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Favorites & Fades

Week 6

By: Nick Caron | HC Green | Eli Mack | John Fessel
Updated: 10/15/23



Sunday Early:



Sunday Late:

NE @ LV | DET @ TB | ARI @ LAR | PHI @ NYJ




- Green highlight indicates plus matchup (top eight)
- Red highlight indicates negative matchup (bottom eight)
- Lines and totals updated Sunday morning

Broncos @ Chiefs - (Fessel)
Line: KC -10.5
Total: 48.5

KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: N/A

On the Fence: QB Russell Wilson, WR Courtland Sutton, WR Jerry Jeudy

Russell Wilson has had a strange season. One moment he’s hitting a Hail Mary, and then another he’s losing a fumble that gets run back for a game-icing score. Somewhere I in the middle he appears to have found some of his fantasy football value. Wilson currently ranks No.9 among quarterbacks in fantasy points per game (20.9), and has ranked as high as No.3 on any given week (the Hail Mary game).

The Chiefs haven’t been brutal to QB’s, but they haven’t been kind either, allowing just the 23rd most points to the position. Being on the road probably won’t be helpful, and the short week tends to lend favor the defense. Additionally, Sean Payton’s visible frustrations with Wilson after last week’s fumble coupled with the long-standing rumors that Russell could be benched at some point this year – even if just to make a point – add some risk.

The best bet for Wilson this week is the hope that he gets a lot of garbage time, and stays on the field to “enjoy” it. He could certainly reach back end QB1 territory, if that happens.

The Chiefs have been similarly challenging for wideouts, depriving third and fourth receivers of hardly any production. Marvin Jones, Zay Jones, Chase Claypool, Randall Cobb and K.J. Osborn have combined for just 13.5 points and Zay Jones was completely blanked.

The Chiefs have actually surrendered double figure performances to both of their opponents top 2 receivers twice this year, and it likely would have been a third time had Justin Jefferson not left Week 5's game due to injury. Still, the Chiefs did hold Calvin Ridley to 4.2 points and they have allowed just one 100-yard performance and no multi-touchdown games to any receiver. While the baseline has generally been high, it’s been tight space between the floor and the ceiling.

Courtland Sutton has been performing as a back-end flex thus far, but he and Jerry Jeudy were essentially equals in Wilson’s eyes last year, during which Jeudy did more with a very similar amount of targets. Jeudy has also out-targeted Sutton 12 to 8 over the last two weeks, for what that’s worth. All considered, either wide receiver can be viewed as an unexciting but serviceable flex option.

Fade: RB Jaleel McLaughlin, RB Javonte Williams

The Chiefs are tough on RBs, having held Travis Etienne to 5.2 points, Khalil Herbert to 4.5 points and Breece Hall to just 8.4. No running back has produced more than 13.5 points against the Chiefs thus far, and that was David Montgomery, who is averaging over 20 points per game.

The Broncos don't have the run blocking that the Lions have and although undrafted rookie Jaleel McLaughlin has been a breakout surprise over the last two weeks (34.3 combined points in Week’s 4 and 5), he has arguably done so in an unsustainable fashion. The greatly undersized back has averaged just 11 touches during his breakout, while playing exactly one third of the snaps in both performances. Additionally, Javonte Williams missed most of Week 4 and all of Week 5, but is expected back for this game.

With Samaje Perine maintaining a role as a pass blocker and receiver out of the backfield, this is a very crowded room without much of a ceiling, especially versus Kansas City on the road. There’s going to be a lot of temptation to start McLaughlin after the last two weeks, but it’s unlikely to be fruitful to do so.

DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7

No Brainers: QB Patrick Mahomes, TE Travis Kelce (ankle)

Favorites: RB Isiah Pacheco

After a quiet start to the year, Isiah Pacheco has now handled 15 or more touches each of the last three weeks good enough for RB1 production during that time (17 FPts/G). This is similar to what happened after Pacheco took over RB1 duties during Week 10 last year, and he posted 7 consecutive games with at least 15 touches. He was a RB2 during that time, but interestingly he has been more involved a receiver this year, with his 11 receptions already nearly matching his total from the entirety of last season (13).

The snap count arrow is revealing favorable winds as well. The last two games have produced the two highest offensive snap counts of his career (60%) and he’s seen the majority of the Chiefs halfback snaps this season. This is a significant bump, after seeing snap rates in the 30’s and 40’s in most games last year. He’s not quite a three-down back yet, but he’s extremely close.

All in all, with Jerrick McKinnon still capable of popping up in any given game and having an impact, it’s still best to view Pacheco as a RB2 most weeks. Yet against the league’s most trampled run defense, Pacheco is a very deserving RB1.

On the Fence: WR Rashee Rice

After two consecutive weeks during which his snap count reached close to 50%, Rice took a step back with only a 30% snap rate versus the Vikings. He did manage to turn in his 2nd top-30 performance of the season (10.3 pts) and he now owns two of the three touchdowns that Chiefs wide receivers have scored thus far. He also leads all Chiefs wideouts with 25 targets and – almost unbelievably – is the only one to have multiple catches in every game.

While Marques Valdes-Scantling and Skyy Moore still lead Chiefs wide receivers in snap rate, neither has made much noise with the opportunity. MVS has just 11 targets and Skyy Moore has blanked in the reception department twice this year. Rice is also less likely to draw the attention of Patrick Surtain, and that’s the cherry on top which makes him the Chiefs most probable receiver to provide fantasy value this week against the struggling Broncos. He’s probably only a play if you’re really thin at the position, but if you have to go with a Chief wideout, he’s the best bet.

Fade: N/A

Prediction: Chiefs 30, Broncos 16 ^ Top

Ravens @ Titans - (Mack)
Line: BAL -5.5
Total: 42.5

TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25

No Brainers: QB Lamar Jackson, TE Mark Andrews

Favorites: WR Zay Flowers

Zay Flowers’ stat line last week was good (5 for 73), but it could have been much better. He lost his footing on one reception that could have gained a nice chunk and dropped another one. Those missed opportunities aside, Flowers had a definite role in the passing game, as his team-leading 11 targets accounted for 30 percent of Jackson’s attempts. Those are promising in-game trends for the rookie and a sign of things to come.

Tennessee’s pass defense is a middle-of-the-road unit that just surrendered 429 total yards last week to Indy after limiting the Bengals to 211 yards a few weeks ago. Flowers is a big play waiting to happen. One of these weeks, he’s going to put it all together and make his Week 1 performance look like child’s play. Make sure he’s in your lineup when he does.

On the Fence: RB Gus Edwards

It’s difficult to get a firm grasp of this Ravens backfield. Three weeks ago, Edwards essentially split carries down the middle with Melvin Gordon. Two weeks ago, he received 71 percent of the RB carries, and just last week it was more a committee with Justice Hill. Relying on Edwards for anything more than a high upside RB3 or flex with such unpredictable usage is setting yourself up for disappointment. But for his role as an RB3 or flex, you could do worse. Start him if you must.

Fade: WR Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle), RB Justice Hill

Odell Beckham Jr.’s availability is still in question after being limited in practice so far this week, and Justice Hill is on the wrong side of a RBBC. Neither should be in your lineup, although Hill is a highly recommended stash on your roster.

BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31

No Brainers: RB Derrick Henry

Favorites: WR DeAndre Hopkins

DeAndre Hopkins continues doing DeAndre Hopkins things, regardless of where he’s playing and who’s throwing him the football. He’s a ball hog with the targets, as his team-leading 42 are nearly double anybody else on the team. That alone makes him a weekly starter as a low-end WR2. Hopkins’ production will remained capped so long as QB Ryan Tannehill maintains control. He can have a WR1-worthy game like last week, but Tannehill’s limitations will limit the consistency of such games.

On the Fence: N/A

Fade: RB Tyjae Spears

Tyjae Spears is a lottery ticket. If Derrick Henry misses time, Spears could be considered an RB2. If anyone’s been paying attention, though, Spears appears quicker and more spry than Henry, as his 5.8 YPC over Henry’s 3.8 YPC would attest. The 3.8 YPC is a career low for the bruiser from ‘Bama. If the team starts adding Spears more into the offensive mix, it would give him stand-along value and another much needed weapon on that team. But for now, remain patient and treat him as a roster stash for the moment.

Prediction: Ravens 20, Titans 16 ^ Top

Commanders @ Falcons - (Mack)
Line: ATL -1.5
Total: 42.5

ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: RB Brian Robinson Jr., TE Logan Thomas

Brian Robinson Jr. is a more solid RB2 fantasy player in standard leagues than in PPR leagues, as Antonio Gibson is considered the Commanders’ receiving back. Washington doesn’t have a high-volume rushing attack, as the team is 31st in attempts. But Robinson has gotten 81 percent of the team’s RB carries so far this season, which has made him an every-week starter despite the team’s low attempts. Expect the Falcons to present a challenge for Robinson, though. Atlanta just held the Texans to 64 yards on the ground last week, but Robinson should carve out some productive numbers.

Logan Thomas is not a penciled-in starter week after week. Rather, his inclusion here today is the result of the Falcons being the least productive team defending the tight end. That, coupled with Thomas’s 11-target, 9-catch performance last week against the Bears and the thin nature of the position leaguewide puts him at a low-end TE-1 this week.

On the Fence: WR Terry McLaurin, WR Curtis Samuel, WR Jahan Dotson, QB Sam Howell

After commanding a team-leading 21 percent target share last season, we expected Terry McLaurin to continue being the lead dog in Washington’s passing attack. The presence of veteran Curtis Samuel and the emergence of second year wideout Jahan Dotson has cut into McLaurin’s output. McLaurin’s 31 targets lead the team, but it’s essentially even with Dotson’s targets (30) and Samuel’s targets (27). Such distribution makes it difficult to say with any certainty who will shine on any given week. All could be played as flex options this week, but we’ll probably have to cross our fingers with hopes that the player we have on our team is the one who produces.

Sam Howell could be a play for those who waited on QB. He’s a streaky player who has rebounded nicely from his 4-INT game against Buffalo in Week 3. He’s thrown for 678 yards with 3 scores and a pick in the last two games, while completing 71.6 percent of his passes. Those numbers can win you games. You could do a lot worse than Sam Howell.

Fade: N/A

WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28

No Brainer: RB Bijan Robinson

Favorites: N/A

On the Fence: WR Drake London, TE Kyle Pitts

Drake London and Kyle Pitts both had their best games of the year last week in the win against Houston. The offense racked up 447 total yards, including 351 through the air. Still, I don’t think this is a team that can consistently give you that kind of production week after week. London can disappear on you (remember the 1-target, zero-catch performance in Week 1?), and Pitts—for all the talk about how he was such a unicorn when he entered the league—is your typical 3-for-38 tight end who gives you an occasional game like last week. I don’t trust anybody outside of Bijan Robinson on this offense. Start them if you must while hoping for the best.

Fade: QB Desmond Ridder

Desmond Ridder is a younger, slightly better version of Marcus Mariota. Not sure what that might say about his long-term fantasy viability in the league, but I CAN say that it makes him a fringe player who’s probably worthy of the last spot on your bench. Washington’s defense just got thrashed by Chicago’s inept passing game, so there’s a possibility of Atlanta taking advantage of the Commanders secondary. I’ll wait to see consistency from this passing game first before I start endorsing QBs and pass catchers on this team.

Prediction: Falcons 24, Commanders 20 ^ Top

49ers @ Browns - (Green)
Line: SF -9.5
Total: 35.5

CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24

No Brainers: RB Christian McCaffrey, WR Brandon Aiyuk, TE George Kittle

Favorites: N/A

On the Fence: WR Deebo Samuel

While Samuel is on the cusp of being a no-brainer, that seems more based on his talent level in a high-profile offense than on his actual production. Through five games, Samuel has 384 combined yards (76.8 per game) and 2 TDs. Despite their .500 record, Cleveland is no joke defensively, ranking first overall, first against the pass, and fourth against the run. In a game where yards may be at a premium, Samuel is best viewed as a WR3 or flex candidate as he’s less reliable than McCaffrey or Aiyuk.

Fade: QB Brock Purdy

It’s probably past time to acknowledge that Purdy is more than just Jimmy G 2.0 as he pushes the ball downfield with more consistency and competency than the man he replaced. Despite that, this doesn’t look like a good week to rely on Purdy in your fantasy lineup. As noted above, the Browns are the NFL’s No. 1 pass defense, and with their offense being a middling group, it wouldn’t be surprising to see San Francisco adopt a conservative attack in a potentially low-scoring affair.

SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26

No Brainers: WR Amari Cooper

Favorites: N/A

On the Fence: RB Jerome Ford

Only the Eagles have allowed fewer rushing yards per game than the 49ers (64.2 per game), so expect tough sledding for Ford. He avoids the fade designation for a couple of reasons, however, as Cleveland can still get him the ball as a check down option -- he has 10 receptions for 77 yards in three games -- and the Browns are likely to want to control the clock as much as possible rather than expose Deshaun Watson (or P.J. Walker) to constant pressure from the 49ers front. He’s a high-end RB3.

Update: Deshaun Watson has been ruled out.

Fade: QB Deshaun Watson (shoulder) / P.J. Walker

If he’s able to return to action after missing Week 4 with a shoulder injury, Watson is stepping into a hornet’s nest. San Francisco is tied for the NFL lead with eight INTs, and while their 13 sacks rank just 17th, there’s no denying the kind of heat someone like Nick Bosa can generate. It’s hard to envision Watson putting up QB1-level numbers against this team, so keep him on your bench whether he’s active or not.

Prediction: 49ers 23, Browns 13 ^ Top

Saints @ Texans - (Mack)
Line: NO -1.5
Total: 41.5

HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6

No Brainers: RB Alvin Kamara

Favorites: WR Michael Thomas

So far, so good for Michael Thomas. He’s remained injury free while putting up respectable numbers. The Saints passing game lacks explosiveness, but that’s never been Thomas’s game. He’s been a reliable WR3, so if you’re looking more, you won’t get it from Thomas. He’s also heavily involved in the passing game, and some could argue he’s the team’s de facto WR1. He has one more reception than Chris Olave on four fewer targets.

On the Fence: WR Chris Olave

Olave is essentially the opposite of Thomas in that he’s fallen short relative to his draft position. While he started the season on fire, his productivity has sprung a leak the past two games. If not for the short TD reception last week, the three receptions he has over the previous two games would really be an eyesore. For now, you’re probably forced to continue starting him. Keep doing so and hope the Olave from Weeks 1 thru 3 returns.

Fade: QB Derek Carr

Derek Carr is not a reliable starter this week. He’s had three-straight games of less than 200 yards passing against Green Bay (injury), Tampa Bay and New England and has just 4 passing TDs on the season. He offers virtually nothing with his legs (5 rushing yards) which limits his upside. The Texans are middle of the pack against fantasy quarterbacks and have given up just 3 passing TDs in five games.

NO FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
NO FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
NO FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
NO FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: N/A

On the Fence: QB C.J. Stroud

The second overall pick has opened eyes across the league, but he faces a different animal in the 4th-ranked defense of New Orleans. They’ve held opponents under 200 yards passing in three of the five games played so far this year, so the rookie can expect to see some things he probably hasn’t seen yet. Stroud may have a high floor, but his ceiling is limited. Tread with caution if you have the rookie.

Fade: WR Nico Collins, RB Dameon Pierce, TE Dalton Schultz

I expect the Houston offense to have its share of struggles this week. Tank Dell (concussion) isn’t expected to play, which takes away his 17 ypr and a deep play threat. Nico Collins is having a career year up to this point, but his impending matchup against Saints DB Marshon Lattimore will be a handful. Also, the Saints are the league’s best in defending the tight end and top 10 at stopping the run, which should neutralize Schultz and Pierce. All of it adds up to fantasy managers being level-headed about what the Houston offense can produce this week.

Prediction: Saints 24, Texans 13 ^ Top

Panthers @ Dolphins - (Caron)
Line: MIA -14.5
Total: 47.5

MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9

No Brainers: WR Adam Thielen

Favorites: WR Terrace Marshall Jr.

All of the talk in Carolina’s passing game is about veteran wide receiver Adam Thielen’s career resurgence - so much so that many fantasy managers are overlooking the sudden significant uptick in usage for fellow wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. Marshall has been a huge bust throughout his NFL career so far, but he’s quietly played himself into a role in the Carolina passing game that has allowed him to be targeted a shocking 18 times over the past two weeks. Marshall has only converted those 18 targets for 14 receptions, 91 yards, and no touchdowns, so it’s logical to not question whether or not this usage will ever materialize into something interesting for fantasy purposes, but those in deeper formats might want to add Marshall now in case he does end up continuing to play this big of a role.

The Panthers are big road underdogs and aren’t expected to even keep this game competitive, so don’t be surprised to see them forced to throw the ball a ton again this week.

Update: Miles Sanders has been ruled out.

On the Fence: RB Chuba Hubbard

Chuba Hubbard is not a player that fantasy managers should really be getting too excited about, but given the landscape of injuries at the position, it makes sense that Hubbard has been a hot add in fantasy leagues this week. Most notably, Hubbard’s teammate, Miles Sanders, has missed practice all week as of Thursday and at this point appears to be trending toward not playing on Sunday. This would clear the way for Hubbard to potentially see a significant workload increase in this Carolina offense, even if only for a week. Hubbard and Sanders are the only two backs in Carolina who’ve touched the ball at all this season, so there’s no reason to think that another back will step in and take Sanders’ role - it should pretty much go to Hubbard without much exception.

Two-headed backfields are typically bad for fantasy running backs even in good offenses, but that point only becomes more magnified when you’re talking about an offense that’s been as bad as Carolina’s has. This is why it’s interesting that Hubbard might end up being the only player of note in the backfield this week. The Panthers face the Dolphins, who rank in the middle of the pack in total fantasy points given up to opposing running backs, but it’s also worth noting that they’ve faced off against some of the league’s most struggling offenses in the Broncos, Giants and Patriots. The Panthers are also struggling, but their backfields are much more consolidated than any of those teams’ are, so go ahead and add Hubbard and start him if you’re in a tough start at running back this week.

Fade: QB Bryce Young

It’s very possible that the Panthers could find themselves behind by multiple scores in this game and that would typically mean lots of passing and lots of opportunities for Bryce Young. Unfortunately, there’s just not much reason to be excited given that Young has struggled so much to produce anything of note in similar situations. The Panthers are currently 0-5 and they’ve lost three of those games by 10 or more points. Of course, Young did miss one of those games so we don’t have a huge sample size, but he’s currently averaging the 25th-most fantasy points per game at the quarterback position.

Yes, this should be a pass-heavy game script and we’ll likely see 40 or more attempts from Young so there’s always the potential for some fantasy production here, but the Dolphins have held three of their five opposing quarterbacks to fewer than 250 yards through the air and only Josh Allen has thrown more than one touchdown against them so far. Even in Superflex leagues, Young is a mediocre option until proven otherwise.

CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12

No Brainers: QB Tua Tagovailoa, WR Tyreek Hill

Update: Jeff Wilson is listed as Doubtful.

Favorites: RB Raheem Mostert

The Miami backfield has been an absolute revelation for fantasy purposes so far this season and now with rookie Devon Achane having been placed on IR, it’s believed that Raheem Mostert will again lead this high-powered backfield. There’s some worry that Jeff Wilson, who is expected to return from IR this week, could step in and play the “1B” role in the offense, but there’s also a good chance that the Dolphins will opt not to ease him into the role, especially given that they’ve already lost one running back.

For now, we have to assume that Mostert is “the guy” in perhaps the league’s most running back-friendly offense, so feel free to fire him up as a solid RB1 again this week. The Panthers have given up the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs so far this season, so this is a smash matchup and one that fantasy managers should end up being very happy with.

On the Fence: WR Jaylen Waddle

It’s been a slow start to the season for Waddle, but the wide receiver finally got into the end zone for the first time this season in Week 5, catching five passes for 35 yards on a season-high 10 targets in the process. While the 10 targets were certainly a positive note, fantasy managers have to be a bit worried that he was only able to produce decent fantasy numbers because he got into the end zone against the Giants.

Now we’re left looking at what is expected to be another very positive game script for the Dolphins offense and it’s seemingly ever-likely that Waddle will need to be extremely efficient with the targets he does see because he might not see many against this defense.

The Panthers have given up the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers so far this season. Perhaps most concerning is that they’ve also given up the fourth-fewest total receptions to the position on the season and two of the teams who’ve given up fewer (Buccaneers and Browns) have only played four games. Opposing teams just have not needed to pass much against this defense in large part because they’ve often been up by multiple scores late in games.

Waddle is still a player who probably needs to be looked at as a Flex option this week just given that he’s coming off of a 10-target game and he does have the production history to make us believe that he can still succeed but understand that this is not a good matchup for him on paper. There’s a real chance that he will drop another dud on managers here in Week 6.

Fade: N/A

Prediction: Dolphins 33, Panthers 16 ^ Top

Seahawks @ Bengals - (Green)
Line: CIN -3.0
Total: 45.5

CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4

No Brainers: RB Kenneth Walker, WR DK Metcalf

Favorites: WR Tyler Lockett

Despite scoring 98 points over their last three games, the Seahawks have yet to look very explosive in the passing attack. Highly touted rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba has just 62 yards receiving, and Lockett hasn’t topped 60 yards in a game, yet. Plus, outside of his eight-catch, two-touchdown performance in Week 2, the veteran has nine receptions and no scores in the other three games combined. Perhaps the Bye week will offer them a chance to tweak things and get back on track. The Bengals have solid numbers defensively, but they’ve also been blown out twice in five games, so they’re not an airtight group by any means. Lockett can be used as a WR3 here.

On the Fence: QB Geno Smith

Through four games, Smith has already thrown for less than 120 yards twice -- in 2022, he never threw for less than 180 yards in a game. To be fair, Smith did miss a chunk of Week 4 due to a knee injury, though head coach Pete Carroll says he’s “fine.” We saw what Smith was capable of in this offense a season ago, and that was before they added JSN in the slot. The veteran feels like a fringe QB1 selection versus Cincinnati with some risk/reward potential based on the Bengals’ inconsistency.

Fade: N/A

SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23

No Brainers: RB Joe Mixon, WR Ja’Marr Chase

Favorites: QB Joe Burrow

For the first time this season, Burrow looked like his old self, moving more effectively on his balky calf, and actually pushing the ball downfield. He finished with 317 yards, 3 TDs, and 1 INT in a 14-point win over Arizona. Seattle enters this game with the NFL’s 30th-ranked pass defense (280 yards per game), and though their 16 sacks rank fifth, bear in mind 11 of those came against the Giants, so they had just five in their other three outings combined. This is a team Burrow should be able to produce against.

Update: Tee Higgins is listed as Questionable.

On the Fence: WR Tee Higgins (ribs)

Higgins (ribs) didn’t suit up in Week 5 due to a cracked rib, and with Cincinnati’s Bye on tap for Week 7, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see the club hold him out this Sunday to buy him a couple extra weeks to heal. Even if he does play, he won’t be at full health, and he’s done little this season outside of Week 2 (8-89-2) -- in his other three games, Higgins has managed a measly 40 yards on four receptions combined. This is probably a good week to keep him out of your lineup, even if he’s active, as the downside feels too steep for limited upside.

Fade: WR Tyler Boyd

Higgins’ absence didn’t pay dividends for Boyd, who turned six receptions into 39 yards against the Cardinals. The veteran is purely an underneath target now, and if Higgins is inactive, it’d be a better roll of the dice to go with Trenton Irwin, who finished second on the team in receptions (8), yards (60), and targets (10) last Sunday. Bench Boyd.

Prediction: Bengals 27, Seahawks 24 ^ Top

Colts @ Jaguars - (Mack)
Line: JAX -4.0
Total: 43.5

JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10

No Brainer: N/A

Favorites: RB Jonathan Taylor, WR Michael Pittman Jr.

Jonathan Taylor made his debut last week but only saw 10 snaps. Head coach Shane Steichen vowed to increase his workload this week, which is music to the ears of those who have Taylor on their team. In Taylor’s absence, Zack Moss has been balling. The greatest datapoint about Moss is, through five weeks of the season, he leads the league in snaps at RB with an 83 percent share. Once an RB of Taylor’s stature gets that kind of snap share, the sky’s the limit for his production. While Taylor may not match Moss’s 83 percent this week, we can expect him to approach that number soon. In the meantime, don’t be surprised if he puts up high RB2 numbers this week.

Michael Pittman Jr. is the unquestioned lead dog in Indy’s passing game. His 27 percent target share leads the team, and now with Gardner Minshew under center, he should expect an extra target or two per game because of Minshew’s tendency to not run as much as Anthony Richardson. The Jags give up the 27th most passing yards per game, so there will be opportunities for big plays. Load Pittman as your WR2 this week with confidence.

On the Fence: RB Zack Moss

Moss has had the best four-game stretch of his four-year career. After being inactive for this year’s opener, Moss has since gone on to average 22 carries and 111 yards per game in Weeks 2-5. Stellar work. But with the looming fulltime return of Taylor, Moss’s productivity will disappear. The one unknown about Taylor’s return is the degree to which Moss will still see action. Certainly, his production to start the season has warranted playing time, but how much? That remains to be seen. Keep him stashed if you have him.

Fade: WR Josh Downs

At some point, I think Josh Downs will be a thing in fantasy. At some point, but not this week. Maybe not even this year. But he’s shown too many flashes for us to ignore him completely. Hide him on your roster if you have room.

IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17

No Brainer: QB Trevor Lawrence, RB Travis Etienne

Favorites: WR Christian Kirk, TE Evan Engram, WR Calvin Ridley

Christian Kirk leads Jacksonville in targets, receptions, and receiving yards, not Calvin Ridley. Kirk has put himself in the high-end WR2/low-end WR1 conversation in fantasy. After the dud to open the season, Kirk has been one of the most targeted receivers in the league since Week 2. Conversely, Ridley has made some owners a bit squeamish regarding his prospects for a standout 2023 after posting only seven catches combined in Weeks 2 thru 4. He rebounded nicely last week against Buffalo, but the up and down nature of his play doesn’t necessarily breed confidence.

Evan Engram has yet to score in 2023, but he’s nonetheless made himself usable in fantasy football. Engram’s value so far this season can be summed up with noting that he’s yet to score a TD but remains a startable option. Tight ends usually rely on TD production for viability, but those that rack up startable points via receptions and yards are a different breed and should be counted on to fuel your point total. Only four teams have given up more passing yards than Indy’s pass defense. These three need to be locked into your lineup.

On the Fence: N/A

Fade: N/A

Prediction: Jaguars 31, Colts 24 ^ Top

Vikings @ Bears - (Green)
Line: MIN -3.0
Total: 43.5

CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8

No Brainers: RB Alexander Mattison, TE T.J. Hockenson

Favorites: QB Kirk Cousins

Let’s start with the elephant in the room. The Vikings won’t be as explosive offensively without Justin Jefferson (hamstring). Full stop. Cousins is a pro, though, and the team is hardly bereft of talent. He’ll move the football effectively, especially against a porous secondary like Chicago, which ranks 31st in the NFL at 286 yards allowed per game through the air. Even without JJ, Cousins ranks as a midrange QB1 this Sunday.

On the Fence: WR Jordan Addison

With Jefferson on IR, Addison slides into the WR1 role. Is he ready? We’ll start to find out this Sunday. The rookie is off to a strong start, compiling six catches for 64 yards in Week 5 while scoring his third touchdown of the season. Of course, the caveat with all that production is that it came with Jefferson drawing massive attention from opposing secondaries. While Hockenson might slide into the new No. 1 slot overall, Addison will doubtless draw more coverage than before. Against a shaky Bears squad, the USC alum is a borderline WR2/WR3, while teammate K.J. Osborn moves up to a low-end WR3 and is a strong waiver wire option given his history with Cousins and the offense.

Fade: N/A

MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15

No Brainers: QB Justin Fields, WR D.J. Moore

Favorites: TE Cole Kmet

While Fields and Moore have garnered the headlines during Chicago’s recent two-game outburst, Kmet has been the other player to deliver big-time production with a dozen receptions, 127 yards, and three touchdowns in that stretch. He’s clearly operating as the No. 2 option in the passing game, and the Vikings are once again a subpar group against the pass (240 yards/game; 22nd). Kmet, who posted an 8-102-1 line in two games versus Minnesota last year, is a viable TE1 this weekend.

Update: Roschon Johnson has been ruled out.

On the Fence: RB Roschon Johnson (concussion)

With Khalil Herbert (ankle) expected to miss multiple games, Johnson looks set to take over as the No. 1 back in Chicago, assuming he clears the NFL’s concussion protocol. Given that the Bears played last Thursday, it seems likely he will. The rookie has flashed in limited work, and the team values him ahead of veteran D’Onta Foreman, who has been a healthy inactive in recent weeks. If he’s good to go, Johnson could be plugged into fantasy lineups as an RB3 with upside while we wait to see what kind of usage split he’ll have with Foreman.

Fade: WR Darnell Mooney

Despite the deactivation and subsequent trading of Chase Claypool, Mooney can’t seem to find his footing in this offense, finishing the win over Washington -- a game in which the Bears scored 40 points -- without a reception. He’s gone without a catch three times in five weeks, and he simply cannot be trusted in your lineup at this point.

Prediction: Vikings 27, Bears 23 ^ Top

Patriots @ Raiders - (Fessel)
Line: LV -3.0
Total: 41.5

LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: RB Rhamondre Stevenson

Stevenson has averaged just 13 touches in the last two games, and while Ezekiel Elliott’s snap count has increased from 35% over the first three games to 43% over the last two, Stevenson is still seeing the majority of snaps and the truth is that both running backs have seen a decrease in touches the last two weeks due to back-to-back blow out losses. Additionally, it’s likely that the shift in snap count between Stevenson and Elliott had more to do with Stevenson’s thigh injury than anything else, and he appears to be passed that issue now.

Facing Josh McDaniels and the Raiders this week, the Patriots should be in a more competitive game. While it’s possible Stevenson doesn’t quite see the 18-20 touches he saw in each of the Patriots first three games (all one-score games), either way he is still getting the bulk of the action and compared to Elliott is the more well-rounded back (Zeke has averaged just 5.9 yards per catch since 2020 and 4.7 ypc since the start of last year). Bill Belichick said that the Patriots need to “start over”, and one can expect that’ll mean a heavy dose of running the football and particularly turning to the man who has been their best offensive weapon over the last three seasons.

On the Fence: TE Hunter Henry

Hunter Henry is second on the Patriots in targets (25), receiving yards (176), and is tied for the most receiving TDs (2). History suggests we shouldn’t be particularly surprised. While Henry had a rather quiet 2022 season (41-509-2), he’d previously produced at least 8 points per game in each of his five previous seasons. He’s also only 28, which is often peak age for a TE. In short, Henry’s 7.6 points per game may be sustainable, even for a dysfunctional offense.

The Raiders, meanwhile, have been decent against TE’s thus far - 17th in points allowed. But digging into the numbers, Las Vegas has yet to face a single tight end ranked higher than 19th in fantasy points per game (Donald Parham). The three most talented tight ends they’ve faced – Dalton Kincaid, Luke Musgrave and Pat Freiermuth – have scored between 6.4 and 7.6 points. Hardly banner numbers, but for two of the three that was their high output of the season, and none are nearly as polished as Henry. The Raiders are far more beatable than their early ranking suggests, and while Henry may not get a ton of opportunities if the Patriots do indeed run early and often, he may only need a few targets to capitalize and turn out a back-end TE1 day against Las Vegas.

Fade: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion)

Smith-Schuster is tied with Hunter Henry in targets, but has only been able to turn those 25 looks into 86 receiving yards. Smith-Schuster is currently going through the concussion protocol and it’s currently unclear whether he’ll play this week. If he does, the struggles of Mac Jones and the offensive line are likely to continue to impede his average depth of target (just 5.1 yards). But further concerns loom on the horizon, as the pending return of Tyquon Thorton threatens to cut into his target total. Smith-Schuster likely needs a large number of targets to be fantasy relevant, and the odds of that happening are not promising this week nor in the weeks ahead.

NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29

No Brainers: RB Josh Jacobs

Favorites: WR Jakobi Meyers

With Davante Adams active but dinged up last week, Meyers saw 10 targets, turning out 75 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions. Yet Meyers has been no stranger to heavy target loads when Jimmy Garoppolo has been under center. In each of their first three games together Meyers has had at least 10 targets. Meyers also has caught 3 touchdown passes from Garoppolo, and after having just 2 in his first 26 games, he now has 9 TDs in his last 17 games.

Meyers will get a crack this week against an injury-riddled Patriots secondary, and arguably belongs in fantasy line ups even if Davante Adams is a full go. With a real possibility that Adams is either a decoy or inactive, the prospects of another big target load for Meyers are only strengthened.

On the Fence: WR Davante Adams (shoulder)

This is an unusual place to find Adams, but after he managed just 4 receptions while trying to play through a shoulder injury and then landed as a “non-participant” for Wednesday’s walkthrough, here we are. Adam’s 4 targets in Week 5 were his fewest since September 20, 2020 – a game in which he was injured and then missed the next two weeks. Adams status will need to be watched very closely this week, and if he turns out to once more be a game time decision, consider the strength of your depth before sticking him out there.

Fade: QB Jimmy Garoppolo

The Raiders have won half of Garoppolo’s starts, but being a respectable opponent has not led to strong numbers for the veteran QB. If anything, Garoppolo’s numbers have been the poorest he’s ever put up – throwing 7 picks against 6 touchdowns, thus far. Jimmy is 21st in fantasy points per game among QB’s with multiple starts, and it won’t get any easier against a Patriots defense that has allowed just 4.6 yards per play this year despite numerous injuries. He’s an easy fade, and probably even a wise pass in Superflex leagues if Davante Adams is playing at less than a hundred percent or inactive.

Prediction: Patriots 18, Raiders 17 ^ Top

Lions @ Buccaneers - (Mack)
Line: DET -3.0
Total: 42.5

TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21

No Brainers: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, RB David Montgomery

Favorites: QB Jared Goff, TE Sam LaPorta (calf)

Jared Goff continues his journey toward securing an extension with the Lions after putting up solid numbers since mid-season last year. He plays mistake-free football and orchestrates Detroit’s offense with incredible command—all while not forcing things and ensuring the Lions playmakers are doing their thing. Goff’s been playing lights out; he’s a low-end QB1 for the remainder of the season.

Seriously, I truly hope the Atlanta Falcons have studied how Detroit uses Sam LaPorta and consider stealing some things to get Kyle Pitts some action. My frustrations with Atlanta’s passing game aside, LaPorta has been a true revelation this season. Few expect rookie TEs to do what he’s done. But he’s come out and done things that no other rookie has ever done at that position. A truly special player and one who is an every-week starter, although he missed practice on Thursday with a calf issue. Be sure to monitor his status as Sunday approaches.

On the Fence: N/A

Fade: WR Josh Reynolds, WR Jameson Williams

Josh Reynolds is the team’s WR2, and he’s delivered some good games this season—his Week 3 goose egg versus Atlanta notwithstanding. But he’s simply too risky to suggest starting, short of any recurring issues with St. Brown’s abdomen injury that kept him sidelined last week.

Jameson Williams, needless to say, has gotten off to a slow start in his career. He dropped a pass last week that has had fans in Detroit shaking their heads. The team is not ready to give up on the youngster, and neither should you. Too early for that. Have patience and be ready to throw him in your lineup when he does pop. Meanwhile, keep him buried deep on your bench.

DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: WR Mike Evans (hamstring)

The 30-year-old Mike Evans continues putting a stamp on his Hall of Fame career through the first part of 2023. While his Week 4 game came up short, he spearheaded the Bucs passing game with 28 targets, 17 receptions and 3 TDs in the season’s first three games. What’s interesting is we’re getting the best-scenario version of Evans right now. Getting older and playing with a new QB hasn’t fazed him at all, and we can only hope it continues. The Lions secondary gives up big plays, and now with Lions DB Emmanuel Moseley out for the year, that bites into the depth the team thought they had upon his return. Detroit’s secondary must rely on a fierce pass rush this week to help fortify them on the backend. If not, Evans could have his way entirely. Keep an eye on his practice report Friday as he’s been battling a hamstring injury.

On the Fence: WR Chris Godwin, QB Baker Mayfield

The days of Chris Godwin putting up massive numbers pre-ACL injury are long gone, and that’s okay. As the WR3 /flex fantasy player that he is, his floor is reliably decent but with solid upside. Godwin managers hope he continues the momentum from Week 4 contest where he finished with 8 catches on 11 targets and 114 yards. Baker Mayfield is a desperation play this week, despite the 3-TD performance against the Saints in Week 4. Tampa has struggled running the ball recently, so if that trend continues, Mayfield may have some value.

Fade: RB Rachaad White

White has seen at least 17 touches in every game which is nice but he faces a Detroit team that’s third against the run, and Tampa has had issues running the ball lately as evidenced by White’s 3.3 yard per carry on the season. A bad combination.

Prediction: Lions 28, Bucs 20 ^ Top

Rams @ Cardinals - (Fessel)
Line: LAR -6.5
Total: 48.5

ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22

No Brainers: WR Cooper Kupp, RB Kyren Williams

Favorites: WR Puka Nacua

Cooper Kupp instantly took back his crown as Stafford’s favored target in Week 5 (12 targets, 8-118-1), but Nacua was not far behind, remaining relevant and heavily involved against a vulnerable Eagles secondary (11 targets, 7-71-1). Incredibly, in Kupp’s first game back, Nacua played 100% of the offensive snaps - the first time he’s done that this season. Enter the Cardinals, who have given up the 8th most points to opposing wide receivers, offering another favorable opportunity for Nacua to remain significant on the fantasy landscape.

On the Fence: QB Matthew Stafford, WR Tutu Atwell

Stafford held his own while without his star wide receiver, tossing for 300 or more yards in three different games. Yet, while this yardage has given Stafford a solid floor, he’s yet to break 20 fantasy points in a game this year. The thought process goes that Stafford should start to produce multi-touchdown games with Kupp back, and he did immediately do so against the Eagles, but surprisingly had a rather pedestrian 222 yards passing. Stafford bringing it together in Kupp’s second week back is worth banking on. He’ll go against a Cardinals team that has allowed both Daniel Jones and Joe Burrow to have 300-yard, multi-touchdown performances despite their otherwise forgettable seasons.

Meanwhile, after Tutu Atwell saw at least 8 targets a game while Kupp was absent, his targets dipped to 5 last week. The upshot is that Atwell did still manage to score a touchdown and played nearly 90% of snaps, as the Rams invoked three receiver sets nearly all game long. It remains to be seen whether they’ll take this same approach versus a Cardinals team that features a subpar offense.

Additionally, even if Atwell finds himself on the field most of the time, there is a question as to whether he’s a distant third to Kupp and Nacua on the target tree.
Atwell is reasonably a boom-or-bust play in Week 6 versus Arizona.

Fade: N/A

LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: N/A

On the Fence: QB Joshua Dobbs, WR Marquise Brown

The Rams have held the three pocket QB’s they’ve faced to 16.4 points or less, but gave up 21.9 to Anthony Richardson in a game he left due to injury, and then 28.4 for Jalen Hurts. Joshua Dobbs doesn’t have the raw talent of either Richardson or Hurts, but he does at least have more experience than the former. Whether that combined with his rushing ability (27-142-1) can be fantasy worthy is a fair question. It’s a risky play that could go either way, but his Cardinals are home for the fourth time this year, where they’ve previously put up at least 20 points per game. Dobbs does have at least low-end QB1 upside in this one.

Marquise Brown is seeing over 8 targets a game from Dobbs and is currently 14th among wide receivers in fantasy points. But the Rams have had a surprisingly stiff secondary despite heavy off-season losses, giving up the 5th fewest points to receivers. The Rams have neutered a number of wide receivers that are on a similar - if not superior - level to Brown, including Brandon Aiyuk (5.8 points), Tee Higgins (3.1 points) and Michael Pittman Jr. (2.0 points).

A few receivers have had strong showings against the Rams, with stars Ja’Marr Chase and A.J. Brown going over a 100 yards, but they are exceptional talents and fantasy owners may be risking a low floor in exchange for what will be a lower ceiling than the Chase’s and or A.J. Brown’s of the world. Marquise Brown is arguably a borderline flex play, at best, this week.

Fade: N/A

Prediction: Rams 21, Cardinals 20 ^ Top

Eagles @ Jets - (Caron)
Line: PHI -6.5
Total: 42.5

NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1

No Brainers: QB Jalen Hurts, WR A.J. Brown, RB D’Andre Swift

Favorites: TE Dallas Goedert

Dallas Goedert’s Week 5 monster game is a great example of trusting the process, particularly when it comes to usage at the tight end position. Through four games, no tight end in the league had run more routes than Goedert. He was targeted 19 times during those games, but just wasn’t quite able to come through from a fantasy standpoint. This led to many fantasy managers throwing in other replacement-level tight ends in his place in Week 5 - a mistake that saw their normal starting tight end score over 25 fantasy points on their bench.

Goedert has been targeted 28 times through five games, is coming off of an elite performance, and now gets to face a Jets defense that has given up the most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends so far this season. Five different tight ends have already scored touchdowns against the Jets and Goedert is an excellent bet to make it six.

On the Fence: RB Kenneth Gainwell

Don’t take this as a particularly strong endorsement for Gainwell, who has clearly fallen behind D’Andre Swift on the Eagles’ depth chart, but many fantasy managers are scrambling this week due to injuries and bye weeks, and there’s a decent case to be made for Gainwell as a one-week fill-in here in Week 6.

The Eagles are a seven-point road favorite against the Jets and they’re averaging over 28 points scored per game. The Jets, meanwhile, have been held to 22 or fewer points in four of their first five games this season. The only exception was this past week, against the Broncos and their worst defense in the league, when the Jets were finally able to crack the 30-point mark. On paper, this looks like it has a real potential to be a blowout in Philadelphia’s favor, which could very well mean that we’re looking at some garbage time “grind the clock” offense from the Eagles.

Backup running backs like Samaje Perine and Ezekiel Elliott have had decent days against this defense already and Gainwell has continued to play nearly 40 percent of the snaps for the Eagles, so you could do worse if you’re in a bad spot here in Week 6.

Fade: WR DeVonta Smith

While A.J. Brown has continued to ball out, one player who’s really struggled to find consistency here in 2023 has been DeVonta Smith. Smith has now been held to four or fewer receptions in three of his five games this season. While he was able to come through with a nice fantasy day despite his low usage back in Week 2, the other two games saw him finish with low-single-digit fantasy days.

There are two real concerns for Smith with this matchup in particular: First, the Eagles being large road favorites indicates that this could end up being a game in which they opt to run the ball even more than they normally do. That’d obviously limit the total number of pass attempts, which is already a concern given that Smith has been under a 25 percent target share in all but one game this season, and he’s failed to exceed a 15 percent target share in two of those games.

Second, the Jets have quietly given up the second-fewest total fantasy points to opposing wide receivers so far this season. That’s especially interesting because they’ve faced some very good offenses like Buffalo, Kansas City, and Dallas. Even Denver has been decent enough on offense despite their shortcomings on the other side of the ball. Since Week 2, no wide receiver they’ve faced has finished with more than 50 receiving yards against this Jets defense. Brown and Smith are certainly the best duo they’ve faced over this stretch, but this is not a particularly good matchup for Smith and it’s reasonable to bench him this week if you’ve got other similar options.

PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11

No Brainers: RB Breece Hall

Favorites: WR Garrett Wilson

Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson is coming off of a mediocre fantasy performance which saw him catch just three of the seven targets that came his way for 54 yards in what many had hoped to be a big game for him against a terrible Broncos defense. It’s worth considering that Wilson was matched up against one of the league’s top cornerbacks, Patrick Surtain, on nearly 70 percent of his routes throughout the game, and the Jets simply didn’t need to pass the ball much given the success that their running game was having.

This week is a completely different story as the Jets face a Philadelphia team that has averaged over 28 points scored per game. They’re almost certainly going to have to pass in order to stay even remotely competitive, and they’re facing a defense that has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers so far this season. At least one opposing wide receiver has scored 17 or more fantasy points against this defense in every game they’ve played this season, and Wilson should be able to continue that trend this week. This is one of the strongest matchups he’ll have all season so get him in your lineup.

On the Fence: TE Tyler Conklin

Tight end continues to be a wasteland throughout the league, so fantasy managers who are looking for a singular bye-week fill-in might look to Jets tight end Tyler Conklin. Conklin has seen at least five targets in four straight games and has over 50 receiving yards in three of those four contests. He still hasn’t scored a touchdown this season, but he now faces a Philadelphia defense that has given up three scores to the position through five weeks.

Fade: QB Zach Wilson

It was a fun story while it lasted, but Zach Wilson was right back to fantasy irrelevancy this past week even in what was considered the best possible matchup for him against the Broncos. Wilson has now finished in single-digits for fantasy in four of his five games and is very closely bordering on “could be benched for mid-level wide receivers” territory in Superflex leagues.

The Eagles are a top-10 matchup for opposing quarterbacks, but most of that came from their first two matchups this season which saw them give up seven passing touchdowns and two 300-yard passing days. Since then, they’ve held opposing QBs to four total scores over their past three games and an average of under 220 passing yards per game during that stretch.

Prediction: Eagles 27, Jets 16 ^ Top

Giants @ Bills - (Caron)
Line: BUF -14.5
Total: 43.5

BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30

No Brainers: N/A

Favorites: TE Darren Waller

There’s not a lot to be excited about in the Giants offense right now, especially with quarterback Daniel Jones injured, but one player who’s looking up is tight end Darren Waller. Waller came into the season with a ton of hype on his new team but had so far failed to live up to the lofty expectations that many fantasy managers had for him. He came through in Week 5, though, catching eight passes for 86 yards against the Dolphins. Perhaps most encouraging is that he was targeted 11 times on the day.

The Giants have been getting blown out basically every week, and they’re massive underdogs in this game, so a heavy skew toward their passing game seems likely. The Bills have been excellent so far against opposing tight ends, but a glance at their schedule would show you that they really haven’t faced much competition at the position yet this season. Waller is the top receiver on the team and should be heavily utilized again.

On the Fence: WR Wan’Dale Robinson

He still hasn’t come through with a big game yet, but Wan’Dale Robinson has now led all Giants wide receivers in total targets in back-to-back weeks and has been the most-targeted receiver overall for the team since his 2023 debut back in Week 3.

The Giants are expected to be behind on the scoreboard again this week, so look for them to pass the ball fairly heavily again which could mean a new season-high in targets for Robinson. He’s really only an option in very deep leagues, but he’s beginning to establish himself as the clear top wide receiver in this offense and there’s at least some reason to pay attention to that.

Update: Barkley is a gametime decision but is trending in the right direction.

Fade: RB Saquon Barkley

When he’s healthy, there may not be a single more talented, electric running back in football than Saquon Barkley. Unfortunately, Barkley has missed the past three weeks with an ankle sprain and he’s still only practicing in limited capacity throughout this week. Worse yet, he plays on Sunday night which makes things all the more difficult because we almost certainly will not have absolute confirmation of his status prior to the daytime Sunday games kicking off. This makes it extremely risky to keep Barkley in your lineup unless you’ve got another Sunday night or Monday night option to replace him with in case he ends up being held out another week.

Even if you do have another option, though, there’s a real case to be made that this just is not the matchup that fantasy managers want to be putting Barkley in their lineups for. He was a first or second-round pick, so it’s tough to imagine that many fantasy managers will have significantly better options to choose from, but the Bills have been the eighth-best fantasy defense against opposing running backs so far this season and that’s even after they were absolutely destroyed by Travis Etienne and De’Von Achane in back-to-back weeks.

The Giants are likely to be behind in this game which would only disincentivize them to give a heavy workload to Barkley even if he is deemed fully healthy, so if you have other decent options, this is probably the one and only time that you might want to seriously consider sitting one of fantasy football’s best running backs.

NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18

No Brainers: QB Josh Allen, WR Stefon Diggs

Favorites: WR Gabriel Davis

It’s typically a fool’s errand to believe in players with this high of a touchdown-per-touch ratio, but Gabriel Davis finally showed us something to get excited about this past week when he caught six of the eight passes that came his way for 100 yards and a score. It was Davis’ fourth game in a row with a touchdown despite the fact that he’s only caught 16 passes over that stretch.

Davis now faces a struggling Giants team that has just been average against opposing wide receivers, and the Bills could be without one or both of their top tight ends Dalton Kincaid and Dawson Knox, which would only further consolidate the targets to their top pass catchers. Understand that he’s a touchdown-or-bust player most weeks, but this is a good matchup for him and he’s red hot.

On the Fence: RB James Cook

James Cook had been solid in the RB2 range through the first four weeks of the season, but it’s hard to sell his Week 5 performance against the Jaguars as anything other than terrible. He carried the ball just five times for negative four yards in the game and contributed just 25 yards on three catches in the passing game. It was his first non-double-digit fantasy point day of the season, so we can probably forgive it to some extent, but given that the Bills are typically a pass-heavy offense to begin with, there’s at least some concern that they will tone down his usage this week.

With that being said, there’s also hope for Cook to get back into the good graces of fantasy managers as he faces a Giants defense that has given up the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs so far this season. The Bills are huge home favorites and the Giants have given up at least 70 rushing yards to the opposing team’s top rusher in every game they’ve played so far this season. De’Von Achane and Raheem Mostert combined for 236 yards on the ground against this defense a week ago, so don’t abandon all hope on Cook just yet.

Fade: TE Dalton Kincaid, TE Dawson Knox

Rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid has been a disappointment from a fantasy standpoint so far this season and now he’s dealing with a concussion that has his status for Sunday’s game in serious question. Similarly, his teammate, Dawson Knox, is dealing with a wrist injury that has also held him out of practice and could potentially threaten his Week 6 status.

Right now the Bills are not targeting their tight ends at a high enough rate for either of these players to be fantasy starters, but that’s especially true given that they’re playing a Sunday night game which means that their status likely won’t be known until almost all of the games on the Week 6 slate have been played. Fantasy managers would be better off to find other options this week.

Prediction: Bills 30, Giants 16 ^ Top

Cowboys @ Chargers - (Fessel)
Line: DAL -1.5
Total: 50.5

LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20

No Brainers: WR CeeDee Lamb, RB Tony Pollard

Favorites: QB Dak Prescott

The Cowboys playing keep-away on offense through the first four weeks can largely explain Dak Prescott’s virtual invisibility on the fantasy radar, but last week they found themselves in a position where they had to open it up, and it went sideways for Dak and company. Prescott was picked three times, amassed just 153 yards, and threw just 1 touchdown. To be fair, falling into negative game script against the 49ers is a very difficult task to tangle with.

This week, look for Prescott to have a get right game against a vulnerable Chargers defense that only a 4th round rookie QB (Aidan O’Connell) couldn’t solve. Even an aging Ryan Tannehill, who has had a tough time with a Titans depleted receiving corps, found his way to 21 points. This game has shootout potential, and this may be Dak’s highest ceiling opportunity of the year.

On the Fence: WR Michael Gallup

Gallup was virtually uninvolved through the Cowboys first two games – totaling just 4 targets – but has seen an uptick in targets over the last three weeks, averaging 6 per game. It appears that Gallup may have passed Brandin Cooks to become Prescott’s second option, and against a Chargers team that has surrendered the most points to wide outs, there is flex upside with him this week.

Fade: N/A

DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14

No Brainers: WR Keenan Allen, RB Austin Ekeler

Favorites: QB Justin Herbert

Herbert is going to be playing with a broken finger, but it is on his non-throwing hand. It’s not completely irrelevant, as it certainly could make him more prone to fumbling a snap, but it’s likely to have far less impact than his rib injury did last year. Herbert drawing the Cowboys this week might also elicit a concerned reaction, considering that the Cowboys are just the 26th most points to QB’s.

Yet the Cowboys have lost star CB Trevon Diggs and LB Leighton Vander Esch in the last couple of weeks. Additionally, not a single opposing quarterback has attempted 30 passes against the Cowboys this year, a streak that is likely to end this week with Herbert. The four-year pro has averaged nearly 40 pass attempts per game in his career, and has already thrown over 40 passes in two games. In what could be one of the higher scoring games of the week, there’s a good chance of another strong outing from Herbert.

On the Fence: WR Josh Palmer

In the first game without Mike Williams, it was Palmer who proved to be the benefactor. As a matter of fact, he led the Chargers in targets with 8. While he picked up 77 yards on 3 receptions, there was some meat left on the bone. This week, Keenan Allen may draw a fair share of Stephon Gilmore’s attention, and with Trevon Diggs on IR, Palmer may again find himself with a nice target total. If he can fare better at cashing in, it could be a good day for him.

Fade: TE Gerald Everett

The Cowboys defense had been making a rough time of it for opposing tight ends, until George Kittle came along and converted 3 receptions into 3 touchdowns. But Gerald Everett has two things going against him: One, he is not George Kittle. Two, Austin Ekeler is expected back this week. Even while Ekeler was absent, Everett was not able to capitalize and bulk up his target load with extra available checkdowns – only peaking at 6.2 points during that span. Having Ekeler once again competing for targets, it’s wise to take the under on those 6.2 points for Everett.

Prediction: Cowboys 24, Chargers 23 ^ Top