Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams
The Rams had just four first downs and six points at halftime, which seemed especially worrisome for a team that’s struggled badly in second halves this year. But after attempting just three rush attempts in the first half, Los Angeles started the second with eight straight called run plays. The impressive drive was highlighted by Kyren Williams, but ended with Cooper Kupp’s first touchdown of the season:
— NFL (@NFL) October 15, 2023
Williams had two carries at halftime but finished with an NFL-high 158 rushing yards as the No. 2 fantasy back with Week 6's Sunday action in the books. His day could’ve been even bigger, but Williams was stopped at the one-yard line in the third quarter, only to commit a false start penalty next. The drive eventually stalled thanks to a Tyler Higbee dropped touchdown. Still, Williams later had a beastly TD run (originally ruled a fumble for a touchback) to cap off a terrific second-half performance (despite finishing with zero targets for the first time this season).
— NFL (@NFL) October 15, 2023
Unfortunately it appears Williams suffered an ankle sprain that will reportedly keep him out of Week 7, but doesn't seem like a long-term injury.
On the flip side, Kupp had his right ankle taped but appeared perfectly fine while accounting for 101 of the Rams’ 123 yards in the first half. He’d finish with the second-most receiving yards (148) and as fantasy’s No. 3 wideout this week. Kupp has a ridiculous 39% target share since returning and is battling Tyreek Hill as the top fantasy wideout moving forward with Justin Jefferson sidelined. We just need him to stay healthy.
Matthew Stafford (9.4 YPA) continues to play better than his production suggests, but more touchdowns are coming. Puka Nacua had a quiet game while dropping a touchdown but still has a 34% target share since Kupp’s return. Nacua remains locked in as a high-end WR2. Game script dictated just 24 pass attempts from Stafford. Tutu Atwell saw only one target and has become a WR4 for now.
Joshua Dobbs (-10.1 CPOE in the 14th percentile) struggled for the second straight game, although the QB did make numerous nice runs. Dobbs threw a bad pick early in the fourth quarter when he had an open Rondale Moore for a score and missed Marquise Brown for a 45-yard touchdown in the second quarter (just out of bounds). It’s been an all-too-common theme for Brown’s fantasy managers over the last few weeks, but at least he saw another 11 targets.
The Cardinals have the most runs for 20+ yards in the NFL, but that didn’t translate into fantasy production Sunday. Keaontay Ingram was listed atop Arizona’s RB depth chart all week, so it didn’t come as a huge shock to see him out-carry waiver wire favorite Emari Demercado (just three touches). But it was surprising to see Damien Williams get three times as many touches. The Cardinals are a backfield to avoid in fantasy while James Conner is out.
Zach Ertz extended his streak (fourth-longest active) of 122 straight games with a catch late in the fourth quarter, while Trey McBride emerged as the team’s co-leader in receiving yards during Sunday’s loss.
Baltimore Ravens @ Tennessee Titans (London)
Ryan Tannehill struggled mightily before eventually departing with an ankle injury, but Derrick Henry managed a big fantasy game despite the Titans' loss. Henry’s third-quarter TD run was Baltimore’s first rushing score allowed all season (they were the last team yet to allow one in 2023).
Tyjae Spears took a backseat to Henry, but still led Tennessee in receiving yards despite getting just one target.
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine dropped a potential TD in the end zone, while DeAndre Hopkins is still searching for his first touchdown on the year.
Lamar Jackson hit Zay Flowers for the rookie’s first career score and led Baltimore in rushing.
Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman continue to offer no help, as Justin Tucker was the Ravens’ offense with six field goals in London.
Chris Moore took a scary hit in the third quarter, resulting in Kyle Hamilton’s ejection.
Washington Commanders @ Atlanta Falcons
Desmond Ridder had three brutal interceptions, losing for the first time at home since high school (he had been 31-0). He attempted a career-high 47 passes, as Atlanta continues to trend more that way. Ridder was bad Sunday against a Washington secondary that just allowed Justin Fields to throw four touchdowns.
Bijan Robinson saw eight targets but continues to lose more work than expected to Tyler Allgeier.
Drake London secured multiple “Mosses” and needs to be fed 10+ targets weekly.
Kyle Pitts caught his first touchdown of the year, but his knee continues to look less than 100%. It was especially evident on a 19-yard catch in the second quarter.
The Falcons smartly went for two down eight points but had comically bad clock management late.
Facing Sam Howell, Atlanta matched its season sack total with five.
Howell had three touchdown passes but suffered from the opposite game script of last week, resulting in a season-low 23 pass attempts (Washington entered with the highest pass rate over expectation in the league). Howell is on pace to take an NFL-record 96 sacks this season.
Curtis Samuel has outscored Jahan Dotson in fantasy during all six games this season and was also down at the one-yard line in the second quarter.
The Falcons hadn’t allowed a touchdown to a running back all year until Brian Robinson’s TD catch.
Van Jefferson’s first snap with Atlanta was a near 55-yard touchdown that Ridder overthrew in the second quarter.
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears
Justin Fields leaving with a thumb injury (MRI to come) and poor weather contributed to a low-scoring game. Backup QB Tyson Bagent was arguably better than Fields after coming in midway through the third quarter, but he also quickly lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.
DJ Moore didn’t have another eruption game but continued to dominate Chicago’s targets. Moore had a 2-1-7-0 first-half line and got most of his yards from Bagent.
D’Onta Foreman was Chicago’s new lead back but fell just short of scoring while tackled at the one-yard line in the fourth quarter (only to watch his QB sneak in the score).
Kirk Cousins missed Justin Jefferson, getting a season-low 5.8 YPA (and losing another fumble) against a Bears defense that entered allowing the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. The wind certainly didn’t help either.
Alexander Mattison had another disappointing fantasy game, but saw 25 opportunities compared to just two for Cam Akers. But next up is an upset San Francisco defense on Monday night (the primetime matchup might be missing multiple stars).
Jordan Addison was close to a big play in the second quarter but couldn’t secure it downfield. He saw just five targets with no Jefferson but at least added another touchdown.
Seattle Seahawks @ Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow continued to both show his calf injury looks better (he had a long scramble in the second quarter) and display horrific efficiency (5.3 YPA) despite getting Tee Higgins back in a highly favorable matchup. The Bengals’ passing attack was completely shut down during the second half. It was a step back for Burrow, who’s become a matchup-dependent fantasy starter at best right now. Cincinnati’s next three weeks are a bye, @SF and versus Buffalo.
Ja’Marr Chase saw 13 targets but failed fantasy expectations, as did Higgins during his return.
Joe Mixon was bottled up (3.2 YPC) as expected against a stout Seattle run defense, as the Bengals won thanks to terrific defense in the red zone.
Geno Smith finished with a CPOE (+14.5) in the 94th percentile but threw two picks and had zero TD passes for the first time this season.
Kenneth Walker is on pace to run for 21 touchdowns, while Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s 48 yards marked a career high.
DK Metcalf left with a hip injury but returned to record a season-high 10 targets.
San Francisco 49ers @ Cleveland Browns
Brock Purdy’s first pass attempt of the game was a TD to Christian McCaffrey, but it was mostly downhill from there during the QB’s first inefficient game of his career. Purdy had to deal with losing Deebo Samuel and McCaffrey to injury as well as bad weather and constant pressure from a tough Cleveland defense. Some may blame Purdy’s small hands in the conditions, but I’ll accept responsibility for the dud after bragging all last week about having a 45/1 MVP ticket on the QB after Mr. Irrelevant became the favorite to win the award.
Purdy entered leading the NFL in fantasy points per dropback, and his day would’ve been different had Brandon Aiyuk been able to secure this ball. The talented WR still led San Francisco in all receiving stats and added his patented hurdle. Aiyuk’s fantasy value is about to go through the roof if Samuel and/or CMC miss games.
— 𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙎𝙁𝙉𝙞𝙣𝙚𝙧𝙨 (@TheSFNiners) October 15, 2023
McCaffrey had one carry after suffering the oblique injury and immediately departed for good afterward. Jordan Mason took over despite Elijah Mitchell being active and becomes a must-add in all fantasy leagues as we await CMC’s status.
George Kittle would also receive a fantasy boost should Samuel miss time. Trent Williams also left the stadium in a walking boot, as the 49ers suffered more than their first loss Sunday.
PJ Walker played well enough, helped by multiple terrific catches by Amari Cooper.
Numerous shaky (and critical) penalties went against San Francisco, but Purdy still led the team to what looked like a game-winning drive until Jake Moody missed a 41-yard field goal (his second miss of the day — and career). He also made me regret all those “imagine not drafting a kicker in the third round” jokes. The 49ers finished with the fewest total yards (215) in a game in the Kyle Shanahan era; Cleveland’s defense is legit.
New Orleans Saints @ Houston Texans
The Texans prevailed despite C.J. Stroud throwing the first interception of his career. The impressive rookie QB countered with two TD passes despite missing Tank Dell and Marshon Lattimore shadowing Nico Collins.
Dameon Pierce split work and was less productive than Devin Singletary, as his window to “buy low” in fantasy leagues might remain open all season.
Derek Carr threw for a season-high 353 yards, connecting with Rashid Shaheed downfield and also a score.
Alvin Kamara saw another 27 opportunities (about his average since returning), but it’s past time we stop considering Houston a favorable fantasy matchup for running backs.
Taysom Hill had six catches by halftime, while Chris Olave remains stuck on one touchdown this season.
Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville won easily, but Trevor Lawrence suffered a bruised knee late that needs to be monitored.
Travis Etienne converted a first-and-goal for a TD run and added an even more impressive touchdown shortly thereafter. He began to take over the short-yardage work last week, and it’s huge news it continued (successfully) Sunday. Etienne looks like a borderline top-three fantasy back if Lawrence is fine.
Josh Downs and Zack Moss scored garbage-time touchdowns, while Jonathan Taylor was quiet again aside from a 40-yard catch.
Gardner Minshew has performed differently throughout his career when defenses know he’s starting.
Michael Pittman saw 14 targets and should continue to benefit from Anthony Richardson’s (season-ending?) injury.
Carolina Panthers @ Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins somehow still covered the 14.5-point spread in a possible trap game (@Phi on SNF next week) despite throwing a pick-six (for the second game in a row) after being down 14-0 earlier.
Raheem Mostert was easily fantasy’s top back in Week 6, recording three touchdowns for the second game this season (he entered the season with zero such games during his career). Mostert is up to an NFL-high nine rushing scores and also scored on a perfectly designed pass play. Mostert had multiple highlight-worthy runs and is a top fantasy RB with De’Von Achane sidelined.
— NFL (@NFL) October 15, 2023
Rough day for Team Chris Brooks (*raises hand*), as Salvon Ahmed played ahead of the rookie. Brooks later left with an injury (that led to a garbage-time Ahmed touchdown instead). Ahmed is worth stashing in fantasy leagues given the explosive Miami offense (“The Greatest Show on Surf”), while Jeff Wilson Jr. could quickly become a flex option when he returns.
Tyreek Hill caught a long TD and earned a taunting penalty after. He’d later leave with cramping (a theme for him this year during home games) but returned. Hill is on pace for an NFL-record 2,306 receiving yards.
Jaylen Waddle scored but once again could’ve had a bigger fantasy game. He was targeted for a long touchdown, tackled inside the five-yard line and drew a DPI in the end zone (after seeing four EZ targets last week). A spike week is coming for Waddle.
Chuba Hubbard was an upgrade over Miles Sanders and produced a top-10 RB week.
Adam Thielen had a 9-9-105-1 line before appearing to get banged up early in the third quarter. Maybe it was nothing, but he finished with just two catches for 10 yards over the final 25+ minutes (not that we should be complaining about Thielen’s fantasy production).
New England Patriots @ Las Vegas Raiders
Mac Jones didn’t get benched, but Jimmy Garoppolo was hospitalized with a back injury during the Raiders’ revenge-game win.
Brian Hoyer failed to lead a touchdown drive during the second half (a bad DeAndre Carter drop didn’t help), but Jakobi Meyers caught another touchdown from Jimmy G.
Davante Adams had a 3-1-8-0 line at halftime and increasingly looks like Las Vegas’ WR2 (with a possibly shaky QB situation).
Josh Jacobs has the most tackles for a loss in the league this season, as his fantasy floor has become much higher than his ceiling.
Rhamondre Stevenson appeared to be injured (head) during his season-long 16-yard run but returned to the game and later scored.
Ezekiel Elliott scored his first touchdown as a Patriot out of the wildcat, but New England’s struggling passing attack is killing the offense.
DeVante Parker suffered a brutal drop in the fourth quarter deep downfield, leading to a safety (and a Raiders cover ATS) the next play. Unreal. The Patriots are a bottom-three NFL team at best right now.
Detroit Lions @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jared Goff outplayed Baker Mayfield on the road, helping the Lions score a team-record 25+ points for their 15th straight game. Detroit is 13-3 over its last 16 games and is a contender.
David Montgomery suffered a rib injury during a 19-yard catch early in the second quarter and never returned. Craig Reynolds didn’t do much after replacing him, although the backup RB delivered a terrific block during Amon-Ra St. Brown’s touchdown.
Jameson Williams made the most of his three targets, pulling down a long score:
— NFL (@NFL) October 15, 2023
Mike Evans was catchless in the first half and committed an OPI and a bad drop while playing through his hamstring injury. It was a disappointing game for Evans and Chris Godwin in a favorable matchup against a pass-funnel defense.
Rachaad White was predictably shut down, while Trey Palmer just missed a long touchdown in the second quarter.
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Jets
Jalen Hurts threw a career-high three interceptions (including a bad one late) as the Eagles were shut out in the second half during their first loss of the season. Hurts put up nice fantasy stats but managed just 6.2 YPA against a Jets defense missing multiple members in their secondary (including Sauce Gardner).
D’Andre Swift was bottled up on the ground and lost a fumble but made a sick TD grab.
AJ Brown pulled down a terrific catch and has four straight games with 125+ receiving yards.
DeVonta Smith suffered a bad drop in the third quarter that would’ve gone for a long gain, but at least he led Philadelphia with 11 targets. Smith will be better in fantasy moving forward, but the Eagles’ offense hasn’t been the same this season without Shane Steichen.
Garrett Wilson returned after appearing to be MetLife Stadium’s latest turf victim, but he needed to be checked out again late in the game. He made a great catch but once again suffered playing with Zach Wilson.
Breece Hall looked great in a tough matchup and was gifted a late touchdown by Philadelphia’s defense. Expect Hall to be really unleashed when the Jets come out of their bye next week.
Allen Lazard had a brutal third-quarter sequence in which he committed a personal foul penalty (negating a Garrett Wilson catch) followed by an egregious drop.
The Eagles had been 12-0 versus the Jets all time, but suffered a similar loss as the NFL’s other previously undefeated team did Sunday. Philadelphia also lost Lane Johnson and others, adding injury to insult.
New York Giants @ Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen struggled (5.6 YPA) against his old offensive coordinator but made enough plays to narrowly avoid losing as 15-point home favorites. Allen’s designed runs are way down this season (1.6) compared to last year (4.2), and he had just two rushes Sunday night (when he appeared to get banged up).
James Cook split work evenly with Latavius Murray, while Damien Harris left with a possibly serious injury.
It took 16 targets for Stefon Diggs to reach 100 yards, while Gabe Davis’ biggest moment was losing a fumble.
Tyrod Taylor played well enough to pull off the upset but came just short during an untimed play at the one-yard line to end the game. He cost the Giants at least three points earlier after inexplicably checking to a run with no timeouts left at the end of the first half.
Saquon Barkley saw 28 touches during his return. He ripped off back-to-back long runs in the fourth quarter and hopefully came out of the game without too much damage.
A long Jalin Hyatt catch was nullified by a shaky penalty, while Wan’Dale Robinson led New York in targets.
Justin Pugh moved “straight off the couch” to left tackle as New York dealt with more offensive line injuries Sunday night.
The Giants took their first two snaps with the lead this season during the first quarter but have zero offensive touchdowns over their last 12 quarters.