San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams
The 49ers traveled during a short week missing Joe Staley, Mike McGlinchey and Kyle Juszczyk while facing a rested Rams team coming off a mini-bye yet somehow won easily despite losing the turnover battle. San Francisco entered with the sixth-best DVOA through four games ever (the other five teams all reached the Super Bowl) and were graded first in Pro Football Focus, so it’s safe to consider this team real, and the Rams have an excuse given the matchup (only the Patriots have allowed a lower Passer Rating than SF’s 62.5 this season), but Jared Goff still finished with a laughable 78 passing yards (he lost 22 yards and a fumble on four sacks). Normally bankable at home, Goff suffered from a Rams offensive line that’s playing much worse this season, but it’s not time to panic about LA’s offense despite the losing streak (the Rams have averaged 25.3 points over this stretch even after Sunday, compared to scoring 25.6 points during the team’s 3-0 start). Again, this SF defense is for real.
Malcolm Brown disappointed as a cheap option in many DFS lineups replacing Todd Gurley, but Darrell Henderson opened eyes when not losing a fumble to start the second half. He certainly seemed to earn more playing time and should be rostered in all leagues given Gurley’s health uncertainty, as there’s still upside for the back who set the college record for YPC … Robert Woods recorded the first rushing touchdown against the 49ers this season.
The UNDER hit big in a game featuring both teams ranked in the top-five in pace, and the 49ers’ offensive system continues to work better in real life than for fantasy gamers. Jimmy Garoppolo had a bad interception in the end zone and was lucky another wasn’t returned for a pick-six later, and there’s simply no SF receiver you can use outside of TE George Kittle … Tevin Coleman has emerged as the leader in San Francisco’s backfield, but Matt Breida will remain Flex-worthy in PPR leagues. This team leads the NFL in rushing attempts per game (39.0) despite having a non-running QB, so there are plenty of carries to go around.
Dallas Cowboys @ New York Jets
The once 3-0 Cowboys came in missing both of their tackles and lost Amari Cooper during the team’s first drive, and their offense was extremely quiet as a result until a couple of late touchdowns. Dak Prescott looked like a possible MVP candidate earlier in the season but has gotten fewer than 7.0 YPA without a TD pass in two of his last three games, and his numbers have been markedly different without Cooper in the lineup. Of course, Dallas now has an emerging Michael Gallup, who entered leading the NFL in yards per route run and will be a legitimate top-10 WR option with upcoming matchups against the Eagles and Giants, should Cooper miss time. Make trade offers for Gallup coming off the quiet game and hope those rostering him don’t realize just how valuable of a property they have … Ezekiel Elliott turned six targets into a season-high 47 receiving yards and will also be busier should Cooper be sidelined. Early reports suggest the star wideout is in “significant pain.”... Brett Maher connected on a 62-yard field goal.
The Jets entered averaging fewer yards per drive than Christian McCaffrey this season (h/t Kevin Clark) and having run just seven plays in the red zone all year without leading in a game since Week 1, but the return of Sam Darnold resulted in New York scoring more touchdowns in the first half (three) than they previously had all season. Darnold got 10.6 YPA against a Cowboys defense that entered bottom-five in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks this season, and his return greatly improves the fantasy outlooks for the rest of the roster (as will the schedule eventually easing up). It’s too bad Chris Herndon pulled his hammy, and any window to buy low on Le’Veon Bell has likely realistically passed … Robby Anderson’s weekly routine facing elite shadow corners continues next week against Stephon Gilmore, but this 92-yard touchdown revealed his tantalizing upside … Jamison Crowder didn’t match the 17 targets he saw the last game he played with Darnold, but he led the team again with nine and is going to be a fantasy force in PPR leagues moving forward.
Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kyle Allen had a mediocre game against a Tampa Bay defense that had been welcoming to fantasy quarterbacks, but the Panthers are now 5-0 when he starts and 0-9 when he doesn’t over their last 14 games … Jameis Winston set the tone early by throwing one of his five picks on the first play of the game, as he committed six turnovers and took seven sacks during his 400-yard passing game … The Bucs’ run defense proved legit against Christian McCaffrey, who still managed two touchdowns and another highlight-reel play … Chris Godwin is now regularly going to be ranked ahead of Mike Evans, while O.J. Howard is somehow behind Cameron Brate … This fair-catch-kick was pretty cool.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens’ defense entered allowing the second-most yards per play this season but held Cincinnati’s offense out of the end zone until less than two minutes were left for the backdoor cover, as Alex Erickson out-rushed Joe Mixon, who’s still searching for his first rushing score of the year … Tyler Boyd was a disappointment, while no Ravens WR stepped up in Marquise Brown’s absence … Mark Ingram scored but took a backseat to Lamar Jackson, who ran for 152 yards and a TD on 19 attempts. The rushing yards were the third-most in a game by a QB in NFL history, and Jackson is on pace to finish with 1,227 yards on the ground, which would shatter Michael Vick’s record.
Seattle Seahawks @ Cleveland Browns
Baker Mayfield is dealing with a poor offensive line, but his 12 turnovers are the most in the NFL and he simply has been one of the season’s biggest disappointments. He injured his hip Sunday (and presumably had medical aid to finish the game), and it’s something that may linger … At least I backed up O.J. Howard with Will Dissly in a few leagues … Chris Carson and Nick Chubb both have strong arguments as top-five fantasy backs, with the former surpassing 100 rushing yards each of the past three games, a span in which the latter has averaged 6.7 YPC while scoring five touchdowns. Rashaad Penny and Kareem Hunt whom?
Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes finished with strong numbers but aggravated his ankle injury and is clearly playing at less than full strength, although time of possession and game script contributed in the second half as well. He suffered his first pick in 292 attempts Sunday, which was the NFL’s longest streak … Tyreek Hill sure looked fully healthy, both on his first TD grab and during his celebration after the second one … Damien Williams scored but saw just two touches as the Chiefs somehow aren’t producing a valuable fantasy back despite entering averaging 450+ yards per game … Deshaun Watson didn’t take a sack for the second straight game, while Carlos Hyde ran well against one of the league’s worst run defenses … Keke Coutee failed to take advantage of his matchup without Kenny Stills, while DeAndre Hopkins turned in his fifth straight scoreless game while getting a paltry 4.6 yards per target.
New Orleans Saints @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Teddy Bridgewater just keeps winning, but this game was a big disappointment for fantasy gamers all around, with Alvin Kamara playing through an ankle injury and getting just 2.8 YPC against a Jacksonville run defense that entered ranked last in DVOA, and Michael Thomas managing only 7.4 YPT while being held out of the end zone despite Jalen Ramsey inactive. They travel to face the Bears next … Gardner Minshew and DJ Chark deserve a pass against a New Orleans defense that’s playing better than its season numbers indicate.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins ripped apart a shaky Philadelphia secondary, and the overdue Stefon Diggs regressed all at once. It’s going to remain difficult for both Diggs and Adam Thielen to have weekly fantasy value with Minnesota’s run-heavy ways, but it was certainly nice to see from Diggs, who saw the most air yards in the game Sunday by any wide receiver this season … Miles Sanders looked dangerous as a receiver out of the backfield, but thanks in part to his terrific blocking (in a deep-passing system), Jordan Howard is still the favorite for carries in Philadelphia. But Sanders actually leads all running backs in air yards this season … The Eagles attempted a fake field goal that didn’t end well, while Dallas Goedert recorded four catches before Zach Ertz had one … Alexander Mattison would be a must-start if the previously injury-prone Dalvin Cook were to go down and obviously needs to be rostered in all leagues.
Washington Redskins @ Miami Dolphins
The 0-5 Redskins didn’t cover the 3.5-point spread on the road but did get the victory, although Miami made a comeback after Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced Josh Rosen, even going for a two-point conversion to win the game at the end … Washington recorded four sacks in the first quarter but allowed the Dolphins to score their first second-half points of the season … Adrian Peterson predictably became a workhorse under new coach Bill Callahan, but he’ll be matchup-dependent, and his upcoming schedule is brutal (SF, @Min, @Buf, Bye) … Mike Gesicki led all tight ends in air yards in Week 6, while Terry McLaurin ranks second only to Michael Thomas in WOPR this season. He’s a borderline fantasy WR1.
Atlanta Falcons @ Arizona Cardinals
Matt Ryan and Kyler Murray both threw for 340+ yards and combined for a 7:0 TD:INT ratio, as the expected high-scoring affair lived up to the hype and would’ve been even higher scoring had Matt Bryant not missed an extra point that might’ve sent the game into overtime. Ryan has thrown for 300+ yards in seven straight games … The Falcons have a reputation that’s the opposite, but they entered allowing 10 fewer receiving yards per game to RBs than any other team. Nonetheless, David Johnson and Chase Edmonds both did major damage through the air (Edmonds is now a must-have given his ability and Johnson’s back issue). Not to be outdone, Devonta Freeman countered with two TD grabs of his own, while Austin Hooper predictably shredded an Arizona defense that ignores tight ends (while continuing his trend of producing when Atlanta is losing) … The Falcons’ defense is struggling mightily, but Murray played extremely well (9.2 YPA), making some terrific throws while missing Christian Kirk. He added 11 rushing attempts and gets an inviting matchup with the Giants next week.
Tennessee Titans @ Denver Broncos
The Broncos have followed an 0-4 start by not allowing an offensive touchdown over the last two games, as apparently they just needed to jettison Bradley Chubb … Marcus Mariota may have lost his job after his performance, while the emerging Courtland Sutton will see an even bigger boost in fantasy value should Emmanuel Sanders miss time (his injury is reportedly not serious).
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Los Angeles Chargers
A lot of it came in garbage time with the game out of hand, but Philip Rivers produced for fantasy gamers against a Steelers defense that entered as tough as any on quarterbacks this season, with Hunter Henry pulling down two fourth-quarter touchdowns and immediately re-entering the mix as a top-five tight end option … Keenan Allen was a bust against a Pittsburgh secondary that entered allowing the most fantasy points to the slot this season, and after scoring 10 touchdowns on just 66 targets last year, Mike Williams is scoreless over 38 looks to open 2019 … Benny Snell Jr. had more rushing yards than James Conner, Melvin Gordon, and Austin Ekeler combined and is the new handcuff to have in Pittsburgh with Jaylen Samuels sidelined, but Conner remains the feature back and finally broke multiple tackles during Sunday night’s game. The Chargers have only beaten the Dolphins since Week 1 and now go on the road to Tennessee and Chicago over the next two weeks, so LA’s backfield committee could remain a headache for fantasy gamers … Those who drafted JuJu Smith-Schuster early expected a little bit more than this.