What a week, fam!
We cashed in on four of five props last Sunday (including a sweet Gabe Davis ladder). Let's keep up the momentum heading into Week 6. Utilizing ESPN's metrics database and some assistance from stats ace Kyle Soppe, I'm here to help you win in fantasy and at the books.
Pick: George Kittle OVER 41.5 receiving yards (-135)
Not even a top-tier talent like George Kittle can be saved from the 2022 tight end wasteland. The do-it-all talent has yet to finish inside the top-20 FF players at the position. There have been some gains, however. Kittle ran a season-high 25 routes and drew six looks last Sunday. I'm bullish on him building on those numbers this weekend.
Kittle's fantasy ceiling is often capped by his versatility. He's as dedicated to blocking as he is to dominating after the catch. But when he's in play as a receiver... he doesn't miss. In his last 18 games, Kittle has converted 89 of 119 targets with just a single drop. That's one heck of a safety valve! The 49ers have been mindful about gradually folding back into the offense since the star TE shook off rust from a preseason groin strain. Since returning to action, Kittle's routes per dropback have steadily increased from 56.3% in Week 3 to 90.6% in Week 5.
This matchup sets up so well for Kittle. The Falcons have allowed the fourth most fantasy points, third most receiving yards (355), and second most receptions (34) to opposing TEs. Additionally, no team has allowed more red zone trips than Atlanta this season (21). Kittle has two red zone looks over three games. Kittle only needs one to cash in on +185 to score.
He may not be my TE3 every week... but he is this week.
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Pick: Mike Evans OVER 68.5 receiving yards (-119)
Evans' decline in Week 5 -- after delivering over 30 fantasy points in Week 4 -- was disappointing. But he's on the rise again in Week 6. Despite regularly facing elite CB talent, Evans has cleared 70 yards in three of four games this season. Pittsburgh's secondary figures to help the star WR maintain that trend.
The Steelers are getting torched by wideouts. Pittsburgh is currently allowing the second-highest TD rate, the fifth-most yards per completion, and the sixth-most yards per attempt to perimeter receivers. As it so happens, Evans is being targeted on 38.2% of perimeter routes with a 12.9 aDOT. He's not going to need more than six or seven looks to clear the above line (and he's averaging 7.3 targets per game).
If you're buying what I'm selling here, maybe consider adding a anytime TD prop (+113), too. Dating back to the beginning of last season, Evans has posted 14 scores in 12 games in which he's gone over 70 receiving yards. I'm leaning in to a boom effort from the Bucs' best red zone receiver. He's my WR8 for the week.
Pick: Rachaad White OVER 18.5 rushing yards (-121)
Full disclosure: I had planned to highlight a Chris Godwin UNDER 70 receiving yards prop here. Now that the Steelers' secondary will mainly consist of backups, however, I'm less bullish. Instead, I'm pivoting to the run game.
White has been a buzzy name in dynasty circles since the Bucs drafted him in the third round this past April. The former Sun Devil was lauded by scouts for his long speed and prowess as a pass catcher. White has been steadily folded into the offense, recording season highs in snap share percentage, carries and routes run in Week 5. While Leonard Fournette remains the team's undisputed starter, White could see some legit playing time in a lopsided matchup.
Tampa Bay is favored by 9.5 points. That kind of game script should mega-boost the backfield, providing a surplus of opportunities for the rookie. White has handled nearly 32% of the carry share when the Bucs have led by at least 10 points (and only 10.7% of the carry share otherwise).
Garbage time can be a fluky thing to bet on, but it's not just that odds are good. Pittsburgh has struggled to limit yards before contact specifically when playing from behind. In fact, the Steelers have allowed the fifth-most running back yards before contact when trailing by at least a field goal. Even if Kenny Pickett pulls off a miracle and covers, the odds of the team staying within fewer than three points is decidedly low.
White (and his 4.4 speed) could hit the over on this prop in one run. He may not be a weekly redraft factor just yet. A big showing on Sunday, however, could make him a stash candidate down the stretch. He's currently available in over 74 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues and needs to be monitored moving forward.
Baltimore Ravens (-5.5, 45) at New York Giants
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
Pick: J.K. Dobbins UNDER 49. rushing yards (-121)
Fantasy managers were optimistic about Dobbins' continued ascent, after nearly doubling his totes from Week 3 to Week 4. But the womp-womp hit hard in Week 5. Lamar Jackson out-carried Dobbins 12:8 in the Ravens two-point win over the Bengals. It's not odd for Jackson to record double-digit carries, but it is concerning that nine of Lamar's runs were designed. That's one more planned run than the team's theoretical workhorse.
Perhaps -- in a tight game -- Greg Roman felt more comfortable leaning on his exceptionally athletic QB instead of a third-year RB who's still coming back from a devastating knee injury. Dobbins has yet to fully return to form, averaging nearly 28% fewer yards per carry after contact than he did as a rookie. That's probably also part of the reason three other rushers (Kenyan Drake, Devin Duvernay, and Mike Davis) were involved, combining for the same number of attempts (8) as Dobbins.
Furthermore, the Giants have been solid versus the run, ranking inside the top-seven most effective run defending units per the Loza Blocking Metric™. New York has limited opposing RBs to just 1.6 yards per carry after contact over the last two weeks. In London, the Giants put the clamps on Green Bay's backfield, preventing both Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon (who combined for 19 carries) from ripping off a run longer than 11 yards.
Dobbins is a talented player. And he'll likely look better and better over the course of the season. But right now, with a capped number of opportunities and in a low-key tough matchup, he's better utilized as a flex option than relied upon as an RB2 for fantasy purposes.
New York Jets at Green Bay Packers (-7.5, 45.5)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Lambeau Field, Green Bay Wis.
Pick: AJ Dillon OVER 50.5 rushing yards (-117)
Dillon has largely underwhelmed since his top-10 finish in Week 1. He and Aaron Jones are seeing the same number of carries per game (12), but Jones' efficiency and receiving production have outpaced Dillon's numbers. It's going to be tough for Dillon to unseat Jones as the team's premier pass-catching back, but this Sunday's matchup could have Dillon leading the ground game.
Dillon is a tackle busting beast who dominates on carries up the middle. That's why he's recorded 28 such opportunities to Jones' 11. As it turns out, the Jets allow the fifth-most yards before contact to opposing RBs on runs up the middle. So, Dillon figures to bully his way past the first line of defenders and rumble through the second level before eventually (if ever) getting caught.
Going over the above line may seem aggressive given Dillon's 49 rushing yards per game average. At -7.5 odds, however, the Packers backfield should be plenty busy. To that point, Green Bay was last favored by a wide margin back in Week 2 versus Chicago... and Dillon managed 61 rushing yards (on 18 attempts) in that effort.
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