Last updated: October 10th at 4:55pm ET
Team Totals: Falcons 27, Cardinals 24.5
Matt Ryan visits the desert with 300-plus yards in six straight games and top-eight QB1 results in three of his last four starts, while Cardinals DC Vance Joseph’s unit has conceded top-12 QB1 scores in 4-of-5 weeks with a picturesque 12:0 TD-to-INT ratio allowed. Always a high-floor, high-ceiling play, Ryan makes for an especially compelling DFS start with stack-partner Julio Jones in obvious bounce-back position and Larry Fitzgerald as a game-stack option on the other side. This game has obvious shootout potential, and offenses facing Arizona’s defense are averaging the NFL’s sixth-most plays per game (66.4), potentially adding to Atlanta’s box-score opportunity. … Devonta Freeman kept lead-back usage in last week’s shootout loss to Houston, out-snapping Ito Smith 55% to 47% and out-touching him 16 to 11. Scoreless in Weeks 1-4, Freeman finally caught positive-touchdown variance when Ryan hit him for a nine-yard TD catch at the end of last week’s first half. Freeman enters Week 6 with 16-plus touches in three straight games facing an Arizona defense that has allowed the NFL’s tenth-most rushing yards per game to enemy backs (105.0). Freeman is an underrated RB2 play; Smith is a touchdown-or-bust flex.
Ryan’s 2019 target distribution: Julio Jones 44; Austin Hooper 42; Mohamed Sanu 36; Calvin Ridley 32; Freeman 26; Smith 14; Justin Hardy 8. … The blowup likelihood of Atlanta’s pass-catcher corps should enhance Ryan’s DFS stock. It doesn’t get better than this. … Still missing both starting corners, Arizona has let up usable wideout lines to Tyler Boyd (10/123/1), Danny Amendola (7/104/1), Marquise Brown (8/86/0), Marvin Jones (4/56/0), Curtis Samuel (5/53/1), D.J. Moore (1/52/1), Kenny Golladay (4/42/1), and Auden Tate (3/26/1). Beginning with most recent, these are Julio’s last three stat lines immediately following sub-50-yard games: 5/106/2 > 9/138/1 > 8/106/2. In his career, Julio also averages 8.2 more yards per game on the road with a 13.8% higher touchdown probability. … T.J. Hockenson (6/131/1), Mark Andrews (8/112/1), Greg Olsen (6/75/2), and Will Dissly (7/57/1) have all smashed the Cards, setting up Hooper for yet another above-par week. Only Darren Waller (37) has more receptions than Hooper’s 34 among tight ends. … Week 5 set up perfectly for Ridley at Houston, and this week is similar facing a Cardinals secondary whose absences of both starting corners forces it to overcompensate for an alpha presence like Julio. Ridley should stay locked into season-long lineups as a WR3 with legit WR1 upside. … Sanu can’t be dismissed with 75-plus yards and/or a touchdown in three straight games. Sanu runs 86% of his routes in the slot, where Arizona has allowed completions on 36-of-48 targets (75%) for 432 yards (9.0 YPA) and six touchdowns. I’m very rarely big on Sanu, but this is the week to play him.
This is also the week to play Kyler Murray; Dan Quinn’s Falcons coughed up top-12 fantasy results to Carson Wentz (QB11) > Jacoby Brissett (QB11) > Marcus Mariota (QB7) > Deshaun Watson (QB1) in Weeks 2-5 while generating innocuous pressure; Atlanta is tied for dead last in sacks with the Dolphins (5) and barely laid hands on oft-pressured Mariota and Watson in the last two weeks. Having never finished below QB18 five weeks into his career, Murray is a high-floor, high-ceiling play sure to go lower owned than he should in DFS tournaments. … Coach Kliff Kingsbury revealed that David Johnson played through a back injury at Cincinnati, explaining his 69% snap rate and Chase Edmonds’ 37% clip. Johnson has 17-plus touches in 4-of-5 games, ranks No. 4 among NFL backs in receiving yards (247), and will be an obvious RB1 if he plays, but he did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday. Johnson’s injury and Edmonds’ season-high 11 touches in last week’s win warrant Edmonds a solidified place on your fantasy bench. If Johnson doesn’t get the green light, Edmonds will deserve to be one of Week 6’s most-popular DFS plays. Kingsbury’s spread scheme has allowed the Cards to rank No. 1 in the NFL in rushing DVOA.
Murray’s target distribution: Larry Fitzgerald 44; Christian Kirk 36; David Johnson 33; KeeSean Johnson 26; Damiere Byrd 18; Edmonds 9; Charles Clay and Trent Sherfield 7; Pharoh Cooper 2; Andy Isabella 0. … Even as Fitzgerald’s Week 5 wasn’t flashy, he led the team in targets (8) and Air Yards (83) and has caught at least five balls in every 2019 game. This is a plus draw for Fitz, who runs a league-high 94% of his routes in the slot; teams targeting the slot against Atlanta are 31-of-41 passing (76%) for 306 yards (7.5 YPA) and four touchdowns. … Apparently due back from his ankle injury, Kirk drew target counts of 12 > 8 > 12 in his three full games to begin the season and is immediately playable as a WR3 with WR2 upside in PPR leagues. Kirk runs 82% of his routes in the slot. … Outside receivers in Kingsbury’s offense have more or less served as decoys. KeeSean led Arizona’s wideouts in Week 5 snaps yet hasn’t cleared 50 yards in a 2019 game. Same goes for Byrd, who is expected back from his two-week hamstring pull.
Score Prediction: Falcons 30, Cardinals 28