Week 6 fantasy sleeper candidates and guys who could exceed expectations

Tyler Loechner identifies some names who could exceed expectations this week based on points per opportunity.

| 2 weeks ago
(AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

(AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

Week 6 fantasy sleeper candidates and guys who could exceed expectations

We’re continuing to use the fantasy points per opportunity data to find some players who have the potential to break out on a weekly basis. Last week’s article highlighted Delanie Walker and Odell Beckham Jr., and they both had their best games of the season.

An opportunity is defined as a rush attempt or a pass route run, so PPO is calculated by dividing total fantasy points scored by carries plus routes run. This stat can help you uncover which players are too reliant on volume, and which players could become fantasy studs if they get more opportunities.

We’ll once again try to identify players who have a great opportunity to break out in Week 6. Below are some of the players who have been making the most of their opportunities or who have great matchups.

Wide receivers

Julian Edelman, New England Patriots

Edelman wasn’t as impressive as we expected in Tom Brady’s first game back in action, as New England’s bruising tight end duo did most of the damage. But Edelman did still notch 10 targets. The reason he had an unsuccessful game is because he only caught five of them for 35 yards. That’s well below his average catch rate (69 percent) and average yards per reception (9.6). Look for him to bounce back with another double-digit target game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 6, who have given up the fifth-most PPO to wideouts so far this season.

Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills

Woods was hyped leading into Week 5, but he failed to deliver. After recording 13 catches on only 18 targets in his previous two games combined, he logged just two receptions on five targets last week. However, we should get back on track in Week 6 against the San Francisco 49ers, who have given up the seventh-most PPO to receivers. Tyrod Taylor only completed 12 passes in Week 5 (a season low), when his average from Weeks 1 to 4 was about 19 completions per game. Assuming the Bills throw a more average amount of attempts, Woods will see his production increase.

Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints

Cook exploded for 143 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1, but in the three ensuing games, he gained just 112 combined yards and no touchdowns. He should get back on track in Week 6 against the Carolina Panthers, who have given up the ninth-most PPO to wideouts so far this season. Additionally, we have this game projected to be an extremely high-scoring contest, which likely means plenty of throwing.

Running backs

Lamar Miller, Houston Texans

I’ve been waiting for Miller’s big breakout game, and this could be the week it finally happens. Miller and the Texans square off against the Indianapolis Colts, who have given up the second-most PPO to running backs this season. Considering Miller is an opportunity machine — his 101 carries rank fourth in the league, and his 17 targets rank 16th among running backs — he should have no problem putting up his biggest game yet. The Colts have given up four rushing touchdowns in five games, so there’s a good chance Miller scores his first touchdown of the season as well.

Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers

Hyde has quietly been a top-five fantasy running back so far this season, and he’ll look to keep the ball rolling in Week 6 against the Buffalo Bills, who have allowed the 10th-most PPO to running backs on the ground this season. Hyde himself has scored a strong 0.40 PPO so far this year, which ranks eighth among running backs who have logged at least 50 attempts so far.

Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia Eagles

As always seems to be the case, Mathews ranks among the league leaders in fantasy PPO. He is scoring 0.53 PPO so far this season, which ranks second among all running backs who have recorded at least 15 rushing attempts. And he has a good matchup against the Washington Redskins, who have given up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, thanks in large part to the fact they have ceded seven rushing scores in just five games. Mathews will continue to produce in Week 6.

Tight ends

Richard Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

You probably aren’t starting Rodgers, so this is definitely a “sleeper” selection, but he has a favorable matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, who have given up the 2fifh-most PPO to tight ends so far this season. Rodgers played 91.3 percent of Green Bay’s snaps last week and ran 39 pass routes. Both of those marks are the second-highest of his career.

Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers

It’s hard to envision James having a massive game, given all of the other weapons on Pittsburgh’s offense, but he has scored a touchdown in three of the team’s past four games, and he might keep it going against the Miami Dolphins in Week 6, who have given up the sixth-most PPO to tight ends.

Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks

Graham has surpassed expectation so far this season, and he is fresh off back-to-back 100-yard performances for the Seahawks. That’s as many 100-yard games he had in the previous two seasons combined. And things might only get better for him in Week 6 against the Atlanta Falcons, who have allowed the second-most PPO to tight ends this season.

Below is a chart showing the top 20 players at each position in terms of fantasy PPO scored so far this season (minimum 25 percent snaps).

2016 Season PPO Leaders (min. 25% snaps)
WR   RB   TE
Player Tm. PPO Player Tm. PPO Player Tm. PPO
Aldrick Robinson ATL 0.63 John Kuhn NO 0.71 Austin Hooper ATL 0.81
Tyreek Hill KC 0.53 Tevin Coleman ATL 0.66 Martellus Bennett NE 0.5
Danny Amendola NE 0.45 Mike Gillislee BUF 0.65 Vance McDonald SF 0.49
Julio Jones ATL 0.44 Damien Williams MIA 0.64 Greg Olsen CAR 0.35
Corey Coleman CLV 0.44 Ryan Mathews PHI 0.53 Jimmy Graham SEA 0.35
Sammie Coates PIT 0.41 Isaiah Crowell CLV 0.52 Marcedes Lewis JAX 0.33
Antonio Brown PIT 0.37 Jalen Richard OAK 0.52 Hunter Henry SD 0.32
Marvin Jones DET 0.36 Orleans Darkwa NYG 0.49 Kyle Rudolph MIN 0.3
Michael Crabtree OAK 0.36 Ezekiel Elliott DAL 0.48 Delanie Walker TEN 0.3
Demaryius Thomas DEN 0.36 DeMarco Murray TEN 0.46 Antonio Gates SD 0.28
Jordy Nelson GB 0.36 LeSean McCoy BUF 0.46 Jack Doyle IND 0.27
Brian Quick LA 0.36 Devonta Freeman ATL 0.46 Trey Burton PHI 0.27
Cameron Meredith CHI 0.36 Robert Turbin IND 0.46 Jordan Reed WAS 0.25
Andre Holmes OAK 0.35 LeGarrette Blount NE 0.45 Zach Miller CHI 0.25
Kelvin Benjamin CAR 0.34 Cameron Artis-Payne CAR 0.44 Brandon Myers TB 0.25
Willie Snead NO 0.34 Melvin Gordon SD 0.43 C.J. Fiedorowicz HST 0.24
Mike Evans TB 0.33 Carlos Hyde SF 0.4 Rob Gronkowski NE 0.24
Larry Fitzgerald ARZ 0.32 David A. Johnson ARZ 0.39 Jacob Tamme ATL 0.23
A.J. Green CIN 0.32 Latavius Murray OAK 0.39 Cameron Brate TB 0.22
Emmanuel Sanders DEN 0.32 Christine Michael SEA 0.38 Travis Kelce KC 0.21
Travis Benjamin SD 0.32 Mark Ingram NO 0.38 Jesse James PIT 0.21
Stefon Diggs MIN 0.32 Jeremy Hill CIN 0.38
Cole Beasley DAL 0.32 Terrance West BLT 0.38
Matt Asiata MIN 0.38

Tyler Loechner is a lead writer at PFF Fantasy. He has played fantasy football since 1999 and has been a part of the PFF Fantasy staff since 2010. Tyler was also previously a fantasy football featured columnist at Bleacher Report.