Week 6 of the fantasy football season featured plenty of notable performances. What should we make of them? Matt Bowen and Tristan H. Cockcroft are here with analysis on the biggest performers -- and duds -- of the week.
Stefon Diggs torches Eagles secondary
The highest-scoring player from Sunday's 1 p.m. ET games, Diggs scored 43.5 PPR fantasy points, a new career best. Remarkably, that total was nearly as large as his start percentage in ESPN leagues (44.8%), the second-lowest rate he has had through six games this season (42.5%, Week 4). This, despite his most favorable matchup all year, as the Eagles were missing cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Avonte Maddox and have struggled to contain wide receivers even when at full strength.
Given that fantasy managers appear to be chasing Diggs' cumulative stats -- that start percentage is as compelling evidence as any -- this would be an excellent time to drop his name onto the trade market, since he averaged just 4.6 targets in his previous five games in a Vikings offense that has leaned run-heavy. -- Cockcroft
Tristan already hit on the matchup advantage for Diggs Sunday, as the wide receiver posted a monster line, catching seven of a team-high 11 targets for 167 yards with three touchdowns. But I also like how the Vikings designed their deep ball throws here. Early-down play-action to attack the matchup and the top of the Philly secondary. Take your shots and then come back to Diggs again in the red zone off play-action to chalk up another score. That was a nasty route, too.
I do believe the Vikings will continue to be aggressive with their play-action passing game moving forward. That fits the offensive structure in Minnesota to build out from the run game, and it also caters to quarterback Kirk Cousins. And even with Diggs roasting the Eagles' secondary today, he draws a much tougher matchup in Week 7 versus the Lions' secondary. Because of that, Diggs will fit into that Flex/WR3 range in the rankings. -- Bowen
Chris Godwin continues his tear
Fantasy football's No. 1 wide receiver in PPR scoring entering the week, Godwin had 25.1 PPR fantasy points on Sunday to give him 145.2 for the season, which for the time being gives him a 27.9-point lead over the rest of the position (Michael Thomas was second entering the 1 p.m. ET games). As had been hinted at in the preseason, Godwin has enjoyed quite a bit of volume: He's fifth among wide receivers in percentage of his team's offensive snaps played (95%) and has averaged 38.3 routes run, 9.2 targets and 1.3 red zone targets per game. -- Cockcroft
After scoring four touchdowns over the past two games, Godwin (10 receptions, 150 yards) didn't find the end zone in London. However, he has now topped the 125-yard receiving mark in three straight games, and he has caught 29 of 35 targets during that stretch. Consistent volume (and production) here for a wide receiver with the ideal route-running traits for Tampa's system. He should be in that WR1 mix again when the Bucs return from the bye in Week 8 versus the Titans. -- Bowen
Lamar Jackson dominates on the ground
Yes, the Bengals are a bad football team. But this is why you drafted Jackson as your QB1. While Jackson didn't light up the box score in the passing game with deep ball throws, he was an efficient 22-of-33 for 236 yards. However, Jackson's ability to shred opposing defenses with his speed and open-field talent as a runner jumped today.
He finished with 152 yards rushing and a score on 19 carries in the win over Cincy. The Ravens' designed run package for Jackson is deep and tough to prep for. Plus, when he pulls the ball down to escape pressure, he can cut down defensive pursuit angles immediately. Jackson now has 41 carries in his past three games. --Bowen
Jackson threw for 236 yards and ran for another 152 on Sunday, becoming the first quarterback since at least 1950 to pass for at least 200 and run for at least 150 yards in a single game. The result was his third 30-point fantasy performance of 2016, his 30.6 giving him a total of 152.2 fantasy points for the season, second most among QBs behind only Russell Wilson (155.3). -- Cockcroft
New England Patriots defense/special teams continues historic pace
With their 28 fantasy points on Thursday night -- tied for the third-best single-game score by a team defense/special teams in 2019 -- the Patriots now have 122 points through their first six games of the season. That is the most by any team D/ST through its first six games of a season since the 1987 Chicago Bears (123 points) and the seventh most by any team D/ST through its first six games since at least 1950.
Yes, the schedule has had a lot to say about the Patriots' statistical prowess -- they have faced all five of the offenses responsible for the top five scores afforded to opposing D/STs (Dolphins, Jets, Redskins, Giants and Bills) -- but their talent on paper rivals any they've sported during Tom Brady's career (if it isn't the best). They draw two more of the most favorable matchups in the next two weeks -- Jets and Browns -- and are among the only D/STs you should carry through their Week 10 bye. -- Cockcroft
The New England defense can create pressure with its multiple fronts, and that secondary -- led by the lights-out coverage of cornerback Stephon Gilmore -- consistently forces opposing QBs to make tight-window throws. You gotta work here to make plays down the field against this unit. And as Tristan noted, the upcoming matchups cater to New England. Expect more of the same here from Bill Belichick's defense. -- Bowen
Arizona offense shows its potential
The receiving totals are climbing for David Johnson in Kliff Kingsbury's offense. After catching 6 of 8 targets for 68 yards and a score in the Week 6 win over Atlanta, Johnson has now caught 17 of 24 targets for 232 yards in his last three games. And Kingsbury is isolating Johnson as a receiver to create positive matchups. We saw that back in Week 5 versus the Bengals and again on Sunday, with Johnson flexed in the slot. Those matchups versus a linebacker or safety are in addition to what Johnson can do on screens and underneath throws. Johnson gets another favorable matchup in Week 7 versus the Giants. -- Bowen
Kyler Murray delivered the best fantasy performance of his young career Sunday, scoring 28.8 points, and while it was partly the product of an extremely favorable matchup against the Falcons, it was another mistake-free performance -- a clear positive. With the score, Murray now has 126.4 fantasy points through his first six NFL games, which is the fifth-most by any quarterback since at least 1950, trailing only Cam Newton's 142.6, Robert Griffin III's 141.6, Patrick Mahomes' 141.5 and Deshaun Watson's 136.1. Murray gets the Giants' defense next, meaning another solid score should be in his immediate future. -- Cockcroft
Christian McCaffrey: With his 21.7 PPR fantasy points Sunday, Christian McCaffrey pushed his seasonal total to 181.3. That's the sixth most by any player at any position through his team's first six games since at least 1950. -- Cockcroft
Miles Sanders: The low rushing volume and totals for Sanders in his previous two games (12 carries, 21 yards) could have kept the rookie on your bench today. However, Sanders is starting to boost his production as a receiver in Philly. In Week 5, Sanders caught 4 of 5 targets for 49 yards. On Sunday versus the Vikings, he caught 3 of 3 targets for 86 yards and a score. Plus, we aren't talking about checkdowns; these are designed concepts to get Sanders the ball. Given that uptick in passing-game volume, for an Eagles offense that lacks speed without DeSean Jackson on the field, Sanders will carry flex value for me in deeper leagues next week versus Dallas. -- Bowen
Will Fuller V: A 9.4 PPR fantasy point performance by Fuller on Sunday meant that from Week 5 to 6, his score declined by a whopping 44.3 points, despite the fact that he played 88% of the Texans' offensive snaps (73-of-83), ran 38 routes and was targeted nine times (with a couple of big drops), all of those second on his team to DeAndre Hopkins. It served a reminder of Fuller's boom/bust weekly potential -- not uncommon to big-play wide receivers. Since 1950, there have been only 25 instances of a greater week-over-week decline in PPR fantasy points, and 17 of them were by wide receivers. -- Cockcroft
Deshaun Watson: For the second consecutive week, Watson exceeded 29 fantasy points, his 29.4 giving him 652.7 through his first 29 career NFL games. That's 9.0 more points than any other quarterback in history has had through that many career contests. -- Cockcroft
Terry McLaurin: Capitalizing on Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard's (knee) inactive status, McLaurin scored 26.0 PPR fantasy points, a new career high, on Sunday. With that, McLaurin now has 93.8 points through five games, the sixth-highest total among wide receivers through that many games of a career through at least 1950. While McLaurin's two best scores -- lump in his 23.5 points in Week 1 against the Eagles -- did come facing outrageously favorable matchups, he delivered competitive scores against much tougher ones in the other three. He's making a borderline case for WR2 status, even if it's more of a volume-driven one. -- Cockcroft
Jared Goff: Seventy-eight passing yards and 1.1 fantasy points? Believe it, as Goff endured one of Week 6's worst fantasy performances, continuing to highlight the strong play of the 49ers' defense -- one that has now allowed only 39.3 points to the position, second behind only the Patriots' 32.9. It's not the first time that Goff has had a score this poor, and in fact he did it as recently as Week 14 of last year, when he scored minus-0.3 points against the Bears. -- Cockcroft
San Francisco 49ers defense: Goff was a major dud, as Tristan just noted, but don't sleep on the 49ers defense. This group is extra salty up front, and the second-level speed -- after the addition of linebacker Kwon Alexander -- pops every time you turn on the tape. Fast and athletic with a secondary that drives on the ball. There is a reason this unit ranks No. 2 overall in defensive fantasy scoring this season with 74 total points. Plus, they get the Redskins next in Week 7. -- Bowen