The Fantasy Fallout Going Into Week 6 of the NFL Season
More injury heartbreaks abound in what has been a singular NFL season. I’ll tell you how to recover/pivot in this week’s fallout….
Buccaneers – 19 @ Bears – 20
- Ronald Jones had his 2nd 100+ yard game in as many weeks, with Leonard Fournette still sidelined. Jones has been pretty good for fantasy, but he still only has one score on the year. I don’t think that’s good enough to hold off Fournetter when he returns. I think you can flex both players this week against GB, if Fournette is good to go.
- Rookie Tyler Johnson, Rob Gronkowski, and Cameron Brate all had 6 targets, with Johnson leading in yards(61). Johnson was the beneficiary of every other TB WR being either sidelined or at half strength, so I’m not running to the wire for him. With Gronk and Brate eating into each other’s targets, it’ll be hard to trust either of them on a weekly basis, especially when the WR corps gets healthy.
- The Bears managed to win this one without doing too much on offense. Jimmy Graham did score though, and he now has double-digit fantasy points in 3 of 5 games this season. At only 40% ownership, he’s someone to target if you need help at TE.
Raiders – 40 @ Chiefs – 32
- Everything went right for the Raiders on offense, as no player had double-digit targets and only one player had more than 5. Despite the 40 point game, it’s still impossible to rely on any Raiders other than Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, and maybe Henry Ruggs on a weekly basis. I say maybe about Ruggs because even though he had 118 yards and a TD on the day, he still had only 3 targets. He could just as easily have had 17 yards on that amount.
- Nelson Agholor had his 3rd TD on the season, but he’s averaging only 2 targets a game. He’s a low floor flex in deep leagues.
- No surprises on KC’s end of things as Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire did most of the heavy lifting. Mecole Hardman did get 50 yards on 3 targets though, and Sammy Watkins injured his hamstring, so Hardman could be in line for considerable targets this week. He’s a no-brainer waiver add at 40% ownership.
Rams – 30 @ Redskins – 10
- The Rams had a 3-headed backfield in a winning effort, so that’s bad news for many a fantasy owner. Darrell Henderson had the most carries(15) and a score, but Cam Akers had the most yards(61) on his 9 touches. Akers didn’t really come in until the game was out of reach though, so I think Henderson and Malcolm Brown might still be the top 2 options. It’s hard to say if that’s only because Akers is still recovering from injury though. If I had to start one of them this week against the 49ers, it would be Henderson.
- Gerald Everett came out of nowhere to lead the Rams in receiving, picking up 90 yards on 4 receptions. Both Everett and Tyler Higbee are difficult fantasy plays these days, with the ball being spread around equitably in LA. I’d rather go get Jimmy Graham.
- The Washington Football team looked like garbage regardless of who was under center against the Rams. J.D. McKissic led the team with 8 targets, but most of those were from Alex Smith, who probably won’t be under center in Week 6. Antonio Gibson won’t reach his full potential until he takes the passing down action from McKissic, but that probably won’t happen anytime soon. Both are low floor flexes this week.
Eagles – 29 @ Steelers – 38
- Travis Fulgham broke out on Sunday as the Eagles go-to WR with a 10 rec, 152 yard, 1 TD game against the Steelers. This is the 2nd straight week Fulgham has been the guy, and it looks like it could stick. He needs to be owned. Even when injured WRs start returning for Philly, there’s still enough room for Fulgham in this offense.
- Chase Claypool, one of my favorite rookie prospects coming into the season, had a coming out party(7 rec, 110 yards, 3 TD) with Diontae Johnson succumbing to a back injury early on Sunday. I liked Claypool for fantasy because of his potential as a red-zone target, and that potential showed up in a big way. With Johnson potentially out for Week 6, Claypool is high-ceiling waiver add wherever you can get him.
- Benny Snell had 7 carries to James Conner‘s 15, but he didn’t do much with them(19 yards). He’s worth owning in deeper formats, but you can’ start him anywhere.
Cardinals – 30 @ Jets – 10
- Chase Edmonds isn’t getting enough carries to unseat Kenyan Drake, but his use in the passing game is making him an every week flex. He’s still available in over 35% of leagues.
- Christian Kirk‘s usage(5 rec, 78 yards) is starting to creep up, as the Cardinals remember that he’s their 2nd best WR. An afterthought in fantasy these days, he needs to be owned again ahead of a Week 6 matchup with the Cowboys.
- This Jeff Smith character keeps getting targets(11) for the Jets, but he only had 23 yards on the day. With Chris Hogan suffering a high-ankle sprain and Brashad Perriman no lock to return in Week 6, Smith could continue to see double-digit targets against the Chargers, but they probably won’t avail to much.
- Joe Flacco didn’t make many mistakes, but he also didn’t really help the team stay competitive either. Jamison Crowder is the only startable Jet in fantasy.
Jaguars – 14 @ Texans – 30
- Laviska Shenault(7 rec, 79 yards) seems firmly entrenched as the no.2 option in the Jags’ receiving game behind D.J. Chark, who actually left the game late with an ankle injury. I’ve been saying Shenault needs to be owned all season, and nothing’s changed. He’s still available in over 65% of leagues.
- Collin Johnson came in for D.J. Chark, when he left the game, and scored a TD. Johnson is a presence in the red-zone for sure, but I don’t trust him as a flex this week even if Chark sits. His floor will be too low, with him splitting snaps with Chris Conley. Keelan Cole might be worth using though.
- Brandin Cooks bounced back after a goose egg in Week 4 to post his best day of the 2020 season against the Jags(8 rec, 161 yards, 1 TD). He’s been pretty terrible in fantasy this season, but he’s about to have a 6 game stretch of soft secondaries. He’s available in about 55% of leagues right now.
Bengals – 3 @ Ravens – 27
- Tee Higgins looks like the no.2 WR at worst in Cincy these days. He’s still available in about half of leagues. A.J. Green injured his hamstring on Sunday at halftime, but he’d only gotten 1 target on the day. It seems like the Bengals are phasing him out of the offense, and the injury only hurts matters. It’s crazy to say it, but Green looks droppable in all but the deepest of leagues right now.
- J.K. Dobbins had 1 rush for 34 yards on Sunday. The kid has talent, but the Ravens don’t trust him I guess. Mark Ingram, on the other hand, had a season high 11 carries in a game they were leading throughout. Gus Edwards played spoiler again with 7 carries on the day. Ingram is the only startable Ravens back right now.
Panthers – 23 @ Falcons – 16
- Curtis Samuel had 9 touches on the day, 4 of them carries. It seems like the Panthers are trying to manufacture touches for him, as he’s just not high enough of a priority in the passing game. That being said, Christian McCaffrey is probably only one more week away from returning, so don’t depend on Samuel staying relevant.
- Matt Ryan is trash without Julio Jones, so let’s hope his key receiver can return in Week 6. Now that Dan Quinn is gone, and Raheem Morris has replaced him, maybe the Falcons will open up the passing game a bit more. Either way, it looks like the Falcons will be trailing a lot from here on out, so roll out your Atlanta receivers. Olamide Zaccheaus didn’t do much on Sunday, but he was very active on his routes and would be a decent flex option against MN this week if Jones can’t make it.
Dolphins – 43 @ 49ers – 17
- Preston Williams(4 rec ,106 yards, 1 TD) had his best game of 2020 against practice squad starter Bryan Allen of the 49ers on Sunday. I’d like to say we can take this effort and run with it, but it was mainly matchup based, so I’m not so sure. The Dolphins do play the Jets this week, so perhaps Williams is worth another speculative flex.
- Jordan Howard was a healthy scratch on Sunday, leaving Matt Breida to pick up the pieces behind Myles Gaskin. Breida finished with 10 low yield touches on the day, and those 59 yards might make him worth a deep league flex against the lowly Jets this week, in what is likely to be a blowout.
- Either Jimmy Garoppollo’s ankle or his ego was hurting on Sunday, as he got benched after the half on Sunday, only for C.J. Beathard to come in and play much better. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jimmy G sits this week against the Rams. His 2 INTs were egregious and perhaps indicative that his ankle really isn’t ready.
- Jerrick Mckinnon only had 6 snaps on Sunday, playing behind even Jeff Wilson. It seems counterintuitive to not play your best passing down back in a game where you’re trailing considerably, but I guess that’s why I’m not an NFL coach. With Raheem Mostert back in play, it’s hard to rely on any other SF back this week.
Giants – 34 @ Cowboys – 37
- Evan Engram had a rushing score on Sunday but just 2 targets otherwise. To his credit, Engram has had a murderers row of defenses before the Cowboys, but he’s still only scored once on the year. If he can’t make a dent against Washington this week, we’re going to have to lower expectations for the rest of his season.
- Golden Tate is getting targets, but he’s not been able to do much with them. He’s unusable outside of PPR formats.
- Dak Prescott‘s ankle injury is the thing nightmares are made of. He’s gone for at least the season now, having had surgery immediately after the game. Andy Dalton will take the reigns, and though he’s not the slinger Dak is, he has the best receiving corps he’s ever had at his disposal now. He’s worth streaming just to see what happens.
- I expect the run and short passing game to pick up in Dallas following Dak’s exit, so perhaps Tony Pollard, and Dalton Schultz deserve to be added to rosters this week. CeeDee Lamb may end up leading this team in receiving as a utility knife/safety blanket for Andy Dalton.
Colts – 23 @ Browns – 32
- Philip Rivers is playing some of the worst football of his career right now, but the Colts aren’t going to sit him. Jonathan Taylor, T.Y. Hilton, and maybe Nyheim Hines, are the only semi trustworthy Colts starters right now.
- Trey Burton has led Colts TEs in routes and targets over the past couple of weeks, despite Mo Alie-Cox being the most talented option there. Jack Doyle is still getting a few looks too. With such a muddled outlook, I can’t advocate for any Indy TE right now.
- Austin Hooper‘s targets have increased every week over the last 3 weeks, with him getting 10 targets on Sunday. With the Browns leaning on the run and short passing game to help out Baker Mayfield, Hooper deserves to be picked up in your league if he’s been dropped.
- D’Ernest Johnson had 9 touches to Kareem Hunt‘s 23 on Sunday, and looked serviceable all the while – Only 37 yards though. I don’t expect him to be worth flexing against Pittsburgh this week.
Vikings – 26 @ Seahawks – 27
- Alexander Mattison led the Vikings backfield in touches(23) and yards(120) with Dalvin Cook exiting the game with a groin injury. Cook returned for one play in the third quarter, so he may be good to go this week. In either case, Mattison needs to be added to rosters where he’s been dropped. He would be an immediate RB1 if Cook sits.
- Justin Jefferson(3 rec, 23 yards) had a middling effort in what should have been a big game for him against the Seahawks. For some reason Irv Smith was getting the targets behind Adam Thielen in this game, but Jefferson should bounce back against Atlanta this week.
- Nothing really of note happened for Seattle fantasy-wise, as the Vikings stifled their efforts for much of the game, but it does look like D.K. Metcalf is distancing himself from Tyler Lockett as the no.1 WR in the offense. That doesn’t change much for fantasy, but perhaps Lockett’s owners will be slightly more willing to part with him after these last 2 down games.