If you were on the chalk in Week 5, chances are you made out pretty well. There are chalk plays that perform every week, but last week was on a different level. My cash game lineup had three players over 50% ownership and each of those players scored more than 30 DraftKings points. Even Leonard Fournette and James Robinson managed huge games. Now I say all this as a reminder that just because the chalk hits big one week, doesn't mean it will the next week. You've heard it once, you've heard it a million times but every single slate is unique.
What do we actually do in Week 6 then? I'm glad you asked.
I can confidently say the lead up to Week 6 has been the wackiest of the season. First, it's already unique with only 10 games available on the main slate because of the London game and four teams on a bye. On top of that we're dealing with a ton of injuries to big name players that could legitimately go either way. Last but not least, the Cardinals-Browns game has a COVID situation brewing and winds nearing 20 mph. Good times!
While we're still awaiting word on those aforementioned injuries, a few things have already been settled, which leads us to value running backs on the slate.
Running back value
Clyde Edwards-Helaire landed on injured reserve earlier this week, and then we learned Thursday that Damien Williams was placed on the COVID list. Boom, two starting running backs each valued under $5,000 on DraftKings. Alright, so we lock them in and move on to the next position.
Not so fast. Of the two, I'm actually more likely to play Darrel Williams. There's a decent chance the Chiefs just pass the ball 50 times in this spot against Washington, but even with that, Williams should see double-digit touches in a game with the highest total on the slate. He's not flashy but can catch passes and has proven he can score in goal-to-go situations. Williams already has two touchdowns from within three yards this season. He's the easier of the two.
Khalil Herbert is a sixth-round rookie with middling measurables. He did out-snap Damien Williams last week and wound up rushing for 75 yards on 18 carries with zero targets. Herbert and Williams combined for 34 carries in a game they won convincingly against the Raiders. It seems much more likely they'll be playing with a different game flow this week against their divisional rival Green Bay Packers. While he should see upwards of 60% of the running back snaps and touches this week (modest projection), there's a very good chance they're chasing points. That's what caused hesitation from Mike McClure on Fantasy Football Today DFS.
"I can't quite call it an auto-play. It's close but it's not a lock ... The thing that we have to be careful with here with the Chicago Bears Is the game script ... I would caution on the extreme workload. Yes, he will play the snaps but what the actual offense looks like this week could be very, very, very different than it did last week."
That doesn't mean you can't play Herbert but proceed just proceed with caution. That means we might need other running backs to target.
Running back targets
Outside of the value plays there are quite a few names still worth targeting. Please forgive me, Chris Towers, but I'm not a singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, I am, however, a fan of the running back tandem Taylor-Swift. Jonathan Taylor is coming off a massive game where he totaled 169 yards thanks to a screen pass that went for a 76-yard touchdown. Taylor doesn't play as many snaps as other elite running backs, but his workload has been steady with 16-plus touches in four of five games this season. Now he gets the Texans at home as a near 10-point favorite. Oh yeah!
Then there's D'Andre Swift, who checks in at $6,300 on DraftKings. The carries have been inconsistent but the pass-game usage has been anything but. Through five weeks, Swift leads all running backs in receptions and is second in targets. His playing time has also been on the rise as he's played at least 73% of the snaps in back-to-back games. This game against the Bengals has sneaky shootout potential, too, inside of the dome. Both Taylor and Swift should wind up decently chalky, but if you're looking for more upside than the value plays, these are two of my favorite options.
Here are my five favorite plays in that mid-high price range:
- Austin Ekeler, $7,900
- Ezekiel Elliott, $7,100
- Jonathan Taylor, $6,600
- D'Andre Swift, $6,300
- Darrell Henderson, $6,000
Well, we haven't talked about quarterbacks yet…
Favorite Week 6 stacks
There are two obvious games to stack this week in Chiefs-Washington and Chargers-Ravens. It's crazy to imagine, but it's Week 6 and the Chiefs are in last place in the AFC West. This absolutely is a must-win game for them. With the Chiefs comes the clear top quarterback option on the slate in Patrick Mahomes, who is the highest priced option on both DraftKings and FanDuel. The problem is figuring out who to play in that game. I want everybody!
My early cash game has a full game stack with Mahomes to Travis Kelce and Mecole Hardman with Terry McLaurin and Ricky Seals-Jones on the other side. It should be very popular, and rightfully so. Kelce's $7,000 price tag is the lowest it's been all season and $4,200 Hardman is coming off a game where he led the Chiefs with 12 targets. With the Football Team, we have condensed targets. McLaurin leads the team with a 30% target share and Seals-Jones has played every snap but one since Logan Thomas got hurt. Of course, you can go with Mahomes to Tyreek Hill and Kelce, but then you're going to depend on value to fill out the rest of your lineup.
When it comes to the Chargers-Ravens, you can stack either side of this game, though I do prefer the Ravens. To this point in his career, Lamar Jackson has been a quarterback you can play by himself in DFS since he didn't pass very much and his rushing upside is so massive. The rushing remains but given their running back situation, Jackson has been forced to pass more this year. He's averaging a career-high 33.4 pass attempts per game and has been very efficient with those passes. Jackson's also completing a career-high 67.1% of his pass at a career-high 9.1 yards per attempt. Maybe it's just the entire Ravens offense maturing at the same time, but whatever it is, it's working for Fantasy. Because of this increased pass volume and efficiency, it's easier to single or even double stack Jackson with his pass catchers. It also helps when Marquise Brown is $5,900 and Mark Andrews is just $5,200.
Here are my favorite stacks for Week 6 and a single-entry GPP lineup I've already built out:
- Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce and/or Tyreek Hill or Mecole Hardman with Terry McLaurin and/or Ricky Seals-Jones on the other side
- Lamar Jackson to Marquise Brown and/or Mark Andrews with Keenan Allen and/or Austin Ekeler on the side
- Justin Herbert to Ekeler and/or Allen with Brown and/or Andrews on the other side
- Taylor Heinicke to McLaurin and/or Seals-Jones with Kelce and/or Hill on the other side
- Joe Burrow to Ja'Marr Chase and/or Tee Higgins with D'Andre Swift and/or Amon-Ra St. Brown on the other side
- Matthew Stafford to Cooper Kupp and/or Robert Woods with Kadarius Toney on the other side
Single-entry GPP lineup
- Patrick Mahomes, $8,300
- Jonathan Taylor, $6,600
- D'Andre Swift, $6,300
- Terry McLaurin, $7,100
- Tee Higgins, $5,300
- Mecole Hardman, $4,200
- Ricky Seals-Jones, $3,000
- Travis Kelce, $7,000
- Lions DST, $2,100
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