After trailing 10-0 at the end of the first quarter, the Bucs scored 38 unanswered points in an impressive win over the previously undefeated Packers (who entered leading the NFL in yards per play). While the magnitude of the victory may be surprising, this game featured DVOA’s No. 2 ranked defense (the Bucs) versus their (Green Bay’s) No. 29 ranked D, so the outcome wasn’t a total shock.
Aaron Rodgers came in as the least pressured/hit quarterback but had his worst game of the season by far despite getting a healthy Davante Adams back, thanks to constant harassment by a dominant-looking Tampa Bay front seven. Rodgers entered getting 8.7 YPA with a 13:0 TD:INT ratio while taking just three sacks on the year. He got 4.6 YPA with a 0:2 TD:INT ratio while taking four sacks Sunday, including a pick-six that marked the team’s first turnover of the season (and turned Sunday’s game around). His highlight of the day was a celebration on a touchdown that was called back.
Adams should go right back to being the weekly #1 fantasy WR with an extremely favorable looking upcoming schedule, and it’s also nice having his bye and this brutal matchup with Carlton Davis both behind him … Robert Tonyan entered the week as the #5 fantasy tight end despite seeing just 14 targets on the year, which highlights just how bad the position has been. He was quiet Sunday while playing through an injury and remains TD-dependent … The injury to star left tackle David Bakhtiari is one to pay attention to … It wasn’t pretty, but Rob Gronkowski got it done Sunday, scoring his first touchdown in 679 days.
The previously sloppy Buccaneers had zero (assessed) penalties at halftime, and Tom Brady wasn’t needed much with a dominant defensive performance and Ronald Jones’ continued emergence. Jones scored multiple TDs for the first time in his career, rushing for 100+ yards for the third straight game. He leaves the field on third downs (although he’s improving as a receiver), and Leonard Fournette’s return could ruin everything, but Jones is breaking tackles and running as well as any back in football right now. If not for the looming Fournette, Jones’ situation would actually be quite good with Tampa Bay’s elite defense and strong run blocking (and a QB who struggles throwing around the goal line). Jones could fade into flex territory as part of a committee, but he also has the upside to be a legit top-five fantasy back over the rest of the season (and his fantasy playoffs schedule looks nice with Min, @Atl, @Det).
Kirk Cousins’ fantasy day was the opposite of his real-life performance (he had three interceptions before halftime), but that could continue given Minnesota’s setup (they will get Dalvin Cook back, but the defense and two stud receivers should lead to inflated Cousins stats). Facing a winless team at home, the Vikings were down 33-7 late in the fourth quarter … Matt Ryan loved seeing a healthy Julio Jones return (what a fourth-down play) and had his best game of the season, and Calvin Ridley’s value takes a small hit as a result … Apparently, Yahoo’s DFS price ($14) for Alexander Mattison was actually too high, as he was Week 6’s biggest bust … Justin Jefferson erupted again and more than doubled Adam Thielen’s targets, and the latter landed hard on his shoulder late in the game. Jefferson vs. Chase Claypool is a fun rookie debate right now, as both look like immediate stars.
There have been more impressive 5-1 starts than Chicago’s, but the Bears have been a nice surprise nevertheless, although Allen Robinson and David Montgomery in a “smash spot” disappointed fantasy managers. The Bears scored their first points in the third quarter this season … Mike Davis lost a fumble and struggled but managed to score again, and it looks like he should have one more week as Carolina’s feature back … DJ Moore had a couple of bad drops.
Detroit Lions @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Matthew Stafford’s fantasy line suffered from Detroit’s three rushing scores, as this matchup disappointed (although a late Gardner Minshew to James Robinson TD hookup helped salvage things) … DJ Chark got an ugly 3.2 yards per target, but the 14 looks were encouraging. Better production should follow when he gets healthier … D’Andre Swift broke out with a big game but locked in a committee with Adrian Peterson, his fantasy value should remain limited to flex territory (he gets a boost in PPR) moving forward.
Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans
Derrick Henry has as many 200 rushing yard games (three) as the rest of the NFL since 2018. He also saw a career-high five targets in Week 6, has scored two touchdowns in three straight games, and typically performs much better as the season progresses. Only five other backs in the history of football have multiple 90+ yard touchdown runs in their career, and none made them look easier than Henry … Winning the overtime coin toss was crucial in a game that totaled 78 points … Both quarterbacks continued to play at MVP-type levels, with Ryan Tannehill benefitting greatly from a healthy A.J. Brown, and Deshaun Watson somehow getting 9.5 YPA over the last four games despite Houston having no rushing attack (and having Bill O’Brien as coach for half of them) … Will Fuller should be ranked as a no-doubt top-10 fantasy WR every week he’s healthy, while Darren Fells should be treated as a top-12 fantasy tight end whenever Jordan Akins is out … I loved Romeo Crennel’s decision to go for two when the Texans went ahead by seven points late, and the inevitable criticism would’ve been funny had Stephen Gostkowski missed the ensuing extra point (he missed two more field goals Sunday).
Washington Football Team @ New York Giants
Kyle Allen is clearly an upgrade at quarterback for Washington, and that’s going to lead to big games from Terry McLaurin (when he’s not shadowed by James Bradberry), and Logan Thomas is again in the tight end discussion … Daniel Jones led the Giants in rushing but managed just 5.9 YPA, although at least he finally scored for the first time since Week 1 … Darius Slayton is clearly dealing with an injury, and Sterling Shepard is scheduled to return in Week 7, so his value has taken a hit … Riverboat Ron saved us all bypassing overtime and electing to go for two at the end.
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Given Baker Mayfield’s sore ribs and the matchup (and the fact no QB holds the ball longer), it wasn’t a shock to see Case Keenum replace him Sunday. The Browns are 4-2 with a -24 point differential, but their upcoming schedule looks quite favorable in fantasy terms … Kareem Hunt was facing a Steelers defense that has now held running backs to just 204 rushing yards on 64 carries this season … James Conner lost short rushing touchdowns to both Benny Snell and Chase Claypool (for the second straight week), but he’s averaged 108.8 yards from scrimmage and scored in every game since Week 1 … Claypool is the real deal and led the Steelers in receiving on just four targets. When fully healthy, JuJu Smith-Schuster is quite clearly Pittsburgh’s third-best wide receiver. I’ll certainly be ranking the rookie ahead of him moving forward.
Baltimore Ravens @ Philadelphia Eagles
Miles Sanders had a 74-yard run for the second straight week (this one resulting in a crazy fumble recovery touchdown), and it once again salvaged an otherwise poor fantasy line (the Ravens have now allowed an average of 165 rushing yards over their last seven games without DT Brandon Williams). Sanders was out late in this game while dealing with an injury, and Boston Scott would become a must-start should Sanders miss time … Travis Fulgham saw another 10 targets and should be treated as the Eagles’ #1 receiver when/if DeSean Jackson returns in Week 7. The Eagles somehow made this game close after having 29 passing yards at halftime … I’m beginning to think Zach Ertz has lost a step … If Mark Ingram’s ankle injury costs him time, Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins would both become viable flex options, although Baltimore’s upcoming schedule does no favors (bye, Pit, @Ind) … The Ravens are the only team in football to score in every quarter this season.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Indianapolis Colts
Most didn’t expect a game script featuring the Colts trailing 21-0 as big home favorites, but it led to a nice fantasy day from Philip Rivers, with Trey Burton recording the rushing score and not Jonathan Taylor (although the rookie’s receiving production is encouraging). Burton has clearly emerged as Indy’s top tight end and is a viable weekly start moving forward, while T.Y. Hilton can be dropped in all fantasy leagues if you haven’t yet … Marcus Johnson looks like the Colts’ best receiver, as does Tee Higgins for the Bengals … Joe Mixon had a bad drop in the end zone, and his health needs to be monitored for Week 7.
Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots
Cam Newton struggled pretty badly but effectively threw three fantasy touchdowns with his rushing performance, as New England ended many survivor entries. Newton had twice as many receiving yards as Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry combined in this game. Since recording a career-high in Week 2, Edelman hasn’t topped 35 receiving yards in a game, and few passing offenses look worse than the Patriots right now … Phillip Lindsay is a borderline top-15 RB when Melvin Gordon is out, and Tim Patrick impressed.
New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins
Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t have to do much after throwing three touchdowns by halftime (although where was Mike Gesicki all day?), while the Jets actually attempted a 55-yard field goal behind 24-0 (they would’ve been down three scores still). Thankfully, the Dolphins managed the shutout anyway … These teams were a combined 0-for-19 on third-down attempts before the Jets finally converted one with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, which also featured a Tua Tagovailoa sighting for the first time … DeVante Parker suffered a groin injury, so Preston Williams could see an uptick in value moving forward … Of Adam Gase’s 40 career coaching losses, 31 have been by double digits … In keeping with Jets tradition, we now have a butt-interception.
Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers
After losing two straight games in which they were 7+ point favorites, the 49ers won as underdogs Sunday night, as a healthier Jimmy Garoppolo tossed three touchdowns before halftime, and he still hasn’t lost back-to-back games in his career. A gameplan featuring quick releases helped, as did a full complement of weapons in George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Brandon Aiyuk … Raheem Mostert would be a top-10 fantasy back if he could stay healthy, but he simply cannot. JaMycal Hasty might’ve passed Jerick McKinnon on SF’s depth chart, although it would likely form a committee should Mostert have to miss time with his latest ankle sprain … After Sean McVay promised an increased workload for Cam Akers this week, the rookie got zero touches and saw just one snap.
Darrell Henderson entered ranked as PFF’s #2 running back (Mostert was actually #1 if you decrease the minimum run attempts), and he dominated backfield carries Sunday night. The Rams also came in the with #1 ranked rush offense in DVOA, so Henderson is going to put up big stats if he keeps acting as LA’s feature back (even with all the injuries, the 49ers have ceded the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season) … Jared Goff isn’t at his best playing from behind, and he missed some throws Sunday night, getting just 5.2 YPA and failing to take advantage of an SF secondary that’s been decimated by injuries.