Column

Frankel’s Fantasy Files: Week 6

A wild week of fantasy football is in the rearview mirror.

A photo of Sam Darnold warming up for a game

“Frankel’s Fantasy Files” is a column by Kyle Frankel about fantasy football.

Bizarre. That is the only word that comes to mind when I think about what transpired last week in the fantasy football world.

For starters, odds are your quarterback either had a monster week or an extremely disappointing one. Reliable fantasy signal callers exploded, like Josh Allen, who gave Bills Mafia a 36.50 point per reception (PPR) point performance. However, other dazzling QBs from this season did not deliver their usual prowess. One of these disenchanting showings was from Sam Darnold, who followed up one of the best Week 1-4 stat sheets with a brutal 6.08 PPR point game against Philadelphia this past Sunday.

Speaking of quarterbacks having wild games, let’s talk about Lamar Jackson. He and Mark Andrews ruined a lot of fantasy owners’ games on Monday night. I was up by about 50 points going into Monday with my opponent only having Lamar left to play. I went in quite confident, but had a lingering thought that if anyone could score 50 PPR points in a game it would be Lamar Jackson. Luckily for me, he only racked up 41.88 points and I was able to escape with the win, but many other owners out there had their week spoiled.

The Ravens had another heartbreaker this week. Somehow Mark Andrews scored a whopping 41.70 PPR points on Monday night after not exceeding 16 PPR points in any prior game this season. I do not know them personally, but there must have been someone out there winning by 83 fantasy points after Sunday who saw that their opponent only had Jackson and Andrews left to play. They celebrated their “guaranteed” victory only to watch it all crumble before their eyes. If you are reading this and identify as that individual, I offer you my deepest condolences.

Not only did this week hold crazy individual performances, but it was full of other surprises such as injuries galore and unknown players having breakout games to warrant fantasy roster spots. Without further ado, why don’t we dive into Week 6?

A shootout is coming to D.C.

A barnburner is a slang term used in the ice hockey community to describe a game which is a very high-scoring affair. That is the one word I think best exemplifies what will happen in D.C. this coming Sunday when the 2-3 Kansas City Chiefs travel to the country’s capital. The Washington Football Team and the Chiefs both rank dead last in the league in opponent points per game at 31 and 32, respectively.

Not only that, the Chiefs are also one of the most electric offensive units in football, boasting playmakers like quarterback Patrick Mahomes, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. Kansas City is fifth in the NFL this season in team points per game with an average of 30.8. Though Washington lands a bit lower on the list at No. 12, they still have some menacing offensive capabilities. After all, Washington’s “Scary” Terry McClaurin has quickly grown to be one of the league’s best wideouts.

The combination of terrible defenses and high-powered offenses will indeed make this matchup a barnburner, so skill positions or QB starters from either team are almost a must-play this week.

Giants have fallen

In the span of just a few quarters, the New York Giants saw the two centerpieces for the future of their franchise — and the remainder of this season — go down with unrelated injuries. First, running back Saquon Barkley fell early with a gruesome sprained left ankle. The swollen ankle definitely looked severe on TV as Barkley was carted off the field, but after Giants head coach Joe Judge said the X-rays came back “with better news than it could’ve been,” it is likely that the physical specimen in the Giants’ backfield will not be gone for more than a few weeks. In the meantime, look to acquire his backup Devontae Booker from the waiver wire as he will be receiving the bulk of the workload. In Barkley’s absence, Booker scored 20.8 PPR points on 58 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. Booker is only rostered in 6.0% of ESPN fantasy leagues (as of Tuesday) so it will be a frenzy to land him on your squad this week.

Quarterback Daniel Jones also left the game Sunday after taking a scary blow to the head and stumbling off the field. Jones was diagnosed with a concussion and his timetable for return is currently unclear. As opposed to the running back situation, I would not recommend claiming Jones’ backup Mike Glennon off the waivers. He will not produce nearly the same numbers Jones had been putting up this season, and even though he may have some decent games, there are many other quarterbacks on the waivers or on your bench with far more upside.

There’s a new Giant in the wide-receiver universe

Kadarius Toney is the hot topic this week in fantasy football and for good reason. He is a budding rookie wideout who is seeing an increased target share in the banged-up New York Giants receiving corps. This past week he reeled in 10 catches for 189 yards before he was ejected for throwing an unexpected punch at Cowboys safety Demontae Kazee. Before getting tossed from the game, Toney’s stats gave him a stellar 29.6 PPR points, all without finding the endzone. With Sterling Shepard still not at full strength, Toney is a top receiver in this offense, if not the No. 1 wide receiver, and should be rostered in every fantasy league.

It’s not all gloomy in Detroit

The 0-5 Lions have suffered five disheartening losses, with Ravens kicker Justin Tucker’s record-setting field goal as time expired being one of them. Though fans of the team are having a rough season as always, one of the team’s young pass catchers has the potential to make a lot of fantasy owners very happy. Rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown from USC is quickly becoming the top receiver in a depleted Detroit air attack. He is seeing an increase in targets over the past couple of weeks, with eight targets in each of the last two games.

The only reason St. Brown is not on many people’s radar is because he has not scored a touchdown yet. I believe the volume he is receiving warrants a spot on your bench for now. Keep in mind he is on the Lions, a team that has been and will be playing from behind in most games this year, giving him the potential for some long scores in garbage time. As of Tuesday he is only on a roster in 5.4% of ESPN fantasy leagues, so go grab him and stash him on your bench.

Friendly reminder

Week 6 is the first of many bye weeks in this new 17-game season, so if you have players on the Falcons, Jets, Saints or 49ers in your lineup make sure you get them replaced before kickoff.

I don’t know about you, but I picked up a win last week and have battled back from an 0-2 start to 2-3 on the year and a chance at .500 after this week. Part of the reason for my recent success has been the waiver wire. Guys like Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow and Jets running back Michael Carter have been solid contributors the past couple of weeks.

Also, choosing the right time to start and sit players wins and loses games. I believed in Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire right before he reached his potential and sat Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson last week for a receiver that outscored him and turned out to provide the points that let me edge out my opponent. Fantasy football is much more than getting lucky or unlucky on draft night; it is a season-long battle with new moves to make every week. So don’t hang your head, pick it up and make that championship-winning move.

“Frankel’s Fantasy Files” typically runs Thursdays.