25 Interesting Facts for Week 6 (2020 Fantasy Football)
Need a break from a narrow fantasy loss, a one-sided rout or all those injuries piling up on a weekly basis? This is the place for you!
Here are 25 of the most interesting facts from around the fantasy football world entering Week 6:
1. It has been seven years since a player has done what Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has accomplished. Wilson averages 30.1 fantasy points through the first five weeks of the season, making him the first player to average 30+ after Week 5 since the Denver Broncos unleashed a recovered Peyton Manning on the NFL universe. Manning finished that season with a 25.6 ppg average; it’ll be interesting to see if Wilson can average 25+ in 2020.
2. We’re seeing a lot of footballs being flung around the field this season, with six qualified players averaging 10 or more targets through the first five weeks of the season (Allen Robinson, Amari Cooper, DeAndre Hopkins, Stefon Diggs, Calvin Ridley, Keenan Allen). If it holds, it would mark the first time since 2015 that six receivers averaged double-digit targets – and a significant upgrade from 2019, when just two players reached the mark.
3. Let’s home in specifically on running back targets – and with his time as a fantasy asset likely coming to an end in the next week or two, it’s time to celebrate the season-salvaging prowess of Carolina RB Mike Davis. He ranks second in the league in targets among running backs (33) despite not seizing a full-time starting role until Week 3. At best, Davis gives CMC more of a breather than the No. 1 fantasy stud has received in past years. At worst, he vanishes.
4. This is more a betting nugget than a fantasy tidbit, but the New Orleans Saints just don’t lose in October. Per the NFL Network, The Saints’ come-from-behind 30-27 overtime win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday extended New Orleans’ October winning streak to 14 games; the Saints haven’t lost in the month since 2016. Just how impressive is that? Green Bay and Baltimore own the next-longest October winning streak – at five games.
5. Mike Randle offers up a handy statistic that should be encouraging for some fantasy managers – and alarming for others:
Notable RB Snap Share Percentages Through 5 Weeks (@FantasyPros) 👇
E. Elliott 86%
D. Johnson 80%
M. Sanders 79%
M. Gordon 72% 👀
D. Singletary 70%
A. Kamara 69%
D. Henry 68%
J. Jacobs 67%
M. Gaskin 👀
A. Jones 55%👀
J. Taylor 49%👀
— Mike Randle (@RandleRant) October 14, 2020
Jones and Taylor have made the most of their opportunities more often than not, but their low snap counts do leave their managers susceptible to dud weeks. Keep expectations in check for both players.
6. We know which players are getting the most attention from a fantasy perspective (and we’ll have more on those guys a little later). But which ones are doing the most with the least? Three players have amassed at least 70 fantasy points (PPR scoring) despite receiving fewer than 20 touches: Pittsburgh receiving sensation Chase Claypool (70.5 points, 17 touches), Baltimore tight end Mark Andrews (70.2, 18) and Kyle Yates’s pal Jonnu Smith (70.1, 18).
7. And now we expose the frauds! Which guys have made the least of their opportunities so far in 2020? Their fantasy managers might not like to see it, but three players have recorded fewer than 40 fantasy points despite seeing 50 or more touches to date: New York Jets octogenarian Frank Gore (23.5 points, 66 touches), Detroit Lions veteran Adrian Peterson (37.6, 58) and L.A. Chargers No. 2 running back Joshua Kelley (39.6, 71).
8. Those who doubted whether DeAndre Hopkins would remain an elite fantasy option after moving from Houston to Arizona have been sufficiently silenced. Not only does Hopkins lead the NFL in receptions (45) and receiving yards (528), he’s also tops among all wide receivers in catch rate at 84.9 percent (minimum 30 receptions). But given that Hopkins has just a 61.5 percent career success rate, it’s hard to know whether this pace will continue.
9. You could hardly blame Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas for suggesting that his team use a JUGS machine at quarterback moving forward. Thomas caught just 1-of-4 targets for the second week in a row and ranks second-last in the NFL among qualified receiving options with a 43.8-percent catch rate (ahead of only A.J. Green, which isn’t the company you want to keep in 2020). Thomas is a hard fade in both season-long and DFS.
10. Here’s the NFL on CBS with a stone-cold slap to the face of Philadelphia Eagles fans:
231 NFL players have been targeted at least 8 times this season.
There is only ONE player who has netted a perfect passer rating (158.3) when targeted…
NELSON AGHOLOR pic.twitter.com/IAG8fiMpmM
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) October 14, 2020
What does this mean for Agholor’s fantasy value? Not that much if you’re in shallow leagues – but with the way players have been dropping like flies league-wide, it wouldn’t take much for Agholor to find himself in a meaningful role at some point. That makes him an intriguing flier in deep leagues and GPP daily fantasy tournaments.
11. The four words fantasy managers hate hearing most after one of their players makes a big play: “This one’s coming back.” Fortunately, we’re hearing a lot less of that in 2020: teams are averaging just 1.75 offensive holding penalties per game so far this season, well below last year’s mark of 2.85. The average penalty yardage has also dipped significantly, from 27.25 to 16.92. Consider it one more reason why fantasy scoring is at an all-time high.
12. Earlier this week, one of our writers gave CEH the name “clyde edwards-Not There” in a hilarious nod to his red-zone TD issues. And it’s getting desperate, with Edwards-Helaire now up to seven rushes inside the 5-yard line without a touchdown. No other player in the NFL has more than four rushes inside the 5 without scoring, and CEH’s 72.7-percent team share of red zone carries might drop if he doesn’t figure things out soon.
13. Speaking of red-zone shares, the New England Patriots will be happy to have Cam Newton back in action – and it could happen as soon as this week. Newton has been a revelation for his fantasy managers, leading the team with 12 red-zone carries (including six inside the 5-yard line). And he has made good on his opportunities with three rushing scores to date, making him an intriguing streaming and daily fantasy option moving forward.
14. Fantasy managers who snagged Adam Thielen as their WR2 have to be thrilled right now – and that feeling isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. Not only is Thielen the overall WR2 through the opening five weeks of the season, he has been Kirk Cousins‘ go-to in the red zone, responsible for seven of the team’s 15 red-zone targets so far. With the Vikings taking on the incredibly leaky Atlanta Falcons defense this week, Thielen could be in for an huge game.
15. This should open some eyeballs in the fantasy community, right, Dave Richard?
Bad Ball rate — % of passes thrown that were uncatchable, per @pfref
— #AskFFT (@daverichard) October 14, 2020
One of these names most certainly doesn’t belong here – and it leads us to ask the question: Has some of that Mahomes magic worn off? This feels more like an early-season outlier than anything else, but bear in mind that Mahomes does see a statistical drop-off from September through the rest of the season, so managers might want to consider at least entertaining offers from league-mates.
16. I’ve mentioned Carson Wentz in this space a few times, and with good reason: He has arguably been the most disappointing QB in fantasy football. But when we look at how his struggles have impacted tight end Zach Ertz, there’s reason for optimism. Ertz has caught 20 of the 21 “catchable” passes thrown his way this season, and leads the position in routes run (190) and snaps (324). When Wentz returns to normal, Ertz should, too. Buy low.
17. While George Kittle managers might scoff at the assertion, there are two signs that the timing might be optimal to sell high. Kittle served as a pass blocker on 26.7 percent of his snaps in last week’s 43-17 loss to Miami, and PFF graded him as the team’s best pass blocker – meaning we could see more of this ratio moving forward. Combined with head coach Kyle Shanahan suggesting the 49ers are passing too much, Kittle’s ROS ceiling might take a hit.
18. Is it Tee time in Cincinnati? It sure looks like it, after rookie wide receiver Tee Higgins led all Bengals wideouts by playing 76.1 percent of the snaps in last week’s 27-3 drubbing at the hands of the Ravens. Higgins has now out-snapped Tyler Boyd in two of the past three weeks, and with A.J. Green (37.6 percent of the snaps in Week 5) quickly fading out of the picture, Higgins is primed to see increased usage in the weeks to come.
19. T.Y. Hilton isn’t going away, whether you see him as fantasy-relevant or not. He played a season-high 94.6 percent of the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive snaps in Week 5, and had season bests in receptions (six), targets (10) and yards (69). And while his 2020 stats are subpar, he has drawn a league-high four pass interference calls for 72 yards. A little receiving help (and from QB Philip Rivers) should make Hilton a more effective fantasy option.
20. Ian Hartitz is here with some great news for Allen Robinson managers:
We joked about Nick Foles being the best QB Allen Robinson has ever played with … but it’s certainly looking good so far.
Week 3: 10 receptions-123 yards-1 TD (13 targets)
Week 4: 7-101-1 (10)
Week 5: 10-90-0 (16)
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) October 14, 2020
I can’t imagine the Bears playing many in game-script-negative situations for Robinson, who should continue to be peppered with targets on a team that lacks any sort of reliable second receiving option. And while that might mean more difficult coverage assignments, his floor is among the highest and safest of any player at the position.
21. Which run defenses should fantasy players (and DFS participants in particular) be targeting after five weeks? The Detroit Lions top this list at the moment, having surrendered an average of 28.1 fantasy points per week to the position. And while most of the other poor run defenses are getting beaten in the pass game, it’s mostly ground damage vs. the Lions (590 yards against, 5 TDs, 5.57 YPC). James Robinson is a locked-in RB1 and DFS cash game staple.
22. The Carolina Panthers were a great stacking/starting option in last week’s victory over the Falcons, but you might want to hop off this train right now. They’ll face a Bears team in Week 6 that has not only allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receiver corps, they’ve also held QBs to a minuscule 54.7-percent completion rate (lowest in the NFL). Teddy Bridgewater might see decent DFS rostership this week, but he shouldn’t.
23. Big Ben is back, all right. After missing nearly the entire 2019 season due to injury, Ben Roethlisberger has shown terrific form through the Steelers’ first four games of the campaign, throwing for just over 1,000 yards with 10 TDs and just one INT. And in typical Roethlisberger form, he works fast: His 2.37-second average time to throw is the quickest rate of any qualified QB, and he’s the only one with 10+ TD throws and a TT average below 2.50.
24. How about the slowpokes of the NFL quarterback fraternity? One stands above the rest through five weeks: Cleveland Browns enigma Baker Mayfield, who uses an average of 3.19 seconds (!) per pass attempt for the season. For comparison’s sake, no quarterback had a TT rate higher than 3.01 seconds last year. It has to infuriate Mayfield’s fantasy managers, who have received just nine TD passes and four interceptions from the third-year QB.
25. Let’s wrap things up with a message from article favorite Jacob Gibbs:
Golladay & Marv Jones targets per route run side by side:
(in games Stafford played)
2018: (0.201) KG, (0.172) MJ
2019: (0.212) KG, (0.189) MJ
2020: (0.254) KG, (0.125) MJ
Marv seems to be on the decline. 2020 could be the year we see Golladay finally get a +25% target share.
— Jacob Gibbs (@jagibbs_23) October 15, 2020
More interesting than Jones’s untimely decline is the increased reliance on Golladay, who might finally be on the verge of unlocking his immense potential. He has posted 7-57-1 and 8-62-1 lines since returning from injury, and should see a boost in his receptions and yardage totals while remaining one of the most reliable touchdown sources in the game.