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Christine Michael is one of the top Week 6 DFS plays


Daily fantasy (DFS) brings a breath of fresh air to the industry, with an emphasis on the excitement of drafting a new team every week. We all know that the late summer drafts and the thrill of analyzing the weekly matchups are the best part of playing fantasy football. The daily game merges those two together to form the newest wave rocking the fantasy world.

Here in the weekly daily fantasy roundup column, we'll break down everything you need to know to pick the best plays on the Week 6 slate. If any of the terminology goes over your head. Please refer to the "what you need to know" preview of the roundup.

Top quarterback plays

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints - Coming off a bye week and back in the Superdome, Drew Brees has every chance to be the top-scoring quarterback of the week. The Panthers secondary fell apart this season. Carolina gives up the third-highest yards per completion in the NFL and the eighth-highest touchdown rate. The Panthers and Saints game should be the highest-scoring contest on the board in Week 6 and it makes sense to pair multiple players from this game in one lineup.

Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks - The Falcons defense bleeds production to tight ends, pass-catching running backs and slot receivers. That's a horrific matchup across the board for what Seattle does well. The Seahawks offense started slow again this year, but is coming off the bye and playing at home giving Wilson a tremendous shot to have a monster game this week. His completion percentage, passer rating and adjusted yards per attempt have gone up in every game this season. As long as the weather cooperates, Wilson will blow up this week.

Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs - The Raiders allow a league-high 338 passing yards per game through five weeks. Their 6.3 touchdown rate allowed to quarterbacks is also a top-five worst mark. Smith isn't the sexiest option but he should post a strong line against a Raiders defense that gives it up to opposing passers and a scoring-unit that forces the other team to chase them. Smith has untold upside as a runner that helps boost his fantasy floor, but he's yet to rush for more than 15 yards in game. Smith averaged 28.7 rush yards per game in 2013 and 31.1 in 2015. Some rushing ability mixed with a ton of dump-offs could help alleviate concerns about windy weather.

Top running back plays

Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers - The Dolphins give up 4.31 yards per carry to opposing running backs on the ground and an extra 30 catches for 319 yards through the air. Bell has two games with over 150 total yards since returning from suspension and 52 touches without scoring a touchdown. Opposing teams racked up 137 carries against the Dolphins through their first five games, second-most in the NFL, but Miami has the second-lowest rushing touchdown rate (0.7) allowed. That's a "something's got to give" situation if I've ever seen one. Bell gets into the end zone at least once on Sunday.

Terrance West, RB, Baltimore Ravens - The Giants started off the year playing solid run defense but allowed 251 rushing yards the last two weeks to the Vikings and Packers. We can go back to attacking the New York defense with strong rushing attacks. The Ravens have that right now with Terrance West, whose yards per carry has gone up in every game this season. Expect Baltimore to commit to West after axing Marc Trestman following a game where he ignored his running back averaging 8.6 yards per carry in the second half of their Week 5 loss.

Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles - No team is more generous to opposing running backs than Washington. Allowing a league-high 5.28 yards per carry and seven rushing touchdowns to the position, the team just can't plug the holes in their front. Ryan Mathews has yet to play 50 percent of the Eagles snaps in any game, but this matchup is just too juicy to not chase. Even though he's not a workhorse back, he is the guy the team turns to in scoring position. Mathews has a team-high 14 touches inside the red zone. The next highest is Darren Sproles with five.

Top wide receiver plays

Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints - In his last two games Cooks totaled 44 yards receiving before going on his bye week. That nightmarish stretch might have some scared off of Cooks, but this is a week to get back on board. Desmond Trufant and Jason Verrett are two of the best corners in the NFL and they locked him up in those contests. Cooks has shown his career to be one of the most cornerback-sensitive producers at the wide receiver positon. With Carolina coming to town, there won't be a defensive back in the Superdome on Sunday who can hang with Cooks' speed.

Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders - The Chiefs big-time corner Marcus Peters primarily sticks at left cornerback and does not shadow top wide receivers. Cooper takes 54 percent of his snaps at left wide receiver, where he'll run most of his routes against Phillip Gaines on Sunday. The other Chiefs cornerbacks simply do not have the same coverage prowess or ball-hawking nature of Peters. Cooper had his first big week of the season in the Raiders previous outing, but is primed for an encore in a game that could be sneaky high-scoring.

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks - Baldwin is one of the top slot receivers in the NFL, taking 82 percent of his snaps from the interior (fourth-highest of receivers who've played more than 100 snaps). Fully healthy coming off a bye, Baldwin faces a cakewalk matchup against the Falcons secondary. Atlanta's star corner Desmond Trufant mostly sticks to left cornerback and rarely tracks top receivers into the slot. As such, the Falcons have major issues handling slot receivers. Atlanta's defense gives up the third-highest catch rate to slot receivers with 72.3 percent, which is almost 10 percent higher than the NFL average of 63.3 percent, per Next Gen Stats.

Michael Thomas and Willie Snead, WR, New Orleans Saints - The rookie receiver is ascending. Thomas led the team in targets over the Saints last two games played and was second and first in wide receiver snap rate in Weeks 3 and 4, respectively. He also leads the team in red-zone targets on the season with six, all of which he gathered over the last two weeks. The Saints have used Thomas almost exclusively on crossing routes and slants this year:

Thomas' route portfolio makes him an easy option for Drew Brees to target as he picks apart the middle of the defense. Of course, he's a risky play because this could easily be Willie Snead's week, who should be closer to 100 percent coming off the bye. It makes sense to sprinkle both into lineups.

Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Carolina Panthers - Ginn takes 46 percent of his snaps from the right wide position, which should match him up with B.W. Webb at left corner. His deep speed could make a difference in this game. With Kelvin Benjamin's valued inflated to an unmanageable level, it makes sense to poke around the ancillary receivers in Carolina.

Top tight end plays

Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers - The Panthers tight end is coming off a massive 181-yard explosion on Monday night. New Orleans ranks a solid 15th at defending the tight end position in Football Outsiders' metrics, but that's with only allowing 37 yards per game to them. The Raiders, Falcons and Giants didn't test them in the first three game, but Hunter Henry exposed them in Week 4. Olsen is in line for another fine day.

Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans - The Browns faced a tough test against the Patriots two-tight end set last week. And they failed epically, allowing 100 yards receiving to Rob Gronkowski and three touchdowns to Martellus Bennett. The Browns allow a league-high 102 yards per game to tight ends, while the second-worst team allows 79.4. This is a prime blowup spot for Walker, who has been the only consistently effective pass-catcher for Tennessee.

Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks - The Falcons allow the fourth-highest touchdown rate (11.4) in the NFL and 68 yards per game to the position. The team really struggles with middle of the field coverage. It's bad timing to suddenly get a matchup with the red-hot Jimmy Graham. The former Pro Bowler enters this game holding a 27 percent share of the team targets over his last two games, crossing the yardage century mark in both.

Jesse James, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers - James leads the Steelers in red zone targets through five weeks and has converted three of his five targets into touchdowns inside the 20-yard line. The Dolphins rank 27th in the NFL at defending the tight end position per Football Outsiders' DVOA. He's one of the best low-value tight end plays each week due to his touchdown upside.

Defense plays

Buffalo Bills DEF - It might be worth taking the moonshot at the Bills this week. With Colin Kaepernick making his first 2016 start on a long-road trip, they can accumulate big plays.

Pittsburgh Steelers DEF - The Dolphins rank dead last in the NFL in time of position per drive. They can't mount drives, they can't score and they give up big plays to the opposing defense. Even in a road spot, you can deploy the Steelers defense against them.

Tennessee Titans DEF - The Browns have the worst starting field positon per drive in the NFL, and rank no better than 20th in any per drive offensive efficiency metric. The Titans defense made another bad team pay in the Miami in Week 5 and are getting better.

Detroit Lions DEF - Playing the Rams in Detroit is a good base recipe for success against the Los Angeles Rams. The Lions are more of a floor play, however, as their lack of talent keeps them from dominating opponents.

Stack(s) of the week

Matthew Stafford/Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions - The Rams are missing their top corner, Trumaine Johnson, who would have covered Jones on the vast majority of his routes. That weakness should open up plenty of opportunities for the NFL's receiving yardage leader. Jones still has a 23 percent target share in the Detroit offense and Eric Ebron (No. 2 in receiving yardage) trails him by 309 yards. This is another explosive spot for Jones after we've seen more of his floor the last two weeks.

Blake Bortles/Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars - The bye week hopefully gave the Jaguars some time to fix their moribund offense. After being one of the most effective deep passing games in the league last season, Bortles ranks dead last in the NFL with 5.71 air yards on his completed passes, per Next Gen Stats. Again, lets bet on the bye week fixing some of those issues. One player who is still on a dominant trail is Allen Robinson. His 10.3 targets per game ranks seventh in the NFL and his two touchdowns inside the 10-yard line trail only Jordy Nelson and Larry Fitzgerald at the wide receiver position. The Bears rank 27th at defending No. 1 wide receivers, per Football Outsiders.

Tom Brady/Rob Gronkowski/Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots - After their Week 5 explosion, it's going to be tempting to try and locate the weeks when this trio is going to go off. This looks like another spot where we can look to them. The Bengals are reeling as a team and get a tough road trip to Foxboro as a lifeboat. Cincinnati gives up a 12.5 touchdown rate to tight ends and Gronkowski and Bennett are the best set of red-zone weapons in the league. The Bengals feature solid outside and interior corner play, so the targets should funnel to the tight ends once again.

Tyrod Taylor/LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills - The 49ers travel to Buffalo for a Week 6 faceoff. Matt Franciscovich already made a great narrative and statistical case for LeSean McCoy as one of the top running back plays of the week. The 49ers give up 133.4 yards per game to the running back position, the most in the NFL. San Francisco also allows a 10-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio this season. Since the start of the 2015 season the San Francisco pass defense has been drastically better in their home stadium. The team allows a 109.4 passer rating on the road compared to a much stronger 78.4 at home. Taylor gets them in his building this week and maintains a similar deep passing and rushing game level of production that he showed last year. The Bills could smoke the 49ers and this stack would help monopolize all of their touchdowns.

Carson Palmer/John Brown, Arizona Cardinals - Sammie Coates was the easiest sleeper to spot last week, just ask every single fantasy analyst that felt the need to take a victory lap after his big game (whispers: if everyone called it, it isn't that impressive that you did too). Coates' 72-yard touchdown that New York let up in Week 5 was the fifth score the Jets allowed on a pass over 20 air yards, a league-high. The team gave up a 40-plus yard reception in every game this season thus far. Brown is one of the NFL's fastest receivers and is the primary deep threat outside for the Cardinals, with Michael Floyd trailing Jaron Brown in snap share each of the last two games.

Best contrarian plays

Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans - It's now or never for Lamar Miller. The Texans' prized free agent addition entered Week 5 holding an NFL record 106 touches without scoring. He got nine touches in a blowout loss to Minnesota and still didn't score following that. The Colts should provide a final chance to get back on track for Miller. Indianapolis gives up the seventh-highest yards per carry (4.63) to running backs, four touchdowns and 30 targets to the positon. His team is favored to win at home; it's all there for Miller from an outlook perspective. He will be low-owned due to his own disappointing performance and the tremendous projections for top running backs like DeMarco Murray, Le'Veon Bell and other top running backs.

Zach Miller, TE, Chicago Bears - Much of the attention gets paid to the, shall we say, confusing Bears wide receiver situation. Yet, Zach Miller sits on a cool 182 yards and three touchdowns since Hoyer took over the job three weeks ago. He figures to be a low-owned, value play at tight end as long as Hoyer starts.

Best obvious play

DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans - Cleveland has the 22nd run defense in the NFL, per Football Outsiders' DVOA and ranks 30th in time of possession per drive. Opposing teams get a ton of opportunities to run at them once they gain a lead and Cleveland fails to post a challenge. DeMarco Murray's 23.4 touches per game rank third behind only Le'Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott. This is another prime spot for the veteran back.

Players to fade

Chiefs running backs - I hate to be the "let's see it first" guy, as it's often lazy analysis. Yet, if anyone thinks they know how this backfield split will go, that's strong guesswork by you. It's a prime matchup and both Spencer Ware and Jamaal Charles' values are depressed, but avoid that siren song. This situation is a clear fade until we actually have a clue as to how they split the workload.

The near 100 percent exposure player

Christine Michael, RB, Seattle Seahawks - Christine Michael is a workhorse. He's handled a whopping 45 touches over the last two games while Thomas Rawls sat out. The Falcons are an ideal matchup for opposing running backs, as not only do they allow 4.24 yards per carry, but they're tied for second in the NFL in receptions allowed to running backs. The Seahawks are a heavy home favorite in what could be a messy weather game. That all points back to a top-five running back finish for Michael, who has strangely gone under-discussed this week.

Cheat code of the week

Kamar Aiken, WR, Baltimore Ravens - In one of the worst calls of the fantasy season, I believed Kamar Aiken would sustain the momentum he had last season and be the Ravens leading receiver. That was epically wrong, as Aiken has just six catches for a lowly 28 yards this year. However, with Steve Smith doubtful and Mike Wallace questionable, this could be Aiken's chance to once again get back into the rotation. We know Aiken has ability as he performed admirably as the Ravens top wideout in relief duties last year posting over 900 yards on 127 targets. Aiken plays 62 percent of his snaps in the slot this year and the Giants allowed well over 300 receiving yards out of the slot the last three weeks and helped Randall Cobb get back on track in Week 5 with his first 100-yard game since November 2015.

Matt Harmon is an associate fantasy writer/editor for, and the creator of #ReceptionPerception, who you can follow on Twitter @MattHarmon_BYB or like on Facebook.