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Truths and Lies - Week 6

By Steve Schwarz | 10/14/20

It’s simply not going to be a plug-and-play season for most fantasy owners and every late-week game may be fraught with tension given so many potholes could keep teams from playing as scheduled in this pandemic era.

Byes: Las Vegas, Los Angeles Chargers (new), New Orleans, Seattle.
Previously scheduled to be on bye, but playing: New England.


“I don’t want yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth even if it costs them their jobs.” – Samuel Goldwyn

Justin Herbert

1) There is no such thing as a moral victory.

True, but for Los Angeles Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, while he has lost to Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady and Drew Brees in three of his first four starts, he probably made his fantasy owners a winner in a number of his starts. He’s produced 27.4 FPts, 22.0, 27.9 and 30.0 points in his first interception-less start on Monday night. Herbert is averaging 26.8 FPts/G good enough to be ranked seventh among all passers in 2020. Considering where he was drafted, as a handcuff to starter Tyrod Taylor before the season began, he’s the biggest sleeper among quarterbacks. The Chargers starter has a favorable schedule after a bye in Week 6 with seven defenses ranked in the bottom third and 10-of-11 ranked in the bottom half of “QB fantasy points allowed.” Herbert is rostered in just 52% of all leagues and should be added by waiver or trade, if possible.

2) Ryan Fitzpatrick is a top-12 fantasy quarterback.

Apparently the answer is yes. At least through the first five games he is one. His average is higher than Carson Wentz, Lamar Jackson, Teddy Bridgewater, Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan. Whether he can stay there is up for debate. Reasons he can stay fantasy-worthy: the Dolphins have no running game and their best weapons are pass catchers (Devante Parker, Preston Williams and Mike Gesicki). Reasons he might drop: He’s almost 38-years-old and turnover-prone. And Tua Tagovailoa is waiting in the wings for his chance to shine. For now, rostered in just 21% of all leagues, he’s a viable option to replace Dak Prescott. OK, no you can’t replace what Dak has done, but having a top-12 starter is a pretty good backup plan.

3) This is the week the Bears’ David Montgomery makes us a believer.

The Magic 8-ball says yes. Everything is lining up for a big day in Week 6. Despite having been disappointing fantasy owners for most of the season, he’ll face the league’s worst defense in the Panthers, who are yielding an average of 36.4 FPts/G. With no Tarik Cohen around to grab all the running back targets, Montgomery should be a target hog along with almost all the running back work. Given that opposing running backs have seen an average of 30.6 touches per game and the team’s only other viable option is Cordarrelle Patterson, “Monty” should see at least 25 touches in this one. He’s only reached the 25-touch mark once in his career and produced 24.7 fantasy points. Sunday is the day he repeats that total … or more.

4) Dalvin Cook owners dodged a bullet.

Probably true. It appears than Cook didn’t suffer a long-lasting groin injury and will likely miss just two weeks (one game). The Vikings would be wise to let him sit in Week 6 with a bye scheduled for Week 7 which would allow Cook three weeks to heal. Alexander Mattison isn’t Cook, but he’s a viable option for Week 6 for the team and fantasy owners. Mattison out-snapped No.3 running back Mike Boone 43-5, proving he’s got solid workhorse value next Sunday when they host the winless Atlanta Falcons (0-5). The Falcons are allowing 29.7 FPts/G to opposing RBs (ranked 25th). Mattison is rostered in 41% of all leagues.

5) Only one team ranks in the top-10 defense for fantasy points allowed in all four categories: quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends.

Fact. It’s the Indianapolis Colts. They rank seventh against QBs, third against RBs, second against WRs and first against TEs. They are both good and play slow-paced games. That’s a deadly combination for your fantasy players. They have seen just 285 plays run against them (57 per game), the fewest of any team which has played five games. Meanwhile, they have run the sixth-fewest plays on offense of any five-game team. Danger Will Robinson! Avoid, avoid, avoid.


Lies are like children, if you don’t nurture them, they’ll never be useful later.” – Randy K. Milholland

1) Jamison Crowder ranking second among all wide receivers (22.5 FPts/G) is a gigantic fluke.

False. Crowder isn’t a fluke, though 22 points a game will be more than he’ll average for the season, but any receiver seeing double-digit targets in each game is going to produce fantasy-worthy numbers. He’s a volume receiver and as long as he sees targets he’ll produce. In 2019 he saw 10-or-more targets three times and cracked 20 points in each game. With Breshad Perriman and Chris Hogan sidelined and tight end Chris Herndon pulling a disappearing act, Crowder is the only good option for the Jets quarterback, whether its Sam Darnold or Joe Flacco.

2) D.J. Moore is still the wideout to have in Carolina.

Again false. Former New York Jets wideout Robby Anderson is the better option. The Temple Owl has produced double-digit points in every game this season. And in Teddy Bridgewater has the best quarterback he’s ever played with (no offense to the 2014 version of Michael Vick or “Fitzmagic”). Reunited with his college coach, Matt Rhule, Anderson is playing excellent football and given his 9.6 targets per game is a plug-and-play starter over Moore.

3) You should be first in line to claim Steelers wideout Chase Claypool.

It’s OK to claim Claypool, but I think there is a better fantasy option out there if you are in the market for a wideout. Yes, Claypool had a “career-day” last Sunday when he toasted the Eagles for three receiving touchdowns and ran one in for good measure. But in the previous three games he saw a total of nine targets and caught six of them. Pittsburgh has plenty of pass-catching options not the least of which are; JuJu Smith-Schuster, currently injured Diontae Johnson, James Washington and tight end Eric Ebron. I’d rather claim the Los Angeles Chargers wideout Mike Williams. Now that Justin Herbert is entrenched as the starter this team will throw the ball and Williams can go up and get it with the best of them. His problems are not talent related they are injury related. When healthy he’s a viable fantasy option particularly with No.1 target Keenan Allen’s health up in the air after missing most of Monday night’s game with a back issue. Williams is rostered in 40% of all leagues.

4) There are no New York Giants RBs worthy of starting status.

Saquon Barkley is gone for the season, but there is a viable fantasy option in the backfield – Devonta Freeman. Just three weeks into his Giants contract, the former Falcons’ star has gotten better each week. It helps when you know the plays and your assignments. Against Dallas we saw a fantasy-worthy running back. He rushed for 60 yards and a score and caught 2-of-3 targets for 27 yards. He saw 20-of-32 running back touches (62.5%) leaving scraps for Wayne Gallman, Elijhaa Penny and Dion Lewis.

5) The most disappointing fantasy quarterback to date is … either Philip Rivers or Daniel Jones.

Incorrect. Philip Rivers, Daniel Jones and Jimmy Garoppolo are contenders for his “crown,” but the correct answer is Matt Ryan. A quarterback with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage and Hayden Hurst should be ranked a lot higher than No.22. What would Wentz give for a couple of those guys? Since Week 2, Ryan hasn’t cracked the 300-yard mark and has thrown just one touchdown pass (not per game … total) versus two interceptions in three games. We shall see if a new head coach makes a difference but for now sit the 2016 NFL MVP Ryan.