The other day in a fantasy league I take part in with my friends, I sent another owner a text about a trade offer. I don’t remember who exactly was involved, but one of the end results would have been Jack Doyle going from my team to his. I immediately received no for an answer. I asked for a reason. He responded with, “there’s nothing wrong with that trade, but last year I was winning a game going into Monday night and I lost because of Jack Doyle.” I laughed and said he was being ridiculous. He texted back, “I know it’s stupid, but I made a promise to myself that I would never have Jack Doyle on my team because I was so mad that night.” That’s when I realized how much more than a game fantasy football truly is. It’s an up and down roller coaster of a season in which emotion can often outweigh logic. Feelings toward certain players can range from mean spirited grudges to flat out man crushes. This is why we love it. Numbers and trends are the clues we follow to find success, but in the end, these players are people just as much as we are. As much as we want to stay objective, it’s hard not to develop connections to certain players because of their style of play, personality off the field, etc. Fantasy football is taken so seriously that sometimes we lose sight of how lucky we are to have an opportunity to play it, write about it, and enjoy it. Let’s enjoy Week 6.
Last week’s results (Point values are for full-point PPR):
QB: Carson Wentz – 22
RB: Phillip Lindsay – 11.1
RB: Bilal Powell – 8.9
WR: Jamison Crowder – 9.5
WR: Robby Anderson – 27.3
TE: Austin Hooper – 16.7
This was by far my best week of the season. None of my players busted, and more importantly, I hit on Robby Anderson and Austin Hooper. It’s only going to get easier as the season goes on and we acquire more information to work with. Time for a repeat performance in Week 6.
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Jameis Winston (TB): $5,800 at ATL
It’s hard not to call Winston a lock this week. I know he didn’t look great last week and that we don’t have much of a sample size, but you couldn’t ask for a better matchup. Seriously, play any quarterback against Atlanta right now and you won’t be disappointed in the results. Over the last four weeks, the Falcons have given up an average of 28.6 FPPG to quarterbacks. The lowest point total in that span was 21.6, and the highest was 40.5. I would be shocked to see Winston finish outside of QB1 territory this week. You may think that if Atlanta’s secondary is so terrible, then Tampa might just blow them out. The reason you should be licking your chops this week is because Tampa’s secondary isn’t much better. This game has shootout written all over it, and the fact that it’s in the dome in Atlanta removes any chance of weather interfering. The weapons in Tampa made even Ryan Fitzpatrick look like a superstar for a few weeks. The situation couldn’t be better for Jameis to get the ball rolling in his first start of the season.
Alex Collins (BAL): $4,600 at TEN
It’s usually a bit of a risky proposition to play a running back against Tennessee, but they’ve been a little bit more forgiving than normal over the last three weeks. During that span, they’ve allowed 13 PPR points per game on average to running backs that lead their teams in touches. Although Javorius Allen is heavily involved, he’s averaged 11 touches per game over the first five weeks versus 13.2 for Collins. Collins is also the only one of the two that has seen at least 20 touches in a game. Despite this, Allen is actually $200 more expensive than Collins this week, so if you’re gonna play a Baltimore running back, Collins is definitely the better value. Each touch leader over the past three weeks against the Titans has caught at least two passes, and although Allen is the preferred passing game option, Collins has a catch in every game this year, including two games with three catches. It’s not a matchup I would normally recommend targeting (which probably explains the price), but I think Collins will be the fourth consecutive running back to eclipse double-digit PPR points against this defense.
Aaron Jones (GB): $4,600 vs. SF
This Monday night contest might finally be the Aaron Jones breakout week that we’ve been waiting for. Last year, San Francisco was a defense to target with running backs, and this season has been no different. They’ve allowed an average of 18.9 PPR points per game this season to backfield touch leaders. Although it’s definitely a timeshare, Aaron Jones has led this backfield in touches since he returned from suspension in Week 3. Every running back to lead their team in touches against the 49ers has had at least 13, which brings about the only concern. Jones has not hit that number in touches yet this season, but Monday night looks like a situation in which it’s going to happen. Although C.J. Beathard has been better than expected, it’s clear that the 49ers are just not the same team without Jimmy Garoppolo under center. I could be wrong, but I don’t expect this game to be very close, especially in Green Bay. This means a positive game script for the Packers, which equates to more potential carries for Jones. Additionally, a handful of their wide receivers are banged up right now, meaning Green Bay may lean on their running game for that reason as well. I can’t say that he’s a sure thing because Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery aren’t going away, but Jones is in a great position to deliver value at his price.
Devin Funchess (CAR): $4,900 at WAS
Coming into the season, my expectations for Funchess were low considering that the Panthers drafted D.J. Moore and signed Torrey Smith in the offseason. However, it’s pretty clear that Funchess is their number one target going into Week 6. Against Washington, that’s a good thing. The Redskins have given up an average of 17 PPR points over their last three games to the combination of T.Y. Hilton, Davante Adams, and Michael Thomas. Although you may expect that number to be higher considering the pedigree of those three receivers, it at least tells us that Funchess should provide a solid floor this week. Josh Norman hasn’t been shadowing opposing wide receivers, so the matchup is really nothing to be afraid of. I think Funchess is a good play at this price considering his target volume this year, as well as his touchdown upside.
Chester Rogers (IND): $4,500 at NYJ
Although Eric Ebron has stolen all the attention, Chester Rogers is flying under the radar as a Colts pass catcher who has benefited from the injuries to Jack Doyle and T.Y. Hilton. He’s had 16 catches for 151 yards over the past two games, and both Doyle and Hilton seem doubtful to play again this week. He has the perfect matchup to keep the momentum going, as he’ll match up with Buster Skrine and the Jets. Skrine has not done much to slow down opposing slot receivers this year. He’s given up an average of 19.5 PPR points to slot receivers over the past three weeks, including a whopping eight catches to each of them. A high reception total is certainly in the realm of possibility for Rogers, as he’s had eight snags in each of his past two games. The Colts continue to lack any semblance of a run game, so as long as that’s the case, Andrew Luck will continue to put up sky high attempt numbers. Rogers should thrive this week, especially in the DraftKings PPR format.
Austin Hooper (ATL): $3,500 vs. TB
Hooper was my value tight end last week, and I’ll continue to use him here as long as I can. His target volume just can’t be found anywhere else in his price range, as evidenced by his 11-target, nine-catch performance last week against the Steelers. Last week was a dream matchup for Hooper, but if you can believe it, this week’s matchup might be even better. Tampa has allowed 19.4 PPR points per game to the tight end position over their last three contests. The production given up in that stretch includes two touchdowns as well as 86 receiving yards or more to each tight end. Hooper is not usually the player you can rely on two weeks in a row, but 11 targets can’t be ignored, and neither can this matchup. Hop on the Hooper train again this week and ride it until the wheels fall off.
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Nick Swantek is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Nick, check out his archive and follow him @nick_swantek.