Sleepers And Busts: Week 6
We have hit the third round of bye weeks and so far, the loss to your team’s rosters has been minimal. This week though, we are going to be missing some big-time producers as the Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, and Indianapolis Colts will all take a week off. Your leagues are starting to shake out and the favorites and underdogs are starting to show. Whichever side you are on, bye weeks can really hurt. You may need to find a sleeper to get back in the race or avoid a bust to keep from giving up ground. I am here to help if I can. Here are the Sleepers And Busts: Week 6 edition.
Adrian Peterson @ The Miami Dolphins
If you are ever going to start Adrian Peterson, this might be the time. Washington will travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins and the second-worst defense against running backs so far in 2019. The Dolphins are giving up 38.9 PPR points a game to RBs. Only the Cincinnati Bengals are giving up more than the Dolphins (39.0). The next closets team is allowing 6.7 points per game fewer than Miami. In just four games, Miami has allowed 8 combined rushing and receiving TDs to RBs and over 200 yards rushing twice. With the Redskins moving on from Jay Gruden to interim head coach Bill Callahan, who immediately said that he wanted to run more, this game could set up very nice for the 34-year-old.
Miami has given up the third-most attempts rushing and yards on the ground (129,615), and even though they have only allowed the 13 fewest receiving yards to RBs (202), they are tied for the most TDs receiving (3). Do not let the yardage fool you either. Miami has given up just 18 receptions that totaled those 202 yards. That is 11.2 yards per reception. This is a number you might normally see a team allowing to wide receivers. Now, Peterson is not going to catch a lot of passes, as he just has 3 receptions on 5 targets. This just shows that if Washington can get a lead and Peterson dominates the snap count, opportunity for success in both phases is there.
You can see above that even Tom Brady ran one in and 5 of the 7 total TDs rushing were either 1 or 2 yards out. If Peterson is anything, it is strong and Washington could find themselves in Miami territory several times during the course of the game.
Washington’s quarterback situation is at best, questionable. Three different quarterbacks have started games and the team just made Colt McCoy somewhat of a sacrificial lamb when they chose to start the veteran over the rookie that looked very shaky in his first start in Week 4. Washington is at the point of the season where they need to see what their young QB, Dwayne Haskins has. They likely will try to ease the rookie back in by leaning on the run game and Peterson should be the beneficiary of the touches and touches against Miami as we have seen, are gold.
Six different running backs have scored against the Dolphins and in two games, multiple RBs crossed the goal line. With four teams on a bye (Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders), you might be missing a staple in your lineup like Marlon Mack or to a lesser extent, Josh Jacobs. Maybe a low-end RB2/FLEX player like Frank Gore, Tarik Cohen, or David Montgomery. Peterson could provide a perfect fill-in for these players in Week 6.
Preston Williams Vs The Washington Redskins
Preston Williams gets just about as good a matchup for wide receivers as Adrian Peterson for running backs. The Washington Redskins have been the fourth-worst in terms of PPR points allowed to the position and are one of five teams allowing over 45 PPR points per week to the position (one of three allowing 30+ in standard). Again, similarly to Peterson, if not now, then when? Williams has been good so far as a rookie but the quarterback situation so far in 2019 has not been ideal. Still, Williams has found a way to produce and become low-end fantasy viable.
Rookie Wide Receivers Fantasy Ranks
- 20 Marquise “Hollywood” Brown
- 25 Terry McLaurin
- 48 AJ Brown
- 49 Diontae Johnson
- 51 Mecole Hardman
- 58 Preston Williams
As you can see, Williams is sixth among rookie wide-outs and 58th overall. Right next to Stefon Diggs. Let us remember that the Dolphins have only played four games. Williams is only 7.9 points behind Brown for third among rookie WRs and from being inside the top-50 at the position. Williams has the 17th highest average distance of his targets (14.3) and is top-15 in the league with 3 red zone receptions. The bye could be helpful for all the Dolphins. Any amount of extra practice can not hurt their chances to build a rapport (Williams and Josh Rosen).
(Data via FFStatistics Defenses App)
The Redskins have given up eight double-digit PPR WR performances and five of them have been top-24 finishes. Some of the names on the list are ones you would expect to see like Amari Cooper, Allen Robinson, and Alshon Jeffrey but the rest of the names are not players we consistently see near the top of the weekly ranks. A few of the players have boom-bust potential or are in the midst of a breakout year but nothing about the list says a WR “has” to be elite to beat this defense on the outside, nor does the quarterback throwing the ball. Two of the WRs are Chicago Bears.
Washington has only given up the 18th most targets to WRs (94) and the 11th most yards receiving to WRs (855), but, the fourth-most receptions (72) and the second-most receiving TDs (9). Receivers have been highly efficient against Washington which is good for the offense they will be facing. Miami has thrown the ball just 136 (fourth-fewest) and have completed just 70 passes in total (last). Again, they have just played 4 games so these numbers are a little skewed but their passing game is nowhere near high-powered. Williams could find his way to a big day on 6 or 7 targets but he does need to be better catching the ball. The drops have done as much to hold down his rank as the week off.
Greg Olsen @ The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
You are probably playing Greg Olsen if you own him in fantasy but he, outside of the beginning of the year, has been just another one of the grab bags of low-end starters/ streamers that we have been subject to. The downtick in Olsen’s production has certainly gone down but this could be attributed somewhat to the fact that Kyle Allen has been the starting quarterback. Christian McCaffrey has seen the biggest boost in the offense during this time. Over the last two weeks, CMC has garnered 19 targets and hauled in 16 of them. In the first three games combined, McCaffrey had 21 total targets with 15 receptions. This could be one of the biggest reasons for the downtick from Olsen because it is definitely not for lack of being on the field.
Snap Counts via FFStatistics
The tight end position has been particularly fun this year. But, there is a defense that has been the TE dartboard of the league in 2019, and this is despite the Cincinnati Bengals inability to attack where so many teams have succeeded, There have been a few certainties in 2019. Christian McCaffrey is the RB1, injuries have been ridiculous, and the Arizona Cardinals giving up fantasy points to the TE. What if I told you there was another team…?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the only other team in the league averaging over 16.7 PPR points allowed to their opponents. They are also one of two teams averaging over 21 PPR points to TEs (Tampa Bay – 21.1, Arizona – 24.8). Below are the top-20 performances they have given up to tight ends including four top-eight fantasy games. The top-20 performances from Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett came in the same week and even though, with Newton at quarterback, Greg Olsen had his one 100 yard performance in Week 2 against the Buccaneers When he caught 6/9 targets for 110 yards receiving.
Kyle Allen may be the quarterback again in Week 6 but he would be wise to look for Olsen in the middle of the field.
D.J. Chark Vs The New Orleans Saints
Below are the stat lines of two of the best wide receivers in the league. And they have performed as such for the most part. Only one of the eight combined games have been for less than 10 PPR fantasy points. Just one game with fewer than 4 receptions, two games under 60 yards receiving, and two games of the eight without a touchdown. In total, 9 TDs between the two. These two receivers have one thing in common. Marshon Lattimore…
Below are the stat lines of Amari Cooper and Mike Evans over the past two weeks and the Saints stud cornerback, despite a slow start to the season, has found his groove and handed each of these top-15 WRs their worst game of the 2019 season. Evans, the worst game of his career.
Who is next on the list for Lattimore? D.J. Chark…
A Stall During The Breakout?
Chark has seen a second-year explosion with Gardner Minshew at the helm (Below). Not that he could not succeed with Nick Foles, it was just clear from the start that Minshew favored Chark over everyone’s preseason favorite WR from Jacksonville, Dede Westbrook.
Above is how Chark’s season has compared with two of the league’s mainstays at the position and both picked by several to finish first at the WR position. Both Beckham and Hopkins have had the higher ceiling but Chark has had the higher floor and the ceiling has not been all that big of a difference. Chark is also doing this on less volume than the other two. Chark has 37 targets on the season while Beckham and Hopkins have 43 and 44 respectively.
You may think, D.J. Chark is extremely fast. He ran a 4.34, 40-yard dash (98th%). Well, Marshon Lattimore is also extremely fast. Lattimore ran a 4.36 40-yard dash (97th%). The Saints corner has given up some touchdowns early in the season but the list of quarterbacks and wide receivers the Saints have had to face in the passing game has got to be among the toughest in the league. The Houston Texans, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been the first five opponents on the Saints schedule. Some production to the other teams top outside WR, that is inevitably going to be in Lattimore’s primary coverage, can be forgivable.
Minshew Mania has taken over and he has shown the ability to keep Chark as a top fantasy option, despite playing some tough defenses but Minshew might find that an option like Dede Westbrook or a dump of the Leonard Fournette is an easier and more consistently successful option. But, “The Mustache” fears nobody and could let some fly Charks way. It just might underwhelm compared to what we have gotten used too.
Evan Engram @ The New England Patriots
Well, here comes the next in a long line of bad team that Bill and Tom get to pick apart. On the menu this week, the New York Giants. If you play in leagues with Team Defense/ Special Teams as a position, the New England Patriots might be the MVP of the 2019 season thus far. Through four weeks, the Patriots DST had only been outscored In PPR by…
- Lamar Jackson QB 112.3
- Christian McCaffrey RB 111.9
- Austin Ekeler RB 107.0
- Patrick Mahomes QB 104.8
- Keenan Allen WR 97.5
- Dalvin Cook RB 97.4
- Russell Wilson QB 96.4
- Dak Prescott QB 94.2
- New England Patriots DST 90.0
Scoring went bananas in week 5 so this did not last through Week 5. To expect it to last would be foolish but they were not bad in Week 5 either. New England held the Washington Redskins to 7 points with 2 turnovers and 4 sacks. Their current rank in PPR is 16th and eighth in standard. They have been good on every level but are the best in the league when it comes to defending the tight end and the guys throwing them the ball…
New England Patriots (PPR) against the:
- Quarterback 7.7 Points per Game (1st)
- Running Back 15.2 Points per Game (2nd)
- Wide Receiver 26.3 Points per Game (3rd)
- Tight End 5.4 Points per Game (1st)
- Total Points allowed per Game 54.6 (1st, and it is not really close. San Fransisco is the second-best fantasy defense and are the 49th ranked player in standard and 89th in PPR.)
Evan Engram, who is a top-five tight end in all formats, will get his chance to improve that 5.4, point per game average for tight ends against the Patriots defense. A combined 11 receptions for 161 yards and zero TDs is all the Patriots have allowed to the position. They have not exactly faced anyone of consequence since Vance McDonald in Week 1 but 32 yards a game is not exactly inspiring. Engram will also have to rely on his rookie quarterback that looked like a lock to be the Giants starter for years to come after his first start but since has returned to reality. His surrounding cast has not been intact all season. The Giants have been without either a starting WR or Saquon Barkley in every game this season.
Unfortunately for the rookie, this will not change in Week 6. Sterling Shepard is in the concussion protocol, Golden Tate will be in his second game back from suspension, and, even though the chances of Saquon Barkley returning before his expected date are increasing by the minute, this might not be the best game for an early return from injury.
Engram’s History Against NE
There is no history to look at here with Engram and a Patriots defense but New England has always been known for trying to take away your best weapon. With a fully healthy team, Barkley would be the main recipient of Bill’s attention and the passing game might be able to find some freedom in the open field. Even Engram is as athletic as tight ends get and has the ability to make a big play at any time but look for the Pats to focus a lot of their attention Engrams way. The Giants will be down to a third and fourth-string running back and likely out their best WR.
Engram will still get his volume. The Giants will almost certainly be chasing points for most of the game. Even in the two down weeks, he has had in a row, there were still 18 targets directed his way with 10 receptions but less 100 total yards and 0 TDs. In Week 5, Engram had a season-low 7.0 yards per reception and 3.2 yards per target and unless Daniel Jones can show some improvement, this might be all we can expect in Week 6.
This could all become irrelevant as reports came out about Engram possibly missing time due to a sprained MCL but nothing is certain at this point. If he does miss the game, the Giants likely could provide about as much value as a team as the Redskins did last week… None.
Carson Wentz @ The Minnesota Vikings
Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles will take on one of the tougher defenses in the league in Week 6 and the Minnesota Vikings do a particularly good job holding down quarterback production. The Vikings allow the eighth fewest points to the QB position (15.9) and could be better but have just 4 interceptions as a team. Quarterbacks have thrown for the seventh-fewest yards (1141), 8 TDs (tied for the seventh-fewest). QBs have also run for just 40 yards on 12 attempts without a TD. Minnesota will host Wentz and the Eagles in Week 6.
Season To Date
You can see above, Carson Wentz has been very good in all but one game so far in 2019 and in the one game that he failed to produce for fantasy, The Eagles defeated the New York Jets by a score of 31-6. Week 6 will be just a little different in terms of the opponent. Wentz is a slightly different player on the road and as I mentioned above, The Eagles will visit a very tough place to play.
Wentz has played the Vikings twice in his career including 2018 when he put up 311 yards passing and 2 TDs.
You will notice though that both of those games were in Philadelphia. Again, this game will not be. The Vikings have only allowed more than 16 points in a game once (Week 2, 21 points against Green Bay Packers). The Eagles will likely not be able to lean on their run game either with the Vikings rank of fourth against RBs. Despite them being ranked in the top seven in terms of most pass attempts and completions allowed but this could be due in part to that defense against the rush but they do not give up a lot of yards passing in comparison to the amount of volume. This could be a game that slot receivers and tight ends have the most success but it does not mean it will translate to fantasy success for Carson Wentz. Look for Wentz to come up a bit small in Minnesota.
Week 5 was one of the highest-scoring weeks we have ever seen in fantasy. The likelihood that anything remotely similar happens again so soon is slim. The tremendous amount of points was not the only thing that stood out. There were some big-time busts as well and teams will be looking for an answer in Week 6. Hopefully, the Sleepers And Busts for this week can help you gain that advantage you might have lost last week. Or, maybe keep that momentum you are trying to build moving forward. In either case, best of luck to you all!