NFL

4 Daily Fantasy Football Players to Avoid in Week 6

As you're filling out your DFS lineups, it's always tempting to simply target the biggest superstars. However, player salaries don't always align with their expected production in a given matchup.

In this preview, I'll highlight a few players who might ordinarily be on your radar but are probably best to avoid this week. These aren't going to be players you absolutely must avoid due to injuries or playing-time demotions but rather players who are in a bad spot due to a matchup or a salary that has risen too high to justify rostering.

Let's take a look at five players who may not live up to expectations in Week 6. All references to betting totals and spreads are from the FanDuel Sportsbook. All stats are from Pro Football Reference unless otherwise noted.

James Robinson, RB, Jaguars

DraftKings Salary: $6,800

FanDuel Salary: $6,500

The Detroit Lions' defense creates a unique problem when projecting fantasy football production because they rely on man coverage at a 57 percent rate, highest in the league, according to Sports Info Solutions. Since they're one of just two teams using more man than zone, we can't expect offenses to replicate their usual usage rates against Detroit. This week, it's James Robinson who is likely to suffer from Detroit's unique coverage schemes.

Against man coverage, Robinson has seen just two targets this year (2.9 percent target share), compared to a 16 percent target share versus other zone and combo coverage schemes. Robinson is earning 5.6 FanDuel points per game as a receiver (7.5 on DraftKings), so we should be prepared for the possibility of a fairly significant drop-off in his production this week.

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Colts

DraftKings Salary: $6,400

FanDuel Salary: $7,300

With the Indianapolis Colts favored by eight points against the struggling Cincinnati Bengals, Jonathan Taylor is likely to appear on a high percentage of rosters this week. When playing with a lead, Indy runs the ball 54 percent of the time. That bodes well for Taylor in this matchup, and it may lead to him cashing in with a big game.

However, the Colts have also shown a tendency to lighten Taylor's workload after building a comfortable lead. When the Colts are winning by less than a touchdown, Taylor has seen 83 percent of the handoffs. When the lead grows to more than a touchdown, however, that rate drops to 38 percent.

Logically, this makes sense -- the Colts want to preserve their rookie running back, who will be playing a 16-game season for the first time -- so it probably isn't a coincidence Taylor's usage has dropped in these situations. Maybe Cincinnati will keep it close enough for Taylor to put up big numbers, but given the likelihood this turns into a blowout and a projected high rate of Taylor being rostered, the smart play may be to fade him this week.

Marquise Brown, WR, Ravens

DraftKings Salary: $6,500

FanDuel Salary: $6,300

Avoiding Marquise Brown is more necessary on DraftKings, where he carries the ninth most expensive salary among receivers. That cap hit dramatically overvalues Brown, who ranks 42nd among receivers in PPR points per game.

According to Sports Info Solutions, 42 percent of Brown's targets have come at least 20 yards downfield. That gives him big-play potential and a high ceiling every week, but he's not cashing in due to some struggles by Lamar Jackson. Among quarterbacks who have attempted at least 15 deep passes, only three have a worse on-target rate than Jackson's clip of 45 percent. Due to these issues, Brown has seen only five catchable targets on deep balls despite leading the league in total deep-ball targets.

Perhaps Jackson will soon break out of this mini-slump and Brown's value will rise again, but until we've seen this aspect of the Baltimore Ravens' offense perform at a more consistent level, it's tough to roster Brown on such a high salary.

Chase Claypool, WR, Steelers

DraftKings Salary: $5,200

FanDuel Salary: $5,500

Chase Claypool's status in the Pittsburgh Steelers' offense is on the rise, and he's coming off a four-touchdown performance against the Philadelphia Eagles, a game which clearly caught the attention of any fan who hadn't already noticed his rising stock. With Claypool's salary still at a reasonable level, expect his draft percentage to be high this week against the Cleveland Browns.

Unfortunately for Claypool, this is likely to be one of his more difficult matchups, as he'll frequently be lined up opposite Denzel Ward. With Ward giving up just 5.7 yards per target in coverage -- easily the lowest among the Browns' starting corners -- Ben Roethlisberger is likely to look elsewhere on the majority of his drop backs.


Ryan McCrystal is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ryan McCrystal also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username cfbfilmroom. 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.