Outliers, Week 6

A comparison of the weekly positional rankings and the Top 200, this is an output of the players who could either have unexpected good or poor fantasy weeks.

This article will take a weekly look at players who are either undervalued or overvalued in a given week. The outlier value players offer is calculated by a comparison between the Top 200 forward, a look at the top 200 players with the whole season in mind, and the weekly Footballguys rankings. Both sources are from the Footballguys.com subscriber content. An emphasis will be on the players with the largest differences between the season outlook and this week only. Also, a preference will be given to differences for the higher ranked players. Some of these differences will be due to injury, the matchup of the week, or short-term situation.  Now, let's look at this week's outlier players. 


Carson Palmer

  • Top 200 ranking: 21
  • Weekly ranking: 5
  • Difference: +16

With a few quality quarterback starters on bye this week, Palmer makes a great spot starter.  The Cardinals host the Buccaneers in a big game for both teams.  Tampa Bay is the third-worst defense in defending fantasy quarterbacks.  While Arizona traded for Adrian Peterson this week, he will not be fully acclimated to the offense. The Cardinals are one-dimensional and pass-heavy, setting up Palmer with a chance for a solid fantasy outing.

Deshaun Watson

  • Top 200 ranking: 9
  • Weekly ranking: 3
  • Difference: +6

Even after the disappointing loss last week, Watson gives the Texans hope for a bright future.  Houston has a great chance to rebound this week, hosting Cleveland.  The Browns have played better but should not be a test for the high-flying Texans.  Cleveland is the fifth-best matchup for opposing quarterbacks.  Even with Miles Garrett in the lineup, Watson will be able to score his owners ample fantasy points.

Eli Manning

  • Top 200 ranking: 18
  • Weekly ranking: 26
  • Difference: -8

After losing his top four receivers to injury last week, Manning gets to face an elite defense in the Denver Broncos.  Of the quartet, only Sterling Shepard is expected back this season.  The game is at Mile High and the Broncos are coming off a bye week.  For a quarterback who has thrown for some big yardage recently, we do not expect this contest to be memorable in a positive way for the younger Manning. 

Matt Ryan


  • Top 200 ranking: 8
  • Weekly ranking: 13
  • Difference: -5


Ryan and the Falcons are coming off a bye week and host the Dolphins.  Miami has played well on defense this season and is not yielding many fantasy points to opposing passers.  They are the ninth-best fantasy defense versus quarterbacks.  Atlanta will look to establish the running game and throw sparingly, especially if taking a lead early in the contest. 

Running Back

Lamar Miller


  • Top 200 ranking: 15
  • Weekly ranking: 6
  • Difference: +9


As with Watson above, we expect the Texans to control the game and score often.  The Browns will find it difficult to slow down the same offense that put up 34 points against the Chiefs last Sunday night.  With consecutive home games, Houston will get extra rest.  This is the week to start your Texans. 

C.J. Anderson


  • Top 200 ranking: 16
  • Weekly ranking: 8
  • Difference: +8


With the potential for a very favorable game script, we like Anderson’s chances of having a big game against the Giants.  New York is void of weapons on offense and Denver will be prepared to come off the bye week.  This ranking has more to do with the game script and the Giants lack of offense than the quality of the Giants rush defense.  We just expect them to get worn down while the Broncos rotate running backs. 

Christian McCaffrey


  • Top 200 ranking: 11
  • Weekly ranking: 18
  • Difference: -7


McCaffrey is used more in the passing game than the run.  The game against the Eagles this week could be a let-down contest after the Panthers explosions the last two weeks.  Philadelphia is the sixth-best defense at defending the running back position in PPR (Points per Reception) leagues.  We expect the Eagles to have a plan for slowing down the shifty rookie.

Doug Martin


  • Top 200 ranking: 14
  • Weekly ranking: 21
  • Difference: -7


Martin put the world on notice last Thursday night in the loss to New England.  But, the difficult matchup against the Cardinals in Arizona and the runner still gaining full conditioning lead us to make Martin a low-end fantasy RB2 this week.  Arizona is the fourth-best defense against opposing running backs.  The weak-defenses of the NFC South will ensure plenty of great matchups in the near future. 

Wide Receiver

Keenan Allen


  • Top 200 ranking: 19
  • Weekly ranking: 4
  • Difference: +15


Allen has looked terrific this season and is poised for a big game against the Raiders this week.  Oakland has lost three consecutive games and allowed Mike Wallace to burn them deep multiple times last week.  The injury to Tyrell Williams, combined with Mike Williams not yet back from his back injury, should translate into double-digit targets for Allen. 

Chris Hogan


  • Top 200 ranking: 23
  • Weekly ranking: 8
  • Difference: +15


Hogan is averaging a touchdown per game and is a good bet to keep that stat going against the Jets this week.  Yes, New York has a 3-2 record.  But, the Patriots are heavily favored to win this contest and Hogan is the best bet to catch a touchdown for New England.  The thigh injury to Rob Gronkowski should translate into even more red-zone looks for Hogan. 

Demaryius Thomas


  • Top 200 ranking: 12
  • Weekly ranking: 25
  • Difference: -13


Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders should see few targets as the Broncos dominate the contest against the Giants.  Neither of these pass catchers is a great bet to top expectations in what looks like a lopsided game.  New York’s lack of offensive firepower should mean more C.J. Anderson and fewer pass attempts for Trevor Siemian

Mike Evans


  • Top 200 ranking: 2
  • Weekly ranking: 5
  • Difference: -3


Evans is a star pass catcher.  He is one of the few elite receivers in the NFL.  The game against the Cardinals should see Evans matchup against Patrick Peterson for much of the contest.  He plays better against the physical receivers (e.g., Dez Bryant, Evans, etc.) than the small, fast receivers.  We do not advocate benching Evans.  Just tempering expectations. 

Tight End

Delanie Walker


  • Top 200 ranking: 8
  • Weekly ranking: 4
  • Difference: +4


Walker welcomes quarterback Marcus Mariota back under center.  The game against the Colts in Nashville is a great matchup for the veteran tight end.  Indianapolis is the seventh-worst team at defending opposing tight ends in PPR leagues. 

Cameron Brate


  • Top 200 ranking: 9
  • Weekly ranking: 5
  • Difference: +4


Brate has played well this season.  Many expected him to lose targets to rookie O.J. Howard but the youngster has been relegated to blocking while Brate runs pass routes.  The contest against the Cardinals should allow the athletic tight end to make big plays in the middle of the field.  He has great chemistry with quarterback Jameis Winston

Jack Doyle


  • Top 200 ranking: 6
  • Weekly ranking: 18
  • Difference: -12


Doyle is still iffy for the game against Tennessee this week as he recovers from a concussion.  Even if cleared in time to play, fantasy owners should be leery of an early exit. 

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