Welcome to The Gauntlet. We are going to break down each and every game to find our NFL DFS Week 6 top plays on what is considered the main slate on DraftKings and Fanduel. This consists of the games only on Sundays. If you are playing other slates, such as the primetime slates, be sure to check out our other DFS content for plays in those games. In this breakdown, we are going to dive deeply into each matchup which is why we are going to stick to just the main slate of games. The numbers in parenthesis are the Vegas implied totals for each team. All of the stats in this breakdown are from Football Outsiders, while all of the player grades are from Pro Football Focus.
We now have somewhat reliable data from weeks 1-5. There are defenses who have been really bad at certain aspects of the game, and we will look to exploit those here in week 6. With that being said, let’s get to it…
Packers (23.75) at Vikings (20.75) Total 44.5
I’m not going to harp on this one too much. Rodgers is a good play any time he is under center, and you can pair him with his pass catchers for a tourney stack. I would probably stay away from using Jordy, however, because Xavier Rhodes will most likely shadow him and he is among the elite shut down corners. For me personally, I will be staying away from Rodgers and Co. because this is too low of a total game, and the Packers should win this one easily without Bradford and Diggs playing.
For the Vikings, Thielen is in an awesome spot. They will be throwing all game to keep up with the Packers and he is their only Wide Receiver worth throwing to. McKinnon is going to be mega chalk this week at his cheap price. He is fine in cash with his pass-catching upside, but his lack of TD upside makes him a nice fade in tourneys at his likely high ownership.
Top plays: Thielen, McKinnon (cash), Rodgers, Adams, Cobb
Browns (28) at Texans (19) Total 47
This game is filled with fantasy goodness. When people see the Cleveland Browns, they assume blowout and usually roster the running back. However, the Browns are actually only allowing (a respectable) 66 yards rushing per game so far this season, which is among some of the best in the league. What that means is the Texans damage is going to come through the air. Feel free to load up on Watson, Hopkins, Fuller, and Griffin in this one.
On the other side, Ricardo Louis is the top value of the entire week. He is dirt cheap and is going to see double-digit targets this week from the new starting QB Kevin Hogan. Louis has been Hogan’s favorite target and that won’t change this week.
Top plays: Watson, Hopkins, Fuller, Griffin, Louis
Lions (23) at Saints (27) Total 50
This game is also filled with fantasy goodness in the second highest total of the week. Both Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are underpriced and both are looking to see increased roles this week with Adrian ‘AD’ Peterson being traded to Arizona and no longer hogging 8-10 touches. I actually prefer Ingram in this spot as he should see more snaps and touches and is still a great pass catcher. You can even pair him with Brees and Co. since a receiving TD is actually a possibility.
On the other side, Stafford is a little banged up but will be forced to throw early and often in this one. Theo Riddick is the Lions player I want to own here. With a total of 50 points, and the Lions likely to be trailing most of the game, Riddick could realistically see 10 targets in this one and makes a great pivot off of the chalky McKinnon. Riddick actually has designed plays for him near the goal line, and his TD upside is better than McKinnon. Give me Riddick in tourneys and McKinnon in cash.
Top plays: Brees, Ingram, Kamara, Thomas, Fleener, Stafford, Riddick, Tate
Dolphins (16.5) at Falcons (29.5) Total 46
When initially looking at this game, I immediately thought I was going to try to jam in Freeman everywhere. Atlanta is double-digit home favorites so that screams play the RB. However, the Dolphins have actually been good against the run game, and have been vulnerable through the air. The Falcons are without Sanu this week, so Gabriel will be thrown into the starting lineup opposite Julio. Matt Ryan should be able to pick apart this defense, and they aren’t afraid to throw with a lead.
The Falcons defense gets Beasley back this week, and Jay Cutler will be throwing a ton. This makes the Falcons defense an awesome tourney play.
Top plays: Ryan, Julio, Gabriel, Falcons D
Patriots (28.5) at Jets (19) Total 47.5
This total is too high for me to want to use the Patriots D, as badly as I want to. We have seen them get torched by everyone this year, and even the Jets should be able to move the ball this week. ASJ makes for an awesome option at TE. The RB situation in New York is now too muddy to use anyone. Just ASJ for me here.
The Patriots should look to get Gillislee going in this one as they should be playing with a lead, but we have said that the last couple of weeks as well and it hasn’t worked out. It is bound to be true eventually, so I don’t mind a Gillislee play in tournaments on non-Brady teams. He is their goal line back and a 2 TD game is a very real possibility for him. Brady is just like Rodgers, with the fact that you can play him in any matchup because he has 5 TD upside.
Top plays: ASJ, Brady, Gillislee, Hogan, Gronk, White
Bears (16.5) at Ravens (23) Total 39.5
The Ravens are allowing opposing teams to rush for more than 100 yards on the ground on average so far. If you like taking low owned guys with upside, Jordan Howard is in play for you. He is their TD back, and could very well eclipse the 100-yard mark in this one. If you aren’t playing Howard, just play the Ravens D. Great matchup at home against a rookie QB.
Top plays: Howard (tourney only), Ravens D
49ers (17.75) at Redskins (28.75) Total 46.5
I want to play Carlos Hyde so badly, but Kyle Shanahan is screwing with him and refused to play him last week. The Redskins have been respectable on the ground, so I am going to take a wait and see approach with Hyde for now. You can play Garcon, however, as he should rack up targets against his former team that is without Josh Norman.
On the Skins side, they are without Rob Kelley again, and Perine is not good enough to carry the load. Look for Cousins to be passing early and often here, and for Chris Thompson to be more involved again. The Redskins are different though because Cousins spreads the ball around and doesn’t target one player. You can play Cousins without any of his pass catchers, and it still makes sense. Reed is back this week and could very well be utilized heavily in the red zone, while all the other players do the yardage work, meaning no one pass catcher smashes value. If I had to choose, I would pair Cousins and Thompson.
Top plays: Garcon, Cousins, Thompson
Bucs (23.25) at Cardinals (22.25) Total 45.5
This game depends on the Bucs defensive injuries. If their questionable starters play, don’t load up on Cardinals. If they don’t play, you can load up on Palmer and the receivers. The Bucs without Ward and a couple starting linebackers have been the best defense to use passers against so far this season, and that won’t change if these guys don’t play, so keep an eye on that.
For the Bucs, this is a Desean Jackson game if Peterson plays. Peterson will cover and limit Evans. Evans saw Peterson last year and caught only 6 of his 18 targets against him. The fact that Evans needed 18 targets just to catch 6 passes speaks to how good Peterson is.
Top plays: Palmer, Fitz (if Bucs starters sit), Desean (if Peterson plays), Evans (if Peterson sits)
Rams (19.75) at Jaguars (22.25) Total 42
This might be the easiest game to break down this week. Play Fournette, as the Rams are giving up the most fantasy points to Running Backs this year, and play the Jags D as they are the most elite defense in the NFL and are scoring in double-digit fantasy points on a weekly basis now.
Top plays: Fournette, Jags D
Chargers at Raiders
At the time of writing this, there is no Vegas total yet for this game. What we do know, is that the Raiders air attack is way too cheap. Carr, Crabtree and Cooper, especially Cooper, are all underpriced and get a great matchup here.
On the Chargers side, Melvin Gordon is in play here again, but if I am playing a Charger, it will most likely be target hog Keenan Allen in what should be a shootout.
Top plays: Carr, Crabtree, Cooper, Allen
Steelers (21.25) at Chiefs (25.25) Total 46.5
This is my sneaky game stack of the week. We have seen a new explosive version of this KC offense, and it is forcing opposing teams to throw to keep up. After our boy Kevin Steele here at TFA mentioned he was on Ben Roethlisberger early in the week, it made me question why after reading he threw 5 INTs last week. I went back and watched the game film and noted Big Ben was actually extremely sharp. He was making all of the right reads and making on-time throws. He was finding Brown and Bryant frequently, and his interceptions were just unlucky is what it amounted to. You can get Ben here at 2% ownership, and he very well might throw for 300 yards and 4 scores in this one… Yes, please.
On the other side, the Steelers are up there with the Rams in the fact that they can’t stop the run at all. Kareem Hunt is in an incredible spot and is my #2 RB this week behind only Bell.
Top plays: Ben, Bell, Brown, Bryant (you can stack all 4), Hunt
Giants (13.5) at Broncos (25) Total 38.5
If you are playing a slate with this game, just lock button the Broncos D and move on. A Vegas total of 13.5 is the lowest I have ever seen, personally. I don’t know if they would ever assign a lower team total.
On the other side though, CJ Anderson is in an incredible spot. The Giants are getting gashed on the ground, and the Broncos will be leading in this one. Sanders is fine, but I don’t think the Broncos will need to throw much in this one.
Top plays: Broncos D, Anderson