53 percent of the snaps, which is right at his average for the season. He’s still ninth among all tight ends in routes run (131), while ranking fifth in yards per route run (2.37). Andrews will likely be limited in practice with the foot and end up playing. He ranks fifth among tight ends in target share (23%), while over 41 percent of Baltimore’s targets have gone to the tight end position this year. Keep using Andrews as a top-seven fantasy option.
Ravens running game
Despite the improvements from their quarterback, the Ravens are still pounding the rock. Baltimore is running the football 49.5 percent of the time, good for the third-highest rate in the NFL through five weeks. As a result, Mark Ingram has put together a strong season, ranking second in the league with six rushing touchdowns and eighth in fantasy points. He remains difficult to bring down, ranking 12th in the league in yards after contact per attempt (3.41) and his high-value touches and playing time has him 10th in fantasy points per snap (0.44). Ingram is also the unquestioned goal line back in a run-heavy offense, as he leads the NFL with seven carries from inside the five-yard line, handling 70 percent of the team’s carries from that area.
Ingram has a fantastic chance to add to his strong campaign, as the Bengals come to town. Cincinnati has already surrendered a whopping nine running back touchdowns this year to go along with the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. 59 percent of the carries from inside the five-yard line against the Bengals have been converted into touchdowns, easily the highest rate in the league, while the Ravens are fourth in the league in yards before first contact per carry (3.69). Ingram is an elite, elite play, and if you are really desperate, Gus Edwards could get 8-10 carries and a score if this game gets out of hand.
New Orleans Saints @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Line: NO -1
Saints passing game
The Saints aerial attack went crazy last weekend against the Buccaneers and we finally saw Teddy Bridgewater take some shots down the field. His average depth of target jumped about two yards in this game and he took advantage of a weak Tampa Bay secondary, throwing for 314 yards and four scores. It was a great game for Bridgewater, but I think it was 90 percent due to the spot, facing Tampa Bay’s pass funnel defense. It was definitely good to see but I probably wouldn’t go back to Bridgewater here. The Jaguars are in the middle of the pack in terms of allowing fantasy points to quarterbacks but are allowing just 20.6 completions per game this year, the fifth-fewest in the league. Jacksonville is also allowing 1.4 passing touchdowns per game, the 12th-fewest in the league, making Bridgewater a very low-end streaming option this weekend.
If you didn’t roster Michael Thomas last week, I’m assuming you don’t enjoy money. At $6,600 on DK, Thomas had the worst price tag I have ever seen and he made sure everyone knew it was wrong. He went off for 11 catches, 182 yards and a pair of touchdowns and now leads all receivers in market share (32 percent). Thomas has caught at least five passes in every game this season while hauling in 10 or more balls in three games, giving him a massive floor and strong upside.
You aren’t benching Thomas in seasonal leagues ever but you do have to decide whether or not you want him in DFS, as his price has now skyrocketed to $7,800, making him the WR2 on the slate. If Jalen Ramsey misses a third straight game, Thomas should be able to torch Tre Herndon, who has struggled, allowing 0.44 fantasy points per cover route, the ninth-most on the slate. Over the last two weeks in place of Ramsey, Herndon has allowed eight catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
I was off Ted Ginn last week and the veteran found the end zone. However, that was at home against a putrid secondary. He’s now on the road, where he’s been much worse during his New Orleans tenure, and will see coverage from A.J. Bouye. Like Bridgewater, I think last week was a one-time thing for Ginn.
In a good matchup, tight end Jared Cook got the job done, hauling in four balls for 41 yards and a touchdown. He also benefited from Bridgewater’s outlier game but has at least seen six targets in each of his last two games. The tight end position is so bad that Cook, even in a weaker matchup, is a top-12 play. However, the Jaguars are allowing just 3.6 receptions per game to opposing tight ends this season (ninth-fewest) and just one tight end touchdown.
Saints running game
Alvin Kamara was seemingly the only Saint that didn’t find the end zone last week but he eclipsed 100 total yards and continues to see an uptick in usage. As I touched on last week, Kamara is averaging over 16 carries per game in Bridgewater’s starts this season, up from his 13 carries per game all of last year. I’m not surprised that Kamara didn’t go nuts last week, facing a Buccaneers defense that is stout against the run, as 82.2 percent of the yardage surrendered by that unit has come through the air, the highest rate in football. After letting Christian McCaffrey go off for 200 scrimmage yards and three scores last week, the Jaguars are now coughing up the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, making Kamara a very strong play, per usual.
Jaguars passing game
The legend of Gardner Minshew continues. Minshew had his best fantasy game of the season last week against the Panthers, passing for 374 yards and two touchdowns, while adding seven rushes for 42 yards. He lost three fumbles but Minshew once again showed poise and accuracy in the pocket. Minshew now ranks 11th in the league in yards per attempt (7.8), while ranking 10th in passer rating when under pressure (84.8). After his great Week 5 outing, Minshew’s price has actually dropped to $5,000 on DraftKings, which has me interested. The guy is 10th in the league in fantasy points per dropback (0.53) and gets a matchup against a pass funnel in New Orleans.
70.1 percent of all yardage against the Saints has come via the pass, the ninth-highest rate in football. They are also coughing up the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing signal callers (23.6) and as Field Yates of ESPN points out, Minshew has recorded at least 16 fantasy points in every game this year, making him one of only three quarterbacks to accomplish that feat. And yet, his price dropped to $5,000 in a favorable matchup. In the year 2019, Minshew is a viable cash game quarterback. What a time to be alive.
D.J. Chark is for real. If only there was a song with a pun out there that we could use with him… Anyway, Chark scored two more touchdowns last week, giving him five on the season. Chark is clearly the WR1 in Jacksonville and is getting so many high-leverage targets. The 23-year old burner leads the league with 12 deep targets, averaging 2.4 per game. That has led to him also ranking fourth in yards per target (13.1) and 11th in yards per reception (18.0). Chark trails only Kenny Golladay and D.K. Metcalf in end zone targets with five, presenting him with massive upside every week, as nearly 3.5 of his 7.4 targets per game are coming either deep down the field or in the end zone.
He’ll look to keep it going this weekend against a Saints team that is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points, fifth-most receiving yards and sixth-most touchdowns per game to opposing wideouts this season. Chark might see some Marshon Lattimore in this game, who held Mike Evans to zero catches last week, but it had more to do with double teams and the Saints pass rush. Lattimore is an up-and-down corner who is allowing 2.03 yards per route covered (10th-most) and a league-leading 405 yards in coverage on the season. Chark has emerged as a WR2 option for the time being.
I also have some interest in Dede Westbrook, who, like Chark, also saw 25 percent of the team targets last week. There is no denying that Westbrook has a way lower ceiling than Chark, but Westbrook has at least five receptions in each of the last three games and is currently 15th in the league in routes run. Westbrook will get the best individual matchup, facing P.J. Williams, who has allowed 209 yards in slot coverage (3rd-most) and 16 receptions (5th-most). The Saints just allowed a touchdown to Chris Godwin from the slot last weekend and have now surrendered this to slot receivers this year:
Week 1: DeAndre Hopkins (3-50-1)
Week 2: Cooper Kupp (5-120)
Week 3: Tyler Lockett (10-151-1)
Week 5: Chris Godwin (5-85-1)
*Note numbers are only when lined up in slot, not total
This is the most I’ve liked Westbrook since Week 1. I would use him as a strong WR3 this weekend and a fine GPP or cash play at just $5,100 in daily contests.
Jaguars running game
Another week, another huge workload for Leonard Fournette. After carrying the ball 23 times for 108 yards with four catches, Fournette now ranks fourth among all backs in rushing attempts (95), 10th in catches (20) and seventh in targets (29). Fournette has also played a whopping 91 percent of the snaps through five weeks. Given that usage, I’m not sure why he is still under $7,000 on DraftKings, making him slightly interesting, despite the poor matchup. The Saints haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in 27 consecutive games, though they are allowing 1.4 rushing touchdowns per game, which is 30th in the league. Fournette now leads all running backs in routes run with 161, giving him a huge floor each week. The uptick in passing game work has Fournette looking like a potential top-five running back the rest of the way, though he’s barely inside my top-10 for this week.
Seattle Seahawks @ Cleveland Browns
Line: SEA -1
Seahawks passing game
Russell Wilson is insane. The most efficient passer in football, Wilson now has 1,409 yards, 12 touchdowns, zero interceptions, a 73.1% completion rate and 126.3 passer rating. He is the QB1 in fantasy scoring, despite ranking 20th in pass attempts with 156. No player is averaging more fantasy points per dropback (0.70). Could you imagine the numbers he could put up if the Seahawks actually threw the football at a high rate? Either way, Wilson should remain an elite fantasy option in a road meeting with the disastrous Browns, who are allowing 2.0 passing touchdowns per game this season, one of only nine teams coughing up at least two per game thus far. C
leveland is also allowing the eighth-most rushing yards per game to opposing passers (19.8), while Wilson is back to running again, averaging 5.4 carries and 24 rushing yards per game so far this season. Look for Wilson to continue producing like a fantasy star.
While Seattle’s run-heavy offense will keep him from seeing consistent huge target totals, Tyler Lockett still remains the WR1 in a Wilson-led offense, which has plenty of value. He is seeing just over 24 percent of the Seahawks targets and has caught 83.3 percent of those targets, the best rate in the NFL. He found the end zone in miraculous fashion last Thursday night, his third score of the season. Lockett continues to get advantageous matchups, as he lines up in the slot just over 71 percent of the time.
The Browns are way weaker at defending the middle of the field, though if corners Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams don’t return this week, it really might not matter. They have allowed touchdowns to slot receivers Cooper Kupp and Willie Snead this season, too. Because this doesn’t look like a game Wilson will have to throw a lot, Lockett’s target projection should be relatively low, making him a mid-range WR2 this week.
Rookie D.K. Metcalf scored his second touchdown of the season last week, a 40-yard grab off broken coverage. He continues to see plenty of scoring chances, as Metcalf is tied for first in the league with seven end zone targets. Metcalf also leads the league in yards per reception (22.2), giving him massive weekly upside, despite a run-first Seattle scheme. Metcalf isn’t seeing enough looks to warrant consideration outside of deeper seasonal leagues, but remains a viable GPP option most weeks.
Tight end Will Dissly remains a huge part of this Seattle offense. He has at least five catches in all but two games this year, with one seeing him leave early with a knee injury. Dissly is now 10th among tight ends in both targets (26) and target share (17.4%), while also ranking inside the top five in yards per target (10.1) and yards per pass route (3.28). The Browns are coughing up the seventh-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season (12.1) after giving up 70 yards and a touchdown to George Kittle on Monday night. Dissly should be viewed as a locked-in top-seven tight end play.
Seahawks running game
After fumbling issues, there was some concern that Chris Carson would cede work to Rashaad Penny once the latter returned from injury. That was not the case last Thursday night, as Carson handled 27 of Seattle’s 33 running back carries, while playing over 80 percent of the snaps. It is possible that Penny’s playing time goes up a bit considering it was a short week but any concerns of Carson losing his job can be put to rest for now. Carson was awesome in this game, too, rushing for 118 yards and scoring a late receiving touchdown. And even if Penny gets a few more touches or snaps, there will still be plenty for Carson to post top-10 numbers, as Seattle is running the ball 47.6 percent of the time, the fifth-highest rate in the league.
The Browns are allowing 150.8 rushing yards per game this year (fourth-most) and just surrendered three touchdowns and nearly 200 total yards to both San Francisco running backs on Monday night, making this a favorable spot for Carson, especially as a slight road favorite.
Browns passing game
You just can’t use Baker Mayfield right now. He and this Browns offense look lost. Mayfield passed for just 100 yards with three turnovers last week and continues to look terrible, especially when he holds onto the ball for longer than 2.5 seconds. Mayfield is completing just 44.9 percent of his passes with one touchdown, four interceptions and a 56.9 passer rating when holding the ball for more than 2.5 seconds. The Browns need to change their entire offense and with head coach Freddie Kitchens not giving up play-calling duties, it doesn’t appear like that’ll happen anytime soon. Bad play-calling, a horrendous offensive line and overall poor play make Mayfield an easy avoid until we start seeing some positive signs
Outside of his Week 2 outing against the Jets, Odell Beckham has been a major fantasy disappointment. Of course, it is hard for him to do much when the offense has been this poor, but fantasy owners were expecting more than 12.6 fantasy points per game he is giving them. Cleveland is trying to find ways to put the ball in his hands, using him in reverses and even in the passing game at times, which is a good sign. Still, given the offense and average, but not great matchup, Beckham should be downgraded to WR2 status.
Jarvis Landry has posted consecutive strong fantasy showings, going for 167 and 75 yards over the last two weeks on 16 targets. He is surprisingly eighth in the league with 403 receiving yards and 10th in yards per reception (18.3). Landry will still be a high-end WR3 for me until this offense can figure things out, especially in an average matchup. It is just really difficult to get excited about this passing game right now.
Browns running game
Nick Chubb remains a true workhorse, ranking fourth in the league with an 83.2 percent opportunity share. He is also fifth in carries (94), averaging 18.8 per game. Despite Cleveland’s offense struggling, Chubb has remained a strong fantasy running back, averaging 19.7 fantasy points per game, the fifth-most in football. He is being used more on third down over the last three weeks, while playing over 80 percent of the snaps in two of the last three games. Seattle just allowed a pair of touchdowns to Todd Gurley last week, though, you hope the Browns can actually get in the red zone here. Chubb is a top-seven running back play but someone I won’t have a ton of exposure of at $7,300 on DK.