So far, Week 6 has been another crazy, but exciting week in the 2020 season. Obscure tight ends found the end zone such as Durham Smythe for Miami and Jason Croom for Philadelphia and even Rob Gronkowski got involved in the action scoring his first touchdown of the season. Trey Burton scored two touchdowns for the Colts, Adam Shaheen scored for the second week in a row in Miami, Nick Boyle upset Mark Andrews managers, and Cole Kmet scored for the Bears instead of Jimmy Graham.
We also saw not one, but five backup QBs make an appearance. Case Keenum (CLE), Mason Rudolph (PIT), Tua Tagovailoa (MIA), Tim Boyle (GB), and Blaine Gabbert (TB) all relieved their starters after the scores became runaways.
Instead of the Packers-Buccaneers being the barn-burner game of the week, it was the Texans-Titans game that stole the show. The scoring was back and forth with big plays and long runs that eventually concluded in the Titans' favor in overtime. The look on QB Deshaun Watson's face was priceless after they lost the coin toss. He knew what was coming. His name is Derrick Henry.
Speaking of which, Henry is still really good. A total of 94 of Henry’s 212 rushing yards came from one touchdown run. It was something to behold. Also, speaking of the Titans and adding another obscure TE, Anthony Firkser also had a big day after Jonnu Smith went down with an ankle injury.
The Jets remain winless and, well, just bad. They are 0-5, losing in a shut out to the Miami Dolphins and Ryan Fitzpatrick’s magical beard. How Adam Gase is still the head coach is beyond me. How long he remains in the position is hopefully debatable. If the Jets continue with Gase, I am afraid the Jets as an organization is doomed, at least this year.
Although we still have four teams still to play on Monday night, let’s look at Sunday’s fantasy producers and those that disappointed in Week 6.
Watson (QB1), Matt Ryan (QB2), and Philip Rivers (of all people at QB6) broke the 300 yards passing mark on Sunday throwing three or more touchdowns. Eagles QB Carson Wentz even earned a spot in the top-five, largely due to rushing for 49 yards and a touchdown. Lamar Jackson got back into fantasy managers' good graces finishing as the QB5 with 28.24 points. His 108 yards rushing were only 78 fewer than his passing yards.
Is there even a point in bringing up any other running back besides Henry? I will anyway, but he finished as the RB1 with 212 yards rushing, two touchdowns, and 40.4 points in PPR. Rookie RB D’Andre Swift had an excellent fantasy day with 116 yards and two touchdowns with three receptions for seven yards. Ronald Jones in Tampa Bay was hot on his heels. He finished with 113 yards rushing, two touchdowns, and two receptions for eight yards. They scored 27.3 and 26.1 respectively, but those three backs were the only ones to eclipse the 20-point mark. James Conner finished as the RB4 with 17.2 points and Myles Gaskin came in at RB5 with 16.6 points. It was a rough day for most running backs.
The same isn’t true for wide receivers who feasted all day. Justin Jefferson and Julio Jones both finished with over 30 points and two touchdowns apiece. Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks both had excellent performances in Houston finishing as the WR3 and WR5. A.J. Brown also made the top-five with 22.6 points against Houston in the same game.
As I mentioned earlier, this was a strange day for tight ends in the NFL. Our top-five finishers were (in order by points) Anthony Firkser (25.3), George Kittle (23.9), Trey Burton (21.9), Darren Fells (20.5), and Rob Gronkowski (18.8). It was just one of those weeks.
Where there is good, there is also bad. Aaron Rodgers leads off that list. After a strong start to the season, Rodgers was trounced in their matchup against the Buccaneers, scoring only 3.8 points, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. Other QBs who disappointed were Ben Roethlisberger (10.98), Teddy Bridgewater (9.44), Baker Mayfield (5.26), and Drew Lock (3.46).
As I mentioned, it was a rough day for running backs, but a few had a harder time than others. Despite Melvin Gordon out due to illness, Phillip Lindsay scraped by with just 10.1 points despite looking like he could be the lead back in Denver. If you started him, you may not be too upset, but it wasn’t the outing we were hoping for. Other RBs to score below 10 points include Todd Gurley (9.7), Antonio Gibson (9.5), Darrell Henderson (9.2), Kareem Hunt (7.7), and Devonta Freeman (6.7).
We saw plenty of wide receivers have a field day on Sunday, but perhaps the particular WRs you started didn’t have such a great outing. Davante Adams, for example, scored only 12.1 points after missing several weeks due to injury and a bye. Chris Godwin was absent from the end zone in the same matchup and scored only 9.8 points. Marquise Brown (9.7), Jarvis Landry (7), and DeVante Parker (6.5) also left a bad taste in managers' mouths after promising matchups led to poor scores.
Since we have some strange names at the top of our tight end leaderboard, that means we had some big names at the bottom. Mike Gesicki laid a goose egg for fantasy managers while Smythe and Shaheen both scored against the Jets. Eric Ebron was once again disappointing in a juicy matchup with two receptions, nine yards, and 2.9 points. Mark Andrews (4.1), Robert Tonyan (5.5), and Evan Engram (5) also let you down. I should note that Jonnu Smith only hauled in one reception before getting injured allowing Firkser to get the looks. No matter who is at the position, the Titans like to use their tight end. This will be important to keep in mind as we learn more about Smith’s status moving forward.
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Chris Godwin (WR - TB)
JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR - PIT)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB - KC)
Evan Engram (TE - NYG)
Justin Herbert (QB - LAC)
Mike Davis (RB - CAR)
Chase Claypool (WR - PIT)
Darrell Henderson (RB - LAR)
Rob Gronkowski (TE - TB)
Jamison Crowder (WR - NYJ)
Chris Godwin managers were excited to see that he was finally active in what promised to be a high scoring game against the Green Bay Packers. While the Buccaneers certainly piled on the points, Godwin didn’t make the splash we expected. He saw seven targets with five receptions for 48 yards, but failed to score a touchdown. It’s only a matter of time before those scores start ticking up for Godwin so now may be the best time to snag him for your roster before the value becomes unreachable.
Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster has been very quiet. Against one of the bottom defenses against wide receivers in the Cleveland Browns, he saw only four targets, two receptions and six yards. That’s it. Smith-Schuster managers may be hitting the panic button as WR Chase Claypool keeps getting involved in big, flashy plays. I find it hard to believe that Smith-Schuster continues this trajectory into the basement of fantasy.
Speaking of Claypool, he continues to be my top trade away player. He didn’t have another four-touchdown game, but he was productive in both the run and receiving game as a wide receiver. If you have positional needs with Claypool on your roster, you may want to move him to help fill in some holes.
After finally getting free of the Jets, RB Le’Veon Bell found himself a new home in Kansas City and Clyde Edwards-Helaire managers may be freaking out. I personally don’t think that Bell will ruin Helaire’s fantasy production. Bell will eat into his volume, sure, but he should be featured more in the passing game with RB Damien Williams opting out of the season and absent in short-yardage passing. Both running backs have a fantasy future in Kansas City, and, honestly, both running backs can be considered trade-for options.
When it comes to strength of schedule, it doesn’t get any better for the Giants’ TE Evan Engram. He has been woefully underproductive but he is still an incredibly talented tight end in a landscape that is a mess. If you need help at the position, consider Engram in a bundle trade. He faces Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Washington, and Philadelphia before his bye in Week 11.
The Chargers’ rookie QB Justin Herbert has been outstanding in real and fantasy football. Getting Herbert on your roster may be an uphill battle, but if you can pull off a trade to acquire him, you will sitting pretty in terms of matchups. Target a leaguemate who may have Week 7 bye week issues or is dealing with injuries to their players.
As I mentioned earlier, Claypool continues to be an excellent trade-away target to get some great value in return. Another prime candidate I have been harping on is Mike Davis of the Carolina Panthers. Christian McCaffrey is looking to return by Week 8 so the window for Davis is coming to a close. I would look to move him now before the opportunity vanishes completely.
It’s difficult to fathom trading away running backs with so little depth at the position, but I am going to continue with the RB trade-away theme. I have Darrell Henderson as an option, but in reality, it can be any of the three running backs for the Rams which are Cam Akers and Malcom Brown. Henderson has been the most productive, so he can likely give you the best return. His volume isn’t guaranteed in the offense and I would rather have a back with a more featured role and fewer question marks.
Along the same lines is the entire Baltimore Ravens backfield. We are six weeks into the season and no one back has emerged as the bell cow. If you can possibly move either Mark Ingram, J.K. Dobbins (in redraft), or Gus Edwards, I would do it, if only to avoid the headache each week.
The last two names on the trade-away list are Gronkowski and Jamison Crowder. Gronkowski finally had a nice fantasy day, but it’s not likely that will be consistent with so much talent around him at wide receiver. While Crowder is the most consistent player on the Jets, it’s still the Jets. Like other players in real football, I would consider moving on from the Jets and trade away Crowder while (or if) you can.
Remember, trade targets are highly subjective and this list is by no means exhaustive. What works for one team may not be the best choice for another and there may be other players not mentioned that can provide excellent trade opportunities. Evaluate your team’s needs and propose trades that help both you and your leaguemate achieve the best results. Also, don’t forget the rule of thumb to trade away at the highest value and trade for players when their value has dropped.
Injury Updates & Quick Hits
Browns QB Baker Mayfield was benched late in Sunday’s game against the Steelers. It is likely this was for his health dealing with a rib injury. … Titans T Taylor Lewan may have suffered a torn ACL. … Eagles RB Miles Sanders will have an MRI on his knee after leaving the game early. TE Zach Ertz will have an MRI on his ankle. Both players add to a long list of injured players in Philadelphia … Dolphins WR DeVante Parker suffered groin injury on Sunday. … Denver released recently signed QB Blake Bortles. … Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins is out for Monday’s matchup. … 49ers Raheem Mostert left the game early with an ankle injury.