For time’s sake, we’ll mainly be focusing on waiver wire pickups and guys who fantasy owners are worried about. If your guys aren’t mentioned, it’s probably because they’re doing fine.
Topics covered include: Are the Cowboys skill players screwed without Dak? Is Juju droppable? Is D’Andre Swift breaking out? Why are the Eagles so injury-prone?
- Since I’m writing this on Monday night, the freshest thing in my mind is just how abysmally bad the Cowboys were. I think a lot of it had to do with the offensive line being decimated–Andy Dalton barely had any time to throw at all. Didn’t help that Zeke fumbled twice, either. Still, it looked like the Cowboys’ skill players didn’t really see a big drop-off in fantasy production. The offense had nothing going in the first half, but in the second half Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb both got plenty of targets and finished with decent days. Lamb’s day would’ve gone from decent to very good if he finished with that last TD (he was open right behind Cooper). Cooper’s day went from decent to very good because he did get the last TD. Michael Gallup will continue to be boom or bust, but probably a lot more bust if Dalton can’t get time to throw behind that line. Zeke probably had one of the worst games of his career and he knows it, so you have to figure we’ll never see anything like that out of him again.
- Is Christian Kirk good at fantasy football? I don’t know about that. He had 2-86-2 yesterday night for 22.6 points, but one of those “catches” was basically a jet sweep on the goal line that he ran in for a TD. And his other catch was a bomb TD from Kyler. His season high in catches is 5 which he did once, against the Jets in week 5. I don’t know if I would trust Kirk going forward. This is mainly because I don’t really trust that Cardinals passing offense. Kyler Murray has one 300+ yard passing game and it was against the Jets. Kyler is still obviously an elite fantasy QB because of his rushing upside, but against the Cowboys he only had 188 yards passing. That’s his second game this season under 200 yards passing. He was only 9/24 passing last night. That’s obviously an outlier game this season as his previous low was 23 completions, and his previous low in attempts was 31. But still: I don’t know if I want to trust anyone other than DeAndre Hopkins in that passing game. He has 61 targets out of Kyler’s 135 pass attempts this season, or 45.1%. Kirk has to compete with Larry Fitz, Andy Isabella, Dan Arnold and both the running backs for the remaining 55% of the targets. Kirk is going to be boom/bust going forward. Don’t be fooled.
- How many people lost their fantasy matchups on that Kenyan Drake TD run? It swung a game in my league. Just brutal.
- Should Drake owners be relieved now that he had a big game? I’m not so sure. He finished with 28.4 PPR points, but as we all know, 12.9 of that came on that garbage-time run. Without that late run, he would’ve had 15.5 points. I don’t know if I would let my guard down on him just yet. Still, he did have 95 yards rushing and a TD prior to that big run, and that’s about all you can really ask for from most running backs in the league. The real concern was that he had zero receptions this game, although a lot of that was probably due to game script. I guess just enjoy the fact that he finally had a big game, but don’t think you’re out of the woods with him by any means.
- Go out and get Boston Scott (RB, Eagles). Miles Sanders will be out at least 1 week, possibly 2. Scott is going to be the primary beneficiary of that. Although it’s worth noting that Sanders also missed week 1 with injury and Scott only posted 7.4 PPR points that week. So don’t expect a Mike Davis-esque performance out of Scott in Sanders’ absence.
- Another Eagles injury: TE Zach Ertz is out 3-4 weeks with an ankle injury. Dallas Goedert, who went on IR after week 3 with an ankle injury, is coincidentally eligible to come back for the week 7 game against the Giants just as Ertz goes onto IR. However, it’s unclear at the moment whether Goedert will be able to play given the game is on Thursday. You’d have to figure the Eagles are going to do whatever they can to get him out there, and that he will be doing the same. But we just don’t know. You should still pick up Goedert anyway, because whether he is able to play this week or comes back for week 8, he’ll still have multiple weeks as the sole proven TE in the Eagles starting lineup. This was a guy who people were high on even with Ertz in the lineup, so grab him without hesitation if you can.
- Is anyone else wondering what the hell is going on in Philadelphia? Why do they consistently have so many injuries every year? They were decimated by injuries last year, and then, somehow after a full nine-month offseason, they came into this season still decimated by injuries. All of their offensive linemen are currently injured along with every single one of their offensive skill players: Miles Sanders, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Alshon Jeffrey, DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor... It’s ridiculous. Is it the turf on their field? Is their strength and conditioning team not doing a great job? It has to be something they’re doing. No team can consistently have this bad of injury luck year-in and year-out. Look at this injury list:
- One last Eagles note: WR Travis Fulgham followed up his great week 5 with another great game in week 6, going 6-75-1 for 19.5 PPR points on 10 targets. The TD was kind of lucky, but the point is the target volume is there for this guy as long as all those other Eagles receivers are hurt. Keep an eye on the injury statuses of Jeffrey, DJAX and Reagor, because as soon as they come back Fulgham’s value plummets. And apparently the Eagles are hoping to have both DJAX and Alshon back for Thursday.
- I don’t really want to spend much time on the Football Team/NY Giants toilet bowl, but there is one guy from that game that should be on your radar: Washington RB JD McKissic. I’ve seen him on the waiver wire the past couple of weeks and have been skeptical of him purely because of the awful team he plays for, but this week he posted 14.4 PPR points mainly on the back of his 6 receptions for 43 yards. He added 8 carries for 41 yards as well. That’s decent production if you’re thin at the RB position, and he’s a guy who should definitely be rostered in 12+ man leagues. Last week he had 6 receptions for 46 yards, so it seems like he has a role in this offense. Use caution because the Football Team is terrible, but then again they do play the Cowboys next week.
- AJ Green saw his ESPN ownership drop by nearly 20% between week 5 and week 6, and currently he is at 59.7% rostered. That was because he put up a goose-egg in week 5 against the Ravens. It’s possible he’s available in your league, and if so he’s probably worth an add. He went for 17.6 PPR points this week against Indy, posting 8 catches for 96 yards on 11 targets. It’s possible he and Joe Burrow have finally clicked and Green is going to be markedly better from here on out. I’d say he’s worth the risk if he’s available in your league, just given the fact that he’s AJ Green.
- If you believe Antonio Brown will be picked up this year, now would be the time to grab him. He still has two more weeks to serve on his suspension, but you just know that after week 7, the “Stash Antonio Brown NOW” articles and posts are going to flood in. Better to be a week early if you have the space on your bench for him. People can disagree but I think he remains a guy who is simply too good to not be on an NFL roster, and some team will definitely roll the dice on him. Maybe it’s Balitmore, who knows? Maybe he won’t get picked up at all. We have no idea. But if you think he has not yet played his last NFL game, then now would be the time to pick him up. Trust me, there’s plenty of guys in your league that will be pissed when they see him on your bench.
- The Broncos-Patriots game was a snooze-fest given that Denver kicked 6 field goals and won 18-12, but one thing I took away from that game is that Tim Patrick (DEN WR) should be rostered. In his past two games, he’s had 7 and 8 targets respectively. His PPR fantasy scoring from week 3-6 (week 5 bye): 14.3, 23.3 and 14.1. In week 3, his first double-digit game of the season, he had a TD which basically made his day. He also had one in week 4 against the Jets, which put him over the 20-point mark. But this past week against New England, he had 14.1 points without a TD. That’s a decent floor. The Denver offense isn’t that great, so don’t get your hopes up too high, but in deeper leagues this guy could be an asset.
- Other than that, man: it looks like the New England offense is a fantasy wasteland. People were hyping up Damien Harris but he only had 6 carries for 19 yards, and 1 reception for 14 yards for a total of 4.3 PPR points. James White had a solid 15.3 points, his best performance of the season. Rex Burkhead only had 1.4 points. N’Keal Harry had a goose-egg. The Patriots offense is just not good.
- What should people do with Juju Smith-Schuster? Against Cleveland he had 2 receptions for 6 yards, an absolutely terrible fantasy day. The week prior against Philly, he had 4 catches for 28 yards. When you look at his games, it quickly becomes evident that he is now TD-dependent. His best game of the season was week 1 against the Giants when he had 24.9 PPR points, but even in that game he had 2 TDs. His second-best game of the year was week 3 against Houston when he had 16.3 points, but in that game he had a TD as well. The guy is TD dependent, but now it doesn’t even look like he has a decent floor. His receiving yards have declined in every successive game this year. The worst part about it is that in the past two weeks, Diontae Johnson has not been on the field (he left the game early in week 5), so you probably were expecting Juju to have big games. Some people are going to start dropping Juju now. If he has yet another bad game in week 7, you’ll see lots more people drop him. But the fear is that Diontae and Chase Claypool are simply better than him, and he’s going to fall into that third spot in the Pittsburgh WR pecking order. I would personally hold him another week and see how he does with Johnson back in the lineup, but if he has another bad game, I wouldn’t hold it against you if you dropped him.
- As for the Browns, I wouldn’t worry about Kareem Hunt. Game script did not favor the run, Pittsburgh has the best run defense in the league, and this was just a horrible performance for them all-around. Hunt will bounce back against the Bengals. I would, however, be worried about their entire passing attack. Odell now has as many games under 10 points as he does over 10 points. He’s never had more than 5 receptions in a game this season. Maybe he and Baker Mayfield figure it out more as the season goes on (after all, they have a brand new head coach this season) but the longer they go without figuring it out, the more you have to wonder if Baker might be the problem. You basically have to hold on to Odell because it’s doubtful anyone will want to trade for him. Browns TE Austin Hooper has now turned in three straight 10 points+ fantasy games with only one TD over that span. This dude was the #1 TE last year until he got hurt, is he back to peak form? It’s rare to find a TE that can get you a floor of 10 points without being TD dependent.
- Gronk is back, folks. At least I think he is. He led the team in targets against Green Bay and had a nice TD grab in the second quarter. He finished 5-78-1 on the day for 18.8 PPR points. It looks like he may have finally shaken off the rust after not playing for a full season. He and Brady looked like they picked up exactly where they left off in 2018. I don’t think Gronk is back to being a top-3 TE, though. I think he’s going to be just like every fantasy-relevant TE outside of Kelce-Kittle-Waller: boom/bust TD dependent.
- With Chris Godwin back in the lineup in Tampa, Mike Evans only saw two targets and finished with 1 catch for 10 yards. It’s not a coincidence that Evans’ three worst games have come in the three games that Chris Godwin has played. Clearly Brady likes throwing to Godwin more. But the thing is, Evans had some great games when Godwin was out, so it’s not like he and Brady don’t have a connection. When you dig into the numbers with Evans, he’s been very TD-dependent, and in two of his games this year, his only catches were TDs: week 1 vs. NO, and week 3 vs. DEN. Godwin, meanwhile, had a solid day given the circumstances: 5 catches, 48 yards on 7 targets (one behind Gronk’s 8 for the team lead). The game script was not one that favored the WRs. Tampa won the game 38-10 and were up 28-10 at half time, meaning they were not really looking to air it out in the second half. One of Tampa’s TDs was a pick-six, and the next came immediately after a pick that was run back to the 2 yard line, which turned into a RoJo rushing TD. RoJo had a TD in the second half, too, and the other two TDs from Brady were caught by Gronk and Tyler Johnson. I definitely wouldn’t worry about Godwin, and with Evans, I think it’ll still take some time for the Bucs to figure out how to make it all work when both guys are healthy.
- As for the Packers, I wouldn’t worry too much about that game. Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, Davantae Adams, Robert Tonyan owners: just forget about that game. Don’t read into it too much, these guys should be fine going forward. That was just a game in which, outside of the first quarter, nothing went the Packers’ way. Just burn the tapes and move on.
- As for the Titans-Texans game: Ryan Tannehill continues to be one of the best-kept secrets at QB. According to FantasyPros, he has had at least 17.9 fantasy points in 13 of his 15 starts for the Titans dating back to last year. That’s a big sample size and I think we can conclude that yes, Ryan Tannehill is pretty good at football after all. Mike Tagliere also points out that he leads the league in passer rating while under pressure at 110.5. Tannehill had a huge game this past Sunday and should be not only owned going forward but started unless you have a better option. The bad news, though is he just lost his starting Pro Bowl LT Taylor Lewan for the season to a torn ACL. It’s not going to kill Tannehill’s season, but it definitely is a major setback for that offense. Derrick Henry is just a monster, what else can you say about him? 264 yards and 2 TDs. Beast. Do you want to take a flyer on Anthony Firkser, the Titans TE who had 8-113-1 on nine targets for 25.3 PPR points? I don’t think I would. Jonnu Smith got hurt in the game and I doubt Firkser would’ve gone off had Smith been healthy. It’s worth pointing out that Firkser’s TD came in the first quarter and Jonnu left in the third, and that Firkser had five targets in the first half. Still, as long as Jonnu is healthy this really puts a damper on Firkser’s upside.
- The Texans, although they lost, look much better since the BOB firing. DeShaun Watson is looking like the elite fantasy QB he was expected to be. Will Fuller had a great game, as did Brandin Cooks. I don’t know if you can expect this out of them week-to-week, though. But at least we’re seeing signs of life in Houston.
- The Jets are so bad they don’t even merit consideration for fantasy purposes. People keep talking about Adam Gase getting fired soon, but he should have been fired weeks ago, yet they kept him around. It feels like he still has a job because he’s so bad and the front office thinks he represents their best chance to Tank For Trevor. It’s pathetic. As for the Dolphins, Tua will take over as the starting QB in week 7. Fitz has done a decent-enough job thus far leading them to a 3-3 record, but apparently they feel it’s finally time to bring in the 5th overall pick. Maybe this means more consistency out of Mike Gesicki, who posted a goose-egg in week 6.
- Is D’Andre Swift in the process of breaking out in Detroit? People speculated that perhaps they would come off their bye week and make him a bigger part of the game plan going forward, and wouldn’t you know it, he had his best performance of the season in week 6, going for 27.3 fantasy points. He had 14 carries for 116 yards (although 54 came on one play), and the 14 carries were more than he had in all of his previous four games combined (12). Even if you subtract the 1 rush for 54 yards, he still dwarfed his aggregate season rushing yard total on the remaining 13 carries he had in week 6 (62 vs. 42, for a healthy 4.8 YPC). On top of that he had 2 rushing TDs, one from a yard out and another from 6 yards out. However, while the massively increased usage in the run game is encouraging, it’s also worth noting that his snap count was largely in-line with where it’s been all season: wk. 1, 43%, wk. 2, 35%, wk. 3, 9%, wk. 4, 37%, wk. 6, 38%. So it seems he’s still in a timeshare. Adrian Peterson had 35% of the snaps, while Kerryon Johnson only got 22%. Bottom line: if Patricia was giving Swift an audition to be the lead back in Detroit, Swift definitely nailed it. He made the most of the opportunity. We’ll see if it translates into a bigger role for him going forward. Patricia is arguably coaching for his job, so if Swift is indeed the best running back on that team, Patricia is going to use him.
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire looked great in the rain against Buffalo last night. 26 rushes for 161 yards, along with 4 targets and 4 receptions. He knows Le’Veon Bell threatens to cut into his workload, so I’m sure he wanted to show the coaching staff they’d be just fine rolling with him. Despite the great performance, I still think the Chiefs are going to get Le’Veon pretty heavily involved in that offense. Obviously we’ll have to wait and see. But I can’t see how this will be good for Clyde going forward. They throw downfield too much to support two elite fantasy running backs. I think one runner in that offense can have a great game each week, but not both. It’s a shame because Clyde has been terrific this year: he leads the league in forced missed-tackles:
- One surprising name on that list is David Montgomery, who people think sucks because he’s only averaging 3.7 yards per carry this season (and for his whole career). But Montgomery is only getting 1.2 yards before contact this season. 208 of his 305 rushing yards this season have come after contact. This dude is working his ass off for every yard he gets. He averages 2.5 yards after contact this year. Compare that to Clyde, who gets 2.9 yards before contact from his line and averages 1.8 yards after contact. Montgomery is averaging only 6.3 rush attempts per broken tackle, which is better than Derrick Henry’s 9.5 this year. I looked at 25 of the top RBs right now in terms of rushing attempts, and only one guy had a lower YBC than Montgomery: Frank Gore, who plays on possibly the worst football team in history. Two guys are tied with Montgomery at 1.2 YBC: Devin Singletary and Mike Davis.
- Speaking of Mike Davis, it seems like the fun will continue for at least another week. The Panthers are not expecting Christian McCaffrey to be ready for week 7, but apparently he could be back for week 8.
I think between this and my mid-season Fantasy MVP post I covered just about everything notable for this week. It’s starting to get a little lengthy anyway. I guess if there was one last thing to mention, it’s that people are high on Trey Burton this week. Apparently he had a couple of TDs against the Bengals. I don’t know. As a Bears fan, Trey Burton is dead to me after the stunt he pulled during the 2018 real life NFL Playoffs, when he basically refused to play against his former team, the Eagles, due to an anxiety-induced groin injury. If you want to bet on Burton, so be it.