Yahoo Daily Fantasy Football Primer: Week 6
Each week, this piece will go position-by-position on the Yahoo daily fantasy slate, looking at high-priced and value options who are viable in cash and GPP lineups. Every article will also feature a player, team, or situation that holds the key to the week due to price, matchup, or projected ownership.
Similar to many others I have heard from, Week 5 was not especially kind to me. It was exceptionally difficult on Yahoo where you had the opportunity to pivot exposure to the Chiefs-Colts game and its 56 implied total. This led me to be significantly overweight on the likes of Travis Kelce (poor), Patrick Mahomes (worse), Jacoby Brissett (LOL), and the Sammy Watkins donut (just put me out of my misery).
The trade-off, of course, was me being heavily underweight on Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan, Will Fuller (who at the last minute left my cash lineup for Marquez Valdes-Scantling - FML), Aaron Jones, Michael Thomas, and any reasonable hope of making money on the slate. The right answers were right there, written in chalk. Why didn't we just all play them and print money?
— Ryan Kirksey (@ryankirksey) October 10, 2019
But, such is life for the DFS grinder. We are forced to have short memories in a weekly or daily game. It is imperative, however, that we must have short memories of the slate-breaking performances as well. Fuller, for example, got more than a 50% price hike after his record day against the Atlanta Falcons. Is it worth paying that premium in Week 6? Probably not. We know that somewhere between his 46.7 Yahoo point ceiling in Week 5 and his 3.8 Yahoo point floor in Week 4 is the appropriate expectation.
It's often said that recency bias is a powerful drug. You start to dabble in it, and you are headed for some serious trouble.
Let's dive into the position-by-position analysis for Week 6
Matt Ryan ($34) - Ryan somehow gets a price drop coming off a week where he had 4 total touchdowns, 330 passing yards, and faced a much tougher defense than he will against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 6. In fact, Ryan has thrown multiple touchdowns in four of five weeks to this point, and threw for 400 yards in the one game he did not throw multiple scores.
Despite this, we get his lowest salary since Week 1 as he travels to battle against the league's eighth-worst passing defense, according to our defensive Net Expected Points (NEP) model. Oddsmakers see this game as one of the closest on the slate, ranging between a 2-2.5 point spread with Atlanta listed as the slight favorite. At 27 points, Atlanta is projected for the third-highest total on the slate. Arizona is without Patrick Peterson for one more week, so the passing lanes should be open just as they have been for the likes of Kyle Allen, Russell Wilson, and Lamar Jackson in the early going.
Case Keenum ($23) - It feels gross to even type words about this Redskins-Dolphins game, but if you are on the hunt for a less than 1% owned quarterback with a chance to significantly outperform his cost, Keenum might be in play. Despite the team being more dysfunctional than a Kardashian family reunion, the Washington Redskins still have a higher implied total than the Eagles, Bengals, Broncos, Saints, Jets, Titans, Steelers, and Dolphins on this slate.
The Dolphins are downright abysmal against the pass this season, ranking last in Passing NEP through five weeks. Miami allows .54 Passing NEP per play, which simply means every pass their opponent throws is worth more than half a point. Miami allows three passing touchdowns per game, more than half a touchdown "lead" over the next closest team. With Terry McLaurin, Vernon Davis, and Chris Thompson still available as reliable pass-catchers, Keenum at least has weapons at all levels of the field to expose a weak passing defense.
Alvin Kamara ($29) - Our boy Christian McCaffrey had to pack up his wellies and go play across the pond this week, leaving us without much to get excited about at the high-end of running backs. In fact, the three most expensive rushers -- Ezekiel Elliott , Dalvin Cook, and Nick Chubb -- all face top-14 run defenses this week, and in Zeke's case, he may not be needed on the field the last quarter and a half. Kamara, on the other hand, faces a Jacksonville Jaguars rush defense that has been deceptively bad in 2019.
The Jaguars rank 30th in Rushing Defense NEP this season and have allowed 23.1 fantasy points per game to running backs through their first five games. Teddy Bridgewater continues to throw conservatively, only passing more than 15 yards downfield 12 times in his first four games. Kamara continues to play at about 75% of his team's snaps, logging just under 20% of the target share. At a price below $30, he seems to be the safest combination of floor and ceiling on the slate.
Phillip Lindsay ($18) - Hello, matchup overreaction! After torching the Los Angeles Chargers last week for 147 total yards and a touchdown, Lindsay's price dropped by 18% likely due to a perceived tough matchup against the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee has had a good rush defense this season, but has also had moments where they have been carved up by the likes of Marlon Mack, Jordan Wilkins, Josh Allen, and Frank Gore.
Despite playing on only 50% of the Broncos' offensive snaps, Lindsay has evolved into a trustworthy back with high-leverage red-zone touches. Lindsay leads fellow back Royce Freeman in red-zone touches (13-10) and total red-zone touchdowns (3-0). Lindsay's red-zone touches are even significantly more than the red-zone targets of both Courtland Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders (8). When the Broncos are threatening to score, it's Lindsay's number getting called so far this season.
DeAndre Hopkins ($33) - Let's run this one back one more time. It's not that Hopkins had a bad game against Atlanta (8 targets, 7 receptions, 88 yards), it's that Will Fuller had more touches than Tammy Wynette and Mark Gray. With the Houston Texans checking in with another strong 25 point total against the Kansas City Chiefs, Nuk is in a great spot again for a breakout performance.
As five-point underdogs on the road, this is going need to become a Watson - Hopkins game for the Texans to stay competitive. Hopkins' individual matchup looks downright tasty as he is likely to see the most of Charvarius Ward -- Player Profiler's 76th ranked cornerback -- who is allowing 9.2 fantasy points per game to his assignments.
Jamison Crowder ($10) - Remember back in the first week of September? It was such an innocent time. Eli Manning was back in his familiar starting role. The latest thing Antonio Brown had done was complain about a helmet. Sam Darnold wasn't yet a walking incubator for a 19th-century disease. Also back in Week 1, Jamison Crowder cost $10, and Darnold targeted him 17 times in a loss to the Buffalo Bills.
In a Week 6 matchup against the Cowboys, I'm expecting Crowder and Le'Veon Bell to eat up almost all of the opportunities as more than a touchdown underdog. With Chris Herndon back on the shelf with a new injury and Quincy Enunwa out for the year, Darnold is going to be looking early and often to his safety valves underneath. Considering Darnold is in a state where he might literally die if he is hit too hard, I can't imagine him waiting for Robby Anderson to streak 35 yards downfield -- especially as he will be guarded by Byron Jones, a top-12 cornerback in the NFL. Seventeen targets is not a realistic possibility for Crowder, but a 25% target share is certainly in play.
Austin Hooper ($25) - You know the drill by now: play your tight ends against the Cardinals. It's amazing to look and see that Hooper is now twice as expensive as he was in Week 1, but the guy is a top-10 tight end in snap rate, target share, total targets, air yards per game, receptions per game, receiving yards per game, catch rate, yards after the catch, and Total Reception NEP. A Matt Ryan - Julio Jones - Austin Hooper game stack is looking mighty appealing.
Cheap tight ends this week are a close your eyes, hold your nose, and point exercise. If I had to spend down away from Hooper, Kelce, or George Kittle, I would look at Delanie Walker ($14). Walker leads his team in target share and has four red-zone targets on the year, plus gets a middle of the pack Broncos pass defense in Week 6.