Jake Ciely of The Athletic releases a strength of schedule matchup rankings using APA (Adjusted Points Against) every week. This is a great visual tool as you build your roaster construction.
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Miami Dolphins RB Raheem Mostert is in line for a monster week. If we look at the graph below, this correlates with projections from across the board. The measurement is based on how that specific position performs vs. how well the opponent has performed in allowed points.
A significant benefit of looking through all the positions is in games where defenses are expected to do well; you can still find weaknesses. You can find leverage that people may pivot off of, giving you a potential smash contrarian play. If we go back to Mostert and look at the board, we can immediately find other information we need to use wisely. Carolina finds themselves running into a bottom-five Miami defense against the run.
Now, if the field is projecting Mostert to have a big day running the ball, can RB Chubba Hubbard also benefit? If the Dolphins drag the day out, Hubbard is also in line for a large roll, with Miles Sanders out. For $4,300, we could find a 20-point player if Hubbard gets in the endzone once.
Use this information to evaluate plays to sharpen your thought process. We ‘feel’ too much when it comes to players. A tool like this can also show us we are too high on a player in a bad matchup.
“No medium is excessively dangerous if its users understand what its dangers are.” – Neil Postman.
Week 6 ‘Pick-Six’ Pics
1) Jalen Hurts QB, PHI $8,200 – This may appear obvious, but not to the field this week. QBs Matthew Stafford and Trevor Lawrence will be commanding all the ownership. Hurts is averaging 24 fantasy points a game, with a low ownership of 5% this week. I am comfortable stacking him with either WR Brown or Smith against a defense without both CBs, Sauce Gardner being one of them. Plus, we know the ‘Brotherly Tush’ will happen, like death and taxes.
2) D’Onta Foreman RB, CHI $4,400 – Last year, Foreman had 15+ carries; he averaged 119.7 rushing yards for the Panthers. I don’t expect that type of projection of yards today, but being the only RB for the Bears this week puts him in an excellent position. He was compared to Derrick Henry for his size and strength in the league. Foreman could easily snipe two rushing TDs against a desperate Vikings D.
3) Calvin Ridley WR, JAX $6,700 – Christian Kirk appears to be the play this week, and his ownership is reflecting that based on his price and Zay Jones sitting this one out. Ridley, though has been on the cusp of a monster game, and this is an excellent spot for him. It creates a volatile concoction at 9% ownership and a sub$7k price. He possesses a higher floor than Kirk, and this week, I want to get in on the explosive Ridley against a bottom-10 defense against the pass in APA.
4) Kyle Pitts TE, ATL $3,500 – “Even a broken clock is right twice a day.” – Stephen Hunt. The Commanders stink and stop TEs like a sewage pipe in their stadium. Seriously, the pipe burst all over the fans twice. After an 11-target game last week, Pitts appears to be at the top of the passing priority list. This may be the last time we see Pitts sub $4k if he gets a TD today. However, his season has been disappointing; if they find the proper usage for him, we know the ceiling he brings.
5) D’Andre Swift RB, PHI $6,100 – Swift is a great flex play this week at a cheap cost. If you want a piece of the Eagles and don’t want to spend up for Hurts and his high-cost WR, this is a steal of a deal. High upside play, but it comes with a caveat. If they get up early, the merry-go-round of RBs could vulture a lot of touches and receptions and, more importantly, cannibalize TDs along with Hurts. I am not afraid to die on this hill, though. We know he could have over 100 all-purpose yards and a TD by halftime, even if they reduce his workload, still hitting us the yardage bonus for DraftKings.
6) Buccaneers DST, TB $2,300 – This is more of a dart throw at a low-cost defense. They are averaging 11 fantasy points per game and have faced the Eagles, Vikings, Saints, and Bears. Coming off a bye week and a Lions team still banged up, I will green-light this play. They are 11th in yards against and watch QBs walk away with an average QBR of 75.1. Coupled with 12 sacks in four games, tied for 3rd with six interceptions, and averaging 17 points scored against, this is a safe play for the cheaper defensive options.
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