Players to Avoid: Week 6

Daily fantasy football isn’t all about who you are going to use. Sometimes it’s just as important to determine who you aren’t going to use. That way, if the salary happens to fit for your last spot, you’ll know which names to disregard in order to produce the greatest overall fantasy point output. Here are the guys to cross off your list heading into the sixth week of the NFL season.

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, $14,100 – Priced as QB4 and facing a defense that has allowed the ninth most fantasy points to opposing QBs, Ben Roethlisberger does not feel like an obvious fade. However, a trend has continued this year that became blatantly obvious in 2015: Roethlisberger is much more effective at home. So far this year, Roethlisberger has produced a 122.3 QB rating in Heinz Field compared to just 85.3 on the road. Last year, Roethlisberger threw for 2,088 yards and 16 TDs at home in six games compared to 1,850 yards and just five TDs (to nine interceptions) in six games on the road. He has played an additional game at home this year but his averages tell the story: 4.0 passing TDs per game at home versus 1.5 per game on the road. Although the matchup looks juicy, and the team is favored by 7.5, Roethlisberger often lets down fantasy owners away from home. At similar price tags, Cam Newton, Drew Brees and even Russell Wilson are all superior plays.

Isaiah Crowell, Browns, $9,100 – Heading into Week 5, Isaiah Crowell was looking like he could not be stopped…then, as predicted, he h it a metaphorical brick wall (he was featured in this article last week). Crowell carried the ball 13 times against the Patriots for just 22 yards (1.7 yards per carry (YPC)) and failed to reach the end zone for just the second time this season. Last week, part of the reasoning for the fade was because they were listed as substantial underdogs and Crowell fares better (and receives more week) in competitive contests. After opening as 10.5 point underdogs in Week 5, Vegas lists the Browns as 7.5 point underdogs in Tennessee this weekend. Not only have the Titans only allowed the fifth fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs but they have only allowed two rushing TDs through five games. In order for Crowell to hit value on a given week, he must find the end zone, especially because Duke Johnson eats up a majority of the passing down work. With game flow working against his cause in a matchup against a stout defense, there is no reason to roster Crowell yet again this week.

Jeremy Hill, Bengals, $7,800 – Crowell was a perfect lead-in to Jeremy Hill because the Browns running game was shut down last week by the Patriots defense…aka Hill’s upcoming opponent. First of all, Hill was forced to leave Week 5 with a shoulder issue, although he indicated he was fine on Monday. His health cannot be fully confirmed until practice reports are released so that is a situation to keep an eye on. Even assuming he practices without any limitations, the Patriots are only allowing 3.7 YPC this year and the Bengals are listed as 8.5 point underdogs. Basically, he is in a very similar situation to Crowell last week except on a better offense. Hill fills his team’s “ground and pound” role in the offense meaning he receives a majority of the carries including short yardage and goal line. The price is enticing but nothing else about the matchup suggests Hill is worthy of starting in daily fantasy football.

Kelvin Benjamin, Panthers, $15,300 – Sans Delvin Breaux, most would assume the Saints would be mincemeat against number one WRs. Meanwhile, the team still ranks sixth against opposing teams’ top receivers in terms of Football Outsiders’ defense-adjust value over average (DVOA) statistic. Additionally, opposing number ones have only managed 75.8 yards per game against the Saints so clearly this is the strength of the defense. Considering the defense quite literally has no other saving graces, all other Panthers are in play. Cam Newton, Jonathan Stewart, Devin Funchess and Greg Olsen all have cases to be made for them in different formats but Benjamin is priced as a WR1 and the matchup is simply subpar. If spending up for a top option, you want elite production, and number one WRs have produced outputs 19.5-percent below their season average against the Saints so far.

Mike Wallace, Ravens, $10,200 – Since Mike Wallace lines up all over the field, it is difficult to narrow down exactly which individual matchup he will be facing a majority of the time. Most of the time, Wallace lines up on the left side of the formation (43-percent) but he mixes in some time at slot (25-percent) as well. Add those up and he will line up opposite the Giants’ two best corners on 68-percent of his snaps with Janoris Jenkins manning the left side and Leon Hall patrolling the slot as the nickel corner. Basically, Steve Smith, who is expected to suit up after leaving last week’s game, draws the more favorable matchup against Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Also, safeties are the strength of this defense so Wallace should struggle even if he beats his man on any given play. As if that weren’t enough, the Giants rank second in DVOA against opposing number one WRs (-31.2-percent compared to average) and have only allowed 51.9 yards per game to those in the role. With the Ravens offense only implied to score 20.3 points, there are just too many factors working against Wallace to consider rostering him.

Dwayne Allen, Colts, $6,000 – Only the Eagles have allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing TEs than the Texans although neither team has surrendered a TD to the position. Amazingly, Houston has limited TEs to just 107 yards receiving in five games, or just 21.2 yards per contest. Unsurprisingly, this has led to the Texans ranking first in DVOA against the position. Starting a TE against this team is the equivalent of starting a receiver against Xavier Rhodes at this point: they are destined to be shut down. Just because Indianapolis possesses two viable options at the position does not necessarily mean one is in a substantially better position than the other. Splitting snaps and targets only eats into both of their values and that only furthers the case for fading Dwayne Allen. There is simply no reason to deploy one of Andrew Luck’s favorite red zone targets in the worst possible matchup he could ask for.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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