One Big Thing – NFC – Week 6

Updated: October 22nd 2020

Every week we learn a little bit more about how a team sees each player as a part of their offense allowing fantasy footballers to react (positively or negatively) to those actions. Each week I will look to capture the “One Big Thing” that should have an impact on each team going forward and how you, the savvy fantasy player, can use that to your advantage.

NFC EAST

  Philadelphia

It appears that the Eagles have taken the crown from the Chargers for the most injury-prone team. Another two starters (Miles Sanders and Zach Ertz) will be out until at least after their week 9 bye, leaving Carson Wentz without many reliable options till then. It was encouraging to see that Travis Fulgham was more than just a one week fling, recording six (6) catches for 75 yards and another touchdown. He will continue to be a big part of this offense for the remainder of the season hopefully.

 NY Giants

The Giants’ defense had another big performance with their second straight week with a touchdown and the team recorded their first win of the season. The offensive woes continue though as the team only had 112 yards passing yards. Darius Slayton scored his first touchdown since week 1 but only recorded two catches. In any other division, a 1-5 record would be a reason to pack it in but anything is possible in the NFC East so who knows whether the Giants have a shot or not.

 Washington

It was a better showing in his second start for Kyle Allen but it was not enough for Washington to keep their division rival from getting their first win. J.D. McKissic has been a breath of fresh air for those working the waivers each week scoring an average of 11.6 PPR points over the last three (3) games. His use in the passing game on a team that often has to be in passing situations has worked greatly in his favor. Washington does not play a strong defense until Pittsburgh in week 13 so he should continue to have RB3/Flex appeal for the rest of the fantasy regular season.

 Cowboys

The expectation was that there would be a slight drop-off in the fantasy production between Dak Prescott and Andy Dalton but I do not think that many thought it would be as bad as it was Monday night. It does not help when Ezekiel Elliot fumbles twice on consecutive drives to give the opposition two easy touchdowns but not many expected the Cowboys first touchdown to come with under three (3) minutes left in the game. The team should rebound with two (2) division matchups coming up before playing the Steelers in week 9 but that nice scoring floor seems to be much lower with Dalton under center now.

 NFC NORTH

 Chicago

Carolina had a slight comeback against the Bears but this win was Chicago’s first convincing victory during their impressive start to the season. Much of their success last week should be given to their defense that had three (3) turnovers and four (4) sacks to give Carolina fits. For fantasy though it is frustrating to see David Montgomery be on the field for 85 percent of the snaps and have 100 percent of the week 6 running back touches to only average 3.1 yards per carry. He missed his chances at scoring when he had a touchdown overturned on replay but he has not proven to be a bell-cow back thus far. He is the ideal sell candidate before the bottom falls out when the team drafts another rookie runner this offseason.

 Minnesota

I was happy, and probably the Minnesota Vikings were to, that the take away from their game in the week 6 beat down that Dalvin Cook is worth the money they paid him and Alexander Mattison is not just a plug and play replacement. Kirk Cousins looked dreadful throughout the game and only bailed out his fantasy owners by having over 300 yards passing and three (3) touchdowns after he dug his team into a huge hole. At least Justin Jefferson looks every bit as awesome as he did at LSU as he recorded his third 100-yard receiving game already and currently is the PPR WR7. Hopefully, everyone who drafted him got him before the end of the first round so they can start planning for that fifth-year option already.

 Detroit

D’Andre Swift finally had his breakout game! The rookie runner had his first 100-yard rushing performance and led the backfield in touches for the first time this season. Knowing the Lions they will now give Adrian Peterson 20 carries this week to drive everyone crazy. For now, though, it appears they are letting the rookie slowly take control of the backfield and could be a late-season bloomer for RB2 purposes.

 Green Bay

It was a tough way to end a game for Aaron Rodgers after racing out to a 10-0 lead last Sunday. His third career pick-six and his first multi-interception game since week 15 of 2017 looked to rattle the veteran quarterback and greatly reduced his trust to throw downfield like he usually does. He is a pro, and a future Hall of Famer so we should not expect this to be more than a blip on his otherwise strong start to the season. Their matchup against a struggling Texans team seems like a classic bounce-back game. Expect 300 yards passing and at least three (3) touchdowns from Rodgers to silence his critics.

NFC SOUTH

 Atlanta

Julio is back, we think? After missing last week’s game with a hamstring injury and having only six (6) catches between weeks 2 and 5, Jones exploded for eight (8) catches and two touchdowns to finish as the PPR WR2. Whether it was inspiration after letting go of their head coach, a change in the offensive game plan, or just a bad Minnesota defense it appeared more evident that Julio was the primary option once again for Matt Ryan. The Falcons should continue to be in shootout games with their below-average defense so hopefully, Julio’s injury is behind him and he can continue to perform at the level that most expect out of him.

 Carolina

Mike Davis suffered his first sub 20 PPR point game last week and also lost his first fumble of the season. Davis has been the bell-cow since week 2, averaging 80 percent of the snaps and backfield touches while replacing Christian McCaffrey. There is talk that McCaffrey could make his return for the Panthers’ Thursday night game against the Falcons in week 8. If that is the case, it has been a great run for those who scooped Davis off the street in week 3. Hopefully, he can have one more solid performance this week before fading into the backdrop.

 Tampa Bay

Last week I criticized Tom Brady for being out of sync with his partner in crime, Rob Gronkowski, and they immediately turned back the clock to have a vintage performance, connecting on five (5) catches for 78 yards and a left-handed “Gronk spike” touchdown. Ronald Jones also showed that he probably is the primary ball carrier regardless of Leonard Fournette making his return to the lineup in week 7. His three (3) consecutive games with 100 yards rushing have likely cemented his role even further and with cupcake defenses on the horizon for the fantasy playoffs he is poised to be a fantasy playoff MVP candidate.

 NFC WEST

 LA Rams

Sean McVay, before last week’s game, had this to say regarding rookie running back Cam Akers, “He had some good tough runs and it’s a good way to get Cam going. So, with that, I think you can expect his workload to increase next week against the 49ers.” Someone should let McVay know that playing a single snap on offense is in no way an increased workload. Whether McVay’s post-game excuse about not being able to get him in the game due to the negative game script is true or Akers’ rib injury is more serious than the team is letting on he has been a huge disappointment through the first half of the season. It would likely take an injury to Darrell Henderson or Malcolm Brown before Akers sees any meaningful touches.

 San Francisco

The 49ers got back to what got them to the Super Bowl last year with running the ball and letting their pass catchers make plays in space with yards after the catch. Over 84 percent of Jimmy Garoppolo’s passing yards came after the catch which shows that his ankle may still not be fully healed to stretch the field just yet. It was also concerning that Raheem Mostert went down with yet another injury that appears will keep him out of the lineup for now. It will be interesting to see what Bill Belichick does to shut down this offense as he probably knows Garoppolo as well as an opposing coach can.

 Arizona

Looking directly at the stats for DeAndre Hopkins over the last two weeks would not give the full story of how his fantasy owners must have felt heading into the fourth quarter of both games. Coming into the fourth quarter Hopkins stat lines against terrible defenses has been 4-49-0 and 1-13-0, with 70 percent of his total production coming after the game has already been decided late. I do not expect it to be an issue as Hopkins continues to be the most targeted receiver on the team but it just stood out over the last two weeks as something to keep an eye on. His floor may not be as safe as his value would perceive.

More Analysis by Nick Andrews