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C.J. Anderson set up for a big Week 6 in fantasy

The FedEx Air & Ground fantasy preview is back!


In case it slipped your mind, NFL football fans have the opportunity to vote on top performers at the running back and quarterback position following every regular week of action.

The candidates at quarterback last week were Cam Newton, Alex Smith and Carson Wentz. At running back, Leonard Fournette, Aaron Jones and Melvin Gordon were all featured. You can check out the Week 5 winners here and cast your vote every week.

Now, without further ado, let's dive into some players who could have huge games in Week 6, both through the air and on the ground.

Air Analysis:

Kirk Cousins vs 49ers

After a week off, Kirk Cousins finds himself in a nice landing spot for Week 6, at home against a road-battered San Francisco team. This is the third straight road game for the 49ers, and they haven't won a game all year.

Cousins is averaging over 290 pass yards in his last two games and has thrown a combined five touchdowns in those contests. He played well, even in a Monday night loss in Week 5 to Kansas City and was basically a Josh Doctson drop in the end zone shy of winning that game (and finishing as the QB8 that week). Anyway, his strong play has Cousins averaging 23.7 fantasy points per game in his last two, and now faces a great matchup in San Francisco.

The 49ers have allowed 1,332 total pass yards this season, the fifth-most in the NFL. That's a 249 pass yards per game clip. They've allowed some big outings to average or less-than-average quarterbacks in their last three games including a QB9 game to Jared Goff in Week 3, 357 pass yards to Carson Palmer in Week 4 and a QB10 game to Jacoby Brissett last week.

In terms of weaponry, the Redskins pass-catching corps looks like it might be getting healthy at just the right time. Jordan Reed is "off" the injury report, so the hope is that he can actually play more than a handful of snaps, which would boost Cousins outlook even further. Based on a report from the Washington Post, the team wants to get Jamison Crowder more involved as he's totaled just 106 receiving yards this season. And of course, Terrelle Pryor and Chris Thompson are at Cousins' disposal as the team's most dangerous threats in the pass game. Cousins should thrive on Sunday.

Matt Ryan vs Dolphins

Similarly to Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan has it easy this week. Ryan gets home game, coming off a bye against a struggling opponent in the Miami Dolphins.

For what it's worth, coming off a bye week in his career, Ryan has a 20:8 TD to INT ratio and a 100.6 passer rating, with a 7-2 record. That doesn't mean much for his fantasy outlook this week, but it's a good sign that he can produce with two weeks to prepare for an opponent.

Ryan is coming off two consecutive games in which he threw two-plus interceptions, and has thrown more picks than touchdowns in those contests against Detroit and Buffalo. In his defense, he lost his top two receivers to injury, Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu, in the Week 4 game. Good news here, as the Dolphins are one of just three NFL defenses without an interception this season. The matchup is Miami has allowed five touchdown passes and has zero interceptions, with a 106.1 passer rating surrendered to opposing signal-callers this season. Even with a few shaky outings from Ryan, the Falcons offense is scoring 26 points per game, a top-10 mark in the NFL, and they're averaging 388 total yards per game, which is a top-five mark.

It was obvious that Ryan was due for regression this season after he posted a 7.1 touchdown rate in a historic 2016 Super Bowl run campaign. But so far this season, he's severely underperformed in terms of his career average touchdown rate of 4.7 as he owns a 3.7 mark in 2017. That means he's due for a bounce-back, and getting Miami at home is a perfect place to start.

Ground Analysis:

C.J. Anderson vs Giants

Maybe you've noticed a theme in this week's column, but I'm again rolling with a player coming off a bye with a home matchup here to kick off the Ground section. C.J. Anderson is in an ideal spot to put up big fantasy numbers against a Giants' defense that was just gashed by Melvin Gordon last week and is allowing the fourth-most rush yards per game, 139, this season.

Anderson has over 20 touches in three of his four outings and is running behind a Denver line that's generating 143 rush yards per game. A solid 57 percent of that has belonged to Anderson as he owns 82.5 rush yards per game. He's also posted an average of at least four yards per carry in every game this season, and he only struggled against the Bills (eight carries, 36 yards), who have one of the best run-stopping units in the league.

With a deluge of injuries to the Giants offense, it's difficult to imagine they'll be able to maintain time of possession against Denver, which would leave their defense on the field for extended periods of time. That should wear on them by the second half, leaving Anderson ample opportunities, especially in the second half, to put up fantasy points against a tired New York unit. Anderson has top-five upside in Week 6.

Mark Ingram vs Lions

Yep, another guy coming off bye in a home matchup. Before the Saints Week 5 bye, Mark Ingram was already established as the Saints volume back, averaging 14.3 touches per game. That was with Adrian Peterson working in limited snaps, too. Now that Peterson has been shipped off to Arizona in a trade, Ingram's workload should increase a bit, which is a good sign for his long-term value, beginning in Week 6 against Detroit.

So far this year, the Lions are allowing just 74.6 rush yards per game, the third-best mark in the NFL. On the flipside, Detroit has allowed the fourth most receiving yards to running backs (291). While Ingram is slated for the early-down role with Alvin Kamara working in behind him in passing situations, the veteran gets it done in the passing game, too. He's averaged 48 receptions per season over the last two years and is averaging 5.5 targets per game in 2017. He has the skillset to do damage against the Lions defense in that aspect which provides a safe floor if he struggles to run efficiently. If you have playing time concerns, there's no doubt Ingram be on the field more than Kamara, despite the rookie's strong play. Ingram played a season-high 58 percent of New Orleans' snaps in Week 4, so even with Kamara working in, say 40 percent of snaps, Ingram will get his.

But with significant defensive injuries the last few games, the Lions run-stopping unit may not be as tough as its been early on. Detroit lost veteran defensive lineman Haloti Ngata for the year with a torn biceps last week, and linebacker Paul Worrilow, who sprained his MCL in Week 4 is set to miss several weeks. Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (knee) didn't practice on Wednesday ahead of Week 6's matchup, either. Considering all of these factors, Ingram has some sneaky upside on Sunday.

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