Last week’s suggestions began with sitting Matt Ryan in Denver for either Joe Flacco or Brian Hoyer. Unfortunately, Flacco had a similar disappointing performance to that of Ryan, although the pre-game reports of high winds hopefully took you off Flacco and onto Hoyer, or someone else. On the road, facing a porous Colts defense, Hoyer strung together his third consecutive game (second start) with 300 yards and two touchdowns as he further solidifies himself as the starter in Chicago.
The wide receiver calls made in Week 5 by the PlayerProfiler crew were hot fire. In this vary space I gave you Sammie Coates (11 targets, six receptions, 139 yards, two TDs) while site founder Matt Kelley crushed it with his call of Cameron Meredith (12 targets, nine receptions, 130 yards, TD). You’re welcome, folks. We’ll have more on Meredith in just a bit.
At running back we saw DeAndre Washington get involved in the Oakland Raiders red zone plays only to have his touchdown opportunity go to fullback Jamize Olawale. Yuk. My other streaming suggestion, Bilal Powell, had a respectable performance with six receptions and a total of 51 yards of offense. No, I’m not lazy but I have no issues going back to the well on both of these guys in Week 6, as you’ll soon discover.
For streaming purposes, it’s once again time to dial up Alex Smith. Kansas City is coming off a bye week and traveling to Oakland for an inter-division matchup with sneaky shootout potential. In eight career games against the Raiders, Smith has thrown for 18 touchdowns; easily the most damage he’s done against any opponent. More importantly, he’s been asked to throw the ball a lot more frequently this season. Smith has averaged 42 pass attempts through four games thus far and is coming off a 30 for 50 spot against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jamaal Charles (knee) figures to have a bigger role in the offense this week, but it’s his contributions in the pass game that could prove very beneficial for Smith. The recent success of Hoyer will likely have him as a popular streamer and cheap cash game QB in DFS circles. I prefer making the pivot to Smith in that same discounted pricing tier. Hoyer draws the Jacksonville Jaguars and their seventh ranked Football Outsiders Pass Rank DVOA. Oakland rates 29th.
Well, if I like Smith to put up points for the Chiefs that means I expect to see Derek Carr doing his thing on the other end. Prior to their Week 5 bye, Kansas City had Ben Roethlisberger drop 300 yards and five touchdowns on them. That’s one week after snatching half a dozen interceptions from Ryan Fitzpatrick. This is a defense that is truly capable of anything, which is why Carr makes for a nice contrarian option. Last week, we finally saw Amari Cooper get into the end zone, although he lost three — yes, three — other possible touchdowns because he failed to get both feet inbounds time after time. Meanwhile, Carr’s other target, Michael Crabtree, is looking like the Eric Decker of 2016: solid yardage, a touchdown, or both on a weekly basis. The quick peak at the Player Profiler Weekly Player Rankings have Carr has a top-10 play. His individual player page notes that his Production Premium and Fantasy Points Per Dropback are both rated sixth among quarterbacks.
Cameron Meredith is awesome and Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) is (always) hurt. Yet Meredith is only 45 percent owned on Yahoo and under 29 percent on ESPN. If you still don’t believe in Meredith, let’s review. The abyssal Kevin White (leg) was getting force fed targets and doing very little with them. Now that role is occupied by Meredith, who needed just one (1) game to produce at a level White never came close to reaching. Jeffery has yet to see more than seven targets in a game. Jeffery was also limited in practice this week because he’s always hurt. As previously mentioned, this week against the Jaguars is tougher matchup than most realize. Thankfully, there’s a very safe bed of targets that the White/Meredith role has been getting all year which should keep the production rolling going forward. He’s more than a streamer, yet has similar availability, which is unfathomable.
Now that the Cameron Meredith public service announcement is out the way, let’s move onto a contrarian DFS play at wide receiver. The name that keeps screaming at me is DeAndre Hopkins, the receiver Hoyer locked onto last year with the Texans. Back in Week 1, Hopkins went for $8,800 on DraftKings. His price stayed in that neighborhood until last week’s tough matchup at Minnesota lowered the cost down to $7,700. Despite scoring on the Vikings and now hosting the Colts in Week 6, Hopkins had his salary dropped by another $200. We just saw Indy get smashed by Meredith, one week after allowing both Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns of the Jaguars to score touchdowns. According to comments made by Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino to the media, cornerback Vontae Davis will not be asked to shadow Hopkins like Xavier Rhodes did a week ago. In the mind of most fantasy football owners Will Fuller is running circles around Hopkins. That’s simply not so. Hopkins has two more targets, two more receptions, one more touchdown, and only trails the speedy rookie by 44 receiving yards.
Even though last week’s results were decent, I’m going to bring it back with DeAndre Washington and Bilal Powell as streaming running back options. Why not? Latavius Murray (toe) has yet to practice. Sure, Jalen Richard was involved, but that was expected. Although, sluggish fullback Jamize Olawale isn’t ever supposed to get six carries or vulture a touchdown, yet he did just that. Thankfully, we can still look to Washington because he was preferred over Richard when the Raiders were in the red zone. Plus, his athletic profile puts Richard to shame. While Kansas City has occasionally been stingy against the pass, their Rush Rank DVOA sits 27th in the league. As for Powell, he’s now caught six balls in three consecutive games and the opposing Arizona Cardinals have given up a fair amount of receiving production to running backs as of late. In Week 4, Todd Gurley caught five passes for 49 yards. Last week, Carlos Hyde recorded half a dozen grabs for 36 yards.
The top of the DFS price spectrum is headlined by several running backs that will be quite popular: Le’Veon Bell at Miami, DeMarco Murray vs Cleveland, and LeSean McCoy welcoming former coach Chip Kelly and the cross country traveling 49ers. A pair of forgotten players in that high-priced area each have the scary red numbers in the OPRK rank column on DraftKings and draw two of the top three defenses in Rush Rank DVOA. They are David Johnson against the Jets and Ezekiel Elliott at Green Bay. Johnson has proven himself to be bulletproof regardless of opponent and game script while Elliott is averaging 137.3 rushing yards per game over the last three contests. The matchups are indeed difficult, but both backs are displaying otherworldly talent. Johnson and/or Elliott make for sharp price pivots in tournaments in order to get all the upside of their pricey counterparts at much lower ownership.
Delanie Walker against the Browns at a reasonable price is shaping up as the chalk cash play in DFS. There’s also a good pair of much cheaper options that are also widely available for streaming purposes. First up is Charles Clay of the Bills. He’s caught five passes in three of his last four games and is coming off a season-high 73 yards. San Francisco was torched by Greg Olsen (eight targets, five receptions, 122 yards, TD) and Jimmy Graham (nine targets, six receptions, 100 yards, TD) prior to Jason Witten catching seven passes for 47 yards in Week 4.
Finally, Steelers tight end Jesse James set new season highs last week with eight targets, six receptions, and 43 yards. He also scored for the third time in four games. Walker scored on Miami last week, who also had recent issues with the likes of Martellus Bennett (six targets, five receptions, 114 yards, TD) and Gary Barnidge (six targets, five receptions, 66 yards).