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Truths and Lies - Week 6



By Steve Schwarz | 10/13/21

Week 6 begins the start of bye portion of the schedule, but fantasy owners should be looking ahead to Week 7, when six teams, including four elite offenses will sit on the sidelines (Buffalo, Dallas, Los Angeles Chargers and Minnesota). Plan ahead to stay ahead.

Week 6 byes; Atlanta, New Orleans, New York Jets, San Francisco

Truths

“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the fact.” – Albert Einstein

Najee Harris

1) Rookie Najee Harris has lived up to expectations.

True. After a slow start in Week 1 against Buffalo (excusable since they have been slowing down every offense) heís been the fantasy stud many thought he could be. Heís averaged 22.7 FPts/G since that game. Even more exciting, the future looks bright as heís handled 87% of the running back attempts and leads the team in targets (39) and receptions (28). Letís hope he doesnít hit a rookie wall in the playoffs, but at least playing at Alabama has prepared him for a long season. I was not a believer earlier in the season, but heís turned me around over the past month.

2) You should not be disappointed with Dak Prescottís production.

True. I know many are disheartened, but I have two reasons you should not be upset. First, expecting Prescott to match last seasonís four complete games was patently unrealistic. No quarterback can average 36.8 FPts/G. Heís still top-10, averaging 25.3 FPts/G this season. Second, the Cowboys are a better defensive team in 2021, meaning Prescott doesnít need to score 40 points to win every night. Dallas is yielding just 23.4 PPG as compared to the 29.6 PPG they allowed in 2020 (and 36 PPG in Dakís first five games).

3) Taylor Heinicke has earned more fantasy points that Aaron Rodgers.

Fact. Heinicke is averaging 22.2 FPts/G and Rodgers 21.8. Heís likely to stay ahead of him at least for one more weekend because of a favorable schedule. Heinicke and the WFT face the Chiefs on Sunday and they are yielding 31.8 FPts/G to opposing quarterbacks (rank 31st) while ďA RodĒ faces the Bearsí pass defense (ranked seventh).

4) Odell Beckham Jr., great name, inferior production.

Beckham Jr. has looked healthy in his return from a 2020 torn ACL, but the truth is his name has been a lot bigger than his production since he left New York in 2018. He has just three 20-point games in 26 contests since arriving in Cleveland. Last week, in a wild shootout with the Chargers, he saw just three targets, two receptions and 20 yards. He ranks 81st among wideouts, behind the likes of Quez Watkins and Randall Cobb. If you canít trade him (selling low is never easy), you may have to bench him.

5) The expected dynamic Titansí passing game with Ryan Tannehill, A.J. Brown and Julio Jones has been a disaster for fantasy owners.

Unfortunately this is a fact which has killed many rosters in 2021. Tannehill ranks 21st, Brown 86th and Jones 53rd. It isnít likely to get any better with the Titans facing Buffalo in Week 6. The Bills are No. 1 against both quarterbacks (16.6 FPts/G) and wideouts allowing a stingy 14.4 FPts/G. They should return to your fantasy lineup in Week 7 and Week 8 when the generous Chiefs and Colts are on the docket.

Lies

“I was not lying. I said things that later on seemed to be untrue.” – Richard Nixon

1) AJ Dillion’s workload is concerning for those who selected Aaron Jones in the first round.

False. Jones is still a solid top-10 running back, currently seventh-ranked at 18.2 FPts/G, and while Dillonís workload has been increasing since the beginning of the season, itís no more than 2020 backup Jamaal Williams (now in Detroit) saw last season. Dillionís touches from Week 1 to Week 5 are; 5, 6, 8, 16 and 12. Last year, Williams saw 46 touches over the same span, so the workloads are similar. The real issue is unreal preseason expectation. Most fantasy owners expected a significant increase in usage for Jones this season with Williams gone.

2) Lamar Jackson canít throw.

I certainly hope Jackson finally put this myth to rest Monday night, throwing for a career-high 442 yards and four scores. He has two excellent pass catchers in Marquise Brown and TE Mark Andrews. And the Ravens will likely be adding another weapon, second-round pick Rashod Bateman who was a talented wideout from the University of Minnesota. If you want to worry about an AFC North quarterback who canít throw the football Ö look at Ben Roethlisberger and Baker Mayfield.

3) Patriotsí tight end Hunter Henry is about ready to climb the position chart.

False, Despite Henry raising his fantasy value with each weekís production through Week 5, the schedule plays against him for the next three games. Yes, heís produced double-digits in the last two games and is averaging 6.3 targets per game over the last three contests, but heíll face Dallas (ranked 8th), Jets (11th) and Chargers (2nd). Heíll be lucky to hit double-digits in any of these games.

4) Darrel Williams, the backup to injured Clyde Edwards-Helaire, will be a valuable option while the starter is sidelined.

Sorry, but thatís not how the Kansas City offense works. The running back is there to keep the defense honest and protect the teamís most valuable commodity Ö Patrick Mahomes. Additionally, the Chiefs offensive line hasnít been up to opening holes for their running backs. CEH, Williams and Jerick McKinnon are averaging just 4.4 ypc.

5) With Russell Wilson sidelined itís time to sell DK Metcalf and/or Tyler Lockett.

No, no, no. Wilson is targeting a return in Week 10 which means given the Seahawks are scheduled for a Week 9 bye, you only have to survive for three weeks. Backup quarterback Geno Smith certainly isnít on Wilsonís level but he should be competent enough for Metcalf and Lockett to post passable numbers. Without any practice he went 10-of-17 for 131 yards and a touchdown against the tough Los Angeles Rams. The Seahawks face Pittsburgh (ranked 28th against opposing WRs), New Orleans (23rd) and Jacksonville (14th). Stay the course.