Ten Things We Learned in Week 6 (Fantasy Football)
I’ll be real with you Footclan…. was not a fun week. There were a lot of touchdown vultures, a lot of underwhelming performances, and frankly – there weren’t even many great games to watch in general. The Houston and Tennesee game was the lone bright spot of the early window, and the game of the week resulted in a complete stinker for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. There were a couple notable things to take from this week from a fantasy standpoint, but no major storylines happened that deserve immediate attention. Alexander Mattison flopped in spectacular fashion, while the rest of the running back landscape disappointed right alongside him. Outside of Derrick Henry having a monster game, any running back who eclipsed 15 points landed in the top five. This was certainly a week to forget, but as always – we can still learn:
Ryan Tannehill is an Every Week Starter (beginning in Week 8)
The fact that people still consider Tannehill a streamer confuses me. Obviously every quarterback without ‘Mahomes’ on his jersey is going to have tough matchups that make you want to bench them, but Tannehill should be in lineups every week. He’s been a top-five fantasy quarterback since he took over in Tennessee, and the sample size is big enough now to trust that it’s not a fluke. The passing volume will always be the question mark for him, but the unique makeup of their offense and the lights out talent of Derrick Henry allows for a high level of efficiency that balances it. He was my top late-round target in the preseason for these exact reasons, and it really confuses me why people still aren’t trusting him. Ironically he gets a brutal matchup with Pittsburgh next week, so you may be able to snag him off waivers before week 8 begins cause that might be ugly.
De’Andre Swift is On the Rise
Swift has been a fantasy dud for most of the 2020 season but this past week might have been the start of something special. He had a massive, backbreaking drop in Week one that put him in an obvious doghouse that he’s had to climb his way out of. I watched this game in full and when I saw that Swift stayed in for the goal line carries on the Lions second drive instead of Adrian Peterson, it gave me confidence that Matt Patricia somewhat trusts him again. He scored two plays later to cap off the first of his two touchdowns. He finished the day with nearly 120 yards from scrimmage and a huge day for anyone who was in a desperate enough spot to start him. He will be a top waiver claim in leagues where he was dropped, and he should be held on to if you’re a contending team that has him.
We May Have Been a Year Early on Antonio Gibson
Antonio Gibson remains a player I watch very closely every week, which means I’ve witnessed more terrible Washington Football Team film than any one man should. The talent is there for Gibson and the roster moves made in the preseason told us how much Washington likes him as their back of the future…. but it may not happen for fantasy managers this year. The reasoning for my concern here is simple: Washington absolutely stinks. Kyle Allen has looked abysmal in his relief of Dwayne Haskins and their offense as a whole makes the Jets look elite. No running back can thrive in an environment like this unless they have overwhelming volume, which hasn’t been happening. Ron Rivera is a smart coach, and I’m sure he sees the writing on the wall about their season so I don’t blame him one bit for limiting Gibson’s workload. He will continue to be a low ceiling flex play until proven otherwise, but the breakout we all hoped for might be a season away.
Despite the Win, The Colts Offense Remains a Snooze Fest
Phillip Rivers has been washed for a minute now, so I didn’t expect the Colts to light up many scoreboards in 2020. This week they finally put up some points, but no one really benefited from them since they’re not a team full of fantasy assets. Rivers is on every waiver wire in sight, and this shouldn’t change that. Jonathan Taylor went from a slam dunk potential league winner to a high-end RB2 with upside, only if they continue to increase his workload. He should finish as a top-six back this week, but that ranking comes with an asterisk. T.Y Hilton has flopped, and no one else on the Colts team is worth starting at all. It’s a far cry from the Andrew Luck led teams that were a blast to watch, and it’s been a tough offense to stick with, even compared to lowered expectations. Taylor is still a really valuable asset to hold onto in an ugly running back landscape, but your expectations should remain low until they funnel more passing game work to him.
Pittsburgh’s Defense is a Fantasy Black Hole
With the exception of one long run for Miles Sanders in Week five, the Steelers have a stranglehold on every fantasy asset they’ve faced off with this year. Quarterbacks and running backs, in particular, have been gobbled up week in and week out, so fantasy managers need to take notice. If you have a quarterback that doesn’t fall in the elite top tier of the position, you’re probably better off pivoting somewhere else. Baker Mayfield was their latest victim this Week, throwing three interceptions and looking just as ugly as his statistics reflect. Wide receivers have found some success through six weeks, but the Steelers are the 5th toughest matchup overall against the other positions. These numbers don’t even reflect how easily they shutdown Miles Sanders outside of his one big run last week, so going forward it’s safe to treat them as a must-avoid.
Welcome Back, Julio Jones
Matt Ryan was listed as a drop in my article last week because…. well of course he was. When Ryan doesn’t have Julio at full strength, he shouldn’t go anywhere near your lineup. Thankfully he suited up this week just in time and delivered a vintage performance reminiscent of the days when he was a borderline top-five overall fantasy pick. Julio is one of the best to ever do it, and it was awesome to see him back on top. He remains a high-end WR1 when he’s healthy, and I sure hope it stays that way. Ryan is still a top tier streamer for me since his rushing upside is nonexistent, but he’s a great play in the right matchups if Julio is good to go.
This Ain’t Your Grandpa’s 2019 Ravens Offense
Lamar Jackson FINALLY had a big day on the ground today, which was a sight for sore eyes. He crossed the century mark and delivered for the fantasy owners that overdrafted, whoops, I mean…. drafted…. Jackson back in August. Even though today was a solid performance for L-Jax, the Ravens offense, in general, has taken a big step back from their domination in 2019. They’re 24th in the league in yards per game, and through six weeks they’re averaging more than two points less per game. They still have plenty of time to ramp up before the playoffs start, but it’s pretty clear that the 2019 campaign was their offensive ceiling. If you roster Mark Andrews, Lamar, JK Dobbins, or Mark Ingram…. chances are you aren’t comfortable with what you’ve seen. Their schedule doesn’t get any easier going forward, so it’s an area of concern. They face a brutal stretch consisting of the Steelers twice, the Titans, the Patriots, and the Colts. That’s about as rough as it gets. You can’t trade Andrews, and you likely can’t trade Jackson for a deal that’s worth losing his upside…. so you simply have to just hold on and hope for the best at this point.
Cam is the Only Patriot You Can Trust (and even he’s concerning me)
The Patriots pass catchers have been pretty worthless this year, which should come as no surprise to anyone who follows Cam’s historic output. He’s never supported a top twenty receiver, and Julian Edelman primarily became a household name because of his hive-mind with Brady. Damien Harris will have some desperation flex value from time to time this season, but Cam is really the only guy you should have in your lineup. He barely managed to get to 17 points today himself, so there’s even some risk with him. His rushing upside and goal-line prowess keeps him in the QB1 range going forward, but the Patriots offense is not exactly electric.
Ronald Jones is a Very Good Fantasy Asset
Haters might just have to eat their words, and the members of Rojo Nation can continue their season-long victory lap. Jones produced a third straight 100-yard game and has now averaged almost 18 fantasy points per game over the past three weeks. Believe it or not, this is good enough for the RB7 pending Sunday and Monday night, which is excellent production. Jones was a very polarizing pick early on and a lot of people wrote him off after Lenny arrived in town. Those people have been eating big helpings of crow since then, and Rojo has been the model of consistency at a position that lacks a lot of it. Keep on rolling with him in your lineups until you have a reason not to, and keep on talking that smack if you saw this coming.
Deebo Samuel is Ascending
Samuel was one of my trade targets two weeks ago for the very reasons we saw in the Sunday night game. He’s right back into the mix as a top pass catcher (maybe the only pass catcher in the wide receiver group), and he delivered for the first time since his injury. He finished with 6 catches for 66 yards and a touchdown on double-digit targets, and he was involved on the ground per usual. Samuel is number two in the pecking order behind George Kittle in San Francisco, and his snap share, target totals, production, and trust with the coaching staff will continue to climb. Every single player on the 49er roster that is heavily involved is worth starting most weeks, so this should be the first of many solid games. Samuel is still a strong trade target, but the window to get him for less than he’s worth is almost closed.