Stars of Week 6
QB: Matt Ryan, ATL: 30-36, 356 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs
RB: Nick Chubb, CLE: 20 carries, 122 yards, 2 TDs
WR: Stefon Diggs, MIN: 7 catches, 167 yards, 3 TDs
TE: Austin Hooper, ATL: 8 catches, 117 yards, 1 TD
This week’s honor roll comprises a rock steady veteran QB, a burgeoning star at RB, a resurrection at WR and a quietly ascending tight end.
Matt Ryan continues to post top 5 QB numbers, only to play for a team with a failing defense. Ryan threw for 4 TDs and over 300 yards against the Cardinals, albeit in a losing cause. The fantasy community still appreciates you, Mr. Ryan!
Cleveland RB Nick Chubb has asserted himself as the top back not named Saquon Barkley from the 2018 draft, ahead of Sony Michel, Kerryon Johnson, Rashaad Penny and others. Chubb rumbled all over the Seahawks this past weekend, finding the end zone twice in the process. He will be a clear top 5 pick in next year’s fantasy drafts.
Stefon Diggs found himself getting dropped in deeper leagues due to lack of production, questions about his QB and where his head has been lately. Diggs was clearly engaged against the Eagles, as he hooked up with much maligned QB Kirk Cousins for 167 yards and 3 TDs over seven catches. We’ll take a closer look at Diggs below.
And we wrap up the honor roll with Matt Ryan’s trusted tight end, Stanford alum Austin Hooper. Hooper caught one of Ryan’s TD passes, while catching nearly one-third of his yardage. Hooper has become a mid level TE1 this season, which means he’s a weekly start unless you happen to have one of the very few select top guys as well – specifically Travis Kelce, George Kittle or Zach Ertz.
Week 6 Takeaways – A Closer Look
Each week we’ll take a closer look at a handful of performances and sort out what such performances mean going forward.
- Sam Darnold, QB – NYJ: 23-32, 338 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Analysis: In a result very few saw coming, the New York Jets defeated the Dallas Cowboys this past Sunday, which marked quarterback Sam Darnold’s first game back from mono. Darnold had a strong day, surpassing the 300 yard mark with a sterling 10.6 yards per attempt, while also finding the end zone twice. Dallas has been stingy as a pass defense thus far this year, so Darnold’s performance should be viewed even more favorably. With Le’Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder and Demaryius Thomas at his disposal, Darnold has the weapons necessary to sustain his improvement from last year, and he has all the tools you want in a QB – strong arm, accuracy and ability to read the field. Darnold has to face the Patriots next week, so that’s not a time to start him. But, it’s the perfect week to pick him up and stash him, if you have the available roster spot. Once the Patriots pass off the schedule, he faces the Jaguars, Dolphins, Giants and Redskins in that order. Darnold will provide sneaky good value for those of you in deeper leagues, so if you need a QB, focus your efforts on Darnold.
- Sony Michel, RB – NE: 22 carries, 86 yards, 0 TDs
Analysis: Sony Michel established himself as the Patriots’ lead rusher during his 2018 rookie season, averaging 4.5 yards per carry and scored 6 TDs while rushing for 931 rushing yards. With a widespread sophomore leap expected this year, Michel went as high as round 3 in drafts. Unfortunately, Michel got off to a rough start in September, as he had an 11 yard rushing performance and a 14 yard rushing performance among his first three games. Further heightening concern was the loss of starting fullback James Develin to a neck injury, as Develin’s blocking played a huge role in Michel’s success last year. As a result, Michel’s value did take a hit. How much? That’s the question. Over games four through six this year, Michel has bounced back with an average of 80 yards per game at roughly a 4.4 yard per clip, with 1 TD over that span. The cries for Michel’s demise were too early and too loud. He should be viewed as a mid-to-low end RB2 in standard leagues going forward, while dropping to a low-end RB2 to flex in PPR leagues, in each case depending upon matchups. Since he’s not a significant contributor in the passing game, Michel’s not a must start in PPR leagues, but he’ll be a good starting option in most weeks. Don’t sell low on Michel, but buy low if you have a chance.
- Stefon Diggs, WR – MIN: 7 catches, 167 yards, 3 TDs
Analysis: Stefon Diggs found himself on fantasy milk cartons this year, as he came into week 6 with just one TD and one game with 50+ yards. Questions rose about Diggs’ future with the Vikings, and quarterback Kirk Cousins’ ability to get him and any other WR the ball. Then the Eagles came to town in week 6 and everything changed! Diggs consistently found himself leaving the Eagles’ DBs in the dust, and as a result, he connected with Cousins for three TDs and 167 yards. So should your worries about Diggs be fully alleviated? The reality is that Diggs goes as his QB goes, and Cousins has demonstrated that weekly consistency is not his thing. That, coupled with Dalvin Cook’s emergency makes Diggs a solid start most weeks, but he’s no longer a must weekly start. While weekly consistency is not Cousins’ expertise, performing according to the level of his opponent is. Diggs goes as Cousins goes, so against weak coverage teams (such as the Eagles), he’s a WR2 and must start. Diggs will fall as low as WR4 territory against the toughest pass defenses, and he’ll settle into flex territory for average pass Ds. So he’ll be a solid start most week (at least as a flex), but weekly matchups will matter going forward.
- Golden Tate, WR – NYG: 6 catches, 102 yards, 1 TD
Analysis: Golden Tate has been a staple player in PPR leagues for the past several years, but we finally saw some slippage last year. Tate’s receptions fell to just 74 in 2018 (that’s low for Tate!), while he consistently had 90+ receptions in his four prior seasons. From a scouting angle last year, Tate appeared to have lost a half step. Fast forward to this year, Tate found himself a new team and a four game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance. The Giants welcomed Tate back with open arms in the TNF matchup against the Patriots, as the Giants were wiped out of their top skill players due to injury. Tate served as QB Daniel Jones’ primary target, passing the century mark in yardage and finding the end zone once among his six catches. Great debut for Tate with the Giants, but what happens when Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram return? There’s still a role for Tate in this offense, and he can produce flex value for you in PPR leagues. Tate will get you 4-6 receptions per game, but expect yardage totals to average around 50 – without many TDs. That doesn’t play well in standard leagues, so he’s a WR4 in those scoring settings. So target Tate in PPR leagues as a flex option, but he’s a depth piece in standard leagues.
Rapid Fire Pickups
Each week we’ll throw out potential free agent pickups from each position for deeper leagues, in each case 1) someone who has NOT been referenced above, and 2) a player available in more than 50% of leagues.
QB: Daniel Jones, NYG (juicy matchup vs Arizona Cardinals)
RB: Jamaal Williams, GB (roaring back into RB committee with MNF performance)
RB: Ito Smith, ATL
WR: Auden Tate, CIN
WR: Deebo Samuel, SF
TE: Noah Fant, DEN