Every week, at least one player becomes my fascination of whether he’s worthy of a fantasy football start or bench. The decision can be a mental wrestling match, but for the purpose of brevity, only one player can be chosen as the fantasy football gamble of the week.
The best fantasy football gamble for Week 6
Tracking my predictions: 2-2-1
Win: Player produces ≥ 80% of projected fantasy points
Loss: Player produces >80% of projected fantasy points
Tie: Player is ejected or leaves with an injury
Welp, so far my predictions have been either really good or downright awful. The two that were right were so much better than what I had predicted, those guys likely won games for owners. On the other hand, the pair that were wrong were laughably bad. This is why they’re gambles, though. Some will miss their mark by a wide margin, and the best one can do is learn from it and move forward. So, that’s what we’ll do heading into Week 6…
Detroit Lions RB D’Andre Swift at Jacksonville Jaguars
This week, I really wanted to include Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis as my pick, but his value completely depends on the health of John Brown (calf), and this being a Monday night game made me shy away. There’s too much volatility for recommending a player whose path to playing time is determined well after gamers are required to set their lineups. In the event Brown sits again, get Davis into lineups … I won’t track him as part of my overall recommendations.
Swift ranks as an RB2 consideration for me this week, because the Jaguars have an all-around shaky defense of his position. The Lions come back from their bye week, and one has to presume they spent extra time going over the game plan, but it’s the Lions, so, yeah, let’s not bank on that being the case.
What one should expect is more Swift. He has a month under his belt as an NFL rookie without a formal offseason, and we’ve seen enough good mixed in with the bad to give him some credit. The Lions more or less have moved on from Kerryon Johnson at this point, and the only way Adrian Peterson is a threat is if the ball is inside of the 5-yard line. Swift also has value in the red zone, though, and his versatility as a receiving option is crucial.
The Jaguars have permitted running backs an average of 6.2 receptions (10th most) for 43.8 yards (14th) in five weeks. Two of those catches have scored, which translates to being the eighth-highest rate. While Swift is less likely to see work around the stripe as a runner, it’s not out of the question, especially if the offense is ready to begin a transition to him as the featured weapon in the backfield. I cannot say with confidence that will happen, but I’ve been encouraged by his ability to produce with limited work, which suggests Swift will be fine even if this isn’t the week he sees significantly more touches.
Additionally, it’s the first matchup he has faced that has been favorable. Swift has posted at least 11.3 PPR points in three of his four games in spite of having faced tough opponents, so the gamble here really is how much more will he produce. Jacksonville has yielded 104.2 rushing yards a game (11th) and four rushing TDs in five outings. Just two weeks ago, Joe Mixon enjoyed a breakout game based on versatility, and we saw the same with Nyheim Hines in Week 1.
My projection: 9 attempts, 48 yards, 1 TD, 4 receptions, 44 yards, 1 TD (21.2 PPR points)