NFL Week 6 Fantasy QB Breakdown: Jameis Winston Has No. 1 Potential in Atlanta

NFL Week 6 Fantasy QB Breakdown: Jameis Winston Has No. 1 Potential in Atlanta article feature image

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jameis Winston

  • Matthew Freedman breaks down every starting quarterback's daily fantasy value for Week 6 of the NFL season.
  • Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston highlight Sunday's main slate of passers. Below is a deep dive on both.

See the full version of this piece at FantasyLabs.

The 2018 NFL season rolls on, and we’re still on pace for a record-breaking campaign with an average of 24.0 points per game per team. We could be in for another week of high scores with a 12-game main slate that kicks off on Sunday, Oct. 14, at 1 p.m. ET.

With two teams on bye and six in prime-time games, we are without several top-tier quarterbacks.

  • Thursday Night Football: Eagles (Carson Wentz) at Giants (Eli Manning)
  • Sunday Night Football: Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes) at Patriots (Tom Brady)
  • Monday Night Football: 49ers (C.J. Beathard) at Packers (Aaron Rodgers)
  • Bye Weeks: Lions (Matthew Stafford), Saints (Drew Brees)

Even so, this slate features some great games. It’s always a good time to play some daily fantasy football.

For analysis on the smaller slates, consult Chris Raybon’s premium strategy guides (released on FantasyLabs throughout the week).

In writing this piece, I’ve relied primarily on the FantasyLabs Models. This breakdown is less of a comprehensive analysis of each quarterback and more of an introduction to this week’s players via our large suite of analytic DFS Tools.

For updates on Vegas spreads and over/unders, check out The Action Network Live Odds page.

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Highest-Priced Quarterbacks

This week, Matt Ryan is one two quarterbacks with top-five positional salaries on DraftKings and FanDuel.

Matt Ryan: Atlanta Falcons (-3) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 57.5 Over/Under

  • $6,800 DraftKings; $8,300 FanDuel

After three straight home games with 30+ DraftKings points, Ryan regressed on the road in Week 5, finishing outside of the top 18 at the position. While he completed 68.4% of his passes and didn’t throw an interception, he lost a fumble, took a week-high six sacks and failed to get All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones involved in the game until the second half.

In a game that lived up to its season-high 58-point over/under, Ryan led the Falcons to only 17 points.

Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Although Ryan has been a splits-agnostic per-game passer in the Jones era (since 2011)…

  • At home (59 games): 22.3 fantasy points, 283.1 yards and 1.78 touchdowns passing, 0.80 interceptions
  • On road (57 games): 22.3 fantasy points, 286.5 yards and 1.72 touchdowns passing, 0.81 interceptions

…it’s perhaps telling that this year, Ryan has struggled in his two games outside of the dome-controlled environment of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but has been a total world-beater at home. Luckily, his Week 6 game is in Atlanta.

Ryan also has a great matchup against the Buccaneers. They’re coming off a bye, so perhaps they have come up with a game plan to stop Ryan and have fixed some of their scheme issues, but so far this year the Bucs have allowed a league-high 32.1 DraftKings points per game to quarterbacks and have been abused by starting passers (guys who aren’t Nick Foles).

  • Drew Brees (Week 1): 34.6 DraftKings points, 82.2% completion rate, 439-3-0 passing
  • Ben Roethlisberger (Week 3): 28.0 DraftKings points, 79.0% completion rate, 353-3-1 passing
  • Mitchell Trubisky (Week 4): 46.5 DraftKings points, 73.1% completion rate, 354-6-0 passing, 3-53-0 rushing

There’s nothing shameful in giving up big games to two future Hall of Famers, but giving up a slate-best fantasy performance to a previously-poor Trubisky is just shameful. It doesn’t help that the Bucs secondary is without two starters in cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (shoulder, IR) and strong safety Chris Conte (knee/stiff arm, IR), but this defense is just bad, ranking dead last with a 28.9% mark in Football Outsiders’ DVOA.

It’s possible that the Bucs literally have the league’s worst trio of starting cornerbacks. Brent Grimes was a Pro Bowler with the Dolphins in the 2013-15 seasons, and in 2016-17 he had above-average Pro Football Focus grades of 87.4 and 75.2. This year, though, in the two games he’s played, Miko’s husband has been a liability, allowing a 7-116-1 passing line on eight targets. As for M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis, both are second-round rookies with potential as well as poor PFF coverage grades of 54.5 and 56.3. One day they might be good. But so far, they’ve combined to allow 433 yards and five touchdowns.

While most players tend to underperform against divisional opponents, Ryan has had reverse division/non-division splits throughout his career. On top of that, he’s done especially well against the Bucs since 2016, when they hired Ryan’s former and longtime head coach, Mike Smith, to serve as the defensive coordinator (#RevengeGame).

  • Against Bucs (four games): 23.6 DraftKings points, +3.91 Plus/Minus, 301.8 yards and two touchdowns passing, zero interceptions
  • All other teams (33 games): 19.9 DraftKings points, +0.29 Plus/Minus, 285.9 yards and 1.85 touchdowns passing, 0.64 interceptions

After suffering through offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian’s growing pains in 2017, when the Falcons ranked just 23rd with a 50.0% red-zone conversion rate, Ryan & Co. have come alive this season, placing seventh with a 65.0% mark. After a subpar 2017, Ryan has regained some of his 2016 MVP form: He could regress, but right now he’s on pace for the second-best campaign of his career with a 6.0% touchdown rate, 1.1% interception rate and 9.5 adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A).

If you roster Ryan in guaranteed prize pools, you might want to use our Lineup Builder to stack him with his teammates, especially wide receiver Calvin Ridley. In Week 5, Ryan and Ridley were together in a ridiculous 6.92% of Millionaire Maker lineups, but with their elevated salaries and poor performances last week, they will likely have reduced ownership on Sunday. Since 2014, NFL quarterbacks on average have had 0.46 correlation with their No. 2 wide receivers. The sample is small, but with Ridley, Ryan has a personal-high mark of 0.95.

The Falcons-Bucs game easily has the slate’s highest over/under, and the Falcons lead all teams with their 30.5-point implied Vegas total. Ryan is tied for first with nine DraftKings Pro Trends, and he has position-high floor projections in our Models.

Model Quarterbacks

There are six quarterbacks atop the individual Pro Models that Jonathan Bales, Peter Jennings (CSURAM88), Adam Levitan, Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, Kevin McClelland (SportsGeek) and I have constructed.

The most intriguing of these passers might be Jameis Winston.

Jameis Winston: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3) at Atlanta Falcons, 57.5 O/U

  • $5,800 DraftKings; $7,400 FanDuel

If you listened to the Wednesday edition of The Action Network NFL Podcast, you know how high we are on Winston. On the show, both Koerner and I picked Winston to be the No. 1 fantasy quarterback this week for our bold calls. He might be Sunday’s cash-game quarterback du jour.

Winston is hardly the paragon of on-the-field consistency and off-the-field respectability, but he still has the potential to be one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

As a rookie, he became the only 21-year-old in NFL history with 4,000+ yards passing in a season. Still a young player, he leads all quarterbacks in NFL history with 11,636 yards passing before his 24th birthday.

Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With perhaps the league’s top collection of pass-catching talent in wide receivers Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin and tight ends O.J. Howard (ankle, doubtful) and Cameron Brate, the fourth-year passer is positioned to be a fantasy force for years — as long as he doesn’t sabotage himself with poor decisions, football and otherwise.

The Bucs will need to score points in the game with the slate’s highest over/under, and they have a great matchup against the Falcons, who are 28th in pass defense with a 28.4% DVOA and have allowed quarterbacks to score the league’s third-most DraftKings points per game (27.2).

The Falcons defense has suffered a rash of injuries to open the year: Starting middle linebacker Deion Jones (foot, IR), free safety Keanu Neal (knee, IR) and strong safety Ricardo Allen (Achilles, IR) are out. Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (ankle) is expected to be out as well.

Since the Falcons lost Jones and Neal in the season opener, quarterbacks have routinely exposed Atlanta.

  • Cam Newton in Week 2: 31.6 DraftKings points, 71.1% completion rate, 335-3-1 passing, 5-42-0 rushing
  • Drew Brees & Taysom Hill in Week 3: 47.4 DraftKings points, 79.6% completion rate, 396-3-0 passing, 6-46-2 rushing
  • Andy Dalton in Week 4: 28.8 DraftKings points, 70.7% completion rate, 337-3-1 passing, 2-13-0 rushing
  • Ben Roethlisberger in Week 5: 22.6 DraftKings points, 65.5% completion rate, 250-3-1 passing, 2-16-0 rushing

Winston is tied for first with nine Pro Trends on DraftKings, where he leads all quarterbacks with his ceiling projection. He’s the highest-rated FanDuel passer in the Raybon and SportsGeek Models.

See the full version of this piece at FantasyLabs.

Positional Breakdowns & News

Be sure to read the other Week 6 positional breakdowns.

After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players. Be sure to stay ahead of your competition with our industry-leading DFS-focused news blurbs.

Matthew Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.