We're on to Week 6! I'll be breaking down the WR/CB matchups all season long with a focus on figuring out who could be facing shadow coverage as well as the best and worst overall situations. We'll also briefly touch on each team's TE group.
Giants at Patriots
|Left||Cody Latimer||74||215||4.44||Stephon Gilmore||72||190||4.4|
|Slot||Golden Tate||70||202||4.42||Jonathan Jones||69||186||4.33|
|Right||Darius Slayton||73||190||4.39||Jason McCourty||70||193||4.35|
WR/CB breakdown: The Giants are all kinds of banged up at the moment, as each of Saquon Barkley (ankle), Wayne Gallman (concussion), Evan Engram (knee) and Sterling Shepard (concussion) have been ruled out for Thursday night.
The absence of Shepard means that Tate should have the offense's slot position all to himself. This should result in a shadow date with Jones, who hasn't exactly been dominant when asked to travel with the opposition's primary slot WR over the past two seasons:
- Week 2, 2018: Dede Westbrook 4 receptions-82 yards-1 touchdown (5 targets)
- Week 3, 2018: Golden Tate 6-69-0 (8)
- Week 4, 2019: Cole Beasley 7-75-0 (13)
A matchup with anyone in the Patriots' league-best defense isn't ideal, but Tate should be plenty capable of putting together some decent production with a likely huge target share considering the lack of healthy weapons elsewhere in the offense.
Darius Slayton is the preferred play over Cody Latimer, as the former WR has posted 3-82-0, 2-13-0 and 4-62-1 lines in Daniel Jones' three starts. The latter performance took place primarily in Xavier Rhodes' coverage, as Slayton's mix of athleticism and route-running ability was too much for the longtime stud CB to handle last week.
Of course, the situation is probably best left alone if possible: The Giants' implied total of 12.75 points is easily the lowest mark of Week 6 (per FantasyLabs).
TE breakdown: Rhett Ellison posted snap rates of 87%, 98%, 89% and 94% in four games without Engram last season. His combined 13-165-0 line in those performances isn't spectacular, but the block-first TE has at least shown the ability to catch most passes thrown his way. Ellison is more of an underrated play in DFS showdown slates to save salary, as the floor of the Giants Offense makes him an extremely thin season-long play.
|Left||Josh Gordon||75||225||4.57||Janoris Jenkins||70||193||4.46|
|Slot||Julian Edelman||70||198||4.57||Grant Haley||69||190||4.44|
|Right||Jakobi Meyers||74||203||4.63||Deandre Baker||71||193||4.52|
The artist formerly known as Jackrabbit wasn't asked to shadow against the Terry McLaurin-less Redskins or the Luke Falk-led Jets. Jenkins isn't completely washed, but each of Amari Cooper (6-106-1), John Brown (7-72-0) and especially Mike Evans (8-190-3) have proven that he's hardly a CB that fantasy owners should fear. Flash Gordon has averaged 8.7 targets per game since the Antonio Brown era ended, and he should soak up additional air yard market share with Dorsett sidelined.
Still, Julian Edelman has the best matchup of the group against CB Grant Haley, who ranks among PFF's bottom-10 nickelbacks in both QB Rating and yards allowed per cover snap during his time in the slot this season.
Meyers has posted a pedestrian 4-66-0 line on six targets this season, but demonstrated solid ability in training camp as well as the preseason (20-253-2). Anyone involved in the Patriots' No. 3 ranked scoring offense offers some semblance of fantasy value, although it wouldn't be surprising to see Meyers work as more of a true secondary option compared to Dorsett's usual role that resulted in 5.8 targets per game in Weeks 1-4.
TE breakdown: Rob Gronkowski was hired as an NFL Analyst for Fox NFL Sunday, meaning a potential November return has largely been ruled out. The Patriots surprisingly refrained from activating Ben Watson after he served his four-game suspension, so the offense will move forward with Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse at TE. Neither is too appealing of a fantasy option as long as Tom Brady continues to prioritize his RBs and WRs in the passing game, but LaCosse is the better dart throw after posting season-high marks in both snap rate (94%) and targets (four) in Week 5.
Panthers at Buccaneers
|Left||D.J. Moore||72||210||4.42||Vernon Hargreaves||70||204||4.5|
|Slot||Jarius Wright||70||180||4.42||Sean Bunting||70||195||4.42|
|Right||Curtis Samuel||71||196||4.31||Carlton Davis||73||206||4.53|
Projected shadow matchups: None
WR/CB breakdown: Kyle Allen will again start in place of Cam Newton (foot) for the Panthers' Week 6 matchup in London. Still, Newton did manage to shed his walking boot and appears to be trending towards a return after the Panthers' Week 7 bye.
Both WRs are more than capable of turning an average amount of targets into a big afternoon, although true breakouts might have to wait until Newton returns. Allen ranks just 21st in pass attempts over the last three weeks and seems to be more than fine with orchestrating virtually the entire offense through Christian McCaffrey. Overall, CMC's 136 touches this season are 21 more than the next-closest player Leonard Fournette.
Samuel is one of just 13 WRs with at least 500 air yards this season and certainly showed he can get behind this Tamp Bay defense back in Week 2 ...
... but each of the Panthers' outside WRs are better approached as boom-or-bust WR3s this week due to volume concerns.
TE breakdown: Olsen went off against the Cardinals with Allen under center with a blistering 6-75-2 line ... but has caught just 2-of-6 targets for five scoreless yards in two games since. While he did have his way with the Buccaneers secondary back in Week 2 with a 6-110-0 performance, there's an incredibly low floor here for the No. 4 pass-game option in the Panthers' run-first offense.
|Left||Bobo Wilson||69||189||4.57||Ross Cockrell||72||191||4.56|
|Slot||Chris Godwin||73||209||4.42||Javien Elliott||71||176||4.68|
|Right||Mike Evans||77||231||4.53||James Bradberry||73||211||4.45|
Godwin continues to draw the most-favorable matchup on a near weekly basis from the friendly confines of the slot. He caught 8-of-9 targets for 121 yards and a score against the Panthers in Week 2, and that was with a heavy dose of Jackson throughout the evening. The PPR WR1 through five weeks, Godwin is matchup proof at this point and continues to demonstrate exactly why football analysts of all shapes and sizes were so hyped to see what he was capable of with a full-time role entering the season.
Evans was shut out against Marshon Lattimore and the Saints last week. He's emerged as more of a high-end boom-or-bust WR2 in this new-look Buccaneers Offense. Evans nearly came down with two scores in his last matchup against Bradberry, but the Panthers' plus-sized CB has undoubtedly won this matchup over the years.
- Week 8, 2017: 5 receptions-60 yards-0 TD (10 targets)
- Week 16, 2017: 6-107-0 (8)
- Week 9, 2018: 1-16-0 (10)
- Week 13, 2018: 4-48-0 (6)
- Week 2, 2019: 4-61-0 (8)
Evans is too good to ever be benched in season-long formats, but it's probably best to keep expectations in check this week.
TE breakdown: O.J. Howard has played at least 75% of the offense's snaps in every game this season, yet his 11-141-0 line on 14 targets has nearly been topped by backup TE Cam Brate (10-72-1). Howard ranks just 15th among all TEs in routes run this season and is facing the league's fifth-best defense in fewest PPR per game allowed to the TE position. It's impossible to trust Howard as anything other than a boom-or-bust TE2 as long as he's seeing fewer than three targets per game.
Redskins at Dolphins
|Left||Terry McLaurin||72||208||4.35||Xavien Howard||72||201||4.58|
|Slot||Trey Quinn||71||203||4.55||Chris Lammons||69||194||4.53|
|Right||Paul Richardson||72||175||4.4||Eric Rowe||73||205||4.45|
WR/CB breakdown: McLaurin F1 caught at least five passes for 60-plus yards and found the end zone in each of the first three games of the season before missing Week 4 with a hamstring injury. His 3-51-0 line in Week 5 wasn't great, but it did represent just the third time in 22 games that stud Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore allowed more than 50 yards to a single player in coverage (per PFF's Scott Barrett).
Up next is a shadow date with Xavien Howard, who has mostly held up okay in several high-profile shadow matchups over the past few seasons.
- Julio Jones: 6-72-0
- Brandin Cooks: 6-83-1
- Amari Cooper: 2-17-0, 6-88-2
- DeAndre Hopkins: 6-82-0
- Robby Anderson: 4-32-0
McLaurin would probably benefit from Case Keenum reportedly getting his job back, but this offense could also resemble more of a run-first unit moving forward. Per ESPN's Josina Anderson, interim head coach Bill Callahan reportedly, "Felt the team needed to run the ball more this season and told some players last week he was hard pressed to remember a time when he coached on a team with so few rush attempts to start."
P-Rich has finished with fewer than 20 yards in three of five contests this season, while Trey Quinn has yet to clear 50 yards in eight career games. It's safe to ignore pretty much everyone in this passing game aside from McLaurin.
TE breakdown: Jeremy Sprinkle posted a meh 46% snap rate and saw just three targets in Week 5 despite benefiting from the absence of both Vernon Davis (concussion) and Jordan Reed (concussion). The offense instead utilized more 4-WR sets than usual with electric pint-sized rookie Steven Sims playing more snaps last week (32) than he did in Weeks 1-4 combined (21). Either Davis or Reed would be in play as streaming options if they manage to clear the protocol by Sunday, but Sprinkle can't be trusted in any fantasy format with this type of pedestrian usage.
|Left||Preston Williams||76||211||4.66||Quinton Dunbar||74||201||4.49|
|Slot||Albert Wilson||69||202||4.43||Fabian Moreau||72||206||4.35|
|Right||DeVante Parker||75||209||4.45||Josh Norman||72||197||4.66|
Projected shadow matchups: None
WR/CB breakdown: Josh Norman hasn't shadowed in three consecutive games against Allen Robinson, Sterling Shepard and Josh Gordon. It seems unlikely either Preston Williams or DeVante Parker draw that matchup.
You could make a case that both Williams and Parker are due for some positive deep-ball regression, as both have been targeted downfield at a high rate without much success to this point.
Still, the WR I'm most interested in here is Albert Wilson, who is tentatively expected to suit up Sunday after missing virtually the entire season with a calf injury. Overall, Wilson had four targets and a rush attempt on just six snaps in Week 1 and is set up well against a Washington defense that's allowed the fourth-most PPR per game to slot WRs this season (per Sports Info Solutions).
TE breakdown: My best ball shares would certainly prefer if Mike Gesicki is more involved following the Dolphins' Week 5 bye, but the athletically-gifted TE remains off the fantasy radar as long as he continues to split snaps with Nick O'Leary and something named Durham Smythe.
Eagles at Vikings
|Left||Alshon Jeffery||75||216||4.53||Xavier Rhodes||73||210||4.43|
|Slot||Nelson Agholor||72||198||4.42||Mike Hughes||70||189||4.53|
|Right||Mack Hollins||76||221||4.53||Trae Waynes||72||186||4.31|
WR/CB breakdown: Both the Vikings and Eagles could be without a regular contributor again this week, as neither DeSean Jackson (abdominal) nor Mackensie Alexander (elbow) appear to be particularly close to returning to action.
The Vikings didn't ask Rhodes to shadow against Tyrell Williams, Allen Robinson or Sterling Shepard over the past three weeks. This could change in Week 6 against Jeffery, who has had plenty of success against Rhodes and the Vikings over the years.
- Week 2, 2013: 1 reception-11 yards-0 TD (5 targets)
- Week 13, 2013: 12-249-2 (15)
- Week 11, 2014: 11-135-1 (17)
- Week 17, 2014: 2-34-0 (5)
- Week 8, 2015: 10-116-1 (15)
- Week 15, 2015:1-10-1 (5)
- Week 8, 2016: 4-63-1 (8)
- Week 17, 2016: 1-10-0 (3)
- NFC Championship, 2017: 5-85-2 (5)
- Week 5, 2018: 2-39-0 (8)
Jeffery doesn't boast the highest ceiling with a rather pedestrian average of just 7.7 targets in three fully healthy games this season, but this isn't a matchup to shy away from.
TE breakdown: Zach Ertz (45 targets) joins Evan Engram (48), Travis Kelce (43), Austin Hooper (42) and Darren Waller (42) as the league's only TEs with at least 40 targets this season. He's caught at least four passes and gained 50-plus yards in every game through five weeks, locking Carson Wentz's BFF in as a top-five TE play. Dallas Goedert has three targets in back-to-back games on 69% and 74% snap rates, making him a potential cost-saving DFS dart throw that is best avoided in season-long formats unless Ertz is ever forced to miss time.
|Left||Stefon Diggs||72||195||4.46||Rasul Douglas||74||209||4.59|
|Slot||Olabisi Johnson||72||204||4.51||Orlando Scandrick||70||196||4.32|
|Right||Adam Thielen||75||200||4.54||Sidney Jones||72||186||4.47|
Projected shadow matchups: None
WR/CB breakdown: Last week's squeaky wheel spot worked out great for Adam Thielen (7-130-2). He posted a similarly-dominant 7-116-1 line against the Eagles' porous group of CBs in Week 5 of last season.
Meanwhile, Stefon Diggs (3-44-0) had just four targets in Week 5 and continues to be treated as an auxiliary piece in the Vikings' run-first offense. Dalvin Cook (24 targets) has been more involved in the passing game than Diggs (23) to this point.
The good news for both Thielen and Diggs is that they're plenty capable of dominating this week's matchup on the outside -- even with limited volume.
The Eagles simply haven't been able to contain No. 1 WRs dating back to Week 1 of last season.
- Amari Cooper: 10-217-3
- Michael Thomas: 12-171-1, 4-92-1
- Julio Jones: 10-169-0, 5-106-2
- Corey Davis: 9-161-1
- Allen Robinson: 10-143-1
- Adam Thielen: 7-116-1
- Stefon Diggs: 10-91-0
- DeAndre Hopkins: 9-104-0
- Mike Evans: 10-83-1
- Terry McLaurin: 5-125-1
- Davante Adams: 10-180-0
TE breakdown: The Vikings seem to throw Kyle Rudolph one screen per game before otherwise ignoring him. He hasn't gained over 15 yards or found the end zone this season, rendering him a non-viable fantasy option. #FreeIrvSmith.
Texans at Chiefs
|Left||DeAndre Hopkins||73||214||4.57||Bashaud Breeland||71||197||4.62|
|Slot||Keke Coutee||70||181||4.43||Kendall Fuller||71||187|
|Right||Will Fuller||72||186||4.32||Charvarius Ward||73||198||4.49|
Nuk is more than capable of winning this matchup, but he'll need to see better target volume to get back to posting every-week WR1 production. Overall, he already has four games with fewer than 10 targets in 2019 after having just four and five-such games in 2017 and 2018, respectively. At least five receptions for 40 yards in every game this season isn't terrible, although we all know Hopkins is capable of so much more.
And then there's Will Fuller, who is fresh off posting the ninth-best fantasy performance for a WR ever (per Graham Barfield). The wild part about Fuller's absurd 14-217-3 line against the Falcons last week is that it actually could've been even bigger if he hadn't been tackled twice at the one-yard line.
Kenny Stills (hamstring) was out last week, but Keke Coutee played just 44% of the snaps in a Texans Offense that has frequently utilized two TEs this season. Coutee's 3-72-0 line on four targets was decent enough, but he's not a reliable fantasy option as long as he's on the field for fewer than half of the offense's plays.
TE breakdown: Both Darren Fells (79% snaps) and Jordan Akins (66%) were on the field for a majority of the Texans' snaps last week. Still, they combined to get just three targets, as Deshaun Watson has always preferred to target his WRs over RBs and TEs. Fells is the preferred dart throw of the two, as his four targets inside the red zone are tied with Will Fuller for the highest mark on the team.
|Left||Demarcus Robinson||73||203||4.59||Lonnie Johnson||74||213||4.52|
|Slot||Sammy Watkins||73||211||4.43||Bradley Roby||71||194||4.39|
|Right||Mecole Hardman||70||187||4.33||Johnathan Joseph||71||193||4.32|
Projected shadow matchups: None
WR/CB breakdown: Tyreek Hill (collarbone) managed to practice in a limited fashion last week and is trending towards a return sooner rather than later. His presence is needed more than ever with Sammy Watkins (hamstring) also banged up.
There are usually a few times per game where defenses are rendered helpless against arguably the most-talented QB the game has ever seen.
The Chiefs' 13 points in Week 5 were easily the fewest of the Mahomes era, as they had scored at least 26 points in each of his previous 24 career starts. I wouldn't count on the Texans' pass-funnel defense replicating the Colts' success and holding this offense in check again.
TE breakdown: Travis Kelce has averaged 5.6 receptions and is yet to finish with fewer than 70 receiving yards in a game this season. Still, the PPR TE3 hasn't quite lived up to his lofty fantasy expectations, mostly because of his lone touchdown through five weeks. Kelce has ripped off 6-106-2, 5-34-0, 8-98-0 and 8-128-0 lines in four career matchups against the Texans. I wouldn't count on his "slump" lasting much longer.
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