Fantasy is a speculative game. Predict the future, and you look like a genius. Don’t, and you’re painfully human. Gazing into the crystal ball, here’s our view on six intriguing over/unders for Week 6.
Donning the DFS cap, what commodity is terribly UNDERVALUED in Week 6?
Dalton – JOHN BROWN ($18). He’s a bit boom-or-bust, but Brown appears to be fully recovered from his early season concussion woes, and last week’s down game can be written off thanks to Drew Stanton’s involvement. Carson Palmer should be back, and Brown has racked up a whopping 27 targets over the last two games in which Palmer played. Moreover, the Jets have allowed an NFL-high 9.2 YPA and eight passes that have gone for 40+ yards, so the matchup is highly favorable.
Brandon – CHRIS HOGAN ($14). Hogan showed great rapport with Tom Brady in the preseason, and the two picked up where they left off in Brady’s return last week, as Hogan topped 100 receiving yards against Cleveland. As the Pats’ best (only?) outside/deep threat, I think he’ll make another positive fantasy impact this week against a Bengals’ secondary that has allowed 7 TD passes to the WR position this season. I’m feeling something in the neighborhood of 75-85 yards and a TD from Hogan on Sunday.
Brad – JOHN BROWN ($18). Carson Palmer’s return should be triumphant with the wingless Jets coming to Glendale. Brown barely made a peep last week against San Francisco, but New York has surrendered the most 40-yards pass plays (8) and highest YPA (9.2) this season. Brown’s big play abilities and recent on-page chemistry with Palmer (27 targets, 16 catches Weeks 3-4) arrow to a monster Monday.
Conversely, what DFS option is the most OVERVALUED in Week 6?
Brandon – JULIO JONES ($35). Sure, it’s hard to ignore the 300 yards Jones hung on the Panthers a couple weeks ago, but he’s sandwiched that performance with two sub-3.0 fantasy point efforts (both road contests). This week, he’ll be shadowed by CB Richard Sherman in what will be blustery conditions in the always hostile environment of Century Link Field. Jones is, for my money, the most physically gifted WR in the game, but the pitfall potential is too high to lay down $35 bucks on him this week.
Brad – ANDREW LUCK ($35). On pace for 65 sacks, Luck will be lucky to survive the season with all bones/tendons intact. Houston, which ranks No. 7 in sacks, is sure to swarm him early and often. Couple that with the Texans’ 6.8 yards per attempt allowed and the Neckbeard will be fortune to crack 15 fantasy points in Week 6.
Liz – EZEKIEL ELLIOT ($34). It’s tough for me to not love Zeke each and every week, especially as he becomes more confident and decisive behind the Cowboys’ stout line. However, he’ll see his first real test this Sunday against Green Bay’s top-rated run defense. Allowing the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing RBs, the Packers’ crew of run stuffers have only let one RB cross the goal line so far this season. Zeke’s volume and do-it-all skill set still make him a top-12 play, but there are cheaper and safer options (Christine Michael – $24) available this week in our daily game.
DUMPSTER DIVING. With shovel in hand, what player under 25-percent started should fantasy owners insert into their lineups?
Brad – BRANDON LAFELL. This isn’t another chase-last-week’s-stats Dontrelle Inman situation, LaFell is blessed with a superb matchup, against his old team (New England), and coming off a confidence boosting, 68-yard, two-TD performance in Dallas. Likely to see the fantasy friendliest corner in the league, Logan Ryan (16.1 fantasy points allowed), the ONE-PERCENT STARTED receiver is a strong candidate for 10-plus fantasy points in Week 6.
Liz – CHARLES CLAY. Catching five balls in three of his last four outings, Clay has seen a steady flow of targets from Tyrod Taylor. He’s also had at least one red zone target every week over the last three. A top-ten fantasy TE in Week 5, his matchup at home against the 49ers this Sunday figures to keep him locked in as a TE1 this Sunday.
Scott – Take me back to CAMERON MEREDITH. He’s tall, athletic, physical, and already has something good working with Brian Hoyer. The Jaguars still haven’t fixed their defense; Jacksonville’s handing out the fourth-most points to fantasy wideouts.
Aaron Rodgers, who’s seen a noticeable dip in YPA and has fallen short of 19 fantasy points in two of four contests this season, 19.9 points versus Dallas.
Liz – UNDER. Owning many shares of Rodgers myself, I want to scream OVER, but let’s be realistic. Dallas is going to try to run a ball control offense in attempt to keep the Packers’ signal caller at bay. Plus, Rodgers’ favorite target (WR Jordy Nelson) is expected to see a healthy dose of Mo Claiborne, who has (finally) been playing at an elite level.
Scott – UNDER. The low YPA is alarming for Rodgers (and this year, it can’t be blamed on Jordy Nelson’s absence). Both of these teams play at a slow pace; fear the turtle. Fear Mike McCarthy, too.
Andy – I’ll take the OVER here, largely because the Dallas pass defense isn’t anything special. The Cowboys have allowed the eleventh most fantasy points to opposing QBs while picking off only three balls. Rodgers is at home, his receiving weapons are healthy and Eddie Lacy is dinged. The setup works.
Perpetual underachiever, Alshon Jeffery, who has transformed into a borderline WR3, standard fantasy points scored against Jacksonville 9.9.
Scott – That question basically reduces to “touchdown or no touchdown?” for Jeffery this week. Until I see some semblance of rapport between Jeffery and Brian Hoyer, I’m going to be a little pessimistic. Jeffery doesn’t look at full throttle to me, something you often worry about with a player who’s battled soft-tissue injuries. Plus this Chicago offense has some other pieces of interest, especially rookie Jordan Howard and second-year find Meredith, discussed above.
Andy – OVER. Let’s not fall into the trap of chasing last week’s stats. Jeffery is Chicago’s most talented receiver, by far. He was absurdly wide open more than once on Sunday, but weirdly ignored by his not-very-good quarterback. Alshon has since aired his grievances, and I fully expect him to be targeted heavily in Week 6. If he isn’t, then Chicago’s offense is truly broken.
Dalton – OVER. It’s weird Jeffery has yet to see more than seven targets in any game this season, but he’s managed 78.8 ypg despite the modest usage, and his lack of touchdowns seems like a fluke. The Jaguars have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this year, so I’m expecting Jeffery to find the end zone Sunday.
Fresh off the bye and with concerns about a possible timeshare looming, total touches for Jamaal Charles in Oakland 14.5.
Andy – UNDER. I’m gonna need more than Charles’ optimism about his recovery and his role. Before I rank him as a no-doubt starter for fantasy purposes and the unrivaled lead back in KC, I’ll need to see it on the field. He’s a high-mileage player coming off his second major knee surgery, and Spencer Ware has earned a share of the backfield touches.
Dalton – UNDER. This game could easily turn into something of a shootout, resulting in more passing by Kansas City than they typically like to. Charles should be given a dozen or so touches, but Spencer Ware will remain in the mix.
Brandon – OVER. I think it’s now time for the JC of KC. The Chiefs did a great job of slow playing his return into their bye week. Charles now proclaims himself to be “110 percent” healthy. I believe he’s ready to take on whatever the Chiefs are willing to give him on Sunday. And, while Spencer Ware has been excellent in filling in for Charles, he has lost a fumble in three straight games, and the Chiefs have lost two of those contests. And, Ware, as good as he’s been, doesn’t bring the upside to the table that Charles does. It’s no coincidence that in Charles’ past four full seasons, KC has finished among the top 3 backfields in fantasy production each of those campaigns. In ’11, ’15 and this season, with Charles on the sidelines because of injury, the Chiefs backfield production ranked 23rd (’11), 10th (’15) and 22nd (’16). The Chiefs are simply better with the game-breaking threat of Charles in the backfield.
Scott – Have to go UNDER here. I need a prove-it game. Charles is approaching his 30th birthday (late December) and has two ACL blowouts on his resume. I’m not going to be aggressive with initial assumptions, no matter what coachspeak might filter out.