The ebbs and flows of the NFL can drive fantasy owners crazy. In Week 6, we saw the triumphant return of two fantasy superstars in Tyreek Hill and Hunter Henry. Both were eased back into action but made a huge splash on the fantasy landscape. We also saw some waters muddied, as fumbles and RBBCs continue to haunt fantasy owners. Ezekiel Elliott led all RBs with 75 downs played and a great fantasy game, but the Cowboys still lost to the winless Jets. DeAndre Hopkins played 90 snaps, most of any WR in the league, in the Texans win over Kansas City but still disappointed fantasy owners. At TE, two relatively unknown players led the week in snaps played, as Houston’s Darren Fells and New England’s Ryan Izzo both logged 80 downs.
I’ll try to make sense of some of the fantasy implications of what we saw transpire this week and let you know who you should be claiming on waivers and selling high in trades based on downs played in Week 6.
Every week I like to highlight any RB/WR/TE that plays 100% of his team’s downs. This may be the most eclectic bunch of the season. Only one WR was in for every play and that was the Rams Robert Woods on 53 snaps. Two TEs showed their endurance in Week 6, Rhett Ellison played every snap for Giants while filling in for the injured Evan Engram, and the 49ers Daniel Brunskill, a person I didn’t know existed until this week, played every down despite George Kittle having a great fantasy week.
Week 6 Snap Count Observations
Green Bay Packers RBs (Jamaal Williams 39, Aaron Jones 36)
Just when we thought we had this all figured out, Jones fumbles away his golden egg. Williams looked like he was headed to the IR two weeks ago but after Aaron Jones lost a fumble on Monday night, Williams took over this backfield. The two backs basically split the snaps and touches down the middle, with Williams seeing the ball 18 times to Jones’ 14, but Jamaal made a lot more of his opportunities. Williams had 136 total yards and a TD while Jones tallied just 60 scoreless yards. This is one week removed from Jones setting the world on fire with 182 yards and 4 TDs. One fumble and all of his reliability is out the window. Williams will be the #1 waiver wire add in most leagues this week.
Kansas City Chiefs RBs (LeSean McCoy 29, Damien Williams 22, Darrel Williams 7)
After seeing 55% of the snaps in Week 5, it appeared that Damien Williams would be handed back the “lead back” role he seemed to have lost to injury. In Week 6, Andy Reid showed us we know nothing. Instead, McCoy was given 50% of the snaps and, for the 2nd straight week, no KC RB was all that effective. Damien had just one carry and one reception but did manage to score a TD. Shady had just 10 total touches despite leading in snaps and only managed 44 total yards. And Darrel had a single 52-yard reception after goosing in Week 5. Kansas City RBs are “persona non grata” in fantasy until further notice.
Miami Dolphins RBs (Kenyan Drake 46, Mark Walton 32, Kalen Ballage 4)
While the Miami backfield is less than appetizing, there can be value in the passing-down back of an awful team. Initially, that role seemed to be Drake’s and he was thought to be a possible RB3, but the tides may be turning. Once a roster afterthought, Walton was targeted six times, reeling in five balls for 43 yards. Drake still led the team in targets with nine but was unable to do much with them, catching six balls for 30 yards. The two RBs split the carries 10-6 in favor of Drake and both scored ten fantasy points.
Philadelphia Eagles RBs (Jordan Howard 41, Miles Sanders 19)
In the absence of DeSean Jackson, Miles Sanders has carved himself a role in the Philadelphia passing game. Despite playing half as many snaps as Howard, Sanders managed nearly double his yardage (92-49) and scored a TD. The TD was in the receiving game, where Sanders caught all three of his targets for 86 yards. Sanders was out-carried by Howard and Boston Scott, who had just 4 carries on 4 snaps played, so his usage after Jackson returns may be in question.
Jets WRs (Robby Anderson 57, Jamison Crowder 50, Demaryius Thomas 50)
Since we only got to see this WR corps with Sam Darnold at the helm in Week 1, it was interesting to see how things shook out in this game against Dallas. Thomas did not play for the Jets in that Week 1 game and Crowder was targeted 17 times. This time around the snaps and the targets were spread pretty evenly. Crowder did lead the team in targets with nine, but only caught six balls. Anderson had five catches for a game-high 125 yards and a TD, while Thomas had a pedestrian four receptions for 60 yards. It does appear that the return of Darnold may bring some life to these WRs but we’ll need to wait and see if he spreads it so fairly every week, especially after Chris Herndon makes his debut.
Kansas City Chiefs WRs (Demarcus Robinson 50, Byron Pringle 34, Mecole Hardman 32, Tyreek Hill 29)
While Hill was eased back into action, it did not matter, his talent was welcomed back with open arms. Hill was targeted on ten of his 29 plays and reeled in five balls for 80 yards and two TDs. Despite leading the Chiefs in just about everything in Week 5, Pringle only played about 59% of the snaps and did just about nothing. Robinson did actual nothing on his four targets and Hardman caught four balls for 45 yards. It was 2nd straight tough week for the Chiefs offense but you have to be excited if you held onto Tyreek Hill.
Atlanta Falcons WRs (Julio Jones 47, Mohamed Sanu 47, Calvin Ridley 41)
It seems impossible that this Atlanta team is this bad but here we are. Calvin Ridley continued his TD or bust trend, scoring his 4th touchdown of the season despite playing the fewest snaps of the trio. All of the WRs were outscored by Devonta Freeman, who turned three catches into two receiving TDs. This may be a great sell-high moment for Ridley, who hasn’t out-snapped Sanu yet this season. Sanu leads all Falcons WRs in snaps this year and should still be considered a fantasy WR3.
Cleveland Browns TEs (Ricky Seals-Jones 47, Pharaoh Brown 23, Demetrius Harris 19)
This is only worth mentioning because of the sorry state of fantasy TEs right now but it appears that Seals-Jones has officially won this job while Cleveland waits on Njoku to return from the IR. Seals-Jones led the Browns TEs in downs played, targets, and receptions. To be fair, that was just four receptions for 47 yards and a TD on six targets but that was good enough for TE4 this week. Ricky needs to be added in all leagues.
Houston Texans TEs (Darren Fells 80, Jordan Akins 67)
Still not a ton of clarity in Houston but it seems that Fells may be the most stream-worthy of the two TEs. He played the most snaps of any TE in the NFL this week (tied with Ryan Izzo of the Pats) and was targeted seven times, catching six balls for 69 yards. It’s not close to his two TD performance from a week ago but, again, the TE landscape is so bad he is worth adding by truly needy fantasy teams. Akins did secure all three of his targets for 39 yards but appears to be a long odds, TD or bust type player.
Los Angeles Chargers TEs (Hunter Henry 41, Virgil Green 23, Lance Kendricks 2)
A welcome site in fantasy football: a stud TE doing stud TE things. Hopefully, you were able to stash Henry on your IR because, even as he was eased back into action and only played 66% of the snaps, he was the #1 TE in fantasy this week.