The Rundown: Week 6
Football is meant to be an escape from reality, a distraction to take our minds off difficult times and heavy responsibilities that many of us bear each day. That may be the toughest part of seeing COVID-19 infiltrating NFL practice facilities, locker rooms, and playing fields that usually see limited, or no, impact from global issues. It struck again over the past week as at least five different teams saw positive tests with one game postponed and another pushed until Tuesday in an effort to continue the 2020 NFL season. Let’s hope that the NFL can keep players and personnel safe going forward, making the enjoyment of the season a little less burdensome.
Last week’s Rundown had a few nice notes with Deshaun Watson and Kareem Hunt landing some helpful weeks while being reasonably down on J.K. Dobbins and Tyler Higbee. Tom Brady had a ho-hum week while Kenyan Drake finally scored a touchdown to provide a little fantasy relevance, countering my Week 5 thoughts.
This article leverages the wide array of 4for4’s data library including snaps, touches, targets, fantasy scoring, and red zone information. Lucky for you, this article will put everything in one place in time for those weekly matchup decisions.
Quarterbacks Trending Up
Andy Dalton, Dallas Cowboys
The decision to sign Andy Dalton and secure a solid backup is looking like a real prescient move now. Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending injury, opening the door for Dalton to take over one of the most talented offenses in the NFL. This is the third-ranked fantasy scoring quarterback situation this year and the top-ranked fantasy wide receiver group through five weeks. The offense could slow down from its league-leading pace, but Dalton is good enough to be a regular fantasy contributor while not sinking the Cowboys receivers. The Cardinals represent a high scoring matchup against a defense that is ranked bottom five in turnovers forced, giving Dalton some potential leeway as he acclimates to the Cowboys offense.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Instead of focusing on Chase Claypool, I thought it better to shine a light on Roethlisberger, the ninth-ranked fantasy quarterback heading into the Tuesday night game despite no Week 4 matchup. He has a pair of top-12 finishes already and has scored at least 18 fantasy points in every game so far. The receivers are benefitting too, with four different options having at least one top-12 fantasy finish so far. Instead of betting on which wide receiver has a big week, Roethlisberger is the more consistent choice in favorable matchups. The Browns are a bottom-five pass defense, already allowing 12 touchdown passes in five games. This counts as a favorable matchup.
Quarterbacks Trending Down
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
After two strong starts to begin the season, Ryan has had three duds that put fantasy players in an awkward spot. Which version of him is the one to believe? Likely, it’s the former as Ryan has perpetually sat in the back half of the top-12 fantasy range including a ninth ranking in 2019. That said, Ryan will remain volatile with a high enough floor to weather that range of outcomes. Ryan had six finishes in the top-12 last year but 14 where he was top-24 or better. Any hopes of a smoothing out is unlikely to happen, but Ryan does get a decent matchup against a floundering Vikings pass defense. He needs to take advantage of these opportunities for when fantasy players gamble on him.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
Through five weeks, the 49ers have yet to record a top-12 fantasy performance from their quarterbacks. It’s been more of the same from a strategic standpoint. Their running game continues to be successful, second in fantasy performance as a unit, with the wide receiver group scoring less than all but one team. For Garoppolo, it will limit the ceiling and the wide receiver unit is still working out its roles. Now, he gets the second-ranked Rams pass defense, a team that has allowed less than five net yards per pass attempt, the best in the NFL. Expect another struggle as Garoppolo rounds back into form.
Running Backs Trending Up
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