If you regularly wager on NFL games, it's important to look at the big picture and not to overreact to the latest buzz. Yes, recognizing trends is important, but you have to be sure you're seeing trends and not aberrations.
In Week 5, for example, the New York Giants appeared to finally get their offense clicking, and it took a last-second 63-yard field goal for the Carolina Panthers to knock them off at Bank of America Stadium. Thursday, they faced the rival Philadelphia Eagles at home in prime time.
The Giants were offensively inept and got embarrassed.
There are 14 games remaining on the Week 6 slate—the New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions are on bye—and we're here to help separate the truths from the mirages. Are the Cleveland Browns on the rise? Is Mitchell Trubisky becoming a gunslinger? Are the Green Bay Packers hamstrung with a less-than-100 percent Aaron Rodgers under center?
Most importantly, how do the answers to these questions affect the finals scores in Week 6?
We'll examine each game, along with the latest odds from OddsShark. We'll also make final score predictions and identify some can't-miss fantasy stars for the week.
Week 6 Odds, Over/Unders and Score Predictions
Sunday, October 14
Arizona Cardinals (+10) at Minnesota Vikings (O/U 43): Vikings 28, Cardinals 20
Buffalo Bills (+10) at Houston Texans (O/U 41): Texans 23, Bills 17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3) at Atlanta Falcons (O/U 57); Falcons 31, Buccaneers 28
Carolina Panthers (-1) at Washington Redskins (O/U 44.5): Panthers 20, Redskins 18
Indianapolis Colts (+2) at New York Jets (O/U 45.5): Colts 27, Jets 24
Pittsburgh Steelers (+1.5) at Cincinnati Bengals (O/U 55.5): Steelers 31, Bengals 27
Los Angeles Chargers (-1) at Cleveland Browns (O/U 46): Chargers 20, Browns 18
Chicago Bears (-3.5) at Miami Dolphins (O/U 41.5): Bears 24, Dolphins 20
Seattle Seahawks (-2.5) at Oakland Raiders (London) (O/U 48.5): Seahawks 28, Raiders 20
Los Angeles Rams (-6.5) at Denver Broncos (O/U 51.5): Rams 30, Broncos 24
Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) at Tennessee Titans (O/U 40.5): Ravens 20, Titans 18
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) at Dallas Cowboys (O/U 40.5): Jaguars 26, Cowboys 23
Kansas City Chiefs (+3.5) at New England Patriots (O/U 59.5): Patriots 33, Chiefs 30
Monday, October 15
San Francisco 49ers (+9.5) at Green Bay Packers (O/U 46.5): Packers 27, 49ers 20
All betting information according to OddsShark.
Fantasy Studs to Watch
QB Matt Ryan vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Atlanta Falcons are struggling. Quarterback Matt Ryan, on the other hand, is not. He holds a passer rating of 110.9, has racked up 1,601 yards with 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions.
Ryan had a down week in Week 5 but still amassed 285 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. That isn't good enough to make him fantasy gold, but his Week 6 matchup should. Ryan will be facing a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that has allowed an average of 358 passing yards per game, the most in the NFL.
No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, according to FantasyPros.
The Falcons defense isn't great, either—it has allowed the second-most points, 32.6 per game—so we could have a shootout in Atlanta, and that will benefit Ryan owners.
RB Melvin Gordon vs. Cleveland Browns
Those pesky Browns have been competitive this season because of a defense that leads the league in takeaways. However, the Browns do give up a lot of yards—398.0 per game, sixth-most in the league—and that means Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon becomes a smart play.
Gordon has been sharing touches with former undrafted free agent Austin Ekeler, but he's still producing like a typical workhorse back. He's averaging 119 combined rushing and receiving yards, plus nearly six receptions per game. These are must-start numbers, especially in points-per-reception (PPR) formats.
Even if the Chargers don't score a ton of real-life points, Gordon should have opportunities to score plenty for your fantasy team. Against Cleveland in Week 5, Alex Collins averaged 5.9 yards per carry, but only got 12 carries because the Baltimore Ravens decided to have Joe Flacco throw 56 times.
If Philip Rivers throws 56 times against the Browns, it will mean something has gone seriously wrong.
Javis Landry vs. Los Angeles Chargers
On the other side of the Browns-Chargers game, wide receiver Jarvis Landry is a must-start. The Browns are short on wide receivers, as emerging playmaker Rashard Higgins is out with an MCL sprain.
"We'll miss him until we get him back," Browns head coach Hue Jackson said, per Patrick Maks of the team's official website. "He's been very consistent for our football team."
Cleveland will also be without wide receiver Derrick Willies, who caught the overtime pass from Baker Mayfield that helped set up Cleveland's overtime game-winning field goal in Week 5.
Expect Landry to get force-fed the football against a Chargers team that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts, per FantasyPros.
SLEEPER: TE C.J. Uzomah vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
If you are looking for a streamer at tight end or an injury replacement for Tyler Eifert, you should feel comfortable taking a chance on fellow Cincinnati Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah.
Uzomah stepped into a more significant role against the Miami Dolphins in Week 5 and produced two receptions for 43 yards. Those Dolphins allow the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, according to FantasyPros.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, who visit Cincinnati on Sunday, have allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends. This makes Uzomah a viable option in deeper leagues.