Last week I had a Sex and the City-inspired introduction, so now I think we should talk about The Notebook.
Maybe we’ll talk just about football.
It’s Week 6, which gives rise to two separate threads of thought.
The Bye Weeks Are Here
First, the bye weeks have finally arrived. For all the content creators in the industry, the bye weeks offer a sense of relief: Fewer games to think about, fewer players to write about, maybe a little extra time to spend with family and friends. Or sleep.
But for everyone else — football fans and fantasy players — the bye weeks can be tough. There are fewer good games to watch on Sunday, especially in the late-afternoon slate, and fewer good players to plug into your fantasy lineups.
For many fantasy teams, the bye weeks are a desert. You enter with a muscular frame and a canteen full of water. Weeks later, you emerge as a dehydrated bag of bones — if you even get that far. Some teams never make it out of the wilderness.
The bye weeks show us what our teams are made of. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the bye weeks are where championships are won, because you can’t get to the playoffs and earn the right to compete for a championship if you don’t make it through the bye weeks intact.
For content creators, the bye weeks offer a reprieve. That’s cool — but for fantasy players the bye weeks can be the grim reaper, so this is no time to rest or slow down.
Now is the time to dig deep and get stronger.
Survive and thrive.
We’re About a Third of the Way Through the Season
With a 17-game season, we have 18 weeks in total of regular-season action, which means that we’re approaching the one-third mark for the year.
Given that, this feels like a good time to take stock. I’m big on self-evaluation and accountability. There’s always room for improvement.
In the big picture, I’m pleased without how a lot has gone to this point.
In the FantasyPros Accuracy Contest, I’m currently No. 9 after finishing No. 14 last year. And when I review my “perfect draft” piece from the preseason, I think I had a good read on most of the players I wanted to roster.
Similarly, I’m happy with how well my “players to avoid” list has held up to the scrutiny of the season. Naturally, I’m not going to get every fade call right. But I think if you chose to bypass this group of players at their average draft positions in August …
- QB Russell Wilson
- QB Derek Carr
- RB Antonio Gibson
- RB Elijah Mitchell
- RB Devin Singletary
- RB Chase Edmonds
- WR Jaylen Waddle
- WR Chris Godwin
- WR Darnell Mooney
- WR Allen Robinson
- TE Darren Waller
- TE Mike Gesicki
… then you’re probably not regretting that decision in October.
But it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. I was way too high on WRs D.J. Moore, Terry McLaurin and Michael Thomas throughout draft season.
And maybe RB Travis Etienne will come around … but he has underwhelmed in Weeks 1-5.
I was too low on RB Josh Jacobs, who has morphed into a three-down dominator.
Wherever Josh Jacobs is in your rankings, move him down.
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) August 5, 2022
And — who could’ve anticipated this? — I was too high on WR Julio Jones, who this year has made Mr. Glass look robust.
Also, maybe it was a bad idea to avoid all the early-down passers so that I could “outsmart” the market by drafting QBs Trey Lance, Justin Fields and Daniel Jones. Yikes.
Mistakes have been made.
And they will continue to be made, because I’m a human trying to predict the performance of other humans. This isn’t physics.
The goal is not to get everything right. The goal is to maximize my upside when I’m right, minimize my downside when I’m wrong and then be right with more consistency and frequency than I’m wrong.
Easier said than done — but so far the fantasy season has treated us well.
On to Week 6.
Freedman’s Favorites for Week 6
The guys in this piece are my favorites for Week 6.
Generally speaking, these are the players who (in some combination) …
- Will probably be high in my rankings relative to the expert consensus rankings (ECR).
- Need to be started in most season-long leagues.
- Possess underappreciated upside.
- Have advantageous matchups.
- Appear in my DFS player pool.
- Make for desirable dynasty acquisition targets.
- Are on teams with player-friendly Week 6 betting odds.
- Stand out in our industry-leading BettingPros NFL Prop Bet Analyzer.
- Catch my eye with their Week 6 projections.
Bottom line: These are the guys I want to write about.
I’ll update this piece by Saturday night with notes based on the week’s injury reports and news items. Before then, follow our NFL news desk for information on any breaking news. After the update, any changing opinions I have will be reflected in my personal Week 6 rankings, not this article.
Note: All fantasy points are half-PPR scoring unless otherwise stated. Players are ordered within position roughly (but probably not precisely) according to my rankings. Abbreviations: Fantasy points per game (FPPG), against the spread (ATS), over/under (O/U), adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A), expected points added (EPA), success rate (SR), completion percentage over expectation (CPOE), defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA).
UPDATE NOTE (Sat. 10/15, 1:30 pm ET): This piece has been updated.
Freedman’s Favorite Week 6 Quarterbacks
Kyler Murray (ARI) at SEA: Cardinals -2.5 | 51 O/U
- Murray is airing it out with a league-high 215 pass attempts and 141 completions, which he has leveraged into 1,241 yards, and he has an elevated Konami Code floor with 28-133-2 rushing.
- The Seahawks defense is dead last in dropback EPA per play (0.307, per RBs Don’t Matter).
- Murray is 17-6-2 ATS on the road (per Action Network).
Murray Update (Sat. 10/15): The Cardinals will be without RBs James Conner (ribs) and Darrel Williams (knee), so they might pass more than usual and Murray could have additional usage as a runner. C Rodney Hudson (knee) is questionable but has a chance to play after practicing limitedly on Friday. Murray is still a top-five quarterback in my rankings.
Tom Brady (TB) at PIT: Buccaneers -8.5 | 43.5O/U
- With the return of WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and LT Donovan Smith in Week 4, Brady has been on fire over his past two games with 736 yards and four touchdowns to zero receptions on 74-of-104 passing.
- The Steelers might be without Nos. 1-2 CBs Cameron Sutton (hamstring) and Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring) and SS Terrell Edmunds (concussion), and they are No. 5 in most fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks (22.1 FPPG, per our Fantasy Points Allowed Report).
- On both DraftKings and FanDuel, Brady is one of our top Week 6 DFS value plays.
- Brady is +4000 to win MVP (per our BettingPros odds page) — and you better believe I just bet on him.
I've just placed a bet on Tom Brady to win MVP at 40-1.
– He's back: 736 yards, 104 pass attempts w/ WRs Mike Evans & Chris Godwin over past 2 games.
– He'll have a narrative edge over almost any other player.
– Bucs are 3-2 w/ easiest remaining schedule.
– NFC is wide open.
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) October 12, 2022
Brady Update (Sat. 10/15): The Buccaneers are fully healthy on offense minus the doubtful WR Julio Jones (knee), and the Steelers are devastated on defense, missing Sutton, Witherspoon, CB Levi Wallace (concussion), FS Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee) and EDGE DeMarvin Leal (knee). I can’t in good faith move him any higher than QB6, but my bold call for the week is that Brady will throw for 400 yards and four touchdowns. He has tremendous upside.
Kirk Cousins (MIN) at MIA: Vikings -3 | 45.5 O/U
- Cousins has league-high marks with 62 attempts of 10-plus yards downfield and 21 pass attempts inside the 10-yard line (per our Advanced QB Stats Report and Red Zone Stats Report).
- The Dolphins might be without Nos. 1-2 CBs Xavien Howard (groin) and Byron Jones (ankle, PUP) and are No. 32 in defensive pass DVOA (31.9%, per Football Outsiders).
Cousins Update (Sat. 10/15): Howard will suit up for the Dolphins, but Jones is still on PUP, and slot CB Kader Kohou (oblique) is doubtful. Cousins is a low-end QB1.
Geno Smith (SEA) vs. ARI: Seahawks +2.5 | 51 O/U
- Smith is No. 1 in completion percentage (75.2%), No. 2 in AY/A (8.9) and No. 3 in composite EPA + CPOE (0.189) — just as we all expected before the season started.
- The Cardinals defense is No. 32 in dropback SR (53.3%).
- Seahawks HC Pete Carroll is 16-8 ATS as a home underdog.
Geno Smith just fit a ball in between three defenders for a Seahawks TD pic.twitter.com/T9tFnwww8J
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 9, 2022
Smith Update (Sat. 10/15): LG Gabe Jackson (knee, hip) is doubtful, but ancillary WRs Dee Eskridge (illness) and Marquise Goodwin (knee, back) are likely to play through their questionable tags after practicing fully on Friday, so Smith should have his full assortment of pass-catching options. The Cardinals will be without CB Trayvon Mullen (hamstring) and maybe also CB Byron Murphy (groin), who was added to the injury report on Friday after a limited practice. I have given Smith a slight upgrade in my rankings.
Jimmy Garoppolo (SF) at ATL: 49ers -5.5 | 44.5 O/U
- Since joining the 49ers in 2017, Garoppolo is No. 5 in composite EPA + CPOE (0.137) — behind only Patrick Mahomes (0.177), Drew Brees (0.166), Deshaun Watson (0.144) and Aaron Rodgers (0.138).
- The Falcons defense is No. 31 in dropback SR (53.0%): Garoppolo has literally a five-star matchup.
- For his career, Garoppolo is 21-9 ATS on the road.
Garoppolo Update (Sat. 10/15): LG Aaron Banks (knee) and TE Tyler Kroft (knee) should play through their questionable tags after practicing limitedly all week, but LT Trent Williams (ankle) is still out. EDGE Adetokunbo Ogundeji (shoulder, questionable) seems likely to play for the Falcons, but LB Mykal Walker (groin) is out. Garoppolo is a high-end QB2.
Daniel Jones (NYG) vs. BAL: Giants +5 | 45 O/U
- Jones is very much #NotGood (6.2 AY/A this year, 6.3 AY/A for career), but he could have a pass-heavy game script as a big road underdog (+190 at DraftKings).
- The Ravens will be without CB Kyler Fuller (knee, IR) and FS Marcus Williams (wrist, IR) and are No. 2 in most fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks (23.6 FPPG).
- Jones is — somehow — 20-13 ATS as an underdog.
Daniel Jones is casually the fantasy QB14 and it's like none of you even care. pic.twitter.com/PktMjalENd
— John Paulsen (@4for4_John) October 12, 2022
Jones Update (Sat. 10/15): WRs Kenny Golladay (knee) and Kadarius Toney (hamstrings) are out, but rookie slot WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee, questionable) is likely to play after practicing limitedly all week. The Ravens are without EDGE Justin Houston (groin) once again. Jones is a hold-your-nose QB2.
Justin Fields (CHI) vs. WAS: Bears -1 | 38 O/U
- Over the past two weeks, Fields has 382 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions on 43 pass attempts — and that sounds horrible — but that’s at least an improvement on what he did in Weeks 1-3 (297-2-4 passing on 45 attempts).
- Fields is No. 3 in quarterback rush attempts (42) behind only Jalen Hurts (68) and Lamar Jackson (49, per our Fantasy Football Stats Report).
- The Commanders are No. 29 in defensive pass DVOA (20.6%).
Freedman’s Favorite Week 6 Running Backs
Saquon Barkley (NYG) vs. BAL: Giants +5 | 45 O/U
- Barkley is No. 1 in the league in scrimmage yards (676), No. 1 on the Giants in receptions (18) and No. 1 among all running backs in snaps played (280, per our Snap Count Leaders Report) — not to mention No. 1 in our rest-of-season consensus rankings.
- No biggie, but Barkley at +1600 was my offseason Comeback Player of the Year pick: Enjoy that free money (he’s now a -200 frontrunner at FanDuel).
Barkley Update (Sat. 10/15): WRs Kenny Golladay (knee) and Kadarius Toney (hamstrings) are out, so the Giants should continue to lean on the running game. The Ravens are without EDGE Justin Houston (groin) once again. Barkley is still my RB1.
Nick Chubb (CLE) vs. NE: Browns -3 | 42.5 O/U
- Chubb has averaged 105.7 yards on 17.4 carries and 2.3 targets per game since his first start in Week 7 of 2018, and this year he’s the No. 1 fantasy back with 21.6 FPPG (per our Fantasy Football Leaders Report).
- Chubb leads the NFL with 20 carries of 10-plus yards and seven carries of 20-plus yards (per our Advanced RB Stats Report).
- The Patriots are No. 28 in defensive rush DVOA (6.7%) and No. 30 in rush SR (50.0%).
- The Browns could have a run-heavy game script as home favorites (-150 at BetMGM).
- Chubb is the best pure runner in the league.
NFL rushing leaders through Week 5
1. Nick Chubb (593)
2. Saquon Barkley (533)
3. Nick Chubb after contact (415)
4. Miles Sanders (414)
5. Dameon Pierce (412)
— Dave Kluge (@DaveKluge) October 10, 2022
Chubb Update (Sat. 10/15): The Patriots might be without DTs Lawrence Guy (shoulder) and Christian Barmore (knee) and EDGE Josh Uche (hamstring), who are all questionable. Per usual, it’s hard to know what’s going on with the Patriots injury report. Either way, Chubb is a top-three fantasy back.
Austin Ekeler (LAC) vs. DEN: Chargers -5 | 45.5 O/U
- Ekeler underwhelmed in Weeks 1-3, but he went off in Weeks 4-5 (league-high 32.9 FPPG), and for the year he has 527 yards and five touchdowns from scrimmage on a livable 61 carries and elite 29 targets.
- The Broncos could be without four starters on defense: EDGE Randy Gregory (knee, IR), CB Ronald Darby (knee, IR), S Justin Simmons (quadriceps, IR) and LB Josey Jewell (knee).
Ekeler Update (Sat. 10/15): In my first set of Week 6 player projections, Ekeler was the No. 1 back. With his usage and efficiency, he has a nearly unrivaled ceiling/floor combination. I have bumped him up to the RB2 in my rankings.
Rhamondre Stevenson (NE) at CLE: Patriots +3 | 42.5 O/U
- No. 1 RB Damien Harris (hamstring) exited Week 5 after playing just six snaps, and in his absence Stevenson went off with 175 yards on 25 carries and two targets.
- In his six career games with at least 15 opportunities (carries plus targets), Stevenson has averaged 17.2 FPPG (per FTN).
- The Browns defense is No. 32 in both rush DVOA (20.5%) and rush EPA per play (0.191).
- Sometimes the improbable is inevitable.
Rhamondre Stevenson was the easiest sleeper pick in all of fantasy football. All that had to happen was Damien Harris and Ty Montgomery getting hurt, James White retiring, Pierre Strong not playing, and J.J. Taylor and Kevin Harris going to the practice squad. Easy game sometimes
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) October 11, 2022
Stevenson Update (Sat. 10/15): Harris is technically questionable after practicing limitedly all week, but I’m highly skeptical that he’ll play. The Browns are without EDGE Jadeveon Clowney (ankle, knee, elbow). I have Stevenson ranked as a top-six back this week.
Check out my Week 6 early betting breakdown on Patriots at Browns.
Aaron Jones (GB) vs. NYJ: Packers -7 | 46 O/U
- Jones is No. 1 in the league with a 58.6% Rush Percentage Over Expected and 0.30 EPA per rush (per Next Gen Stats and the RYOE app).
- Despite splitting work with No. 2 RB A.J. Dillon, Jones has 61-390-1 rushing and 14-98-1 receiving on 19 targets this year.
- The Packers could have a run-heavy game script as big home favorites (-335 at Caesars).
- With QB Aaron Rodgers, the Packers are 66-35-3 ATS (26.5% ROI) at Lambeau Field and 97-66-3 ATS as favorites.
Aaron Jones ranks first among all NFL RBs with 6.39 yards per carry.
He ranks tied for 19th in rushing attempts with 61.
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) October 10, 2022
Jones Update (Sat. 10/15): The Jets are without EDGE Jermaine Johnson (ankle). Jones is a locked-in RB1.
Check out my Week 6 early betting breakdown on Packers vs. Jets.
Breece Hall (NYJ) at GB: Jets +7 | 46 O/U
- Over the past two weeks, Hall has seized control of the Jets backfield with a 67% snap rate, which he has leveraged into 275 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries and eight targets.
- The Packers defense is No. 32 in rush SR (50.4%).
Hall Update (Sat. 10/15): LT Duane Brown (shoulder, questionable) should play after practicing fully on Friday. I have Hall ranked on the RB1/2 borderline.
Jeff Wilson (SF) at ATL: 49ers -5.5 | 44.5 O/U
- No. 1 RB Elijah Mitchell (knee, IR) is out, and Wilson has 65-353-2 rushing and 6-62-0 receiving on seven targets over the past four weeks starting in his place.
- In his 14 career games with 15-plus opportunities, Wilson has averaged 16.6 FPPG.
- The Falcons defense is No. 30 in rush EPA per play (0.091) and No. 31 in rush SR (50.0%).
Wilson Update (Sat. 10/15): EDGE Adetokunbo Ogundeji (shoulder, questionable) seems likely to play for the Falcons, but LB Mykal Walker (groin) is out. For the 49ers, LG Aaron Banks (knee) and TE Tyler Kroft (knee) should play through their questionable tags after practicing limitedly all week, so that should help the blocking game, but LT Trent Williams (ankle) is still out, and rookie RB Tyrion Davis-Price will return to action after practicing fully all week. I still have Wilson as a tentative RB2 for now, but his floor is much more unstable with Davis-Price back.
Ken Walker (SEA) vs. ARI: Seahawks +2.5 | 51 O/U
- No. 1 RB Rashaad Penny (leg, IR) is out, as is pass-catching RB Travis Homer (ribs, IR), so Walker — who had 1,725 yards and 19 touchdowns last year in 12 games as a true junior at Michigan State — is slated to make his first NFL start.
- Last week, Walker exploded with 8-88-1 rushing on a 58% snap rate as the in-game fill-in for Penny.
- In the words of the Guerilla poet: “It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here? What better time than now?”
— PlayerProfiler NFL (@Profiler_NFL) October 11, 2022
Melvin Gordon (DEN) at LAC: Broncos +5 | 45.5 O/U
- Last week, Gordon had a season-high 103 yards on 15 carries and three targets in the absence of No. 1 RB Javonte Williams (knee, IR), who is out for the year.
- Coming off of Thursday Night Football and playing on Monday, the 29-year-old veteran should benefit from the four extra days of rest.
- The Chargers are No. 1 in most fantasy points allowed to opposing backfields (28.9 FPPG).
Gordon Update (Sat. 10/15): Gordon (neck, ribs) is dealing with injuries, but he practiced limitedly on Thursday and Friday, so he seems highly likely to play.
Kareem Hunt (CLE) vs. NE: Browns -3 | 42.5 O/U
- Even with No. 1 RB Nick Chubb dominating opponents, Hunt in every game has managed to earn 10-plus carries and 2-4 targets, which he has leveraged into 330 yards and three touchdowns.
- The Patriots defense is No. 30 in rush SR (50.0%).
Hunt Update (Sat. 10/15): The Patriots might be without DTs Lawrence Guy (shoulder) and Christian Barmore (knee) and EDGE Josh Uche (hamstring), who are all questionable. Per usual, it’s hard to know what’s going on with the Patriots injury report. Either way, Hunt is a low-end RB2.
Raheem Mostert (MIA) vs. MIN: Dolphins +3 | 45.5 O/U
- After opening the season in a committee with RB Chase Edmonds, the 30-year-old Mostert took control of the Dolphins backfield in Weeks 4-5 with a 70% snap rate, which he turned into 33-182-1 rushing and 3-21-0 receiving on six targets.
- In his 20 career games with 12-plus opportunities, Mostert has 15.0 FPPG.
- Mostert could seemingly get injured at any moment — but he has looked good this season with the Dolphins.
Raheem Mostert is such a superior talent to Chase Edmonds
— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) October 9, 2022
Mostert Update (Sat. 10/15): The Dolphins will start third-string rookie QB Skylar Thompson, so they could lean heavily on the running game. LT Terron Armstead (toe, questionable) hasn’t practiced all week — but he has played with no practice since Week 3, so I tentatively expect him to play. Mostert is a solid RB2 in my rankings.
Eno Benjamin (ARI) at SEA: Cardinals -2.5 | 51 O/U
- No. 1 RB James Conner (ribs), No. 2 RB Darrel Williams (knee) and No. 4 RB Jonathan Ward (hamstring) all exited Week 5 early with injuries and are uncertain for Week 6.
- Amidst last week’s carnage, Benjamin had a serviceable eight carries and four targets and would be in line for more usage if both Conner and Williams were out.
- The Seahawks are No. 5 in most fantasy points allowed to opposing backfields (25.6 FPPG).
Benjamin Update (Sat. 10/15): James Conner (ribs), Williams (knee) and Ward (hamstring, IR) are all out. I have upgraded Benjamin to a high-end RB2 in my rankings.
Freedman’s Favorite Week 6 Wide Receivers
Cooper Kupp (LAR) vs. CAR: Rams -10.5 | 40.5 O/U
- Last year Kupp had a position-high 56% boom rate with his Triple Crown 145-1,947-16 receiving performance (per our Boom/Bust Report), and he has continued to dominate in 2022, ranking No. 1 in the league with 64 targets (per our Weekly Target Report).
- Kupp has 551 yards and five touchdowns from scrimmage on 49 receptions and two carries, and he has either put up 100 yards or scored a touchdown in every game.
- It doesn’t matter who he plays — but the Panthers could be without two starters in their secondary in CB Jaycee Horn (hip) and SS Jeremy Chinn (hamstring, IR).
Cooper Kupp one-handed catch. 75 yards. Longest TD catch of his career🔥
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) October 9, 2022
Kupp Update (Sat. 10/15): Kupp (foot, questionable) is dealing with an injury, but he practiced limitedly on Thursday and Friday and should play. The Panthers will be without depth CB Stantley Thomas-Oliver (thigh), and their three starting corners — Jaycee Horn (ribs), Donte Jackson (ankle) and C.J. Henderson (knee) — are all questionable. Henderson should play after practicing limitedly all week, and beat reporters expect Jackson to suit up, but Horn seems unlikely after not practicing at all. As always, Kupp is my WR1.
Justin Jefferson (MIN) at MIA: Vikings -3 | 45.5 O/U
- Jefferson is No. 1 in the league with 547 yards receiving and No. 2 with 55 targets and 40 receptions.
- He already has three games this year with 150-plus yards from scrimmage.
- The Dolphins might be without Nos. 1-2 CBs Xavien Howard (groin) and Byron Jones (ankle, PUP) and are No. 30 in both dropback EPA per play (0.237) and dropback SR (53.0%).
Jefferson Update (Sat. 10/15): Howard will suit up for the Dolphins, but Jones is still on PUP, and slot CB Kader Kohou (oblique) is doubtful. Jefferson is my locked-in WR2.
Stefon Diggs (BUF) at KC: Bills -2.5 | 54 O/U
- Diggs is the only NFL player with 160-plus targets in each of the past two years, and he has dominated this season with 39-508-5 receiving on 52 targets and a position-high 21% target rate on snaps played (per our Snap Count Analysis Report).
- The Chiefs are No. 31 in defensive pass DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers (42.2%).
stefon diggs – punt god pic.twitter.com/T1vmzXqDpf
— alex brasky (@alexbrasky) October 9, 2022
Diggs Update (Sat. 10/15): For the Chiefs, rookie CB Trent McDuffie (hamstring, IR) seems likely to play Sunday after practicing all three days this week — but CB Rashad Fenton (hamstring) and S Bryan Cook (concussion) are out. Diggs is my locked-in WR3.
Mike Evans (TB) at PIT: Buccaneers -8.5 | 43.5O/U
- Since returning from his Week 3 suspension, Evans has 12-184-2 receiving on 18 targets, and for the season he has an explosive 10.9 yards per target.
- The Steelers might be without Nos. 1-2 CBs Cameron Sutton (hamstring) and Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring) and SS Terrell Edmunds (concussion), and they are are No. 1 in most fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers (41.5 FPPG).
Evans Update (Sat. 10/15): WR Julio Jones (knee) is out, and the Steelers will be without Sutton, Witherspoon, CB Levi Wallace (concussion), FS Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee) and EDGE DeMarvin Leal (knee). Evans is a top-six wide receiver.
CeeDee Lamb (DAL) at PHI: Cowboys +5 | 42.5 O/U
- Lamb started the season slowly with 104 scoreless yards on nine receptions and one carry in Weeks 1-2, but he has 19-237-2 receiving in three games since then, and for the year he has a dominant 50 targets.
- Lamb ranks No. 1 at the position with his 35.0% target share (per our Advanced WR Stats Report).
- The overall matchup is tough, but the Cowboys might give Lamb more snaps in the slot, where the Eagles have been without CB Avonte Maddox (ankle) for the past two weeks.
Lamb Update (Sat. 10/15): Lamb (hip, questionable) popped up on the Friday injury report after not practicing, which is normally a highly negative sign. On top of that, Maddox is playing and the Eagles are very healthy on defense. I have preemptively bumped Lamb out of my top 12 and no longer consider him a favorite.
Marquise Brown (ARI) at SEA: Cardinals -2.5 | 51 O/U
- Brown is No. 1 at the position in snaps played (360) and routes run (227, per PFF).
- Since his disappointing Cardinals debut, Brown has 34-374-2 receiving on 49 targets over the past month.
- The Seahawks are No. 30 in defensive pass DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers (35.5%).
Marquise Brown is the only player in the NFL with four straight double digit target games this season
— Adam Koffler (@AdamKoffler) October 10, 2022
Brown Update (Sat. 10/15): The Cardinals will be without RBs James Conner (ribs) and Darrel Williams (knee), so they might pass more than usual. I have upgraded Brown to a mid-range WR1 in my rankings.
Mike Williams (LAC) vs. DEN: Chargers -5 | 45.5 O/U
- No. 1 WR Keenan Allen (hamstring) has missed the past four weeks to injury, and in that span Williams has 26-382-2 receiving on 40 targets with either 100 yards or a touchdown in each game.
- The Broncos defense is top-five in pass DVOA (-27.5%) and dropback EPA per play (-0.144), but the secondary is also missing two starters in CB Ronald Darby (knee, IR) and S Justin Simmons (quadriceps, IR).
Williams Update (Sat. 10/15): Allen practiced on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday, so he has a chance to play on Monday Night Football. I’ve given Williams a small downgrade in my rankings, and I could downgrade him further based on beat reports following the Saturday practice.
D.K. Metcalf (SEA) vs. ARI: Seahawks +2.5 | 51 O/U
- The Seahawks have exploded over the past three weeks (34.3 points per game in Weeks 3-5 vs. 12 points per game in Weeks 1-2) as they have leaned more into the passing game with QB Geno Smith, and in that time Metcalf has 17-301-2 receiving on 30 targets.
- The Cardinals defense is No. 28 in dropback EPA per play (0.177).
DK Metcalf’s hand technique vs press coverage is so violent pic.twitter.com/YNCMXWh4CR
— Parker (@ParkerLewes) October 4, 2022
Metcalf Update (Sat. 10/15): The Cardinals will be without CB Trayvon Mullen (hamstring) and maybe also CB Byron Murphy (groin), who was added to the injury report on Friday after a limited practice. I have given Metcalf a slight upgrade in my rankings.
Christian Kirk (JAX) at IND: Jaguars +2 | 42 O/U
- Kirk disappointed last week with just 11 yards on three targets … and also the week before that with 60 yards on nine targets — but he’s still the No. 1 receiver for the team in targets (39), yards receiving (22) and touchdowns (3).
- Kirk had a dominant 6-78-2 receiving on six targets in Week 2 against the Colts, who are No. 28 in defensive pass DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers (29.6%).
I’m betting over 10.5 points for Kirk in the Week 6 No House Advantage Over/Under Challenge.
Gabe Davis (BUF) at KC: Bills -2.5 | 54 O/U
- Last week — finally recovered from the ankle injury that sidelined him in Week 2 and slowed him down in Weeks 3-4 — Davis lit up our Game Day app with a position-high 30.6 fantasy points on 3-171-2 receiving and six targets.
- For his career, Davis has a playmaking 10.0 yards per target, and I probably don’t need to remind you that last year he had 8-201-4 receiving on 10 targets against the Chiefs in the playoffs.
- The Bills have a week-high 28.5-point implied total in our Week 6 DFS cheat sheet.
- Davis could have massive volume if once again Nos. 3-5 WRs Isaiah McKenzie (concussion), Jamison Crowder (ankle, IR) and Jake Kumerow (ankle) and TE Dawson Knox (foot) all miss Week 6.
And people are gonna be like, “But his low target share.” pic.twitter.com/wTbH1YtmoK
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) October 9, 2022
Davis Update (Sat. 10/15): For the Chiefs, rookie CB Trent McDuffie (hamstring, IR) seems likely to play Sunday after practicing all three days this week — but CB Rashad Fenton (hamstring) and S Bryan Cook (concussion) are out. Davis is an upside WR2.
Tyler Lockett (SEA) vs. ARI: Seahawks +2.5 | 51 O/U
- In his eight full games with QB Geno Smith dating back to last year, Lockett has 48-595-2 receiving on 63 targets with 9.4 yards per target.
- In two games against the Cardinals last year, Lockett went off with an efficient 9-213-2 receiving on 10 targets.
Lockett Update (Sat. 10/15): The Cardinals will be without CB Trayvon Mullen (hamstring) and maybe also CB Byron Murphy (groin), who was added to the injury report on Friday after a limited practice. Lockett is now on the WR1/2 borderline in my rankings.
Diontae Johnson (PIT) vs. TB: Steelers +8.5 | 43.5 O/U
- The production has underwhelmed (278 yards, zero touchdowns from scrimmage), but Johnson has 50 targets this year and 10.1 per game since 2020.
- As big home underdogs (+295 at BetRivers), the Steelers could have pass-heavy game script.
- Steelers HC Mike Tomlin is 14-3-3 ATS as a home underdog.
Diontae Johnson 53.4 receiving yards per game with 0 touchdowns this season and yet I've never been more convinced the man is a legit legit WR1
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) October 10, 2022
Johnson Update (Sat. 10/15): Johnson (hip) is dealing with an injury, but he practiced fully on Thursday and Friday and was left off the final injury report. He’s playing. The Buccaneers are without CB Sean Murphy-Bunting (quad) and FS Logan Ryan (foot). Johnson is a volume-fueled WR2.
Curtis Samuel (WAS) at CHI: Commanders +1 | 38 O/U
- Samuel has led the Commanders in targets each week with 11, 9, 10, 7 and 8 targets, with which (accompanied by eight carries) he has put up 332 yards and two touchdowns.
- Samuel has a great matchup in the slot against rookie CB Kyler Gordon, who has allowed 2.35 yards per coverage snap and 11.0 yards per target.
Romeo Doubs (GB) vs. NYJ: Packers -7 | 46 O/U
- Since becoming a starter in Week 3, Doubs has averaged a 90% snap rate and flashed with 16-149-2 receiving on 21 targets.
- The Jets are No. 29 in defensive pass DVOA against No. 2 wide receivers (38.2%).
Packers rookie Romeo Doubs has a 20-yard catch or a touchdown catch in each of his first 5 games to start his NFL career.
— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) October 9, 2022
Doubs Update (Sat. 10/15): WR Christian Watson (hamstring) is out, so Doubs will continue to be an unquestioned starter for the Packers. Doubs is a low-end WR3.
D.J. Moore (CAR) at LAR: Panthers +10.5 | 40.5 O/U
- What if the “loss” of HC Matt Rhule (terminated) and QB Baker Mayfield (ankle, likely out) is addition by subtraction?
- After getting six targets in each of Weeks 1-3, Moore has 19 targets (and two carries) over the past two weeks.
- Even with No. 1 CB Jalen Ramsey, the Rams are No. 5 in most fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers (34.5 FPPG), and they could be without Nos. 2-4 CBs Troy Hill (groin, IR), David Long (groin) and Cobie Durant (hamstring).
Moore Update (Sat. 10/15): Long and Durant (questionable) are both likely to play, but Hill is still on IR. Against my better judgment, I have Moore ranked as a WR3. I must hate myself.
Tyler Boyd (CIN) at NO: Bengals -1.5 | 43.5 O/U
- No. 2 WR Tee Higgins (ankle) “played” through an injury last week, but he saw just 10 snaps with no targets, and his status is uncertain for Week 6.
- In his four entire or partial games without Higgins since last year, Boyd has a respectable 20-219-2 receiving on 28 targets.
- The Saints are No. 29 in defensive DVOA against supplementary wide receivers (37.1%).
Boyd Update (Sat. 10/15): Higgins is questionable after getting in a limited practice on Friday, but I’m skeptical that he’ll play, and if he does I expect him to have a snap count. I have Boyd ranked as a low-end WR3.
Darnell Mooney (CHI) vs. WAS: Bears -1 | 38 O/U
- The Bears are last in the league with a 39.9% pass play rate, but at least Mooney is still No. 1 on the team in targets (21), receptions (10) and yards receiving (173).
- The Commanders benched No. 1 CB William Jackson last week for poor performance and are No. 4 in most fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers (35.2 FPPG).
Darnell Mooney with a great catch on a deep ball from Justin Fields.pic.twitter.com/xwm4arptYQ
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 9, 2022
Rondale Moore (ARI) at SEA: Cardinals -2.5 | 51 O/U
- Since making his 2022 debut in Week 4, Moore has played an 88% snap rate and been the No. 2 wide receiver with 13 targets for 10-79-0 receiving (and three carries … for -11 yards, ugh).
- The Seahawks are No. 28 in defensive pass DVOA against No. 2 wide receivers (35.2%).
Moore Update (Sat. 10/15): The Cardinals will be without RBs James Conner (ribs) and Darrel Williams (knee), so they might pass more than usual. I have upgraded Moore to a low-end WR3.
K.J. Hamler (DEN) at LAC: Broncos +5 | 45.5 O/U
- The Chargers are No. 28 in defensive DVOA against supplementary wide receivers (36.6%).
- Let’s just say that QB Russell Wilson owes Hamler some targets …
KJ Hamler was slamming his helmet after the game. For good reason… pic.twitter.com/l5BbcyEeGt
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 7, 2022
Freedman’s Favorite Week 6 Tight Ends
Travis Kelce (KC) vs. BUF: Chiefs +2.5 | 54 O/U
- With a rebuilt wide receiver unit, Kelce has predictably been the top pass catcher for the Chiefs this year, ranking No. 1 on the team with 42 targets and 33-347-7 receiving and No. 1 at the position with 19.1 FPPG.
- Last year, Kelce had 14-153-2 receiving on 19 against the Bills in two games.
- The Bills could be without three key coverage players in SS Jordan Poyer (ribs), FS Micah Hyde (neck, IR) and LB Tremaine Edmunds (hamstring).
- With QB Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs are 7-0-1 ATS as an underdog.
Travis Kelce just became the 4th TE in NFL history (first since 1985) to score 4 receiving TDs in a game 🔥🔥🔥
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 11, 2022
Kelce Update (Sat. 10/15): The Bills are much healthier than they were entering the week, as Poyer and Edmunds were left off the final injury report, but they will still be without Hyde and No. 1 CB Tre’Davious White (knee, PUP), who occasionally covered Kelce in past matchups. Kelce is still my TE1.
Check out my Week 6 early betting breakdown on Chiefs vs. Bills.
Tyler Higbee (LAR) vs. CAR: Rams -10.5 | 40.5 O/U
- Higbee is easily No. 2 on the team and No. 1 at the position with 48 targets and 33 receptions.
- The Panthers are without SS Jeremy Chinn (hamstring, IR).
- Higbee has rendered No. 2 WR Allen Robinson irrelevant.
Higbee Update (Sat. 10/15): Higbee (ankle, questionable) is dealing with an injury, but he practiced limitedly on Thursday and Friday and should play. He’s a top-five tight end in my rankings.
Zach Ertz (ARI) at SEA: Cardinals -2.5 | 51 O/U
- Ertz is No. 2 on the Cardinals with 41 targets and 28-229-2 receiving.
- In two games against the Seahawks last year, Ertz had 15-172-2 receiving on 19 targets.
- The Seahawks are No. 32 in defensive pass DVOA against tight ends (47.7%).
Ertz Update (Sat. 10/15): The Cardinals will be without RBs James Conner (ribs) and Darrel Williams (knee), so they might pass more than usual. Ertz is a top-four tight end in my rankings.
Evan Engram (JAX) at IND: Jaguars +2 | 42 O/U
- Engram had a nice 6-69-0 receiving on 10 targets last week, and for the season he has basically functioned as another wide receiver for the team, ranking No. 3 in pass play snaps (171), routes run (155) and receptions (19).
- Against the Colts in Week, 2, Engram had 7-46-0 receiving on eight targets.
- The Colts are No. 5 in most fantasy points allowed to tight ends (13.5 FPPG).
Engram Update (Sat. 10/15): I expect WRs Marvin Jones (hamstring) and Zay Jones (ankle) to play through their questionable tags, but at least the Colts will be without LB Shaquille Leonard (concussion, nose, back). Engram is a low-end TE1.
Taysom Hill (NO) vs. CIN: Saints +1.5 | 43.5 O/U
- Hill isn’t a traditional tight end — he has just 14 routes and one target on the year — but he gets regular usage each game as a wildcat quarterback, and as such he has 21-228-5 rushing and a 22-yard touchdown passing.
- Hill leads the Saints with four carries inside the 20-yard line and three carries inside the 10 — all of which he has converted into touchdowns.
- Especially in the bye weeks, Hill’s upside is too great to ignore.
TAYSOM HILL TAKES IT TO THE HOUSE!!!!!! ⚜️
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) October 9, 2022
Hill Update (Sat. 10/15): The Saints are without WRs Michael Thomas (foot), Jarvis Landry (ankle) and Deonte Harty (foot), so I expect Hill to maintain his usage. As wrong as it feels, I have him ranked as a low-end TE1
Hayden Hurst (CIN) at NO: Bengals -1.5 | 43.5 O/U
- No. 2 WR Tee Higgins (ankle) is uncertain, and Hurst’s two biggest games this year (Weeks 1 & 5, 11-99-1 receiving on 15 targets) have been when Higgins has played less than 30% of the snaps.
- The Saints will be without S P.J. Williams (quadriceps, IR) and maybe also S Marcus Maye (ribs), who hasn’t played since Week 2.
hurst Update (Sat. 10/15): Higgins is questionable after getting in a limited practice on Friday, but I’m skeptical that he’ll play, and if he does I expect him to have a snap count. Hurst (groin) is technically questionable, but I expect him to play after practicing limitedly all week. He’s a low-end TE1.
Freedman’s Former Favorites
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