DFS: FANDUEL WEEK 6, A BUCCANEERS SUPER STACK (EDITED)

Edited Sunday Morning: With the news, RB Dalvin Cook (MIN, $6,300) is inactive and Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard is active we are making a few adjustments to our lineup.

RB Lativus Murray (MIN, $5,600) is now in and Cook is out against the Cardinals. Murray will get the bulk of the work against an Arizona defense that has allowed at least 27.8 PPR points to RBs in every game. 

With the money saved, we are moving off of TE Cameron Brate (TB, $4,500) who will have significantly fewer opportunities with O.J. Howard playing. We are instead playing TE C.J Uzomah (CIN, $5,100). Uzomah faces the Steelers who allowed a second worst 16.1 FanDuel points a game to TEs. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the third highest predictive score on the Main Slate of 27 points. The Bucs core offensive players are priced significantly cheaper than their counterparts in other projected top scoring games. A four-player DFS super stack of Bucs creates the opportunity to build a lineup full of players who are in a position to have big performances in Week 6.

We will build around QB Jameis Winston ($7,400), WR Mike Evans ($8,000), WR DeSean Jackson ($6,500) and TE Cameron Brate ($4,500). Their combined cost is $26,400.

The Buccaneers are playing the Atlanta Falcons who have the highest predictive score of 31 points. If we were to build around the comparable players on the Falcons, it would be QB Matt Ryan ($8,300), WR Julio Jones ($8,500), WR Calvin Ridley ($6,700), and TE Austin Hooper ($5,600) for $29,1000.

Atlanta is at home, but are favored by just four points, so this game is pretty close to a toss-up. The savings of $2,700 by creating a super stack of Buccaneers’ players instead of Falcons allows us to spend on quality players throughout the lineup.

Let’s put it all together.

QB

QB Jameis Winston (TB, $7,400, 17.8% projected ownership on FantasyPros) has the highest predictive score for a QB (22.7) on the Main Slate at 4 for 4. Winston can rack up fantasy points with both his arm and his legs. The Falcons have given up the third-most rushing yards to QBs (113) and have allowed a league-high two rushing TDs to QBs. Atlanta has also allowed 12 passing TDs, tied for third-worst.

RBs/Flex

RB Todd Gurley II (LAR, $9,500, 55.1%) already sees an incredible workload and is why he is the second highest FanDuel scorer of all players including QBs on the Main Slate with a 26 point average. The highest is QB Ryan Fitzpatrick who is now again playing backup to Winston. Gurley’s work in the red zone increased last week when WRs and Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp both suffered concussions early in the game against the Seahawks. Gurley had 22 carries for 77 yards and 3 TDs; he also caught four of five passes for 36 yards.

Gurley is in store to have another monster week. The status of Cooks and Kupp are questionable. Even if they play, with the Rams top two main WRs getting limited work this week the game plan will likely to be a heavy dose of Gurley. The Rams face the Broncos who have given the third-highest rushing yards per game (139.6), and rushing TDs (6).

RB Dalvin Cook (MIN, $6,300, 2.8%) should finally get things going this week if he is healthy. Cook (hamstring) was a full participant on Thursday, providing an excellent sign he will play against the Cardinals this week.

Arizona has allowed at least 27.8 PPR points to RBs in every game. The Cardinals have allowed 142.4 yards a game to RBs and eight rushing TDs, both a league worst. Cooks started the season by putting up back-to-back disappointing performances against the 49ers (ranked 11th against the run) and Packers (ranked 4th) before getting injured against the Rams where he only produced 2 FanDuel points.

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These performances may make have many looking past Cook, but the matchup is too good this week at his price not to play him.

RB Marshawn Lynch (OAK, $6,500, 6%) has a great matchup against the Seattle Seahawks whose run defense isn’t what once recently was. The Seahawks have given up the fourth most rushing yards a game at 129.0. They have also allowed four rushing TDs.

The trio of Gurley/Cooks/Lynch provides three RBs who see the majority of the workload against the three worst rushing defenses on the Main Slate. The Lions has the worst rush defense has allowed 148.8 yards a game, but are not on the slate.

We have some concern with Lynch because he has been limited in practice with a hip injury. We believe both Cook and Lynch will play but are providing a more in-depth look at alternative RBs in case one of them does not play.

Alternative RBs

RB Chris Carson (SEA, $6,400, 5.1%) appears to be taking on a role that is closer to that of a lead back for the Seahawks. He had 19 carries for a season-high 116 yards and caught his lone target for 11 yards against the Rams last week. Carson has a plus matchup against the Raiders who have allowed a fifth-worst 127.2 rushing yards a game and third worst six rushing TDs.

The knock on Carson is he is getting most of his work between the 20s and only has one rushing TD. Teammate RB Mike Davis has three rushing TDs.

RB Tarik Cohen (CHI $5,900, 0.2%) had a monster game in Week 4 before their bye. Cohen had 13 carries for 53 yards and caught seven of eight targets for 121 yards and a TD. He also returned three punts for 14 yards. Cohen faces the Dolphins who have allowed an 13th worst 109 rushing yards a game, and four rushing TDs (tied for 11 worst).

The problem is Cohen was a non-factor for the first three weeks, and we have no clarification if his breakout performance is a sign of high usage going forward.
Bears Coach Matt Nagy spoke early in the week to the roles Cohen and teammate RB Jordan Howard will have in the offense moving forward.

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“If we want to put (Cohen) in the game and use him for a certain advantage, we’ll do that, and that could be first, second or third down,” Naggy said according to JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago, “There are other times where it doesn’t fit that way. It just so happened this past game that Tarik got more plays in regards to getting the ball to him, and he was productive, but that has nothing to do with what Jordan Howard is doing. Jordan Howard is a big part of this offense, and I think that for us to continue to keep trying to grow, everybody in this offense has a role.

“This is not going to be an offense where it’s just one person, and it goes through one person. I don’t necessarily believe in that.”
Naggy’s quote does give us reason to pause in playing Cohen. However, his seven catches for 121 yards and a TD two weeks ago stand out. If Cohen is at all involved in the passing game, he will have a relatively high floor, and his ceiling for his price could be enormous.

RB Mike Davis (SEA, $5,700, 0.4%) provides an excellent alternative to Cohen if you don’t want to absorb the risk. Davis has three TDs in the last two games. He had a big game two weeks ago in Week 4 when teammate RB Chris Carson did not play against the Cardinals. Davis was the lead back and carried the ball 21 times for 101 yards and two rushing TDs. He also caught all four of his targets for 23 yards. With Carson back in the mix last week against the Rams good rush defense, Davis still had 12 carries for 68 yards and a TD and caught two targets for seven yards.

The potential is there for Davis to more than return value against the Raiders, but that is TD dependent with Carson in the mix.

WRs

WR Mike Evans (TB, $8,000, 19.5%) 18.3 FanDuel Points Per Game average is the second highest of any WR on the Main Slate, but he is only the eighth most expensive WR. Evans is an elite WR at a discount in a primo matchup.

“The Falcons have shifted their secondary around and are now playing Desmond Trufant in the slot, which means Evans won’t see him more than 30 percent of the time,” wrote Mike Tagliere in his weekly column The Primer for FantasyPros. ” Instead, he’ll match-up with both Robert Alford and rookie Isaiah Oliver. That duo has now allowed 20 catches for 280 yards and five touchdowns on 33 targets in coverage.”

Mike Woellert also weighed in on the matchup in his weekly WR vs. CB column at 4 for 4. “I’m looking at the five-inch height difference here. Alford is going to have a hard time keeping up with Evans. Alford has struggled overall in coverage, allowing a 65.5 percent catch rate and three touchdowns, resulting in 2.45 fantasy points per target.”

WR DeSean Jackson (TB, $6,500, 3.7%) is more known for his home run plays than his consistently. In four games this season, however, Jackson has three performances of 112 yard more receiving and has three TDS. He looks to continue his hot start this week with an excellent matchup.

“He primarily lines up at RWR, which means he’ll see rookie Isaiah Oliver most of the time,” wrote Mike Tagliere. “Oliver was forced to start after the Falcons moved slot cornerback Brian Poole to safety, so it’s not as if he’s so good that the Falcons knew they had to play him. He’s only seen five targets in coverage, though two of them produced touchdowns.”

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WR Calvin Ridley (ATL, $6,500, 6.5%) provides a solid play from the Falcons side of the ball. The Buccaneers are worst in the league defending WRs having allowed a whopping 370.0 receiving yards a game and 13 TDs. Ridley will likely be matched up against CB Brent Grimes in a one-on-one matchup he should be able to exploit.

“The Bucs play a lot of man coverage, which is where Ridley feasts, as his route-running chops are ridiculous,” according to Tagliere. “In man coverage this year, he’s totaled 179 yards and three touchdowns on nine targets. Grimes is not going to allow him to do that, but if they trust him in single man coverage against Ridley, he’s not going to shut him down.”

“If Atlanta gets into the red zone, Ryan is looking Ridley’s way nearly 20 percent of the time,” according to Woellert. “Ridley has been efficient in the red zone, as well—four of his TDs have been from inside the 20-yard line. Grimes is allowing an 80 percent catch rate and 16 yards per reception.”

Alternative WRs

WR David Moore (SEA, $4,700, 0.2%) and John Ross (CIN, $5,000, 0.1%) are two low priced options that are in plus CB matchups, according to Woellert. Either is a great tournament option if you want to pay up and get another stud RB or WR. With their low ownership, you could win a tournament if they hit.

WR Robert Woods (LAR, 7,300, 27.2%) has produced 64.3 FanDuel over the last three weeks. Now he comes into this week with fellow WRs Cooks and Kupp questionable with concussions. Cook and Kupp look to play this week, but it’s always difficult to predict when a player will return from any head injury. Even if both play, Woods has likely been a significant part of the game plan, and the Rams have the highest projected score of 30 points against the Broncos.

Woods appears to have a great matchup.

“He’ll see Bradley Roby in coverage most of the day, the cornerback they expected to fill Aqib Talib‘s shoes, though he’s failed miserably,” wrote Tagliere. “He’s now allowed a massive 313 yards and three touchdowns on 31 targets in coverage. There have been just six cornerbacks who’ve allowed more yardage than him, and five of them have seen more targets.”

The Woods/Gurley stack would provide two critical offensive Rams players in that game. Our original lineup included Woods with RB Tarik Cohen. We switched to Ridley and Lynch because Lynch offers a more solid floor over Cohen while still having a high ceiling. The forecast in Denver also calls for a high likelihood which could dampen the passing attack for the Rams.

We may switch back to Woods and Cohen if Lynch is not able to play and the weather clears in Denver.

TE

TE Cameron Brate (TB, $4,500) will be in for a heavy workload if TE O.J Howard ($5,500, MCL) does not play. Even if Howard does play, there is plenty of indication Brate could still have a great day.

“Winston has targeted Brate on 14.2% of his pass attempts, and Brate has accounted for 14.7% of Winston’s passing yards and 30% of his touchdowns,” according to 4 for 4. “The Falcons have been pretty stingy against tight ends, but they did yield 4-38-1 to Tyler Eifert in Week 4 and gave up 6-88 to Saints tight ends in Week 3.”

What’s impressive is the production TEs had with Winston last season. In the 12 games that Winston played the majority of snaps last year, Tampa Bay TEs averaged a staggering 17.88 PPR points a game.

Even if Howard plays, there should be plenty of opportunity for Brate. Brate has a legitimate chance to produce a 5 X return of Howard does not play.

Defense

The Chicago Bears Defense ($4,500, 12.3%) represent the first time we are paying up at defense. That’s because you can almost pencil them in for 3 X return. The Chicago defense has averaged 14.5 FanDuel points a game. They have been consistently doing it (14, 17, 13, and 14), and are well rested coming off their bye week. They face the Dolphins who have 28th ranked offense vs. defenses, according to FantasyPros.

Dan McLellan’s Best Lineup: Feel free to use many of the same players, but please apply your research, logic, and strategy and alter this in some way.

Listen In: Every Sunday at 12:30 eastern, I join an experienced group of NFL DFS players at wblzmedia.com on ironiq media network. Together we build our own Sunday Million lineup. It’s a great example of hearing how the thought process that went into this article plays out in real-time.

Play on FanDuel: If you want to give DFS a shot on FanDuel, use the link to signup. Once you deposit and pay $10 in the paid contest, you will get an extra $25 and I get $20.

Dan’s Ranking:

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