It is week seven of the NFL season and Neil Monnery brings us the latest fantasy news ahead of the fixtures this weekend...
"Drew Brees is falling down the weekly lists as he's up against the fearsome Ravens D this week but the game is the dome in New Orleans. This means I'm not as concerned as some other fantasy buffs."
What did we learn from Week Six?
It was the week where the star running backs reminded all of us just how valuable they are. Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon and Saquon Barkley all showed up and put up outstanding numbers. They were joined by the likes of Kareem Hunt, James Connor, Sony Michel and Latavius Murray in the 20+ point club in standard leagues. If you don't have a premier running back then you really need to scour the waiver wire for good weekly match-ups.
The appearance of Matt Brieda certainly caught me off guard. The early reports were that the 49ers RB was out for a few weeks following an ankle injury but the 23-year-old started the Monday night game. A total of 61 yards and a score isn't a great night but it was good enough to be the 14th highest scorer at his position. He is an excellent example of a player to target if you are looking to change it up in your backfield.
Throwing for 395 yards and four touchdowns nets Jameis Winston the top performer at QB this week. Going against the Atlanta defense is always a big tick for fantasy owners. This week it is the New York Giants who get that privilege. I wouldn't be rushing to stream Eli Manning but if you are unlucky enough to still own the two-time Super Bowl champion, this is a rare match-up to start him.
Mitchell Trubisky followed up his sensational display at home to the Buccaneers with another highly impressive outing in Miami. The 24-year-old threw for 316 yards and three TDs, enough to be the fifth highest scorer under Center and is enough for me to think he's now a good tier two QB option. The Pats are in town on Sunday and that should be another high scoring encounter.
On a personal level, the Sunday night game saved me to boost my record to 6-0 for the fantasy season. This was largely because of Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill running riot in the second half. The WR in particular is a boom or bust play but when he goes off, it is to a crazy degree. He has only been a top ten receiver twice in six weeks but both of those times he was number one.
The breakout of Marquise Goodwin shouldn't be overlooked. Seeing C.J. Beathard find him deep on Monday night for 126 yards and two TDs is enough to make the fantasy manager sit up and take notice. If the former Olympian is the go to deep threat for the new QB in San Fran then he's a WR2 play.
If you had Eric Ebron as a back-to-back top two TE then bravo. The Colts are finding ways to get him involved in their offense and it is fair to say he's clearly a top ten player at the shallowest of positions from now on.
On the negative front two big time QBs had stinkers with neither Jared Goff nor DeShaun Watson clearing eight fantasy points. I have no question marks regarding the former, who will bounce back this week. Cooper Kupp is expected to miss at least one week but that offense will put up points against San Francisco. However I'm a bit more sceptical on the latter, whose offensive line looked like a sieve against the Bills.
The backfield-by-committee that seems to be taking the NFL by hold is causing headaches for the armchair managers. A great example is in Green Bay where it is evident that Aaron Jones is the best player but he's splitting time with two others, which is just crushing his fantasy value. This is happening in several places and you should try and stay away from these teams is possible.
Week six injury news
Josh Allen won't be suiting up for Buffalo this weekend and if you are unlucky enough to be stuck with him then I'm guessing your record isn't great. Derek Anderson will start instead and he quite simply isn't a fantasy option unless you literally have nobody else available on your waiver wire.
A similar situation is playing out in Miami where Ryan Tannehill has been ruled out with Brock Osweiler getting his second start of the season. The man who got replaced for Denver's run to Super Bowl 50 glory by an ageing Peyton Manning actually played well on Sunday at home to the Bears. However, I'm fully expecting a regression to the mean. He's a better option than Anderson but they are very much at the bottom of the pile.
I rarely mention a small-time defensive injury but rookie Parry Nickerson is expected to match-up against Adam Thielan on Sunday and that is not good for the Jets. The Vikings receiver is a top WR1 option week in, week out but he is set for his best outing of the season. More than 150 yards and a score or two isn't unfeasible.
Evan Engram looks likely to return to the Giants for the Monday night game against Atlanta. Tight end is a weak position and this Falcons team can't defend for toffee. If you are in need of a TE and you can bring him in this week, do it.
Who to avoid this week
Drew Brees is falling down the weekly lists as he's up against the fearsome Ravens D this week. The game is outside in Baltimore but with the array of talent the Saints QB has at his disposal, he should still have a good night. DeShaun Watson is a worry though as he deals with his chest injury and I've already mentioned that I'm not expecting much of Brock Osweiler this week.
Cole Beasley had a great 101 yard, two score outing on Sunday against the Jaguars but expect a much more reserved performance against Washington. Another week six star that I expect to come back to Earth is Miami's Albert Wilson. This is directly linked to my opinion of Brock Osweiler.