Week 6 Fantasy Football Forecast

Hayden Winks
Rotoworld

Welcome to the Fantasy Football Forecast! My goal with this weekly column is to get you actionable information as quickly as possible, regardless if you're playing season-long fantasy, DFS, or are grinding player props.  If you're just looking for fantasy football rankings and only have 10 minutes to skim through for your sit/start decisions, then head over to the "Forecast" sections below where I project each player's PPR finish based on a 12-team league. But if you want to get your research on, then I have full player breakdowns. As always, hit me up on Twitter @HaydenWinks if you have questions. 

Week 6
Week 6

Before we get into the usual Forecast, I’m sharing some Next Gen Stats data with you folks. The heat map below shows where NFL defenses are allowing completions in 2019 with the dark red meaning more passes are being completed to that area of the field. Each team’s map is pretty similar, but there are differences. It helps me to pay attention to the 10-yard line to see if defenses are more vulnerable underneath or to the intermediate part of the field. There are also defenses that are more vulnerable to screens, which you’ll be able to tell by looking below the 0-yard line. Lastly, there are not many completions that happen beyond 20 yards, so most of the teams don’t have white or red spots downfield. I have just 20-yard completions in another graph later in the column.

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NGS
NGS

 

Teams are listed in order of their implied points.

Page 1: BAL, KC, LAR, ATL, DAL, GB, HOU, CAR, ARI

Page 2: LAC, SEA, MIN, SF, TB, JAX, CLE, WAS, DEN

Page 3: NO, DET, PHI, TEN, MIA, NYJ, CIN, PIT

TNF: NE, NYG

Byes: BUF, CHI, IND, OAK

 

1. Ravens (29.75, -12) vs. CIN

Update: Marquise Brown (ankle) didn't practice this week and is a game-time decision. If Brown plays, he's a risky WR3. If Brown misses, Willie Snead and Miles Boykin will see more opportunities. Mark Andrews and the running backs could also see increased usage. 

Forecast: Lamar Jackson QB1, Mark Ingram RB1, Gus Edwards RB4, Marquise Brown (questionable) WR3, Willie Snead WR5, Mark Andrews TE1

BALCIN
BALCIN

Lamar Jackson is fantasy’s QB1 overall despite a few slower weeks recently. This is a bounceback spot against the DVOA’s second-worst pass defense. There’s certainly an argument to be made for LJ over Mahomes this week since the reigning MVP is a little banged up. … Mark Ingram has the best individual matchup and game script on the slate. The Ravens are 12-point home favorites, and the Bengals have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this season. Ingram is an RB1 with touchdown equity. 

BALAY6
BALAY6

Marquise Brown has been slowed down by an ankle injury -- that foot injury is also still in my mind as something to be cautious with -- but he still offers insane weekly upside. The Bengals are in the bottom 25th percentile at preventing 20+ yard plays and have been specifically bad at defending downfield passes. Brown is a classic boom-or-bust WR3 right now. … Willie Snead benefits from Brown’s injury, but he’s still a low-volume, short-area target. … Mark Andrews is also playing through an injury, which lowers his floor and might even lower his ceiling, but he’s still seeing TE1 usage and has plenty of touchdown equity with the Ravens’ weekly-high 29.75 team total.

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2. Chiefs (29.5, -4) vs. HOU

Forecast: Patrick Mahomes QB1, Damien Williams RB2, LeSean McCoy RB3, Mecole Hardman WR3, Demarcus Robinson WR3, Byron Pringle WR3, Travis Kelce TE1

KCHOU
KCHOU

Patrick Mahomes becomes human when he’s playing through an ankle sprain. Mahomes was able to get in full practices this week, so he should be fine for Sunday. The Texans Defense is in the bottom 25th percentile at stopping fantasy quarterbacks. Mahomes is obviously a top-three QB. … Damien Williams saw 100% of the Chiefs’ running back rush attempts (9) and ran twice as many routes (22) than LeSean McCoy last week. Williams was the clear-cut No. 1 option, and he gets a friendly home matchup in what should be one of the highest-scoring games of the week. Williams is a high-upside RB2, while McCoy is a boom-or-bust RB3. Darrel Williams is off the radar for now. 

KCAY6
KCAY6

Medical experts don’t believe Tyreek Hill (shoulder) will be rushed back this week, and Sammy Watkins (knee) is looking on the doubtful side of “questionable” after not practicing Thursday. That means Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, and Byron Pringle are heading towards being the top receivers of the week. Hardman and Robinson have shown their elite ceilings -- Pringle can absolutely smash this week, too -- and the Texans Defense is in the bottom 20th percentile at stopping fantasy receivers this season. All three are, at least, on the upside WR3 map right now as receivers perfectly made for DFS tournaments. I’ll update this when more info is obtained. … Travis Kelce has elite usage (see chart above) and is overdue for an eruption week since he only has one touchdown this season. Kelce is the highest-ceiling TE in fantasy, especially if Hill and Watkins are out.

 

3. Rams (27, -3.5) vs. SF

Update: Todd Gurley is doubtful, so Malcolm Brown is in line for a start with Darrell Henderson coming in to help with pass-catching work. Brown is an RB2. Henderson is an upside RB4. I'd add Henderson if I had a bench spot available. 

Forecast: Jared Goff QB1/2, Malcolm Brown RB2, Darrell Henderson RB4, Cooper Kupp WR1, Brandin Cooks WR2/3, Robert Woods WR2/3, Gerald Everett TE1/2, Tyler Higbee TE2

LARSF
LARSF

The Rams’ weakness (Jared Goff’s struggles against pressure) and the 49ers’ strength (pass rush) make this a tough matchup. Vegas believes it won’t slow down the Rams too much given their 27 team total, however, and Goff could be tasked to throw a lot if Gurley were to miss this week. I’m also confident in Sean McVay, so Goff is still a decent QB1/2. … Todd Gurley (quad) is questionable, and this is what Sean McVay said about the situation if Gurley were to miss: "Fortunately for us, we’ve got some depth at that position. The confidence we have in Malcolm (Brown). There’s also going to be a time that we’re going to rely on Darrell Henderson, it might end up being this week." Brown figures to be the favorite to lead the backfield in rushes and goal-line opportunities, while Henderson could chip in with pass-catching work and the occasional carry. I’d confidently fire up Brown as an upside RB2 if Gurley’s out. Henderson would be a wait-and-see RB4, though he does have upside others in that range don’t have. If Gurley is active, then he’s an RB2 with plenty of touchdown equity. 

LARAY6
LARAY6

Brandin Cooks is trending towards playing despite suffering a concussion last week. Cooks has operated as the team’s No. 2 receiver and field stretcher, while Cooper Kupp has emerged as the clear-cut No. 1 target for Goff. Kupp is leading the NFL with 63 targets and is third in PPR points. He’s a strong WR1 whenever at home, while Cooks carries a WR2/3 label and more inconsistent production. … Robert Woods is the third passing-game option this season when everyone is healthy, but the Rams have thrown enough passes to give him at least WR2/3 usage in four of five games. … Gerald Everett has TE1 usage in each of the last two games (see chart above) and is beginning to show the “Jordan Reed upside” he had when he was selected in Round 2 of the 2017 NFL Draft. Everett is a low-end TE1 at this point. 

NGSLASF
NGSLASF

 

4. Falcons (26.75, -2.5) @ ARI

Forecast: Matt Ryan QB1, Devonta Freeman RB2/3, Ito Smith RB4, Julio Jones WR1, Calvin Ridley WR2/3, Mohamed Sanu WR4, Austin Hooper TE1

ATLARI
ATLARI

Marry Ryan has 300+ yards in all five games. The Falcons’ non-existent rushing offense and bottom-shelf defense are so bad that Ryan is being forced to pass the ball 40+ times more often than not. His floor and ceiling are really high, especially against the Cardinals who are in the bottom 10th percentile at stopping fantasy quarterbacks. Ryan is a strong second-tier QB1. … Devonta Freeman continues to nothing with his carries (3.2 YPC) and is losing snaps and touches to Ito Smith. The Falcons want to give Freeman the benefit of the doubt, but he needs to produce to keep whatever role he has left. The matchup is quite ideal here and there is touchdown equity with a 26.75 team total, but Freeman is barely on the RB2/3 borderline given his recent production and workload. 

ATLAY6
ATLAY6

Julio Jones is second in air yards and the Cardinals’ secondary sucks. Julio is in a smash spot. … Calvin Ridley is top-20 in air yards among receivers, and the matchup is obviously perfect. The Cardinals have been particularly weak 20+ yards downfield, and Ridley’s Week 6 is very similar to Will Fuller’s Week 5 spot. Ridley has a lot of upside as a WR2/3. … Mohamed Sanu’s usage came back down to earth after a wild Week 4. His norm is 5-8 targets, so he’s a fine WR4 if you’re looking for a bye-week filler. … Austin Hooper has the most PPR fantasy points among tight ends. He’s benefiting greatly from the Falcons’ non-existent rush attack and poor offensive line. Hooper’s TE1 usage is likely here to stay. Oh, and the Cardinals have allowed 16.4 PPR points per game to tight ends this season. He’s a top-five TE this week.
 

5. Cowboys (26.25, -7.5) @ NYJ

Forecast: Dak Prescott QB1, Ezekiel Elliott RB1, Amari Cooper WR1, Michael Gallup WR2/3, Randall Cobb WR5, Jason Witten TE2

DALNYJ
DALNYJ

Dak Prescott has absolutely balled out in 4-of-5 games, and the Jets Defense is amongst the worst in the NFL. This is a very easy situation to evaluate. Prescott will have his chances to win downfield (see chart above) and offers upside with his legs. He’s a strong QB1. … Ezekiel Elliott might not have his 2018 workload, but it’s still a role (15-25 touches) that gives him DFS tournament-winning upside, especially since the Cowboys are 7.5-point favorites with a 26.25 team total. Elliott is a no-brainer RB1. The Jets are still without LB C.J. Mosley

DALAY6
DALAY6

Amari Cooper is seeing elite usage and his efficiency with Prescott is off the charts (10.4 YPT in 14 games). Cooper is a strong WR1. … Michael Gallup has WR1/2 usage in the three games he’s played. Gallup also has been very efficient (11.7 YPT in 2019) and will be taking advantage of the Jets’ league-worst defense at stopping 20+ yard pass plays. Gallup is more of a WR2 than a WR3. … Randall Cobb has reached the “10 PPR Expected” threshold in back-to-back weeks, so he’s in the mix as a WR5 here. … Jason Witten is a touchdown-dependent TE2 on a team with the fifth-highest team total (26.25).
 

6. Packers (25.75, -4.5) vs. DET

Forecast: Aaron Rodgers QB1/2, Aaron Jones RB1/2, Jamaal Williams RB3/4, Marquez Valdes-Scantling WR3, Geronimo Allison WR4/5, Jimmy Graham TE1/2

GBDET
GBDET

It’s now been 16 games since Aaron Rodgers has a three-passing-touchdown performance. Not great and neither is the matchup. Both offenses are below-average in offensive pace and Rodgers is likely without his top receiver again. Rodgers is barely on the QB1/2 borderline. … Aaron Jones deserves a three-down role -- just look at his Week 5 stat line -- but Jamaal Williams is practicing again after missing last week. That may be nothing since it’s nearly impossible to take Jones off the field after a four-touchdown game, but I will not that Williams out-touched and out-snapped Jones in their last healthy game. With that said, Jones has three-down plus goal-line upside in an offense that should be running the ball a decent amount, so he has a ton of upside as an RB1/2. 

GBAY6
GBAY6

Davante Adams has been ruled out, so Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison will be the primary pass-catchers. MVS has had WR3 usage for the last three weeks, and the Lions’ defense is in the bottom 10th percentile at preventing 20+ yard passes. Valdes-Scantling has upside as a WR3. … Geronimo Allison’s usage isn’t near Valdes-Scantling and Rodgers isn’t firing as many touchdowns as he once was. Allison is a WR4 at best. … Jimmy Graham had three receptions last week after seeing nine targets in Week 4. Graham’s usage is undoubtedly better without Adams and is a candidate for a red zone target or two this week as a TE1/2. 

 

7. Texans (25.5, +4) @ KC 

Update: Kenny Stills is a game-time decision. He's a WR5 if healthy. Keke Coutee is a dart throw option if Stills is out. 

Forecast: Deshaun Watson QB1, Carlos Hyde RB2, Duke Johnson RB4, DeAndre Hopkins WR1, Will Fuller WR2/3, Kenny Stills (questionable) WR5, Keke Coutee WR5, Jordan Akins TE2

HOUKC
HOUKC

Deshaun Watson has an elite ceiling, especially when playing against good offenses. If the Texans are trailing, then Watson gets his legs more involved, so there are few paths to failure. This week’s matchup is awesome in what should be the highest-scoring game of the week. He’s an obvious top-3 QB. … The Colts laid out the blueprint last week with their run-heavy approach -- the Chiefs Defense is in the bottom 10th percentile in run defense DVOA -- so Carlos Hyde could be in for 15+ carries this week, especially since Chiefs DT Chris Jones (groin) is out for Week 6. Hyde has been the clear-cut back over Duke Johnson (73 carries to 32) and deserves some low-end RB2 love this week with the Texans’ 25.5-point team total. 

HOUAY6
HOUAY6

DeAndre Hopkins has moved on from the elite CB gauntlet that slowed him down early in the season, and he should begin to hit his stride. This potential shootout gives Hopkins elite upside as a strong WR1. Don’t sweat the slow start. … Will Fuller went nuclear last week, which wasn’t a surprise given his WR2/3 usage all season long. Fuller’s high aDOT and chemistry with Watson give him elite upside as a WR2/3. Chiefs DL Chris Jones being out should give Watson time to take his shots downfield. … Kenny Stills has practiced in limited fashion this week, so he’s tentatively on track to play in Week 6. Stills can pop off a big play, but he’s too thin with Hopkins and Fuller leading the way. Stills and Keke Coutee will likely cancel each other out as a zero-floor WR5s. … Jordan Akins has touchdown equity in this offense, but he only has 15 targets this season. He’s a touchdown-dependent TE2. 

 

8. Panthers (24.5, -2) @ TB

Forecast: Kyle Allen QB2/3, Christian McCaffrey RB1, Curtis Samuel WR3, D.J. Moore WR3, Greg Olsen TE1/2

CARTB
CARTB

The Bucs’ defense has been a major pass funnel this season (see pass efficiency and run efficiency stats above), so Kyle Allen should get his shots as a passer this week and Vegas believes they’ll be moderately productive (24.5 team total). Allen is a decent QB2 and one of the better streamers of the week. … Christian McCaffrey is going to get his regardless, but it is a tough matchup on paper. The good news is he’s an elite pass-catching back even if runs up the middle aren’t working. If his back is cleared, then McCaffrey is as elite of an RB play as we have this season. 

CARAY6
CARAY6

The Bucs’ major pass funnel defense is fantastic news for D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel. As you’ll see below, the Bucs’ defense has been extremely vulnerable right in the middle of the field and that’s where Moore does most of his damage. This should be a week where Moore sees WR2/3 usage. … Curtis Samuel can still get his downfield, as the Panthers’ defense is in the bottom 20th percentile at preventing 20+ yard pass attempts this season. Samuel’s usage has also fluctuated, but he has two weeks of WR1 usage. Samuel is a boom-or-bust WR3. … Greg Olsen will also take advantage of the Bucs’ vulnerabilities over the middle of the field. Olsen’s usage has been lower the last two weeks, but he’s a bounceback candidate as a low-end TE1.

NGSTB
NGSTB

 

9. Cardinals (24.25, +2.5) vs. ATL

Update: David Johnson is expected to play, but he'll still be testing it out before the game to make sure. My read is Johnson will have his huge workload decreased just a bit this week. The matchup is still good enough to call him a top-10 RB option. Chase Edmonds would draw the start in the event of a setback, but that's less likely than it looked at the beginning of the week. 

Forecast: Kyler Murray QB1, David Johnson (questionable) RB1, Chase Edmonds RB3/4, Larry Fitzgerald WR2, Christian Kirk WR2/3, KeeSean Johnson WR5

ARIATL
ARIATL

Kyler Murray is fantasy’s QB7 overall despite a 6.6 yards per attempt and averaging 0.8 passing touchdowns per game. The Falcons’ defense has allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, so I won’t be surprised to see a ceiling game from Murray here. He’s a no-brainer QB1. … David Johnson (back) is very questionable after not practicing early this week. Chase Edmonds would be a direct fill-in for D.J. if he can’t suit up by Sunday. The Falcons have been sturdier against the run than against the pass, but there’s enough play volume to overcome any inefficiencies on the ground. Johnson or Edmonds will be an RB1, depending on the extent of the back injury. I’m confident in Edmonds’ on-field abilities. 

ARIAY6
ARIAY6

Christian Kirk (ankle) is back to practicing and looks on track to play Week 6. The Kliff Kingsbury Air Raid filters through its slot receivers, so Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald will see plenty of volume whenever the Cardinals can move the ball with any sort of efficiency. The Falcons’ porous defense should allow that to happen at home this week, so Fitzgerald and Kirk are fine WR2s as long as they are healthy. If you scroll back up to the heat map, you’ll notice the Falcons’ defense has been more prone to the left side of the field, where Fitzgerald lines up most often. … Damiere Byrd is also on track to return from his injury, so outside targets and snaps are muddied once again. Byrd and KeeSean Johnson will be the best for targets, though they remain zero-floor WR5 options at best. The Cardinals aren’t taking downfield shots right now. Maybe that changes later in the season once Murray gets a better feel.

Week 6
Week 6

Teams are listed in order of their implied points.

Page 1: BAL, KC, LAR, ATL, DAL, GB, HOU, CAR, ARI

Page 2: LAC, SEA, MIN, SF, TB, JAX, CLE, WAS, DEN

Page 3: NO, DET, PHI, TEN, MIA, NYJ, CIN, PIT

TNF: NE, NYG

Byes: BUF, CHI, IND, OAK

 

10. Chargers (24.25, -7) vs. PIT

Forecast: Philip Rivers QB1/2, Melvin Gordon RB2, Austin Ekeler RB2, Keenan Allen WR1, Mike Williams WR3

LACPIT
LACPIT

Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ offense struggled last week, and things could be getting worse with the offensive line slowing turning into a corn cob. Rivers will be pressured often by the Steelers’ second-best pass rush in terms of adjusted sack rate and needs to kept down in fantasy rankings as a QB2. … Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler are in a timeshare right now. Last week, Gordon played early and out-carried Ekeler 12 to three, but Ekeler saw extended snaps in the second half with the Chargers in catch-up mode. Ekeler ended up tying a franchise record with 15 receptions, and he’s a candidate for more than a handful of grabs this week as a dump-off monster with the Chargers’ porous offensive line. Ekeler is a strong RB2. Gordon is also an RB2, and I anticipate him seeing more snaps this week with the Chargers as 7-point home favorites. As long as Gordon gets goal-line carries -- I’d be shocked if he didn’t -- then Gordon will be a fine fantasy asset. 

LACAY6
LACAY6
NGSPIT
NGSPIT

The Steelers have allowed the most PPR points per game to receivers in the slot, per Sports Info Solutions. It’s probably because they cover slot receivers with linebackers at times. Keenan Allen is going to feast on a defense that is very soft shallow and in the middle of the field. He’s a strong WR1. … Schematically, the Steelers Defense covers players like Mike Williams better than Allen, but Williams is coming off a career-high in targets, so he’s still a WR3. Williams’ back injury gives him a low floor, however.

 

11. Seahawks (23.75, -1.5) @ CLE

Update: Rashaad Penny is questionable but he did practice. I'm guessing he suits up, but last week showed that this is very much Chris Carson's backfield when he's not fumbling the ball. 

Forecast: Russell Wilson QB1, Chris Carson RB1/2, Rashaad Penny (questionable) RB4, Tyler Lockett WR1/2, D.K. Metcalf WR3/4, David Moore WR5, Will Dissly TE1/2

SEACLE
SEACLE

Russell Wilson is an absolute monster. He’s right there with Mahomes as the best in the league, and he has a high fantasy ceiling whenever he finds himself in a shootout. The Browns’ offense isn’t playing well enough to expect that this week, but Wilson’s career-high 9.0 yards per pass attempt easily keeps him in the QB1 conversation. … Chris Carson had 27 carries last week despite Rashaad Penny (6 carries) returning from an injury. It’s safe to say Carson still has the No. 1 role despite the early-season fumble woes. Hopefully Carson keeps holding onto the football because he has plenty of upside in an offense that’s scored at least 27 points in four-straight games. Carson is a high-ceiling, low-end RB1, while Penny is more of a handcuff than a flex option.

SEAAY6
SEAAY6

Tyler Lockett’s usage has been all over the place this season (see above), but his efficiency (10.5 yards per target) more than makes up for it. Lockett will be an upside WR1/2, especially if Browns CBs Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams miss another game. If you’re building DFS tournaments, it’s not a bad idea to roll a lineup with Russ and Lockett. … D.K. Metcalf’s usage has also been inconsistent, but his role is secure. He’s the primary deep threat and is a threat for a long touchdown or a red zone touchdown every week. Metcalf is the typical boom-or-bust WR3/4. It always helps a boom-or-bust WR3/4 to have Russ throwing him the ball. … Will Dissly has TE1 usage, and he’s been balling out with it. I’ve come to terms with it after hours of counseling. The Browns’ defense is also in the bottom 20th percentile against the position, locking Dissly into the top-eight. 

 

12. Vikings (23.5, -3) vs. PHI

Forecast: Kirk Cousins QB2, Dalvin Cook RB1, Adam Thielen WR1/2, Stefon Diggs WR3, Kyle Rudolph TE2/3

MINPHI
MINPHI

Kirk Cousins is coming off the best game of 2019, and he gets another friendly matchup against one of the worst secondaries in the game. Cousins’ overall volume in this run-heavy offense is still a major concern, but Cousins is a QB2 in this matchup with the 12th-best team total of the week. … Dalvin Cook is second in rushing yards (542) and fourth in rushing touchdown (5) all while catching 21 passes for an additional 200 yards. Cook has elite RB1 usage and is playing like one of the best backs in the game. The Eagles’ defense isn’t one to mess with on the ground, but Cook is matchup-proof as an elite RB1.

MINAY6
MINAY6

Adam Thielen had a bounceback game after clearing things up with Cousins on that podcast. Thielen out-targeted and out-air yarded Stefon Diggs by a mile and offers a slightly higher floor every week. With the Eagles in the bottom 15th percentile against fantasy receivers, Thielen is a high-end WR2 despite some volume concerns. … Diggs’ usage is more worrisome than Thielen’s but their individual matchups are both awesome. The disgruntled receiver could be a post-squeaky wheel buy-low here as an upside WR3. If it doesn’t happen this week, it’s officially time to panic. … Kyle Rudolph is barely on the fantasy radar since he has just one reception in each of the last three weeks. Rudolph’s snap counts remain high, but he’s blocking a ton and is just a TE2/3 in fantasy. 

 

13. 49ers (23.5, 3.5) @ LAR

Update: George Kittle suffered a minor groin injury at practice Friday, and he's now questionable. Coach Kyle Shannahan remains optimistic that he'll play. Kittle is a TE1 whenever active. ... Jeff Wilson might be active this week, which would mean lower touchdown equity for Coleman and Breida. Adding a fourth back to this committee would be terrible for fantasy. 

Forecast: Jimmy Garoppolo QB2, Tevin Coleman RB2/3, Matt Breida RB3, Marquise Goodwin WR5, Deebo Samuel WR5, Dante Pettis WR5, George Kittle (questionable) TE1

SFLAR
SFLAR

The Rams’ defense has been a pass funnel in 2019 (see pass efficiency and run efficiency above), but I anticipate the 49ers to continue deploying a run-heavy attack despite the matchup. Jimmy Garoppolo is only averaging 28 pass attempts per game, and he’s now without multiple starting offensive linemen. There’s not a lot to get fired up with outside of George Kittle in the passing game. Jimmy G is a low-end QB2 option. … Tevin Coleman returned last week and immediately led the backfield in carries. Perhaps the most significant aspect of his return was Jeff Wilson’s return to the inactive streets. That means Coleman and other backs will have goal-line opportunities. If Coleman sees 12-18 carries with goal-line action, he’ll find himself on the RB2 map. For now, I’m dipping one toe in the water given the matchup, so I’m viewing Coleman as an RB2. … Matt Breida still had 11 carries and may have had more if the score was closer on Monday Night Football. I’m projecting Breida to act as the 1B to Coleman’s 1A, but the run-heavy attack gives Breida enough action to keep him in the flex mix. Breida’s primary concern will be touchdowns if he continues to not see inside-the-five touches. 

SFAY6
SFAY6

Deebo Samuel, Dante Pettis, and Marquise Goodwin aren’t being utilized enough to be counted on in fantasy. … George Kittle is the clear No. 1 pass catcher for Jimmy G, and he absolutely torched the Rams last year. He averaged 25.4 PPR points in his two games against them last year, and the Rams currently don’t have the linebackers or safeties to contain him. Kittle is an elite TE1. 

 

14. Bucs (22.5, +2) vs. CAR

Forecast: Jameis Winston QB1/2, Ronald Jones RB3, Peyton Barber RB3, Chris Godwin WR1, Mike Evans WR1/2, O.J. Howard TE2

TBCAR
TBCAR

Jameis Winston and the Bucs travel to London after two tough games at Los Angeles and at New Orleans. It’s a tough stretch, and things won’t get much easier against a zone defense that’s slowed down Winston in the past. Winston has only averaged 1.0 passing touchdown in the last four games against Carolina, and this 2019 Carolina defense is getting after the quarterback at a top-10 rate. Winston is a QB2 here. … The Panthers’ run defense is in the bottom 10th percentile in DVOA, but the Bucs’ committee approach is cannibalizing fantasy upside for Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber. Last week, RoJo had nine carries to Barber’s eight. Based on volume, both backs are low-floor RB3s.

TBAY6
TBAY6

Chris Godwin is fantasy’s WR1 overall through five weeks. He has elite usage and is averaging an absurd 11.9 yards per attempt. He’s squarely in the mix as a WR1, especially with Mike Evans getting the toughest individual matchup on the team against CB James Bradberry. … Evans’ boom-or-bust nature makes everyone overreact to the most recent week. If he goes off, everyone chases. If he duds, everyone panics. When it’s all set and done, Evans should finish as a top-10 fantasy receiver, just like his usage indicates. Evans is leading the NFL in air yards and is still a low-end WR1 despite the Bradberry matchup. … O.J. Howard has TE2 usage, but we did get a nice downfield catch in traffic this week when he watched the Rays at Tropicana Field. Unfortunately, foul ball grabs don’t help us in fantasy, so Howard remains as an upside TE2 based on talent, not volume. 

 

15. Jaguars (22.5, -1) vs. NO

Forecast: Gardner Minshew QB2, Leonard Fournette RB1, D.J. Chark WR2, Dede Westbrook WR5, Chris Conley WR5

JAXNO
JAXNO

Gardner Minshew continues to play within himself and make plays when he needs to, but this is arguably his toughest test yet with the Saints’ defense rounding into form. The Saints are in the top 20th percentile in adjusted sack rate and have played clock-management offense, which lowers the ceiling for the Jaguars’ offense. Minshew is a low-end QB2. … Leonard Fournette is fourth in carries and is on pace for 64 receptions. He has elite RB1 usage, but the Jaguars haven’t given Fournette many red zone chances thus far. The Saints are middle of the pack against the run, so Fournette remains a low-end RB1 based on volume.

JAXAY6
JAXAY6

D.J. Chark is sixth in air yards and is averaging 13.1 yards per target. Chark is an obvious regression candidate, but if his volume stays anywhere near where it’s been, then Chark should remain as a top-20 receiver moving forward. His individual matchup with Marshon Lattimore is difficult, but I’m still firing Chark up as a WR2. … Dede Westbrook had 11 targets last week, and he quietly only has four fewer receptions than Chark right now. The difference has been in yards with Westbrook due for positive regression in terms of yardage. Westbrook is an underrated WR4 if you’re looking for a bye-week filler. … Chris Conley a deep target for Minshew whenever he’s not looking at Chark or Westbrook. Conley also has some sneaky appeal as a dart thrown against the left side of the Saints’ defense:   

 

16. Browns (22.25, +1.5) vs. SEA

Forecast: Baker Mayfield QB2/3, Nick Chubb RB1, Odell Beckham WR1/2, Jarvis Landry WR3

 

CLESEA
CLESEA

Baker Mayfield is still struggling against pressure and is still getting little help with play calling. Heading back home will help, but we have to wait-and-see with Mayfield before starting him in fantasy. Vegas expects the Browns to put up just 22.25 points, so Mayfield is a low-end QB2. …  Nick Chubb has at least 16 carries and 62 rushing yards in all five games and has five rushing touchdowns. The Seahawks’ defense isn’t as formidable as it once was, so there’s no reason to get off Chubb as an RB1, especially since he has at least three receptions in 4-of-5 games. 

CLEAY6
CLEAY6

There’s some squeaky wheel for Odell Beckham this week after he’s been limited to 56, 20, and 27 yards in the last three weeks. Despite the low totals, OBJ is seeing great usage (see chart above) and is an awesome buy-low. There’s no way I’m lowering Odell out of the WR1 mix, especially with the Seahawks still struggling to create pressure on the defensive line. … Jarvis Landry has strong WR3 usage in every game despite the offensive struggles. Landry is averaging a career-high 10.3 yards per target and is also due for some positive regression like OBJ.
 

17. Redskins (22.25, -3.5) @ MIA

Forecast: Case Keenum QB2/3, Adrian Peterson RB2/3, Chris Thompson RB3, Terry McLaurin WR2/3, Trey Quinn WR5, Paul Richardson WR5, Jeremy Sprinkle TE2/3

WASMIA
WASMIA

Case Keenum looks like he’ll be the starter, but he can be pulled halfway through the game in favor of Dwayne Haskins if he struggles and the Redskins’ new head coach Bill Callahan is adamant about running the ball this week. He literally said that rush attempts are the most important aspect of the offense. Amazing. … Adrian Peterson should get fed the rock with the identity change, and it couldn’t be a better matchup for Peterson to sneak in a top-30 RB finish. If you want 20+ touches in the weirdest game of the year, AP is your guy. I’m going to call him an RB3 and sit back and watch this circus. 

WASAY6
WASAY6

Terry McLaurin came back from injury to see the same usage he had in Weeks 1-3. The rookie is squarely in the WR3 mix even with the craziness at quarterback and with the coaching staff because he’s operating as the clear top receiving option. The Dolphins are also terrible if you haven’t heard. … Trey Quinn and Paul Richardson’s volume fell back down with McLaurin healthy. They’ll be WR5s against Miami before completely going off the radar next week. … Jeremy Sprinkle has at least three targets in three straight weeks, which makes him a zero-floor TE2/3 if you’re really, really desperate.

 

18. Broncos (21.75, -2.5) vs. TEN

Forecast: Joe Flacco QB2/3, Phillip Lindsay RB2, Royce Freeman RB3, Courtland Sutton WR3, Emmanuel Sanders WR4, Noah Fant TE2

DENTEN
DENTEN

Joe Flacco has six touchdowns in five games despite outpacing his career yards per attempt, 7.5 to 6.8, this season. Flacco can pop for a random three-touchdown game, but this offense wants to run the ball whenever they can. Flacco is on the QB2/3 borderline against an above-average Titans’ defense. … Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman continue to split usage 60/40 between the 20s, but Lindsay is seeing all of the goal-line carries. Lindsay should see 10-15 carries with a few receptions as a low-end RB2 against an average run defense, while Freeman hovers in the RB3 range with less touchdown upside than Lindsay.

DENAY6
DENAY6

Courtland Sutton is seeing WR3 usage every week, and he’s 10.6 yards per target with an improved 68% catch rate. Sutton is in the middle of a second-year breakout season and is emerging as Flacco’s No. 1 target over Emmanuel Sanders. Sutton is a rock-solid WR3 at home. … Sanders’ usage and production have been inconsistent to start his age-32 season. Not surprising since he’s coming off a torn Achilles. Sanders is better to bet against than bet on in this run-heavy offense, especially with Sutton emerging. Sanders is purely a flex play. … Noah Fant just isn’t seeing enough targets to make an impact in fantasy yet. Hopefully that changes soon, but he’s just an intriguing prospect for now as a low-end TE2. 

Week 6
Week 6

Teams are listed in order of their implied points.

Page 1: BAL, KC, LAR, ATL, DAL, GB, HOU, CAR, ARI

Page 2: LAC, SEA, MIN, SF, TB, JAX, CLE, WAS, DEN

Page 3: NO, DET, PHI, TEN, MIA, NYJ, CIN, PIT

TNF: NE, NYG

Byes: BUF, CHI, IND, OAK

 

19. Saints (21.5, +1) @ JAX

Update: Alvin Kamara suffered an ankle injury at practice and is now questionable. Kamara looks like a game-time decision, and he's at risk for a re-injury if he plays. I'm still keeping him inside the top-10 at the position, but Latavius Murray could see a few more looks. If Kamara is ruled out, Latavius Murray would be an RB2 in an above-average matchup (read below). 

Forecast: Teddy Bridgewater QB2/3, Alvin Kamara RB1, Michael Thomas WR1, Ted Ginn WR5, Jared Cook TE1/2

NOJAX
NOJAX

Teddy Bridgewater is starting to get in a bit of a groove, but his ceiling is still low since he’s not taking many chances downfield and is not picking up rushing yards. Bridgewater and the Saints’ offense would also be smart to attack the Jaguars on the ground against their dead last run defense DVOA, so there are volume concerns, too. Bridgewater is on the QB2/3 borderline. … Alvin Kamara should have a really nice game given the Jaguars' run funnel defense, and Kamara is due for positive touchdown regression since he only has one rushing touchdown 75 carries this season. Kamara is an upside RB1. 

NOAY6
NOAY6

Michael Thomas finally got back to seeing elite-level usage last week after two down weeks with Teddy. Thomas’ individual matchup will be very soft if CB Jalen Ramsey (back, holdout) doesn’t play, but I’ll drop him down the rankings if Ramsey is ready to go. I’ll update the column when there’s more clarity. … Ted Ginn would be in good shape for more usage if Ramsey is active and matching up with Thomas, but he’s generally too low-volume to have any interest in. I did notice the Jaguars have been exposed on the right side of the field downfield when looking at Next Gen Stats data (see charts below), and Ginn does play on the right side a lot. Ginn is worth a dart throw if building multiple DFS tournament lineups. … Jared Cook isn’t being targeted downfield very often but he does have six targets in back-to-back weeks. The tight end will remain inconsistent as a distant third receiving option, but there’s enough usage to remain in the TE1/2 mix. 

NGSDeep
NGSDeep

Warning: There are some games that don’t have Next Gen Stats data, so not every single pass is accounted for. I will say most pass attempts are included here. 

 

20. Lions (21.25, +4.5) @ GB

Forecast: Matthew Stafford QB2/3, Kerryon Johnson RB1/2, Kenny Golladay WR2, Marvin Jones WR4, T.J. Hockenson (questionable) TE2

DETGB
DETGB

Matthew Stafford can still put up fantasy points in the right matchups, but going into Green Bay is not “the right” matchup. The Packers are in the top 15th percentile in pass defense DVOA and want to run the ball to run out the clock on offense. Stafford is a QB2/3. … The Packers’ defense is a run funnel (see chart above), so this could be a sneaky spot for Kerryon Johnson, who has 20 and 26 carries in the last two weeks. Johnson also blocked less and ran more routes last week than he was doing to start the season, so he should stay on the field in the event the Lions are trailing. Johnson is firmly on the RB1/2 radar. 

DETAY6
DETAY6

Kenny Golladay has WR1/2 usage, but it hasn’t translated to big stat lines yet. Golladay is only averaging 6.8 yards per target, which is far worse than last year’s 8.9 average. Positive regression should be coming his way. The matchup with CB Jaire Alexander is a tough one to beat, but Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup were able to get going against the Packers last week. Golladay is a volatile WR2. … Marvin Jones quietly has decent usage in terms of air yards to start the season. Jones, like Golladay, hasn’t translated the usage to fantasy points and is due for bigger games. Jones is a boom-or-bust WR4/5. … T.J. Hockenson (concussion) is trending towards playing after a scary injury, but he has fewer than 25 air yards and four targets in each of the last three weeks. Hockenson is just an upside TE2.
 

21. Eagles (20.5, +3) @ MIN 

Forecast: Carson Wentz QB1/2, Jordan Howard RB3, Miles Sanders RB4, Alshon Jeffery WR3, Nelson Agholor WR5, Zach Ertz TE1, Dallas Goedert TE2/3

 

PHIMIN
PHIMIN

Carson Wentz has had tough luck with drops this season, but the team is starting to get healthy again and Wentz’s stat lines should start to get rolling. Vegas doesn’t think Week 6 will be a ceiling game, however, with their low 20.5 team total. Wentz is more of a QB1/2 than a QB1 against the Vikings who can play high-end defense and run the clock out on offense. … Jordan Howard is set to receive more carries after three-straight weeks with a touchdown (5 TDs over that span). The issue for Howard this week is the Vikings’ run defense that is second in DVOA. Howard is a touchdown-or-bust RB3.

PHIAY6
PHIAY6

Playing in Minnesota lowers the ceiling and floor for everyone on Philly, but Alshon Jeffery is seeing strong WR3 usage in his two games back from injury with DeSean Jackson out. Another 7-10 targets are expected for Jeffrey, who has a track record of beating CB Xavier Rhodes over the years. Jeffery is a fine WR3. … Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins are far too inconsistent and too low-volume to start with any confidence this week. … The last time Zach Ertz played the Vikings, he had 10-110-1 on 11 targets. Minnesota has been very average against tight ends this season and Ertz has had at least seven targets in each game. He’s an elite TE1. … Dallas Goedert only has five receptions in four games. He needs Ertz to miss games to be started. 

 

22. Titans (19.25, +2.5) @ DEN

Forecast: Marcus Mariota QB2/3, Derrick Henry RB1/2, A.J. Brown WR5, Corey Davis WR5, Delanie Walker TE1/2

TENDEN
TENDEN

Marcus Mariota has had some long touchdowns that have elevated his fantasy numbers, but he’s still playing inconsistent, low-ceiling football in 2019. Going to Denver isn’t the time to get cute. Both of these teams want to run the ball and play slow whenever possible. … Derrick Henry has at least 15 carries in all five games and has a touchdown in 4-of-5. His usage is bankable and his ceiling is higher than others think given his goal-line role. The Broncos’ defense is missing front-seven defenders including Bradley Chubb and rank in the bottom 15th percentile against fantasy RBs. Henry is a rock-solid RB1/2, especially in leagues with rushing yard bonuses. 

TENAY6
TENAY6

As you can see above, A.J. Brown, Corey Davis, and Adam Humphries aren’t seeing enough volume to be started in fantasy, especially at Mile High Stadium. … Delanie Walker’s usage has regressed in the last two weeks, but he is still hanging on the TE1/2 borderline given the landscape at that position. 

 

23. Dolphins (18.75, +3.5) vs. WAS

Update: Albert Wilson looks to be ready to make a return. His presence lowers the floor and ceiling of DeVante Parker and Preston Williams

Forecast: Josh Rosen QB2/3, Kenyan Drake RB3, DeVante Parker WR4, Preston Williams WR5, Albert Wilson (questionable) WR5

MIAWAS
MIAWAS

Josh Rosen can still throw a nice ball when he has time, but he’s dealing with the worst team I’ve ever seen. The floor is the earth’s core, although the Redskins’ non-existent defense does give him a chance for moderate success as a QB2/3. I have other QBs ranked lower. … This will be Kenyan Drake’s best chance for a usable fantasy week. The Redskins are in the bottom 25th percentile against fantasy RBs, and the Dolphins shouldn’t be in must-pass situations all week long. Drake is an RB3 option if you’re in a tough spot with byes this week. 

MIAAY6
MIAAY6

DeVante Parker and Preston Williams have enough usage to pop for a random good week if you’re building DFS tournament teams. This is a week to take a shot with one of them with the Redskins allowing five receiving touchdowns on passes caught 20+ yards downfield. Albert Wilson (calf) getting cleared would lower their outlooks, however.
 

24. Jets (18.75, +7.5) vs. DAL

Forecast: Sam Darnold QB2/3, Le’Veon Bell RB1/2, Robby Anderson WR5, Jamison Crowder WR5, Demaryius Thomas WR5

NYJDAL
NYJDAL

Sam Darnold “should not” die on the field this week, according to Adam Gase. That’s good news, but I’m waiting to see this Jets’ offense before using anyone in fantasy, except for Le’Veon Bell. It’s fair to question Darnold’s effectiveness and strength in his first game post-mono, and the Cowboys’ defense isn’t exactly friendly. … Le’Veon Bell is an absolute workhorse. Bell has at least 15 carries and at least four receptions in every game, and this will be near the freshest he’ll be for the rest of the season since he’s only one week removed from their bye. Bell is a volume-based RB1. Hopefully Darnold shows some signs of life this week because Bell has serious upside if the Jets’ offense can get going.

NYJAY6
NYJAY6

Demaryius Thomas was the No. 1 receiver last week and his presence is a threat to muddy up opportunities for Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder. Any of these three receivers can have a good game this week, but it’s hard to project targets among them in Darnold’s first game with all three active. In terms of targets, I’d rank them: Crowder, Anderson, Thomas. I’d try not to start any of them until we get more data. … Chris Herndon will not make his season debut after injuring himself at practice this week. 

 

25. Bengals (17.75, +12) @ BAL

Forecast: Andy Dalton QB2/3, Joe Mixon RB2, Giovani Bernard RB4, Tyler Boyd WR1/2, Auden Tate WR4, Tyler Eifert TE2

CINBAL
CINBAL

Andy Dalton is third in pass attempts, so he’s going to be in the QB2 mix just about every week, but he’s playing with too many backups to have any excitement this week. Dalton is a QB2/3. … The Bengals’ pass-heavy style has left Joe Mixon without a touchdown and with just one game with over 65 rushing yards. Mixon is also losing snaps to Giovani Bernard each week, so he’s only seeing 1-4 receptions per game, too. The Ravens’ defense isn’t one I’m scared of, but Mixon’s volume and team surroundings make him an RB2. 

CINAY6
CINAY6

Tyler Boyd is fifth in receptions and has almost zero competition for targets. With the Bengals’ pass-heavy offense, Boyd is a high-floor WR1/2 against an overrated Ravens’ pass defense. … Auden Tate is the clear-cut No. 2 receiver and he does have at least six targets in the last three games but his low average depth of target and seventh-round talent make him a low-floor WR4. … Tyler Eifert couldn’t get things done against the Cardinals last week and has TE2 usage in every game this season with C.J. Uzomah stealing snaps. Eifert is a forgettable TE2. 

 

26. Steelers (17.25, +7) @ LAC

Update: Mason Rudolph has been ruled out, so Devlin Hodges will be making the start. That's less than ideal. 

Forecast: Devlin Hodges QB3, James Conner RB2, JuJu Smith-Schuster WR3, Diontae Johnson WR5, Vance McDonald TE2

PITLAC
PITLAC

Mason Rudolph is questionable after a scary concussion, but I wouldn’t consider him regardless of his health. The Chargers play too slow and Rudolph has shown too little to start him in fantasy. … James Conner will benefit from Jaylen Samuels’ injury, but he has somewhat limited upside playing in an offense projected for 17.25 points this week. Conner will see 15-25 touches with pass-catching and goal-line opportunities, so he’s a volume-based RB1/2 despite the Steelers’ non-existent offense. The Steelers’ elite offensive line should clear paths against the Chargers’ bottom 25th percentile run defense. 

PITAY6
PITAY6

JuJu Smith-Schuster has WR3 usage over the last three weeks, and he has some of the worst quarterback play in the NFL right now. JuJu also gets elite CB Casey Hayward this week, so it’s necessary to drop him down in weekly rankings. … Diontae Johnson and James Washington are seeing similar usage to JuJu while playing with Ben Roethlisberger’s backups, but the offense isn’t scoring enough to start either in standard-sized leagues. … Vance McDonald has three or fewer receptions in 3-of-4 games and his touchdown equity is limited by the Steelers’ bottom-shelf offense. McDonald is a TE2 for now.

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