Injuries, injuries and more injuries. It seems that's all the 2020 Fantasy football season has had for us, and Week 6 was no different with Mark Ingram, Raheem Mostert, Joe Mixon and Miles Sanders all exiting with various injuries — and Zach Ertz, DeVante Parker and Jonnu Smith joining them on the sidelines, too.
That means we've got another week where the waiver wire targets will revolve around injury replacements, and it means another week of games impacted by those injuries. Here's our recap for every game in Week 6, featuring the biggest winner and loser and one thing you might have missed from the box score for each.
The Lions have a running game if they can keep it.
- Winner: D'Andre Swift. The Lions are still using three running backs every week, but in Week 6 at least, Swift forced them to use him as the top option. He led the team in snaps (41%) en route to a career game, rushing for 116 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns, while adding three catches on as many targets for 7 yards. Adrian Peterson technically led the Lions with 15 carries, and Kerryon Johnson still got five touches, but Swift is making it awfully tough to justify spreading the ball out like this moving forward. He's been the team's most dynamic playmaker as a receiver out of the backfield, and dominated on the ground Sunday, including for two close-in touchdowns. I'm not going to predict this is the start of Swift taking over the backfield, but it should be.
- Loser: James Robinson. Robinson still dominates touches in the Jaguars backfield, but it's starting to look like his hot start might have been just that. He has rushed for fewer than 50 yards in three of four games, while he has just 78 receiving yards since his big 83-yard game in Week 3. Of course, he also still found the end zone Sunday while hauling in four passes, his fourth straight with at least that many catches, so Robinson still looks like a must-start guy because of volume alone. But maybe it's more like as a No. 2 running back than a No. 1.
- What you might have missed: T.J. Hockenson hasn't quite taken off like we hoped he might in Year 2, but it's clear the Lions view him as a key part of their offense, and we saw a prime example of that on their second drive of the second half. After Kenny Golladay got them to the 1-yard, Hockenson earned three straight targets on second, third and fourth down, with the last one getting the Lions into the end zone. He had just two other targets in the game, so we still want to see him be a more consistent part of the offense, but if they're going to make him a focal point near the end zone, you can live with inconsistency elsewhere. Given the state of the position, Hockenson's role in this offense makes him a solid starting option in all formats.
The FFT crew breaks down key Week 6 developments Monday on the Fantasy Football Today podcast. Follow all of our podcasts and subscribe here.
The Titans look pretty terrifying on offense, and the Texans' bad-luck start to the season continued.
- Injuries: Jonnu Smith (ankle) — Did not return.
- Winner: Ryan Tannehill. Derrick Henry deserves a lot of the credit, but Tannehill was the reason the Titans' 2019 season turned around, and he's the primary reason they are 5-0 through six weeks now. He passed for four touchdowns in this one, his fourth game with at least two passing touchdowns in five tries. And he's doing it while being asked to pass a lot more — he has 173 attempts already, after just 286 in 12 games a year ago. He has a tough matchup in Week 7 against the Steelers, but Tannehill has earned the right to at least be considered against pretty much any matchup.
- Loser: David Johnson. He's still getting nearly all of the rushing work, and it's not like Duke Johnson is taking a significant amount of passing down's work. There just aren't many targets going to running backs in this offense. In Week 6, it was just four targets between the two of them, and Johnson doesn't have more than two catches in a game since Week 1. You're probably starting him most weeks, but unless the Texans decide to use him as a receiver more, he's just a low-upside No. 2 back.
- What you might have missed: A.J. Brown "scored" a "touchdown" to send the game into overtime, but … did he really? He made a diving grab that was originally ruled a touchdown, but subsequent replays showed he might not have gotten the left foot down. Of course, the replays didn't definitively show he didn't get the foot down, so the call stood on the field. Not that it would change Brown's value — he's one of the most talented receivers in football and a must-start for Fantasy, even against a tough Steelers team in Week 7 — but you might have gotten just a little bit lucky here.
The Colts almost lost another because of a late Phillip Rivers interception, but the Bengals aren't quite ready to take advantage of that.
- Injuries: Joe Mixon (foot) — Exited in the second quarter, returned in the third, left briefly one more time before returning … Tyler Boyd (leg) — Left briefly, but was able to return.
- Winner: Tee Higgins. Higgins isn't the No. 1 option in the Bengals offense, but with how much they spread the ball around, that doesn't really matter much. He put together his first 100-yard game of the season Sunday and is now averaging 67.8 yards per game since Week 2 when he first became part of the offense and has been a consistent part of the red-zone offense. There will be disappointing weeks, but Higgins has a high-upside role featuring plenty of deep throws and red-zone opportunities, making him a perfect bye-week fill-in.
- Loser: T.Y. Hilton. I've been looking for reasons to remain optimistic about Hilton, and we get some more Sunday as he had a touchdown called back by a penalty. However, he had just one catch for 11 yards officially, and has fewer than 60 yards in five of six games — and five or fewer targets in four of six. At some point, you have to actually produce, and Hilton just isn't doing it. You can let him go.
- What you might have missed: Joe Burrow was held without a passing touchdown for the second straight game and third time in six career games, but he's a lot closer to being a consistent Fantasy option than you might think from just looking at the box score. Sunday, he had Higgins tackled at the 2-yard line on a 67-yard catch, had a should've-been touchdown dropped or broken up out of Joe Mixon's hands and another almost touchdown to Higgins early on. Burrow is getting a lot of pass volume, he's a threat near the goal-line himself — another short touchdown run Sunday — and has plenty of weapons in the passing game. It's going to click, and he could be a must-start option down the stretch.
- Winner: Matt Ryan. I hoped things would get better for Ryan with Julio Jones' return, and that's exactly what happened. He carved up the Vikings defense early and often, throwing for 371 yards and four touchdowns — Ryan entered Week 6 with just one score in his previous three games. Jones looked healthier than I expected in this one, and he was a tide who lifted all boats because Russell Gage had his best game since Week 2 and Calvin Ridley found the end zone as well. As long as Jones is healthy, Ryan will remain worth starting, including in an upcoming stretch against the Lions, Panthers and Broncos.
- Loser: Alexander Mattison. The process was right, but that doesn't make the end result any easier to stomach. Mattison never had a chance with Kirk Cousins coughing the ball up three times and the Falcons going up double digits early. Now the Vikings are on bye in Week 7, with Dalvin Cook likely back from his groin injury in Week 8. Mattison remains one of the best stashes in the game, but this one hurts.
- What you might have missed: There's no such thing as garbage-time points in Fantasy, but Adam Thielen had just two catches before his short touchdown in the final four minutes. What's becoming clear in the Vikings offense is there's room for both Thielen and Justin Jefferson to be Fantasy relevant, but it's going to be frustrating on a week-to-week basis. When Cousins focuses in on one of them — Sunday, it was Jefferson, who went for nine catches, 166 yards and two touchdowns on 11 targets — it's going to require a big play for the other one to hit. There's really no point trying to figure out which one it will be on any given day, so your best bet is just to approach Thielen as a boom-or-bust No. 2 and Jefferson as a boom-or-bust No. 3.
Broncos 18, Patriots 12
So, maybe practice is important? The Patriots offense was almost entirely lifeless after their COVID-related hiatus.
- Winner: Phillip Lindsay. With Melvin Gordon sidelined due to an illness, Lindsay played his first game since Week 1 and made his case for returning to a timeshare. That was the plan coming in, but with Gordon running well to open the season, it was fair to wonder if he had secured a larger share. Expect something close to an even split moving forward, with Gordon still likely to see more passing downs work — Lindsay didn't see a target Sunday.
- Loser: Damien Harris. This was a pretty strange game for the Patriots, who didn't really get to practice in two weeks while dealing with a COVID outbreak, but it should have been a good setup for Harris because the Patriots were able to hold the Broncos to just field goals. Unfortunately, he saw just six of the team's 25 rush attempts and was targeted only once. With a tough matchup against the 49ers on the way in Week 7, Harris is just a low-end flex option in a three-way backfield split.
- What you might have missed: The Patriots just couldn't get anything going on offense for most of the game, but they did find a spark in the fourth quarter with some creative play calling. They picked up 22 yards on a pass from Julian Edelman to James White on a throwback, and then picked up another 16 yards later on the drive on a reverse to Edelman that he threw to Newton. It was good to see the Patriots show some creativity during a tough game. Given the lack of weapons in the passing game, they might need to lean into their quarterback's unique skill set even more.
The Eagles are making a habit of late-game comebacks, but it continues to be too much to ask of Carson Wentz given his lack of weapons. And he might have lost two more …
- Injuries: Zach Ertz (foot) — Did not return …Miles Sanders (knee) — Did not return … Mark Ingram (ankle) — Did not return.
- Winner: Travis Fulgham. He didn't quite go for a repeat of his Week 5 breakout, but Fulgham backed it up about as well as you could have hoped. He matched for the team lead with 10 targets and posted a team-best six catches for 75 yards and a touchdown. He has 18 catches for 287 yards and three touchdowns over his past three games, and while it remains to be seen what Fulgham's role will look like when Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson return from injury, he'll be in the WR3 discussion for Thursday's game against the Giants.
- Loser: Ertz. Even before the injury, Ertz was having another tough game, catching four passes for 33 yards on 10 targets. He is now averaging 3.96 yards per target for the season, with just one catch for more than 12 yards. It hasn't all been on Ertz — Carson Wentz has missed him several times, and he just hasn't been put in many good situations overall — but between the injury and his performance, it's finally time to start looking for someone you can start in his place.
- What you might have missed: Wentz has left plenty of points on the field so far this season with his mediocre play, but he had a chance for a bigger game if a few things had gone better for him. First, Miles Sanders dropped an absolute gimme touchdown late in the first half that would have gone for 21 yards. That drive instead ended with a turnover on downs two plays later. Just a minute later, Wentz heaved a Hail Mary to close out the first half and Fulgham just couldn't quite hang on to it at the front of the end zone. At the very least, Sanders cost Wentz an extra touchdown in this one, and it could've easily been a four-touchdown game.
Steelers 38, Browns 7
Ben Roethlisberger doesn't lose to the Browns, and the Browns turned back into the Browns in a laugher.
- Loser No. 1: Baker Mayfield. Maybe, like Jimmy Garoppolo last week, Mayfield just wasn't healthy and shouldn't have been out there, but he was atrocious Sunday, completing 10 of 18 for 119 yards, one touchdown and a pair of interceptions before being replaced by Case Keenum. Mayfield probably didn't do enough to actually put his job at risk, and this Steelers defense has probably made several quarterbacks wish they had sat out already this season, but this was another troubling game for Mayfield. He has two interceptions in each of his past two games, and continues to struggle to make a connection with Odell Beckham, especially. It's just hard to get excited about this offense right now.
- Loser No. 2: JuJu Smith-Schuster. Smith-Schuster is playing plenty of snaps and actually led the Steelers in routes run Sunday, but he was a total non-factor in what will hopefully end up being the low point of his season. Smith-Schuster caught just two of four targets for 6 yards Sunday, and now has 34 yards over this last two games. Of course, it's not just the last two games; Smith-Schuster hasn't topped 70 yards in any game and has just three catches for more than 13 yards in five games. At this point, Smith-Schuster looks like a high-priced version of a Cole Beasley or Adam Humphries. Amid injuries and breakouts and everything else, the one constant in the Steelers receiving corps so far this season has been Smith-Schuster coming up small.
- What you might have missed: It was almost another multi-touchdown game for Chase Claypool, who was taken down at the 3-yard line on a long catch. James Conner punched it in.
Bears 23, Panthers 16
The Bears defense is one of the best in the game, and that's been enough so far.
- Winner: David Montgomery. At this point, the dreams that Montgomery might develop into a star have pretty much died out, but he might be underrated for Fantasy as a result. It's not exactly fun to watch Montgomery, but you'll take the 13.7 PPR points in a game where he didn't find the end zone. As long as Montgomery has a monopoly on running back touches in Chicago, he's going to be a must-start Fantasy option.
- Loser: Teddy Bridgewater. This was an uncharacteristically ugly game from Bridgwater, who missed several throws en route to his ugly showing. It doesn't help that this Bears defense looks like a legitimate elite unit, one you probably want to steer clear of outside of your elite players when they are on the schedule. If you want to drop Bridgewater for Week 7 against the Saints, I wouldn't blame you, but I will point out that he gets the Falcons in Week 8, so you might want to see if you can stash him on your bench instead.
- What you might have missed: D.J. Moore was used more how we expected him to be coming into the season, as he led the team with 11 targets, while Robby Anderson was used more as the deep threat. Unfortunately, Moore didn't exactly acquit himself well, as he failed to come up with an end zone target (he was hit in the air, for what it's worth), then had an ugly drop in the third quarter and couldn't come down with a key fourth-down target that he was able to get a hand on. Moore probably didn't make the case for usurping Robby Anderson as the team's top option with this one.
Giants 20, Washington 19
- Winner: Logan Thomas. In a better offense, Thomas would be a solid starting Fantasy tight end, and given the state of things at the position right now, he might be one anyway. Of course, it's easier to say that coming off a game where he found the end zone, rather than his consecutive one-catch games. However, Kyle Allen at least looked comfortable Sunday, and he allowed Thomas to use his physical tools to make plays, as he did on that touchdown, where Allen just lobbed it up. Thomas isn't a must-start tight end, but I still think there's the potential for him to grow into one.
- Loser: Antonio Gibson. At the very least, it seemed like Gibson had the rushing work all to himself, but even that didn't happen Sunday, as J.D. McKissic earned eight carries to Gibson's nine. McKissic was also the better pass catcher in this one, and most alarmingly, he out snapped Gibson 39 to 26. At this point in the season, we had hoped to see the rookie take hold of this job for good. That hasn't happened yet, and it's fair to wonder whether it might anytime soon.
- What you might have missed: Darius Slayton got into the end zone along with his two catches for 41 yards, but he came into the game dealing with a foot injury and limped off several times throughout. With a short turnaround for Week 7's game against the Eagles Thursday, it's fair to wonder if he'll be at 100% in time. As if this offense wasn't ugly enough.
Adam Gase is still the head coach of the Jets as of this writing, so just continue to expect the worst from this thoroughly outmatched team.
- Winner: Myles Gaskin. Gaskin was already a winner once this week when Le'Veon Bell turned down the Dolphins offer and went to the Chiefs, and then he went out and had another good game against the lowly Jets. He has almost no competition for touches — Jordan Howard was a healthy scratch and Matt Breida had six carries and two targets — and that alone makes him a viable starter for Fantasy. Add in that he has at least four targets and three catches in every game this season, and Gaskin looks like pretty close to a must-start guy in PPR.
- Loser: Mike Gesicki. Riding the Gesicki-Coaster could make you … well, sick. He followed up his big five-catch, 91-yard showing in Week 5 with zero catches Sunday, just like he followed up his eight-catch, 130-yard Week 2 with just 30 yards on two catches over his next two games combined. Meanwhile, Durham Smythe and Adam Shaheen combined for four catches, 55 yards and a pair of touchdowns Sunday, after Shaheen scored in Week 5. Gesicki is really more of a wide receiver than tight end in Miami's offense, but even there, he's behind DeVante Parker and Preston Williams in the pecking order.
- What you might have missed: Perine didn't get as many opportunities as we'd like to see — nine touches to 15 for Frank Gore — but the changing of the guard may have quietly begun Sunday, as he actually out snapped Gore, 41-25. At some point, the Jets have to just turn things over to Perine just to see what they have in an obviously lost season, so go see if he's available on waivers before he starts to get more work.
Buccaneers 38, Packers 10
The Packers got off to a good start, but things devolved rapidly as the Packers defense may have been exposed.
- Winner: Ronald Jones. It's interesting to think what might have happened in an alternate timeline where Leonard Fournette doesn't get hurt in Week 4, but it also doesn't really matter all that much. Jones rushed for 100 yards for the third straight game while putting up his first career two-touchdown game, and at this point it's hard to see him losing his job unless something drastic happens. Fournette will have a role when he's healthy, but Jones has proven he deserves a significant share of the running back carries. That's called taking advantage of your opportunities.
- Loser: Mike Evans. I've been harping on Evans in this space all season, and this is why. He was papering over the issues in his role with touchdowns, but what happens when the touchdown pace slows and he isn't getting the target share or downfield looks we've grown accustomed to? Well, this — one catch for 10 yards on two targets. Evans has battled through several injuries this season, so maybe that explains some of the issue, however, the Buccaneers have gone from averaging around 400 air yards per game to right around 300, and Tom Brady is spreading the ball around a lot more than Jameis Winston did. Evans is on pace for 749 yards on 61 receptions, by far the worst numbers of his career.
- What you might have missed: Aaron Rodgers has looked more comfortable this season than he has in recent years, but the Buccaneers changed that, racking up 12 pressures, the most Rodgers has seen this season. He was 2 for 7 for 10 yards with four sacks when pressured and 5 of 14 with both interceptions when blitzed. Rodgers looked visibly frustrated, and the pass rush affected him on both interceptions, as he failed to step into his throw on both instances. It looked a lot like the middling version of Rodgers we saw last season. Let's just hope this was an aberration.
49ers 24, Packers 16
The 49ers made things easy for Jimmy Garoppolo thanks to a bunch of short passes, while the Rams looked uncomfortable playing from behind.
- Injuries: Raheem Mostert (ankle) — Did not return after third quarter injury.
- Winner: Deebo Samuel. Given that there is some overlap between the skill sets of Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, I wondered what would happen when both were healthy. Well, Sunday, it was Samuel who saw more action, hauling in six passes for 66 yards and a touchdown on six targets, many of the shorter de-facto run variety. Aiyuk, on the other hand, had just two receptions on three targets. Samuel has 14 targets to Aiyuk's nine over the last two games, and should be viewed as the No. 2 receiver in this offense behind George Kittle — making him a viable WR3 play.
- Loser: Cam Akers. Never listen to coaches. Earlier this week, Sean McCoy told reporters he wanted to get Cam Akers more involved in the offense after he rushed for 61 yards in nine carries in Week 5, so of course, Akers played one snap Sunday. One. McCoy said it was because of the game flow of the first half, but if you want to get someone involved in the offense as the head coach, you can make it happen. Akers clearly wasn't much of a priority in this one, and while I don't think you should drop him just yet, I wouldn't plan on being able to use him anytime soon. Especially with Darrell Henderson continuing to run well and Malcolm Brown still holding the coaching staff's trust in passing situations. Akers looks like the odd man out right now.
- What you might have missed: With Mostert sidelined much of the second half, the 49ers primarily turned to JaMycal Hasty to close out the game. Hasty ran the ball nine times for 37 yards, while Jerick McKinnon rushed the ball just six times for 18 yards with two catches for 10. When Mostert missed Weeks 3 and 4, McKinnon dominated playing time, racking up 28 carries and 10 receptions across the two games, but he's been more of a bit player since Mostert returned. Hasty should be one of the top targets on waivers in Week 7 if it looks like Mostert will miss time, but the bigger question will be whether we can trust McKinnon as a starter. Two weeks ago, it didn't look like a question at all.
Chiefs 26, Bills 17
We didn't get quite the offensive fireworks we were expecting or hoping for in this one, but Clyde Edwards-Helaire managed to make a strong case to keep his job.
- Winner: Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Well, someone doesn't want to lose his job. Edwards-Helaire went out in his first game after the Chiefs signed Le'Veon Bell and put together arguably the best performance of his young career, rushing for 161 yards on 26 carries and adding four catches for 8 yards, giving him two 100-yard rushing games in his first six. It's still not clear what Bell's role will be upon joining the Chiefs, and this game may not have made any difference on that either way. But admit it: You feel a lot better about Edwards-Helaire moving forward than you did last week, right? I'm still expecting Edwards-Helaire to be the primary rusher, with Bell taking more passing game work in something like a 60-40 split.
- Loser: Josh Allen. The good news is, even in his worst game of the season — by far — Allen still had 19.1 Fantasy points, as he had his best rushing performance since Week 1. However, that gives Allen his two worst passing performances in a row after he opened the season so strong. Allen completed just 14 of 27 passes for 122 yards, and he really wasn't very close on many passes. He's still well ahead of where anyone could have reasonably expected coming into the season as a passer, but this regression is a bit disappointing after it looked like Allen may be making the leap to the elite tier. The good news? He's got the Jets on the way in Week 7, so it won't be three poor performances in a row.
- What you might have missed: As good as Edwards-Helaire was, his bad touchdown luck continued Monday night. On the team's third drive of the night, Edwards-Helaire rushed for 36 yards, doing much of the heavy lifting to get the Chiefs in close, and he capped off the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run … that was nullified by penalty. It was his only carry inside of the 10 yard line in the game, and continued this streak of five straight games without a touchdown — he has 103 touches in those five games. The concern is that Bell might take on the goal-line and/or passing-downs work from Edwards-Helaire, so this was definitely frustrating to see.
Cardinals 38, Cowboys 10
The drop off from Dak Prescott to Andy Dalton might be huge, but the Cowboys never had a chance after Ezekiel Elliott's two first-half fumbles.
- Winner: It's hard to stay level during the NFL season, because the schedule is so short that you almost have to overreact sometimes. However, it's important to remember that, although the Fantasy season is nearly halfway over, we're still in small-sample-size theater season, and Kenyan Drake is our latest example. He entered Week 6 averaging 3.7 yards per carry and with most of the Fantasy football community clamoring for him to be benched in favor of Chase Edmonds. After Monday's 164-yard, two-touchdown game, Drake is a top-15 back in Fantasy, average 4.6 yards per carry and on pace for 1,300 total yards and 11 touchdowns. And as for Drake looking slow? Well, he looked pretty fast on that 69-yard touchdown.
- Loser: Ezekiel Elliott. Really, it's the whole Cowboys offense, but special shout out to Elliott, who helped sink the Cowboys and countless Fantasy teams with his two fumbles. He now has five fumbles through six games, one shy of his career high set in 2018. The good news is, Dalton still looked his way early and often, targeting him 11 times because he just didn't have much time to drop back and wait for anything else to develop. Even in a bad version of the Cowboys offense, Elliott is an elite Fantasy option; this was just an especially bad performance, but the fumbles probably aren't something to be concerned about moving forward.
- What you might have missed: Dalton wasn't good Monday, but the offense line is a much bigger problem. Among the five starters along the Cowboys line in Week 1, only Connor Williams and Terence Steele made it through Week 6, as they lost Zack Martin with a concussion Monday — and Steele is already starting in place of La'el Collins and Cameron Erving. Once a strength of the team, the line has been an issue all season for the Cowboys. Dalton can be productive with these weapons in good circumstances, but that's not what he has right now. It's not an overreaction to drop Michael Gallup, and Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb both look like boom or bust No. 2 Fantasy WRs.