Welcome to the NFL DFS Slate Breakdown! This is a new article I will be writing this season, offering my favorite plays position-by-position. I will be discussing my top cash game plays, GPP targets, pivots and stacks! This article will also feature data tables produced by Sam Scherman, that I use heavily in my decision making each week. If you’re a fan of my content (thank you) I highly recommend purchasing access to my Core Plays for both main slates and showdown, and joining our FREE Discord!
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Patrick Mahomes- Mahomes needs no introduction, but is set up in a get-right spot against the Washington Football Team this Sunday. I was high on the WFT defense coming into the season, but they have been a massive disappointment. Washington comes into Week 6 allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to QB’s and owning one of the worst pass coverage units according to PFF. Mahomes should be able to pick this secondary apart, and this game features the highest O/U on the slate by a wide margin at 55. WFT has played fast all season, and the expected pace in this game is arguably the best on the slate. We have tons of value opening up across the board, making it easy to get up to Mahomes in optimal builds on both sites.
Lamar Jackson- Week 6’s second-highest O/U (51.5) gives us a strong chance of a shootout with two of the best young QB’s in football squaring off. Jackson has been playing at an MVP-level ranking fourth in football in yards per attempt (9.1). This isn’t a great matchup on paper for Jackson, as the Chargers sell out their defense to stop the pass and willingly allow teams to run the football against them. Luckily Jackson’s ability to add value with his legs keeps him as a matchup proof play, especially given the form he is in. He is significantly cheaper than Mahomes, and will likely be the highest-owned QB on the Week 6 slate.
Justin Herbert- On the opposite side of that game, Herbert will look to stay hot against a surprisingly leaky Ravens defense, that has allowed the fourth-most passing yards in football. Herbert heads into Week 6 trailing only Tom Brady in pass attempts, and ranking top-five at his position in fantasy points per game. LAC will likely force the Ravens to play faster than usual — similar to what we saw from the Browns in Week 5. Overall, this has been one of the best fantasy QB’s this season, and he is set up in an expected shootout yet projected for sub-5% ownership? If that OWN% projection holds true come the weekend, I will likely be way overweight to the field on Herbert and Chargers stacks, and will likely anchor my main GPP build with them.
I fully expect Mahomes/Herbert to anchor most of my teams, but the other players I’m interested in are Taylor Heinicke and Daniel Jones.
Note: Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb and Damien Williams are all expected to miss this week.
Kareem Hunt- Hunt is a late week addition to my article, with Nick Chubb ruled out for the Browns vs Arizona. Hunt will step into a workhorse role for the Browns, and should be $1,500-2000 more expensive for his expected role. Chubb missed time last season, and what sticks out the most is Hunt hogged over 45% of the red-zone opportunities. His role should truly be elite this week, and Arizona ranks bottom-six in success rate allowed to opposing running backs. I think he is a lock in all formats, and I will look to be overweight even at high-OWN%.
Darrell Henderson- DHendo is going to be massively owned alongside Kareem Hunt in cash games this weekend. Hunt is my overall number one option at this position, but Henderson is not far behind against the Giants. New York has coughed up the fourth-most rushing yards to backs this season, and Henderson has been fed when healthy. He’s averaging over 17 touches per game in starts this season, and has been involved in the red zone with 10 carries inside the 20. Mid-tier at both RB and WR is absolutely loaded this week, and choosing right there is how you’re going to win your contests. Henderson is playable in all formats, but feels better in cash games than GPPs for me.
Jonathan Taylor- Week 6 screams Jonathan Taylor week, with his Colts listed as massive 10 point favorites over the lowly Houston Texans. Taylor popped off for his best game of 2021 Monday night vs the Ravens, but I don’t expect OWN% to get too crazy with Kareem Hunt and Darrell Henderson both in great spots as well. Houston has allowed the seventh-most rushing yards to RB’s this season, and Taylor remains a high-upside play due to his league-best red zone role. No RB has seen more carries inside the five than Taylor (8) and he’s parlayed those carries into just one touchdown. While he did score twice on Monday night, the positive regression on the ground is coming and he should be more expensive in this spot.
D’Andre Swift- Swift is one of my favorite tournament options this week, and should come in low-owned compared to the aforementioned backs in his price range. He continues to see one of the best roles in the NFL — leading his position in catches and seemingly logging more snaps each week. I pointed out on this week’s videos that the Bengals allow the most catches in the NFL to RB’s, and his role is not hurt by game-script whatsoever. Swift is one of the top pivots on the Week 6 main slate.
Darrel Williams + Khalil Herbert (Chalk Value)- This doesn’t happen often, but we have two running backs projected to start and log that majority of their teams workload for under $5,000 on DraftKings. Darrel Williams played over 70% of the snaps once Clyde Edwards-Helaire went down in Week 5, and Khalil Herbert is basically all the Bears have left other than preseason legend Ryan Nall. Of the two, our projections portal has Herbert currently slated for higher-ownership, and he is my preferred play of the two. Williams is on the much better offense, but still has to do with the presence of Jerick McKinnon and the fact that Andy Reid could just skew more pass-heavy with CEH out. Overall, I think both are cash game playable and even think pairing them together is a viable strategy.
Note: With the news from Zac Taylor that Joe Mixon should see a “full workload” on Sunday, he jumps to the top of my tournament board and looks like someone I’m going to be heavily interested in at his expected OWN%
Favorite Pivot: Josh Jacobs, Chuba Hubbard
Tyreek Hill- As I noted in the Mahomes blurb, this is a get-right spot for the Chiefs offense and I’m likely going to be all-in on Tyreek this Sunday. Hill is enjoying another elite season, ranking eighth overall in Air Yards and seventh in WOPR. Washington is allowing the most Air Yards in completions in the NFL, and they’re the only team to allow double-digit TDs to receivers through five games. Hill leads the Chiefs in targets by a wide margin, and is a scary fade in Week 6.
Keenan Allen- Mike Williams was someone I loved on this week’s videos, but he ended up not practicing Thursday and was not seen at practice on Friday either. Should be miss this weeks game, Allen would become a virtual lock at his DraftKings price of $6,400. BMW and Allen account for 104 of the 126 targets to receivers from Justin Herbert this season. In an expected shootout, I would likely play 100% Allen across my teams in Williams gets ruled out for Sunday.
Michael Pittman Jr- TY Hilton is returning for the Colts this week, but Pittman has carved out a role as Carson Wentz top receiver and remains priced at $5,500. We can expect Hilton to be eased into action after missing the first five games, and Pittman leads the Colts in targets by 15. With Indy installed as such big favorites, you can expect a more run-heavy game-script…that being said, Pittman should still be involved early. He also has seen a legitimate red zone role, ranking fourth in football with five targets inside the 10 yard line. He is closely priced to a lot of similar upside WRs this weekend, and navigating the 5-6K tier on DK is going to be crucial.
Ja’Marr Chase + Tee Higgins- The expected pace of this game is worrisome, but we can’t overlook how good of a spot it is for the Bengals receivers. Detroit gives up the second-most Air Yards on completions, and have the worst pass coverage unit in football according to Pro Football Focus. This is a ceiling spot for both Chase and Higgins, and we can only hope that Detroit can score some points and stay in the game. Chase has seen a dramatic price hike, but I still view him as too cheap with how he has been used in this offense. He ranks 2nd in the league with a 50.8% share of the teams Air Yards, and has carried over his strong rapport with Burrow from LSU. Higgins returned last week and didn’t skip a beat, playing 70% of the snaps. He is one of the top values on DraftKings this week, priced at $5,300.
Jakobi Meyers- Meyers once again avoided the end zone in Week 5, getting tackled at the one yard line on a designed play for him. I don’t think I remember a player getting as unlucky as Meyers has with finding the end zone, especially when factoring in how much he gets the ball. This is another spot to bet on positive regression as the Dallas Cowboys allow the fourth-most PPR points per game to WRs. Meyers continues to lead the team in targets and will likely avoid the majority of Trevon Diggs coverage on Sunday. I view him as viable in all formats at his price.
Robby Anderson- I know he has been bad, but if there was a time to buy in on him…it’s this week. Not only do we have the squeaky wheel narrative, but the usage has been much better as well. Over the last two games, his target% has jumped over 13% and he has a fantastic individual matchup with Bashaud Breeland. This is a process over results play, but his price has fallen too far, down to $4,800 on DraftKings. He is my favorite value play at WR this week, and may end up in my cash game pool as well.
Note: We have two big name WRs listed as Q heading into the weekend in Terry McLaurin and Allen Robinson. McLaurin is projecting for pretty high-ownership opposite Chiefs stacks, and him being out would bump up Adam Humphries and Dyami Brown to playable in all formats. Robinson is having a disappointing year thus far, but his absence would bump up Darnell Mooney to the viable in all formats territory as well. This is some of the big news we must keep an eye on leading up to lock.
Favorite Pivot: Davante Adams, Kadarius Toney
Tight End is straightforward for in Week 6 with Travis Kelce and Ricky Seals-Jones sticking out above the field. I’ve noted above the appeal of this game, so it’s no shock that these are my top two options. Kelce is extremely underpriced relative to his role in this offense, and this is far and away the lowest price tag we’ve gotten him at this season. Seals-Jones will continue to start with Logan Thomas on IR, and his role and usage was much better than his price indicates. In his first game sans Thomas, he played all but one snap and earned just under 20% of the total targets from Taylor Heinicke. This is a clear misprice, and his high expected ownership reflects that.
Aside from those two, we have another clear misprice with Mark Andrews at $5,200 Andrews is coming off his best game of the season posting over 40 DK points against the Colts. Not many TE’s have 40 in the tank, and that’s the exact type of ceiling we love to chase in GPPs. Los Angeles has allowed the most DK points per game to tight ends this season, and their defense should continue to funnel targets to the middle of the field. Andrews is someone I want to be overweight on in Week 6.
I would rank other options I’m interested in as Noah Fant, Tyler Higbee and Hunter Henry in that order.
Ben’s Top Five Stacks
Justin Herbert-Mike Williams-Keenan Allen-Mark Andrews
Derek Carr-Henry Ruggs-Courtland Sutton or Tim Patrick
Taylor Heinicke-Terry McLaurin-Tyreek Hill and/or Travis Kelce
Daniel Jones-Sterling Shepard-Kadarius Toney-Cooper Kupp or Robert Woods
Dak Prescott-Zeke Elliott-CeeDee Lamb-Jakobi Meyers
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)