Fantasy football week six saw running backs dominate. Melvin Gordon, Jerick McKinnon, and Leonard Fournette all turned in excellent games. So did a slew of other halfbacks from whom no one expected big performances. If you played Ingram and Peterson last week, please contact me; I would love to know how you managed that.
I hit the nail on the head for QB matchups in week 6. My lock of the week, Kirk Cousins was the top scoring QB, Josh McCown came in second, and Deshaun Watson followed closely in third. Unfortunately, that’s where bragging rights end for me, as I missed on the biggest WR, Tight End, and D/ST plays.
Fantasy football week 7 is upon us, so there’s no time to dwell on failures. This week looks difficult if you’re playing the standard slate of games. Nearly all of the high-scoring prospects play in primetime this week. Thankfully, this week’s London game is played at noon, so we don’t lose out on Cardinals/Rams players. But enough rambling, let’s get to it.
Rayne Dakota has posted better fantasy football games each week this season. It seems unlikely for the trend will continue this week since 30.74 fantasy football points are hard to top (his week 5 score on DraftKings). However, there are plenty of reasons to believe he’ll find success against the 49ers.
- The 49ers have allowed 262 passing yards per game, sixth most in the league. They’ve also allowed nine TDs, tied for 12th most in the league.
- Rayne averages 238 yards per game, and while he has yet to throw three-hundred yards in a single game, he has thrown multiple touchdowns in all but one.
- San Francisco is the 20th ranked rushing defense overall, but they allow the fifth fewest yards per carry (3.4).
- Rayne also has two rushing TDs on the year. One of those contributed 6-of-9.7 fantasy football points against the Packers.
- On average (mean), quarterbacks score 21.2 points per game against the 49ers (DK scoring).
- Despite their success running the ball, and seemingly to the detriment of their leads, the Cowboys attempted 36 or more passing attempts in four-of-five games.
It seems Rayne Dakota’s 22.5 points per game average will likely be met, and might well be exceeded, this week. The matchup alone makes Rayne a good pick on any week. This week, he’s probably the best pick given the lack of alternatives.
Benefitting greatly from the Adrian Peterson’s incredible performance (which reminded the NFL media that he’s not dead yet), Palmer had his best real game of the season, and his second-best fantasy football performance (based on DraftKing’s stats). That performance came against Tampa’s 31st ranked passing defense, of course. Palmer has a tougher matchup against the Rams 17th ranked passing defense, but that shouldn’t deter you from playing him.
- Palmer has scored 15 or more fantasy football points in every game except week 1.
- In the same timeframe, the Rams have allowed an average of 18.53 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs.
- Palmer’s 22 pass attempts were his fewest since week 6 of 2015. The Cardinals blew out the Lions in that game, which led to an early break for Palmer.
- The Cardinals averaged 4.2 and 4.3 ypc in 2015 and 2016 respectively, and still threw the ball about 59% of the time.
Considering that two of Palmer’s best seasons came behind strong running games, it seems likely that Peterson performing well benefits passing game. In a pool of unattractive QB matchups, look for Palmer to provide stability to the position.
Elliot hasn’t been the same as he was last season when he took the league by storm, but he’s been a solid fantasy producer, and he has as good of a matchup as anyone could hope to have.
- San Francisco only allows 3.4 yards per carry, but they’re still giving up 112 yards per game.
- San Francisco has allowed 5 rushing TDs, tied for fifth most in the league.
- Teams average 4.2 scoring attempts per game against San Francisco’s defense, 48% of which end in touchdowns.
- 5% of the 49ers’ defensive snaps are within the 5 yard-line, more than any other team in the NFL.
- Elliot has received ten carries within the opponent’s 10-yard line, 2 of which have gone for TDs.
Elliot has an excellent matchup this week. Maybe this will be the week the Jason Garret decides to lean on him to secure the win instead of throwing a bunch of times and blowing whatever lead they have again.
Fournette is a as close to a must play as you’ll find almost every week. This week’s matchup against the Colts is no different. Week 2’s blowout loss to the Titans made it clear that Fournette carrying the offensive load gave the Jaguars their highest win probability.
- Fournette has 20+ touches in every game since week 2, including week 3’s trouncing of the Ravens.
- He has surpassed 100 scrimmage yards in 4 of 6 games, and had no fewer than 60.
- He has also scored at least one touchdown in every game through six weeks.
- In the last two weeks, Fournette improved his 3.45 yards per carry to 6.3.
In daily fantasy football, we’re trying to guess which players will have the greatest opportunity to gain yards and score touchdowns. Touches per game probably provide the best predictor for consistency. Fournette receives a high load every week. Volume like that is atypical in today’s NFL, and it usually leads to a lot of fantasy football points.
I normally don’t like when people say that you have to “ride the hot hand” because I think it’s intellectually lazy. Still, Jerick McKinnon’s last two games offer plenty of reason for excitement.
- McKinnon has 22 and 21 touches in the two games since Dalvin Cook went to IR. In those games, McKinnon scored the third and fifth most fantasy football points.
- Baltimore allows 4.3 yards per carry over 199 rushing attempts (the second most defensive attempts).
- The Ravens allowed 0 rushing TDs in the first two weeks with DT Brandon Williams in the lineup. They’ve allowed 4 rushing TDs without him, and he remains questionable for Sunday.
- McKinnon’s strong involvement in the passing game lessens the risk that he will go without a score this week. He has 11 receptions with one TD. The Ravens have allowed 9 passing TDs.
The Vikings’ offensive game plan will likely feature a heavy rushing attack. Teams have humiliated the Ravens rushing defense since week 3. Even if Williams plays this week, McKinnon should continue receiving a high volume of attempts. With Diggs out again, his value as a receiver should remain high, and offset whatever impact Williams has on the run game.
Peterson has never been less than stellar throughout his NFL career. For years, he was the only offensive weapon the Vikings had. He faced 8 and 9 defenders in the box every week, and still managed 4.8 ypc and 97 TDs in his career with Minnesota. And people thought this guy was done because he looked bad on the Saints? The same Saints that went ten years between 1000-yard rushers? Deuce McAllister ran for 1057 yards in 2006, and that didn’t happen again until Ingram ran for 1043 in 2016. This team clearly doesn’t know how to run the ball.
It’s usually unwise to put a lot of stock into one game, but in this case, it’s one game plus ten years. His track record suggests there’s plenty of reason to be excited, especially considering the opponent. My grandma could put 50 on the Rams, and she’s been dead for over a decade.
I have hard time putting too much stock into New Orleans half backs. Pierre Thomas was easily the best HB on the team for a few years, but the coaching staff is schizophrenic or something, so they never used him.
I don’t have many statistical reasons to like Ingram this week. Sean Payton’s may call plays more erratically than any other coach in the league. Honestly, I only like Ingram because the Packers should get wrecked without Rodgers, and I’m hoping that the coaching staff will protect their assumedly early and enormous lead in a similar way this week.
Dez Bryant is no longer elite. That’s not news to anyone who has paid attention to football over the last couple of years. For whatever reason, he struggles against the best CBs in the league like few others with his reputation. ProFootballFocus wrote a great article on it this summer, which you can read here.
Luckily for him, he’s not playing one of the top 25 CBs this week. Plus, despite his struggles against the better defenders, Dez is still WR27 this season. In fact, he’s been a top 20 WR in three of 5 games, WR11 in week 2, WR 18 in week 4, and WR 17 in week 5. Granted, a fumble recovered at Denver’s 3-yard line heavily influenced week 2’s, but that he was the preferred red zone target in that game gives some insight into Rayne’s preferences.
Landry has a pretty good matchup this week against the Jets. He projects to run most of his routes against Buster Skrine, who allows a reception every 10 cover snaps, or 1.34 yards/cover snap. He sees plenty of targets per game, averaging about 7 per game. While overall TD production has been low, he’s scored in each of the last two games. Landry also stands alone as the only receiver to post double digit fantasy football scores in every game this year.
Thielen is the top target in the Vikings passing attack while Diggs is out. Theilen saw 13 targets last week, his season high, and he became even more of a focal point after Michael Floyd left the game. Although the Ravens are good against the pass, their obvious weakness is slot coverage. Lardarius Webb has been a weak spot on the Ravens defense for years now, and not much has changed so far.
Pierre Garcon is another WR highly sensitive to cornerback matchups. This week, he plays a pretty soft passing defense in Dallas. C.J. Beathard gave the offense some life last week against the Redskins, nearly leading them to a comeback victory. Garcon was his clear favorite last week, and will likely continue to be this week.
ASJ has performed well since his suspension ended, even scoring double digit fantasy football points in consecutive games. Last week’s 17.6 fantasy point performance would have been even better if the NFL refs knew what constitutes a catch because he quite obviously scored a second touchdown. (The Patriots can’t miss the playoffs though, it’s bad for business!) His value is probably higher at DraftKings than FanDuel, given the PPR values, but he’s a strong start in all formats.
Tight ends are killing the Giants every week. Graham has scored double digit fantasy football points three weeks in a row now, making him one of the only useful players on the Seahawks offense. I can’t think of one reason that his production should slow down this week, barring injury.
PFF gives Rudolph the highest advantage of any tight end in the league this week. Couple that with Stephon Diggs missing another week, and that makes him a pretty good pick, in my opinion. He’s definitely going to cost you less than any of the other tight ends mentioned.
There’s not much to say about this game, except that it should go the way last week’s game should have gone. The Giants still have no offensive weapons, and the Seahawks aren’t going to crap the bed the way the Broncos did.
The Jaguars have been fairly consistent fantasy football performers this year. They’re racking up loads of sacks, and have scored four TDs in six games. They’re playing a Colts offense that struggles against every opponent, placing the Jags in a good position for another big defensive game.
The Vikings defense had its best fantasy football game last week. The Ravens have performed badly against good defenses this season. Every good defense they’ve played has posted double digit fantasy football totals against them (Jaguars, Steelers, Bears). I expect the Ravens offensive struggles to continue this week, and for the Vikings to have another double digit score.