Thu Sep 23 5:55pm ET
By TERESA M. WALKER
AP Pro Football Writer
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) walks off the filed with quarterback Jacob Eason (9) following an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Indianapolis. Los Angeles won 27-24. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich walks off the field following an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Indianapolis. Los Angeles won 27-24. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, left, talks with quarterback Ryan Tannehill during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Seattle. The Titans won 33-30 in overtime. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry is stopped just short of the goal line by Seattle Seahawks linebacker Jordyn Brooks (56) and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Kerry Hyder (51) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Seattle. Henry scored on the next play and the extra point was good to tie the game at 30. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) fends off Seattle Seahawks strong safety Quandre Diggs (6) as he runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Tennessee Titans are coming off a big overtime victory in a place that's very hard for visitors to win.
Hosting Indianapolis with the Colts dealing with both an injured quarterback and off to an 0-2 start should be the perfect chance Sunday for the Titans to build momentum and grab the early edge toward repeating as AFC South champs.
Except in this rivalry, the road team has won the past five games.
''Anytime that you can get our division rival, whatever you want to call it, get them 0-3, win our first division game, we understand how important it is to win home games at our stadium, but also win division games,' Titans safety Kevin Byard said. ''It's going to be really huge for us.''
The Titans already come in needing to make up for being blown out at home in the season opener. They avoided their own 0-2 hole last week by beating Seattle 33-30 in overtime.
The Colts are trying to figure out who's playing quarterback after Carson Wentz sprained not one, but both ankles in last week's 27-24 loss to the Rams. Jacob Eason made his NFL debut last week in relief of Wentz late. Brett Hundley likely will be activated from the practice squad.
''My history with Carson is that he's a pretty fast healer and that he's tough,'' Colts coach Frank Reich said. ''If there's any chance he can play with these ankle sprains then he'll play. Obviously, it's an incredibly big game. We're not holding back anything, so this is a big game. If he can play, he'll play.''
Derrick Henry is on quite the run through the AFC South. The AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year has a five-game streak of 100-yard rushing performances inside the division for the longest such streak since 1970, and he has topped 175 yards with at least two TDs in the past three.
Adrian Peterson in 2012 with Minnesota was the previous player to have six straight divisional games with 100 yards or more rushing.
Henry also is averaging 97.1 yards rushing per divisional game. Only Hall of Famer Barry Sanders has averaged more (104.7) with a minimum of 30 divisional games since the 1970 merger. Henry is averaging 5.84 yards per rushing attempt in his career, highest among players since 1970 with at least 400 carries. Henry has run 28 times for at least 10 yards against the Colts in his career.
From 2018 to 20, Indy's offensive line was one of the league's top units.
Not this season. Wentz already has been sacked six times and taken 21 hits with Indy running for 3.96 yards per carry. Sure, the Colts have played two traditionally strong defenses. They also haven't played yet with their five projected starters.
Left tackle Eric Fisher returned last weekend from the torn Achilles tendon suffered in the AFC championship game, but right tackle Braden Smith sat out with an injured foot. Center Ryan Kelly (elbow) and All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson (foot) also missed three weeks of training camp with injuries.
They're hoping to turn things around Sunday. Nelson said it was really sad seeing Wentz on the ground in pain, then limping off after spraining his right ankle.
''All the times he's gotten hit, all the times he's gotten up, he hasn't complained once and we've got to do a better job up front,'' Nelson said. ''If everyone just does their job, we can light it up.''
JONES CAN CATCH THAT
Julio Jones showed last week why the Titans traded for him as he had six catches for 128 yards. Two qualified as ''tight-window receptions'' with a defender less than a yard away, according to Next Gen Stats. Jones made a 51-yarder that is one of just four such tight-window catches of at least 50 yards this season.
The seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver has 82 such catches since Next Gen Stats started tracking that stat in 2016, most in the NFL in that span.
GOING FOR IT
Reich is one of the league's more aggressive play-callers on fourth down. It hasn't paid off yet this season.
Only Chicago has failed to convert more fourth downs than the Colts, who are 0 for 4. Last week, Reich's decision on fourth-and-goal from the Rams 1 backfired when Wentz was sacked for a 9-yard loss.
The Titans have been working to turn around a defense that was among the NFL's worst last season. They think they found something in the second half in Seattle when they allowed only a TD off a blown coverage.
''I think we're going in the right direction,'' Titans defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons said.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (shoulder) walked to the locker room against the Arizona Cardinals. The 28-year-old has 42 yards on two catches thus far today. The Browns were already shallow at the position with Jarvis Landry out, and if Beckham's injury is serious, this could have a serious impact on the team. The former Giant hasn't put up dazzling stats this year, but with Landry out, he was undoubtedly the Browns greatest threat at the position. If this injury leads to an extended absence, fantasy managers could very well drop the former superstar if necessary.
Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor carried 14 times for 145 yards and two touchdowns, adding one reception for 13 yards, during a 31-3 blowout win against the Houston Texans in Week 6. Taylor has been making the most of his opportunities as the lead back for the Colts, scoring two touchdowns in each of his last two games. He averaged 10.4 yards per carry against the Texans defense and will look to transfer his momentum against the San Francisco 49ers defense in Week 7. Taylor should no longer be questioned about his RB1 designation in fantasy formats, as he is increasing his snaps and touches every week.
Houston Texans wide receiver Chris Moore disappointed after his breakout performance last week. Moore was held to just 14 receiving yards on four receptions in a blowout loss to the Colts. The 28-year-old operated as the fourth option in the passing game with Nico Collins back in the picture, certainly not a good sign for Moore's value when Danny Amendola (thigh) eventually returns. Moore's 109-yard effort against the Patriots was a good story, but there likely won't be too many performances like that down the road, at least not until Tyrod Taylor (hamstring) returns.
Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines carried four times for 13 yards and caught one of two targets for an additional nine-yard reception during a 31-3 Week 6 win over the Houston Texans. Hines has seen his opportunity dwindle in the last couple of weeks, as Jonathan Taylor has proved explosive and much more involved in the Colts' passing attack. Hines should be treated as a low-end RB3 or even an RB4 if he continues to be held to two targets per game. A difficult matchup on the road against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7 will force most fantasy managers to sit Hines in PPR formats.
Houston Texans tight end Jordan Akins had his best game of the season in Sunday's blowout defeat at the hands of the Colts. Akins saw six targets, tied for the second-most on the team, posting 41 yards on four receptions. The big tight end was coming off of two dud games, so it was nice to see him more involved in the offense. Still, he and Pharaoh Brown continue to eat into each other's respective fantasy values, making both players unappealing for fantasy purposes.
Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks had a great day despite his team's blowout loss to the Colts. Cooks led the team with 13 targets, nine catches, and 89 yards, operating as a short-yardage safety blanket for rookie quarterback Davis Mills. The Texans couldn't get anything going deep downfield against Indianapolis, resulting in a bevy of targets for Cooks. The veteran wideout has now seen double-digit targets in three games this year, exceeding the 75-yard receiving mark in four out of six games played. Houston has a crowded pass-catcher room, but Cooks is the best of the bunch for fantasy purposes. He'll get a tough test against an Arizona pass defense next week.
Chicago Bears tight end Cole Kmet had four catches for 49 yards against the Green Bay Packers. Kmet seemed like he could be poised for a breakout heading into 2021, but that has not come to fruition. Regardless, this game marked one of his best of the season. The sophomore tight end has solid hands and is extremely physical, but in his current situation, it's going to be difficult for the Bears' lackluster quarterbacks to support enough pieces to deem Kmet fantasy relevant. Nevertheless, Kmet must be rostered in any tight end premium leagues and can even be rostered as a hopeful lottery ticket in standard leagues, but fantasy managers shouldn't expect much from the youngster in 2021. In Dynasty leagues, however, Kmet is still a valuable asset as his quarterback and head coaching issues should presumably eventually be resolved.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon didn't seem bothered by the ankle injury that limited his workload over the last few weeks. He finished with 94 yards off 18 touches during the massive victory over the Lions. He also racked up a team-high five catches, totaling 59 yards and a touchdown, finding the end zone off a 40-yard pass from Joe Burrow in the third quarter. After some down weeks caused by a restricted workload, the former Oklahoma Sooner appears to be back in early season form. Fantasy managers should continue to view Mixon as a top option in all formats, especially in PPR leagues, due to his ability as a runner and pass-catcher. Keep him starting in Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz completed 11 of 20 pass attempts for 223 yards and two touchdowns during a 31-3 Week 6 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday. Despite being held to only 20 attempts, Wentz had a great outing, avoiding turnovers and distributing the ball efficiently within the Colts' offense. If you're streaming quarterbacks, Wentz is a good prospect valued as a high-end QB2 with low-end QB1 upside moving forward.
Houston Texans wide receiver Nico Collins caught four of six passes for 44 yards in his return Sunday against the Colts. Collins missed a month of action due to a shoulder injury- but posted season-highs in each receiving category in his return to the field. The rookie could carve out a fantasy-relevant role on the outside opposite Brandin Cooks- as he seemed to eat into veteran Chris Conley's snaps. Collins is worth monitoring over the next few weeks as a potential bench stash in deeper leagues.
Another week, another dramatic finish for the Minnesota Vikings. QuarterbackKirk Cousins led an offensively dominant performance for the Vikings, completing 33 of 48 passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns without an interception in the 34-28 victory over the Carolina Panthers. Cousins was able to spread the ball around, with four players reaching at least 70 yards. He also tossed touchdown passes to three different receivers, including the game-winner in overtime to K.J. Osborn. After two straight disappointing fantasy performances, Cousins once again showed why he is one of the most reliable, if not flashy, quarterback options in fantasy. Cousins' fantasy managers will have to look at other options next week, though, as the Vikings head into their bye.
Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin had a disastrous fantasy performance after finishing with just four catches for 28 yards on eight targets. McLaurin was banged up heading into this game with a hamstring injury, so that could have been a factor in his poor play. Fantasy managers shouldn't worry too much, as the third-year stud will continue to command a massive target share in the Washington offense, especially with Logan Thomas (hamstring) and Curtis Samuel (groin) being held out of the lineup. He will look to get back on track in Week 7 against the Green Bay Packers, which isn't too worrisome of a matchup considering Jaire Alexander is dealing with an injury.
Washington Football Team tight end Ricky Seals-Jones caught four passes for 58 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 31-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Seals-Jones has filled in nicely for Logan Thomas (hamstring) as he has been one of the top targets for quarterback Taylor Heinicke. Moving forward, the 26-year-old can be started with confidence as long as Thomas remains sidelined, as he has become a main target in the offense, considering Curtis Samuel (groin) is out of the lineup. He has a realistic chance to produce low-end TE1 as long as he remains the starting tight end in Washington.
Chicago Bears running back Khalil Herbert rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries versus the Green Bay Packers. With Damien Williams out with a positive COVID-19 test, Herbert was slated for a nice workload, and he certainly capitalized on that opportunity. The sixth round rookie received some hype heading into the draft but slid and found himself in a crowded running back room. Herbert also amassed 75 yards on 17 carries last week, but Williams played well too. Williams will presumably return in Week 7 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which will hurt Herbert's value. However, even once Williams returns, Herbert's performance definitely still warrants a roster spot and probably a start in most leagues.
Washington Football Team running back J.D. McKissic led the team in receptions and receiving yards with eight catches for 65 yards in Sunday's 31-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He added 45 yards on the ground on just eight carries, so he was extremely efficient out of the backfield against a weak Kansas City defense. The negative game script allowed McKissic to have a significant role, as he is still clearly above Antonio Gibson in terms of the receiving game. Fantasy managers shouldn't get accustomed to this type of usage, as Gibson will still have a huge role in the offense moving forward, making McKissic a FLEX-play at best in deep leagues. However, if he were to miss any time, McKissic's fantasy value would skyrocket.
Miami Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders signed a long-term extension before the season. However, he has been off to a slow start through the first six games. To be fair, the Dolphins offense has been horrendous, which doesn't give him many chances to make field goals. In Week 6, Sanders connected on two of three field-goal attempts in the loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The return of quarterbackTua Tagovailoa didn't impact Sanders' fantasy value like some may have hoped. There isn't much reason to trust that the Dolphins will fix their offensive issues before their matchup with the Atlanta Falcons in Week 7.
Washington Football Team kicker Dustin Hopkins made two of three field-goal attempts and his only extra-point attempt in Sunday's 31-13 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. As of now, Hopkins has the look of a reliable streaming option if fantasy managers need to fill in for any upcoming bye weeks. In the future, he should be in for more than one extra-point opportunity when the Washington offense gets fully healthy.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Demarcus Robinson caught three of his six targets for 46 yards and a touchdown in a Week 6 victory versus the Washington Football Team. The Chiefs had already locked up a victory versus the Washington Football Team late in the fourth quarter, but the Chiefs elected to go for the dagger with a 24-yard pass to Robinson for the score and a 31-13 victory. Robinson has now caught two touchdowns on the season, but remains a shaky option with Byron Pringle, Mecole Hardman and Josh Gordon all competing for targets and playing time behind wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. Moving forward, Robinson can remain on the waiver wire and would need an injury or two to become relevant.
The Washington Football Team defense was once again not able to have an effective day defending the pass. They gave up 397 passing yards while giving up another 109 yards on the ground. Washington forced Patrick Mahomes to throw two interceptions, but it still wasn't enough to take down the former league MVP. Moving forward, they can be left on the waiver wire in conventional formats considering their recent performance and hard schedule for the remainder of the season.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce put together another nice performance in a Week 6 victory versus the Washington Football Team. Despite dealing with a wrist injury and missing some series, Kelce caught eight of his 11 receptions for 99 yards. Kelce seems to have escaped any long-term injury and that's the most important thing to come out of this contest. He remains a favorite of quarterback Patrick Mahomes and also at the top of his class for his position. Kelce will have a juicy matchup versus the Tennessee Titans in Week 7 and managers should once again feel confident with as the top tight end play of the week.