Studs, Duds, & Sleepers: Week 6

October 10, 2019

Week 6 is the halfway mark for many fantasy leagues, and if that is the case for your league, you can’t afford many more roster blunders. So with that in mind, here are my Studs, Duds, & Sleepers for Week 6. Good luck!

Studs:

Lamar Jackson, QB, Bal:
I am no Lamar Jackson believer, and he has come back to earth the past few weeks, but here is what I am a believer in: the Bengals defense is bad and the Ravens running game is good. This is just a poor matchup for the Bengals and a great one for Jackson. The Bengals defense is ranked 31st, surrendering 167.5 ypg and the Ravens run offense is ranked 2nd, gaining 192.2 ypg on the ground. A big part of that is Jackson and his mobility. Throw in the fact that only two teams who have played five games have less than the Bengals six team sacks, and Jackson is going to have himself a day this weekend. If I were a betting man, I would put the over/under overall touchdowns for Jackson at 2.5 and I would take the over.

 

Patriots Defense:
The Patriots lead the league in the following defensive categories: ypg (238.4), passing ypg (160.4), ppg (6.8), passing touchdowns surrendered (0), interceptions (11), sacks (24), and opponents quarterback rating (44.0). They have surrendered just two touchdowns in five games. Right now, Bill Belichick’s number one ranked defense is a nightmare for all quarterbacks. For a rookie, it’s almost not fair. Poor Daniel Jones is going to be facing this Patriots defense on a short week and will be without Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard. I am not sure there has ever been a more sure fire 25+ point week for a defense.

 

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Car
Through five weeks, McCaffrey is the hands down MVP and could (and probably should) be on this list every single week, regardless of the matchup. This week though, he has a good matchup as well. The Bucs defense is ranked 27th overall, giving up nearly 400 ypg. Though their run defense doesn’t give up a bunch of yards, part of that is probably because opponents have been busy torching the Bucs league worst pass defense for 323.6 ypg and McCaffrey is every bit as dangerous receiving as he is running. Expect another 25-30+ point outing for McCaffrey this week.

 

Deshaun Watson, QB, Hou:
Watson has had an odd season. His overall numbers are good, but he has been woefully inconsistent from week to week. Think about this for a minute, he has as many games with 160 yards or less as he has 300+ yard games (2); this year, he has yet to have back-to-back games with 200+ yards passing, nor has he had back-to-back games with touchdown passes. On top of that, he has been sacked 18 times. However, Watson is coming off his best game yet – 0 sacks, 426 yards, 5 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 84.8% completion, a rating of 158.3 and an astonishing 95.7 QBR. This week, he gets a Chiefs team, which doesn’t have a great defense and is more than happy to get into shootouts. That should mean big numbers for Watson.

 

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Hou:
While Watson has been inconsistent, Hopkins has been flat out disappointing. Despite being arguably the best receiver in the game, he ranks 29th in ypg with a pedestrian 69.4 ypg. But, in a big game against a shaky Chiefs defense, I predict a breakout game for Hopkins this week and if you happen to have him and Watson, you may have yourself a very good week.

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Duds:

Todd Gurley, RB, LAR:
Few players have been more frustrating and disappointing for owners than the 2019 version of Todd Gurley. Though he is averaging a respectable 4.2 ypc, the Rams have really cut back on his touches (less than 13 carries per game), and as a result, he ranks 18th in rushing yards – behind Carlos Hyde, Aaron Rodgers, and the 80 year old Frank Gore – and his matchup against a tough 49ers front seven is not going to help.

 

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pit:
Speaking of disappointments, Smith-Schuster would definitely be high on that list as well. He was a first round pick in most leagues, but currently ranks 34th in ypg (66.6) and has just two touchdowns. Now, with the Steelers expected to roll out their third string quarterback, an undrafted rookie from Samford, on the road against the Chargers 8th ranked pass defense, expect all Steelers to lose their fantasy value, but none more so than Smith-Schuster.

 

Daniel Jones, QB, NYG:
I like Daniel Jones and he is having a solid rookie season, but not this week. Like I said above, the Patriots lead the league in: ypg (238.4), passing ypg (160.4), ppg (6.8), passing touchdowns surrendered (0), interceptions (11), sacks (24), and opponents quarterback rating (44.0). They have surrendered just two touchdowns in five games and zero through the air. For a rookie quarterback, facing this Patriots defense on a short week and without Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard, this is a nightmare.

 

Nick Chubb, RB, Cle:
Chubb is having a great season. Coming into Week 6, he is ranked 4th in rushing yards per game, despite his brutal offensive line. This week though, I wouldn’t bet on Chubb. He will be going up against a Seattle defense which ranks 4th in rushing ypg, despite playing some of the best backs in the game. Take a look at the backs the Seahawks have played and what those backs have (or have not) done. The Seahawks have played Joe Mixon (10 yds, 1.7 ypg, 0 TD), James Conner (33 yds, 3.0 ypc, 1 TD), Alvin Kamara (69 yds, 4.3 ypc, 1 TD), David Johnson (40 yds, 3.6 ypc, 0 TD), and Todd Gurley(51 yds, 3.4 ypc, 2 TD).

 

LeVeon Bell, RB, NYJ:
Bell was here last week because he ranked 22nd in ypg (54.3). Believe it or not, he dropped this week. He now ranks 25th in ypg (51.5) and 47th in ypc (2.9) and still has zero rushing touchdowns on the season. While getting Sam Darnold back should help him, it isn’t going to be noticeable this week with a matchup against a good Cowboys defense.

 

Sleepers:

Giovani Bernard, RB, Cin:
As I said in this week’s Waiver Wire Report, Bernard’s value is certainly not based off what he has done or his role in the Bengals offense thus far, but based off what I believe will be an expanding role over the next few weeks. With all the injuries the Bengals still have at the wide receiver position – A.J. Green still out, John Ross down for another seven weeks – Bernard’s role should be expanding, and I predict that will happen this week.

 

Chris Thompson, RB, Wash:
Another Waiver Wire Report running back option, I expect a big week from Thompson for two reasons: 1) a new coach – teams often respond the week after a coach firing, and 2) he gets to play the Dolphins. Everyone who plays the Dolphins should probably end up on this list one way or another.

 

Matt Ryan, QB, Atl:
The Falcons have to be one of the biggest team disappointments thus far, and as a result, Ryan and his season have kind of flown under the radar. Ryan ranks 2nd in ypg (331) and touchdowns (11) and 3rd in completion percentage. That being said, seems like most owners have been reluctant to start him for whatever reason. Well, with a Week 6 matchup against a bad Cardinals defense, expect big numbers again for Ryan.

 

Baker Mayfield, QB, Cle:
Mayfield has been awful this year. But, if there is one thing that causes him to play well, it is when people talk bad about him. Remember when Rex Ryan blasted him? He had his only good week of the season. This week, he has been getting blasted by everyone, everywhere – and whether or not the silly handshake story is real or manufactured – you can bet that boulder which is permanently affixed to this kids’ shoulder grew this week, and he will get to take out his anger on Seattle’s 26th ranked pass defense.

 

DeVante Parker, WR, Mia:
No one on the Dolphins roster has been a worthy start all season, but Parker could change that this week. Another member of my Waiver Wire Report, he seems to be getting something going with Josh Rosen. Over the last two games, Parker has seven receptions and 126 yards on 10 targets. The Dolphins have played four games this year, and in the three not against the Patriots, Parker is averaging 3+ rec, 65+ yds, 20+ ypc.

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