Top fantasy takeaways from Week 6’s action
There were some notable performances in Week 6, and Jeff Ratcliffe has the top lessons from the week's games.
Top fantasy takeaways from Week 6’s action
Week 6 is nearly in the books, and there were a number of performances that really stick out. As we get set for the midpoint of the fantasy regular season, here are 10 stats to know from Week 6 of the NFL season:
1. Lamar Miller has four runs of 15-plus yards this season. Three came in Week 6.
The Texans have fed Miller heavy volume so far, but he had yet to break out. That is, until Sunday night. Miller ran all over the Colts – which is becoming a pattern for running backs – putting up 149 yards and a score on the ground and 29 yards and a score on three catches. He racked up three runs of 15-plus yards after having managed just one in the first five weeks of the season. Fantasy owners should keep Miller’s matchup in mind and not expect this type of performance every week. However, he finally verified the top-five weekly ceiling many expected entering the season.
2. Odell Beckham Jr. finally gets the deep ball working.
Beckham’s massive Week 6 performance is a welcome relief to those concerned about his sluggish start. While his second touchdown was a catch-and-run on a short reception, his first score came on a deep target on a nifty route where he spun up field. In total, two of Beckham’s eight receptions were on targets of 20-plus yards. While that doesn’t sound like a huge number, he only had one catch on deep targets entering the week.
3. Matt Ryan leads the league in passing yards over the last four weeks. Brian Hoyer is second.
And it’s actually very close. Ryan currently sits with 1,345, which is just 20 yards ahead of Hoyer. The journeyman has 300-plus yards in all four starts in relief of Jay Cutler. Hoyer didn’t have a strong fantasy performance in Week 6, as he failed to throw a touchdown pass. But Hoyer did target Alshon Jeffery a season-high 13 times. He also peppered Cameron Meredith with a massive 15 targets, which led all receivers for the week. Hoyer is far from locked in as the starter when Cutler is able to return, but he’ll remain a viable streaming option as long as he’s under center for the Bears.
4. Golden Tate is back with a vengeance.
Widely labeled as a fantasy “bust,” Tate entered Week 6 90th among wide receivers with 143 receiving yards and zero scores. Well, he’s no longer 90th. Tate more than doubled his yardage total with 166 yards on eight catches and found the end zone. The performance vaulted him up to 44th among wide receivers in fantasy scoring. Still not ideal, but it’s a massive week-over-week jump. Perhaps more importantly, he finally looked like himself. If you managed to weather the storm, Tate is back on the WR3-plus radar.
5. Kendall Wright has a massive day, but only plays 22 snaps.
Here’s an example of why you need to look beyond the box score. Wright is likely to be a hot waiver add this week, but his playing time is worth noting. Wright caught 8-of-9 targets for 133 yards and a score but he played fewer snaps than Tajae Sharpe (47), Andre Johnson (34) and Rishard Matthews (25). While there’s a chance his performance may earn him some more playing time, it’s very risky to assume that Wright will put up similar performances going forward. He was targeted on 56.3 percent of his routes run, which is an extraordinarily high rate that is extremely unlikely to happen again. Wright’s performance is more likely an anomaly than it is a sign of things to come.
6. Arian Foster returned, but Jay Ajayi out-touched him 26-5.
Ajayi also ran for 204 yards and two scores. As impressive as those numbers are, the touch distribution is what we really need to highlight. Foster was expected to get the majority of the work, so this one really came out of left field. Foster played just 11 snaps to Ajayi’s 48. While this may have initially been a situation where the Dolphins were easing Foster back in, Ajayi made the most of the opportunity and has likely cemented himself as the lead early-down back. Expect Foster to remain a factor in the backfield, but Ajayi’s arrow is pointing straight up. He’s going to be a top waiver add this week.
7. Kansas City limits Jamaal Charles to 15 snaps.
If you started him, you’re likely satisfied with his 13 PPR fantasy points, but it would have been a rough day if he didn’t find the end zone. The Chiefs appear to still be easing him back in, as Spencer Ware remained the lead back with 40 snaps played. Ware also ripped off 131 yards and a score on 24 carries, chipping in an additional 32 yards on two catches. While fantasy owners can expect Charles’ snap count to increase going forward, he’s still going to be risky to trust as anything more than an RB2 for the near future.
8. Gronk is back to being Gronk.
For the first time all season, Rob Gronkowski led all tight ends in fantasy scoring for the week. He looked fluid and fast, racking up 162 yards and a score on seven catches. Besides his touchdown reception, the rest of his catches were downfield. He finished the game with an average target depth of 14.1 yards, which ranked third among tight ends for the week. The hamstring injury appears to be in the rearview, and Gronkowski is locked in as the top tight end option going forward.
9. Drew Brees is averaging 422 passing yards per game at home this year.
Okay, so it’s a super small sample size, but the home/road split narrative about Brees seems to be ringing true this season. In three home games, Brees has 1,266 yards and 11 scores through the air. Comparatively, he averages just 234.5 passing yards per game on the road. Brees has thrown just three scores in the Saints’ two road tilts.
10. Julio Jones shredded Richard Sherman … well, not entirely.
Fantasy owners were worried about the matchup for Jones, but the veteran receiver was able to put up a big day with 139 yards and a score on seven catches. So, Jones got the best of Sherman, right? Wrong. Sherman shadowed Jones on 31 of his 44 routes, even following him to the slot on four routes. However, most of Jones’ damage was done when he wasn’t in Sherman’s coverage. While it was far from Sherman’s best game, he held Jones to three catches for 40 yards on five targets. Jones caught his remaining four targets outside of Sherman’s coverage for 99 yards and a score. Of course, there was the no-call at the end of the game, but the big takeaway is the Falcons took advantage of any time Jones wasn’t in Sherman’s coverage.
Jeff Ratcliffe | Director of Fantasy
Jeff Ratcliffe is the Director of Fantasy at Pro Football Focus. He produces all of our projections and is 2016's second-most-accurate ranker in the fantasy industry. Jeff also is the host of our show on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio and is one of the main hosts of our Fantasy Slant podcast.