NFL Fantasy Football Week 6 Advice: Top Emergers, Biggest Busts & Injury Updates

Expert guidance for NFL Fantasy Football Week 6, including top emergers, biggest busts, key injury updates and Week 6 strategies.

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With Week 5 of the NFL season coming to a close as the Las Vegas Raiders were narrowly defeated by the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football, we’ve got a solid number of data points to now look back and see how the fantasy football season has gone.

We all draft teams before the regular season begins, and most leagues do so before the preseason even concludes.

Of course, there’s always a risk when it comes to drafting. Football is a physical sport, and injuries can happen. However, players can also not pan out how you’d hope they would, and some emerge and surprise us.

Here, we’ll look at many facets of the season. Including revisiting the average first round of drafts, picking out the top emerging players and biggest busts from each position, looking at notable injuries, and assessing how two running back strategies have played out.

Let’s dive in.

Note: All fantasy draft data is courtesy of FantasyPros.

Revisiting the First Round of Drafts

PlayerAvg. Draft Position (PPR)Fantasy Points as of Week 5 2022 (PPR)Current Ranking at Position (PPR)
RB Jonathan Taylor1.050.2RB31
RB Christian McCaffrey2.0105.6RB4
RB Austin Ekeler3.8113.7RB1
WR Cooper Kupp4.0132.1WR1
RB Derrick Henry5.392.9RB5
WR Justin Jefferson5.5115.9WR3
RB Dalvin Cook7.571.7RB13
RB Najee Harris8.051.6RB27
WR Ja’Marr Chase8.376.5WR12
RB Joe Mixon10.368.8RB14
WR Davante Adams12.373.0WR20
WR Stefon Diggs12.5119.8WR2

Biggest Takeaways

Looking back at the first round, all but three to four players have lived up to their draft stock or at least within a “fine” vicinity.

The players that have not are:

  • Jonathan Taylor
  • Najee Harris
  • Davante Adams
  • Dalvin Cook (to a lesser extent)

Of these players, Taylor has been hurt and did miss Week 4 due to an ankle injury, but that was just one game. He’s been unable to get anything going due to a poor Colts offense and offensive line. The same applies to Harris.

For Adams, you could argue that he’s not too far off, as the difference between him being the WR20 and the WR7 is less than 10 points.

He’s had three touchdowns this year, but he had two games in which he had yard totals of 12 and 36. If those were somewhere close to his Week 1 (141) and Week 4 (102) finishes, he’d be a WR1 with ease.

Davante Adams NFL Draft

Lastly, looking at Cook, he did leave Week 2 early with an injury. He had just one touchdown before scoring two in Week 5 against the Chicago Bears so that we wouldn’t worry too much about him.

In all, the players to worry about are Harris and the consensus No. 1 overall pick in drafts, Taylor.

Top Emerger – Quarterback

Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

Avg. Draft Position (PPR)Fantasy Points as of Week 5 2022 (PPR)Current Ranking at Position (PPR)
QB3599.90QB6

We won’t kid you—this has been quite surprising.

Smith does have one rushing touchdown this year and 77 yards, but he’s managed a lot of production passing the ball.

With over 1,300 passing yards, nine touchdowns, and two interceptions, Smith was in two massive shootouts in Week 4 and 5. He had a combined 55 attempts for 587 yards and five touchdowns across those two bouts.

He’s completed an impressive 75.2% of his passes, with his single-game low coming in Week 5 (64%), where he had three touchdowns—the most in a single game this season.

There’s no reason to predict a Smith downgrade here overall. Still, week-to-week could be somewhat challenging to predict, especially against solid defenses.

Biggest Bust – Quarterback

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Avg. Draft Position (PPR)Fantasy Points as of Week 5 2022 (PPR)Current Ranking at Position (PPR)
QB972.18QB18

There’s no way around it: The reigning MVP has had a tough year with his limited weapons selection.

Sure, he has two great running backs. But in terms of receivers, it just isn’t working out yet.

This season, Rodgers has thrown for 935, six touchdowns, and three interceptions. He’s completing 69% of his passes, too.

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However, he doesn’t quite have that No. 1 receiver. Rookie Romeo Doubs is leading the team in targets with 22, but there are seven guys with double-digit targets.

The running game is more of a focus here, so unless something drastic happens, it appears that the Packers’ offense won’t have the same volume of passing to make Rodgers MVP again and prop him up as a top fantasy quarterback.

Top Emerger – Running Back

Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans

Avg. Draft Position (PPR)Fantasy Points as of Week 5 2022 (PPR)Current Ranking at Position (PPR)
RB2777.9RB8

We heard all the hype throughout the preseason, and Pierce is living up to it. After Week 1, we thought we were all duped as fellow running back Rex Burkhead got a ton of work, and Pierce played just 11 rushing snaps.

However, Pierce has seen 14 carries or more in every game this season except Week 1 and scored a touchdown in three straight games as of Week 5.

Dameon Pierce

The concern with Pierce was the Texans as a whole. A guy who doesn’t profile as a pass-catcher in a negative game script offense usually doesn’t bode well, but the Texans have hung around in games as of late.

Biggest Bust – Running Back

Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

Avg. Draft Position (PPR)Fantasy Points as of Week 5 2022 (PPR)Current Ranking at Position (PPR)
RB150.2RB31

We already somewhat touched on Taylor, but injury aside, he has just 42 rushing yards all year.

Matt Ryan at quarterback has made it, so defenses zero in on Taylor, and rightfully so. How can an opposing defense feel threatened by a guy with seven interceptions and 11 fumbles?

Taylor is too talented to be held down all year. But, in this current offense, there’s no way he even comes close to No. 1 overall value.

No one expected the Colts to be this bad.

Top Emerger – Wide Receiver

Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders

Avg. Draft Position (PPR)Fantasy Points as of Week 5 2022 (PPR)Current Ranking at Position (PPR)
WR9075.2WR15

A big-money free agent from a couple of years ago, Samuel was thought to be involved heavily in the Commanders-then-Football-Team offense in his first season. Unfortunately, injuries derailed him. He had just 27 yards in 2021.

Then, after the team drafted Jahan Dotson, No. 16 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft, it seemed like Samuel was an afterthought. His ADP of WR90 shows that.

However, Samuel has been a consistent producer in the passing attack week-in, week-out. He’s seen fewer than seven targets in a game this year and has two scores.

Curtis Samuel Fantasy
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

The Commanders’ defense has been lousy this year, forcing quarterback Carson Wentz, the gunslinger-happy-type, to throw all over the place, for better or worse.

Samuel has been on the positive end of that. He’s had less than 10 fantasy points in PPR leagues just once this season.

Biggest Bust – Wide Receiver

Allen Robinson, Los Angeles Rams

Avg. Draft Position (PPR)Fantasy Points as of Week 5 2022 (PPR)Current Ranking at Position (PPR)
WR2128.7WR75

This is the biggest shock of all the busts so far this year. The story with Robinson his entire career was, “well, if he can just get a good quarterback, he’d be great!”

Well, it hasn’t worked out in Los Angeles for him yet.

Interestingly, he’s still playing plenty. The only receiver that’s run more routes than him on the team is Cooper Kupp.

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Robinson saw two targets in Week 1. Since then, he’s seen exactly five from Weeks 2 through 5. He scored in Week 2, but he failed to go beyond 53 yards in a game—that was also Week 2.

His average stat line, excluding Week 2, has been two catches for about 13 yards. You’re safe to drop him if you need to.

Top Emerger – Tight End

Tyler Conklin, New York Jets

Avg. Draft Position (PPR)Fantasy Points as of Week 5 2022 (PPR)Current Ranking at Position (PPR)
N/A46.2TE12

He’s just the TE12, but Conklin has been an excellent replacement for someone who didn’t have George Kittle at the beginning of the year or who missed out on a top tight end.

Of all the positions in NFL fantasy, tight end is relatively consistent. We can plan on Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce as relevant.

For PPR leagues, Conklin has been, overall, relatively steady. A lot of that came with Joe Flacco at quarterback while Zach Wilson was injured.

Tyler Conklin Fantasy

Wilson has been his quarterback in Weeks 4 and 5, and while Week 4 was OK (three receptions for 52 yards), he did absolutely nothing in Week 5.

This is something to be aware of. If this happens again next week, it’s best to move on from Conklin, but through five weeks, he’s been the biggest emerger at tight end when comparing pre-season ADP to now.

Biggest Bust – Tight End

Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears

Avg. Draft Position (PPR)Fantasy Points as of Week 5 2022 (PPR)Current Ranking at Position (PPR)
TE1219.1TE34

Oh, what could have been.

Headed into this one, Kmet was billed as the sleeper PPR tight end. He’s on the Bears, sure, but he was looked at as a top target of a former first-round pick in Justin Fields.

Well, it has gone horribly wrong.

In Week 1, he had a goose egg, but the weather was insane in that one at home against the San Francisco 49ers so you can make an excuse for that one.

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Well, it happened again in Week 2. He had no catches on one target. So, if you drafted Kmet, you got zero points from the tight end position two weeks in a row.

Over the previous three weeks, Kmet has seen his catches go up by one each week, going from two to four across Weeks 3 and 5.

He hasn’t gone above 45 yards in a game this year, but it cannot get worse for him as the year goes on.

Most Notable Injuries

Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos

Heading into this season, Williams was looked at as the next top running back in fantasy football. He’s on a team with Melvin Gordon, but the 22-year-old running back looked like the guy to emerge as the team’s top back.

Javonte Williams Injury

Unfortunately, the Broncos have been terrible this season. However, Williams still managed 15 carries in Weeks 2 and 3 before suffering an injury in Week 4. The injury was a torn ACL and LCL, and he was done for the year.

Drafted as the RB14, Williams was a top draft pick for you and is now finished for the season.

D’Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions

Suffering a shoulder injury in Week 3, Lions head coach Dan Campbell said that Swift would be out through the team’s Week 6 bye week.

While he’ll return, Swift is likely the top running back on your team, unlike Williams. Without him, you’re missing valuable production.

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Swift scored a touchdown in the first two weeks but was held to less than 50 yards in Week 3 before the injury. Hopefully, he can come back strong, but fellow running back Jamaal Williams has been excellent. He’s the current RB9 with six total touchdowns.

Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

Drafted as the WR10 in PPR leagues, Allen hasn’t played since Week 1. He left the game early due to a hamstring injury. He had four catches for over 60 yards in that one.

There’s no indication when he’ll be back, though you’d have to assume he’ll be back sooner rather than later. Still, the loss of Allen could mean your WR1, similar to Swift.

Trey Lance, QB, San Francisco 49ers

Lance wasn’t a top quarterback in terms of ADP, but he was the perfect sleeper for your team. He had the rushing upside, similar to Marcus Mariota or Jalen Hurts, and was on an offense that loves to run the ball.

However, Lance fractured and dislocated his ankle in Week 2 after getting rolled up. He was many teams’ starting quarterback due to his sleeper status, so this left you looking for a replacement.

Trey Lance Injury

You have to feel terrible for Lance. For the most part, he took a redshirt year, and now Jimmy Garoppolo is the quarterback again. If Garoppolo plays well, Lance could be done with the 49ers altogether.

Elijah Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Injuring his MCL in Week 1, Elijah Mitchell was drafted as the RB21 in PPR leagues. Mitchell will be back at some point this season. Still, you have to wonder how effective he’ll be and also consider that if the rushing attack goes well in his absence, he’ll likely not be as forced in as we’d like.

Also, on the 49ers, head coach Kyle Shanahan likes to use backs randomly, so sure, there’s a chance he could have value. Still, when looking at his timeline, Mitchell may be a bit of a dud if he misses multiple months.

Examining RB Draft Strategies

Here are our top RB Draft Strategies for you to bear in mind this week (and beyond).

Draft Them Early

A common thought in fantasy football is to draft running backs early, as they’ll all be gone by the time you get to rounds four and beyond.

Across the first three rounds of drafts (12-team league, 36 picks), there were 17 running backs drafted.

More than half of those 17 running backs sit outside the top 17 at the position. This list includes the following players:

  • Jonathan Taylor
  • Najee Harris
  • Alvin Kamara
  • D’Andre Swift
  • Javonte Williams
  • James Conner
  • Ezekiel Elliott
  • David Montgomery

So, it seems as though you have a 50/50 shot of getting a top-17 running back when you drafted them throughout the first three rounds.

That said, of those that finished outside of it, they’re all RB27 or worse. The worst is Kamara at RB45, though he’s missed two games. Elliott has played in all five games and his RB37.

ZeroRB

The idea behind ZeroRB is to punt on running backs until far later in drafts, accumulating wide receiver depth, a tight end, and potentially a starting quarterback.

To see how this is going, we’ll look at the top 20 running backs in PPR leagues right now and compare it to their ADP.

PlayerCurrent RankPre-Fantasy Season ADP
Austin EkelerRB1RB3
Nick ChubbRB2RB13
Saquon BarkleyRB3RB11
Christian McCaffreyRB4RB2
Derrick HenryRB5RB4
Leonard FournetteRB6RB12
Breece HallRB7RB23
Dameon PierceRB8RB27
Jamaal WilliamsRB9RB49
Clyde Edwards-HelaireRB10RB24
Miles SandersRB11RB33
Aaron JonesRB12RB10
Dalvin CookRB13RB6
Joe MixonRB14RB7
Josh JacobsRB15RB20
James RobinsonRB16RB38
Kareem HuntRB17RB31
Rhamondre StevensonRB18RB36
Jeff Wilson Jr.RB19RB67
Khalil HerbertRB20RB51

Only six of the top 20 running backs have not met or exceeded their ADP. Some guys, like Ekeler or McCaffrey, are just a few spots off. But other than that, most players have massively exceeded their ADP.

With some players, this has a lot to do with injury, but that’s also an argument in favor of ZeroRB.

So, if you took the ZeroRB strategy, chances are you’re likely doing just fine this year at the running back position.

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