Fantasy Football Week 6: Preview and Predictions

Tyler Loechner@LoechnerNFLFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2015

Fantasy Football Week 6: Preview and Predictions

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    DeMarco Murray
    DeMarco MurrayMatt Rourke/Associated Press

    With Week 6 just days away, we’re flying through the fantasy football season.

    Five games are in the books, and while most of the pieces have fallen into place, we’re still waiting for some—we’re looking at you, Andrew Luck—to fall into place.

    Speaking of Luck, he finds himself ranked No. 3 among quarterbacks this week after missing the previous two games because of injury. He figures to be playing catch-up to Tom Brady (ranked No. 1) and the New England Patriots, which means Luck could be airing it out early and often.

    This week, DeMarco Murray re-enters the conversation as a top-10 fantasy running back, while Jamaal Charles’ unfortunate season-ending injury has opened the door for some other players—such as Mark Ingram and Dion Lewis—to slip into the top 10.

    This is just a taste of the previews of each position. This slideshow will check in on every position entering Week 6 and will also provide several bold predictions.

QBs: Stafford Poised for a Breakout Game

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    Matthew Stafford
    Matthew StaffordRick Osentoski/Associated Press

    As noted in the opening slide, Andrew Luck sits at No. 3 on this week’s quarterback rankings despite missing the previous two games because of injury and playing below expectations during the first three games of the season. Meanwhile, the man Luck succeeded in Indianapolis—Peyton Manning—isn’t anywhere to be found on the top 10 this week.

    Week 6’s Top 10 QBs

    1. Tom Brady (at IND)
    2. Aaron Rodgers (vs. SD)
    3. Andrew Luck (vs. NE)
    4. Drew Brees (vs. ATL)
    5. Carson Palmer (at PIT)
    6. Matt Ryan (at NO)
    7. Cam Newton (at SEA)
    8. Andy Dalton (at BUF)
    9. Russell Wilson (vs. CAR)
    10. Tyrod Taylor (vs. CIN)

    Breakout QB of the Week: Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

    Matthew Stafford has one more fantasy point than Ben Roethlisberger so far this season, with the difference being that Stafford has played five games compared to Roethlisberger’s two-and-a-half.

    But a breakout game—even if it’s only a weeklong reprieve from Stafford’s slump—is in the cards.

    The Detroit Lions will play against the Chicago Bears, who have given up 11 passing touchdowns to quarterbacks so far this season.

    Additionally, with Detroit’s backfield in flux, Stafford may be forced to do more than usual in Week 6.

    QB Bust of the Week: Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

    After a largely uninspiring performance on Monday Night Football, San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers will square off against the Green Bay Packers in Week 6. While this matchup looks like a shootout on paper, it’s a potential trap game for Rivers owners.

    The Packers are an average team against the pass on the season as a whole (in terms of fantasy points), but they’ve been on a bit of a tear lately. Quarterbacks have thrown for only 301 yards and one touchdown against the Packers in the past two games combined. Green Bay has only given up five passing touchdowns in five games now.

RBs: DeMarco Murray Cracks the Top 10

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    DeMarco Murray
    DeMarco MurrayMichael Perez/Associated Press

    DeMarco Murray began his resurgence in Week 5 after putting up RB1 numbers and carrying the ball 20 times. He finds himself in the top 10 again heading into Week 6 with a matchup against the New York Giants, who have given up a hefty amount of fantasy points to running backs so far this season, per ESPN.com.

    New England’s Dion Lewis also ranks among the elite this weekend, while Justin Forsett (assuming he plays) and Mark Ingram fill out the bottom of the list. The names at the top are the usual suspects—with Devonta Freeman now being considered one of the usuals.

    Week 6’s Top 10 RBs

    1. Le’Veon Bell (vs. ARI)
    2. Arian Foster (at JAC)
    3. Adrian Peterson (vs. KC)
    4. Devonta Freeman (at NO)
    5. Matt Forte (at DET)
    6. Eddie Lacy (vs. SD)
    7. Dion Lewis (at IND)
    8. Justin Forsett (at SF)
    9. DeMarco Murray (vs. NYG)
    10. Mark Ingram (vs. ATL)

    Breakout RB of the Week: Arian Foster, Houston Texans

    Arian Foster wasn’t able to get it going on the ground in Week 5 against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday Night Football, but he made up for that subpar rushing effort with some solid work through the air. He caught nine passes for 77 yards to go along with 19 carries for 41 yards, which gave him 28 total touches and 118 total yards in the game.

    It’s easy to like Foster when he’s getting 25-plus touches per week (which appears to be what the Texans are angling for). He’s primed for a breakout with that kind of workload, and there’s no reason to think it won’t come against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 6, who just gave up three rushing scores to Doug Martin.

    RB Bust of the Week: Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts

    The Indianapolis Colts may have to abandon the run by the time the second half rolls around against the New England Patriots. Week 6 is not shaping up to be a “Gore game,” and most of his value this week will reside in whether or not he gets some goal-line carries.

    Gore has been trending upward so far this season—his Week 6 attempts (22) and yards (98) were both season highs—but the game flow figures to go against Gore this week.

WRs: DeAndre Hopkins Creeps Up the Rankings

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    DeAndre Hopkins
    DeAndre HopkinsJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    If these rankings assumed points-per-reception (PPR) settings—which they do not—Hopkins would have a legitimate case at the No. 1 overall spot. Even in standard leagues, however, he has moved into the top 10, and it doesn’t seem to matter which subpar quarterback is throwing him the ball. He's a target hog, which has been a boon to his fantasy value.

    Calvin Johnson also stays in the top 10 despite playing below his usual levels so far this season. A Week 6 matchup against the Chicago Bears gives Megatron a chance to bounce back in style.

    Week 6’s Top 10 WRs

    1. Julio Jones (at NO)
    2. Odell Beckham Jr. (at PHI)
    3. A.J. Green (at BUF)
    4. Demaryius Thomas (at CLE)
    5. Antonio Brown (vs. ARI)
    6. Randall Cobb (vs. SD)
    7. Julian Edelman (at IND)
    8. DeAndre Hopkins (at JAC)
    9. Calvin Johnson (vs. CHI)
    10. Emmanuel Sanders (at CLE)

    Breakout WR of the Week: T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts

    As noted in the running back slide, the Indianapolis Colts figure to be down against the New England Patriots. But that means good things for Hilton’s fantasy value this week.

    Hilton has been on the verge of a breakout all season long. He has posted more than 40 yards in every game this season and has between 85 and 95 yards in three games. He has also registered at least four receptions in every game.

    However, despite these solid numbers, Hilton has yet to find the end zone. In a game that will see the Colts take to the air, look for that touchdown drought to end this week—and for Hilton to accumulate more than 100 yards for the first time this season.

    WR Bust of the Week: Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints

    Don’t let the final Week 5 stat line fool you. Cooks caught five passes for 107 yards and scored—giving him by far his best game of the season—but the touchdown came as the game was ending (literally), and Cooks wasn’t even the most-targeted receiver in New Orleans last week.

    The Atlanta Falcons—Cooks’ Week 6 opponent—have been an above-average team when it comes to facing wide receivers, having given up only two touchdowns to wideouts so far this season. Cooks will have a hard time finding the end zone again in Week 6.

TEs: Barnidge Earns a Spot in the Top 10

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    Gary Barnidge
    Gary BarnidgeNick Wass/Associated Press

    Gary Barnidge is still a mystery, but he’s done enough over the past several weeks to earn a spot in the top-10 tight end rankings heading into Week 6.

    He’s still far from a sure thing—a never-going-to-happen-again-foot-catch touchdown turned a good Week 5 into a great Week 5—but he’s one of the top options in an offense that’s been passing the ball a ton, so despite all the reasons to not like Barnidge, enough things are working in his favor to move him into tail-end TE1 territory this week.

    Week 6’s Top 10 TEs

    1. Rob Gronkowski (at IND)
    2. Tyler Eifert (at BUF)
    3. Travis Kelce (at MIN)
    4. Martellus Bennett (at DET)
    5. Greg Olsen (at SEA)
    6. Antonio Gates (at GB)
    7. Jimmy Graham (vs. CAR)
    8. Charles Clay (vs. CIN)
    9. Delanie Walker (vs. MIA)
    10. Gary Barnidge (vs. DEN)

    Breakout TE of the Week: Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Julius Thomas caught just two passes for 20 yards in his debut for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he saw limited playing time as he worked his way back from injury.

    With one game under his belt, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Jaguars turn to Thomas more often as soon as Week 6, when Jacksonville plays against the Houston Texans. Thomas provides the team with a red-zone threat—look for the Jags to exploit it this week.

    TE Bust of the Week: Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks

    Graham is listed in the top 10 because it’s difficult to remove him from the top group given his high ceiling (remember, rankings and projections are two different things), but Graham also has high bust potential. He has failed to top 30 yards in three of five games this season.

    To make matters worse, the Seahawks play against the Carolina Panthers, who have only given up eight catches, 86 yards and one touchdown to tight ends so far this season.

Kickers: Phil Dawson Could Light It Up in Week 6

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    Phil Dawson
    Phil DawsonBill Kostroun/Associated Press

    The names at the top of the list are all expected, but kickers such as Josh Brown, Zach Hocker, Cairo Santos and Robbie Gould also rank near the top heading into Week 6.

    Gould should find himself in scoring range often against the 0-5 Detroit Lions, while the Chiefs could call upon Santos regularly with the offense stalling in the red zone without stud running back Jamaal Charles to shoulder the load.

    Week 6’s Top 10 Ks

    1. Stephen Gostkowski (at IND)
    2. Justin Tucker (at SF)
    3. Brandon McManus (at CLE)
    4. Mason Crosby (vs. SD)
    5. Matt Bryant (at NO)
    6. Steven Hauschka (vs. CAR)
    7. Josh Brown (at PHI)
    8. Cairo Santos (at MIN)
    9. Zach Hocker (vs. ATL)
    10. Robbie Gould (at DET)

    Breakout K of the Week: Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers

    The San Francisco 49ers have only called on Phil Dawson seven times this season—less than twice per game—but that could change in Week 5 against the Baltimore Ravens, who have been one of the friendlier teams against fantasy kickers this season, per ESPN.com.

    K Bust of the Week: Dustin Hopkins, Washington Redskins 

    Dustin Hopkins was momentarily the hero in Week 5—when a long field goal at the end of regulation kept Washington’s hopes of a victory against the undefeated Atlanta Falcons alive for a few more minutes—but he’ll have a tough go of it in Week 6 against the New York Jets, who have given up the fewest fantasy points to kickers so far this season, per ESPN.com.

Defense and Special Teams: Minnesota Vikings D/ST a Stream Option in Week 6

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    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    The Minnesota Vikings will square off against the Kansas City Chiefs, who will be attempting to find a new identity on offense now that their key player—running back Jamaal Charles—is out for the season. If you’re looking for a stream option off the waiver wire this week, take a good look at the Vikings.

    Week 6’s Top 10 D/STs

    1. Arizona Cardinals (at PIT)
    2. Denver Broncos (at CLE)
    3. Baltimore Ravens (at SF)
    4. Seattle Seahawks (vs. CAR)
    5. New England Patriots (at IND)
    6. New York Jets (vs. WAS)
    7. Cincinnati Bengals (at BUF)
    8. New York Giants (at PHI)
    9. Minnesota Vikings (vs. KC)
    10. Kansas City Chiefs (at MIN)

    Breakout D/ST of the Week: Baltimore Ravens

    The Baltimore Ravens will travel to San Francisco to play against Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers in Week 6. While the Ravens have actually had one of the worst D/ST units in the league this season from a fantasy perspective (they’ve scored negative points twice in their last four outings), you shouldn't overlook the matchup against the turnover-prone 49ers.

    D/ST Bust of the Week: Philadelphia Eagles

    The Eagles have had an above-average D/ST unit this season, but a Week 6 game against Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr. and the New York Giants could be one to avoid.

    Yes, the Giants are a streaky team—which means the Eagles could also hit it big in Week 6—but Manning has thrown 10 touchdowns in the past four games and has averaged more than 300 yards per game in that span as well.

Bold Predictions: Adrian Peterson Tops 200 Rushing Yards

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    Adrian Peterson
    Adrian PetersonJoe Mahoney/Associated Press

    Below are five bold predictions for Week 6 of the fantasy football season. 

    • Adrian Peterson gets over 200 rushing yards. Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings were off in Week 5, but through four games this season, he led the league in rushing yards. He currently sits at 372 yards—just less than 100 per game—and is averaging five yards per carry. He gets the Kansas City Chiefs, who have been average against running backs this year. A rested Peterson will do some serious damage this week.
    • Matthew Stafford puts up top-five numbers. Stafford has been one of the most disappointing fantasy options in 2015, but he gets a great shot at a bounce back in Week 6 against the Chicago Bears, who have given up 11 passing touchdowns to quarterbacks so far this season. Stafford threw for 633 passing yards against the Bears in two games last season, although he only scored two touchdowns in those games (combined) to go along with two interceptions. It’s always a mixed bag with Stafford, but he could have a big game against a Bears defense that’s prone to mixed-bag performances.
    • DeAndre Hopkins has more than 150 yards for third straight week. As noted in the wide receiver slide, Hopkins has been a target machine. He hasn’t been scoring enough touchdowns to join the discussion for top fantasy wideout, but he’s certainly knocking on the door. With the Jacksonville Jaguars on tap, Hopkins has a chance to make it three straight games with 150-plus receiving yards. This bold prediction says he does it.
    • Greg Olsen scores two touchdowns against the Seattle Seahawks. Despite their vaunted defense, the Seahawks are actually one of the more favorable matchups a fantasy tight end can have. After watching Tyler Eifert snag two scores against the Seahawks in Week 5, the Carolina Panthers will look to involve their own superstar tight end.
    • Chris Johnson has more than 100 rushing yards again. The San Diego Chargers rushed the ball 19 times for 52 yards in Week 5 against the Pittsburgh Steelers—Chris Johnson’s Week 6 opponent—but the Chargers rushing attack is much less potent than Arizona’s. Chris Johnson is averaging more than five yards per carry so far this season and has gone for 100-plus yards in two of his past three games. His attempts are trending downward—22, 16 and 11 over the past three games—but his play in that span should warrant some additional touches.
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