Welcome to the FanDuel NFL DFS core plays column for week 6 of the 2020-2021 season.
We’re gearing you up for a great week 6 slate (Sunday, October 18, 2020) with our top recommendation for each position to help you start building out your weekly lineups.
Matthew Stafford @ JAX, $7,300
I don’t see this as the kind of slate where you need to spend up into the top 5 at the QB position. Especially when one of the highest projected game totals features a pass-first team that has their stud WR back and is facing an incredibly weak secondary.
Enter Mr Stafford.
At a very fair price, Stafford and crew are coming off a week 5 bye to go up against a Jacksonville defense (and secondary) that is anything but solid. They’ve yet to eclipse 1 sack per game this year, and have allowed over 440 yards against them three times in five games.
Meanwhile, Stafford has his big target back (Golladay) and has started his 2020 season very strong, with 2+ passing TDs in 3 straight games, averaging just over 34 passing attempts to date. The DET offense has scored at least 21 points in each game so far this season, and with the tailwinds of a near 30 point team total, a great opponent to throw on and a good weather forecast here – the high floor, modest ceiling nature of Stafford here makes him a prime target for me (especially in cash games).
Alexander Mattison vs ATL, $7,000
We’re in a bit of a holding pattern right now with Mattison (and really the entire ATL/MIN game) given the positive COVID-19 test news that dropped Thursday morning. However, it appears the test could either be a false positive or a non-player/coach member of the ATL organization. If that’s the case, we could see them resume practicing into the weekend and get the green light for Sunday’s tilt to take place.
With Dalvin Cook on the shelf, we have a great opportunity to get Mattison active – even though his price is not a freebie. FanDuel priced him up pretty quickly ahead of this start, from $5,700 to $7,000 given the Cook injury news and Mattison’s strong work in relief in week 5 (23 touches, 136 yards).
For a run-heavy offense facing a below-average defense (though stronger vs the run at 10th in DVOA than the pass where they check in at 30th), the $7,000 price tag for a 20+ touch RB is still something we should really focus on having exposure to.
Given the inherent value the industry is seeing with Mattison, he’s someone that contrarian approaches will tell you to fade (and I don’t mind that at all for GPPs), but in cash games he’s a hard guy not to start given those 20+ touches should lead to an easy 12-15 points – even if he doesn’t score.
Backup pivot plan: Mike Davis vs CHI, $7,500
The Bears are very good against the pass (6th in DVOA) but far weaker against the run (17th in DVOA). Davis has filled in admirably for Christian McCafferey, and I expect both the volume (21+ touches per game) and productivity (19.1+ FP/G) to continue in his absence. Even though he’s $500 more expensive, he’s the guy that I’d play with the same level of priority in place of Mattison should the ATL/MIN game be compromised (or perhaps alongside Mattison as a second RB).
Kenny Golladay @ JAX, $7,200
The easy correlation play to get excited about this week, especially with PFFs highest graded advantage for a WR against an opposing CB (52% vs Chris Claybrooks). Golladay is easily Stafford’s favourite target on the Lions, and will get a lot of Claybrooks and even Tre Herndon (another below-average corner out of the slot) given the big Detroit WR does tend to travel all over the field for his routes.
Stafford loves targeting his WRs (63.5% target share), and Golladay himself had a healthy 23% and 26% share in the week 3 and 4 games when he took the field.
This is the kind of game that we can pencil him in for 6-7 receptions, 80+ yards and a high probability chance of scoring in a pace-positive situation where he’ll have consistent matchup advantages to exploit – particularly as a 213 lbs receiver going up against a 170 lbs CB (Claybrooks) for what should be ~50% of his routes. He’s going to be popular, but should be a high-end WR2 play through and through.
Going cheap: Irv Smith Jr. vs ATL, $4,300
With KC (and Travis Kelce) as well as SF (and George Kittle) and even LV (and Darren Waller) off the main slate, we’re staring at fewer premium options than usual. Mark Andrews at $7,600 is your most expensive name, and while Robert Tonyan is coming off a massive 3 TD game in week 4, Smith at nearly $2,000 less deserves some consideration for those that want to spend up at other positions.
Smith finally started to get the usage in the passing game that fantasy owners were hoping for last week, running routes 72.7% of the team’s passing plays and had a solid 5 targets for a value TE in DFS.
He hauled in 4 of those for 64 yards on their way to a tight loss in Seattle, but matching his target total of the previous 2 weeks combined in one night has him heading into week 6 with some intriguing appeal for punt play purposes.
A matchup with the Falcons (assuming this game goes off without a hitch) puts him in a truly elite situation to produce, as ATL is as soft vs the TE as just about any team in the NFL. Smith doesn’t have the greatest catch rate to his name this year (small sample size), but is athletic, trending in the right direction, and has a plus matchup. For those reasons, I like him as a punt for at least 10-20% of GPP lineups this week.
Spending up: Robert Tonyan @ TB, $6,200
He’s arguably just about as much of a “sure thing” this slate has to offer at the TE position, and according to Football Outsiders ranks as the #1 ranked TE through 5 weeks of action. His 93% catch% is elite, and even though he’s been significantly assisted by 5 TDs in 3 GP, the 302 expected yards vs 173 actual yards discrepancy gives even more reason for optimism against what is already a pretty compelling set of surface stats and production heading into the week.
It’s a different spend strategy to go Tonyan over Smith, but I highly recommend you have plenty of exposure to him here for volume purposes, even in a not so great matchup vs TB (Lavonte David). Aaron Rodgers will continue to look his way given the rash of receiving injuries, even though they should have Davante Adams back.