- Green highllight indicates plus matchup (top eight)
- Red highlight indicates negative matchup (bottom eight)
Bears at Panthers
- (Swanson) Line: CAR -1.5 Total: 44.5
Game Thoughts: The 4-1 Bears are one of the more surprising
teams in the league. The Nick Foles-led offense ranks 27th in
points per game and yards per game, but their defense has kept
them in games and leads the league in red zone defense.
Foles is only fantasy relevant in two-quarterback and deep 14-team
leagues. As the 27th-ranked quarterback, Foles is a better real-life
QB than a fantasy option, yet he has done an excellent job keeping
Allen Robinson and Jimmy Graham fantasy relevant.
Robinson currently ranks 19th among wide receivers in fantasy
points per game. He is averaging a full point per game more than
last season and is on pace for a whopping 182 targets. The volume
is there, but Robinson has not come through with big touchdown
games. If you have a manager in your league who is not happy with
the fact that Robinson has just two touchdowns on the year, I
would recommend trading for Robinson based on the elite volume
he continues to see.
Jimmy Graham is fourth in the league in touchdowns at the tight
end position. Unlike Robinson, Graham does not get a ton of passing
volume and relies solely on touchdown production. You can play
the veteran tight end in this game against the Panthers, but keep
in mind Carolina has allowed just one TD on the year to opposing
tight ends, and only Hunter Henry has topped 50 yards.
Starting cornerback Donte Jackson was limited with a toe injury
on Thursday and is questionable for the game on Sunday, while
defensive end Brian Burns was limited and currently in the concussion
protocol. The absence of Burns could give Foles more time in the
pocket, and Jackson is the team’s best cover corner.
CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.30
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24
Running Game Thoughts: David Montgomery is once again averaging
less than four yards per carry and has only one rushing touchdown
on the year. He has not looked particularly impressive since joining
the league last season as a third-round pick from Iowa State,
but he continues to be the lead back for the Bears and should
be in your lineup this week.
Only the Lions have given up more fantasy points to opposing
running backs than the Panthers, a rush defense that should be
even worse going forward with the season-ending injury to defensive
lineman Kwan Short.
Todd Gurley ran wild against the Panthers last week with 121
yards and a score on 14 carries. A similar stat line is not out
of the question for Montgomery, especially now that the Panthers
do not have their best defensive lineman.
Game Thoughts: Teddy Bridgewater has been an excellent
real-life quarterback for the Panthers and a solid fantasy option
for fantasy managers in his first year with the team. Bridgewater
has more fantasy points than Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Kirk Cousins,
and just three fewer points than Lamar Jackson.
Bridgewater took advantage of two subpar defenses in the last
two weeks with 276/2 against the Cardinals and 313/2 vs. the Falcons
in Week 5.
This week’s matchup against the Bears is arguably the most
difficult challenge for Bridgewater and the passing game. The
Bears have given up the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks
and just four total passing touchdowns in five games. Only one
QB has scored over 20 fantasy points against Chuck Pagano’s
defense, and no quarterback has topped 300 passing yards.
You are starting both D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, but you
should temper your expectations. Only the Rams have given up fewer
points to opposing wide receivers, with Mike Evans becoming the
first WR on the year to score a receiving touchdown against the
Bears last week.
The one weakness in the Bears pass defense has been covering
tight ends. The Bucs combined for nearly 100 receiving yards against
the Bears on Thursday Night Football, and both Evan Engram and
T.J. Hockenson managed over 50 receiving yards.
The Panthers do not feature tight ends much in their passing
game, but they may need to make adjustments in this matchup against
a tough Chicago secondary.
CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10
Running Game Thoughts: Teams have found it far easier to run
against Chicago than trying to beat the Bears in the passing game.
Chicago ranks 18th in fantasy points per game while giving up
4.54 yards per carry.
Mike Davis has been nothing short of amazing while filling in
for the injured Christian McCaffrey. The former Bear, who will
likely have some extra motivation against his old team, is the
fourth-ranked running back in fantasy points over the last three
games, with a touchdown against the Chargers, Cardinals, and Falcons.
Davis is the best play on the Panthers this week and should be
considered a strong low-end RB1 or an elite RB2.
Bengals @ Colts
- (Swanson) Line: IND -8.0 Total: 46.5
Game Thoughts: The rookie season for first overall pick
Joe Burrow has been filled with up and down moments that one would
expect of a young player getting acclimated to the NFL.
The former LSU Tiger threw for 316 yards, and three touchdown
passes against the Browns week two and another 312/2 against the
Eagles Week 3, only two post 183 yards and an interception in
a lopsided loss to the Ravens in Week 5.
What we have learned so far is Burrow can have good performances
against subpar secondaries like the Browns, Eagles, and Jags.
Solid defenses like the Chargers and Ravens will challenge the
rookie to produce substantial fantasy numbers.
The Colts fall under the latter when it comes to defenses in
the NFL. Only the Bears have given up fewer points to opposing
quarterbacks than the Colts, a team that shut down Kirk Cousins,
Nick Foles, and Baker Mayfield in the past three matchups. No
opposing player has topped 250 passing yards against Matt Eberfuls’
defense, and only Gardner Minshew managed to top 2 passing touchdowns.
Burrow is not a great option in anything other than two-quarterback
leagues and should not be high on your list as a 12-team streamer.
The same goes for A.J. Green, the disgruntled former star who
looks to be all but done.
Rookie Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd continue to be the primary
weapons for Burrow in the passing game, with the former leading
all Bengals receivers in snap percentage last week.
Running Game Thoughts: Joe Mixon enters Week 6 as the No. 17
ranked running back in fantasy points per game. He is averaging
a paltry 3.7 yards per carry and has only three total touchdowns
this season that all came in one game against the Jags.
IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32
Outside of that monster 36-point game against the Jags, Mixon
has not topped double digits in any game while averaging fewer
than three yards per carry in three of his five contests.
The Colts are a terrible matchup for running backs. You are not
going to be able to bench Mixon based on his draft capital and
chance of scoring a touchdown, but expecting a big game against
a Colts defense that gives up the second-fewest points is unrealistic.
On a positive note, Kareem Hunt did manage 93 total yards and
a score against the Colts, albeit on a busted scramble play that
culminated with Hunt making a fantastic catch in the back of the
Game Thoughts: The Indianapolis Colts are paying Philip
Rivers $25M to throw five interceptions and just four passing
touchdowns in five games this season. Although the veteran QB
is completing the highest percentage of passes in his career,
he's on pace to throw a whopping 12 passing touchdowns and 16
interceptions while all but killing the value of all the passing
options on the Colts for fantasy purposes.
The wide receiving corps for the Colts has a combined one receiving
touchdown in five games. By comparison, Mike Evans of the Bucs
leads the league with six touchdowns on his own.
While we would like to say this is a good matchup for Rivers
and the passing game to get on track, the Bengals are far more
susceptible to the run than the pass, and it would make sense
for Frank Reich and the Colts to run the ball early and often
in what could be a surprisingly low scoring game.
You cannot start T.Y. Hilton with any sort of confidence even
in this game. Hilton’s 4.6 yards per reception places him
88th overall at the position, behind other stalwarts like Christian
Blake, Quintez Cephus, and Jalen Guyton.
To make matters worse, the Colts use three tight ends in Mo Alie-Cox,
Jack Doyle, and Trey Burton, effectively canceling each other
out for fantasy.
Until further notice, you cannot start anyone on the Indy passing
game. Instead, focus on Jonathan Taylor in the ground game and
Hot Rod Blankenship for your placekicker.
CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12
Running Game Thoughts: When Marlon Mack went down, we all assumed
that the sky would be the limit for rookie Jonathan Taylor. Taylor
does have three games of double-digit fantasy production and one
100-yard game under his belt, but it has not been exactly the
game-breaking perfection we all thought.
Taylor is on the field for about 55% of snaps, with Nyheim Hines
working in around 35% of the time and Jordan Wilkins also seeing
From a fantasy perspective, you can run on the Bengals, and opposing
running backs have found great success against Cincinnati. Five
different running backs have topped 10 fantasy points vs. the
Bengals, including a combined 47.4 points scored between Nick
Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
Fire up Taylor in all formats, and Hines has some value in PPR
leagues. The Colts DST is once again a solid play, and don’t
be surprised to see Rodrigo Blankenship post a fourth-consecutive
Lions @ Jaguars
- (Swanson) Line: DET -3.0 Total: 54.5
Game Thoughts: In a battle of one-win teams, the Lions
head to Jacksonville to take on Gardner Minshew and the Jaguars.
Matthew Stafford and the Lions enter this contest fresh off a
much-needed bye week that hopefully gave wide receiver Kenny Golladay
an extra few days off to fully recover from a lingering hamstring
Stafford enters Week 6 as the No. 20 ranked quarterback based
on fantasy points per game. His 21.8 FPts/G is better than Drew
Brees, Matt Ryan, Kirk Cousins, and Baker Mayfield, but he is
currently four points per game off of his impressive early-season
run from 2019.
The Jags defense presents an excellent opportunity for both Stafford
and Golladay, as Jacksonville gives up the seventh-most points
to opposing quarterbacks and the 15th-most points to wide receivers.
All five quarterbacks who have faced the Jags have topped 20 fantasy
points, while three quarterbacks have topped 300 passing yards.
This game has the makings of a shootout, and you will want to
have both Stafford and Golladay in your lineup. One player on
the Lions you may want to avoid is Marvin Jones, who has just
five total targets over the last two games and has yet to top
55 yards receiving in any game.
T.J. Hockenson is an interesting play and a nice low-end TE1.
The Jags have given up at least 69 yards and/or a touchdown to
opposing tight ends, and Hockenson has 53 yards or a touchdown
in all four games.
JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.9
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7
Running Game Thoughts: Detroit running backs have combined to
score the 14th-most fantasy points despite no 100-yard rushing
yards or multi-touchdown performance in any game by a Lions player.
Adrian Peterson continues to be the lead early-down back and
is averaging a respectable 4.5 yards per carry. His volume makes
him a decent flex option, but his lack of work in the passing
game limits his upside.
D’Andre Swift is the best pass-catching back in the stable
of running backs and scored two weeks ago against the Saints.
Unfortunately, he is not getting enough volume to give owners
a level of comfort to start, and Kerryon Johnson is getting enough
snaps to frustrate both Smith and Peterson owners.
From a matchup standpoint, the Jags present an excellent opportunity
for fantasy production. Jacksonville has given up the ninth-most
points to opposing running backs, including a monster three-touchdown
game to Joe Mixon and the Bengals.
Game Thoughts: The Jaguars entered 2020 as an early favorite
to secure the No.1 draft position in next season’s NFL draft.
With a win over the Colts to kick off the season and the emergence
of running back James Robinson, that narrative appeared to be
false, and the Jags looked like the surprise team of the early
part of the season.
Unfortunately for Jags fans, the team dropped the next four games,
including last week’s disappointing 14-30 loss to the winless
Texans. The poor performance as of late should not be placed on
the shoulders of second-year quarterbacks Gardner Minshew, who
has completed nearly 70% of his passes and is on pace to throw
for 4600 yards and 32 touchdowns.
Minshew’s 24.1 fantasy points per game are better than
Lamar Jackson, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Jared Goff, and the
Jaguar wide receiving corps has combined to score the fifth-most
After a monster two-touchdown game against the Bengals in Week
4, D.J. Chark burned owners with three catches for 16 yards before
leaving in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. This is an
excellent matchup against a Lions defense that has given up four
games of at least 13 fantasy points to opposing wide receivers,
but starting Chark on a bum ankle might be a risky move.
Laviska Shenault and Keelan Cole owners should feel comfortable
starting both players this week, even if Chark plays. This projects
to be a high scoring game and the Lions are one of a few teams
that rank in the bottom 12 across the board in points allowed
to WRs, QBs, and RBs.
DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30
Running Game Thoughts: James Robinson enters this matchup against
the Lions on the heels of his worst performance of the year. The
undrafted rookie sensation scored just seven fantasy points while
rushing for a mere 48 yards on 13 carrels against the Texans.
Robinson’s disappointing performance should not dissuade
you from starting him this week against Detroit. No other team
has given up more points (average) than Detroit. Aaron Jones posted
a monster three-touchdown game against Matt Patricia’s defense,
and the Saints torched the Lions for three more scores in Week
You can run on the Lions, and running backs have also found success
in the passing game. Fire up Robinson as a solid RB1 play, and
don’t be surprised if wide receiver Laviska Shennault also
has a solid day on the ground.
Falcons @ Vikings
- (Green) Line: MIN -4.0 Total: 54.5
Game Thoughts: Hours after an uninspired loss to the
Panthers, the Dan Quinn Era officially came to an end when both
he and GM Thomas Dimitroff were fired. The team never fully recovered
from their Super Bowl collapse and subsequent departure of then-OC
Kyle Shanahan, who coaxed the best out of Matt Ryan. Now, the
veteran QB looks lost. He completed 21 of 37 passes for 226 yards,
0 TDs and a game-changing pick in the end zone. Ryan has thrown
just one TD pass in his last three games, which has coincided
with Julio Jones (hamstring) playing exactly one half of football.
It's unknown whether or not Jones will return as he's likely
to be a game-time decision, which is always a tough spot for fantasy
owners -- the last time he was active he didn't play in the second
half. So, while he's a WR1, there's a lot of risk involved. On
the other side is Calvin Ridley, who posted an 8-136-0 line against
Carolina in Week 5; it was his fourth 100-plus-yard performance
this season, making his complete shutout on MNF look like an outlier.
He's a solid WR1.
Hayden Hurst has been inconsistent at tight end, but his upside
at a position that seems to be having a down year overall leaves
him with starter value. The same cannot be said of Russell Gage
(shoulder), who has six grabs over the last three games after
opening the season with 15-160-1 combined in Weeks 1 and 2. Minnesota
has been playing better recently but still ranks 27th in pass
defense at 271.4 yards per game to go with 10 TD passes. Despite
his recent struggles, Ryan offers QB1 upside this week.
MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20
Running Game Thoughts: If there was a silver lining offensively
last week it was the production of Todd Gurley, who ran 14 times
for 121 yards and a score. He also added 29 yards as a receiver
in a performance reminiscent of his glory days with the Rams.
Gurley has now scored four TDs in his last three games and is
firmly in RB2 territory against a Vikings defense that ranks 24th
(132.6 YPG) against the run. Add a potential X-factor: Minnesota
has a bye next week before a divisional game, which creates a
trap game atmosphere to this Sunday.
Game Thoughts: For the most part, the Vikings played
exactly the game they wanted to play, dominating time of possession
and pushing around Seattle's defense. It wasn't enough to secure
a win, but it was Kirk Cousins' best game of the year as he threw
for 249 yards and two TDs along with one bad INT (the continuation
of a season-long trend). Cousins hasn't been playable thus far,
but there is some real upside this week based on Atlanta's vulnerability
and Dalvin Cook's likely absence.
Not that it necessarily needs to be written, but I'll write it
anyway: Adam Thielen is the No. 1 receiver in Minnesota. With
all of the buzz surrounding Justin Jefferson's back-to-back big
games that seemed to be getting lost in the shuffle. Well, Sunday
served as a reminder as Thielen tormented Seattle's secondary
with precision routes to catch nine of 13 targets for 80 yards
and two scores. Jefferson, meanwhile, was quiet, with just three
catches and 23 yards. While Thielen is a WR1, Jefferson is more
of a WR3.
There was one other development worth noting, and that was Irv
Smith, who caught four passes for 64 yards. The second-year tight
end flashed as a rookie but did almost nothing over the first
month. Keep an eye on him this week to see if he builds on Week
5. As for Atlanta, only Seattle has allowed more yards per game
(335.8) via the air, but the Falcons have surrendered nearly double
the TDs (15 to SEA's 8). On paper, this is a great matchup for
ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2
Running Game Thoughts: With Dalvin Cook (groin) expected to be
inactive this Sunday, Alexander Mattison (20-112-0 in Wk 5) is
in line to start. The second-year back isn't Cook, but his career
average of 4.7 yards per carry is no accident. He should get plenty
of work against Atlanta, which has given up 110.2 yards per game
on the ground (14th). While we're rating Mattison as an RB1, there's
no doubt the Falcons are weaker versus the pass, so he isn't a
lock to post huge numbers. And a potential second X-factor: teams
often get a bump following a coaching change, so don't rule out
an inspired effort from the Falcons in Week 6.
Football Team at
Giants - (Katz) Line: NYG -2.5 Total: 43.5
Game Thoughts: The best moment of the NFL season thus
far has been Alex Smith’s return to live action. I fear
for his health every time he takes a snap, but it was incredible
to see after what he’s been through. He will be this team’s
starting quarterback by Week 9 at the latest. For now, Kyle Allen
gets his chance after his first start was truncated due to an
The Giants have been surprisingly solid defensively, allowing
just 232 passing yards per game. They’ve forced a turnover
in all but one of their games. It seems likely that Allen will
turn the ball over at least once.
When he’s not turning it over, he’ll be looking for
Terry McLaurin, who is on his way to being the new Allen Robinson
having to deal with a medley of horrible quarterbacks. McLaurin
has already seen targets from three different QBs this season,
but has yet to see fewer than seven targets in a game. He’s
locked in as the only viable member of this passing attack.
Logan Thomas’ snap share and routes run remains encouraging,
but he has exactly one reception in each of his last two games.
Unless the target share catches up to the playing time, he’s
waiver wire fodder. With Steven Sims out, Dontrelle Inman has
been the Football Team’s WR2, although someone named Isaiah
Wright played the second most snaps at wide receiver last week.
It goes without saying, but you don’t even need to consider
anyone other than McLaurin here.
NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29
Running Game Thoughts: Antonio Gibson has been between nine and
13 carries in every game this season and now has seen five targets
in back to back games. His role is rock solid even though he’s
still splitting snaps with J.D. McKissic. Gibson’s 56% snap
share last week was his highest thus far. No one on the Football
Team has much of a ceiling given how bad they are, but Gibson
comes with a strong weekly floor.
The Giants allow an average 20% target share to running backs.
McKissic is actually on the fantasy radar after consecutive eight
target games. With the Football Team’s lack of receiving
options behind McLaurin, they’ve been utilizing their running
backs more as receivers. A 50% snap share and an average of five
receptions over his last three games has McKissic as at least
a passable injury/bye week replacement. The Giants have allowed
six rushing touchdowns this season and, for the first time since
Week 1, perhaps game script won’t get away from Washington.
This is a nice spot for Gibson to find a touchdown or two.
Game Thoughts: I saw a fun little nugget of information
on Twitter last week. Do you know the last New York based football
team to win at MetLife Stadium? The answer is the New York Guardians.
With the Giants as small home favorites, this is their first real
opportunity to change that.
Unfortunately, it will require Daniel Jones actually resembling
an NFL quarterback. Through just five games, Jones has already
taken 16 sacks and lost three out of four fumbles. He hasn’t
thrown a touchdown since Week 1. Last week against the Cowboys
was his first game all season without multiple turnovers. For
someone with zero pocket awareness, incapable of feeling pressure,
staring down the barrel of Chase Young is not good news.
Sterling Shepard is out at least one more week so Darius Slayton
remains the clear WR1 for this team. Slayton had a monster game
last week with eight catches on 11 targets for 129 yards. He’s
only had two productive games, but he’s averaging eight
targets a game. Meanwhile, Golden Tate is just a guy in this offense.
He’s caught at least four passes in every game, but hasn’t
exceeded 47 receiving yards. He’s not a fantasy option.
Evan Engram was supposed to be useful, but he saw just two targets
last week. He’s very difficult to trust, but given the state
of the tight end position, and the matchup against a team that
has allowed 28% of its total receiving yards to go to tight ends,
you can’t fade Engram this week. Your alternative almost
certainly isn’t worth it.
WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5
Running Game Thoughts: While Devonta Freeman’s snap share
suggests this is a committee, the usage paints a different picture.
Freeman has played exactly 54% of the snaps each of the last two
weeks, but he saw 11 carries two weeks ago and 17 carries last
week. Wayne Gallman and Dion Lewis are just rotational backups.
Freeman looked like dust in his first game with the Giants, but
has looked increasingly better in each subsequent game. Rust is
a real thing and Freeman is shedding it at the moment. Touchdowns
for the Giants will remain difficult, but Freeman’s volume
keeps him in flex consideration.
Only the Cowboys allow a lower percentage of receiving yards
against them to go to running backs than the Football Team. Freeman
has six receptions over his past two games, but don’t expect
any sort of reliable receiving floor this week. Washington has
allowed eight rushing touchdowns and since Daniel Jones seems
incapable of throwing one, if the Giants do score, there’s
a solid chance it’s Freeman.
Ravens at Eagles
- (Katz) Line: BAL -7.5 Total: 47.5
Game Thoughts: Death. Taxes. The previous season’s
overall QB1 not being worth his ADP. Lamar Jackson is barely a
QB1 through almost 40% of the fantasy regular season. He’s
not playing particularly poorly, it’s just that the Ravens
have yet to play in a competitive game.
The Eagles are allowing 241 passing yards per game, which is
way more than Jackson has thrown for in every game since Week
1. The Eagles have been horrible this season, which does not bode
well for a Jackson explosion as the Ravens will once again not
need to do much to win a game.
The one bright spot in the Ravens offense from a fantasy perspective
is Mark Andrews. The Eagles are a great matchup as they’ve
allowed 24% of receiving yards against them to go to tight ends
and a whopping five touchdowns to the position. The only other
member of this passing attack worth starting is Hollywood Brown.
We know what he is at this point. He’s a stretch Z miscast
as an X. There will be games this season where he blows the top
off and games where he catches three balls for 30 yards. His opportunities
will likely be limited this week as the Ravens may not have to
throw much, but it’s at least encouraging that Brown saw
a season high 10 targets last week in a game the Ravens dominated
wire to wire.
Devin Duvernay is so clearly the second best wide receiver on
the team. His snap share has increased each of the last three
weeks, but at a high of just 29%, he’s well off the fantasy
radar. He’s a name to monitor, though, if his usage increases.
PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4
Running Game Thoughts: There’s not much to discuss with
the Ravens running game. Josh Harbaugh doesn’t care who
plays running back or how much. It’s been a mostly even
split between Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, and J.K. Dobbins. None
of them have a defined role. They’ve all seen goal line
work. Ingram and Dobbins have seen some targets. The Eagles have
allowed eight rushing touchdowns. It seems likely the Ravens will
score via the ground, but it’s anyone’s guess as to
who will be the one running it in. If I saw any one of these backs
on the waiver wire, I wouldn’t even consider picking him
Game Thoughts: Carson Wentz has been awful this season.
He’s completing a career low 60% of his passes and has thrown
nine interceptions already, the most in the league. Fortunately,
he’s rushed for a score in three of his five games, boosting
his fantasy value despite his poor play.
The Ravens are allowing 243 passing yards per game, allowing
just six passing touchdowns. They are more vulnerable through
the air than on the ground, but they are by no means a favorable
The Eagles are shuffling through wide receivers like a 10 year-old
shuffles through Halloween candy. Their newest toy is Travis Fulgham,
who posted a 10-152-1 line last week. By all accounts, he should
be their WR1 this week. That means he gets a whole lot of Marlon
Humphrey. Regardless, the Eagles are going to be trailing so they
are going to be throwing making Fulgham useful on volume alone.
Greg Ward and John Hightower are not seeing enough work to be
considerations. DeSean Jackson has been limited at practice for
two weeks now. He’d be an extremely risky start if he ended
Zach Ertz would be an auto bench and a strong drop consideration
in most seasons, but not in 2020. There are so few tight ends
worth anything that Ertz being an every down player is enough
to justify keeping him in your lineup. Ertz has a total of five
catches for 15 yards over his last two games combined. He’s
topped 42 yards receiving just once. Teams target the tight end
against the Ravens just 18% of the time. Ertz might just be bad
now on top of having a bad quarterback in a bad matchup. You don’t
have much of a choice, but Ertz is not someone you’re happy
BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14
Running Game Thoughts: Miles Sanders was absolutely horrific
last week. He had a monster fantasy game because he scored two
touchdowns and while we never complain about a 74-yard score,
the fact that he managed just six yards on his other 10 carries
is terrifying. Against a Ravens defense allowing a mere 92 rushing
yards a game and just three total rushing touchdowns, Sanders
is not going to be smashing this week. He’s still an obvious
start because of his volume, but the efficiency will take a hit.
Ravens’ opponents target the running back position 25% of
the time so there’s hope that Sanders can bolster his floor
with receptions, but unless he busts off a big run or falls into
the end zone, he’s more RB2 than RB1 this week. Boston Scott
is well off the fantasy radar as he barely plays.
Game Thoughts: Facing the NFL's top defense, the Browns
opened things up a little with Baker Mayfield (ribs), who completed
20-plus passes for the first time since Week 1 for 247 yards and
a pair of TDs. He looked in control, found the right outlet and
avoided mistakes... until he didn't. Mayfield threw two second-half
INTs, both of which led to scores that turned a two-possession
game into a one-possession game. While the Browns held on, it
reaffirms why the offense's focus has been the running game.
In fact, only Lamar Jackson (189.8) is averaging fewer passing
yards per game this year than Mayfield (195.2) among regular starters.
That doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room for the likes of Odell
Beckham Jr. (5-58-0 in Wk 5), Jarvis Landry (4-88-0) or Austin
Hooper (5-57-0), all of whom have been big-time fantasy producers
during their career. Right now, Beckham (59 YPG) is the best bet.
While Landry (56 YPG) isn't behind in yards, he has zero TDs to
OBJ's three and has struggled with drops. That makes Beckham a
WR2 this week with Landry as a low-end WR3 or flex.
Hooper, meanwhile, has seen his role expand. After opening 2020
with seven receptions for 62 yards combined over his first three
games, he has logged 10 catches, 91 yards and a score in the last
two -- his 10 targets in Week 5 led the team. He's on the cusp
of TE1 status again. The Steelers have allowed 237.5 passing yards
per game (15th), though that's only part of the story as they're
tied for the NFL lead in sacks (20) despite playing just four
games. With Mayfield already banged up, this looks like a stiff
PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.27
Running Game Thoughts: With Nick Chubb (knee) missing his first
full game, Kareem Hunt stepped in as the primary ball carrier,
rushing 20 times for 72 yards (he also caught three passes for
21 yards and a TD). D'Ernest Johnson clinched the win with a 28-yard
run on third down but managed just four yards on seven other carries.
As good as Indy was against the run, Pittsburgh is better, yielding
a measly 64 yards per game on 3.3 yards per carry. Hunt's ability
as a receiver allows him to maintain RB1 status.
Game Thoughts: Although the sample size is still small,
it certainly appears that post-surgery Ben Roethlisberger isn't
the same player that passed for 5,129 yards in his last full season.
The veteran is taking fewer chances and passing to underneath
targets, resulting in just one INT in 143 attempts and a completion
percentage of 69.9 percent – well above his career average
of 64.4. While his yardage hasn't been great, Big Ben is on pace
for 40 TD passes. He's a midrange QB1 this week.
When JuJu Smith-Schuster caught 111 passes in 2018 many figured
the USC product would take over the ball-dominant receiver role
Antonio Brown filled for so many years. Thus far, that hasn't
been the case. Smith-Schuster has been a chain mover, averaging
just 9.0 yards per catch, and even though he's their most talented
pass catcher his production level dictates he max out as a WR2
in Week 6. Popular breakout candidate Diontae Johnson (back) has
been knocked out of the past two games with injuries and is also
averaging fewer than 10 yards per reception (9.8). He's a shaky
Chase Claypool destroyed the Eagles last weekend, accounting
for 116 total yards and four touchdowns (three from Roethlisberger).
There's a lot to like about Claypool, but bear in mind his usage
prior to Week 6 had been minimal, and Johnson was sidelined for
much of that game. Deploy Claypool as an intriguing WR3. While
it's tough to advocate for three playable fantasy wideouts on
a single team in a given week, the Browns have struggled badly
against the pass, ranking 30th at 296.4 yards per game. Only Atlanta
and New Orleans have allowed more TD passes.
CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6
Running Game Thoughts: If James Conner's Week 5 performance looked
abnormal you may not have been paying close enough attention.
Conner ran 16 times in Week 2, 18 times in Week 3 and 15 times
last Sunday. The work has been consistent. He just did a lot more
with his opportunities in the previous two games. The going figures
to be tough again this Sunday, though, as Cleveland has surrendered
just 87 rushing yards per game this year, good for fourth in the
NFL. With Pittsburgh not riding Conner as heavily as they have
in the past he's a better fit as an RB2.
Texans @ Titans
- (Swanson) Line: TEN -3.5 Total: 53.5
Game Thoughts: The first game of the Bill O’Brien-less
Houston Texans was a smashing success. Deshaun Watson threw for
his first three-touchdown game of 2020 and threw for 359 yards
against the Jags.
A big reason for the change in fortunes for the passing attack
was an increase in downfield targets to Brandin Cooks and Will
Fuller. This was the first game all season in which the Texans
offense did not look like it drastically missed DeAndre Hopkins,
and the Texans defense finally provided a positive game script.
After goosing owners with zero catches against the Vikings, Cooks
came backs with eight catches for 161 yards and a score on 12
targets. The matchup against the Titans is nowhere near as attractive
as the Jags, but Cook owners must play him this week based on
the change volume.
Fuller continues to be a must-start option as long as he is healthy.
Fuller has touchdown receptions in each of his last three games
with a solid floor of 50 or more receiving yards.
Although they just limited Josh Allen to his worst game of the
year, the Titans defense has not been a terrible matchup for opposing
quarterbacks this year. Tennessee ranks 12th in fantasy points
to opposing quarterbacks, including three-touchdown games by Gardner
Minshew and Kirk Cousins.
You can start Watson with confidence this week as a mid-range
QB1. The game script should favor a high scoring game with Ryan
Tannehill and the Titans, forcing Watson to put up points to stay
in the game.
Tight end Jordan Akins has been limited with a concussion and
may miss this game. Should he miss, Darren Fells would get a massive
snap count like last week (86%), and could be a sneaky play against
a defense that gives up the 12th-most points to opposing tight
ends. If you don’t have the intestinal fortitude to play
Fells in season-long, give him a shot as a cheap play in DFS.
Injuries to starting cornerbacks Jonathan Joseph and Chris Jackson
could greatly improve the fantasy outlook for Texan wide receivers.
Both players are dealing with hamstring injuries and could miss
this game against Houston.
TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13
Running Game Thoughts: David Johnson saw a 78% snap count against
the Jags, a team that has struggled to stop opposing running backs.
Johnson used that large usage to produce a decent stat line of
103 total yards for 10.3 fantasy points. Johnson did not reach
the end zone, but he did post an impressive 5.6 yard per carry
Duke Johnson was barely used against the Jags and struggled with
just eight yards on three carries, with one catch for 11 yards
in the passing game. Starting Duke in anything other than deep
14-team leagues is a risky move.
From a fantasy perspective, the Titans present an above-average
matchup for Johnson. James Robinson and Dalvin Cook posted monster
performances vs. Tennessee, and even the Bills in a disappointing
performance on Tuesday managed to produce a double-digit fantasy
performer in T.J. Yeldon.
Game Thoughts: ESPN put out an interesting tweet on Tuesday
comparing Ryan Tannehill to Patrick Mahomes. According to the
tweet, Tannehill has nearly identical fantasy production to Mahomes
since taking over as the starting quarterback for the Titans in
the middle of last season.
Tannehill enters Week 6 against the Texans as the No.9 ranked
quarterback with 25 fantasy points per game, which is better than
Lamar Jackson, Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz, and even Deshaun Watson.
A.J. Brown bounced back from a disappointing Week 1 performance
against the Broncos and subsequent knee injury to post 7/82/1
against the Bills. Brown was on the field for 71% of the Titans
snaps and saw a 75% target share among Titans wide receivers.
Start him this week with confidence against a Texans defense that
gives up the 15th-most points to opposing wideouts.
Of course, you are starting Jonnu Smith regardless of opponent,
as Smith leads all tight ends in fantasy points and touchdown
receptions. The Texans rank in the middle of the pack in points
allowed to the tight end position, and a likely high-scoring game
script would make Tannehill and the passing game throw more than
HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17
Running Game Thoughts: Only the Lions, Panthers, Packers, and
Raiders have given up more fantasy points than the Texans to opposing
running backs in 2020. Three opposing running backs have topped
100 rushing yards, including rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who
rushed for 138 yards and a score in Week 1.
When you combine that stat with the fact that Derrick Henry leads
the league in rushing attempts per game and his seventh in fantasy
points per game, you have a recipe for another monster running
game for King Henry.
The Titans will lean on Henry early and often with the goal of
taking advantage of a subpar Texans run defense while also keeping
Deshaun Watson off the field. Henry should produce at least 100
yards and a score while finishing as an elite fantasy option.
Rookie Darrynton Evans was placed on IR with a hamstring injury,
and third-down back Jeremy McNichols missed Wednesday’s
practice with rib injuries. This could be a monster usage day
for Henry and his biggest game of the season for fantasy managers.
Game Thoughts: You would think that having to analyze
this game for a second week in a row after it didn’t happen
last week would be easy. You’d be wrong. My analysis last
week presumed Brett Rypien vs. Jarrett Stidham. It looks like
we’re getting Drew Lock vs. Cam Newton.
We only got to see one full game of Lock this season and it was
a low scoring affair where he played alright. A Patriots defense
allowing just 235 passing yards per game is a difficult matchup
for Lock’s return. As if that isn’t difficult enough,
while Lock was out, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, and K.J. Hamler
all went down. Tim Patrick has become the new WR1 in Denver. He
led the team with seven targets in their last game and is a viable
bye week/injury fill in this week against a Patriots defense that
has surrendered seven touchdowns to wide receivers in just four
Across from Patrick will be Jerry Jeudy, who caught just two
passes in the Broncos’ last game, one of which was a complete
fluke of a long touchdown. You could do worse than Jeudy in a
pinch, but right now, there’s just no ceiling for the rookie
Fant got in a couple limited practices this week, which gives
him a chance to suit up. If he does play, you probably don’t
have a better option so you might as well throw him in there.
Overall, this is a bad matchup for the Broncos against a good
team with a depleted pass catching corps.
NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28
Running Game Thoughts: One good bit of injury news for the Broncos
is they are going to get Phillip Lindsay back from his toe injury
this week. Lindsay practiced in full leading up to last week’s
game so he’ll be ready to go with the extra week off.
Melvin Gordon played 80% of the snaps two weeks ago. That number
was going to come down regardless with Lindsay back in the fold,
but now we have the added wrinkle of Gordon’s DUI arrest
earlier this week. It is extremely likely that Gordon is slapped
with a suspension, but there’s no guarantee it begins this
week. If the team decides to deactivate Gordon, that puts Lindsay
in the must start territory and keeps Royce Freeman in his change
of pace role.
Gordon had his best game of the season two weeks ago with the
Broncos correctly trying to hide Brett Rypien. If he ends up playing,
he will have a great chance to build on that this week. The Patriots
are allowing 115 rushing yards per game and have allowed just
one rushing touchdown. Despite the unfavorable matchup, whether
it’s Gordon or Lindsay, his volume be quite strong. This
is a situation where you’re obviously starting Gordon if
he plays, but only starting Lindsay if Gordon does not.
Game Thoughts: The silver lining of the week off is it
gave Cam Newton enough time to get cleared. Newton is past his
bout with coronavirus and will start this week.
In their last game, Damiere Byrd led the Patriots in targets
with 10 while N’Keal Harry and Julian Edelman each had six.
The Broncos have been weak against the pass, allowing 256 passing
yards per game and seven touchdowns thus far. 73% of their receiving
yards allowed have gone to wide receivers. That’s good news
for Edelman and in a week with a number of big time receivers
on bye, puts Byrd and Harry on the streaming radar. Newton’s
rushing attempts and yardage have declined in each of his three
games started, but I wouldn’t worry too much about Newton
running. There is no deliberate effort to curtail Newton’s
rushing attempts. He will run as much as he has to and returns
to his status as a must start quarterback.
DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11
Running Game Thoughts: The only section of this game I didn’t
have to rewrite involves the always enigmatic Patriots backfield.
The Patriots backfield underwent a big overhaul last game. Sony
Michel and Damien Harris swapped place and James White returned
from a two game absence. The split was about 50-30-30 between
White, Harris, and Burkhead (the Patriots occasionally put two
running backs on the field). White commanded eight targets and
is the best fantasy option going forward, but it’s worth
noting that the Broncos have allowed just 9.34% of their receiving
yards against them to go to running backs. With the vast majority
of White’s production coming as a receiver, this is a bit
of a concern, but in ppr formats, White should get there on receptions
Harris, despite being third in snaps, led the team with 17 carries
and rattled off 100 yards. He may have only played 23 snaps, but
he was given the ball on 17 of them. That’s the good news.
The bad news is he’s being used exactly like Michel with
zero work in the passing game. Rex Burkhead was the primary goal
line back so while Harris definitely looks like someone worth
rostering in fantasy, his upside is capped due to the lack of
passing down and goal line work. With the Patriots as home favorites,
even if it is Stidham at quarterback, game script should not get
away from them like it did against the Chiefs, which should allow
Harris a chance to splash. He’s a viable option this week.
Jets at Dolphins
- (Katz) Line: MIA -9.0 Total: 47.5
Game Thoughts: It will be a second consecutive start
for Joe Flacco as the Jets continue to protect Sam Darnold. The
Jets are a fantasy wasteland, with one exception: Jamison Crowder.
Although he’s played just three games this season, Crowder
has seen double digit targets in all of them and surpassed 100
yards receiving in all of them. He’s even scored twice.
He’s been a fantasy monster despite playing on the league’s
worst offense. With the Jets always facing negative game script,
they’ll be throwing and throwing to Crowder.
Breshad Perriman returned to a limited practice this week. Whether
he plays or not has no bearing on him, or Crowder. Jeff Smith
actually led all Jets receivers in snaps last week. He saw 11
targets, but only managed to catch three of them. That type of
volume is generally worth chasing, but Perriman’s return
could throw a wrench into that plan. Smith is a desperation option.
Finally, there’s Chris Herndon, everyone’s favorite
failed breakout tight end. His snap share has gone down each of
the past three weeks. He’s not a fantasy option.
MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.12
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25
Running Game Thoughts: The Jets releasing Le’Veon Bell
does come as somewhat of a surprise, but playing without Bell
is nothing new as the Jets have done it for more games this season
than not. Adam Gase mentioned Lamical Perine getting more work,
but after he played zero snaps last week, I’ll have to see
it to believe it. Frank Gore will continue to be the lead back
and continue to be completely useless. Gore averaged 16 carries
a game during Bell’s three game absence and failed to even
sniff double digit fantasy points. With no receiving game work
and no touchdown upside, Gore does not belong on fantasy rosters.
The Dolphins have allowed eight rushing touchdowns, but with the
Jets, it's always more about their offensive futility than a favorable
Game Thoughts: Since Ryan Fitzpatrick regained the starting
job last season, he’s been the overall QB3. Everyone’s
favorite streamer is actually not a streamer. Fitzpatrick is the
streamer you pick up and then think to yourself, “Maybe
I should hang onto him.” And you should. Fitzpatrick has
three 300-yard passing games and three multi-touchdown games.
He’s been a QB1 in four straight games and now gets a Jets
defense allowing 265 passing yards per game.
DeVante Parker somehow managed just three targets in last week’s
offensive explosion, but it’s hard to fade him in a week
with injuries and byes ravaging fantasy teams. Parker hasn’t
been the stud he was down the stretch last season, but he’s
avoided matchup losing performances this season either via volume
69% of receiving yards allowed by the Jets have gone to wide
receivers. Preston Williams is in consideration as well. His snap
count has hovered around 60% over the past three weeks, but perhaps
he’s finally feeling like his old self after tearing his
ACL last season. Williams still has yet to see more than five
targets since Week 1, but he’s a preferred red zone option,
scoring a touchdown or a two point conversion in each of the last
four games. With Fitzpatrick playing as well as he is, you can
start Williams if necessary.
After seeing 10 targets in Week 4, Isaiah Ford went back to being
an afterthought with just two targets on 36% of the snaps. He’s
waiver wire fodder. Finally, we have Mike Gesicki, who has two
games over 90 receiving yards and two games under 30 receiving
yards. He’s by no means a reliable option, but the tight
end position is a disaster. His 45% snap share last week is somewhat
concerning, but you don’t have a better option.
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.15
NYJ FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18
Running Game Thoughts: Despite acquiring Jordan Howard and Matt
Breida, the Dolphins have elected to make Myles Gaskin their primary
back. He’s played at least 63% of the snaps in every game
this season. Most encouraging is his passing game usage. Gaskin
has at least four targets in every game this season. He scored
his first two touchdowns of the season last week and is setup
to thrive against a Jets defense allowing 128 rushing yards a
game and nine rushing touchdowns total. Breida touched the ball
10 times last week, albeit in a blowout win, but 10 touches is
enough to put him on the desperation flex play radar. He’s
certainly not recommended as the clear backup to Gaskin, but you
could definitely do worse than Breida.
Game Thoughts: Aaron Rodgers has been a revelation for
his fantasy managers this season. He enters Week 6 as the No.6
ranked quarterback in fantasy points per game, with the same number
of passing touchdowns as Patrick Mahomes, despite already having
his bye week. As you would expect, Rodgers leads the league in
fewest interceptions among qualified passers (0), and he is completing
a whipping 70.5% of his passes.
Rodgers has done this without Davante Adams and Alan Lazard for
two of his four games. Adams has been practicing all week and
appears ready to return from a hamstring strain.
Tight End Robert Tonyan is tied with Mark Andrews and Jonnu Smith
for the league lead in receiving touchdowns at the position with
5 TD receptions in just three games. Tonyan has a touchdown in
each of his three games played and should continue to be a factor
in this game despite the return of Adams.
Tampa Bay boasts a young and talented secondary that includes
cornerbacks Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting, and rookie
safety Antoine Winfield Jr. After a strong start in which the
Bucs held Michael Thomas to just three catches for 17 yards, opposing
wide receivers have started to find more success, including a
ten catch performance by Allen Robinson last week.
Both Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore were able to hit 100 yards
against the Bucs, and the Chargers shocked everyone with a pair
of long touchdown passes by Justin Herbert to Tyron Johnson and
There are no significant injuries on the Bucs defense that would
affect this fantasy matchup for the Packers. For the Packers,
the major injury news is that Adams has been a participant in
practice on Monday and Tuesday and will likely return to the field
TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.18
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21
Running Game Thoughts: You could make an argument that the collective
downgrade of Aaron Rodgers by most of the fantasy community entering
drafts is the worst blunder since a certain well-known analyst
for ESPN had Mike Vick ranked first overall back in the day.
Jones has been terrific. He ranks third in the league in fantasy
points per game behind only CMC and Alvin Kamara. He has a touchdown
in all four games, including a monster three-touchdown game against
the Lions Week 2.
The AJ Dillion threat proved to be a fluke, with the former Boston
College star rushing just eight times in four games. Jamaal Williams
continues to be involved and has value as a flex in PPR formats,
but Jones is the stud and should be played as an RB1 each week
regardless of format.
The Bucs present a difficult challenge for running backs, but
they are by no means impossible to run on or score fantasy points
against. Tampa Bay has given up the eighth-fewest points to opposing
running backs, and no opposing RB has topped 60 yards on the ground.
On a positive note, the Bucs have given up five total touchdowns
to RBs in five games, and only the Falcons, Panthers, and Chargers
have given up more receptions to opposing backs. Don’t expect
a ton of yardage on the ground, but Jones is a strong candidate
for a receiving touchdown and some big plays in the passing game.
Game Thoughts: Tom Brady continues to defy the odds and
father time. The ageless one ranks 10th in fantasy points per
game and is on pace for his best fantasy year since 2016. Brady
threw for 365 yards and five touchdowns two weeks ago against
the Chargers, but came back down to Earth last week with 253/1
against the Bears.
Mike Evans is tied with Adam Thielen for the league lead in receiving
touchdowns at six, despite the lowest yard per target and yard
per reception totals in Evans’ career. Without a couple
one-yard touchdown catches, Evans would be somewhat of a disappointment
based on his low yardage and volume.
Chris Godwin is working his way back from a hamstring injury
and could play this week, although he has yet to get in a practice
with the team and continues to work on the side.
The team lost O.J. Howard to a season-ending leg injury, which
could open the door for Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate to get
more work. Gronk has yet to score a touchdown in 2020 and appears
to be a shell of his former self.
From a fantasy perspective, the Packers have been tough against
opposing tight ends. They are one of three teams who have yet
to give up a touchdown to a tight end, and only T.J. Hockenson
has topped 60 yards. You can start Gronk or Brate as a last-stitch
option for the hope of scoring a touchdown, but expecting a large
yardage day might be a mistake.
With a 52-point opening line by the Vegas odds-makers, this game
appears to be a shootout between two teams who rank in the top-12
in scoring. The Packers have averaged an impressive 38 points
per game, while the Bucs rank 11th with 27.2.
You want a piece of this game where you can get it, and the best
two options on the Bucs are Brady and Evans. A sneaky play at
wide receiver is Scotty Miller. With Jaire Alexander likely matched
up against Evans on the outside, look for Brady to target Miller
in the slot against Chandon Sullivan.
GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26
Running Game Thoughts: Ronald Jones has quietly posted back-to-back
100-yard rushing performances against the Chargers and the Bears.
While his lack of receiving prowess continues to be the common
narrative for Jones, he has the second-most rushing yards over
the past three games, trailing only Dalvin Cook.
Jones will likely be the primary back again this week against
a Packers defense that has given up the third-most points to opposing
running backs. However, owners should know that Leonard Fournette
was present for Tuesday’s practice and did not appear to
have his ankle taped. A return to action for Fournette could eat
into the value of Jones.
If there is a way to beat the Packers defense, it is certainly
on the ground. Todd Gurley, Dalvin Cook, and Latavius Murray all
have had big games in losses against the Packers, including 197
total yards and two scores by Kamara.
While I would not expect a monster game from Jones, you can score
points against the Packers, and the Bucs are likely going to need
to score a ton of point to win this game against a Green Bay offense
that is averaging nearly 40 points a game.
Rams at 49ers
- (Caron) Line: LAR -3.0 Total: 52.0
Game Thoughts: A top-12 scorer at his position through
the first five weeks of the season, Jared Goff has continued to
be a borderline weekly QB1 this season despite the team having
lost both Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks this offseason. Wide receivers
Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp continue to reliably produce WR2
numbers each week, making them one of fantasy football’s
best and most trusted duos.
Unfortunately, that’s about where the consistency ends in
this passing game, as tight end Tyler Higbee has mostly been a
flop this season other than his gigantic three touchdown performance
back in Week 2. Higbee hasn’t caught more than three passes
and hasn’t even been targeted more than four times in any
other game this season, so he’s back to being a touchdown-dependent,
low-end TE1. The usage of fellow tight end Gerald Everett hasn’t
surpassed that of Higbee, but they’ve been close enough
that neither player has really been able to break out other than
the one game by Higbee. In other words, this tight end duo has
become pretty much exactly what it was in 2019 prior to Everett’s
injury - they’re two decently talented players, and we do
prefer Higbee due to the fact that he’s playing over 80
percent of snaps, but neither one is someone who you really want
to be relying on in fantasy football.
The 49ers pass defense started the season off strong with good
performances against the likes of Kyler Murray, Daniel Jones,
Sam Darnold and Carson Wentz, but their depleted secondary got
exposed a bit this past week in a surprise blowout loss to the
Dolphins. Ryan Fitzpatrick smashed the 49ers for 350 yards and
three touchdowns and that should give Rams fantasy owners some
confidence heading into this week’s game.
LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16
Running Game Thoughts: Most predicted that the Rams backfield
would still be a committee at this point in the season, so we
shouldn’t be overly surprised that Darrell Henderson, Malcolm
Brown and Cam Akers all saw significant work in Week 5 when the
trio was healthy together for the first time since Akers’
injury in Week 2.
Henderson appears to be the lead back - at least for now - but
even he was not on the field for even 50 percent of the teams’
snaps, so it’s definitely time to bring him down in our
weekly rankings. The prevailing opinion seems to be that Akers
will eventually take over this backfield, but for now he’s
just not someone we should be putting into fantasy lineups other
than in extremely desperate situations. Brown was given the majority
of touches early in the season but he’s now relegated to
essentially being a backup in this Rams offense, so he should
also be on fantasy benches as well.
The trio of Rams backs is in for a potentially difficult afternoon
as they’ll be up against an excellent 49ers run defense
that has given up the third-fewest fantasy points per game to
opposing running backs so far in 2020. They haven’t allowed
a single back to reach even 70 rushing yards in a game so far
and they’ve only given up a total of three touchdowns to
the position through five games. They haven’t played the
most difficult running back schedule but this is still a very
good run defense.
Game Thoughts: Perhaps Jimmy Garoppolo wasn’t physically
ready to be back in the lineup this past week. Perhaps the game
script and the fact that the 49ers defense was allowing the Dolphins
to move the ball up and down the field on them led to San Francisco
being forced to implement a gameplan that they weren’t prepared
for. Perhaps it was just a bad week. But no matter how you go
about explaining the 49ers quarterback’s Week 5 performance,
one thing is for sure -- there’s plenty of reason to be
concerned about this passing game right now.
Garoppolo was unceremoniously benched for C.J. Beathard after
a disastrous first half wherein he delivered negative fantasy
points to those who played him. That does happen a few times per
year, but it’s pretty rare for a player like Garoppolo who
is known for being safe with the football and playing in a good
Sure, Garoppolo will be back in the lineup here in Week 6 against
the Rams, but we now have to seriously worry about the fact that
he could again be sat down mid-game if he struggles again. That
is one of the worst possible outcomes for a fantasy football quarterback
and it’s a big part of why we need to be avoiding Garoppolo
right now in single-quarterback leagues.
Quarterback problems haven’t exactly affected tight end
George Kittle, however, who has been targeted an impressive 23
times in the two games since he returned from injury. Kittle is,
of course, perhaps the best tight end in all of fantasy football
and he’s seeing plenty of targets no matter who is behind
center, so there’s no reason to be concerned about him at
all. He’s one of the most reliable fantasy tight ends that
we’ve ever seen and he’s practically matchup-proof.
Young wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel are the players
who we need to be most worried about. Samuel returned to the lineup
in Week 4 and has seemingly returned to his role as the top wide
receiver in this offense, but that still makes him the No. 2 target
at best, behind Kittle. In a low volume passing offense to begin
with, that means that Samuel needs to be extraordinarily efficient
with the targets he does see. He was able to do that in his breakout
rookie season, but his five catches for 54 yards on 11 targets
through two starts this season is not very exciting. Better days
are in store, for sure, but there’s a lot going on in this
offense right now and it’s probably wise to keep him on
your bench for the time being.
Aiyuk has been almost equally as unproductive as Samuel recently
in terms of targets, receptions and yardage, but he did score
in back-to-back weeks in Weeks 3 and 4, so he’s at least
given fantasy owners some usable weeks. Nevertheless, he’s
at best the No. 2 option in this passing game, and more likely
the No. 3 option behind Samuel, so he, too, should be on the bench
in most leagues. Understand, though, that Samuel and Aiyuk are
both physically capable of producing WR1 numbers in a given week
if they’re ever given a proper top WR target share.
SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23
Running Game Thoughts: The bread-and-butter of the 49ers offense
continues to be its running game and they got their starter back
in Week 5. Most of us believed that it’d be more of a committee
approach as they’ve done in the past with banged-up running
backs, but Raheem Mostert immediately reestablished himself as
the back to own in San Francisco by taking 14 total touches for
119 total yards. Meanwhile, Jerick McKinnon, who had dominated
the backfield in Week 4, was relegated to change-of-pace duty
as he touched the ball just three times in Week 5. Of course,
it’s worth considering that the 49ers were shockingly behind
multiple scores to the Dolphins in that game and that type of
blowout loss is unlikely to be a recurring thing for a team as
talented as San Francisco, but it does give us a good idea of
what the 49ers will be looking to do with their running back position
for the time being.
In Week 6, Mostert and the 49ers will face a Rams defense that
has looked good against opposing running backs in recent weeks,
but they’ve also had the luxury of matching up with some
truly bad offenses. They did have two games against two of the
league’s more talented backs in Ezekiel Elliott and Miles
Sanders back in Weeks 1 and 2, and both of those backs rushed
for over 90 yards against the Rams while also contributing in
the passing game. Mostert isn’t likely to see quite as high
of a touch share as Sanders and Elliott did, but he’s still
the next-most-talented back the Rams have faced this season, so
look for him to produce some solid high-end RB2 fantasy numbers
this week, so long as the 49ers don’t fall behind multiple
scores again this week.
Chiefs at Bills
- (Katz) Line: KC -4.5 Total: 57.5
Game Thoughts: I feel like I’m the only person
glad this game was moved from Thursday night to Monday afternoon.
The move was made due to the Titans’ Covid outbreak forcing
their Week 5 game with the Bills to be played on a Tuesday, requiring
the Bills to need a fair amount of time to practice. Whenever
we don’t have a Thursday night game, I’m a happy guy.
Regardless of what day these teams play, Patrick Mahomes remains
the best quarterback in the NFL. He has to be licking his chops
to face an overrated Bills defense fresh off giving up over 40
points to the Titans’ run first offense. This game has serious
shootout potential and Mahomes can’t be happy after losing
at home to the Raiders. The Bills surrendered two touchdowns to
Jonnu Smith last week, bringing their touchdowns allowed to tight
ends total up to four. Every week is a good week for Travis Kelce,
but this could be an especially good week as the Bills struggled
to deal with Smith last week. About 30% of the Bills’ total
receiving yards allowed has gone to tight ends.
Tyreek Hill is always a threat to splash on any given play. He
has yet to have that truly massive game, but it’s coming.
If Tre’Davious White has to miss another game, there will
be no one even remotely capable of containing Hill. With Sammy
Watkins out, Mecole Hardman becomes a hope and a prayer option,
but he’s still splitting snaps with DeMarcus Robinson. Neither
is recommended in fantasy leagues.
BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.17
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3
Running Game Thoughts: The clock is ticking on Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s
fantasy value. Le’Veon Bell cannot actually join the team
until Wednesday at the earliest so for at least one more week,
CEH is playable. Like most of the early round running backs, CEH
has been a bust. He hasn’t been a season crippling bust,
but he’s not returning anywhere near the value expected.
CEH is being pulled off the field in the hurry up offense in favor
of Darrel Williams, which caps CEH’s PPR upside, but he’s
still commanding a 76.1% opportunity share, ninth in the league.
The Bills have already surrendered seven rushing touchdowns and
despite only having one touchdown on the season, Edwards-Helaire
has seven goal line carries. This could be the week he punches
in a short one. The Bills have yet to allow a receiving score
to a running back and only see 18% of targets against them go
to running backs, but the Chiefs have made CEH a big part of their
passing game with target counts of eight, three, six, and eight
in his last four games. There’s no need to worry about CEH’s
passing game usage.
Game Thoughts: I want to say the old Josh Allen showed
up on Tuesday night, but the new Josh Allen’s worst game
is apparently still better than the old Josh Allen. His first
interception wasn’t really his fault as it bounced off his
receiver’s hands, but his second one was the type of mistake
he used to make throughout his career that left viewers wondering
what exactly he was thinking.
Amidst all that, Allen still completed 63% of his passes and
threw two touchdowns. The Chiefs are fresh off allowing Derek
Carr to light them for 347 yards and three touchdowns. Prior to
last week, the Chiefs had only allowed four passing touchdowns
on the season.
Stefon Diggs has never had more than five 100-yard receiving
games in a single season. He has three already this season. Diggs
has been a target monster and a prolific producer, averaging over
10 targets a game. John Brown didn’t play last week and
what we learned is that if Brown is out, Gabriel Davis is a legitimate
fantasy option. He saw nine targets, catching five for 58 yards.
He also had a touchdown taken away. If Brown does play, he’s
passable starting option in a potential shootout.
KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.18
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15
Running Game Thoughts: Zack Moss missed another game last week,
but Devin Singletary did not really seize the opportunity. Surprisingly,
Singletary was out-produced by T.J. Yeldon, who, yes, is still
a player in the NFL. The Titans are one of the best teams in the
NFL at defending running backs in the passing game so it is no
surprise Singletary was limited to just one reception for eight
The Chiefs, on the other hand, are one of the worst. Opponents
target the running back position on 25% of their passes. Even
if Moss returns, Singletary’s passing game role is safe
and he is in line for a bounce back week. Just be sure to not
expect any rushing touchdowns as Singletary has just three goal
line carries on the season and that job will remain with Moss
if he returns. If Moss doesn’t play, you still shouldn’t
bother with Yeldon.
The Chiefs have been somewhat of a run funnel defense with teams
wanting to attack them on the ground both to try and keep Mahomes
off the field, but also because it’s been highly effective.
The Chiefs allow 157 rushing yards per game and have allowed five
rushing touchdowns. Singletary is in line for a bounce back game.
Cardinals at Cowboys
- (Katz) Line: ARI -1.5 Total: 54.5
Game Thoughts: Kyler Murray had his best game of the
season as a passer last week completing 73% of his passes for
380 yards. Murray leads all quarterbacks in accuracy rating, but
that’s largely due to his 21st ranked air yards per attempt.
Everything is underneath. The good news is from a fantasy perspective,
it really doesn’t matter as long as the touchdowns and the
rushing continue. Murray has multiple touchdowns in every game
this season and is averaging a touchdown’s worth of rushing
yards per game.
The Cowboys, as we’re all painfully aware, are a historically
bad defense. Even a team bereft of talent like the Giants put
up 34 points against them, putting their average points allowed
over their past four games at an even 40. The Cardinals are going
to score a ton. The Cowboys have allowed nine touchdowns to wide
receivers and 70% of the receiving yards they allow has gone to
wide receivers. We know DeAndre Hopkins is setup to smash. He
already has three games over 130 receiving yards. This could also
be a nice spot for Christian Kirk to get involved. Last week’s
seven targets, five receptions, and 78 yards were all season highs.
The Cowboys can certainly keep pace with the Cardinals more than
the Jets, which should present more opportunities for Kirk. He’s
a sneaky good play this week.
DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.8
Running Game Thoughts: “This is the week for Kenyan Drake,”
they said, each of the past three weeks. He had a solid fantasy
game last week because he fell into the end zone, but there’s
zero upside here. Drake has seen just six targets on the season
and despite playing over 65% of the snaps in every game, he’s
being out-produced by the vastly superior Chase Edmonds. There
is little question as to what running back is the better start
this week. It’s Edmonds. Targets are worth nearly three
times as much as carries and Edmonds has exactly triple the amount
of targets as Drake. He played a season high 45% of the snaps
last week and it feels like it’s only a matter of time before
he flips the timeshare in his favor.
The Cowboys allow the lowest percentage of receiving yards against
them to running backs, but that’s more due to how much they
get torched by wide receivers than their adeptness at defending
running backs out of the backfield. You probably can’t bench
Drake this week because volume alone should get him at least to
flex levels of production, but Edmonds is setup to really break
Game Thoughts: Fun fact: the last player to start a game
for the Dallas Cowboys other than Dak Prescott – current
offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore in Week 17 of 2015. Moore
lit it up that game with 435 yards and three touchdowns. We can
only hope he can somehow transfer that energy to Andy Dalton.
At age 33, Dalton is not the top 12 fantasy quarterback he was
for the better part of his Bengals career, but he’s still
one of, if not the most capable backup quarterback in the NFL.
With that being said, he is not Dak Prescott, so we cannot expect
him to maintain the fantasy values of Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb,
Michael Gallup, and Dalton Schultz. If he can even manage 70-80%
of what Prescott was doing, that would be a massive win.
Dalton looked competent after taking over last week, completing
nine of 11 passes for 111 yards. Gallup had two of the most important
catches all season for the Cowboys, but still saw just four targets.
Schultz caught just one pass on three targets. The most likely
scenario is that Cooper and Lamb are mostly the same while everyone
else takes a hit. I wouldn’t look too much into Cooper’s
dud last week. He should bounce back in a projected shootout against
a Cardinals defense that has allowed eight passing touchdowns
this season. That may seem low, but two of their games were against
the Jets and Washington. Dalton should be just fine and even though
Prescott is gone, the Cowboys defense is still going to force
them to throw a lot.
ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.24
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19
Running Game Thoughts: It’s been a bit of a slow start
to the season for Ezekiel Elliott, at least by his standards.
Elliott is still searching for his first 100-yard rushing game
and is averaging a career low 4.1 yards per carry. The good news
is he’s still been great for fantasy managers as he’s
averaging 6.4 targets a game and has scored in all but one game
this season. The Cardinals allow 124 rushing yards per game and
have only allowed three rushing touchdowns. They have, however,
allowed three receiving touchdowns to running backs and 20% of
their receiving yards allowed have gone to running backs. Even
though Dalton is capable of running a pass heavy offense, it seems
logical to think that Mike McCarthy will want to take as much
pressure off his backup quarterback as he can by handing the ball
off or calling high percentage pass plays to Elliott. Tony Pollard
is coming off a season high eight touches, but he’s nothing
more than the guy who plays when Zeke needs a breather.