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Fantasy Football Week 6 Takeaways: Surprises & Disappointments (2022)

by Andrew Seifter | @andrew_seifter | Featured Writer
Oct 17, 2022
Michael Pittman

Michael Pittman got back on track in Week 6 and is a must-start every week.

Week 6 was chock full of surprises and not necessarily the good kind for fantasy managers. It’s the kind of week where it’s a lot easier to come up with disappointments than pleasant surprises.

Sure, neutral observers probably enjoyed the rare defeats suffered by Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Lamar Jackson. Or the simple fact that five of the eight underdogs in the early window games won outright. And Bills-Chiefs mostly lived up to the hype in fantasy and reality.

But the roll call of unlikely touchdown scorers was a smack in the face to fantasy football managers everywhere. Rashid Shaheed. JaMychal Hasty. MyCole Pruitt. Ben Skowronek. Braxton Berrios. Tre’Quan Smith. Parris Campbell. Tyquan Thornton (twice). Even the touchdowns scored by Brandon Aiyuk, Chase Claypool, and Allen Robinson were likely wasted on managers’ benches in most leagues.

Let’s survey the damage.

Top 5 Surprises

Michael Pittman gets back on track.

Jags-Colts didn’t profile as a shootout — its over/under was actually third-lowest — but it ended up being the highest-scoring game of the week. Matt Ryan‘s 389-yard, 3-TD day was the biggest surprise, but Pittman’s performance is the one that matters most in fantasy leagues. Widely drafted as a top-12 receiver, the Colts’ top target had a great Week 1, but he missed Week 2 with a quad injury and had been relatively quiet since then — until Sunday. Pittman erupted for 13 catches and 134 yards against a Jaguars defense that had yet to allow a 100-yard game to an opposing wideout. It should take more than one good game to believe that Ryan is having a renaissance, but this game demonstrates why Pittman belongs in fantasy lineups each and every week.

Deon Jackson explodes on the scene but exits late.

Let’s stick with the Colts since they were one of only two teams to score over 30 points this week. A big part of that was due to the efforts of Jackson, the undrafted second-year man out of Duke who looked good in Week 5 and even better on Sunday. Jackson bullied his way into the end zone on the ground, but he did most of his damage as a receiver out of the backfield. He caught 10 balls for 79 yards and enjoyed an 18% target share, which is higher than Jonathan Taylor‘s total in any game this year.

Unfortunately, Jackson left the game with a quad injury of unknown severity and did not return. With Taylor and Nyheim Hines both decent bets to return next week, it could be a while before we see Jackson get another chance to shine. That pours cold water on him as a waiver wire pickup, but he’s a name to file away like a D’Ernest Johnson or Craig Reynolds.

Kenyan Drake turns back the clock.

Drake has had a solid career, but after posting 1,000 scrimmage yards and double-digit touchdowns for the first time in 2020, he’s been in decline ever since. He was little more than a bit player for the Raiders last year and then seemed to be phased out of the Ravens’ offense this year after averaging just 2.8 yards per carry as the lead back in Week 1. It reached the point where Drake was a healthy scratch in Weeks 3 and 4, but he fought his way back into a timeshare with J.K. Dobbins last week and then stepped up in a big way this week after Dobbins left with knee tightness.

Even before Dobbins departed, the difference in performance between the two Baltimore backs was striking, with Drake producing 63 yards above expected and Dobbins compiling 24 yards below expected. While Dobbins’ ailment would typically sound relatively minor, the same can’t be said for a player who recently returned from major knee surgery. Drake made a decent case to play ahead of Dobbins based on performance alone, but Dobbins’ injury history provides another reason to prioritize Drake on waivers this week.

As Miami QBs drop like flies, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle just keep producing.

It’s been a trying year for the Dolphins at the quarterback position, with injuries forcing them to turn from Tua Tagovailoa to Teddy Bridgewater to rookie Skylar Thompson and back to Bridgewater. Next week, it will be Tua again. Through it all, Miami’s talented receiver duo has continued to produce big fantasy lines. Except for the Week 5 contest against the Jets, where Thompson was forced to play most of the game despite not preparing to be the starter, at least one of Hill or Waddle has put up big numbers weekly. And Sunday’s game against Minnesota marked the second time this season that both receivers eclipsed 100 yards in the same game, a rare feat across the league.

Tagovailoa’s return will undoubtedly be good news for Hill and Waddle. But whether it’s due to their own exceptional talent, Mike McDaniel’s innovative scheme, or a mix of both, Miami’s Big Two have essentially become QB-proof.

Wan’Dale Robinson hits paydirt in return from injury.

When the Giants spent a second-round pick on Robinson in the 2022 NFL draft, it was a bit of a head-scratching move since they seemingly already had a similar player on the roster in Kadarius Toney. But perhaps they already knew at the time that Toney would be hard to count on. Both players missed most of the first month-plus with leg injuries, but it is Robinson that has made it back first — and he now has a golden opportunity to become the playmaker that the Giants’ passing game so clearly is lacking.

In Sunday’s battle with Baltimore, Robinson played behind Marcus Johnson, Darius Slayton, Richie James, and David Sills. Still, he was heavily utilized while on the field, posting a 36% target rate per route run. On one of those targets, Robinson caught a pass in the flat and scurried his way into the corner of the end zone. Given his early-round draft capital, glowing preseason reports, and the big-play explosiveness he can add to New York’s offense, look for his role to grow quickly.

Top 5 Disappointments

Nick Chubb posts his first dud.

Chubb entered Week 6 first among running backs in fantasy points, and he’ll leave Week 6 first among running backs in fantasy points. But there is no doubt that his numbers against New England left something to be desired. The Browns faced a negative game script for the vast majority of Sunday’s contest, which meant fewer snaps for Chubb, who is more valued by the Browns for his Walter Payton-esque rushing abilities than his passing game acumen. He remained Cleveland’s clear back of choice when they did run the ball.

This is the first time Chubb has had a down game this season, so there’s no reason to panic. It’s just a reminder that he is a little more dependent on game flow than other top backs like Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, and Austin Ekeler.

Marquise Brown limps off.

Heading into Week 6, there were already questions about how Hollywood’s role might change with the return of DeAndre Hopkins from suspension next week. Now we can add injury concerns to the list. Brown, the current WR8 in fantasy points per game among wideouts, reportedly had a boot on his foot and a noticeable limp following Sunday’s game. While x-rays were negative, the injury did not look good on the field, and additional testing over the next day or two will reveal whether he’ll need to miss significant time. Should that be the case, it would keep Rondale Moore on the fantasy radar alongside Hopkins.

Packers’ offense falls flat on its face against the Jets.

It’s been a frustrating year for fantasy managers rostering Aaron Rodgers (trust me, I know), but after a brutal Week 1, Rodgers had at least established a decent floor by throwing two touchdowns in four straight games. That streak ended on Sunday, while his streak of finishing outside the top-10 QBs continued unabated.

Rodgers isn’t the only Packer trending down, either. While Allen Lazard and Robert Tonyan had solid numbers against the Jets, Aaron Jones handled the ball just 12 times for 44 yards, and A.J. Dillon posted 52 yards on 14 touches. The New York defense may be a bit better than it used to be, but this is still the kind of matchup that would have allowed for big numbers from all of Green Bay’s top skill position players in years past. The Packers have two more get-right matchups against Washington and Detroit coming up over the next three weeks, but it’s hard to be overly confident that they’ll cash in on them at this point.

Elijah Moore sees zero targets, issues non-complaint complaint on Twitter.

It feels like eons ago that Moore was being described as the Jets’ clear number one receiver, in line for a huge year. But that was just two short months ago. It’s been a steady journey off the rails for the Moore hype-train ever since. He’s yet to top 53 receiving yards or reach the end zone in any game, but it’s been the last two weeks when he’s really bottomed out. After a one-catch, 11-yard day against Miami in Week 5, Moore wasn’t even targeted a single time on Sunday against Green Bay.

The Jets decisively beat the Packers, but Moore took to Twitter following the game to point out that he doesn’t “understand” his lack of usage. In the same post, he pledged to “stay quiet” about it…while not staying quiet about it.

If you want to be optimistic, perhaps the squeaky wheel will get some grease next week. But the truth is that right now, Corey Davis is the Jets’ WR1, rookie Garrett Wilson is the upside play, and even Braxton Berrios is stealing snaps from Moore. Moore’s Week 6 was the truest form of a goose egg and one that should usher him to the waiver wire in a lot of fantasy leagues.

Robbie Anderson pulls an Antonio Brown and ends his Panthers career mid-game.

Anderson hasn’t been much of a fantasy factor since 2020, so the sudden end to his Panthers career doesn’t technically qualify as a “disappointment,” but there’s no separate category for “WTF.” Multiple sources reported before Sunday’s game that the Panthers were actively shopping Anderson, but getting any sort of return for him just became tougher after his outburst on the sideline got him kicked out of the game by his own coach. Perhaps this was frustration bubbling over for a player who has seen very few catchable balls this season. Regardless, it’s the kind of behavior that could sabotage the career of a player who wasn’t exactly a hot commodity to begin with.

Key Stats

Darrell Henderson played 70% of the Rams’ offensive snaps.

It’s looking more and more likely that Cam Akers has played his final down for L.A., making Henderson the team’s RB1 for the foreseeable future. The Rams will continue to mix other backs in, particularly Kyren Williams, but Henderson’s current usage is enough to give him weekly RB2 appeal.

Christian McCaffrey accounted for 74.5% of the Panthers’ yards from scrimmage, the second-most by a player in the last 20 seasons.

This stat definitively proves that CMC is as good as the Panthers are bad.

Atlanta’s 36.2% pass rate is on pace to be the lowest mark in over a decade.

Yes, I realize that Kyle Pitts scored this week, but if you’re wondering why it’s been so frustrating to roster Pitts (and Drake London to a lesser extent), look here first. The Falcons have won three of their last four games and have been in every game they’ve played, so don’t expect Arthur Smith to abandon their run-heavy ways anytime soon.

Top Takeaways

Kenneth Walker officially joins fellow rookies Breece Hall, and Dameon Pierce in the RB stud club.

This is shaping up to be a very good year to take a shot on rookies in fantasy leagues. First, we had the rookie wide receivers break out. Lately, it’s been the running backs’ turn.

In a week where many things didn’t go according to plan across the league, Walker’s debut as the Seahawks’ lead back went exactly as we would have hoped. The second-round pick out of Michigan State handled the ball 23 times for 110 scrimmage yards, including a game-sealing 11-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. He played 71% of the snaps for Seattle and led all running backs in rush share in Week 6.

Walker is now locked in as a top-15 fantasy RB, joining fellow rookie Breece Hall, who has accounted for over 300 yards of offense in the last two weeks. Dameon Pierce was on bye this week, but he has been pretty darn good, too.

And Travis Etienne could be next.

Etienne may not technically count as a rookie, but the 2021 first-round pick is playing in the NFL for the first time after missing all of last year with a fractured foot. While he’s yet to have a true breakout game- thanks largely to scoring zero touchdowns- Etienne has compiled over 100 scrimmage yards in back-to-back weeks on limited touches.

I was one of the original James Robinson truthers, but there is no disputing that Etienne has been the more effective rusher than Robinson this year. While the two backs are currently splitting snaps very evenly, the committee has been slowly tilting in Etienne’s direction. That process could accelerate if the Jags fall behind on the scoreboard in the coming weeks, a distinct possibility considering their upcoming schedule (NYG, DEN, LV, @KC, BAL, @DET, @TEN, DAL). Robinson isn’t going to completely go away, but this situation is starting to look a lot like a Breece Hall/Michael Carter scenario.

In other words, now might be a good time to send out a trade offer for Etienne. Because once the breakout fully occurs, he’ll be virtually impossible to acquire.

Alright, that’s it for this week. If you like what you see here, you can get more of my thoughts on waiver wire pickups, buy-low/sell-high candidates, rest-of-season player values, and more by subscribing to less than 30 percent and going to back of choice@andrew_seifter.

Andrew Seifter is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Andrew, check out his archive and follow him @andrew_seifter.

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