Sunday, October 15, 2017

Week 6 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

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With that said, here are my Week 6 NFL picks against the spread:

Baltimore Ravens -6.5 over Chicago Bears (2 Units)

Making the switch from Mike Glennon to Mitchell Trubisky, the Bears scored a total of 17 points on Monday Night Football at home. That said, punter Pat O'Donnell threw one of the team's two touchdowns. The rookie will head to Baltimore on a short week where it's never easy to get a win. Few teams, if any, have less talented weapons than the Bears, which makes things even more difficult for a rookie quarterback. Even though Joe Flacco has looked bad -- more interceptions (six) than touchdowns (four) thrown -- this season, I think the Ravens will win by at least a touchdown.

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Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5 over Kansas City Chiefs (2 Units)

Coming off a five-interception performance, there is real concern in Pittsburgh for Ben Roethlisberger, but I think we'll see a better performance in Week 6. (Of course, it can't get much worse than Week 5.) Instead of 55 pass attempts from Big Ben, I'd expect to see a lot of Le'Veon Bell early in this game. I'm not sure if the Steelers will hand the Chiefs their first loss of the season, but I do think this game will be close (enough to get the cover).

Jaguars vs. Rams -- Under 42.5 (2 Units)

Like we all expected, the Rams currently rank second in the NFL in scoring offense (30.4 PPG) just ahead of Tom Brady and the Patriots (29.6). Meanwhile, the Jaguars have run the ball extremely well behind rookie Leonard Fournette as they lead the league in rushing offense (165.2 YPG). In addition, Fournette (466) and Todd Gurley (405) trail only Kareem Hunt (609) in rushing.

The Jaguars have one of the league's best overall defenses and (in my opinion) the best cornerback duo in Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. As they load the box to slow Todd Gurley, I think we see less efficiency from the Rams offense. Much of their early-season success has come against bad defenses, but they managed to score just 10 points last week against the Seahawks.

I could see this game turning out to be 20-16 type of game with a lot of field goals and good defense. I'll take the under.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em: Week 6 Fantasy Tight Ends

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Evan Engram is listed below as a "start" for Week 6. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 6 with him as my starting tight end.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Travis Kelce and Engram, you should start Kelce -- and in turn, bench Engram.

So, while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

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Week 6 Fantasy Football TE Start'em

 

TE - Austin Seferian-Jenkins, New York Jets (vs. NE)

Since serving a two-game suspension to begin the season, Seferian-Jenkins has a total of only 106 yards (7.07 Y/R). But the volume has been encouraging as ASJ has averaged five catches and six targets per game. With 26-percent team target share in two of his three games, he's one of just five tight ends to have two such games this season. (The other four are Charles Clay, Jason Witten, Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz.)

In a favorable matchup against the Patriots, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, Seferian-Jenkins could have his best game of the season this week. And given his volume, he has a pretty high floor for a position that is so TD-dependent.

DraftKings NFL $450K Post Pattern: DraftKings is running a one-week contest with $450,000 in prizes, $50,000 to 1st place and only $8 to enter.

TE - Evan Engram, New York Giants (at DEN)

Odell Beckham Jr. Brandon Marshall. Sterling Shephard. All out for Week 6 (or much longer). Losing their top-three wide receivers in Week 5, the Giants and Eli Manning will undoubtedly look Engram's way often this week. Of course, the Broncos will know that too, but I wouldn't be surprised if he sees double-digit targets this week.

Engram is coming off an 0-for this past week, but he has scored the 12th-most fantasy points (ninth in PPR) among tight ends this season with a 19/200/1 line on the year. Tied with Jimmy Graham with 34 targets, only Ertz, Witten and Kelce have more targets than Engram among tight ends.

TE - Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at ARI)

It's been a challenging year for tight ends, but Brate has exceeded expectations with the fourth-most fantasy points this season even though he's already had his bye. Much of Brate's success is due to his three-game touchdown streak, but he has finished as the weekly TE10, TE3 and TE4 over the past three weeks, respectively. In each of those games, Brate has a minimum of four catches and a total of 19 targets.

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Week 6 Fantasy Football TE Sit'em

 

TE - Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions (at NO)

Ebron has played five games this season and he's had four duds. Aside from Week 2 (5/42/1), he has two or fewer catches every week and has failed to reach double-digit receiving yards in three of five games this season. With the exception of Rob Gronkowski (116 yards), the Saints have held the other tight ends they have faced to less than 30 yards. Perhaps Ebron has a bounce-back game, but he needs to show more before I can trust him.

TE - Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders (vs. LAC)

Technically, Cook is my TE13 so he's not too far removed from being start-worthy in 12-team leagues. That said, the Chargers have yet to allow a touchdown to an opposing tight end and only Ertz has reached the 50-yard mark against them. One positive is that Cook has five-plus targets every week and has averaged 6.2 per game this season. That said he has finished as the TE20 or worse in three of four games and the Chargers have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to the position this season.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 6

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Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em: Week 6 Fantasy Wide Receivers

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, DeSean Jackson is listed below as a "start" for Week 6. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 6 with him as one of my starting wide receivers.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Julio Jones, Keenan Allen and Jackson and start two receivers, you should start Jones and Allen -- and in turn, bench DJax.

So, while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

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Week 6 Fantasy Football WR Start'em

 

WR - Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (vs. GB)

Thielen leads the team's receivers in targets (40), receptions (29) and has just three less yards (392) than Stefon Diggs (395) this season. With Diggs ruled out for Week 6, Thielen should see a high volume of targets against the Packers, who have allowed the 12th-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. Even though Thielen has yet to score a touchdown this season, he's still the WR24 in standard-scoring formats. With Diggs out, he's on the WR1/WR2 border this week.

DraftKings NFL $450K Post Pattern: DraftKings is running a one-week contest with $450,000 in prizes, $50,000 to 1st place and only $8 to enter.

WR - Chris Hogan, New England Patriots (at NYJ)

Always a threat to score 30 points in a given week, the Patriots are averaging 29.6 points per game through Week 5 and Hogan has made himself a home in the end zone. Scoring in four consecutive weeks, Hogan has a total of five touchdowns this season. Due to his red-zone success and the trust in him from Tom Brady, he has finished as a weekly top-12 fantasy wide receiver in every game except the season opener. At this point, Hogan has become a weekly must-start.

WR - DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at TB)

Starting a talented wideout that won't be shadowed by Patrick Peterson is usually a good bet. With Mike Evans sure to get shadowed by Peterson, that leaves D-Jax with a favorable matchup on the other side. Jackson had his first 100-yard game as a Buc last week and the upside is there for him to get another this week.

WR - Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (vs. TB)

Fitzgerald has had mostly quiet weeks this season -- WR26, WR82, WR5, WR23 and WR38, respectively. That said, there's another great opportunity for him to (attempt to) exploit this week against the Bucs, who have allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing receivers this season.

No quarterback has thrown more pass attempts than Carson Palmer (227) and Fitzgerald himself has had double-digit targets in three of five games with an average of 10.2 per contest. Given his volume and the matchup this week, Fitzgerald has the potential for his second top-10 week of the season.

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Week 6 Fantasy Football WR Sit'em

 

WR - Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders (vs. LAC)

The good news for Cooper (and the offense overall) is that Derek Carr (back) will return this week. The bad news is that Cooper has scored a fractional fantasy point in three consecutive games (with Carr and without Carr). In a matchup against the Chargers, who have an excellent tandem of cornerbacks, this may not be the week that Cooper bounces back to what we should expect from the talented wideout.

[That said, I think Cooper is an intriguing tournament play in DFS as Sean Beazley pointed out in our Week 6 DFS Round Table.]

WR - Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers (at KC)

The good news first is that Bryant had a season-high five receptions and tied his season high in targets with eight in Week 5. The good news ends there. The big-play wideout was limited to just 4.2 Y/R on his five catches and he has now finished outside the top-40 fantasy wide receivers in all but one game this season.

Last week's matchup against the Jags was clearly difficult, but based on this week's matchup, he's likely to see the most of Marcus Peters amongst the Steelers receivers. Given Ben Roethlisberger's home-road splits and talk of getting JuJu Smith-Schuster more involved at the expense of Bryant, there are valid reasons to be pessimistic about Bryant's Week 6 outlook.

WR - Sammy Watkins, Los Angeles Rams (at JAX)

Based on his talent, there is always the potential for Watkins to turn in a performance similar to his Week 3 outburst (6/106/2 and 22.6 fantasy points). On the other hand, that hasn't been the norm. In his other four games with the Rams, Watkins has scored a total of 10.5 fantasy points. Granted, I'm not always going to score as many fantasy points as Watkins, who put up a goose egg on four targets last week.

But in my opinion, the Jaguars have the league's best cornerback duo with Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye so the sledding will be tough whether the Rams make a concerted effort to get a frustrated Watkins more looks or not. (Unfortunately for Watkins, he's likely to be listed here again next week as the Rams face Patrick Peterson and the Cardinals in Week 7.)

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 6

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Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em: Week 6 Fantasy Running Backs

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Alvin Kamara is listed below as a "start" for Week 6. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 6 with him as one of my starting running backs.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned Le'Veon Bell, Todd Gurley and Kamara and only start two running backs, you should start Bell and Gurley -- and in turn, bench Kamara.

So, while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

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Week 6 Fantasy Football RB Start'em

 

RB - Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints (vs. DET)

Adrian Peterson wasn't much of a factor in this backfield, but now that he's gone, there will be a few extra touches to go to both Ingram and especially Kamara. Before their bye, the trio had the following usage rates -- 46.72% for Ingram, 28.69% for Kamara and 23.77% for Peterson.

With AP now in Arizona, I could see that split be in the 60-40 neighborhood with Ingram getting the edge. In their two wins immediately preceding the bye, Ingram had 16 and 18 touches, respectively, and he should be a lock for 15-plus again this week.

He's yet to score a touchdown and he's averaged a pedestrian 4.05 YPC this season. That said, Ingram is still heavily involved as a receiver -- 22 targets in four games including eight in Week 4 -- despite Kamara's role in the offense as a change-of-pace option. While Kamara's 28 targets equates to an 18.67-percent target share, Ingram's 22 targets is 14.67 percent of the team total. Only 12 running backs have a higher percentage of team targets than Ingram. (Kamara is third.)

Before the bye, Kamara had double-digit fantasy points and a touchdown in back-to-back games and converted all 10 of his targets in Week 4. With one of the five highest implied totals on the week, there should be plenty of scoring opportunities for the offense in general. I have Ingram ranked inside my top 10 fantasy running backs and Kamara inside my top 24, which makes both of them viable starting options in standard-scoring formats.

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RB - Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens (vs. CHI)

Allen's carries have fluctuated this season -- 21, 14, eight, two and 21 -- but he should lead the backfield in carries once again in Week 6 with Terrance West already ruled out. One of the better receiving backs as well, Allen has 20 receptions over the past four games so he could get in the neighborhood of 20 touches against the Bears. The game isn't projected to be a high-scoring affair, but the Ravens are a touchdown favorite at home facing a rookie quarterback making his second start.

RB - Marshawn Lynch, Oakland Raiders (vs. LAC)

It's been a slow start for Lynch as he has failed to average at least four yards per carry every week except Week 1 (4.2 YPC). On the year, Lynch has 57 carries for 194 yards (3.40 YPC) and two touchdowns plus four catches for 38 yards. Fantasy's RB27 through five weeks (RB36 in PPR), Beast Mode has a great opportunity in front of him this week.

First of all, the return of Derek Carr bodes well for the offense's ability to move the ball in general. That should lead to more sustained drives and scoring opportunities. Aside from Carr's return, the matchup is tremendous. The Chargers have allowed a league-high 5.47 YPC to opposing running backs. In addition, they have allowed three running backs to rush for more than 120 yards over the past four weeks.

RB - Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings (vs. GB)

It was McKinnon, not Latavius Murray, that took advantage of the season-ending ACL injury to rookie Dalvin Cook as he gashed the Bears for 146 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on 22 touches last week. Meanwhile, Murray remained the inefficient and ineffective runner that he has been all year with 12 carries for just 31 yards.

Facing Aaron Rodgers and the high-powered Packers offense, the game plan should feature a heavy dose of McKinnon this week especially given that Sam Bradford and Stefon Diggs have already been ruled out. It's always possible for the Vikings to trail early given Green Bay's offensive firepower, but they are only 3.5-point underdogs at home this week.

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Week 6 Fantasy Football RB Sit'em

 

RB - Wayne Gallman, New York Giants (at DEN)

Gallman gained 82 yards last week on 16 touches including five receptions and he now has 29 touches over two games. Considering that New York's top three receivers are all out, the game plan may be to give both Gallman and Orleans Darkwa a sizable workload. That said, the Giants have one of the league's worst offensive lines, Denver's corners should be able to shut down New York's wide receivers with limited help and opposing running backs have 71 carries for only 167 yards (2.35 YPC) this season. In addition, the Giants are double-digit road underdogs with the lowest implied total of the week.

RB - Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns (at HOU)

In Cleveland's five games, they have lost three of them by exactly three points and two of them by double digits. In their close losses, Crowell has averaged 17 touches per game. In their two lopsided losses, Crowell has averaged nine touches per game. This week, the Browns are nearly double-digit 'dogs on the road in Houston.

Even though the Browns boosted their offensive line this offseason, Crowell is averaging only 3.13 yards per carry and the volume is unlikely to be there this week. Meanwhile, teammate Duke Johnson has scored a touchdown and double-digit fantasy points in three consecutive games. If I were to start a Browns running back this week, it'd be Johnson, not Crowell, regardless of format.

RB - Adrian Peterson, Arizona Cardinals (vs. TB)

It may feel weird to say that getting out of New Orleans is the best thing for a player's fantasy outlook, but that is obvioulsy true for Peterson, who looked like a square peg in a round hole in NOLA. And it wouldn't surprise me if Peterson leads the team in carries in his first game in the desert.

That said, the matchup is better for the passing game than the running backs. Opposing running backs have averaged just 3.27 YPC (third-lowest in the NFL) against the Bucs this season. In future weeks, Peterson may move into the RB2 range, but not this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 6

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Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em: Week 6 Fantasy Quarterbacks

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Carson Palmer is listed below as a "start" for Week 6. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 6 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Aaron Rodgers and Palmer, you should start Rodgers -- and in turn, bench Palmer.

So, while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

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Week 6 Fantasy Football QB Start'em

 

QB - Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (vs. CLE)

With 10 touchdowns -- nine passing and one rushing -- in his past two games, Watson has scored 33-plus fantasy points and finished as the weekly QB1 in back-to-back weeks. Even though Tom Savage started the season opener, Watson has scored the second-most fantasy points among all quarterbacks this season.

The great thing about Watson is that his dual-threat abilities provides fantasy owners with a solid floor even if he has an off day throwing the ball. For example, Watson threw for 125 yards and no touchdowns in Week 2 (his first start) yet scored 17.7 fantasy points as that week's QB7 due to a 5/67/1 rushing line.

Watson may not three-peat as the top weekly performer, but he gets a favorable matchup against the Browns. Not only have the Browns allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, but only three teams have a higher implied total based on Vegas odds this week than the Texans.

DraftKings NFL $450K Post Pattern: DraftKings is running a one-week contest with $450,000 in prizes, $50,000 to 1st place and only $8 to enter.

QB - Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (vs. TB)

Palmer's matchup is nearly as good as Watson's as the Bucs have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game this season to opposing signal-callers. Aside from Tom Brady last week, the Bucs haven't faced elite quarterbacks yet they have allowed three 300-yard games in four weeks and the exception was a 288-yard performance by Eli Manning.

Even though Palmer hasn't been great, he has thrown three 300-yard games and averaged 314.6 per contest this season. While he's been inefficient (59.9% completion rate, 6.93 Y/A and 6-to-5 TD-INT ratio), he's making up for it with volume. Arizona's issues running the ball has led to Palmer throwing it a league-high 45.4 times per game, on average. Given the matchup, his efficiency may improve but I'd expect high volume to allow him to finish as a top-12 performer this week.

QB - Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. PIT)

Through five weeks of the season, no quarterback has scored more fantasy points than Smith. Granted, he's unlikely to hold that position through Week 16, but he's playing as well as he ever has. Leading the league with a 76.6-percent completion rate, Smith has thrown 11 touchdowns and no interceptions while adding a rushing score as well.

Smith has finished as a top-10 weekly quarterback in four of five games and has done so in both exploitable and unfavorable matchups. Only the Jaguars have allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, but Smith and Chiefs are playing well enough that he's still a top-12 option for me this week.

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Week 6 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em

 

QB - Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (at KC)

With well-known home-road splits, Roethlisberger struggled at home last week in what was a difficult matchup against an elite Jaguars secondary. Throwing five interceptions, he managed to throw only two touchdowns -- except they were to the defense. Roethlisberger has now finished as the QB25, QB22 and QB28 in his past three games, respectively.

The matchup isn't as tough as last week's matchup, but the environment will be tougher as the Steelers head to Arrowhead. Perhaps no quarterback has more around him than Big Ben does so a bounce back could happen, but I'd prefer to wait until he returns to Heinz Field in a more favorable matchup before starting him again.

QB - Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (vs. LAC)

The good news is that Carr (back) was cleared for Week 6's matchup against the Chargers even though he'll be less than 100 percent. Obviously, his return marks a significant improvement to the passing game and offense overall compared to E.J. Manuel.

If you need to start Carr, doing so isn't necessarily a horrible move, but he is just outside of my top-12 fantasy quarterbacks for the week. Back injuries are tricky so there is some concern there. Not that they've faced a "who's who" list of quarterbacks, but the Chargers have held all of their opposing quarterbacks to 242 passing yards or less this season with only one weekly top-12 performance on the year. I'd prefer to take a wait-and-see approach with Carr this week.

QB - Eli Manning, New York Giants (at DEN)

Scoring 22-plus fantasy points in Weeks 3 and 4, things didn't go as well in the short and long term for Manning in Week 5. While he scored only 13 fantasy points, the bigger problem is that he lost all three of his top receiving options including Odell Beckham Jr. to a season-ending broken ankle. That moves Roger Lewis up to the team's No. 1 wide receiver role for Week 6.

The other obvious concern for Eli this week is the team heads to Mile High to face the No Fly Zone. A couple of games don't have a point spread and/or over-under, but among the 24 teams that have both, no team is projected to score fewer points than the Giants (14.0) this week based on implied totals.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 6

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Week 6 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

A trend continues as the Patriots-Jets finds its way into Dan Yanotchko's Week 6 picks. Earlier, Sean Beazley picked the Patriots and John Trifone took the Jets and the points.

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With that said, here are Dan Yanotchko's Week 6 NFL picks against the spread:

New England Patriots -9.5 over New York Jets (4 Units)

The Patriots certainly have not looked like the team most experts though would dominate the season wire to wire, but this is the game that I think they will just blow the opponent off of the field. The Jets are a great story at 3-2, but of course, they have beaten Jacksonville, Cleveland, and Miami. When the Jets played a quality team in Oakland, they were throttled 40-25.

This will be another game where the Patriots defense improves, and will be able to hold the Jets in check for the day. Also, since there has been some concern about the hits Tom Brady has taken, look for a big day by Mike Gillislee, who gets a defense that allows 143 yards rushing per game and 4.6 yards per carry. I think there is just too much firepower here for the Pats, and they are looking to put the defensive struggles behind them and will crush the Jets.

Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5 over Kansas City Chiefs (3 Units)

It's been a rough week for Pittsburgh, as they have just been surrounded by controversy, and of course having Ben Roethlisberger throw five picks and only put up nine points on Jacksonville doesn't help at all either. You just can't read too much into one game and this is where the Steelers excel in bouncing back after a tough week. Pittsburgh always plays Kansas City tough, as they are 3-1 in their last four against the spread when playing the Chiefs.

I have a feeling that this will be a very back-and-forth game, and while the Chiefs are the best offensive team in the league, they do have holes on defense. The Steelers can attack a weak KC secondary that allows 248 yards passing per game, and they have also allowed nine touchdowns on the year. I think the Steelers will be throwing a lot to catchup, and I will take the points on the road here.

Denver Broncos -12 over New York Giants (4 Units)

I am not sure what else to say about the Giants season other than it has been a complete and absolute train wreck, and it just keeps getting worse. How is this for a scenario, you just lost your All-Pro wide receiver for the year, and you also had three other wide receivers go down with injury in the last game as well. Your offensive line cannot block very well, and now you have to travel to Denver to play possibly the best defense in the league who just happen to be coming off of a bye.

Since the Giants are missing their wide receivers, you would think they would try to go run heavy. The only problem with that strategy is that the Broncos only allow 50.8 yards rushing per game and 2.4 yards per carry. It will be a long night in Denver, and I just don't see the Giants competing in this contest.


- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

DraftKings NFL $450K Post Pattern: DraftKings is running a one-week contest with $450,000 in prizes, $50,000 to 1st place and only $8 to enter.

Check out some of our fantasy football resources:
Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle

Week 6 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Beazley)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

Sean Beazley's picks against the spread have been money this year as he's currently 11-4 ATS with +28 units. In fact, he's a perfect 6-0 ATS over the past two weeks combined.

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With that said, here are Sean Beazley's Week 6 NFL picks against the spread:

New England Patriots -9.5 over New York Jets (3 Units)

Normally it's tough laying almost 10 points on the road in a division contest, but the Jets are clearly not as good as the Patriots despite having an identical record. The Patriots get Rob Gronkowski back this week which should give them an extra option on offense. I think Tom Brady has a massive game, and the Jets are going to struggle keeping pace in this one. Patriots 38, Jets 22.

Minnesota Vikings +3.5 over Green Bay Packers (3 Units)

No Stefon Diggs this week leaves the Vikings very thin at WR, and puts me in a tough spot in DFS as I currently have two Vikings in cash. Yikes. The Packers defense is beat up so I expect the Vikings to overcome the loss of Diggs. Aaron Rodgers is as clutch as they come and his 4th-quarter comeback vs. Dallas last week was magnificent. I think this is a classic hangover spot vs. a good division rival. Vikings 27, Packers 24.


- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

DraftKings NFL $450K Post Pattern: DraftKings is running a one-week contest with $450,000 in prizes, $50,000 to 1st place and only $8 to enter.

Check out some of our fantasy football resources:
Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle

Week 6 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

On the season, John Trifone is 10-5 against the spread (+14 units) and 6-2 ATS over the past three weeks.

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With that said, here are John Trifone's Week 6 NFL picks against the spread:

New York Jets +9.5 over New England Patriots (4 Units)

At the beginning of the year, this spread might be thought to be too small. However, five weeks into the year, this spread is clearly way too high. The perception of the Patriots is what inflates the line. In reality, New England has been mediocre and Tom Brady has been getting beat up. The defense is suspect, and the Jets have been far better than expected. In New York, the Jets are certainly the right side here.

Los Angeles Rams +2.5 over Jacksonville Jaguars (3 Units)

The Jags defense is legitimately one of the best in the league. They were spectacular against the Steelers last week. However, five interceptions and two pick-sixes are an anomaly, and I still don’t trust the Jags offense. The Rams offense, on the other hand, looks vastly improved with a better offensive line. The way to get to Jacksonville’s defense is on the ground, and Todd Gurley has been great so far this year. I like the Rams to keep this one close and maybe even win outright. I’ll take the Rams and the points.

Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5 over Kansas City Chiefs (4 Units)

This is really a tale of two good teams that have been going down different paths thus far. The Chiefs and Alex Smith are both playing at a higher level than was anticipated coming into the year, and the Steelers, who were a Super Bowl favorite coming into the year have clearly underachieved. Pittsburgh is coming off an embarrassing loss, and I think they come back and right the ship this week. I expect the Chiefs to be handed their first loss of the year and see a big offensive game from the Steelers offense.


- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

DraftKings NFL $450K Post Pattern: DraftKings is running a one-week contest with $450,000 in prizes, $50,000 to 1st place and only $8 to enter.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

DFS Round Table: Favorite DraftKings Plays for Week 6

Every week of the 2017 NFL season, our contributors will provide their favorite DraftKings play of the week and share their thoughts in our weekly DFS Round Table post.

In some cases, the play is intended for tournaments (i.e., Guaranteed Prize Pools or GPPs); in other cases, it's for cash games (e.g., head-to-heads and 50-50's). Or both.

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Who is your favorite DraftKings play for Week 6?

Kevin Hanson: Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans ($5,400)

As nearly double-digit home favorites, positive game script could lead to a huge day for Miller. Either way, Miller has a total of 95 touches -- 83 carries and 12 receptions -- with a minimum of 15 every week this season. Even though the Texans are high on rookie D'Onta Foreman, Miller dominated snaps in Sunday's loss to the Chiefs by a 56-to-nine margin over the rookie.

Based on DraftKings' main slate of games, which includes no primetime games, Miller has the 16th-highest price among running backs, but he is clearly a top-10 option during this slate. There are two games with no lines yet, but Houston has the third-highest implied total based on Vegas odds for the week. With double-digit DraftKings points in four of five games, Miller has a stable floor established as well as the upside for 100-plus yards and a score or two.

DraftKings NFL $450K Post Pattern: $450,000 in total prizes, $50,000 to 1st and only $8 to enter.

John Trifone: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers ($5,700)

There are a few plays I really like this week, but one of my favorite tournament options is Big Ben going into Kansas City this week. His price has been depressed to $5,700, and he’s coming off a five-interception game at home. Roethlisberger has also historically been much worse on the road than he has been at home - in fact his splits are probably the best known of any player in the industry.

Unless you think he’s just done (I don’t), this is a great spot to get Ben at extremely low ownership. The Steelers offense has drastically underperformed this year, but all of the talent is there. They’ll be looking to bounce back this week and they get the 27th passing defense in the league in Kansas City this week. I think the upside here is too high and his very low ownership makes him and a Steelers offense as a whole an ideal tourney play.

Brendan Donahue: Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs ($8,200)

I don't typically like to pick the highest-salaried players, but at $8200, I think his is more than fair and really don't understand why he is $1,200 less than Le'veon Bell. Hunt is my top-ranked RB this week as he goes up against the Steelers, who have given up the second-most points to opposing RBs.

Hunt has either run for at least 100 yards or scored 2 TDs in each game so far this year. Based on his 29 carries last week, his workload isn't getting any smaller. In fact, if anything, Andy Reid is leaning on him even more. Hunt to me is not only the safest play this week but also has the highest ceiling as well so I would be putting him in both cash and tourney formats.

Sean Beazley: Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders ($5,000)

DraftKings tempted us last week with a juicy $6,000 price tag for Melvin Gordon. Gordon, alongside my pick last week Dez Bryant, were my highest-owned players which led me to a pretty nice week. I am jumping back in with another player that DraftKings has tempted us with at a great price and that’s Oakland WR Amari Cooper. Cooper comes in at a bargain of only $5000 and has a great matchup vs. the Chargers this week.

Cooper has been straight trash this season. Joe Dolan had a great tweet with a list of players that have had more receiving yards in ONE game than Amari Cooper has had all season. The list includes some pretty big names like Ed Dickson, Austin Hooper and Geronimo Allison.

Derek Carr is expected back this week which should help this offense tremendously. My only concern here is if the Chargers decide to use Casey Hayward to shadow Cooper. Hayward was used in this role last season vs. the Raiders, but shadowing is generally used to stop your opponent's top receiving option, and this year it's Michael Crabtree. If word gets out that Hayward will be on Crabtree, I think Cooper is even safe for cash. Even if Hayward matches up with Cooper, at $5K, you really don't need much to pay off this price tag.

Dan Yanotchko: Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins ($5,000)

This week I really like Chris Thompson of Washington coming off the bye going against San Francisco. Thompson had a down game vs. Kansas City, but he still has 14 receptions on 21 targets, and he has had 14 carries in his last two games. San Francisco allows 116 yards per game, and if you watched Marlon Mack gash them for 91 yards on 9 carries, you know they have trouble on the edge with speed runners. Great price point for a bounce-back week.

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Week 5 NFL Picks Against the Spread

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

I'm traveling at the moment, so I'm posted all of our weekly picks -- except those by John Trifone, who posted his picks early in the week -- in this combined post.

Here are Week 5 picks against the spread from Dan Yanotchko:

Cleveland Browns pick'em over New York Jets (3 Units)

In a wacky season of lines and performances, the Jets happen to be 2-2 yet they are still road dogs to the Browns. It looks like the Browns top overall pick Myles Garett will make his debut, which will help the Browns pass rush. Cleveland will also be able to exploit a weak Jets rush defense that allows 143 yards per game and 4.7 yards per carry. I like the Browns to get their first "W" of the year

Arizona Cardinals +6.5 over Philadelphia Eagles (3 Units)

The Eagles have had a great start to the year, and they will look to keep the momentum going at home. The Philadelphia defense has been shredded against the pass this year, as they allow 285 yards per game, a 66% completion percentage, and seven touchdowns to boot. While the Eagles should win, their defense will allow Arizona to be close.

Los Angeles Chargers +3.5 over New York Giants (3 Units)

The Giants and Chargers have both had horrendous starts to the year, and one of these teams will get their first win. Even though the Chargers have a bad rushing defense, the Giants have shown no aptitude to run the ball at all this year and will not be able to take advantage. The Chargers will be able to exploit a Giants defense that allows 142 yards per game and 4.6 yards per carry, and will look to get Melvin Gordon going. I think the Chargers are the better team, and I'll take the points.
Here are Sean Beazley's Week 5 NFL picks against the spread:

Green Bay Packers +3 over Dallas Cowboys (4 Units)

I'll take Aaron Rodgers as an underdog almost every time. I believe Rodgers has a huge game in what should be the best game of the weekend. If you're playing DFS and don't have exposure to this game in every lineup, it may be best to try something different. Packers, 31-27.

Miami Dolphins +1 over Tennessee Titans (3 Units)

I'm making this pick before we see the status of Titans QB Marcus Mariota. A Mariota-led team is obviously a better team than one led by Matt Cassel. Cassel looked horrendous last week and I think Miami will be fired up after getting embarrassed in London last week. I think Miami will try to slow down the pace of this game, and win their first game at home. Miami, 23-17.

Cincinnati Bengals -3 over Buffalo Bills (4 Units)

Prime let-down spot here for the Bills after a big win in Atlanta last week. The Bills defense looked great last week but the Falcons did play without their top two WRs for most of the game. I love the combo of Dalton/Green this week. Bengals, 27-21
With that said, here are my Week 5 NFL picks against the spread:

New York Giants -3.5 over Los Angeles Chargers (2 units)

In a battle of disappointing 0-4 teams, the good news is one of the two teams has to win. Homefield advantage in L.A. hasn't helped the Chargers, but it can be tough for west coast teams to play 1 p.m. start on the east coast. I think the Giants get their first win of the season.

Baltimore Ravens +3 over Oakland Raiders (1 unit)

Assuming that E.J. Manuel gets the start despite any attempts from Derek Carr to play, I much rather take the points and the Ravens. Both teams won their first two while losing their past two, but I have much more confidence in Joe Flacco than Manuel.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em: Week 5 Fantasy Tight Ends

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Cameron Brate is listed below as a "start" for Week 5. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 5 with him as my starting tight end.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Travis Kelce and Brate, you should start Kelce -- and in turn, bench Brate.

So, while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 5 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

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Week 5 Fantasy Football TE Start'em

 

TE - Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (at CIN)

With one-fourth of the season complete, Clay has scored the fourth-most fantasy points at the position behind only Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz. Even if the Bills are a run-dominant team, the tight end has a position-high 25.51-percent team target share. Given the injury to Jordan Matthews, the team's most productive wide receiver, Clay's target share has only become more secure.

The matchup against the Bengals isn't great and only the Jaguars are projected to score fewer points this week based on implied totals from Vegas odds. Given his volume, role and production within the passing offense, however, Clay is a top-five play this week once again.

Related: Our Favorite Week 5 DraftKings Plays

TE - Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers (at NYG)

Most (including me) expected Henry to take a step forward in his second season. In terms of fantasy production, at least, it's been a disappointment for his fantasy owners. In fact, Henry has gone untargeted in two of the team's four games even though he caught a touchdown in Week 4.

Based on the strength of New York's pass defense, it makes sense for opponents to funnel pass attempts to tight ends over the middle of the field. Let's hope that Henry is utilized in a way that allows him to exploit the matchup. The Giants have allowed the most fantasy points to the position this season. In addition, the Giants have allowed four top-five weekly TE performances and another TE9 performance in just four games.

TE - Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. NE)

Even if O.J. Howard has out-snapped Brate by a margin of 122 to 99 this season, Brate has run a pass route on 25 more snaps than Howard over the team's three games. Scoring a touchdown in each of his past two games, Brate has a total of 10 catches on 13 targets for 137 yards. In another plus matchup -- the Patriots have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to the position, Brate has the potential to provide fantasy owners with another useful outing.

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Week 5 Fantasy Football TE Sit'em

 

TE - Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (vs. SF)

Through four games, the 49ers have allowed just 10 catches for 77 yards and the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends -- less than two fantasy points per game. Doyle has five-plus targets in each of the past three games, but he has a total of only 43 yards in the past two weeks. Given some of the positive matchups of others at the position, Doyle is outside my top-12 fantasy tight ends for the week.

TE - Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions (vs. CAR)

Outside of his matchup againt the Giants in Week 2 (5/42/1), Ebron has had very disappointing outings -- two catches in each of the three other games with nine yards, nine yards and 27 yards, respectively. The matchup this week against the Panthers is not favorable. Only three teams have allowed fewer fantasy points to the position this season.

TE - Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. BUF)

With six catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns on a 23.3-percent target share last week, Kroft was fantasy's top-scoring tight end in Week 4. Even if his volume of targets was encouraging, Kroft won't be ranked inside my top-12 fantasy tight ends even if Tyler Eifert misses another game. The Bills have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 5

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Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em: Week 5 Fantasy Wide Receivers

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Chris Hogan is listed below as a "start" for Week 5. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 5 with him as one of my starting wide receivers.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Dez Bryant, Keenan Allen and Hogan and start two receivers, you should start Dez and Allen -- and in turn, bench Hogan.

So, while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 5 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

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Week 5 Fantasy Football WR Start'em

 

WR - DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (vs. TEN)

Even if you expected more from Parker and the Dolphins offense, he has put up solid, if not spectacular, lines in each of his games. Finishing in the WR21-34 range every week, Parker has a minimum of eight targets and 69 yards in Miami's three games. There are only two other players that have reached those same minimums over the past three weeks -- DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas. It's possible that the Dolphins get their passing offense going this week against the Titans. Only the Bucs have allowed more fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers this season.

Related: Our Favorite Week 5 DraftKings Plays

WR - Chris Hogan, New England Patriots (at TB)

As noted above, Hogan and the Patriots receivers have a great matchup this week and no team has a higher implied total than the Patriots in Week 5. Targeted on only 17.11 percent of Tom Brady's targets, which is the team WR high, Hogan has been efficient on those targets and has finished as a top-12 fantasy receiver in three consecutive weeks. With 15 catches for 214 yards and four touchdowns, Hogan has scored the third-most fantasy points this season behind Stefon Diggs and Jordy Nelson.

WR - Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (at PHI)

If it weren't for a touchdown in overtime, it would have been a terribly disappointing performance for Fitzgerald, who finished with four catches for 32 yards and a touchdown last week. Through one-quarter of the season, however, Fitzgerald now has 41 targets for the team that leads the NFL in pass attempts (183) by a wide margin (Giants second with 166).

A favorable matchup against the Eagles, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, for the pass-happy Cardinals could lead to double-digit targets and a big game for Fitzgerald this week. In their past two games alone, the Eagles have allowed four top-seven weekly fantasy wide receivers and three 100-yard games.

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Week 5 Fantasy Football WR Sit'em

 

WR - Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. JAX)

Especially at home, Bryant is always worth throwing into your DFS tournament lineups. As a bit of a boom-or-bust player, his one "boom" game occurred at home (3/91/1). In his three road games, he has finished as the weekly WR77, WR70 and WR48, respectively.

Despite a return to Pittsburgh, I'm not ready to throw him into my weekly lineup in season-long leagues this week. The Jaguars cornerback duo of Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are as good as it gets, which I think limits Bryant's upside.

WR - Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders (vs. BAL)

Drops excluded (and even though it could have been better), Week 1 was pretty good for Cooper. Since then, however, it's been outright bad. In his past three games, Cooper has a total of seven catches for 48 yards and no touchdowns on 18 targets. In fact, he has single-digit yards and less than one fantasy point in back-to-back games.

Even if Cooper doesn't have to face the No Fly Zone this week, it's another unfavorable matchup against the Ravens, who have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers. The real reason Cooper is on this side of the list, however, is Derek Carr and the fact that his back injury means that E.J. Manuel will get the start.

WR - Sammy Watkins, Los Angeles Rams (vs. SEA)

Only a couple of weeks ago, Watkins went off for 6/106/2 on seven targets against the 49ers in Week 3. In the games around that stellar performance, however, Watkins had just two targets in each of those games. At this point, there really is no way to know how many targets Watkins will see in a negative matchup. Watkins has now finished as the WR40 (or worse) in three of four games. Outside of my top-24 receivers for the week, Watkins is more of a WR3 for me this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 5

Week 5 Fantasy Football Rankings:
Week 5 DFS Resources:
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