Dallas continues to play in high-scoring thrillers, and although they won on a field goal as time expired Sunday, the Cowboys lost Dak Prescott to a devastating season-ending leg injury that left the stadium quiet (aside from tears). It’s a brutal loss (although encouraging to see Alex Smith provide hope by returning from a similar-looking injury earlier in the day), both for the Cowboys and fantasy managers, as Prescott entered having scored the most points through four weeks in the history of fantasy football (and he was on pace to blow past the NFL record with 800+ pass attempts as well).
Andy Dalton becomes a must-add in Superflex leagues given the Cowboys’ surrounding talent, but the Prescott loss no doubt hurts the fantasy values of Ezekiel Elliott and especially the Dallas receivers. CeeDee Lamb looked like a young Michael Irvin while commanding seven more targets than any other Dallas player Sunday (the Giants had gone an NFL-high eight straight games without allowing a 100-yard receiver). Dalton had a nice late hookup with Michael Gallup, but with Lamb’s emergence, it might take an Amari Cooper injury for Gallup to be anything more than a fringe flex option moving forward. Dallas next gets an Arizona defense that’s held fantasy receivers in check this season.
As for Zeke, while the QB switch could lead to Dallas being more run-heavy, it will also lead to fewer scoring chances (and possessions in general), and any change in his career-high work as a receiver is obviously bad news. The Dak injury is a bummer all around … Devonta Freeman has looked competent enough to run away with New York’s lead back job, which makes him flex worthy in today’s RB environment.
Darius Slayton’s big game could’ve been bigger if not for a TD catch being nullified by a questionable penalty. He should remain locked in fantasy lineups … Evan Engram had a rushing score (and another TD called back by penalty during a nice fake field goal) but managed just 16 yards on two targets in a highly favorable matchup. While health looked like Engram’s biggest concern entering the year, skill has been the problem in 2020, as Engram has seen the lowest average intended air yards (4.7) in the NFL this year and has been a complete fantasy bust despite the Giants losing Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard (Engram also has run the second-most routes among tight ends while seeing the fourth-highest target share).
Daniel Jones has struggled badly this season and has the most fumbles since entering the league (on a side note, the Cowboys have already lost as many fumbles this year (seven) as they did all of last season), but the Giants’ supporting cast has also been much worse than expected (and his schedule has been incredibly difficult). Still, Danny Dimes can run and had some monstrous fantasy weeks as a rookie, so he was a gigantic fantasy dud Sunday in a game that totaled 81 points. He currently sits with a 2:8 TD:TO ratio through five games this season.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire had just 10 carries and secured only 3-of-8 targets while failing to score yet again with KC as 13.5-point home favorites against a Raiders defense that entered allowing the most fantasy points to running backs this season. The rookie has been unlucky at times (including having a TD catch called back by a questionable penalty Sunday), but he hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 1 despite getting lead back touches in a strong KC offense, so his “MEH” alternative nickname might begin to gain more steam (he even leaves the field for the pedestrian Darrel Williams on passing downs despite all that receiving production in college). Still, as frustrating as it’s been, it was nice to see the eight targets, and all the goal-line gadgetry figures to eventually start going his way, so I’m buying if an Edwards-Helaire manager is selling … Derek Carr was fantastic (11.2 YPA) going into Kansas City and becoming the first QB to record multiple TD passes against them this season (he had three by halftime). Carr wasn’t reluctant to throw deep with the return of Henry Ruggs, as the Raiders pulled off the upset and ended my Survivor year.
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons
Teddy Bridgewater’s numbers could’ve been even bigger with a better game script, as Matt Ryan has one TD pass over his last 11 quarters. Missing Julio Jones hurts (and Russell Gage had a bad drop), but Ryan is really struggling (note that Dan Quinn has been fired) … Todd Gurley is up to five touchdowns on the year but certainly benefitted from Sunday’s highly favorable matchup; now would be a good time to try to trade him … Mike Davis saw another 10 targets and is a borderline top-three PPR back without CMC … While DJ Moore had this nice 57-yard score Sunday, Robby Anderson countered with this one-handed grab and has clearly emerged as Carolina’s No. 1 receiver. He should be treated as a top-15 fantasy wideout moving forward.
Los Angeles Rams @ Washington Football Team
Alex Smith replaced Kyle Allen, which is a very cool story and impressive considering the 17 surgeries he’s undergone, but 2.2 YPA suggests we may see more Allen (if healthy) in the future. With Dwayne Haskins looking more likely to be traded than start another game for Washington, Terry McLaurin better hope Allen does get healthy. Smith would be a problem for his fantasy value (of course, entering mid-game and facing Aaron Donald, who had a career-high four sacks Sunday, weren’t the easiest circumstances) … The Rams’ backfield is going to be the toughest to predict weekly, while Tyler Higbee can no longer be trusted in fantasy lineups.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
Deshaun Watson predictably had a big game with Bill O’Brien gone and facing a Jaguars defense dealing with a bunch of injuries, and Brandin Cooks bounced back with a huge game one week after putting up a zero in many DFS lineups … David Johnson didn’t cede any work to Duke Johnson with the coaching change, while Darren Fells would enter the TE picture should Jordan Akins continue to miss games … Laviska Shenault saw a team-high eight targets and an unproductive DJ Chark leave with an ankle injury, so the rookie’s fantasy value is clearly pointing up.
Arizona Cardinals @ New York Jets
With Joe Flacco starting while missing LT Mekhi Becton and Adam Gase still coaching, it almost feels like a win that the Jets were able to score a touchdown. Jamison Crowder is their only viable fantasy player … Chris Herndon had a bad drop, while a goal-line TD saved Kenyan Drake’s fantasy day (Chase Edmonds has become the preferable back in PPR formats).
Philadelphia Eagles @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Chase Claypool became just the third rookie ever to score four touchdowns while routinely getting open downfield seemingly at will. Claypool’s workout metrics were off the charts, and he was getting the fifth-most fantasy points per target before Sunday’s eruption. With Diontae Johnson proving to be a big health concern and JuJu Smith-Schuster ranking bottom-three in average intended air yards, Claypool is clearly the top Week 6 waiver wire add (15% rostered in Yahoo leagues) … Miles Sanders gained 92.5% of his rushing yards Sunday on this unlikely carry against a Steelers defense that entered having allowed 99 yards on 47 carries (2.1 YPC) to running backs this season. Put differently, despite Sanders having a 74-yard TD run Sunday, the Steelers have yet to allow a back to rush for more than 80 yards this season … Travis Fulgham had an “Expert Consensus Ranking” of WR #95 this week — then he secured 10-of-13 targets for 152 yards and a score. His future value hinges on the Eagles’ WR health, but clearly, Fulgham needs to be added in fantasy leagues.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens won easily, but Lamar Jackson got just 4.9 YPA (while only rushing twice for three yards), and the running backs continued to offer no fantasy value, as Baltimore’s (somewhat) sputtering offense now gets a tough upcoming stretch (@Phi, Bye, Pit, @Ind, @NE). At least Marquise Brown scored for the first time this year … Joe Mixon has 151 rushing yards and three touchdowns in a game versus the Jaguars this year and 223 rushing yards with zero scores during his other three contests combined … A.J. Green looked droppable before Sunday’s injury, while Tee Higgins continues to emerge as Cincy’s wideout with the most fantasy upside. Joe Burrow has struggled to connect, but his willingness to throw deep should mean bigger things to come.
Miami Dolphins @ San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are dealing with a ton of injuries on defense and Ryan Fitzpatrick certainly took advantage of it, particularly attacking Brian Allen, who was promoted from the practice squad Saturday night. Preston Williams has looked incredibly sluggish while recovering from offseason knee surgery, even somehow managing just 15 yards last week against a Seahawks secondary that entered this week having allowed literally 500 more yards to wide receivers than the next worst team (and was missing Jamal Adams). With that said, Williams torched SF on Sunday … Raheem Mostert looked healthy during his return from a sprained knee and can be started with confidence moving forward, but it was an otherwise ugly performance by a 49ers offense that entered fully loaded for the first time. Jimmy Garoppolo was dealing with a high-ankle sprain but was absolutely brutal, and the coaches are not going to like watching the game film from this … The 49ers are 0-3 at home and 2-0 at MetLife Stadium, and their next eight games feature teams with a collective 19-5 record.
Indianapolis Colts @ Cleveland Browns
Kareem Hunt was treated like a workhorse without Nick Chubb and was productive in a tough matchup against a defense that entered ranked #1 in DVOA and allowing the fewest yards per play this season. Hunt is a top-five fantasy player right now … Trey Burton continues to emerge as Indy’s #1 tight end (and is a sleeper moving forward), as an ugly Philip Rivers pick-six helped the Browns win during this week’s only matchup featuring teams with winning records.
Minnesota Vikings @ Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson finished with just 217 passing yards but led Seattle with 58 rushing yards and added another three TD passes, including a late game-winner on fourth down after the Vikings bypassed kicking a short field goal to go up eight. DK Metcalf easily led Seattle with 11 targets, and the 22-year-old is on pace to record 16 touchdowns this season … Chris Carson’s growing role as a receiver continued with a career-high seven targets, and it’s safe to expect Tyler Lockett to bounce back after the team’s bye following a couple of quiet games … Adam Thielen has already matched last year’s TD total, while Justin Jefferson disappointed in a matchup against a defense that had allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers this season by a significant margin.
Dalvin Cook left with a groin injury, and Alexander Mattison impressed in relief (aside from missing this hole during Minnesota’s crucial fourth down), running for 112 yards (5.6 YPC) in one half against a Seahawks front seven that entered allowing just 44.3 rushing yards to running backs this season (only Pittsburgh had been stingier). Mattison would be an obvious must-start in all fantasy leagues as long as Cook is sidelined.