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Fantasy Football Picks, Fades: DraftKings NFL DFS Salary Risers and Fallers Ahead of Week 6

Steve Buchanan goes over three DraftKings NFL player salaries and how they either went up or down ahead of Week 6.

We honestly weren’t sure what Week 5 was going to look like, as COVID issues continue to ravage the NFL season. For all the news leading up to Sunday, it went off essentially flawless. Week 6 is upon us and we’ll look at who saw some of the biggest salary increases or decreases this week.

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Zach Ertz ($5,000) vs. Baltimore Ravens
Week 5 Salary: $5,700 ($700 decrease)

It’s honestly amazing that with all the injuries the Eagles have dealt with, Ertz has been a non-factor in this offense. After just 1.6 DKFP in Week 5 against the Steelers, Ertz has now fallen to averaging just 8.5 DKFP and 29 receiving yards per game with just one touchdown scored overall. At this point, it’s extremely hard to justify playing Ertz. Amongst tight ends, Ertz has run a receiving route on 201 snaps — the most in the league — and that accounts for 60% of his total snaps. However, he’s averaging just 0.72 yards per route run, one of the lowest marks in the league.

Even worse, Ertz isn’t even getting many looks in the red zone to make him a boom-or-bust option. He’s accounted for just 16.7% of the Eagles’ red zone targets. Now he’ll face a Ravens team that has kept a cap on opposing tight ends, allowing an average of just 12.5 DKFP to the position. I can’t imagine looking toward Ertz in any situation at this point, especially when Robert Tonyan ($5,100) and T.J. Hockenson ($5,300) are in the same range in better matchups.

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Chase Claypool ($5,200) vs. Cleveland Browns
Week 5 Salary: $5,200 ($1,100 increase)

The expected massive jump in salary for Claypool resulted in a $1,100 increase after his four touchdown performance against the Eagles. In all, Claypool scored 45.6 DKFP with seven catches for 110 yards and three receiving touchdowns, with an additional touchdown and six yards on three rushing attempts. A massive amount of attention will be focused on Claypool after this game, but is it going to be worth it?

As of Tuesday, the status of Diontae Johnson ($4,900) is currently unknown for Week 6. He took a hard shot to the back which knocked him out of Week 5 and opened the door for the Claypool show. Johnson being out of the mix will certainly be a huge benefit for Claypool, especially against a Browns team, allowing an average of 203 receiving yards. CB Terrance Mitchell has been filling in for the injured Greedy Williams and has allowed an average of 11.8 YPR on 18 catches.

He’s going to carry way higher ownership than usual due to recency bias. If Johnson is out, it’s not crazy to think he won’t be heavily involved again, but our expectations need to be realistic here. Someone like Laviska Shenault Jr. ($5,200) would be a good potential tournament play in the same range, as he could easily go overlooked despite his solid matchup against the Lions.

Brandin Cooks ($5,000) vs. Tennessee Titans
Week 5 Salary: $4,100 ($900 increase)

Naturally, after burning everyone who played him in Week 4 by not making a catch on his three targets and scoring 0 DKFP, Cooks came back with a vengeance, making eight catches on 12 targets for 161 yards and a touchdown, good for 33.1 DKFP. Cooks also took 32% of his snaps out of the slot, which is the highest we’ve seen so far this season. Previously, his 24% snap share out of the slot was the highest, which he did back in Week 3.

We’re likely to get these types of games out of Cooks occasionally, but I wouldn’t say this will be the new normal. As I write this Tuesday afternoon, we have yet to see the Titans in quite a bit of time, but this was a team — leading up to their matchup against the Bills — that allowed an average of 39.2 DKFP and 182 receiving yards per game to opposing WRs with three total touchdowns. It should be noted that this is over the course of three games, not four or five like most. With Cooks only at $5K, I think this is still a very fair price for him because he does have the massive downfield upside. Of this 33 targets, 27% of been of at least 20 yards or more and have accounted for 157 of his total 299 yards. Against a Titans secondary allowing an average of 9.58 YPT, one of the highest in the league, this could be another big week for Cooks.

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