Fantasy Football

2017 Fantasy Football Week 6 Preview: Ghost Ship


Now that we’re in the thick of it, I think we have reached that particular part of the season where our fantasy teams begin to evolve more slowly. The bye weeks are here and every week has that exclusion you need to address.

Then there’s the injuries. Last week after Odell Beckham Jr. went down, you should have heard the howling on Twitter. Okay, after David Johnson in Week 1, it was pretty loud, but not like this. OBJ is more of the face of Fantasy Football than Johnson is. He is iconic of course with real football too, because even though the Giants are in the midst of a bad season, OBJ remained someone to fuel some optimism.

A large piece of fantasy real estate was not only lost to owners of OBJ, but to all of us. This is not to take anything away from an owner, let’s say, holding hopes in a bounce back year for Allen Robinson. But again, Odell Beckham Jr. holds a stronger part not just in value, but also as a sort of ambassadorship in the realm of Fantasy Football.

We hope his recovery is speedy, as we do all the injured players. I especially want to include J.J. Watt and make special mention of him. He, like OBJ, is the identical counterpart for the defensive side of the ball.

2017 Fantasy Football Week 6 Preview

Byes: Bills, Bengals, Cowboys, Seahawks

Three divisional rivalry games are on tap this week. There are also three games featuring teams with winning records going head-to head. This is the last week of the four-set bye weeks until Week 10 after the bye heavy six team byes of Week 8 and 9. Week 7 will only have two. This is the second week of flexible scheduling for the Sunday Night Football telecast, yet the Giants at Broncos remains in place as initially set.

Games to watch


Feature Game: Packers (4-1) at Vikings (3-2)

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The Packers are off a big last minute win against the Cowboys, which became a seemingly foregone conclusion after the Cowboys did not milk the clock enough on their previous drive. Aaron Rodgers with over a minute and a timeout in his pocket is never safe, even when starting deep in their own territory.

Aaron Jones, the sudden presumptive lead back of Green Bay, gets his second test against the Vikings who are stingy on fantasy running backs. I would still happily start Jones because the paint is still fresh and preparing a defensive plan against him with Aaron Rodgers to consider presents the Minnesota defense with a problem.

Usually, keying the run to force a quarterback into passing to beat you is the normal order of defensive strategy. With Aaron Rodgers, you actually would prefer the opposite. The Vikings play a usual 4-3, but with Rodgers, it might be best on more occasions to mix in extra pass coverage allowing Jones chances against a 4-2 nickel. No matter the looks the Vikings give, I still feel the overall plan is first and foremost to thwart Rodgers with coverage, rather than blitz packages.

As for the Vikings, Jerick McKinnon will have to somehow prevent Green Bay from getting too comfortable with their front stopping him. Case Keenum could really use some play action to keep the Packers defense honest. It would be nice to see Kyle Rudolph get involved, but the Packers are second best against tight ends¬† for fantasy points, so he’s not in a friendly matchup.

So that leaves the wide receivers to make this game a show. I think it will be. They are all good starts – on both sides.

Sleeper: Marellus Bennett, TE, Green Bay Packers

High OU line game (50.0): Lions (3-2) at Saints (2-2)

The other side of the Peterson trade is of course the Saints. Every owner of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara rejoiced. With Adrian Peterson and John Kuhn out of the system, it looks like smoother sailing.

We are unsure if Willie Snead makes a return, so owners need to check that. I’d be cautious starting him anyway, as a possible case of Sean Payton diversionary tricks we’ve seen so often in the past. He’s one of the untrustworthy coaches for Fantasy Football, so I’m always wary. As with years past, second level pass-catchers on the Saints are almost impossible to gauge. So they become sleeper picks almost every week. That includes Coby Fleener.

With the Lions, we know it’s Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. With Marvin, the production has not been solid or trustworthy. In fact, all the Lions are causing problems for owners. Yet, in a pass happy style of game, I think we can expect some degree of confidence and their receivers are safely playable.

Sleeper: Ted Ginn Jr., WR, New Orleans Saints

Sunday Night Football: New York Giants (0-5) at Denver Broncos (3-1)

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A rough ride for Nielsen ratings.

The Mary Celeste of the NFL makes port in Denver this week. The Giants were already in trouble before last week, but the focus then was how to ignite team rushing – a stat hovering near the near the bottom for the Giants. Now it’s a different story. How to put a product on the field with so many diverse injuries to the passing game. Sterling Shepard escaped a long-term injury, but won’t be ready in time for the Broncos.

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Under normal circumstances, the Giants would matchup well with Broncos. The Broncos should be able to take full advantage of the generous field position the Giants will be forced to give on three and outs. This important part for Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas owners is that neither has produced great fantasy numbers to this point. I expect both will be getting the ball plenty.

As for the Broncos running game, C.J. Anderson remains the most trusted player of the Broncos and Jamaal Charles is less likely to lunch on Anderson‘s bulk output. So, since there’s nothing to fix in the backfield department, the Anderson split of about 66% of team carries should still hold.

Sleeper: Shane Vereen, RB, New York Giants

Monday Night Football: Colts (2-3) at Titans (2-3)

Even without Andrew Luck and Marcus Mariota, this game still features youth versus veteran. Jacoby Brissett has pleasantly kept the Colts offensive fantasy players from any heavy loss of value. T.Y. Hilton is comfortable with the arrangement and is producing just as well as if Luck was in there.

Brissett too, is a streamable option based on matchup. The backfield is starting to morph away from Frank Gore toward Marlon Mack – there is finally a valuable cuff on the Colts. Taken together, things aren’t as bad as they could be for the Colts.

For the Titans, their difficulties should be lighter, but they are not. Eric Decker is not fitting in to the offense, Corey Davis can’t get on the field, the two running backs get in each others’ way, and the quarterback is out with a hamstring. Okay, Mariota might see the field this week.

There’s something incohesive about the Titans. DeMarco Murray isn’t moving the chains like he used to and Derrick Henry hampers his ability to get into a rhythm. Henry is a dart throw for fantasy as his usage fluctuates too much from game to game. Rishard Matthews just isn’t hauling in enough passes. He misses Mariota the most.

Sleeper: Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Players to watch

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Elijah McGuire, RB, New York Jets (vs Patriots)

With Bilal Powell looking to have a week of extra rest, McGuire will have an opportunity to stamp a solid spot in the Jets backfield and perhaps lead. We’ve seen Aaron Jones do it, so why not?

Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers (at Raiders)

Makes his NFL debut. The Chargers would like to see a breakout and it’s possible against a defense like the Raiders. One of the big spec adds of the week.

Taylor Gabriel, WR, Atlanta Falcons (vs Dolphins)

Without Mohamed Sanu for an extra week after the bye, Gabriel will have chances at end zone shots. Julio Jones is coming off a minor hip injury with no complication; which could spoil Gabriel’s upside.

Roger Lewis, WR, New York Giants

Thrown in at the deep end. Yes, he’s the top Giants receiver this week. A rush to the waiver wire will commence if he steps up and uses the opportunity productively.

Mitch Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears (at Ravens)

His first outing showed some real rookie shakiness, but a tip ball fluke for a touchdown pass is better than it being intercepted. He’ll face a Ravens team with clear determination to make a season out of 2017 with a trench of motley heroes.

In the Booth on Sunday

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Ian Eagle (right)

CBS – Early Games

Patriots at Jets: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Dolphins at Falcons: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green
Browns at Texans: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton

CBS – Late Games

Steelers at Chiefs: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Chargers at Raiders: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon

FOX – Early Games

Packers at Vikings: Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman
Bears at Ravens: Sam Rosen, Ronde Barber
Lions at Saints: Dan Hellie, Chris Spielman
49ers at Redskins: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston

FOX – Late Games

Rams at Jaguars: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth
Buccaneers at Cardinals: Kenny Albert, Charles Davis

Check out the rest of our 2017 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Richard Savill

Richard is an NFL Fantasy Football Writer and Editor of Fantasy Six Pack. Host of The Fantasy Edge Podcast. FantasyPros Contributor. Member of the FSWA. Richard is known for his "outside the box" insight into NFL fantasy football. Winner of the 16-Team 2015 FSWA challenge.

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