5 Burning Questions for Week 6
Week 6 is already upon us! So many injuries to so many key players, too many underperforming players we all spent high draft capital on, running back committees are becoming a standard, and much more. It sounds crazy, but it’s just like any other NFL season in recent years.
The truth is, these things happen every season and every season we all freak out as if we’ve never seen stuff like elite players underperforming and going down with season-ending injuries. It’s crucial for you to expect that these things are going to happen and look deeper into players that most don’t talk about earlier in the season to potentially prepare yourself if such situations were to affect your roster.
You do not win your fantasy football leagues during the draft. You should stay on top of the latest news and react appropriately. Take a look at your teams, evaluate the needs/weaknesses, look for players that could benefit your team on waivers, and don’t be afraid to make trade proposals that will benefit both sides.
These actions are what will separate you from your league-mates and put you in the position to win your league despite any injured or underperforming players you have on your roster. If you have any questions as to how you can better position your team moving forward, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@DomiNateFF), and I’d be more than happy to help you out. For now, let’s get to the five burning questions as we head into Week 6.
Who can be trusted on the New York Giants’ offense moving forward?
It would appear after the injuries to all relevant Giants wide receivers that the easy answer here is no one, but there are still some viable fantasy options on this team moving forward. The one player that will likely see the most increase in target volume and overall production should be Evan Engram. Engram will be a great fantasy option as early as this week even with the matchup in Denver.
The Broncos’ defense has given up the ninth most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Pair that with the fact that Eli Manning will have limited options to target and you should have yourself a recipe for Engram’s success. Engram may be the only safe option on this offense for both short-term and rest of season.
Other Giants players that could add value to your rosters consist of Wayne Gallman, Orleans Darkwa, Shane Vereen, and Sterling Shepard. These players, I wouldn’t trust until after the Giants bye in Week 8 as the Broncos in Week 6 are much better at stopping the running back and wide receiver positions and in Week 7, the Giants will take on the Seahawks’ defense. The schedule does lighten up a bit after the bye, and these players will be the essential options on an offense that will need them to step up in the absence of Brandon Marshall and Odell Beckham Jr.
If Manning is unable to get things going with his current arsenal of weapons at wide receiver, he will have to look at other positions to throw to. It is highly possible that this will be the case.
As for the running backs, Wayne Gallman has shown to be productive in both the run and pass game, Orleans Darkwa proved in Week 5 that he can provide big-play ability and explosiveness in this offense, and Shane Vereen should be heavily targeted in the passing game even more so once he’s back on the field. The lone wide receiver to trust moving forward would have to be Sterling Shepard. Shepard already has a rapport with Manning, and he will be able to help his quarterback as a reliable, downfield target, something Manning will desperately need for the rest of the season.
What is the outlook for the Saints’ backfield after the Adrian Peterson trade?
Immediately once this trade went down, so many people quickly reacted to it saying things like “this trade doesn’t change anything for the Saints” and “Adrian Peterson is done and will do close to nothing in Arizona.” I disagree with both such statements and will provide you with my take for both sides of this deal.
Let’s begin with the New Orleans Saints. A lot of people think Adrian Peterson barely played but through the first four weeks, but the numbers don’t lie. Believe it or not, Peterson has almost one-third of the Saints’ carries this season. He’s got 27 carries for 81 yards (three yards per carry) and no touchdowns.
This is by no means the sign of a good running back, but I bring it up for this reason; that one-third of carries that would have been lost to Adrian Peterson will now be dispersed between Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara for the rest of the season. Peterson exiting this backfield defines clear roles for these two running backs and will bring balance to the Saints’ rushing attack.
Expect Mark Ingram to be the early-down back that will get the goal-line work and Alvin Kamara to see an increase in carries, as well as more targets in the passing game as the Saints, may limit Ingram more on passing downs since he will be getting a heavier workload. At the end of the day, if you own either Ingram or Kamara, you are feeling much better about them now with Peterson out of the picture and you should because their value has increased.
What is the outlook for the Cardinals’ backfield after the Adrian Peterson trade?
The Arizona Cardinals lost all production out of the running back position when they lost David Johnson for the season. Kerwynn Williams didn’t show that he could be productive gaining only 32 yards on 19 carries. The Arizona Cardinals had to do something, so they invited Chris Johnson back.
Johnson did nothing to help the Cardinals run game. He averaged 3 yards per carry on 45 attempts for 114 rushing yards and zero touchdowns through four games. Needless to say, the Cardinals are desperate for some production out of the position.
The Cardinals traded a conditional, sixth-round pick to the New Orleans Saints to acquire Adrian Peterson. Given the lack of production, the Cardinals have seen this season from their running backs; there is no doubt they will give Peterson the volume he has been looking for. Peterson is accustomed to 20+ carries a game, so the 27 attempts he had through four games with the Saints, were never going to amount to much.
He has always relied on volume to get the breakaway plays that we have typically seen often in Peterson’s career. He may not get 20+ carries a game with the Cardinals given his age and game script, but I fully expect him to have more than the 27 attempts he had through four games with the Saints in his first two games with the Cardinals. Adrian Peterson’s fantasy value is not dead yet.
He deserves a real chance as THE lead back to accurately see if there is anything left in the tank. Peterson will get that chance as an Arizona Cardinal.
Is it time to panic if I own any Steelers’ players?
The main reason you may find yourself asking this question was likely due to both Ben Roethlisberger’s five-interception performance last week and his, “Maybe I don’t have it anymore” comment post game. It’s clear he was saying that out of pure frustration to the media, but it’s still not something you want to hear from the leader of your football team. The Steelers have not had the easiest of schedules to start the season, and they just capped off their rough beginnings with a loss to an excellent Jacksonville Jaguars defense.
Things are not getting any easier heading into Week 6 as the Steelers will face the Chiefs in Kansas City. Big Ben has undoubtedly been awful on the road, and Arrowhead Stadium is no easy feat for opposing quarterbacks. If we can try and find a silver lining here, the Chiefs defense just gave up 34 points to the Houston Texans and rookie quarterback, Deshaun Watson, in Week 5 so maybe Roethlisberger can get into some groove with his offense.
Roethlisberger has way too much talent around him for things to continue as they have been for Big Ben and the Steelers. To answer the question here though, If you have Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell, it’s never time for you to panic. If you roster Ben Roethlisberger, Martavis Bryant, or Juju Smith-Schuster, you may want to hold off on playing them until the Steelers offer some consistency in their play and do not start any of those three this week.
Is it time to panic if I own any Dolphins’ players?
It seems every year lately, the Miami Dolphins have a ton of hype coming into the season, and they continue to disappoint every time. Why should this year be any different? Adam Gase will get this offense rolling they said, Cutler, actually helps this offense, they said.
Well, thus far, these things could not be further from the truth. Unlike in the Steelers case, the Dolphins have not had very tough defenses this season.
In fact, their matchups have been favorable. Still, they continue to disappoint.
Jay Cutler has performed poorly in every game this season. His best game was the Dolphins’ first game of the season when he had 230 passing yards and a touchdown. I expected Cutler to possibly get off to a slow start as he was probably mentally away from football after leaving last year but this is more than just a slow start.
Cutler has thrown for three interceptions and just two touchdowns in the past two games with one of them coming in garbage time. He has only averaged 159 passing yards in the last three games. Jay Ajayi started the season hot with 28 carries for 122 yards and since has been mediocre at best.
He needed 25 carries last week just to get 77 yards on 3.1 yards per carry. I still believe in the talent of Jay Ajayi and think he can turn things around as the passing attempts are reduced for Cutler in each of the last three weeks.
The struggles for DeVante Parker and Jarvis Landry are a direct result of poor quarterback play. Unfortunately, I do not see things drastically changing in this offense, production wise. Before getting injured last week, DeVante Parker has been pretty consistent with some solid fantasy numbers, and Jarvis Landry continues to dominate in targets.
If you have either of these wide receivers, you should be playing them in good matchups as they will be targeted and their talent should be enough to overcome the adversity they face with Cutler’s awful play for the most part. I think both wide receivers have enough value for you to include them in a package trade in which you could upgrade at wide receiver or another position.