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RealTime DFS Strategy: Week 6

Fri Oct 16 10:31am ET
By MIKE BARNER
Contributing Writer

Golladay is a great DFS play


A lot of big names won’t be available in DFS this week with the Saints, Seahawks, Raiders and Chargers all on a bye. Still, there are plenty of great options to consider when building your entry. Let’s discuss a couple of players at each position to target, as well as some to possibly avoid.

Quarterbacks

Ren Roethlisberger, PIT vs. CLE ($6,100): Roethlisberger isn’t exactly racking up yards this season, averaging 254 passing yards per game. Excluding the two games he played last season, that’s his lowest per game average since 2012. However, he has 10 touchdown passes and is on pace to set a new career high with his 69.9 percent completion rate. In short, he’s off to a great start. Slowing him down will be a tall order for the Browns, considering they are tied for the third-most passing touchdowns allowed in the league.

Kirk Cousins, MIN vs. ATL ($5,700): Yes, the Vikings don’t usually throw a lot. Still, Cousins has eight touchdown passes and has thrown for at least 249 yards in four of five games. His low salary stands out here since it puts him in the range of Philip Rivers ($5,800), C.J. Beathard ($5,800) and even Mitch Trubisky ($5,700). That almost seems ludicrous with Cousins facing a Falcons team that is tied for the most touchdown passes allowed.

Player to Avoid

Carson Wentz, PHI vs. BAL ($5,900): Wentz and the banged-up Eagles’ offense now has to face a Ravens team that has allowed the fewest points per game (15.2) in the league. They have been great at getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, registering the fifth-most sacks. Add in Wentz’s propensity for throwing interceptions and it’s difficult to find a reason to roll with him given this matchup.

Running backs

Derrick Henry, TEN vs. HOU ($7,500): This might be a matchup made in heaven. The Titans are no strangers to giving Henry a heavy workload, which has left him to average 25.3 carries this season. The last time we saw him take the field against the Texans, he torched them for 211 yards and three touchdowns in Week 17 last year. While that will be difficult to duplicate, he could still be extremely productive given that the Texans have allowed the second-most rushing yards per game.

Alexander Mattison, MIN vs. ATL ($5,300): This is basically a free square with Mattison at this salary if Dalvin Cook (groin) is forced to sit out. With Cook suffering the injury early in the third quarter last week against the Seahawks, Mattison took over and finished with 112 yards on 20 carries. The Falcons’ defense has been awful in just about every facet of the game, so Mattison could be in line for a monster day if he’s left with the lead role out of the backfield.

Player to Avoid

Mark Ingram, BAL at PHI ($6,400): Make no mistake about it, the Ravens are a run-heavy team. The problem is they spread out their carries between Ingram, J.K Dobbins and Gus Edwards. That’s left Ingram to log 11 carries or fewer in all five games. Considering he doesn’t come at much of a discount, you’d likely be better off keeping him out of your entry.

Wide Receivers

Kenny Golladay, DET at JAC ($7,500): We haven’t seen much of Golladay this season after he missed the first two games with an injury. The Lions then had a bye in Week 5, meaning he’s only taken the field two times. However, he scored a touchdown in both contests and garnered a total of 15 targets. He’s the clear top option in the Lions’ passing attack and could be in line for a busy afternoon against a Jaguars team that has allowed the fourth-most passing yards per game.

Justin Jefferson, MIN vs. ATL ($6,400): The Vikings should be a popular team to stack with how poorly the Falcons’ defense has played this season. Jefferson is among the most appealing DFS options on the team despite registering only three catches for 23 yards against the Seahawks last week. Prior to that poor showing, he had recorded at least 100 yards in back-to-back contests. Don’t be surprised if he quickly bounces back with a productive stat line here.

Player to Avoid

Deebo Samuel, SF vs. LAR ($6,000): Jimmy Garoppolo looked awful in his return against the Dolphins last week and was eventually benched in what turned out to be a blowout loss. Samuel was the victim of his struggles, finishing with only two catches for 19 yards despite receiving eight targets. The Rams have allowed the second-fewest passing yards per game, so whether it’s Garoppolo or Beathard under center, neither might be able to lead Samuel to a valuable stat line.

Tight Ends

Jonnu Smith, TEN vs. HOU ($5,400): Smith looked primed for an expanded role heading into this season and he hasn’t disappointed. He’s received 27 targets through four games, catching 18 of them for 221 yards and five touchdowns. Adam Humphries has been activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list, but Corey Davis’ status is still uncertain heading into this matchup. With that being said, even if he does return, Smith should still have a significant of enough role to be worth considering.

Jimmy Graham, CHI at CAR ($4,800): The move from the Packers to the Bears has done wonders for Graham’s fantasy value. He had five total touchdowns during his two-year stint in Green Bay, but he already has four through five games with the Bears. He should continue to be one of their top red zone targets, making him an appealing option at such a budget-friendly salary.

Player to Avoid

Zach Ertz, PHI vs. BAL ($5,300): Even with the Eagles decimated at wide receiver, Ertz can’t get anything going. He’s posted back-to-back games with fewer than 10 receiving yards and he had only one reception last week against the Steelers. It feels like he can only go up from here, but a tough matchup against the Ravens doesn’t exactly set things up for this to be his breakout week.

Mike Barner has been covering fantasy sports since 2007. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, SportsLine and RotoWire. Mike was also a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Follow Mike on Twitter @rotomikebarner.

Top Headlines

Five Fantasy Takeaways from Week 11

The Paur Report
Player Notes
Cam Akers Nov 24 12:30am ET

Los Angeles Rams rookie running back Cam Akers couldn't get much going in the running game on Monday night and he's been marginalized in the offense all season. However, in Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he found his way into the end zone. He finished with five carries for 15 yards to go with one reception for four yards and a touchdown. This isn't enough volume for fantasy managers to have confidence in Akers, though. From a football perspective, it's great to see him get involved in the offense. If he can see more volume in future weeks and take more of the workload from Darrell Henderson, he might be able to provide some more fantasy upside to close out the year.

From RotoBaller

Cooper Kupp Nov 24 12:30am ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp didn't have a great matchup in Week 11 on Monday night, but it didn't matter, as he went off for a big night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He caught 11 of his 13 targets for 145 yards. Unfortunately, he couldn't get into the end zone on the night, but this was still a fantastic night regardless. The matchups that the Rams are dealing with over the next few weeks aren't great, but Kupp gets enough volume to maintain fantasy value. He's firmly in the WR2 conversation with the volume that he's seeing and he can have WR1 upside with games like this.

From RotoBaller

Robert Woods Nov 24 12:30am ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods took advantage of his team's perfect game plan in Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night en route to a third-place finish among wideouts for the week. He caught 12 of his 15 targets for 130 yards and a touchdown. After seeing his targets trend downwards for the last four weeks, he led the team in targets and had nine more than teammate Josh Reynolds, who had been outperforming Woods over that span of games. Woods will rarely present this type of ceiling, but his floor is generally one of the safest in football as a WR2.

From RotoBaller

Jared Goff Nov 24 12:20am ET

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff saw a terrible matchup in Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday, but he shrugged it off in a big way. He finished the game 39 of 51 for 376 yards to go with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He finished as the QB4 on the week and he would have jumped to third if it weren't for the pair of interceptions. Despite losing left tackle Andrew Whitworth to a likely season-ending injury, the Rams kept their passing game on schedule with a quick passing attack. Goff has been a decent start this year, but his fantasy playoff schedule leaves a lot to be desired.

From RotoBaller

Darrell Henderson Nov 24 12:20am ET

Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson Jr. has been trending down of late, and he crashed hard in Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night. He finished with eight carries for five yards to go with two receptions for four yards. Henderson was a solid RB2 about a month ago, but that value has vanished with the resurgence of teammates Malcolm Brown and rookie Cam Akers. With a difficult slate of games upcoming and a lack of consistent volume ahead of him, Henderson has become even hard to trust as an RB3/flex.

From RotoBaller

Rob Gronkowski Nov 24 12:10am ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski had two receptions for 25 yards on six targets in Monday's loss to the Rams. After a terrific stretch of games just a few weeks ago, Gronk has declined a bit recently and now has below 30 yards in two of the past three games. Still, he has seen at least six targets in two of the past three games as well and remains a favorite target of Tom Brady. Add this all up and Gronk should still be considered a low-end TE1 going forward.

From RotoBaller

Chris Godwin Nov 24 12:00am ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin compiled seven receptions for 53 yards and a score on 10 targets in Monday's loss to the Rams. The WR has seen at least six targets and has accumulated over 41 yards in all seven games he has played this season. His role is large and his production is generally consistent. This makes him a low-end WR1/high-end WR2 candidate each week going forward.

From RotoBaller

Antonio Brown Nov 24 12:00am ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown finished Monday's loss to the Rams with eight receptions for 57 yards on 13 targets. It was certainly an encouraging performance for Brown, who led the team in every receiving category. In addition, his rapport with Tom Brady is proving to be very strong. Though he will have to fight with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski each week for targets, Brown is proving he deserves some of those targets. The WR should be considered a WR3/flex going forward and there is room for his fantasy value to go up should he continue to thrive.

From RotoBaller

Leonard Fournette Nov 23 11:50pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette had seven carries for 17 yards and a score and one reception for nine yards on four targets in Week 11. Fournette continues to play behind Ronald Jones II and now has 16 rushes for 36 yards in the past three games total. Fournette should not be considered a worthy fantasy starter going forward given his smaller role in this offense and lack of production.

From RotoBaller

Mike Evans Nov 23 11:50pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans finished with five receptions for 49 yards and a score on nine targets in Monday's loss to the Rams. Evans continues to remain a big part of this offense and though his yardage doesn't always reflect that, he has seen at least six targets and gotten three touchdowns in the past four games. The WR should be considered in the low-end WR1/high-end WR2 tier each week going forward.

From RotoBaller

Tom Brady Nov 23 11:40pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady went 26-for-48 for 216 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in Week 11. Brady struggled most of the game against a powerful Rams defense and thus had a bit of an off-day. Nevertheless, the QB should remain in the low-end QB1 tier going forward as he has also had some terrific games as well. Based on his previous games though, it seems Brady does well only in favorable matchups rather than being consistent.

From RotoBaller

Ronald Jones II Nov 23 11:40pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II finished with 10 carries for 24 yards in the loss to the Rams on Monday. Jones fell flat after a 192-yard performance last week but ended up with more carries than Leonard Fournette on the bright side. It seems Jones will remain the workhorse back going forward, which makes him the safer option to start. The only problem seems to be consistency, as Jones cannot put together a long string of decent games. He has now rushed for less than 35 yards in four of the past five games, so the RB should be considered a mid to low RB2 going forward.

From RotoBaller

Tommy Sweeney Nov 23 10:40pm ET

Buffalo Bills tight end Tommy Sweeney (heart) will miss the rest of the season after a cardiologist discovered that he has myocarditis, which is a heart condition. Sweeney started the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list with a foot injury, and he was nearing a return when his condition was discovered during an NFL-mandated checkup. He was also placed on the COVID-19 list in Week 7 after being a high-risk close contact to teammate Dawson Knox, who tested positive for the virus. The 25-year-old caught eight passes for 114 yards in six games in his rookie season in 2019. Knox remains the team's top pass-catching tight end, with Lee Smith, rookie Reggie Gilliam and Tyler Kroft backing him up.

From RotoBaller

Nick Mullens Nov 23 9:50pm ET

San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams tested positive for COVID-19 last week and has landed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list along with eight of his teammates. Williams, who is considered a high-risk individual after a fight with cancer, said he was feeling OK and expects to recover. It's unknown if the blind-side protector for quarterback Nick Mullens will be available in Week 12 against the division-rival Rams. It's Williams' second stint on the COVID-19 list after he was previously deemed a high-risk close contact. If Williams doesn't clear the league's protocol in time, it'll make Mullens more vulnerable against a good Rams pass rush next Sunday.

From RotoBaller

J.K. Dobbins Nov 23 9:40pm ET

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh confirmed that defensive lineman Brandon Williams was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday after he was considered a close contact of running backs Mark Ingram II and J.K. Dobbins, who tested positive for coronavirus. Williams will have to quarantine for five days and will miss the Thanksgiving tilt on Thursday against the undefeated Steelers. As of now, the contest remains on schedule for Thursday night. Williams, a third-round pick in 2013, has just 20 tackles (13 solo) in eight games for Baltimore this season. The Ravens Defense has basically been a must-start fantasy unit all year long, but they'll face a tough Steelers offense on Thursday and should be faded in DFS.

From RotoBaller

James Morgan Nov 23 8:30pm ET

Despite New York Jets head coach Adam Gase all but saying that 2020 fourth-round pick James Morgan is essentially getting a redshirt year as a rookie, the organization made the call Monday to release quarterback Mike White, who had been serving as Joe Flacco's backup. While Sam Darnold (shoulder) continues to battle injuries, Morgan may now slot into the backup role without White on the roster. New York's quarterback situation continues to remain fluid, but Morgan could get a look in the final weeks of the year if the team's losing woes continue and Darnold remains embattled with his shoulder injury. White, who has not yet thrown an NFL pass, will be looking for a new home prior to the conclusion of the year.

From RotoBaller

Joe Burrow Nov 23 8:20pm ET

The New York Giants Defense could have both safety Xavier McKinney (foot) and linebacker Oshane Ximines (shoulder) back in the mix Sunday versus Cincinnati after having designated both to return from injured reserve Monday. McKinney was the team's second round Draft choice in 2020, although he would likely play a limited role in his first game, per head coach Joe Judge. Ximines has started three of the four contests that he has appeared in this year, combining for five tackles and three quarterback hits. Their availability will become clearer following Wednesday's practice. While not a standout group in their own right, the Giants' defense should receive sizable season-long streamer appeal due to its matchup versus Ryan Finley and Co., who will be navigating their first game all year without Joe Burrow.

From RotoBaller

Ryan Fitzpatrick Nov 23 8:10pm ET

Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jesse Davis (COVID-19/reserve list) has been placed on the COVID-19/reserve list as of Monday, and will reportedly not be available for Sunday's game versus the Jets. (Players do not have to test positive to be added to the list.) Davis' absence likely means that Rob Hunt will slide over to man the right tackle spot, blocking for Tua Tagovailoa, who is expected to start after being removed late in Week 11 in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick. The loss of Davis means that Tagovailoa will have a new blind spot protector, while Salvon Ahmed is expected to lead the backfield once again, albeit with a shifting o-line in front of him. At this time, it appears as if Sunday's matchup between Miami and New York is in no danger of being shifted, although the situation will remain fluid throughout the week.

From RotoBaller

Kenny Golladay Nov 23 8:00pm ET

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hip) has been sidelined since Week 8 due to a hip ailment, but despite the quick turnaround ahead of a Week 12 matchup versus Houston, the team's top receiver was listed as a would-be limited practice participant Monday. While he will likely need to log some actual practice time in order to suit up Thursday, his status is beginning to trend in the right direction for potentially facing an exploitable Texans secondary. Golladay has exceeded the 100-yard plateau as a receiver in each of his last two full contests in 2020, making him a must-start asset should he eventually get the green light to suit up. Check back over the coming days to get a better read on his status with the Lions taking the field for practice Tuesday.

From RotoBaller

Randall Cobb Nov 23 8:00pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Randall Cobb (toe) would not have been available to participate in Monday's practice had there been one. After leaving Sunday's win over New England due to a toe injury, Cobb is not trending in the right direction to return for Thursday's matchup with the Lions. Keke Coutee earned praises in the slot in place of Cobb, and would figure to continue seeing an increased usage with the veteran sidelined. The Lions Defense is allowing the fifth-most receiving yards to opposing wide receivers this season, putting Coutee, Brandin Cooks, and Will Fuller V in line for increased usage should Cobb ultimately not make it back in time for the contest.

From RotoBaller