While Bye Week may be a welcome respite for NFL players and coaches, it’s a frustrating and anxious time for fantasy owners.
Week 6 is perhaps our most significant week of byes yet with the Bills, Bears, Colts and Raiders all sitting out. As a result, fantasy owners have likely had to scramble to the waiver wire for flex options. Arizona Cardinals backup running back Chase Edmonds was one of the top pickups with starter David Johnson questionable with a back injury.
The Cardinals situation is an interesting one. Johnson, a first-round pick in most leagues, has slowly seen Edmonds eat away at his usage share and this week could be Edmonds’ biggest opportunity to shine. Of course, all that depends on whether Johnson plays, which may not be decided until Sunday afternoon.
Elsewhere around the NFL, Sam Darnold will be back under center for the New York Jets, which should provide a much-needed fantasy boost to the entire offense (deep breaths, Le’Veon Bell owners). We also have the curious case of trying to figure out who the Green Bay Packers will lean on against the Detroit Lions – will the return of Jamaal Williams limit Aaron Jones’ fantasy value despite his breakout performance?
To help fantasy owners with these dilemmas – and others – Stats Perform has pinpointed players at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end in a standard-scoring format that we project are either higher or lower than other experts’ rankings. For the consensus rankings, we’re using FantasyPros, which aggregates major fantasy sites’ picks, to compare our projections with others in the industry.
Stats Perform’s advanced analytics team has developed its fantasy projections based on a combination of our proprietary data and analysts’ input. Our rankings take into account opportunity as well as talent, so our feelings about how many fantasy points a player will score aren’t the same thing as how we feel about them as a player overall.
Here are Stats Perform’s top undervalued and overvalued players for Week 6:
Mayfield’s sophomore season has been underwhelming. He’s thrown just four touchdowns passes and an NFL-high eight interceptions, with a completion percentage of 55.9% (33rd in the league). Never was this disappointment more apparent than the Browns’ 31-3 loss to the 49ers, as Mayfield threw for just 100 yards and two interceptions.
Still, Mayfield’s a talented passer with impressive offensive weapons, and he’ll likely air it out this weekend against a Seattle Seahawks defense that has allowed 283.6 passing yards (26th in the league) and just 80 rushing yards per game (4th).
Garoppolo was on the other end of that Monday Night embarrassment for Mayfield and the Browns. He tossed two touchdowns on 69% completion for 181 yards, an efficient performance that has catapulted Garoppolo up the consensus rankings.
But our projections aren’t convinced yet. The 49ers still lead the league with 38.5 rushes per game, while averaging just 28.5 pass attempts (30th). Garoppolo lacks upside as the 49ers figure to continue leaning on their dominant run game.
The Chiefs’ running back situation has been a tumultuous one for fantasy owners. Williams and LeSean McCoy had split carries in Weeks 1 and 2 before Williams got hurt and McCoy and Darrel Williams took over the workload in Weeks 3 and 4. In Week 5, the script was flipped as Damien Williams dominated touches – carrying nine times to McCoy’s zero and hauling in three receptions as well.
Whichever back gets the lion’s share of carries within the Chiefs’ potent offense will be a valuable start for fantasy owners. Right now, that guy is Williams. Expect Williams to exploit a Houston Texans defense that is allowing 67.2 receiving yards per game to opposing running backs (30th in the league).
Zeke is consistently scoring touchdowns to buoy his fantasy value, but he’s still averaging just 77.2 rushing yards (9thin the league) on 17 carries (11th). Perhaps he’s no longer the focus of the Dallas offense.
That trend may continue as the Cowboys might not run much against the Jets. New York ranks fourth in opponents rushing average at 3.43 yards per carry, but sits 21st at 260.3 passing yards allowed per game. What’s more, if Dallas jumps out to a big lead, it could opt to rest Zeke in garbage time.
The Dolphins should not be touched in fantasy football. I repeat, the Dolphins should not be touch— wait, they’re playing the Washington Redskins? Then go ahead! Williams is our pick here because the Redskins are allowing 1.8 touchdowns (31st in the league) and 30 standard fantasy points (31st) to opposing wide receivers.
Williams hasn’t had a great season thus far, but he is leading Dolphins with 7.5 targets per game and seems to have won Josh Rosen’s trust. That’s enough to take a chance on Williams if you’re in need of a flex option this week.
Golladay has been a productive fantasy option so far, scoring four touchdowns and averaging 9 targets (tied for 9th in the league) through four weeks. He’s also been inconsistent at times, with just 4.8 receptions and 60.8 yards per game.
This week, he faces a tough matchup against a Packers secondary that may be undervalued due to a garbage-time explosion by the Cowboys in Week 5. Before that game, Green Bay had allowed just seven receptions per game to wide receivers and we expect a return to form against Golladay and the Lions.
Dissly has emerged as a top-tier fantasy tight end with four touchdowns and 4.6 receptions per game through five contests. He’s certainly earned the trust of Russell Wilson in the red zone.
Dissly’s matchup against the Browns seems a favorable one as the Browns have ceded four touchdowns to tight ends in their first five games. Our model reflects that matchup advantage, projecting Dissly at 0.5 touchdowns – the second-highest figure among tight ends.
To the relief of many fantasy owners, Kittle finally got into the end zone in Week 5. Despite this breakthrough, he still remains outside of our upper echelon of tight ends. This is no indictment on his ability, but rather on the mentality of the 49ers offense.
San Francisco remains the most run-dominant team in the league and Kittle – one of the best run-blocking tight ends – is a big part of that. Until that changes, Kittle, Garoppolo, and the rest of that passing attack will remain middling fantasy options.