I’ve written throughout this young NFL season that wide receiver selection is the most important component of your lineup creation on DraftKings. That’s especially the case in Week 6, as the wide receiver pricing is funkier than ever.
|$2.2mil in Prizes||$1M to First|
|$27 Entry Fee||15,000 Paid|
First off, the wide receiver salaries appear to be pretty conservative. There are only seven receivers priced over $7,000 and four over $7,500, which could add to their value in the flex. If you’re going to be starting four receivers this week, it’s imperative that you put in the appropriate amount of research to make sure you’re hitting on your pass-catchers.
In my book Fantasy Football (and Baseball) for Smart People, I examined which teams are doing best based on which position they use in the flex spot. Here are the results for tournaments.
Historically, receivers beat out running backs as GPP flex options, so it’s important to hit on those pass-catchers.
Second, we see some struggling receivers whose prices have plummeted, which will make for some very interesting Week 6 decisions; Dez Bryant, Alshon Jeffery, and Brandon Marshall are priced at No. 10 through No. 12, for example.
Let’s run through the wide receiver salaries in greater detail to see who’s valuable, who’s overpriced, and who’s worth a second look.
Top Five Wide Receivers
Julio Jones, Atlanta vs Chicago, $8400 – Jones checks in as the most expensive wide receiver on DraftKings this week, and rightfully so; he’s leading the NFL in catches and yards, and he also has room for improvement on his three touchdowns.
In Week 6, Jones will face a middle-of-the-pack Bears pass defense that he should be able to exploit. This game has a high total of 54 points and a close spread of just a field goal, which should result in a very favorable game script for everyone involved.
Demaryius Thomas, Denver at NY Jets, $8000 – It will be very interesting to see how Thomas’s usage stacks up with that of Jones this week. Thomas is of course coming off of a record-breaking performance against the Cardinals, and he gets an atrocious Jets pass defense in Week 6.
My hunch is that Thomas is going to be more popular than Jones in the Millionaire Maker because he’s cheaper. There could also be a recency bias at work here; even though Jones had a decent Week 5 game, Thomas sticks out in our minds as someone who is “hot”. For that reason, I think I prefer Jones in tournaments because of (perhaps) lower utilization.
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh at Cleveland, $7900 – Brown has caught at least five passes in approximately 10,000 straight games, and I’ll be all over him in my cash games. There’s just so much consistency here due to the number of screens and other quick passes Brown sees.
I think all three of these top receivers are in great situations and offer value. It could be tough to pay up for two of them in your cash games, but you might want to think about going cheap at running back, if possible, to go really elite at the receiver position this week.
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay at Miami, $7700 – You have to like that the Packers are heading into Miami on 10 days rest. Nelson is a touchdown-scoring machine who should be able to take advantage of the Dolphins secondary. Even after hauling in just one catch against the Vikings last week, Nelson is still on pace for 109 this season.
Calvin Johnson, Detroit at Minnesota, $7400 – NOTE: Johnson re-aggravated his ankle injury in Week 5, so there’s a good chance that he’ll sit this game out. If he does, Golden Tate’s value will soar.
If Megatron suits up, however, you very much need to consider him at this price tag. It’s a risk and maybe not a smart cash-game play, but certainly Johnson should be on your GPP radar if he plays.
Five Others to Consider
A.J. Green, Cincinnati vs Carolina, $7100
Randall Cobb, Green Bay at Miami, $7100
Emmanuel Sanders, Denver at NY Jets, $6900
Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia vs NY Giants, $6800
Dez Bryant, Dallas at Seattle, $6600
Bryant has scored in four straight games and he’s arguably the best red zone receiver in the NFL. The matchup against the Seahawks looks bad at first, but note that Seattle has allowed at least 275 passing yards in three straight games. Two of those were against the Broncos and Chargers, but they also yielded a decent chunk of yardage to Kirk Cousins on Monday night. Bryant will see some of Richard Sherman, but not on every snap, especially since I see Dallas using him in the slot quite a bit in this one.
Five Mid-Priced Wide Receivers
Alshon Jeffery, Chicago at Atlanta, $6500 – Of all the pricing this week, the Chicago receiver salaries baffle me the most. Jeffery checks in here at $200 more than his teammate, which could really throw a wrench into utilization. Will DraftKings users go after the receiver who has been better this year in Jeffery, or save $200 and grab the No. 1 on the Bears in Marshall?
Brandon Marshall, Chicago at Atlanta, $6300 – The reason that Marshall scares me is because it appears like he isn’t healthy. After hauling in 13 passes and scoring four times in the Bears’ first two games, Marshall has just six catches and one touchdown in the past three contests. There’s certainly risk here, which is why the fact that Marshall isn’t more expensive than Jeffery doesn’t surprise me.
Golden Tate, Detroit at Minnesota, $6300 – If Calvin Johnson doesn’t suit up, Tate goes from overpriced to arguably a decent value in Minnesota. The small-ish wide receiver has at least five catches in every game this year, including 100-plus yards in each of the past two games with Johnson banged up. The concern is whether or not he can consistently get into the end zone to give you GPP upside, but with his target and reception count, you really need just one score to give you a nice ceiling.
Steve Smith, Baltimore at Tampa Bay, $6200 – I’m not a huge Smith fan and I think he’s very quickly going to come back to Earth. We might have seen that start with his 36 yards in Week 5. In Week 6, though, you have to love the matchup in Tampa Bay. Note that Baltimore is just a field goal favorite, which means you probably don’t need to be too concerned with a negative game flow.
Julian Edelman, New England at Buffalo, $5900 – As is the case every week, I won’t hesitate to play Edelman in cash games, but I have serious reservations about him in tournaments. Even with Tom Brady throwing him passes, Edelman has just one touchdown this year and just 11 scores in his six-year career. Buffalo’s defense is underrated, so this is probably a low-ceiling situation.
Five Others to Consider
Victor Cruz, NY Giants at Philadelphia, $5800
Pierre Garcon, Washington at Arizona, $5800
Keenan Allen, San Diego at Oakland, $5800
Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay vs Baltimore, $5700
Kendall Wright, Tennessee vs Jacksonville, $5500
As good as Wright was last week, we have to not let his two-touchdown performance fool us into thinking he’s a high-upside play. Although there’s consistency to Wright’s game as someone who sees an abundance of short targets, Week 5 was his first ever multi-touchdown performance. He scored just two times in all of 2013. Wright is in play in cash games, certainly, but I still prefer you-know-who (oh, you don’t? It’s Justin Hunter) as a high-upside GPP play.
Five Value Wide Receivers
Michael Floyd, Arizona vs Washington, $5400 – Navigating the Arizona receiver situation is tricky because you have two obviously talented players who have lost so much value due to the quarterback situation. There’s a good chance that Logan Thomas will be throwing to Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald on Sunday, which obviously dramatically cuts into their upside. Thomas was 1-for-8 against Denver last week.
Sammy Watkins, Buffalo vs New England, $5400 – The question here is whether or not Bill Belichick will choose to focus on negating Watkins’ impact on the outside, or if he will prefer to stop the Bills on the ground. We never really know what the Pats will do, which I think limits Watkins’ value in cash games, but I have a hunch that Belichick will want to halt Buffalo’s running game, so Watkins could be a decent GPP flier.
Michael Crabtree, San Francisco at St. Louis, $5400 – Crabtree’s average stat line this year is 5/49/0.4, which is why his price tag is so low. Vegas has the Niners projected at only 23 points this week, which doesn’t bode well for Crabtree’s upside in GPPs. His lack of week-to-week consistency also limits his cash-game value.
DeSean Jackson, Washington at Arizona, $4900 – This price is very clearly the result of DraftKings posting their Week 6 salaries on Monday. Jackson had yet to torch Seattle for 157 yards and a score, and thus his salary didn’t have an opportunity to increase. He’s such a clear value at this price tag that I might do the unthinkable in Week 6: play Jackson in cash games.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs Washington, $4800 – Even though Fitzgerald is $600 cheaper than Floyd, I’m going with the youngster if I roll the dice on an Arizona receiver. In reality, though, I probably won’t play Floyd more than once just because the quarterback situation is such a mess. To me, this is a trap.
Five Others to Consider
Justin Hunter, Tennessee vs Jacksonville, $4800
I told you I’d keep listing Hunter until he breaks out. He (kind of) did that with a 3/99/1 line in Week 5, but I’m all over him again in Week 6 against the Jags. Hunter played almost every snap for the Titans last week after jumping Nate Washington on the depth chart. Like I said, I like Wright in cash games and once again love Hunter as a GPP option.
Andrew Hawkins, Cleveland vs Pittsburgh, $4600
Eric Decker, NY Jets vs Denver, $4600
Rueben Randle, NY Giants at Philadelphia, $4600
Torrey Smith, Baltimore at Tampa Bay, $4100