Week 6 of the NFL is scheduled to have a solid 11-game main slate this Sunday afternoon on DraftKings. The Raiders, Saints, Chargers and Seahawks are on their scheduled bye this week, but there are still plenty of good fantasy options to consider as you build your DraftKings roster. Some of the marquee matchups for this Sunday include the Battle of the Bays as Tampa Bay hosts Green Bay, the rescheduled game between the Broncos and Patriots, and the Steelers and Browns going head-to-head in an AFC North grudge match.
As you get your DraftKings team together for Week 6’s main slate, make sure to take a look at these affordable plays that come loaded with upside. Each week, I dive into the bargain bin and give you my favorite cheap plays based on recent form, matchup and expected opportunity. Here are the plays I like the most this Sunday.
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($6,000 and under)
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets, $5,900 – While there are still calls for Tua Tagovailoa ($5,400), Fitzpatrick has been red-hot lately and led the Dolphins to a great road win last week in San Francisco. In that game, he was extremely efficient, completing 22-of-28 passes for 350 yards and three scores on his way to 30.6 DKFP. He has posted over 25 DKFP in four straight games since a disappointing opener. He has thrown for at least 300 yards in three of his past four games, and while he did struggle against Seattle in Week 4, his total production was saved by 47 rushing yards and his second rushing touchdown of the season.
Fitz and the Dolphins are in another good spot this week as they welcome in the winless and hapless Jets. My only fear is that the game turns into a blowout and Miami doesn’t throw the ball enough to make Fitzpatrick a star, but he has played well in the Dolphins’ two comfortable victories and makes a lot of sense in Week 6 as he faces one of his many former teams.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers, $5,700 – Mayfield avoided serious injury against the Colts but did have to undergo X-rays on his ribs after the game. He will be closely monitored this week but is expected to be able to play against the Steelers. He was able to play through the injury and still lead the Browns to a 32-23 win while attempting 37 passes, his most since Week 1, and throwing two touchdowns for the fourth straight week on his way to a season-high 17.58 DKFP. Mayfield may have to carry more of the offensive workload with Nick Chubb (knee) on IR and Kareem Hunt ($6,900) playing through a groin injury.
While this divisional matchup can sometimes be a defensive struggle, both teams have been scoring and allowing a good amount of points this season. The Browns are actually fourth in the NFL with 31.2 points per game, and the Steelers are No. 10 with 29.5 points per game. Don’t just assume this will be a low-scoring contest. Last week, Pittsburgh gave up 19.4 DKFP to Carson Wentz ($5,600) despite the Eagles being without many of their top WRs. Since the Browns have much stronger options with more upside, Mayfield should be able to attack the Steelers’ secondary and has a high ceiling this week.
Other Options: Ryan Tannehill ($5,900), Drew Lock ($5,400)
($5,000 and under)
D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions at Jacksonville Jaguars, $4,500 – The Lions used a second-round pick on Swift and should continue to incorporate the rookie into their gameplan coming off their bye week. In Week 3, Swift only played five snaps and had just 2.9 DKFP, but he has over 11 DKFP in each of his three other games this season. In his most recent game in Week 4 against the Saints, he scored his second NFL touchdown and had a season-high 15.2 DKFP by hauling in all four of his targets for 30 yards and picking up 22 yards on four carries. He also saw a much larger percentage of snaps with 23 snaps compared to Adrian Peterson’s ($4,700) backfield-leading 27, showing that Week 3 game was likely an outlier.
Despite a memorably brutal drop in Week 1, the Lions have been working the rookie into the mix on a regular basis. Kerryon Johnson seems to be in a diminishing role and may be dealing with a hip injury as well, so look for Swift to continue to get more work to relieve the veteran Peterson this week against the Jaguars. Jacksonville has allowed RBs to pile up an average of 104.2 rushing yards and 43.8 receiving yards per game and allowed six RB touchdowns. If Swift can emerge with enough of a workload in this favorable matchup, he can definitely be a solid play at this price.
Brian Hill, Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings, $4,000 – The Falcons have been working Hill into the mix more often, and he may fly under the radar since most of the attention in this matchup will be focused on Alexander Mattison ($7,200) and Mike Boone ($4,000) filling in for the injured Dalvin Cook ($8,000; abductor). While Todd Gurley II ($6,300) has been pretty solid in his time in Atlanta, the Falcons are limiting his workload, and he hasn’t had more than 18 touches in any of the past three weeks.
Hill played 23% of offensive snaps in Week 4 and 31% of offensive snaps in Week 5. He has gotten multiple targets in every game this season and has at least 4.0 DKFP in each contest. In his three seasons with the Bucs, new interim head coach Raheem Morris used an RB rotation with LeGarrette Blount and Cadillac Williams, so Hill could see even more work if the Falcons lean more heavily on their ground game.
Other Options: Devonta Freeman ($4,900), D’Ernest Johnson ($4,000)
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($5,000 and under)
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $4,600 – Even if Davante Adams ($8,000; hamstring) is ready to return for the Packers after their bye week, Valdes-Scantling should be in a very involved role with Allen Lazard (abdomen) still a ways from returning. MVS has 25 targets in his four games this season and has an average depth of target of 17.2 yards, which ranks him No. 7 in the NFL. That average depth of target is the most for any WR in the whole league with 25 targets or more.
Against the Falcons last Monday, Valdes-Scantling hauled in 4-of-8 targets for 45 yards and 8.5 DKFP. He actually had more DKFP in Week 1 and Week 2 when Adams was on the field, so a return by the WR1 would let MVS operate where he feels more comfortable as the WR2 against the Bucs. Tampa Bay has allowed four WR touchdowns in their five games and an average of 13.8 WR catches per game. While their secondary isn’t the worst in the NFL, it isn’t a bad matchup either. MVS has a very high ceiling and should offer good returns while the Aaron Rodgers’ ($7,500) revenge tour continues.
Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos at New England Patriots, $4,500 – The Broncos’ trip to New England has been delayed a few times, but they finally look ready to square off with the Patriots this Sunday. What isn’t clear is the status of Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore, who is still on the COVID-19/reserve list as of midweek. If Gilmore is out, the Broncos will have a nice matchup as they hope to welcome back starting QB Drew Lock ($5,400) from his shoulder injury. Patrick stands to benefit from both Gilmore out and Lock in, and he could end up in a nice spot for a big game.
In his Week 4 contest, Patrick found the end zone for the second straight week and finished with 26.3 DKFP against the Jets. With Courtland Sutton (knee) done for the season and KJ Hamler ($3,700; hamstring) banged up as well, Patrick should continue to get plenty of looks as the second WR behind Jerry Jeudy ($5,500). Patrick has been very efficient with his targets this season, catching 16-of-21 for 209 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers, $3,000 – Even some extra spotlight on the Bears’ rookie didn’t make his salary increase after his Bears upset the Bucs last Thursday night. Mooney caught just 2-of-5 targets for 15 yards in that game, but he also was in a great spot for a touchdown in the first half when he was wide open but missed by Nick Foles ($5,800). Mooney had a season-high nine targets in Foles’ first start in Week 4 and hauled in five catches for 52 yards.
Mooney seems to have passed Anthony Miller ($4,300) on the Bears’ depth chart, at least in terms of targets, and the rookie WR has the highest average depth of target on the team at 12.2 yards. The fifth-round pick from Tulane is loaded with upside and could be in for a breakout performance if his usage continues to climb.
Jeff Smith, New York Jets at Miami Dolphins, $3,000 – While he isn’t as flashy as Mooney, Smith has been heavily involved in the Jets’ passing game the past few weeks, and that volume makes him worth a look this week against the Dolphins. Smith has only been active the past two games for New York but has already piled up 20 targets. Joe Flacco ($5,100) threw the ball his way 11 times last week when Smith played 99% of the Jets’ offensive snaps. Unfortunately for his stat line, Smith only hauled in three of those targets for 23 yards and 5.3 DKFP, but the opportunities are definitely there for him to step up.
This week, the Jets may be getting Breshad Perriman ($4,100; ankle) back from injury, but they lost Chris Hogan (ankle) to IR, leaving room for Smith to still be a high-volume option along with Jamison Crowder ($6,100) and likely Perriman in three-WR sets. Smith dropped a potential touchdown last week but should bounce back with a strong game if he continues to see so much run against Miami.
Other Options: Keelan Cole ($4,900), Tee Higgins ($4,700), Golden Tate ($4,600), Travis Fulgham ($4,400)
($4,000 and under)
Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers, $3,900 – Hooper led the Browns with a season-high 10 targets in Week 5 and hauled in five catches for 57 yards. He had double-digit DKFP for the second straight week and definitely seems to be settling in to his new role in Cleveland. He’ll get his first taste of the rivalry with the Steelers this weekend. Pittsburgh has done a good job against TEs so far this year, but Hooper still makes a nice value-stack with Baker if they’re able to pile up points against the Steelers like the Eagles did last week.
Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts vs. Cincinnati Bengals, $3,100 – Burton has already shown a strong connection with Philip Rivers ($5,900) after coming off IR in Week 4. In just two games he has already been targeted 11 times and has hauled in seven catches for 49 yards. While Mo Alie-Cox ($4,000) and Jack Doyle ($2,700) are still around, it’s clear that Burton is the top receiving option from the TE spot, which Rivers has a history of keying in on and making fantasy relevant. As Burton ramps up to a full workload, he’s a solid cheap flier this week against the Bengals, who gave up 17.6 DKFP to Mark Andrews ($6,500) last week and have allowed at least three catches and 48 yards to opposing TE in four of five games this season.
Other Options: Cameron Brate ($3,500), Jordan Akins ($3,300)
($2,800 and under)
Titans DST, Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans, $2,800 – The long layoff with no practice didn’t seem to hurt the Titans at all on Tuesday night, as they dominated the Bills in their 42-16 victory. The defense forced three turnovers and only allowed 380 yards while producing 8.0 DKFP. The Titans now have at least 5.0 DKFP in each of their past three games and get a good matchup against the Texans this week in a divisional matchup. Houston has allowed 3.4 sacks per game and turned the ball over seven times in their five contests this season.
Bengals DST, Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts, $2,100 – The Bengals are the cheapest DST on the board on the main slate, but I actually like their matchup against Rivers and the Colts. Indy has allowed only five sacks but does have six turnovers, one of which was returned for a touchdown last week when the Browns also got to them for a safety. The Bengals’ unit had an understandably tough time last week with the Ravens but posted 5.0 and 7.0 DKFP in its two prior games against the Jaguars and Eagles, respectively. The Bengals have five interceptions and nine sacks in five games and are set to be a solid punt play in Week 6.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.