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Fantasy Football Week 6 Rankings Review: E-Man Masters the Fantasy Universe

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>Week 6 Rankings Review

Week 6 Rankings Review

Credit: Jeffrey Beall

Hey, comic book friends, how about that title? Not to toot my own horn, but *BEEP BEEP*. That’s some pretty crafty pun magic, right?

Know what else was crafty? Suggesting Sammie Coates as a player with ‘blowup potential’ in last week’s Rankings Review. I ain’t messing around, people of the fantasy universe! Unless, of course, I was down on another receiver in that same article that went bonkers with fantasy production in Week 5. Sorry T.Y., I didn’t mean what I said, I swear!

Consistency has been missing in my selections for ‘too high’ and ‘too low’ for past Rankings Reviews. It seems like I’m hitting and missing to the extreme in my predictions. This is unseen in the percentages in the chart below, but it’s something I will keep in mind moving forward.

The general theme of the chart below is ‘slightly better than average’, which sounds like what they would put in a biography for my 24+ years of living to this point. Pity party aside, I’m ready to hit a streak and change that theme to ‘fairly better than average’ after Week 6!

 Wk 1Wk 2Wk 3Wk 4Wk 5Wk 6Wk 7Wk 8Wk 9Wk 10Wk 11Wk 12Wk 13Wk 14Wk 15Wk 16OVR
Hits66856%
Misses66444%

In hip hop artist Drake’s hit song ‘Know Yourself’, he reminisces over a time when he was “running through Week 6 with his woes” [1]. Why was he so woeful? Because he was playing you in your fantasy football league after you finished reading the Week 6 Rankings Review.

[1] Lyrics not entirely accurate. Not responsible for embarrassment experienced after singing these incorrect lyrics aloud at a get-together.

Week 6 Rankings Review

If you have start/sit questions, by all means hit me (@therealwody) or any of my fellow F6P writers up on Twitter. You may have heard the famous phrase ‘no one cares about your fantasy team’, but I promise we do! That or we just have an obsession regarding the fantasy game and enjoy running scenarios through our heads. Either way, you are getting the advice!

As always, these rankings reflect the standard scoring system. To check out what I think on fantasy defenses, give the Stream-O-Matic a try!

Too Low

Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (F6P Rank: QB16)

Taylor has had a quiet start to the 2016 season. Nonetheless, he has been reliable the last four weeks and has shown promise in the scrambling game. That last part is what has me interested – when is he going to start running more. The last four games have seen him average almost 40 YPG and he has yet to rush for a score. With the absence of Sammy Watkins, he has been taking off more often to avoid having to throw to the likes of Marquise Goodwin and Robert Woods 15 times a game. Smart.

Well, the matchup with the 49ers this week should be a good opportunity to have a berserk fantasy day. The 49ers have a terrible starting front seven with an average Pro Football Focus (PFF) grade of 55. That is out of 100 for those wondering. Also for those wondering, that is horrific and bodes well for one of Taylor’s passing targets (that tease though!). That also suggests that he could have success tucking the ball and taking off if his receivers are covered. Rushing yards are easy points!

Yes, this should be a HUGE day for LeSean McCoy, but I think there’s enough fantasy goodness to go around. Taylor should easily be QB12 or better once Week 6 is said and done.

Rank Ahead: Blake Bortles, Dak Prescott, Matthew Stafford

Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (RB22)

Well, Marc Trestman was fired last week after some questionable play-calling this season. West might be happy, especially considering the kind of first half he was having in Week 5 against Washington.

I would think that John Harbaugh would like to get back to the ground-and-pound that made his teams so successful pre-2015. West has stepped up in a big way the past few weeks. Just think, to start 2016, he has all the cards stacked against him with an experienced Justin Forsett and eye candy rookie Kenneth Dixon battling for the starting job. He somehow comes away with this job and hasn’t looked back.

Statistically speaking, the Giants have a good run defense. How good? Again, on paper, they are ranked 10th DOVA in run defense by Football Outsiders. How believable are these stats? Not very. Here’s a list of the teams that the Giants have faced so far: Cowboys, Saints, Redskins, Vikings, and Packers. The Cowboys and Vikings are run heavy and both starting running backs were fringe RB1 caliber in those weeks. The Saints, Redskins, and Packers all had success running ball, but decided to attack the secondary more frequently.

All that noise to say that this Giants defense is not some immovable object in the defensive front. They might get paid like it, but it’s mostly average. I’m thinking that the Ravens offensive gameplan is simple: think “what would Trestman do” and do the exact opposite. That means deep balls and heavy running. West will get 20 carries and produce a top 15 day at running back.

Rank Ahead: Isaiah Crowell, Matt Forte, LeGarrette Blount, Melvin Gordon

DeAndre Washington, Oakland Raiders (RB41)

The Raiders have a full-blown RBBC brewing. Even before last week, the snap share was not looking dominant in favor of Latavius Murray. He was just getting TDs and owners were happy with it.

Then, the walking boot goes on and everyone runs to the waiver wire to grab Washington, only to watch Jalen Richard have the better yardage day. What gives?

Don’t overreact here – Washington did out-snap Richard 37 to 23 in last week’s matchup. They were about even in carries but Richard had the better day through the air, hauling in six catches for 66 yards to Washington’s five catches for 29 yards. Here’s the thing though – Washington was getting exclusive red zone work. The Chiefs offer the third most red zone scoring attempts in the league to opposing teams (although they’ve been stingy in those attempts). If Murray is out again, Washington would be the one receiving those extra red zone attempts on top of his traditional carries and catches.

This is a long shot since Murray might play, but we have seen turf toe injuries hamper players for longer than two weeks. Washington and Richard could be sneaky plays against a Chiefs defense that is 27th in run defense DVOA. I will give Washington a top 35 finish with Murray playing and a top 30 rank in the scenario Murray doesn’t play.

Rank Ahead: Cameron Artis-Payne, Jonathan Stewart, Duke Johnson, T.J. Yeldon

Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos (WR20)

Sanders at No. 20 caught my eye the second I saw the rankings. I knew I stole one from the staff, which is a very rare experience. Allow me to explain.

Has anyone seen the Chargers defend the pass? Let me rephrase, has anyone seen the Chargers try to defend the pass? It’s not pretty, especially with the outside corners. Since Jason Verrett has gone down with an ACL tear, it’s been even worse.

As for Sanders himself, he is averaging about six catches on ten targets per game. That’s easily good for first on the team. The surprising part? He leads the team with 12 red zone targets as well. You can question whether or not that’s a good thing, but alas it’s happening and you aren’t Gary Kubiak. Even better news comes from practice where Trevor Siemian is expected to make a return this week. I have been pleased with Siemian’s play this year and he loves throwing to Sanders.

I have high expectations for Sanders this week and believe the Broncos will have their way with the San Diego secondary on Thursday night. Sanders is a must start and should at least be WR15 by the end of Week 6.

Rank Ahead: Marvin Jones, Doug Baldwin, Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (WR36)

As mentioned in the intro, I am starting a streak of predicting long shot receivers having breakout games. John Brown and Sammie Coates in Weeks 4 & 5, respectively, showed out after being ranked outside the top 40 at wide receiver. Let’s give it another shot shall we?

Now, Michael Thomas is not exactly outside of the top 40, but c’mon it’s close enough! Let’s look at the numbers among passing options on the Saints. He is 1st on the team in receptions, 2nd in regular and red zone targets, and 3rd in receiving yardage. Who is the real No. 1 here in the receiving corps? There is no No. 1 option. Call me crazy, but there’s a 1A, 1B, and 1C for Drew Brees from what I see.

Now, we look at the scenario. The game is at home in the Superdome, which is always good considering Brees has well-known home/road splits favoring the offense at home. The Panthers have been bad on defense, especially in pass defense. If anything, Cooks will get the worst matchup of the lot and Snead will have a productive day out of the slot. If the Panthers are planning to single cover Thomas with their third corner with no help over the top, there could be a monster performance brewing for him.

I will be a little bullish and give Thomas a top 28 performance among his wide receiver brethren. I definitely think he could end up being the top performing Saints wide receiver this week, but I don’t have to be that bold now, do I? Make him your WR3 or FLEX in season-long or daily leagues and reap the benefits!

Rank Ahead: DeSean Jackson, Jarvis Landry, Randall Cobb, Terrelle Pryor

Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (TE22)

The tease in the Taylor promotion was for Clay, who has seen an uptick in targets in his most recent game.



Taylor has desperately needed a target in intermediate routes over the middle of the field. Clay took the role to himself last week. As mentioned before, the 49ers do not have a linebacker who can cover Clay over the middle of the field. If they put a corner on him, he will be feasting in the red zones with his size and strength. This is a can’t miss game for Clay and a TE22 ranking is a little unfair.

I firmly believe that he will have a TE1 performance in Week 6. That plays well for those fantasy owners still trying to replace Kyle Rudolph (on bye week) in their lineup. He’s a fairly cheap option on DFS sites as well.

Rank Ahead: Jason Witten, Gary Barnidge, Tyler Eifert

Too High

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (QB10)

Bortles has been a conundrum for fantasy owners this season. He has made most of hay off heavy passing volume and ample garbage time production (GTP) despite being the 24th rated QB by PFF. Wait, why is that shock to anyone again?

Well, this week could be a little different. The Bears have been playing better defense the past few weeks and get the game at home. The Windy City should be just that – very windy – which never plays well for high volume passing teams. In games over the past thirteen seasons, games that have seen winds up to 20 MPH (as expected in this one) have experienced a drop in point total close to ten points on average. That’s about a touchdown a team and, for Jacksonville, that’s most certainly a passing TD off the board.

I’m also expecting this to be a close battle between evenly matched teams. No usual GTP for the GTP master himself yields a QB2 type of day rather than a top 10 one.

Rank Below: Brian Hoyer, Marcus Mariota, Matthew Stafford

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs (RB13)

I get that everyone is just super excited about their stud RB returning to action. It’s been over a month and he’s been riding your bench; you want to throw him into the fire! I understand! However, I’m not confident in making him a stalwart in my lineup just yet.

When talking about the game he played in two weeks ago against Pittsburgh, he basically said he was only playing out of necessity. Charcandrick West was out so they needed a guy to fill in on a handful of carries to spell Spencer Ware. After a bye week, I guess everyone just expects him to be fully recovered and ready to go. I believe, in perfect Andy Reid fashion, that these guys will see an even split of the work. I don’t think Charles and West are as good a two-headed monster as, say, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman where you can put both in the top 20. How often does that happen anyway?

Ware and Charles will be usable this week for teams needing FLEX plays. Honestly though, I would feel more comfortable playing Ware or neither of them in Week 6. At least give it one more week to see how this backfield shapes up. If you don’t have any other option, I’m thinking Charles is closer to RB25 than RB13.

Rank Below: Giovani Bernard, Terrance West, Theo Riddick, Frank Gore

Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (RB25)

Hill can’t be trusted for this week’s action. He was wearing a sling for the early part of this week and is questionable with that shoulder injury.

Even if he does play, I don’t foresee a scenario where Cincinnati feeds him the rock constantly.

They don’t want to overwork the guy and risk further injury. They definitely don’t want to do that when they have a perfectly capable backup in Giovani Bernard to handle carries and catch passes. Besides, they are playing the Patriots this week. Couldn’t you see the Bengals getting behind and just letting Gio run the show in the second half?

Injury concerns and game flow worries have me hesitant to use Hill at all this week. For Bernard owners, you’ve got to play him wherever you can, especially in PPR setups. Hill falls outside the top 30 at running back for me and I would be actively looking for ways to bench him.

Rank Below: Arian Foster, DeAndre Washington, Spencer Ware, Matt Jones

Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles (WR23)

Matthews has been pretty quiet after a Week 1 breakout versus the Browns in which he went for over a 100 yards and a TD. It’s been about seven fantasy points a game since then, yet still people don’t question him as a WR2.

This doesn’t have as much to do with Matthews’ play on the field – he’s a great slot receiver. The Eagles just haven’t been force feeding him the ball like they did the last couple of years with Chip Kelly. Carson Wentz is looking like a superstar and spreading the ball to many options. The volume hasn’t quite been there for Matthews and the results are weeks where he’s putting up 65 yards and nothing else.

Besides, the Washington defense might not be as bad as you think.

 

They’ve got decent options in the secondary, but one player stands out to me. No, it’s not Josh Norman – he will be on one side of the field covering an outside receiver. I’m talking about Kendall Fuller, nickel cornerback. By way of injury, Fuller has seen much more playing time and making the most of it. PFF has him rated at 25th at corner, just behind guys like Richard Sherman, Joe Haden, and Jeremy Lane. He should be lined up on Jordan Matthews for most of the day in the slot.

Philadelphia will want to run the ball at will and the passing volume will not be great enough for any one receiver to do well. I have Matthews outside the top 28 in the wide receiver rankings for Week 6.

Rank Below: John Brown, Willie Snead, Will Fuller V, Randall Cobb

Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders (WR16)

Look, I don’t have a problem with Cooper this week as a WR2. I just wanted to point out a widely misinterpreted situation to the fantasy community.

How is Cooper still being ranked ahead of Michael Crabtree?

Check out the target-reception-yard-touchdown line between the two players over 2015-2016. Crabtree is at 190-114-1277-14 while Cooper has 177-98-1526-7. The two major differences are yardage and touchdowns, which usually favors the guy with yardage as TD’s can be fluky. However, the touchdown production is real for Crabtree. Derek Carr has much more success finding Crabtree in the red zone than Cooper over the past two seasons. Cooper hasn’t even caught a pass in the red zone in 2016 while Crabtree already has three touchdowns in that department.

Quickly on the matchup, Cooper could be getting shadowed between the 20’s by Marcus Peters from Kansas City. That’s just going to open more doors for Crabtree to have a better game. This week, I view Cooper still as a WR2. However, he’s going to fall behind a few players I think have better chances to score – down to about 21st in the wide receiver rankings.

Rank Below: Michael Crabtree, Emmanuel Sanders, John Brown, Jeremy Maclin

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (TE7)

See Matthews, J.

Okay, for real though, I’m not too high on Ertz this week either. He supposedly had this amazing matchup last week against Detroit and flopped. Now we want to give him another shot in the top seven of tight ends despite that? I realize that tight end is pretty hit-or-miss and that he is one of the more targeted options out there, but I just don’t see it happening this week.

Washington, as mentioned before, has been playing much better defense and has linebackers and nickel corners that can cover Ertz off the line. Again, it’s tough to say that two Eagles options will underperform in a matchup that isn’t extremely brutal. But, looking at Philly’s style of offense and the predicted game flow, I’m expecting a heavy dose of successful running and no need to give Wentz more than 25-30 attempts.

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I have a few other tight ends I am high on ranked ahead of Ertz this week. That leaves Ertz outside the top 11 at the position. I wouldn’t blame you if you played him, but I don’t see much upside here.

Rank Below: Zach Miller, Martellus Bennett, Julius Thomas

About Tyler Thompson

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