RealTime DFS Strategy: Week 6

Fri Oct 15 9:47am ET
Contributing Writer

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Jackson is worth high price tag

Week 6 brings the first round of teams on a bye. While that might limit our options in DFS, there are still some great players to consider for your lineups. Let’s highlight some of them at each position, as well as some players to possibly avoid.


Lamar Jackson, BAL vs. LAC ($7,400): Jackson is coming off of a monster performance against the Colts in which he had over 500 total yards and four touchdown passes. He completed 86.0 percent of his passes, leading the Ravens to a comeback win. In addition to his passing prowess, he turned his 14 carries into 62 yards. That marked his third game with at least 10 carries and his fourth with at least 58-rushing yards. Look for him to do plenty of damage in a matchup against a Chargers team that has allowed the most rushing yards per game in the league.

Taylor Heinicke, WAS vs. KC ($5,800): Last week brought a rough outing from Heinicke, who had two interceptions and no touchdown passes. There have been reports that Ryan Fitzpatrick (hip) could return as early as Week 7, so this might be Heinicke’s last game as Washington’s starting quarterback. If it is, he could go out with a bang against a Chiefs team that has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.

Player to Avoid

Ryan Tannehill, TEN vs. BUF ($6,400): With injuries limiting his options at wide receiver, Tannehill is off to a slow start. He has thrown one or no touchdown passes four of five games and has thrown for 212 yards or fewer three times. This is not a good matchup for him to get back on track, considering the Bills have nine interceptions and have allowed only five touchdown passes all season.

Running Backs

Austin Ekeler, LAC at BAL ($7,900): Ekeler has been a touchdown machine in the Chargers’ potent offense, recording seven total touchdowns in the early going. His rushing numbers aren’t always great, evident by the fact that he has run for fewer than 67 yards in four of five games. However, he helps to make up for that in the passing game with at least five targets in each of the last four weeks. That’s noteworthy given that the Ravens have allowed 30 receptions to opposing running backs, which is tied for the ninth-most in the league.

Darrel Williams, KC at WAS ($5,000): Not only did the Chiefs fall to the Bills last week, but they lost starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire to a knee injury that has since landed him on IR. In his absence, Williams is expected to take on a larger role. He’s shown an ability to be productive when given the opportunity, including rushing 26 times for 130 yards and a touchdown across two playoff games versus the Browns and Bills last season.

Player to Avoid

Josh Jacobs, LV at DEN ($5,900): The Raiders will have a new head coach for this game, which makes things a little more complicated to project. They have options at running back, which can be partly to blame for Jacobs not topping 15 carries in any of the three games in which he has played. His limited workload contributed to him recording fewer than 50-rushing yards all three contests. Up next could be an uphill battle against the Broncos, who have allowed the sixth-fewest rushing yards per game.

Wide Receivers

Terry McLaurin, WAS vs. KC ($7,100): The bad news is that McLaurin only caught four passes for 46 yards last week. The good news is that he received 11 targets, giving him 49 total for the season. Washington should have to throw a lot in this game to keep up with Patrick Mahomes, and with the Chiefs’ defensive struggles already detailed, a juicy stat line could be coming from McLaurin.

Emmanuel Sanders, BUF at TEN ($5,200): The Titans’ secondary has been a weak spot for them in the early going. In fact, they’ve allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. That might have many DFS players flocking to Stefon Diggs ($7,200), who is certainly an appealing option. However, if you’d like some exposure to this matchup, but need to save more of your budget, Sanders is also worth a look. He has four touchdowns catches over his last three games and has received at least six targets four of five games.

Player to Avoid

A.J. Brown, TEN vs. BUF ($6,400): In his return from a hamstring injury, Brown caught just three of six targets for 38 yards last week against the Jaguars. It continued a disappointing season in which he hasn’t topped 49-receiving yards in a game yet. With Julio Jones (hamstring) likely to return and the Bills being so adept at defending the pass, Brown might be too risky of an option at his salary.

Tight Ends

Mark Andrews, BAL vs. LAC ($5,400): Andrews was the main beneficiary of Jackson’s prolific stat line last week. He was targeted 13 times, which he turned into 11 receptions for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He even hauled in a couple of two-point conversions. That marked his second game of the season with at least 100 receiving yards and his third straight game with at least seven targets. His volume, combined with the Chargers allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, makes him one of the top options at his position.

Ricky Seals-Jones, WAS vs. KC ($3,000): Logan Thomas rarely comes off the field for Washington. He played all of their offensive snaps in each of the team’s first three games this season. However, he went down with a hamstring injury early in Week 4, which resulted in Seals-Jones playing 91.9 percent of their offensive snaps in that game. With Thomas on IR, Seals-Jones followed that up by playing 98.7 percent of their offensive snaps in Week 5. The end result was him catching five of eight targets for 41 yards. At this cheap salary, his new role could help him provide significant value.

Player to Avoid

Robert Tonyan, GB at CHI ($3,800): Touchdown regression has kicked in with Tonyan. After logging 11 touchdowns despite only receiving 59 targets last season, he only has one score this season on his 17 targets. His salary is starting to come down, but with Seals-Jones having a larger role with his team, and a significantly cheaper salary, there’s no need to take a chance on Tonyan.

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.

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Player Notes
Logan Thomas Nov 27 1:20pm ET
Logan Thomas

Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas (hamstring) is expected to be activated from Injured Reserve and play on Monday against the Seattle Seahawks. However, Thomas will be on a pitch count if he's able to play in Week 12. The 30-year-old has been out since Week 4, so it should come as no surprise that he'll be limited in his first game back. But when he's fully healthy, Thomas will be the team's top pass-catching tight end and could serve as a nice low-end TE1 down the stretch. Pick him up now off the waiver wire if he's available in your league. Thomas is currently rostered in 61% of Yahoo leagues. With Ricky Seals-Jones (hip) unlikely to play Monday, rookie John Bates, who had three catches for 25 yards last week, could see more run with Thomas being eased back in.

From RotoBaller

A.J. Brown Nov 27 1:20pm ET
A.J. Brown

The Tennessee Titans have placed star wide receiver A.J. Brown (chest) on injured reserve Saturday; he will miss the next three games. Fullback Khari Blasingame was activated from the injured reserve in a corresponding move. The Titans have been destroyed by injuries at the wide receiver position and have now placed Julio Jones (hamstring), Marcus Johnson (hamstring), and Brown on injured reserve. Tennessee has a bye in Week 13; the 24-year-old will have an extra week to heal and become eligible to return from IR on December 23rd against the San Francisco 49ers. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Brown's injury is not season-ending. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Chester Rogers, and Dez Fitzpatrick should see an increase in target share and snaps while Brown is sidelined. Westbrook-Ikhine becomes the Titans' de facto WR1 and is worth picking up in most league formats.

From RotoBaller

Kenny Young Nov 27 1:10pm ET
Kenny Young

The Denver Broncos defense is coming off their bye into a tough matchup against the division-rival Los Angeles Chargers. The trade for linebacker Kenny Young has injected some life into this defense after injuries wrecked the position and the Broncos traded All-Pro pass-rusher Von Miller to the Los Angeles Rams. Young has 11 tackles in three games with Denver, and the Broncos could also be getting star pass-rusher Bradley Chubb (ankle) back soon. Denver's D is allowing the third-fewest points per game (18.3), but the Chargers offense can be lethal -- 386.5 yards per game (eighth-most) and 26 points per game (11th most). The Broncos are tied for 14th in the league with 24 sacks, and they'll need to get pressure on quarterback Justin Herbert in order to have a shot at slowing the Bolts down. Denver's defense has been pretty solid, all things considered this year, but fantasy managers should have better options in Week 12.

From RotoBaller

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Nov 27 1:00pm ET
Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling is coming off a monster performance in the Week 11 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. He caught four passes for 123 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown in last Sunday's loss. The 27-year-old led the Packers in targets and owned a whopping 32.3% percent of the team's target shares in Week 11. Teammate WR Allen Lazard (shoulder) is questionable for Sunday's contest against the Los Angeles Rams. The player known as "MVS" is the Packers WR2 and is a boom-or-bust option against a Rams defense that ranks eighth in DVOA against the opposing team's secondary target.

From RotoBaller

Brandon McManus Nov 27 1:00pm ET
Brandon McManus

Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus has had an up-and-down season as a fantasy option in Denver's inconsistent offense. He has made 85.7% of his 21 field-goal tries, which ties a career high, and he's only missed one of his 19 extra-point attempts. McManus has missed just four kicks total, but he checks in as the No. 19 fantasy kicker in terms of overall points heading into the team's Week 12 game against the Los Angeles Chargers. His 21 field-goal attempts is tied for 10th in the league, while his 19 extra-point attempts has him tied for 22nd. The Chargers defense has allowed the sixth-most points per game this year and have been a friendly matchup for opposing kickers, though, so McManus will be an option as a low-end streamer in deeper leagues coming off Denver's bye week.

From RotoBaller

Tim Patrick Nov 27 12:50pm ET
Tim Patrick

Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick was recently signed to a three-year, $30 million contract extension and was also named to ESPN's all-underrated team for 2021. Patrick has kept a snap rate over 90% despite Jerry Jeudy's return in Week 8, and he ranks fourth in receiving DVOA this year while averaging 9.9 yards per target. The 28-year-old has been a key part of Denver's offense the last two years, especially when Courtland Sutton tore his ACL early in 2020. He has four touchdowns in 2021 and a career-high catch percentage of 69.8%, but he's seen just 14 targets (10 catches, 163 yards, one touchdown) in three games since Jeudy's return from a high ankle sprain. Patrick shouldn't be overlooked in this offense, but with targets hard to come by behind Jeudy and Sutton, he'll be a touchdown-dependent WR4/flex against a strong Los Angeles Chargers secondary this Sunday.

From RotoBaller

AJ Dillon Nov 27 12:50pm ET
AJ Dillon

Green Bay Packers running back AJ Dillon rushed for 53 yards on 11 attempts and caught all six targets in his first career start in the Week 11 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Aaron Jones (knee) will be a game-time decision for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams. Dillon could get another start in Week 12 if the Packers rule out Jones ahead of Sunday's game. Green Bay does have a bye in Week 13; the team could be careful with Jones and rest him before heading into the bye week. Dillon has been efficient this season, rushing for 474 yards on 18 attempts and two touchdowns while catching 22-of-214 targets for 240 yards and a touchdown over 11 games in 2021. The 23-year-old is mid-range RB2 if Jones is ruled out but becomes a flex option if the Packers starting RB is active.

From RotoBaller

Noah Fant Nov 27 12:50pm ET
Noah Fant

Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant missed the Week 9 upset win over the Denver Broncos after testing positive for COVID-19, but he returned in Week 10 and had a respectable five catches for 59 yards on six targets in the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Fant last found the end zone in Week 6 and had a two-catch game in Week 8, so he's been pretty inconsistent in an offense with plenty of mouths to feed through the air. However, at the weakest position in fantasy, the 24-year-old remains in play as at least a low-end TE1 option. He'll be facing a Los Angeles Chargers defense in Week 12 that hasn't allowed much through the air this season, but they have surrendered the second-most fantasy points per game (11.7) to the TE position in 2021. Fant has the opportunity to come out of the bye week with a strong performance.

From RotoBaller

Courtland Sutton Nov 27 12:40pm ET
Courtland Sutton

Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton signed a four-year contract extension worth $60.8 million during the bye week. The 26-year-old has proven to be an excellent deep threat on the outside and has bounced back from his ACL tear in 2020, but he has taken a back seat in the offense ever since Jerry Jeudy returned from his high ankle sprain in Week 8. In three games with Jeudy back in the picture, Sutton has only five receptions for 78 yards on nine targets. Nine targets over a three-game span just isn't going to cut it. Sutton can still win with physicality down the field, but he'll have a tough matchup against a Los Angeles Chargers defense that is allowing the fifth-fewest receiving yards this season. Perhaps the Broncos will manufacture more ways to get Sutton the ball coming off their bye, but he'll be a touchdown-dependent WR3/flex, at best, in Week 12.

From RotoBaller

Zane Gonzalez Nov 27 12:30pm ET
Zane Gonzalez

Carolina Panthers kicker Zane Gonzalez is a streaming option against the Dolphins in Week 12. Gonzalez has been generally reliable this season, going 19-for-21 in field goals and 18-for-19 in extra points. Miami allows the fourth-most points to fantasy kickers, so the 26-year-old is a good streaming option.

From RotoBaller

Javonte Williams Nov 27 12:30pm ET
Javonte Williams

Denver Broncos rookie running back Javonte Williams has 103 carries and 127 total touches in 296 offensive snaps through 10 games this year, while Melvin Gordon has 118 carries and 139 total touches in 344 snaps. Denver is the only team to have two tailbacks with at least 500 rushing yards (Gordon 522, Williams 514) and one of only two teams with two 100-carry RBs. Williams has been more explosive and has shown more big-play ability -- 5.0 yards per carry and a team-high six runs of 20-plus yards -- but Gordon is expected to remain the starter in Week 12 against the Los Angeles Chargers. Gordon has been more valuable in fantasy because he's found the end zone more, but Williams will have nice RB2 upside this Sunday against a Bolts defense that has allowed the most rushing yards per game (145.1) this year.

From RotoBaller

Nelson Agholor Nov 27 12:30pm ET
Nelson Agholor

New England Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor is coming off one of his best performances of the season. He hauled in all five of his targets for 40 yards and one touchdown last week. Although, it's worth noting that Agholor has finished with less than five receptions in every game, but two this season. There is normally a handful of targets for Agholor, but he doesn't always make them count. In Week 12, he'll face a Tennessee Titans defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to wideouts this season. This certainly seems like a favorable spot for Agholor to do some damage. Despite that, he shouldn't be viewed as anything more than a desperation deep league option.

From RotoBaller

Kendrick Bourne Nov 27 12:30pm ET
Kendrick Bourne

New England Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne has hauled in 19 of his last 23 targets, which is quite outstanding. The speedy wideout seems to make the play when targeted, but there isn't always yardage after the catch. In fact, has surpassed 45 yards only once over his last four games. In Week 12, he'll get a Tennessee Titans defense that ranks ninth in pass DVOA this season. At this point, Bourne appears to be primarily a PPR option due to the lack of yardage. He might be able to produce WR4 value for this Week 12 matchup.

From RotoBaller

Jerry Jeudy Nov 27 12:30pm ET
Jerry Jeudy

Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy is still looking for the first touchdown of his sophomore season, but he's also only played in four games in 2021 after suffering a high ankle sprain in the season opener. Since returning from that injury, he has 16 catches on 21 targets for 156 yards (9.75 yards per catch). Although fantasy managers would like to see more, the good news is that the coaching staff is finding creative ways to get the ball in Jeudy's hands, and he's been quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's preferred target over Courtland Sutton in the last three games. Capping his upside is the fact that the Broncos have been spreading the ball around to all of their offensive weapons, and Jeudy will be a WR3/flex against a Chargers defense that is allowing the fifth-fewest receiving yards per game (224.6) in 2021.

From RotoBaller

Ian Thomas Nov 27 12:20pm ET
Ian Thomas

Carolina Panthers tight end Ian Thomas should be far away from starting lineups in Week 12. The 25-year-old has posted three receptions for 26 yards total in the last three games and that goes to show how little of a role he has in this offense. There are much better TE options to start in fantasy this week.

From RotoBaller

Melvin Gordon Nov 27 12:20pm ET
Melvin Gordon

The Denver Broncos still have plenty of confidence in running back Melvin Gordon III despite the fact that he's fumbled twice in the last three games, and his last one in Week 10 was returned for a touchdown. "Melvin's one of the top backs in this league," head coach Vic Fangio said. Despite the fumbling issues, Gordon leads the team with 522 rushing yards on 118 carries (4.4 yards per carry) and has found the end zone seven times (five rushing, two receiving) while sharing snaps with rookie Javonte Williams almost evenly. There's no reason to think the Broncos will change their backfield game plan in Week 12 against a Los Angeles Chargers defense that is surrendering the most rushing yards per game (145.1). Gordon will be an RB2 in fantasy in this revenge game.

From RotoBaller

Tua Tagovailoa Nov 27 12:20pm ET
Tua Tagovailoa

The Carolina Panthers defense is a top-five option for Week 12 against the Dolphins. This unit has gotten 30 sacks, eight picks, and 14 forced fumbles on the season thus far. While they do allow more points in some games, this unit has generally done a good job against weaker offenses. The Dolphins don't have an explosive offense and Tua Tagovailoa is still a young QB who is prone to mistakes, so there is reason to stream the Panthers defense this week with confidence.

From RotoBaller

Jakobi Meyers Nov 27 12:20pm ET
Jakobi Meyers

New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers has failed to surpass 50 receiving yards in each of his last six games. Although, it's worth noting that Meyers has seen four or more targets in every game this season. His production has been inconsistent, which makes him a difficult fantasy option on a weekly basis. Fantasy managers should consider Meyers a low-end flex option in PPR formats for Week 12. He'll face off against a Tennessee Titans defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to wideouts this season. The Patriots aren't exactly a pass-heavy team, but this is a favorable matchup for Meyers. The targets should be there, which makes him a solid candidate for PPR formats in Week 12.

From RotoBaller

D.J. Moore Nov 27 12:10pm ET
D.J. Moore

Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore is a WR2 option in Week 12 against the Dolphins. Moore's production has dipped a bit recently after a hot start to the season. In the last three games, he's posted 50 yards only once. Still, the WR is the top pass-catching option on this team and the target share will be there each week. Miami allows the second-most fantasy points to wideouts, so this could be the week Moore gets back on track.

From RotoBaller

Teddy Bridgewater Nov 27 12:10pm ET
Teddy Bridgewater

Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is coming off the bye week looking to put the team's disappointing Week 11 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the rearview mirror. A week after a huge upset over the Dallas Cowboys, Bridgewater went 22-for-36 for 226 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Bridgewater hasn't turned the ball over since Week 7, but he has only thrown for 300-plus yards twice this year and not since Week 6. The Los Angeles Chargers defense won't exactly make it easy on Bridgewater to put up big numbers, either -- they've allowed the fifth-fewest passing yards per game (209.9), although they've been more generous to QBs in recent weeks in fantasy. In Denver's run-first, ball-control offense, Bridgewater will come out of the bye as a low-end QB2 once again.

From RotoBaller