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As we truck along through the fast-moving NFL season, this is when things really get interesting as far as fantasy football goes. Now that we've made it to Week 6, the first wave of bye weeks for teams (Falcons, Jets, Saints and 49ers) will ensue. I would never recommend going into your fantasy drafts with your player's bye weeks in mind. To me, it’s a situation that you deal with when the time comes. That time is now. Last week, players in this column like Damien Harris, Damien Williams, Kadarius Toney and Kyle Pitts shined in their matchups. For Week 6, there will be a different crop of players you can put into a flex spot if you're in a bind.
Fournette will be a solid flex play in Week 6. He has (kind of, sort of) taken over as the Bucs' de facto workhorse. Currently ranked as the PPR RB15, Fournette has provided great value for fantasy managers in 2021. Up to this point, Ronald Jones hasn't put up much competition when it comes to touches. When the Bucs need a play out of the backfield, it’s Fournette who gets the call. This week he gets a Thursday Night Football matchup against the Eagles, whose defense against running backs isn’t bad nor great. Averaging a total of 15 touches per game, that should be enough for you to fire him up in Week 6.
This young man seems to have a head-turning run in every single game. While not able to find the end zone last week, the opportunity could be there in Week 6. The touches between him and Melvin Gordon are almost at an even split at this point. That being the case, Williams has continued to show why he will be a factor. The Raiders defense just gave up 139 rushing yards to the Bears running backs and are the ninth-worst against backs in fantasy. With everything that has been going on in the Raiders camp (Gruden), expect that to play some sort of role and could impact the game in the Broncos' favor. Expect Williams and/or Gordon to have a nice day.
Cooks let out a stink bomb in Week 5 against the Patriots. He has been on fire in 2021, but a three-catch, 23-yard performance has dropped him to WR18 in PPR scoring. Look for the quick bounce back as he faces a Colts team in Week 6 who is the third-worst against receivers in fantasy. Furthermore, the Colts are banged up in the secondary, which contributed to them giving up 442 passing yards (career-high) and four touchdowns to Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Cooks should find his spots and be able to make his plays while Davis Mills continues to improve.
While Higgins didn't make his comeback from injury in a roaring fashion, he got his looks (seven targets) and showed he was fully back. Ja’Marr Chase is the star and playing out of his mind, but there is still room for Higgins to eat. Another week removed from his injury against a Lions team who just can’t win is a perfect time for Higgins to have himself a day. Putting Higgins in your flex spot will make you smile, but it’ll make Dan Campbell cry.
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If you're really in a jam at the flex spot, look no further than the rookie out of USC. St. Brown is finally starting to come along like we'd hoped when he was drafted by the Lions. He led his team in targets (eight), receptions (seven) and yards (65) in Week 5. If you can get close to that same production from him this week, that should satisfy you in PPR formats (can we all just play PPR?). Jared Goff is putting more trust in the rookie wideout, so no matter the game script he should be solid. Play him if you are lacking better options.
Did we actually see Hardman get double-digit targets (12) in a game? I think we did! It may have taken a negative game script, the Chiefs getting smoked and Patrick Mahomes throwing 54 times, but we’ll take it! Teams are starting to lock in on Tyreek Hill, he’s only surpassed 65 receiving yards in one of his past four games. Should this continue, it’ll open up more opportunities for Hardman vs. Washington, who is the fourth-worst team against receivers and third-worst overall in fantasy. Even with half of the targets, Hardman can get loose on this weak defense.