Week 6 of the fantasy football season featured plenty of notable performances around the NFL on Sunday. What should we make of them? Matt Bowen and Tristan H. Cockcroft offer their analysis.

Yes, the matchup was extremely favorable — the Jaguars entered granting opposing running backs nearly five full PPR fantasy points above average — but Swift’s career-best 27.3 point performance contained additional promising developments. Typically the Lions’ passing-down back, with Adrian Peterson a clear step ahead of Kerryon Johnson as the team’s early-down back, Swift managed 14 rushing attempts, nearly single-handedly led his team downfield for a touchdown on their second drive, and absorbed all four of the team’s rushing attempts inside the Jaguars’ 10-yard line, punching in two of them for touchdowns (including the one on the aforementioned drive). Could it be the turning point of the rookie’s season? Perhaps, though it’s important to point out that Peterson still paced the team’s running backs in snap percentage, so it’s not like the Lions are shifting away from their committee anytime soon. But it’s important to get ahead of any potential shift in roles in this backfield: The Lions have some really good second-half matchups (see: Panthers, Week 11; Texans, Week 12; Packers, Week 14), and Swift’s ceiling, if he can earn the requisite touches, is legitimately RB1. — Cockcroft

Derrick Henry isn’t slowing down

Say hello to your Week 6, 1 p.m. ET game block PPR scoring leader (40.4), and bear in mind it was a nine-game block. While it wasn’t a career best — Henry’s 47.8 PPR fantasy points in Week 14 of 2018 still holds that honor — it’s important to note that five of his eight best single-game performances have now come in his past 11 regular-season games played, with two 200-plus yards from scrimmage playoff performances sandwiched in there. The Titans continue to utilize Henry as a true go-to running back, and while that’s something that might worry you from a fatigue standpoint, he’s a prime-age 26 years old and is the kind of back who seems to gain a ton of momentum the more you use him — a point Matt aptly made in one of our in-game discussions when Henry was off to a sluggish Weeks 1-2 start — with 32 of his 47 career regular-season touchdowns coming after halftime and seven of his 10 best single-game scores coming in the second half of the NFL season. He’s a locked-in RB1, and one who probably doesn’t receive enough credit as one. — Cockcroft

A.J. Brown thrives in his role

It’s the physical-play style here, plus the red zone ability, that has Brown closing in on the WR1 tier. In his past two games, Brown has caught 12 of 16 targets for 148 yards and three scores. And all three of those touchdown grabs came inside the red zone. That’s where we see his route running, strong hands at the catch point and the one-on-one ability to body up defenders. Plus, in Tennessee’s offensive structure, with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback, Brown also will be schemed open on crossers and in-breakers off play-action. And catch-and-run opportunities. With a matchup versus a very good Pittsburgh secondary in Week 7, Brown will land as a high-end WR2 in my ranks. — Bowen

Justin Jefferson continues to rack up stats

After catching 9 of 11 targets for 166 yards (with two touchdowns), the rookie has topped the 100-yard receiving mark in three of his past four games. Sure, game flow played a role here on Sunday, as Minnesota was down early to Atlanta. However, even in matchups where Minnesota can control offensive tempo, Jefferson still has a high ceiling given the deep-ball play-action in this system, plus the rookie’s ability to create separation on crossers and over routes. He will be a solid WR2 in my ranks when the Vikings return from the bye with a Week 8 matchup versus the zone-heavy Packers defense. — Bowen


Quick-hitters

Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens: Lamar rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown in the Week 6 win over the Eagles, with his 37-yard score coming on a designed-run concept. However, the Baltimore passing game remains stagnant, as Jackson has now failed to top the 200-yard passing mark in four straight games. When the Ravens return from the bye with a Week 8 matchup versus the Steelers, Lamar will slide down into the midtier QB1 range in my ranks. — Bowen

Cam Newton, New England Patriots: Newton did rush for 76 yards and a score in the Week 6 loss to Denver, but this New England passing game looked out of rhythm from the jump, which forced hesitation from the quarterback in the pocket. Newton finished with just 157 yards passing, and has now failed to top the 200-yard passing mark in three of his four starts this season. With a lack of explosive-play targets in this offense, the Patriots need the play-action concepts to get rolling. They must open up the middle of the field for Newton on seams and crossers. Look for Newton to stay as a lower-tier QB1 for the Week 7 matchup versus the 49ers’ defense. — Bowen

David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears: Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? (#sarcasm) Gifted the most favorable matchup among running backs entering the week — the Panthers were granting opposing running backs PPR fantasy points compared to their season average, adjusting for the schedule — Montgomery bombed, scoring only 13.7 points. Worst of all, he managed season highs with 19 rushing attempts and 23 total touches, not to mention three carries on goal-to-goal plays, which included a pair of goal-line opportunities where he was stuffed at the line of scrimmage. If you were blaming most of Montgomery’s problems in terms of fantasy production on the Bears’ playcalling, that wasn’t a valid excuse on Sunday, and it’s fair to wonder whether he’s truly capable of greater than midrange RB2 status. Upcoming matchups with the Rams (Week 7), Saints (8), Titans (9) and Vikings (10) don’t seem likely to vault him much higher than that in my rankings. — Cockcroft

Chase Claypool, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: With a matchup versus the Titans in Week 7, Claypool will be on that WR2/3 line in my ranks. The rookie found the end zone for the second straight week on a schemed-up red zone carry, and we saw the explosive traits again with Claypool in the Steelers’ route tree. He gives this offense another vertical element. And with Pittsburgh finding ways to get him the ball, I expect the volume to remain consistent here. In the past two games, Claypool has racked up 197 total yards — with 5 touchdowns — on 17 touches. — Bowen

Tim Patrick, WR, Denver Broncos: Never overlook the less-competitive teams, as opportunity can do a lot to generate fantasy production. Patrick now has back-to-back 100-yard performances, capitalizing upon the injuries to Courtland Sutton, KJ Hamler and now Noah Fant, and in Week 6, Patrick enjoyed a team-best 33% target share (8-of-24), the second straight game he can claim the lead in that category. Hamler’s and Fant’s injury status will have a bearing on Patrick’s usefulness in fantasy going forward, but he’s well worth a WR3 look when he’s tasked with an expanded role in the offense. — Cockcroft

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans: He just keeps piling on the fantasy stats. His 28.6 on Sunday pushed his seasonal average to a healthy 23.5 and gave him five of his 10 best single-game scores in what is now a 103-start career in his past 11 regular-season games played. Tannehill and the Titans are rolling on offense, and their bye is in the rearview. They do have a tricky midseason schedule — Bears in Week 9, Colts in Week 10 and 12 and Ravens in Week 11 — but the veteran quarterback has made quite a case for himself as a back-end, albeit matchups-conscious, QB1. — Cockcroft

Brandon McManus, K, Denver Broncos: His 24 fantasy points were the most by any kicker since Jason Myers’ 27 in Week 6 of the 2018 season. They are tied for the eighth-most at this position since at least 1950, and they were only five points shy of Rob Bironas’ single-game record of 29, set in Week 7 of 2007. — Cockcroft

Ronald Jones II, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: With Leonard Fournette still banged up, Jones posted his third straight 100-yard rushing game. You can see the juice he brings to this offense, too. Downhill with speed, plus the ability to slip through defenders at the second-level. He can also handle No.1 volume. I see Jones as a RB2 in Week 7 versus the Raiders, even if Fournette is up for the game. It’s the play-speed difference there. — Bowen

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: His 2.0 PPR fantasy points were the third-fewest he has scored in any of his 96 career NFL games, and keep in mind that his two worst, as well as his fourth-worst, came against the Saints, with two of those contest during which he was shadowed by Marshon Lattimore. While Jaire Alexander presented a problem for Evans in this one, Evans’ team-leading 24 routes combined with the comeback performance of tight end Rob Gronkowski (18.8 PPR fantasy points) and Chris Godwin’s 5-of-7 effort catching his targets signaled concern among Evans’ fantasy managers. As the Buccaneers get healthier, there’s legitimate question as to whether Tom Brady, who doesn’t offer much in terms of vertical passing, can deliver the ball consistently and effectively enough to feed all of his receivers. Evans does have six touchdowns through six weeks, so he continues to warrant WR2 consideration, but he might play frequently into the hands of his matchups and is in danger of inconsistency — often delivering stinkers at the most inopportune times. — Cockcroft



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