Fantasy Preview: Week 6 Early Slate 1

  • 49ers (-230) @ Falcons (+5) O/U 44.5

    Patriots (+2.5) @ Browns (-140) O/U 43.5

    Jets (+7) @ Packers (-315) O/U 45.5

    Jaguars (+2) @ Colts (-135) O/U 42


    49ers @ Falcons

    Key storylines/What to Watch

    It’ll be a homecoming of sorts for Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan, who returns to Atlanta for the first time since 2016. Then, he had coordinated the eventual NFC champion Falcons offense but infamously collapsed against the Patriots in the Super Bowl and forever made the numbers “28” and “3” grating to see or hear. When the Niners faced Shanahan in that Week 15 road tilt, their now-head coach led an embarrassing 41-13 thrashing of a San Francisco team still coached by Chip Kelly. Expect the entire current Niners squad to play with a huge chip on their shoulders (no pun intended) when they step back into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.


    Speaking of the Patriots, Jimmy Garoppolo was then still a Tom Brady understudy in 2016. Fast forwarding to now, Garoppolo continues to help steady the Niners post-Trey Lance injury with an offense that will need to step up to compensate for some untimely injuries to a defense (Joey Bosa, Arik Armstead, Emmanuel Moseley, Jimmie Ward) that had been looking like the best in football lately. Meanwhile, the Falcons under second-year head coach Arthur Smith continue searching for better ways to utilize their young offensive talent while still coping with the loss of Cordarrelle Patterson (on IR for knee). Both Kyle Pitts and Drake London have been frustrating their fantasy managers in different ways, but perhaps a banged up Niners defense can start to cure what has ailed them.


    Top Starts

    RB Jeff Wilson Jr.: The Falcons have given up the 10th-most fantasy points so far to opposing running backs, and Wilson is running with a full head of steam both figuratively in fantasy and literally. He broke the century mark in rushing yards for the first time this season last week and has shown he can handle a workhorse load with 17-plus carries in three of his last four games. One of the biggest recent concerns on offense for the Niners has been how the run game would fare without All-Pro LT Trent Williams (ankle), but second-year pro Jaylon Moore received the second-best run blocking grade in Week 5 on the entire team (behind only Brandon Aiyuk). RT Mike McGlinchey (third-best) wasn’t far behind Moore and had a big bounce-back game against the Panthers after only average grades the previous few weeks. Start Wilson with confidence in what should also be an extremely favorable running game script with the Niners favored by five points.


    WR Deebo Samuel: The man nobody wants to be responsible for taking down had his best point output (20.7) of the season back in Week 4 against the fifth-worst run defense of the Rams against opposing receivers, and now he gets to face the sixth-worst in the Falcons. Samuel’s rushing floor has dipped of late compared to the consecutive 50-plus rushing yard efforts to start the year, but he’s gotten six-plus targets in every game and clearly has not been hurt by the team going back to Garoppolo under center. He has average matchups on paper against CBs Casey Hayward Jr. and A.J. Terrell, but he should still be a lock for yet another double-digit fantasy outing.


    Boom/Bust Dart-Throw

    WR Drake London: After starting his rookie season booming with at least 9.9 fantasy points in his first three games, London has busted with only 8.2 combined points over his last two. That’s despite drawing seven targets in both of those contests. So, the fact that his busts are happening despite a strong target floor is concerning and why he’s not a great start right now. But, the Falcons need to keep going back to that well to keep their offense even reasonably afloat. Matchup-wise, the aforementioned injuries to Moseley and Ward will force Niners DC DeMeco Ryans to tap on some of the most inexperienced corners he has in the second-year Deommodore Lenoir and rookie Samuel Womack. Those should be plus matchups for London especially against the much-smaller Womack. Veteran Charvarius Ward will also likely get some coverage snaps against London as the most likely one to keep him in check, but London should still produce enough against the youngsters to be worth the dart throw here.


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    Patriots @ Browns

    Key storylines/What to Watch

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