The Adrian Peterson trade somehow seems to be at the center of my favorite Week 6 plays, even though I donít plan on using the 32-year-old in many (if any) of my lineups. This is the best week weíve seen all season in terms of value at the running back position, which leads me to the type of roster construction that was popular from 2013 to 2015. Itís been quite some time since I could confidently place Antonio Brown, Julio Jones and a third expensive wideout in the same lineup without feeling like one of my running backs was likely to crash and burn.
This approach still leaves plenty of room for unique roster correction, particularly if youíre willing to go cheap at quarterback and tight end. The discounts at running back will lead many DFSers toward Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Kirk Cousins and Deshaun Watson, but consider that each of those quarterbacks is in real danger of spending the entire fourth quarter handing off. Itís also worth noting that those same games produce some of the best values at running back, led by Mark Ingram and Lamar Miller.
Without further ado, here are my favorite DraftKings tournament plays for Week 6, picking from the main slate that only includes games on Sunday afternoon. The focus here is on value more so than projected ownership, but itís still a nice bonus if a player doesnít figure to be a popular choice.
Carson Palmer, ARI (vs. TB), $6,100 - While Arizonaís trade for Adrian Peterson speaks to a desire to establish a running game, itís too soon for that extremely wishful thinking to actually come to fruition. It might be a while before Petersonís up to speed in the Arizona offense, given that his brain is far from his best asset. Facing a Tampa defense thatís allowing just 3.4 yards per carry but 7.6 per pass attempt, Palmer will continue to put the Arizona offense on his shoulders, just as heís done all season on his way to the NFL lead in pass attempts. His current average of 314.6 yards per game is only a slightly optimistic expectation for this week, and the favorable matchup gives him a nice shot at his second multi-score game of the season. The Bucs did a decent job against Tom Brady (17.6 DK points) last Thursday, but they were ripped apart by Eli Manning (27.7) and Case Keenum (31.6) the previous two weeks. Even in the unlikely event Lavonte David (ankle), Kwon Alexander (hamstring) and T.J. Ward (hip) all return at full strength, the Tampa defense should remain exploitable through the air due to poor cornerback play.
Other options: Tom Brady, NE (at NYJ), $8,300; Drew Brees, NO (vs. DET), $7,200; Matt Ryan, ATL (vs. MIA), $7,000; Kirk Cousins, WAS (vs. SF), $6,800; Deshaun Watson, HOU (vs. CLE), $6,700; Philip Rivers, LAC (at OAK), $6,600; Kevin Hogan, CLE (at HOU), $4,600
Mark Ingram, NO (vs. DET), $4,400 - Ingram is my hands-down favorite play of the week, sporting his lowest price of the season just as the Saints decided to move on from Adrian Peterson. Alvin Kamara will still handle his fair share of snaps and targets, but heís thus far taken only 15 carries ó a Mark Ingram could easily reach in Sundayís game alone. The veteran is already averaging 10.5 carries and 5.5 targets per game, having landed between 10.2 and 12.1 DK points in each of his first four contests. Now that Peterson isnít around to poach carries, Ingram is a solid bet to return 3x on his price tag, with the potential for far more if he can finally find the end zone. He can reasonably be projected for 3.5x or even a bit more, which is essentially unheard of on DK this season.
Jerick McKinnon, MIN (vs. GB), $4,100 - The Ingram-McKinnon combination will undoubtedly be popular, with many using it as a means to fit an expensive QB and a pair of high-end receivers. Of course, there are still ways to make unique lineups while rostering the popular plays at running back, and Iíd rather differentiate elsewhere when the value is as obvious as it is this week with Ingram and McKinnon. Although the 58-yard touchdown run on Monday may have been a bit fluky, McKinnonís 67 percent snap share and 22-14 touch advantage over Latavius Murray were the real deal. Even if his big play were taken out out of the equation, McKinnon still wouldíve scored a solid 14.7 DK points. Thatís approximately what Iím expecting this week, accounting for the reality that Murray looks completely washed up. McKinnonís pass-game involvement should make up for any issues with rushing efficiency.
Other options: Kareem Hunt, KC (vs. PIT), $8,200; Lamar Miller, HOU (vs. CLE), $5,400; Javorius Allen, BAL (vs. CHI), $5,400; Tevin Coleman, ATL (vs. MIA), $5,000; Samaje Perine, WAS (vs. SF), $4,400
Antonio Brown, PIT (at KC), $9,300 - Brown topped 28 DK points in three of his first five games, only disappointing in the two contests Pittsburgh won handily. With the Steelers likely to be playing from behind or locked in a tight game this week, Brown is a safe bet for double-digit targets against a Kansas City defense thatís struggles have largely gone ignored due to a 5-0 record for which the offense and special teams are responsible. The Chiefs rank 31st in DK points against wide receivers and 30th against quarterbacks, surrendering 7.4 yards per pass attempt despite limiting opponents to a league-low 51.4 completion percentage. The vulnerability to big plays makes sense with star safety Eric Berry (knee) out for the year, as Marcus Peters is the only other consistent, high-level performer in KCís secondary. Of course, Peters almost exclusively lines up to the quarterbackís right-hand side, while Brown takes the majority of his snaps lined up to the left. The Chiefs did hold Brown to 10 catches and 16 targets in two meetings last season, but he still managed to rack up 172 yards and two touchdowns.
Jarvis Landry, MIA (at ATL), $6,600 - While the man mentioned above is locked in as a weekly favorite to top the NFL target leaderboard, Landry checks in with a similarly robust volume forecast for Sunday, having accounted for 32.8 percent of Jay Cutlerís pass attempts through four games. With Devante Parker (ankle) presumably out and the Dolphins likely to be playing from behind, Landry has a shot to hit 15 targets for the second time this season. Iím not expecting strong efficiency numbers for anyone in the Miami offense, but this kind of guaranteed volume nonetheless creates massive upside in addition to a steady floor.
John Brown, ARI (vs. TB), $4,500 - Despite all the discussion surrounding his health and stamina, Brown has played 80 percent of offensive snaps in two of the three games heís played this season while drawing at least seven targets in every contest. Though heís yet to turn the volume into serious production, itís at least clear that Brown (and not Jaron Brown or J.J. Nelson) is still the Cardinalsí No. 2 receiver when heís healthy. The Bucs rank dead last in DK points allowed to opposing wideouts, yielding 18 catches for 228 yards per game at a clip of 8.7 per target. The Eagles are the only other team thatís given up more than 200 yards per game to wide receivers.
Other options: Julio Jones, ATL (vs. MIA), $8,300; Chris Hogan, NE (at NYJ), $7,000; Golden Tate, DET (at NO), $6,800; Tyreek Hill, KC (vs. PIT), $6,400; Pierre Garcon, SF (at WAS), $6,300; Adam Thielen, MIN (vs. GB), $6,000; DeSean Jackson, TB (at ARI), $5,800; Michael Crabtree, OAK (vs. LAC), $5,800; Terrelle Pryor, WAS (vs. SF), $5,700; Davante Adams, GB (at MIN), $5,700; Will Fuller, HOU (vs. CLE), $5,200; Amari Cooper, OAK (vs. LAC), $5,000; Willie Snead, NO (vs. DET), $4,700; Adam Humphries, TB (at ARI), $4,000; Jamison Crowder, WAS (vs. SF), $4,000; JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT (at KC), $3,600
Zach Miller, CHI (at BAL), $2,900 - With Deonte Thompson released and Markus Wheaton (groin) sidelined, the pathetic Chicago receiving corps somehow got even worse the past few days. Miller led the team with seven targets in Mitchell Trubiskyís first start, and Iím betting the veteran tight end will reprise the feat this weekend in Baltimore. The matchup further encourages what was already likely, as the Ravens have allowed just 6.3 yards per target to wide receivers but 9.1 to tight ends. Iíll be stacking Miller with the Baltimore defense, hoping he piles up catches in the second half if the Ravens jump out to a sizable lead.
Other options: Travis Kelce, KC (vs. PIT), $6,100; Jordan Reed, WAS (vs. SF), $5,000; Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ (vs. NE), $4,300; G. Kittle, SF (at WAS), $3,400
Baltimore Ravens (vs. CHI), $3,700 - This is the rare week where Iím paying up for a defense, rostering the Broncos for Thursday-Monday contests and the Ravens for the main slate. Those are the top two defenses in my weekly rankings, sitting comfortably ahead of the third-place Texans. The Baltimore defense came crashing back to earth against the Jags and Steelers after a scorching first two games, but it got back on track last week in Oakland with three sacks and a fumble returned for a touchdown. Next up is a home game against Trubisky, who is stuck playing with the NFLís worst group of wide receivers.
Other options: Houston Texans (vs. CLE), $3,900; Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. LAR), $3,600; Washington Redskins (vs. SF), $3,400; Arizona Cardinals (vs. TB), $2,800; New Orleans Saints (vs. DET), $2,700