Welcome to the Week 6 edition of The Inside Look for the 2022 NFL season. This will be a data driven article and will go under the hood to see if the box scores tell the whole story about what transpired during the weekend. My goal here will be to either calm your nerves about a player that may have underperformed or cause you to rethink some of the spots you may have taken.
We are now more than a third of the way through the 2022 NFL season. Some things have become apparent while some teams have been complete surprised. Both New York (even though they actually play in Jersey) teams have been complete turn arounds while the Broncos have been a mess with “star” QB Russell Wilson. Wilson’s old team has thrived without him, thanks to the play of Geno Smith.
Let’s dig in to the data!
Before we dig in to individual player performances I wanted to take a moment to talk about why we focus so heavily on Targets. Targets equal opportunities and in fantasy opportunity more often than creates production. The more targets that a player gets the better chance there is that the player will return on value.
After failing to get double-digit targets since Week 1, Michael Pittman led the league in targets in Week 6 with 16. Although he failed to find the endzone for a fourth consecutive week, Pittman’s performance Sunday was one of his best games of his career. He set career-highs in Targets, Receptions, and Receiving Yards. Up next will be a matchup with a Titans team coming off a bye in Week 6.
Another player setting a season-high in targets was Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins. Hill was targeted 15 times on Sunday and was able to catch 12 of them for 177 receiving yards. The only thing that Hill did wrong on Sunday was failing to find the endzone. He’s now gone 4 straight games without a TD. Things are looking up for him though as Tua Tagovailoa is set to return in Week 7 against a Steelers team that just surprisingly stifled Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.
With an important matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Stefon Diggs brought his A game and more. Diggs was targeted 13 times on Sunday afternoon, the most he’s seen since Week 2 against the Titans. Of the 13 passes thrown his way, Diggs was able to catch 10 of them for 148 yards and a TD. He now has back-to-back weeks with at least 100 yards and a TD. He’ll get to rest his legs this weekend as the Bills are on a bye in Week 7.
I feel like I’ve had to say this often this season, but running backs were a huge disappointment in terms of targets. Only 2 players had double digit targets. One of those was Austin Ekeler. Ekeler set a season-high with 16 targets, the most he’s had since Week 12 in 2020. While he was targeted a bunch and caught 10 of them, he was only able to go a disappointing 47 yard with them.
With the majority of Aaron Rodgers’ receivers banged up on Sunday, Robert Tonyan turned into his main target. Tonyan was targeted a season-high 12 times on Sunday. He was able to catch 10 of those targets into 90 receiving yards. The 90 yards were the most Tonyan has had in a game since all the way back in the 2020 season. Up next for the Packers will be a matchup with the Washington Commanders.
We’re going to start calling Mark Andrews Mr. Reliable. Week in and week out, Andrews continues to see targets and make the most out of them. Andrews was targeted 11 times on Sunday vs. the Giants and was able to catch 7 of them for a full stat-line of 107 yards and 1 TD. The 107 yards were the second time he’s reached triple digit receiving yards and his TD was his fifth of the season.
More than 40% of a combo of PJ Walker and Jacob Eason’s passes this weekend went to the Panther’s running backs. I don’t think you need me to tell you this at this point, but just about all aspects of this Panthers offense is fantasy irrelevant. Yes, that goes for Christian McCaffrey as well.
Another thing that you don’t need me to tell you is that Lamar Jackson prefers throwing to his Tight Ends. While Mark Andrews accounted for 11 of Jackson’s 32 passes, Isaiah Likely and Josh Oliver accounted for another 7. So that’s 18 of his 32 passes to Tight Ends. With Bateman expected to miss a bunch of time, we can expect this formula, whether it works or not, to continue.
Justin Fields only threw 26 passes, but 21 of them went to his wide receivers. The bulk of them went to Darnell Mooney and Dante Pettis. The Bears are another offense that is essentially fantasy irrelevant. Sorry David Montgomery.
With a healthy Saquon Barkley in the mix, the New York Giants are a surprising 5-1 on the year. For the third time this season, Barkley went over the 20 carry number. His 22 carries were the second most he’s had this season and his touchdown this weekend was the fourth rushing TD of his season. He could have easily made it 5 on the year, but decided to drop down to a knee at the 1 late in the game to keep the clock moving. Giants fans, “What a selfless act!” Barkley owners in fantasy, “I hate you!”
Now that Rashaad Penny is done for the season, it’s Kenneth Walker season. In his first stint of significant playing time, Walker did not disappoint in the slightest. He rushed 21 times for 97 yards and a TD. He’ll look to keep the good times rolling next weekend in a matchup with the Chargers, a team that has shown that they’ll give up big games to dominant running backs.
The ‘Playbook’ as I like to call it shows a breakdown of the play splits that teams used this past weekend.
If you had the Falcons doubling up the 49ers this weekend, I’d like to become friends with you so we can bet on games often. The Falcons led this game early, enabling them to go with a run friendly offense. Of the 54 plays the Falcons ran on Sunday, 40 were for runs.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I present to you the Indianapolis Colts. With their top 2 running backs in Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines, the Colts threw the ball early and often. Matt Ryan threw the ball the 58 times on Sunday for 389 yards and 3 TD. This was the Matt Ryan we grew to love/hate during his Falcons days. I’m sure once the Colts are back to having a competent running back they’ll swing back in the other direction, but should Taylor miss another week, Ryan will be relied on heavily again.
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I've been playing fantasy sports since I was 12, which means I've been playing for over half of my life. I love DFS and season-long formats and have been writing for nearly a decade. I started my writing career at RotoWire and currently write for FantasyPros, Rotoballer, Razzball and DFSR. I cover NBA, MLB and NFL and follow all major sports. I generally cover primarily DFS but I also do game previews, recaps, player write-ups, injury updates etc.
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