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NFL Fantasy: Week 6 key fantasy performances

Adrian Peterson still has it; Mark Ingram says the Saints don’t need it; old names return to the leaderboards, and defenses play offense


What a week for NFL fantasy football. While owners of Green Bay Packers players mourned the loss of Aaron Rodgers, there were some entertaining and fantasy point-filled games being played around the league. Here are some of the highlights. 

RB-1 Melvin Gordon got the ball 

The Chargers just kept putting the ball in Melvin Gordon’s hands and he responded with 150 total yards and two touchdowns in the Chargers’ upset of the Oakland Raiders. He didn’t break many big plays, but he got the touches he needed to put up 83 yards rushing and 67 receiving yards. He scored on a 4th-and-goal by diving over everyone from the 1-yard line. He also took a screen and maneuvered the six yards he needed for his second touchdown. His 27 points put him just behind Kirk Cousins’ 27.8 for the second-best overall NFL fantasy score. 

RB-2 Adrian Peterson & the Cardinals find life

If you were one of the many who grabbed Adrian Peterson on waivers but didn’t start him because you thought he would need time to find his role in Arizona, you were probably sobbing by the end of the first quarter. Peterson ran for 57 yards and scored a touchdown on his first drive as a Cardinal. By the end of the game, he scored a second touchdown and racked up 134 yards for the second-best NFL fantasy running back point total of 25.40. He found his role. I am just guessing here, but he is likely to be started in 100% of leagues next week. 

RB-3 Le’Veon Bell takes off 

Le’Veon Bell ran 32 times for 179 yards and a touchdown in Pittsburgh’s upset win in Kansas City. He also tacked on 12 yards receiving in his best game this season. No doubt a fully charged Bell makes life easier for Ben Roethlisberger and puts him a few notches higher on the NFL fantasy quarterback charts.

RB-4 Mark Ingram doesn’t feel bad

No one in New Orleans is apologizing for shipping Peterson west after Mark Ingram came within a lost fumble of finishing as the top running back of the week. Ingram totaled 150 rushing and receiving yards and scored two touchdowns. The fumble brought his fantasy score to 25.00, just behind AP. 

The difference between the Cardinals and Saints is that the Saints tacked on 87 more yards with their second running back, Alvin Kamara. Meanwhile, the Cardinals’ second and third back accounted for 14 more yards. 

WR-1 Antonio Brown catching everything

Right after Kansas City pulled within two points of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Antonio Brown turned an acceptable NFL fantasy score of 10.4 points into the WR-1 score with a nifty catch of a pass along the sideline. After waiting for two defenders to run themselves out of the play, he jaunted 51 yards for a touchdown. The big play made Brown the only wide receiver with over 20 points this week while also saving Ben Roethlisberger’s Week 6 fantasy line.

WR-2 Larry Fitzgerald playing young, too

Adrian Peterson’s energy on the field was shared by another elder statesman, Larry Fitzgerald. Fitz caught 138 yards of passes, including a touchdown to earn 17.8 NFL fantasy points. A lost fumble kept him from approaching 20. Surrounded by younger receivers, Fitzgerald continues to be the best Arizona fantasy player among them.

WR-3 and WR-3A Golden Tate & Marvin Jones

Detroit teammates Golden Tate and Marvin Jones sported identical NFL fantasy lines of 96 receiving yards and a touchdown, good for 15.6 points. Tate achieved the deed with only half the targets of Jones and was on his way to a much better fantasy day before leaving the game with a shoulder injury.

WR-5 Mike Evans catches a break 

Tampa Bay and Mike Evans got off to a slow start in Arizona, but once Cardinals’ cornerback Patrick Peterson went out of the game with a quad injury, things opened up. Evans posted 15.5 points on 95 yards and a touchdown for the game.

QB-1 Kirk Cousins’ audition went well

Should San Francisco consider bidding for Kirk Cousins’ services next year, he gave them a good look at what they can expect for their money. Cousins threw for two touchdowns and ran for another on his way to a league-high NFL fantasy score of 27.8 points. He threw for over 300 yards and ran four times for 26 more.

QB-2 Deshaun Watson knocked down a peg

After two consecutive weeks as the QB-1, Deshaun Watson had to settle for #2 this week as his three touchdown passes helped him to 23.3 fantasy points. He added 23 rushing yards and a two-point conversion offset his sole interception.

QB-3 through 5… What year is this? 

Three more quarterbacks joined the Thursday night combatants in scoring 20 NFL fantasy points or more in Week 6. Carson Palmer and Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three touchdown passes and Josh McCown threw for over 350 yards to accomplish the feat. In case you didn’t know, Fitzpatrick is the backup in Tampa Bay. He scored his points in just over a half of work after Jameis Winston suffered a shoulder injury.

TE-1 Rob Gronkowski schools rookies

Jets’ safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye have enjoyed a lot of success this season in New York. But this week, they could not contain the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski. The perennial All-Pro pulled in two touchdown passes and 83 yards to top 20 points (20.3) for the first time this season. 

TE-2 Evan Engram has giant night 

While all the Giants’ new wide receivers caught two passes combined Sunday night, rookie tight end Evan Engram hauled in five for 82 yards and a touchdown to take the TE-2 spot with 14.4 points. The Giants only completed 11 passes on the night. This bodes well for Engram’s fantasy value going forward.

Kickers chipping in

Kickers score points, too… but not so many this week. Giants’ rookie Aldrick Rosas and Minnesota’s Kai Forbath each kicked a 50-plus yard field goal, two shorter field goals and a pair of extra points to share the PK-1 spot with 13 points.

Defenses were quite offensive

How do you let a team score 38 points and still wind up as the D/ST-1 for the week? You go on the offensive. You could score three defensive touchdowns and throw in five turnovers and five sacks. That is how New Orleans earned 32 fantasy points and finished as the top NFL fantasy scoring defense in Week 6. This was the third game in a row that the Saints turned in a top-3 performance. 

All in all, defenses scored 88 points with 10 defensive touchdowns, 4 return touchdowns, and 2 safeties in Week 6. When the Giants recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter Sunday night, they became the fifth team to score 20 or more NFL fantasy points on the day. The Ravens and the Rams also scored 20 each while the Houston Texans finished as the D/ST-2 with 22 points. 

Other notable performances:

Jordan Howard (167), Leonard Fournette (130 and a touchdown), Jay Ajayi (130), and Orleans Darkwa (117) all rushed for over 100 yards. Kareem Hunt was held to 21 rushing yards but added 89 receiving yards to become the first running back to start their career with six consecutive 100-yard games. 

Denver’s Demaryius Thomas played through a leg injury and collected 133 yards. With Aaron Rodgers missing most of the game, Davante Adams finished as the WR-15 this week. It was the first week all season that the Packers did not have a top-ten wide receiver. 

Hunter Henry led all tight ends with 90 yards receiving as his role in the Chargers’ offense continues to be re-established. He is a must-play every week from here on out. 

How will these performances affect NFL fantasy rosters and strategies? Visit RealSport every day for the latest discussion and advice on all things NFL fantasy! And if you have a question you want answered, send it to [email protected] and look for the answer Wednesday in our weekly NFL Fantasy Mailbag.

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Pat Opperman

Pat recently retired from real life to watch sports and write. Look for references to games and events from ancient times as memories of an earlier Age of Sport tend to pop into his head.

NFL Fantasy: Week 6 key fantasy performances

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