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Panthers Defense Making Strides But Not Trustworthy

The Carolina Panthers Defense, though improving and showing signs of efficiency, is not a viable starting option this week. They face the Saints, who have a potent offense consisting of Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Jared Cook, and elite WR Michael Thomas, who could potentially return this week. In addition, the Saints have been the third-worst matchup for fantasy defenses. The Panthers' defense should be on the bench this week.

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Ian Thomas Not A Starting Option In Week 7

Carolina Panthers tight end Ian Thomas is well off the fantasy radar heading into Week 7. The TE has only gotten three receptions for 14 yards and a score on seven targets in the past three games. His role is simply not large enough for him to merit good fantasy value.

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Curtis Samuel Not A Lock To Play In Week 7

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel is currently dealing with a knee injury and his status for Week 7 remains unclear. Samuel also missed Week 6. The WR has offered very modest value in the passing and rushing game this season, getting no more than 51 receiving yards and 28 rushing yards in any contest. Even if he's active, there are certainly better flex options for this week.

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D.J. Moore A Low-End WR2 This Week

Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore should best be viewed as a low-end WR2 for this week. Moore hasn't been the most productive receiver for Carolina this season as Robby Anderson has emerged into a top option. Nevertheless, Moore's role is still decent as he has seen at least four targets in each game. There is no reason to discount the WR's value completely as he has still gotten over 90 yards in three games as well. That's enough to give him starting value against a New Orleans defense allowing the 11th-most points to fantasy WRs.

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Robby Anderson A WR2 In Week 7

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson is a WR2 this week against New Orleans. Anderson has emerged as the top target for Teddy Bridgewater this season and already has three 100-yard games. He has also seen at least four receptions and five targets in all six games. Given the increasing rapport with Bridgewater along with a large role in this offense, Anderson is a solid starter against a Saints team allowing the 11th-most points to fantasy WRs.

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Mike Davis A Low-End RB1 In Week 7

Carolina Panthers running back Mike Davis is a low-end RB1 this week against the Saints. Davis is coming off a modest week in which he had 52 rushing yards and three receiving yards. Nevertheless, the volume is there in both the rushing and passing game, as he has seen at least 13 carries and anywhere from three to 10 targets in the past four games. The Saints allow the 11th-most points to fantasy RBs, giving Davis a generally favorable matchup.

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Teddy Bridgewater A QB2 In Week 7

Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is a QB2 for this week against the Saints. From a fantasy perspective, the QB has been mostly mediocre aside from Week 5 against the Falcons and overall has six passing touchdowns to five interceptions thus far. Though the Saints allow the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, Bridgewater hasn't proven that he can be an explosive fantasy option. Only consider him in two-QB leagues for this week but there are certainly better options based on matchup.

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Ryan Succop A Streaming Option In Standard Leagues

Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Ryan Succop is a streaming option in standard leagues this week against the Raiders. Succop has been mostly reliable this season, going 10-for-12 in field-goal attempts and 19-for-20 in extra-point attempts. The Raiders offer the 10th-most points to fantasy kickers, which puts him in the starting tier.

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Buccaneers Defense A Solid Streaming Option

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense is a solid streaming option this week against the Raiders. In a highly anticipated matchup between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers last week, the Tampa defense stole the show and got after Rodgers all day, compiling five sacks and two picks. Though the Raiders are a capable offense, the Bucs' defense can generate turnovers and put immense pressure on the QB. After that encouraging and dominant performance last week, they are a great starting option for this week.

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Rob Gronkowski A Low-End TE1 For Sunday Night

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski is a low-end TE1 for this week's clash against the Raiders. Gronk had his best game of 2020 last week, posting five receptions for 78 yards and a score on eight targets. This was an encouraging performance by the veteran, one that may have instilled hope in managers because he looked his dominant New England version. The Raiders are middle-of-the-pack in points allowed to fantasy TEs, which means Gronk is a good streaming option this week.

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Chris Godwin A Low-End WR1 For This Week

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (hamstring) is a low-end WR1 against the Raiders this week, if he's active. Godwin has been dealing with a hamstring injury and has missed three games this so far this season, but he managed to return last week in the blowout against the Packers and recorded five receptions for 48 yards on seven targets. Godwin has immense potential, but he hasn't been able to showcase it due to setbacks this season that haven't allowed him to complete get in sync with new quarterback Tom Brady. The Raiders allow the fifth-most points to fantasy WRs, however, meaning Godwin could have a great game if he plays.

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Mike Evans A Low-End WR1 In Week 7

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans is a low-end WR1 this week against the Raiders, if he's active. Evans has been dealing with an ankle injury and his status for the game is unclear, but barring a setback, he should be available this Sunday night for his fantasy managers. Evans has been quite streaky this year, as he has posted monster games along with contests where he only had one or two catches going for touchdowns. Evans is too talented to bench, so managers can only hope for more consistency. The Raiders offer the fifth-most points to fantasy WRs, making this a solid matchup for Evans if he plays.

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Leonard Fournette A Risky Option In Week 7

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (ankle) is easing his way back from an ankle injury and his status heading into Week 7 is still unclear. Nevertheless, if he plays, he is a risky option. Fournette has missed two of the past three games, and this has paved the way for Ronald Jones II to take the RB1 role in the meantime. Fournette should be considered second on the depth chart behind Jones, with his role a bit uncertain when he returns to the fold. Though the Raiders offer a favorable matchup this week, it's tough to trust Fournette, considering his recent injury and uncertainty regarding how large his role will be.

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Ronald Jones II A Low-End RB1 This Week

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II is a solid starter this week. Jones has now established himself as the top RB on this team and has proved it with three straight 100-yard rushing games. The momentum is building for Jones and he could have another big day on the ground against a Raiders team allowing the most points to fantasy backs. This is one of the best weeks to start Jones with confidence.

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Tom Brady A Low-End QB1 In Week 7

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is a low-end QB1 this week against the Raiders. The QB has been decent this season but posted a season-low 166 yards last week in the blowout win over Green Bay. Nevertheless, that was because the Bucs had a comfortable lead for most of the game. Brady is a great streaming option against a Raiders squad allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to QBs.

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Deeper League Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

The NFL proceeded with Week 6 after several COVID scares last week. Fortunately, no games were canceled and teams were back in action. With a lot of players injured right now, the waiver wire has proved to be incredibly important in terms of getting solid streamers and depth.

At this point, many fantasy managers have likely figured out their weekly starters, but with bye weeks coming now, it’s important to have good substitutes. That’s where the depth comes in and this week offers the chance to pick up some very good options for your team.

As always, players in this deep league column are going to be rostered at or below 15% in Yahoo leagues. Let’s look at some “sleepers” for you to consider.

 

Free Agent Quarterbacks

Nick Foles, Chicago Bears- 10%

The Bears are 5-1 and the wins haven’t always been pretty. One thing for sure is that Nick Foles has helped this team much more with his veteran presence. Look, deep league pickups at QB are going to be limited, but you can’t do much worse than Foles. When looking at other options like Sam Darnold and Kyle Allen, Foles may as well seem like an elite fantasy addition. He does have one passing touchdown in the past three games along with over 200 yards passing in two of those contests as well.

 

Free Agent Running Backs

Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals- 6%

Giovani Bernard stepped in during Week 6 after RB1 Joe Mixon went down with a foot injury. Now, Mixon’s status remains unclear going forward, which means Bernard is a terrific insurance policy. If Mixon misses any time, Bernard will be the RB1 and could take on a huge workload. Cincy’s RB2 did have a rush touchdown in Week 6 and ended up with eight carries.

Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens- 3%

An ankle injury sustained by RB1 Mark Ingram meant a bigger role for Gus Edwards in Week 6. The back finished with 14 carries for 26 yards and a score. Like Giovani Bernard, Gus Edwards is a good insurance policy pick up this week in case Ingram can’t play. Edwards would be a bigger factor in the game plan as the likely RB1.

 

Free Agent Wide Receivers

Greg Ward, Philadelphia Eagles- 11%

The Eagles lost another pass-catcher in Zach Ertz during Week 6. With their main TEs out and the star WRs still hampered for the most part, Ward should remain a factor in the passing game. He’s a good stash at this point more than anything considering he hasn’t gotten more than 38 yards in the past three games.

James Washington, Pittsburgh Steelers- 10%

Amidst all the spotlight fellow receiver Chase Claypool has been put under, James Washington has been quietly putting up good numbers this season too. He finished Week 6 with four receptions for 68 yards and a score on seven targets. He has also seen at least three targets in five games as well. Washington will remain a factor in this passing game, though his production each week will likely vary. He’s still a flex consideration.

Adam Humphries, Tennessee Titans- 9%

Humphries has been quietly productive as the Titans’ WR3 this season. He finished Week 6 with six receptions for 64 yards and a score on six targets. The wideout has also gotten at least four receptions, 41 yards, and six targets in four games played thus far. That’s about as consistent as you will find on this column. Humphries is a solid depth piece and potential starter.

Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts- 6%

Pascal had a terrific Week 6, accumulating four receptions for 54 yards and a score on seven targets. Now the WR2 on the Colts, Pascal has seen at least seven targets and 54 yards in two of the past three games. That bodes well for his fantasy value going forward, making him a worthy addition.

Kendrick Bourne, San Francisco 49ers- 4%

Bourne may not be explosive, but his role in this passing game has been stable during 2020. The receiver has seen at least four targets in five of six games and has recorded at least 40 yards in three of six games. He’s developed some consistency and is worth a stash.

Damiere Byrd, New England Patriots- 4%

With New England lacking weapons in the passing game, 27-year-old Damiere Byrd has emerged as a solid option for Cam Newton. The South Carolina product has been inconsistent, but productive when given the chance to shine. He can be a great deep league starter if his numbers become more consistent weekly. For now, he’s at least worth a stash.

Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears- 2%

2020 pick Darnell Mooney is now becoming a bigger factor in this Nick Foles-led Chicago offense. What’s encouraging is the receiver has seen at least five targets in the past four games. What’s not is his inconsistent production (52 yards in Week 4, 19 yards in Week 5). This adds up to Mooney being a good stash for right now with room to become a starter if he becomes consistent.

 

Free Agent Tight Ends

Logan Thomas, Washington Football Team- 15%

Though the production has not been there, the targets have been for TE Logan Thomas on a Washington team that features unknown pass-catchers aside from Terry McLaurin. Thomas has gotten at least four targets in all six games thus far, which is encouraging for his value on this offense. However, he has only recorded over 30 yards in three of six games. All in all, Thomas is worth storing as TE depth on your team, especially considering bye weeks are now in full swing and many star TEs will not be playing some weeks.

Darren Fells, Houston Texans- 5%

Last week, I talked about Darren Fells and his rise in 2019. Well, his 2020 season is now starting to get better as he posted his best numbers of the season in Week 6. He scored another touchdown this past week and added six receptions for 85 yards on seven targets. Fells and Deshaun Watson have a solid rapport and the player could be a worthy bye-week fill-in at TE along with having the potential to be a TE2 if his numbers stay like this.

Richard Rodgers, Philadelphia Eagles- 0%

With the Eagles now down their top-two TEs, Richard Rodgers will see his role become larger going forward. When considering the injured WR corp on this team too, Rodgers’ fantasy value should escalate a bit right now, making him a solid addition this week. He also has the potential to be a good fantasy starter for deep leagues, but it’s best to monitor how he does in the first couple of games with an expanded role.



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Hayden Hurst Has Touchdown In Win

Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst had four receptions for 57 yards and a score on four targets in Week 6. This was another stellar performance by Hurst but his consistency is not there. In the past four games, he has recorded 51 and 57 yards, along with one and eight yards. Nevertheless, the TE does bring potential each week because of his growing role on this offense. The only risk is that he could put up bad numbers any given week too, as evidence of a couple of recent games. When looking at it in the bigger picture, Hurst's value should remain that of a low-end TE1.

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Russell Gage Gets 65 Yards

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Russell Gage finished Week 6 with four receptions for 65 yards on four targets. This was the best performance by the receiver since Week 1 where had over 100 yards. Nevertheless, Gage's production has dipped since then and he had less than 30 yards in the past three games. While the production this week was encouraging, the consistency is not there and the player is the WR3 on the team, meaning he won't see huge numbers each week. Gage is not a starter until proves he can maintain his numbers.

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Calvin Ridley Records 61 Yards

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley grabbed six receptions for 61 yards and a score on seven targets in the Week 6 win over Minnesota. In six games, this was only the second time Ridley didn't have 100 yards receiving. Nevertheless, he has been incredible this season and the presence of Julio Jones doesn't lower his value at all. Ridley remains in the WR1 tier each week.

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Julio Jones Gets 137 Yards

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones finished Week 6 with eight receptions for 137 yards and two scores on 10 targets. After missing last week due to injury, Jones returned to his elite form and put on an impressive performance while reminding managers why he is worth a first-round pick. He remains in the WR1 tier each week given his incredible target share and talent.

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Todd Gurley II Rushes For 47 Yards

Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley II finished this week's win over the Vikings with 20 carries for 47 yards and three receptions for 20 yards on four targets. It was an off-day for Gurley this week after he finished with over 100 rushing yards last week. Nevertheless, he has gotten at least 14 carries in all six games and his role as RB1 on the team is not in jeopardy by any means. Gurley should remain in the RB2 tier most weeks.

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Matt Ryan Erupts For 371 Yards

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan finished Week 6 by going 30-for-40 with 371 yards and four touchdowns. Ryan easily had one of his best performances of the season and reminded fantasy managers of his potential any given week. The QB has been a bit streaky this year, but can generally be trusted in most matchups.

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Deeper League Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 6

It seems the waiver wire is becoming more and more important with all the hectic scheduling changes, potential cancellations looming, and the presence of injuries. Managers will now have to deal with potential COVID-related game postponements along with the setbacks experienced by many players.

As we head into Week 6, it’s important to start monitoring the consistency of your players to see who could hold trade value and who may need to be dropped. Luckily, there are still players who can provide value off the waiver wire in the deepest of leagues in case someone on your squad is dropped.

As a reminder, players listed in this column will always be rostered at or below 15% in Yahoo leagues. Let’s check out who you should consider grabbing for this week.

Free Agent Quarterbacks

Nick Foles, Chicago Bears - 10%

Nick Foles once again took down Tom Brady, this time in another nail-biter on Thursday night between the Bucs and Bears. Look, Foles is not the most consistent guy out there, but he is streaky, and when he starts feeling it, your fantasy team will flourish. Consider grabbing Foles as a backup.

Drew Lock, Denver Broncos - 8%

With the Broncos’ Week 5 matchup against New England moved back to Week 6, this gives QB Drew Lock another week to rest up and potentially return from a shoulder injury sustained in Week 2. Lock showed promise in Week 1 and the end of last season, so the young QB is certainly worth stashing for now.

Andy Dalton, Dallas Cowboys - 3%

We all hope QB Dak Prescott has a successful recovery from that devastating injury he suffered on Sunday. Because Prescott will be out for the season, veteran Andy Dalton will now become the starting QB for the rest of the season. Dalton has proven to be a fantasy starter in the past and has plenty of weapons to remain fantasy-relevant for the rest of the season.

The QB threw for 111 yards after Prescott went down and made two incredible throws to Michael Gallup to put the team in a position to win. Dalton is the best out of this QB trio to grab this week considering his new, large role and experience.

 

Free Agent Running Backs

Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers - 15%

Last the Packers played in Week 4, Williams showed why he was a talented pass-catching back, posting a season-high eight receptions for 95 receiving yards on eight targets. While the rushing totals haven’t been there, Williams’ value in the passing game shouldn’t be undermined. He can offer great flex value thus.

 

Free Agent Wide Receivers

Greg Ward, Philadelphia Eagles - 15%

Though he’s not the best Eagles receiver to pick up right now (more on that later), Ward is one of the top options in this passing game as Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor, and Dallas Goedert all remain out. Ward has seen at least five targets the past three games, including one contest with 11. He also has 16 receptions for 136 yards and two scores in that stretch. He remains a decent pickup considering Carson Wentz needs someone reliable to throw the ball to.

Kendrick Bourne, San Francisco 49ers - 5%

The 25-year-old Bourne has been consistent this entire season in his numbers. While they haven’t been explosive, his role has remained steady. For example, the WR has seen at least four to six targets, 30+ receiving yards, and two receptions in all five games. That merits him flex consideration in deep leagues at the very least. It’s becoming clear that managers can at least predict what they are getting with Bourne.

Travis Fulgham, Philadelphia Eagles - 3%

Now, THIS is the Eagles receiver you absolutely WANT. Fulgham has appeared out of nowhere and put up solid numbers the past two weeks. He has become Carson Wentz’s top WR option and posted an incredible 10 receptions for 152 yards and a score on 13 targets in Week 5. In Week 4, he posted two receptions for 57 yards and a score on three targets.

Fulgham’s stock is rising and with the Philly WR corp ailing, he could become an integral asset on this offense. He is the best WR to pick up from this section.

Nelson Agholor, Las Vegas Raiders - 2%

Former Eagle Nelson Agholor is now seeing more involvement in this Raiders’ passing offense, getting 32, 44, and 67 yards receiving the past three weeks, respectively. He also has two touchdowns and is slowly gaining the trust of Derek Carr. Agholor should be in contention for the WR2 spot on the team with Hunter Renfrow, meaning his role and production going forward might not be too shabby.

Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears - 1%

The yards may not be prolific, but the ball is certainly coming Mooney’s way. The WR has seen at least five targets the past three games, so managers can only hope he cashes in with great production. Mooney has posted over 35 yards in three of five games, which is an encouraging trend for this emerging WR2 on the Bears.

Josh Reynolds, Los Angeles Rams - 1%

Josh Reynolds often goes under-the-radar as the WR3 on the Rams’ offense, but he has quietly seen at least four to five targets in the past three games and has posted over 45 yards in two of them. While he’s not a focal point of this offense, the looks are coming his way, meaning he holds some value in deep leagues.

Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions - 1%

34-year-old Danny Amendola may not have a large role in his offense anymore, but he’s still been serviceable as the WR3 on the Lions. The Texas Tech product has seen anywhere from three to seven targets in four games along with 57 and 81 yards receiving in two of those contests. Amendola provides flex value considering his numbers can be decent, but the only downside is it’s not consistent.

 

Free Agent Tight Ends

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 2%

With O.J. Howard out for the season and the WR corp banged up, Brate made a case for a bigger role on Thursday night against the Bears, and he delivered. On six targets, the TE had five receptions for 44 yards. With the receivers likely returning to the field healthier sooner rather than later, Brate’s production might not skyrocket, but it could remain steady considering Rob Gronkowski has had an off-year.

Darren Fells, Houston Texans - 2%

With fellow tight end Jordan Akins out in Week 5, Darren Fells stepped up, getting two receptions for 57 yards and a score on two targets. Fells and Deshaun Watson had some great chemistry last year, but that hasn’t translated to success this year for the TE. Nevertheless, Week 5 was his most encouraging performance of the season. Fells is worth a stash right now but nothing more. It’s best to monitor his role going forward and make sure he has good production.

Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams - 1%

Gerald Everett has gone unnoticed on the Rams’ TE unit due to the breakout of Tyler Higbee, but the South Alabama product thrived in Week 5, getting four receptions for 90 yards on four targets. While this was encouraging, it’s only best to stash Everett for now seeing how he only had four receptions for 51 yards on five targets prior to Week 5.



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Younghoe Koo A Solid Starting Option In Week 6

Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo is a solid starting option in Week 6. Koo went 3-for-3 last week in field goals, booting in one from over 40 yards and another from over 50. The Vikings allow the most points to fantasy kickers, so this is one of the best weeks to start Koo.

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Falcons Defense Should Be On The Bench

The Atlanta Falcons Defense is not a starting-caliber option this week. With a bunch of turnover on the coaching staff this week, it signals the start of a new time for the Falcons. Nevertheless, this unit has been struggling all season with injuries and underwhelming performances, especially in the secondary. The Vikings are potent on offense with weapons such as Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, and a rushing attack featuring either Dalvin Cook or Alexander Mattison. There is no reason to consider a unit that has allowed 30 points or more in four of five games.

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Hayden Hurst A Low-End TE1 If Active

Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst is a low-end TE1 if active in Week 6 against the Vikings. Hurst is now dealing with a back injury and his status for the game is unclear. The tight end has not been consistent as he posted two receptions for eight yards on six targets last week while getting four receptions for 51 yards on six targets in Week 4. Though his production is lackluster, he has seen at least five targets in four of five games, so that merits starting value against a Minnesota team that is average against fantasy tight ends. Just know that even though he sees the targets, Hurst is risky because his production could be either decent or completely low.

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Russell Gage Best Left On The Bench

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Russell Gage is best left on the bench for Week 6. Gage has been dealing with a shoulder injury and it remains to be seen if he even plays this week. Nevertheless, after getting over 100 yards in Week 1, the WR has only gotten 64 total yards in the past three games. It seems Gage's role is not as large as hoped, and guys like Olamide Zaccheaus are also beginning to cut into it. It's best to avoid this WR for now.

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Calvin Ridley A WR1 For Week 6

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley is a solid WR1 this week against the Vikings. Aside from a dud in Week 4 against Green Bay, Ridley has gotten over five receptions and at least 10 targets and 100+ yards receiving in the other four games. With such a rich role, Ridley is a strong play against a Vikings team allowing the fifth-most points to fantasy WRs.

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Julio Jones A WR1 If Active In Week 6

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones would be a WR1 if he is active against the Vikings. Jones was held out last week as he is dealing with a hamstring injury. Nevertheless, the Vikings offer the fifth-most points to fantasy receivers, meaning Jones could have a big day if he ultimately suits up.

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Todd Gurley II A Solid RB2 In Week 6

Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley II is a worthy starter this week against Minnesota. The RB has offered minimal receiving value, but has seen at least 14 carries in all five games and posted a season-best 121 rushing yards last week. He also has four rushing touchdowns in the past three games. The Vikings are middle-tier in points allowed to fantasy backs, supporting Gurley's value as a great start this week.