FanDuel Market Watch: Week 6 (Fantasy Football)

by David McCaffery | @mccaffmedia | Featured Writer
Oct 9, 2018

Even with Doyle coming back, Ebron’s price continues to rise

Is it Week 6 already? The 2018 NFL season seems to be flying by, but here at Fantasy Pros, we’re not slowing down at all. Looking ahead to another exciting and action-packed slate of games, it’s important to note that two extremely fantasy-relevant franchises are on bye this week as New Orleans and Detroit players won’t be available for your lineups.

So let’s get right to it and find some of the biggest value adjustments of the week. And spoiler alert: there are a lot of players from the upcoming Indianapolis Colts-New York Jets showdown that warrant your attention and consideration.

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Sam Darnold (NYJ): $6,800 vs. IND (+$500)
On Sunday, Darnold picked up his second career victory as the Jets topped the Denver Broncos in a 34-16 drubbing. It was the first time in his young career that the rookie signal caller threw for three scores, and his first multi-touchdown game since Week 1. While his 45.5% completion percentage wasn’t pretty, it was definitely his best performance since the opener, and Darnold and Robby Anderson finally improved their connection, hooking up for 76 and 35-yard touchdown passes on Sunday afternoon.

This week, the Jets host the Colts in what could turn into another high-scoring affair. The Colts allow the eight-most FanDuel points per contest to quarterbacks (20.9) and have permitted opposing passers to throw for over 300 yards with multiple touchdowns passes in back-to-back weeks. While you’re likely still not ready to rely on Darnold as your starter in FanDuel this week, the match-up is certainly favorable, and he could find himself in a desirable game script against a pass-heavy Colts team.

Joe Flacco (BAL): $7,000 @ TEN (-$200)
Put simply, there weren’t many value drops at quarterback this week and Flacco’s $200 decrease actually represents the largest on the slate. On Sunday’s overtime loss to the Cleveland Browns, Flacco failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season, and things may not get a lot easier this week against a Titans defense that has allowed  15.8 FanDuel points per game to opposing passers (sixth-fewest) and only six touchdown passes (tied for third-fewest).

Flacco can be started for QB19 cost this week, but based on the matchup, he represents a risky start. While he’s played solid football to this point in 2018, it would be a surprise to see him produce his fourth multi-touchdown game of the season against the Titans.

Running Backs

Isaiah Crowell (NYJ): $6,700 vs. IND (+$800)
Well, that was something, now wasn’t it? On Sunday, Crowell produced his breakout game as a New York Jet, rumbling for 219 rushing yards and a touchdown on only 15 carries against the Broncos, which was good for an eye-popping 14.6 yards per tote. No, that’s not a typo. It was Crowell’s second 100-plus rushing yard game of the year and he’s now averaging a sparkling 6.8 yards per carry on the season. Clearly, he needs to get the football more than the 11.4 carries he’s averaging per week.

Crowell was actually out-touched 20 to 16 by Bilal Powell in Week 5, but Crowell’s 231 total yards vastly out-paced Powell’s 99. Both men are going to receive their touches and this is still a committee, but that doesn’t necessarily matter this week. After all, the Patriots’ two-back rotation of Sony Michel and James White just ripped the Colts for 197 total yards and two total touchdowns on Thursday night. Expect to see plenty more of both these backs in Week 6.

Tevin Coleman (ATL): $6,300 vs. TB (-$600)
It looks like Coleman’s time as an RB2 is over for the time being. Indeed, Devonta Freeman made his return to the Falcons’ lineup for Sunday’s date with the Steelers, and a committee was formed. Freeman saw eight rushes to Coleman’s seven, and Freeman’s 4.0 yards per carry vastly out-performed Coleman’s 2.1.

Yes, the Falcons trailed for most of the game which led to an unfavorable game script, but going forward, as Freeman gets healthier, he should receive a larger share of the workload and re-claim his lead back role. That will likely reduce Coleman to high-end backup status, rendering him virtually unstartable in FanDuel in future weeks. It was fun while it lasted, and in a contract year, Coleman could find a starting gig elsewhere this off-season, but for now, he’s a risky play. The only silver lining this week is that the Falcons have a tasty match-up with a Buccaneers defense that is allowing 27.1 FanDuel points per game to opposing runners (sixth-most). However, at $6,300, there are much better values to be found elsewhere.

Wide Receivers

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB): $5,500 vs. SF (+$700)
With Geronimo Allison and Randall Cobb sidelined, Valdes-Scantling played 95% of the Packers’ snaps against the Detroit Lions, snaring seven receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown, in the process. It wasn’t necessarily a pretty day for Green Bay’s young receivers, but any player in a high-volume role with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback is a valuable fantasy asset, and the youngster was reasonably productive.

With such an opportunity, naturally comes an increase in cost, and Valdes-Scantling’s $700 value spike is proof of that. This week, he draws a 49ers pass defense that presents a particularly inviting matchup to opposing wide receivers, but little is known about Cobb and Allison’s potential availability for the Monday night contest. If both men remain sidelined, MVS should remain locked into a meaningful role in the Packers’ offense but if one or both of them return to the field, his value is all but obliterated.

Will Fuller (HOU): $7,300 vs. BUF (-$600)
It finally happened. Fuller and Deshaun Watson played in a game together and didn’t make beautiful music, and now we’re all collectively freaking out. For the first time ever, Watson and Fuller failed to combine for a touchdown in an NFL contest, after the duo hooked up for 10 of them over their first seven games together. In fact, Fuller only secured two of three targets for 15 yards in a game where Watson threw for 375. My initial reaction is that it was bound to happen sooner or later. It’s no big deal.

However, that off night must have had an effect on someone, because Fuller’s value plummeted by $600. That’s more than okay with me, and I would be happy to take a chance on him this week. Yes, the Bills’ secondary has been considerably improved after a rough start, but Watson is one of the hottest quarterbacks in the game right now, having thrown for over 300 yards in four straight games, with seven touchdown passes during that span. Fuller has produced two 100-plus yard days during Watson’s hot streak and remains one of his quarterback’s most trusted targets. Now is not the time to panic.

Tight Ends

Eric Ebron (IND): $6,500 @ NYJ (+$800)
Don’t look now, but the Ebron breakout is officially on. On the heels of a 15-target, nine-catch, 105-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Patriots on Thursday Night Football, here’s where the former Lion ranks among NFL tight ends in 2018: 45 targets (third), 26 catches (fourth), 255 receiving yards (sixth), and five touchdowns (first). No matter what lens you’re looking through, Ebron is a high-end TE1, and has absorbed 36 targets with Jack Doyle sidelined over the last three weeks.

As of right now, there is no clarity as to whether Doyle will be back in the lineup against the Jets in Week 6, but if he sits again, it’s hard to ignore Ebron as a starting option. However, it should be noted that his recent run of production has made him the fourth-highest tight end value on the slate and this week he faces a Jets team that is permitting the fewest FanDuel points per week (6.0) of any NFL franchise. However, they haven’t faced a player producing at Ebron’s level yet. Another impressive performance could be on the menu, but there is at least some degree of risk involved, particularly if Doyle is back on the field.

Jordan Reed (WAS): $6,200 vs. CAR (-$500)
Reed has remained healthy to this point in 2018, but he’s yet to have the sort of blow-up game that we typically expect of him. On the heels of a one-catch, 21-yard performance against a supposedly vulnerable New Orleans defense, Reed has accumulated 15 catches for 189 yards and a touchdown over his first four contests of the season. While those numbers aren’t horrific, they aren’t particularly impressive either.

However, positive regression could be on the way. This week, Reed draws a Panthers defense that allows 11.3 FanDuel points per game to opposing tight ends (tied for 10th-most). The early returns haven’t been jaw-dropping and that’s likely led to his $500 decrease in value this week, but this could be the week where he once again performs like the Jordan Reed of old. If we can shake off the Week 5 clunker, Reed has seen five or more targets and produced 45-plus receiving yards in every contest this year. A solid performance is likely on the docket.

David McCaffery is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from David, check out his archive or follow him @mccaffmedia.

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