6 Interesting Tidbits for Week 6 (2019 Fantasy Football)
This is certainly an interesting week. To start, we have four teams on bye for the first time all season: Bears, Bills, Colts, and Raiders. There is a bunch of fantasy relevancy on the four listed teams, especially at the running back position. The unavailability of these players, along with the injuries we are navigating, can create headaches when setting your perfect lineup in what may be a must-win week. If that wasn’t enough, Week 6 also has the rare must-lose matchup between the Washington Redskins and the Miami Dolphins. Will the Dolphins pull off the home win, or will it end in a 0-0 tie? The possibilities really are endless with these two teams.
To help give you a bit more clarity on this week, I have six interesting tidbits below that could be useful in projecting value for Week 6. These can be useful for both season-long or daily fantasy football.
Teddy Bridgewater’s average depth of target continues to increase by the week, which is good news for the entire Saints offense.
Throughout his short career as a starter, Bridgewater has been labeled as a game manager. He would rarely make big plays to win football games, but he also would protect the football and often put his team in a position to win. This reputation held true in his first couple starts for New Orleans, playing a dink-and-dunk football and getting wins. Sure, this was good for Alvin Kamara, who saw a negative average depth of target (aDOT) in Week 3 but had over 100 yards after the catch. However, players like Michael Thomas struggled because of it. Good thing Teddy has adjusted and grown as a passer.
In Week 2, the game Bridgewater came in for the injured Drew Brees, he had an aDOT of 6.6 yards. This dropped to 3.5 against the Seahawks in the game previously mentioned that Kamara did all the work. Week 4 saw Bridgewater increasing his aDOT to 6.0 yards, then it went up to 7.2 yards last week. This helped everyone. Thomas posted 182 receiving yards, his first 100-yard game without Brees. Ted Ginn caught a 33-yard pass for a touchdown, which is just one yard shy of his combined 34 receiving yards he had in weeks three and four. Jared Cook even found success for the first time this season, catching four passes for 41 yards and a touchdown.
The upcoming game against Jacksonville certainly is a tougher matchup for the passing game than they saw against Tampa in Week 5. However, the willingness and ability to push the ball down the field shown by Bridgewater last week should have fantasy owners of both him and the New Orleans pass catchers more confident.
Tyler Boyd sees a ridiculous target share with the injuries to the rest of the receiving corps.
A.J. Green is close to being ready to come back to Cincinnati, but it seems like this week will not be the official return. John Ross suffered an injury a couple of weeks ago that landed him on IR. With Tyler Eifert’s workload managed to keep him healthy, there really isn’t anyone else to trust for Andy Dalton who isn’t a running back besides Tyler Boyd, and he is taking full advantage of it.
Through five games, Boyd has a 26 percent target share, which is tied for seventh-most in the league. He sees an average of 10.6 targets per game, which will almost always lead to production, even when they’re from Dalton. Last week was the first game without Ross playing as well, and as you can imagine, Boyd saw yet another bump in usage. He saw 14 targets in the game, which was a 37.8 percent target share. This ridiculous share led to 10 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown, good for WR8 in half PPR scoring.
This week, he has an alright matchup with a struggling Baltimore defense. More specifically, he will see Brandon Carr in coverage most of the day. While Carr has played well, Boyd will still get his opportunities and be one of the few bright spots on this team.
Jordan Howard continues to see his role in the Eagles offense grow, and Doug Pederson came out and said he wants to get Howard even more carries.
Howard was almost nonexistent early in the season, with brief sightings coming in short-yardage situations. But over the past couple of games, that workload has changed. He saw a consistent workload and usage increase from Weeks 1 through 5. In Week 1, he had seven carries, then just nine in the game after. Howard saw his snaps rise to 32 percent in the third game, which resulted in 11 carries. Week 4 was his big performance against Green Bay, totaling 15 carries on 53 percent of the snaps.
Last week, the Eagles had a lead throughout the game and leaned on Howard yet again, giving him 14 carries on 44 percent of the snaps. Doug Pederson came out and said Howard is going to be the lead back on the ground going forward, and he wants to get him more carries. This is great news for Howard owners and bad news for owners of Miles Sanders, who now seems to be in more of a third-down or passing situation role.
The other way to look at this is that these two backs are likely assigned to different game flows. If the Eagles are up and are controlling the clock, you can bet Howard will see a healthy dose of carries. If Philly is chasing points, Howard will likely be on the sideline more often than not. Facing Minnesota this week, the game is expected to be close, with the Vikings favored by three at home. Last season, the Vikings won this matchup by two points, and the books are predicting a similar game to that. In that game, the Eagles ran the ball 17 times to 35 passes, so it may not be the best week to start Howard, but this increase in his usage is something to keep in mind if you think the Eagles are going to win.
Lamar Jackson has a get-right matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Have you heard? The Bengals are bad. No, it’s not just the offense anymore. The defense is just as bad, and they’re worse against quarterbacks than what the stats initially show. The Bengals are the eighth-worst against quarterbacks for fantasy, which isn’t good, but it doesn’t mean an opposing quarterback is a must-start by any means. But like I said, it gets worse.
Obviously, teams pass less against the Bengals since they are usually playing with a lead, as shown by Cincinnati’s 0-5 record. When teams do pass, they have an impressive 70 percent completion rate. The Bengals have also failed to contain rushing quarterbacks over the past few games, allowing 46 rushing yards to Josh Allen and 93 to Kyler Murray.
In other words, the Bengals are giving up high-percentage throws and struggle against the mobile quarterback. Do I really need to connect this to Lamar Jackson? Well, I will briefly. Jackson struggles with his accuracy, completing only 62.7 percent of his passes since the big Week 1 game against Miami. However, he does not struggle running, averaging 75.5 rushing yards per game during that same stretch. If he is able to complete some easy passes early and get into a rhythm, it could be a big week for the second-year quarterback.
The Kansas City Chiefs struggle against running backs, opening the door for a big week from Carlos Hyde.
Short passes and running the football. The formula for how to beat the Chiefs is out, and clearly, it works. They are giving up 5.3 yards per rush, which opens the door for Carlos Hyde to be a solid fantasy play in a week with quite a few running backs unavailable. His usage has surprised many this season, totaling double-digit carries in every single game, with a season-high 21 carries coming last week. His efficiency wasn’t great (2.9 yards per rush), but the 60 yards and a touchdown looks good for fantasy, at the end of the day.
The Chiefs have given up a 100-yard rusher in each of the past three games, and Josh Jacobs was one yard away from making it four games. Teams intelligently want to keep Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense off the field by controlling the clock with the running game, and it’s working. Also, the Texans have the best passing attack the Chiefs have faced all season, meaning they have to respect DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller split out, making it even softer between the tackles for Hyde in this one.
Matt Ryan has passed for 300+ yards in six-straight games, dating back to last season, and now faces a poor Arizona Cardinals defense.
We previously talked about a get-right game for Lamar Jackson, but this will be a get-right game for the entire Atlanta Falcons team. They have lost the last three games, with Matt Ryan being one of the few bright spots. He has passed for 1,655 yards this season (second in NFL) and completed 70.3 percent of his passes (third in NFL). Ryan should lead his team to a win against a defense allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to QBs this season.
This is also a terrific spot for many of the Atlanta pass catchers. Arizona is ridiculously bad against TEs, giving up four more fantasy points than the second-worst team in half PPR scoring. Julio Jones has also been slowed the past two games, catching a total of seven passes for 94 yards. Look for him and Hooper to have big days, with Ryan hitting 300 yards yet again in a much-needed win and confidence boost for the entire Atlanta team.
Zach Brunner is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Zach, follow him @fantasyflurry