Underdog Battle Royale Rankings Week 6

Fantasy Football

Quarterbacks:

  1. Justin Fields
  2. Tua Tagovailoa
  3. Kirk Cousins
  4. Joe Burrow
  5. Jalen Hurts
  6. Matt Stafford

Sleepers: Trevor Lawrence, Jared Goff, Geno Smith, Sam Howell, Gardner Minshew

It’s tough to recommend Justin Fields as QB1 given the natural inefficiencies in his game and the Bears offense as a whole, but he’s coming off two great games fantasy-wise and has a very strong match-up against the Vikings. In addition with the injuries to the Bears’ running backs, even if Chicago is leading this game, Fields will likely need to do more with both his arm and his legs. In that same game Cousins should be considered a top fantasy option as well. He lacks Fields rushing upside, but he’s a far better passer, and he’s thrown the ball 44+ in 4 of 5 games. Even without Justin Jefferson, Cousins is a fantastic play in this match-up and could put up 350 yards and 3 TDs.

From an efficiency plus talent vs a poor defense, I don’t know if anyone is in a better situation than Tagovailoa. The Dolphins’ offense is moving the ball at will, and they are torching opposing secondaries. The Panthers’ defense is struggling, but with how bad their offense is the concern here is simply that Miami stops throwing, and/or pulls Tua early before he hits a high enough ceiling to pay off. On the other end of the spectrum you have Jalen Hurts who has put major fantasy points, but is facing probably his toughest defensive opponent this week. In addition, Hurts also has game script concerns, as if Zach Wilson and the Jets don’t keep it close, the Eagles have shown that they will run the ball heavily in the 4th quarter. Hurts still has QB1 upside which is why you have to consider him, but you will need probably at least one rushing TD, maybe 2 in this match-up.

Generally, I feel better about waiting on QB this week, as not only is Cousins typically falling, but you also get your choice of Burrow, Stafford, or Lawrence late. Burrow is coming off a huge game against the Cardinals, and now faces a Seahawks secondary that has shown some issues. If Burrow is truly healthy, we are still getting a discount here, and he could go off for another 300+, 3-4 TD week. Stafford has played really well to start this season, but some of his metrics that are tied to TDs are down, because of bad TD variance. That’s likely to begin to change in his direction regardless, and it doesn’t hurt having Cooper Kupp back, while facing the Cardinals extremely poor secondary. Lawrence has looked better the past couple of weeks, and he now comes back to face the Colts for the 2nd time this season. This game should be up in pace, and Indy is stronger versus the run than the pass. Also with Gardner Minshew at the helm this might be a more back-and-forth game, with some shootout potential. My one concern is that the Jaguars are coming back from 2 weeks in London, so they might be a bit off as they readjust. Still the upside is worth the shot here.

 

Running Backs:

  1. Christian McCaffrey
  2. Bijan Robinson
  3. Travis Etienne Jr.
  4. Alvin Kamara
  5. Raheem Mostert
  6. David Montgomery
  7. Josh Jacobs
  8. Kenneth Walker III
  9. Kyren Williams
  10. Breece Hall

Sleepers: Joe Mixon, D’Andre Swift, Brian Robinson, D’Onta Foreman (especially if Roschon Johnson is out),  Alexander Mattison, Emari Demercado

I’m generally not thrilled about recommending an RB vs the Browns, but McCaffrey is just different. His usage is crazy and he’s got the chance for 2-3 TDs in any given week, with 100+ combined yards and a few catches. Though not as safe as CMC, Bijan Robinson is a very strong option this week. Not only is he making highlight-level plays every game, but he’s just a major core piece of this offense. He can beat teams either on the ground or through the air. He’s going up against a Washington defense that has struggled to stop anyone lately, and was getting gashed by the Bears backs last week.

Etienne Jr., Kamara, Montgomery, and Mostert all figure to be excellent plays as well, and are a strong combo of great usage and pretty decent match-ups. Generally, Tampa’s been good against the run, but the Eagles ran all over them, and the Lions OL is playing great this year. I think Mostert could be in line for a massive game, as the Dolphins should be well ahead of the Panthers, and Achane is out. Also, while Jeff Wilson is coming back, it’s unclear if he’ll be even ready this week.

Jacobs, Walker, Williams, Hall, and Mixon all have pretty predictable workloads, but all come with a little concern. I think as flex plays they can be strong though and we know the upside is there. You just probably need the right circumstances to get them that extra TD, or few extra catches to put them on the level of the top 6 guys. If you want to dig deeper I do think Swift, Brian Robinson, Mattison and potentially D’Onta Foreman (if we get the news that he’s starting) are all viable given the roles/match-ups. You don’t have to go down this far, but they have the upside for 20+ point weeks, and they will make your line-ups far more unique.

 

Wide Receivers:

  1. Tyreek Hill
  2. Cooper Kupp
  3. Ja’Marr Chase
  4. DJ Moore
  5. Davante Adams
  6. Calvin Ridley
  7. A.J. Brown
  8. Jaylen Waddle
  9. Jordan Addison
  10. DK Metcalf
  11. Puka Nacua
  12. Adam Thielen
  13. Christian Kirk
  14. Mike Evans
  15. Amon-Ra St. Brown
  16. DeVonta Smith
  17. Chris Olave
  18. Marquise Brown

Sleepers: Nico Collins, Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, Tyler Lockett, Chris Godwin, Michael Pittman Jr., Terry McLaurin, Josh Reynolds, Josh Downs

The wide receiver group is particularly strong this week as many of the top passing offenses have favorable match-ups, or individual key receivers have good match-ups. Hill and Kupp are my 1a/1b this week, as I think either could really go off versus some weaker defenses in the Panthers and Cardinals. The biggest concern is that the game script goes against them, but sometimes those situations still end up being the premier plays. Chase and Moore are unlikely to have 3 TDs in back-to-back weeks, but they could still be top-end options this week, given their target share and the match-ups they have.

I think we could see Adams have a big week, after he only got targeted 4 times last week against the Packers. Josh McDaniels is going up against the Patriots who are absolutely reeling right now with some major losses on defense. I look for Adams to have 10+ targets easily. Among this next group it’s tough to poke holes in anyone. Brown and Smith are facing a tough Jets secondary, but the Eagles have shown to be match-up proof in the past. I bumped them down a bit, but I think they are still viable options. Ridley and Kirk will probably still be without Zay Jones, condensing targets once again, though they are coming back from a long international flight, so maybe there is a little difficulty adjusting.

Some plays that do stand out that I’m a bit higher on: Jordan Addison who has some big shoes to fill, but is in a great spot vs a bad Chicago defense in a game that should have a lot of passing. Adam Thielen continues to dominate targets in Carolina, the Panthers are going to be trailing this entire game and he could see 12+ targets. Mike Evans is coming off a down game vs the Saints and slight injury, but he had the bye week to recover and it sounds like he’s a full go. The secondary is the weakest part of the Lions defense, and Evans target share, and scoring potential is high in this match-up.

 

Tight Ends:

  1. T.J. Hockenson
  2. Sam LaPorta
  3. Cole Kmet
  4. Dallas Goedert
  5. George Kittle
  6. Logan Thomas

Sleepers: Evan Engram, Kyle Pitts, Zach Ertz, Hunter Henry, Durham Smythe, Noah Fant, Kylen Granson, Jonnu Smith

With no Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews on this slate, and both Kittle and Goedert in tougher match-ups, Hockenson is a clear-cut top play based on his usage the first 5 weeks. Add in a match-up vs a weak Bears defense and Justin Jefferson going on IR, and we have a situation where Hockenson could put up 30+ fantasy points. That sounds crazy, but he could easily see 12+ targets, and plenty of RZ looks, if he racks up 10 catches for over 100 yards and a pair of scores he’s in that 30-point neighborhood. Even if he doesn’t reach the 99% outcome, he’s got a great chance to be the top TE on the week and finish in the 17-22 point range.

If there is one TE that really could challenge him for TE1 it is probably rookie Sam LaPorta. LaPorta has been a major weapon through 5 weeks for the Lions, but unfortunately, the team hasn’t always been pushed enough for a massive ceiling game. This week vs the Buccaneers that could change, as Tampa has played better this year, and I don’t think Amon-Ra St. Brown coming back will hurt him that much. Kmet is in a great match-up vs the Vikings defense, and he’s been the only other real target for Fields than DJ Moore.

As for the rest Goedert and Kittle are coming off breakout games, but I don’t know if I want to count on repeat performances as both are in tough game environments. Both also can get overshadowed by the other weapons on the team. I do think waiting at TE can be the call if you don’t get one of Hockenson/LaPorta/Kmet. Thomas, Engram, Pitts and Ertz are all reasonable options for good games.

 

 


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