The Fantasy 32 analyzes the NFL from a fantasy perspective, with at least one mention of each of the league’s 32 teams. Though efficiency will be discussed plenty, the column will lean heavily on usage data, as volume is king (by far) in fantasy football. Use these tidbits to make the best waiver-wire, trade and lineup decisions for the upcoming week and beyond. Be sure to check back each week of the season for a new version of the Fantasy 32.
Note that data from Monday Night Football might not immediately be reflected in charts.
Throughout the below team-by-team rundowns, I’ll be referencing “OFP” and “OTD.” OFP stands for opportunity-adjusted fantasy points. Imagine a league in which players are created equal. OFP is a statistic that weighs every pass/carry/target and converts the data into one number that indicates a player’s opportunity to score fantasy points, or his “expected” fantasy point total. For example, if a player has an OFP of 14.5, it means that a league-average player who saw the same workload in the same location on the field would have scored 14.5 fantasy points. FORP is the difference between a player’s actual fantasy point total and his OFP. OTD works the same way, except instead of fantasy points, it’s touchdowns. Volume is king in fantasy football, so this is not information you want to overlook.
That said, here is the post-Week 6 OFP Leaderboard:
*Complete OTD and OFP positional leaderboards will be posted on ESPN+ this week.
Next, here are the players who exceeded their OFP by the largest margin this past week and are thus candidates to see a dip in fantasy production moving forward, assuming they see a similar workload:
And these players fell short of their OFP by the largest margin last week, and thus you shouldn’t be too quick to overreact to their performance when making lineup, trade or waiver decisions:
Arizona Cardinals: Has the Kenyan Drake we knew and loved last season — and then again during 2020 draft season — finally returned? It’s possible after Arizona’s lead back went for 164 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 20 carries against Dallas’ imploding defense on Monday Night Football. Drake played on a healthy 70% of the Cardinals’ offensive snaps, which is a good sign. However, he was once again a nonfactor as a receiver with zero catches on two targets. Drake is up to No. 19 in RB fantasy points, but Monday marked his first weekly finish better than 17th. Barring a significant boost in targets, he’s likely to continue producing borderline RB2 numbers — but no better.
Atlanta Falcons: I think it’s safe to say Julio Jones is back. The 31-year-old superstar missed all but 15 snaps during Atlanta’s previous three games but exploded back onto the fantasy scene with an 8-137-2 receiving line on 10 targets against Minnesota on Sunday. Jones has now played three full games this season, and two resulted in 10-plus targets and 25-plus fantasy points. Jones, who led Atlanta’s wide receivers with 64 snaps on Sunday, is a top-30 fantasy receiver despite all the missed action. He, of course, remains a solid WR1 and has a great matchup against Detroit in Week 7.
Baltimore Ravens: Mark Ingram II left Sunday’s game against the Eagles with an ankle injury after nine snaps. In his place, Gus Edwards played 30 snaps (45%) and rookie J.K. Dobbins played 27. Edwards also paced the unit with 14 carries but was held to only 26 yards, compared to nine carries for 28 yards for Dobbins. Edwards wasn’t targeted, and Dobbins was held to 1 yard on four targets. If Ingram misses time (which is far from a lock with Baltimore headed to its bye), we can count on, at least, a two-headed attack with Edwards and Dobbins, though Justice Hill could also see a few passing-down snaps. Considering Baltimore’s running backs rank 22nd in fantasy points and 29th in targets this season, this isn’t a particularly enticing situation, but Dobbins would be the best flex option in that scenario.
Buffalo Bills: Zack Moss finally returned from injury on Monday night, but the rookie was all but a nonfactor against the Chiefs. Moss played on just 13 of 50 (26%) of Buffalo’s offensive snaps, which was well behind the 37 snaps played by Devin Singletary. Singletary didn’t do much either, with 10 carries for 32 yards and 13 more yards on a pair of targets. Moss accrued a mere 10 yards on five carries and wasn’t targeted at all. Singletary flashed a bit earlier in the season, but has struggled to reach 78 yards on 23 touches (with no TDs) during Buffalo’s last three games. Moss, who had played on a generous 44% of the Bills’ snaps during the first two weeks of the season, only figures to see more work as the season progresses. He remains worthy of a bench spot in 12-team leagues.
Carolina Panthers: Teddy Bridgewater ran the ball eight times for 48 yards on Sunday, both of which are new career-high marks. The rushing production helped offset a rough passing day (216 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs) to some extent, though Bridgewater finished 15th or worse at the position in fantasy points for the fourth time in six games. Bridgewater has thus far been about as matchup dependent as they come, posting duds against good Buccaneers, Chargers and Bears defenses, but proving serviceable against the Raiders, Cardinals and Falcons. He has only one weekly finish better than 12th to his name, so there’s obviously not much upside here, but perhaps that can change if he keeps running the ball as often as he did Sunday. For now, Bridgewater is best viewed as a mid-range QB2 and occasional streaming option.
Chicago Bears: Remember Anthony Miller? Yeah, me neither. A popular breakout candidate in both his second (2019) and third (2020) NFL seasons, Miller has plummeted off the fantasy radar. The 2018 second-round pick is averaging 4.3 targets per game, and that includes a Week 6 performance in which he caught all three of his targets for 8 yards. Miller found the end zone in Weeks 1 and 3, but he hasn’t cleared 41 yards in a game since Week 1 and has posted two weekly finishes better than 60th. Miller, who has played 53% of the offensive snaps this season, obviously does not need to be on rosters.
Cincinnati Bengals: Is A.J. Green back? It sure seemed like it Sunday when the 32-year-old put up an 8-96-0 receiving line on 11 targets while playing a season-high 80% of the snaps against a good Colts defense. Green entered the week with a total of 119 yards on 14 catches in five games, but heavy volume (34 targets) suggested better days were ahead. There are several mouths to feed in the Bengals’ offense, especially after rookie Tee Higgins had another strong day Sunday, but Green’s usage in a Bengals offense that has attempted a league-high 246 passes is enough to keep him in the WR3/flex discussion. The Bengals’ wideouts are set up with a good Week 7 matchup against a Browns’ defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season.
Cleveland Browns: Austin Hooper caught five of six targets for 52 yards against the Steelers on Sunday. Hooper has either 50-plus receiving yards or a touchdown in three consecutive games, which has worked out to double-digit fantasy points each week. Hooper, who has at least six targets and exactly five catches during the span, is up to fifth at tight end in receptions for the season and sits fifth in fantasy points since Week 4. He’s a fringe TE1.
Dallas Cowboys: Andy Dalton‘s first start with Dallas did not go well. The longtime Bengals starter completed 34 of 54 passes for 266 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Those numbers would have been significantly worse if not for garbage-time production. For what it’s worth, Dalton’s target distribution was as follows: Ezekiel Elliott (11), Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb (10), Michael Gallup (6), Dalton Schultz (5) and everyone else (10). Based on what we saw on Monday, Elliott and Cooper remain lineup locks, Lamb is a flex, Schultz is a TE2 and Gallup is barely worth a roster spot. Things may not get much better in Week 7 against a Washington defense allowing the fewest WR fantasy points this season.
Denver Broncos: With Melvin Gordon III sidelined on Sunday, Phillip Lindsay was on the field for 40 (64%) offensive snaps. Royce Freeman (24 snaps) was the only other Denver back to see the field. With Denver protecting a surprising lead in New England, Lindsay was able to accrue 23 carries for 101 yards but wasn’t targeted. Freeman was held to 30 yards on nine touches. Should Gordon return next week, he’ll remain a fringe RB2 with Lindsay a bench option. If Gordon sits, Lindsay will be an RB2 play against the Chiefs.
Detroit Lions: We spent the past two weeks wondering if rookie D’Andre Swift would play a larger role following the Lions’ Week 5 bye. The answer? Kind of. Swift certainly had his most productive game with 14 carries for 116 yards and two touchdowns, adding three catches for 7 yards on four targets. His receiving role wasn’t much different than what we saw during Weeks 1-4, but there was an obvious uptick in rushing work, as the second-round pick entered the day with a total of 12 carries for 42 yards for the season. That’s all good and well, but the problem is that Swift was limited to only 37% of the snaps. That’s only his third-highest rate of the season and was just behind Adrian Peterson (39%). Detroit led throughout the game, which provided a good game script for Peterson, so it’s very possible Swift will play more in close games moving forward. Swift isn’t yet a safe weekly start, but he’s certainly up to fringe RB2 territory in PPR.
Green Bay Packers: Davante Adams has played two full games this season. In Week 1, he put up a 14-156-2 receiving line on 17 targets. On Sunday, he produced a 6-61-0 line on 10 targets in the blowout loss to Tampa Bay. Adams has a ridiculous 38% target share during his two full games this season and has seen double-digit targets in 11 of his past 13 full games, which includes each of his past seven. It’s obvious you should always be starting Adams, but this is a reminder that he very well might be the top wide receiver in fantasy football moving forward. He’ll see the Bradley Roby shadow against Houston in Week 7.
Houston Texans: Randall Cobb scored his second touchdown of the season on Sunday, but Houston’s slot man was otherwise nonexistent with only three catches for 17 yards on four targets. That aligns pretty well with Cobb’s season so far, as he had a strong 4-95-1 receiving line in Week 3 but has otherwise been held to 15 catches for 165 yards. He’s averaging 4.7 targets per game and hasn’t cleared six in a single game. Cobb and his 6.7 aDOT do not make for a good flex option except in the deepest of leagues.
Indianapolis Colts: Trey Burton opened the 2020 season on injured reserve, but the veteran tight end has quickly emerged as the Colts’ top pass-catcher at the position. Burton has been targeted at least five times in all three games since his return and had his best effort Sunday with a 4-58-1 receiving line, as well as a 1-yard rushing touchdown. Burton hasn’t operated as an every-down player and his 12% target share on Sunday won’t cut it moving forward, but he did play a season-high 57% of the snaps. Burton’s usage, combined with Frank Reich and Phillip Rivers’ affection for tight ends, is enough to make him worthy of a bench spot, but he’ll be best-valued as a TE2 once the Colts return from their Week 7 bye.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Keelan Cole Sr. went off for six catches and 143 yards on nine targets against the Lions on Sunday. The big day marks Cole’s highest yardage total since 2017 and his highest target total since 2018. Cole has played 74% of the offensive snaps and is now averaging 6.3 targets per game this season. He hadn’t cleared 58 yards in a game prior to Week 6, but he did have three touchdowns during his first five games. Jacksonville’s offense is struggling, but Cole is nonetheless up to 20th in fantasy points among wide receivers. He’s seeing enough work to allow flex production in 12-team leagues.
Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs were without Sammy Watkins on Monday night, which opened the door for Demarcus Robinson to step in and outpace the team’s WR room with 69 snaps (95%). Mecole Hardman (29 snaps), Byron Pringle (28) and Marcus Kemp (2) were significantly less involved behind Robinson and Tyreek Hill (67). The heavy usage allowed Robinson to post a solid 5-69-0 receiving line on six targets, the latter of which trailed only Travis Kelce (7) for the team lead. Watkins is expected to miss more time, so Robinson will be on the flex radar in 12-team leagues. Hardman was limited to a single target and certainly has upside for big games going forward. That said, for now, he is a risky dart-throw flex candidate.
Las Vegas Raiders: Prior to Las Vegas’ Week 5 bye, Josh Jacobs sat sixth at running back in fantasy points, which was powered by a pair of top-five weeks. Jacobs entered the break leading the NFL with 106 carries, while also sitting second in rushing yards, second in rushing touchdowns and first in touches. Jacobs’ heavy rushing volume is no surprise, but he has also ramped up his receiving work, running a route on 43% of Las Vegas’ pass plays while seeing a boost from 2.1 targets per game in 2019 to 4.0 per game this season. Jacobs rushing efficiency has dropped off compared to his rookie season, but there’s no reason to believe he’ll see less volume after the bye. Jacobs is a certified weekly RB1.
Los Angeles Chargers: The bye week came at a perfect time for Keenan Allen, who left the team’s Week 5 game with a back injury after only 12 snaps. Allen was limited to two targets in the game but had previously been force-fed the ball by rookie Justin Herbert in three full games together. Allen totaled 40 targets during the outings, including at least 10 in each. That works out to a 39% target and 44% air yard share, both of which would easily be career highs for the 28-year-old. Even with the Week 5 dud, Allen entered the bye week ranked fifth among wide receivers in targets, sixth in yardage and eighth in end zone targets. He’s a WR1 option moving forward, and that’s especially the case against the Jaguars this weekend.
Los Angeles Rams: Cooper Kupp was held to three catches for 11 yards against the 49ers’ on Sunday night. Despite the dud, there’s little reason for concern. Kupp was targeted eight times in the game and leads the Rams’ with 44 on the season (Robert Woods is next with 42, and no one else has more than 21). Kupp’s quiet day comes after four consecutive games with at least 12 fantasy points, 5 catches and 66 receiving yards. Kupp sits 23rd among wide receivers in fantasy points and remains on track for a fringe WR2 campaign.
Miami Dolphins: With six games in the book, calling Mike Gesicki boom/bust would be a major understatement. The third-year tight end has produced 91-plus receiving yards in two games, but he has failed to clear 30 yards during his other four outings. In fact, Gesicki totaled 13 catches, 221 yards and 1 TD on 17 targets against the Bills and 49ers, but has five catches for 60 yards and 1 TD on 13 targets in his other four games. That includes a zero-catch effort on two targets against the exploitable Jets on Sunday. Gesicki is a de facto wide receiver (he’s aligned at wide receiver on 93% of his routes) and still played 66% of the offensive snaps on Sunday, so better days are ahead. Fantasy’s No. 10-scoring tight end will be a fringe TE1 when Miami returns from its Week 7 bye.
Minnesota Vikings: Alexander Mattison was set up for a huge workload with Dalvin Cook sidelined in Week 6. Instead, Minnesota immediately fell behind by double-digits and, of course, abandoned the run. Mattison ended the game with 26 yards on 10 carries and 4 yards on two targets. The impressive second-year back was limited to 23 snaps (46%), compared to 14 for passing-down specialist Ameer Abdullah and five for Mike Boone. Minnesota is headed to its bye week and Cook is expected back in Week 8, so Mattison is not a player who you can plan on starting anytime soon. His only value is as an elite handcuff, which remains true even after Sunday’s dud.
New England Patriots: Julian Edelman‘s season started well with 80 yards on six touches in Week 1 followed by an 8-179-0 receiving line against Seattle in Week 2. It has been a struggle since, with Edelman posting receiving lines of 2-23-0, 3-35-0 and, most recently, 2-8-0. Edelman was targeted exactly six times in those three games and has yet to score a touchdown this season. Fantasy’s No. 48-scoring wide receiver made his hay on heavy volume during the Tom Brady era, but that might continue to elude him in what is the league’s run-heaviest scheme with Cam Newton. Edelman will be no more than a flex flier against the 49ers in Week 7.
New Orleans Saints: Jared Cook entered New Orleans’ Week 6 bye ranked 17th at tight end in fantasy points. Of course, that’s a bit misleading because the veteran tight end missed half of Week 3 and all of Week 4 due to injury. In three full games, Cook produced a pair of top-10 fantasy weeks and put up 9.3 points in the other outing. Cook has been a top-seven fantasy tight end in each of the past two seasons, which includes a nine-touchdown effort last season (he already has two scores in 2020). Cook remains an underrated fringe TE1 option.
New York Giants: The Giants were without Sterling Shepard again and lost C.J. Board to injury after 10 snaps on Sunday. Despite that fact, Golden Tate played only 63% of the offensive snaps, which trailed Darius Slayton (85%) and an undrafted rookie making his NFL debut, Austin Mack (74%). Tate’s snaps are trending down the past two weeks, and he set his season high in receiving yardage in Week 2 (47) and his season high in targets in Week 3 (seven). Tate, who is now 32 years old, hasn’t scored a touchdown this season and is outside the top-80 wide receivers in fantasy points. He’s going to see even less work with Shepard due back next week and can, of course, be left on waivers.
New York Jets: In their first game after releasing Le’Veon Bell, the Jets turned to La’Mical Perine as their lead back. The fourth-round rookie played 39 snaps (57%), compared to 25 for Frank Gore and four for Ty Johnson. Perine didn’t produce much in the shutout, managing 36 yards on nine touches. Gore was better, with 46 yards on 11 carries and 24 yards on four targets, and Johnson flashed with 42 yards on three carries. Gore’s passing-game production is notable as it’s the most targets he has seen in a game since 2017 and his highest yardage total since 2018. Despite the decent day for Gore, Perine remains the more dynamic player and is the best bench stash. We might have just seen Gore’s best performance of the season, so he’s no more than a low-ceiling flex in very deep leagues.
Philadelphia Eagles: Miles Sanders left Sunday’s loss to Baltimore with a leg injury after 27 snaps (42%). The running back distribution behind him wasn’t close, with Boston Scott playing 31 snaps, Corey Clement five snaps and Jason Huntley zero. Scott was held to nine yards on four touches in the game, but we saw him produce 54 yards on 11 touches before leaving with an injury of his own in place of Sanders back in Week 1. Sanders is not expected to play Thursday night, so Scott will be a borderline top-20 RB play against the Giants, with Clement a poor flex option.
Pittsburgh Steelers: What to do with JuJu Smith-Schuster? Pittsburgh’s 23-year-old slot receiver exploded for a 6-69-2 receiving line on six targets back in Week 1, but he hasn’t cleared 48 yards in four games since, scoring one touchdown during that span. Smith-Schuster’s slump hit a new low with 6 yards on four targets against Cleveland on Sunday. With Diontae Johnson nearing a return, it’s fair to wonder if Smith-Schuster’s 18% target share (highest on team) and 12% air yard share (fifth) could shrink even lower, especially with rookie Chase Claypool forcing his way into a key role. Smith-Schuster has plummeted to flex territory, but there’s room for a rebound in one of the league’s top offenses.
San Francisco 49ers: After playing a limited role in his return from injury in Week 4, Deebo Samuel has played 85% of the snaps and is handling a 21% target share during the 49ers’ past two games. Samuel had his best game of the season in Week 6, racking up six catches for 66 yards and one touchdown on six targets. An increase in air yards would be ideal (his aDOT is down to 4.1 from 7.7 last season), but six-plus touches per game will be enough to keep Samuel in the weekly WR3 discussion.
Seattle Seahawks: Through Week 5, the Seahawks had called a pass on 67% of their offensive snaps, compared to an expected rate of 59% (based on game situation). That 8% gap was highest in the NFL, which means that, yes, a Seattle team infamous for running the ball is now operating the league’s pass-heaviest offense. The heavy passing volume helped Russell Wilson to the most fantasy points among quarterbacks, Chris Carson to the fifth most at running back and DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett to top-10 status at wide receiver. Unlikely to make any significant adjustments after a 5-0 start, Seattle exits its Week 6 bye with four players who should be locked into lineups in all formats.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Rob Gronkowski had his first big game with Tampa Bay on Sunday, setting new season highs in targets (eight), yardage (78) and touchdowns (one). After totaling 11 yards on four targets during his first two games with the team, Gronkowski has now reached 48 yards in three of his past four outings, totaling 24 targets during the span (6.0 per game). Gronkowski played 84% of the snaps Sunday, which aligned with his 81% rate entering the game and was well ahead of Cameron Brate (37%) and Tanner Hudson (13%). Gronkowski now has one top-10 fantasy week to his name this season, so while he’s trending up and can be added to rosters, he’s not yet a safe start in most formats.
Tennessee Titans: Anthony Firkser took advantage of a Jonnu Smith injury Sunday and exploded for an 8-113-1 receiving line on nine targets. Firkser entered the week having never cleared five targets, four receptions or 52 yards in a single game and had two career touchdowns to his name. Firkser generally plays around 30% of the snaps (he was at 56% on Sunday, which trailed Geoff Swaim‘s 64%), so he won’t even be an enticing tight end starter if Smith misses time.
Washington Football Team: Terry McLaurin had a tough matchup against James Bradberry on Sunday, but the second-year receiver was able to put together a solid 7-74-0 receiving line on 12 targets. McLaurin entered the game off a dud against the Rams in Week 5 but has otherwise had a very high floor this season. McLaurin has been targeted at least seven times in all six games, including double-digits three times. He has reached 61 receiving yards in all but one game. McLaurin is struggling to find the end zone (one TD) in Washington’s weak offense, but he still sits 12th among wide receivers in fantasy points. Consider Mclaurin a strong weekly WR2 option.