This is a weekly review of all the important DFS news and notes from all games played this past weekend. I give my thoughts on the relevant fantasy performances and future daily fantasy impact from each game for week 6. Below is part 2.
Bengals @ Bills
The Bengals offense is probably on par with pretty much any team in the NFL right now (yes even NE). The skill at every position is absurd and their QB and offensive coordinator are putting every player into full use right now. At RB many may see this as a “breakout” game for Jeremy Hill but the player I am still targeting going forward is Gio Bernard (8 car. 50 yards TD, 1 rec 23 yards). Bernard is playing at the same level as Dion Lewis is in NE right now and has the same pass catching/running potential. There’s probably a massive game looming for Bernard somewhere down the road and if he continues to be priced under other less used backs he’s an every week play.
The other player that might present some big value on the Bengals going forward is Marvin Jones (9 rec. 95 yards TD). Jones has looked great running after the catch this year and is getting more and more looks all over the field from the Bengals. Jones took advantage of a Bills team who has been consistently burnt by secondary WRs this year and is probably a good target for future receivers who might benefit from the Bills tilted coverage schemes. Jones won’t go off every week since there’s a lot of mouths to feed but he’ll be a good target when AJ Green has a tough matchup.
The big news on offense for the Bills was the return of Lesean McCoy (17 car. 90 yards TD). McCoy returned and looked 100% for most of the game (no visible limping or taking himself out), he also just missed having multiple TDs. Regardless of whether Tyrod Taylor returns next week you can probably expect the Bills to run McCoy a lot in the near future to protect their QB, which means big workloads. He’s a RB who should hopefully remain priced under the elite options and be a decent target against weak competition (note: the Bills play Jacksonville next week!).
As for the Bills receiving options, Charles Clay (9 rec. 62 yards) keeps getting huge targets (10+ in this game). His conversion rate with Manual at QB wasn’t great but with all the injuries at WR he should keep being a huge factor at TE… outside of Gronk he might be one of the more consistent options going forward at a volatile position.
Studs: Lesean McCoy, Marvin Jones
Duds: AJ Green
Chiefs @ Vikings
So much hope for this Chiefs offense at the start of the year and now they’ve essentially devolved into a joke. Jeremy Maclin got injured (concussion) in this game and might miss time. Meanwhile Travis Kelce (5 rec. 88 yards) hasn’t scored since week 1 and continues to not be targeted enough by a team who is losing playmakers weekly. This was a great spot for Kelce to bust out and it didn’t happen, his fantasy day was only saved by a long catch and run with about 3 mins left. I’m fine avoiding him from here on out. As for Maclin if he misses time don’t be shocked to see Albert Wilson pop up with a decent game or two again. He’s a nice slot receiver who made a great play on a short screen for KC’s only TD in this game. Wilson had some decent production last season as the number one receiver down the stretch, and if he’s min priced next week and Maclin sits I’d consider him… other than that though the KC offense might be off limits.
The Vikings have their own nice young WR in Stefon Diggs (7 rec. 129 yards). Diggs is a great rookie who has a lot of punt returner-after the catch abilities as a WR. The fact he worked so well in this game with Bridgewater after the bigger Charles Johnson has completely busted for the entire season shows you his abilities as a WR. Because the Vikings don’t throw a ton you would probably need Diggs to officially start for him to be a viable play every week.
Adrian Peterson (26 car. 60 yards) got bottled up completely by the KC run D in this game. At Peterson’s elite price tag you’re taking a huge risk rostering him every week because he gets no work in the pass game in this offense (and still loses snaps to Matt Asiata on passing downs). You can get much cheaper backs every week with similar workloads and better ppr stats for DFS. Don’t chase the old AP unless it’s a plum matchup.
Studs: Stefon Diggs
Duds: Adrian Peterson, Charcandrick West
Redskins @ Jets
The Jets Chris Ivory (20 car. 141 yards TD) had another big fantasy day and has been great at tearing up weaker competition thus far on the year. What I love about Ivory isn’t just that he gets volume but that he has big play ability, as shown in this game. Ivory’s been hurt a lot in his career but when healthy has shown the ability to bust out 40+ yard runs and catch a pass or two. In short, he’s not just a bruiser, and proved it again in this game through his versatility. Start considering him every week except when the matchups are truly not in his favour.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (19-26 253 yards 2 TDs INT) might be the luckiest QB alive. He played pretty bad in the first half of this game and threw a bad pick to put the Jets down by three going into the second half. Then he badly underthrew Brandon Marshall (7 rec. 111 yards TD) on an outside end zone route and was saved by Marshall making an impossible adjustment for the TD. Marshall is such a great pure receiver that it probably doesn’t matter that Fitzpatrick is so inconsistent but it’s just something to keep in mind going forward. Fitz-magic is by no means matchup proof and probably a decent targets when up against elite defenses.
The Skins have their own brutal QB. Kirk Cousins (25-43, 196 yards TD 2 INTs) pretty much gave this game away in the second half when Washington was leading and controlling the pace of play. The Redskins receivers are pretty much all weekly no goes for me as the production is always going to be spotty (at best). Start looking elsewhere for value plays (I will be). Alfred Morris (11 car. 22 yards) got the bulk of the playing time at RB and did nothing against very, very good Jets run D. Still, with both his backups injured Morris could see a big workload in week 7 against a weak Bucs team. He’d definitely be in play for me if that were the case.
Studs: Brandon Marshall, Chris Ivory
Duds: Kirk Cousins, Alfred Morris
Dolphins @ Titans
The Dolphins talent finally came alive in this game, on both sides of the ball. Lamar Miller (19 car. 113 yards TD) received more touches than he had the entire year and produced. Miller was breaking off big chunks with his quickness to the outside in this game almost every time he got the ball. It’s hard to figure out why this took the Dolphins so long to execute but Miller is definitely back in play for fantasy. He gets the Texans week 7 which means more fantasy goodness could be on the way. The downside to Miller getting more touches might be that Jarvis Landry sees less work. Landry only caught four passes in this game but saved his fantasy day with a 22 yard TD on an end around. For now I’m upgrading Miller but also slightly downgrading Landry based on this game. Both players can still be viable together though going forward though.
The other player to keep an eye on for the Dolphins is Jordan Cameron (3 rec. 30 yards TD). There was a concise effort to get him more involved in this game, and even against the Titans, who have been covering the TE well all year, he was able to find the end zone. A great week 7 matchup with the Texans awaits him too.
As for the Titans, they were swarmed by a Dolphin defense who finally followed through on their preseason promise. In a lot of ways this game was a turning of the tide for these two teams. The Titans had been playing solid, but above their head football, while the Fins had been playing well under their potential. I thought rookie QB Marcus Mariota (21-33, 219 yards TD 2 INTs) might go off on a struggling Dolphin unit but it was exactly the opposite. The Titans seem hell bent on leaving Mariota in the pocket and not allowing him to use his greatest weapon… his legs. Unless the Titans get more creative I’d simply avoid this offense pretty much altogether. This is quite possibly the beginning of a string of bad performances for Tennessee (especially if Mariota misses time with a sprained knee).
Ok maybe there’s one Titans player I’ll consider, TE Delanie Walker (8 rec. 97 yards) keeps coming through with decent fantasy days and again received a bunch of targets from Mariota in this game. Walker’s athleticism makes him a big play possibility and one of the cheaper TEs with big day upside. He’s a weekly tournament consideration.
Studs: Lamar Miller, Dolphins D
Duds: Marcus Mariota
Panthers @ Seahawks
These two teams look like opposite images of each other from 2014. Carolina is now the dominate overall team with a savvy QB and Seattle looks out of sorts almost everywhere. Cam Newton (20-36 269 yards TD 2 INTs, 7 car. 30 yards TD) keeps running the ball in all circumstances and is possibly the best red zone weapon in the league near the goal line. His weekly fantasy floor might be the highest of any QB out there at the moment. What was really quite hilarious in this game was the fact Jonathan Stewart (20 car. 78 yards 2 TDs) finally showed up. Against one of the best run D’s in the entire league Stewart scored two TDs and ran well all day… this after going scoreless for the first 5 weeks of the season. Stewart still has weekly value as the main carry RB but just remember Cam is lurking to take away those red zone carries and TDs, he’s still pretty dicey week to week and best left to tournaments.
If you could pin point the weeks the Panthers would be behind those would be the times to use Greg Olsen (7 rec. 131 yards TD). Olsen has had a couple monster weeks when the Panthers have been forced to pass lots late but also some pretty slow ones too. He’s the perfect TE to target for tournaments if you’re looking to go somewhere else than Gronk.
We’ve yet to see the big fantasy heroics in 2015 we saw from Russell Wilson (18-30 241 yards TD, 8 car. 53 yards) last year and I’m not sure if it’s due to teams playing the run better or if he’s simply become gun shy from getting sacked so much. Wilson again was simply running for his life in this game and even though he did look good throwing the ball when he had some space, he isn’t playing at the same level we saw from him late last year. If Seattle gets on a roll in the next few weeks then I’ll revisit Wilson but for now I’m off him… Jimmy Graham (8 rec. 140 yards) looked great as a down field option and I again will state that I think he’s actually moving better than he was last year. Much like Olsen it’s just a matter of consistency, Graham will fluctuate with game-flow week to week.
Studs: Greg Olsen, Jimmy Graham, Jonathan Stewart
Duds: Seattle D
Bears @ Lions
This was the game of the week for fantasy purposes. If you game stacked this one you probably did well as pretty much every big fantasy winner used the two big WRs from this game. The main takeaway for me from this game was that a healthy Alshon Jeffery (8 rec. 147 yards TD) is going to be great for fantasy. Alshon showed mid-season form going up for a great TD grab late in the second half, while also showing some great adjustment on a deep ball that was underthrown by Cutler too. You have to love the fact he’s got the complete confidence of his QB to throw him the ball in almost any situation which means lots of targets. With the Bears still being weak on defense don’t be shocked if Alshon pushes towards being a top 3 WR in the next couple weeks… you need to stay on this train for now.
If you used Matthew Stafford (27-45, 402 yards 4 TDs INT) in this game everything went your way in this game. The Bears limited the run game meaning Stafford was again forced into pass happy mode. Once there he got a TD before half that was clearly not a catch overruled and then got to pad his stats via OT as well. The Lions are a bad team so performances like this (against other bad teams) will pop up for fantasy once in a while. Like Jacksonville or Houston or even Baltimore now, stacking Detroit’s big guns for fantasy is a viable tournament option every week, especially when they face off against another crummy opponent.
Studs: Matt Stafford, Alshon Jeffery, Calvin Johnson
Giants @ Eagles
This game was ugly from start to finish. The Eagles passing game looked better the past few weeks but their receivers suffer from the same fate as teams like the Saints for fantasy, which is a complete spread of targets. Jordan Matthews (6 rec. 59 yards) is a great runner after the catch (with semi-suspect hands) but he isn’t getting the targets right now to be a monster fantasy play. Matthews caught 6 passes in this game, had a drop, lost a fumble and didn’t get a red zone target… not the formula for fantasy success. Also cross the idea of Sam Bradford (24-38, 280 yards TD 3 INTs) being an elite fantasy play off your list. As much as I want a fantasy explosion to happen Bradford is just making way too many bad throws/bad decisions for it to occur. The Eagles won this game this game in spite of a couple brutal INTs/throws by Bradford. On a team with a worse defense Bradford would probably be benched by now.
Demarco Murray (22 car. 109 yards TD) got rolling in this game a bit. The Eagles have been running it better the past couple weeks and part of that success has been due to an increase in snaps for Murray. Murray honestly looks fine to me physically and has even shown great hands as a receiver since he came to Philly, but the Eagles scheme has just been completely ineffective the first part of the season. If the offense gets the run game rolling Murray can still be a big play, especially against softer defenses.
As for the Giants, this was always going to be a tough game for them to win due to a couple injuries on offense. While some people expected a follow up on offense from Shane Vereen (1 rec. 6 yards) after a big week 6 he barely sniffed the field in this game. Week to week the Giants backfield is essentially a lost cause due to under usage and ineffectiveness. Pretty much a write off for me… At WR Odell Beckham (7 rec. 61 yards TD) looked great in the first quarter but lost steam as the game went on. Watch the injury reports on him, if he didn’t suffer a setback I’d expect a much better performance next week as he looked his usual explosive self on several plays. The Giants get a rematch with the Romo-less Cowboys week 7.
Studs: Demarco Murray
Duds: Sam Bradford, Eli Manning