NFL DFS Week 6: Picks, Plays and Values
After researching the NFL player pool at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end each week over the past few seasons, I will go on a new path for the daily games in 2021. I continue to make projections, and this baseline will be used to identify possible values at each position during the season.
In the daily games, we see each week players with low salaries post difference-maker scores. The key to winning is mixing a core of studs with some undervalued options that post impact scores for their price point.
Depending on the format, the goal is to find players that will score three or four times their salary to have a shot at GPP (grand prize pool).
Top Tier: Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills ($8,200/$8,800)
Over the past four weeks, the Bills have scored 156 points (39 per game), highlighted by 18 touchdowns and eight field goals over 48 possessions. Buffalo’s quarterbacks have a rushing score in three straight matchups while delivering 9.3 yards per pass attempt. Allen moved to fourth in quarterback scoring (28.86 FPPG) thanks to impact games in Week 3 (367 combined yards with five touchdowns) and Week 5 (374 combined yards with four scores). In 2020, Allen had a dull effort vs. the Titans (281/2).
Tennessee has played three straight have-nots in the passing game (IND – 194/0, NYJ – 297/2, JAC – 273/1) after getting drilled by the Cardinals (309/5) and Seahawks (359/2) over the first two weeks. They allow 8.4 yards per pass attempt, with wide receiver doing plenty of damage (74/1,122/8 – 15.2 yards per catch).
Allen almost feels like a rerun as I’ve listed him as the top quarterback over the past three weeks. He’s playing well with another favorable matchup.
More: Patrick Mahomes – 31.20, Justin Herbert – 28.99
Value: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals ($6,300/$7,400)
After five weeks, Burrow sits 18th in quarterback scoring (21.17 FPPG) and has yet to deliver a difference-maker showing for the daily games. He had a floor of two touchdowns each week while seeing his passing attempts rise over the past two contests (32 and 38). Over this span, Burrow gained 644 combined yards with four scores. On the year, he has strength in his completion rate (71.7) and yards per pass attempt (8.8). Cincinnati continues to focus on the run game, leading to only 29 plays per week over the first five weeks.
The Lions are league average defending quarterbacks (1,345/10) despite quarterbacks gaining 10.0 yards per attempt. Their defense allowed 10 touchdowns and 76 points over their first two games against San Francisco and Green Bay. Detroit also has risk vs. the run (4.4 yards per rush), with backs scoring six times on the ground.
Burrow has the tools to shine in the passing game, but he needs the Bengals to fall behind early. His success in 2021 projects that 40 passes would produce 352 yards and three scores. His price point plays well if Burrow reaches his projections in Week 6.
More: Matthew Stafford – 27.27
Top Tier: Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers ($8,800/$10,000)
At this time last week, McCaffrey looked close to returning to game action. After two games, he should return to action vs. the Vikings. Carolina stated that McCaffrey has a 50/50 chance of playing on Sunday. Over his first two games, he gained 324 combined yards with one touchdown and 14 catches. Even with success over this stretch, he didn’t have a run over 20 yards while averaging 3.8 yards per carry.
Minnesota allowed 4.5 yards per rush in four straight matchups (ARI, SEA, CLE, DET), with a rusher scoring one touchdown each week. They give up 4.7 yards per carry on the year, with backs catching 28 of 30 targets for 204 yards.
When on the field, McCaffrey has the best running back opportunity in the game due to his high floor and ceiling in the passing game. The only question comes from finding the right combination of players to build a winning roster behind in a salary cap game.
More: Derrick Henry – 26.88, Austin Ekeler – 25.50
Value: Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts ($6,600/$7,500)
The quiet ride of Taylor ended over his last two contests, in which he gained 283 combined yards with three touchdowns and six catches. His success lifted him to 11th in running back scoring (16.88 FPPG) in PPR leagues. However, the most frustrating part of his game comes from his usage. Indy has only had him on the field for 50.3 percent of their offensive snaps. Last year, Taylor gained 230 combined yards with two scores and seven catches against Houston in two matchups.
In their last four contests, the Texans have given up 30 rushes or more, leading to 598 yards on 137 carries with nine touchdowns. Houston has allowed six touchdowns and eight field goals over 21 possessions.
The Colts need a win in the worst way, and they should ride Taylor harder in this matchup. Sports Illustrated has him projected for 130 combined yards with 1.5 touchdowns and three catches.
More: Najee Harris – 30.87, D’Andre Swift – 24.36
Top Tier: Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team ($7,100/$7,400)
Over the first five weeks, McLaurin has had his best output in even weeks (11/107/1 and 6/123/2). Washington looked his way 14, 13 and 11 times in his best three target games. He is on pace for 99 catches for 1,360 yards and 10 touchdowns over a 17-game season. His biggest negative is the decline in his catch rate (59.2 – it was 64.9 in 2020).
Kansas City has yet to allow fewer than 29 points on defense, with offenses scoring 21 touchdowns and six field goals over 49 possessions. Quarterbacks gain 356 combined yards per game with 13 touchdowns. Three wideouts gained over 100 yards receiving (Marquise Brown – 6/113/1, Mike Williams – 7/122/2, DeVonta Smith – 7/122).
The Chiefs will score plenty of points, and Washington’s defense continues to fall short of expectations. As a result, McLaurin has multiple-touchdown upside while also having a chance to hit on a long play.
More: Tyreek Hill – 27.09, Diontae Johnson – 27.00
Value: Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills ($4,300/$5,500)
Josh Allen looked Beasley’s way only four times over the past two weeks. He caught only three balls for 21 yards while being on the field 50 and 39 percent of Buffalo’s plays over this span. Three times in 2020, Beasley followed short outings (4/45/1, 3/39, 2/25), with impact games (11/112, 11/109/1, 9/130/1). His opportunity relies on game flow and the Bills' position on the scoreboard.
The Titans allow the most fantasy points to wide receivers (74/1,122/8). Six wideouts (DeAndre Hopkins – 6/83/2, Christian Kirk – 5/70/2, Tyler Lockett – 8/178/1, Freddie Swain – 5/95/1, Corey Davis – 4/111/1, Jamison Crowder – 7/61/1) have scored over 19.0 fantasy points in PPR leagues.
Beasley looks to be a low-value hookup with Josh Allen while also being a potential double stack option with Stefon Diggs.
More: Jacobi Meyers – 17.66, Tee Higgins – 14.96
Top Tier: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs ($7,000/$8,500)
Through five weeks of action, Kelce has averaged 18.18 fantasy points in PPR leagues. He finished the past two games with a low output in yards (23 and 57) after breaking out of the gate with 20 catches for 289 yards and three touchdowns over the first three weeks.
Tight ends have 26 catches for 279 yards and one touchdown against Washington, though the Football Team has only faced one top-tier player (Kyle Pitts – 4/50). The Saints and Giants wheeled out relatively weak options at tight end in Week 2 (Kyle Rudolph – 2/25) and Week 5 (Adam Trautman – 2/43).
SI Sportsbook posted an over/under of 56 for this matchup, pointing to a high output offensive game for Kelce and the Chiefs’ passing game.
Value: Zack Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles ($3,400/$4,900)
A short week and a case of COVID-19 for Dallas Goedert opens up a bump in targets for Ertz in Week 6. His play progressed in Week 3 (4/53/1) and Week 4 (6/60) while working as the TE2 for Philly. The Eagles had him on the field for 56.4 percent of their plays this season. His matchup against Tampa should lead to 80 percent of playing time and a chance at double-digit targets.
Tight ends have 36 catches for 326 yards and three touchdowns on 43 targets against the Bucs. Four teams had at least seven catches against Tampa. Despite their struggles, no tight end scored over 15.0 fantasy points against the Bucs.
The Week 6 projections are up at SI Fantasy, with a second update coming Saturday in the morning after all practices close Friday night.
Senior analyst Shawn Childs is a multi-sport, high-stakes fantasy legend with lifetime earnings in the high six-figures. He has been providing in-depth, analytical breakdowns for years all while helping his subscribers to countless titles and winnings across season-long & DFS. An inaugural inductee of the NFBC Hall of Fame, Shawn can teach you how to prep like a champ!