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Re-Evaluating the Rookie Running Back Class of 2020

We're six weeks into the 2020 NFL season and are starting to get some good ideas of what usage patterns are looking like.

Which means we probably have enough data now to start to re-evaluate where certain players stand in relation to other players. For example, we've got a better idea of how this year's rookie running backs are performing as rookies and what their 2020 value is for the rest of the season.

So, let's do that by ranking the top rookie running backs for fantasy re-draft leagues for the rest of 2020, then breaking down why the players rank where they do.

 

Rookie Running Back Redraft Rankings

I've put a lot of thought into the various nuances here and this is what I've ended up with as my ROS rankings in PPR leagues for the rookie backs.

  1. Jonathan Taylor - Indianapolis Colts
  2. James Robinson - Jacksonville Jaguars
  3. Clyde Edwards-Helaire - Kansas City Chiefs
  4. D'Andre Swift - Detroit Lions
  5. Antonio Gibson - Washington Football Team
  6. Joshua Kelley - Los Angeles Chargers
  7. J.K. Dobbins - Baltimore Ravens
  8. Zack Moss - Buffalo Bills
  9. Cam Akers - Los Angeles Rams
  10. La'Mical Perine - New York Jets

Apologies to the handful of guys who are not ranked, especially Darrynton Evans, who would leap up this list in the event of a Derrick Henry injury upon return from IR.

Now, let's talk about why these 10 guys rank where they do.

 

Re-Evaluating Rookie RBs - The Top Tier

Let's start with the player who is No. 1 in these re-rankings: Jonathan Taylor.

Yeah, yeah, yeah -- everyone told us for months that Taylor was the rookie RB1 and we just didn't believe it, which is how I ended up with so much Clyde Edwards-Helaire in dynasty and not enough Taylor.

But there was definite reason to not have Taylor as your redraft RB1. The main reason: his path to carries was crowded by the existence of Marlon Mack, while CEH had no competition.

Well, Mack's done for the season, and since Week 2, Taylor is eighth among running backs in red zone attempts with 16. This week, he saw 80 percent of Indy's carries, the second-highest percentage in the league behind Derrick Henry. Take out quarterback carries, and this past week paints a very clear picture of this backfield. Per Add More Funds:

image taken from AddMoreFunds

This is Taylor's spot moving forward, which makes him one of two rookie running backs with a very clear grip on a No. 1, workhorse-type role. Taylor is 100 percent the top rookie.

Second is someone who was on no one's radar until just before the season kicked off: Jacksonville's James Robinson.

When Jacksonville let Leonard Fournette go, things opened up with the Jags. Ryquell Armstead, Chris Thompson, and Devine Ozigbo were expected to compete for the lead role.

But nope, it was none of them who emerged. Instead, undrafted rookie James Robinson became the lead back.

Over the last three games, Robinson is ninth among running backs in snap rate, and he's second to David Montgomery in positional attempt rate at 95.45 percent, as Jacksonville's other most-used back by snap rate, Chris Thompson, is exclusively a receiving option and has two carries in the last three games to Robinson's 42.

Robinson isn't as talented and doesn't run behind as good of an offensive line as Taylor, but his usage on the ground and in the passing game makes him the clear No. 2 rookie running back for fantasy right now.

Next is where things start to get a little dicier.

I have Clyde Edwards-Helaire third for now, with D'Andre Swift fourth. But this was the decision that perturbed me the most as I was working on this piece. It ultimately came down to going with the player in the better offense, but it was close.

See, CEH is about to be in a timeshare with Le'Veon Bell. I'd guess the split breakdown with Bell goes more to Edwards-Helaire's side -- and that we see a good bit of Bell split out at receiver with Edwards-Helaire in the backfield. It's not like Bell is in his prime at this point, but he's still a capable back provided Adam Gase didn't permanently ruin him. He'll get opportunities, which cuts too much into Edwards-Helaire's workload.

D'Andre Swift almost earned the third spot in my ROS rankings, but I was worried that I was buying into recency bias just a little too much. See, Swift is coming off by far the best game of his young career, rushing 14 times for 116 yards and two touchdowns while catching three passes for seven yards. But while his touches and production rose, he still saw action on just 38 percent of snaps, plus Adrian Peterson received 15 carries and also found the end zone. This team won't be as efficient each week, which ultimately lowers Swift's floor. He's a clearly talented back, but I don't trust the opportunities as much as I do with CEH, even with the Bell addition factored in.

Fifth is Antonio Gibson, who suffers from "bad offense" syndrome. The Washington team plays from behind a lot, which is part of why they average just 23.4 run plays per game. Gibson's 55 carries rank 26th at the position, and the Washington offensive line ranks 28th in adjusted line yards per game. So while Gibson is his team's primary back -- he's had 64.71 percent of their running back carries over the last three games -- he's also limited by a terrible supporting cast, which has helped contribute to him not running for more than 55 yards in a game yet, though his three touchdowns this season has boosted his value.

 

Re-Evaluating Rookie RBs - Lower Tier

Sixth, we have Joshua Kelley. The Austin Ekeler injury is giving Kelley a short-term boost, and he'd probably drop below J.K. Dobbins if I did this exercise a month from now. But the short term matters when ranking rest of season value, as does the importance of his bye week being behind him. Kelley has lost some touches to Justin Jackson, but it's always good to follow where these touches come from. Kelley does have a team-high 10 red zone carries, while Jackson has none.

J.K. Dobbins is seventh and I'm probably undervaluing him a little, but the Ravens remain a tough team to project. Over the last three games, here are some attempt numbers for the team:

image taken from AddMoreFunds

Dobbins has trailed Gus Edwards and Mark Ingram in carries, even while surpassing Ingram in snaps. And with Lamar Jackson siphoning off 19.35 percent of the carries over that span, it's hard to love Dobbins right now, even after a season-high nine carries in Week 6. A Week 7 bye week also helps keep him under Kelley in my rankings, as does the fact that while he's the best receiving back on this team, there's still not a lot of running back receptions coming in this Ravens offense.

The final three ranked players come with a good bit of a gap between them and the first seven.

At eight is Zack Moss, who just played his first game since Week 2, getting five carries for 10 yards. Moss is barely playable in fantasy, but he does have one advantage: in Weeks 1 and 2, Moss had seven red zone attempts to Devin Singeltary's three. He's got touchdown upside, even if it's not a lot of upside.

Ninth is Cam Akers. I like Akers. I'm sure we all like Akers. But a seemingly healthy Cam Akers played just one offensive snap against the 49ers, despite rushing for 6.78 yards per carry in Week 5. If he gets opportunities, he has flex appeal, but he's ninth right now because we can't guarantee anything at all when it comes to chances, thanks to Sean McVay's unpredictable usage.

Rounding out the top 10 for now: La'mical Perine. Sure, he gets more touches than Akers, but his low ceiling makes it tough to justify him on your fantasy roster right now. He's backing up Frank Gore in an Adam Gase offense. There's nothing at all good about that, even if he had seven carries and two catches this week, and this team has a very tough upcoming schedule that will lead to pass-heavy game scripts.



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Tape Tells All: D'Andre Swift's Week 6 Performance

Welcome to another edition of Tape Tells All. I've been thinking of rebranding as just TAPE. All-Caps like that. Probably wouldn't be a good idea for SEO purposes, right?

Anyways, this week we'll be discussing Detroit Lions rookie running back D'Andre Swift.

Swift set a lot of career highs this week, with bests in carries (14), rushing yards (116), and rushing touchdowns (two). But did Swift show that he's ready to be a consistent fantasy option moving forward, or was this just an illusion?

 

Background Information

When Detroit drafted the rookie out of Georgia in the second round, it was a bit of a surprise, as they'd just recently spent some high draft capital on Kerryon Johnson. But the Lions have been fruitlessly searching for a star running back since Barry Sanders retired and injuries had already started to plague Johnson's career, so it made sense.

Then, they went ahead and signed Adrian Peterson, further complicating a backfield that wasn't expected to do much anyways because of how pass-happy the Matthew Stafford Lions have been.

But Detroit is averaging 27.6 rushing attempts per game, which puts them 16th in the NFL. Last season, they averaged 25.6 rushing attempts per game, which also ranked 16th. That's where we are in the second year of Darrell Bevell as offensive coordinator. This is no longer the 2017 Lions team, which ranked 31st in rushing attempts. Things have changed in Detroit, even if the narratives around those things haven't yet.

Still, feeding multiple mouths is tough. Here's the rushing attempts and snaps for Detroit's running backs through six weeks, per Add More Funds:

Peterson has the clear edge when it comes to rushing attempts, earning 57.5 percent of carries by running backs and 48.28 percent of red zone carries. Johnson and Swift on the season have basically split the carries behind Peterson.

But things change. Johnson in the past two games has just 13.73 percent of running back carries, with Swift up to 35.29 percent. The makeup of this backfield is shifting, especially after what Swift did this week: 14 carries, 116 yards, two touchdowns.

Johnson's basically out of the picture. But, what does Week 6 really mean for Swift?

 

The Game Tape

Swift got started right away in this one, as his first carry of the game went for 54 yards. Of course, that first carry did come after Adrian Peterson had five carries, but another way to look at that would be to say that after the first series of the game where Peterson scored a touchdown, Swift outplayed and outtouched him.

Anyway, the play:

Swift finds the hole and then is off to the races, getting deep into Jaguars territory before a defensive back manages to chase him down. It's an explosive play for the rookie, who shows how he's able to get to the next level of the defense thanks to an 83rd percentile 40-time among running backs.

This also helped:

Look how that offensive line creates this perfect opening for Swift, occupying all the defenders down near the line of scrimmage and allowing Swift to get past those initial defenders.

This offensive line does rank just 19th in adjusted line yards, so it's not like these holes are being opened on each play. But on this one, it worked out for the Lions and for Swift.

But see, the blocking isn't always there. There's no hole for Swift, so he has to try to bounce outside, where he comes face to face with a Jags defensive back. One-yard gain. This is a good example of how even a talented back can't turn a nothing play like this into a something play.

Okay, on to the touchdowns.

Swift's first touchdown was a one-yarder. He's able to squeeze his way into the end zone here, doing a little sideways leap to make it happen.

More important than the actual result of the play is that Swift got the ball this deep into Jaguars territory. Swift received four red zone and three money zone attempts in this game, leading the Lions. He had 50 percent of the team's red zone carries in Week 6. Over the first four games, he'd received just 9.52 percent of those red zone looks. The biggest thing about this game, in my opinion, is that the Lions were suddenly trusting Swift in the part of the field that's most conducive to fantasy scoring.

Let's quickly zoom through some other observations before ending with the final touchdown: There were a slightly concerning number of low-yardage plays, but watching the film of those, it's hard to blame Swift too much for that. Like, they ran a 2nd and 11 toss play, but the blocking never developed and Swift was caught after just a one-yard gain. I can't hate on the running back for that when the playcalling and the line were also to blame. He did manage to find a few good holes and get some solid yardage at times, though.

Anyway, the second touchdown:

Another red zone carry!

On this one, Swift makes a nice cut back inside, then is able to absorb contact and push his way into the end zone. It's another very encouraging sign for the type of work he should get going forward.

 

Fantasy Impact

So, what do we think of Swift going forward?

I'd say to be cautiously high on him.

The increased workload seems to suggest we're moving more towards an equal split between Swift and Peterson, which should offer Swift more opportunities to make big plays. But we still have to contend with the fact that Peterson is here, and that Peterson had been the main red zone back up until the last game.

Swift is unlikely to suddenly be a bellcow. Not while they have a reliable veteran like Adrian Peterson around. But he should be someone who provides RB3 fantasy value going forward, and whose ability to get involved in multiple facets of the game -- I didn't even talk about his receiving ability -- gives him upside.

Swift has rendered Kerryon Johnson irrelevant at this point, so you can go ahead and move on from Johnson in redraft. And there's a very likely scenario in 2021 where Swift is getting 75 percent of the work in this backfield, in which case he'd be a high-end RB2 play. Dynasty managers should keep that in mind.

But in redraft, he's just fine for now. He'll have good games. He'll have not-so-good games. The talent is very clearly there, but the right opportunities might not be. Yet.



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Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Six weeks of NFL football are behind us, aside from a pair of Monday games, including a late afternoon game between the Bills and the Chiefs.

In terms of wide receiver production this week, we didn't have the huge breakouts like we had in Week 5. Chase Claypool didn't score four touchdowns. In fact, only three receivers on Sunday had multiple receiving touchdowns, and all three are rostered in at least 87 percent of leagues. Anyway, let's get to the waiver wire.

Not all options are the same. Some players may be better in PPR or deeper leagues, so it’s not a one-size-fits-all comparison. Use your best judgment when deciding which of these players is the right fit for your roster. Check here for a complete list of our Waiver Wire Adds for Week 6 for help at all the skill positions. All players on this list here are around 30% rostered or below.

 

Travis Fulgham, Philadelphia Eagles

31% rostered

With their top three receivers still out, Fulgham had another strong game, catching six of his 10 targets for 75 yards and a touchdown. We're in a really weird spot here with Fulgham, because he's playing like someone who needs to not only be rostered, but needs to be in your WR2 spot. The problem is that we don't know what his workload looks like when Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Jalen Reagor are back in the fold, so in terms of value as the season goes along...it's hard to know. But Fulgham should at least be startable next week against the Giants, and should be on your radar.

Keelan Cole, Jacksonville Jaguars

29% rostered

Cole's scored 9.7 fantasy points or more in 0.5-PPR in four of the six games this year, and Sunday was the best performance of all for him, as he grabbed six passes for 143 yards. Cole's role is likely to look more like it did in Week 3 and Week 4 -- a pair of games with four catches for 40-something yards -- than it is to look like this, but he's a fine bye-week fill-in in deeper leagues, especially full PPR ones.

Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons

27% rostered

Gage was looking like a solid WR4 play for the first couple weeks of the year but has faded since. On Sunday, he caught four passes for 65 yards, and maybe with both Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley on the field, there will be more chances for Gage to get some open looks? He's not an exciting play, but if the Falcons start to play better after firing Dan Quinn, Gage can get back to having some WR4 appeal in deeper leagues.

Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos

18% rostered

Jerry Jeudy struggled against the Patriots, catching just two passes for 32 yards. But Patrick continued his ascension, turning his eight targets into four receptions and 101 yards. Three consecutive games with at least 100 yards or a touchdown have Patrick in a really good place, though before we anoint him as a weekly WR3 play, we probably need to see how he looks when K.J. Hamler and Noah Fant are back. Still, Patrick deserves a spot on most fantasy rosters.

Randall Cobb, Houston Texans

17% rostered

A Cobb touchdown helped cover up that he had just three catches for 17 yards. Still, Houston is throwing more and Cobb has WR4 upside in full PPR leagues due to his role, and the fact that it seems Kenny Stills just isn't part of this passing game now can offer Cobb a few more opportunities each week.

James Washington, Pittsburgh Steelers

10% rostered

So, about JuJu Smith-Schuster...

James Washington led the Steelers wide receivers in targets this week with seven, turning them into four catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. Diontae Johnson (back) missed this game, opening room for Washington. He should maintain a role until Johnson returns, though the bigger question is if he can leap over Smith-Schuster once Johnson is back. Washington has been outplaying JuJu. For now, Washington is a deep league option.

Adam Humphries, Tennessee Titans

9% rostered

With Corey Davis still on the COVID-19 list, Humphries had a nice workload upon his own return from the COVID-19 list, catching all six of his targets for 64 yards and a touchdown. Humphries fits an archetype I like in deep leagues: he's a slot receiver who should get six or seven targets per game, which gives him a really nice floor. There's plenty of chances for guys like that to make positive impacts in your lineup, especially as bye week replacements. And hey, Humphries is already past his bye week!

Breshad Perriman, New York Jets

8% rostered

Well, Perriman returned from an ankle injury that had caused him to miss three games. He was targeted eight times, catching four of them for 62 yards. Look, we saw last year in Tampa what Perriman can do in a good offense -- he can be really, really good for fantasy football managers. He's very clearly not in a good offense now in New York -- this offense is just ridiculously bad -- but when Sam Darnold gets back, Perriman might be able to carve out some fantasy viability in deeper leagues. I think his talent is worth a roster spot in a 14-team league.

Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts

6% rostered

Pascal was expected to be the No. 2 receiver while Parris Campbell and Michael Pittman Jr. were out, and he is, though he's closer to the 1A receiver at this point with how T.Y. Hilton has been playing. Pascal was targeted seven times against the Bengals, catching four passes for 54 yards and a score. He has a bye week coming up, but should be a WR4 option until this team gets healthier.

Marcus Johnson, Indianapolis Colts

0% rostered

Like teammate Pascal, there's a bye week next week for the Colts and Marcus Johnson, but I still have to mention a guy who caught five passes on eight targets for 108 yards. While T.Y. Hilton has floundered, Johnson has seen his role grow in each of the past three games. He's the big play receiver for Philip Rivers and should be rostered in 14-team leagues.



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Corey Davis Activated From COVID-19 List

After missing the past two games, Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis has been activated from the league's COVID-19 list and should be set to return for the team's next game against the Steelers. Davis was having a bit of a resurgence in the first three games of the year, catching 15 passes for 206 yards and a score and starting to look like a viable fantasy play in deeper leagues. We'll see if he can get that positive momentum back.

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Adam Gase Still Not Giving Up Play-Calling Duties

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase says that he isn't going to let someone else call the plays for the 0-6 Jets, saying that play-calling is "Step 10" for the team and that they are currently still on Step 2. It's not a surprise that Gase is being stubborn about this issue, as he's likely feeling immense pressure to turn things around on his own if he wants to find some way to inexplicably keep his job. As long as Gase is the head coach for the Jets, there are very few Jets players who can be trusted in fantasy. The list is essentially just wide receiver Jamison Crowder.

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Mitchell Schwartz, Ricky Seals-Jones Active

Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz (back) is active for Monday's game against the Buffalo Bills. Schwartz will help bolster the Kansas City offensive line, preventing there from being a downgrade to the team's production that could have come if Schwartz was out. Meanwhile, tight end Ricky Seals-Jones is active for the first time this season, though we don't expect to see much from Seals-Jones in this one.

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Zack Moss, John Brown Both Active

Buffalo Bills rookie running back Zack Moss (toe) is active for Monday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. T.J. Yeldon is inactive, suggesting that Moss is good to play at least somewhat of a role against K.C. Wide receiver John Brown (knee) is also active and should see plenty of playing time, though he is likely to trail behind Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley in snaps. Neither Moss nor Brown are great options in season-long leagues, though Moss has appeal in deeper leagues due to his projected role in the red zone.

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Laviska Shenault Jr. Barely A Factor Against Lions

So much for a breakout. Jacksonville Jaguars rookie wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. was targeted seven times in Sunday's loss to the Detroit Lions, but finished with just three catches for 10 yards. He added a one-yard carry as well. Shenault had been trending up and was a popular pick to explode in Week 6, but it didn't happen as Keelan Cole ended up taking on a larger share of the team's targets. Shenault should be rostered in 14-team leagues, but he's not ready to be a consistent starting option for fantasy managers.

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D.J. Chark Jr. Targeted 14 Times

So much for a lighter workload due to injury concerns. Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark Jr. was targeted 14 times against the Lions on Sunday, catching seven of them for 45 yards. The yardage wasn't great, but the targets sure were. Chark is a WR2/3 in this offense with the upside to be a consistent WR2, and seeing target shares like this can help him make that case.

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Keelan Cole Leads Jaguars In Week 6 Receiving Yards

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole caught six passes for 143 yards in his team's Week 6 loss to the Detroit Lions. It was Cole's first 100-yard game of the season. It's hard to get a read on Cole from a fantasy point of view, as he seemed to be trending down before this game. But he's now had 10-plus PPR points in four of the six games this season and has shown he should be rostered in 14-team leagues due to a strong PPR floor.

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James Robinson Catches Touchdown Against Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson had his worst game on the ground of his rookie season on Sunday, carrying the ball 12 times for just 29 yards in a loss to the Detroit Lions. However, he salvaged his day from a fantasy perspective by catching four passes for 24 yards and the team's only receiving touchdown. Still, it was a pretty disappointing game for Robinson, who consistently struggled to make things happen when he had the football.

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Gardner Minshew II Has Rushing Touchdown In Week 6

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II as 25-for-44 throwing the ball in a Week 6 loss to the Detroit Lions, finishing with 243 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He also rushed three times for 14 yards and a score. It wasn't a pretty game for the second-year quarterback, though he made just enough plays to finish with a decent statline for fantasy managers. Minshew's a decent QB2 play going forward, but it's disappointing he couldn't take more advantage of a Lions secondary that's struggled at times this year.

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Randall Cobb Finds End Zone In Week 6

Houston Texans wide receiver Randall Cobb caught three passes for 17 yards in Week 6 against the Titans, though a touchdown grab helped salvage an otherwise disappointing day. Cobb's starting to fall back in the pecking order in Houston, as Will Fuller V and Brandin Cooks start to see more consistent targets. Cobb's got upside in deep leagues, but also has a low floor as the third or fourth option for quarterback Deshaun Watson.

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Brandin Cooks Has Nine Receptions Against Titans

Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks caught a team-high nine passes for 68 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's loss to the Tennessee Titans. He also came up just short on another potential touchdown. Cooks has been the team's leading receiver by receptions in consecutive weeks and looks poised to be a high-upside fantasy WR3 moving forward in a Texans offense that's started to really open things up down the field.

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Darren Fells Has Huge Week 6

Houston Texans tight end Darren Fells caught six passes for 85 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's loss to the Titans. Fells has mostly been a low-yardage, touchdown-dependent player during his time in Houston, but the last couple have games have seen an uptick in his yardage. Those games have come with Jordan Akins (ankle) sidelined, though, so we're not quite sure what to think of Fells moving forward since Akins should be back soon. He seems like a high-end streaming play when Akins is out, though.

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Will Fuller V Finds End Zone Against Tennessee

Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller V caught six of his 11 targets in Sunday's loss to the Titans, finishing with 123 yards and a touchdown. Fuller got loose for a 53-yard touchdown to help the Texans counter just after a huge Derrick Henry scoring play. Fuller led the team in targets and reminded fantasy managers why he's a high-upside WR2 play most weeks. The Deshaun Watson and Will Fuller connection is zooming along now that the team has made a coaching change.

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David Johnson Scores Third Touchdown Of 2020

Houston Texans running back David Johnson scored his third rushing touchdown of 2020 in Sunday's overtime loss to the Titans. The former Cardinals rusher had 19 carries, finishing with 57 yards. Not the most efficient day, but getting into the end zone helped salvage things. Johnson also added a 12-yard reception. While Johnson isn't back to being the same player he was earlier in his career, he's still a solid back going forward who should be able to work as a low-end fantasy RB2.

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Deshaun Watson Throws Four Touchdowns In Week 6

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson had his best game of the 2020 season in Sunday's loss to the Tennessee Titans, going 28-for-37 for 335 yards and four touchdowns. He added 26 yards on the ground. Houston got behind big early, but managed to storm back into things. Unfortunately, Houston never got a chance to possess the football in overtime. Still, Watson showed why he was drafted as a QB1, and after a bit of a shaky start, he's back in "must start regardless of matchup" territory.

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Joe Mixon Returns To Game Against Colts

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (foot) has returned to his team's Week 6 game against the Indianapolis Colts after exiting earlier with a foot injury. Monitor Mixon to make sure he's a getting a full workload, but it seems he's fine after the injury scare.

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Joe Mixon Questionable To Return With Foot Injury

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon exited Sunday's game with a right foot injury and is questionable to return. If Mixon fails to return, Gio Bernard should be in for a strong second half performance, especially with the Bengals holding a good sized lead and likely running more over the remainder of the game.

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Mark Ingram II Questionable To Return In Week 6

Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram (ankle) is questionable to return to Sunday's game against the Eagles. If Ingram is unable to return, expect to see more of Gus Edwards, who has already scored a touchdown in Sunday's game. This will be an important injury to monitor going forward to see if it leads to any clarity in this crowded backfield.

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Dak Prescott Has No Infections Post-Surgery

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (leg) has not had any infections after his surgery. This sets Prescott up to start the four to six month recovery window from the injury. While he won't be back at all in 2020, Prescott should be good to go in 2021, though the big question remains if he'll be in Dallas or not, as he was playing this season on the franchise tag.

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Antonio Gandy-Golden Out For Rest Of Week 6

Washington Football Team rookie wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden earned a starting spot for Washington on Sunday, but that potential upside took a turn, with Gandy-Golden exiting with a hamstring injury. He has already been ruled out for the remainder of this contest. While it was a good sign for his future that he was in as a starter in two-receiver sets, the hamstring issue puts a damper on that for now. We'll have to see if this is a lingering issue.

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Andrew Thomas Didn't Start For Giants

The New York Giants made a change with their offensive line, moving rookie left tackle Andrew Thomas to the bench and starting third-round rookie Matt Peart in his place. Not a great sign for Thomas, the No. 4 overall pick in this year's draft who has struggled so far. Maybe if this is a permanent change, Peart will help provide better protection for quarterback Daniel Jones.

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Jordan Wilkins Active For Week 6

Indianapolis Colts running back Jordan Wilkins (calf) will play on Sunday despite missing practice on Thursday and Friday. Wilkins has the chance to see a few touches on Sunday, but doesn't really make a dent on the fantasy radar. Consider Jonathan Taylor to be the lead back and the main fantasy play this week in Indy, regardless of Wilkins's status.

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Adam Humphries Will Play Against Texans

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Adam Humphries (COVID-19) will return for Sunday's game against the Houston Texans. Fellow receiver Corey Davis (COVID-19) will not. Humphries should immediately step into a solid role in the slot for the Titans, making him a WR4 play in full-PPR leagues and WR5 play in half-PPR. Not an exciting option, but someone who can provide you with a solid floor against a Texans Defense that has struggled at times this season.

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Curtis Samuel Inactive For Week 6

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel (knee) looked like he was trending towards playing on Sunday against the Chicago Bears, but was a late scratch when the inactive report came out. With Samuel out, we can expect heavy doses of D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson at wide receiver. Seth Roberts should see an increased workload, but isn't a viable fantasy play. Samuel's absence also impacts the running back position, as he'd seen a handful of carries per game there. Mike Davis should be a small boost.

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Darius Slayton Will Play Against Washington

New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton (concussion) is available to play on Sunday against the Washington Football Team. Slayton should serve as the primary target for quarterback Daniel Jones, and while downside exists, he's also already had a pair of 100-yard games and should be considered a solid WR3 play this week against this Washington defense.

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Adrian Peterson Good To Go After Appendix Scare

Detroit Lions running back Adrian Peterson missed practice earlier in the week after side pain prompted concerns about his appendix. But blood work showed there wasn't an issue there, and Peterson is good to go on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. This is a fairly crowded backfield and the Jaguars are a defense that's going to give up more numbers through the air than on the ground, making Peterson a risky RB3/4 option at best.

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News - Fantasy Football & NFL NFL Analysis

Drew Lock Officially Active For Week 6

Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (shoulder) is officially active for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots, while Jeff Driskel won't be active. This seems to suggest Lock is a full go as the starter, though a tough matchup against the Patriots means that Lock's just a low-end QB2 play. He'll be especially hurt by the absence of multiple playmakers, including running back Melvin Gordon III and tight end Noah Fant.