As all fantasy football owners know, each and every week of the NFL season is crazy. It’s impossible to know which players will break out and which should’ve been sitting on your bench. However, at the end of the last game on Monday night, there’s always something to be learned. For example, it can be a statistic that shows you which players can be trusted. It can be a performance that proves to you who really should be starting in your FLEX position each week instead of fiddling with that decision each Sunday morning. No matter what it is, Week 6 was no different. It showed fantasy owners a lot of important information to know going forward for the rest of the season. Here are some of the things we learned this past week.
Josh Gordon’s fantasy value is rising
Although Gordon only caught five passes for 42 yards on Sunday Night against the Kansas City Chiefs, there are more important numbers than those. Gordon saw 9 targets from Tom Brady and also played 81 percent of the offensive snaps in the game. Those numbers led the team and show the trust that Brady has for Gordon. They also prove that Gordon’s role in this offense is growing each and every week. Gordon’s talent has never been questioned. As long as his off the field issues are over with, he should be a wide receiver that will thrive in the New England Patriots offense for the rest of the season.
The Patriots also have Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski on the team. This means the football will be spread around quite a bit. Gordon won’t receive the number of targets a true number one receiver would. That doesn’t matter as h will see enough targets to be fantasy relevant. He saw targets from Brady deep down the field, on third downs, and in the red zone. This means that every week there will be some passes thrown his way. As long as his usage continues to grow or even stay at where it currently is, there is a reason to believe Gordon could rise up and become a WR2 for fantasy teams for the rest of the season.
Taylor Gabriel’s consistency continues
The Chicago Bears lost a heartbreaker on Sunday at the Miami Dolphins, but Taylor Gabriel was a bright spot for the team as he posted his second straight 100-yard receiving game. Coming over from running the Kansas City Chiefs offense, head coach Matt Nagy needed a guy to be the big play receiver as Tyreek Hill was for him. Gabriel has filled that spot nicely, hauling in at least four passes in each game this season. He is becoming an option Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky knows he can trust to get open. He had a great lunging grab this past week, which showcased his ability to catch the deep ball.
The production from Gabriel over the past couple of weeks have put him solidly in the WR3/FLEX spot for fantasy owners. He has the upside to be even more. Keep in mind, Gabriel has only scored two touchdowns this season but has never scored under 7.5 PPR fantasy points. The growth the Bears’ offense has shown as a whole the last few games is even more reason to like what Gabriel has been doing. It is improving each week and Gabriel is a big reason why. Averaging just under 15 PPR fantasy points per game, Gabriel should continue to put up numbers that render him to be in your team’s lineup each and every week.
Austin Hooper is becoming a starting fantasy tight end
Austin Hooper has been on the radar of many fantasy owners since he entered the league, but he’s always been a touchdown-or-bust type of player. He is usually the guy you stick in your tight end spot if you waited too long on draft day or your regular starting TE is on bye. However, his performances the last two weeks may show that he is worth more than people think. After posting a line of nine catches for 77 yards in Week 5, Hooper followed that up by catching nine passes for 71 yards and a touchdown in Week 6.
By stringing together these two high usage games, Hooper is starting to move away from the streamer tight end people thought he was into a reliable starter. Before Week 5, Hooper had never seen double-digit targets. Now, he has seen that many in two straight games. Don’t get me wrong, his usage won’t be this high every week. However, it does look like Hooper is becoming a bigger part of this Atlanta Falcons’ offense. Averaging almost 12 PPR fantasy points a game, Hooper is producing for a position in fantasy football that many owners overlook. Looking forward, Hooper should be started every week at TE as he continues to develop in his young career.
Alshon Jeffery is back
Once it was announced that Jeffery would return in Week 4 from an injury suffered last season, many fantasy owners were curious. They wondered if he would show any signs of rust in his connection with Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Carson Wentz. That did not appear to be the case as Jeffery had eight receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown in his 2018 debut. In Week 5, Jeffery drew a tough matchup against Xavier Rhoades of the Minnesota Vikings. That is why he only had two receptions for only 39 yards. On a positive note, Jeffery did see seven targets in that game after seeing nine targets the week before.
Facing the New York Giants secondary in Week 6, Jeffery bounced back in a big way. The Eagles wide receiver hauled in eight of his twelve targets for 71 yards and two touchdowns. He was a part of the offense all night long and seemed to have a great chemistry with Wentz’ once again. The Eagles have shown that Jeffery is one of their most dependable players and make sure to get him involved each and every week. Posting over 25 PPR fantasy points in two of his three games so far, Jeffery is a WR2 going forward and should be started everywhere he’s owned.
Sony Michel is a RB1
Believe it or not, Michel has now posted 90+ rushing yards in three straight games for the New England Patriots. A Patriots organization that is notorious for never having a true workhorse running back. In those three games, Michel has also scored at least one touchdown and a healthy 4.7 yards per carry. Michel has now received double-digit carries in every game he has played in. This shows the trust the Patriots coaching staff have in him. As a rookie, no one saw this type of production coming so soon for Michel. His opportunities are growing each and every week.
The New England Patriots offense still has a lot of improvements to make, but the team has scored 30+ points in the last three games. Furthermore, this means that Michel should be playing with plenty of leads where he will see a lot of usage. This also means that he will have a lot of scoring opportunities with a high potential of scoring a touchdown. Although James White dominates the passing game out of the backfield, Michel should see enough carries and playing time to be considered a low RB1 for the rest of the season. At the least, he’s a high RB2. It looks like the Patriots have finally found their workhorse running back.
Jameis Winston picked up right where he left off
In his first start of the season, Jameis Winston showed no rust as he shredded the Atlanta Falcons defense for 395 passing yards and four touchdowns. However, he did have a great matchup as the Falcons’ defense ranks as one for the worst in the league. Nevertheless, his 30.9 fantasy points was the most of any quarterback in Week 6. If anything, Winston picked up right where he left off as he was the No. 1 quarterback for the final five games of the 2017 season. Many fantasy owners slept on Winston as they all knew he had to start the season out serving a three-game suspension.
Winston was owned in only 12.6 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues after Week 5 ended. Coming into Week 6, that percentage grew to 57.1. It will definitely jump even higher after waivers go through this week. Looking forward, Winston is a QB1. It may be hard for some owners to justify that after only seeing one start from him, but he has shown to be a reliable fantasy quarterback in the last few seasons. As a part of a pass-happy Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense, Winston should continue to put up strong performances. He can help guide fantasy teams to wins throughout the rest of the season.
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.