2021 NFL Week 6 Preview

A look at this week's slate of NFL games, plus a fantasy nugget for each game

I am previewing every NFL game (including a final score), and giving one bit of fantasy advice for each one this week.

So, let's start-off with tonight's match-up:

(4-1) Tampa Bay Buccaneers at (2-3) Philadelphia Eagles (-7 TB, 51.5 total)

The Tompa Bradys are coming off a dominating 'preseason' win against the 1-4 Miami Dolphins, and face another easy foe in the 2-3 Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Although this is Tampa's third road game (1-1 this season), they should bludgeon the birds, 34-13.

As for the fantasy aspect? You are starting everyone for the Bucs. As for the Eagles? My big takeaway is that you should BENCH running back Miles Sanders. In 0.5 Point Per Reception leagues, he has yet to score double-digit fantasy points in a game this season, and faces one of the stingiest run defenses in the league, as the Bucs have allowed under 75 rushing yards each game so far, and only given up one measly rushing TD.

(1-4) Miami Dolphins at (0-5) Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5 Mia, 45.5) | 9:30 AM EST Sunday

Now, we head overseas for the 2nd consecutive England game, and 2nd one involving sub-0.500 teams. Who likes watching sub-par football? We have one team that could fire their head coach any second now in the Jags' Urban Meyer (including that scandal two weeks ago), and another dealing with a rash of injuries. Will Tu'a make the trip after missing the last three games with a rib injury? Or will a banged-up Jacoby Brissett (hamstring injury) start again? The odds have this game as a coin flip... as do I. Dolphins swim past the sleeping Jags, 21-10, sending the cats to their 21st straight loss. Poor Jason Mendoza.

Fantasy-wise... where do I go? This game has a landmine of easily bench-able players, given how bad both offenses are. Don't give me that baloney that Meyer said earlier this week, that he expects his Jags to average 250 passing and rushing yards per game for the rest of the season. Just... Don't. But if there was one surprise player to start, that would be the Jaguars' skill player Laviska Shenault. Outside of a week 2 dud against the Broncos, Shenault has had at least 6 fantasy points per game - an easy start for a WR3/Flex option that has potential to score his 1st TD of the season. This, especially against a Miami team that could be playing without their top-two CBs in Xavien Howard and Byron Jones.

NEXT!

(4-1) Green Bay Packers at (3-2) Chicago Bears (-4.5 GB, 45.4) | 1 PM

We have two hated NFC North rivals, as the Rodgers-led Packers head to Soldier Field to face Khalil Mack and the surprisingly three-win Bears squad. Divisional games can be dicey to select a winner, as you can put all records aside. With that being said, I am VERY unimpressed with the Bears, while the Pack have won their last four games. I like the Cheeseheads to gouge the furry mammals to the south, 38-23.

Here, the fantasy selection would be one Khalil Herbert. This Khalil should have a better performance than his pass-rushing counterpart, as Herbert (not to be confused with the better-looking Los Angeles Chargers' QB Justin Herbert) would be stepping in at running back for David Montgomery (out again with a knee injury suffered late in week 4 against the Lions) and for the original RB backup in ex-Chief Damien Williams, who just hours ago was placed on the Covid List. Herbert is a rookie RB drafted in the 6th round by the Bears, who played four years at Kansas, then had an outstanding last season at Virginia Tech (1,183 rushing yards and 8 TDs on the ground). Look for Herbert to have 65 or so rushing and receiving yards and a TD as a solid RB2 and definite FLEX play.

(3-2) Cincinnati Bengals at (0-5) Detroit Lions (-3.5 CIN, 47.5) | 1 PM

Let's go to the other NFC North team in the win-less Lions, who have had cruel tragedy after cruel tragedy over the past two weeks. In Week 4, if you recall, they lost on that insane 66-yard FG by Justin Tucker with no time remaining. And, just last week, the lowly Lions allowed the Kurt Cousins-led Vikings on a five play, 46 yard drive with 37 seconds left in the game to set-up the game-winning 54-yard kick as time expired. On the other side, the Bengals also lost in a heart-breaker, as both them and the other NFC North team in the Packers missed kick after kick after kick after kick (even in overtime), as Green Bay barely escaped that match-up. As for this one? Watch it come down to a last-second field goal by either Austin Seibert (Lions) or Evan McPherson (Bengals)? HA! I like the Bengals to bash-up their other felines, 27-14.

For fantasy? I have a surprise BENCHING. And, that would be the Lions' T.J. Hockenson. Many pundits and fans have had high praise for this second-year tight end out of Iowa, but because of his nagging knee injury, has put in 2, 6 and 3 fantasy points in consecutive weeks. If you have better TE's available, like the WFT's Ricky Seals-Jones, the Eagles' Zach Ertz or the Chargers' Jared Cook, I would start any of those three ahead of Hock this week. Plus, the Bengals are stingy against opposing TEs, allowing LESS than 50 receiving yards/game in that department.

(2-3) Minnesota Vikings at (3-2) Carolina Panthers (-2.5 MIN, 45.5) | 1 PM

Continuing our path around the NFC North, our last stop is with the Minnesota Vikings. This will be a battle between two NFC teams (and their QBs) that had poor performances in week 5 (even though the Vikings barely squeaked-by the Lions, scoring only 19 total points). Unlike the past games involving terrible teams in potentially close matches this week, I expect this one to be entertaining. But questions surround both teams' star RBs, as, as of Thursday evening, both Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook are still listed as questionable to play. Regardless, I feel that Cousins will have one of those random insane games of his, as his Vikings storm into the land of Carolina and conquer the Cats to the south, 32-28.

I'm not touching the running back situations for both teams, but if you are looking for advice for this game... my best suggestion is to BENCH the Panthers' D/ST. Sure, the team has the 9th-best D/ST, and has at least 9 fantasy points in every game BUT the Cowboys' Week 4 match. But this game is expected to be high-scoring, and I expect the Panthers' D to allow a lot of yards on the ground (as well as through the air) in this offensive shootout.

(1-4) Houston Texans at (1-4) Indianapolis Colts (-10 IND, 43.5) | 1 PM

Now, we are going to the land of the horses. No, not Denver, but Indy, as the Colts take on their AFC South rivals in the Houston Texans. But what an UGLY match-up, as both teams have identical 1-4 records. Few expected Indy to have such a horrible record, but that is due to the laundry list of injuries. As for the Texans, they barely lost to the Patriots a week ago, with their backup rookie QB Davis Mills having a career day with 300+ yards and 3 TDs, and nary an interception. I definitely do NOT like the spread and expect the Texans to cover (and possibly upset the Colts!) this week. Texans curb-stomp the stallions to the north, 31-21.

You ARE starting Texans' wide receiver Brandin Cooks. After two subpar performances (6 fantasy points against the Bills and 3 against the Pats), I expect the former Saints, Pats and Rams receiver to bounce-back and have another 100-yard (and a TD) type of performance, as a solid WR2 in many leagues.

(4-1) Los Angeles Rams at (1-4) New York Giants (-9.5 LAR, 48.5) | 1 PM

Let's now head over to MetLife Stadium, where the Giants hope to have a handful of their skill players return in what should be a very lopsided match-up. If you are not familiar as to what happened to the G-Men, they lost their franchise players in QB Daniel Jones (concussion) and RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) for the foreseeable future, and last week, played a majority of their game against the Cowboys without their top three pass-catchers in Kenny Golladay (knee), Sterling Shepard (hamstring) and Darius Slayton (also hamstring!). So, which player stepped-up in what was 60 minutes of garbage time? The much-despised 1st round pick in Kadarius Toney, out of Florida, who had 10 catches for 189 yards! The Rams, on the contrary, are healthy (for the most part), and have a solid 4-1 record. Which is why millions of Survivor League participants have this NFC West team as their selection this week (including yours, truly). Despite that, I have a sinking feeling that this could be a trap game of sorts for this LA team, should more than just Toney play this week (both Slayton and Shepard DID practice today). But I like the Rams to head-butt The Blue Crew, 42-17.

Looking at the fantasy perspective, I would be comfortable starting Giants' backup RB Devontae Booker against the Rams. Sure, you expect a blowout, but like in the Cowboys' game, Booker also ate in that match-up, finishing with a rushing and receiving TD. I feel that Booker is a great injury-replacement fringe RB2/FLEX option, if you do not have better options at the moment.

(2-3) Kansas Chiefs at (2-3) Washington Football Team (-6.5 KC, 55) | 1 PM

Raise your hand if you had the defending AFC champions having the same record as the WFT, and both plagued by the same issue: defensive miscues with the secondary. Thought so. Everyone expects this game, of course, to also be a shootout, so I would not blame you if you picked the over in this match-up. Of course the big story surrounding the WFT would be the hits made off the field a decade ago, with the emails circulating between one John Gruden and then-WFT President Bruce Allen. And, the WFT had some damage control in the PR department this morning, when the organization announced that the team will honor the late Sean Taylor by retiring his jersey at halftime of this week's game. Regardless, I expect the Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes to return to his 2018 MVP form, as the last three passers against the WFT have thrown at least 4 TDs in each game (Josh Allen, Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston), and I expect no different with the QB magician. The Chiefs should spear the WFT, 45-24.

In the fantasy realm, I would definitely have the other D Williams (in this case, Chiefs' RB Darrel Williams) as a definite RB2 start against the WFT. This home team has given up at least 70 rushing yards per game, and I expect that not to change on Sunday afternoon. He'll be stepping in for an injured Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who looked to suffer a severe knee injury in the team's home loss to the Bills on Sunday night (but is only out a couple of weeks).

(4-1) Los Angeles Chargers at (4-1) Baltimore Ravens (-2.5 BAL, 51.5) | 1 PM

Now, we move about 40 miles NE up I-95 north to The Charm City in what is THE game of the early slate of 1 PM matches. The Ravens have had a nail-biting finish in nearly every game to-date, while the Chargers are looking like one of the Super Bowl favorites early as we pass the 1/3 mark of the season. Like the Chargers-Browns game a week prior, you would think that this game is also a shoot-out as well, given how injury-plagued the Ravens are defensively. The black birds will be electrocuted in a rather close game, 38-35, with the bolts' kicker Tristan Vizcaino nailing the GW kick with under a minute left.

Circling back to fantasy, I will promote one lesser-known player to start or a typical fantasy stud that you should bench for this kind of post. Unfortunately, neither fit the criteria, as you are starting Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams, Keenan Allen and Jared Cook of the Chargers and Lamar Jackson, Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews of the Ravens are must-starts. So, I have nothing to add here, unfortunately.

(5-0) Arizona Cardinals at (3-2) Cleveland Browns (-3.5 CLE, 49) | 4 PM

We are reaching the late afternoon games, and we have a darling choice in the first 4 PM game, as the lone undefeated team goes on the road to the Dawg Pound. But the Cardinals are dealing with a rash of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, a la the Ravens. And, none is a bigger loss than pass-rusher Chandler Jones, who was put on the Covid List a couple of days ago and is out for this week's game. Regardless, both teams have elite offenses, and I would expect nothing less on Sunday afternoon. MVP candidate and Cardinals QB Kyler Murray has 10 TDs and 4 interceptions on a career-best 75% completion rate and three rushing TDs on the season. On the other side, the Browns are led by their dynamic RB duo in Nick Chubb and backup Kareem Hunt, who have a total 818 rushing yards and 9 TDs on the ground. As for the result of this game? Another fantasy-fest in a high-scoring match, with the Browns escaping their Dawghouse with a win, 32-28.

Speaking of fantasy... I would BENCH Chase Edmonds this week. The starter for the Cardinals at tailback, he has had double-digit fantasy performances in all but one game... and that was last week's win against the 49ers, in which Edmonds played through a shoulder injury and a season-low 37 snaps and 6 carries. On top of that, he faces the Browns, who have allowed under 70 rushing yards and didn't allow a rushing TD until last week. So, I expect the Browns' stout run defense to contain Kyler Murray, Edmonds and James Conner.

(3-2) Las Vegas Raiders at (3-2) Denver Broncos (-3.5 DEN, 44) | 4:30 PM

We move from one West team to two AFC West teams in this divisional clash between two above 0.500 teams. Who would have thought that three teams would have winning records in the AFC West, and none being the Kansas City Chiefs after six weeks? Crazy. Anyways, the Derek Carr-led Raiders take their talents on the road to Mile High against Teddy Bridgewater's Denver Broncos. And, you know the pregame talk will be about one exiled John Gruden, who resigned after the myriad of emails released a decade ago had disparaging comments towards people of all demographics. Going back to the game, I think the Broncos win against a team with an interim head coach, given that the Nevada team is undergoing a major change and uncertanity at the moment. The Broncos should run wild, 21-13.

Now... here's a mild shocker - bench ALL Raiders receivers not named Darren Waller. Given that this is a home game against one of the best secondaries in the league, against an interim head coach, all of the proverbial cards are in the Broncos' hand. So, I do not expect much from Derek Carr and company.

(4-1) Dallas Cowboys at (2-3) New England Patriots (-3.5 DAL, 50.5) | 4:30 PM

Like last week's NFC East match, I expect nothing less from the Cowboys in Week 6 against the Patriots. The same Patriots team that struggled against one of the worst NFL teams in the 1-4 Texans last week. So, to quickly sum up this game, Cowboys lasso the Pats, 35-10.

Here's a two-for-one. START Tony Pollard (the backup running back for the Cowboys) and SIT Damian Harris (starting RB for the Patriots). The reasoning? Cowboys should stroll to this week 6 win, allowing for lots of garbage time run with Pollard - plus, he's one of the best backup RBs in the league, as he has had at least 6 fantasy points in every game this season, including double-digit performances against the Chargers and Giants. He would be a great FLEX play for this week. As for Harris? His Pats may miss four of their starters on the offensive line, and he has had 2, 3 and 8 fantasy points over the past three weeks. Also, he has seen under 45% of the snaps in three of the last four games. Not good.

(2-3) Seattle Seahawks at (2-3) Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5 PIT, 42.5) | 8:20 PM

In the last Sunday match, one of these teams will reach the 0.500 mark at game's end. And that will be the Steelers, for sure. The Steelers are pumped after defeating the Broncos last week at home, and will look for their 2nd consecutive win. You have Pittsburgh, at home, with a rowdy Terrible Towel crowd behind them, facing off against Seahawks' backup QB Geno Smith. I like the Steelers to steamroll the water birds, 37-14.

Another Sunday game, another RB I recommend benching. In this case, SIT any Seahawks' running back. The Steelers have the 4th-best run defense, allowing nary a rushing TD this season, and I do not expect things to change on Sunday night. Plus, Seahawks' starting RB Chris Carson will be playing his 1st game in two weeks after missing last week's loss to the Rams with neck pain.

(4-1) Buffalo Bills at (3-2) Tennessee Titans (-5.5 BUF, 54) | 8:15 PM Monday

Two above-0.500 teams (and playoff teams a year ago) square off in this Monday Night Football AFC match. But there could not be a bigger disparity between these two teams, as the Bills are red-hot (winners of their last four games) and a Super Bowl contender, while the Titans have missed both wideouts Julio Jones and A.J. Brown in a shocking OT loss to the Jets and a comfortable win against the win-less Jaguars. I like the Bills to gouge the Titans on the road, 45-12.

This should not be too surprising, but I would be SITTING all Titans' wideouts on Monday night. The Bills are the BEST passing defense in the league, only allowing two TD receptions to wide receivers, and an impressive (and measly) 111.6 yards through the air per game to all opposing wide receivers.


So, there you have it! A lengthier post than I expected, but I have the cold, hard opinions (backed by recent data this season), as well as my predictions for Week 6 of the 2021 NFL season. To recap:

I hope you enjoyed this read.