Week 6 in the NFL had quite a few surprising outcomes, with heavy favorites, like the 5-0 49ers and Eagles losing on the road to .500 opponents, while most of the fantasy scoring production dipped down, as only Raheem Mostert (RB – Dolphins) managed to eclipse 30 half-PPR points on Sunday. We’re entering the point of the fantasy season where teams are beginning to establish their identity, allowing their opponent to prepare better than earlier in the season, with less film to study.
Thursday night started off the low-scoring, competitive trend between teams who looked like they belonged in two different tiers, as the Chiefs struggled to hold on in a low-scoring, 19-8 win over Denver, which has the worst defense in the league by nearly every metric. It was a foreshadowing to the tightly contested games we watched on Sunday, as numerous underdogs managed to win straight up. Studs and duds follow suit, but it feels like there were a lot more duds in Week 6.
NFL fantasy analyst Matt MacKay is back to share his latest analysis on Week 6 studs and duds using half-PPR scoring as the default format, helping identity players who popped or fizzled, and whether its an anomaly or a trend that will continue into the foreseeable future.
Raheem Mostert (RB – Dolphins)
Raheem Mostert took advantage of his increased usage in the absence of De’Von Achane (RB – Dolphins), who will be sidelined on IR for at least three more weeks, allowing the veteran speedster to turn 17 carries into 115 rushing yards and two touchdowns, along with catching all three of his targets for 17 yards and a touchdown. This led to 32.7 fantasy points, 11 more than overall RB2, Kyren Williams (RB – Rams). Miami’s offense has looked elite in most of its games played this season, but playing a porous, injured Panthers run defense definitely helped. A tougher matchup awaits on the road against Philadelphia’s run defense in Week 7, which is a bottom-three matchup, but Mostert deserves to continue being locked into lineups as a fringe RB1 with top-five upside during Achane’s absence. After all, he’s only been held out of the end zone in one game this season, which came against Buffalo’s defense in Week 4.
Adam Thielen (WR – Panthers)
Fantasy managers who acquired Panthers wideout Adam Thielen should be rejoicing at such a valuable prospect, who was available on most waivers after a quiet performance in Week 1. Since that loss to the Falcons, Thielen has been cooking for Carolina, finishing with over 22 fantasy points in three of his past four games. He’s clearly the Panthers’ WR1, trusted by both Bryce Young (QB – Panthers) and Andy Dalton (QB – Panthers), so we don’t need to worry about his usage in that specific scenario. Thielen has recorded 11 receptions in three of his past four games as well, while racking up four touchdowns since Week 2. He’s a fringe WR1 with a high-end WR2 floor and top-five positional upside, returning immense value in lineups where he’s rostered.
Travis Kelce (TE – Chiefs)
Among all offensive players in Week 6, Travis Kelce finished 18th overall, ranking as the top performing tight end in a volatile, top-heavy position. Kelce didn’t even score a touchdown against Denver, but he racked up chunk plays as Patrick Mahomes’ (QB – Chiefs) favorite target, finishing with nine receptions for 124 yards, catching all of his targets. He played through a heavily taped up ankle, so an extra 10 days to rest before going up against the Los Angeles Chargers will serve him well, as he recorded four touchdowns against the Chargers the last time these two AFC West rivals met. Kelce is the bonafide TE1 and should remain plugged into lineups in fantasy football no matter what, barring injury, due to his consistent usage and rapport with Mahomes in an offense with an underwhelming wide receiving corps.
Jared Goff (QB – Lions)
Jared Goff is the overall QB4 in fantasy football this season, going 5-1 SU and beating a good Tampa Bay defense, tossing two touchdowns to cement the Lions atop the NFC. He’s completing 69.6 percent of his pass attempts, while ranking QB5 in fantasy points per game (19.4), despite not possessing a high rushing floor, unlike most of the other signal-callers in the fantasy top-five. Until we see otherwise, Goff deserves to be a weekly starter in fantasy football lineups. He gets the Baltimore Ravens in another road game in Week 7, which is the second-toughest quarterback matchup in fantasy football, but Goff is too consistent in big games to consider benching, unless fantasy managers also roster Justin Herbert (QB – Chargers), Josh Allen (QB – Bills), Jalen Hurts (QB – Eagles), or Tua Tagovailoa (QB – Dolphins).
Dameon Pierce (RB – Texans)
Fantasy managers who spent the draft capital to acquire Dameon Pierce haven’t been enjoying an immense return on investment through six games. Pierce is now ceding touches to Devin Singletary (RB – Texans), plus he’s an afterthought in the Texans’ efficient passing attack, led by rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud (QB – Texans), logging nine receptions on 12 targets for 84 yards, making Pierce RB24 entering Week 7. He’s RB34 in fantasy points per game (7.8) and has only scored one touchdown, coming against the Jaguars in Week 3. Pierce is on Bye in Week 7, but he’s either a bench stash or cut candidate after paltry production through six weeks, valued as nothing more than a low-end RB3.
Marquise Brown (WR – Cardinals)
After consistently finishing as a solid WR2 since Week 2, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown dropped to a WR50 finish in Week 6 against a talented Rams pass defense. Brown saw 11 targets, his usual volume as the Cardinals’ WR1, but he only managed to convert this target share into four receptions for 34 yards. Brown is reliant upon touchdowns to preserve his WR2 value, scoring three times since Week 2, but it didn’t happen in a tough Week 6 matchup, so don’t get overly concerned. Seattle is the second-best matchup for fantasy wide receivers this season, so Week 7 should see Brown bounce back to normal WR2 production, which places him firmly in our fantasy football lineups.
Cole Kmet (TE – Bears)
After a few boom weeks, Bears’ TE1 Cole Kmet came down to mediocrity, finishing with two receptions for nine yards on three targets. Prior to this flat outing against Minnesota, Kmet has logged three touchdowns across his previous two games played, bouncing between 12.7 and 24.1 fantasy points. In his other four games played this season, Kmet has finished with less than seven fantasy points, showcasing his extremely low floor. Kmet is an ideal candidate to stash for Byes or to potentially leverage as trade bait for any eager fantasy managers valuing his ceiling. It’s difficult to rely on Kmet with confidence, as the Raiders are 14th against fantasy tight ends, only marginally better than the Vikings, who held Kmet to TE3 production in Week 6.
Brock Purdy (QB – 49ers)
We finally saw Brock Purdy throw an interception and lose a game in Week 6, as the 49ers road trip to Cleveland ended with a missed field goal kick as time expired. Purdy finished Week 6 as the QB23, barely registering QB2 numbers, finishing with a 44.4 percent completion rate. The Browns’ defense continuously pressured the second-year signal caller, who lost his top tackle, Trent Williams (LT – 49ers), while also playing without Deebo Samuel (WR – 49ers) for most of the game. A road trip to Minnesota could see Purdy bounce back to QB1 efficiency, as the Vikings have allowed the tenth-highest fantasy points per game to fantasy quarterbacks this season. Purdy is QB8 in total fantasy points and QB11 in fantasy points per game, so don’t be afraid to roll him into fantasy lineups as a fringe QB1 in Week 7.