DRAFT Week 6 NFL Picks: Round by Round AnalysisBy Mark Dankenbring | Published: October 12, 2017 at 10:24 am
Weekly contests on draft.com feature a new format for DFS players. Instead of a salary-based selection process, DRAFT went back to the basics and implemented a live snake draft format for players. For weekly contests, players must draft 1 QB, 2 RBs, and 2 WRs/TEs. There is only one option with more than six players (10 players), meaning only 30 players are taken off the board in the majority of contests.
With just five rounds to draft and a 30-second pick clock, it’s important to know who you want before the clock starts ticking. Therefore, each week I’ll give you round by round advice, factoring in depth at each position to help you nail each and every pick in your draft. Let’s get started.
Once again we find ourselves with a top-heavy group of running backs this week who we’ll want to target with our first pick. There’s a clear tier of upper-echelon options, consisting of Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette, Todd Gurley, and Le’Veon Bell.
Kansas City’s stud back Kareem Hunt has totaled 100+ yards from scrimmage in his first five career games. He’ll face a Steelers team at home that’s allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Pittsburgh has allowed the fewest passing yards per game (139.6), so I anticipate Andy Reid will design a run-heavy offensive game plan. Hunt is an easy first round pick this weekend.
Another rookie should follow Hunt, as Leonard Fournette faces a Rams defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Jacksonville is a home favorite and Fournette is already averaging 24.4 touches per game, so he should see a solid workload once again. The Jags also lead the NFL by rushing on 55.2% of their offensive plays, just one of two teams over the 50% mark. Plan on the LSU product having a big performance.
Todd Gurley is the next man on our radar in round one. He’ll face a Jaguars defense that’s allowed the second-most rushing yards per game (146.4) and has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing backs. The Jags D rank first overall defense in Football Outsider’s DVOA because they’ve absolutely smothered pass games, but they’re 31st in DVOA against the run. Gurley should get on track after seeing a season-low 16 touches in Week 5, so value him as a locked in RB1 this weekend.
Le’Veon Bell has the worst matchup of this foursome, but is still worthy of a first-round pick. Kansas City has allowed 40.5% of opponent runs to go for more than five yards, the most in the league, and while Bell has been getting the touches, he’s averaged just 3.64 yards per attempt opposed to his 4.86 yards last season. He continues to lead the league with 25.8 touches per game, and I expect the production to follow from Bell.
Rounds 2 and 3
With a running back locked up, it makes the most sense to target a legit WR1 with your next pick. My top choices at the position are Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, TY Hilton, DeAndre Hopkins, and Stefon Diggs.
Jones has yet to put up a WR1 performance this season, but will face a mediocre Miami defense at home. Atlanta is coming off their bye week, so he’s had extra time to recover from a hip/oblique injury that caused him to leave Week 4’s game early (still limited as of Wednesday’s practice, however). He’ll see the majority of his snaps against Xavien Howard, which Pro Football Focus dubs as their second-most favorable matchup for a WR entering the weekend. I think Matt Ryan will try and grease the squeaky wheel early in Week 6, giving Jones the opportunities to score his first touchdown of the season and have the breakout game we’ve seen come seen from this duo in Atlanta.
Antonio Brown will square off against the defense allowing the most fantasy points to opposing WRs thus far. He’ll avoid ball-hawking Marcus Peters for the majority of snaps like in past meetings, as he’s posted WR10, WR12, and WR9 games in his last three regular season matchups with KC. Brown is also tied for a team-high seven red zone targets, including three inside the 10-yard line, but has only turned in one touchdown. That should change this week against a defense surrendering the most TDs to opposing WRs with nine already on the season.
The Colts have another great passing matchup against the Titans, so TY Hilton should thrive on Monday Night Football. Hilton currently leads the league with an average depth of 12.6 yards per target, and will now face a defense with the second-most receptions and nine receiving touchdowns to opposing WRs, tied for most in the league. Hilton should have no trouble performing against this weak secondary.
It’s hard to get away from DeAndre Hopkins now that Deshaun Watson is under center, as he’s put up WR4 and WR2 performances in back-to-back games with Watson. Cleveland has struggled against premier WR1s this season, allowing 11-182-0 to Antonio Brown, 5-63-1 to A.J. Green, and 7-153-1 to TY Hilton. Hopkins should find similar success against a porous Browns’ defense, so feel confident in him as an early second round pick.
The group rounds out with Stefon Diggs, who if healthy (injured groin), has the best WR-CB matchup of the weekend according to PFF. Diggs has posted at least five catches for 90+ yards in his three home contests this season, and will now face a Packers’ secondary allowing the 12th-most fantasy points to WRs. His touchdown upside is impressive as well, as he’s hauled in all five of his red zone targets for three touchdowns, something that could continue on Sunday.
For your third-round selection, I would first look to double-up on any of the above WR names. Rostering two of those players would likely give you the strongest WR duo of any drafter and give you a leg up on the field. If they aren’t available, I’ll make your selection easy: CJ Anderson.
Anderson will be in a home matchup against the Giants, and Denver enters in as 11.5-point home favorites after their bye week. They should have no issues building a lead against an 0-5 Giants team that will be missing at least nine starters, including nearly their entire WR corps. The G-Men have struggled against the ground game as well, allowing the fourth-most rushing yards so far this season. I don’t see this game going well for them as they travel to mile-high Denver, one of the strongest home-field advantages in the league. Look for Anderson to see 20+ carries and close to 100 yards on the ground against a bad Giants team.
Rounds 4 and 5
With your third-round pick likely being Anderson, let’s focus on some WR2s to target in round four. There are more than enough QBs to go around this week, so look to save them for your last selection. My favorites to target in round four are Davante Adams, Larry Fitzgerald, and DeSean Jackson.
We saw Adams’ toughness and skill displayed on Sunday against the Cowboys, as he returned from his vicious hit just 10 days prior to record a 7-66-2 line on 11 targets. Jordy Nelson will likely see shadow coverage from Xavier Rhodes, where fantasy WRs go to die essentially, so I think Adams will get plenty of looks once again. The Vikings have allowed the eighth-most receiving yards to opposing wide outs, and I like Adams’ chances of snaring a touchdown pass against Trae Waynes, who he has two inches and 25 pounds on. Adams makes for a strong WR2 play this weekend.
Fitzgerald seems like he makes this list every week, but he continues to have dream matchups. He’ll now square off against Robert McClain, who ranks 106th of 115 corners in coverage rating on PFF. Not to mention, Fitzgerald will have six-inch and 25-pound advantage over the slot corner. He’s seen 32 targets over the past three weeks, so Carson Palmer should have no issues calling his number once again this weekend, making him an exciting fourth-round pick against a defense allowing the most fantasy points per game to the WR position.
DeSean Jackson will be on the opposite sideline as Fitzgerald, but also finds himself with a favorable matchup. Arizona has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to WRs this season, with the vast majority of those points coming from receivers not covered by Patrick Peterson. Mike Evans will draw his shadow coverage, opening up D-Jax on the other side. He’s seeing seven targets per game with his new team, with several of those coming from deep shots. The Cardinals just allowed 59 and 72-yard touchdowns to Philly this past Sunday, so I’m optimistic in Jackson’s ability to get behind the defense and haul in a big play. It’s about time he and Jameis Winston connected, and this is a prime matchup for that to occur.
Lastly, we find ourselves in round five with only a QB to select. There are definitely more than six options I’d be willing to roster, so I won’t discuss Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, or Drew Brees, as you know to select one of them if they’re available, but they’ll probably have been plucked in the earlier rounds. Therefore, my list boils down to Kirk Cousins, Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, and Carson Palmer.
Cousins will be coming off his bye to face a defense that’s allowed 321 passing yards and two touchdowns per game over the last three weeks. He was hot before the bye, totaling 585 passing yards and five touchdowns in Weeks 3 and 4, so I expect him to come out slinging against a poor pass defense. Also, starting RB Rob Kelley looks doubtful to play, maybe causing Cousins to shoulder more of the offensive workload.
Deshaun Watson has been a fantasy legend the past two weeks, posting back-to-back five touchdown performances en route to the QB1 in Weeks 4 and 5. He’ll now face a Browns defense at home that’s allowed the fourth-most points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Feel free to ride the hot hand again this week.
Matt Ryan will also come off his bye and face a sad Miami Dolphins team at home. He’s been an average fantasy QB at best thus far, but I expect him to post a big game here to silence his doubters and show the league a repeat trip to Superbowl is likely for Atlanta. I especially like Ryan if you were able to snag Julio Jones earlier in the round, as this could be a week where that connection busts open and dominates the fantasy world.
Cam Newton has posted back-to-back 300-yard passing games for the first time in his career, and will welcome the pass-funnel Philadelphia Eagles to Carolina on Thursday night. They surrender 39.4 passing attempts per game, second most in the league, and have allowed 334 passing yards per game over their last three weeks. Newton seems to have found his stride in the passing game, and will now face a defense that really struggles against it, making for a great matchup for the former Heisman winner.
Carson Palmer rounds out this list, but is still a legitimate QB option this week. He’ll welcome the Buccaneers to Arizona, who have allowed 19.7 points per game to QBs thus far, the fifth-most in the league. The Cardinals added Adrian Peterson this week, but I don’t expect their pass-heavy offense to change all that much in his first week. Arizona leads the NFL with 45.4 passes per game, and will face a defense allowing the most pass attempts (41.8) and second-most passing yards per game (309). I expect Palmer to reach 40+ pass attempts once again, making him a strong streamer option this weekend.