Week 6 is the time of year where the standings, both in the NFL and your fantasy leagues, are starting to take shape and matter. Much like the 1-4 Oakland Raiders, the guy who is 0-5 in your neighbourhood fantasy team is extremely unlikely to make it to the playoffs now. Does anyone know someone who is 0-5? I’m asking for a friend who is really self-conscious about his record…
With this pivotal moment in your fantasy season approaching, let’s take a look ahead to the upcoming week 6 slate and preview some key match-ups that you can utilize to either get ahead, or stay ahead.
1st Down | AJ Green vs Steelers Secondary
While AJ Green playing like a superstar isn’t exactly news, the fact that the whole Bengals offense is flying high may come as a surprise for some. With Andy Dalton enjoying a vein of form we haven’t seen since his remarkable, if not prematurely ended, 2015 season and a solid running game to relieve some pressure, AJ Green has come on in recent weeks and is playing at the WR1 level we expect from him.
With over 400 yards already this campaign, the ex-juggler is on for a near 1300 yard season and with 5 TDs already he is only 1 end zone grab away from the league leader Calvin Ridley.
In week 6 Green faces up against the Bengals fierce rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, the Steelers don’t exactly boast the infamous ‘Steel Curtain’ defense anymore, coming in as the 29th ranked passing defense in the NFL.
Bold Prediction – This game is gearing up to be a shootout and it’s not hard to picture Green finishing the game with 125+ yards receiving and 2 touchdowns
2nd Down | Tom Brady vs Chiefs Defense
It’s not often that Tom Brady and the Pats roll into a game as the underdogs, especially in week 6 of the regular season. But a match-up against Patrick Mahomes, Reid and the booming Chiefs offense has caused such a stir.
While most of the focus will be on New England’s defense attempting to stop Kansas City, Brady will be quietly confident looking at this match-up. Boasting an attack which looked like they’d gotten healthy last week with the re-addition of Julian Edelman, the Patriots dice-and-slice passing attack will face-up against the league’s 31st ranked passing defense.
While the Patriots usual offense (dink-and-dunk crossers) resembles the Chiefs offense of old, the addition of Josh Gordon and Cordarelle Patterson’s speed gives the Pats a deep threat receiving corps to resemble the new Chiefs and so this will be a true offensive slug fest. Unless Belichick can work his usual magic against rookie quarterbacks, good luck Patrick…
Bold Prediction – The focus will be on KC but Brady will be disappointed to not come out of this fixture with 350+ passing yards and 3 TDs
3rd Down | Todd Gurley vs Broncos Front Seven
This article may seem as chalky as a kindergarten blackboard but when you look at what Gurley has done this season and what he might do in week 6 against a once feared and Superbowl winning defense, it’s definitely worth addressing.
The only team maybe hotter than the Chiefs in 2018 are the Los Angeles Rams and their blistering offense is focused on the blistering talents of superstar runningback Todd Gurley.
The elite rusher enters this game as the RB2 and the second best fantasy player of the year so far, only 3.5 points behind New Orleans’ Alvin Kamara (ESPN standard scoring). However, Gurley has 415 yards on the ground, to Kamara’s 299, and has already scored 9 total touchdowns so far this year, that’s 1.8 TDs per game people.
Consider those stats and then consider he faces a Broncos front seven which is the 3rd worst rushing defense in the league and allows an average of nearly 140 rushing per game; it’s no great leap to foresee a record fantasy week ahead for Gurley and the Rams.
Bold Prediction – Watch the new-look ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ offense this week and Gurley rack up over 200 total yards and 2 touchdowns
4th Down | Matt Ryan vs Bucs Defense
The Falcons have had an extremely unlucky season so far in 2018 and sit at 1-4 which is devastating for a team expected to challenge for the Lombardi trophy again. However, while I commiserate our Atlanta demographic, if you have any of the Falcons passing attack in your fantasy team you are a happy bunny indeed.
Ryan, who ranks as the QB3, is surrounded by Julio Jones (WR14) and Calvin Ridley (who leads the league in receiving TDs with six) will be hurting and with in-division match-ups looking like Atlanta’s only chance to get to the post season this year he will be licking his lips as he faces up against a down-trodden Bucs team who boast the worst pass defense in the NFL.
This should be an out-and-out aerial demolition of the Tampa Bay secondary and the Falcons will use this game to get right and so can you if your fantasy team is spluttering so far this year.
This is a public service announcement: Play your Falcons players.
Bold Prediction – Ryan should be embarrassed to not come out of his home-dome with over 400 yards passing and 4 touchdowns
Thank you for reading the 4 Downs. Please follow Will on twitter @willpendosports and check out the rest of the Fantasy Hot Read for more articles and podcasts