Game Thoughts: The Bucs are throwing the ball more than
any other team in the league as evidenced by Tom Brady’s
league-leading 225 pass attempts through five games. He’s
2nd in TD passes (15) only one behind Patrick Mahomes and currently
sits as fantasy’s No.2 quarterback. He’s currently
bringing along three pass catchers, all wide receivers with Rob
Gronkowski out, that can be in your starting lineup. Mike Evans,
Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown have all had WR1 performances but
knowing which week they will occur is the tricky part. They’re
all safer plays when Gronk sits (as he will in Week 6) as Brady
isn’t looking for the TE position as much with O.J. Howard
and Cameron Brate on the field. Evans (45) and Godwin (41) are
a step above Brown (28) in targets through five games.
The Eagles are capable of getting pressure on the quarterback
and have yet to give up a 300-yard passing day as they tend to
play two deep safties in hopes of avoiding big plays in the passing
game. They gave up a ceiling game to Tyreek Hill in Week 4 (11-186-3)
but have otherwise held receivers in check as opponents opt for
a more run-heavy approach against this defense. That shouldn’t
and won’t dissuade you from keeping Brady and his pass-catchers
in your lineup. He and they have been too good.
PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.22
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.28
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9
Running Game Thoughts: Leonard Fournette has become the clear
lead-back on this team and is worthy of RB2 consideration in Week
6. He has 32 carries and 10 targets over the last two weeks while
Ronald Jones has seen 13 opportunities in the same time span.
Giovani Bernard is back from his knee injury and mixing in just
enough to be a nuisance but holds more value in games we think
the Bucs may be trailing in the second half. That isn’t
the case here. The Eagles are somewhat of a run-funnel defense
and have given up 95-plus rushing yards to Ezekiel Elliott, Clyde
Edwards-Helaire and Chuba Hubbard over the last three weeks. Give
Fournette a go in your RB2 or Flex spot.
Game Thoughts: Despite amassing only 7 passing TDs in
five games, Jalen Hurts is a top 10 fantasy quarterback thanks
to 341 rushing yards and 3 TDs on the ground. He’s also
No.3 in our consistency rankings for the position. DeVonta Smith
is leading the receiver group and the only real trustworthy player
at the position. Jalen Reagor and Quez Watkins have some boom/bust
appeal given the likely game flow if you’re willing to take
on the risk. Tight end Dallas Goedert has been placed on the Covid-19
list and is looking like a longshot to get cleared in time for
this Thursday night game. That would mean a large role Zach Ertz
and immediately make him a low-end TE1 given the lack of the depth
at the position.
DeVonta Smith is poised for another solid outing against a defense
that’s banged up in the secondary and has given up the 5th
most fantasy points to quarterbacks. The Bucs have allowed at
least 275 yards and 2 TDs through the air to every quarterback
they’ve faced including Matt Ryan, Mac Jones and Jacoby
TB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
TB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.26
TB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.2
TB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6
Running Game Thoughts: It’s been a rough start for Miles
Sanders who hasn’t seen more than 15 carries in a game and
has yet to find the endzone. He’s seen fewer targets than
Kenneth Gainwell (21-19) and his best fantasy finish (RB15) came
back in Week 1. Otherwise, he’s barely been serviceable
as a Flex option. Sanders is getting the bulk of the rushing opportunities
but continues to cede some pass-down work to the rookie. Unfortunately
for Sanders, the Eagles are throwing at a 62-38 clip, and this
game sets up for Gainwell to have a better day through the air
and will likely leave Sanders’ owners once again shaking
Game Thoughts: The Miami Dolphins travel to England this
weekend to take on the Jaguars in the second London game of the
season. At 1-4, the Dolphins have been one of the biggest disappointments,
considering how well they played last year and the young talent
they have on offense.
They are a team in desperate need of a win, as falling to 1-5
would almost certainly kill their shot at catching the Bills in
the AFC East. On a positive note, the team activated quarterback
Tua Tagovailoa from IR and he should return to the starting lineup.
Another positive was the play of running back Myles Gaskin last
week against the Bucs, who came back from the fantasy grave to
post a pair of receiving touchdowns and ten catches. Although
you could argue that was more of a correlation to a tough run
defense of the Bucs and a positive game script for receiving backs,
it still was a nice sign to see Gaskin more involved in the passing
The Jags rank 17th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks
but 6th in points allowed to running backs. Look for Miami to
try to use a more run-heavy approach to their matchup with the
Jags than they did with the Bucs, but Jacksonville has proven
to be susceptible to the pass as well.
After back-to-back games in which he posted 13.6 and 14.6 fantasy
points, tight end Mike Gesicki was M.I.A. last week against the
Bucs. Look for Tua to target the mobile tight end in this game,
as Jacksonville is tied for the most touchdowns given up to tight
ends on the season.
DeVante Parker is questionable with a shoulder injury after missing
last week with the same injury. Unless he gets a full practice
in on Friday, I would avoid playing him.
JAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
JAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.7
JAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.18
JAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.10
Running Game Thoughts: As mentioned in the passing section, Gaskin
stormed back to fantasy relevancy with ten catches for 75 yards
and a score last week against the Bucs, as the Dolphins opted
to pass more to running backs instead of trying to run against
the vaunted Tampa Bay front seven.
Unlike Tampa Bay, you can run on the Jags, and the Dolphins should
return to a more balanced approach. The question is, will head
coach Brian Flores make the smart move and play Gaskin in a lead-back
role, or will he continue to use both Malcolm Brown and Salvon
Ahmed. While we hope he makes the right choice, it would not surprise
us to see him use all three backs again.
The Jags are dealing with some injuries that would make an already
bottom-tier defense even more susceptible to the run. Starting
WLB Myles Jack suffered an oblique injury against the Titans last
week and is considered day-to-day, and starting defensive end
Roy Robertson-Harris is also questionable.
From a matchup perspective, only the Lions have given up more
fantasy points to opposing running backs. In addition to giving
up three rushing touchdowns and 130 yards to Derrick Henry last
week, James Conner posted two rushing touchdowns, and Javonte
Williams and Melvin Gordon combined for 95 rushing yards in Week
You can run on the Jags. The question is will one of the Dolphin
running backs get enough carries to make them fantasy-worthy starts.
Game Thoughts: Trevor Lawrence enters Week 6 as the No.22
ranked quarterback in fantasy points per game. It has not been
pretty, but the first overall pick has averaged more fantasy points
than Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield, and Ben Roethlisberger,
and he currently sits as the top rookie QB in points per game.
You are likely only going to start Lawrence as a second quarterback
in a super-flex league, as there are better options to consider
on most waiver wires. However, if Lawrence continues to put up
a rushing touchdown as he has done in each of the last two games,
he will enter the conversation as a top-12 QB.
Laviska Shenault was a breakout favorite last week with D.J.
Chark out for the season and a plus-matchup against the Titans.
The second-year WR did catch a long 58-yard pass, but that was
his only catch of the day. Jamal Agnew, the team’s special
team ace, led the team in targets and catches, with 6/41/0. Marvin
Jones was another massive bust, with just one reception for 25
yards on five targets.
Based on last week, you are likely looking for other options
that Jaguar pass catchers. While we don’t blame you for
looking elsewhere, it should be noted that the Dolphins have given
up the fourth-most points to opposing quarterbacks and the fourth-most
to opposing wide receivers. From a matchup perspective, this is
a plus-matchup and one in which the Jags passing options could
However, the Dolphins have been awful against the run as well,
and this could be a James Robinson game.
MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.6
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14
Running Game Thoughts: Speaking of Robinson, you should consider
him a must-start play this week and a low-end RB1 with huge upside.
In half-point per game scoring, the Dolphins have given up the
most fantasy posts to running backs, with eight total scores and
nearly 900 total yards allowed in five games. Three opposing backs
have topped 100 yards, including Peyton Barber of the Raiders.
If Barber can top the century mark, we have confidence that Robinson
can do the same.
Robinson rushed for 149 yards and a score last week against the
Titans, making it the third straight game with a score. We would
like to see him get more than 18 touches, and this game should
provide a game script in which that could happen.
Game Thoughts: Coming off a pair of workmanlike performances
in wins over Pittsburgh and Jacksonville, Joe Burrow (throat)
came under fire in Week 5, getting sacked three times and taking
other big hits -- he was taken to the hospital after the game
for precautionary reasons due to a throat contusion. Burrow also
tossed a couple of interceptions, including a terrible one in
overtime. He did throw for 281 yards and two TDs as well, but
this would still have to be classified as an uneven showing.
What continues to look great, though, is Burrow’s chemistry
with Ja’Marr Chase, who had six receptions for 159 yards,
including a 70-yard touchdown shortly before halftime that changed
the complexion of the game after the Packers had scored 16 in
a row. Tee Higgins (5-32-0) returned after missing two games with
a shoulder injury and was OK, though he did have a late drop on
a drive that ended in a missed field goal. With both Chase and
Higgins on the field, Tyler Boyd (4-24-0) fell back into a tertiary
Given the injuries they’ve had in the secondary and the
level of competition last Sunday, the Lions held up admirably
in holding Minnesota to 275 yards and one TD. The Lions are currently
17th against the pass (251.6 yards per game) and should be feeling
pretty good about the matchup after facing the duo of Justin Jefferson
and Adam Thielen. Still, Cincinnati has the weapons to move the
ball with Chase already a borderline WR1 and Higgins at least
a solid WR3 entering Week 6. Burrow is expected to play and could
be a low-end QB1 while Boyd is a flex play when the other WRs
DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.22
Running Game Thoughts: It was a bit of a surprise to see Joe
Mixon (10-33-1) in uniform last Sunday after he hurt his ankle
in Week 4. It was obvious that he was on a pitch count, but that
was mitigated by strong work from Samaje Perine (illness), who
had 15 total touches for 83 yards and a score. Unfortunately,
Perine tested positive for COVID on Monday, and he may be unavailable
this weekend. Assume a bigger workload from Mixon regardless of
Perine’s status and consider him an RB2 against a Detroit
defense that is currently allowing 130.2 yards per game against
the run (23rd).
Game Thoughts: Ever since throwing for 338 yards and
three TDs in the opener, Jared Goff has averaged 241 yards, 1
TD and 0.5 INTs per game. He’s also been plagued by fumbles,
an issue that’s unlikely to be aided by the loss of C Frank
Ragnow (toe), who underwent season-ending surgery on his toe.
There were those that believed much of Goff’s early success
was due to Rams head coach Sean McVay’s schemes and pre-snap
adjustments that he relayed, and nothing he’s done in Detroit
has altered that narrative.
Of course, it’s debatable how good anyone could be with
this supporting cast, which took a hit when Quintez Cephus (shoulder)
was lost with a broken collarbone. Without him, Amon-Ra St. Brown
(7-65-0) is the most interesting of the Lions’ wideout with
the rookie catching 13 passes on 16 targets over the last two
weeks. T.J. Hockenson (knee) has been quiet recently as well,
managing just eight grabs for 74 yards and no TDs in the last
three games combined after catching eight in each of his first
Cincinnati has been solid defensively in 2021. Granted, they
couldn’t handle Davante Adams (11-206-1) last week, but
there are a lot of secondaries around the NFL that suffer from
the same affliction. The Bengals have 13 sacks on the year and
have allowed only six TD passes. Despite his struggles, Hockenson
remains a TE1 as long as his balky knee doesn’t cost him
game action. After that, Goff and St. Brown could be worth owning,
though neither should be played here.
CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.21
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.12
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28
Running Game Thoughts: Detroit’s offense continues to flow
through the combination of D’Andre Swift (17 touches, 104
yards, 1 TD) and Jamaal Williams (15-65-0), and both figure to
see a lot of action again in Week 6. Cincy is 10th against the
run this year at 101.4 yards per game, and outside of a 57-yard
run by Aaron Jones they held Green Bay to a 3.6 YPC average. Both
Swift and Williams can be played this week with the former as
an RB2 with upside and the latter as a steady RB3.
Chiefs @ Football
Team - (Krueger) Line: KC -6.5 Total: 54.5
Game Thoughts: The Chiefs have hit the skids but Patrick
Mahomes continues to deliver QB1 performances week in and week
out thanks in large part to suspect defense keeping them in catchup-mode
for good. He leads the league with 16 TD passes and sits atop
our QB Consistency Rankings after five weeks. Tyreek Hill has
lacked some consistency but his ceiling weeks are like no other.
He’s also had exactly one rushing attempt in four out of
the five games. A quad injury has landed Hill on the injury report
and caused him to miss practice Wednesday and Thursday. Follow
his status closely this weekend. Mecole Hardman saw his highest
target count (9) of the season last week and has some boom/bust
Flex appeal especially in this matchup against Washington, which
has given up the most fantasy points to wide receivers through
Travis Kelce leads all tight ends in fantasy points (90.9 PPR)
and is an auto-start whenever he is on the field. He took a wicked
shot to the head last week but is expected to play. With Washington
offering little resistance through the air and Clyde Edwards-Helaire
out with a knee injury, the Chiefs game-plan should be clear.
WAS FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.1
WAS FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.25
WAS FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
WAS FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17
Running Game Thoughts: CEH will miss at least the next three
games after landing on IR which hands the lead running back duties
over to Darrel Williams with a little bit of Jerick McKinnon mixed
in. We could see a sprinkle of Derrick Gore but he’s not
fantasy relevant at the moment. Rumors of a trade for Marlon Mack
(IND) have been discussed but a deal is unlikely to be reached
ahead of this game.
The Chiefs are a mediocre running team and have not gotten their
money’s worth from all of their offensive line additions
this off-season. Washington is middle-of-the-pack against the
run which makes this somewhat of a stalemate in this facet of
the game. Williams is viable in the passing attack and should
see enough work on early downs to be a Flex consideration with
some nice RB2 upside if he’s able to break a long run or
find his way into the endzone.
Game Thoughts: We have the two worst pass defenses squaring
off in this contest which is why you see a 55.5 point total for
this game. The Chiefs have allowed four straight 30-point fantasy
performances to Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, Jalen Hurts and
Josh Allen. Taylor Heinicke certainly isn’t in the same
class as those four QBs, but if you’ve watched the Chiefs
defense play this season, there are legitimate reasons to be excited
about Heinicke’s fantasy prospects in Week 6.
KC should focus on taking away Terry McLaurin but obvious focal
points like Marquise Brown (6-113-1) and DeVonta Smith (7-122-0)
had no problem beating this secondary. Curtis Samuel continues
to be plagued by his groin injury leaving Dyami Brown (knee) and
veteran Adam Humphries as the other wide receiver options worth
considering. Even in this plus matchup, both would be dart throws.
Tight end Logan Thomas (hamstring) will miss his second game leaving
tight end Ricky Seals-Jones to do work against Safety Daniel Sorensen.
RSJ is a viable fantasy option as a result.
KC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
KC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
KC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.16
KC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.4
Running Game Thoughts: Antonio Gibson currently sits as the RB14
in PPR leagues based on FPts/G but really hasn’t been a
significant factor in the receiving game. He has 10 receptions
on the year while teammate J.D. McKissic continues to play in
obvious passing situations including most third downs. Gibson
has been dealing with a shin issue the last two weeks but is expected
to play in what should be a good game environment for both backs.
McKissic is a sneaky play in PPR leagues.
The Chiefs are terrible against the pass but have also given
up the 8th most fantasy points to running backs. Already weak
at the linebacker position, Chris Jones sat out last week with
a wrist injury and DE Frank Clark has had an unforgettable start
to the season leaving this defense lacking in playmakers in their
front-seven. Jones missed practice on Wednesday and remains questionable.
Game Thoughts: Kirk Cousins continues to be a solid under-the-radar
quarterback, with ten passing touchdowns and just two interceptions
in five games. He currently ranks 13th in points per game, ahead
of Ryan Tannehill, Joe Burrow, and even Aaron Rodgers.
Unfortunately, he has just two passing touchdowns in his last
two games against Cleveland and Detroit, and he has a difficult
road matchup against a surprisingly good Panthers defense that
ranks 20th in points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. If you
take out the Dak Prescott four-touchdown game in Week 4, the Panthers
have allowed just three passing touchdowns to Zach Wilson, Jameis
Winston, and Jalen Hurts.
You are starting both Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, without
a doubt. Tyler Conklin at tight end looked to be a growing part
of the passing offense in Week 3 with 7/70/1 against the Seahawks,
but he killed fantasy managers with just six catches for 43 yards
combined in his last two games.
Outside of a pair of scores for Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin
in Week 4, the Panthers have all but shut down opposing tight
ends, including both Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz last week.
The two major injuries of note in this game are star running
backs Dalvin Cook and Christian McCaffrey. Cook missed the last
two games with an ankle injury and is questionable again this
week. He did practice in full on Thursday. His return would be
a boost for everyone in the passing game, as his elite skillset
opens up the placation pass for Jefferson and Thielen.
McCaffrey’s return is not as clear, although he is going
to get a limited practice in on Wednesday as he looks to recover
from a hamstring strain. His return to the field would help create
a positive game script for the Vikings passing offense in what
could be a high-scoring game.
CAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
CAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.32
CAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
CAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.19
Running Game Thoughts: If you took Dalvin Cook and Christian
McCaffrey in drafts this summer, you are likely kicking yourself,
as Henry continues to defy the odds and put in a historic workload.
Cook posted over 100 combined yards in each of his first two
games before suffering an ankle injury at the end of Week 2. He
missed games three and five but looks to be on track to return
this week against the Panthers.
The question is, which Panthers' defense will he face on Sunday?
The one that completely shut down Alvin Kamara, or the one that
gave up over 200 total yards rushing to the Cowboys?
The Panthers could be getting back their stud inside linebacker
Shaq Thompson, who missed last week with a foot injury. He is
listed as questionable and looking more like he will be out.
If Cook is out, be sure to fire up Alexander Mattison in all
formats. Mattison has yet to score a rushing touchdown, but he
does over 100 yards rushing in each of the games Cook missed.
Game Thoughts: The Sam Darnold love train came to a screeching
halt last week in a 21-18 loss at home to the Eagles. Darnold
threw three interceptions, completed just 56% of his throws, and
added nothing on the ground for fantasy managers. If you chased
the 35.5 points he scores against the Cowboys the week prior,
chances are you had a bitter beer face all day on Sunday and lost
Should you double down on Darnold or move on to another streaming
option? There are a few things to consider. First, the Vikings
have actually been pretty good against opposing QBs, even though
Kyler Murray torched them for 37 points in Week 2.
Since then, the Vikings have given up just one passing touchdown
combined to Russell Wilson, Baker Mayfield, and Jared Goff. Minnesota
appears to be getting things together, which is not great news
for Darnold and those old ghosts in his head.
As you would expect, the correlation of stifling opposing quarterbacks
negatively affected wide receivers during that span, with only
DK Metcalf of the Seahawks topping 100 yards or making a score.
He did both.
Does this mean you should bench D.J. Moore? Of course not, but
he could be in line for a similar stat line that Amon-Ra St. Brown
put up last week, with 7/65/0. I imagine Moore will fare better,
but based on how bad Darnold played against the Eagles, who knows
what will happen.
The wild card in the whole equation is Christian McCaffrey. If
he is back and ready to go, his presence in both the passing and
running game will open things up for Darnold and limit the effectiveness
of blitzes by Mike Zimmer and the Vikings defense. Go ahead and
blitz Darnold a bunch and see what happens when CMC tears you
up on a screen or two.
MIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
MIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.11
MIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.21
MIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23
Running Game Thoughts: McCaffrey sounded close last week but
did not suit up. He sounds close again this week, but missed practice
on Thursday. You would think that he would be close based on the
fact that they did not put him on IR for a reason. But go ahead
and ask Joe Mixon managers from last season how well that reasoning
If he is active, you are starting him. Just be sure to have your
lucky rabbit’s foot and rub the belly of a Buddha to create
some luck that he won’t re-aggravate his hamstring.
You can run on the Vikings, a defense that has given up the 10th-most
points to opposing running backs this year. Nick Chubb and Kareem
Hunt torched them for 170 combined yards, and even the Lions combined
to top the century mark.
Texans @ Colts
- (Swanson) Line: IND -10.0 Total: 43.5
Game Thoughts: Tyrod Taylor is still a few weeks from
returning to the field, so it will once again be the Davis Mills
show for the Texans as they head north to take on their division
foe, the Indianapolis Colts.
Mills has done exactly what you would expect of a rookie quarterback.
While there have been flashes of competence, he has made more
than a few boneheaded throws and has as many interceptions as
touchdowns in five games. On a positive note, he is averaging
more fantasy points per game than fellow rookies Trey Lance and
Justin Fields, and his five touchdown passes through five games
are the same as first-round pick Mac Jones.
You are not starting Mills in anything more than the deepest
of two-quarterback leagues. In fact, the only player in the passing
game who should be on most rosters is Brandin Cooks. Cooks ranks
24th in fantasy points per game and commands a 33.6% target share.
Chris Moore and Chris Conley each flashed last week with a touchdown
against the Patriots. While we hope that is a sign of more to
come for the Houston passing game, we anticipate that was more
of a correlation to Cooks being shut down by Bill Belichick. Starting
either of those two players looks like futile point chasing.
Lamar Jackson demolished the Colts passing offense last week,
vaunting the Colts up to third overall for most points allowed
to QBs this season. The Colts are a shell of what they were last
season, with three opposing quarterbacks torching Indy for at
least three passing touchdowns in five games.
IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.27
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.5
Running Game Thoughts: As a unit, the Texans have combined to
score the fourth-fewest points per game this season. Not one of
the veterans that make up this geriatric unit has topped 100 yards
in a game, and they have not scored a touchdown on the ground
or in the air since Week 2.
Add in the fact that the Colts are stout against the run and
have allowed just two touchdowns all season, and you have the
recipe for a situation to avoid.
There are more than a few injuries on the Colts that should be
considered when evaluating this matchup. Starting corner Xavier
Rhodes and starting safety Andrew Sendejo are in the concussion
protocol and could miss the game. Their absence makes us like
Cooks even more.
Defensive ends Kwity Paye and Kemoko Turay missed practice on
Wednesday are questionable for the game on Sunday.
Game Thoughts: He has not done much as a stand-alone
fantasy football starter, but as a real-life quarterback, Carson
Wentz has not been bad this season. He has seven passing touchdowns
to just one interception, and his 65% completion percentage is
the second-best of his career. But he is not running like in previous
seasons, and that absence of rushing production caps his ceiling
The Michael Pittman Jr. breakout appears to be upon us, with
the former second-round pick from USC leading the team in receiving
yards and targets, with a 25% target share and 27.3% red zone
target share. Although he has just one touchdown and one 100-yard
game this season, he has two games of 12 targets and looks to
be taking a second-year leap.
Third-year WR Parris Campbell posted 4/56 on six targets last
week, while veteran Zach Pascal continues to play in over 80%
of the team’s snaps and is always a threat to score.
From a matchup perspective, the Texans rank ninth in fantasy
points allowed to QB’s. They are a terrible defense that
lacks talent at all levels of the defense. Not only should Jonathan
Taylor eat in this game, but the passing weapons for the Colts
have a plus matchup as well.
The Colts are a frustrating unit when it comes to passing yards,
and snaps divvied out to tight ends, as Mo Alie-Cox, Kyler Granson,
and Jack Doyle all see plays in games. No other team has given
up more fantasy points to tight ends, but you cannot trust a team
like Indy that uses multiple tight ends.
However, if you are looking for a cheap DFS play, big Mo Alie-Cox
could be a nice home run option.
HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.9
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1
Running Game Thoughts: Jonathan Taylor went absolutely ham last
week against the Ravens, with 160 total yards and a pair of scores.
After a slow start to the season, Taylor now has three touchdowns
and 250 total yards in his last two games.
The Texans have been surprisingly average against the run this
season, considering they have one of the worst rosters in the
league. No opposing running back has reached 100 yards in a game,
and no opposing back has topped 20 fantasy points.
That will change this week, as Taylor and the Colts will have
a field day running against this defense and with a game script
conducive to running out the clock.
There are no significant injuries on the defensive side of the
ball for the Texans that should affect this game. Backup Linebacker
Kamu Grugier-Hill is dealing with a hip injury, but he is likely
to suit up.
Rams @ Giants
- (Krueger) Line: LAR -9.5 Total: 48.5
Game Thoughts: Matthew Stafford isn’t going to
give you an extra fantasy boost with his legs (14 rush yds) but
he is 3rd in the league in passing yardage and does have enough
dynamic playmakers to help sustain is mid-range QB1 status. Cooper
Kupp has been an early season surprise leading all fantasy receivers
in PPR points per game (23.8). He’s received double-digit
targets in all five games and had fantasy finishes of WR11, WR1,
WR3, WR41, and WR22. Robert Woods broke out of his slump in Week
5 (12-150-0) and while the volume hasn’t been there to start
the season he has salvaged two weeks with touchdowns.
The Giants have given up the 8th most fantasy points to quarterbacks
and the 7th most to tight ends, which could signal a nice game
for Tyler Higbee who is on the low-end TE1 / high-end TE2 line.
However, a likely game script would involve a heavy dose of the
Rams running game which would limit the ceiling of the Rams’
passing attack. As a result, Stafford is probably more of a high-end
QB2 than QB1 this week.
NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.8
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.12
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.14
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7
Running Game Thoughts: A rib injury caused Darrell Henderson
to miss Week 3 but he quickly assumed his normal workload in Week
4 and continues be the lead back with touch totals of 17, 16,
19, 18 in his four games. Sony Michel is getting around 10 touches
a game and isn’t involved much in the passing attack which
makes him a risky fantasy play. However, both could see increased
value this week as the Giants have given up three 100-yard performances
(Melvin Gordon, Alvin Kamara, Ezekiel Elliott) and are missing
some key pieces on offense that could hamper their ability to
keep this game close. We could see quite a few rushing attempts
by the Rams in the fourth quarter as they put this game on ice
giving a nice fantasy boost to both Henderson and Michel.
Game Thoughts: Daniel Jones took a hard shot to the head
last week and is currently in the concussion protocol. He is practicing
this week and it appears is going to get cleared prior to Sunday.
If he does play, he will be missing Kenny Golladay (hyperextended
knee) but will welcome the return of Sterling Shepard and Darius
Slayton after both missed the last two weeks with hamstring injuries.
Rookie Kadarius Toney had a breakout game last week after Golladay
was injured and will likely get over-hyped this week. The Rams
have not played their typical stout defense, especially against
the pass, ranking middle-of-the-pack in most categories. They’ve
given up 100-yard receiving games to Michael Pittman Jr. and Mike
Evans. Toney and Shepard are viable fantasy options to consider
but keep your expectations tempered. Tight end Evan Engram has
yet to get his 2021 season on track. He’s simply not seeing
enough volume. He’s coming off his best game of the year
LAR FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
LAR FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.16
LAR FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.11
LAR FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.15
Running Game Thoughts: Just as we were getting comfortable with
Saquon Barkley regaining his RB1 status, another injury. This
time Barkley sprained his ankle and will likely miss at least
the next two games. In his place, Devontae Booker should see the
majority of snaps at running back against the Rams who rank 16th
in fantasy points allowed to the position and have given up 4
touchdowns to running backs. Elijhaa Penny was the only other
Giants RB to see a touch in Week 5 so with the team thin at the
position, Booker is a volume-based RB2 that could sneak into RB1
territory with a trip to the endzone.
Chargers @ Ravens
- (Green) Line: BAL -2.5 Total: 51.5
Game Thoughts: To take nothing away from Joe Burrow,
who looks like a legit up-and-comer, if you redid the 2020 draft,
Justin Herbert would be the consensus No. 1 pick. Going against
a defense that had given up 13 points over their previous two
games combined, Herbert went 26-for-43, for 398 yards, 4 TDs and
0 INTs; he even ran for 29 yards and a score on four attempts.
Beyond the numbers, it’s Herbert’s willingness to
work downfield and not be content with checkdowns that makes him
It doesn’t hurt that Herbert gets to throw to the tandem
of Keenan Allen (6-75-0) and Mike Williams (8-165-2), who is finally
looking like the player the Chargers envisioned when they picked
him seventh overall in 2017. While Williams is putting up an incredible
105-1602-20 pace, Allen continues to plug along as one of the
NFL’s top route runners and most reliable targets. Austin
Ekeler is also a dangerous weapon in the flat with three receiving
touchdowns already. Rounding out LA’s options is veteran
Jared Cook (1-29-0), who must be accounted for.
Only three teams have allowed more passing yards this season
than the Ravens, which have given up 296.4 per game and were just
torched by a middling Colts offense for a career-high 402 yards
from Carson Wentz. Keep in mind this also happened on Monday night,
so Baltimore will be playing on short rest. Herbert, Allen and
Williams are must-starts regardless of matchup. Cook could also
be played as a lottery ticket at TE.
BAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.17
BAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.5
BAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
BAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2
Running Game Thoughts: While the passing game is LA’s bread
and butter, Ekeler (17-66-2) is a dynamic dual-threat presence
out of the backfield. For the season, he is averaging 109 total
yards and 1.4 TDs per game. The Ravens sit seventh in rushing
yards per game at 93.2, but their 4.3 yards per carry allowed
is tied for 15th. After watching Jonathan Taylor shine in a hybrid
rushing/receiving role Monday night to the tune of 169 yards and
two touchdowns, Ekeler should be a confident choice as an RB1.
Game Thoughts: These past two weeks have been tough ones
for the “Lamar Jackson can’t throw the ball”
crowd. After passing for 316 yards in Week 4, Jackson set a career
high with 442 yards and four touchdowns in a comeback win over
the Colts on Monday Night Football. While the yardage was nice,
the scores were more important after the Louisville product accounted
for just six total TDs (four passing, two rushing) over his first
four games combined. Of course, more passing means less running,
with Jackson averaging 45 yards rushing without a score in those
Despite making several moves to inject life into the passing
game, it’s holdovers Mark Andrews (11-147-2) and Marquise
Brown (9-125-2) that are delivering. One thing that has stood
out this year about Baltimore’s passing attack this season
is how much of it is vertical with Jackson ranking fourth in the
NFL in yards per attempt (9.1); that’s way up from his first
three seasons (7.5). In other receiver news, Sammy Watkins (hamstring)
looks like he might miss Week 6 with his first (but probably not
last) injury of 2021 while Rashod Bateman (groin) has a chance
to make his NFL debut.
LA currently sits seventh in pass defense on the season, allowing
214.2 yards per game, a number that’s no doubt been buoyed
by good health from Derwin James, who played in just five games
combined the past two years. While the Chargers have a middling
10 sacks on the year, Joey Bosa must always be accounted for.
Jackson and Andrews are both must-starts with Brown checking in
as borderline WR2/WR3. Keep an eye on Bateman as he was a first-round
pick and widely considered ready to contribute at the NFL level
as a rookie.
LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.29
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.6
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.3
Running Game Thoughts: While it’s wildly premature to label
the Ravens as a passing team, it no longer sounds completely detached
from reality. The team’s string of 43 consecutive games
of 100-plus rushing yards was snapped Monday night, and their
backs managed just 24 yards on 11 combined carries. Latavius Murray
(6-17-0) continues to see the most touches with Ty’Son Williams
(4-6-0) returning to the active roster after his surprise Week
4 scratch. LA ranks dead last against the run this year, allowing
157.6 yards per game and 5.6 YPC, so if the Ravens can’t
get things rolling it might be time to get concerned. Pencil Murray
in as an RB3 and leave the rest.
Game Thoughts: Early on last Sunday there was more than
a whiff of a Saints repeat as Green Bay failed to score in the
opening quarter and Aaron Rodgers threw his first pick since Week
1. He got things going after that, however, passing for 344 yards
and 2 TDs to go along with that INT. That broke a 10-game stretch
where the veteran threw for fewer than 300 yards. Two of those
10 games came against the Bears last season, though despite passing
for a modest 451 yards in those meetings, Rodgers threw eight
touchdown passes and no interceptions.
Surprisingly, Davante Adams (11-206-1) was not a huge factor
in those games, catching 12 passes for 107 yards, though he did
score in each of them. The offense felt more diverse last season,
however, with Adams already being targeted 61 times this year
-- he is on pace for 207 in 2021, as compared to 149 last season.
Robert Tonyan (1-8-0) also scored twice against the Bears, and
if OL Elgton Jenkins (ankle) returns from a three-game absence
it might free up the tight end to get more involved in routes.
Randall Cobb (2-30-0) also has a long history of making big plays
Of course, past performance is not necessarily indicative of
future returns, and much like the Packers offense, the Bears defense
has righted the ship after a poor Week 1. They come in 12th against
the pass (228.6 yards per game) and lead the NFL in sacks with
18. Green Bay has held up extremely well with a patchwork line
against the likes of T.J. Watt and Nick Bosa, but getting Jenkins
back would still be helpful when dealing with Khalil Mack (foot)
and Akiem Hicks (groin), assuming both play. Rodgers is a low-end
QB1 with Adams a must-start. After that, Tonyan and Cobb could
be speculative risk/reward plays.
CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26
Running Game Thoughts: Aaron Jones (14-103-0) and AJ Dillon (79
yards and a TD on 12 combined touches) seem to be finding their
stride as a backfield tandem, like what we’ve seen in years
past with Jones and Jamaal Williams. Jones compiled 177 total
yards and one score against Chicago last season. The Bears are
currently 12th in run defense (103.8 yards per game) and are one
of eight teams allowing less than 4.0 YPC. Jones is a solid RB1
with Dillon carrying some flex appeal based on his recently increased
Game Thoughts: In his three starts, Justin Fields (knee)
has averaged 9.7 completions, 129 yards, 0.33 TDs and 0.33 INTs.
As a runner, the Ohio State product has gained 25 yards on nine
attempts during that time. It’s clear that Chicago is bringing
the rookie along slowly and limiting what they ask of him. While
that’s a smart move for developing a young quarterback,
it doesn’t do much for fantasy owners. Fields has also taken
a lot of punishment, especially in his first start, and suffered
a hyperextended knee in Week 5.
With Fields passing sparingly, Allen Robinson (4-32-0) has seen
his fantasy stock take a nosedive. After posting a 102-1250-6
line last season, Robinson is currently on pace for a 58-615-3
showing. It’s hard to pull the plug on someone that was
undoubtedly an early-round pick in most fantasy drafts, but at
this point if you’re sticking with him in your lineup, it’s
based purely on past results. Darnell Mooney (3-35-0) is the team’s
leading receiver on the year, albeit with modest production. Both
players are on the injury report this week so if you’re
considering either one keep an eye on that.
Green Bay is currently 10th against the pass, allowing 220.4
yards per game. Their 12 TDs allowed is tied for fourth-most in
the NFL, but five of those came in the opener. Star CB Jaire Alexander
(shoulder) is currently on IR and won’t play in Week 6,
and fellow starter Kevin King (shoulder) might not play, either.
Despite that, only Robinson offers any fantasy appeal here as
a low-end WR3 or flex option.
GB FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.14
GB FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
GB FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
GB FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.13
Running Game Thoughts: With David Montgomery (knee) on IR, Damien
Williams (16-64-1) and Khalil Herbert (18-75-0) stepped up with
a strong showing against Las Vegas last Sunday. Williams was placed
on the reserve/COVID list Thursday after a positive test and may
be unavailable for Sunday. If so, Herbert should get the bulk
of the work. The Packers have yielded just 102.2 yards per game
(12th) on the ground, but there’s no doubt the Bears will
try to run the ball. If Williams goes, he’s a RB2/RB3 with
Herbert as a flex. If Williams sits, Herbert becomes an RB2.
Game Thoughts: Through the first three games, Kyler Murray
(shoulder) passed for 1,005 yards, 7 TDs and 4 INTs; he also ran
for 70 yards and three TDs. Since that hot start, however, Murray
has averaged 254 yards passing, 20 yards rushing and 1.5 TDs per
game (all via the air). He also dinged up his shoulder during
last week’s hard-fought win over San Francisco. While it
wasn’t severe enough to leave the game, bear in mind it
was a similar issue that caused last year’s promising season
to go off the rails, so it is something to monitor closely.
With more depth outside, DeAndre Hopkins (6-87-1) isn’t
being force-fed the ball in 2021 anywhere close to last season
with his per-game targets dropping from 10 to 6.8. He’s
still a must-start WR1, but he’s no longer in the conversation
for top fantasy WR. Of the other options, Rondale Moore (8 touches,
97 yards) has seen the most consistent usage and brings flex value
with some upside each week. Veteran A.J. Green (1-13-0) and Christian
Kirk (5-39-0) round out the receivers, and though both carry value
it’s hard to know when to plug them into your lineup.
One loss of note was that of Maxx Williams (knee), who suffered
a significant knee injury last Sunday and will likely miss the
rest of 2021. Williams was coming on strong after injuries had
ruined the early seasons of his career, and it’ll be interesting
to see where those looks go. Cleveland ranks 11th in pass defense
(223.2 yards per game), but they looked lost against Justin Herbert
and the Chargers last week, allowing 398 yards and 4 TDs to the
Bolts. Keep Murray as your QB1 and hope the injury doesn’t
negatively affect him too much.
CLE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
CLE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.28
CLE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.19
CLE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21
Running Game Thoughts: All you need to know about Arizona’s
running game in Week 3 is that Moore led the way with 38 yards.
The actual running backs, Chase Edmonds (6-15-0) and James Conner
(10-29-1), never got anything going against the 49ers, and the
Browns could pose a similar challenge. Only Tampa Bay has allowed
fewer rushing yards per game than Cleveland (75.6) though they
have surrendered five TDs. While neither back is airtight, Edmonds
can be plugged in as an RB2 with Conner and his goal-line usage
as an RB3 or flex.
Game Thoughts: Baker Mayfield entered last weekend with
the fewest passing TDs among any full-time starting QB with just
two. He matched that number in Week 5, throwing for 305 yards
and two TDs in a shootout loss to the Chargers. It was another
hint of what Mayfield is capable of on any given Sunday, but it
also served as a reminder that Cleveland’s offense runs
through its two backs, and all things being equal the Browns want
to lean on that duo.
Making things doubly frustrating for fantasy owners is that there
is no reliable target among Cleveland’s pass catchers. Odell
Beckham Jr. (2-20-0) is clearly the biggest name, but he has back-to-back
weeks with two receptions and hasn’t topped 100 yards in
a game since Oct. 13, 2019! Austin Hooper was a reliable producer
in Atlanta, but he wasn’t even targeted last Sunday while
David Njoku went off for 149 yards and a score on seven catches
-- he entered Week 5 with a 7-111-0 line for the season.
Arizona ranks eighth in passing yardage allowed (214.4 yards
per game) with seven TDs and five interceptions. Their pass rush
has slowed after a fast start, and the team could be without Chandler
Jones (illness) this Sunday due to a positive COVID test; Jones
is reportedly fully vaccinated, so he still has a chance to be
cleared for the game. About the only playable option here is Beckham
as a shaky WR3 based almost entirely on his reputation and upside.
ARI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
ARI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.23
ARI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
ARI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.31
Running Game Thoughts: Whatever the passing game lacks, the combo
of Nick Chubb (21-161-1) and Kareem Hunt (12-61-2) provide in
terms of explosiveness. In addition to his role as the No. 2 back,
Hunt is also arguably the team’s most reliable receiver,
catching five more balls last week for 28 yards. This is going
to be a stern test for the Cardinals run defense, which has allowed
139 yards per game (28th) and 5.4 yards per carry (31st) on the
year. Make sure Chubb and Hunt are in your lineup this week.
Raiders at Broncos
- (Caron) Line: DEN -3.5 Total: 43.5
Game Thoughts: A tumultuous situation off the field has
led to a new head coach in Las Vegas as the team turns to longtime
special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia after Jon Gruden resigned
from the position on Monday. There was already some toxicity brewing
in Las Vegas and now the team has the unenviable task of heading
on the road to face one of the league’s best defenses, the
The Raiders disappointed this past week against another good defense
in the Bears as Derek Carr turned in his worst fantasy performance
of the season, throwing for just 206 yards and no touchdowns with
an interception. Carr has now been held to fewer than 210 passing
yards in back-to-back weeks and the near-400-yard performances
we saw through the first three weeks of the season seem like a
distant memory. Denver has one of the best secondaries in the
league and given the situation in Las Vegas right now, this seems
like a wise week to bench the majority of your Raiders offensive
The only real exception to this rule continues to be tight end
Darren Waller. While Waller hasn’t really been excellent
since his huge Week 1 performance, he continues to see a huge
chunk of the team’s targets. We should expect that Waller
sees another big day of opportunities given Denver’s excellent
cornerbacks. It’s true that the Broncos have done a great
job of containing opposing tight ends as they’ve given up
the second-fewest fantasy points to the position this year including
no touchdowns, but they’ve also faced some weak competition
at the position. The only “name brand” tight end they’ve
faced was Baltimore’s Mark Andrews, who was targeted eight
times, catching five of those passes for 67 yards. Waller is better
than Andrews and should be in line for another solid fantasy day.
If you’re going to look beyond Waller, Raiders slot receiver
Hunter Renfrow has continued to be by far the team’s most
consistent receiver. While he’s not producing huge numbers,
he’s had double digit PPR fantasy points in every game thus
far and he’s caught at least five passes in every contest
while being targeted at least six times. He’s not an exciting
option, but the opportunities continue to be there in PPR.
Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards have each had their moments,
but they’ve turned in more single-digit PPR days than they
have double-digit ones, while their target shares remain relatively
low given the amount of playing time they’re seeing.
DEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.31
DEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
DEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
DEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.29
Running Game Thoughts: With Peyton Barber out due to a toe injury,
Josh Jacobs got back to his bell-cow status in Week 5, carrying
the ball 15 times while adding four receptions in the passing
game. While he only produced 67 total yards with those touches,
Jacobs was able to get into the end zone and, perhaps most importantly,
significantly out-snapped backup Kenyan Drake by a ratio of almost
four-to-one. We may see Barber return this week which could give
Jacobs a bit more competition for carries, but this is still his
Unfortunately for Jacobs, he’s now set to go on the road
against one of the league’s best fantasy defenses against
opposing running backs. The Broncos had held every running back
they’ve faced this season to fewer than 60 rushing yards
heading into Week 5 before they matched up against Steelers rookie
Najee Harris. Game script meant that the Steelers were able to
lean heavily on Harris, which they did, giving him 23 carries
on the day which he converted for 122 yards and a touchdown. There’s
some hope that the Broncos are weakening up in their front seven
now that we’re a quarter of the way through the season,
but don’t expect too much in this one from Jacobs. This
is a tough matchup and the Raiders could just completely lay an
Game Thoughts: The Broncos were expected to be one of
the league’s worst passing offenses, especially after Jerry
Jeudy went down, but it’s pretty undeniable that Teddy Bridgewater
has been better than advertised. While the team fell short this
past week against Pittsburgh, Bridgewater delivered through the
air, passing for 288 yards and a pair of touchdowns, with one
interception, against one of the league’s best defenses.
Bridgewater remains at best a low-end QB2, but he has now shown
us that he’s at least capable of getting the ball to wide
receiver Courtland Sutton. Sutton saw his second 10-target game
of the season this past week (7-120-1) and for the second time,
he delivered in a huge way for fantasy owners. While he’s
dudded out in the other three games this season, Sutton has delivered
the big spike weeks that we like to see from a WR2 in fantasy.
He does have a tough on-paper matchup this week, however, against
the Raiders who’ve done an excellent job of containing opposing
wide receivers. While they’ve faced some fairly low volume
passing games in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Miami and Chicago, it’s
worth noting that they did shut down Las Angeles Chargers receivers
Keenan Allen and Mike Williams in Week 4, holding the duo to just
47 combined receiving yards with no touchdowns. Sutton’s
a low-end WR2 this week with upside given his potential target
share, but we should expect this game to be low scoring and therefore
that will probably keep him out of WR1 territory.
The only other fantasy-relevant wide receiver in this offense
right now is Tim Patrick. Patrick has quietly delivered four 12-plus-point
PPR fantasy days so far this season, including a season-high seven
catch performance against the Steelers this past week. He’s
still a low upside option given the Denver passing game as a whole,
but he’s viable as a PPR flex/WR3 if you’re in need
of someone who can deliver a decent floor.
Tight end Noah Fant has quietly held onto low-end TE1 status this
season, even after dropping a dud his past weekend against Pittsburgh.
Fant hasn’t yet caught more than six passes in a game this
season and he’s been held to fewer than 50 receiving yards
in all but one game. Still, he’s an interesting TE1 this
week in what appears to be a favorable matchup on paper. The Raiders
gave up a huge 10-catch game to Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki
back in Week 3 and then have given up three touchdowns to opposing
tight ends over their two games since.
LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12
Running Game Thoughts: Things continue to be split fairly evenly
in the Denver backfield between veteran Melvin Gordon and rookie
Javonte Williams. Williams was the better performer from a per-touch
standpoint this past week in Denver’s loss to Pittsburgh,
but neither player was involved enough to be much of a factor
for fantasy. That’s really the worry with this backfield.
When the Broncos fall behind on the scoreboard, which we expect
them to quite a bit this season, there just isn’t enough
of an opportunity for both backs to get involved in the offense.
They end up cannibalizing one another’s upside and that’s
just a bad situation for fantasy.
However, in Week 6, they do have an interesting matchup at home
against a Raiders defense that has struggled recently to contain
opposing running backs. They’ve now given up 96 or more
rushing yards to opposing running backs in three straight games,
including this past week’s 139 rushing yard performance
from the Chicago duo of Damien Williams and Khalil Herbert. A
positive game script is definitely possible in this one, given
the ugliness surrounding the Raiders and their performance this
past week, which would give the Broncos the ability to do what
they like to do - run the football.
It’s hard to get behind either of these backs as anything
other than Flex plays, but there’s reason to like them both
in that role for your fantasy team. You might be frustrated if
you start one guy and the other one ends up getting into the end
zone, but that’s the game we play.
Cowboys @ Patriots
- (Krueger) Line: DAL -3.5 Total: 50.5
Game Thoughts: We haven’t seen the volume from
Dak Prescott (20th in attempts) but efficiency (74% completion)
and 13 passing TDs (T-3rd) have kept him in low-end QB1 territory
for fantasy purposes. CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper are holding
WR2 value despite the lack of volume and tight end Dalton Shultz
is on a heater with 23 targets, 18 catches and 3 TDs in his last
three games far outpacing fellow tight end Blake Jarwin. Schultz
played on 73 percent of the teams snaps last week and can be trusted
as TE1 until the tides turn.
New England has been stingy on defense up until last week when
they inexplicably gave up 312 yards and 3 TDs to Davis Mills,
Chris Conley and Chris Moore. I’d chalk that up as an anomaly
and expect the Patriots defense to revert back to form, keeping
a lid on the Dallas passing attack. It’s safe to play Dak,
Lamb, Cooper and Schultz but keep your expectations in check.
It’s worth noting that New England has given up a grand
total of 106 yards to tight ends in five games. Amari Cooper has
battled a rib and now a hamstring injury early in the season and
it’s difficult to watch him gimp around out there and feel
comfortable about him as a fantasy play. Unless you’ve got
a viable WR2 to replace him, you’ll probably just have to
deal with the uncertainty.
NE FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
NE FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.20
NE FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.25
NE FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.32
Running Game Thoughts: Ezekiel Elliott seems to have put his
dismal 2020 season behind him. He’s currently 5th among
fantasy PPR backs (19.1 FPts/G), averaging 5.3 yards per carry
and averaging 20 touches per game in Dallas victories. All of
this despite ceding a decent amount of work to Tony Pollard who
has earned Flex consideration with at least 10 touches in his
last four games. New England has only allowed two running back
touchdowns and has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher. Both Alvin
Kamara (RB10) and Leonard Fournette (RB13) posted respectable
fantasy finishes against Belichick’s defense so deploy Zeke
Game Thoughts: Hopefully you’re not relying on
Mac Jones as your fantasy QB. Even in two-QB league’s he’s
at the bottom end of consideration given the lack of deep targets
and inability to make plays with his legs. With only 5 TDs and
5 INTS he doesn’t even rank inside the top 24 fantasy quarterbacks.
The Patriots are throwing at a relatively high ratio (64-36) which
is keeping WR Jakobi Meyers and to a lesser extent, TE Hunter
Henry, fantasy considerations. Everyone else in this passing offense
is an afterthought. The likely game script of New England playing
from behind, coupled with Dallas giving up the third most FPTs
to QB and 6th most FPts to receivers does bode well for a good
game from Meyers. Perhaps he gets his first receiving TD of his
career? He’s got sneaky WR2 value in this contest.
DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.24
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.11
Running Game Thoughts: Damien Harris (ribs) lost a fumble at
the goaline and was in and out of the game due to injury last
week which kept him in middling Flex territory for the week. He’s
missed practice Wednesday but is likely to suit up against the
Cowboys. The lack of positive game script this week is likely
to keep his fantasy value in the RB3 or Flex range. Brandon Bolden
has assumed the pass-catching role in this offense but has yet
to show enough usage or upside to get excited about his fantasy
value. However, this is a game where we could see the higher end
of his range if New England gets behind early. Rhamondre Stevenson
saw 11 carries last week in his first real action of the season
but was largely ineffective (23 yards). He remains off the fantasy
radar for now.
Game Thoughts: On Jan. 1, 2012, Tarvaris Jackson led
the Seahawks in a 23-20 overtime loss to Arizona. For the 149
games since then, Russell Wilson (finger) has been Seattle’s
starting quarterback. That streak will end Sunday night when Geno
Smith makes just his third start since 2014 in place of Wilson,
who is set to miss 4-8 weeks after undergoing surgery on his injured
finger. Smith was decent in relief last Thursday, connecting on
10 of 17 passes for 131 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT (on which the receiver
fell), but we’re entering a world of unknowns for the Seattle
Of their top two receivers, DK Metcalf (5-98-2) seems better
suited to weather the storm. At 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, the third-year
pro can work anywhere on the field and can run through smaller
defensive backs on quick passes. The outlook is murkier for Tyler
Lockett (5-57-0), who was already more of a feast-or-famine option
that relied on downfield shots many weeks to carve out significant
fantasy value. More Gerald Everett (illness) might be an option
as well, now that he looks ready to return after missing two games
following a positive COVID test.
With Smith under center, you can bet Pittsburgh will focus on
stopping the run and making the veteran prove he can move the
ball after seeing such limited action since his early years with
the Jets. For the season, the Steelers have allowed 260.6 yards
and 2 TDs per game, and their 10 sacks are well off their 2020
output. Obviously, you’ll want to hold off on doing anything
with Smith, but Metcalf and Lockett can continue to be deployed
as starting receivers with the former as a steadier selection.
PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.15
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.5
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.25
Running Game Thoughts: With Chris Carson (neck) inactive, Alex
Collins got most of the work against the Rams, carrying the ball
15 times for 47 yards. Head coach Pete Carroll indicated Carson
should return to practice this week and might suit up Sunday night.
Although Pittsburgh has been solid against the run (100.4 yards
per game; 9th), they haven’t been as dominant as in years
past. As such, Carson could be a focal point of Seattle’s
offense if he plays. He can be used as a low-end No. 2 or strong
No. 3 back. Collins might be a risky flex, moving up to an RB3
if Carson is inactive again.
Game Thoughts: It took a month, but the Steelers finally
made a philosophical change on offense, riding their rookie back
and sprinkling in Ben Roethlisberger (pec) instead of vice versa.
Big Ben attempted a season-low 25 passes, completing 15 of them
for 253 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs -- the 10.1 yards per attempt
were his highest since Nov. 8, 2018. Such low usage is likely
unsustainable, but the message it sends is clear: our 39-year-old
QB can no longer carry the offense.
While Roethlisberger had already fallen well out of fantasy starter
territory, less passing will cause a ripple effect. The question,
though, is whether the season-ending shoulder injury to JuJu Smith-Schuster
(shoulder) will offset that for Diontae Johnson (2-72-1) and Chase
Claypool (5-130-1) since that pair figure to get a higher percentage
of the looks going forward. The injury should also make James
Washington (groin) a free-agent target in larger leagues, although
he’s dealing with a groin injury of his own.
A year ago, Seattle had the 31st-ranked pass defense in the NFL.
This season, they’ve moved all the way up to 30th at 305.6
yards per game. They waived Tre Flowers, who started the first
three games of the season, and are hopeful the return of rookie
Tre Brown (knee) from a knee injury will help stabilize the secondary,
but he’s unlikely to play in Week 6. This Sunday night,
Johnson can be used as a WR2 with Claypool as a borderline WR2/WR3.
Roethlisberger and Washington, if he plays, should stay on your
SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.10
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.7
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.16
Running Game Thoughts: After a slow start, Najee Harris (23-122-1)
is starting to show why he was a first-round pick. The rookie
has averaged 4.8 YPC over his last two games, significantly up
from the 3.1 he averaged in Weeks 1-3, and he scored a pair of
rushing touchdowns. His 28 receptions are also second among backs
behind only D’Andre Swift (29). Remarkably, Seattle ranks
even worse against the run than the pass, allowing 145.2 yards
per game on the ground (only the Chargers have allowed more).
Harris should be a strong RB1 this Sunday.
Game Thoughts: Josh Allen continues to be a fantasy stud,
with 12 passing touchdowns and only two interceptions, with another
two rushing touchdowns on the ground. His 26.7 fantasy points
per game are fourth on the year behind only Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson,
and Patrick Mahomes.
The same could not be said of Stefon Diggs, who is averaging
five fewer points per game than he did in his breakout first season
with Buffalo in 2021. The target share is down to 26.9%, as Allen
continues to spread the ball around to Emmanuel Sanders, Cole
Beasley, and newly found favorite target, tight end Dawson Knox.
Knox skyrocketed from 56% of the snaps in week 1 to 96% last
week and has a touchdown in all but one game. If the first five
games are any indication, Knox is the Mark Andrews or Darren Waller
breakout candidate for 2021.
If there were ever a game for Diggs to bounce back, it would
be this one against the Titans. Not only will the Titans present
a game script that will help the passing game with a high-scoring
game, but they also have a terrible defense and one of the worst
secondaries in the league.
Only the Bucs and the Football team have given up more fantasy
points to wide receivers. Fire up Diggs in this game, and reap
the rewards. Also, Diggs leads the NFL with 12 red-zone targets
in five games yet has just one score. Look for that to change
You should also start Emmanuel Sanders in all formats, as he
has gelled well with Allen and has garnered at least five targets
in every game. The same cannot be said of Cole Beasley, who looks
to be the odd man out in Buffalo with the emergence of Knox. There
are a finite number of targets in a game, and he looks to have
drawn the short stick (no pun intended).
TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.11
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.3
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.30
Running Game Thoughts: Devin Singletary continues
to be the starter of the bills by name, but Moss appears to be
the one you want to start and the one the Bills trust most in
passing downs. Singletary is averaging an impressive 5.2 yards
per carry, but Moss has four touchdowns to just one for Singletary
and is often in for more red zone plays.
Moss has three red zone targets to just one for Singletary, and
Moss ranks tied for 6th in total red zone rushes in the league.
The Titans have fared far better vs. the run than the pass this
season, but that does not mean they are a good defense. It has
a ton to do with game script and opponents taking the path of
least resistance with the passing game.
Chris Carson managed a pair of scores, and James Robinson ran
wild last week to the tune of 18/149/1. Fire up Moss as a flex,
and Singletary also is flex-worthy in larger formats.
Game Thoughts: To summarize the passing game for the
Titans this season, the best and most simple answer is to say
there is not one. Injuries to A.J. Brown and Julio Jones have
limited the Titans to the 9th-fewest points scored by WR, and
Ryan Tannehill currently ranks 21st in fantasy points for quarterbacks.
Tannehill has just six passing touchdowns in five games and only
ranks as high as he does because of 130 rushing yards and a touchdown.
This is Derrick Henry’s team, and head coach Mike Vrabel
is going to ride his horses into the ground.
The question, is will the game script allow the Titans to run
as much as they want? Only the Panthers have given up fewer points
to opposing running backs, and no RB has reached the end zone
on the ground. In fact, teams have only rushed the ball 77 total
times in five games vs. Buffalo, second only to the Buccaneers.
No doubt the Titans will want to run the ball, and Henry will
get his even if it takes 30 carries. But for Tennessee to have
any shot winning this game, they will need to throw the ball.
A matchup to watch will be TreDavious White on Brown. White is
by far the best cover corner for the Bills, and Brown is the main
threat in the passing game. It is not impossible to find success
against White, but it will be a bit of a challenge.
That leads us to Julio Jones, one of the biggest busts of the
season for fantasy after a slow start mixed with another hamstring
injury. No opposing wide receiver has topped 76 receiving yards
this season, and only two have found the end zone. This is by
no means a great matchup for Jones, but if there was ever a need
for him to step up, this would be the game.
Julio has practiced on Wednesday and Thursday and should be good
to go on Monday Night. Just be sure to have a fallback option
in case he is inactive again.
BUF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
BUF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.30
BUF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.31
BUF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20
Running Game Thoughts: We are running out of superlatives and
comparisons of Derrick Henry. He is amazing and a must-start every
week, even against a tough run defense like Buffalo. Henry will
get his touches and a touchdown or two. Just don’t be surprised
for lower than usual yardage.
No other team in the league has created more lopsided game scripts
than Buffalo, with an average of just under 40 points in four
of their five games. The Titans have one of the worst defenses
in the league and will struggle to stop Josh Allen, making this
a frustrating game for Henry managers.