5 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups to Exploit in Week 6
In fantasy football, matchups are key to setting any lineup.
This series will take a look at a few matchups that can be exploited for success on the football field and for profit in DFS.
Colts Offense vs. Bengals Defense
Following Marlon Mack's season-ending Achilles tear in Week 1, Jonathan Taylor ($7,300) has played on just 52.7% of offensive snaps in Weeks 2 through 5, but he has earned 74 touches, which ranks eighth among running backs in that span.
Taylor has scored a rushing touchdown in three of his last four games but has still yet to reach 20.0 FanDuel points this season. That could change this week against the Cincinnati Bengals, as Indianapolis is 7.5-point home favorites (per FanDuel Sportsbook) after trailing in the previous three games. The Colts could turn to Taylor early and often, especially considering that Jordan Wilkins ($4,600) (22% snap share, nine rushes per game in Weeks 2-4) played just two snaps in Week 5 due to a calf injury and hasn’t had a full practice this week.
Indianapolis ranks fifth in ESPN's team run block win rate, whereas Cincinnati ranks 22nd in team run stop win rate, and the Bengals' defensive line isn’t fully healthy with various injuries to D.J. Reader, Mike Daniels and Geno Atkins. If there were ever a time for Frank Reich to fully unleash Taylor, this week is it.
Detroit Offense vs. Jaguars Defense
The Detroit Lions' passing offense has gotten off to somewhat of a slow start, ranking 16th in numberFire’s Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play after ranking eighth in games Matthew Stafford ($7,300) played last season (Weeks 1 through 9). Stafford and T.J. Hockenson ($5,700) each rank outside the top-12 of their respective positions in FanDuel points, while Kenny Golladay ($7,200) and Marvin Jones ($5,800) rank outside the top-60 (albeit Golladay missed the first two games).
The Jacksonville Jaguars sit dead last in defensive passing efficiency and are allowing top-eight fantasy production to literally every skill position this season. The Jaguars have allowed at least 30 points four weeks in a row despite playing fairly middling offenses in the Titans, Dolphins, Bengals and Texans.
Detroit ranks 11th in explosive pass rate (rate of 15-plus yard passes, per Sharp Football Stats) after ranking first in Stafford’s starts last season, and they should benefit against a Jacksonville secondary that has allowed the fifth-highest rate of explosive passes in 2020. Cornerback Sidney Jones played well in his first start for Jacksonville last week, but no Jaguars cornerback who has played at least 75 snaps this season has a Pro Football Focus grade close to 70.0.
The Lions showed their potential as an explosive passing offense last season and could turn in their first big performance of 2020 in a game with the second-highest total (54.5) on the main slate.
Chicago Offense vs. Panthers Defense
Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery ($5,900) has amassed just 30 touches and 25 FanDuel points over the past two weeks in the absence of Tarik Cohen, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear in Week 3. However, Montgomery’s production should pick up, considering he played north of 80% of Chicago’s offensive snaps in Weeks 4 and 5. For reference, only Ezekiel Elliott ($9,500) has played more than 80% of team snaps among all running backs this season.
Montgomery will be facing the Carolina Panthers this week. Carolina's defense ranks 24th in Defensive Rushing NEP per play and will be a much easier matchup than what Montgomery got in the last two weeks versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Colts.
The Bears are currently listed as 1.5-point underdogs, so it’s possible Montgomery may not see a ton of work on the ground due to game script. But with Cohen out, Montgomery has run more routes than any other running back in the past two weeks and ranks third in targets in that span.
Allen Robinson ($7,000) has a tougher matchup against an underrated Panthers secondary -- one that has allowed the sixth-fewest FanDuel points to opposing receivers this season. However, A-Rob is still a viable play as he leads the league in targets -- with 25 -- since Nick Foles ($6,900) became the Bears starter in Week 4. Jimmy Graham ($5,400) isn’t the worst punt play at tight end, as he’s collected the second-most red zone targets among all players this campaign.
Patriots Offense vs. Denver Defense
The New England Patriots are the sixth-heaviest situation-neutral run offense this season (per RBSDM.com) and lead the league with 35 rush attempts per game. New England figures to run plenty this week as 9.5-point favorites against the Denver Broncos. That is tied for the largest spread of the week.
Cam Newton ($8,000) ranks second in fantasy points per drop back this season (per PFF) but 30th in total drop backs -- albeit he’s played just three games. However, he still ranks top-four among quarterbacks in rush attempts, yards and touchdowns as well as eighth in the league among all players in carries within the five-yard-line with five. The Broncos sit 13th in FanDuel points allowed to quarterbacks this season but have allowed the seventh-highest yards per carry to opposing quarterbacks.
A different Patriots running back has led the team in FanDuel points in three of four games this season, with Rex Burkhead pacing the squad in Weeks 2 and 3. With Newton taking goal-line carries and Damien Harris ($5,600) and James White ($5,200) back in the mix -- as well as the fact that Denver ranks ninth in defensive rushing efficiency and is giving up the fewest FanDuel points to running backs -- this is a backfield to fade in Week 5.
A Newton stack with New England D/ST ($4,800) against a Denver team that is allowing the most FanDuel points to opposing defenses makes more sense than a Newton/running back stack.
Bills Offense vs. Chiefs Defense
The scheduled Thursday Night Game between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs will instead now be the first game of a Monday night doubleheader. The Bills are coming off a lopsided 42-23 loss to the Titans on national television but are worthy of using in a game that has the highest projected total this week (57.5) and features two teams that rank top-five in situation-neutral pass rate.
Josh Allen ($8,600) ranks fourth among signal callers this year in both fantasy points per drop back and FanDuel points. His passing attempts have increased from 28.8 per game in 2019 to 37.8 per game in 2020, while his rushing attempts have decreased from 6.8 to 5.8 (and 3.8 in his last four games). But considering that Kansas City ranks top-12 in pass completions, yards and touchdowns but bottom-six in rushing attempts, yards and touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks this season, Allen could have a big game on the ground.
Devin Singletary ($6,300) could also have a big day, as the Chiefs rank second in passing defense efficiency but 31st in rush defense efficiency. But Singletary has earned just four of Buffalo’s 15 rushing attempts within the five-yard line, and he cedes some receiving work to T.J. Yeldon ($4,500) and Zack Moss ($5,300), the latter of whom had a full practice on Thursday after missing the past three games.
Stefon Diggs ($7,100), on the other hand, has seen plenty of receiving work. Diggs ranks fourth in the league in targets and has produced three games of 100-plus yards across the past four weeks, including a 10-reception, 106-yard performance on 16 targets last week. He has a tough matchup against a Chiefs defense that ranks seventh in FanDuel points allowed to opposing receivers, but Diggs should see ample opportunity as the most-targeted player in a matchup should force the Bills to go to the air plenty.
Gus Logue is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice Gus Logue also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username GUSL. 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.