Evan Silva’s Matchups: Week 6

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Oct 16 2020 70 mins   40
Note: Atlanta @ Minnesota will be posted later tonight Houston @ Tennessee Team Totals: Titans 28.25, Texans 24.75 Back in the win column following Week 5’s 30-14 trouncing of Jacksonville, the Texans visit a Titans team still shorthanded from its Covid outbreak in a short-week letdown spot after upsetting the previously undefeated Bills 42-16 last Tuesday night. Since Mike Vrabel became Tennessee’s head coach in 2018, Deshaun Watson has dropped fantasy finishes of QB10, QB1, and QB11 in three dates with the Titans, foreshadowing a high-floor, high-ceiling Week 6 spot. … Despite Duke Johnson’s healthy return, David Johnson banked Weeks 4-5 touch counts of 18 and 19 against the Vikings and Jaguars but continued to lack his early-career burst and was underutilized in the passing game alongside checkdown-averse QB Watson. Week 6 still presents a plus draw for David after enemy backs tagged the Titans for a Weeks 1-5 rushing line of 89/496/3 (5.57 YPC), a generous 156.0 total-yards average, and five TDs in four games. Watson’s 2020 target distribution: Brandin Cooks 33; Will Fuller 30; Randall Cobb 24; David 18; Jordan Akins 15; Kenny Stills 14; Darren Fells 12; Duke 6; Keke Coutee and DeAndre Carter 2. … Albeit with obvious boom-bust caveats, Cooks warrants upside WR3 treatment against a Titans backend that was banged by fellow WRs Justin Jefferson (7/175/1), Stefon Diggs (10/106/0), D.J. Chark (4/84/0), Keelan Cole (6/58/1), Gabriel Davis (5/58/0), Cole Beasley (6/53/0), and Adam Thielen (3/29/1) in its first four games. In addition to targets, Cooks leads Houston in Air Yards share (28%). … Fuller enters Week 6 with 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 4-of-5 weeks and barely behind Cooks in Air Yards share (27%). Despite Cooks’ superior to-date opportunity, I side with Fuller’s rest-of-season outlook and confidently value Fuller as a WR2 play with WR1 upside. … Averaging 3.8 catches for 52.0 yards through five games as a Texan, Cobb is a possession-slot role player with a low floor and low theoretical ceiling. … With Akins (concussion) back, Texans tight ends figure to resume canceling each other out in fantasy terms. Limited to 20 touches – his fewest in a game since December 8 of 2019 – due to the nature of Week 5’s blowout win over Buffalo after sitting out Week 4 over Covid concerns, Derrick Henry’s legs should be near fully fresh against a Houston defense enemy backs cruised for 136/706/6 (5.19 YPC) rushing, 174.0 total yards per game, and seven all-purpose TDs in Weeks 1-5. The Texans lost 246-pound LB Benardrick McKinney (shoulder) for the season in last Sunday’s win over Jacksonville after failing to halt The Big Dog in last year’s two meetings; Henry lit up Romeo Crennel’s defense for a combined 2019 rushing line of 53/297/3 (5.60 YPC). … Quarterbacks facing the Texans are 112-of-163 passing (69%) for 1,213 yards and a perfect 9:0 TD-to-INT ratio, while Ryan Tannehill has banked top-15 fantasy scores in 3-of-4 starts and top-seven finishes in two of his last three. With A.J. Brown back balling and Adam Humphries activated from the Covid list to supplement his weaponry, Tannehill is an upside QB1 streamer here. Update: The Titans placed rookie RB Darrynton Evans (hamstring) on I.R. Expect Jeremy McNichols to handle clear-cut backup duties behind Derrick Henry for at least the next three weeks. Tannehill’s 2020 target distribution: Jonnu Smith 27; Humphries 20; Corey Davis 19; Brown 17; Anthony Firkser 11; Henry 10; Kalif Raymond 7; MyCole Pruitt, Jeremy McNichols, and Nick Westbrook 3; Cameron Batson 2. … Although Houston has played stout tight end defense this year – no player at the position has topped 52 yards against the Texans – Smith has earned every-week TE1 treatment by leading the Titans in targets, ranking top 10 among tight ends in Air Yards share (15.3%), and drawing four targets inside the 10-yard line, fourth most at his position. … Including playoffs, [...]