By Mario Mergola
Week 6 might have some of the best matchups we have seen in the National Football League, to date, but this type of competitive schedule doesn’t always work well for crafting fantasy lineups. We are probably in line for a series of close games, which usually plays well for the more reliable stars in the league.
Sporfolio’s NFL Daily Fantasy Sports game-by-game analysis columns are driven by expected game flow. Based on a combination of our Week 6 NFL picks against the spread and our expectations for a given game, we project the actions necessary to make these picks come to fruition. We aim to pinpoint players integral to our predicted game flow for each game of the week.
Luke May is Sporfolio’s NFL DFS expert, and Mario Mergola operates Sporfolio as the expert for NFL Picks Against the Spread.
Seattle Seahawks at Oakland Raiders – in London
Luke’s DFS Take: The Seahawks were so close to pulling off the upset, but produced exactly the type of battle we were expecting. For all of the drama around the Seahawks this year, they have been far more competitive than people would’ve guessed with a 2-3 record and their 3 losses coming by a combined 12 points. The Raiders’ defense has unsurprisingly struggled, so this Seahawks offense should continue to put up solid numbers. The ground game would be great to attack here, but unfortunately Chris Carson and Mike Davis seem to be in line to perfectly split carries moving forward making both guys risky and fairly unedifying to play. Despite that, either guy could make sense at their price tags, and Russell Wilson is almost always in play. Doug Baldwin should have a ‘bounceback’ game after a disappointing one catch game last week, but it’s also important to note just how good Tyler Lockett has been this year. Both receivers are worth of consideration with Lockett potentially being the better option at this point. The Raiders, and Amari Cooper, put up another stinker last week, but it is his usage that I still find so amazing. Cooper continues his trend of being invisible every other game, but when you only get one target, how productive can you be? In his three terrible games this year, Cooper has received only 9 targets. No clear number one receiver should have 9 targets over any three games this early in the season, especially considering how bad the Raiders’ defense is, and how many passes Derek Carr has been throwing. If history is any indication, we should be all-in on Cooper this week as he will probably see 8 or more targets and break 100 yards.
Mario’s DFS Take: I feel like I’m going to waste everyone’s time by writing about the Seattle Seahawks, yet again, so I’ll keep it as brief as possible. The same love I have for Russell Wilson on a weekly basis has not waned and, every game in which he tries to will his team to a competitive record in the NFC is one more in which we can use him. The Seahawks operate through Wilson, and I can’t imagine a scenario in which he will be off my list. Derek Carr is also in-play for the Oakland Raiders, as he is making his third international start in as many years. The first two were in Mexico – where this one will take place in London – but last year’s was completely forgettable. His team lost 33-8 and didn’t score until the fourth quarter. Expect Carr to improve on this dud, which raises the value, as usual, of Amari Cooper and Jared Cook. Cook has been a little inconsistent with actual production, but the target totals remain high. Cooper is the more boom-or-bust play, as he goes through contests in which Carr essentially forgets about him and then turns in a big day when Carr tries to get him involved. I wouldn’t force him into my lineup, but he can be utilized if salary constraints force your hand.
Chicago Bears at Miami Dolphins
Luke’s DFS Take: This would seem to be a great spot to jump on the Bears’ offense considering they are fresh off a bye that came a week after their best offensive game in Mitchell Trubisky’s career. While the last time we saw the Bears, they were scoring points at will, I am not going to allow that to skew my overall vision on them. The reality is that Chicago’s last game came against arguably the worst defense in the entire league, and this offense has largely struggled to move the ball with any consistency. It is possible that that game was a sign of improvement, but for now, I can’t let one game against a terrible defense skew lots of other evidence supporting the theory that the Bears’ offense is not good. After kicking off the year 3-0, the Dolphins have dropped back-to-back contests, and will have their hands full with this Bears defense. The offense has struggled of late, scoring only 24 points over the past two weeks, and while sometimes we may like to buy low on a team, a matchup with the well-rested Bears’ defense is no such time to get cute.
Mario’s DFS Take: Probably my favorite ‘trap’ of the week, the Miami Dolphins host the Chicago Bears after two completely opposite performances when each last stepped on a football field. The Dolphins were in control with a 17-0 lead in Cincinnati before imploding and ultimately losing by double digits. The Bears had basically secured a victory by the end of the first quarter when they laid waste to Tampa Bay and then went on a bye. Recency bias has led to Chicago being favored in Miami, but I’m looking for this to be a close matchup. Unfortunately, this lends itself to a mainly defensive battle, as the Dolphins have not scored more than 28 points in a game, including their three wins. When deciding between the two teams, I am leaning heavily toward Miami’s defense, as it leads the league in interceptions.