Fantasy Football Risers & Fallers: Week 6
Week 6 saw six wide receivers (Tyreek Hill, Alshon Jeffery, Cole Beasley, Albert Wilson, Tyler Boyd and Tyrell Williams) score multiple receiving touchdowns, yet Julio Jones, despite his 143 yards, was kept out of the end zone again. In other news, Brock Osweiler won an NFL football game, the Titans were held to 106 yards of total offense, and the Jaguars were lit up for 40 points by a Cowboys team that had averaged 16.6 points per game through five weeks. Here are my risers and fallers after Sunday of Week 6.
Tarik Cohen (RB – CHI)
The Chicago Bears offense has run through Cohen in their past two games. Head Coach Matt Nagy raved about Cohen all offseason, and the plans he had for the dynamic running back are finally coming into fruition. Cohen has totaled 32 touches for 295 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games and has lead the team in targets (17) and receptions (14) in that span. The most encouraging part of his usage against the Dolphins was that the Bears were within one score almost the entire game, which traditionally should have been a better game script for Jordan Howard, but Cohen was able to be extremely productive despite that.
Josh Gordon (WR – NE)
Gordon’s stats from Sunday night don’t jump out at you, but his usage should. According to Graham Barfield of NFL.com, Gordon played on 81% of the Patriots’ offensive stats, led the team in routes run (35), target share (26%) and air yards share (29%). Better days are ahead for Gordon, and those usage statistics will translate to fantasy points sooner rather than later with the rate that the Patriots score points (currently fourth in the league in points scored per game).
Alshon Jeffery (WR – PHI)
The Eagles finally looked like a team that just won a Super Bowl on Thursday night against the Giants, and Alshon figures to be a primary contributor going forward. The Eagles have plenty of Aerial weapons including Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor, and newly re-acquired receiver Jordan Matthews, but Jeffery has led the team in targets (29) and receiving touchdowns (3) over the three games he’s played since returning from injury. Carson Wentz threw 33 touchdowns last season despite missing the Eagles’ last three games. If he’s truly returned to form, Jeffery’s value is on the rise.
Tyler Boyd (WR – CIN)
Boyd can no longer be ignored. He’s finally reaping the benefits of the defense’s focus being locked in on A.J. Green, and is the fantasy WR11 through six games. The fact that Andy Dalton is currently producing two top 12 wide receivers is beyond words, but it looks like Boyd is coming into his own. He hasn’t had fewer than seven targets since Week 1, and has had either 90 receiving yards or a touchdown in four out of six of his games. If Dalton can continue to play at this level, you can consider Boyd a rock solid WR 2.
Frank Gore (RB – MIA)
This man will not go away. The way the Dolphins’ ground attack has panned out this year is that Gore has been the chain moving early-down back and Kenyan Drake has been more of a pass catching/change of pace back. Drake has been 1B to Gore’s 1A. Over his last two games, Gore has 164 rushing yards on 27 carries, averaging just over six yards per attempt. He hasn’t found the end zone yet this season, but the Dolphins aren’t likely to move away from him while he’s running so efficiently.
Jordan Howard (RB – CHI)
Returning to another stat from Graham Barfield, Howard’s snap percentages have been 73%, 62%, 54%, and then 51% over his last four games. He is not trending in the right direction. He’s only found the end zone once, he’s only averaging 3.5 yards per carry on the season, and I believe that Tarik Cohen is just a better fit in Matt Nagy’s offense. Howard was surprisingly targeted nine times over the Bears first two games, but since then he’s only received four total targets in the Bears last three games (Cohen has 20 targets in that span).
Jarvis Landry (WR – CLE)
I’m aware that the Browns have the juiciest schedule coming up for potential fantasy points. Their next four games are against the Buccaneers, the Steelers, the Chiefs, and the Falcons, who are all among the worst teams in the league at defending the pass. However, I need to know that Baker Mayfield and Landry can get on the same page. In the three games that Mayfield has started, Landry has received a team-high 29 targets. The issue is that he’s only caught 38% of those passes. Landry’s 47% catch rate on the season is 19 percentage points lower than the lowest rate he’s had in any of his previous seasons (66.3% in 2015). I love the potential and the coming matchups, but this trend will have to change.
The entire Titans offense
There is not a single member of the Titans’ team who’s a startable fantasy option at the moment. After being shut out by the Ravens, the Titans are 30th in yards per game and 30th in points per game. Marcus Mariota is averaging only 156.8 passing yards per game, and Corey Davis leads the team in scrimmage yards per game with 64.2. What’s happening in Tennessee is downright ugly.
Jordan Reed (TE – WAS)
Somehow, Reed has remained healthy through six games but has been remarkably inefficient in his last two. He’s only found the end zone once this season and hasn’t topped 65 yards in any single game. This reasons for his struggles lie within Alex Smith and the Redskins’ offensive scheme. Despite his outlier performance last season, Smith is a game managing quarterback. He hasn’t topped 300 yards in a game yet this season and he’s 26th in the league with only six passing touchdowns. The Redskins also have the third fewest passing plays in the league and are content with letting Adrian Peterson control the pace of the offense for as long as it’s working.
Jared Goff (QB – LAR)
After throwing for 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions over his first two games, Goff has cooled off and thrown just one touchdown to three interceptions over his last two games. Goff wasn’t a very attractive fantasy option knowing that the Rams defense had gotten better and that they’re a run-first team, but two weeks ago he threw for 465 yards and five touchdowns, earning a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3. With the likelihood of the Rams being ahead in games and the presence of Todd Gurley, Goff is going to have fantasy ups and downs for the remainder of the season and isn’t an option you can count on week to week.