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Fantasy Football Week 6 wide receiver rankings: Questions about Justin Jefferson, Tyreek Hill loom large

Written by on October 14, 2021

© Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The bye weeks are here for the first time, and luckily Week 6 doesn’t have too many big names at wide receiver that we’ll miss. Deebo Samuel and Calvin Ridley are big absences, obviously, but otherwise, the Falcons, Saints, Jets, and 49ers don’t exactly have many must-start wideouts at this point. 

However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be absences at the position this week. As of Thursday, Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson both haven’t practiced, and neither has Tyreek Hill. Hopefully all three end up playing, but you’ll want to start making alternate plans now just in case they are ruled out Friday. 

Before your set your lineup for Week 6, check here are the wide receiver rankings as of Thursday afternoon. To see the rankings of Jamey Eisenberg, Dave Richard and Heath Cummings, make sure you head here. We’ll be updating this throughout the week with new notes and rankings as we get news and the rankings get tweaked, so make sure you bookmark the page.

Week 6 WR Rankings

  1. Davante Adams @ CHI — If you look up “touchdown variance” in the dictionary, Adams’ 2020 and 2021 seasons should pop up right next to each other. Adams leads the NFL in catches and yards and is putting up career-best per-game numbers in both categories, but he has just two touchdowns on 61 targets — one year after have an NFL-high 18 on 149 targets. Bet on him finding the end zone again this week — and most weeks.
  2. Tyreek Hill @ WAS — It feels like Hill has been a bit disappointing so far this season, because so much of his production has been concentrated between his two big games. However, unless the knee injury he suffered in Week 5 ends up being more of a concern than we think, he remains one of the very best Fantasy options in the game. Don’t get too caught up on the distribution of the production in a small sample size.
  3. Cooper Kupp @ NYG
  4. Terry McLaurin vs. KC — McLaurin has alternated somewhat so-so performances with big games, but he’s due for a big game in Week 6. Not necessarily because he had a so-so one in Week 5, but because the Chiefs defense has just struggled to stop anyone so far. They are allowing an almost unbelievable 8.9 yards per pass attempt with 10 touchdowns allowed in five games. McLaurin is a must-start player in all formats.
  5. Stefon Diggs @ TEN — It’s been a pretty disappointing start to the season for Diggs, but if you look under the hood, there’s still a ton to like here. He has a 27% target share, an elite rate, with a deeper average depth of target. That might make him a little less consistent for PPR as deeper targets are tougher to bring in, but the volume is still extremely strong, and he remains an absolute must-start option.
  6. D.J. Moore vs. MIN — Moore had his first dud game, and it was frustrating to see Sam Darnold picked off while targeting him twice. However, he continues to see a huge target share (29% for the season) and Week 5 probably looks like his floor most weeks.
  7. Justin Jefferson @ CAR — When do we start talking about Justin Jefferson in the “Best WR in the NFL” conversation?
  8. Mike Williams @ BAL — Worried Week 4 was the start of Williams’ regression to the mean? Whoops. He had his best game yet, catching eight passes for 165 yards and a part of touchdowns. He’s averaging 10 targets per game and has to be viewed as a top-12 WR at this point.
  9. Keenan Allen @ BAL — That’s three somewhat disappointing games in a row for Allen, but I’m really not particularly worried. He’s still getting a ton of targets — at least eight in every game — and his track record is simply too strong to not think he’ll turn it around.
  10. Marquise Brown vs. LAC — It’s remarkable to consider that Brown is currently the No. 6 WR in Fantasy despite dropping three would-be touchdowns in Week 3. He’s having an incredible start to the season, and given the increased volume of the ravens passing attack these days, it’s worth betting on him continuing it. Maybe not as a top-five WR, but certainly as someone who needs to be in your lineup in all leagues.
  11. Chris Godwin @ PHI
  12. Diontae Johnson vs. SEA — Week 5 was weird, as Johnson had just two targets despite playing 92% of the snaps. I’m going to write that off as a fluke, one you can live with since he had 72 yards and a touchdown despite the limited usage. He’s still a must-start option.
  13. A.J. Brown vs. BUF — The only question I have for Brown is whether he’s healthy. If he isn’t it could be a challenge for him to produce. However, as long as he’s healthy enough to play, I have to assume Brown is more or less himself, which means I have to assume he’s one of the best wide receivers in Fantasy. Start your stud.
  14. Ja’Marr Chase @ DET — Even with Tee Higgins back from his shoulder injury, Chase dominated in Week 5, leading the team in targets, catches, and yards, while hauling in yet another touchdown. He probably can’t keep scoring at this pace, but Chase is clearly exactly the kind of special player we hoped he would be coming into the league and we need to start treating him like a borderline elite Fantasy WR until he gives us reason to think otherwise.
  15. Robert Woods @ NYG — Woods finally got in on the action in Week 5, catching 12 of 14 passes for 150 yards, which was exactly what we wanted to see from him. Was it enough to quell all of our concerns? Maybe not every single one of them, but I’m back on baord with Woods as a must-start Fantasy option. I just needed to see it, you know?
  16. CeeDee Lamb @ NE — It seems like there is some frustration with Lamb’s play so far, which almost certainly comes down to expectations perhaps being a bit too high coming into the season and due to the fact that he has just two touchdowns so far. He’s been better than last season but just hasn’t seen the huge jump in volume we expected. He still leads the Cowboys in target share, however, and remains a must-start Fantasy WR.
  17. Mike Evans @ PHI — All three of the Buccaneers top wide recievers are must-start players, but it’s worth noting that none of them has a target share above 21%. That doesn’t matter too much in this high-volume passing game, but I do worry it’s going to lead to some frustrating days from all three occasionally. Predicting whose turn it is to take a step back in any given game is a fool’s errand, so you’ve just got to keep them all active every week.
  18. DeAndre Hopkins @ CLE — Hopkins is seeing more passes down the field than he did last season, and it’s lead to better efficiency and more touchdowns, but the overall production remains pretty disappointing. I’m still starting Hopkins without reservations, but it’s going to be hard to be an elite Fantasy option if his target share remains in the 22% range — it was around 28% last season.
  19. Brandin Cooks @ IND — It’s extra frustrating that Cooks had a disappointing game in a week where Davis Mills actually played well, but I’m not drastically changing my view of Cooks just because of that. He’s still among the league leaders in target share and won’t get taken away by the defense like that every week. I’m keeping him active.
  20. DeVonta Smith vs. TB — Smith is off to a solid start to his rookie season, with 70-plus yards in three of five games, and I’m willing to bet he makes it four of five this week. This is a great situation for him, and you want him in your starting lineup.
  21. Amari Cooper @ NE — As frustrating as the Cowboys lack of pass volume has been, Cooper is still on pace for very similar numbers to 2020, except he already has four touchdowns, just one shy of his 2020 total. It’s worth keeping things in perspective, especially when we have reason to think the Cowboys will have to pass more in the future — if not necessarily in Week 6 against the Patriots. Just lock him in your lineup.
  22. D.K. Metcalf @ PIT — You’ve gotta downgrade the Seahawks receivers without Russell Wilson, but what’s the right amount? I don’t want to write Metcalf off — he’s an unbelieavably talented player who still managed to be productive with Smith in the half of football he played last week. I’m still starting the Seahawks top wide outs, but expectations should be lowered without Wilson.
  23. Antonio Brown @ PHI
  24. Michael Pittman vs. HOU — I was, admittedly, skeptical of Pittman coming into the season, and Week 1’s 5.9 PPR points certainly didn’t make me feel any better. However, he’s been pretty terrific since then, with at least 11.9 PPR points in each game, including Week 5’s six-catch, 89-yard performance with his first touchdown of the season. PIttman probably needs to be active every week at this point, but especially in a great matchup.
  25. Chase Claypool vs. SEA — With JuJu Smith-Schuster out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, Claypool figures to see a big enough role that you should be able to trust him. Playing with Ben Roethlisberger in a downfield-oriented role means there could be some ugly games, but the volume should make up for that. Remember, in two games without Diontae Johnson in 2020: Claypool 20 targets, 13 catches, and 170 yards.
  26. Courtland Sutton vs. LV — Sutton hasn’t been consistent, but he’s got two massive performances over his last four weeks, and it’s easy to write off Week 4’s poor performance because Teddy Bridgewater was forced out with a concussion. He’s getting nearly one-quarter of the team’s targets with a heavy downfield emphasis, and while that may occasionally lead to some inconsistency, you probably need to just lock him in your lineup every week to get the most out of him.
  27. Sammy Watkins vs. LAC
  28. Tyler Lockett @ PIT
  29. Tee Higgins @ DET — Higgins hasn’t been great this season, but he has a very strong 26% target share, so there’s plenty of room for him to grow. He has seven targets in Week 5 despite not playing a full snap share, so I think he’s probably more like a 1b in this offense to Chase. He should be started in most leagues against a great matchup.
  30. Jaylen Waddle @ JAX — I thought Week 5 would be a good spot to trust Waddle, but he ended up with just six targets in what should have been a perfect spot for him to thrive. That makes it awfully hard to trust, even against one of the better matchups in the league.
  31. Emmanuel Sanders @ TEN — Sanders and Josh Allen got on the same page in Week 3 and he’s been rolling ever since. He’s not a must-start Fantasy WR on somewhat middling volume (6.2 targets per game), but he’s an important part of a very good passing game and should probably be starting in most leagues at this point.
  32. Jakobi Meyers vs. DAL — Meyers dropped a would-be touchdown and got tackled at the 1-yard line in Week 5, so he’s getting close to his first score. However, I’m not sure he’s someone you need to be starting when that first touchdown eventually comes, because the connection between him and Mac Jones just hasn’t been particularly strong. He’s start-able, to be sure, but he’s also bench-able.
  33. Adam Thielen @ CAR — Thielen is showing further signs of decline so far this season, and the last two games he hasn’t found the end zone to cover up for it. I’m not saying this is the end, but pretty much everything is moving in the wrong direction for Thielen so far this season, especially with both his average depth of target and average yards after catch sliding. Those two things moving in the wrong direction at the same time is a very bad sign. He’s still worth starting, but Thielen is no longer someone you have to start unless he turns things around.
  34. Marvin Jones vs. MIA — I don’t know how to make sense of Jones having just eight targets over the past two weeks despite the absence of DJ Chark. The Jags haven’t been targeting Jones down the field lately, and that combined with the lack of volume explains his mediocre production. Jones should be a viable starting option, but I don’t think you can trust him right now. This offense doesn’t really make any sense.
  35. Allen Robinson vs. GB — I was optimistic about Robinson’s connect with Justin Fields in Week 4, but things weren’t as good in Week 5 despite an increase in targets. This looks like a mediocre-at-best, low-volume passing game, and while I still think better days are ahead for Robinson, I can’t recommend starting him this week.
  36. Odell Beckham Jr. vs. ARI — I just don’t know what to do with Beckham at this point. He struggled in Week 4 as Baker Mayfield just couldn’t find him down the field, but Mayfield played really well in Week 5 and Beckham was a total non-factor. I don’t think Mayfield is a bad quarterback, and I don’t think Beckham is a bad receiver, but for whatever reason, that combination just hasn’t worked over their three seasons together. I surely didn’t help that Beckham dropped what could have been a touchdown Sunday. You can’t trust him at this point.
  37. Hunter Renfrow @ DEN — Renfrow continues to put together solid PPR games, and it seems pretty safe to bet he’ll continue to do that. There isn’t a ton of upside here, but he’s a viable option every week if you need someone.
  38. Darnell Mooney vs. GB — So much for Mooney’s connection with Fields. He still has more targets than Allen Robinson, both from Fields and overall, but it’s hard to buy into this offense right now. He’ll have a chance to hit big plays, but Mooney won’t be a reliable Fantasy option.
  39. Cole Beasley @ TEN — Dawson Knox’s ascension has cut into Beasley’s role over the past few weeks, with just four combined targets over the last two games. The Bills overall pass volume has also been low in those two games, so it’s not as bad as it seems, but it’s tough to trust him even against a great matchup in Tennessee.
  40. Kadarius Toney vs. LAR — Toney is dealing with an ankle injury, and while the team doesn’t think it’s anything serious, hopefully it won’t keep him out coming off his breakout game. However, Joe Judge did say, “It’s not something season-ending,” which is pretty ominous — does that mean it’s a multi-week issue? At this point, I’m going to assume he plays, if only because with Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton all dealing with injuries, I’m not sure who else would even play for the Giants.
  41. Rondale Moore @ CLE — The Cardinals made a point to get Moore involved in Week 5, with six of Kyler Murray’s 31 targets going his way along with three carries, a season-high. He has still played less than half of the team’s snaps in every game, so it’s hard to trust him on a weekly basis, but if they ever increase Moore’s role, he’s going to be a difference maker for Fantasy.
  42. Tim Patrick vs. LV
  43. Tyler Boyd @ DET — There should be room for Boyd to put up decent numbers in this offense, but with the Bengals not throwing much, there may not be as long as everyone is healthy. In the three games all three Bengals lead WR have played, Boyd is averaging just 9.0 Fantasy points per game with an 18.6% target share. He’s just a low-end starter right now.
  44. Laviska Shenault vs. MIA — Shenault followed up his apparent breakout game in Week 4 with a one-catch showing in Week 5. Sure, that one catch was a 58-yarder, with most of that coming after the catch, but it obviously isn’t enough. I still like Shenault as a player, and you shouldn’t drop him, but I don’t know how you could trust him as a starter right now.
  45. Henry Ruggs @ DEN
  46. A.J. Green @ CLE
  47. Robby Anderson vs. MIN — You have to wonder how much the Panthers can keep thowing to Robby Anderson when his connect with Darnold just isn’t there right now. Anderson is a boom-or-bust WR for Fantasy, so whether you’ll want to start him depends almost entirely on how desperate you are.
  48. Jalen Reagor vs. TB
  49. Mecole Hardman @ WAS
  50. Christian Kirk @ CLE
  51. Collin Johnson vs. LAR
  52. Nelson Agholor vs. DAL
  53. Zach Pascal vs. HOU
  54. K.J. Osborn @ CAR
  55. Adam Humphries vs. KC
  56. Josh Gordon @ WAS
  57. John Ross vs. LAR
  58. Randall Cobb @ CHI
  59. Kendrick Bourne vs. DAL
  60. Van Jefferson @ NYG

So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 6 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that has out-performed experts big-time.


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