DRAFT Daily Fantasy Helper: Week 6
With NFL scoring through the roof, Week 5 saw 10 teams score at least 30 points. This high-scoring environment creates an abundance of fantasy goodness around the league. Identifying who is scoring -- or will score -- a lot of points and which players will benefit can create a massive edge in daily fantasy. DRAFT provides another way for fantasy enthusiasts to exploit this edge through weekly snake and auction drafts.
With teams selecting one QB, two RBs, and two WRs, roster construction hold the upmost importance in weekly snake drafts. This is particularly important in 10-team leagues where 20 wide receivers and running backs get drafted, but only 10 quarterbacks come off the board. A great way to create an edge these 10-team leagues is to focus on running back early.
With that said, here are a few players to target in projected shootouts in Week 6.
Tom Brady - While Patrick Mahomes still comes off the board first among quarterbacks, on the other side of the same game Tom Brady may be just as likely to finish as this week's top quarterback. Brady currently ranks 19th in the NFL with 1,259 passing yards, but doing so after posting yardage totals of 274 and 341 -- along with 3 touchdowns apiece -- in his last 2 games.
Playing on Sunday night, Brady enters a dream matchup against a horrific Kansas City Chiefs secondary. The Chiefs have allowed 1,802 passing yards in their coverage, which is the most in the NFL and 200 yards more than the next team. They were recently shredded by Blake Bortles for 430 yards and have allowed 245-plus passing yards per game. They've also allowed opposing quarterbacks to best 400 passing yards in 3 of 5 games.
The Patriots-Chiefs game has the highest game total on the slate, at 60.0, and New England's 31.75 implied team total is over a point clear of the next-closest team. Brady should also benefit with Julian Edelman another game removed from suspension and with Josh Gordon another week into the playbook.
Going in the mid-rounds of early snake drafts, Brady should out-perform his draft cost this weekend.
Jameis Winston - Flying under the radar after his three-game suspension, Jameis Winston falls all the way to the final rounds in early snake drafts. In his first start of 2018, Winston faces a demoralized Atlanta Falcons secondary.
Injuries have not been kind to the Falcons in 2018. Losing Ricardo Allen, Deion Jones, and Keanu Neal for the season hurts. As a result, the Falcons have allowed the 11th-most passing yards this season (1,435), including 337 from Andy Dalton and another 396 from Drew Brees. Per our schedule-adjusted rankings, the Falcons have the third-worst pass defense in the league.
Tampa Bay has a dreadful secondary of their own, putting the game total at 57.5 points. This means points will be scored, and Winston still has one of the best supporting casts in football with Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, and Chris Godwin.
Load up on running back and wide receiver, then lock Winston into the quarterback slot in the final round of weekly drafts.
Christian McCaffrey - It should be noted that Todd Gurley remains the top overall player in weekly fantasy drafts. However, number-two remains wide open and up for discussion. Often going in the mid-to-late first round, Christian McCaffrey could be drafted as high as second overall.
CMC has absolutely dominated work in the Carolina Panthers' backfield to start the season. He is one of six running backs to handle at least 81 percent of the running back touches on his team this season. McCaffrey also ranks in a tie for sixth in running back targets (32). Game script independent, McCaffrey has at least 16 touches in each game and 3 of 4 above 20.
Perhaps going a bit late at the end of the first round, McCaffrey's volume and matchup set him up for a solid Week 6.
James Conner - As noted above, only six running backs have recorded at least 81 percent of their team's running back touches. However, only two have recorded at least 90 percent: Ezekiel Elliott and James Conner.
Given his matchup and place in a high-powered offense, Conner is the better play of the two. He has rushed for 342 yards and 5 touchdowns, while adding another 239 receiving yards. Facing the Cincinnati Bengals, Conner remains game script independent in a plus matchup. Surprisingly generous on the ground this season, Cincinnati has allowed the eight-most rushing yards to backs (502). Backs have also added an additional 287 receiving yards, sweetening Conner's overall outlook. Per our rankings, the Bengals rank 27th in run defense on the season.
With a 52.5-point game total, both teams are expected to score some points here. Often dropping into the second round, Conner should more than pay off his draft cost.
Sony Michel - Often falling to the mid-to-late rounds of snake drafts, Sony Michel looks like a prime target for late-round running back drafters.
In his last two games, Michel has carry counts of 25 and 18, accounting for 210 rushing yards. Michel primarily handles the early-down work for a Patriots team favored to win by 3.5-points on Sunday night. As mentioned, the Patriots have the highest point total on the slate at 31.5, indicating scoring opportunities should be frequent for Michel.
To further improve his outlook, Michel faces a cakewalk matchup in the Chiefs. As a defense, they have allowed 488 rushing yards on the season and a league-leading 454 through the air. Looking at our schedule-adjusted metrics, the Chiefs rank dead last in run defense.
A home favorite in a plus matchup, Sony Michel should remain a prime target for weekly drafters.
Julio Jones - Yes, Julio Jones has yet to score a touchdown. However, this fact has depressed his draft cost, allowing him to be selected in the late first round.
Despite his lack of scoring, Jones ranks third in the NFL in receiving yards (564), third in air yards (831), and and T-fifth in targets (55). This equates to a massive 29 percent of the Falcons targets and 47 percent of the air yards.
Tampa Bay has performed terribly as a secondary. They recently allowed Tarik Cohen, Taylor Gabriel, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Vance McDonald to eclipse 100 yards in just their last 2 games. Our schedule-adjusted metrics peg the Bucs as the league's second-worst secondary.
Flying under the radar in an ideal matchup, Julio Jones rightfully belongs in the first round of snake drafts.
Tyreek Hill - Cooling down after dominating in the Chiefs first two games, Tyreek Hill has not passed 61 receiving yards or recorded a score in his last 3 contests. This has created a prime buying opportunity with Hill often falling into the mid rounds.
In those three games mentioned above, the third-year receiver still has a solid 23 targets and ranks 11th with 328 air yards. Hill easily leads the team in air yards on the season (576) and holds a massive 15.2 average depth of target (aDOT), showing his slate-breaking upside.
Hill should also benefit from a better matchup against the Patriots' 23rd ranked secondary after facing the Jacksonville Jaguars 2nd-ranked unit last weekend. Playing as 3.5-point underdogs in the highest game total on the slate, the Chiefs project to throw early and often.
Weekly snake drafts require a certain ceiling from players in order to take down first place. Hill provides that ceiling at a mere mid-round cost.
Robert Woods - With Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks up in the air for Week 6, Robert Woods would shoot up to high end wide receiver status against the Denver Broncos. However, even if they play, Woods remains a solid target due to his depressed late-round draft cost.
The Rams' target share remains focused, with each receiver seeing at least 34 targets on the season. Other than Todd Gurley, no other Rams player has reached 10 targets this season. Playing in a condensed offense, Woods leads the team in both targets (39) and air yards 472. This equates to a 24 percent target share and a 35 percent air yards share. These numbers would likely climb if Kupp, Cooks, or both missed this game.
Also working in his favor, the Denver Broncos defense has struggled to defend the pass in recent games. In their last two, the Broncos have allowed 475 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns to receivers. They currently check in as our 25th-ranked pass defense.
Playing in an offense that has scored at least 33 points each week, Woods provides the upside needed to smash fantasy drafts with a late-round pick.
Matthew Gajewski is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matthew Gajewski also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mgajewski. 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.