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Week 6 - Puff, Puff, Pass

Welcome to week 6 friends. My name is Josh ‘Smokey-Hell’ Nelson (@TNFF_Smokey) and this is “Puff Puff Pass,” my weekly start/sit article where I advise you on which players you should start and "puff" up the points in your starting line-up, or who you should sit and “pass” on down to your bench. Follow along every week to boost your knowledge and to gain an edge on your opponents.


Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions)

Stafford has been putting up solid numbers this year, averaging 23.05 fantasy points per game, and this week he gets a coveted matchup against the toothless Jaguars. Jacksonville is down one of their top CBs in CJ Henderson, so expect Kenny Golladay and the rest of the Lions receivers to feed early and often. Stafford has not been performing at the pre-injury level that he was at last year (yet), but coming off the bye week, with a talented cast of offensive weapons, matched up against a depleted and hapless defense, is a recipe for QB success my friends. My call, Stafford puts up his first 300-yard game of the season with three passing TDs to boot.

Verdict - PUFF

Cam Newton (New England Patriots)

I hate rooting for a Patriot, but not as much as I love rooting for Cam. Superman started the season on absolute fire, making many fantasy players lament why their teams didn’t sign him in the off-season. However, because of a positive COVID-19 test and rescheduling, Cam has only played in the first three games of the season. Thankfully, Newton was asymptomatic and it’s wheels up against a defense so battered in the Denver Broncos, that it also comes with a serving of fries and tartar sauce. Belichick has had ample time to make preparations for this matchup and that’s one luxury you don’t want to afford him as an adversary. Cam’s wide receivers will have time and space to work as the Denver defense ranks in the bottom four in interceptions and turnovers. Smokey predicts two passing TDs and a rushing TD for my man Cam.

Verdict - PUFF

Baker Mayfield (Cleveland Browns)

His opponent this week, the 4-0 Pittsburgh Steelers, have limited opposing QBs to two TDs or less in every game so far. They are one of the most stifling defenses league-wide. Baker’s offensive line is going to have a terrible time trying to contain the Steelers and keep them from furthering his rib injury that he suffered last week. The only way I can see Baker putting up any numbers is through some garbage time comeback attempt, funneling targets through Kareem Hunt. I realistically see this being his worst outcome since Week 1 where he threw for under 200 yards and only one TD. Hard Fade this week.

Verdict - PASS

Running Backs

Alexander Mattison (Minnesota Vikings) *WEEKLY WINNER*

Opportunity is king, and a run-first offense elevates the ceiling of that opportunity. Dalvin Cook, who is currently the RB2 on the season, has been tearing it up in this run-heavy offense but is now out with an abductor strain, likely until after Minnesota’s Week 7 Bye. Enter Mattison. He is a great pass catching back with a 73rd percentile burst score going up against, you guessed it, the fantasy points goldmine of Atlanta. Last week, Mattison put up 112 yards and three receptions for 24 yards, vaulting him to RB37. This week, he is in position to jump even higher as positive TD regression is due (for more on this, check out True North’s Ty on last night’s episode of the True North FF Podcast). I’m calling for both a rushing and a receiving TD this week.

Verdict - PUFF

Ronald Jones (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

RoJo has been on a heater as of late, and quietly is sitting 7th among RBs in targets and 8th in rush yards. He still has the occasional case of the dropsies, but the important thing is he is getting those targets in the first place. You want RBs that can eat into the passing game to maximize value and Tom Brady is a great QB to be hitched to. The Packers defense has not been strong against the run, averaging 3.3 rushing yards/attempt allowed, 6th worst in the league. As evidenced by his 37-yard play last week against the Chicago Bears, we know that RoJo can take advantage of that, given the opportunity. Start Jones with confidence.

Verdict – PUFF

James Conner (Pittsburgh Steelers)

As much as I have bagged on Cleveland in this article, their defense has (to little fanfare) ranked 5th in rushing yards allowed and 7th in rushing attempts allowed. To add to that, the touch and target distribution out of the Pittsburgh backfield has evened out recently, not to mention the emergence of Chase Claypool, who will certainly command more targets going forward. I am not baking injury risk into this prognostication either, I am just low on Conner this week. I would possibly consider him in your flex spot, as injuries and bye weeks may force your hand. However, if you have a better option, I would recommend sitting Conner.

Verdict - PASS

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Wide Receivers

Travis Fulgham (Philadelphia Eagles)

In the last two weeks, the brightest spot on the Eagles offense is a guy who sounds more like a front office accounting clerk than a WR. In those two weeks, Fulgham has put up 209 yards and two TDs, quickly becoming Wentz’s primary target. As I mentioned on the Jet Sweep Show (check out the latest episode here) Monday night, if there is any hope for this Eagles passing game, it might be Travis Fulgham. The Ravens are a tough matchup, but here’s a couple stats that might surprise you. Did you know the Baltimore defense is 28th in pass attempts allowed, 27th in completions allowed and 21st in passing yards allowed? This situation is a perfect storm for Wentz to regain form and for Fulgham to feast. He should have been grabbed off waivers everywhere this week if he was still available.

Verdict – PUFF

Mecole Hardman (Kansas City Chiefs)

Watching the Chiefs game against the Raiders last week, I came away really impressed with Hardman. With star CB Tre’Davious White likely out with a back injury and Tyreek Hill drawing primary coverage, Buffalo will have a difficult time containing Hardman if Patrick Mahomes starts looking his way. When Mahomes targets Mecole, he has a 152.6 QB rating, which is 6th best in the league for a WR. Look for Hardman to get his third receiving TD of the year Monday afternoon.

Verdict - PUFF

Any Bengals Receiver (Cincinnati Bengals)

This is such a coward’s way out, but I didn’t get to use this with New England last week because of their game being postponed, and I really wanted to. I want no part of most receiver corps’ facing the Colts this year. The drama caused by A.J. Green’s dissatisfaction might open up some opportunity in the passing game, but I’m avoiding this matchup for the tiger striped receivers.

Verdict - PASS

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Tight Ends

Irv Smith (Minnesota Vikings)

Shoutout to fellow True North teammate Jim Nastic (check out the Gold Jacket Podcast). Smokey is giving Irv the nod this week, after seeing him finally get going against Seattle last Sunday. Irv is the most talented TE on this roster and don’t you dare disagree or Jim will hold you down and give you whisker burns with his beard. The TE usage is not near what it was last year under Kevin Stefanski, but if the Vikings want to succeed, they’ll feed Irv the ball. Ranking 7th amongst TEs with 9.6 yards average target distance, and 8th with 13 yards per reception, Irv can snap off big plays and who better to do that against, than the bum-ass Falcons. I’m calling Irv to get his first TD of the year against Atlanta.

Verdict - PUFF

T.J. Hockenson (Detroit Lions)

One of my favourite stacks (along with Matthew Stafford) this week, Hockenson faces a Jaguars defense that is hemorrhaging points to the TE position. If Hockenson can string some consistency together and take advantage of coverage being pulled away by Golladay, he is in for a potentially monster day. I don’t think a top 5 TE finish is out of the question. Fully rested and looking for his third TD on the year, mark me down for a possible two TD outing against Jacksonville.

Verdict - PUFF

Evan Engram (New York Giants)

Oh, you mean Jason Garrett didn’t solve the Giants offensive woes? While that may come as a shock to no one, what is shocking is the lack of usage for Engram. A fringe top 5 TE during draft season, Engram has under-performed or fantasy players so far this season. Washington may be a multi-layered dumpster fire in some respects, but their defense is not to be trifled with. I think the Football Giants of New York continue their losing streak and Evan Engram along with them.

Verdict - PASS

Thank you for reading my "Puff, Puff, Pass" article for week 6. Do you agree or disagree with any of my starts and sits? Please leave a comment or let me know @TNFF_Smokey

Editor: Joe Simonetti (@joesimonetti77)

Graphic work: Dan Made Graphics (@DanMadeGraphics)