We come to my Week 6 Best Bets and daily fantasy (DFS) picks as the dreaded bye season has arrived.
I always have mixed feelings when it comes to bye weeks, at least for DFS. Fewer players mean fewer decisions we have to make. And with fewer players we might miss out on doing something well.
Although I didn't miss out on too many players last week and hope to continue my profitable streak. We'll see if the start of bye week season treats me right or not.
Teams on bye: Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Tennessee
As a reminder, in addition to my best bet, I will give you "safe picks" and "high leverage" picks. Those more or less equate to "cash game" picks and GPP picks for those familiar with what those are.
As usual, however, we start with our "best bet" of the week.
Week 6's Best Bet: Michael Carter + Breece Hall over 99.5 combined rushing yards (+300)
I posted this earlier in the week:
I didn't see this bet when I went back in recently. Perhaps it is no longer available because it's such an advantageous bet? Hmmmm.
As of his moment, Carter's rushing prop is over 27.5 at -114, and Breece Hall's is 58.5, also at -114. Ignoring the math of combining two prop bets, FanDuel is essentially saying it is better than even money that they rush for 85 yards combined. And I honestly believe that between the two of them, they get can those extra 15 yards so this hits.
One reason is that with the exception of Zach Wilson scrambling, I suspect those two Jet RBs should account for nearly all of the carries. Furthermore, Green Bay is allowing 126.4 rushing yards per game, the 12th most in the league. Donchathink that Carter and Hall can get at least 80 percent of that total?
Furthermore, whichever side we attack this from, there seems to be an odds edge to the books between 20-30 percent. Given that this paying out at +300, I'll gladly take the approximate eV+ (estimated value) of 10 percent.
Safe Quarterback Week 6 Pick
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (DK $8200, FD $9200)
I asked last week if there was any QB you would want to bet against less than Allen right now? That hasn't changed. The books have this game set at a week-high 54 points and it keeps moving up. Even at these prices, Allen might be a bargain.
High-Leverage Quarterback Week 6 Pick
Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals (DK $5700, FD $7400)
How can you not love this story? Smith was constantly being forced into the wrong system with the wrong coaches with a lack of talent around him. Now, he is finally seeing the fruits of his labor in glorious form.
He has a nifty QB Rating of over 113, based primarily on a strong 9:2 TD-to-INT ratio. He's averaging more than 300 passing yards in his last three games. Arizona meanwhile has given up the eighth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Don't write Geno off!
Safe Running Back Week 6 Pick
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Rams (DK $8300, FD $8700)
Part of me thinks I should list McCaffrey as a high-leverage play as my guess is his ownership level will be pretty low. The Rams are struggling a bit against the pass this season. However, they have shut down the run and are No. 1 at preventing fantasy points to RBs.
But if I had put McCaffrey in the high-leverage spot, I know the snort and eye rolls would quickly follow. Either way, I like McCaffrey this week. He has scored each of his last two games and um.... he's Christian McCaffrey!
Here's the other thing. I think we see a "dead cat bounce" after the Panthers fired Matt Rhule. Therefore, I think CMac and the rest of the Panthers do a little more this week than they have to this point of the season.
High-Leverage Running Back Week 6 Pick
Kevin Harris, New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns (DK $4000, FD $4600)
This is an absolute punt play or dart throw at best, but Harris is super cheap and he has sneaky-high upside. Harris did not make New England's 53-man roster, but the Patriots love this kid and he was elevated from the practice squad this past week with Damien Harris going down.
Cleveland meanwhile has given up the fifth-most fantasy points to RBs this season. And wouldn't it be just like Bill Belichick to go a different direction than everyone expects? Unfortunately, I am probably right.
Safe Wide Receiver Week 6 Pick
Gabe Davis, Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (DK $6500, FD $6900)
The more obvious pick here might be Stefon Diggs. But Diggs is rightfully more expensive and I think we can get production from Davis close to Diggs.
Davis has an aDOT (average depth of target) of 16.5, which is the sixth deepest of all players targeted at least 15 times according to Sports Info Solutions (SIS). The Chiefs meanwhile continue their run against a serious QB gauntlet the past month, having faced Tom Brady, Justin Herbert, and Derek Carr in three of the last four weeks. It might explain why Since Week 2, KC has been burned more often than an incompetent chef. In their last four games, the Chiefs' secondary has allowed 11 completions (on 23 pass attempts) of at least 15 air yards for 321 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions.
That plays right into Davis' wheelhouse.
High-Leverage Wide Receiver Week 6 Pick
DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Rams (DK $5100, FD $5700)
Only three teams have been more generous than the Rams in allowing WR fantasy points, and one of them is on bye this week. And with Moore suffering through sub-par quarterback play, his stock (and therefore his DFS salary) has dropped precipitously.
But I got a feeling he gives us a nice little profit this week. I know past performance does not guarantee future results, but the last time P.J. Walker went against Matthew Stafford, the Panthers won 20-0. And Moore had seven receptions for 127 yards. In addition to the "dead cat bounce" I mentioned previously, there's this:
Just to be clear, know that Walker is talking about Moore. Moore is facing Jalen Ramsey this week, so there's a ton of risk. But I am betting this is the cheapest we will get to play Moore all year.
Safe Tight End Week 6 Pick
Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (DK $4900, FD $6000)
So much to like about Ertz this week including being so much cheaper than some of the top options. But to be honest, this is more of a matchup play than anything else. Nobody is allowing more fantasy points to opposing TEs than Seattle.
Of course, the fact that he has three straight weeks with six catches doesn't hurt either. That is a very attractive floor and makes Ertz a good salary-saver this week.
If you want to spend up, I wouldn't fault you for playing George Kittle (DK $5100, FD $5700) who is going up against Atlanta, who has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to the position. Plus, he's still a lot cheaper than some of the top options, giving him plenty of value.
High-Leverage Tight End Week 6 Pick
Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (DK $3500, FD $5200)
Engram had his best game of the season last week, corralling six of 10 targets for 69 yards. I am willing to take a chance that is the start of an upward trend for Engram. Given that Indianapolis is giving up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing TEs, it's not such a bad chance to take.
Safe Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 6 Pick
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (DK, $3900, FD $5000)
I'm going to keep picking whichever team the Steelers are playing until they show me otherwise. The fact that Tampa Bay is allowing the sixth-fewest yards and sixth-fewest points doesn't hurt either.
High-Leverage Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 6 Pick
Baltimore Ravens at New York Giants (DK $3600, FD $4500)
Everyone is down on the Ravens' defense, but I liked what I saw from them in person on Sunday night. But the numbers support it as well. They limited Josh Allen to 5.9 yards per pass attempt and Joe Burrow to 6.2 in the last couple of weeks. Moreover, they get Tyus Bowser back this week, who had seven sacks last season.
Don't sleep on the Ravens this week.
Other Cheap(er) Options I'm Considering In My GPP Entries:
QB: Jimmy Garoppolo, Jameis Winston, Zach Wilson
RB: AJ Dillon, Devin Singletary
WR: Rondale Moore, DeVante Parker, Allen Robinson (sigh),
TE: Irv Smith Jr., Daniel Bellinger
— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.