1:00 PM ET Games
San Francisco @ Buffalo
Vegas Projected Score: Bills 26.5, 49ers 17.5
Fresh off their third consecutive upset victory, the Bills return home as nine-point favorites against a 49ers team that has lost four straight. This is a pristine matchup for red-hot LeSean McCoy against a Navorro Bowman-less San Francisco defense that has allowed the second most run plays in the NFL (167) and four straight 100-yard rushers (Fozzy Whittaker, 16-100; Christine Michael, 20-106-2; Ezekiel Elliott, 23-138-1; David Johnson, 27-157-2). San Francisco has yielded a combined 123-612-5 (4.98 YPC) rushing line to enemy running backs over its last four games. McCoy has 100-plus yards from scrimmage in 10 of his last 13 games and is averaging 127.3 total yards per game since Bills RBs coach Anthony Lynn replaced Greg Roman as offensive coordinator. ... The 49ers have hemorrhaged 35 points per game over the last month. Tyrod Taylor has finished as a top-12 fantasy passer in just 1-of-5 weeks, but he has some Week 5 streamer appeal against an undermanned San Francisco defense that is traveling cross country after giving up fantasy finishes of QB1 (Cam Newton), QB11 (Russell Wilson/Trevone Boykin), and QB9 (Dak Prescott) in Weeks 2-4 before allowing two touchdowns to Cardinals backup Drew Stanton last Thursday night. Put simply, the Bills should be able to score a lot of points in this game. The concern for Tyrod's ceiling is whether the 49ers will put up any resistance.
Taylor's target distribution in Sammy Watkins' three missed games: Robert Woods 24; Marquise Goodwin 16; Charles Clay 14; McCoy 12; Walt Powell 6; Mike Gillislee 2; Justin Hunter 1. ... Woods runs the most slot routes on the Bills, while the 49ers have struggled against slot receivers Doug Baldwin (8-164-1), Cole Beasley (3-66 on 4 targets), and Larry Fitzgerald (6-81-2) over the past three weeks. Unfortunately, Woods is neither a high-floor nor high-upside fantasy option. His stat lines in Watkins' three missed games are 6-51-0, 7-89-0, and 2-26-0. ... Goodwin caught a six-yard touchdown pass in last week's win over the Rams, but he has yet to top two catches through three games without Watkins in the lineup. ... Bills pass catchers are tough to forecast weekly in a run-based offense with a dual-threat quarterback in a disjointed passing game, and that isn't going to change. Clay's receiving lines in Watkins' missed games are 0-0, 5-47-0, and 5-73-0. While Clay remains untrustworthy, his matchup is certainly favorable on paper against a 49ers defense yielding the NFL's 11th most fantasy points to tight ends.
Six weeks into Chip Kelly's doomed tenure, the 49ers will attempt to jumpstart their doomed offense on the back of anthem-kneeling beanpole Colin Kaepernick, whose touchdown-to-turnover ratio is 15:15 over his last 16 starts with a 57.8% completion rate and 189.3 passing-yard average. Kap has been blatantly terrible for a long time and makes for an attractive target for the Bills' fantasy defense, which is playing extremely well. Individually, Kaepernick has two-quarterback-league appeal after Blaine Gabbert led all NFL quarterbacks in rushing attempts (39) and rushing yards (172) in the first five weeks. Kap rushed eight times for 56 yards in the preseason. Despite miserable on-field play, Gabbert was the No. 17 overall fantasy quarterback before his benching. ... Even with NT Marcell Dareus (suspension, hamstring) yet to rejoin the lineup -- he again looks doubtful this week -- Buffalo has played lights-out run defense by holding enemy running backs to a combined 117-405-6 (3.46 YPC) rushing line. Only four NFL teams have allowed more rushing touchdowns than the Bills (6), however, and Carlos Hyde enters Week 6 tied for the league lead in rushing scores (6) with at least 17 touches in all five of his games. Averaging just 3.97 yards per carry and 5.08 yards per catch, Hyde's inefficiency has been masked by volume. He is a bankable RB1/2 play in season-long leagues every week.
Think Kaepernick's insertion might jumpstart Torrey Smith? Think again. Smith finished under 60 yards in 6-of-8 Kap starts last year, goose egging twice. In addition to Gabbert, Bay Area reports have indicated Kaepernick was outplayed by scout-team quarterback Christian Ponder on the practice field. Perhaps Smith will return some value in best-ball leagues, but he won't be usable in re-draft barring an unforeseen offensive awakening. ... Kap's insertion is also bad news for slot man Jeremy Kerley, who was eating with checkdown king Gabbert at the controls. Kap's shortcomings as a passer have long involved inconsistent touch -- he has a maddening tendency to throw all fastballs -- and his ball location in the short to intermediate regions is poor. I would want to see Kerley produce in at least one Kaepernick game before considering him as a fantasy option. ... It appears Vance McDonald will finally return from his hip injury this week, allowing the 49ers to resume their tight end-by-committee approach of McDonald, Garrett Celek, and Blake Bell. The Bills are surrendering the NFL's fifth fewest fantasy points to tight ends.
Score Prediction: Bills 28, 49ers 17
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Philadelphia @ Washington
Vegas Projected Score: Eagles 23.75, Redskins 21.25
Following a Week 5 letdown loss in Detroit, the 3-1 Eagles trek to FedEx Field for a juicy run-game matchup. The Skins have allowed 100-plus rushing yards in each of their first five games on top of a combined 121-642-7 (5.31 YPC) rushing line to enemy backs. Eagles backfield usage became somewhat clarified last week with Ryan Mathews restored to lead back work and Kenjon Barner and Wendell Smallwood phased out, handling one snap apiece. Mathews logged only 40% of Philly's snaps and lost a costly late-game fumble, but he totaled 75 yards and a touchdown on a team-high 16 touches and looked fully recovered from his pre-bye ankle woes. In a game for which coach Doug Pederson should plan to pound away with the run, I'm viewing Mathews as an upside RB2 in season-long leagues. It should be noted that RT Lane Johnson's ten-game suspension has kicked in. Johnson was PFF's No. 8 run-blocking tackle out of 74 qualifiers. ... Darren Sproles (54%) saw the most backfield playing time coming out of the bye, but he has reached double-digit touches in just 1-of-4 games. ... A run-funnel defense, Washington has been stouter against the pass with just three passing TDs allowed over its last four games while giving up fantasy finishes of QB16 (Dak Prescott), QB18 (Eli Manning), QB24 (Cody Kessler), and QB19 (Joe Flacco). Whereas the Redskins rank 32nd in run-defense DVOA, they are a respectable 16th against the pass and should get back RCB Bashaud Breeland (ankle) and slot CB Dashaun Phillips (hamstring). Carson Wentz has multiple touchdown passes in three of his first four games, but he is more of a high-end two-quarterback-league play this week.
Wentz's targets with Zach Ertz in the lineup this year: Jordan Matthews 18; Nelson Agholor 12; Ertz 10; Sproles 9; Josh Huff and Dorial Green-Beckham 6; Mathews 5. ... Because Josh Norman doesn't venture into the slot, Matthews has the best matchup in the Eagles' pass-catcher corps. Matthews plays almost 70% of his snaps at slot receiver. Fellow slot men Sterling Shepard (5-73-1), Eli Rogers (6-59-1), and Cole Beasley (5-75) have all produced against the Redskins. ... Agholor has yet to clear 65 yards through 17 NFL games and can be safely ignored against Norman. ... Green-Beckham set another season high in playing time (51%) in last week's loss to the Lions, getting the start opposite Agholor in a two-receiver set. DGB has a ways to go to become usable, but his trajectory is trending up. ... Ertz logged 83% of the snaps in his Week 5 return from a displaced rib, but discouragingly saw only three targets. The Redskins did give up 11-87-1 to Ravens tight ends last week and 7-57 on 7 targets to Gary Barnidge the week before. Despite last week's slow game, Ertz is a reasonable bounce-back bet against Washington.
The Eagles have given up just three touchdown passes in four games. All three were thrown last week by Matthew Stafford, whom the Eagles held under 200 passing yards. Due to Philly's stingy defense and new coach Doug Pederson's ball-control style that cuts heavily into opponent play volume, this is a tough matchup for Kirk Cousins, who continued to leave a ton of yardage on the field in last week's win over Baltimore by missing Jordan Reed and DeSean Jackson for would-be huge plays. Particularly with Reed (concussion) looking doubtful, Cousins' fantasy owners should be pursuing streamers this week. Philadelphia ranks No. 3 in pass-defense DVOA. ... The Eagles' defense has eliminated ground attacks over its last three games, holding enemy running backs to a combined 44-133-1 (3.02 YPC) rushing line. Although Matt Jones showed some ability to run successfully on the weak fronts of Dallas and Cleveland, he has failed miserably against the Steelers, Giants, and Ravens. The good news is Jones' workload has been secure with 16 or more touches in three straight games. The bad news is Jones isn't very good and neither is his Week 6 matchup. He's a touchdown-or-bust flex play. Jones also lost a fumble last week that briefly cost him snaps in favor of UDFA grinder Rob Kelley. On Monday, coach Jay Gruden left the door open for Kelley to start nipping at Jones' carries.
Cousins' Weeks 1-5 targets: Jordan Reed 46; Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson 32; Jamison Crowder 31; Chris Thompson 16; Vernon Davis 11. ... Reed's (concussion) expected absence frees up a ton of targets, and Eagles top CB Leodis McKelvin's (hamstring) apparent setback enhances Jackson's matchup. The #RevengeGame narrative has been hit or miss for Jackson since joining the Redskins, posting stat lines of 4-40-0, 4-126-0, and 5-117-1 in three meetings with the Eagles. Jackson's 2016 production has also been hit or miss, living up to his reputation as a boom-bust weekly commodity. Still, this looks like a good spot for Jackson to hit, especially after coach Jay Gruden promised early in the week to get D-Jax more involved going forward. ... Crowder's playing time has plateaued at 58%, 54%, 54% over his last three games. Crowder did return a punt for an 85-yard score in last week's win over Baltimore, but he will likely need a Garcon injury to resume seeing fantasy-viable usage. ... Only two wideouts (Antonio Brown, Alshon Jeffery) have cleared 70 yards against the Eagles through three games. I'm going to pass on chasing Garcon's touchdown from last week. Garcon has yet to clear 60 yards this year. ... The Redskins are using two-tight end sets as often as any team in the league west of Foxboro, meaning Vernon Davis and Niles Paul should both be on the field a ton in this game. Davis has out-snapped (46%) and out-targeted (11) Paul (18%, 1) up until this point. Both have a brutal matchup against an Eagles defense allowing the NFL's fewest fantasy points to tight ends.
Score Prediction: Eagles 23, Redskins 21
Cleveland @ Tennessee
Vegas Projected Score: Titans 25.25, Browns 18.25
Fresh off his season-best fantasy game in a QB3 finish against Miami, Marcus Mariota should stay hot versus a Browns defense that has yielded the NFL's third most touchdown passes (13) and multiple TD passes in 13 of its last 14 games. Cleveland ranks third to last in sacks (7) and is allowing the ninth most passing yards per game (288.4). A big passing-yardage day still seems unlikely in a Titans offense that lacks any vertical presence, but Tennessee should be in scoring position frequently against the Browns. Streaming quarterbacks against Cleveland has paid off handsomely. Mariota is the next man up. ... The centerpiece of Tennessee's offense remains DeMarco Murray, who continued to severely out-snap (79%) and out-touch (32) Derrick Henry (29%, 7) in last week's win over the Dolphins. Murray is logging extreme-volume usage with touch counts of 21, 27, 32 over his last three games. The Browns do deserve credit for playing run-tough defense so far, holding enemy backs to a combined 134-533-4 (3.98 YPC) rushing line through four weeks. Still, this is a game Tennessee should largely control considering the ineptitude of their opponent, and Cleveland has allowed the NFL's fifth most run plays (146). Murray is playing and being used at a top-shelf RB1 clip. Let's not overthink his matchup.
Mariota's target distribution with Delanie Walker in the lineup this season: Tajae Sharpe 29; Walker 27; Murray 22; Andre Johnson 18; Rishard Matthews 16; Harry Douglas 5; Kendall Wright 4; Henry 3. ... Sharpe has been held under 50 yards in four straight games and failed (2-17-0) in a prime Week 5 matchup against the Dolphins' barely-there secondary. Even in a plus spot against the Browns, Sharpe is hard to take seriously as a fantasy start. ... The lone playable Titans pass catcher is Walker, who has led Tennessee in targets (8, 8) in back-to-back weeks and takes on a Browns defense that is allowing league highs in receptions (43) and yards (501) to tight ends. Cleveland has been shelled by Dennis Pitta (9-102), Jordan Reed (9-73-2), Martellus Bennett (6-67-3), and Rob Gronkowski (5-109). Walker is a top-five TE1 play.
Eliminated by New England's stout run defense and negative game script in last week's blowout loss, Isaiah Crowell gets a better Week 6 draw against a Titans defense that is missing NT Al Woods (calf) and has surrendered a combined 60-272-1 (4.53 YPC) rushing line to running backs over its last three games. Crowell's early-season RB1-caliber production was an obvious mirage, but he remains a serviceable RB2/flex asset with at least 14 touches in 5-of-5 games on a team that will stay committed to feeding him. ... Duke Johnson was an even bigger bust at New England, matching his season lows in snap rate (44%) and touches (6). Purely a passing-game specialist, Johnson's usage has been inconsistent through five weeks and Tennessee has permitted the third fewest catches (17) and 12th fewest receiving yards (169) to enemy backs. I'm viewing Johnson as a shaky flex option specific to PPR leagues this week. ... Rookie Cody Kessler has yet to post a weekly finish above QB24, while Tennessee has yet to allow a weekly finish above QB15. Kessler is a low-end, low-ceiling option in two-quarterback leagues.
Kessler's Weeks 3-5 targets: Terrelle Pryor 25; Johnson 15; Gary Barnidge 12; Andrew Hawkins 9; Ricardo Louis 8; Crowell 7. ... Pryor runs an equal number of routes on the left and right sides and should match up with Titans LCB Perrish Cox on around half of his plays. Cox has PFF's No. 116 coverage grade among 117 qualified cornerbacks. Pryor is a solid WR3 play in season-long leagues with upside for much more. ... Barnidge has become a bigger part of Cleveland's offense with ascending target totals of 5 > 6 > 7 > 8 in Weeks 2-5. Barnidge still does not have a single red-zone target on the year, however, and was "vultured" by No. 2 tight end Connor Hamlett on a 17-yard touchdown last week. Barnidge is a passable play in PPR leagues, but his TD upside has been nonexistent. Tennessee has posed a mediocre matchup for tight ends so far, yielding the NFL's 13th fewest receptions (21) and 15th fewest yards (261) to the position.
Score Prediction: Titans 23, Browns 17
Baltimore @ NY Giants
Vegas Projected Score: Giants 23.5, Ravens 20.5
Having replaced OC Marc Trestman with QBs coach Marty Mornhinweg, the Ravens head to MetLife Stadium to face a Giants defense that has cooled off after a hot start. Absent a pass rush, New York ranks 25th in quarterback hits (21) and dead last in sacks (4). Although the G-Men haven't been truly carved up yet, they have given up three straight top-16 fantasy finishes to Kirk Cousins (QB10), Sam Bradford (QB16), and Aaron Rodgers (QB14) and make for an unimposing opponent for Joe Flacco in two-quarterback leagues. The biggest concerns for Flacco's QB1 streamer viability are the expected absence of Steve Smith Sr. (ankle) and Flacco's so-far underwhelming production. His weekly finishes are QB23, QB17, QB23, QB6, and QB19 through five games. ... Although Andy Reid-disciple Mornhinweg has a pass-first reputation in league circles, his 2013-2014 Jets offenses ranked fifth and fourth in the NFL in rushing attempts. Trestman was quite clearly dismissed for horrific play selection after a Week 5 loss wherein Baltimore's offensive line cleared massive gaps in Washington's front yet Trestman still dropped Flacco back to pass 49 times and called just 18 run plays. I'm guessing we'll see more of a commitment to Terrance West, who has a 42-253-1 (6.02 YPC) rushing line over his last three games. The Giants' run defense has shown some cracks in its last two, conceding 52-228-2 (4.38 YPC) rushing to Vikings and Packers RBs. West is a serviceable RB2 play. ... Buck Allen and Kenneth Dixon shared backup duties against the Redskins. Sporting a brace on his previously-sprained knee, Dixon played tentatively on his first four NFL touches, gaining just five yards. Dixon's role will grow as he gets healthier, but he's merely a bench stash at this point.
Flacco's Weeks 1-5 targets: Smith Sr. 40; Mike Wallace 39; Dennis Pitta 37; Breshad Perriman 21; Kyle Juszczyk 18; Crockett Gillmore 13; Kamar Aiken 11. ... Mornhinweg's promotion is expected to result in more vertical attempts for Flacco after Trestman settled for a dink-and-dunk offense in the first five weeks, failing to capitalize on Flacco's big-armed strengths. This is good news for Wallace's fantasy outlook, and Smith's absence should translate to a bump in targets. Wallace is never easy to trust, but he offers ten-plus-target potential with big-play upside and is in the WR3 hunt. ... The Ravens were using Smith as their primary slot receiver. Aiken is next in line for that role, although Perriman and rookie Chris Moore also figure to see more action. At least for this week, I want to see how things play out before making fantasy investments into Baltimore's complementary wideouts. ... Very similar to Gary Barnidge in Cleveland, Pitta has settled in as a PPR-only tight end with six-plus catches in three of his last four games but no scoring-position usage. Pitta was "vultured" by No. 2 TE Gillmore from seven yards out last week and has been out-targeted 2 to 0 in the red zone by Gillmore this year.
Back home after last Sunday night's shell-shocked performance at Lambeau, Eli Manning gets a tougher draw against a Ravens defense that is yielding the NFL's fifth fewest passing yards per game (190.8) while ranking fifth in interceptions (6), second in yards per pass attempt allowed (6.1), and No. 12 in pass-defense DVOA. Derek Carr is the only quarterback to finish higher than QB20 against the Ravens so far this year, and he did it with four red-zone TDs while being held under 200 yards. Short on pass rush and stout against the run, Baltimore still has some pass-funnel tendencies. Despite Eli's horrible early-season struggles, I'm giving him one more shot as a low-end QB1 play and DFS tournament consideration. It really all comes down to the Giants getting Odell Beckham going. ... The Ravens rank No. 1 in run-defense DVOA with a combined 93-355-2 (3.82 YPC) rushing line allowed to enemy backs. This matchup lays out poorly for two-down grinder Orleans Darkwa, who played just 25% of the Giants' Week 5 offensive snaps, finishing with 11 yards on seven carries and zero targets. Darkwa will fall down the depth chart if Rashad Jennings (thumb) returns. The lone playable Giants running back is Bobby Rainey as a low-end PPR flex. The Ravens have given up the league's 13th most receptions to RBs (25), and Rainey has parlayed 15 targets into a 13-95-0 receiving line over the past two weeks.
Eli's Weeks 1-5 target distribution: Odell Beckham 51; Sterling Shepard 33; Victor Cruz 26; Will Tye 20; Rainey 17; Larry Donnell 11. ... The main reason I am keeping the light on for Manning is the probability that an OBJ blowup game is imminent. I erred in believing it would happen at Green Bay, but this is another prime opportunity. The Ravens' LCB position of Shareece Wright (back) and fourth-round rookie Tavon Young is a disaster, while RCB Jimmy Smith got burned for a 21-yard touchdown by Pierre Garcon and a 27-yard gain by DeSean Jackson last week. ... Only two wide receivers have topped 60 yards against Baltimore through five games, a trend we can't ignore as it pertains to Shepard and Cruz. Shepard has the superior matchup against Ravens journeyman slot CB Jerraud Powers, but the rookie's yardage totals have been in weekly descent (117 > 73 > 30 > 14) over the last month, making Shepard difficult to trust beyond PPR leagues where you can start four or more wide receivers. Shepard also has only two red-zone targets, tied for third on the team behind Beckham (5) and Cruz (4). ... Cruz goose egged in Green Bay and likewise has downsloping weekly yardage totals (91 > 70 > 50 > 0) in Weeks 2-5. I'd like to see this passing game get going before investing much in the complementary parts. ... With Donnell due back from his concussion, the Giants' tight end committee is safe to ignore against a Ravens defense allowing the league's sixth fewest fantasy points to the position.
Score Prediction: Giants 23, Ravens 21
Carolina @ New Orleans
Vegas Projected Score: Panthers 28.25, Saints 25.25
Back from a bye and facing the short-week, road-tripping Panthers, Drew Brees has a plus Week 6 matchup against a Carolina defense that has pass-funnel tendencies. Unable to generate consistent up-front pressure, the Panthers rank 30th in the NFL in quarterback hits (19) and a middling 16th in sacks (11) while stamping out ground games. The Panthers are 22nd in pass-defense DVOA and sixth against the run. Always an elite play in the Superdome, Brees has posted top-five weekly fantasy finishes in 7-of-10 home games since the beginning of the 2015 season. During that same timeframe, Brees has finished inside the top-ten fantasy passers in just 1-of-9 games on the road. The home-away splits are evident in a huge sample size. This is a great week to have Brees exposure in DFS. ... Ranked third in the NFL in tackles for loss (34), the Panthers' defense is less vulnerable on the ground where it has limited enemy running backs to a combined 99-298-1 (3.01 YPC) rushing line over the past four weeks and is permitting just 31.8 receiving yards per game to the position. The good news for Mark Ingram is his usage is increasing, establishing season highs in snap rate (66%) and touches (24) in New Orleans' pre-bye win over San Diego. Ingram has four or more receptions in three straight games. That is every-week RB1-caliber usage in a high-scoring offense. Ingram hit pay dirt in each of last year's meetings with the Panthers and needs to remain a staple in season-long fantasy lineups.
Brees' targets with Willie Snead active this year: Brandin Cooks 24; Michael Thomas and Snead 18; Coby Fleener 17; Ingram 13; Travaris Cadet 10; Brandon Coleman 7. ... Cooks is a terrific DFS play this week. In his career, Cooks averages 77.2 receiving yards per game with 11 TDs at the Superdome versus 52.3 yards with just 4 TDs on the road. He has scored eight TDs over his last seven home games. The Panthers are generous to perimeter receivers, conceding 6-89-1 (Mike Evans), 12-300-1 (Julio Jones), and 3-55-1 (Torrey Smith) over the last month. ... Thomas is a more under-the-radar fantasy option. He leads the Saints in targets (20) over the past two weeks on snap rates of 89% and 77%. In DFS, I like Thomas as a contrarian pivot over Cameron Meredith, who will be a very popular Week 6 play. Thomas leads the Saints in red-zone targets (6) and is tied for the team lead in targets inside the ten-yard line (3). ... Fleener blew up (7-109-1) when Snead missed Week 3 against Atlanta, but Fleener has managed stat lines of 1-6-0, 2-29-0, and 3-19-0 in Snead's three games played. Regardless of matchups, Fleener can only be viewed as a boom-bust option with a dangerous weekly floor. ... Snead should be recovered from his early-season toe injury coming off the bye. In his two healthy games before the injury, Snead went 9-172-1 and 5-54-1 on target counts of 9 and 8. Snead might not feel safe because he's done nothing since Week 2, but with few exceptions Saints skill-position players are full-steam ahead inside the Superdome. Snead is at worst an upside WR3 option.
Cam Newton returns from his concussion to visit the "NFL's Version of Coors Field," as the Superdome was dubbed by Rich Hribar. Cam's last three fantasy finishes against New Orleans are QB1, QB3, QB1 with 12 all-purpose touchdowns, while this year's Saints have given up top-12 fantasy quarterback finishes in 3-of-4 weeks and top-eight finishes in each of their two Superdome games. ... The Panthers' desire for Cam to play more carefully after the brain injury has some potential to be good news for Jonathan Stewart if OC Mike Shula calls more scoring-position run plays that involve handing the ball off to running backs as opposed to quarterback keeps. Stewart's fitness is a concern coming off a multi-week hamstring injury, though it should be noted that he bounced back for 111 yards and two scores on 20 touches in last January's playoff win over Seattle after missing three games with a foot injury. In season-long leagues, I would hate to bench Stewart in the best matchup he'll get all year. The Saints were pasted for a combined 98-451-8 (4.60 YPC) rushing line by opposing running backs in Weeks 1-4.
Cam's 2016 targets: Greg Olsen 32; Kelvin Benjamin 27; Corey Brown and Fozzy Whittaker 17; Ted Ginn 15; Devin Funchess 12. ... Six different receivers have cleared 80 yards against the Saints in four games, boding well for Benjamin against New Orleans' undermanned cornerback unit of LCB Sterling Moore, RCB Ken Crawley, and slot CB B.W. Webb. Crawley is an undrafted rookie, while Moore and Webb were signed off the street in September. This is an opportunity for Benjamin to eat. ... Olsen's last three receiving lines against New Orleans are 9-129-1, 8-134-2, and 10-72-1. Rob Gronkowski is getting close, but I like Olsen as the top overall tight end play for one more week. ... Ginn's target totals with Cam in the lineup are 1, 4, 7, 5. Brown's are 2, 6, 5, 7. Funchess' are 4, 4, 2, 3. Carolina's complementary wide receivers are mere long-shot dart throws. Ginn played the most snaps 52% in last Monday night's loss to Tampa Bay.
Score Prediction: Panthers 30, Saints 24
Jacksonville @ Chicago
Vegas Projected Score: Bears 24.25, Jaguars 21.75
New Bears workhorse Jordan Howard is busting a lot of John Fox narratives regarding Fox's alleged running-back-by-committee preferences and unwillingness to play rookies. Since taking over for Jeremy Langford (ankle) two weeks ago, fifth-round rookie Howard has logged snap rates of 89% and 93% with touch totals of 26 and 19. Ka'Deem Carey returned from his hamstring injury in last week's loss to the Colts, but he played only two snaps. Pushing for RB1 value, Howard is an every-down bellcow in a favorable Week 6 matchup versus Jacksonville, which ranks No. 29 in run-defense DVOA. Conversely ranked No. 7 in pass-defense DVOA, the Jaguars offer some run-funnel-defense potential. ... Brian Hoyer's weekly fantasy finishes since replacing Jay Cutler are QB11 (@ DAL), QB7 (vs. DET), and QB5 (@ IND). Hoyer has 300-plus passing yards and multiple touchdowns in all three of his starts. Albeit to superior passers Aaron Rodgers (QB8), Philip Rivers (QB6), and Andrew Luck (QB10), the Jags permitted top-ten quarterback finishes in three of their first four games. The lone exception was Joe Flacco (QB23), who completed a Ravens franchise-record 21 straight passes in his Week 3 meeting with Jacksonville. This is an unimposing matchup for Hoyer, who has earned every-week streamer consideration and a permanent starting spot in two-quarterback-league lineups.
Hoyer's Weeks 3-5 targets: Cameron Meredith and Zach Miller 20; Eddie Royal 19; Alshon Jeffery 18; Howard 13. ... Manning Kevin White's old high-volume role, Meredith leads the Bears in targets (17) over the past two weeks and logged 93% of Chicago's Week 5 offensive snaps. It's unclear how the Jaguars' cornerback lineup will shake out with slot CB Aaron Colvin off suspension, but Meredith will likely do most of his Week 6 route running at either Prince Amukamara or Davon House. Amukamara has been in and out of the lineup with a hamstring injury, while House has PFF's No. 117 coverage grade among 117 qualified corners. Meredith already has more red-zone targets (4) than Alshon (3) this year. ... Jeffery isn't scoring TDs or seeing the volume we expected, but he does have 70-plus yards in four of the Bears' first five games. He's just a WR3/flex play at this point. Hoyer didn't even look at a wide-open Jeffery in the end zone for a would-be game-winning touchdown at the end of last week's loss to the Colts. Jeffery proceeded to run off the field in frustration. Perhaps the squeaky wheel will get greased. ... Royal played through his calf injury last week and finished second on the Bears in targets (9) behind Meredith. Royal is a PPR option in leagues where you can start four or more receivers. ... Keyed by coverage-maven ILB Telvin Smith and new FS Tashaun Gipson, the Jags held Packers tight ends to 2-29-0 in Week 1, Chargers tight ends to 3-15-1 in Week 2, Ravens tight ends to 6-42-0 in Week 3, and Colts tight ends to 3-26-0 in Week 4. This isn't a great-looking matchup for Miller on paper, but he leads the Bears in red-zone targets (6) and targets inside the ten-yard line (4) and has paid off as a TE1 start every week since Hoyer took over.
One of fantasy football's most erratic quarterbacks, Blake Bortles produced weekly finishes of QB17, QB15, QB22 in Weeks 1-3 before dropping the overall QB3 week on Indianapolis in London. Because Bortles plays fundamentally unsound football but is flush with talent individually and in his pass-catcher corps, he will probably always will be a challenging player to forecast. He has thrown four career touchdown passes in the first quarter of games, and 22 in the fourth. The Bears' quarterback finishes allowed are QB16 (Brock Osweiler), QB24 (Carson Wentz), QB6 (Dak Prescott), QB28 (Matthew Stafford), and QB8 (Andrew Luck). Albeit with undeniable upside, Bortles is just a borderline fantasy starter. ... The Jaguars scrapped their 50:50 RBBC in London, giving T.J. Yeldon 18 touches on 75% of the snaps while Chris Ivory managed eight touches on the other 25%. Ivory has failed to earn a bigger share with 43 yards on his first 20 carries (2.15 YPC) as a Jaguar. Unless something changes, Yeldon can be green-lighted as an RB2/flex play in plus matchups. This is one of those against a Bears team that ranks No. 25 in run-defense DVOA and has allowed a crisp 67-287-2 (4.28 YPC) rushing line to opposing running backs over its last three games. The Bears have permitted the third most run plays (147) in the NFL. At this point, Ivory will need an injury to Yeldon to become a viable fantasy asset.
Bortles' Weeks 1-4 target distribution: Allen Robinson 41; Allen Hurns 27; Marqise Lee 24; Yeldon 23; Julius Thomas 17; Marcedes Lewis 10. ... Although Robinson has yet to clear 75 yards on the season, he has drawn double-digit targets in 3-of-4 games and leads Jacksonville in red-zone targets (6) and targets inside the ten-yard line (3), which will continue to make Robinson a good bet for weekly touchdowns. Robinson is a WR1 play against a Bears defense that got decked by T.Y. Hilton (10-171-1) last week. ... Hurns' weekly target totals (5, 10, 8, 4) have been all over the place in a disjointed Jaguars passing game. The last four No. 2 receiver stat lines allowed by the Bears are 2-26-0 (Phillip Dorsett), 1-1-0 (Golden Tate), Terrance Williams (4-88-0), and 4-42-0 (Nelson Agholor). Hurns has yet to demonstrate upside as a WR3 option. ... After missing Week 4 with an elbow injury, Thomas returns to face a Bears defense that yielded 8-58-1 to Colts tight ends last week. Thomas' target totals are 5, 7, 5 with 60-plus yards in 2-of-3 games. I'm viewing Thomas as a solid-if-unspectacular TE1 play until his usage picks up.
Score Prediction: Jaguars 23, Bears 20
Los Angeles @ Detroit
Vegas Projected Score: Lions 23.25, Rams 20.25
Despite throwing for under 200 yards for the first time since Week 5 last season, Matthew Stafford escaped from last week's Eagles matchup as the fantasy QB11 on the strength of three red-zone touchdowns, two from a yard out. 4-of-5 quarterbacks to face the Rams have finished below QB15, giving Stafford another tough draw on paper. L.A. is dealing with injuries to RE Robert Quinn (shoulder), LE William Hayes (ankle), and NT Michael Brockers (hip), however, while top CB Trumaine Johnson is out with a high ankle sprain. The injuries should make Stafford's matchup easier than it appears. He's a low-end QB1. ... Theo Riddick has handled at least 15 touches in four straight games and logged 65% of the Lions' Week 5 snaps. Even with Dwayne Washington tentatively due back, Riddick remains the Lions' lone trustworthy fantasy running back. Riddick is averaging 5.2 receptions and 72.2 total yards per game with four touchdowns through five weeks. Washington is coming back from foot and ankle sprains -- hugely concerning for a runner -- and his role and effectiveness are both in Week 6 doubt.
Stafford's Weeks 1-5 targets: Marvin Jones 41; Riddick 32; Golden Tate 31; Anquan Boldin 28; Eric Ebron 25. ... The Rams have allowed the NFL's fifth most receptions (74) and seventh most yards (890) to opposing wide receivers and will be without their top cornerback as explained above. This is a green-light spot for Jones to get back on track. ... Lions OC Jim Bob Cooter's promise of a "huge" Week 5 game for Tate resulted in 45 yards on six touches. Not even delivering in great matchups, Tate has devolved into borderline waiver-wire material in 12-team season-long leagues. ... Ebron (ankle/knee) will miss another game. Lions backup TEs "Cole Wick" and "Khari Lee" combined for zero targets in last week's win over Philadelphia. ... Boldin led the Lions in Week 5 receiving (4-48) and has a big, secure role, but he's not paying fantasy dividends without hitting pay dirt. Boldin is a touchdown-dependent WR4 option.
Todd Gurley gets his best matchup to date at Detroit, where the Lions coughed up a combined 82-445-0 (5.43 YPC) rushing line to running backs in Weeks 2-5 and haven't allowed a rushing touchdown to the position yet this season, a stat that looks primed for regression considering how poorly Detroit has defended the run all year. They are No. 28 in run-defense DVOA and were dealt another blow when NT Haloti Ngata was lost for 2-3 weeks with a shoulder injury. Despite the on-field struggles of his blockers and Gurley's individually, his workload remains voluminous and bankable with 20-plus touches in four straight games. A frustrating concern for Gurley is the return of passing-game specialist Benny Cunningham (hamstring). In Cunningham's three full games played this year, Gurley has averaged 64 total yards and two targets. In the two games where Cunningham has missed time or been inactive, Gurley is averaging 95 total yards and five targets. ... The Lions have also struggled to defend the pass, conceding NFC highs in touchdown passes (14), quarterback rating (116.9), and completion rate (71.7). Detroit has surrendered multiple touchdown passes in 5-of-5 games. Even scattershot Case Keenum is worth firing up in two-quarterback-leagues against the Lions, whom Football Outsiders' has rated No. 31 in pass-defense DVOA. 4-of-5 quarterbacks who have faced the Lions have finished QB12 or better, with Marcus Mariota (QB18) as the lone exception.
Keenum's Weeks 1-5 targets: Tavon Austin 45; Kenny Britt 32; Lance Kendricks 23; Brian Quick 18; Gurley 16. ... Is Tavon Austin still in the NFL? Sometimes I think he is, sometimes I think he isn't. It appears he was last week, parlaying ten touches into 85 yards in the Rams' loss to Buffalo. In typical Austin fashion, he caught a 31-yard deep ball down the left sideline early in the second quarter and managed 28 yards on his other nine targets. I have no idea if Austin will do something to pay fantasy dividends in Week 6. ... Britt has 60-plus yards in 4-of-5 games and 6-of-8 games dating back to last season. Britt runs most of his routes at right corners, and the Lions haven't used LCB Darius Slay to shadow No. 1 receivers, giving Britt (6'3/218) an appealing on-paper matchup against burnable RCB Nevin Lawson (5'10/190), who has given up three touchdown passes through five games. ... Quick's fluky touchdown streak ended last week, though he did play a season-high 62% of the Rams' offensive snaps. Quick is best viewed as a Dynasty asset in the last year of his contract. He doesn't get enough targets for re-draft value in a dysfunctional passing offense. Perhaps Quick will land in a more positive situation in 2017. ... Can you stream Kendricks against Detroit? I'm gonna pass. Despite their well-earned tight end-leaky reputation, the Lions haven't given up an especially big tight end game in awhile. They held Packers TEs to 4-38-1 in Week 3, Bears TEs to 5-41-1 in Week 4, and Eagles TEs to 4-42-0 in Week 5. I'll keep looking for reasons to not consider Kendricks rather than vice versa.
Score Prediction: Lions 23, Rams 17
Pittsburgh @ Miami
Vegas Projected Score: Steelers 27.5, Dolphins 20
Le'Veon Bell has turned in yardage totals of 178 and 154 since coming off suspension, but he has yet to hit pay dirt. This is a green-light spot for Le'Veon's first blowup game against a Miami defense that has been bludgeoned by DeMarco Murray/Derrick Henry (34-175), Isaiah Crowell/Duke Johnson (25-148), and LeGarrette Blount (29-123-1). As the Dolphins have no running game or defense and therefore can't sustain offense, they rank dead last in time of possession (24:38) -- by nearly two full minutes -- and have allowed a league-high 180 run plays to opponents. DeAngelo Williams played a season-low 14% of Pittsburgh's snaps last week and is reportedly dealing with a knee injury. ... Ranked No. 21 in pass-defense DVOA, the Dolphins helped bust Marcus Mariota's slump in Week 5 by simply allowing Tennessee to live in the red zone, where all four of Mariota's all-purpose TDs occurred. As mentioned frequently in this space, Roethlisberger has negative away-game splits in a large sample size. While certainly worth noting, I'm not very concerned against the league's worst secondary behind the NFL's most disappointing defensive front. Despite a front four comprised of numerous big names, the Dolphins rank 25th in quarterback hits (21) and 21st in sacks (10). To make matters worse for Miami, stud SS Reshad Jones (groin) is in danger of missing this game. Big Ben has thrown for three-plus touchdown passes in 4-of-5 games. He is a shoo-in top-five QB1 play this week.
Ben's targets since Bell returned two games ago: Sammie Coates 19; Bell 17; Antonio Brown 16; Jesse James 10; Markus Wheaton and Xavier Grimble 4; Williams 2. ... Much like last week's opponent the Jets, the Dolphins hemorrhage big plays to wideouts with the NFL's seventh most 20-plus-yard completions (18) allowed. That is right in Coates' wheelhouse. Despite four drops mixed amongst last week's 6-139-2 eruption, Roethlisberger won't stop forcing Coates the ball. Although he may continue to mix in low-floor weeks, Coates has earned every-week WR3 treatment by leading Pittsburgh in targets since Bell returned. ... Trotting out Tony Lippett, Bobby McCain, and Byron Maxwell at corner, the Fins don't have anyone capable of slowing down Brown. We can look to A.J. Green's Week 4 game against Miami (10-173-1) for a template. Miami has allowed the league's sixth most catches (71) and ninth most yards (871) to receivers. ... Slot man Eli Rogers (turf toe) is due back this week. I'm in wait-and-see mode regarding his role. ... The Dolphins have been no match for quality tight ends, yielding 5-144-1 to Martellus Bennett, 5-66 to Gary Barnidge on 6 targets, and 5-66-1 to Delanie Walker. James has scored a touchdown in three of the last four weeks, and his five targets inside the ten-yard line easily lead the Steelers with only Brown (3) somewhat close. James' yardage upside is low, but his touchdown scoring won't go away. That puts James in the TE1 hunt every week.
The Steelers have given up top-12 quarterback finishes in three of their first five games, but Ryan Tannehill has played himself onto the verge of a potential in-game benching. In hindsight, it's hard to believe we actually won money using Tannehill in DFS in Week 3. Tannehill has committed eight turnovers in his last four games and has taken at least five sacks three times already this year. A deer in headlights behind an injury-riddled and lost offensive line, Tannehill is a much better target for owners of the Steelers' fantasy D/ST than quarterback streamers. Per Pro Football Focus, Tannehill has been under pressure on a league-high 43.3% of his dropbacks this season. PFF's Pat Thorman noted this week that the Steelers' blitz frequency has increased in every game, resulting in seven sacks over the past two weeks. ... Arian Foster (hamstring, groin) will apparently return this week, further muddying Miami's backfield. There's no telling how much Foster will play or how effective he'll be, and the Fins' offensive line has shown zero ability to clear running lanes this year. Pittsburgh's defense always poses a below-average matchup for backs, holding the position to a combined 88-351-3 rushing line (3.99 YPC) through five weeks. Foster would be a desperate dart-throw play specific to PPR leagues.
Tannehill's targets with DeVante Parker in the lineup: Jarvis Landry 38; Parker 25; Kenny Stills 16; Dion Sims 10; Jordan Cameron 8; Ajayi, Damien Williams, and Kenyan Drake 7. ... Landry's three Week 5 targets were a product of Miami getting utterly dominated in time of possession (37:23) by the Titans in a game where Tannehill attempted just 18 throws, completing 12. In another matchup where the Fins should play from behind, I like Landry to rebound against rookie slot CB Sean Davis, who has received a negative PFF coverage grade in each of his first four NFL games. The Steelers have allowed a league-high 79 receptions to opposing wide receivers, and Pittsburgh's coverage in the middle of the field will continue to be hindered by ILB Ryan Shazier's (MCL) absence. ... Parker beat Titans top CB Jason McCourty for a 50-yard bomb and also ripped off a 20-yard gain in last week's loss, but like Landry drew only three measly targets. Parker's Week 6 adversaries will be LCB Ross Cockrell and LCB William Gay, both of whom have been solid this year with the exception of last week where Brandon Marshall tore up Cockrell for 8-114-1 on 15 targets. Parker is a much different style of receiver and isn't targeted nearly as much. He's best viewed as a boom-bust WR3 option. ... Stills' target totals with Parker in the lineup are 4, 8, 3, 1. Stills is safe to drop in 14-team season-long leagues.
Score Prediction: Steelers 27, Dolphins 17
Cincinnati @ New England
Vegas Projected Score: Patriots 28, Bengals 19
The Patriots played Tom Brady's first game off suspension at full throttle, using no-huddle hurry-up packages deep into the second half up by multiple scores at Cleveland. It seemed like Brady & Co. were trying to send a message before Jimmy Garoppolo entered with six minutes left. In meetings with Marvin Lewis' Bengals' defense, Brady's last four fantasy finishes are QB7, QB26 (no Gronk), QB5, and QB5. It's entirely conceivable that matchups simply won't matter for this year's New England offense, which combines twin tower tight ends with underneath chain movers, a power running game, and spread concepts designed to exploit mismatches all over the field. Brady averaged 314 yards and 2.5 passing touchdowns per game at home last season. ... Space back James White's role expanded in Brady's return, logging year highs in snap rate (47%) and total yards (89). White has some PPR flex-play appeal against a Bengals defense permitting 4.6 receptions per game to running backs. ... LeGarrette Blount's playing time dipped to a season-low 38% in Brady's return, although Blount still emerged with 18 carries and a touchdown and now has 29 touchdowns in 43 career games as a Patriot. The Bengals played run-tough defense in the opening month before hemorrhaging a 21-167-2 (7.95 YPC) rushing line to Cowboys running backs last week. I'm still treating this as a tough draw for Blount, who is best viewed as a touchdown-dependent RB2 with severely diminished value in PPR leagues.
Brady's Week 5 targets: Julian Edelman 10; Martellus Bennett 8; Rob Gronkowski 7; White and Chris Hogan 5; Malcolm Mitchell 3; Danny Amendola 2. ... The bad news is Edelman failed to pay fantasy dividends (5-35-0) in Brady's first game back. The good news is Edelman led the Patriots in targets and looked no worse for wear on the field after being "limited" with a foot injury in practice. Long Brady's most trusted target, Edelman is a good bet to rebound for a big PPR game. ... Gronk's snap rate surged from 67% in Week 4 to 80% in Week 5 and he more than doubled his previous season total for pass routes run. He's all systems go as an elite TE1 against the Bengals, who have yielded tight end touchdowns to Jesse James, Xavier Grimble, and John Phillips. ... Bennett missed a few early-game snaps following an injury scare against the Browns, but he still played 68% of the downs and ran only six fewer routes than Gronk. There is indeed room for two every-week TE1s in New England. Particularly in scoring position, Bennett should benefit from favorable matchups attention-commanding Gronkowski creates. ... Hogan broke off repeated chunk plays at Cleveland, but his target totals remain a concern and Hogan has drawn just one red-zone target through five games, with none inside the ten-yard line.. Hogan does look like the Patriots' best perimeter receiver. I like him as a fringe WR3/flex in season-long leagues.
While Cincinnati's consistent inability to execute in the red zone without Tyler Eifert (ankle, back) will remain a big weekly concern for Andy Dalton's fantasy outlook, his Week 6 matchup isn't overly daunting against a Patriots team that ranks 27th in pass-defense DVOA and has yielded top-16 fantasy quarterback finishes in 4-of-5 games. New England has struggled to generate pass rush, ranking 24th in sacks (9) and tied for 25th in quarterback hits (21). Eifert's continued absence all but erases Dalton's upside, but he should provide a decent floor in this potential high-scoring game. He's best viewed as a high-end two-quarterback-league play and low-ceiling streamer. ... Ineffective and battling a multi-week chest/shoulder injury, Jeremy Hill is hard to take seriously against a Patriots defense that held enemy RBs to a combined 79-256-1 (3.24 YPC) rushing line in Weeks 2-5 and could easily put the Bengals in negative game script. Due to their lack of alternative passing-game weapons and inability to push the pile on the ground, Giovani Bernard is clearly Cincinnati's best backfield option. The Bengals seemed to realize that in Week 5, giving Gio the nominal start and 15 touches on a season-high 76% of the snaps while Hill slugged his way to 12 yards on four carries. The Pats have given up the NFL's fourth most catches (31) and ninth most receiving yards (225) to enemy running backs. I like Bernard as an RB2/flex play this week.
Dalton's Weeks 1-5 targets: A.J. Green 52; Brandon LaFell 32; Gio 30; C.J. Uzomah 27; Tyler Boyd 23. ... Bill Belichick's proclivity for eliminating his opponent's top weapon is the biggest Week 6 concern for Green, who is essentially Cincinnati's only weapon. With that said, Green went 5-81-1 the last time these teams played (2014) and Patriots boundary CBs Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler have been early-season disappointments. Green has bankable targets in a game where the Bengals figure to be trailing. He's an every-week WR1 in season-long leagues and will be a low-owned, contrarian option in DFS. ... LaFell scored two garbage-time touchdowns after the Bengals fell behind 28-0 in last week's loss to Dallas. He was held under 50 yards in each of his previous three games. Perhaps he'll benefit if the Patriots sell out to stop Green, but ultimately LaFell is an uninspiring bet. ... Slot man Boyd's snap rate rebounded to 71% against the Cowboys, although it was a likely byproduct of negative game script. Boyd is scoreless on the year with one game above 35 yards. ... Uzomah played 77% of Cincinnati's Week 5 snaps and is clearly ahead of Tyler Kroft (33%) as the Bengals' primary tight end. The Patriots gave up 6-93-1 to Browns tight ends in Week 5, 7-67 to Bills tight ends in Week 4, 8-52 to Texans tight ends in Week 3, and 6-70-1 to Dolphins tight ends in Week 2. A probable beneficiary if the Pats succeed in limiting Green, Uzomah might be my favorite Week 6 tight end streamer.
Score Prediction: Patriots 28, Bengals 23
4:05 PM ET Game
Kansas City @ Oakland
Vegas Projected Score: Chiefs 24.25, Raiders 22.75
A top-15 fantasy passer in three of his first four games, Alex Smith returns from his bye to battle a Raiders defense that has given up top-six quarterback finishes in 4-of-5 games while yielding NFL highs in passing yards per game (330.6) and completions of 20-plus yards (24). Oakland is dead last in the NFL in yards per play allowed (7.0) with a full half-yard lead on the 31st-ranked Colts (6.5). Only three teams have allowed more touchdown passes than the Raiders (12), while Oakland ranks 28th in QB hits (20) and 30th in sacks (7). As Kansas City's defense also showed signs of pre-bye leakage, this game has shootout potential in the Black Hole. Smith's on-field play has left a lot to be desired, but he is getting fantasy results. Smith's two 2015 fantasy finishes against Jack Del Rio's Raiders defense were QB11 and QB15. From a forward-looking standpoint, Smith has a legit shot to be an every-week fantasy starter for the next month and a half with @ OAK, vs. NO, @ IND, vs. JAX, @ CAR, vs. TB on the schedule all in a row. Five of those six defenses rank in the bottom half of pass-defense DVOA. ... Oakland's defense has been no better on the ground, yielding a combined 95-494-3 (5.20 YPC) rushing line to running backs in its last four games. Although Jamaal Charles' role should grow coming off the bye, Spencer Ware remains the favorite for lead back duties until further notice. "He'll probably do a little bit more," coach Andy Reid said of Charles this week. "We'll sprinkle him in where we feel he's most effective," OC Brad Childress added Thursday. My guess is we'll see Ware handle most early-down carries and all short-yardage work with Charles mixing in for 15-20 snaps in the old Charcandrick West role. Ware remains a solid RB2 play. Charles is a shot-in-the-dark flex.
Smith's Weeks 1-4 targets: Jeremy Maclin 37; Travis Kelce 29; Chris Conley 23; Ware 17; Albert Wilson 16; Tyreek Hill 14. ... Maclin's increased slot usage has cut into his big-play potential, which partially explains his slow start. Maclin is still averaging a robust 9.3 targets per game and will square off Sunday with a Raiders defense that's allowed wide receiver lines of 8-111-1 (Steve Smith Sr.), 6-143-2 (Brandin Cooks), 9-172-1 (Willie Snead), 5-117-1 (Tyrell Williams), 5-106-1 (Julio Jones), and 7-117 (Travis Benjamin). Maclin should be locked into lineups as a borderline WR2. Maclin's two 2015 stat lines against the Raiders were 9-95-2 and 3-54-1. ... Oakland was pasted for 7-104-2 by Chargers TEs last week and 10-180-1 by Falcons TEs in Week 2. Kelce is on pace for career highs in targets (116), catches (88), yards (880), and touchdowns (8) while pacing Kansas City in red-zone targets (8) and targets inside the ten-yard line (5). Kelce is finally becoming the elite TE1 we've long hoped he would be. I think he is cash-game viable in DFS this week. ... Albeit with garbage-time assistance, Conley set season highs in snap rate (91%), targets (7), catches (6), and yards (70) in the Chiefs' last game. Conley runs his routes on the perimeter, where Raiders CBs Sean Smith and David Amerson have taken turns getting torched. Amerson has given up three completions of 50-plus yards (Steve Smith, Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin) in the last three weeks. Conley is an intriguing Week 6 dart throw.
Derek Carr's fantasy finishes to begin the year are QB7, QB3, QB21, QB5, QB6, and in Week 6 he faces a Chiefs defense that got shelled for the QB2 finish by Ben Roethlisberger in its last game. No longer a pass defense to fear, Kansas City ranks last in the NFL in quarterback hits (15) and 31st in sacks (5) and isn't going to hold up against explosive passing games. The Raiders are No. 8 in in the NFL in passing yards and No. 3 in passing scores. Carr is one of this week's highest-floor quarterback plays with lots of ceiling. ... Latavius Murray (toe) looks likely to miss another game, leaving DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard, and Jamize Olawale to share work against the Chiefs, who have yielded a combined 102-494-3 (4.84 YPC) rushing line to enemy running backs. Although Washington (51%) out-snapped Richard (32%) and Olawale (31%) in last week's win over San Diego, Washington and Richard finished with the same number of touches (14) and fullback/short-yardage specialist Olawale scored the backfield's lone touchdown on a one-yard plunge in the fourth quarter. In a better matchup than last week's, Washington and Richard remain in play as low-end RB2/flex options with ceilings capped by Olawale's goal-line role.
Carr's Weeks 1-5 targets: Amari Cooper 47; Michael Crabtree 44; Seth Roberts 22; Clive Walford 19; Richard 14; Washington 12; Murray 11. ... Likely to stay hot after last week's 6-138-1 eruption versus San Diego, Cooper will mainly do battle with injury-riddled RCB Phillip Gaines, who tore his ACL last season and hasn't played since Week 3 due to another knee injury. The Chiefs leave top corner Marcus Peters at LCB, where he will primarily draw Crabtree. Hard luck has limited Cooper to one touchdown on the year -- he nearly had three in last week's win over the Chargers -- but he has another gorgeous matchup and is back in WR1 discussion after overtaking Crabtree for the Raiders' team lead in targets. ... Crabtree scored in each of last year's two meetings with Kansas City and showed last week that he is capable of beating higher-end corners by whipping Chargers CB Casey Hayward for a 21-yard touchdown on a fade route on fourth-and-two. Crabtree still has more red-zone targets (5) than Cooper (4) and is a solid WR2/3 bet. ... More reason to expect Carr's throws to be funneled to his wideouts is the Chiefs' elimination of tight ends, where Oakland isn't getting much production anyway. Ony two teams have allowed fewer catches (12) to tight ends than Kansas City, and only four teams have let up fewer yards (121). Banged-up Walford (knee) and Mychal Rivera can be ignored this week.
Score Prediction: Raiders 27, Chiefs 24
4:25 PM ET Games
Atlanta @ Seattle
Vegas Projected Score: Seahawks 26, Falcons 20
Seattle returns from its Week 5 bye with a healthy Russell Wilson, who battled MCL and ankle injuries in the first month but still dusted the Jets for the QB4 fantasy finish last time out on season highs in passing yards (309) and touchdowns (3). Before facing overwhelmed rookie Paxton Lynch last week, the Falcons coughed up top-five quarterback finishes in each of their first four games (Jameis Winston, Derek Carr, Drew Brees, Cam Newton/Derek Anderson). Atlanta ranks 21st in the NFL in sacks and has allowed a league-high 14 touchdown passes. Wilson is a top-five quarterback play this week. ... Still reeling with injuries at linebacker, Atlanta has yielded a combined 67-312-2 (4.66 YPC) rushing line to enemy running backs over the last month and an average of nine catches per game to the position on the year. Christine Michael has touch totals of 22 and 23 in his last two games and saw season highs in targets (6) and snap rate (71%) in the Seahawks' post-bye win over the Jets. A legitimate RB1 in season-long leagues, C-Mike is also cash-game viable in DFS this week. ... September 28 acquisition C.J. Spiller caught an eight-yard touchdown pass against the Jets, but he played only 15% of the downs and handled four touches. Spiller could lose his role if C.J. Prosise returns from his wrist injury.
Seattle's Weeks 1-4 targets: Doug Baldwin 31; Jimmy Graham 22; Jermaine Kearse 18; Michael 17; Tyler Lockett 15; Luke Willson 11; Paul Richardson 9. ... Baldwin will do battle with Falcons slot CB Brian Poole, an undrafted rookie who has yielded touchdowns to Saints WR Michael Thomas and Panthers WR Corey Brown. Playing at an extremely high level, Baldwin has been hyper efficient with a 77.4% catch rate and 10.6 yards-per-target average. He is an upside WR2 play versus Atlanta. Baldwin's last seven stat lines in home games are 8-164-1, 9-92-1, 8-118-1, 4-45-2, 6-145-3, 6-60-0, and 7-134-1. ... Before facing the Virgil Green-less Broncos in Week 5, the Falcons gave up 5-64-2 to Bucs TEs in Week 1, 10-74-1 to Raiders TEs in Week 2, 7-109-1 to Coby Fleener in Week 3, and 8-95-1 to Panthers TEs in Week 4. This is a plus draw for Graham, who has cleared 100 yards in back-to-back games and is getting stronger every week. Truly dominant in Weeks 3-4, Graham looked like his 2011/2013 self against the 49ers and Jets. ... Graham's reemergence is bad news for Kearse, who is averaging 25.5 yards per game. ... The main cause for Lockett's reduced pre-bye role was a torn PCL that limited him to descending snap rates of 39% > 32% > 23% in Weeks 2-4. Lockett's role should grow after the bye, but I'm in wait-and-see mode until Lockett puts something significant in the box score. The preservation of Lockett is critical for Seattle's special teams, and he hasn't topped four targets since Week 1.
Matt Ryan did well to emerge from last week's Denver trip as the fantasy QB15 in a game where 67% of Ryan's 267 passing yards came on completions to running backs as the Falcons smartly attacked the Broncos' inside linebackers in man coverage. Ryan still only paid off as a two-quarterback-league start, and season-long fantasy owners should continue to consider streamers over him this week. Seattle's defense has allowed one touchdown pass this year and just seven passing scores over its last 12 games with zero multi-touchdown-pass games permitted during that stretch. ... The Seahawks are as stout as ever on the ground, holding enemy running backs to a combined 79-266-2 (3.37 YPC) rushing line and just four catches per game. Devonta Freeman's volume keeps him in RB2 contention, having out-touched Tevin Coleman 41 to 21 the past two weeks while out-snapping him 55% to 41%. Coleman's big-play ability keeps him in flex consideration, but he is a low-floor option. Freeman has 15 or more touches in every game this year. Coleman has reached 15 touches once through five weeks.
Ryan's Weeks 1-5 targets: Julio Jones 41; Mohamed Sanu 26; Jacob Tamme 23; Coleman 21; Freeman 17; Aldrick Robinson 10; Justin Hardy 7; Austin Hooper 6. ... Julio can expect shadow coverage from Richard Sherman, who chased Brandon Marshall in Week 4 and intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick twice but still yielded 4-89-1 to Marshall. Julio is a low-end WR1 in season-long leagues and a contrarian DFS play. ... Nursing a separated shoulder, Sanu has failed to reach 45 yards in four straight games and gets a tough draw in Seahawks slot corner Jeremy Lane, who checked Jarvis Landry (7-59-0), Tavon Austin (5-50-0), Jeremy Kerley (2-24-0), and Quincy Enunwa (6-60-0) in Weeks 1-4. ... Tamme blocked on a season-high 58% of his Week 4 snaps and may continue to be needed on the line of scrimmage against Seattle's fearsome pass rush. Tamme's targets (8 > 4 > 2) have been in steady descent over the past three weeks. The Seahawks have allowed the NFL's second fewest catches (11) and yards (96) to tight ends.
Score Prediction: Seahawks 27, Falcons 20
Dallas @ Green Bay
Vegas Projected Score: Packers 26, Cowboys 21.5
Team strengths will collide when the Cowboys' white-hot running game treks to Lambeau to face a Packers defense that has so far held enemy running backs to a combined 78-170-1 (2.18 YPC) rushing line. Green Bay's run-defense dominance is at least partially opponent driven, however, after facing the anemic Jaguars, Vikings, Lions, and Giants rushing attacks in their first four games. All four of those rushing offenses rank bottom ten, while Dallas is first on the strength of the NFL's premier offensive line and still-ascending Ezekiel Elliott, whose yards-per-touch averages were 2.5 > 3.8 > 5.0 > 6.5 > 9.5 in Weeks 1-5. Elliott showed matchup-proof ability by ripping up the previously-stout Bengals defense for 15-134-2 in last week's win. Elliott is averaging a league-high 23.6 touches per game. ... Dak Prescott has recorded consecutive fantasy finishes of QB9, QB6, and QB13, and it would not be a surprise to see Prescott run more than usual in this game against a Packers defense that has generated consistent backfield penetration so far. Zone-read plays would be one way the Cowboys could exploit Green Bay's up-front aggressiveness. With Aaron Rodgers on the other side, Prescott should have to do more playmaking than usual. He is a viable QB1 play against a beat-up Green Bay secondary.
Prescott's targets in Dez Bryant's two missed games: Jason Witten 14; Brice Butler 12; Terrance Williams 11; Cole Beasley 8; Elliott 5. ... I wrote this under the assumption Dez (knee) will not play. If he does go, he'll be a solid WR2 against a Packers defense missing top CB Sam Shields and potentially No. 2 CB Damarious Randall (groin). ... The possibility exists Dallas is unable to run the ball as successfully as usual on Green Bay, which would translate to increased volume in the passing game. The highest-floor bet to capitalize would be Witten against a Packers defense permitting the NFL's seventh most fantasy points to tight ends, a sum that would be far bigger had Eli Manning not overthrown Will Tye for a would-be 61-yard touchdown last Sunday night. Yet to find pay dirt this year, Witten leads Dallas in red-zone targets (8) and should have some positive regression coming his way. ... Butler and Williams are on near-equal footing as the Cowboys' perimeter receivers squaring off with Green Bay's Shields-less secondary. Quietly, Williams has 70-plus yards and/or a touchdown in three straight games and is worth a look for owners in bye-week WR3/flex binds. ... Butler's target totals in Dez's missed games are 9 and 3 with four end-zone targets over the last three weeks. I like Butler's speed and playmaking ability better than Williams', but their fantasy outlooks are tough to differentiate. ... Beasley scored a touchdown last week, but his target totals are 4 and 4 in Dez's missed games. Williams and Butler are playing more snaps and seeing more looks, making them better bets in fantasy.
Devoid of pass rush and vulnerable in the secondary, the Cowboys have given up four top-15 quarterback finishes in their first five games while ranking 21st in both QB hits (22) and sacks (10). This should be another clean-pocket game for Aaron Rodgers, who wasn't taken down once in last week's win over the Giants. Rodgers' favorable home-game splits are back in play with a 48:6 TD-to-INT ratio at Lambeau Field since the beginning of the 2014 season. Injuries to RBs Eddie Lacy (ankle) and James Starks (knee) also figure to put more on Rodgers' plate. ... Although the bend-but-don't-break Cowboys do a great job of keeping offenses contained, they have played poor run defense by coughing up a combined 81-392-2 (4.84 YPC) rushing line to enemy running backs this year. Still on shaky footing nursing his ankle injury, Lacy looks like a dicey RB2 in a game where Green Bay's play volume is a concern due to Dallas' keepaway methods. Especially after Lacy admitted Thursday he doesn't know whether he'll be able to play, I'm not sure what to expect out of Lacy in terms of workload or effectiveness.
Rodgers' Weeks 1-5 target distribution: Jordy Nelson 40; Randall Cobb 29; Davante Adams 24; Richard Rodgers 13; Starks 10; Lacy 6. ... Despite an early-season bye, Nelson is tied for the NFL lead in touchdown catches (5) and red-zone targets (10), and only Emmanuel Sanders has more targets inside the ten-yard line (7) than Jordy's 6. Nelson's matchup is tougher than it appears, however, against a Cowboys defense that has allowed just one opposing wide receiver to top 75 yards. Dallas has checked A.J. Green (4-50-0), Alshon Jeffery (5-70-0), DeSean Jackson (3-40-0), and Odell Beckham (4-73-0). ... Missing Orlando Scandrick (hamstrings), the Cowboys have given up 3-43-1 (Sterling Shepard), 6-39-1 (Jamison Crowder), and 6-88-1 (Jeremy Kerley) to opposing slot receivers. This is another plus draw for Cobb, who got off the schneid with a 9-108 stat line on 11 targets in last Sunday night's win over the Giants. Cobb could be in line for increased Week 6 backfield and chain-moving usage due to Lacy and Starks' injuries. ... Adams broke his 11-game streak of being held under 60 yards with a 5-85-1 receiving line against the G-Men. Whereas Jordy will do battle with suddenly-stingy Cowboys LCB Morris Claiborne, Adams will mostly draw inconsistent RCB Brandon Carr. Adams is worth a look in leagues where you can start four or more wide receivers. ... TE Rodgers played a season-high 90% of Green Bay's Week 5 snaps, but he managed six yards on five targets and hasn't topped 25 yards yet this year.
Score Prediction: Cowboys 24, Packers 23
Sunday Night Football
Indianapolis @ Houston
Vegas Projected Score: Texans 25.5, Colts 22.5
Andrew Luck's fantasy owners should be looking for streamer alternatives this week. Luck faces a Houston defense that is yielding an NFL-low 181.0 passing yards per game and ranks No. 9 in pass-defense DVOA. The Texans have allowed just one top-12 fantasy quarterback finish over their last ten games. This is a green-light spot for Houston's D/ST against a Colts offense that has allowed an NFL-high 20 sacks and at least five sacks in three of its first five games. The previously-lifeless Bears and Jaguars' pass-rush units were miraculously resurrected in Weeks 4-5 against Luck, combining for 11 sacks and 12 quarterback hits. While Indy's offensive line deserves lots of blame, Luck warrants some too for holding onto the ball and staring at the rush. Among 34 qualified quarterbacks, Pro Football Focus has charged Luck with the NFL's third longest average time to throw and second longest time to attempt. The Texans rank seventh in the league in sacks (13) and third in quarterback hits (34). ... Frank Gore's three-game scoring streak ended in last week's win over the Bears, but he played a season-high 73% of the Colts' offensive snaps and reached 15 touches for the fifth straight game. It should be noted that Houston's run defense has improved the past two weeks, holding Titans and Vikings RBs to a combined 62-195-3 (3.15 YPC) rushing line and rendering Jerick McKinnon (20-36-0) a colossal Week 5 fantasy bust. Gore is best viewed as a volume-safe RB2/flex with a low ceiling.
Luck's targets with Donte Moncrief (shoulder) inactive for the past three games: T.Y. Hilton 32; Josh Ferguson 18; Dwayne Allen 15; Gore and Chester Rogers 11; Jack Doyle and Phillip Dorsett 10. ... Hilton is the NFL's only receiver with double-digit targets in every game this season. Hilton is running nearly 60% of his routes in the slot, where Vikings slot WR Adam Thielen rinsed the Texans for 7-127-1 last week. With monster big-play ability on extreme-volume usage, Hilton should remain matchup proof going forward. ... The Texans smothered Bears TEs (3-14-0) in Week 1, Chiefs TEs (5-34-0) in Week 2, Patriots TEs (2-10-0) in Week 3, Titans TEs (2-34-0) in Week 4, and Vikings TEs (2-15-0) last week. Allen finally came alive (6-50-1) in last week's win over the Bears, but he has yet to exceed six targets in any game this year and remains a touchdown-or-bust low-end TE1. ... Rogers is now playing more than Doyle in a base three-receiver offense. Both are safe to ignore. ... Dorsett's target totals through three non-Moncrief games are 3, 4, 3. Outside of a coverage-bust 64-yard touchdown against the Jaguars in London, Dorsett has totaled 53 yards over the past three weeks. An afterthought in his own offense, Dorsett now takes on a Texans defense permitting the NFL's eighth fewest receptions (56) and yards (733) to opposing receivers. I'll be betting against Dorsett again this week.
After a predictable bludgeoning in Minnesota, the Texans return home in a potential get-right spot against Chuck Pagano's talent-bereft Colts defense, which was torn to shreds by onetime Bears backups Brian Hoyer, Jordan Howard, and Cameron Meredith last week. The Texans' passing-game struggles make it an absolute must that they get their ground game on track, and this is the correct matchup to execute against an Indianapolis defense that surrendered a combined 106-491-4 (4.63 YPC) rushing line to enemy running backs in Weeks 1-5. Lamar Miller's season-low nine touches against the Vikings were a product of negative script and not an in-game benching after Houston fell behind 24-0 midway through the second quarter. Alfred Blue came on for late-game mop-up duty. Miller remains in line for RB1-caliber usage in a plus draw and will continue to have minuscule DFS tournament ownership. ... Faring poorly against tough and not-so-tough defenses alike, Brock Osweiler has yet to record a weekly fantasy finish above QB15. With that said, Osweiler is a viable two-quarterback-league starter and intriguing desperation streamer against a Colts defense that has yielded consecutive top-five fantasy weeks to Hoyer (QB5) and previously struggling Blake Bortles (QB3) while ranking 25th in the NFL in quarterback hits (21) and 30th in sacks (7). At home in a plus matchup, this appears to be a now-or-never game for both Miller and Osweiler. They visit Denver next.
Osweiler's Weeks 1-5 target distribution: DeAndre Hopkins 42; Will Fuller 40; Ryan Griffin 25; Jaelen Strong 20; Miller and C.J. Fiedorowicz 17. ... Although it didn't happen until garbage time, Hopkins finally busted his slump (5-56-1) in last week's blowout loss to Minnesota and now has a touchdown in 3-of-5 games. As the Colts are not using RCB Vontae Davis to shadow No. 1 receivers and Hopkins plays on both sides of the field near equally, he will get lots of chances against LCB Patrick Robinson, who was Cameron Meredith's (9-130-1) primary whipping boy in Week 5. Robinson is battling a knee injury and Colts slot CB Darius Butler may miss this game after finger surgery. ... Fuller (1-4-0) was eliminated by ageless Vikings LCB Terence Newman last week. Fuller runs the majority of his perimeter routes against left corners and should draw Robinson just as much if not more than Hopkins. Fuller and Hopkins have been frustratingly up and down in tough matchups the past three weeks, but they are target hogs in a favorable draw and should be fired up confidently in season-long leagues. ... It might be time to start taking Fiedorowicz more seriously as a deeper-league streamer. Over his last two games, the Texans' burly tight end has turned 13 targets into 8-107-1 receiving, while Griffin (neck) and fellow committee tight end Stephen Anderson (hamstring) have battled injury. Through five weeks, offenses are 24-of-26 for 281 yards and a touchdown targeting tight ends against the Colts.
Score Prediction: Texans 24, Colts 23
Monday Night Football
NY Jets @ Arizona
Vegas Projected Score: Cardinals 27.25, Jets 19.25
Fresh and rested after nearly two full weeks off, 36-year-old Carson Palmer will look to get his season on track against a pitiful Jets pass defense that has allowed top-15 fantasy quarterback finishes in each of its first five games, including consecutive top-four efforts to Russell Wilson and Ben Roethlisberger. Despite a talented front four, Gang Green ranks 30th in the NFL in sacks over the last month (5) and managed one hit on Roethlisberger in last week's blowout loss to the Steelers. The Jets are a textbook pass-funnel defense, stamping out running games and getting flamed by the pass. You start quarterbacks against them without any questions asked. ... Gang Green stymied Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams (21-66-0) on the ground last week, but still gave up 154 total yards to Bell. It's a good blueprint for what we should expect from David Johnson against a Jets defense yielding the eighth most receptions (28) in the league to running backs. Johnson has exceeded 110 total yards in each of the first five weeks and is averaging a touchdown per game. It's notable that Johnson ranks third on the Cardinals in red-zone targets (5) but has yet to hit pay dirt through the air. We should see him score a receiving TD shortly. ... Andre Ellington is stash worthy in deeper season-long leagues with Chris Johnson (I.R., sports hernia) out of the picture. Ellington now has a clear path to feature back duties if something happened to David and could become an every-week difference maker in that scenario.
Palmer's target distribution this season: Larry Fitzgerald 36; John Brown 33; Michael Floyd 29; Johnson 21; Jaron Brown 12. ... Running over 70% of his routes at slot receiver, Fitzgerald (6'3/225) is in prime position to eat against inconsistent Jets slot corner Buster Skrine (5'10/186), who has given up touchdowns in back-to-back games to Sammie Coates and "Tanner McEvoy." Always a strong bet to hit pay dirt, Fitz ranks second in the NFL in targets inside the ten-yard line (6). ... Smokey Brown is a hot-fire Monday night play. The Jets have given up the NFL's sixth most 20-plus-yard completions (19) and second most of 40-plus yards (8), while 4.34 burner Brown has led Arizona in receiving (6-70, 10-144) in each of Palmer's last two starts. Brown is essentially this week's version of Sammie Coates with better, healthier hands. ... Melting down in his contract year, Floyd has devolved into a third-receiver timeshare partner with Jaron Brown, who has out-snapped (57%, 46%) Floyd (44%, 33%) in two straight games. Even in gorgeous matchups like this one, Floyd can only be viewed as a boom-bust dart throw. In chronological order, Floyd's target totals the past three weeks are 11 > 7 > 3.
The struggling Jets offense heads cross country to the desert, where Arizona's defense ranks fourth in the NFL in quarterback hits (31), third in sacks (17), and first in tackles for loss (35). This is a green-light spot for the Cardinals' D/ST against Ryan Fitzpatrick, who's taken seven sacks over his last two games with nine turnovers in his last three. Whereas Fitzpatrick has a strong 23:11 TD-to-INT ratio in home games since becoming a Jet in 2015, his TD-to-INT ratio falls to 13:14 on the road. Fitzpatrick's fantasy finishes through five weeks are QB22, QB8, QB35, QB27, and QB17. He is nothing more than a low-floor two-quarterback-league option in this matchup. ... The Cardinals held Rams and 49ers running backs to a combined 45-114-1 (2.53 YPC) rushing line in Weeks 4-5. This is a concerning draw for Matt Forte, whose weekly touch totals have descended dramatically (32 > 17 > 16 > 14) since the first two games of the season. Bilal Powell has ten touches in three straight games and has out-targeted Forte 23 to 9 during that stretch. In another game where the Jets seem likely to play from behind and Forte isn't getting enough passing-game usage to compensate, he is best viewed as a low-ceiling RB2/flex option in season-long leagues. Powell is a very viable PPR flex.
Fitzpatrick's targets in Eric Decker's two missed games: Brandon Marshall 27; Powell 17; Quincy Enunwa 14; Robby Anderson 8; Forte 5; Charone Peake 4; Austin Seferian-Jenkins 2. ... Although Patrick Peterson's shadow coverage is a concern, Marshall's target totals are 12 and 15 since Decker went out and Marshall showed the ability to beat a top corner by dropping 4-89-1 on Richard Sherman in Week 4. Mike Evans had a solid game (6-70-1) against Peterson in Week 2. Sheer volume keeps Marshall in the high-end WR2 hunt at worst, even in challenging draws. ... Enunwa's fantasy results have disappointed with Decker inactive, but he has logged snap rates of 94% and 83% and has a significant size (6'2/225) advantage on Tyrann Mathieu (5'9/186) in the slot. 49ers slot WR Jeremy Kerley (8-102-1) delivered a big game against the Cardinals in Week 5. Enunwa is running nearly 80% of his routes in the slot. ... No other Jets pass catchers are playable, but Seferian-Jenkins is worth monitoring. Claimed off waivers on September 26, ASJ needed less than two weeks to earn a game-day jersey, playing 34% of the downs and securing both of his targets for 17 yards against Pittsburgh. The Jets are going to need Seferian-Jenkins in the absence of Decker. He's someone to consider stashing in deep leagues.
Score Prediction: Cardinals 24, Jets 17