What We Saw: Week 6

The QB List staff catches you up on everything you missed during Week 6 of the 2020 NFL season.

Lions @ Jaguars

 

The Lions came into this game with a reputation for struggling to tackle and blowing double-digit leads. They seem to have fixed both issues, at least today against Jacksonville, as they did a great job of tackling and leaned on a strong rushing attack to go wire-to-wire with the lead. Adrian Peterson and D’Andre Swift combined for over 150 yards and 3 touchdowns and the defense forced Gardner Minshew into two turnovers and generally kept the Jaguars offense under control. The Jaguars struggled with key penalties, committing two defensive pass interference penalties against Kenny Golladay and wiping out what would have been a drive-ending sack with an offsides penalty. The Lions didn’t need more help than that, as aside from an interception on a ball tipped at the line of scrimmage and a missed field goal the Lions played close to mistake-free. The Jaguars added two touchdowns in the second half to make the score a little closer, but this game never really felt competitive after the Lions went up 24-3 early in the third quarter. They never looked back, cruising to a 34-16 win.

 

Detroit Lions

 

Quarterback

 

Matthew Stafford: 19/31, 223 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT | 5 carries, 14 yards

 

Matthew Stafford looked like a veteran quarterback that didn’t have to do much to lead his team to victory today. His offensive line and running backs were able to mostly control the game without needing Stafford to add much. On Detroit’s first drive Stafford was able to scramble to convert a long third down, and after the Lions finished that drive with a touchdown they would lead the rest of the game.

 

 

His interception came on a line batted at the line of scrimmage:

 

 

Aside from that, it was a pretty uneventful day for Stafford. He connected with Kenny Golladay on a deep jump ball that Stafford threw up for grabs after drawing the defense offsides, threw a short touchdown to T.J. Hockenson, and otherwise managed the game well for the Lions by moving the chains and avoiding turnovers. Stafford will have better fantasy days in games where the Lions are pushed by their competition, but today there was no need for Stafford to air it out.

 

Running Backs

 

D’Andre Swift: 14 carries, 116 yards, 2 TDs | 4 targets, 3 receptions, 7 yards

Adrian Peterson: 15 carries, 40 yards, 1 TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 18 yards

Kerryon Johnson: 4 carries, 9 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, 11 yards

 

Adrian Peterson got the start today and capped off the first drive of the game with a short touchdown. D’Andre Swift got the second drive and took his first carry 54 yards, and also got to finish off the second drive with a short touchdown of his own.

 

 

The 54-yard run itself wasn’t anything special, if anything Swift probably should have gotten more yards at the end of the run if he just kept moving his legs instead of trying to stop and fake out the defender, but his performance across the rest of the game was impressive. He did a good job of finding the holes that his offensive line was creating consistently, showed a few nice cuts in the backfield to allow himself to hit those holes, and was effective in short-yardage down in the red-zone. Over 100 yards and two touchdowns is a great day for any running back, but I hesitate to say that this is a sign of things to come this season for Swift. Kerryon Johnson came in for the start of the third drive and all three running backs were involved throughout the game. 

 

 

Fantasy players keep asking Detroit to trust one running back, like when Johnson himself flashed his rookie season, and they just haven’t done it. They are likely to continue the hot hand approach they have shown under Matt Patricia regardless of how well Swift played today. The Jaguars defense was also missing some key contributors, looked completely lost on the field at times, and is generally not very good. Not to take away from Swift’s performance, but it’s unlikely that he’s going to produce like this regularly against higher levels of competition. Swift is the only one of the three backs here really worth holding onto unless you need to use Peterson as a touchdown dependant flex option. Barring injury, the consistent upside does not seem to be there this year.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Kenny Golladay: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 105 yards

Danny Amendola: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 31 yards

Marvin Jones: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 8 yards

T.J. Hockenson: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 17 yards, 1 TD

 

Kenny Golladay looks to be back and healthy, as he drew two defensive pass interference penalties to go with over 100 receiving yards and this catch.

 

 

One of the two penalties Golladay drew came in the end zone, with the other coming on what may have been a long touchdown had the defender not held Golladay up. This is the receiver we all thought we were drafting this offseason, and now that he’s back he’s an easy start every week going forward. He did have one tough drop on a throw Stafford probably could have placed better, but otherwise, Golladay looked like the elite, alpha receiver he is. Marvin Jones was less impressive, coming down with only two short receptions and failing to draw any high-value targets. He’ll have better games when the passing offense is required to do more, but he looks like he’ll be a high-variance flex play at best. T.J. Hockenson came down with a short touchdown a play after he looked to be the intended target for Stafford in the end zone, only to see his own fullback try to catch the ball first. Aside from the work around the goal line he was quiet. Marvin Hall didn’t get anything done, but he did see a deep target that he was just unable to come down with.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

 

Quarterback

 

Gardner Minshew: 25/44, 243 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 fumble, 1 sack | 3 carries, 14 yards, 1 TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 0 yards

 

Not the best day for Gardner Minshew. He was strip-sacked, generally struggled with the heavy-dose of man coverage the Lions showed him and threw a pretty bad interception on what should have been a long completion. 

 

 

There was some wind which probably contributed to the ball hanging on him, and you can certainly make a case that Chark should have done more to break this up (especially if you contrast his effort with the play Golladay made on a similar throw), but it needed to be a better throw. Some of the struggles for Minshew came from his receivers struggling to win their individual matchups but Minshew looked a little off accuracy wise. It wasn’t all bad though, as Minshew showed some good timing on comeback routes with his receivers where the ball was on them at exactly the moment when they turned back for it. He also caught his own pass after a defender batted it back to him, and made a nice diving shovel pass to Chris Thompson that was an ultimately meaningless play but looked really cool. Fantasy wise, he saved his day with this touchdown run:

 

 

Minshew is fun to watch, and his rushing contributions are helping to buoy his sometimes lack-luster passing performances. He’s a streaming option, and I certainly would avoid starting him over more proven options that you drafted higher as some of the hype for him earlier in the season appears to be premature.

 

Running Backs

 

James Robinson: 12 carries, 29 yards | 4 targets, 4 receptions, 24 yards, 1 TD

Chris Thompson: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 15 yards

 

James Robinson managed to somewhat salvage what had been a very disappointing day with a short receiving touchdown on a play where he walked untouched into the endzone. It seemed like the Lions came out of their bye week with an emphasis on tackling better, and Robinson wasn’t able to create any additional yards for himself. There was also never really any room for him to run, but the more concerning part from this game is he seemed to come off the field for an awful lot of third downs and wasn’t as involved as a receiver as the game script should have dictated. Chris Thompson and Laviska Shenault Jr. both took snaps in the backfield away from Robinson, although Robinson handled all but one of the team’s non-quarterback carries. Robinson should still be started with confidence, but in DFS formats perhaps temper your expectations in games that the Jaguars figure to be trailing by a lot.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Keelan Cole: 9 targets, 6 receptions, 143 yards

D.J. Chark: 14 targets, 7 receptions, 45 yards

Laviska Shenault Jr.: 7 targets, 3 receptions, 10 yards | 1 carry, 1 yard

Chris Conley: 2 targets, 1 reception, 6 yards

James O’Shaughnessy: 1 target

 

D.J. Chark could have had a nice game had Minshew connected with him on the deep ball that ended up intercepted, but Chark himself also struggled to create separation and was frequently brought down immediately after he caught the ball. Chark is someone I would target in trades since it looks like he’s getting healthier and we know the targets will be there for him when he gets back to full strength. Keelan Cole was able to hook up with Minshew for a deep reception, even adding a spin move to pick up some extra yards. The Lions were paying more attention to Chark which helped open things up for Cole, but Cole also displayed some nice chemistry with Minshew on a couple of comeback routes. I’m not sure I would ever start Cole, but he’s had a solid start to the season and clearly has a solidified role in the offense this year so he may be worth a look if he’s available in your league. Laviska Shenault Jr. continues to be someone the Jaguars are looking to get the ball to in space, but today the Lions did a great job of limiting the damage after the catch and Shenault was unable to break a big play. He took a few snaps lined up as the running back, and he made a great extra effort after the catch to pick up a third-down after Minshew checked it down to him. He’s worth rostering as his touches are consistent and he’s athletic enough to start taking some of these screen passes and handoffs for big gains.

 

— Dan Adams (@dadams0323 on Twitter)

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