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The Slant and Go with Chris Spags: Patrick Mahomes’ Injured Shootout Versus Houston And Week 6 NFL DFS Picks (FREE)

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Our FREE NFL PIcks Cheatsheet for Week 1 on DraftKings, using Awesemo projections, features Patrick Mahomes + more for Fantasy Footbal Lineups

Week 5 in the NFL may have been one of the highest scoring fantasy weeks in NFL history and with some of our lessons learned, we face down another slate of games that could have out of control outputs for our Week 6 NFL DFS picks again. And with no Christian McCaffrey available to siphon ownership, there will be some tough choices for us to make this week. As always, I’ll walk you through all the plays I find viable in Week 6. So let’s get into some DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo and FantasyDraft picks for your daily fantasy lineups in yet another edition of the Slant and Go!

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Don’t forget to check out the Strategy Show with Dave Loughran and Sal Vetri!


But as always, let’s get to the biggest wins and frustrating Ls from Week 5’s Slant and Go:

Week 5 Victory Laps

  • I featured Deshaun Watson and noted that he’s had some struggles, but the matchup versus Atlanta was one where he had a slate-breaking ceiling, particularly on a main slate with no Patrick Mahomes. He exceeded even my wildest expectations and ended up being a must-have for most top tournament finishes.
  • I have been Team Lock In Christian McCaffrey and there has never been a better example of that than his monster Week 5 effort. McCaffrey plays an early-morning game in London, which is a downer since it’s against Tampa Bay’s run defense that stopped him in Week 2. That could have been an interesting spot that would have driven down his ownership.
  • Will Fuller seemed like a prime buy-low candidate whom I said would be even more valuable if Kenny Stills missed. I wish I loaded up even more heavily than I did after his monster Week 5 but, once again, there are likely to be some adverse situations for Fuller when Stills is in the mix taking just enough off the table for him to hit his ceiling.

Week 5 Walks of Shame

  • The Aaron Jones Al Bundy four-touchdown game was not something I foresaw, even though I wrote that both run games would be the best options in that Green Bay-Dallas battle. Between not having enough Jones and too much Ezekiel Elliott (who got mostly game scripted out of his ceiling as the pass game became a focus) AND also being a lifelong Cowboys fan, that game stung on many levels.
  • I really shouldn’t have trusted Andy Dalton as much as I did, given how much I loved Deshaun Watson. The matchup was a good one and Dalton could have been better if he didn’t peter out in the red zone multiple times to start the game. That said, an overpriced Dalton is simply not a guy to play.
  • The Patriots defense was a solid play again but didn’t quite tap into their upside despite harassing Colt McCoy for six sacks. Paying up at defense was still the move with the Eagles defense breaking the slate at a high price point, but I had too much exposure to New England, given how volatile defensive scores are and how many other matchups versus poor offensive teams there were like Philadelphia versus the Jets.

Now that we did our always important self-loathing and pats on the back, let’s get to it with the Slant and Go and my Week 6 NFL DFS picks!

Washington Redskins (22.3 implied points) at Miami Dolphins (18.8 implied points)

Top WAS NFL DFS picks:

  • Miami’s defense has been bad enough that the idea of Washington’s offense with a new coach in Bill Callahan is an interesting idea despite the weak total. The starting quarterback is key as Case Keenum has proven to have value as a passer while Colt McCoy was fairly brutal versus New England–particularly with poor pocket presence as he took an 18% sack rate–but still completed 67% of his passes. I’d be more interested in Keenum as starter but McCoy may be playable if he gets the nod again.
  • Bill Callahan has historically valued the run game and that could open things up for perennial Jay Gruden dog house occupant Adrian Peterson. Peterson has shown little with 2.7 yards per carry behind a bad Washington offensive line but a volume approach could be in play for him.
  • Terry McLaurin’s price is likely too high, given the uncertain quarterback situation. That said, Miami has been killed by deep balls with 10.1 yards per attempt allowed and McLaurin has retained 38 routes as well as 2.3 targets of 20-plus yards per game.

Top MIA NFL DFS picks:

  • I’d still be less than inclined to roster any Miami offense players despite a comparably poor Washington defense across from them. Kenyan Drake’s 11 touches per game could be more valuable in an environment less likely to result in a blowout. Preston Williams sees 7.5 targets and 29.3 routes per game while DeVante Parker still sees all deep balls with 20.3 air yards per target. If you want to game stack Washington, I could see running it back with one of these guys.

New Orleans Saints (21.5 implied points) at Jacksonville Jaguars (22.5 implied points)

Top NO NFL DFS picks:

  • The volume has been there for Alvin Kamara with 20.2 touches per game including 22 in his last start. But Kamara has been affected by the offense’s shift to Teddy Bridgewater and he’s been tough to trust. With his price down and a Jacksonville defense that gives up 5.5 yards per carry with a poor 44 tackling grade from PFF, this may be the week to go back to him.
  • Michael Thomas went nuts with 182 yards on 11 catches with two touchdowns, and frankly, his price was entirely too low industry-wide. If Jalen Ramsey continues to sit, Thomas stands to feast again with steady volume despite Bridgewater’s overall unimpressive approach.

Top JAX NFL DFS picks:

  • Leonard Fournette remains the first place to look with 23 touches per game and 4.3 yards after contact on his rushes. New Orleans’ run defense has been passable with a 75 grade from PFF, but Fournette’s volume puts him in play every week.
  • D.J. Chark had a monster Week 5 with 164 yards on 11 targets and eight catches with two touchdowns. Marshon Lattimore looked resurgent against Mike Evans on the outside as he held him to no catches on three targets and could shadow the surging Chark. This could be a week to pivot to a slightly cheaper Dede Westbrook who has the same 21% target share that Chark has but primarily runs out of the slot.

Cincinnati Bengals (17.8 implied points) at Baltimore Ravens (29.8 implied points)

Top CIN NFL DFS picks:

  • Banking on Andy Dalton in Week 5 versus Arizona seemed like a potential high value spot but only resulted in a vintage mediocre Dalton output. Baltimore’s defense has unequivocally played worse than expected as they allow 280 passing yards per game and have a poor 5% sack rate. As frustrating as Dalton may be, with a concentrated work load for Cincinnati’s passing offense and an overrated Baltimore defense, this could be a low-owned spot with some upside.
  • Joe Mixon was also a disappointment behind the poor Cincinnati offensive line despite 20 touches versus Arizona in Week 5. Baltimore allows 4.7 yards per rush and a 54% DVOA boost to pass-catching backs, so he could be somewhat sneaky, as well if Cincinnati somehow keeps up with the scoring.
  • Tyler Boyd had a big week versus Arizona with 14 targets good for 10 catches and 123 yards and a touchdowns. A.J. Green’s status remains key for him; if he is out, Boyd should continue to see elite volume in line with his 10.6 targets per game. If Green is in, Boyd will see more room to operate but less overall opportunity.
  • Auden Tate saw 38 routes for his six targets in Week 5 but he did not pick up as much of John Ross’s abandoned workload as was hoped for. It’s hard to rely on him or Tyler Eifert, whose routes were down to 13 despite a stellar matchup versus Arizona, given their low target shares.

Top BAL NFL DFS picks:

  • This is one of the highest team totals of the week and Lamar Jackson would seem likely to have a big part of any scoring for Baltimore. Jackson’s attempts have trickled down to 32.4 per game but he rushed 10 times again and still has five targets of 20-plus yards per game. As such, this could be the spot for Jackson to tap into his ceiling once again.
  • Marquise Brown still seems like the most high upside target to pair with Jackson. But Mark Andrews ran more routes than Brown in Week 5 with 27 routes to Brown’s 22, so he may be a better play with both at 7.8 targets per game.
  • Mark Ingram also may be at a price point that makes him a forgotten man but he gets 16.6 touches per game that include 3.2 red zone rushes. Given how poor Cincinnati has been (168 rushing yards per game allowed), Ingram could find production despite Gus Edwards and Jackson siphoning some touches.

Houston Texans (24.8 implied points) at Kansas City Chiefs (29.8 implied points)

Top HOU NFL DFS picks:

  • Deshaun Watson tapped into his immense ceiling as we hoped versus Atlanta with 426 passing yards, four passing touchdowns and 47 rushing yards while not taking a single sack. Kansas City’s pass rush has not achieved stellar results with a 6% sack rate. Watson should have upside again in a game in which scoring is likely to abound.
  • Will Fuller also thrived without Kenny Stills available to cut into his target share as he notched an outrageous 14 catches for 217 yards and three touchdowns. Stills seems likely to return after being a game-time decision in Week 5 so this could be a spot to go back to DeAndre Hopkins with another solid matchup for him and positive regression likely due his way.
  • Carlos Hyde is on the cusp of playable with 15.6 touches per game against the 5.3 yards per carry Kansas City allows. Kansas City’s run defense gets a bottom of the league 46.5 grade from PFF and Hyde sees just enough volume to make use of his reasonable price point.

Top KC NFL DFS picks:

  • Patrick Mahomes’ ankle issues are a concern but he still should be able to find a way to be useful with a top implied total. Houston allows 270.4 passing yards per game and a 70.3% completion rate for opposing quarterbacks. Even if Mahomes loses some of his mobility—a big asset to his game, given how he can escape the pocket for some of his best plays—Houston seems unlikely to hold him down, but also should score enough to keep the Chiefs’ passing game live into the fourth quarter.
  • Mahomes’ targets will be up in the air until later in the week with Sammy Watkins knocked out of Sunday night’s game and Tyreek Hill a possibility to return. Either guy back in the mix would kill the upside for a player like Byron Pringle; Pringle had 103 yards on eight targets with a jump up to 34 routes run that were more than Mecole Hardman’s 30 but fewer than DeMarcus Robinson’s 42.
  • Travis Kelce would be more interesting if Watkins and Hill can’t go. Kelce maintains 8.6 targets with 36 routes per game and has yet to have much in the way of huge games despite at least eight targets in each game this year.
  • LeSean McCoy was rendered useless with just two touches as Damien Williams returned to the lineup. Williams himself wasn’t much better with 38 yards on 12 touches. It’s hard to trust McCoy moving forward with Williams in the lineup but Williams himself has been horrible on the year with just 1.8 yards per rush.

Philadelphia Eagles (20.5 implied points) at Minnesota Vikings (23.5 implied points)

Top PHI NFL DFS picks:

  • Philadelphia isn’t terribly appealing with a low implied total and a matchup against a Minnesota defense that allows 5.5 yards per attempt and 3.6 yards per carry on the year. Between that and their low 29 second per snap pace, Minnesota seems likely to thwart overall production enough to make things tough for all involved. One-offs like Alshon Jeffery, likely to be shadowed by a poorly performing Xavier Rhodes, or Zach Ertz with his nine targets per game would be most appealing (but also possibly affected adversely if DeSean Jackson is back in the lineup).

Top MIN NFL DFS picks:

  • Dalvin Cook’s 22.6 touches per game remain the spot most compelling to attack. Philadelphia has a 79-graded rushing defense that allows 3.2 yards per carry, so it is far from an optimal spot for him. But Cook’s volume and a solid run blocking line offer him opportunity in every matchup.
  • Adam Thielen had his best game of the year with two scores and 130 yards on eight targets. Stefon Diggs remained a non-factor with three catches for 44 yards on four targets. Both are in play, given a mostly poor Philadelphia pass defense who had a huge week versus the Jets. They likely can give up a big day to one of these two with the tide currently heavily pushing towards Thielen.

Seattle Seahawks (25 implied points) at Cleveland Browns (23.5 implied points)

Top SEA NFL DFS picks:

  • Russell Wilson’s passing volume remains less than ideal with 31.2 attempts per game but he’s maintained remarkable efficiency with a 7.7% touchdown rate and a 73.1% completion rate. Cleveland’s defense has only allowed 206.4 passing yards per game but Tyler Lockett in particular could see big plays alongside Wilson as long as Cleveland scores better than they did versus San Francisco.
  • Chris Carson may be in the better spot with Cleveland looking exceedingly poor versus the run with 5.2 yards per rush allowed and a 52 run defense grade from PFF. Carson is up to 21.8 touches per game and he’s due for positive touchdown regression with only a 1.1% rushing touchdown rate.
  • Will Dissly’s price is likely a bit too high. He ran 20 routes in Week 5 and, while his 17% target share is right there with D.K. Metcalf, he seems unlikely to be trustable at his industry-wide salaries with other mouths to feed.

Top CLE NFL DFS picks:

  • I mentioned in yesterday’s Showdown Breakdown video that I had very little faith in Baker Mayfield’s passing attack versus an aggressive coverage group in San Francisco and that ended up coming through in spades. Seattle’s defense is nowhere near as good with just a 5% sack rate and 12% pass deflection rate so this is a somewhat appealing bounce-back spot for him and his hideous 56% completion rate and 5% interception rate.
  • Nick Chubb’s opportunity remains there in any matchup with 21.8 touches per game. Seattle has been worse against the pass overall with a 79 run defense grade from PFF compared to a 56.5 coverage grade but over 20 touches is over 20 touches and Chubb has flashed elite ability.
  • Odell Beckham could be in a solid bounce-back spot after being shut down by Richard Sherman on Monday night. He still has run fractionally fewer routes per game than Jarvis Landry but Beckham should see winnable matchups on the outside this week.

Atlanta Falcons (27.3 implied points) at Arizona Cardinals (24.8 implied points)

Top ATL NFL DFS picks:

  • Matt Ryan is very much in play with another high total and him up to 44.4 pass attempts per game. The opportunity for his targets has remained fairly well distributed with Julio Jones’s 8.8 targets per game just ahead of Austin Hooper’s 8.4 while Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu are at 6.4 and 7.2 respectively. All of the four are also above 38.4 routes run per game so really any target can go off at any time. Jones’ talent is on another plane but his overall usage is right there with the other guys, particularly Hooper (who’s in the vaunted TE versus Arizona smash spot), across the board.
  • Devonta Freeman has yet to show a ton of upside but with Arizona allowing 138.8 rushing yards per game, Freeman’s 16 touches per game can offer that upside. Freeman has 18 points in his last two games and Arizona gives up 4.8 yards per carry with a 36.5% DVOA boost to pass-catching backs, according to Football Outsiders.

 

Top ARI NFL DFS picks:

  • Kyler Murray is in play despite his rising price and his pass attempts down to 32 in his last two games. Atlanta’s defense allows a 7.7% passing touchdown rate with a poor 3% sack rate, bad 7.7% pass deflection rate and league-worst 6.1% first downs allowed by penalty. Murray’s passing has been down but he ran 10 times for 93 yards and a touchdown in Week 5 and that can give him a solid floor with slate-breaking upside if the passing game works better.
  • Larry Fitzgerald saw 30 routes in Week 5, most of which were out of the slot with no Christian Kirk in the mix, but he didn’t do much with his eight targets. Kirk being back in the mix would be a positive for this offense with KeeSean Johnson catching just three of his seven targets for 22 yards on 36 routes versus Cincinnati while Trent Sherfield had just one catch for 23 yards on 27 routes.
  • David Johnson also didn’t thrive as much as expected with Kyler Murray’s rushing cutting into his upside a bit. Johnson also dealt with back issues in Week 5 that could reportedly keep him out of this matchup so watch his status closely with Chase Edmunds likely to have big upside if Johnson misses. Despite a mediocre Week 5, Johnson had 17 rushes and five targets and that’s a lot of opportunity for a cheap player in Edmunds who’s had 3.5 yards after contact this year.

San Francisco 49ers (23 implied points) at LA Rams (26.5 implied points)

Top SF NFL DFS picks:

  • The 49ers remain undefeated and will face their stiffest test versus the Rams. Jimmy Garoppolo seems unlikely to find his ideal situation with the Rams allowing a 62.4% completion rate with a 75 graded coverage group by PFF. Garoppolo has a suboptimal 3.5% interception rate and if the Rams bring pressure he drops to a 60% accuracy passer with just a 74.2 passer rating. If the Rams pull ahead, Garoppolo will need to throw more than they’ve allowed him to this year though so he could also have some theoretical upside.
  • The San Francisco rushing game has been a key focus for the team and they may find early success with the Rams a poorly graded 49.4 run defense. Matt Breida is running extremely well but so are Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert with all of them over 5.5 yards per attempt. Breida will likely get the first looks and if the quality San Francisco defense can get some stops, he may have a shot at upside at a reasonable price.
  • Marquise Goodwin and Deebo Samuel could be summoned into duty more if the Rams can put up points early versus that tough San Francisco defense but they ran just 22 and 19 routes respectively in Week 5. George Kittle remains the only target with a decent floor and a comparably low 22.8 routes per game.
  • Despite the high team total for the Rams, I will likely have some San Francisco defense this week. They are operating on an extremely high level allowing just 257.5 yards per game and there are some really troubling stats for Jared Goff that I’ll discuss below that make me think they could be a viable low-owned and cheap play.

Top LAR NFL DFS picks:

  • Jared Goff has historically been a better home quarterback but he may find a very rough time against a San Francisco defense that allows just a 53.5% completion rate with a 9.2% sack rate and an exceedingly impressive 27.1% pass deflection rate. Goff falls apart when holding onto the ball over 2.5 seconds with a 63.8 passer rating and a 68.6 rating when pressured, so this is a very scary spot relative to his optimal conditions.
  • San Francisco hasn’t shown much weakness against the run with just 81.8 rushing yards allowed per game and no rushing touchdowns allowed, so given Todd Gurley’s iffy volume, he remains a tough play to trust.
  • Cooper Kupp still seems like the most trustworthy play with him up to 12.6 targets per game compared to 9.4 for Robert Woods and 6.8 for Brandin Cooks. Cooks has yet to break out and his price reflects that but Woods and Kupp’s more intermediate target games seem like a better matchup for a tough San Francisco secondary.
  • Gerald Everett’s hot run with him up to 5.2 targets on 27.8 routes per game has become something to watch. San Francisco defends tight ends well, a 109.4% drop off in production according to DVOA, but Everett will have more big weeks with how involved he looks.

Dallas Cowboys (26 implied points) at NY Jets (17.5 implied points)

Top DAL NFL DFS picks:

  • It is getting legitimately a bit frustrating to play Ezekiel Elliott at his elevated price points and now he faces a Jets team who allows a shockingly low 3.4 yards per rush. With no Christian McCaffrey on the main slate, I’m willing to go to him again with him getting 3.4 red zone rushes per game and a still solid 19.6 touches per game. He’s just not quite as much of a weekly lock as when he got roughly 26 touches per game in 2018.
  • Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper remain strongly in play with both guys playing exceedingly well in Week 5. Gallup saw 14 targets and 113 yards as the Cowboys attempted to claw back against Green Bay while Cooper had 14 targets for 226 yards. Dallas is highly unlikely to trail a mostly poor Jets squad enough to tap into that kind of volume again, but these guys are very capable of blowing up with Dak Prescott at any time.

Top NYJ NFL DFS picks:

  • If the Jets avoid getting dusted right away, Le’Veon Bell’s 24.5 touches per game remain theoretically valuable despite a brutal 2.9 yards per attempt and no rushing touchdowns so far this year. Sam Darnold’s return makes things better for Bell, as defenses have been able to key in on him with the impotent Luke Falk behind center.
  • Darnold’s return could also be a boon to Jamison Crowder, who saw 17 targets in their one game together in Week 1 and Crowder retaining 33.5 routes per game. A lead for Dallas could open up a lot of opportunity for a cheap Crowder or lightly targeted deep threat Robby Anderson against a decent but not stellar Dallas pass defense.

Tennessee Titans (18.3 implied points) at Denver Broncos (20.8 implied points)

Top TEN NFL DFS picks:

  • Denver’s defense has struggled versus the run with 4.7 yards per carry allowed despite a 79.7 run defense grade from PFF. Given Derrick Henry’s high volume role with 19.5 rushing attempts per game, he could find some success as long as Denver doesn’t score early and oppress everything afterwards as they did in Week 5 versus the Chargers.
  • Everything else here is probably a pass. Maybe the Tennessee defense given decent pressure with a 9% sack rate and Joe Flacco’s ability to Flacco everything up, but that’s about it.

Top DEN NFL DFS plays:

  • Joe Flacco had a decent matchup against the Chargers but did barely anything once they got an early lead, as he attempted just 20 passes overall. He continues to create value for Courtland Suttonwho broke a massive catch and run en route to 92 yards and a touchdown on four grabs. But Emmanuel Sanders has yet to establish much of a floor with his seven targets per game. Everything feels flimsy, even though the passing game will occasionally tap into their ceilings in games where the defense struggles.
  • Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman are both barely in play with 17.2 and 14.2 touches per game respectively. Lindsay has 4.6 targets while Freeman gets 4.2 and both have performed similarly with the opportunity. Tennessee allows just a 1.7% rushing touchdown rate and scores on only 21.3% of their drives, so it’s hard to get to either. In lineups where their prices work, it wouldn’t be surprising to see one of these guys get there from a value perspective with steady and reliable workloads.

Follow me on Twitter @ChrisSpags to see all the rest of the NFL content I’ll have with new shows and videos just about every day all week long!

Chris Spags is the senior director of editorial strategy at Awesemo.com and contributes to the site's NBA, NFL, and MLB coverage as a writer and host of video content. Chris's content background from sites like Guyism, Uproxx, and Barstool Sports allows him to bring a unique spin to the world of daily fantasy sports analysis. Chris writes regular columns with NBA and NFL analysis as well as his inimitable style and his 'Four Corners' videos for basketball, baseball, and football DFS are the primary short form content offering on Awesemo's YouTube channel. You can find him on almost any given night providing analysis right up to slate lock on Awesemo's flagship Live Before Lock livestreams or on Twitter @ChrisSpags. You can contact Chris by emailing support@awesemo.com.

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