Fantasy News & Analysis

NFL Week 6 Recap: Immediate fantasy football takeaways from Sunday's games

2T1RJ7Y Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Zay Flowers (4) celebrates a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)

Tyreek Hill remains unstoppable: The All-Pro receiver gained over 150 receiving yards and scored a touchdown for the fourth time this season — 12th time ever. He is now tied for the third-most games with 150-plus receiving yards and a touchdown behind Lance Alwroth (16) and Jerry Rice (14).

Christian McCaffrey scores again: McCaffrey has now scored a touchdown in 15 consecutive weeks, including the playoffs. He is now tied for second-most all-time behind Lenny Moore at 17.

Travis Etienne Jr. scores twice again: Etienne has scored as many rushing touchdowns in six games this season as he did in 17 games last season.

PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2023.

WR:CB Matchup Chart

Baltimore Ravens @ Tennessee Titans

  • Derrick Henry: 12 carries, 97 yards, 1 touchdown; 2 receptions, 16 receiving yards
  • Zay Flowers: 6 receptions, 50 yards, 1 touchdown; 1 carry, 1 rushing yards

Ravens continue with a two-man backfield: The Ravens activated Keaton Mitchell from injured reserve, but he didn’t enter the running back rotation.

  • Justice Hill started the game for Baltimore, unlike in the past three games, but the rotation between him and Gus Edwards was similar to past games.
  • Both players saw significant stretches of plays before letting the other take over.
  • Edwards handled more rushing attempts, but Hill scored more fantasy points thanks to his work in the passing game.
  • Mitchell’s activation meant both Melvin Gordon III and Kenyan Drake remained on the practice squad. It wouldn’t be surprising if one of the two is released with Mitchell overtaking them on the depth chart.
  • Hill should be on fantasy rosters for those who are hurting for running back depth. Mitchell is worth a stash in deeper leagues in case he emerges at some point this season.

The Ravens’ wide receiver rotation stabilizes: The Ravens utilized a very similar wide receiver rotation to last week.

  • Zay Flowers played in nearly every two- and three-wide receiver set, as he’s done all season.
  • Rashod Bateman and Odell Beckham Jr. rotated in at the other outside receiver spot in two- and three-receiver sets. Nelson Agholor mixed in for two-receiver sets last week but not in this game.
  • Agholor and Devin Duvernay rotated as the third receiver in three-wide receiver sets. Agholor lined up in the slot when on the field, and Flowers lined up in the slot when Duvernay was on the field.
  • The Ravens used as much 22 personnel as in the first five games combined, and it was again Agholor and Duvernay rotating for the single receiver spot in that grouping. Baltimore’s 22 personnel usage was the main reason Flowers missed as many snaps as he did.
  • Any wide receiver is capable of making a big play for Baltimore in any given week, but Flowers is the only one who will be dependable based on his usage.

Monitor Chris Moore’s health: Moore exited after a helmet-to-helmet hit in the third quarter, also leading to Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton’s ejection.

  • Moore played more than 50% of offensive snaps the past two weeks and was on pace to do the same again with Treylon Burks still out with a knee injury.
  • Once Moore left, the Titans rotated DeAndre Hopkins and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine out less frequently.
  • Second-year slot receiver Kyle Philips returned from injury to the Titans’ lineup last week and played significantly in 11 personnel. He continued to play in 11 personnel in this game — but just in clear passing situations. He was consistently playing in 11 personnel after the injury.
  • The Titans also stopped using as much 11 personnel until it was necessary at the end of the game.
  • It’s best to avoid all Titans receivers outside of DeAndre Hopkins until the Titans’ passing game becomes more effective. Ryan Tannehill has yet to have a 300-yard game this season and has thrown for only two touchdowns all year.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Ryan Tannehill suffered a right ankle injury, which is believed to be a high ankle sprain. Malik Willis took over for the rest of the game. Tennessee has a bye week coming up, but there is still a chance Tannehill misses some time afterward.
  • Ravens second-year backup tight end Charlie Kolar gained his biggest role in the offense since Week 1. He mostly played in 22 personnel as a run-blocking tight end. He had been a healthy inactive in two of the past four games and played just two offensive snaps in the two games he was active.
  • Titans backup tight end Josh Whyle left after two snaps on the first drive with a concussion. This allowed Chigoziem Okonkwo to see more playing time than in recent weeks, but that didn’t lead to any more receiving production.

Washington Commanders @ Atlanta Falcons

  • Drake London: 9 receptions, 125 yards
  • Brian Robinson: 10 carries, 31 yards; 2 receptions, 25 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

Add Curtis Samuel: The Commanders' No. 3 wide receiver scored a touchdown for a third-straight game.

  • He was second on the team in targets (four), receptions (four) and receiving yards (42).
  • Samuel has posted a respectable 19.6% target rate over the last three weeks.
  • He’s also run the ball in four of six games this season, so his rushing production is an asset to his fantasy value.
  • The Commanders are typically one of the league's most pass-heavy teams, but the offense wasn’t very productive in Sunday's game, leading to much fewer plays than usual.
  • Samuel has lined up 69% of the time in the slot, so he could be put into fantasy lineups specifically against defenses that have given up a lot of receiving yards to slot receivers.

Van Jefferson makes his Falcons debut: Atlanta traded for Jefferson early in the week, and he instantly joined the wide receiver rotation.

  • Jefferson was benched a week ago with Cooper Kupp‘s return to the Los Angeles Rams while the Falcons were unhappy at wide receiver, decreasing Mack Hollins‘ playing time last week.
  • Hollins and Scott Miller joined Drake London as the primary receivers in 11 personnel.
  • Jefferson largely competed with KhaDarel Hodge for snaps in two-receiver sets. They both played 18 snaps each out of 12 and 21 personnel while London played 49, and Hollins and Miller combined for 19.
  • The Falcons were playing from behind most of the game, so they used more 11 personnel than usual. It wouldn’t be surprising if Jefferson is already second on the team in snaps in a closer game or if the Falcons are winning.
  • He didn’t catch either of his targets. Even if he is on the field more often for Atlanta, that might not make him fantasy-relevant this season.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Chris Rodriguez Jr. played as many offensive snaps in this game as the first five weeks combined. He ran four times in the second half, which isn’t much, but Antonio Gibson has only run four or more times once this season.
  • Cordarrelle Patterson’s role in the offense has slowly but surely increased, but he's lining up at receiver on most of his snaps.
  • Kyle Pitts scored his first touchdown of the season and the fourth of his career, but it was his second-straight game with a 53-55% snap rate. His only other game with that few snaps over the last two seasons is the one where he suffered a season-ending injury last season.

Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears

The Vikings survive without Justin Jefferson: The All-Pro receiver landed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury and will miss at least the next four to six weeks.

  • Minnesota changed its rotation exactly as everyone expected. Jordan Addison played nearly every snap while Brandon Powell played in three-receiver sets. The only reason K.J. Osborn played more offensive snaps than Addison was 22 personnel snaps to run out the clock at the end of the game.
  • Osborn had been the primary slot receiver with Jefferson also seeing significant time in the slot over the first five weeks.
  • Today, Powell was the primary slot receiver with Osborn also playing in the slot at times.
  • Passes between the three receivers were evenly split but Addison was the star in fantasy football with his fourth career touchdown.
  • Addison should be in fantasy lineups each week going forward while Osborn can also be a fantasy starter dependent on the matchup.

Alexander Mattison bounces back for Minnesota: Mattison’s playing time was declining, but he re-established himself as the Vikings' top running back.

  • Mattison had been losing playing time to both Cam Akers on early downs and fullback C.J. Ham on third downs, but both of those trends reversed. Mattison went back to playing a similar number of snaps as before the Akers trade.
  • He wasn’t all that effective in the run game, but this was his third time in four weeks with 17 or more carries.
  • He was more involved in the passing game than most weeks. It was the fourth time in his career with seven or more targets.
  • Mattison should remain a weekly fantasy starter despite the low yards per carry this week.
  • Those holding onto Akers in shallower leagues can drop him at this point, but he will remain the handcuff to Mattison.

The Bears miss their top three running backs: Khalil Herbert landed on injured reserve this week while Roschon Johnson and Travis Homer were both inactive with injuries.

  • D’Onta Foreman had been a healthy inactive the last few weeks, but he was expected to take over as the every down back for Chicago.
  • Darrynton Evans, who spent all of 2022 either on the Bears active roster or their practice squad, was signed off the Miami Dolphins practice squad before the week.
  • Evans took half of the passing downs, which wasn’t surprising since Foreman has never been a receiving back. Evans also took half of the early downs for most of the game, which was surprising for anyone relying on Foreman in fantasy today.
  • The two saw near-even opportunities until the fourth quarter when the Bears relied much more heavily on Foreman.
  • Johnson is expected to be back this upcoming week and should be the starter. Foreman should be the backup, but it’s possible Chicago goes with Evans as the second back instead.

Justin Fields suffers a hand injury: The Bears quarterback injured his right hand in the third quarter and was quickly ruled out.

  • Undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent took over as the starter.
  • It took Bagent just over a quarter to put up the same passing production as Fields, and he scored a rushing touchdown.
  • If Fields misses time, we shouldn’t expect him to see the same rushing production as Fields despite the touchdown. Bagent averaged 0.8 yards per carry in college.
  • While Bagent is theoretically not as good of a passer as Fields, this might not hurt the fantasy value of other Bears players because fewer plays will end up as quarterback runs.
  • Bagent should only be considered off waivers in superflex leagues.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Equanimeous St. Brown had served as the Bears third wide receiver since moving on from Chase Claypool, but he landed on injured reserve this past week. Fourth-round rookie Tyler Scott took over as the third receiver, but he was held to one catch on three targets.

Seattle Seahawks @ Cincinnati Bengals

Jaxon Smith-Njigba sets career marks in receiving: Smith-Njigba set career highs in snaps (52), routes run (39), and receiving yards (48).

  • Smith-Njigba had consistently played between 45-60% of Seattle's offensive snaps each week. He’s had a respectable 19.6% target rate but has dropped too many passes and hasn’t been doing enough after the catch given his low average depth of target.
  • His increase in playing time was entirely from the Seahawks using more 11 personnel. He only played four snaps in personnel groups outside of 11 personnel in this game, so D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett‘s fantasy managers shouldn’t be concerned about their snaps declining.
  • Smith-Njigba’s target rate was much lower in this game (12.8%), but his depth of target was higher, and he was making more players miss after the catch, leading to a better receiving game than usual.
  • Fantasy managers should hold onto him just in case he breaks out in the second half of the season.

Tee Higgins returns but in a limited role: Higgins played in just over 50% of offensive snaps while dealing with his rib injury.

  • Higgins missed half of Week 4 and all of Week 5 due to the injury.
  • He was also limited in practice throughout the week.
  • He split time throughout the game with Trenton Irwin. The Bengals tended to pass when Higgins was on the field, but they were more balanced with Irwin.
  • Cincinnati has its bye week next week, which should give Higgins plenty of time to heal and be back to playing the vast majority of offensive snaps in two weeks.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • D.K. Metcalf was ruled questionable to return at one point in the second half due to a rib injury, but it wasn’t long before he returned to the lineup.
  • Colby Parkinson ran the most routes among Seahawks tight ends despite no tight end appearing on the injury report this past week. There is a chance he will emerge as the lead receiving tight end in Seattle going forward.
  • Irv Smith Jr. did not show up on the injury report, but his playing time was similar to last week. He needs to play more snaps before he can even be considered in fantasy football. He caught one pass on two targets for five yards.
  • The Bengals gave all four of their running backs playing time on offense for the second straight week.

San Francisco 49ers @ Cleveland Browns

  • Kareem Hunt: 12 carries, 47 yards, 1 touchdown; 3 receptions, 24 receiving yards
  • Amari Cooper: 4 receptions, 108 yards

Monitor Christian McCaffrey’s health: The 49ers star running back suffered an oblique injury late in the third quarter.

  • He returned for one play but left the game again and went to the locker room.
  • He was utilized in his usual role prior to the injury, playing in 84% of the 49ers' offensive snaps.
  • Elijah Mitchell had been inactive the previous two weeks due to a knee injury. He was the primary backup prior to the injury, playing five snaps to Jordan Mason‘s two.
  • Mason played 15 snaps after the injury compared to Mitchell's two. Mason ran five times for 27 yards and a touchdown in the game while Mitchell lost three yards on his two carries.
  • If this injury is serious, both Mason and Mitchell will be worth waiver wire pickups.
  • Mason recorded a 92.5 PFF grade over the last two seasons prior to this week, which is second-best among all running backs, making him the high upside option, but the 49ers clearly value Mitchell as well given his playing time over the first three quarters.

Monitor Deebo Samuel’s health: Samuel suffered a shoulder injury in the first quarter and didn’t return.

  • Ray-Ray McCloud III had seen increases in playing time earlier this season when both Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings missed time, and McCloud III again stepped up Samuel's place.
  • McCloud didn’t play as much in Aiyuk's place because Ronnie Bell split snaps with McCloud in that role, and when McCloud took over for Jennings, he only played in 11 personnel. This led to McCloud’s biggest role in the offense.
  • McCloud only caught one pass for four yards in his increased time but also ran twice for 23 yards.
  • The early indication is that Samuel’s injury isn’t expected to be serious. Even if Samuel misses a game, McCloud can likely be left on the waiver wire.

Kareem Hunt cuts into Jerome Ford’s playing time: Hunt started for Cleveland and was heavily involved in the run game.

  • Pierre Strong Jr. and Hunt were both playing significant snaps on early downs, but Hunt played nearly all of the snaps Strong had been playing.
  • He also cut a little into Ford’s work on early downs.
  • Hunt was the primary short-yardage back while Ford was the primary third-down back, which was consistent with their previous game.
  • Hunt was tied for second on the team in receiving yards (24) and was leading the team in rushing over the first three quarters.
  • Ford gained 52 yards on five carries in the fourth quarter, which should help him keep his role in the offense for the immediate future.
  • Hunt should be a waiver wire target in case he does overtake Ford as the Browns' lead back.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • George Kittle followed up one of the best fantasy performances of his career with the worst. He caught one pass for one yard. Kittle has caught at least one pass in every game he’s played in. His previous career low in yards was eight.
  • Browns backup rookie wide receiver Cedric Tillman was inactive due to a hip injury that popped up late in the week. Veteran Marquise Goodwin played more offensive snaps than usual in Tillman’s absence.

New Orleans Saints @ Houston Texans

Devin Singletary leads the Texans in rushing yards: Singletary played the majority of the available snaps and the majority of early down work in a major change for Houston.

  • Dameon Pierce had been largely ineffective the first five weeks. He averaged 2.9 yards per carry and gained a first down on 10.7% of his carries. It was assumed a lot of the problem was the offensive line because he was still avoiding plenty of tackles.
  • It was clear Houston was going to change on the first two drives. Pierce played 42 offensive snaps to Singletary's four on first and second downs on the first two drives during the first five weeks. The two split snaps at four each in those situations this week.
  • The Texans also used Singletary to close out the game. He played nine of 13 snaps in the fourth quarter compared to two by Pierce and two by Boone.
  • Singletary ended up as the more effective runner of the two, averaging 4.8 yards per carry to Pierce's 2.6.
  • Singletary should be one of the top waiver wire pickups of the week while Pierce should be kept out of fantasy starting lineups.

The Texans gain one wide receiver while losing another: Tank Dell was inactive for this game while in concussion protocol. Noah Brown returned from injured reserve.

  • Brown instantly returned to being a top-three receiver on the Texans’ depth chart.
  • He played in 29 of a possible 32 snaps in 11 personnel while rarely playing in other personnel sets.
  • Brown was typically the slot receiver in 11 personnel to begin the season while Robert Woods moved from the outside to the slot after Brown’s injury.
  • The two split time in the slot for this game. Woods played 13 snaps from the slot in 11 personnel while Brown took 11.
  • Chances are Dell can return to being a starter and Brown will become a backup once Dell is back, but there is at least a chance there will be a larger rotation among wide receivers than fantasy managers hope, which could hurt the playing time of Nico Collins, Dell and Woods.

Taysom Hill’s career day as a receiver: Hill caught seven of eight targets for 49 yards.

  • His previous career-high in receptions was three yards in a game in 2019.
  • He played a significant role as a receiving tight end due to Juwan Johnson missing another game with a calf injury.
  • Hill lined up in the slot 25 times, in a more traditional tight end position 13 times, out wide seven times and at quarterback four times.
  • There is a chance Hill can stay fantasy-relevant for as long as Johnson is out, but part of his success in this game was simply that Derek Carr threw 45 passes with a target. He’s unlikely to do that in many more games.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Dalton Schultz’s playing time remains entirely dependent on how often the Texans use different personnel groups. He played 29 of a possible 32 snaps in 11 personnel, all four snaps in three tight end sets and seven of 27 snaps in all other personnel groupings.
  • Rashid Shaheed had a big game, but his role in the Saints offense remains the same. He is perfectly fine in DFS or deep leagues where you have to gamble at wide receiver, but he also caught five passes for 61 yards over the previous three games combined. He will make more big plays, but it will be random and tough to predict.

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss split the backfield: They spent most of the game with a near 50/50 split after Moss dominated in Taylor’s return last week.

  • Moss started the game and played the first two snaps before Taylor took the field.
  • The two were largely used interchangeably throughout the game. Neither back played too many snaps in a row without getting subbed out for the other.
  • It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that Moss took a clear lead in snaps because the Colts were down by 25 points to start the quarter and didn’t have time to rotate backs. Moss also stayed in for longer drives.
  • Trey Sermon was only involved on offense to end the game with things out of reach.
  • Moss and Taylor were both given 14 opportunities in the running and passing game. Taylor gained 65 yards while Moss accumulated 59.
  • Both will be borderline fantasy starters depending on the opponent in the short term, but we expect Taylor to eventually take the lead in the backfield given his new contract.

Monitor Alec Pierce’s health: The second-year receiver left early in the fourth quarter due to a shoulder injury and didn’t return.

  • Amari Rodgers took over as the outside receiver opposite Pittman for the rest of the game.
  • Rodgers has traditionally played in the slot, but Josh Downs continued playing in the slot for the vast majority of snaps.
  • The Colts were playing from behind and stayed in 11 personnel for 100% of their offensive snaps. It’s unclear which wide receiver would have been on the field in 12 personnel.
  • Isaiah McKenzie has played six snaps in 12 personnel this season compared to Downs and Rodgers' one apiece.
  • If Pierce misses time, this will likely mean slight increases in targets for both Michael Pittman Jr. and Downs. They had five and four targets, respectively, in the fourth quarter.

Zay Jones misses another game: Christian Kirk, Calvin Ridley and Evan Engram were able to dominate targets for another week.

  • The trio combined for 75% of the Jaguars targets although none of them achieved more than 50 receiving yards.
  • The Jaguars ran 16 plays with zero or one wide receiver on the field, which is why Ridley and Kirk’s snaps were relatively low considering the competition. They played 47 and 45 snaps, respectively, in 11 and 12 personnel out of a possible 48.
  • The Jaguars passing offense wasn’t particularly effective in this game, but we should expect them to bounce back going forward assuming Trevor Lawrence is healthy.
  • Typically, Jamal Agnew and Tim Jones split the rest of the wide receiver work with Jones out, but undrafted rookie Elijah Cooks played his first snaps with the offense.
  • Most of his work was on kneel-downs or other running situations, but he did run three routes and could play more going forward.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Trevor Lawrence left the game late due to a knee injury. The only playing time he missed was the kneel-downs to finish the game. He said he is feeling OK and will get more tests done, but the Jaguars play again on Thursday night, increasing the odds he could miss the game.
  • Tank Bigsby achieved a new career high in offensive snaps. This was partially due to four kneel-downs along with two more plays where both running backs were on the field. Travis Etienne still played the Jaguars’ only goal-line and the majority of the short-yardage snaps.
  • Mo Alie-Cox was active despite being questionable while in the concussion protocol. He was a full participant in practice on Friday, but his playing time has steadily declined throughout the season.

Carolina Panthers @ Miami Dolphins

  • Raheem Mostert: 17 carries, 115 yards, 2 touchdowns; 3 receptions, 17 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
  • Tyreek Hill: 6 receptions, 163 yards, 1 touchdown

Injuries to the Dolphins backfield aren’t slowing them down: The Dolphins didn’t have two of their top three running backs, but they still dominated in the run game.

  • De’Von Achane landed on injured reserve earlier in the week. Jeff Wilson Jr. started practicing this week, but he wasn’t quite ready to return from injured reserve.
  • Raheem Mostert was a top-two PPR back heading into this week and moved a lot closer to first place with a three-touchdown performance.
  • His playing time was very similar to the first two weeks of the season before Acahne broke out, playing 73% of Miami's offensive snaps before starters were taken out.
  • Chris Brooks was active over Salvon Ahmed last week, but Ahmed was the primary backup this week. He played 19 snaps over the first three quarters compared to Brooks' four. He was the primary third-down back.
  • Brooks suffered an ankle injury late. He was carted from the sideline to the locker room late.
  • The Dolphins will ideally get Wilson back next week but that shouldn’t stop anyone from starting Mostert with how well he’s been playing.

Chuba Hubbard sees dominant workload without Miles Sanders: The Panthers’ typical starter did not practice all week due to a shoulder injury.

  • Hubbard has already started to play an increased role in recent weeks.
  • Carolina made a point to get the ball to Hubbard early. He ran the ball eight times in the first quarter for 49 yards and a touchdown.
  • The Panthers were within a touchdown to start the third quarter, so Hubbard played another seven carries in the third.
  • He ended the day with 19 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown, making it the best day by a Panthers running back in the run game this season.
  • Hubbard should be a priority waiver wire target in any league where he’s available. He will not only be a fantasy starter for as long as Sanders is out, but he could remain the starter even when Sanders is back.

D.J. Chark Jr.’s reduced role is reduced: Chark turned into a rotational player with Terrace Marshall Jr.

  • The Panthers wide receivers were all healthy for the first time last week. Chark played all 70 offensive snaps while Marshall didn’t play a single snap.
  • Adam Thielen has been the only Panthers wide receiver to stand out all season, including in this game. Chark, Jonathan Mingo and Marshall all came into the week with PFF receiving grades between 54-59.
  • Chark started the game and took most of the snaps on the first two drives, but on the third drive, Marshall was the third wide receiver.
  • Chark played all but one snap in the second quarter, but Chark only took 20-of-32 snaps in the second half while Marshall took 12-of-32. Chark ran 12 routes in that time to 10 by Marshall.
  • When rumors started that the Panthers wanted a true No. 1 wide receiver, it was assumed Mingo could be the odd man out of the starting lineup. Now, it appears to be Chark.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Tyreek Hill played in 21-of-27 snaps in the first half, which is typical for him. He left due to cramps in the third quarter after a big catch, which cost him some time. He returned but only briefly as the Dolphins took starters out at the end of the game.
  • Chase Claypool was traded to the Dolphins two weeks ago but remained a healthy inactive.
  • Hayden Hurst was held under 25 yards and didn’t score for the fifth straight week. He can be dropped in any league where he is still rostered.

New England Patriots @ Las Vegas Raiders

Rhamondre Stevenson bounces back: The Patriots trusted Stevenson in Week 6, a week after he split snaps with Ezekiel Elliott.

  • The Patriots have been rotating their running backs by drive all season. The only time they had broken that trend was on third downs.
  • At the start of the season, Stevenson took the passing downs on Elliott’s drives. That trend stopped in Week 5 but returned this week.
  • The Patriots gave Stevenson the first two drives and the passing-down work, giving him over two-thirds of the snaps in the first half.
  • He missed nearly all of the third quarter with a head and ankle injury, but he returned for the fourth quarter. He played 21 of the 23 snaps in the fourth quarter. Had he played in the third quarter, he probably would have recorded a season-high snap rate.
  • Stevenson is a good buy-low candidate ahead of Week 7.

The Patriots' changed receiver room: The Patriots were down two receivers but got one back.

  • Both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Demario Douglas missed Week 6 after suffering concussions in Week 5. However, Tyquan Thornton returned to make his season debut after spending the start of the season on injured reserve.
  • Kendrick Bourne took over in 12 personnel, playing 26 of a possible 27 snaps, while 24 of Thornton's 25 total snaps come in 11 personnel.
  • Bourne caught 10 passes for 89 yards and was the clear leader of the receiver room.
  • Douglas and Smith-Schuster had been the primary slot receivers in 11 personnel, but Bourne moved into the slot more often than not in this game.
  • Veteran Jalen Reagor was elevated off the practice squad to be the fourth wide receiver. This was surprising, as sixth-round rookie Kayshon Boutte has been inactive for the past few weeks. Boutte had played 55 snaps in Week 1 but didn’t catch any of his targets.
  • It will be very interesting to see how snaps are distributed next week, assuming everyone is healthy. The chances are that it will be enough of a rotation to make it tough to trust anyone for fantasy purposes.

Add Michael Mayer: The Raiders changed how they used their tight ends this week.

  • Mayer played 100% of offensive snaps in 12, 21 and 22 personnel, which was pretty typical. Mayer had played 95 of 98 snaps in those personnel groups over the first five weeks.
  • The difference in this game occurred in 11 personnel. Mayer played 32.3% of snaps in 11 personnel over the first five weeks and 30% of the 11 personnel snaps on third downs.
  • That skyrocketed up to 72.3% of snaps in 11 personnel. He played 86.7% of the 11 personnel snaps on third downs.
  • Mayer caught five of his six targets and led the team in receiving yards (75).
  • It’s unclear whether Mayer will see as many targets going forward, but his new role is large enough to sustain fantasy success.

The Raiders’ new third receiver: Tre Tucker took over as the primary third wide receiver amid Hunter Renfrow trade rumors.

  • Renfrow’s playing time has slowly but surely declined. It took a dramatic step down last week, with DeAndre Carter getting more playing time.
  • This week, third-round rookie Tre Tucker played more in 11 personnel. He took roughly half of the 11 personnel snaps. Carter and Renfrow each took a third.
  • Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers took all but one snap each in 11 personnel, and they were the only wide receivers to take snaps in other personnel groupings.
  • Tucker caught a 48-yard pass as well as a 9-yard pass.
  • It’s unlikely a Raiders third wide receiver becomes fantasy relevant this season, but this made it more clear Renfrow probably won’t be a Raider by the time November hits.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a back injury and didn’t play in the second half. The Raiders had a 10-point lead to begin the half and let Brian Hoyer throw only 10 times in the second half. It will be harder to trust the receivers if Garoppolo misses time.
  • Hunter Henry left with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter but was able to return. His playing time was normal in the first three quarters, but he caught only one pass for 7 yards throughout the game.
  • Patriots' quarterback/wide receiver hybrid Malik Cunningham was signed to the 53-man roster this past week and was the primary backup quarterback. He took two snaps at quarterback and four at wide receiver in this game. Unfortunately, the major fantasy sites only give him quarterback eligibility, even though he plays both positions.

Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams

The Cardinals' backfield is split without James Conner: The Cards' starting running back landed on injured reserve, and multiple backs took on the workload.

  • Keaontay Ingram was the primary backup to start the season. However, Ingram has been dealing with injuries, and Emari Demercado played well as Conner’s replacement last week.
  • Arizona followed an early-season trend of playing Ingram as the backup on early downs and Demercado as the backup on late downs.
  • Ingram ran the ball well enough, tallying 40 yards on 10 carries.
  • Damien Williams was signed to the practice squad 10 days ago and was elevated to the active roster, beating out Tony Jones Jr. (claimed off waivers last week) and Corey Clement (practice squad).
  • Both Ingram and Williams out-snapped Demarcado by halftime, but because the Cardinals were playing from behind in the second half, Demarcado ultimately got more playing time.
  • The Cardinals' next three games are all against teams with winning records and between average and great production against the run. Ingram will see the most touches going forward, but he should only be started by fantasy managers who desperately need to replace injured players.

Trey McBride takes over as the Cardinals’ top tight end: McBride caught four passes for 62 yards, both of which tied for the team lead.

  • Zach Ertz played less in both 12 personnel and 11 personnel.
  • Trey McBride had played most of the 12 personnel snaps, with Ertz splitting time with Geoff Swaim. This week, McBride and Swaim each took nine snaps compared to four by Ertz.
  • The major change happened in 11 personnel, where McBridge took 30 of the 60 snaps compared to 27 by Ertz.
  • There was a pretty even split throughout the game, regardless of down, but the Cardinals were more balanced with McBride while they were more pass-heavy with Ertz.
  • Ertz had taken 146 snaps in 11 personnel over the first five weeks compared to 33 by Swaim and 24 by McBride.
  • McBride can be picked up in leagues where someone is looking for a high-upside option for late in the season. In shallower leagues, Ertz can be dropped, given this role.

Monitor the health of Kyren Williams: The Rams' league-winning running back missed a little time late in the game but was able to return.

  • The Rams were up by two scores, so the fact that he returned when he didn’t need to is a good sign the injury isn’t serious.
  • Williams ran for a career-high 158 yards in this game, with a decent amount of that coming after the injury.
  • He’s run at least 15 times in all of the Rams' victories this season and fewer than 15 times in all their losses.
  • Ronnie Rivers was the primary backup throughout most of the game, but when Williams left, they allowed sixth-round rookie Zach Evans to make his NFL debut, which included four runs for 10 yards.
  • Williams should remain in fantasy lineups going forward, and Rivers is probably still the handcuff for Williams, but that is less clear now.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Cardinals third-round rookie Michael Wilson has gained at least 55 receiving yards in four of his last five games.
  • Rams fifth-round rookie Puka Nacua had his worst game as a pro, recording just 26 receiving yards. It was his first game under 70 receiving yards. His target share was still high, but the Rams didn’t need to throw much.

Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Jets

  • Breece Hall: 12 carries, 39 yards, 1 touchdown; 5 receptions, 54 receiving yards
  • A.J. Brown: 7 receptions, 131 yards

Breece Hall’s ascension continues: Hall's playing time continues to increase with the Jets.

  • The Jets used their running backs the same as they did last week in normal early-down situations. Hall took 32 snaps, Dalvin Cook took nine and Carter received one.
  • One big difference this week was the short-yardage situations. Cook was on the field for both short-yardage situations last week, while Hall was on the field for all five this week.
  • Hall also received more snaps in passing situations, playing five snaps on either third downs or two-minute drills. He’s taken a few snaps in those situations throughout the season but took only one snap last week.
  • Hall was the primary third-down back before he was injured last season, so there is a chance Hall could move even closer to an every-down role going forward.
  • He should be in fantasy starting lineups every week. Cook can be cut in most leagues.

The Eagles' backfield remains bizarre: The situations the Eagles used their running backs didn’t match how the two backs were successful.

  • D’Andre Swift and Kenneth Gainwell remained at the top of the depth chart, with Boston Scott as the third back. Rashaad Penny was inactive. This has been true whenever the backs have been healthy.
  • The Eagles moved away from rotating by quarter or drive and distributed snaps more similarly to last season. Swift took the snaps Miles Sanders typically received, while Gainwell was in a similar role to last season.
  • Swift received most of the early-down work but gained only 18 yards on 10 carries. Gainwell ran the ball twice but gained 13 yards.
  • Gainwell played in clear passing situations, but Swift led the team in receptions (eight). He gained 40 yards and scored a touchdown in the passing game.
  • This is probably the most ideal usage for Swift fantasy managers, even though this wasn’t Swift’s best game.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Eagles slot receiver Quez Watkins landed on injured reserve this past week. He also missed time earlier this season. Olamide Zaccheaus took over as the third receiver, as he’d done earlier in the season.
  • Mecole Hardman was a healthy inactive last week, and there were reports the Jets were looking to trade him. Hardman was active for this game and played six offensive snaps.

Detroit Lions @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Monitor the health of David Montgomery: Montgomery suffered a rib injury in the middle of the second quarter and didn’t return.

  • The Lions were already thin at running back coming into the game.
  • Jahmyr Gibbs missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury, while Zonovan Knight is expected to miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.
  • Craig Reynolds was the primary backup for this game and took over as the primary back. Devine Ozigbo, who spent the last few weeks on the Lions practice squad, was called up and became the top backup.
  • Reynolds should be a priority waiver wire pickup in case the Montgomery injury is serious. Gibbs hasn’t practiced, so there is a chance he also won’t be ready for next week, in which case Reynolds will see 15-20 carries.
  • If Gibbs returns from injury before Montgomery, he would be a fantasy starter.

Jameson Williams scores despite a decreased role: Williams scored a 45-yard touchdown in his second game back but didn’t play as much as last week.

  • Amon-Ra St. Brown missed last week due to injury but played this week without limitations. Josh Reynolds wasn’t 100% last week, but he wasn’t restricted.
  • Williams played seven of 29 snaps in 12 personnel, six of 36 in 11 personnel, and all three snaps from 01 personnel.
  • This was fairly similar to how he was used late last season.
  • Williams could be considered a sell-high candidate at this point. His role could increase this season, but he is currently fifth on the team in routes run. A few increases might only get him to around 50% of the offensive snaps.
  • He will still be a threat to make a big play each week, making him an acceptable option for DFS.

Rachaad White dominates snaps but not touches: White continues to play roughly 75% of offensive snaps each week, but he wasn’t given many opportunities.

  • He ran the ball seven times for 26 yards. He had run the ball at least twice as many times in every other game this season.
  • The Buccaneers started the game focusing on the pass. They threw on 10 of their 14 plays in the first quarter.
  • White ran the ball three times in the first quarter to one run by Ke’Shawn Vaughn.
  • The two split carries in the second quarter with three each.
  • The Buccaneers barely had the ball in the third quarter. And while down two scores, they passed every play in the fourth quarter.
  • White has been held to under 4.0 yards per carry in four of five games this season. They were facing one of the best teams at stopping running backs, but this game seemed like another step closer to Tampa Bay potentially trying someone else at running back in the run game.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Lions rookie tight end sensation Sam LaPorta was questionable coming into this game, but his playing time and targets were not limited.
  • Buccaneers rookie wide receiver Trey Palmer was targetted six times, doubling his previous season high, but his percentage of offensive snaps took a slight dip compared to the previous two games.

New York Giants @ Buffalo Bills

Monitor Damien Harris’ health: Harris suffered a neck injury on his only carry and was taken to the hospital.

  • He gave a thumbs-up before being placed inside the ambulance and has movement in his arms and legs.
  • The Bills have used James Cook significantly in their clear victories but have gotten their veterans more involved when they are playing from behind.
  • That remained true in this game. Latavius Murray took nearly as many carries as Cook and was used on third downs. It was Murray who took the snaps that Harris would have seen.
  • Murray is worth picking up off the waiver wire, as he’s getting used in goal-line situations and on passing downs.
  • His upside could be higher than Cook’s because of the goal-line work, even if Cook has generally played better as a runner.

Wan’Dale Robinson fully takes over the slot role: He had been rotating with Parris Campbell, but Campbell didn’t see an offensive snap in this game.

  • Robinson missed the first two weeks of the season but was ready for a limited role in Week 3. He played only 11 snaps but caught four passes for 21 yards.
  • His playing time shot up past Campbell’s in Weeks 4 and 5. He played 64%-67% of offensive snaps and caught five passes in each game.
  • Campbell started the season as the top slot receiver, playing about two-thirds of snaps in the first two weeks. That dropped to 42% in Week 3, 31% in Week 4 and 22% in Week 5.
  • Robinson took 100% of snaps in 11 personnel in this game, along with a few snaps in other personnel groups.
  • He set season highs in receptions (eight) and receiving yards (62).
  • Robinson should be a waiver wire target in deeper leagues.
  • Campbell can be cut in most leagues, although the Giants could trade him in the next few weeks.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • The Bills continued to use Khalil Shakir and Trent Sherfield more than Deonte Harty, but it was Harty who scored a touchdown in this game.
  • Dalton Kincaid missed this game with a concussion, resulting in Dawson Knox being the clear primary tight end for Buffalo. He only caught three passes for 17 yards.
  • Saquon Barkley had missed the last three games due to injury, but he played with no restrictions in this game. He can safely be put in fantasy starting lineups again.
  • Giants rookie wide receiver Jalin Hyatt seemed to be taking over the outside receiver job opposite Darius Slayton. In Week 4 he played 60% of snaps, but that dropped down to 46% last week. He played much more than Isaiah Hodgins in this game, giving a clear sign he will be a top receiver for New York going forward.

Table Notes
  • Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.
  • Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.
  • Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.

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