Fresh off Sunday’s slate of games, Fantrax looks back at all the good, the bad, and the interesting from the first Sunday of NFL games in the Week 6 fantasy football recap.
Hopefully, we can use what we learned in the first six weeks of fantasy football to help make better lineup decisions moving forward. This weekly column will highlight the week’s slate from a fantasy perspective, while also analyzing what trends to pay attention to in the weeks ahead.
For Week 6, we will look at the slate highlighted by backup running backs, look at Ja’Marr Chase’s monster day, and ponder whether Mark Andrews will have the best fantasy tight end ever.
Week 6 Fantasy Football Recap
Week 6 Studs
The Joe Burrow who threw two touchdowns but four interceptions in Week 1 is long gone at this point. Burrow torched the Saints for three passing touchdowns, 300 passing yards, and another score on the ground to lead all fantasy players in scoring Sunday. Since that four-pick game in Week 1, Burrow has thrown for 10 touchdowns and just one interception.
You have to turn the clocks all the way back to September 2016 to find the last time Matt Ryan had a game as prolific as he did on Sunday against Jacksonville. Ryan threw for a Week 6-high 389 yards plus three scores as the Colts came back and stole a win from the Jaguars. His 27 fantasy points are nine higher than he has produced in any other game this season, so this is likely a one-week spike.
Fantasy is a funny game sometimes. You can find a quarterback who threw for just 129 yards yet finished top-five in the position in scoring. Two passing touchdowns and a rushing score will certainly help do that, as will a 49ers defense that inexplicably let the Falcons run all over them today. But like Matt Ryan, this was far and away his best performance of the season.
Filling in for Damian Harries, Stevenson played the role of bell cow, just like we predicted in this column last week. That meant 19 rush attempts and four catches which meant two touchdowns and 91 total yards. If this does end up being a multi-week absence for Harris, you should feel confident to deploy Stevenson anywhere. All three other backs on the rosters totaled seven carries and 26 yards.
Jackson, another fill-in for his team’s regular starter, put on a clinic for Jacksonville that included 12 rush attempts, a rush touchdown, plus catching all 10 of his targets for 79 yards. I was outbid several places for Jackson this week, and I instantly regret it. Jonathan Taylor is likely back next week, but Jackson is a prime handcuff now after this performance.
J.K. Dobbins was forced to leave this game after an injury reaggravation, so it was time to love the Drake again in Baltimore. The Ravens may not have pulled out the win, but Drake could not have done any more with this time on the field. With just 10 rush attempts, he totaled 119 yards and a score for Baltimore. Drake is the man to own for now if Dobbins has to sit again.
We should have known what was coming when Joe Burrow showed up at the site of his and Chase’s National Championship win wearing Chase’s LSU jersey. The writing was on the wall at that point, and Chase proceeded to run all over the Saints to the tune of 132 yards and two scores. Those last four games are now easily forgotten.
On a day when not much went right for the 49ers, Aiyuk stands out as the one true bright spot. He was targeted 11 times and was able to catch eight of them for 83 yards and two scores. These were far and away Aiyuk’s best numbers of the season, so don’t go overpaying for Aiyuk if you suddenly find out he is available in your league.
While the Chiefs-Bills games didn’t exactly live up to the scoring bonanza we were promised, Stefon Diggs still got his in the most predictable outcome ever. He ended the day with 13 targets for 10 catches, 148 yards, and a score. After the miserable playoff game he had against the Chiefs last year, I think the game plan was to force-feed the ball to Diggs at Arrowhead.
Michael Pittman, Jr.
Someone had to catch those 389 yards from Matt Ryan, and it turns out the Colts’ best receiver was the main beneficiary. Pittman set career-highs with 16 targets, 13 receptions, and 134 receiving yards en route to a win. He had a monster PPR day without even scoring and his two poor performances from earlier in the season are long gone.
So is Mike Gisecki primarily a blocker or a receiver? I can’t figure it out. After Sunday’s six catches, 69 yards, and two touchdowns, Gisecki now has four games with two or fewer catches and zero scores. He also has two games with 10 total catches and three total touchdowns. Good luck getting the roulette wheel right on that one.
After seven catches for 106 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, Mark Andrews is on pace for 111 receptions, 1289 receiving yards, and 14 touchdowns. Both the receptions and touchdowns would be top-three all-time for tight ends at that pace while the receiving yards would be top-ten all time. Next season, Andrews will surpass Kelce as the tight end many think should be drafted at the end of the first round.
Week 6 Duds
Tom Brady can yell and scream all he wants at his offensive line, but it’s the 45-year-old GOAT who is looking every bit of that age right now. His one touchdown pass is actually becoming quite common this year, it’s the fifth time in six games he has exactly one TD throw. And the fantasy points just aren’t coming this year. Brady’s abysmal performance this week earned him 13.7 fantasy points, which is actually just his third-lowest of the year.
Somehow Matthew Stafford was able to get an ultra-productive week out of Allen Robinson, yet still manage to look like he facing all the affects of being hurt plus having a terrible, banged-up offensive line. Stafford’s back-breaking pick-six in Sunday’s game didn’t end up mattering much, but he still looked completely lost at times and only managed 253 yards, one score, and a pick,
Might as well make it a trifecta with all the Old Man River quarterbacks on this fantasy Sunday. Rodgers was the worst of the bunch with just 246 yards, one score, and a lost fumble in an embarrassing home loss to the New York Jets. That’s six straight games with no more than 17 fantasy points for Rodgers, and the poor performance is now starting to trickle down into other positions, such as…
Jones rushed just nine times for 19 yards, plus grabbed three catches for 25 yards. It prompted Coach LeFleur to ponder the question after the games as to why Jones didn’t have more carries. He told reporters he wasn’t sure how it happened that Jones would be so underutilized. Uh, bud, you call the plays so you have quite a bit of say as to whether Jones gets fed. But, as mentioned above, this is a systemic problem and the Packers might need to make some drastic changes to right the ship.
Don’t look now but 2020-2021 CEH may be back after the last two weeks. He has just 8.3 half-PPR points in the last two games while he averaged 17.25 in his first four contests. On this day, he only had about the 33 emptiest yards you will ever see, and this is probably a performance he will lock away in the cabinet and never pull out again.
After the Steelers were torched for 38 points in Week 5, we would have expected more production than just four catches for 42 yards from Evans. We also would have expected the Bucs to score more than one touchdown. But such is life with Tom Brady right now. Chris Godwin got his catches and yards and Sunday, but no one is a consistent end-zone force right now.
Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf
The two dynamic Seahawks wide receivers finished the day with 51 total yards, which is just six more than Noah Fant had by himself. After back to back weeks where it looked like Geno Smith would be able to give fantasy managers strong weeks from each receiver, it all came crashing down in the disappointing game against Arizona.
I’m officially calling it. D.J. Moore’s 2022 fantasy death occurred at about 4:00 PM ET on October 16th. Friends and fantasy managers were by his side when it happened. With the quarterback situation a mess for Carolina, players getting kicked out of the game by their own coaches, and a fire sale eminent, Moore’s outlook for the rest of the season looks bleak. After just one catch for seven yards, it’s clear fantasy managers can’t rely on him anymore.
Just when Higbee was entering the very exclusive tight end circle of trust, He catches just one ball for seven yards, doing his best D.J. Moore impression. This was a very slow, sluggish, ugly game between the Panthers and Rams, so I believe that in a better game environment, we can still count on Higbee to deliver.
After an unbelievable week out of the NFL’s real-life Swiss Army Knife, Taysom Hill let everyone down who put him in their rosters hoping for a repeat. He did rush for 39 yards, but no scores and just 16 passing yards left a lot to be desired. That’s the way it goes with Hill, who can have week-winning or week-killing games.
Situations to Monitor
Falcons’ Receivers in a Tough Spot
With their surprisingly good 3-3 record, perhaps we shouldn’t be second-guessing the Falcons’ game plans this season. But fantasy managers are quickly learning it is not a great experience to roster one of the few Atlanta pass-catchers who are actually involved.
Coming into Week 6, the Falcons threw the ball just 45% of the time, 31st in the NFL, only ahead of the Bears. Then on Sunday, Marcus Mariota only threw 14 times compared to 40 rush attempts on the game. Fortunately, Kyle Pitts was able to find the end zone (albeit on just 19 receiving yards), but Drake London was a dud. He managed just 40 yards on three catches.
If the Falcons continue down this path of establishing the run and then establishing it some more, it will be very difficult to justify starting Pitts or London on a week-to-week basis. I will be looking for game totals and opposing defensive matchups before I deploy either of those guys moving forward.
Is Elijah Moore Droppable?
After he put out a very cryptic message on Twitter Sunday night, Elijah Moore managers must be just as confused as he is. Moore tweeted about his lack of involvement in the win over the Packers (zero targets), and basically came to the conclusion that he has no answers as to why he is not more involved.
We knew that once Zach Wilson came back the game plan would be to go more run heavy (especially as Breece Hall matured), but it’s been discouraging to see one of the best stories from 2021 completely sidelined for multiple games this year.
While we very may well see a squeaky-wheel-gets-the-grease narrative next week, I would need to see a consistent pattern of usage before I’m willing to have Moore on any of my fantasy rosters.