Check out our fantasy football Start’em or Sit’em picks for Week 6 of the NFL season before setting all of your lineups.
After another week that brought exciting story lines and new season-ending injuries, it is time to look forward to the matchups in Week 6. With Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas, and Seattle on bye, here are my Start’em and Sit’em candidates for Week 6.
QB Start of the Week: Deshaun Watson (HOU) vs. CLE
Embed from Getty Images The hottest fantasy QB over the past three weeks has been new kid on the block Deshaun Watson. He has blown up in recent weeks with 845 passing yards, 11 TDs, three INTs, 96 yards on the ground and one rushing TD since Week 3. After starting the season as the backup behind Tom Savage, Watson has firmly established himself as the man in Houston. He has made many quick connections with the offensive weapons for the Texans, causing his wide receivers Deandre Hopkins and Will Fuller to be top fantasy assets in the past few weeks, (both wide outs had top ten fantasy finishes in Weeks 4 and 5) and elevating RB Lamar Miller from last year’s production. Watson seems to be the right gust of wind that is steering the Houston offense and there’s no reason to think that they shouldn’t keep chugging along.
This week the Texans face the Browns, the 31st ranked defense against the QB. Look for Watson to keep his hot streak going and for the Houston offense to take advantage of this matchup. Keep starting Watson this week.
QB Start’em: Kirk Cousins (WAS) vs. SF
After a mediocre start to the season, Kirk Cousins had a nice stretch of games in Weeks 3 and 4 with 585 yards and five TDs combined in those matchups before going into the bye week. Cousins’ connections with his receivers have improved as the season has progressed and should continue to flourish after the week off. In Week 6, Washington takes on San Francisco, a defense that has allowed at least 300 passing yards and one TD in the past three games. Off a week of rest and practice, Cousins will have a big game in this positive matchup and will be a good start.
QB Start’em: Trevor Siemian (DEN) vs. NYG
The fantasy darling of the first two weeks of 2017 has returned to status quo in recent weeks. After an amazing stretch where he averaged 225 yards, three TDs and one INT, Siemian has only averaged 219 yards, 0.5 TDs and one INT since Week 3; causing him to slowly slip out of fantasy relevancy. He and the rest of the Broncos were on the bye last week, giving them some extra reps to try and help the QB get back on track. This week should be a good matchup for Siemian as the Broncos face off against the Giants, the 23rd best defense against the QB. This matchup along with the game being played in Denver, a place where Siemian had his good start to the season, gives me the confidence to plug Siemian into my lineup this week.
RB Start of the Week: Marshawn Lynch (OAK) vs. LAC
Embed from Getty Images Marshawn Lynch has had a very trepidatious season so far in 2017. When he gets usage he is an excellent fantasy RB, but unfortunately that has been an issue for the Oakland back. The Raiders coaching staff has shown they are not afraid to pull Lynch from a game if they are down big or in certain passing situations, meaning Lynch has a limited role in some games. But, what this has meant in recent weeks is that Lynch can get smothered in bad matchups and have a poor fantasy day, like he did in Week 4 versus Denver and Week 5 versus Baltimore, but will do well in favorable matchups, like he did in Week 2 versus New York. Lynch essentially boils down to being a matchup dependent asset, but he should prosper in Week 6.
This week Oakland faces off against Los Angeles, the 26th best defense against running backs and a team that has allowed a rushing TD in each of the past three games. Not only is this a good matchup for Lynch, the Raiders and Chargers game should be a close one, meaning Oakland will have to rely on their veteran RB. Look for Lynch to get a lot of work in this game and be fantasy relevant, making him a good start.
RB Start’em: Jerick McKinnon (MIN) vs. GB
When Dalvin Cook went down in Week 5 with a horrific season-ending injury, many fantasy owners were faced with tough decisions surrounding the Minnesota backfield. None of the backup running backs presented themselves in a significant way, looking like it would be another messy RB by committee situation. In Week 5 however, one Vikings RB stood out above the rest and proved to be the best: Jerick McKinnon. He had a great game in Chicago on Monday, being both a rushing and pass-catching weapon with 95 rushing yards on 16 rushes and one TD along with six receptions for 51 yards. McKinnon has proven that he will be the most fantasy relevant player in the Vikings backfield and should get lots of targets and rushing attempts going forward. This role in the offense along with the good matchup against Green Bay, the 19th best defense against running backs, makes McKinnon a good start for Week 6.
RB Start’em: Javorius Allen (BAL) vs. CHI
Javorius Allen burst onto the scene in Week 5 with 16.5 points (0.5 PPR scoring) against the Raiders, ranking him as a top five RB for the week. He was a benefactor of lots of usage in the face of Terrence West’s absence. He had 21 rushing attempts and five receiving targets, second on the team only behind Jeremy Maclin. With West reported to miss the next few weeks due to his calf injury, Allen should be the lead guy in the Baltimore backfield for the foreseeable future. This week the Ravens take on the Bears, a defense that has allowed a rushing TD in every game so far in 2017 and just allowed a running back with similar skills, Jerick McKinnon, to have a big game last week. Allen will build of off his Week 5 performance and be a good start this week.
WR Start of the Week: Chris Hogan (NE) vs. NYJ
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When it was reported in Week 2 of the preseason that Julian Edelman would be lost for the year due to a torn ACL, not many fantasy owners knew who would be next in line to receive that workload in the Patriots offense. Those targets, receptions and yardage had to go to someone, but it was anyone’s guess as to who it would be. After the first five weeks of 2017, it is clear that the lucky recipient is Chris Hogan. Hogan has had a great fantasy season so far, ranking as the WR5 in 0.5 PPR formats while being the team leader in targets with 37. He has had an important role in the New England offense and will be vital to their success for the rest of 2017.
In Week 6, the Patriots take on the Jets, the 15th best defense against wide receivers and a defense that just allowed 139 yards to Cleveland’s wide receivers last week. Look for Brady to air it out in a favorable matchup and look Hogan’s way frequently, making him a good start this week.
WR Start’em: Terrelle Pryor (WAS) vs. SF
One of the bigger letdowns so far in 2017 is the production of new Washington WR Terrelle Pryor. Through his first three games, Pryor only averaged 5.5 fantasy points a game (0.5 PPR scoring), which is far from meeting his preseason expectations. He did have a fairly decent game in Week 4 against Kansas City with 70 yards on three receptions and one TD. With the Redskins being on the bye last week, this gave their whole offense some much needed time to get extra reps and fix any chemistry issues that they may still have before going forward with the rest of the season. Look for Pryor to get a good start to the rest of 2017 in this positive matchup versus the 49ers, the 25th best defense against the WR. Start Pryor confidently this week.
WR Start’em: Pierre Garcon (SF) vs. WAS
Pierre Garcon has been a bright spot for the shaky San Francisco offense in terms of fantasy football. He has 28 receptions for 379 yards, ranking him as the WR19 through five games. One amazing stat about Garcon is his target share in the 49ers offense. He has 44 targets this season, which is not only eighth best in the whole league, but is 13 targets greater than the next receiver on the team. This means Hoyer is passing often and is often looking to Garcon to make plays. This week San Francisco plays against Washington, a defense that allowed over 120 yards to the Chiefs the last time they were on the field. With Josh Norman being officially ruled out for this game and beyond, this matchup is even better for Garcon and company. Start Garcon in Week 6.
TE Start of the Week: Cameron Brate (TB) vs. ARI
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With the deplorable situation that has been the fantasy football TE in 2017; one player has been consistent over the past three weeks and has been a good startable TE. Cameron Brate has scored at least 10 points (0.5 PPR scoring), including one TD in each game since Week 3. Even if he cannot keep up this TD pace, Brate is a vital player in the Buccaneers offense. Brate is third on the team in receptions and fourth in total targets, meaning he is someone Jameis Winston looks to often and will be a fantasy relevant TE moving forward.
In Week 6, the Bucs take on the Cardinals, a defense that just allowed 82 yards and two TDs to the Eagles last week. Even if Brate is kept out of the endzone this game, he will still have enough work in the Tampa Bay offense to be relevant this week, so start Brate.
TE Start’em: Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NYJ) vs. NE
Austin Seferian-Jenkins has progressed nicely since making his debut in Week 3 for the New York Jets. His fantasy production has increased in each of the past three weeks, going from 5.6 to 11.9 points (0.5 PPR scoring) in last week’s game versus the Browns. Seferian-Jenkins has become a target machine during his time in New York. Over the past three weeks, he has 18 targets, leading the team during that time span. This high target rate gives Seferian-Jenkins a safe floor that elevates him above a lot of fantasy tight ends and makes him a good start for the rest of season. This week, New York takes on New England, the 29th best defense against the TE. Both his role in the offense and the good matchup give me the confidence to start Seferian-Jenkins in Week 6.
TE Start’em: George Kittle (SF) vs. WAS
Rookie TE George Kittle had an amazing performance last week with seven receptions on nine targets for 83 yards and one TD, ranking him as the TE2 for the week. Kittle looked good last week and looked as though he has established a role in the 49ers offense. In Week 6, the 49ers face off against the Redskins, the 30th best defense against the TE. With such a great matchup, Kittle will have a solid game this week and be a fantasy relevant TE in Week 6.
D/ST Start of the Week: Denver Broncos vs. NYG
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While the Denver Broncos defense is elite on the field, it is not necessarily a great fantasy D/ST unit. So far in 2017, the Broncos have been okay, ranking as the 10th best D/ST unit averaging 18.5 points per game allowed with one turnover. While the Broncos D/ST has not yet faced a favorable matchup, this week will certainly be one. This week Broncos face the depleted New York Giants, a team that lost three of its top wide receivers last week to season-ending injuries and has a vulnerable offensive line. Look for the Broncos to stampede over the Giants and be a great D/ST start.
QB Sit of the Week: Jared Goff (LAR) vs. JAX
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Jared Goff started this season off with a bang ranking as a top ten QB through the first three weeks of 2017, but more recently has gone off with a whimper in fantasy matchups. In the last two games, Goff has only put together 543 yards two TDs and three turnovers, a large step back from his previous production. A large factor in this regression for the Los Angeles QB is the increase in difficult matchups. Goff played three of the worst defense against the QB to start the season (IND, WAS and SF) and shined bright, but has been dull versus two better defenses (DAL and SEA) in recent weeks. With this upcoming matchup, I would look steer clear of Goff this week.
In Week 6, the Rams take on the Jaguars, the #1 defense against the QB and a defense that allowed less than five fantasy points to the very talented Ben Roethlisberger. This matchup will be extremely tough for Goff and the Rams passing offense, causing me to bench Goff for this week and look for better matchups ahead.
QB Sit’em: Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) vs. KC
For anyone that started Ben Roethlisberger last week against Jacksonville, you both felt the wrath of what is to be now considered an elite Jaguar defense and also the decline of a once great player. Roethlisberger on the whole has been an okay fantasy QB in 2017, ranking as QB2 in most formats. His production before this game was usable; he averaged 240 yards, 1.5 TDs and 0.75 turnovers, which is solid enough to keep you in contention in a fantasy matchup. But his game in Week 5 was an absolute back breaker for anyone that started him, giving less than five fantasy points in most formats. One of the more troubling aspects of the Pittsburgh QB was not just his play on the field, but his comments afterwards. Roethlisberger stated to reporters that he is afraid he “might not have it”, which is more than troubling coming from a player that contemplated retirement during the offseason. Even if these remarks are not as important as they appear, Roethlisberger seems to be in a confidence crisis and this upcoming matchup will not help him piece things back together. This week Pittsburgh faces off against Kansas City, an elite defense that outside of last week has held quarterbacks to under 15 fantasy points a game in most formats. Another thing that makes this matchup especially bad for Roethlisberger is that is in Kansas City, meaning Big Ben will fall victim to his massive home/road splits. While Roethlisberger has shown the ability to bounce back throughout his career, I would not look for this game to be his redemption story, bench Roethlisberger this week.
QB Sit’em: Derek Carr (OAK) vs. LAC
After suffering a scary back injury in Week 4, Derek Carr sat out last week’s game versus the Ravens, a game where the Oakland offense struggled in his absence. Carr, rather than taking his time and allowing himself to heal, is attempting to rush back and play in this upcoming matchup. While the Raiders could certainly use him and will be a worse unit with him on the sideline, it is not worth him risking his future health and further injury to play sooner. Plus, this is a tough matchup for Carr, the Raiders plat the Chargers, the 16th best defense against the QB so far in 2017. If Carr does play this week, he will not only struggle to be fantasy relevant, he also has the chance of getting hurt and exiting the game early, leaving you with a low fantasy score. Keep the Carr parked on your bench this week.
RB Sit of the Week: Isaiah Crowell (CLE) vs. HOU
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During the offseason, many fantasy owners looked forward to a big year from up-and-coming RB Isaiah Crowell. Unfortunately, his owners have faced deep disappointment this season has Crowell has not come close to meeting expectations. Crowell ranks as the RB40 so far in 2017, much lower than those around his average draft position. The Cleveland backfield has seen a shift in recent weeks, looking more towards playmaker Duke Johnson to get a lot of the production, leaving Crowell with little to work with.
This week, Cleveland faces off against Houston, the 6th best defense against the RB. With his decreased role and the tough matchup, Crowell is a player that should be placed on the bench for this week and beyond until things get better for him.
RB Sit’em: Mark Ingram (NO) vs. DET
Mark Ingram has been stuck in one of the most frustrating running back committees in all of fantasy football. He has had to share production with now former teammate and new Arizona Cardinal Adrian Peterson so far in 2017 and in recent weeks has lost his pass catching role to the other RB in New Orleans, Alvin Kamara. While it seems that he will see an increase in his rushing attempts with Peterson off to the Sunset state, Ingram’s loss of receiving production lowers his fantasy upside that has made him relevant in the past. In Week 6, the Saints take on the Lions, the 15th best defense against running backs and a team that just held the Panthers rushers to less than 30 yards. Though you will want to plug Ingram into your lineup this week, fight that urge this week and look to a better matchup later on this season.
RB Sit’em: Jonathon Stewart (CAR) vs. PHI
Through five weeks, The Panthers seem to have established how their two-headed RB plan will work out on the field. Christian McCaffrey has been the pass-catching back who gets most of his usage in through the air while Jonathon Stewart has been the lead rushing back who will lead the team in rushing attempts. Stewart, while not being the lead fantasy back in Carolina, he been fairly productive on his own in 2017 with 251 yards on 77 rushes. He has not been an efficient rusher so far this season with 3.3 yards per attempt, but his usage this season is outstanding (9th in the league in rushing attempts), giving Stewart a solid baseline for production. This week, Carolina faces off against the Eagles, the 5th best defense against the RB position. Look for Stewart to have a down game this week and he should be on your bench in Week 6.
WR Sit of the Week: Jarvis Landry (MIA) vs. ATL
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The Miami offense as a whole has been in a funk so far this season. All of their fantasy playmakers are seeing a decrease in their production and some of their players are losing their fantasy relevancy. One of these players is WR Jarvis Landry. Landry in years past has been a target machine who has the potential to be a star in any PPR formats. Unfortunately, Landry has not been very stellar this season with 30 receptions for 210 yards and one TD through four games. He is still getting targets, (43 so far in 2017) but is just not doing as much with them so far this season. One other factor to Landry’s subpar play is Jay Cutler’s fall from grace. Cutler started off the season okay with 230 yards and one TD but has declined rapidly in recent weeks. Landry needs an accurate QB that can get him the ball frequently and correctly, something Cutler has failed to do lately.
This week the Dolphins take on the Falcons, the 8th ranked defense against the WR position. His decrease in targets along with the general dysfunction that is the Miami offense has me sitting Landry this week.
WR Sit’em: Copper Kupp (LAR) vs. JAX
Copper Kupp has had an up-and-down fantasy season for far in 2017. He started the year as one of Goff’s favorite targets in the offense with seven receptions on 12 targets for 109 yards and one TD through two weeks but in certain games and matchups is nowhere to be found. While Kupp has the ability to have a large impact in games, his inconsistency is very worrisome for fantasy owners everywhere. In Week 6 the Rams face off against the Jaguars, the 3rd ranked defense against wide receivers. Jacksonville have two of the most dominant defensive backs in football this season with Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, one of which will certainly be matchup against Kupp which is absolutely less than favorable. With the daunting matchup, I would sit Kupp this week and look for another option to play in his place.
WR Sit’em: Nelson Agholor (PHI) vs. CAR
Nelson Agholor is a player that has a special ability to make large plays and have big games for those who have the courage to start him. The fact that those games are few and far in between and are completely unpredictable are keeping him from being a weekly fantasy asset. Agholor flashed in Week 5 with four receptions for 93 yards and one TD including a spectacular 59 yard play in the first quarter. Big plays like this have made Agholor a WR1 so far this season, but is someone than no one can play on a regular basis. Many fantasy owners are going to be curious and want to plug-and-play Agholor this week, but I would proceed with extreme caution. While Agholor has lots of big play ability, those plays are unsustainable and cannot be relied on, making him a very risky play. Also, the Eagles have a rough matchup this week versus Carolina, the 14th best defense against wide receivers. Keep Agholor on the bench, or on the waiver wire if he is there, this week and wait for him to have a more consistent role in the Philadelphia offense.
TE Sit of the Week: Coby Fleener (NO) vs. DET
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One TE that started the season off well and was a pleasant surprise through two weeks was Coby Fleener. The Saints TE had eight receptions for 87 yards and two TDs in the first two games, but plummeted down to three receptions for 42 yards and zero TDs in Weeks 3 and 4. Drew Brees seemed to have a strong connection with Fleener to start 2017, but it now seems he is an afterthought in this potent Saints offense. Some fantasy owners may look to add Fleener to their starting lineup this week after the Saints were on the bye in Week 5, but I would not be so quick to add him. Even if Fleener bounces back from his Weeks 3 and 4 stretch of mediocrity, he is still not high enough in the target share list to get a lot of opportunities. Fleener is 5th on the team in targets, and that does not include the addition of recently reinstated WR Willie Snead coming back into the fold. There are a lot of mouths to feed in New Orleans, but it seems Fleener may go hungry.
In Week 6, the Saints face off against the Lions, the 21st best defense against the TE. While this may seem like a good matchup for Fleener, the Lions defense were the victim of some big plays from Ed Dickson of the Panthers, and if it was not for those plays, Dickson would have been held to less than the 7.7 fantasy points per game the Detroit defense had allowed through Week 4. Sit Fleener this week.
TE Sit’em: Ed Dickson (CAR) vs. PHI
Ed Dickson erupted last week with a surprising stat late of five receptions for 175 yards in Detroit. He, along with other members of the Panthers receiving corps, had a big day in the Week 5 matchup but no one had a larger day than Dickson. What helped contribute to this big day were two explosive receptions in the first half, getting 121 of his 175 yards in these two plays. While this is nice for fantasy production, these large plays are unpredictable and cannot be relied on, making Dickson look like a better fantasy option than he truly is. This week Carolina takes on Philadelphia, the 18th best defense against the TE so far in 2017. Don’t expect another big game like this from Dickson this week; keep him on your bench.
TE Sit’em: Jordan Reed (WAS) vs. SF
One of the most recognizable TE names in fantasy football is Jordan Reed. Reed has been someone who can have impact when he is on the field and is an intricate part of the Washington offense, being one of Kirk Cousin’s favorite options in recent years. But Reed has had problems with injuries once again in 2017, being limited by a mixture of chest, foot and shoulder ailments. While they have only forced Reed to miss one game so far this season, they have definitely limited him on the field so far this season. He got an extra week of rest this past week with Washington being on the bye, but no reports have come out and said that he is fully healthy again, meaning he could be seriously injured at any time one the field. His matchup this week is a rough one, the Redskins face off against the 49ers, a surprisingly stingy defense who are the 1st best defense against the TE position this season. While Reed is a star in what has been a hapless position in 2017 and can perform as such, this is not the right matchup or time for Reed to reemerge as an elite TE, keep him on your bench this week.
D/ST Sit of the Week: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. KC
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The Pittsburgh D/ST has had a resurgence so far in 2017 after being a mediocre unit in recent years. They had a huge game in Week 1 with a double digit performance in most formats and have kept up that production since that game, being a weekly startable unit. While this D/ST seems to have taken a step forward, expect them to stumble in Week 6. The Steelers take on the Chiefs, an offense that has not only been one of the best in the NFL this season (averaging 33 points scored per game in 2017) but has also been one of the most efficient ones (only one turnover in five games). With this tough matchup upcoming, sit the Steelers D/ST and look for a better option on waivers.