Against all odds, the 2020 NFL season is on. Which means so is your fantasy season. You already got our “Kill, Marry, Chill” draft advice, but now you need to know whom to play each week. Well, we also have you covered there. You already have your top guys you’re always starting, but it’s those borderline calls you need to get right to win. So, each week, we’ll go through some guys that we want to “kill” (not looking to start), “marry” (locking into our lineups), and “chill” (considering as sleeper options) to help you fill out your lineup and lead you the promised land of a fantasy championship. Here’s what you need to know for fantasy football Week 6.
Quarterback – Matt Stafford (@ JAX)
Some people thought Stafford had QB1 potential for 2020, but it’s not looking that way now. The Lions had their bye in Week 5, but through the first four weeks of the season, Stafford was only QB 14.
Look, I know. Detroit’s long-time starter was QB 10 over Weeks 3 and 4 when he had Kenny Golladay back in the lineup after the Pro Bowl receiver missed the first two games of the season. Not to mention, the Lions have the Jaguars this week. Their pass defense may not be Atlanta-level bad, but it’s still on pace to join some really awful company. Many factors seem to point to a top-10 week for Stafford, but I’m still not buying it.
The Lions are throwing the ball at the 12th-lowest rate in the league, and even though opposing QBs throw with MVP-caliber efficiency against the Jags’ defense, they’re actually seeing the sixth-fewest pass attempts per game. Unless he goes for three or four touchdowns, Stafford won’t be throwing the ball enough to crack the top 10 this week. I see him falling somewhere between QB 11 and 15, which means he’s only a low-end starter in deep leagues. You can do better than him this week.
Running back – Jerick McKinnon (vs. LAR)
Man, I got to admire Kyle Shanahan’s persistence in trying to make Jerick McKinnon a thing. Two lost seasons due to injury after signing a $30-million contract and instead of kicking him to the curb, the 49ers have him in the RB rotation.
McKinnon caught some attention from fantasy owners a few weeks ago. He replaced the injured Raheem Mostert as the starting running back in Weeks 3 and 4 and racked up 38 total touches over those two games. Too bad he was terrible, as is the norm for him. Mostert reclaimed his spot as the lead back in Week 5 and McKinnon fell back down the pecking order, getting just three touches to Mostert’s 14 and Jeff Wilson’s five.
To all the fantasy pundits ranking him as one of the top-30 running backs for Week 6: No. Absolutely not. I don’t care if he was playing against a D-III team this week, he’s garbage and shouldn’t even be on rosters in fantasy football Week 6.
Pass Catcher – Darius Slayton (vs. WFT)
Slayton’s one of the very few things going right for the Giants this season. It’s an absolute dumpster fire with that organization. The only problem with Slayton is that he’s been wildly inconsistent through five games. He has had two games with at least six catches and 100 yards, but didn’t generate more than three catches or 53 yards in the other three games.
He’s getting the targets—he has seen no fewer than six in any game, and his 40 for the season ranks 15th in the league—but that’s not always translating into production. Sure, a lot of it falls on his quarterback. According to Player Profiler, only 73.6% of Daniel Jones’s passes this season have been catchable, which ranks 27th among all qualifying quarterbacks. But Slayton isn’t doing himself any favors either. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, the second-year wideout only has an average of 2.1 yards of separation between him and the nearest defender at the time of a catch or incompletion. That’s the ninth-lowest lowest mark in the league.
With Washington’s defense being one of the league’s stingiest when it comes to allowing fantasy points to wide receivers, I don’t want any part of Slayton in fantasy football Week 6. Pass.
Quarterback – Tom Brady (vs. GB)
Don’t call him middle-aged, because Tommy’s still a top fantasy quarterback: He’s QB 7 right now and he’s finished in the top ten for the position in three of five weeks. Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians has had the GOAT airing the ball at one of the highest rates in the league. That isn’t going to change in a potential shootout against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, who are averaging a league-high 38 points per game.
There are some injury concerns with the Bucs’ top two wideouts, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. Godwin was able to log a limited practice on Wednesday though, and while his status for Sunday is still up in the air, there’s reason to be optimistic. Evans, meanwhile, was able to play through his ankle injury in Week 5, so expect him to suit up for this one.
Outside of their stud cornerback Jaire Alexander, the Packers’ secondary isn’t brimming with talent. They don’t have enough to match up with the deep arsenal of skill-position talent in Tampa Bay. Even at less than 100%, Godwin and Evans can make life hell for that defense.
We all know he didn’t look his sharpest last week, but he’s going to be better moving forth. Down in Tampa, he’s going to have a great game against the Packers. I’m all for starting Brady in fantasy football Week 6.
*Running back – Alexander Mattison (vs. ATL)
That asterisk is because this is a marry/chill. It’s a chill if Dalvin Cook suits up for Minnesota’s Week 6 game against Atlanta, which would relegate Mattison back to spot duty. But if Cook doesn’t play due to the groin injury he sustained in Week 5, and the early signs say that he won’t, then Mattison is a must-start.
The second-year back out of Boise State was one of my recommended waiver wire adds for this week. He’s only worth grabbing as a short-term rental, but it’s going to be one hell of a rental. Cook went down early in the second half of last week’s game, and Mattison put up 102 yards on 19 touches in just that half. Now imagine what might happen if he gets a full game as the starter. Pray for anyone who has to go up against a team with Mattison in fantasy this week.
Atlanta isn’t quite as bad at stopping the run as they are against the pass, but then again, Mike Davis just put up 149 yards from scrimmage against them. Even if Mattison only gets 10-12 touches as Cook’s backup, there’s still some flex value here. If Cook can’t suit up though, Mattison will be an RB1/2.
Pass Catcher – Jamison Crowder (@ LAC)
Quick trivia question: Who leads the league in receiving yards per game? Since his name is in big bold letters right above this sentence, you probably answered correctly!
Crowder has been lighting it up. In his worst game this season, he went for seven catches for 104 yards. He’s only played in three games though, and those games have been for the Jets, which is why he’s still flying under the radar. Joe Flacco is going to start at quarterback for the Jets again this week, but in Week 5, he made sure to get Crowder 10 targets, which Crowder turned into 116 yards and a score (it’s almost like he’s the only half-decent skill position player on that roster). You can pencil in Crowder for 10+ targets once again this week against the Dolphins. As a slot receiver, he’ll also avoid having to go up against either of Byron Jones or Xavien Howard.
The Jets are probably going to lose this game, and if GM Joe Douglas had any sympathy for this fan base, he’d fire Adam Gase in the locker room right afterward. In the meantime, Crowder is going to ball and put up WR2 numbers against Miami.
Quarterback – Andy Dalton (vs. ARI)
Another one of my waiver wire recommendations. Dalton looked real sharp after Dak Prescott went down with that devastating ankle injury, going nine of 11 for 111 in a win over the Giants.
I like Dalton, I think he’s a solid quarterback who just couldn’t overcome the shit show that has been the Cincinnati Bengals over the last couple of years. In Dallas, he has the league’s best trio of wide receivers, a top-five running back, and an offensive line that’s holding up well despite a slew of injuries.
The Cowboys lead the league in pass attempts this season, with Offense Coordinator Kellen Moore calling a whopping 47.2 pass attempts per game. I’m not about to say Dalton is in the same class as Prescott as a passer, but Dallas isn’t about to pivot to a run-heavy scheme. Dalton will get a chance to put up numbers.
Yeah, the Cardinals are giving up just 20.4 points per game, a top-five mark, but they’ve also played one of the easiest slates of offenses so far. Wow, they only gave up 10 points to the Jets. Big whoop.
Dalton is a top-15 QB this week and for the rest of the season.
Running back – Adrian Peterson (@ JAX)
Following up on the part about Stafford, I like the Lions to lean on their running game against the Jaguars, which means their lead back Peterson will see plenty of action.
The 35-year-old has outplayed a pair of second-round picks in Kerryon Johnson and D’Andre Swift to claim the starting backfield spot. Swift is the receiving back, but Peterson is shouldering early-down work and out-touching Johnson and Swift combined.
Peterson is averaging 14.5 touches per game, 26th among players with at least four games played. That’s nothing eye-popping, but look at his Week 3 game: 22 carries and a catch. It’s no coincidence that game is Detroit’s only win of the season. Head Coach Matt Patricia is content to control the clock when the situation allows for it, and against a reeling 1-4 Jacksonville team, Detroit should be playing with a lead for most of this one. Peterson will make for a great flex play in standard leagues.
Pass Catcher – Christian Kirk (@ DAL)
Finally, he’s come to life! Kirk seemed like a breakout candidate for this season after he accumulated 802 yards from scrimmage in his sophomore campaign. Then the Cardinals traded pennies on the dollar for DeAndre Hopkins, and now the All-Pro wideout has more than twice as many targets as anyone else on the team. Well, it only took him five weeks, but Kirk made his presence known in the Cardinals’ win over the Jets. The former second-round pick went for five catches and 78 yards on seven targets, all season highs.
Those are far from gaudy numbers, but it’s still encouraging to see Kirk get involved in the offense. And the fact that he did it on a day when Hopkins put up 131 yards and a score says there are enough touches to go around for Kirk to be fantasy-relevant.
This week is going to be a potential shootout, because like I said above, this Dallas offense is going to keep humming with Dalton under center. Kyler Murray’s going to need to keep the ball moving through the air, and that means Kirk will hit PPR flex territory in fantasy football Week 6.