Fantasy Football Rankings, Week 6: Model that beat experts says start DeSean Jackson, sit Ben Roethlisberger

Fantasy Football Rankings, Week 6: Model that beat experts says start DeSean Jackson, sit Ben Roethlisberger

Fantasy Football Week 6: What you missed, with injury updates for Devonta Freeman, Leonard Fournette, and Deshaun Watson

When it comes to human reproduction or throwing footballs, Rivers is one of the leagues most prolific athletes. Annually underrated by the fantasy community, the QB — whos finished inside the positions top-11 in total fantasy points eight of the last 10 years and hasnt missed a game ever as a starter — is on pace to annihilate career benchmarks in multiple categories, including touchdowns (42-TD pace), air yards per attempt (9.6) and pass yards per game (299.0). Inside the top-five in red-zone completion percentage as well, hes made the most of his opportunities by spreading the love to outside targets Keenan Allen and Mike Williams while dissecting defenses underneath with Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler. This week, however, modest numbers are in the forecast. Cleveland, rather staunch versus the pass, has surrendered just 6.7 yards per attempt and ranks inside the top-third in fewest fantasy points allowed to signal callers. Digging down, top-draft pick Denzel Ward has performed spectacularly, giving up a 50.0 catch percentage, 52.7 passer rating and 0.92 yards per snap to his assignments. Additionally, Gregg Williams aggressive defense is a magnet for turnovers, forcing 15 miscues in five games. With the Dawg Pound barking, Rivers notches a very mundane output in Week 6.

David Johnson, RB, Ari (98 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $33) Matchup: at Min Vegas line/total: Min -10.5, 43

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There is nothing worse than shelling out hard earned cash for an exorbitant, overdone steak. When you slap the wallet for whats supposed to be beautifully-trimmed center-cut filet, it better be tender. Johnson is the fantasy equivalent of a charred $40 chunk of beef. On draft day, investors bellied up to the table and spent their prettiest penny to acquire his services. In a transitioning offense, he was expected to be a volume king. All signs pointed to an exhaustive workload, one that many felt would rival Zeke Elliotts. Then Mike McCoy adorned a headset. Deployed sparingly as a receiver (4.4 targets per game; under 10 percent of routes run) and victimized by negative game scripts, hes seen dramatic declines in several categories from his mammoth 2016 campaign. Presently, he ranks RB51 in YAC per attempt (2.21), RB47 in tackles avoided per attempt (0.08) and RB57 in yards created per carry (0.30). His inefficiency begs the question: is he Jamaal Williams in disguise? Toss in a stacked front rate of 33.7 percent, Arizonas fifth-worst run-blocking line, and McCoys excruciatingly boring play calling, and its a miracle hes even RB14 in fantasy points per game. This week, matched against a Minnesota defense featuring premier run stuffers Linval Joseph, Anthony Barr and Harrison Smith, Johnson is a borderline play in shallow formats. As a unit, the Vikes have given up 3.97 yards per carry, 135.2 total yards per game, two total touchdowns and the eighth-most fantasy points to RBs. James White (vs. KC), Chris Carson (at Oak) and Carlos Hyde (vs. LAC) outshine him in Week 6.

Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 61 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 17 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.3 fantasy points

Ezekiel Elliott, Dal, RB (99 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $33) Matchup: vs. Jax Vegas line/total: Jax -3.5, 40.5

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Presumably, this is what youre thinking seeing Zeke on this list, This dude has gone full Khabib; jumped the fence and lost his damn mind! At least a portion of that statement is true. As the CEO of #TeamHuevos, being scared of bold predictions isnt my modus operandi. All players, no matter the name, are susceptible to flat fantasy performances. The leagues current rushing leader is no exception. More involved as a receiver this season, hes blazed a 2,032-total yard pace. Chipping in three TDs, hes RB6 in fantasy points per game output. Equally impactful under the hood, he checks in at RB7 in YAC per attempt (3.34), RB6 in breakaway run rate and RB5 in yards created. Elliott is a monster, a certifiable workhorse in a landscape overpopulated with timeshares. Still, a below-average effort in Week 6 is anticipated. So far this season, the Boys rusher has seen a stacked front only 25.8 percent of the time — a shocking number considering the lack of vertical weapons Dallas possesses. Understanding Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye wont be taxed in single coverage, Jags defensive coordinator Todd Walsh will have the luxury of creeping a safety into the box to overload the line. With Jacksonville allowing 3.62 yards per carry and the seventh-fewest fantasy points to RBs, its likely Elliott slams into multiple brick walls.

Fearless Forecast: 20 carries, 74 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 23 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 10.7 fantasy points

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Alshon Jeffery, Phi, WR (66 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $23) Matchup: at NYG Vegas line/total: Phi -3, 44

Jeffery is fantasys version of the Girl with the Red Balloon, an original Banksy painting that upon selling for $1.4 million dollars at auction last week self-destructed in front of stupefied onlookers. Two weeks ago the receiver returned to the field and provided instant riches to his loyal investors. Against the Titans he caught eight-of-nine targets for 105 yards and a touchdown. Last week, however, he followed up with a clunker, catching only two-of-eight Carson Wentz throws for 39 yards. Which version shows up Thursday night in New York is anyones best guess, but gut says the latter makes a cameo. The sky may be falling in the Big Apple given the mounting losses and the post-OBJ fallout, but B.W. Webb remains a bright spot. The corner, who Jeffery should clash most often against in Week 6, is quickly becoming one of the games best. Hes conceded a 58.8 catch percentage, zero touchdowns, 75.6 passer rating and 0.64 yards per snap. His teammate Janoris Jenkins has fared far worse, but given Wentzs affections for Zach Ertz, its entirely reasonable to believe Jeffery remains largely under wraps for the second straight week.

Drew Brees will not be breaking any more records this week as he and his New Orleans Saints are on bye, along with Matthew Stafford and his Detroit Lions. So do not look for TreQuam Smith or Kerryon Johnson to make the columns as under-the-radar booms or busts. No worries, fantasy football fans! There are still plenty of other under-the-radar booms and busts to peg.

Demaryius Thomas, Den, WR (55 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $19) Matchup: vs. LAR Vegas line/total: LAR -7, 52.5

With the exception of a very select few, at some point in every established players career the tables turn. Whether its a stagnant offense, pressures from up-and-coming talent, physical setbacks or good old Father Time, erosion inevitably occurs. The decline for the 30-year-old Thomas may already be underway. At WR36 in average fantasy points per game, hes languishing in myriad superficial and advanced metrics. Most alarming, he ranks outside the top-30 in total air yards, target share (20.4%), red-zone target share (WR42) and yards per target (7.0, WR63).

Demaryius Thomas has been largely — shockingly — unproductive this fantasy season. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)MoreThough his catchable target rate is the 15th-best among all wide receivers, hes hauled in just 64.1 percent of his intended looks; WR58 in the category. If Vance Joseph really wants to stay employed, he would feature Courtland Sutton more at DTs expense. Based on this weeks matchup, thats a possible development. To be fair, the Rams have struggled in Aqib Talibs absence. Uncharacteristically, Marcus Peters and Talib replacement Sam Shields have yielded a combined eight touchdowns, 128.8 passer rating and 2.10 yards per snap to their assignments. Its a favorable opponent on paper, but when contemplating Case Keenums inefficiencies targeting Thomas (91.1 passer rating, WR62) along with the wide receivers general underwhelming efforts, it could mean increased looks for Emmanuel Sanders and/or Sutton.

RB: T.J. Yeldon, Jax (at Dal; $23) – Death, taxes and Leonard Fournette soft tissue issues: these are lifes consistencies. With the incumbent sidelined once again, Yeldon, the 11th-most valuable rusher in .5 PPR netting 90.4 total yards per game, is expected to shoulder the load. With Corey Grant also out, hes Jacksonvilles unrivaled top option. And, no, Jamaal Charles isnt a threat. Still, the matchup is unappetizing. Dallas has given up 3.30 yards per carry and the 10th-fewest fantasy points to RBs. This week, Yeldon is FLEX worthy but not much more. (14 atts, 46 yds, 5 recs, 32 yds, 0 tds, 10.3 fpts)

RB: Alex Collins, Bal (at Ten; $18) – Plagued by John Harbaughs infatuation with Buck Allen near and inside the red zone, Collins has exited the circle of trust. Hes tallied just 48 percent of the opportunity share. Making matters worse, hes experienced a sharp drop-off in yards after contact per attempt (17: 2.98; 18: 2.12), though hes maintained a viable 22.8 missed tackle percentage. Tennessee has bent (4.40 ypc allowed to RBs), but not broken (0 TDs) on the ground this year. Overall, given Collins diminished role, inserting him into most starting lineups is not recommended. (FF: 13 atts, 56 yds, 1 rec, 8 yds, 0 tds, 6.9 fpts)

WR: Will Fuller, Hou (vs. Buf; $22) – Streaks are made to be broken. For Fuller, his flurry of touchdowns came to a screeching halt last week against Dallas; his first scoreless game in eight contests with Deshaun Watson at the helm. Owners who bank on TDs are chasing ghosts; theyre unpredictable, often erratic and, inexplicably in the case of Julio Jones, an extremely rare occurrence. With Keke Coutee ascending and weighing a Bills secondary thats yielded the fifth-fewest fantasy points to WRs, Fuller adds to his latest trend. (FF: 4 recs, 66 yds, 0 tds, 8.6 fpts)

TE: Eric Ebron, Ind (at NYJ; $16) – Ebron went bonkers last week, setting the pace at the tight end position, but the Jets arent puddle jumpers when it comes to checking TEs. Theyve allowed an average 3.0-33.4-0.2 line to plus-sized targets. His 18.5 percent target share and prominent red-zone role are enticing, but a return to his stagnant Week 3 numbers seems most likely. (FF: 5 recs, 46 yds, 0 tds, 7.1 fpts)

DST: Denver Broncos (vs. LAR; $10) – For the 66 percent of sickos who still believe the Broncos are effective defenders, please, by all means, continue your self-torture and start them. Theyve surrendered 7.9 pass yards per attempt and 5.55 yards per carry to RBs. Remember, Denver features one Von Miller, not 10. This isnt the D your memory recalls. Vance Josephs poorly-coached club would get shredded by Johnny Manziel (thats probably not an exaggeration). Against the Rams, Jared Goff tees off. Cut them loose. (FF: 27 PA, 457 YDSA, 2 SCK, 1 TO, 2.0 fpts)

#TEAMHUEVOS PICKS OF THE WEEK Each week one fortunate guest prognosticator will have a chance to silence the Noise. Following the rules stated above, participants are asked to submit their Flames (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 D/ST) by midnight PT Tuesdays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?

Brads record: 30-16 (WK5: 6-3; W – Carlos Hyde, Adrian Peterson, Tyreek Hill, Alex Collins, Doug Baldwin, Tennessee D/ST; L – Aaron Rodgers, DeAndre Hopkins, Rob Gronkowski)

Want to bull rush Brad? Follow him on Twitter @YahooNoise. Also check out his TV show, The Fantasy Football Hour, now available in 91 million households on various regional sports networks, and his award-nominated podcast, The Fantasy Record.

Need Fantasy Football lineup advice? Talk to CBS Sports on your Google Assistant to get insights on the best sleepers and to help decide between players. Just start with, “Hey Google, talk to CBS Sports.”    

This certainly isnt the way we hoped Freemans season would go, after he already missed three games with a bone bruise in his knee. Now, hes dealing with a bone contusion in his foot, an injury NFL Networks Ian Rapoport notes puts Freemans availability for Sunday in doubt. Well watch this through the rest of the week, but at this point, you should expect to see a heavy dose of Tevin Coleman — who had just one game with 10 or more Fantasy points in the three games Freeman missed prior.

We knew this would be a multi-week injury, so the question here is how long Fournette might take to return. Hes been ruled out for Week 6, and one outlet reports he may sit out through Week 10. The Jaguars are on a bye in Week 9, so that wouldnt be terribly surprising, though it would mean Fournette will miss four games over five weeks before coming back. Obviously, hes worth stashing, but this could be an issue that stretched until close to the Fantasy playoffs, making T.J. Yeldon a must-own player moving forward.

Miller was in uniform but didnt see the field in Week 5, but it looks like hell be out there on the field this Sunday. Miller was a limited participant in practice Wednesday, but both he and coach Bill OBrien have told reporters in recent days they expect him to play. One thing to watch will be whether Miller continues to cede time to Alfred Blue, who started in his place. In Week 4, Miller had just one more carry than Blue, while Blue saw three targets and Miller had none — though most of Blues touches came in the fourth quarter, so it may have been the result of the injury. Either way, Miller may not be a workhorse immediately upon his return, and he hasnt been efficient on a per-touch basis, making him a middling Fantasy option even when healthy.

Well know more about their statuses for Week 6 when the Rams practice Thursday, because Wednesday was just a walkthrough for the Rams. Coach Sean McVay has expressed optimism about both Kupp and Cooks chances of playing in Week 6, but that decision isnt up to him; they need to clear the league-mandated concussion protocol first. That could happen Sunday, but you need to have contingency plans at the ready in case one or both cant make enough progress in time for the weekend.

Coach Frank Reich told reporters Wednesday both Hilton and tight end Jack Doyle (hip) are week-to-week with their injuries, both of which forced them to miss Week 5. ESPN reported Wednesday neither is expected to play, and that doesnt necessarily come as a huge surprise for Hilton, whose injury was considered a multi-week one when he first suffered it. Well watch this for the rest of the week, but it looks like another big opportunity will be there for the likes of Ryan Grant, Zach Pascal, Chester Rogers, and Eric Ebron, the latter two of whom can be viewed as starting Fantasy options for Week 6.

A short week after Monday nights game makes this tricky, but this is a good first step. Obviously, both will need to improve as the week goes on, but Peterson has told reporters he expected to play through his injury. If not, well see plenty of Kapri Bibbs and Samaje Perine for Washington, though it would be tough to get excited about either.

So who should you sit and start? And what shocking QB could win you Week 6? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB finishes in the top 10 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.  

Though he can be found covering three different sports depending on the time of year, there is one unifying theme in how Chris Towers approaches sports; “Wheres the evidence?” It doesnt matter how outlandish… Full Bio


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