2018 Fantasy Football Week 6 Market Report

Keep track of the week's risers, fallers and Penny Stocks.

Below, find all the NFL Week 6 news and moves that truly impact the fantasy football value needle, with no stone left unturned. We ground each breakdown in our Fantasy Stock Formula, analyzing which factor(s) have seen a change (Talent, Opportunity, Surrounding Talent, Coaching Scheme, Risk, and Upside) to identify Risers, Fallers, Penny Stocks, and Value Holes.

Week 6 wasn’t the most impactful week from a fantasy stock perspective. However, there are always players whose stocks are rising or falling, and Penny Stocks to target on this week’s Waiver Wire.

Be sure to bookmark the Fantasy Football Stock Watch to stay up-to-date and get the upper-hand on your fantasy football league.

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Emerging Alpha? Alshon Jeffery, Carson Wentz Clicking as Both Round into Form

For the second time in three weeks, Alshon Jeffery topped 20 FPs and played a true Alpha WR1 role. He hauled in 8-of-12 targets for 74 yards and 2 scores, both coming in the Red Zone. Jeffery was almost always Carson Wentz’s first look on broken plays, and the two are completely synced. Wentz himself looks back to 100%, completing 26-of-36 throws (72%) for 276 yards and 3 scores. He’s now topped 20 FPs in three straight contests, and can be safely inserted back into lineups as a rock-solid QB1. 

In 2017, Jeffery never topped 7 receptions, and logged 20 FPs just twice. In 2018, in just three contests, he’s already hauled in 8 balls on two separate occasions, and gone over 20 in both. With 29 targets over his first three games, Jeffery appears to be emerging as a true Target Hog. He’s risen to the WR18 in my ROS Big Board, with room to rise into the Top-10 if this continues. Doug Pederson‘s offense has typically spread the ball around, but the early evidence is pointing to a target vacuum. Steady volume from an elite signal caller would net Jeffery consistent Top-10 WR outputs, but his disappearance in Week 5 is a reminder of the low floor.

Meanwhile, Wentz should immediately rank in the Top 10 QBs moving forward. He’s back to full health, moving around fantastically in the pocket to buy extra times for his wideouts. Equally important, Pederson remains incredibly pass-heavy within the 20s, which gives Wentz a 2-3 TD floor, and 4+ ceiling each week.  He’s up to the QB9 on my ROS Rankings, with room to continue rising.

Corey Clement Stakes Claim to No.1 RB Duties in Eagles Explosive Offense

Despite being on a “pitch count” and coming off the bench, Eagles RB Corey Clement outgained and outplayed “starter” Wendell Smallwood. Clement racked up 69 total yards and a score on just 14 touches (3 rec.), as compared to a paltry 51 scoreless yards for Smallwood on 19 looks (2.68 per touch). Considering this lower touch ratio was by design as Clement was being eased in from his quad injury, his volume and fantasy outputs should only further ascend in the coming weeks.
Importantly, Clement emerged from this one unscathed, and should see his workload increase here on out. He looked far more explosive, and carried over his Red Zone presence from last year with a 1 yard scoring plunge. This overall offense is rounding into form as Carson Wentz gains health, so Clement’s RZ role will be imperative. He’s a quality FLEX, at minimum, moving forward. The high-end RB2 upside is real.
Meanwhile, Smallwood has to fall considerably in Season Long Rankings. He’ll remain a piece of this backfield, but likely more of a 10-15 touch guy between-the-20s, ceding the more valuable receiving and GL work to Clement (and eventually Sproles). This caps Smallwood’s ultimate ceiling and makes him tough to trust outside of desperate Bye Week situations.

Heading into Week 6, our man RedSocker had Jameis Winston as his #1 streaming option as he made his first start of the season against an Atlanta defense that’s been riddled with injuries and has allowed the third most points to opposing QBs in 2018. The Bucs may have lost to the Falcons on Sunday, but Winston did his part for fantasy owners, throwing for almost 400 yards and 3 TDs and leading all QBs with 30.9 points. He nearly lost his starting job altogether earlier this season, but moving forward could very well become an every-week starter.

The Bucs now lead the league in fantasy points per game from their starting QB, and while Ryan Fitzpatrick did more to accomplish that than Winston has, it still bodes well for Jameis moving forward. He was the leading QB in fantasy over the last 5 weeks of 2017, and in this pass-happy offense should continue to put up strong numbers even if the team isn’t winning games. Dirk Koetter and OC Todd Monken aren’t afraid to let Winston throw the ball deep, and that’s his specialty; in his career, Winston has attempted a deep pass (20+ yards) on 12.6% of his pass attempts, and on these attempts his passer rating is just under 90.

The schedule moving forward is a mixed bag for Winston, as next week brings the Browns, who’ve allowed the 6th-fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs. Week 8 gives him a matchup with Cincinnati, who’s allowed the 7th-most points to quarterbacks, and after that comes Carolina, who’s right in the middle of the league at #15 against QBs. But matchups aside, this offense is built for a QB like Jameis Winston, and his bevy of talented wideouts could propel Winston into QB1 territory.

Doug Baldwin Reclaims Top Spot on Russell Wilson’s Target Totem Pole, Buy Low?

Welcome to 2018, Doug Baldwin! After an injury-plagued start to 2018, the former fantasy beast appears to be rounding into form, hauling in 6-of-8 targets for 91 yards in the Seahawks’ demolition of the Raiders. Most importantly, Baldwin finally appeared to reclaim his rightful spot atop Russell Wilson’s Target Totem Pole, as the next-closest pass catcher had just four targets. 

With his health and usage feeling far more secure, Baldwin appears to be a fantastic Buy Low for owners who can absorb his upcoming Week 7 Bye. The Seahawks have begun 2017 as the run-heaviest team in the NFL, with a dead even 50 / 50 split in Pass-to-Run ratio (and just 42% pass rate in their last three). This feels like a mirage, as this defense is absolutely atrocious on paper, and should be yielding big leads (re: positive passing-game scripts, far more often than they have thus far.

In fact, three of their past four games have come against three of the league’s lowest scoring attacks in the Cowboys (13 points), Cardinals (17) and Raiders (3). No wonder they’ve been able to bleed clock! Contrastingly, in the 7 games after the Bye, only two contests versus the 49ers project as a low-scoring affair. Looming dates versus the Lions, Chargers, Rams, Packers, Panthers, Vikings, and Chiefs are all ripe for “catch up” mode. As a potential target-vacuum in these scenarios, Baldwin is truly ripe with sneaky WR1 upside. Buy Baldwin (and even Wilson) Now while everyone is puking about the run-heavy Seahawks.

David Njoku Tops Browns in Targets, Finds End Zone Against Chargers

Patience is a virtue. It took some time, but Njoku seems to be emerging as the breakout tight end we labeled him as entering the season. After accumulating nine catches for 69 yards through his first three weeks, Njoku has totaled 18 receptions for 176 yards and a touchdown over the three games since Baker Mayfield became Cleveland’s starter. The duo’s rapport seems to be growing as Njoku has seen an increase in targets each of the past three weeks, including a career-high 12-targets on Sunday against the Chargers.

If you practiced enough restraint to hold on to Njoku, congratulations. It appears you have a TE1 the rest of the way as Njoku leads the Browns in targets (30) over the last three weeks. The 2017 first-round pick is supremely talented and should continue to be Mayfield’s first or second option in the passing game. In a game where Mayfield completed only 20-of-41 passes for 223 yards and a score, Njoku owners have to be pleased with his target share.

In leagues that are played with grandmothers and pets, there’s still a slim chance you can acquire the tight end off of the Week 7 waiver wire. Surprisingly, Njoku is still available in 23 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Adam Thielen Tops 100 Yards for 6th Straight Week, Remains Fantasy’s Ultimate WR1

After bursting onto the scene in 2017 and finishing top 10 in the league in receptions and receiving yards, Adam Thielen has one-upped himself in 2018. He leads the NFL in both categories this season and has surpassed 100 yards in each of his first 6 games so far, averaging almost 10 receptions per game in the process. He’s clearly developed the same type of chemistry with Kirk Cousins that he had with Case Keenum, and he’s on pace for a historic year through 6 weeks.

Oh, that 100 yards in each of his first 6 games thing? Yeah, nobody in the Super Bowl era has ever done that. Pretty incredible, especially considering this guy was an undrafted free agent out of Minnesota State just a few years ago. Thielen has quickly become one of the most dynamic WRs in football, not only racking up a ton of receptions from the slot but turning them into big yards. Along with leading the league in receptions and yards he’s also tied with Antonio Brown for the league lead with 66 targets, and there are absolutely no signs anywhere that his usage will drop one iota anytime in the near future.

Head coach Mike Zimmer (obviously) has nothing but positive reviews for Thielen to this point in the year. He told the media after the game he doesn’t ever think there’s a ball that Thielen can’t come down with, and added:

“That’s how he is in practice every day. Adam has a great heart, he’s a really tough kid. He comes over to me and talks to me during the game about stuff that’s going on, and it’s always about, ‘These guys can’t guard me,’ and all the stuff like that.”

Thielen’s historic streak should continue at least another 2 weeks, as the Vikings play the Jets in Week 7, who have allowed the most yards to opposing slot receivers in the league in 2018, and the Saints in Week 8, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing receivers. He’s a 100% matchup-proof starter for the rest of the season, and if you drafted him anywhere near his 2018 ADP of 34, give yourself a few pats on the back for that one.

Tyler Boyd Remains a Target Vacuum, Scores Twice Against Rival Steelers

Tyler Boyd caught 7-of-9 targets for 62 yards and two touchdowns in the Bengals’ 28-21, Week 6 loss to the Steelers. His nine looks were second on the team to A.J. Green’s dozen. Boyd was the recipient of both of Andy Dalton’s touchdowns, from two and 14 yards out, and he had to make a diving catch on the two-yarder. He made a number of difficult grabs in this one, on a day where Dalton was off the mark. Boyd has been a steady WR2 for weeks and will stay that way next week against the pathetic Chiefs defense.

Boyd has continued to shine as the WR2 in Cincinnati’s offense this year. The injuries to the tight end group (Tyler Eifert/Tyler Kroft), and lack of progress from John Ross has really forced Boyd into a bigger role for the team. His red zone usage has been very promising to the point where he’s only a point and a half behind superstar AJ Green. Green drew a matchup with Joe Hadenprimarily on Sunday, leaving Boyd to work the rest of the struggling Steelers secondary. We love his matchup next week against the Chiefs, and owners have to be salivating after watching Tom Brady and the Patriots pick them apart on Sunday night.

LeSean McCoy Highly Used, Moderately Useful Again, Sell High for Fantasy

Indeed, LeSean McCoy was a fantasy disaster early in 2018; however, he’s finally finding some consistency these past two weeks. Despite playing in the league’s most anemic offense, McCoy has topped 10+ FPs in back-to-back contests thanks to a healthy volume spike. Most recently versus the Texans, Shady carried the ball 16 times for 73 yards (4.56 YPC) while adding 21 yards on 3 catches (5 targets). Though he’s a risky weekly bet with the worst “Surrounding Talent” grade in the game, McCoy still looks like his old shifty self, and can do damage with high volume.

Still, despite remaining one of the last remaining “Workhorses” in the league, McCoy is a recommended “Sell High.” He gets a juicy matchup versus the Colts, who surrender the 10th most FPs to RBs; if he feasts, move him immediately. The Bills average a league worst 12.7 PPG (8.7 over the last three), which completely caps McCoy’s ceiling — rare when you are literally the entire attack.

The only glimmer of hope for McCoy’s long-term value would be a trade. The Eagles are reportedly interested in a reunion, but the Bills ruined fantasy dreams by asking for a second-round pick. For whatever reason, amidst a lost year, Buffalo apparently like his locker room presence. A trade could give Shady long-term life, but if that’s a carrot that helps execute a fair deal (Jarvis Landry, anyone?), execute immediately.

New No.2: Saquon Barkley Continues Proving His Elite RB1 Worth, Despite Awful Team

Giants RB Saquon Barkley continues to transcend his nightmare overall offense and perform as a “Cheatcode RB1.” Against the Eagles, Barkley rushed for a season-high 130 yards on only 13 carries (10 YPC), while also leading the Giants in all receiving categories with 12 targets and 9 catches for 99 yards (second time this season). Barkley’s now scored over 60 FPs in his past two games, and has yet to dip below 17 on the season. He is the ultimate floor-ceiling combination, and Barkley now trails only Todd Gurley on my ROS Big Board.

As predicted, Pat “Bellcow Breeder” Shurmur has used Barkley as a true every-down workhorse. The horse leads all RBs in receptions (40) and yardage (373), while currently sitting at second in rushing (though he’s had one more contest). Though Barkley will occasionally try to “do too much” and lose yardage, his homerun ability is indisputable.  In this contest alone he logged a 50 yard TD run and 55 yard catch, a week after a 57 yard receiving score. He’s insanely elusive and has incredible long-speed for a man of his size (6’0″, 233 lbs), and can break tackles with the best of them.

Indeed, we lobbied Barkley as a locked-in Top-5 pick multiple times. But even still, he’s surpassing our sky-high expectations. The Individual Talent and Usage are perfect, and Barkley’s superseding the awful overall line and play of Eli Manning. He’s truly special.

Continue to the next page for the Week 6 Fallers and Penny Stocks 

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