FanDuel Week 6 NFL DFS Sleeper Picks & Pivot Lineup Plays

Written By Nate Weitzer on October 13, 2017

Week 6 of NFL DFS is upon us, and everyone is looking to cash in on the big daily fantasy football money at FanDuel. Every week, we’ll bring you our top DFS NFL picks for each position and recommend them as Cash Game and/or GPP plays. And to keep up with all things PlayPicks, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Cash Game options generally come with less risk and a more stable floor, while the best GPP plays can bring tons of risk but also upside. Taking a chance on players with high ceilings and low floors is a good way to separate from a large tournament field.

As with any DFS sport, the advice below is relevant for fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, gameflow, and more. This is important when constructing a roster. And if you’re looking for a new way to play DFS NFL, be sure and give DRAFT a try.

In this article, we highlight the plays that aren’t necessarily obvious and, therefore, may help separate you in a contest that features thousands of lineups.

Week 6 NFL DFS Sleepers, Fades, Contrarian, and Pivot Plays on FanDuel


CHALK: Deshaun Watson vs. CLE ($7.9k)
PIVOT: Kirk Cousins vs. SF ($7.8k)
Deshaun Watson is certainly a great play in his own right, as mentioned in our main NFL DFS FanDuel Picks article for Week 6, but there is a chance Houston (-10.5) runs over the Browns at home and isn’t forced to throw much down the stretch.

For his part, Kirk Cousins broke out with a 117 passer rating while throwing 16 TDs and just two picks over eight home games back in 2015 and was solid once again at Fed Ex Field last season. This week, his Redskins host a 49ers team that ranks 26th in DVOA pass defense, and they’ll likely put a lot on Cousins’ shoulders with starting RB Rob Kelley (ankle) doubtful to suit up. Jordan Reed is expected to play a full game, which adds a dynamic presence to Washington’s passing attack. 

FADE: Alex Smith vs. PIT ($7.5k)
Alex Smith has been dynamite this season with 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions, but he is bound to cool off at some point. Up against a Steelers team coming off an embarrassing home loss to Jacksonville, and which has historically had Smith’s number, this could be the week the Chiefs QB posts lackluster numbers. Pittsburgh ranks third in DVOA pass defense and allows the fewest passing YPG (139.9) in the NFL by far this year. Plus, Smith could be without elite TE Travis Kelce (concussion) this Sunday.

Running Backs

FADE: Melvin Gordon @ OAK ($8.4k)
He came out of nowhere to post huge numbers in a road win over the Giants, but this week Melvin Gordon faces a team with some pride and a true home field advantage in the Raiders. With Derek Carr expected to be back under center, Oakland should be fired up to try and bounce back from a Week 5 home loss. Its defense has also been far more vulnerable against the pass (30th in DVOA) than the run this year. Oakland is giving up an average of 4.1 YPC this season and held Gordon to 69 scoreless yards when the Chargers visited in Week 5 of last season.

SLEEPER: Lamar Miller vs. CLE ($6.8k)
While he’s not a deep sleeper, Lamar Miller has tons of upside in this matchup. He should have a low ownership rate given his dangerously low floor. A lot of his lackluster production has to do with the emergence of rookie D’Onta Foreman, who is questionable with a hip injury, so Miller could see a heavy workload with favorable gameflow. Using Miller along with Deshaun Watson is a good way to hedge your bets by getting exposure to each phase of Houston’s offense. Using him instead of Watson is a contrarian move to consider.

VALUE SLEEPER: Samaje Perine vs. SF ($4.9k)
With news that Rob Kelley is likely to sit out Washington’s Week 6 game with an ankle injury, Samaje Perine immediately becomes playable. The rookie out of Oklahoma totaled 55 scrimmage yards on 20 touches in a start for Kelley on Sept. 24 before he departed that game with his own injury. Chris Thompson burnt the Raiders weak pass defense in that game, yet Washington should pound the rock this Sunday as home favorites against a 49ers defense that allowed a league-high 25 rushing TDs last season. 

Wide Receivers

CHALK: DeAndre Hopkins vs. CLE ($8.0k)
PIVOT(S): Brandin Cooks @ NYJ ($7.9k); Jordy Nelson @ MIN ($8.1k)
DeAndre Hopkins may be an even more popular play than Watson considering Cleveland’s struggles against opposing top WRs. We covered them both as great plays in the main FanDuel NFL DFS article this week.

Still, you can differentiate from Hopkins in GPP formats and hope positive gameflow disrupts his volume, while a player like Brandin Cooks should get ample opportunities if the Patriots defense reverts to its struggles on the road. The Jets have faced three teams without a true top receiver (Jacksonville, Buffalo, and Cleveland) and two dysfunctional offenses in Oakland and Miami, and they still gave up 15 pass plays of 20-plus yards. They could get shredded downfield by a Patriots offense that’s had a mini-bye to scheme new ways to get Cooks involved.

Jordy Nelson is a great bounce-back candidate after getting locked down by double coverage in Dallas and missing the final drive of the game with an undisclosed injury. His ownership rate will likely be low against the Vikings and elite young CB Xavier Rhodes, but Nelson moves all over the formation and can win routes and scramble drills against anyone. Recall that after he disappointed the DFS community by leaving a Week 2 game in the first quarter, he caught two touchdowns in each of his next two games in tough matchups against the Bengals and Bears.

SLEEPER: DeSean Jackson @ ARI ($6.4k)
The Cardinals’ secondary has been a blessing in providing predictable results, as opposing offenses routinely avoid Patrick Peterson’s coverage and go deep against veritable whipping boy Justin Bethel. DeSean Jackson could be the latest WR to burn Bethel for a big play while Mike Evans battles Peterson this week. The Bucs are clearly trying to get their deep threat involved as he works on his timing with Jameis Winston. Despite Peterson’s excellence, Arizona has given up 10 passing touchdowns and four plays of 40-plus yards this season to rank 24th in DVOA pass defense.

VALUE SLEEPER: Ricardo Louis @ HOU ($4.5k)
At this bare-minimum price tag, Louis won’t need to do much to pay off for owners on FanDuel. He’s been targeted 17 times over his last two appearances and caught 10 balls for 135 yards during that span while demonstrating good chemistry with Kevin Hogan once the backup got into the game last Sunday. Hogan’s move into the starting lineup could provide a shot in the arm for Cleveland’s stalled offense, and Louis should have opportunities to get downfield with the Texans pass rush depleted by season-ending injuries to J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus last Sunday.

Tight Ends

CHALK: Rob Gronkowski @ NYJ ($8.0k); Travis Kelce vs. PIT ($7.2k)
PIVOT(S): Jordan Reed vs. SF ($6.5k); Austin Seferian-Jenkins vs. NE ($5.6k)
The two most notorious and talented TEs in the league, Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce will both be inserted into a lot of lineups if final word comes out they’ll be active in their Week 6 matchups.

Jordan Reed’s ownership rate is sure to be far lower given his injury history, but he draws a really good matchup against the 49ers’ weak interior pass defense. Austin Seferian-Jenkins has value with a solid floor and the potential for better per-dollar value than Gronk in the same game. He faces a Patriots defense that’s been ripped to rank 24th in DVOA pass defense against opposing TEs this season.

SLEEPER: George Kittle @ WAS ($5.3k)
The 49ers have at least been competitive under new HC Kyle Shanahan, and Brian Hoyer has started to move the offense consistently in recent weeks. George Kittle broke out as one of Hoyer’s weapons with a 7-83-TD line in a loss at Indianapolis. He draws another juicy matchup this week against a Washington team that ranks 31st in DVOA pass defense against opposing TEs and allows the most receiving YPG (88.8) to the position this year. He’s technically questionable with a chest bruise, but the talented rookie should be out there to serve as a somewhat contrarian option to the more-popular value in Sefarian-Jenkins.

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Nate Weitzer Avatar
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Nate Weitzer

Nate Weitzer is a successful DFS player at DraftKings and FanDuel with numerous tournament wins in NBA and NFL contests. He's been writing about DFS for several years, specializing in NBA picks and advice while continuing to build his bankroll across the daily fantasy industry. When he's not playing DFS, Weitzer is often covering high school sports in the greater Boston area for outlets such as The Boston Globe, or playing basketball himself. Follow Nate on Twitter @Nweitzer7.

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