Need some help choosing your lineup? Andrew Perloff and Michael Beller give their Week 6 daily fantasy picks.
This is one of those weeks where the matchups for the top running backs are so juicy, it’s worth doing cap gymnastics to fit in guys like Le’Veon Bell, LeSean McCoy and DeMarco Murray. I have a DraftKings lineup with all three and can’t wait to see how it does. But where to cut costs? Let’s dive in….
Drew Brees ($8,5000 FanDuel, $7,900DraftKings)
Yeah, this is chalk and a lot of people will be playing the Saints QB or his opponent, the Panthers’ Cam Newton. But this is the game most likely to blow up. Brees should pick apart Carolina’s inexperienced secondary and he’s a bit cheaper than Newton.
Alternate: I rode Cam all season in 2015 and think this might be the beginning of a run for him—although they may not let him run in the red zone as much. I have an alternate lineup with Alex Smith, a bargain against the Raiders’ woeful pass defense. Marcus Mariota can be confounding, but he showed last week he can score big against a bad team in Miami. He’ll get another chance to do the same against Cleveland. And Russell Wilson is healthy and ready to roll in what could be a high scoring game against Atlanta.
Le’Veon Bell ($9,300 FanDuel, $7,900 DraftKings)
More chalk, but you gotta get in on the best fantasy RB against the Dolphins’ 32nd-ranked run defense. It’s probably worth stacking Steelers, but Antonio Brown is so expensive and breakout star Sammie Coates is banged up. Just put a solid investment in Bell and you’ll be fine.
LeSean McCoy ($8,200 FanDuel, $6,900 DraftKings)
Knowing coach Rex Ryan, he’ll help McCoy get revenge against his former coach Chip Kelly. It shouldn’t be hard. The Niners have the second-worst run defense in the NFL.
Alternate: Tennessee’s DeMarco Murray has another great matchup against Cleveland after rolling over the Dolphins last week. Seattle’s Christine Michael is too under-the-radar and has a nice matchup against Atlanta. Not too many bargains jump out, although Carolina’s Jonathan Stewart, coming off an injury, could get more red zone action if the Panthers try to protect Cam. And the low price on Philly’s Ryan Matthews is tempting against Washington, although he drives me nuts because the Eagles spread it around.
Willie Snead ($7,000 FanDuel, $6,400 DraftKings)
The Saints WR is coming off a bye and had a chance to rest his injured toe. We’re willing to throw out his poor performance in Week 4 and watch him go to work against Carolina’s questionable DBs.
Cameron Meredith ($5,400 FanDuel, $4,100 DraftKings)
OK, I’m chasing last week’s point here, but I need a cheap WR option and the Bears are home. Quarterback Brian Hoyer clearly likes the second-year pro out of Illinois State—he targeted 12 times last week, resulting in 9 catches for 130 yards and a TD.
Randall Cobb ($7,000 FanDuel, $6,000 DraftKings)
The Cowboys’ defense has done a lot right this season, but they have trouble covering slot WRs. The Packers’ pass game is a mystery, but with their running backs dealing with health issues, they should pass the ball often.
Alternates: If Amari Cooper could keep his toes down in the end zone he’d be a lot more valuable, he’d be a superstar. But at least the Raiders are emphasizing him. Tough matchup against K.C. but he has a good FD price ($7,000 FanDuel, $7,500 DraftKings). On the other side of the ball, the Chiefs’ Jeremy Maclin has had success against Oakland (3 TDs in two games last season). Snead’s return scares me for New Orleans rookie Mike Thomas, but that price ($5,400 FanDuel, $4,300 DraftKings) is juicy.
Zach Ertz ($5,400 FanDuel, $4,000 DraftKings)
The Eagles TE had just three catches for 37 yards last week against Detroit in his first game back from a rib injury. But he should be rounding into form and et more targets against a banged up Redskins secondary.
Alternate: I’m alternating Ertz with Indy’s Dwayne Allen. And the Bills’ Charles Clay might get going with the extra downs the offense will get against the high-tempo Niners.
Nick Novak ($4,500 FanDuel)
If I have only $4,500 in FanDuel left on kicker, I’m always going indoors.
Titans ($4,700 FanDuel, $3,300 DraftKings)
How did this defense get so good with no name players? Probably the schedule—and it remains easy with a matchup against Cleveland.
Alternate: I like the Bills as a bet against Colin Kaepernick, since the Niners are traveling East for a 1 p.m. ET game.
I was all set to hitch my DFS wagon to Alex Smith. I had my lineups locked in and was ready to ride with the most vanilla quarterback in the league across the board. Then the weekend forecasts started rolling in, and they don’t look pretty for Oakland, where Smith’s Chiefs will take on the Raiders. A 100% chance of rain. Wind speeds of 20 to 30 mph, with gusts topping 40 mph. Those are terrible conditions for a passing game, even if the quarterback rarely throws farther than 10 yards down the field.
Smith is incredibly cheap on both DraftKings and FanDuel, so backing off of him necessitated an entire roster teardown. That can create more than a fair bit of angst, and you can bet I’ll be watching Smith and the Chiefs very closely, hoping that my weather-driven pivot works in my favor. Below are my ideal picks for both DraftKings and FanDuel. I will be playing lineups other than the ones I present here, but these are my go-to lineups for both sites.
Russell Wilson ($DK: $6,900, FD: $8,400) vs. Atlanta
All the offensively driven talk going into this game centers on the Falcons, but it’ll be Wilson and the Seahawks who put on a better show. Let’s start with just how great a matchup this is for the Falcons. They may be 4-1, but Matt Ryan and company have done all that heavy lifting. The Falcons defense remains terrible, allowing most standard-league points per game to quarterbacks. Wilson and the Seahawks are coming off a bye, which gave the quarterback more time to rest his dinged-up knee and ankle. We could see him run more on Sunday than he has at any point this season, but it’s hard to envision this Falcons defense being able to slow Seattle’s aerial attack, especially with Jimmy Graham rounding back into form. Seattle is playing at home and favored by 6.5 points, which is a great formula for a DFS quarterback in a cash-game format. The floor on Wilson is safe, and he has one of the highest ceilings at the position this week. That makes him worth the hefty price tag.
LeSean McCoy (DK: $6,900, FD: $8,200) vs. San Francisco
McCoy is the backbone of my DFS teams this week, the only player who remained locked into my lineups as I made the changes necessitated by getting off the Alex Smith bandwagon. McCoy has been excellent this season, ranking sixth among running backs in total points and points per game. He has scored at least 13 points in four of his five games, and been a top-10 back each of the last three weeks. The 49ers, meanwhile, have been atrocious against the run. They’ve surrendered the sixth-most points per game to running backs, and have allowed a 100-yard rusher in all of their last four games. This game sets up beautifully for McCoy, made all the better by the fact that the Bills are 8-point favorites at home.
Lamar Miller (DK: $6,600, FD: $7,900) vs. Indianapolis
Look, no one is more frustrated by the lack of Miller touchdowns, other than perhaps the running back himself, than me. He was my No. 1 running back in draft season, and I own him in a lot of season-long leagues. The fact remains that he’s too good and getting far too much work for him to stay down much longer. He also has a great matchup with a terrible Indianapolis defense this week. The Colts have allowed the third-most points per game to running backs this season. They’ve allowed a double-digit scoring back in all five of their games this season, and five runners have scored at least 13.8 points against them. In each of the Colts last three games, a running back has had at least 40 receiving yards against them. This is the week Miller finally breaks through, and he does so in a big way.
Ryan Mathews (DK: $4,900, FD: $6,500)
Let’s keep the great matchup theme rolling. Washington has surrendered the fourth-most points per game to running backs this year, allowing 672 rushing yards and seven scores on the ground in five games. Opposing backs have tramped for 5.31 yards per carry against Washington, with the likes of DeAngelo Williams, Shane Vereen, Orleans Darkwa, Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West all picking up at least five yards on an average tote. When healthy, Mathews is unquestionably the lead dog in the Philadelphia backfield. He’ll cede passing downs to Darren Sproles, but should otherwise dominate the workload.
Allen Robinson (DK: $7,800, FD: $8,600) at Chicago
Robinson is in a good spot against the Bears. The secondary has performed better than expected this season, but that doesn’t exactly mean it has been good. Yes, the Bears held DeAndre Hopkins, Dez Bryant and Marvin Jones to a combined 168 yards, but both Hopkins and Bryant found the end zone. They allowed Will Fuller to burn them for 107 yards and a score, and just last week, T.Y. Hilton carved them up to the tune of 10 catches for 171 yards and a touchdown. Even with Blake Bortles playing his own special brand of uneven quarterback, Robinson should thrive on Sunday.
Doug Baldwin (DK: $6,500, FD: $7,600) vs. Atlanta
Baldwin will be on the receiving end of a lot of the goodness Russell Wilson churns out against the Falcons. You’d likely assume that the team that has allowed the most points to quarterbacks on the air has been similarly friendly to receivers, and you’d be right. The Falcons have allowed the ninth-most points to receivers on the year, and while they’ve yet to allow a monster game to any one player, they’ve provided a nice floor for No. 1 receivers. At the very least, Baldwin will stand on that floor. If Wilson enjoys a big game, Baldwin will likely hang the first huge receiver game of the season on the Falcons.
Mike Wallace (DK: $5,200, FD: $6,400) at Oakland
Marc Trestman is gone and Steve Smith is out with an ankle injury. Both of those developments should be good for Wallace, even if the former doesn’t seem it on its face. Trestman may be in love with the pass, but the bottom line is he simply did not have an effective design for the Baltimore offense. Marty Mornhinweg may feed Terrance West a bit more, but the Giants have struggled against the pass this season, allowing the 10th-most points to the position. With Smith out, there’s no question that Wallace is Joe Flacco’s primary downfield threat.
Michael Thomas (DK: $4,300, FD: $5,400) vs. Carolina
Finally, Thomas has started taking on a larger role in the New Orleans offense, scoring a touchdown in both of the team’s last two games. Those scores came from three and five yards out, a sign that Thomas is turning into Drew Brees’s favorite receiver at the goal line. As great as Cooks and Snead are, neither is a big, physical receiver who can post up in the end zone or regularly win jump balls. That’s exactly what the rookie from Ohio State brings to the table. Panthers-Saints has the highest over/under of the week at 53. You want to be invested in this game in some form or fashion.
Travis Kelce (DK: $5,000, FD: $6,400) at Oakland
Walker is my favorite tight end of the week, but I simply couldn’t afford him on FanDuel, and I preferred the pivot to Kelce than any other change I would have made. The forecast in Oakland is a bit disconcerting, but it could actually play into Kelce’s favor. If Alex Smith is forced to stay even closer to the line of scrimmage than usual with his passes, Kelce would likely be the greatest beneficiary. He’s the team’s most dangerous weapon in the short and intermediate passing game, and even with Jamaal Charles reportedly at full strength, Smith is going to have to make some plays through the air. Kelce is most likely to lead the Chiefs in targets on Sunday.
Delanie Walker (DK: $5,500, FD: $6,700) vs. Cleveland
Walker is, without question, Marcus Mariota’s top target in every facet of the passing game. He entered the season as Mariota’s most reliable option, especially within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, but, thanks in part to the lack of speed outside, he’s now also the team’s most dangerous downfield threat. The Browns have allowed the most points per game to tight ends this season, and it’s not just because of what Martellus Bennett and Rob Gronkowski did to them last week. Jordan Reed got them for nine catches, 73 yards and two touchdowns in Week 4, while Dennis Pitta racked up nine receptions of his own for 102 yards in Week 2. Walker should take advantage.
Wil Lutz (FD: $4,500) vs. Carolina
It’s our old friend Lutz, who is always expected to play in a high-scoring game while checking in at the minimum price. That’s good enough for me.
Houston Texans (DK: $2,900, FD: $4,400) vs. Indianapolis.
The Colts have arguably the worst offensive line in the league, surrendering a league-high 20 sacks thus far. Andrew Luck admitted earlier this week that part of that is his fault for holding onto the ball too long, but that doesn’t change the fact that the line has been a sieve this year. Even though the Texans are without J.J. Watt and haven’t lived up to expectations on the defensive side of the ball, they can turn a DFS profit at their reasonable Week 6 price, given the matchup.