A.P. Statistics

Here are some of Fantasy Expert Ricky Sanders’ DFS-relevant observations from Week 6 of the 2017 NFL season:

Kirk Cousins, Redskins – Despite the fact no receiver has emerged as the team’s number one target thus far, Kirk Cousins went out on Sunday and dropped 31.80 fantasy points on the 49ers. To be fair, the 49ers waived Navarro Bowman earlier in the week and the team was still without Reuben Foster (for the fifth consecutive game) so their defense was certainly depreciated. Still, Cousins threw for 330 yards and two TDs while also rushing for a score as well. The main concern here is the lack of go-to options because Terrelle Pryor Sr. (three catches, 23 yards) continues to disappoint and Jordan Reed just cannot get (and stay) healthy. Therefore, Cousins has been forced to truly throw to the open receiver, who this week was Chris Thompson (four catches, 105 yards) most of the time. The loss of Pierre Garcon has taken time to get used to but Cousins has now thrown for multiple touchdowns (TDs) in three consecutive weeks and has also rushed for 26-plus yards in back-to-back games. With Aaron Rodgers out for the season, Cousins is firmly in QB1 territory the rest of the way, and he draws a date with the Eagles on Monday Night Football next week.

Adrian Peterson, Cardinals – Apparently, Adrian Peterson dipped into the fountain of youth this week and the Cardinals were aware of this occurrence. After being traded from the Saints to the Cardinals on Tuesday, Peterson only needed one week of practice to get acclimated with his new team’s offense. When all said and done, Peterson had rushed for 134 yards and two TDs on 26 carries. Hell, Peterson played more snaps on Sunday (48) than in all four games during his Saints tenure combined. In fact, Peterson had touched the ball just 31 total times in four games and had carried the ball 27 times. NFL.com’s Alex Gelhar noted on Twitter that Peterson struggles to carry the ball in the shotgun and the Cardinals ran just 10 plays in the formation in Week 6. Comparatively, the Saints were averaging 34 shotgun plays per game, so this scheme is much more fitting to his style. In one week, Peterson evolved from useless to a RB2, and he is clearly the lead dog in this backfield until David Johnson returns (presumably around Christmas).

Mark Ingram, Saints – All Mark Ingram needed was more touches to produce for his fantasy owners and the departure of Peterson opened some additional volume. Ingram had combined for 28 carries over the course of his last two games and yet he rushed the ball 25 times in Week 6 alone for 114 yards, two TDs and he even caught five passes for 36 yards. Thus far, Ingram has yet to fall below double-digit fantasy points in any game and he is now the lead dog in this backfield handily once again. As is typically the case with Sean Payton coached backfields, multiple backs can sustain fantasy value, and Ingram has at least earned a lion’s share of the goal line work for the foreseeable future (at least before third down). In a potent offense led by Drew Brees, this is huge for fantasy purposes, and he is once again bordering on RB1 status. The team has heavily involved Ingram in the passing game the last two years and he is now on pace to catch approximately 71 passes this year (which would easily be a career-high). Continue to roster Ingram in the near future and do not look back.

Jerick McKinnon, Vikings – It turns out Jerick McKinnon is not fool’s gold but instead is just shiny, sparkling, 24-carat gold for fantasy owners who need to be choosing him over Latavius Murray for their FantasyDraft lineups. Murray still garnered a sizeable workload this week (16 touches) but McKinnon was once again significantly more effective in all facets of the game. With Stefon Diggs out, McKinnon was presumably going to be more involved in the passing game, but he also rushed 16 times for 69 yards and a score. McKinnon has disappointed in past seasons when given the opportunity but it turns out the athletic freak (rated highly in all metrics according to playerprofiler.com) is not prepared to suffer the safe fate this year. Always a talented player, McKinnon is now getting the workload and looking explosive. Dalvin Cook has been ruled out for the remainder of the season so McKinnon should prove to be worthy of consideration most weeks from here on out.

Michael Crabtree, Raiders – Michael Crabtree is the number one wide receiver (WR) on the Raiders…period, end of story. Eventually, Amari Cooper will bust out of his funk but Crabtree is the superior fantasy asset plain and simple. Including this week’s six reception (REC), 52- yard performance capped off by a TD, Crabtree has caught exactly six passes in four out of five games this year and has scored five total TDs. Meanwhile, Cooper has not caught six-plus passes in any game this season and has only scored one TD (coming in the first week of the season). Stop valuing these two as virtual equals as it is now finally time to admit Crabtree reigns supreme in this receiving core (and by a large margin).

Darren Fells, Lions – Quietly, Darren Fells has caught three TDs over the last two weeks alone and he has averaged 11.67 fantasy points per game (FPPG) during that span. While Eric Ebron is busy being allergic to the end zone (as per usual), Fells is taking advantage of the void in production down close. The injury to Kenny Golladay has certainly contributed to his success as well but Fells out-snapped Ebron 46-41 in Week 6 which marked the third consecutive week in which Fells had seen the field for more plays. In Week 5, Fells barely edged out Ebron in snaps (35-34) and Fells dominated the snaps (51 to Ebron’s 31) in Week 4. There is no question right now which tight end (TE) is the more valuable commodity for fantasy and the answer is not the team’s 2014 first round pick (Ebron). Fells has both earned more playing and been more productive so should be worth a look moving forward (assuming he remains cheap and continues to fly under the radar).

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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