Week 6 Game Scripts to Target in Daily Fantasy Football
If you're unfamiliar with the term, "game script" simply refers to the way that a game plays out. If you can predict how a game is going to unfold, you should have an easier time being able to predict which players will be in line for production.
Luckily, we don't have to try to predict the game scripts each week on our own. Oddsmakers do the job for us and have been perfecting their craft for decades. Betting odds are one of the many useful tools included in our Daily Fantasy Matchup Heat Map.
Using this information from Vegas helps teach us which games to focus on in daily fantasy contests. When a game has a high over/under, it means a lot of points will be scored and, therefore, a lot of fantasy points. This recurring game scripts article will target these high-scoring matchups while trying to avoid low-scoring matchups that often aren't fruitful in fantasy football.
Each week I'll be focusing on some of the more interesting game scripts, tying in correlation plays that can give you an edge in your daily fantasy contests on FanDuel. Let's get to it!
Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Falcons Implied Team Total: 30.50
Buccaneers Implied Team Total: 27.00
This is the game with the highest over/under on the Week 6 main slate. The Atlanta Falcons have the highest implied team total and return home to the dome after disappointing on the road in Pittsburgh, scoring just 17 points, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off their bye week. It's hard to image not going back to the Atlanta offense in this spot against an equally bad Tampa Bay defense, but recency bias will keep some away, so take advantage. This is a great game to be overweight on in GPPs.
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
FanDuel Price: $8,500
JJ Zachariason already outlined the reasons you should be buying Julio Jones in his 15 Transactions column. He's dominated in air yards, has an almost a 30 percent target share, and a 15.1 average depth of target. The issue is and has been touchdowns, but facing Tampa Bay's pourous defense at home presents an incredible spot for Julio to get back into the paint. At $8,500, he's the cheapest he's been since week two, and the Buccaneers are dead last in defending wide receivers. Play him everywhere.
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
FanDuel Price: $8,000
Mike Evans also has a great matchup, as the Falcons rank 28th at defending wide receivers, according to our advanced stats. He's averaging nearly 10 targets per game and his price is affordable to game stack with Julio and one of the quarterbacks, who we'll mention below.
Matt Ryan's price ($8,300) didn't change after last week's dud on the road. In his last three home games, he's scored 30.68, 40.16, and 29.26 FanDuel points. He's a plug-and-play option in all formats this week.
On the other side, Jameis Winston ($7,400) is priced in the middle of the quarterback range with Alex Smith and Mitchell Trubisky, but Tampa Bay's 27 implied points are the 7th-highest this week. He's a nice value with the potential for a competitive ceiling in tournaments and GPPs.
The Atlanta backfield has spiraled into a three-headed attack based on last week's contest. Returning from injury, Devonta Freeman ($6,600) played just 38.89 percent of snaps with Tevin Coleman ($6,300) playing on 37.5 percent of snaps. That was Coleman's lowest rate this season -- by a wide margin -- and it appears that rookie Ito Smith ($5,000) played well enough in Freeman's absence to garner continued opportunities. We want to build lineups with players from high over/under games, but it's hard to consider any of these running backs as anything more than a tournament-only option.
Don't let the recent touchdown explosion from Calvin Ridley ($6,700) fool you; Mohamed Sanu ($5,800) is still the number-two wide receiver and was perhaps the only other Falcons player to have a solid game against the Steelers, outside of tight end Austin Hooper ($5,600) last week. With O.J. Howard still hobbled, that opens the door for Cameron Brate ($4,500) as the cheapest way to get exposure to this game.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Bengals Implied Team Total: 27.75
Steelers Implied Team Total: 25.25
Another week, another Steelers' game with a high total, this time as a road dog within the division. The AFC North does not normally inspire offensive showdowns, but this year could be the exception. Last week was the first Bengals game of the year to go under 51 total points, while the Steelers looked unstoppable at home, scoring 41 on the Falcons and cruising to an easy win.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
FanDuel Price: $7,500
If you want to pay down at quarterback this week but keep a high team total, Andy Dalton is your guy for cash games. The Bengals have the fifth-highest team total at 27.75 points and face off against a Pittsburgh defense that ranks 31st against quarterbacks. Dalton has returned 2x (two points per $1,000 salary) value on FanDuel in four of his five games thus far and should continue the trend against his division rivals.
James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
FanDuel Price: $8,200
Aside from the opening week slog-fest in Cleveland where he recorded 36 touches, James Conner's 25 touches last week against the Falcons gave us a glimpse of his upside when game script remains in his favor. The Bengals have held three opponents to under 100 yards rushing but gave up a monster 231 yards against the Panthers, 184 of which belong to Christian McCaffrey. At $8,200, Conner's price has caught up to his production but in a game that should remain close, lean on Conner's workload.
The receiving options are plentiful in this game, with Antonio Brown ($9,100), A. J. Green ($8,800), JuJu Smith-Schuster ($7,800), and Tyler Boyd ($6,300). Brown finally had his first big game of 2018 against the Falcons last week, turning 6 receptions into 101 yards and 2 touchdowns. At $9,100, he's the second-highest priced player on slate behind only Todd Gurley. It will take some work to fit him in to your lineups and, as always, Brown is a great tournament option, but it would be wise to look elsewhere for cash games.
Green is in a similar situation as Brown, as the Steelers rank 28th against wide receivers and the Bengals are 1 spot ahead. He ran more routes from the slot last week in the absence of injured Tyler Eifert, which did hurt Boyd's production. But that could've been matchup-based. Expect Julio and Evans to be the chalk cash plays, allowing you to potentially roster either Brown or Green at reduced ownership in GPPs. If you want pass catchers in this game without punting a position in your lineup, Smith-Schuster and Boyd are affordable, too.
Joe Mixon ($7,500) returned from knee surgery last week and played almost 80 percent of the snaps, converting 25 touches into 115 total yards and a receiving touchdown. With Giovani Bernard's status still uncertain for Sunday, Mixon could once again find himself with only rookie Mark Walton to contend with for touches. We currently have Mixon projected as a top-10 running back this week and his price makes sense for both cash and GPP builds should Bernard sit out again.
At tight end, C.J. Uzomah ($5,100) is next up for a Steelers defense that gave up 9 receptions and 77 yards to Austin Hooper last week. However, Uzomah only garnered 2 targets despite playing 91 percent of the snaps. The tight end position is getting thin due to injuries, but there are better options available.
If you were on the Vance McDonald ($4,600) train last week, you were rewarded with only one catch on two targets for six yards as Antonio Brown got fed. The Bengals gave up 111 yards and a touchdown in Week 1 to Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron but have since kept the position in check. However, they've faced Austin Hooper, Michael Gesicki, Ian Thomas, and the Baltimore Ravens trio of tight ends. At only $4,600, Vance is a cheap tournament dart with upside.
Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Rams
Broncos Implied Team Total: 22.75
Rams Implied Team Total: 29.75
The Los Angeles Rams have the third-highest implied team total on the main slate, at 29.75, despite being on the road to face the Denver Broncos. They have eclipsed 30 points in every game so far this season and show no signs of slowing down against a Broncos defense that just gave up 34 points to the New York Jets a week ago.
Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
Despite being the highest-priced player on the slate, it's hard to not lock in Gurley for cash games because of his volume and production. He has cleared 20 FanDuel points in every game this season and you should expect that trend to continue as the Broncos just gave up 318 rushing yards and a touchdown to the duo of Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell. Coach Sean McVay continues to use his stud running back where it matters most in the red zone. Gurley's 54.17 percent red zone market share this season trails only David Johnson, and with an implied total of almost 30 points, we can expect Gurley to keep getting opportunities.
Emmanual Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos
FanDuel Price: $6,700
With injuries at defensive back, the Rams are not the lock-down defense we thought they could be at the beginning of the season. Last week, the Seattle Seahawks attempted only 21 passes but connected for 3 touchdowns. The week before, on Thursday night, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs combined for 19 receptions and 258 yards. In a game where the Broncos will be forced to throw, Emmanuel Sanders is the best bet for production at wideout, and -- at $6,700 -- also serves as a tournament pivot off Calvin Ridley.
Jared Goff's price ($8,200) has rebounded after dropping below $8,000 from Weeks 2 through 4. The Broncos are a middling 16th against quarterbacks, according to DVP rankings. However, this may set up more as a game for Gurley to dominate as the Rams are a touchdown favorite, but also banged up at wide receiver. Both Brandin Cooks ($7,800) and Cooper Kupp ($6,800) are in the concussion protocol, and their status for Sunday's game is uncertain. If either or both miss the game, Josh Reynolds ($5,100) will get targets in the league's top passing offense. At just $5,100, he could be the best value play on the slate, and Robert Woods ($7,300) could find a few more targets in their absence.
Before catching a late touchdown against the Jets, Demaryius Thomas ($6,500) had been held in check and was on his way to his third consecutive single-digit outing. It's hard to trust DT or rookie Courtland Sutton ($4,800), though that is likely more of a reflection on Case Keenum than their talent. Rookies Phillip Lindsay ($6,100) and Royce Freeman ($6,000) have cannibalized each other's production so far, and with negative game script likely, it's best to stay away from either option this week.
Ryan Bobbitt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ryan Bobbitt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Drummerinabox. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.