DFS Early Look: Week 6


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DFS Early Look: Week 6

Another week of NFL football is in the books, which means that more NFL football is right around the corner. With both Fanduel and DraftKings having released their Week 6 DFS pricing, it’s time to look ahead to next Sunday’s DFS slate.

Here are the most glaring values I’ve found after analyzing pricing.

Taylor Heinicke, QB, Washington Football Team (VS. KC)

DraftKings: $5,800 (QB12) | Fanduel: $7,300 (QB10)

Taylor Heinicke had scored at least 20.0 fantasy points in every game he started prior to Week 5, when he scored just 9.9 fantasy points against New Orleans in an abysmal offensive performance. Heinicke plays like a more athletic Ryan Fitzpatrick, and that’s going to make him quite the boom or bust QB from a fantasy perspective. Not great in season long, but these are the QBs we love to chase in DFS. And boy, does Week 6 bring an outstanding matchup.

Washington sets up as 6.5-point underdogs to Kansas City, the team that’s given up 26.7 FPG to opposing QBs (6th-worst), 32.6 PPG to opposing offenses (worst), and is PFF’s worst graded defense (46.2). And this game provides one of the highest totals of the 2021 season, at 56.0. There’s arguably no better opponent for Heinicke. He offers a solid rushing floor of 4.7 FPG per game, and should need to throw the ball as much as any QB of the Week 6 main slate. He obviously won’t be in play for cash games, but for tournaments, I’d anticipate Heinicke to be one of the highest-owned QBs.

Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (AT DET)

DraftKings: $6,400 (RB10) | Fanduel: $7,000 (RB12)

Note: Mixon was limited in Week 5, but should be at full strength for Week 6.

Through the first four weeks of the season, Mixon ranked 2nd in touches per game (22.5) and 6th in YFS per game (95.5), but just 12th in XFP per game (16.0) and 19th in FPG (14.3) due primarily to a lack of receiving involvement (2.3 targets per game). Still, Mixon’s workload on the ground is the best of any RB not named Derrick Henry, and that’s certainly valuable for fantasy, especially when the Bengals are 3-point favorites in Week 6 against Detroit. Since 2018, Mixon has averaged 22.8 FPG in wins and 13.0 FPG in losses. With so many carries and so few targets coming his way in 2021, it's absolutely reasonable to expect those splits to continue.

The Lions have given up 27.0 FPG to opposing RBs this season (4th-worst), and rank 3rd-worst in Football Outsiders rush defense DVOA (5.1%). I’d expect Mixon to be one of the more popular RB options in a great matchup with a favorable spread.

Devontae Booker, RB, New York Giants (VS. LAR)

DraftKings: $5,400 (RB23) | FD: $5,900 (RB25)

Saquon Barkley was thankfully able to avoid serious injury, but he’s still not likely to play Week 5. That leaves Devontae Booker as New York's lead back in a Week 6 matchup with the Rams.

Booker saw great volume filling in for Barkley Sunday, but his efficiency was rather dreadful. Thankfully, the Rams run defense is #bad.

It’s almost certainly schematic, but the Rams are a clear run funnel. They are letting up 4.5 YPC (8th-worst) and are allowing 23.0 FPG to opposing RBs (8th-worst). And Booker should be a focal point of the Giants offense as a result. Well, that, and the Giants are arguably the most injured offense in the NFL right now. Daniel Jones (concussion), Kenny Golladay (knee), Sterling Shepard (hamstring), Kadarius Toney (leg), and Darius Slayton (hamstring) are all dealing with injuries that cloud their Week 6 status. Should the Giants be missing the majority of their WRs or even their QB, a run heavy game plan featuring Booker may end up being the team’s path of least resistance. Booker figures to see more touches per dollar of salary than just about any RB in Week 6.

Darrel Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (AT WAS)

DraftKings: $4,900 (RB28) | Fanduel: $5,200 (RB38)

Clyde Edwards-Helaire suffered a knee injury in the 3rd quarter of Sunday Night Football, and will “miss a few weeks.” For Week 6, look for Darrel Williams to take over most of his role. Given that Jerick McKinnon has only seen 1 carry this season, Williams should see the vast majority of the 14.5 carries per game (8th-most) that CEH earned in the first four weeks of the season. Crucially, Williams is the team’s goal line back, as he is the only player with a carry inside the five yard line, scoring twice on three attempts. We’ve never seen CEH score more than 20.9 fantasy points in a single game, so I’m inclined to limit my Williams exposure in tournaments due to the concerning ceiling. Regardless, as 6-point favorites against Washington, Williams figures to be heavily involved as the lead rusher on one the NFL’s best offenses. From a median projection standpoint that makes Williams a great value, especially on Fanduel as the RB38.

Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams (AT NYG)

DraftKings: $7,900 (WR5) | Fanduel: $8,200 (WR3)

Kupp is the WR1 through five weeks, and currently ranks 3rd in receiving yards (523), 3rd in target share (33.1%), 2nd in targets per game (11.2), and 2nd in red zone targets (18). Despite this, he’s the WR3 on Fanduel and, surprisingly, the WR5 on DraftKings. Week 6 ushers in an above-average matchup with the Giants, who have given up the 10th-most passing YPG to opposing offenses (270.2) and are PFF’s 10th-worst graded coverage unit (50.6 team coverage grade). With Daniel Jones’ (concussion) status still up in the air, this game is currently off the board, but the Rams were favored by 7.5-points (50.5 O/U) in the lookahead line from a few days ago, giving them an implied team total of 29.0. Excluding the Rams’ disastrous 2020 offensive campaign, since 2018 Kupp has averaged 21.6 DraftKings FPG and 17.4 Fanduel FPG in games where the Rams implied total is greater than 26.0 (19 instances).

Kupp has as good of a chance as any player to finish the year as the overall WR1. He isn’t priced like it in Week 6, and should be quite popular as a result.

Kadarius Toney, WR, New York Giants (VS. LAR)

DraftKings: $5,600 (WR19) | Fanduel: $6,000 (WR22)

Note: Toney is questionable for Week 6. Be sure to monitor his status.

Toney saw elite usage in his first game in a ‘full-time’ role with both Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton sidelined with hamstring injuries. Toney earned 12 targets (33.3% share), a team leading 189 receiving yards, and 29.6 fantasy points before being ejected for throwing a punch. Toney was used in a diverse capacity, seeing 4 targets of 10 or more yards, and another 2 targets on screens, while playing 33% of his offensive snaps in the slot.

And let’s not forget that Toney is a generational talent with the ball in his hands. By his final season at Florida, Wes Huber wrote that “his senior film blew me away. It’s truly a different player. He’s always had an elite skillset with the ball in his hands. But I was not expecting to see the crispness of his route running so quickly”. PFF’s Mike Renner compared Toney to “The Human Joystick,” Dante Hall. Greg Cosell mentioned Toney reminded him of Randall Cobb, but with significantly more explosion and straight-line speed. He recorded a near-elite 88.8 SPORQ score.

Toney figures to be one of the most popular DFS plays at WR if Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and/or Darius Slayton miss Week 6, as there will be hardly any WRs left to catch passes. Facing a Rams’ defense that’s allowed 30.2 FPG to opposing WRs (7th-worst) as a 7.5-point underdog is the icing on the fantasy cake. Keep a close eye on the Giants’ practice reports, because we may be staring ‘Kadarius Toney week’ right in the face.

Jakobi Meyers, WR, New England Patriots (VS. DAL)

DraftKings: $5,500 (WR21) | Fanduel: $5,800 (WR27)

Meyers ranks 12th in targets per game (9.2), 16th in target share (25%), 5th in routes (199), and 7th in receptions (31), but his fantasy production hasn’t kept pace, as he’s the WR36 by FPG (12.6). Unbelievably, Meyers has 116 career receptions, and 0 TDs. That’s the 6th-most receptions without a receiving TD ever, and Meyers has fallen short of his TD expectation by 2.3 TDs since the start of 2020. Thankfully, Week 6 ushers in a strong matchup against Dallas, who’s allowed 30.3 FPG to opposing WRs (6th-worst). With the Patriots as 4-point underdogs, a pass happy Week 6 for New England appears more than likely.

He’s seeing WR1 levels of volume, is a screaming TD regression candidate, and has a great matchup. Meyers may slide under the radar in Week 6 with DFS players potentially frustrated by the lack of big games despite great usage, and that makes him an ideal GPP play.

Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs (AT WAS)

DraftKings: $7,000 (TE1)

Since the start of the 2020 season, Travis Kelce has averaged 20.2 FPG. Among all WRs and TEs this season, 20.2 FPG would rank 5th, behind only Cooper Kupp, Tyreek Hill, Mike Williams, and Davante Adams. This week, he ranks as the 9th-most expensive WR or TE. His $7,000 DK salary is $900 less than his average salary over the last 12 games, and the cheapest Kelce has been since Week 12 of 2020.

And now, an obviously mispriced Kelce gets a juicy matchup against Washington in the highest total (56.0) game of Week 6. The Football Team ranks 4th-worst in Football Outsiders pass defense DVOA (36.0%), 2nd-worst in PFF coverage grades (39.1 team coverage grade), and 5th-worst in passing YPG allowed (293.4). An elite matchup for an elite TE? Expect Kelce to be the highest-owned TE of Week 6 on DraftKings.

Jake Tribbey is the 2022 FSWA Football Writer of the Year and the leading Spring Football expert in the fantasy industry. He is a lifelong football fan obsessed with extracting every edge possible from DFS, Best Ball, and player props/futures.