IBM Smart Lineup Decisions for NFL Week 6

Darius Slayton has featured heavily in the New York Giants offense recently. Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire

Fantasy football is an emotional game, and that's a large part in why we love it. But "love" isn't the only emotion that comes with this game ... the flip side is just as strong of an emotion. What if I told you that it was possible to take the emotion out of the decision-making while retaining the sheer joy that comes with watching the games every week?

That's where IBM Insights comes in, as they use Watson AI to break down all of the content you're consuming and then some. And by "some," I mean every inch of the interwebs. Below are the highlights for NFL Week 6 -- good and bad. Now all you have to do is avoid the bust players and watch the points pile up.


Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings

Matt Ryan has failed to finish as a top-20 quarterback in each of the past three weeks, but there is going to be temptation to play him against a Vikings defense that allows the fourth-most yards per pass attempt this season (8.3). Be careful. Ryan is averaging a career-high 9.5 air yards per throw this season, and while that raises the ceiling, the lowered floor is terrifying given that Minnesota has upped their defensive aggression with each passing week this season.

Watson's Insight: Ryan's 9.4-point floor ranks among the five lowest at the position, while his ceiling ranks 12th.

Running back

J.D. McKissic, Washington at New York Giants

Are we sleeping on the role here (91% available)? He is the only running back in the NFL with at least eight targets in each of the past two weeks and he takes on a Giants defense that is allowing the fourth-most yards per pass attempt to running backs this season (7.2, 23.2% ahead of league average). There are various injuries, three top-15 backs on bye and at least one game in question because of COVID-1. You could do much worse in a pinch than McKissic on Sunday.

Watson's Insight: McKissic's underwhelming projection (10.1 points) has his boom potential at 26.2%, the highest rate at the position this week.

Wide receiver

Darius Slayton, New York Giants vs Washington

Don't look now, but Slayton could be on the verge of becoming the next great upside fantasy receiver. His big-play potential is no secret and with at least six targets in every game this season (and 11 last weekend at Dallas), the floor is higher than your prototypical burner. Teams are throwing deep 8.4 times per game against Washington this season (fifth most), so the numbers suggest that Slayton is more boom than bust in this spot.

Watson's Insight: Slayton's ceiling in this spot is 130.8% above his ESPN projection, the second highest rate among 45 qualified receivers.

Tight end

Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers

Hooper is the only member of this passing game that is healthy, and his increasing role alone is enough to make him a starter at a shallow position in ESPN leagues. He saw a team-high 10 targets last week against a Colts defense that profiles similar to these Steelers: a top-5 run defense that sees over 20% of opponent passes get directed to the tight end position. The projected volume makes him a fine play and the scoring equity that comes in a game with an over/under north of 50 points makes him a strong play in all formats.

Watson's Insight: George Kittle and Hooper are the only two tight ends that go into Week 6 with a floor projection that is within 10 points of his ceiling projection, giving him a better production floor than most assume.

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