As usual, the goal of this article is simple. At the end of the week, we’re taking our weekly composite staff rankings from our Season Pass section and comparing those rankings as it pertains to players we see as starting caliber options to the pricing across the two major DFS sites in hopes of discovering some value. It’s as easy as that. Last week was the first week where we appeared to be certifiably insane on our ranks here, but we’re to atone for those rankings in Week 6.
Jameis Winston – QB5
FanDuel: QB15 ($7,400) DraftKings: QB14 ($5,800)
Winston is going to be major chalk at the position this week since both sites decided to leave him at QB2 pricing. This is despite the Falcons allowing the QB7, QB1, QB9 and QB5 over their past four games and 39.2 percent of the drives against the Falcons have resulted in a touchdown, the highest rate in the league. Winston has also had success against Dan Quinn’s defense to begin his career. He has finished as a top-12 scorer in four of five career games against the Falcons, passing for three or more touchdowns in each of their past three meetings. He’s chalk, but he’s good chalk.
Tevin Coleman – RB13
FanDuel: RB21 ($6,300) DraftKings: RB21 ($5,400)
With Devonta Freeman looking doubtful for this weekend, Coleman is back on the board as a fringe-RB1 asset that comes at lower-end RB2 pricing. In the three games that Freeman missed already this season, Coleman didn’t exactly light it up, averaging 83 yards from scrimmage, but he did total 20, 17 and 17 touches in those games and is attached to a home favorite in the highest game total (57 points) on the main slate. We shouldn’t overthink this one, especially as Tampa Bay ranks 22nd in yards from scrimmage (151.0 yards) and 28th in points (31.3) per game allowed to backfields.
Chris Carson – RB17
DraftKings: RB42 ($4,400)
Carson made this piece a few weeks ago and then pulled a surprise DNP once Sunday came around. But he’s healthy and has posted 124 and 127 yards from scrimmage over his past two games on 34 and 20 touches. Seattle has found their groove rushing the football and a large part has been Carson’s efficiency. 87.5 percent (56-of-64) of Chris Carson's rushing attempts have gained positive yardage, the second-highest rate for all backs with 50 or more rushing attempts behind Kerryon Johnson (88 percent). 87.5 percent (56-of-64) of Chris Carson's rushing attempts have gained positive yardage, the second-highest rate for all backs with 50 or more rushing attempts behind Kerryon Johnson (88 percent).
Julio Jones – WR1
FanDuel: WR6 ($8,500) DraftKings: WR6 ($7,900)
The sites really nailed wide receiver pricing this week. Our WR1 overall actually is one of just two wide receivers ranked inside our top-20 this week that has a five-plus spot differential on both sites from our ranking. Jones has now gone 62-straight regular season receptions without a touchdown, but this is a spot that regularly has tapped into his ceiling potential. Over six games in which he has faced Tampa Bay at home in his career, Jones has caught 46-of-60 targets for 813 yards (135.5 YPG) and six touchdowns.
John Brown – WR18
FanDuel: WR30 ($6,300) DraftKings: WR30 ($5,500)
The other receiver in our consensus top-20, but well below that on each site is Brown. The sites are slow to come around to Brown as he has now made this column three weeks in a row. Last week was our first let down in results as he managed just five catches for 58 yards, but Brown had a massive 14 targets (a season-high 24.6 percent). On top of all of those looks, six came on throws 15-yards or further downfield. Brown now leads the NFL in that category, with 23 of his 44 targets on the season have come on such throws. He’s still a volatile producer as evidence of last week, but he is a cheap source upside attached to a tangible target volume that you can affordably inject into lineups.
Tyler Boyd – WR19
FanDuel: WR33 ($6,300)
After three consecutive games in which he was the WR12 (18.1 points), WR4 (22.7) and the WR21 (15.5) on FanDuel, Boyd took a step back last week with 6.4 points. Boyd was impacted by the loss of John Ross and the Bengals scheming A.J. Green into the slot away from Xavien Howard as Boyd ran a season-low 62 percent of his routes from the slot in Week 5. The Bengals may not be able to that this week as Pittsburgh has already suggested that Joe Haden will follow Green this week and Haden has actually gotten the better of Green, holding him to three or fewer receptions in five of eight career meetings. We’re of course not running away from Green, but that signal could lead to more opportunity for Boyd in a bounce-back spot against a defense that has allowed opposing slot receivers to catch 16-of-20 targets for 233 yards and two touchdowns over the past two weeks.
Cameron Brate – TE12
FanDuel: TE35 ($4,500) DraftKings: TE15 ($3,700)
Brate was on his way to be a set-and-forget option this weekend with O.J. Howard dealing with a sprained MCL, but Howard put in practice time this week with a brace and may inevitably suit up on Sunday. Even if Howard does play, it’s unclear how much he will actually be a part of things, leaving Brate some potential value still on the main slate that is missing all of Zach Ertz, Travis Kelce, Rob Gronkowski, George Kittle and Jimmy Graham. It’s that bad out there that a potential part-time player could still be a viable option. Brate has scored in each of the past two games while he and Winston have always had a touchdown connection as Brate ranks fifth at the position in touchdowns since 2015. Winston targeted Brate 14.3 percent of the time a year ago while Ryan Fitzpatrick targeted Brate just 9.3 percent of the time.
Vance McDonald – TE15
FanDuel: TE27 ($4,600)
McDonald burned us bad last weekend with just one reception for six yards. He ran just 19 pass routes compared to 15 for Jesse James after it was a 32-11 edge in McDonald’s favor the week prior. But game script did him no favors as Pittsburgh led throughout and James found the field a lot as the Steelers were able to deploy a run-based game plan as the game went on. McDonald is still the better receiving option of the two Pittsburgh tight ends and the Bengals are 25th in points allowed (14.8) per game to opposing tight ends despite facing Miami and a Greg Olsen-less Panthers team in two of their five games.