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Fantasy Football Heat Index: Chase Claypool, Tyquan Thornton, Deon Jackson (2022)

by Scott Youngson | @jscottyoungson | Featured Writer
Oct 17, 2022
Fantasy Football Heat Index: Chase Claypool, Tyquan Thornton, Deon Jackson (2022)

Welcome to The Heat Index!

For those unfamiliar with the column, every Monday during the NFL season, we dig into the players whose performances through Sunday jumped out to us the most. Along with their stats (half-point PPR scoring) and positional rank for the week, we’ll rank their rest-of-season prospects on a scale of 🔥 to 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥. Week 6 saw some familiar names who haven’t performed in a while emerge and a few injury replacements who sparkled with their opportunity. Unfortunately, none of Week 6’s standouts look like they possess long-term fantasy appeal.


Matt Ryan (QB – IND)

  • Stat-line:  42 of 58 passing for 389 yards with three TDs
  • QB Rank:  2

Analysis:  Where have you been all year Matty Ice? On Sunday, Ryan put on a vintage performance, torching the division-rival Jaguars with his top two RBs sidelined. The Colts trailed for much of this game, which helped keep Ryan throwing, which he did a whopping 58 times. This gameplan is not a prescription the Colts are likely to employ very often, especially once Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND) returns from his ankle injury. However, the remaining Colts’ schedule is pretty favorable for QBs, and Ryan will be a viable streaming option in Weeks 7,8, 10, and 12. 

Heat Index:  🔥🔥

Wide Receiver

Brandon Aiyuk (WR – SF)

  • Stat-line:  Eight receptions off 11 targets for 83 yards and two TDs
  • WR Rank:  3

Analysis:  Aiyuk posted season-highs in targets, receptions, yards, and TDs on Sunday in the Niners’ surprising loss to the Falcons. His two TDs came in the second quarter and accounted for all of San Francisco’s scoring on the afternoon. Aiyuk hadn’t done much prior to this week, as the team typically prefers to run the ball. Atlanta controlled the line of scrimmage in this one, though, forcing Jimmy Garoppolo (QB – SF) to put it in the air 41 times. Aiyuk won’t score two TDs often, but he’s a potential flex option given the right matchup, such as next week against the potent Chiefs’ offense.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥

Chase Claypool (WR – WAS)

  • Stat-line:  Seven receptions off seven targets for 96 yards and a TD; eight yards rushing
  • WR Rank:  5

Analysis:  Claypool came into Week 6 with only 16 receptions on the season and seemingly behind Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT) and George Pickens (WR – PIT) in the Steelers’ wide receiver pecking order. However, for one week anyway, he had more yards than the other two receivers combined. Perhaps it was the absence of Pat Freiermuth (TE – PIT) or Tampa’s vulnerability to slot receivers, but whatever the case, Claypool made an impact in Week 6. However, repeatability may be an issue for him, given Pittsburgh’s uneven quarterback play this season and a pretty tough upcoming schedule. Next week Claypool may be a viable flex option, as the Dolphins next have also had trouble defending the slot this year.

Heat Index:  🔥🔥

Tyquan Thornton (WR – NE)

  • Stat-line:  Four receptions off five targets for 37 yards and a TD; three carries for 16 yards and a TD
  • WR Rank:  8

Analysis: It’s never wise to sleep on the Patriots, as Bill Belichick exploits matchups better than anyone. The rookie Thornton possesses blazing speed and took advantage of an increase in playing time to reward the Pats for moving up in the draft to take him. The three carries raise eyebrows, but it doesn’t sound like Damien Harris (RB – NE) will be sidelined for too many weeks with his hamstring injury. Thornton could have a bright future, but there are so many options on the Patriots’ offense that it’s hard to imagine him being a reliable fantasy option this year.

Heat Index:  🔥

Running Back

Deon Jackson (RB – IND)

  • Stat-line:  Twelve carries for 42 yards and a TD; ten receptions off ten targets for 79 yards
  • RB Rank:  2

Analysis:  With Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines (RB – IND) sidelined, Jackson shouldered the load at RB for the Colts on Sunday until sustaining a quad injury in the fourth quarter. The most surprising thing about Jackson’s day is the ten catches, as coming into the game, he had only four career receptions, all of which occurred in Week 5. Jackson wasn’t a premier pass-catching back in college either, so this screams anomaly. If Taylor and Hines miss Week 7 and Jackson recovers from his injury, he’ll be a borderline RB2 against the Titans. Otherwise, he’s probably not much more than a deep league handcuff. 

Heat Index:  🔥

Kenyan Drake (RB – BAL)

  • Stat-line:  Ten carries for 119 yards and a TD; one reception off two targets for eight yards
  • RB Rank:  4


Drake had an excellent game Sunday and handled most of the load in the second half, which J.K. Dobbins (RB – BAL) sat out after his surgically repaired knee tightened up on him. The highlight was his 30-yard TD run in the second quarter. After being inactive in Weeks 3 and 4, Drake’s involvement in the Ravens’ offense has ticked up the last two games, even before Dobbins’ injury. However, there are several RBs whom John Harbaugh can turn to in this offense, as Gus Edwards (RB – BAL) and Justice Hill (RB – BAL) could also return from injuries soon.

Heat Index:  🔥

Tight End

Mike Gesicki (TE – MIA)

  • Stat-line:  Six receptions off seven targets for 69 yards and two TDs
  • TE Rank:  1

Analysis: Gesicki looked like the 2021 version of himself on Sunday, tying for second on the team in targets and finding the endzone twice. The tight end has disappointed this season, with only nine catches coming into the matchup against the Vikings on Sunday. Gesicki hasn’t been a big part of the Dolphins’ offense under new head coach Mike McDaniel and has been out-snapped by Durham Smythe (TE – MIA). Thus, it’s hard to trust him for fantasy lineups going forward, despite the excellent Week 6.

Heat Index:  🔥

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