Welcome back for week 6. Fortunately, we saw Week 5 get us to 5-for-5 in cash on the season, but it was a rough week for tournaments. This week projected to be better for tournaments as we have specific games to attack unlike last week, and there are some juicy standalone plays in the lesser games.
Falcons at Cardinals
At the time of betting line opening, this game chock full of defensive ineptitude was the week’s fourth-highest total. It has since been bet to the second-highest and trails only Texans at Chiefs.
Before diving into the individual matchups in this game, look at the top five teams in the league in terms of seconds per snap, courtesy of the brand new RotoViz Pace Tool.
NFL Offensive Pace and Run/Pass Report
As you can see, both teams move quickly, and that is followed up by gross snaps, as both teams rank in the top eight in that area. Arizona and Atlanta rank first and fourth respectively in no-huddle percentage. Last but not least, Atlanta ranks first in pass percentage while Arizona sixth. There would likely be fireworks in this game, even if either defense had a smidgen of competence. But, luckily for us, neither does.
Starting with the Atlanta side, Matt Ryan ($6,400) has been a model of consistency and exactly what we want for fantasy purposes from a team with a woeful defense. Ryan has hit the DK bonus for 300 yards passing in all five games this season and has thrown for multiple touchdowns in four of five games. He’s found success against tougher matchups already and gets an incredibly soft one this week as illustrated by the RotoViz Stat Explorer Tool.
Quarterbacks Against ARI: Last 5 Regular Season Games
As you can see, much worse players than Ryan have found success in this matchup, and despite a matchup between the Chiefs and Texans on the same slate, Ryan might have the highest quarterback ceiling on the slate. He is in play for cash and a fantastic tournament play.
The question is, who do we stack with him?
The customary answer is usually for Julio Jones ($8,000) to come first and for any other pass-catcher to be a secondary option, but that’s not the case in this game. Arizona is middle of the pack against both running backs and wide receivers, but they are next level horrendous against the tight end position.
Tight Ends Against ARI: Last 5 Regular Season Games
Texans at Chiefs
This one is a no-brainer matching up two prolific passing offenses, and no one will be caught by surprise. Both Patrick Mahomes ($7,500) and Deshaun Watson ($6,700) are fantastic tournament plays, but they are pricey.
On the Texans side, when looking to stack with Watson, the only two real and reliable options are DeAndre Hopkins ($7,400) and Will Fuller ($6,000). Hopkins could very well come in with lower ownership than Fuller this week and is the better play of the two. Watson can be played with either receiver, both or naked. One more option for extremely large field tournaments who will have almost no ownership is TE Jordan Akins ($3,200). The floor is literally zero but he does have a multi-score game already this season.
On the Chiefs side, all indications are that this week is set for the return of elite WR Tyreek Hill ($6,900). The dud against the Colts was in part due to the WR play being mostly subpar, and it was the first evidence of the year that Hill was truly missed. He returns against a team that has been smoked by high-end WRs, with the exception being Julio Jones’ bad game last week in which everyone contributed but him.
Top WR Scorers vs. HOU by Week, Last 5 Games
There are a few other quarterbacks in play this week, at varying levels of salary cost.
At the very top, Lamar Jackson ($7,000) could very well get there, but he will need to avoid having any of the running backs take any of the touchdowns if he’s to have any hope of keeping scoring pace with his salary peers. He is an option for a handful of tournament lineups. Mark Andrews ($4,800) is the obvious stack with Marquise Brown not practicing and seeming unlikely to play. If Brown is ultimately held out, Miles Boykin ($3,500) becomes a sneaky stack and standalone tournament play.
Jared Goff ($6,100) gets a home game and also gets to test the mortality of the 49ers defense. The Rams have the third-highest team total of the week, and Goff has been markedly better at home to this point in his career. He is also aided by the true emergence of Cooper Kupp ($7,100) and the steady above-average play of Robert Woods ($5,600). Also in play as a stack and one that will be quite popular this week is TE Gerald Everett ($3,600). The game stack option is extremely underpriced George Kittle ($5,200). Every player listed in this section is a sound tournament play, and each can be used as a standalone option, except for Goff, who needs to be stacked.
There are two very cheap quarterback options this week, and there is an argument to be made for each on their cash viability.
Kirk Cousins ($5,200) did just fine against the sweet matchup last week and showed he doesn’t need heavy volume to get there for cash. This week brings another strong matchup and one that might raise his volume. Adam Thielen ($6,700) is very much the stack and a standalone play.
Gardner Minshew ($5,100) showed he’s capable of ceiling games when given the volume last week and gets the exploitable Saints secondary away from the dome. DJ Chark ($5,500) is proving to be an every-week option, while slot receiver Dede Westbrook ($5,100) has the best individual matchup this week. Both are stack options in tournaments, but only Minshew is in play for cash. The best game stack option is Michael Thomas ($7,800).
This is a unique week for the running back position in the sense that it doesn’t seem at all prudent to jam in the top salaries. Ezekiel Elliott ($8,500) has the most prohibitive salary in a neutral or slightly favorable matchup. Dalvin Cook ($8,400) has a nightmare matchup. Alvin Kamara ($8,000) has a sound matchup but has landed on the injury report, and David Johnson is questionable. These players are relegated to tournament only for the reasons given.
So, where do we go if not to the top? The easy answer is the next tier down. Le’Veon Bell ($6,400) has an insanely favorable price, will continue to operate as a true bell cow, and best of all, he has an actual NFL quarterback under center again. He is a cash lock, and what’s more, the Jets DST ($1,500) is priced for prime stacking in both cash and tournaments.
The next best running back play on this slate is Mark Ingram ($6,600). He would be the top play on most slates if not for the horrific mispricing on Bell. Check out this matchup and just how bad the Bengals are.
Running Backs Against CIN: Last 5 Regular Season Games
Two backs that bring real ceilings this week while being game script dependent are Nick Chubb ($7,300) and Derrick Henry ($6,100). They are tournament only, but both have the ability to break the slate.
With the vast majority of the wide receiver position covered with quarterbacks and their respective stacks, we have a handful of standalone options to touch on for tournament exposure.
We don’t know how big of a role Terry McLaurin ($6,000) maintains with the new coaching staff, but he should be included in the lower exposure part of builds.
Michael Gallup ($5,600) is a screaming value in a sweet individual matchup and brings a very real ceiling. He should see more than just a little exposure.
The Seahawks have proven to be quite beatable by the slot receiver, and Jarvis Landry ($5,200) is also a value that can’t be ignored.
While Preston Williams ($4,100) is a very sound cheap tournament play against Washington, but he will be far too popular, and there is quite an ownership advantage to be gained in a pivot to DeVante Parker ($4,200). I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s even possible for Rosen stacks in the largest of tournaments.
In Darnold’s lone start this season, Jamison Crowder ($4,000) saw 17 targets, and it is very much within the realm of possibility Crowder remains his safety net and has a true volume role. He is a must for tournament builds.
Note that we don’t know who we will be able to fit for cash at WR until we know the situation with the ARI and LAR backfields and how much salary we will have available.
This position was just about completely covered in the quarterback and game stacking sections. The only player we didn’t touch on is Will Dissly ($4,900) in a super sweet matchup with the Browns.