A week ago, the football community was singing the praises of the 49ers and Eagles, discussing who would be the last undefeated team and if it would occur before their Week 13 meeting. It ended up being the Eagles, but only because their loss to the Jets kicked off later than the 49ers' loss to the Browns. Like that, Zach Wilson and P.J. Walker ensured Larry Csonka could pop the champagne. October 15th and no one will be undefeated in 2023.
Scoring was way down across the league, with only two games topping 40 total points and only the Jaguars and Dolphins scoring over 26 points. To put it into context, the Panthers' 21 points outscored 21 teams. With six teams on bye in Week 7 and Christian McCaffrey leading the injured list, be prepared for some unsettling choices.
So far in 2023, your fantasy enjoyment is directly tied to how many of your teams have Tyreek Hill, Raheem Mostert, Kyren Williams, Kenneth Walker, Travis Etienne, Adam Thielen, or A.J. Brown, just like ADP drew it up.
Just know everyone is dealing with this. One of the biggest temptations in a dynasty is trading future assets, be it draft picks or young players you believe in, to patch over temporary holes during bye weeks or short-term injuries—much more intelligent people than myself have mathed out that as a poor choice. Every team in your league is dealing with injuries. Every team will have the bye-pocalypse in Week 7. Resist the urge for short-term gain. Better yet, lean into your league mate's desire for short-term production and move players like Chuba Hubbard, who sit in a value window. Carolina is on a bye, and people have decided that Hubbard is bad at football, but you get the idea.
Your league's trade market should be heating up as teams decide where they stand. Being the first to move to deal at your price is ideal in markets. Or to be the last to move, taking advantage of deadlines and forcing action on owners worried they missed their chance. Whatever move you make, ensure you are not overpaying for temporary value, setting the table for sustained success, or positioning yourself for the best possible draft outcome.
Time for the Roundup.
It was a rough matchup against the league's top four rushing defenses featuring some of the biggest names in fantasy football, but one performance stood out. Who came through this week?
Deep Dynasty Watch List
Identifying players rostered in less than 50% of Sleeper dynasty leagues.
- RB Jordan Mason, San Francisco (43% Sleeper rostered) - Mason will lead all waiver lists, with Christian McCaffrey leaving this game due to injury. Elijah Mitchell was back and got reps as the primary backup spelling McCaffrey, but the usage shifted hard towards Mason after McCaffrey left. If McCaffrey misses time, whoever replaces him immediately enters the conversation as a Top 12 running back in this offense. Mason has been a strong contributor when given the opportunity, with 375 career yards on 5.9 ypc.
- QB Tyson Bagent, Chicago (16% Sleeper rostered) - Justin Fields left with a hand injury in a game; he was beat up throughout the day. Bagent is a great story, an undrafted free agent from Shepherd University. He settled into the game and led the offense efficiently, going 10 for 14 and leading a comeback that fell just short. He did have two costly turnovers, a fumble that turned into a touchdown representing the deciding margin and an interception that ultimately ended the Bears' hopes. Without Fields, we hope D.J. Moore can be propped up to continue being a usable fantasy option. Bagent found Moore on two passes over 18 yards late in the game, but Moore's ceiling lowered.
- WR Xavier Gipson, New York Jets (5% Sleeper rostered) - Gipson is not an add yet, but he can provide a spark, as he did with an 18-yard rush on a reverse. A story emerged during the week that Mecole Hardman might be on the trade block, and Randall Cobb continuing to produce little in his snaps. Garrett Wilson was injured late in this game, and if he misses time, this Jets offense will need to find production somewhere. Gipson has explosive speed and is worth monitoring.
- WR Ray-Ray McCloud III, San Francisco (4% Sleeper rostered) - The 49ers receiver rotation looks clear now. When Brandon Aiyuk missed Week 3, Ronnie Bell stepped in. With Deebo Samuel out, it was McCloud who saw action. It makes sense that Bell is more of a traditional receiver in a similar mold as Aiyuk, while McCloud's return ability and ability to work with the ball in his hands slots more into Samuel's role. If Samuel and McCaffrey are out, McCloud becomes a potential deep league option, as the team could hunt opportunities for secondary producers.
- TE Brenton Strange, Jacksonville (35% Sleeper rostered) - The Jaguars have used frequent two tight end sets with Strange and Luke Farrell splitting time as the tight end opposite Evan Engram. Strange's role translated into fantasy production for the first time, with three targets, two receptions, 37 yards, and a touchdown. The Jaguars drafted Strange in the second round, and he is a strong receiver who acclimated well to the passing game this week. The Jaguars do not want for receiving options, but developing involvement is a positive long-term.
- QB Malik Cunningham, New England (46% Sleeper rostered) - Mac Jones 73% of his passes and only threw one interception, so that's a positive. But Jones has not thrown a touchdown pass since the second quarter of Week 3, and the Patriots lost again. Cunningham was active as the backup quarterback and saw involvement in the passing game. If he ever took a start at QB, he has the type of athletic package to make him relevant in two-quarterback and Superflex leagues.
- QB Malik Willis, Tennessee (44% Sleeper rostered) - Ryan Tannehill left late with an ankle injury, and Willis is the backup quarterback over Will Levis. Willis struggled, taking four sacks in nine dropbacks, but went four for five with 74 yards and added another 17 rushing. If he starts, Willis is a Superflex option; hopefully, he has grown from his rookie year experience.
Stats Of The Week
- WR Adam Thielen, Carolina - 11 receptions, 115 yards, 1 touchdown - Thielen has posted 48 targets, 40 receptions, 443 yards, and three touchdowns in his last four games. There are 26 instances in NFL history of a player posting a four-game run of at least 40 receptions and 443 yards. Thielen now has three of those instances.
- WR Tyreek Hill, Miami - 814 receiving yards - Hill's 814 yards are the most through the first six weeks of an NFL season, topping Wes Welker's previous record of 785 yards. Hill is on pace for 2,306 yards. A Record.
- New England Patriots - A touchdown - The Patriots ended a ten-quarter streak of not scoring a touchdown, breaking through in the second half. The NFL record is 32 quarters without a touchdown, set by the Eagles in the 1940s.
- RB Kyren Williams, LA Rams - 158 rushing yards, one touchdown - Williams has become a fantasy factor largely on touchdown production, with low efficiency on his volume. This week, the efficiency arrived. This was the first 150+ yard rushing performance for the Rams since Cam Akers in Week 14 of 2020. Williams left the game late with injury, so that is a situation to monitor.
- WR A.J. Brown, Philadelphia - 131 receiving yards - Brown recorded his fourth consecutive game of 120+ yards. He is the ninth player in NFL history to record such a streak. Calvin Johnson holds the record with five straight games in 2012. Brown will look to match that in Week 7 against Miami.
- RB Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco - A touchdown - McCaffrey extended his consecutive games with a touchdown streak to 15 games. He is three away from LaDanian Tomlinson's NFL record 18 straight.
- RB Raheem Mostert, Miami - nine rushing touchdowns - Mostert is the 17th player to have at least nine touchdowns in the first six games. Shaun Alexander has the most, with 12 through six games.
Splitting backfields into key categories based upon snaps and opportunities (rushes plus targets). While carries may be similar, backfields that fall into a Committee with a Lead over a straight Committee saw wide disparities in snap counts.
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