The NFL Game Breakdown will be a weekly analysis of every game on the NFL schedule in extreme detail. From targets to game flow and other matchup variables, this article will be your one-stop-shop for everything you could ever need to prepare for DraftKings NFL contests.
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PAGE 2: HOU @ JAX, KC @ MIN, MIA @ TEN, WAS @ NYJ, CAR @ SEA
Texans @ Jaguars
Point Total: 43.5
Spread: Texans -1.5
Blake Bortles had his biggest game as a pro last week throwing for 4 TDs and 303 yards. Before you get too excited though remember that this was only the second time in his career that Bortles has broken 300 yards passing and thrown for more than 2 TDs in a game. The matchup this week is good but Bortles is also suffering from a sprained shoulder in his throwing arm and could be limited in this game. With injury concerns and a history of inconsistent performances I’m not one for chasing the points with Bortles in week 6.
Here’s the target breakdown from the last three weeks for the Jags:
Allen Hurns has seen his DraftKings price rise to $5000 this week but in a matchup against the pretty hapless Texans defense who have given up some big games to other teams secondary receiving options (Leonard Hankerson, Philly Brown, Andre Johnson) I won’t be shocked to see Hurns repeat his recent success. He’s in play for me in tournaments for week 5… While Hurns has been great recently Allen Robinson is the red zone target that could really cause problems for the Texans this week. Like Andre Johnson, Robinson is big and should pose matchup problems near the goal line. If Bortles is hurting he could use Robinson more down the middle of the field as he did last week when he connected with Robinson on an early 13 yard score. I think Robinson will be effective against a weaker Texans secondary and consider him a pretty high upside play week 6.
TJ Yeldon has now played on over 75% of all snaps in 2015. Yeldon been more involved in the pass game of late which bodes well for his fantasy success going forward as he’ll be less prone to being up ended by game flow. Yeldon left last week’s contest briefly but seems on track to play this week and gets a Texans defense who has given up 7 TDs to RBs through 5 games. Yeldon is in play for me once again and should have a high floor in this matchup between two below average teams.
With the return of Arian Foster to the lineup the Houston Texans offense has really turned into a two man show. Foster and WR DeAndre Hopkins received 10 and 16 targets respectively and were involved on 47/68 plays run by Houston in week 5. Even though the Texans have had offensive line issues this year expect to see Foster, who’s coming off a long week of rest, have a big game versus the Jags who just got torn to shreds by a weak Tampa O-line and Doug Martin in week 5. I love this spot for Arian and think he’s usable as a play in all formats on DK week 6… As for DeAndre Hopkins he’s now received 52 targets in his past 3 games and keeps putting up massive numbers every week. It’s possible that a Foster return to form might mean a quieter game but it also might open up the field for more Hopkins big plays and some TDs finally (he only has 3). At this point there’s no WR I’m more afraid of fading than DeAndre, he’s in play for me and the big name WR I’m most comfortable paying up for in week 6.
Brian Hoyer is projected to start for the Texans and given how he finished last week there’s some optimism here that he could be in for a big game week 6. The Texans have thrown the ball the most of any team through 5 weeks and with the Jags coming in slightly banged up I could see Hoyer taking advantage and having himself a big day. I’m a buyer on him in big tournaments.
Gameflow: I think you might see Houston come out strong and take this game. I’m not a huge fan of either team (both are not good) but the Jags just got outgunned by a bad Tampa team and might be limited on offense by an injured Blake Bortles. The Texans on the hand have a healthy Arian Foster and a dynamic WR who could blow this game open in the first half. In a do or die division game I expect the Texans to come out hot and put the Jags in a hole early. This could be a great game to target for fantasy.
Texans 30 Jaguars 24
– Arian Foster $7000
– DeAndre Hopkins $7700
– Allen Robinson $5700
– Brian Hoyer $5100
– Allen Hurns $5000
Chiefs @ Vikings
Point Total: 44
Spread: -3.5 Vikings
With Jamaal Charles done for the year backup Chiefs RBs Charcandrick West and Knile Davis will offer cheap value as fantasy plays in this game. As of now it appears that West is the favorite to see more work as Andy Reid has come out and said he sees West as a more Charles-like option. Normally I’d say avoid such an unclear situation but the matchup is pretty good and the feature back in the Chiefs offense projects to see a lot of passing work as well. At $4000 West is $500 cheaper than Davis and worth a look this week as his pass targets could vault him into big play category. He should be a pretty trusty target if you’re looking to go cheap at RB.
Here’s the Chiefs passing targets from the past three weeks of play for their two top receivers:
With Charles out and the Chiefs defense un able to stop even the lowly Bears look for Jeremy Maclin to keep getting consistent targeting and to produce some big games towards the second half of the year. The Vikings secondary has allowed teams number 1 WRs to produce all season and with Maclin slated to see a lot of Terrence Newman I’m not afraid of the matchup limiting him this week. I love Maclin for use in all formats week 6… The Vikings LBs aren’t the swiftest bunch and have yet to face a truly elite TE this year. This could be the breakout spot for TE Travis Kelce, and if he can’t produce with no Charles in a good matchup than I’ll throw in the towel next week. For now I’d recommend you consider Kelce for at least one more week, he’s still got a lot of upside at a highly variable position.
The Minnesota Vikings have thrown the ball the third fewest times per game of any team in the league thus far in 2015. With that being said don’t be shocked to see a small breakout game from Teddy Bridgewater as the Chiefs tougher run defense might force a few more passing plays than normal form the Vikings. Bridgewater may not be an elite fantasy QB but he’s been playing extremely well thus far in 2015 and is capable of having a small breakout vs. a bad team. At only $5300 I like this spot to use Teddy in tournaments and think his first big game of 2015 might be incoming.
The Vikings have been pretty banged up at the WR spot. Mike Wallace looks questionable to play in this game due to a sore at the moment but both Charles Johnson and Jarius Wright returned to practice this week and will likely suit up this Sunday. I’d love Wallace in this matchup if he were healthy as a tournament play as his speed and size should give the Chiefs weaker secondary fits. However if Wallace can’t go look for Viking rookie Stefon Diggs to possibly have a big game. Diggs was tremendous against a tough Denver team and would probably work more out of the slot where the Chiefs have been torched by both Randall Cobb and Emmanuel Sanders. If Wallace can’t go, fire up Diggs as a min-priced tourney gamble, there’s upside to him in this game.
For all their issues in the secondary the Chiefs still sport a highly talented D line and have limited opposing RBs to just 3.7 ypc. Considering that the Vikings haven’t been using Adrian Peterson a ton in the pass game I’m not sure if I want to pay up $7600 for him this week, especially when there’s just so many cheap options at RB right now. I’m saving my money to pay up for studs elsewhere in week 6 and likely avoiding this matchup with the Chiefs run D.
Gameflow: The Chiefs have fallen apart a bit the past few weeks and now will be without their best player on offense the rest of the way. While there’s still enough talent on the Chiefs side to pull off an upset I think the strong play of Teddy Bridgewater should be a factor here. I’d look for a bit of an outburst in the passing game (from both sides) and for Bridgewater to do enough to lead his team to a home win in week 6.
Vikings 27 Chiefs 21
– Jeremy Maclin $6500
– Travis Kelce $5000
– Stefon Diggs $3500 (if no Wallace)
– Teddy Bridgewater $5200
– Charcandrick West $4000
Dolphins @ Titans
Point Total: 43.5
Spread: -2.5 Titans
The Titans have been extremely solid on defense to start the year and actually rank 9th in the league in sacks. Under new DC Dick Lebeau the Titans have been good at getting pressure on the quarterback and that is not great news for Ryan Tannehill who has been one of the most pressured and sacked QBs through 4 games. Even at his discounted price of $5700 I’m not a buyer on Tanny this week.
Here’s how the targets have looked for the Dolphins over their past few games:
TE Jordan Cameron has just missed TDs on numerous occasions this year and has seen pretty consistent targeting through 4 games. Cameron’s price is now incredibly cheap at $3000 making him a pretty good value play for someone averaging 7 targets a game and currently second on his team in red zone targets, I like him in tournaments… Jarvis Landry hasn’t exploded with any huge games but he’s been consistent and leads his team in overall targeting and red zone looks by a bunch. The Titans have been good against the pass so far in 2015 but have only faced weaker passing teams. There’s nothing scaring me off Landry in this matchup and I think it’s likely he’ll see plenty of targets as Miami tries to get their season turned around by getting their best offensive players plenty of looks.
The Titans have done well in limiting RBs and have only allowed more than 100 yards rushing in one game thus far in 2015. Meanwhile the Dolphins have the second lowest rushing percentage in the league and have passed on over 72% of their plays in 2015 thus far. There might be a change in philosophy coming with new head coach Dan Campbell in charge but I can’t recommend Lamar Miller as a play until I see him getting more involved. Avoid this matchup.
Marcus Mariota rushed for more yards in week 5 than he has all season. While he’s been pretty consistent as a passer thus far Mariota’s true upside will be when he starts using his legs to pick up 30-40 yards per game. The Dolphins D has recorded the fewest sacks in the league thus far in 2015 (1) and the lack of pressure might allow Mariota to tear up this defense through the air and ground. At $5800 he’s got enough upside for me in tournaments, don’t be shocked if he breaks out for a big game.
Here’s the Titans targeting form the past few weeks:
Kendall Wright voiced his frustration after last week’s game with his lack of usage and it’s possible that his outburst might mean a little more work against a Dolphins pass D who has allowed slot receivers Eric Decker and Chris Hogan to score on them in consecutive weeks. I love this spot for Wright and at only $5200 I think pairing him with Marcus Mariota is a great stack to target in tournaments… TE Delanie Walker just missed a TD last week and remains one of the favorite targets for his rookie QB. Similarly athletic TE’s Charles Clay and Jordan Reed have had a ton of success against this defense and I think Walker, who’s priced cheaply at only $3600, has similar big game upside this week.
The Titans run game remains off limits for fantasy. Last week Bishop Sankey, Dexter McCluster and Antonio Andrews saw 7-8-7 snaps respectively and produced almost nothing between the three of them. The Dolphins run D has been brutal but not knowing where the production is coming from makes targeting the Titans backfield a complete nightmare for fantasy. Avoid.
Gameflow: This is a tough game to predict. The Dolphins will likely get a bump from having a new head coach but to be honest the better team this year has clearly been the Titans. With rookie Marcus Mariota looking more comfortable each week don’t be shocked to see a bit of a breakout game from him here as the Titans look to take advantage of a weak Dolphins defense. I like Tennessee to continue the downward spiral for Miami.
Titans 27 Dolphins 24
– Marcus Mariota $5800
– Jarvis Landry $6200
– Delanie Walker $3600
– Jordan Cameron $3000
– Kendall Wright $5200
Redskins @ Jets
Point Total: 40.5
Spread: -6 Jets
This game has the lowest point total of the week and has two teams with strong D’s facing off against each other. The Jets have been pretty dominate vs the pass, allowing only 5 passing TDs through 4 games and the second fewest fantasy points to the QB position. Kirk Cousins turned it over twice in last week’s last second loss to the Falcons and is a great target for your fantasy defense when on the road. Consider the Jets a great value on defense this week at only $3100 and good for use in any format.
While I don’t think there’s much upside at QB for the Redskins they are big underdogs in this game and might be forced into passing a lot at some point. WR Pierre Garcon has been a disappointment this year and at $5100 he’s too expensive for me to gamble on, especially considering he’ll be seeing lots of Darrelle Revis. On the other hand, rookie Jamison Crowder is now up 20 targets in his past two contests and is being used on both quick screens and in the slot. Desean Jackson might return and cut into his production a bit this week, but I still expect Crowder to see plenty of targets late. Crowder’s only $3600 and will have a great shot at hitting value again this week.
Here’s the snap counts and red zone carries for the Skins RBs in week 4:
With such an even split in carries and red zone work I’m not high on any of the Redskins RBs right now. Chris Thompson has actually seen the most work and been a consistent target in the pass game but the matchup in this game isn’t very good. The Jets have only allowed 3.2 ypc on rushes so far in 2015 and will be getting star DL Sheldon Richardson back this week which will only make a tough Run D even stronger. I’m avoiding all the Skins RBs, there’s just no upside in this matchup.
The Redskins D has also been solid this year and haven’t allowed any QB to throw for more than 300 yards in a game yet in 2015. While they’ve lost some bodies in the secondary the Skins still have the 10th most sacks in the league as a team and have done well pressuring the QB. I’m not targeting Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick this week as its pretty unlikely you’ll see a monster game from him in a below average matchup. Look elsewhere for cheap QBs.
Here’s how the Jets receiving targets have looked over the past two games:
With the Redskins secondary limited this might be a good week to target Eric Decker. The Skins haven’t been great at defending the WR position this year and allowed both the Jets and the Eagles to throw TDs to multiple WRs versus them. At only $4900 I love Decker’s price and potential upside. He’s a great tournament target and one that could easily pay off with 100 yards and a TD… While I hate the price increase on Brandon Marshall ($7100) I still think he’s worth paying for this week. Marshall has seen double digit targets in each of his last three games and that kind of consistency is hard to find. He could easily keep things rolling in week 6 and should have a relatively high floor for cash games.
At RB the Jets have ridden Chris Ivory when healthy. Ivory’s was on the field for 70% of the snaps in the Jets week 4 romp and with the Jets currently favoured by 6, he could see a lot of action in this game once again. Ivory saw a small increase in price this week and is now $5100 but it’s not enough to scare me off using him against a Redskins team who just allowed Devonta Freeman to go nuts in a road game last week. Ivory should be a top target this week at RB for fantasy.
Gameflow: The Redskins have been scrappy all year but are facing their second straight quality opponent on the road and coming off of a disappointing OT loss week 5. The Jets meanwhile will be rested and ready to pounce all over a Redskins offense who is led by a turnover prone QB. I think this one could get pretty ugly and expect the Jets to romp.
Jets 30 Redskins 13
– Chris Ivory $5100
– Jets D $3100
– Brandon Marshall $7100
– Eric Decker $4900
– Jamison Crowder $3600 (must play if no DJax)
Panthers @ Seahawks
Point Total: 41
Spread: -6.5 Seahawks
The Panthers and Seahawks have played three regular season games in the past three years with final scores of 16-12, 12-7 and 13-9. Don’t expect this to be a high scoring affair. For the Seahawks Russell Wilson has been the most sacked QB in the league through 5 games and has understandably had a slow start to the season as a result. Considering the low scoring nature of past games between these two teams, and the fact the Carolina D has been extremely solid versus the pass, this isn’t the week I’d expect Wilson to break out. Leave the Rustler at home week 6.
Speaking of situations to avoid, there’s no other group I want less of for fantasy than the Seahawks WRs. In the past three weeks the most targets a Seahawk WR has seen is 6, and no one from this group has recorded more than a 100 yards receiving in a game thus far in 2015. With arguably the best corner in the game coming to town in Josh Norman you can forget about rostering Doug Baldwin or Tyler Lockett or anyone else from this group, it’s a lost cause… Speaking of lost causes, maybe this is the week Jimmy Graham gets going but I’m certainly not going to pay $5400 to find out. The Panthers have been the best team at limiting the TE for fantasy purposes in 2015 and Graham is not producing in his new digs, avoid him and keep doing so until further notice.
RB Marshawn Lynch is on track to return for the Hawks in this game and could pay immediate dividends. The Panthers haven’t allowed a ton of yardage to RBs but they have allowed four TDs to the position in their last two games. Beast Mode has traditionally been a big play at home (12 of his 17 TDs were there in 2015) and the Hawks O-line did get the run game going a bit last week with backup Thomas Rawls. Lynch is still expensive at $6900 but I would consider paying up for him in tournaments as he should once again see a ton of carries and offer multi-TD upside.
The Hawks defense got lit up last week by Andy Dalton but have generally been a nightmare to deal with for the Panthers and Cam Newton. In his last three meetings with the Hawks Newton has averaged 33 yards rushing, 180 yards passing while also throwing 3 TDs and 3 INTs in that same span. Cam’s started the season hot but on the road I doubt we’ll see him replicate Dalton’s success. Wait till week 7 to roster him again in daily fantasy.
Here’s how the passing targets have been distributed for the Panthers over their past three games:
The Hawks have been susceptible against TE’s this year and that should bode well for the fantasy fortunes of Greg Olsen in week 6. With a low point total expected I’m still not huge on Olsen but he might be the only viable passing option for Newton in this game. Richard Sherman will likely put a stop to the string of nice games Ted Ginn has been having and after that, guessing which Panther receiver might be good for more than a couple catches is a pretty futile endeavor. I’d consider Olsen for week 6 but limit his usage to tournaments… As of this moment the Seattle D has yet to allow a TD to the RB position while the Panthers RBs have recorded zero TDs on the season. Just avoid the low price on Jonathan Stewart and look elsewhere for value.
Gameflow: I’d expect another close defensive battle. The Hawks have serious issues protecting their QB right now but should get a boost on offense with Marshawn Lynch returning this week. These teams are both victims of circumstance as the Panthers have feasted on weak opponents to get to 4-0 while the Hawks have been burned by a much tougher schedule. I think the script gets flipped here and we see a dominant defensive performance at home and a lot of running by Seattle’s RBs to seal the deal.
Seahawks 20 Panthers 13
– Seattle D $3800
– Greg Olsen $5500
– Marshawn Lynch $6900
NFL GAME BREAKDOWN – PAGE 2