This article is a data-driven deep dive on strategic decision-making and roster construction for DFS cash games and tournaments. It relies heavily upon FantasyLabs’ extensive suite of analytical DFS tools, as well as advanced metrics and film study. First, I walk through narrowing down the player pool at each position. Then, I lay out how to choose the highest-floor lineup combinations for cash games. Finally, I go game-by-game to present the biggest edges (stacks, pivots, leverage opportunities, etc.) in each.
Week 6 shmoney time!
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- Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins ($5,900 DK, $7,400 FD) vs. NYJ
Ryan Fitzpatrick is No. 1 in Projected Plus/Minus in our NFL Player Models for DraftKings, and fourth on FanDuel. After starting the year with a tough matchup against the Patriots, Fitzpatrick has posted 25 or more DraftKings points and 23 or more FanDuel points in each of his past four games and should keep it going versus a Jets defense that ranks 31st against the pass in Football Outsiders DVOA.
Running Back (Cash)
- Mike Davis, Panthers ($7,000 DK, $7,500 FD) vs. CHI
- Alexander Mattison, Vikings ($7,200 DK, $7,000 FD) vs. ATL
- Derrick Henry, Titans ($7,300 DK, $9,000 FD) vs. HOU
Mike Davis is averaging 22.3 touches per game in three games since Christian McCaffrey (ankle, IR) went down, while current backup Trenton Cannon has received only two touches on the year. Davis projects as a top-two value at the position.
Alexander Mattison saw 20 carries last week after Dalvin Cook went down and now owns the No. 2 raw projection on the slate among RBs. He will take on a Falcons defense that ranks bottom-eight in fantasy points allowed to RBs, letting up an average of 139.0 total yards and 1.2 TDs per contest.
Derrick Henry is the top projected RB on the slate and is in a smash spot as a home favorite against the Texans. Since 2018, Henry has crushed as a favorite:
- Favorite: 21.1 touches, 107.8 yards, 1.21 TDs
- Underdog: 16.1 touches, 80.1 yards, 0.68 TDs
Wide Receiver (Cash)
- Chase Claypool, Steelers ($5,200 DK, $5,500 FD) vs. CLE
- Terry McLaurin, Football Team ($5,700 DK, $6,900 FD) at NYG
- Kenny Golladay, Lions ($6,200 DK, $6,200 FD) at JAX
- Adam Thielen, Vikings ($7,300 DK, $7,400 FD) vs. ATL
After running a route on 79% and 66% of dropbacks in the past two games, rookie Chase Claypool projects to be a full-time player in Week 6 with Diontae Johnson (back) out. The second-round pick out of Notre Dame is averaging 68.8 scrimmage yards and 1.25 TDs in four games as a pro and is a top-three play in terms of Projected Plus/Minus across the industry.
Terry McLaurin is the projected WR7 on this slate and should rebound after his slow week against Jalen Ramsey. Prior to last week’s 3/26/0 stat line, McLaurin had posted at least four catches for 61 yards in every game.
Kenny Golladay is top four in projected points among WRs and is averaging 5/59.5/1.0 on 7.5 targets this season after missing the first two games with injury. Golladay is the top value among WRs priced above $6,000 on DraftKings.
Adam Thielen has a top-two projection among WRs on the main slate. He has scored in four out of five games and hauled in eight-plus receptions in 3-of-5 and now gets a matchup against a Falcons defense that ranks 30th in DVOA on passes to No. 1 wide receivers, per Football Outsiders.
Tight End (Cash)
- Trey Burton, Colts ($3,100 DK, $4,700 FD) vs. CIN
- Jonnu Smith, Titans ($5,200 DK, $5,800 FD) vs. HOU
Trey Burton returned from injury to see five-plus targets in back-to-back games. He’s neck-and-neck with Irv Smith Jr. as the top value in his price range, but Burton has more catches in two games (7) this season than Smith Jr. has in five (6).
Jonnu Smith has hit value in all four games he’s played this season, hauling in at least four receptions in each contest. Smith is the overall projected TE2 on FanDuel and costs $1,800 less than the projected TE1, Mark Andrews, whom Smith trails by less than a point.
Defense/Special Teams (Cash)
- Detroit Lions ($3,000 DK, $3,400 FD) at JAX
- Minnesota Vikings ($2,300 DK, $3,800 FD) vs. ATL
With DSTs continuing to be priced aggressively, Lions DST clocks in with the top Projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings, while Vikings DST projects for the top mark on FanDuel. The Lions face Gardner Minshew, who has taken three or more sacks in all but one game and thrown four interceptions over his past four, while the Vikings face Matt Ryan, who has eight sacks, two interceptions and only one TD pass over the last three weeks.
Roster Build (Cash)
On DraftKings, you can fit Fitzpatrick, Henry, Mattison, Davis, Golladay, McLaurin, and Claypool if you punt TE with Burton and DST with Minnesota.
On FanDuel, you can fit Stafford, Henry, Mattison, Davis, Thielen, McLaurin, Claypool, and Smith if you punt DST with Detroit.
Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings (GPP)
Adam Thielen has the top projected ceiling among WRs but is not expected to be the highest owned WR, making him a +EV leverage play. This is also a great bounce-back spot to target Justin Jefferson, as the Falcons have allowed the fourth-most schedule-adjusted yards per game to WR2 (76.3), per Football Outsiders.
For Atlanta, this is a good time to buy low on Julio Jones, who is off the injury report and faces a Vikings defense allowing the fifth-most schedule-adjusted yards per game to No. 1 wide receivers (86.6), according to Football Outsiders. Since 2014, Jones is averaging 21.49 DraftKings points, a +3.81 Plus/Minus, and 60.6% Consistency Rating in 33 games in which he’s been priced under $8,000, according to out NFL Trends tool.
Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles (GPP)
Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews are each not a lock to crack double-digit ownership, slotting in both among the top of the ranks in Leverage Plus/Minus at their respective positions.
For Philly, Miles Sanders should benefit from the absence of Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams (Reserve/COVID-19) and is one of the top GPP plays on the slate at what is expected to be sub-5% ownership.
Travis Fulgham and Zach Ertz both project to be underowned for the Eagles passing game and have positive Leverage Plus/Minus scores.
Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts (GPP)
Joe Mixon didn’t hit last week, but he now has 30-plus touches in back-to-back weeks. AT sub-5% projected ownership, he’s one of the top RB plays on the slate.
I would also continue to roster Tee Higgins as long as his ownership expectation remains well under double-digits. Higgins has 6-plus targets in each of the past four games and four-plus catches in each of the past three.
For the Colts, Jonathan Taylor is the rookie to keep riding. He hasn’t posted a true monster game since Week 2, but he has scored in three of his past four and handled 70% of the Colts’ backfield touches last week. With a matchup against a Bengals defense that has exhibited run-funnel tendencies, ranking ninth in passing DVOA but 21st against the run, this could very well be the week he finally breaks through again.
Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers (GPP)
D.J. Moore has seemingly been usurped by Robby Anderson, but he is still averaging 7.4 targets and 4.4 catches per game. At sub-5% projected ownership, he offers top-end leverage as a pivot option off Anderson and Davis at a fraction of the ownership.
For Chicago, Allen Robinson projects to be in only half as many lineups as David Montgomery despite a higher ceiling projection and a matchup against a Panthers defense allowing the third-most schedule-adjusted yards per game to opposing No. 1 wide receivers (88.9, per Football Outsiders).
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (GPP)
Kareem Hunt has a tough matchup against Pittsburgh, but with Baker Mayfield (chest), Odell Beckham Jr. (illness), and Jarvis Landry (ribs) all missing practice time this week, Hunt could follow up his 23-touch effort from last week with another huge workload and pay off at what is expected to be single-digit ownership.
For the Steelers, every skill player is in play as a pivot off Claypool, as it’s possible the ownership of Ben Roethlisberger, Juju Smith-Schuster, James Washington, Eric Ebron and James Conner does not equal to Claypool’s.
The Steelers rank first in pressure rate (41.2%), according to Pro Football Reference, and Baker Mayfield ranks 33rd of 34 qualified quarterbacks in passer rating under pressure, so this could be a slate-winning day from Steelers DST.
Detroit Lions at Jacksonville Jaguars (GPP)
Laviska Shenault Jr. has now caught five or more passes for 79 or more yards in back-to-back games, and also has nine rushing attempts on the year. He’s the top option to stack with Gardner Minshew in what’s projected to be a high-scoring game in Jacksonville (54.5 total; view live odds here).
Marvin Jones has run a route on 92-100% of dropbacks in every game and is a great pivot off Kenny Golladay against a Jags defense that has allowed the third-most schedule-adjusted yards to No. 2 wide receivers (77.1), according to Football Outsiders.
T.J. Hockenson is expected to go under-owned on DraftKings (2-4%) despite the Jaguars defense having allowed the second-most schedule-adjusted yards per game to tight ends (73.0, per Football Outsiders).
Denver Broncos at New England Patriots (GPP)
Jerry Jeudy has run 84% of his routes from the slot, so he should be able to avoid Patriots top cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who has played from the slot just 21% of the time. It may not matter either way, however, as Gilmore has uncharacteristically allowed a 114.4 passer rating this season (149.4 from the slot), according to Pro Football Focus. Jeudy is a strong pivot off of Phillip Lindsay.
For the Pats, Damien Harris turned 17 carries into 100 yards in the first extended action of his career in Week 4, and he is worth a dat throw at 0-1% projected ownership with New England installed as 9-point home favorites against Denver.
Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (GPP)
Despite the Bucs fielding a top-four defense in DVOA, the over/under for Packers-Bucs is 55.5, highest on the slate, and Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, and Aaron Jones each have positive Leverage Plus/Minus scores for Green Bay, while Ronald Jones and Mike Evans clock in with positive leverage for Tampa.
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (GPP)
Will Fuller has 100-plus yards and/or a TD in four out of five games and projects for single-digit ownership against a Titans defense still missing No. 1 corner Adoree Jackson.
For the Titans, Ryan Tannehill is one of the top QB values on the slate, and though he is expected to be one of the more highly owned QBs, he is still projects to be in roughly half as many lineups as Henry, making Tannehill stacks solid leverage plays, especially if they include Jonnu Smith over A.J. Brown, who is also expected to be chalk despite a tough matchup with Texans shadow corner Bradley Roby, which my Action Network Betting Podcast co-host Stuckey broke down in detail on this week’s episode.
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (GPP)
Mike Gesicki has been a volatile option with 90-plus yards in two games and 30 or fewer in the other three, making him perfect for GPPs in a week where he’s projected for single-digit ownership and Fitzpatrick is one of the top values at QB.
For the Jets, head coach Adam Gase has stated he wants to get La’Mical Perine more carries, and with Le’Veon Bell released and Miami clocking in dead last in defensive rushing DVOA, this is a great week to try and get ahead of another rookie breakout.
Washington Football Team at New York Giants (GPP)
Evan Engram took a backseat to Darius Slayton last week, but did run in a TD. This week, Engram is projected for sub-5% ownership despite finding himself in a smash spot against a Washington defense that ranks dead last in DVOA on passes to tight ends. Engram ranks No. 1 in Leverage Plus/Minus among TEs.
Devonta Freeman‘s workload shot up to 19 touches in his third game with the team last week, and he will be virtually un-owned despite a home-favorite spot versus a Washington defense that has shown run-funnel tendencies, ranking fifth in passing DVOA but 16th against the run.
Giants DST is the cheapest favored defense on DraftKings and is worth a look at its single-digit ownership projection.
For Washington, Antonio Gibson is another rookie to keep buying after he logged 16-plus touches in back-to-back weeks. The Giants have allowed 138.2 total yards and 1.2 TDs to RBs this season.
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Chris Raybon is a Senior Editor at the Action Network who hosts the weekly NFL Betting edition of The Action Network Podcast and is featured each week on The Fantasy Flex edition of the pod, as well. He has watched every snap of every NFL game since 2010 — even the kneel downs. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisRaybon and read about how he quit his accounting job and got paid to watch sports.
Pictured: Derrick Henry (left) celebrates a TD with Cody Hollister
Photo Credit: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images