Week 6 Game Scripts to Target in Daily Fantasy Football
Considering game scripts should be a huge part of your process when building lineups in NFL daily fantasy.
How will the game play out? Will it be high paced with lots of potential for fantasy points to be scored? Does it set up well for one team, both teams, or neither? A running back could go from a lock one week as a home favorite to a complete avoid the next week as a double-digit road underdog, because the game scripts in these games are completely different.
Projecting these outcomes can be extremely difficult for one person. We can use the lines and totals to see what oddsmakers think and go from there. A great resource is numberFire's Daily Fantasy Matchup Heat Map, which provides those numbers that are used for sports betting, as well as custom metrics that show how the teams will match up against each other. This will give us a much better handle on how games are likely to play out, and how we can take advantage of that in our lineups.
Here are some game scripts to target this week in DFS.
Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Texans Implied Team Total: 24.75
Chiefs Implied Team Total: 29.75
This matchup is as tasty as we've seen all season. Both of these teams have featured regularly in this column because of how well their games tend to set up in terms of the game script for each team. Now playing against each other, this game could see some real fireworks. That's what bettors are expecting, as well, with oddsFire telling us that 83% of the bets coming in on the total are on the over.
This game features the Kansas City Chiefs' offense, which ranks top of the league by our schedule-adjusted metrics, against the Houston Texans' sixth-rated offense. They both tend to play fast, with Kansas City ranking third in situation-neutral pace and Houston ranking 10th, per Football Outsiders. Another thing that is unique about this game is how good the quarterbacks have performed throughout this season.
Highest passer ratings this season:
Russell Wilson 126.3
*Deshaun Watson 115.9
*Patrick Mahomes 114.7
Kyle Allen 107.4
Dak Prescott 106.0
*will meet in Week 6; their combined career passer rating of 217.8 is the highest by opposing QBs entering a matchup in the Super Bowl era
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) October 9, 2019
Among quarterbacks who have started every game, Patrick Mahomes ($9,200) and Deshaun Watson ($8,400) rank first and third, respectively, in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back. Efficient quarterback play and a fast-paced game could lead to a mammoth amount of points scored.
Of course, both quarterbacks are in play in this game. Mahomes has had two down games in a row, but for him, even a down game is 18 fantasy points. Our projections are not expecting that to continue, with Mahomes still being the highest-projected quarterback on the slate. Watson is not a player who needs to bounce back after his eruption last week against the Atlanta Falcons. These two quarterbacks make for great tournament plays considering the upside they have in this high-total games, and they have a lot of options for stacking purposes.
A lot of people will look to Will Fuller ($6,600) after his monster game in Week 5. It was mentioned in this space last week about the opportunity he was getting, and, boy, did that finally pay off. He has passed teammate DeAndre Hopkins ($8,400) in air yards. Fuller will be popular, but the matchup and the volume he is getting warrant the ownership he will get.
With the statuses of wide receivers Tyreek Hill ($7,400) and Sammy Watkins ($6,800) up in the air at this point, Travis Kelce ($7,500) seems like the most reliable pass-catching option we can look at on the Chiefs. Kelce has seen at least eight targets in every game this season. He has scored only one touchdown this year despite seeing seven targets in the red zone. That should be due for some regression, and it could be this week in a high-scoring game.
Others to Consider
With Fuller getting all the attention from fantasy players, going back to Hopkins makes sense. Hopkins is still leading the team in target share and is a good way to pay up to get exposure to this game.
Playing either Hill or Watkins would have merit in this game, depending on their health. They are both big-play wide receivers who would thrive in this game if it was a a back-and-forth shootout. If they both were to miss the game, you could look to Demarcus Robinson ($6,700), Mecole Hardman ($6,400) or even Byron Pringle ($4,500) as their replacements.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona Cardinals
Falcons Implied Team Total: 26.75
Cardinals Implied Team Total: 24.25
A game that should feature little to no defense is always one that we want to go after. The same thing goes for teams that love to pass. Add in teams that like to run a lot plays. All of these things apply here.
We have the Atlanta Falcons 31st-ranked pass defense versus the Arizona Cardinals 25th-ranked pass D. Atlanta is first in pass attempts while Arizona is fourth. All of these pass attempts makes their pace of play high -- Arizona comes in at second in situation-neutral pace while Atlanta ranks fifth. This has all the makings of a game that might have two teams who make for a perfect fantasy matchup.
Atlanta was in this article last week due to many of the same reasons discussed in the previous paragraph. Their poor defense and lackluster running game has forced Matt Ryan ($8,100) into many pass attempts. This has been good for Ryan's fantasy output as he has thrown for over 300 yards in every game this season. He also has multiple passing touchdowns in four of the five games. With how fast this game will be and how bad Arizona's defense has been, these benchmarks are easily attainable again.
The other quarterback in this game, Kyler Murray ($7,700), had his best game as a pro in Week 5 against the Cincinnati Bengals with 0.33 Passing NEP per drop back. He flashed the upside fantasy owners had envisioned during draft season, making an impact through the air and on the ground.
While it's well known that Atlanta got torched by Deshaun Watson in the passing game last week, he also was able to run for 47 yards on four attempts. The willingness to run in key situations has been good for Murray's fantasy outlook as he's rushed for a touchdown each of the past two games. Atlanta has the worst adjusted sack rate in the NFL, so Murray should have more time than normal to throw. Murray could top last week and have a new game to call his best as a pro given all of these factors.
Julio Jones ($8,500) has had two down games in a row after scoring four touchdowns in the first three games. He still ranks second in the league in air yards, partially because of how often the Falcons are throwing the ball. The Cardinals will still be without shutdown cornerback Patrick Peterson for one more game due to suspension, giving Julio an easier time. Jones is worth paying up for in what could be the best spot he sees all year.
Larry Fitzgerald ($5,600) saw his target share jump to 25% with Christian Kirk out of the lineup last week. If Kirk were to miss again, Fitzgerald looks to be a great value at only $5,600. His average depth of target in the game last week was 10.4 yards, compared to 9.3 in the first four games. Fitzgerald is also tied for third in the league with eight red zone targets. In a high-total game like this one, it's rare to see a number-one receiving option priced this low.
Not a whole lot of people would have had Austin Hooper ($6,400) as the top tight end going into the season, but that's exactly where he ranks after five weeks. Hooper has seen at least six targets in every game, getting rare consistent volume for a tight end. Arizona is giving up the most fantasy points per game to tight ends, allowing five touchdowns to the position already this season.
Others to Consider
Calvin Ridley ($5,500) is a big-play threat and could see increased volume if the game script goes the way we think it will.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens
Bengals Implied Team Total: 17.75
Ravens Implied Team Total: 29.75
This is a game where the initial game script looks more appealing for one side than the other. The Baltimore Ravens are clearly set up nicely to get their offense going again after some weeks that were worse than what we expected. If we dig deeper, we might be able to see reasons the Cincinnati Bengals could beat their low implied team total.
Baltimore gets to face the slate's third-worst pass defense, per our schedule-adjusted numbers. They don't rank much better themselves, however, as they are the fourth-worst. They allowed a struggling Cleveland Browns offense have their best offensive game of the season. This isn't the Baltimore defense that we saw last season, and the Bengals could actually move the ball well against them.
Lamar Jackson ($8,200) is always the target when the Ravens are in a good spot. This Cincy defense also allowed Kyler Murray to run for 93 yards last week, so they are vulnerable to quarterbacks who can run. Don't let Jackson's bad game last week fool you -- he is poised to bounce back in this matchup. He should have the safest floor among quarterbacks every week, and his ceiling is enormous.
Tyler Boyd ($6,400) turned target volume into a touchdown against Arizona in Week 5. It was his first touchdown of the season and led to his best fantasy game of the season. He has seen double-digit targets in every game besides one this year. He seems to be the Bengals' main threat when trying to come from behind, which a 12.0-point spread suggests is likely.
Mark Andrews ($6,300) fits the bill similarly to the other tight ends mentioned in this piece. He has been getting consistent volume, seeing at least seven targets in every game. His team has the highest team total on the slate. Andrews makes a lot of sense to roster in this game on Sunday.
Others to Consider
Auden Tate ($5,400) eventually paid off for fantasy owners last week. He saw the second most targets on the team, including three of them in the red zone.
Mark Ingram ($7,500) has high touchdown equity given how many points his team is implied to score. We've seen him post multiple-touchdown games twice this season when his team was looking likely to score a lot of points.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. 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.