Week six was the most disappointing week for rookies in the 2023 season, but things are getting interesting. Injuries are creating a shift at the top, and the trade deadline looms, creating potential opportunities.
The QB position is in flux, with Anthony Richardson headed to the bench for the rest of the year and Tyson Bagent and possibly Aiden O’Connell set to get the start in week 7.
CJ Stroud, Texans
Week 6: 13-27, 199 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
2023: 127-213, 1,660 yards, 9 TDs, 1 INT – 55 yards rushing
Stroud had the worst game of his young career, throwing his first pick and not eclipsing 200 yards passing. However, he still threw for two scores, and most importantly, the Texans won. He had just 13 completions, his career low.
Bryce Young, Panthers
Week 6: 23-38, 217 yards, 1 TD
2023: 115-182, 967 yards, 6 TDs, 4 INT – 64 yards rushing
While Stroud had the worst game of his career, Young put together his second good outing. Eight receivers caught balls, led by 11 to Adam Thielen.
Tyson Bagent, Bears
Week 6: 10-14, 83 yards, 1 INT | 4 yards rushing, 1 TD
Bagent saw his first action of his career after a Fields injury, and he is set to see his first start this week against the Raiders.
Week six was tough for rookie backs, with no back rushing more than 37 yards. Zach Evans had his first carries and might start week seven in Los Angeles with Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers injured.
Bijan Robinson, Falcons
Week 6: 13 carries, 37 yards| 5 catches, 43 yards
2023: 77 carries, 401 yards| 26 catches, 189 yards, 2 TDs
Bijan and Tyler Allgeier each had 13 carries in this game, but Robinson added eight targets. Robinson is just short of 100 all-purpose yards a game. However, he has yet to score on the ground.
Tyjae Spears, Titans
Week 6: 4 carries, 15 yards| 1 catch, 48 yards
2023: 30 carries, 151 yards, 1 TD | 15 catches, 111 yards
Spears had another big play with a 48-yard catch in week five. He is an excellent start if Henry goes down, but
his big play ability means you can start him any week, and he may produce.
Jaleel McLaughlin, Broncos
Week 6: 7 carries, 30 yards | 2 catches, 12 yards
2023: 29 carries, 190 yards, 1 TD | 9 catches, 58 yards, 2 TDs
Javonte Williams was back in the lineup, but McLaughlin still had his role with seven carries and two targets. Samaje Perine didn’t get a carry this week but had two targets. McLaughlin led all backs with 21 snaps to Williams 18 and Perine’s nine. There is a chance that the Bengals look to trade for Perine. His contract isn’t great, but they struggle to get anything out of their three backups.
Chris Brooks, Dolphins
Week 6: 6 carries, 28 yards
2023:15 carries, 94 yards
With Achane out, Brooks becomes an option in the Dolphins’ dynamic rushing offense. Raheem Mostert will lead the backfield, but McDaniel doesn’t hesitate to use different backs.
Chris Rodriguez, Commanders
Week 6: 4 carries, 23 yards
2023: 7 carries, 30 yards
Rodriguez was not a guy I was high on, but he got carries for his second game of the year. Carrie might be hard to come by in a backfield with Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson. Should they miss time he is an intriguing play.
The Rest of Week 6
- Zach Charbonnet, Seahawks – 2 carries, 11 yards | 2 catches, 14 yards
- Emari Demercado, Cardinals – 2 carries, 11 yards | 1 catch, 6 yards
- Kendre Miller, Saints – 2 carries, -1 yard | 1 catch, 13 yards
- Zach Evans, Rams – 4 carries, 10 yards
- Chase Brown, Bengals – 1 carry, 4 yards | 1 catch, 8 yards
- Tank Bigsby, Jaguars – 3 carries, 2 yards | 1 catch, 6 yards
- Eric Gray, New York – 1 carry, 2 yards
Four of the five names are new. Puka Nacua lands out of the top five for the first time.
Rashee Rice, Chiefs
Week 6: 4 catches, 72 yards
2023: 21 catches, 245 yards, 2 TDs
The Chiefs have a great offense and complete inconsistency outside of Travis Kelce. Five wide receivers played 39% of the offensive snaps or more. Rice is fourth in snaps but leads the wide receivers in catches, targets, yards, and touchdowns.
Michael Wilson, Cardinals
Week 6: 3 catches, 62 yards
2023: 18 catches, 317 yards, 2 TDs
Wilson is locked in as the WR2 and has responded by catching at least 56 yards in four of his first six games. The Cardinals are bad and will often be playing from behind, leading to lots of passes and yards for Wilson. Especially with James Conner out for the foreseeable future.
Tre Tucker, Raiders
Week 6: 2 catches, 57 yards
Tucker caught the first two balls of his career, including a 48-yarder. He had 22 snaps in Week 6, the third most on the team. Hunter Renfrow could be traded, opening the door to even more snaps.
Zay Flowers, Ravens
Week 6: 6 catches, 50 yards, 1 TD
2023: 35 catches, 367 yards, 1 TD
Flowers caught his first touchdown of his career. He is second among all rookies in catches and yards, trailing only Nacua.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Seahawks
Week 6: 4 catches, 48 yards
2023: 16 catches, 110 yards
Smith-Njigba is gradually becoming more of a factor. In week six he saw 72% of snaps by far his highest. He has had at least three targets in every game.
The Rest of Week 5
- Trey Palmer, Bucs – 2 catches, 47 yards
- Jake Bobo, Seahawks – 2 catches, 43 yards
- Jordan Addison, Vikings – 3 catches, 28 yards, 1 TD
- Puka Nacua, Rams – 4 catches, 26 yards
- Josh Downs, Colts – 5 catches, 21 yards, 1 TD
- Jonathan Mingo, Panthers – 2 catches, 21 yards
- Jalin Hyatt, Giants – 3 catches, 21 yards
- Tyler Scott, Bears – 2 catches, 12 yards
- Andrei Iosivas, Bengals – 1 catch, 6 yards, 1 TD
We all know we must be patient with tight ends, so waiting six games for Mayer to show up as a threat shouldn’t surprise anyone. He looks to build off week six likely partnering with fellow rookie Aiden O’Connell.
Michael Mayer, Raiders
Week 6: 5 catches, 75 yards
2023: 8 catches, 116 yards
Mayer has come alive and had made this the four tight end draft we thought it would be. His five catches tied for the most amongst Raiders receivers while his 75 yards led the team. He should have another great game against the Bears in week seven.
Sam LaPorta, Lions
Week 6: 4 catches, 36 yards
2023: 29 catches, 324 yards, 3 TDs
LaPorta had his worst week statistically but still had 11 targets. It will be interesting to see what changes as Jameson Williams takes on more targets.
Brenton Strange, Jaguars
Week 6: 2 catches, 27 yards, 1 TD
2023: 4 catches, 34 yards, 1 TD
Strange had a decent game with his first TD, but it would be tough to start him if Evan Engram is healthy. Engram did have seven targets in this game, and both scored over ten points in PPR.
The Rest of Week 6
- Josh Whyle, Titans – 1 catch, 11 yards
- Payne Durham, Bucs – 1 catch, 8 yards
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