Key Matchups for Each NFC North Week 6 Game
Atlanta Falcons (0-5) @ Minnesota Vikings (1-4) (Sun. 1:00 PM EST, FOX)
The Vikings passing offense needs to take charge
For the fantasy crowd, Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson are must starts against the Atlanta Falcons. Through five weeks, the Falcons defense has allowed the second most passing yards and the most passing touchdowns. Atlanta’s secondary has been riddled with injuries, inexperience and simply poor play.
Minnesota has said despite Dalvin Cook’s absence for Sunday’s contest, it’d like to stick to its normal, run-heavy game plan. Alexander Mattison can handle the workload, but that doesn’t mean the Vikings should shy away from the passing game. Kirk Cousins should be allowed to throw it 25-plus times against the Falcons.
Thielen and Jefferson can do a lot with a little. The Falcons are really good at letting little plays turn into monster gains. That couldn’t have been more evident than last week when D.J. Moore was allowed to take a short route and turn it into a 57-yard touchdown. Take advantage, let it fly Minnesota.
Chicago Bears (4-1) @ Carolina Panthers (3-2) (Sun. 1:00 PM EST, FOX)
Make David Montgomery a workhorse
The Carolina Panthers have struggled all season long in stopping the run. All five games, the Panthers have allowed 100-plus rushing yards and a running back to score in some type of capacity. According to Football Outsiders’ DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average), the Panthers ranked 29th in the league in run defense.
Since Chicago’s Tarik Cohen suffered a season-ending injury back in Week 3, David Montgomery has been lackluster as the lone featured running back. Montgomery failed to surpass 30 rushing yards in back-to-back weeks against the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He’s been more efficient in the passing game in Cohen’s absence, but his role has always been on the ground and he needs to show Chicago he can do so.
This is a prime matchup for Montgomery and he needs to perform for the Bears. Chicago had one pick in the first three rounds in the 2019 NFL Draft and spent it on Montgomery. The case is still out on him, Chicago needs to trust Montgomery and he needs to showcase himself against the Panthers.
Detroit Lions (1-3) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4) (Sun. 1:00 PM EST, FOX)
Let Kenny Golladay dominate the game
The past two weeks, the Jacksonville Jaguars have let two players, who had been struggling this season, have breakout performances. Joe Mixon racked up 181 total yards and three touchdowns in Jacksonville’s Week 4 loss to the Bengals. Meanwhile, Houston Texans receiver Brandin Cooks had his way against the Jaguars. Cooks caught eight balls for 161 yards and a touchdown.
This week should be Kenny Golladay’s breakout this season. The wide receiver hasn’t exactly struggled in his first two games back from injury this season but hasn’t reached 100 receiving yards. He’ll be facing Football Outsiders last ranked defense in passing DVOA on Sunday. Although he’s had his ups and downs this year, rookie C.J. Henderson should be back healthy this week.. Chris Claybrooks nor Tre Herndon have been great, and while Sidney Jones flashed last week, his NFL resume doesn’tt suggest that will continue.
Golladay needs to be involved early and often against the Jaguars for the Lions offense to get going. Coming off the bye, the wide receiver should be the healthiest he’s been this season.
Green Bay Packers (4-0) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sun. 4:25 PM EST, FOX)
Don’t forget about Robert Tonyan and Jamaal Williams
The Green Bay Packers will be getting their star wide receiver Davante Adams back on Sunday. Adams returns for the first time since leaving Week 2 with a hamstring injury. The offense hasn’t skipped a beat since he’s departure. It’s been a group effort, and just because Adams is returning doesn’t mean Robert Tonyan and Jamaal Williams should be phased out of the offense.
Adams is one of the NFL’s top receivers and deserves each target. Although in the past, the Packers have struggled without a consistent second option in the passing game. Aaron Jones will have his contribution out of the backfield. Tonyan has filled in the absence of Adams and Allen Lazard closer to the red zone. The tight end has caught touchdowns in three straight games, and if a defense has to defend Adams and Tonyan in the red zone it’ll be quite challenging.
Williams is used in a lot of creative ways. Against the Falcons, the Packers used a play where Jones, from the backfield, and Williams, lined up as an outside receiver, ran basically the same exact route. It led to Rogers hitting Williams for a big gain. Williams has the ability to be the de facto number two wide receiver for Green Bay until Lazard returns.