(Table for 6 continued from above)
Mike White, QB, New York Jets
I didn’t expect to feature a Jets quarterback on Table for 6 this season. White is a fascinating fantasy puzzle and merits closer scrutiny. The 26-year-old relieved injured rookie Zach Wilson in Week 7’s brutal 54-13 loss to the Patriots. What struck me is that the Jets, down “only” 17-0 in the second quarter, and facing a 3rd-and-goal at the Patriots’ 3-yard line, let White throw it.
And it wasn’t just any throw; it was White’s first career NFL throw – a perfectly placed TD pass into the end zone to heavily defended Corey Davis while the right-handed White rolled out to his left.
That the team trusted White with that throw showed me he wasn’t an ordinary NFL newbie. His brilliant play in Weeks 8 and 9 (before getting hurt) suggests there’s more upside than we fully understand. But can he be a weekly fantasy streamer while Wilson remains sidelined? Today’s massive test against Buffalo will tell us.
Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings’ two best RB fantasy performances this year did not come from Dalvin Cook.
You read that correctly. They came from Mattison when Cook was sidelined in Weeks 3 and 5. In those contests, Mattison accrued 23.1 fantasy points and 26.3 fantasy points, respectively. He single-handedly helped some managers win those weeks.
My well-documented preseason concerns about Cook – based on injury history and heavy 2020 usage – fed into my firm belief that his preseason overall 151 ADP was severely misguided. He was the No. 106 pick on my draft board because getting two or more RB1 performances from a 9th or 10th round pick is a great investment.
With the 3-5 Vikings in must-win mode, don’t be surprised if Mattison garners more starts during the fantasy playoffs if Minnesota’s season is effectively over. And don’t be surprised if Mattison’s volume edges upward in the near term.
Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills
Sometimes I hype players a week or two too soon. The process for arriving at a conclusion makes sense, at least to me. But the game plays out differently.
This happened two weeks ago with Singletary, as I expected Buffalo to trounce Miami, giving the highly efficient Singletary (5.2 yards per carry) a great chance to help gutsy fantasy managers.
Instead, Buffalo’s offense scuffled for most of the game, prompting Josh Allen to attempt a surprisingly high 42 passes. Then last week, Singletary earned most of his fantasy points only after Zack Moss was knocked out in the third quarter with a concussion.
Today, Singletary has an opening to claim a more significant rest-of-season share of backfield work. He’s been better than Moss across nearly every statistical metric except touchdowns. A strong performance today could catapult Singletary above Moss on the depth chart, which would matter to fantasy managers seeking weekly RB streamers.
Hunter Renfrow, WR, Las Vegas Raiders
Fringe fantasy starters are fascinating. Fringe fantasy starters who were almost universally overlooked in fantasy drafts are even more fascinating.
Hunter Renfrow is in a pretty unique category: a fringe fantasy starter (currently the WR30) overlooked in most drafts (preseason WR84 ADP) with the potential to be a must-start asset going forward.
His 75.0% catch rate is the highest among all top-30 fantasy wideouts. Aside from Darren Waller, this team doesn’t have any other truly reliable receivers.
And his upcoming schedule includes games against incredibly soft defenses: Cincinnati, Washington, and Kansas City (twice). Renfrow is a WR2+ disguised as a WR3.
George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers
Is Kittle still a set-him-and-forget-him TE1? You’d think so after last weekend’s triumphant return to the field after missing four games with a calf injury. Against Arizona in Week 9, he compiled a vintage-Kittle receiving line: 6 catches for 101 yards and a TD. Lost a fumble? No problem.
Kittle is back. Or is he? WR1 Deebo Samuel took a backseat. A negative game script hindered the normally impressive running game, as the Niners’ backs attempted only nine carries.
And before getting hurt, we have to consider that Kittle managed only 19 catches for 227 scoreless yards in four games. He was playing like a low-end TE1. His past dominance was due, in part, to playing alongside sub-par receivers.
Today against the Rams, I’m watching to see if this offense can keep feeding Kittle.