This is the Two-Minute Drill: Fantasy Musings from Week 6!
Travis Kelce and Isiah Pacheco steal the show on Thursday Night
Kansas City’s controlling the game and winning over Denver was not surprising. Travis Kelce finishing with nine catches for 124 yards and a 23 percent target share was not surprising. However, the receiving output from second-year RB Isiah Pacheco remains a pleasant surprise. Pacheco caught six passes for 36 yards. He has 17 receptions on the season after catching only 13 total last season and is on pace to rush for over 1,000 yards. Pacheco is an integral part of the Kansas City offense and has a chance at finishing as an RB1 this season.
Kelce has had a lot more attention for his life off the field, but he continues to be the best TE in the league and one of the most important players to their team in football. He finished last week’s game and played this week despite an ankle injury.
Zay Flowers Finds the End Zone
Baltimore defeated Tennessee 24-16. Justin Tucker had six field goals, and Derrick Henry finished with 113 combined yards and a TD. But the fantasy takeaway of the day was Zay Flowers finally finding the end zone and scoring what should be the first of many TDs in his Ravens career. Flowers paced the Ravens with eight targets. This is the fourth time he has led Baltimore in targets already this season. The Todd Monken offense has yet to set the fantasy world on fire, but Flowers is a locked-in fantasy starter with upside.
Miami is a Fantasy Football Machine
The Dolphins fell behind 14-0 early to the winless Carolina Panthers but finished the game on a 42-7 run. Miami improved to 5-1 and set up a massive showdown with Philadelphia in Week 7. Raheem Mostert continued to produce league-winning production, finishing with 132 combined yards and three TDs. He now has 10 TDs on the season. Tyreek Hill entered the game as the WR1 overall and sported a 26 PPG average. Hill did not disappoint, with six catches for 163 yards and a TD- a 47-yarder. Jaylen Waddle scored for the second week in a row. Tua Tagovailoa passed for three TDs and no interceptions. Mike McDaniel is the smartest man on earth.
The Dolphins answered any questions about how they would rebound from the loss of De’Von Achane with an exclamation mark performance. Miami now has four games with 30 or more points scored. The NFL record is 13, set by the 2013 Denver Broncos. It would be a mistake to count out this Dolphins team from challenging that record.
Happy Kyren Williams Day
Last week, I wrote about the incredible target share and fantasy performances of Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua in LA’s loss to Philadelphia. This week, Kupp was magnificent with seven catches for 148 yards and a TD, while Nacua disappointed with season lows in catches and yardage. However, it was another Ram who stole the show. Kyren Williams rushed for a career-high 158 yards and a TD as The Rams won decisively over Arizona 26-9. After only four rushing yards in the first half, Williams took over in the second with 18 carries for 154 yards. Williams has the look of a league winner. He has six TDs on the season and no signs of slowing down. The Rams are 3-3 and host Pittsburgh in Week 7.
Editor’s Note: This was written before the news broke of Kyren Williams suffering an ankle injury in Week 6’s contest. The severity of the injury is not yet known as of this writing.
Drake London is Back.
The Atlanta Falcons outgained Washington 413-223 in yards yet lost 24-16. The Falcons lost, but fantasy managers won. Drake London had a season-high 27 percent target share and finished with nine catches for 125 yards – all season highs. The yardage total is a career high. London, the No. 8 overall pick in the 2022 draft, has come a long way since he inexplicably was targeted only once in Week 1.
Desmond Ridder has now passed for 300+ yards in back-to-back weeks, and the offense is showing signs of life. London has an alpha profile, and if he is going to receive this sort of alpha usage, he could be a massive fantasy contributor over the second half of the season.
Travis Etienne Smash Season
Etienne had a career day in Jacksonville’s London win over Buffalo, finishing with 184 combined yards and two TDs. On Sunday, Etienne added two more TDs as Jacksonville improved to 4-2 and at the top of the AFC South. Etienne has rushed for 451 yards on the season and is on pace to top his 1,125 yards from 2022. But what is most exciting about Etienne’s fantasy prospects is his increased usage as a receiver. He has 21 catches on the season after only catching 35 passes all 2022.
With this usage and the quality of the Jacksonville offense, Etienne can finish as a top five RB.
Christian Kirk ADP Winner
Christian Kirk signed a huge free agent deal with Jacksonville two summers ago. He went on to smash his ADP with an 84 catch, 1,108 yard, and eight TD season. He finished as WR12 overall. Despite Kirk’s strong season, drafters were head over heels for Calvin Ridley this past summer. Ridley steamed up to high-end WR2/low-end WR1 land, while Kirk quietly settled in as a WR3.
With six games in the books this season, it looks like another huge ADP win for Kirk drafters. Kirk has 33 catches to Ridley’s 26, has the same amount of TD catches (2), and has more receiving yards (384-363). If you remove Ridley’s huge Week 1 performance, Kirk has outscored him in PPR PPG 16.2 to 10.2.
Next summer, when drafters find another reason to fade Kirk, just sit back and take him at ADP.
Michael Pittman Target Hog
Like Kirk, Pittman saw a significant gap between his 2022 production and his 2023 ADP. Pittman fell to WR3 land, as drafters feared for the worst and an Indianapolis target volume-free fall. These concerns were greatly exaggerated, and Pittman is doing exactly what he did last year: siphoning targets. He now has four games with double-digit targets.
On Sunday, Pittman was targeted a season-high 14 times and finished with nine catches for 109 yards. He is now WR14 on the season. With Gardner Minshew behind center, Pittman can outproduce his 213 PPR point total from 2022.
Houston Wins, but Dameon Pierce Drafters Lose.
Houston won for the third time this season, equaling their record at 3-3. But for the first time this season, Devin Singletary out snapped Dameon Pierce (34-21). Singletary also had more routes run (18-7) and was targeted two times to Pierce’s target goose egg. The carries were a nearly identical split of 13-12 in favor of Pierce. This usage screams full-on split. Pierce managers must scramble, and he now falls into TD-dependent RB3 land.
Adam Thielen: Turn Back the Clock
Regarding WR steals, there is no greater ADP win right now than Adam Thielen. The 47-year-old Thielen (OK, I exaggerated his age slightly, he is 33) signed with Carolina this offseason to little fanfare. He was largely dismissed and fell to the double-digit rounds in every draft format. In Sunday’s loss to Miami, Thielen finished with 11 catches for 115 yards and a TD on a mind-blowing 37-percent target share. He is WR3 overall on the season and is having his best season since 2018. In a season full of remarkable storylines, Thielen is right up there.
Christian McCaffrey Injury Concerns
Christian McCaffrey has been sensational this season, but there are now concerns for fantasy managers. McCaffrey left San Francisco’s loss to Cleveland with an oblique injury. The extent of the injury is unknown, but this would be another seismic shift in the fantasy landscape if McCaffrey were to miss time. This season has been a mash unit injury-wise, and a week after fantasy managers lost Justin Jefferson and De’Von Achane, there is now a potential loss for the RB1 overall.
San Francisco also has concerns about the health of Deebo Samuel, who suffered a shoulder injury. Samuel is getting an MRI after X-rays came back negative. A tilting week is on tap in the City by the Bay.
Breece Hall and the Jets Improve to 3-3
The Jets evened their record out at 3-3 with a HUGE 20-14 home win over Philadelphia. Breece Hall had another strong fantasy performance. He struggled to get going on the ground, with only 39 carries, but he did find the end zone. Hall added an important five catches on five targets- trailing only Garrett Wilson in both categories. These reception totals were a season-high for Hall and showed the Jets willingness to get him the ball now for back-to-back weeks. With 42 touches in the last two games, Hall should be treated as a low-end RB1 moving forward.