The 2022 fantasy football season is now in full swing. With bye weeks upon us and injuries piling up, decisions are only getting increasingly difficult. Let’s take a look at our WR start/sit Week 6 plays.
Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo Bills (at KC)
Isaiah McKenzie missed last week’s contest due to a concussion. On Wednesday, McKenzie cleared the protocol. He’s good to go for Week 6. And boy, is it a juicy one.
I’m sure we all remember the last time the Chiefs and Bills faced off. The AFC Divisional Round. A 78-point thriller. One of the most exciting games in NFL history.
I’m not saying we’re getting that again. But this game could rival the single greatest regular season game of all time, Rams vs. Chiefs in 2018.
The last time these teams met, Gabe Davis popped off for 200 yards and four touchdowns. Flying under the radar was slot man Cole Beasley, catching six passes for 60 yards. That’s McKenzie’s role now. Last week, Khalil Shakir replaced McKenzie, and even he had himself a day with 75 yards and a touchdown.
The Chiefs and Bills have the highest projected total of the weekend. Josh Allen targets his wide receivers at a 64% clip, the eighth-highest rate in the league. This game should have a lot of points, and you want players in it. Shakir likely earned himself some snaps, but McKenzie should see upwards of a 70% snap share. That’s enough to make him a viable WR3 this week.
George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. TB)
Diontae Johnson is still the best receiver on the Steelers. But Kenny Pickett has a clear rapport with George Pickens. The Steelers are also an offense that can’t really matriculate the ball down the field. That makes game situations more conducive to downfield passes to Pickens, who currently has a 17.1-yard average depth of target, the seventh-highest in the league.
Pickett has played the past two games. In those games, Pickens has seen exactly eight targets each time, with exactly six catches for 102 and 83 yards, respectively. Johnson still has more targets over that span, but he’s posted lines of 2-11 and 5-60. I might just trust Pickens more at this point.
Bucs’ opponents have been targeting wide receivers at a 64% rate, the sixth-highest in the league. They remain the ultimate pass funnel defense. And with Pickett, it looks like Mike Tomlin is willing to air it out.
Mitch Trubisky never attempted more than 38 passes in a game. In his first career start, Pickett threw the ball 52 times.
The Bucs are back. They are going to score points at will. As a result, the Steelers will have to throw to keep up. Running the ball with an ineffective Najee Harris is not the answer. Pickett may very well attempt over 40 passes once again. If he does, a quarter of them could go in Pickens’ direction. It’s only a matter of time before he finds the end zone.
Pickens comes ranked as WR47 in our Week 6 WR fantasy rankings for PPR leagues.
Drake London, Atlanta Falcons (vs. SF)
I love Drake London. It pains me to have to put him in the sit section for consecutive weeks. But as long as I continue to see him ranked as a top 36 receiver, and as long as we see the Falcons operate their offense suboptimally, I have to do it.
London is a tremendous talent, and I have no reservations about him being a long-term productive NFL receiver. Right now, though, he can’t be in fantasy lineups.
I’m not sure what the Falcons’ plan is offensively, but running the ball over and over again while down multiple scores in the second half is not what any team should be doing.
Marcus Mariota threw it up 33 times in Week 1. Since then, he’s attempted 26, 20, 19, and 25 passes in each of his games. That’s not going to get it done.
The Falcons’ offense is the worst combination of pace and game plan for a wide receiver. They average the 10th fewest plays per game and run the ball 54% of the time, trailing only the Bears. What’s even more outrageous is the Falcons run the ball 51% of the time in negative game script (trailing by 7+).
The 49ers allow the eighth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. London ran just 22 routes last week. While he did command seven targets, the Falcons are doing very strange things with their wide receivers, playing London on just 41 of 66 snaps. He cannot be trusted until we see something change.
Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (at MIA)
I think I’ve figured out Adam Thielen. If the Vikings have to throw, Thielen will produce enough to be fantasy viable. In games where they win comfortably, it’s Justin Jefferson or bust for this passing game.
In Week 1, the Vikings blew out the Packers. Thielen caught just three passes for 36 yards. In Week 2, the Vikings couldn’t do anything against the Eagles. Thielen caught four passes for 52 yards.
In Weeks 3 and 4, the Vikings had come-from-behind wins against the Lions and Saints. Thielen posted lines of 6-61-1 and 8-72 in those two games.
Last week, the Vikings handled the Bears for most of the game. The Bears did end up coming back, but the Vikings were never really in too much trouble. Jefferson smashed, and Thielen caught just four passes for 27 yards.
This week, the Vikings travel to Miami to face their third-string quarterback, Skylar Thompson, who is making his first career start. They are likely going to pound Dalvin Cook and throw to Jefferson. Anything Thielen gets will be largely random.