Fantasy Noise: Week 6 Recap
Week 6 continued the trend of fantasy managers juggling players in and out of their lineups to account for injuries, byes, and ….. strep throat. Fortunately, no games were postponed but the Bills and Chiefs game was switched from Thursday night to Monday night.
The rollercoaster ride of the 2020 season though is in full swing though. Some fantasy managers are hoping injured players return so they can replace newly injured players. Some fantasy managers are riding high with deep waiver wire replacements producing (J.D. McKissic, Travis Fulgham, Keelan Cole) while others were dealing with the lows of the dreaded 0 points game (J. Brown, M. Gesicki, C. Akers).
However, one player continues his efficient ways, while another regresses and yet another disappoints.
Let’s get to the noise!
2019 was a historic year for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. The Ravens were 14-2, averaged 33.2 points a game, and Jackson was the M.V.P. Most people agreed though that because Jackson’s number were so incredible, that a slight regression was likely.
Through 6 games, regression is exactly what has happened as Jackson’s numbers are down across the board. Below are Jackson’s averages (except TDs) through the first 6 games of the last 2 years.
Pass Yards Comp.% Rush Yards Total Fan.
2019 - 251.17 67.2 76.7 13 32.2
2020 - 189.16 63 57.7 12 26.62
And it’s not just the Jackson managers that are feeling this regression. Managers of Jackson’s top 2 receivers are also dealing with this dip in production. Wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and tight end Mark Andrews were looking to step into the upper echelon of each of their respective positions but have been collateral damage of Jackson’s reduced production.
Hollywood Brown (through 5 games because of injury in 2019)
Catches Yards Ave. TDs. Fan.PTs.
2019 - 21 326 15.5 3 15.32
2020 - 22 319 13.8 1 12.24
2019 - 34 410 12.0 3 15.5
2020- 20 243 12.1 5 12.38
The Ravens though are still 5-1 and averaging just under 30 points a game. Fantasy managers don’t care about team records though, they care about player production and Jackson will always be productive because of his legs, but can he improve his passing enough to support top tier receivers as well? The Ravens have a bye in week 7 but return home for a tough week 8 matchup against division rival Steelers.
The definition of efficient is achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense. Since being released of Adam Gase’s constraints in Miami and being named the starter in week 7 in 2019 in Tennessee, Tannehill has been nothing but efficient in leading the Titans to the AFC championship game and a 14-4 record over the last 2 years.
In 2019, Tannehill threw 27 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. He completed 70% of his passes for 249 yards a game and had a passing touchdown rate of 7.7 good for 2nd in the league. From week 7 on in 2019, he had the 3rd most fantasy points among quarterbacks.
In 2020, Tannehill has thrown for 13 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. He’s completing 70% of his passes again and has a passing touchdown rate of 7.5 good for 2nd again in the league. He is 3rd in passer rating at 113.5 and 4th in QBR at 83.3. He’s also increased his passing yards per game to 273.5.
So far through 5 games, Tannehill's efficiency is translating to fantasy value as he’s averaging 29 fantasy points per game which has him sitting at 7th on a per game average. Coming into the season ESPN had Tannehill’s ADP at 163 overall (middle of the 13th round) in PPR scoring so if you were lucky enough to draft Tannehill this late he’s returned major value.
This week he gets a tough Steelers defense that has 8 interceptions on the year. Expectations should be lowered but expect efficiency.
Every off season there are polarizing players that divide the fantasy community. Leading up to the 2020 season though there was one player in particular that had people constantly debating. Tyler Higbee was a player that people were either with or against, with not much middle ground.
Higbee’s 5 game stretch to end the 2019 season was stuff of legend. Championships were won because of him. The little known player averaged 22.18 fantasy points (ESPN PPR) during that stretch and finished with over 100 yards receiving in 4 of the 5 games. He also had double digit targets in 4 of 5 games and finished every game with at least 7 catches.
Fast forward to the off season and most people either loved the production and expected more of the same or felt like it was too small of a sample size, against weaker defenses, and happened with Gerald Everett out. Some thought he could be a top 5 tight end this year while others didn’t think he’d even be a top 12 tight end. According to ESPN, Higbee’s ADP was TE8 and 74th overall (early 7th round).
Fast forward through week 6 and Higbee is out snapping Everett 81.3% to 44.1% but his numbers aren’t that much better. Higbee has 18 catches for 222 yards and 3 TDs, while Everett has 11 catches for 168 and 1 rushing TD. Higbee’s average fantasy points per game of 10.0 is good for TE17. If you take away his week 2 performance where he had all 3 of his TDs, his per game average drops to 6.4.
Higbee plays next against Chicago Monday night, so don’t be afraid of benching him as clearly the naysayers in this debate have been correct so far.
Ezekiel Elliott has 5 fumbles (4 lost) on the year, and no 100 yard games . . . . Sean McVay on Cam Akers after week 5, “I think you can expect his workload to increase next week against the 49ers.” Akers week 6 against the 49ers: 1 snap . . . . Adam Gase on La’Mical Perine after week 5, we didn’t want to put “too much on his plate” and “stunt his growth”, Perine week 5: 0 offensive snaps . . . . Clyde Edwards Helaire had a combined 30 touches for 169 yards week 6, now Le’Veon Bell joins the team . . . . After the 2 weeks Derrick Henry had 0 TDs, last 3 weeks he has 6, also 10 targets in that time frame . . . . D’Andre Swift 17 touches 119 yards and 2 TDs in 27 snaps . . . . Tee Higgins has out snapped all Bengals WR in each of the last 2 games . . . . Demarcus Robinson played more snaps than any WR on the Chiefs.