Welcome to week 6 of the NFL season! Each week, we’ll be previewing the main slate on DraftKings. Our philosophy with these selections is to provide you with solid floor plays with some upside to start your roster construction, with potential GPP pivots for even further upside in tournaments.
If you're new to DFS, I'd recommend checking out our DFS 101 article before getting started, as it can give this column a lot more context.
If you'd like to see how we did in our previous weeks, you can find that here:
Please note that the authors of this post are also players of daily fantasy sports, and the selections they make when creating their rosters may or may not include players listed below. You can find Derek Devereaux on DraftKings via the username DerekDevereaux.
This week’s lineup building beer of choice
You ever had a Milkshake IPA before? Boy, I was super skeptical on it when I first tried it, but it is phenomenal. It's a perfect blend of citrus hops and vanilla. I probably should've done that intro differently. You ever had an orange dreamsicle in beer form before?
All lines via Bovada, current as of Saturday morning.
ATL at MIN -4, 54 total (opened at 54.5)
HOU at TEN -3.5, 53.5 total (opened at 55)
BAL -10 at PHI, 47 total (opened at 46.5)
CIN at IND -7.5, 46.5 total (opened at 47.5)
DET -3 at JAX, 54.5 total (opened at 52.5). Note that a Jacksonville practice squad player tested positive for COVID, but I believe this game will play.
WAS at NYG -3, 43 total (opened at 48.5)
CHI at CAR -1, 44.5 total (opened at 43.5)
CLE at PIT -3.5, 51 total (opened at 44.5)
DEN at NE -9, 44.5 total (opened at 45.5). Note that there was a presumptive positive COVID test for the Patriots, but at the time of this writing, this game is still on.
NYJ at MIA -9.5, 47 total (opened at 50)
GB -1 at TB, 55.5 total (opened at 56.5)
Favorite game to target
I think ownership might actually be spread relatively evenly across all of the high total games. In Atlanta/Minnesota, you'd have to think Mattison will be popular, but I don't think the receivers on either side will be low owned, either. I'd bet that's the most owned game on the slate. I think Detroit/Jacksonville is the game that gets lost in the shuffle, especially on the Jacksonville side...so I'll likely be overweight on that game.
Deshaun Watson, $7000, HOU (at TEN)
Watson has turned it on the past two weeks, surpassing 300 yards and multiple touchdowns. Tennessee is beatable in the air more than on the ground, and we're not looking at a situation where he has an above average back that could usurp his need to sling it to win this game. We're looking for more of the same (and maybe even a bit more rushing yards too), and we're in a good spot for that to happen.
Gardner Minshew, $6400, JAX (vs. DET)
Is Minshew going to go overlooked? I think he might, with Matthew Stafford favored and $100 cheaper in the same game. He's thrown 40 plus passes in four straight games, and while he's got a dud mixed in there, we're also looking at three other games with 23.8 points or higher. Adding to the uncertainty is that DJ Chark may not go in this game, and if he doesn't, it does not affect my analysis on Minshew against an average-at-best Lions defense - in fact, it'll probably push his ownership lower, meaning we'll gain more leverage in a positive spot.
Ryan Tannehill, $5900, TEN (vs. HOU)
If you're playing multiple entries in GPPs, you're going to want some Tannehill mixed in. The reason I say it that way is that Derrick Henry exists (more on that below), and those two in the same lineup doesn't make sense because they negatively impact each other. But there's no reason this passing game - with a healthy AJ Brown back - can't pick apart this Texans defense that has been below average this season. This shouldn't look anything like the Bills game where they blew them out and ran the ball the rest of the way. I clearly think the Texans will be in this game, and they'll need Tannehill to perform for the game to go over.
Potential GPP pivots: Tom Brady ($6500, vs. GB), Matthew Stafford ($6300, at JAX), Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5900, vs. NYJ)
Derrick Henry, $7300, TEN (vs. HOU)
There's three clear-cut backs worth paying up for this week (I'll list the other two below), but it's Henry that I think is the play if you're only playing one of them. We just know the rushing volume is going to be there, and we have to believe that he has the most touchdown equity of all the backs on the slate, too. Love the spot, love the volume. For the record, since I think all three are in play, I would probably lean Aaron Jones next and then Alexander Mattison third. Matchup wise, Mattison has the edge, but I also think he'll be the highest owned of all three and while he's a really good back, he's not as good as Dalvin Cook, so we need to check our expectations there. I don't see the leverage for GPPs with Mattison as much as I do with the other two.
Todd Gurley, $6300, ATL (at MIN)
Todd Gurley get ball. Todd Gurley score touchdown. Derek continue to play him. This Minnesota defense is beatable on the ground, and if we're getting 15 touches from Gurley, you know a few are coming in the red zone. He probably doesn't get there unless he scores, but again, touchdown equity.
Myles Gaskin, $5400, MIA (vs. NYJ)
There's two guys I really like under $6000 (David Montgomery is the other), but in a game that Miami is favored by nearly 10 points, it's a perfect spot for Gaskin to thrive. We see the rushing volume correlate with games in which they're winning. If they're up, he's getting carries - and the target volume stays relatively steady with it, too. This is the most expensive Gaskin has been all season, but he's facing the Jets. Give me 20 touches by a good enough back at under $6000 every day of the week.
Potential GPP pivots: Aaron Jones ($7600, at TB), Alexander Mattison ($7200, vs. ATL), David Montgomery ($5800, at CAR), Devonta Freeman ($4900, vs. WSH)
Adam Thielen, $7300, MIN (vs. ATL)
The hype is still around Justin Jefferson as the "big play" threat in this offense, but what that's done in parallel is opened up Thielen to play his role like he's done the past few seasons with Diggs opposite of him. 23 total targets the last two weeks is a very enticing number, and now he gets a massive plus matchup against a Falcons defense that is atrocious. He won't go underowned, but I think he's got the best floor of any of the expensive receivers this week - including Davante Adams - and there's clear upside too.
Jamison Crowder, $6100, NYJ (at MIA)
Yes, Joe Flacco is his QB. Yes, Miami looks to be somewhat improved defensively. But that doesn't remove his targets - and the yardage he's producing with it) from existence. He's played in three games, and in all three - one with Darnold and two with Flacco - he's had at least 10 targets and over 100 yards. Will it continue? I don't think I'm banking on 100 yards every week, but a floor of, say, 8 or 9 targets? Yeah, that feels right.
Chase Claypool, $5200, PIT (at CLE)
I kind of feel obligated to put him here since his usage rate just skyrocketed as soon as Dionate went out, and we've seen him produce in limited samples when he's on the field. At the same time, and this may sound counterintuitive, but his explosion last week came with a gameplan that was probably meant for Diontae and not for him. Maybe it's a bit #narrative of me, but we've seen "obvious" plays coming in for injuries dud a lot this season (look at Zaccheaus last week and Trautman prior to that). I think there's risk here, and he might be popular enough to fade, but I also think he's got clear upside at this price, enough to at least have some exposure to him.
Potential GPP pivots: Julio Jones ($6700, at MIN), Chris Godwin ($6400, vs. GB), Laviska Shenault Jr. ($5200, vs. DET), Marvin Jones Jr. ($5100, at JAX)
TJ Hockenson, $5300, DET (at JAX)
I really don't feel like you need to pay up for any of these tight ends, because none of them have elite, consistent volume in the passing game. I actually think tight end is really thin overall. (Mikey would tell me that #BigBobTonyan is a touchdown machine, which, sure, I guess.) But the spot is ripe for Hock to produce against a Jacksonville team that has given up 30 points in four straight games. There's a lot of mouths to feed on the Detroit offense, but there's no reason to believe that Hock won't be involved.
Trey Burton, $3100, IND (vs. CIN)
Mo Alie-Cox is out for this game, and Trey Burton was producing even with Mo in the fold. Now he'll have an expanded role, and while people might push themselves to roster Jack Doyle for $400 cheaper, I think Burton feels like the safer play for similar - or even higher - upside. This is a low total spot, but Rivers is clearly favoring his tight ends in every game, so it's worth the punt here.
Potential GPP pivots: Jonnu Smith ($5200, vs. HOU), Zach Ertz ($5000, vs. BAL), Irv Smith Jr. ($2500, vs. ATL)
You know the drill by now. What do you have left? Great. Play that.
Good luck, and may your screens be green!