The Player Models are the lifeblood of our NFL product. They house our projections for each player, but that’s just the beginning of what you’ll find inside. After all, a projection is just part of the equation: things like salary, ceiling and projected ownership all factor into which players stand out as the best plays each week.
Let’s dive into our Models and take a look at some of the players with the highest ceilings, value ratings and projected ownership for the Week 6 NFL slate.
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Top Ceiling: Lamar Jackson @ PHI — $7,700 on DraftKings, $9,000 on FanDuel
Does Jackson still hold the top ceiling in fantasy at the quarterback position? Some of his recent performances suggest otherwise, but he’s still getting the benefit of the doubt in our NFL Models. He currently leads all QBs on the main slate in ceiling projection on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
Jackson also stands out from a Vegas perspective. The Ravens opened this week as just 7-point favorites, but the line has jumped all the way to 10. That gives the Ravens an implied team total of 29.0 points, which is tied with the Vikings for the top mark on the slate. Jackson has historically crushed with a comparable implied team total, posting an average Plus/Minus of +3.39 on DraftKings (per the Trends tool).
Top Value: Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. NYJ — $5,900 on DraftKings, $7,400 on FanDuel
Fitzpatrick should be a very popular option for those paying down at QB this week on DraftKings. He currently leads all QBs in projected Plus/Minus thanks to a juicy matchup with the Jets. The Jets have been an abomination to start the season on both sides of the ball, and multiple players have already forced their way out of town. It seems like head coach Adam Gase could have a full-scale mutiny on his hands before the end of the year.
Fitzpatrick owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.4 on DraftKings, and the only reason that number isn’t higher is because QBs simply haven’t had to throw much against the Jets in the second half. Overall, they rank just 31st in pass defense DVOA, so it doesn’t get much better from a matchup perspective.
The Dolphins are also favored by a whopping 10 points in this matchup, which is easily the most the Dolphins will be favored by all season. This could be the best spot for Fitzpatrick of the entire year.
Top Ownership: Ryan Tannehill vs. HOU — $5,900 on DraftKings, $7,100 on FanDuel
No one is really expected to be super chalky at QB this week. Five players are projected for 9-12% ownership on DraftKings, while six players are projected for 9-12% ownership on FanDuel. With that in mind, you can probably just play the guy who you think is the best play this week.
That could definitely be Tannehill, who seems underpriced given his production to start the 2020 season. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +6.45 on DraftKings through his first four games, and he’s coming off 30.0 DraftKings points vs. the Bills on Tuesday.
The prospect of the Titans playing on a short week definitely concerns me a bit, but they are favored by 3.5 points vs. the Texans. The Titans implied team total of 28.25 is also the fifth-highest mark on the slate.
Top Ceiling: Alexander Mattison vs. ATL — $7,200 on DraftKings, $7,000 on FanDuel
Mattison has been priced up pretty aggressively with Dalvin Cook out of the lineup, but he still looks like an elite option this week. He leads all RBs on both DraftKings and FanDuel in ceiling projection.
Mattison is one of the better backup RBs in football – he’s averaged 5.0 yards per carry to start the season – and he was excellent in relief of Cook last week. He finished with 112 rushing yards on 20 carries, and he also chipped in three catches for 24 yards in the passing game. No team has run the ball at a higher frequency than the Vikings in one-score games this season, so he should be looking at another massive workload in Week 6.
The Falcons have not been nearly as bad against the run as they have against the pass this season, but Mattison still owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.7 on FanDuel. He should be a chalky option, but he’s a tough fade.
Top Value: Mike Davis vs. CHI — $7,000 on DraftKings, $7,500 on FanDuel
Davis may not be Christian McCaffrey, but he’s been doing his best impersonation of him recently. He’s scored at least 22.1 DraftKings points in each of his past three games, resulting in an average Plus/Minus of +12.51. He has been priced up over that time frame, but he still seems way too cheap given his involvement as a runner and a receiver. Davis has had at least 16 carries in back-to-back games, and he’s received at least eight targets in three of his past four.
Overall, he leads the position in projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings.
Top Ownership: James Robinson vs. DET — $6,800 on DraftKings, $6,500 on FanDuel
There are a lot of RBs who figure to soak up a bunch of ownership this week. Mattison and Davis should be among the most popular options, and guys like Derrick Henry and David Montgomery also figure to be popular. That said, Robinson might be the best option of the bunch on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 98%.
He’s coming off his worst game of the season, but that’s to be expected in a game where his team was playing from behind. He still finished with 13 carries and a season-high seven targets, which bodes well for his fantasy prospects moving forward.
The Jags’ current matchup vs. the Lions is expected to be a close contest – the spread on this game sits at just three points – and Detroit has been one of the best matchups for RBs to start the season. They rank 31st in rush defense DVOA, and Robinson leads the position with an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.3 on FanDuel.
Top Ceiling: Adam Thielen vs. ATL — $7,300 on DraftKings, $7,400 on FanDuel
The Vikings should be a very popular team target this week. Not only does Mattison stand out as an awesome play at RB, Thielen headlines a solid group of pass-catching options as well.
He’s been a target hog recently, logging at least 10 in each of his past two games, and he’s turned those targets into at least 29.2 DraftKings points in both contests. He’s also been prominently involved in the red zone, garnering a total of five targets inside the 20 over the past two weeks.
This matchup against the Falcons sets up as a potential slam-dunk for Thielen. They rank 30th in pass defense DVOA to start the year, including 29th vs. No. 1 WRs in particular. The result is an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.1 on DraftKings, which is one of the top marks at the position.
Top Value: Chase Claypool vs. CLE — $5,200 on DraftKings, $5,500 on FanDuel
Claypool is coming off a monster game in his last outing, exploding for 110 receiving yards and four total touchdowns. The result was 45.6 DraftKings points at a salary of just $4,100. It doesn’t get much better than that from a value perspective.
He has been priced up a bit for this week’s matchup vs. the Browns, but he still seems too cheap given the Steelers’ current injury situation. Diontae Johnson has been ruled out with a back injury, which should open up a few additional snaps for Claypool. He played on 69% of the Steelers’ offensive snaps last week, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see that number increase following a dominant performance.
Claypool certainly isn’t sneaking up on anyone anymore, but he has the ability to finish as a top-10 fantasy receiver at a very reasonable price tag.
Top Ownership: A.J. Brown vs. HOU — $5,600 on DraftKings, $6,500 on FanDuel
While the short week could work against the Titans on the field, it definitely benefitted fantasy players in respect to Brown this week. The salaries for Week 6 came out before his dominant performance vs. the Bills on Tuesday, so his price tag didn’t have a chance to be adjusted.
That makes him very appealing against the Texans. Corey Davis is unlikely to play this week after being one of the many members of the Titans to test positive for COVID-19, so Brown should be looking at another solid workload. He garnered nine targets with Davis out of the lineup last week, and he turned those targets into 21.2 DraftKings points.
Top Ceiling: Mark Andrews @ PHI — $6,500 on DraftKings, $7,600 on FanDuel
The tight end position has been weak all season, and it’s even weaker in Week 6. Neither Travis Kelce or George Kittle is available on the main slate, which leaves the position without the typical top two options.
Andrews is priced in his own tier at the position this week, and he has been a boom-or-bust option to start the year. He’s had three games with at least 17.6 DraftKings points and two games with 5.2 or fewer. That makes him tough to trust for cash games, but he definitely has plenty of ceiling for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs).
Additionally, he takes the field in a potential smash spot vs. the Eagles. They have been gashed by opposing TEs all season, giving Andrews a ridiculous +10.4 opponent Plus/Minus. Jackson and Andrews could both be a bit underowned this week, so they’re an interesting stack option.
Top Value: Irv Smith vs. ATL — $2,500 on DraftKings, $4,300 on FanDuel
The biggest problem with the Vikings this week is narrowing down which ones to play. Mattison, Thielen and Smith all stand out among the best options at their positions but playing all three together doesn’t seem to make a ton of sense. You could potentially stack them all with Kirk Cousins, but you probably need Minnesota to put up 40+ points for that strategy to be viable. Anything is possible against the Falcons, but that seems unlikely.
Of course, Smith has plenty of standalone value outside of Vikings stacks. He’s priced at the absolute minimum on DraftKings, which seems like a mistake. He’s coming off a season-high in snaps, targets, catches, and yards last week, and the Vikings chose to employ plenty of two-TE sets vs. the Seahawks.
The Falcons are also an excellent matchup for Smith, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +9.7 on DraftKings. He seems like the top option if you’re looking to spend down at TE, which is always a viable strategy.
Top Ownership: Mike Gesicki vs. NYJ — $5,500 on DraftKings, $5,600 on FanDuel
Smith is expected to garner the highest ownership at the position on DraftKings, but Gesicki owns that designation on FanDuel. He leads all TEs with a Bargain Rating of 99% in a strong matchup vs. the Jets. They have struggled everywhere this season and defending TEs is no exception.
Gesicki owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.3 and remains one of the best pure athletes at the position. He owns a 97th percentile SPARQ-x score, and his closest comp according to Player Profiler is Vernon Davis. That is very high praise for a TE.
The biggest problem with Gesicki is his workload. There are weeks where he doesn’t get involved in the passing game, but he tends to smash when he does. That makes him a much better target for GPPs than for cash games.