Happy Week 6, football fans! I hope you are enjoying our mostly COVID-free and otherwise normal fantasy football season. If you’re not enjoying it, you’re probably one of the people that drafted Christian McCaffrey, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, David Montgomery, Justice Hill, Travis Etienne, Cam Akers, Saquon Barkley, Miles Sanders… Anyway, the point is, there are a lot of injured RBs this week. My condolences if you are invested in multiple RBs on this list (I sure am!). But, that shouldn’t stop you from putting down sure-to-win player prop bets!
Adam’s Record: 16-21 (at this rate, taking the opposite of my picks might be safer)
Ja’Marr Chase OVER 75.5 Receiving Yards (DK, -115)
On Fanduel: Ja’Marr Chase OVER 73.5 Receiving Yards (-114)
I like Chase to top that 75.5 receiving yard mark because he has an incredibly favorable matchup against the Lions and is quickly becoming Joe Burrow‘s most efficient target, with the game log to prove it.
The Lions do not present a particularly difficult matchup for opposing wideouts, currently ranking 27th in defensive passing DVOA. Chase has a plus-plus matchup with the Lions’ secondary, as PFF ranks his WR/CB matchup as the second-best matchup for any WR in Week 6. Of course, there are concerns about game script, as the Lions are not a very good team and may struggle to keep the game close, which could hurt Chase’s overall production. If the Bengals jump out to a big lead, there won’t be much need for Chase’s top-rated matchup with the Lions’ secondary. To their credit, the Lions have certainly stayed in games and have to be one of the unluckiest 0-5 teams ever. my guess is the Bengals and Lions will be passing all game log, which is a huge benefit for any of the fantasy-relevant wideouts you may have in this game.
The other big plus for Chase in this matchup is that he is seeing more targets over the last two weeks, and I expect that continue again this week. Let’s take a look at the target distribution for the Bengals’ WRs:
While the target distribution is exactly equal between Chase and Boyd thus far, Chase gets a little more out of his target share, going for an average of 91.2 yards per game, while Boyd is averaging 56.6 yards per game, which makes me more comfortable calling Chase the best out of the 3 and the one most likely to beat his Vegas projected player prop. Again, the biggest concern for me is that the Bengals will put this game out of hand early and hand the ball off to the RBs, but you never know with Detroit. Maybe this is the week they finally get their first win.
Dak Prescott UNDER 276.5 Passing Yards (DK, -115)
On Fanduel: Dak Prescott UNDER 278.5 Passing Yards (-114)
This is not an indictment of Dak Prescott or the Cowboys’ passing attack; rather, this is me trying to be a little too cute and thinking that the Cowboys are going to squash the Patriots on the ground, rather than through the air.
- PFF rates the matchup between the Cowboys’ offensive line and the Patriots’ defensive line as heavily pro-Cowboys, especially on running plays.
- New England has the 22nd-ranked rushing defense by DVOA and 21st-ranked opponent Adjusted Line Yards
- They allow an average of 111 rushing yards per game, 15th in the league
- Dallas sports an incredible rushing attack, holding the 3rd-best Run Block Win Rate in the NFL and the highest Adjusted Line Yards mark in the league
I still see Prescott racking up the passing touchdowns in this game, if only because the Dallas defense is likely going to hold Mac Jones accountable and force a few turnovers or put the Dallas offense in great field position during the game. I just don’t think the Patriots are going to be able to stop Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard at all, which is going to be great news for fantasy owners and great news for people betting the over on Dallas’ total points.
Also consider: Dak Prescott OVER 1.5 Passing TDs (DK, -210)
Cooper Kupp OVER 82.5 Receiving Yards (DK, -115)
On Fanduel: Cooper Kupp OVER 83.5 Receiving Yards (-102)
Yet another WR1(ish) with a strong matchup, Cooper Kupp is going to show the Giants how it’s done by dusting them for over 82.5 receiving yards because he is the second-most targeted player in the league and is quite efficient with those targets.
Much like the Lions, the Giants do not provide much resistance to opposing passing attacks, ranking 22nd in defensive passing DVOA. They don’t put a lot of pressure on opposing QBs, ranking 30th in Pass Rush Win Rate and 30th in Adjusted Sack Rate. And, if you need further support, PFF ranks the Giants’ coverage units 23rd in the NFL. What do all of these numbers mean? Well, if the Giants struggle to put any pressure on QB Matthew Stafford, he’s going to have all the time in the world to pick apart the defense and throw the football wherever he wants, which is good news for Kupp. And, the low coverage ranking means that Kupp is going to have an easy time getting open for Stafford.
All of this is good news for Kupp, who has fallen behind Davante Adams for the league lead in targets over the last few weeks. However, that’s not because Kupp is falling down the target ladder for the Rams, it’s more because Adams is such a target hog for the Packers that he was bound to catch up to Kupp. Robert “Bobby Trees” Woods seems to be getting more attention from Stafford lately, but Kupp is still seeing double-digit targets in each game and is doing quite a bit with them. His lowest yardage output of the season came against the 5-0 Cardinals, who “held” him to 63 yards. I don’t think the Giants are going to hold Kupp to less than 82 yards this week.
Once again, the concern is whether Kupp is going to see 13-15 targets if the Rams put this game out of reach for the Giants early on. That is certainly a concern, as the Giants don’t exactly have the dynamic offense necessary to push the Rams and answer every Rams TD with one of their own. It’s certainly something to keep in mind, but if Kupp gets a couple of big receptions early (as he certainly has done!), then this bet will look silly.
Also consider: Cooper Kupp OVER 6.5 receptions (DK, -150)
James Robinson OVER 70.5 Rushing Yards (DK, -115)
On Fanduel: James Robinson OVER 73.5 Rushing Yards (-114)
James Robinson is going to have plenty of opportunities to rack up the rushing yardage in London against the Dolphins because the Jaguars are starting to feed him more carries, the Dolphins have a pretty average run defense, and the Jaguars should be able to keep pace with the Dolphins, giving Robinson the opportunity to get carries in all four quarters of the game.
Let’s look at Robinson’s game log thus far:
There are some promising numbers in this game log! Once the calendar flipped to Week 3, the Jags suddenly remembered that Robinson was a solid RB last season and fed him the carries we all expected him to get. Carlos Hyde is a mere change-of-pace back these days (as he should), and the focus is on Robinson. Those numbers should continue into this week, which bodes well for Robinson’s yardage and fantasy output.
Now, the Dolphins defense:
- 8th according to PFF’s Run Defense rating
- 21st in Rush Defense DVOA
- 12th in Run Stop Win Rate
- 17th in Adjusted Line Yards
(It’s a pretty middling run defense, in case you couldn’t tell)
The Dolphins appear to be bringing back Tua Tagovailoa this week, which has typically meant that the Dolphins are not scoring a lot of points and aren’t really putting teams away. I know, we’ve only really had one full week of 2021 Tua, but in that one week the Dolphins barely escaped the Patriots and rookie QB Mac Jones, 17-16. He was knocked out of the game early against Buffalo, but not before going 1/4 for 13 yards and taking 2 sacks. On a side note, the fact that he took 2 sacks in just 2 drives against the Bills gives you an indication of how awful this Dolphins’ offensive line can be. If Jacoby Brissett starts again, I think the Dolphins might be a little better off, but either way, this game should stay fairly close. That bodes well for Robinson, who will be able to get his carries throughout each quarter of the game. It normally hasn’t been a problem for Robinson whether the Jaguars are in the game, as they haven’t really kept many of their games particularly close, but it certainly makes Robinson’s life easier when he doesn’t have to try to hit a “home run” on each carry.
Also consider: James Robinson OVER 90.5 Rushing + Receiving Yards
Brandin Cooks UNDER 68.5 Receiving Yards (DK, -115)
On Fanduel: Brandin Cooks UNDER 68.5 Receiving Yards (-114)
Betting against Davis Mills and the Texans didn’t go so well last week, with Mills throwing for 300+ yards and the Texans playing the Patriots well into the third quarter. Unfortunately, Mills and Co. sputtered out once they built a 22-9 lead, and the Patriots were able to recover and make a nice come-from-behind win. This week, I’m going to take the risk of betting against Mills again, but this time in the form of a bet against Brandin Cooks.
Not to read too much into the whole 2-game sample size, but Cooks has really started to slow down in recent weeks (4 and 5). He’s seen 12 targets over the past two weeks (for 8 catches), cobbling together just 70 receiving yards in that span. When Cooks was on fire from Weeks 1-3, he was averaging nearly 11 targets per game and passed the 100-yard mark in reception yardage twice in that span. Perhaps Davis Mills is looking elsewhere because Cooks is seeing more attention from defenses. Or, perhaps Cooks’ 3 great weeks of the season were simply a mirage because he’s not that good and neither are the Texans.
Either way, I’m totally fine betting against Davis Mills until he proves that he is legitimately good under center. I can’t imagine the Texans’ backup QB, who sat under Tyrod Taylor, is going to be particularly good at this juncture. If you’re a card-carrying member of the Davis Mills fan club, I apologize.
Also consider: Davis Mills UNDER 215.5 Passing Yards (DK, -115)
Lamar Jackson OVER 306.5 Passing + Rushing yards (DK, -125)
On Fanduel: Lamar Jackson OVER 308.5 Passing + Rushing Yards (-110)
Lamar Jackson gets a tasty matchup with one of the NFL’s worst rushing defenses this week. The Chargers are dead last in rushing yards allowed per game, although they did just get to play a ferocious Browns rushing attack (230 yards for the game) and a strong Cowboys ground game (198 yards). Even if you take those away, the Chargers are not really primed to stop the NFL’s best rushing QB.
Lamar should absolutely feast on the Chargers’ front, provided the Baltimore offensive line gives him enough time to pick and choose the way he gets to dissect this defense. I expect this game to be pretty high-scoring, as with pretty much every other Chargers game of the last 3 weeks. And, considering how dynamic this Chargers offense has looked over the past few weeks, I fully expect the Ravens to try to put the ball in Lamar’s hands as much as possible to keep pace with Justin Herbert and Co. That should mean plenty of passing and rushing opportunities against a defense that hasn’t done a good job of stopping talented rushing attacks.
Also consider: Lamar Jackson OVER 68.5 Rushing Yards (DK, -115)