Tuesday - Mar 2, 2021

Home / Commentary / RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Week 6


Welcome to the Week 6 edition of “Red Light, Green Light,” a matchup guide for all of this weekend’s NFL contests (and Monday night).

In each NFL Week 6 game profile below, I will choose a total of three players to highlight as green, yellow or red light options.

green-light Green Light: Players who have a great matchup. These guys are usually flying under the radar and can be counted on as a strong source of fantasy production.
yellow-light Yellow Light: Players with just an OK matchup and/or usage concerns. These guys are passable fantasy options but don’t expect them to set the world on fire.
red-light Red Light: Players with serious matchup/usage concerns, thus requiring lowered expectations lowered for the week, and/or should just be avoided altogether if possible.

Remember, seeing your stud listed in the yellow or red light section isn’t necessarily grounds to bench them, but more of an indication they may not carry your team to victory.

As always, the information conveyed below is not intended to be solely a start/bench list, but can be used to evaluate those decisions as well.

Note: Fantasy points allowed statistics are based off of the Fantasy Sharks default points per reception (PPR) scoring system. Point Spreads and Over/Unders are based off the Fantasy Sharks consensus analysis.

Bye Week Teams: Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Seattle

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Broncos Patriots
Quarterback 7th 16th
Running Back 30th 27th
Wide Receiver 4th 10th
Tight End 12th 28th
Defense/Special Teams 4th 13th
Vegas Line: Patriots -9.5
Vegas Over/Under: 44

Green Light – Patriots D/ST

The Broncos may have starting quarterback Drew Lock (shoulder) in the lineup on Sunday, but it is not enough to sway me away from the Patriots as heavy home favorites against an offense scoring the fifth-fewest points per game.

Yellow Light – Cam Newton (QB, New England)

The Patriots sure are glad to have Newton back after putrid performances by both Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham in the team’s Week 4 loss to Kansas City. Denver allows 275 passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks, though of course game script could steer the Patriots toward a more conservative approach on offense if things go as the spread indicates they should.

Red Light – Melvin Gordon (RB, Denver)

There are a litany of red flags surrounding Gordon this week, so let’s start with the matchup. New England has allowed just the seventh-fewest rushing yards per game to opposing backfields. Additionally, fellow running back Philip Lindsay (toe) returns to the fray, and in a likelihood resumes his role as Gordon’s committee partner. Finally, we have Gordon’s recent DUI arrest, for which the team may impose their own form of discipline (in addition to whatever the NFL would hand down).

Update: As if we needed another reason to pump the brakes on Gordon (illness/non-COVID), he is listed as questionable for Week 6.

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Texans Titans
Quarterback 23rd 29th
Running Back 6th 14th
Wide Receiver 14th 23rd
Tight End 18th 8th
Defense/Special Teams 9th 31st
Vegas Line: Titans -4
Vegas Over/Under: 51.5

Green Light – Derrick Henry (RB, Tennessee)

Henry has yet to truly erupt, but he does enter this contest with four touchdowns over his last two games. Houston remains the NFL’s worst rush defense in terms of yards on the ground allowed to opposing backfields.

Yellow Light – A.J. Brown (WR, Tennessee)

Quite encouraging it was to see Brown not only return to game action last Tuesday against Buffalo, but go for seven catches, 82 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. Mind you, he did that without Tennessee’s respective No. 2 and No. 3 receivers Corey Davis and Adam Humphries in the lineup (Humphries has since returned to practice and is expected to play Sunday). Houston has allowed 162 receiving yards per game to opposing wideouts.

Update: Brown (knee) was absent for Thursday’s practice. He did not appear to re-injure himself Tuesday night, so let’s just hope this was a maintenance day.

Red Light – David Johnson (RB, Houston)

Johnson’s box score statistics from Week 5 look respectable (103 total yards on 19 touches), though a third of it came on a 31-yard scamper in the waning minutes of the game. The Titans had struggled against opposing running backs over their first three 2020 contests, but really game together in shutting down Buffalo’s ground game last Tuesday.

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Browns Steelers
Quarterback 8th 21st
Running Back 25th 28th
Wide Receiver 2nd 5th
Tight End 5th 27th
Defense/Special Teams 24th 28th
Vegas Line: Steelers -4.5
Vegas Over/Under: 49.5

Green Light – Odell Beckham (WR, Cleveland)

The former New York Giant is no longer putting up the same eye-popping numbers from his days in the Big Apple, though Beckham quietly sits as the overall WR13 at the moment. Based on what we’ve seen thus far, Pittsburgh’s secondary looks to be a liability that Cleveland can exploit.

Update: Beckham (illness) was sent home from practice on Thursday. This could be something, or it could be nothing.

Yellow Light – Chase Claypool (WR, Pittsburgh)

Claypool is the week’s hottest waiver wire pickup (and for good reason) after seven catches, 110 yards and three touchdowns on 11 targets and tacking a short rushing score for good measure. While the Browns are a fantasy matchup to target via opposing wideouts, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson aren’t going anywhere (most of Claypool’s Week 5 production came with Johnson out due to injury). Another day of double-digit targets for the second-round rookie is not a given this week.

Update: Diontae Johnson (back) has been ruled out for Week 6, so Claypool’s playing time figures to remain steady.

Red Light – Kareem Hunt (RB, Cleveland)

Through four games, Pittsburgh has allowed just 204 rushing yards to opposing backfields (74 of them belonging to Miles Sanders on a long touchdown last weekend). The Steelers will aim to erase Hunt from the Browns offense and make quarterback Baker Mayfield (if he plays) beat them with his arm.

Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2020 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Ravens Eagles
Quarterback 18th 17th
Running Back 26th 24th
Wide Receiver 21st 7th
Tight End 14th 3rd
Defense/Special Teams 17th 3rd
Vegas Line: Ravens -6.5
Vegas Over/Under: 45

Green Light – Mark Andrews (TE, Baltimore)

After a dry spell in Weeks 2 and 3, Andrews has now found paydirt three times over his last two games, and is already halfway to last year’s touchdown total (10). The Eagles pass defense covers the middle of the field as poorly as anyone, so another big day is on tap for the Ravens’ star tight end.

Yellow Light – Miles Sanders (RB, Philadelphia)

The outburst from Travis Fulgham (discussed below) notwithstanding, Sanders is the Eagles offense at the moment. Philadelphia would be well served to ramp up Sanders’ involvement as a pass catcher considering Baltimore has allowed the eighth-most receiving yards to opposing backfields.

Red Light – Travis Fulgham (WR, Philadelphia)

Fulgham (11 catches, 152 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets) gave the Eagles’ pass offense a shot in the arm last weekend, though he certainly won’t be sneaking up on the Ravens’ stout secondary. Furthermore, the pending returns of DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and Alshon Jeffery (foot) could complicate matters in terms of playing time among the Eagles’ wideouts.

Update: Jackson and Jeffery are both out, though I am bearish on Fulgham putting together another big-time performance with the Ravens having a full week to strategize containing him.

About Will Weiler

An NFL Red Zone addict and all-around data nerd, I've been obsessed with the NFL and stats ever since I started playing the virtual pigskin game in 2005.