With all of the top players at your disposal each week in daily fantasy football, it can be tough to decide between guys like A.J. Green and Julio Jones when building your lineup. In this weekly article, I’ll take a look at guys on the upper or middle range of salaries at each position (“retail prices”), identifying my favorite plays for the week. Make sure to complement these players with “value plays,” and as always be mindful of the different strategies that apply for GPP versus Cash contests.
FanDuel and DraftKings NFL Week 6 Picks: Top QBs, RBs, WRs, TEs and D/ST
Cam Newton (CAR, FD: $8,200, DK: $6,700) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
I made a bad call fading Newton against the Lions in Week 5, but it looks like Cam is finally healthy following off-season shoulder surgery, so I’m excited to play him this Thursday night against the Eagles. Newton has now totaled 671 yards and six passing touchdowns, as well as 15 rushes for 44 yards and TD in his last two games (finished QB2 and QB5). Philly has surrendered 39.4 pass attempts per game, the second-most in the league, and will enter Week 6 with a secondary that’s still decimated. They’ve allowed the third-most passing yards on the season and an average of 334 yards through the air in their last three games. Carolina are just three point favorites at home, and the Eagles have shown they can score, averaging 27.4 points per game (tied-sixth in NFL). Newton will likely air it out plenty on Thursday night, making him a solid DFS target.
Kirk Cousins (WSH, FD: $7,800, DK: $6,800) vs. San Francisco 49ers
This might turn out to be an audition for Cousins, who the Niners are rumored to be interested in giving a long-term deal following this season. The sixth-year QB will be coming off a bye to face a defense that’s allowed 321 passing yards and two passing TDs per game over their last three. After a tough first two weeks, Cousins seems to have found his groove. In Weeks 3 and 4 he totaled 585 passing yards and five touchdowns, including eight rushes for 40 yards. The 49ers will be traveling across the country to play a 1:00 pm game against a team coming off a bye, so I love Cousins in this matchup. Vegas does as well, giving the Redskins the third-highest implied team total of the weekend at 28.3 points.
Deshaun Watson (HOU, FD: $7,900, DK: $6,700) vs. Cleveland Browns
The rookie QB showed out for the third consecutive week, throwing for 261 yards and five TDs and added 31 yards on the ground. Two of those touchdowns came in garbage time, but hey, those points still count the same. He’ll now face off against a Browns defense that’s allowed the fourth-most points to opposing QBs this season. Cleveland has surrendered the second-most passing TDs (11), while Watson has nine in his last two games and 11 in his last three. There’s a chance this game becomes a blowout with a spread of 9.5 points in favor of Houston, but Watson’s involvement in the pass and run game gives him a great floor and ceiling, regardless of the matchup. He’s been the QB1 each of the last two weeks, so while he might be popular, I’ll still try and fit him in several lineups.
Kareem Hunt (KC, FD: $9,300, DK: $8,200) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Chiefs’ third-round pick continued his torrid start by amassing 116 total yards in Week 5, successfully reaching the 100+ yard mark in every career game. He’ll square off against a Steelers defense in Week 6 that has surrendered the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Most of that output was against rush-heavy teams in the Bears and Jaguars, and the Chiefs are in top-half of the league (13th) with 43.9% of their play calls as rushes. Pittsburgh has been extremely stingy against the pass, allowing just 139.6 yards per game, the fewest in the NFL. I expect Andy Reid to develop a game plan that features the rushing attack and therefore Hunt, giving him a great opportunity to exceed 100+ scrimmage yards again and hopefully punch one or two carries into the end zone.
Leonard Fournette (JAX, FD: $8,600, DK: $8,000) vs. Los Angeles Rams
Fournette entered the league in a different fashion than Hunt, as he was the fourth-overall pick and was clearly a building block for the Jaguars moving forward. He’s lived up to that expectation through five weeks, sitting in second behind just Hunt with 466 rushing yards. The rook has also scored five rushing touchdowns, tied for most in the league. He’ll now get to face a Rams defense that’s allowed the most fantasy points to opposing RBs, including a league-high six rushing TDs. Jacksonville is a slight 2.5-point favorite at home, so we should feel comfortable about Fournette’s workload, especially since the Jags lead the NFL with 55.2% of their plays as rushes (only other team above 49% is Buffalo – 50.6%). He should see 20+ carries no problem, lining him up for a big week against the league’s worst (fantasy) rush defense.
Todd Gurley (LAR, FD: $8,400, DK: $7,700) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Gurley was a huge letdown to those who rostered him this past weekend, as an early lunge for the pylon changed from a rushing TD into a lost fumble and therefore an 8+ point swing. That play was an indication for the day ahead for Gurley, as he managed just 50 total yards on 16 touches. I’m hoping that scares people off, because I love this matchup against the Jags. Jacksonville has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing RBs and 146.4 rushing yards per game, good for second-worst in the league. They’ve allowed a laughable 5.5 points per game to opposing QBs, so Sean McVay will likely design a game plan exploiting the Jags’ deficiencies in the run game. Gurley still leads all RBs with seven total touchdowns, and has seen eight carries inside the five-yard line (highest in the league), so I expect him to bounce back in this one.
The RB position is loaded with great matchups this weekend, so while I won’t go in-depth on the following players, they still make for intriguing DFS plays.
C.J. Anderson vs. New York Giants
Denver is coming off a bye and are 11.5-point favorites against a defense that’s surrendered the fourth-most rushing yards per game.
Lamar Miller vs. Cleveland Browns
Miller is another large home favorite (9.5 points) and has averaged 110 scrimmage yards in his two home games with Deshaun Watson as quarterback.
Devonta Freeman vs. Miami Dolphins
Freeman is still tied for the league lead with five rushing TDs and will be an 11-point home favorite. The Dolphins have been good against the run (seventh-fewest points per game) but Freeman should see plenty of work and has the talent to produce.
DeAndre Hopkins (HOU, FD: $8,000, DK: $8,100) vs. Cleveland Browns
It’s an easy choice to stack Hopkins with Deshaun Watson against Cleveland this weekend. He currently leads the NFL with 70 targets (14 per game) and should see the same treatment again this weekend. The Browns have surrendered a receiving TD to wide receivers in four straight games, while Hopkins has caught FOUR of them in the last two games. The fifth-year wide out has one of the safest floors of any player alongside a high ceiling given the number of targets and touchdown opportunities he sees. He’s rejuvenated playing with a competent QB for the first time in his career, making for an enticing DFS option once again at home against the Browns.
T.Y. Hilton (IND, FD: $7,800, DK: $6,700) at Tennessee Titans
Hilton is another player I’m going back to this week. He’s proven to have solid chemistry with QB Jacoby Brissett, having racked up two games of seven catches, 150+ yards, and a touchdown in their four games together. He’ll now face off against a Titans defense that’s allowed the third-most fantasy points to WRs and a league-high nine touchdowns. He leads the team with 38 targets (14 more than next closest), showing us he remains the top option in that passing attack. He’s still relatively affordable on both sites, making him an enticing option on the road against one of the worst pass defenses in the league.
Devin Funchess (CAR, FD: $6,700, DK: $6,100) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Philly has been getting torched through the air, so locking onto guys in the Panthers’ passing game will be a popular play on the Thursday slate. Funchess is my top option out of that crew, as he’s seen 17 targets to Kelvin Benjamin’s 10 over the last two weeks. He’s been very productive with those targets as well, hauling in 14 of them for 123 yards and three touchdowns. Newton loves targeting his big body over the middle of the field with Greg Olsen sidelined, so Funchess should see plenty of work once again versus the Eagles. If you play any slate involving the Thursday game, make sure to have Funchess in those lineups.
Larry Fitzgerald (ARI, FD: $6,600, DK: $6,800) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It’s tough to peg which wide receiver will see the most looks from Carson Palmer in a given week, but I like Fitz’s chances of being the top dog at home this weekend. He’ll see the majority of his snaps against slot corner Robert McClain, who is ranked 111 of 115 qualified corners in coverage rating this season, according to Pro Football Focus. Although the vet has posted just one great fantasy game this season, he’s still averaging over 10 targets a game. The Bucs as a team are also allowing the most points per game to opposing WRs, so while there’s plenty of fantasy production to go around, I expect Fitz to be the top dog in the passing attack this weekend. His individual matchup couldn’t get any better, so look for Palmer to get Fitz going early and continue to pepper him with targets throughout the game.
Delanie Walker (TEN, FD: $5,700, DK: $4,800) vs. Indianapolis Colts
It’s looking like Marcus Mariota will play after missing Week 5 with a hamstring strain, making Walker one of the top TE options of the weekend. He’ll face a Colts defense that’s allowed the fourth-most points to opposing tight ends this season. Walker has had some solid games at home against the Colts in his four-year stint with the Titans, averaging 7.8 catches, 71.5 receiving yards, and 0.5 touchdowns in those four contests. Indy has allowed at least five catches and a touchdown to opposing TEs in each of their last three games, so I’m confident Walker will post a game similar to his averages over the past few years, making him an easy play this week in DFS.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NYJ, FD: $5,600, DK: $4,300) vs. New England Patriots
The first-year Jet has seen some solid success through three weeks of action. He’s caught 15 of 18 targets for 108 yards and a touchdown. He’ll now face off against a Pats defense that’s allowed the fourth-most points per game to the position and has surrendered four TDs to tight ends, the third-most in the NFL. New York will likely be playing from behind (Patriots are 9.5-point favorites), making ASJ a solid option at tight end this weekend.
Atlanta Falcons (FD: $5,000, DK: $3,500) vs. Miami Dolphins
Miami has had the worst offense in the NFL and it’s not very close. They’ve averaged just 231.2 total yards per game this season, which is 40 yards fewer than the next closest team. Jay Cutler looks as uninspired as ever and has thrown an interception in his last three games. The Falcons are coming off a bye week fully refreshed, are at home, and should build a solid lead, forcing the Dolphins to be one-dimensional. They make for a great D/ST play this weekend.
Baltimore Ravens (FD: $4,900, DK: $3,700) vs. Chicago Bears
The Ravens will welcome a rookie QB on a short week in Baltimore this weekend. We saw Mitchell Trubisky’s running ability in his first start, as well as his propensity to force throws into coverage and back across his body, which is typical in a rookie QB. He’ll now face a defense that’s allowed just 205 yards passing per game this season and is second in the NFL with nine interceptions. I expect Baltimore to get after Trubisky, forcing him to make quick decisions and make pre-determined throws that will likely lead to a few turnovers. The Ravens make a strong case for the best defense to target this weekend.