Your Featured Flex Plays for Week Six
By this point of the season, a lot of players are settling into consistent Flex roles. Yes, you’ll make some matchup changes occasionally, and also have bye weeks to contend with, but sometimes when you get comfortable with your flex, you don’t want to mix it up. Here’s what I’ll tell you: don’t get complacent. Sure, you’ll continue to see some repeat names in this article, and maybe you own someone like Austin Ekeler. Or maybe you’re heavy at a position that will let you play a WR2/RB2 in the flex. Either way, gauging your options and finding new ways to find unexpected points boons is not only critical to Fantasy success, but also is just fun when it works out.
Ekeler profiles like your typical Flex, considering his explosiveness and ability to catch passes out of the backfield. And even when he doesn’t get many opportunities—he has just six combined targets over the past two weeks—he makes it work—those turned into three total catches for 75 yards and a touchdown in each game. He’s gotten rather touchdown dependent, which is what keeps him from elevating out of flex territory. However, the Browns are 21st in DVOA against passes thrown to running backs and allow the 12th-most points to running backs. It’s a solid matchup for him that could finally lead to an uptick in targets.
Isaiah Crowell is not for real. His record-breaking performance for the Jets may have vaulted him up the rankings and into many team’s starting lineups, he averaged just over two yards in the three games prior. But more importantly for Powell owners, Powell out-carried Crowell, 20 to 15, and still had a productive day, picking up 99 yards. He did fumble once. Now he gets a Colts defense in Week Six that is only adequate against the run (13th in points allowed to the position). With Crowell currently not practicing because of an ankle injury, things are only looking up for Powell.
It’s about time we all get sucked back into the Josh Gordon hype machine. He’s now had three weeks in New England, two on the field, and Tom Brady seems to trust him enough to throw him jump balls in double coverage, as shown on Brady’s 500th career passing touchdown last week. Week Six brings the Chiefs and their defense into Foxboro for what should surely be a shootout. This is a week to run out most of your Patriots, and Gordon should be on that list.
Hines is the fifth-most targeted running back in the NFL, and that’s including a one-target Week Four. While the Jets have been pretty stout against passes out of the backfield this season (11th-best DVOA), they just gave up 95 yards receiving to the Broncos’ three running backs, their worst performance yardage-wise of the season against the position. The week before, the Jaguars’ T.J. Yeldon had three catches on three targets for 48 yards and a score. This should be a big week for Hines.
Tarik Cohen’s owners were surely upset by the timing of the Bears’ bye week. After a disappointing start to a season where Matt Nagy said Cohen would be a huge weapon for the offense, he finally followed through on that against the Buccaneers. He saw as many targets (eight) as he had all season, turning them into seven receptions for 121 yards, plus another 53 on the ground. He gets the other Florida team this week when they travel to Miami, who are giving up the sixth-most points to running backs and are 23rd in DVOA on passes to running backs. While Cohen’s usage should be a little more balanced with Jordan Howard’s, he could easily have another big day.
Relying on passes from a rookie quarterback is always going to be risky. Enunwa is coming off easily his worst game of the season, failing to record a catch on all five of his targets against the Broncos as he also dealt with a finger injury. He gets a bit of an easier matchup in Week Six with the Colts, who are middle-of-the-road when it comes to pass defense and points for wide receivers. However, I expect a bounce-back game for Enunwa, especially since his best games have come against teams that have revealed themselves to be tough against the pass in Detroit and Miami. Despite a big game from Robby Anderson last week, Enunwa should still see the lion’s share of the targets, which should be enough to make him a useful start.
He’s fallen hard for a guy that was drafted as a top receiving option for many teams, but injuries to both knees, including one chronic one, will do that to a player. But if there’s any week for Baldwin to reassert himself as the Seahawks’ top receiving option over Tyler Lockett, it’s in this game against the Raiders. Seattle seems happy limiting their passing game despite having a top-flight quarterback, so the chances will be limited, but Oakland is giving up the seventh-most points to receivers this season. Baldwin was on the field for 88 percent of the snaps in Week Five, so just mathematically speaking, we should see an increase from his lone target last week. And, for what’s it’s worth, he hasn’t shown up on the injury report this week.
At this point, this is just riding a hot hand, a time-honored Flex tradition that can often easily backfire. But for the third week in a row, the Falcons are facing off against a disastrous pass defense. Last time on the field in Week Four, Tampa Bay let Mitchell freaking Trubisky throw for 354 yards and six touchdowns on just 19 completions. Matt Ryan is better than Trubisky. Add in that Devonta Freeman is again unlikely to play, now with a bone contusion. The Falcons, who have their own defensive problems, will throw the ball a lot in this game, and Ryan certainly seems in a rhythm with Sanu right now.
He rushed for 101 yards and two TDs in Week Three vs the Cardinals’ awful rushing defense, but Davis backed up that game with another solid outing against the Rams, picking up 68 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Now he gets another soft defense in the Raiders, who are also horrendous against the pass. The Seahawks should jump ahead early in this game and go to their preferred ground-heavy offense early and often. Pete Carroll and Brian Schottenheimer seem intent on having Chris Carson and Davis split the backfield rather evenly, so Davis should have a shot at another big day.
On the topic of the Raiders’ defense being horrible, Oakland is probably going to be throwing the ball a lot in this week. Seattle isn’t great against the pass this year—they’re giving up the 23rd-most points to fantasy receivers. Cooper is very clearly a boom-or-bust player, with two games over 20 points and three in single digits this season, but this looks like it could be a boom, between the defense and potential game script.
Deep League Plays
T.Y. Hilton is not expected to play, and over the last two weeks, when Hilton has been struggling with injuries, Grant has seen 16 targets, pulling down 11 receptions for 122 yards. While they aren’t flashy numbers, they are solid. This week, the Colts gets a Jets secondary that is allowing the fifth-most points to opposing wide receivers. Andrew Luck is going to continue throwing the ball a lot, and some passes are sure to go Grant’s way.
A lot has to have gone wrong for you to need to use Jones here, but if there’s any week to do so, it’s this one. The Falcons are the worst team in the NFL at limiting running back receptions, giving up 46 catches and seven touches out of the backfield so far this season. He doesn’t have a huge pass-catching track record, but he’s certainly more explosive than Peyton Barber. The Bucs had a week to figure out how to use Jones against a weak Falcons’ defense, so a big boom could be in order, if you’re willing to take a huge risk.
Even with Lamar Miller returning, it could be more of a time share situation here, with Miller having been very inefficient this season. Weird things happen when teams play the Bills, and a second big game for Blue could be one of them.