One game deep into Week 6, fantasy football owners have a pretty good idea of just how important matchups can be to success.
Thursday’s NFC South showdown between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints provided a great example. Saints running back Mark Ingram capitalized on one of the league’s worst defenses against his position for a season-high 17 points.
It’s just the beginning of a long weekend of great matchups. Below, let’s look at player rankings for each position and some of the top matchups to exploit.
Week 6 Schedule
It’s almost cheating naming the top-scoring quarterback as a player with a great matchup, but folks might not even realize it’s Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.
Dalton has been on absolute fire through five outings, with his lowest point total coming in at a solid 17. He’s already gone for more than 20 points three times as he thrives behind one of the league’s best lines and hits targets such as A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert.
Those hoping for a change on the leaderboard won’t get it. Dalton gets the Buffalo Bills next, a team that ranks among the 10 surrendering the most points to the position. The Bills have let up 10 touchdowns to signal-callers, meaning Dalton has a floor in the neighborhood of two scores.
So does Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford.
Bradford had one of the most disappointing fantasy debuts this year. Instead of exploding out of the gates with his new team, he has three double-digit outings in five tries, although it’s now two in a row.
As the offense continues to adjust, Bradford becomes more reliable. He’s next facing the New York Giants in what should be a shootout, and it just so happens his NFC East rivals rank right behind the Bills in terms of leakiness against quarterbacks.
One has to scroll quite a while on the leaderboard to find Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy. Like Bradford, it’s just been one of those starts to the season.
Unlike Bradford, owners know what Lacy can do and shouldn’t have too much concern over a slow start, which includes one score and trip to double digits in five outings.
It’s been a lineup of mostly tough defenses thus far for Lacy, though, and that comes to a screeching halt against the San Diego Chargers. In fact, the Chargers allow the most points to backs on average, so the Lacy of old is perhaps the surest thing of the week.
While he looked timid with 11 points last week as he worked his way back from injury, Houston Texans running back Arian Foster touts a can’t-miss encounter with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
As DraftKings.com’s Adam Levitan captured, Foster seems ready to fully go:
That’s an encouraging sign given the fact the Jaguars allow the fifth-most points to backs this year, including two allowances of 40 or more points.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ back Doug Martin just had a resurgence against the unit. Now it’s Foster’s turn.
Odell Beckham Jr. of the Giants is just a fun start this weekend.
He’s the top player in the NFC East showdown against the Giants on Monday Night Football, and he’s sure to perform like it. He features just three double-digit outings this year, but in those three games, he’s scored and caught seven passes.
More of the same wouldn’t be a surprise against the struggling Eagles, who have allowed seven scores to wideouts and four trips over 20 points, and three over 30. Those are allowed to entire receiving corps, but it wouldn’t be so surprising so see Beckham flirt with the 20-point mark himself.
He doesn’t need it, but New England Patriots wideout Julian Edelman is stuck in a perfect game this weekend.
An owner of double-digit performances in two of his four games, Edelman is a target monster with at least eight grabs in three games.
The Indianapolis Colts allow the third-most points to wideouts this season, and silly narrative or not, it’s hard to imagine Tom Brady and Co. will stop throwing against the team that kicked off the whole Deflategate thing.
Greg Olsen doesn’t have the household staying power of say, Rob Gronkowski, but when he’s in a great situation and the Carolina Panthers look to get him involved, he can outscore anyone at the position.
Case in point, Olsen’s 25-point outing in Week 3. Carolina’s leading receiver is Ted Ginn, so it’s a wonder Olsen only has that lone trip to double digits. That will change against the Seattle Seahawks, though, who allow the fifth-most points to tight ends.
Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett sits in much of the same situation, although he’s also had to deal with quarterback injuries. Jay Cutler is healthy now, though, so Bennett shouldn’t have many issues exploding against the winless Detroit Lions—a team that ranks right behind Seattle against tight ends thanks to four touchdowns allowed.
The New York Jets are back to their defensive powerhouse ways and sit in the best matchup of the week.
Where to start? The Jets have six picks on the year, seven fumble recoveries and have allowed more than 20 points just once to coincide with scoring 10 or more points three times.
No. 4 is on the way. Washington touts one of the league’s most stagnant offenses. The wideout corps hasn’t been healthy, the backfield rotation doesn’t make a ton of sense and Kirk Cousins has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns.
In a low-scoring affair, bank on the Jets.
It’s almost impossible to name 16 starting kickers this year, but Nick Novak of the Texans is one name owners should recognize.
Novak posted nine points last week, his best performance of the year, while attempting and making a pair of field goals and extra points.
The funny thing is Novak figures to improve on that season-best performance right away thanks to a game against the Jaguars. Jacksonville allows the most points to the position on average.
Long story short, Jacksonville has allowed at least eight points to kickers in every game and three in a row have scored at least 12. Novak will make it four in a row.
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