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“Big Rigg’s” Wide Receiver and Running Back Calls For Week #6

Last week I recommended a lot of wide receiver duos.  There were a few games last week featuring stud receivers on the same team facing off against bad secondaries and I thought there was more than enough fantasy production to go around.  In most of these cases I was wrong.  Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley both finished outside WR2 range, which is bad, this one didn’t work out even though the matchup was great.

Antonio Brown came through as WR3 on the week and JuJu Smith-Schuster was WR28, which didn’t kill you, but it wasn’t the performance we were hoping for.  Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs both finished in the top 8 for the week.  Sterling Shepard had 4 grabs for 75 yards which is respectable for a lower tiered player and Odell Beckham Jr. finished as WR1 for the week.

John Brown was a bust, Denzel Ward is the real deal at corner for the Browns.  Kenny Golladay dominated while Tate didn’t see heavy volume.  The Jaguars offense struggled, which is a good reminder that when considering whether to play Jaguars receivers like Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook, there are times that even though the matchup looks ripe for production, when your QB is Blake Bortles, a dud is always possible.

James Conner was RB1 this week, I should have made that call against the Falcons defense but I was down on Conner as of late and didn’t feel good about it.  Christian McCaffrey finished RB12, Sony Michel was RB15, James White finished RB7, Joe Mixon was RB11 and Mark Ingram came in at RB9.

Kenyan Drake came through this week as RB6 but Frank Gore still had more carries than Drake which is a cause for concern.  I watched the game, and Drake looked like a home run hitter every time he touched the ball while Gore looked powerful, but didn’t look like he was ever going to break away.  That being said, it’s going to come to the point where Kenyan Drake needs to be on the field, and when the Dolphins realize that, Drake will be a huge upside play.  Kerryon Johnson was a bust this week because Blount vultured touchdowns from him…brutal.

Chris Thompson was having a decent day with 6 catches for 45 yards before getting hurt and Alfred Morris looked extremely average totaling 91 yards from scrimmage adding 3 catches.  Morris failed to find the endzone in this one which hurt him.   Now it’s time to use what we learned in week 5 and look ahead to week 6.

Odell Beckham Jr. vs Eagles – $8,600 FD/$7,800 DK – Beckham Jr. is the 3rd most heavily targeted receiver in the NFL with 59 targets on the year, hauling in 39 of them for 462 yards and a TD.  The Eagles have been getting destroyed through the air lately, most recently giving up huge fantasy days to Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Corey Davis, Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and Julio Jones.  The Eagles don’t discriminate and have been getting blasted by receivers of all types, the little fast guys, the possession guys and the big guys.  Moreover, this game is in prime time on Thursday night and Odell will be looking to put on a show.

Mike Evans @ Falcons – $8,000 FD/$8,100 DK – Opposing #1 receivers have torched the Falcons in the passing game this year.  Here is what opposing #1’s have done against the Falcons so far this year: Devin Funchess 7 for 77, Michael Thomas 10 for 129, AJ Green 4 for 78 and 1 TD, Antonio Brown 6 for 101 and 2 TD’s.  Another reason to like Mike Evans in this matchup is because last year against the Falcons, he had 6 for 78 and 5 for 79 and 1 TD.  Lock him in your DFS lineups this week.

Brandin Cooks @ Broncos (if he plays) – $7,800 FD/$7,000 DK – The Broncos have gotten ripped by the deep ball lately, most recently by Robby Anderson.  If Robby Anderson can smoke the Broncos pass defense, then Brandin Cooks definitely can.  If Cooks cannot play because he hasn’t cleared the concussion protocol, you need to consider Josh Reynolds ($5,100 FD/$3,900 DK) in your DFS lineups and as a waiver wire target.

Julio Jones vs Bucs – $8,500 FD/$7,900 DK – Julio Jones is averaging a healthy 11 targets per game so far in the 2018 season and in week 6 he faces off against a Tampa Bay defense that cannot stop anybody through the air.  Therefore, playing Julio Jones simply makes sense.  Jones has yet to score a touchdown through the first 5 weeks of the season meaning he is due to come through.  Even Jones, who isn’t a big touchdown guy, has to bust out of this slump at some point.  The Bucs have given up a 100 yard receiving game to an individual receiver in 3 of their first 4 games of the season.  Moreover, the Falcons are playing at home inside the dome which is always a friendly environment for the Falcons pass happy attack.  One thing that might be getting overlooked after that disappointing Steelers/Falcons game last week is that Syracuse played Pitt at Heinz Field on Saturday and may have torn up that field a little bit, making the conditions a little less ideal for the Falcons who prefer the fast track.

Tyreek Hill @ Patriots – $7,800 FD/$7,800 DK – The Patriots are surely going to hang some serious points on the shaky Chiefs defense this week which means the Chiefs are going to need to dial it up early and often to keep pace.  Tyreek Hill has been averaging over 5 catches and 85 yards a game, scoring 3 receiving touchdowns on the season.  Sammy Watkins ($6,400 FD/$5,400 DK) is right behind Hill, averaging 4 catches and 50.8 yards per game, but Watkins’ numbers are a little skewed because he was injured in week 4 against the Broncos and left the game without registering a single catch.  The Patriots cannot stop all of the Chiefs weapons, and given the fact that Kareem Hunt lit them up so bad last year, I would bet they pay a decent amount of attention to him and Travis Kelce.

Larry Fitzgerald @ Vikings – $6,200 FD/$4,500 DK – Larry Fitzgerald has been terrible and downright unreliable lately.  However, in week 6, Larry Fitzgerald has a friendly matchup against Mike Hughes, the Vikings slot corner that is downright terrible.  You may remember Cooper Kupp’s week 4 performance where he shredded the Vikings for 162 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns…well, that came against Mr. Hughes.  If Larry Fitzgerald can’t get it done against Hughes, you can cut him in all of your season long leagues if you haven’t already.

Tyler Boyd vs Steelers – $6,300 FD/$6,000 DK – Joe Haden seems to be AJ Green’s kryptonite for some reason dating back to Haden’s time with the Browns.  That being said, Tyler Boyd will see a more favorable matchup on the other side with Artie Burns or the Steelers slot corner and he should be able to come through.

Keke Coutee vs Bills – $5,700 FD/$4,600 DK – DeAndre Hopkins will surely be guarded by Tredavious White which may slow Hopkins down a little.  With White on Hopkins, the Texans will need to look elsewhere to get it done in the passing game which means Keke Coutee is a good bet to come through again.  Lamar Miller is slated for a week 6 return, but I don’t expect him to do much of anything for the Texans offense, he’s been very disappointing so far this year but most of that disappointment is due to the Texans poor offensive line.  Watson will need to throw to beat the Bills, and Coutee seems primed for a big day given the matchup.

Marquise Goodwin @ Packers – $5,500 FD/$4,800 DK – In week 3 against the Redskins, Paul Richardson popped a 46 yard touchdown catch against the Packers.  In week 2, Stefon Diggs went off for 9 grabs and 128 yards adding 2 touchdowns.  If Goodwin plays in week 6, and that’s a big if, then he is a solid candidate to knock the top of the Packers defense with his elite speed.

Taylor Gabriel @ Dolphins – $5,600 FD/$4,300 DK – The Dolphins Xavien Howard has been coming on lately but AJ Green still had over 100 yards receiving against him.  Allen Robinson is not AJ Green, and may get slowed by Howard.  Gabriel’s role really took off for the Bears in week 4, and we may see a repeat performance should Howard mitigate Robinson’s effectiveness.

Taywan Taylor vs Ravens – $5,000 FD/$3,900 DK – It’s not that I’m in love with Taywan Taylor this week, but Jimmy Smith will likely cover Corey Davis most of the day, leaving Taylor with the easier matchup.  The Browns were able to do some serious damage against this Ravens secondary last week and as long as the Titans show up, they should be able to take advantage of the matchup as well.  Taywan Taylor’s snap counts have fluctuated between the 40% and 60% range over the last two games which makes him extremely hard to trust, but guys can do some serious damage against the Ravens underneath as evidenced by Jarvis Landry hauling in 5 for 69 yards against them and Tyler Boyd coming up with a 6 for 91 line.

James Conner @ Bengals – $8,200 FD/$7,700 DK – James Conner came through in a big way against the Falcons in week 5 and he has another fantasy friendly matchup against the Bengals this week.  The Bengals defense isn’t bad, but they give up catches and a decent yards per carry to opposing running backs, so if Conner gets decent volume he will likely come through.  The Bengals have also given up a decent number of touchdowns to opposing running backs this year, surrendering scores to Christian McCaffrey, Kenyan Drake and Ito Smith as of late.  Conner is not Le’Veon Bell, but he is good enough to come through if the setting is right.  The setting is right in week 6.

Jordan Howard @ Dolphins – $6,200 FD/$6,500 DK – The Dolphins are giving up the 4th most fantasy points to running backs so far on the season and have had two consecutive bad weeks against opposing ball carriers.  In week 4, Sony Michel ratted off 112 yards and a TD off 25 carries and just last week, Joe Mixon returned from injury with 22 carries and 92 yards against them, adding 3 catches and a TD catch to his total.  Jordan Howard is coming off a down week 4 where he wasn’t used heavily against the Bucs, but that seemed to be a product of the game plan more than anything.  I am all in on Jordan Howard this week.

Sony Michel vs Chiefs – $7,100 FD/$5,800 DK – Since Rex went down, Michel has really carved out a role in this Patriots offense, averaging 4.38 yards per carry and adding 2 touchdowns as the Patriots goal line back.  The Chiefs haven’t given up a 100 yard rusher so far on the year, but they have been generous to opposing running backs in total scrimmage yards, allowing Melvin Gordon to go over 100 yards receiving in week 1.  The Chiefs have also gotten scored on by running backs, so if Michel can find the endzone again, he could really come through for fantasy.

James White vs Chiefs – $7,100 FD/$6,900 DK – James White is the Patriots pass catching running back and is currently RB7 in PPR so far this year.  White averages 11 touches a game and given the probability that this game shoots out, White should be on the field a lot.  Regardless of the game script, there should be enough snaps for both Michel and White to come through for fantasy this week.

Peyton Barber @ Falcons – $5,600 FD/$3,500 DK – If Barber can’t get it done against the Falcons, then feel free to cut him from your season long rosters if you haven’t already, and feel free to erase him from your memory for DFS purposes.  Everybody gets it done against the Falcons and this is Peyton’s chance to shine!!! I really don’t like Ronald Jones ($5,600 FD/$3,900 DK), but if you subscribe to the theory that you should start running backs against the Falcons, he could come through if Barber falls on his face and the Bucs need to throw it to play catch up.  To be clear, I don’t feel extremely confident about recommending these guys for your lineups, but if you are looking to pack a DFS lineup with studs, you may be able to do so by putting one of these guys in at a RB slot.  Additionally, if you’re in a tough spot at RB in season long because you were a Jay Ajayi owner or have a bye week problem, these guys may be available on waivers and may be able to help you out in a fantasy friendly matchup.

Kenyan Drake vs Bears – $6,300 FD/$4,600 DK – The Bears give up the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs so far this season.  Let me tell you which running backs the Bears have faced so far in 2018: Jamaal Williams, Rashaad Penny, Chris Carson, David Johnson and the Peyton Barber/Ronald Jones combination.  Out of all those backs, David Johnson is by far the most talented, but his offensive line is terrible and Sam Bradford was still starting when the Cardinals faced the Bears and the offense was stagnant.  Kenyan Drake is arguably the most explosive running back the Bears will face all year and the Dolphins may have the best offensive line the Bears have faced.  I cannot envision Frank Gore doing much damage against this defense, and if the Bears take a lead, the Dolphins may need to just get the ball in the hands of their best playmaker, which is Kenyan Drake.  I default to talent, and the Dolphins need their talent to come through if they want to compete on Sunday.  Drake also offers more explosion in the passing game.

I've been coaching lacrosse since 2002 and playing fantasy football since 2006. I've racked up several championships over the years including a 4th place finish in the Kentucky Fantasy Football State Championship in 2016.

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