Bottom PASSING MATCHUPS
To view all of our Week 6 Matchup content, please see the links below:
Top 5 Passing Matchups Week 6
Bottom 5 Passing Matchups Week 6
Top 5 Rushing Matchups Week 6
Bottom 5 Rushing Matchups Week 6
Rushing Matchup Chart Week 6
Passing Matchup Chart Week 6
Philadelphia vs Baltimore
The Eagles have been so decimated by injuries - and held back by shaky quarterback play - that no part of this attack figures much into the fantasy landscape. There are few obvious upside plays, if any, and a profoundly low floor against a top-level defense. For his part, Carson Wentz has been subpar for most of the season. Judging his play in a vacuum, he’s regressed sharply in his fifth campaign, posting a career-worst 5.8 yards per attempt. He’s completed under 60% of his throws, with 7 interceptions and 4 touchdowns. But it’s only fair to note the sheer lack of playmakers he’s left with: last week’s snap dominators at wideout were John Hightower, Travis Fulgham, and Greg Ward. This Sunday, though, the Eagles’ concerns begin up front, where the blitz-happy Ravens project to pose all sorts of problems. Already down their two best pass-blockers, this line may also find itself without right tackle Lane Johnson, who left Week 5 with an ankle injury that’s nagged him all season. Jack Driscoll has graded poorly in his place, making for a fully exploitable spot that could affect Wentz throughout the day. There’s just very little to like in this matchup, and no real reason to expect the unexpected.
The Ravens pass defense isn’t quite as dominant as in 2019, with Earl Thomas alongside all of these talented pieces. But it’s still a dynamic unit capable of shutting down virtually anyone. Aside from Patrick Mahomes II doing Patrick Mahomes II things in Week 3, much of the production they’ve given up has come in catch-up mode. In a neutral script, opposing passers struggle to find opportunities while sifting through the league’s best trio of cornerbacks. Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey lead the way; both are capable of blanket coverage and big splash plays on the ball, and both have enjoyed All-Pro caliber starts. Peters draws more press, but Humphrey is generally the tougher matchup. He moves inside and out and excels all over the field; by the numbers, he’s shut down opposing wideouts on the level of the league’s best and biggest names. It’s hard to find an Eagles wideout - especially among this slimmed-down crew - who projects to success against either of them. It will be even harder if the Ravens pass rush, which awoke last week against Joe Burrow and the Bengals (15 hits and 7 sacks), hits home against the Eagles’ beaten-up front line. Overall, there may not be a starker mismatch on the Week 6 docket than this one.
San Francisco vs LA Rams
The 49ers pass game remains wildly up in the air, to the point that not even the Week 6 starter is certain. Jimmy Garoppolo’s return to action was an abject disaster: he quickly hit a wall and began misfiring worse and worse, including a pair of terrible interceptions on deep balls. Garoppolo has never been much of a downfield thrower, but on Sunday he simply brought no arm ability to the table. Considering Kyle Shanahan pulled him at halftime, it seems likely we’ll see C.J. Beathard under center Sunday, which wouldn’t make a huge dent in the shaky value of his receivers. George Kittle remains a dynamic multi-level target for any passer, but Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk need more quarterback stability than this.
The Rams have spent most of 2020 as one of football’s most dominant pass defenses. Only one quarterback thus far (Josh Allen in Week 3) has been able to truly crack the code, and that was only for a fleeting half. On the whole, very little has been produced against this star-studded unit: just 6.2 yards per attempt, with 5 touchdowns through 5 weeks. There’s star power on every level of the defense, but it starts up front, where Aaron Donald leads a ferocious if inconsistent pass rush. Donald put on another clinic in Week 5, registering seven hits on Washington quarterbacks and forcing a fumble. That kind of pressure makes things easier on the secondary, which doesn’t need the help to begin with. Jalen Ramsey remains a premier shutdown cornerback; his shadow work has been the driving factor in holding down Stefon Diggs (49 yards), Golden Tate (20), and Terry McLaurin (26) in recent matchups. Overall, this is a dynamic, well-rounded group no one likes to face. Even healthy, potent offenses tend to take a step back here.
Carolina vs Chicago
The Panthers’ rebuilt passing attack is coming along nicely. After some early-season rockiness, Teddy Bridgewater has regrouped to complete 73% of his throws at a robust 8.1 yards apiece. Bridgewater doesn’t offer explosive arm talent, so the offense has been retooled to feature the after-catch abilities of D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel from underneath. But what’s stunned many is Robby Anderson’s blossoming as an across-the-field weapon. Long pegged as a deep-ball novelty, Anderson is working through a full intermediate route tree and making plays a number of different ways. As long as the dynamic receivers are creating space for themselves, Bridgewater has a bright future in Joe Brady’s spread.
The Bears, though, make for a less-than-ideal matchup. They’ve faced three upper-level quarterbacks thus far and stymied all three on the stat sheet: Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, and Tom Brady combined to complete just 56% of their throws at 6.5 yards per attempt. Most importantly, opposing wideouts - even No. 1 guys, like Mike Evans (41 yards) and T.Y. Hilton (29) - continue to struggle mightily with the Bears’ pesky cornerbacks. Kyle Fuller remains one of the game’s most unsung of heroes as a boundary defender capable of working underneath as needed. His presence near the line of scrimmage makes for quite the obstacle for Bridgewater and his quick-hitting attack. He’ll most likely have to test impressive rookie Jaylon Johnson on the other side or look to beat the safeties over the middle to create splash plays Sunday. But his upside, already somewhat capped, is extremely hard to find in this matchup.
Cincinnati at Indianapolis
The Bengals have seen both great and frightening moments from top pick Joe Burrow. As to be expected, Burrow has looked strong in a clean pocket but struggled wildly when pressured. And that’s rather frequent, given the combination of the Bengals’ porous front line and Burrow’s desire to hold the ball. He’d probably like to be throwing down the field more - just 9 completions of 20+ yards, tied for the league’s worst - but rarely has the protection. There have been plenty of positives, of course, and the team has to be encouraged by Burrow’s overall start. It’s especially impressive coming with virtually no help whatsoever from A.J. Green (34 targets for just 119 yards). But the youngster still needs a hospitable pocket and secondary to confidently thrive, and this isn’t that type of matchup.
The Colts pass defense has quietly become a difficult date. Opposing passers are producing just 6.2 yards per attempt and 190 a game in this matchup, and while it hasn’t been a Murderer’s Row of quarterbacks, they’ve been consistently stingy. Even more impressively, the cornerbacks have led a strong charge against outside receivers, including the likes of D.J. Chark Jr (25 yards), Adam Thielen (31), and Odell Beckham Jr (58). Xavier Rhodes has been as stout as in his Minnesota prime of a few years ago - he’s both shutting down receivers and making plays on the ball. Still, much of the credit goes to the pass rush, which sits ninth league-wide in hurry rate. DeForest Buckner has been a godsend to an already-strong crew; he joins Justin Houston, Denico Autry, and a talented group of blitzers. Offenses have found some success against the slot, where Kenny Moore II struggled again last week. But to take advantage, Burrow will need to negotiate the rush two or three levels better than he did just last week.
Tampa Bay vs Green Bay
The Buccaneers pass game is still very much finding its footing. Tom Brady was sensational in Week 4, slicing up the Chargers for 369 yards and 5 touchdowns. But he looked almost lost at times last Thursday, absorbing excessive hits and struggling to push the ball (6.2 yards per attempt). Brady doesn’t bear all the blame for the down weeks, of course. This offense has been waylaid by injuries, with Mike Evans and Scotty Miller the only consistent contributors. There are plenty of talented pieces here, but the fit is still developing and difficult to fully trust.
The Packers pass defense has been sneaky strong in the early going, and there are elements here pushing this toward a shutdown matchup. Opponents have compiled yardage here and there - largely during catch-up time - but none have topped 300, even with solid volume. Most importantly, the Packers have often been able to tilt the field, erasing the top opposing target more often than not. It’s been rare to see a No. 1 wideout blow past Jaire Alexander, who’s been arguably the best cover man in football. In Week 4, he posted possibly 2020’s most impressive performance to date, shadowing Atlanta’s Calvin Ridley relentlessly and holding him without a catch. He’s almost certain to trail Evans across the field Sunday, which takes a huge chunk out of what Brady would most like to do. He’ll have to lean more on Godwin - if he suits up - and the slot-heavy supporting cast to make big plays in traffic. But this Packers defense boasts sound defenders over the middle, and they’ve tightened up of late after a shaky start.