2023 Week 6 DFS Early Look


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2023 Week 6 DFS Early Look

Week 5 of the NFL regular season just wrapped up, and that means Week 6 is just around the corner. As my readers likely know, DFS is the best version of fantasy football, and since DraftKings and FanDuel have released their Week 6 prices, it’s time to track down the obvious values and best plays.

Here are the plays that jumped out to me for Week 6 DFS.

Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals (VS. SEA)

DraftKings: $6,300 (QB8) | FanDuel: $7,500 (QB8)

The first month of the season saw an immobile Joe Burrow get the ball out as fast as humanly possible – posting the league’s shortest time to throw (2.29 seconds). But Week 5 saw Burrow look like the Burrow of old. His 2.48 time to throw was roughly in line with his career average; he posted a season-long 10-yard run, and he was responsible for 20 first downs (37% of his first downs this season).

It feels safe to declare Burrow as ‘back’ from the calf injury that derailed the first four games of the season.

And if Burrow is back, he’s egregiously underpriced. Burrow’s $6,300 DraftKings salary is the 2nd-cheapest he’s been since Week 16 of 2021. Last season, Burrow's average DraftKings price was $6,864 – meaning we are getting a ~9% discount relative to last season on one of the league’s best QBs.

The matchup is pretty great, too. Seattle is allowing the 2nd-most passing YPG (305.3), the 3rd-most schedule-adjusted FPG to opposing QBs (+5.6), and a positive pass rate over expectation (+0.9%). Expect Burrow to be one of the most popular QBs of the Week 6 slate.

Brock Purdy, QB, San Francisco 49ers (@ CLE)

DraftKings: $5,600 (QB14) | FanDuel: $7,200 (QB10)

Purdy averages 20.3 DraftKings FPG in his 12 career healthy starts, which ranks 5th-best among slate-eligible QBs. His sub-QB10 price tags on both sites appear ridiculous in that context, but of course, we need to note the (perceived) brutal matchup against the Browns' defense.

No team has allowed fewer FPG to opposing QBs than Cleveland (14.1). But, we need to remember they’ve played gimpy Joe Burrow, Kenny Pickett, and Ryan Tannehill in three of their games. In their lone game against a competent offense (Week 4 against Baltimore), the Browns allowed Lamar Jackson to go 15 of 19 through the air for 4 total TDs and 29.1 fantasy points.

One of my favorite metrics (schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed) accounts for all this, and the Browns rank as a slightly worse-than-neutral matchup for QBs. So, Cleveland isn’t nearly as difficult of a matchup as most basic metrics imply.

And we can’t forget Purdy just lit up the Cowboys’ defense (a much tougher schedule-adjusted matchup) for 26.1 DraftKings points (the 2nd-best game of his career). The 49ers offense looks unstoppable, Purdy is playing great, and he and his pass catchers are far too cheap this week.

Travis Etienne, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (VS. IND)

DraftKings: $7,100 (RB5) | FanDuel: $7,700 (RB8)

Travis Etienne’s workload has been fantastic this season. Since Week 4, he has led all RBs in snap share (84%), and ranks top-6 in both XFP/G (19.3) and FPG (23.3).

Because Etienne captures so much rushing volume (2nd in carries with 95), he particularly benefits from positive gamescript. Since last season, he’s averaging 17.3 FPG as a favorite but just 9.9 FPG as an underdog.

So, Jacksonville being listed as a 4.0-point favorite sets Etienne up with a near-perfect game environment. And the matchup itself is neutral-at-worst, as the Colts rank as a top-10 schedule-adjusted matchup for opposing RBs this season.

And even if Jacksonville falls behind, Etienne is 9th in targets (20) and 5th in route share (52%) among RBs. He has multiple avenues to a successful fantasy outing here, and he’s helped out by being objectively underpriced (especially on FanDuel).

Kyren Williams, RB, Los Angeles Rams (VS. ARI)

DraftKings: $6,500 (RB10) | FanDuel: $8,200 (RB5)

Williams was a huge disappointment in Week 5, scoring just 7.7 fantasy points in a bottom-5 matchup. But he’s still a bell cow — Williams’ 85% snap share led all RBs on Sunday.

Prior to Week 5, Williams’ workload was legitimately incredible. His 19.8 XFP/G in his first four games would rank 3rd-best among slate-eligible RBs, and is notably similar to the 20.2 XFP/G that Todd Gurley averaged in 2017 and 2018.

We can’t forget that Gurley’s average price over that stretch was $8,709 – $2,200 more expensive than Williams’ current salary. Forget the talent difference between these two (which is obviously massive), we can’t underestimate a prime Todd Gurley workload at a low-end RB1 DraftKings salary, especially in a favorable matchup.

The Rams are 6.5-point favorites, which should lead to plenty of positive gamescript for Williams. Even better, the Cardinals have allowed the 4th-most FPG (29.1) to opposing RBs, while also ranking as a top-5 schedule-adjusted matchup for the position. If Williams’ bell cow workload continues, he should feast in a plus matchup.

Rachaad White, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (VS. DET)

DraftKings: $5,500 (RB20) | FanDuel: $6,300 (RB20)

Among slate-eligible RBs, White ranks 13th in XFP/G (14.2), 7th in snap share (77%), 4th in route share (61%), and 2nd in red zone snap share (90%).

He’s fallen far below his expectation, registering just 11.8 DraftKings FPG (RB19) – but even that number bests his current price tag on both sites. White is priced at his floor, despite underlying usage that indicates he should be (at least) a low-end RB1.

That said, there are some real matchup concerns here. The Lions have allowed just 3.3 YPC (3rd-toughest) and 13.0 FPG to opposing RBs (2nd-toughest) while ranking as the single-toughest schedule-adjusted matchup for opposing RBs.

White is going to be a difficult decision point this week. He’s clearly too cheap, but it’s easy to see him fail, thanks to the terrible matchup. So, I’ll likely use White as a key piece in game stacks. He won’t be able to achieve a ceiling outing without some offensive proficiency from Tampa Bay, which means the Buccaneers will need to keep this contest competitive for White to end up in the winning lineup.

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (VS. SEA)

DraftKings: $8,300 (WR4) | FanDuel: $9,300 (WR2)

Chase has the 2nd-best workload among slate-eligible WRs (22.1 XFP/G), and he earned an absurd 37.2 XFP (2nd-best workload by a WR in any game this year) and 19 targets last week without Tee Higgins in the mix.

Higgins (ribs) is no lock to play in Week 6, given the Bengals Week 7 bye. And even if Higgins does play, it’s important to remember that Chase’s workload is still awesome relative to his DraftKings salary. Chase has exceeded his expectation by roughly +26% when healthy since his rookie season. That means that Chase’s workload with a healthy Higgins is worth about 23.0 FPG, and if we include the lone game Higgins has missed, Chase’s workload is worth ~27.8 FPG, which is 2nd to only Tyreek Hill on this slate.

And Chase gets to face Seattle, which is a top-3 matchup for opposing WRs in nearly all the metrics that matter to me. Chase will be the slate’s most popular WR if Higgins sits, but he’s an awesome play regardless.

Adam Thielen, WR, Carolina Panthers (@ MIA)

DraftKings: $5,900 (WR22) | FanDuel: $7,400 (WR13)

Since Week 2, Thielen ranks 7th among all WRs in XFP/G (19.6), 3rd in targets (46), 13th in first-read target share (34%), and 11th in red zone usage (4.5 XFP/G). He’s a screaming value, even relative to his FanDuel price.

If there is one thing we can feel confident in this week, it’s the idea that Carolina will need to throw early and often as 14.0-point underdogs. And the only player we know the Panthers will target consistently is Thielen, who has at least 8 targets in every game over the last four weeks.

The Dolphins have also struggled against the slot, allowing the 6th-highest slot target share (35%), 7th-most YAC to slot players (176), and the 5th-most receiving yards (424). Thielen can be regarded as one of the safest WRs with a mid-range price tag on this Week 6 slate.

Robert Woods, WR, New Orleans Saints (VS. NO)

DraftKings: $3,800 (WR45) | FanDuel: $5,500 (WR46)

Tank Dell is in concussion protocol, leaving Nico Collins and Robert Woods as the primary pass catchers in the league’s 3rd-most productive passing attack by YPG (293.4).

Both are great plays, but Woods’ low-end WR4 salary really jumps out. He’s earned at least 6 targets in every game this year (8.0 per game), and his 12.5 XFP/G is 97% of Nico Collins’ workload this season (12.9 XFP/G).

Woods is also the team’s primary slot threat, running a team-leading 48% of his routes from that alignment. The Saints have allowed the league’s 5th-highest slot target share (36%), 4th-most slot end zone targets (4), and the 3rd-most first-read throws (49) to opposing slot players this year.

Maybe Woods’ doesn’t carry the same upside he once did, but he’s certainly a great way to save salary if we can anticipate 8 or more targets at his rock-bottom price.

Logan Thomas, TE, Washington Commanders (@ ATL)

DraftKings: $3,500 (TE14) | FanDuel: $5,400 (TE8)

Somewhat unbelievably, 32-year-old Logan Thomas is averaging 11.9 FPG (TE6) and hasn’t scored fewer than 7.3 fantasy points in a game this year.

But his underlying usage is pretty great. He’s the TE7 by XFP/G (11.5), the TE8 by air yards share (16%), the TE9 by receiving yards per game (45.8), and the TE8 by targets per game (6.3). I understand being hesitant about this play. It isn’t hard to argue that Thomas is just Washington’s version of Zach Ertz – an old TE who is peppered with targets despite his inefficiency.

But Thomas has exceeded his expectation (while Ertz has fallen 33% short of his), and Thomas ranks 16th among 39 qualifying TEs in YPRR (1.46) while Ertz ranks 25th (1.06). He’s always been a great athlete, and he certainly seems to be aging more gracefully than Ertz.

Plus, Atlanta is a compelling matchup. The Falcons have allowed the 2nd-most FPG (16.9), 5th-most receiving yards (313), and 2nd-most receptions (35) to opposing TEs this season. Thomas looks like a decent way to punt the position in a game Washington will likely need to throw as 2.5-point underdogs.

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.