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5 must-read stats: Worrying about Matthew Stafford

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Happy Week 6!!

Each week I'll be giving you five stats to think about as you make your fantasy roster selections. I am also going to give you three high-ceiling picks at each position (QB, RB, WR, TE) and a kicker and defense that might be available to stream. I am trying to go outside the top few at each position and find some picks that could deliver exceptional value based on their matchup and opportunity (volume, game plan, projected final score). I'm going to try to avoid listing the players who are too obvious.

My goal is to help you think about edging out your opponents with a strong floor and exceptional upside picks. I should also note that these projections will be more solid with each passing week of the season. So, the "rules" for this article:

1. Not super obvious.
2. As exclusive as possible to this article.
3. You give me feedback and we evolve it together. Twitter (@cfrelund) is the best for this, unless you are creepy then just stick to rules 1 and 2.

Got all that? Let's go!!!

1. 42 percent

That's the percentage of results in which my model has the Jaguars defense scoring a touchdown against the Rams this weekend, higher than any Jags receiver's individual chances (Allen Hurns has the greatest with 40 percent). Part of this is due to their elite ability to pressure (20 sacks, most in the league), part is due to their league-low passer rating allowed (54.2) and the last part is because they have caused the most turnovers in the NFL (15 total, 10 interceptions). Here's how this one maps out ... Fournette is my RB4 for the week. Jags defense AND Rams defense both great plays. Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee are high-upside picks.

2. Six

That's how many times Matthew Stafford has been sacked in each of his past two games ... something that has only happened five total times in his career. Over their past two games, the Saints defense has been a much different unit than their first two games (6.5 PPG-allowed versus 32.5 PPG-allowed in the first two, with four takeaways versus 0 in the first two). The Lions offensive line is a big red flag and Stafford has appeared on the injury report ... so in addition to Ameer Abdullah (who you should already be on), Theo Riddick has a potentially high ceiling this week. My model also flags Willie Snead and Coby Fleener as risky upside picks. Alvin Kamara is one of my favorite plays of the week.

3. Seven

The NFL Research team came up with a power index (they let me hang out with them ... I bought pizza, so it worked out). They are too modest to say, but it's really good. I love it. We force Bill from the research team to come on the "Game Theory and Money" pod to talk about it this week, which is definitely worth the listen. Usually, there are two to three teams with an over 70 percent probability of winning in a single week ... this week there are SEVEN. They are, in order: Denver, Baltimore, Houston, Atlanta, Kansas City, Washington and Jacksonville. Of those, my model only has Houston forecasted for 30 points. My point? Factor in game scripts when you're looking for upside.

4. Things that probably won't last ...

 » Ben Roethlisberger's passer rating under pressure is 0 (league average is 62.4)
 » Miami's defense hasn't allowed a 60-plus yard rusher or a running back to earn 100 scrimmage yards ... yet (Devonta Freeman is likely to change that)
 » Washington's red zone touchdown percentage is only 36.4% (third-worst)

5. If-thens ...

Adapting post injury-report is one of the biggest keys to fantasy wins -- especially in formats where you have access to all the players each week. Here are three, for now. I'll tweet out more as they come in. Again, Sam Bradford is in here this week:


 » If no Rob Kelley ... Chris Thompson gets a bigger uptick and Samaje Perine gets a bump too.
 » If Ty Montgomery plays, expect a shared backfield and some of his short passes to be reallocated to Martellus Bennett. If no Montgomery, Bennett's projection increases and Aaron Jones' volume makes him a better play (but still risky).
 » If no Bilal Powell, then, of course, Elijah McGuire ... but be careful not to overestimate here because I have a lower total score in this game and for the Jets in general than what you might expect. Note: Matt Forte could play (turf toe).
 » If no DeVante Parker, Jarvis Landry becomes a better pick and Kenny Stills becomes a nice upside play (but a very risky one).
 » If Kwon Alexander plays, Tampa Bay's defense becomes even scarier, the potential to shut Arizona's run game down increases, and the score becomes more lopsided in Tampa Bay's favor. (The Bucs are a survivor pick I like.)

High Ceiling

QB: Jameis Winston, Deshaun Watson 
RB: Alvin Kamara, Marlon Mack, Marshawn Lynch, D'Onta Foreman 
WR: Will Fuller, Marvin Jones, Jeremy Maclin, Jeremy Kerley 
TE: Martellus Bennett, Tyler Kroft 
DEF: Buccaneers, Falcons

Follow Cynthia Frelund on Twitter @cfrelund.

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