Week 6 Starts and Sits
Week 6 Start/Sit
Bye Weeks: Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints
Matt Ryan (vs Tampa Bay)
Ryan had a fine game against Pittsburgh in week 5, throwing for 285 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. While these numbers are underwhelming given the way teams have been able to attack Pittsburgh (and Matt Ryan’s general hot streak), they still aren’t terrible. In week 6 he is gifted with another beautiful matchup in the form of the Buccaneers “pass defense”. The Buccaneers entered the bye after allowing a 6 touchdown performance to Mitch Trubisky. Thus far in 2018, they’ve allowed a league worst 28.6 fantasy points per week to quarterbacks and a 13 to 1 TD/INT ratio.
Andy Dalton (vs Pittsburgh)
Let the good times roll! Dalton is coming off a decent showing vs Miami, going for 248 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. In week 6 he draws the matchup against the vaunted Steelers defense, giving up a top 3 worst total of fantasy points on average to opposing quarterbacks (27.9). Dalton has a slew of weapons with Joe Mixon’s return, and he should be able to exploit a Steelers defense in a game that projects to be an absolute shootout.
Andrew Luck (at NY Jets), Jared Goff (at Denver), Jameis Winston (at Atlanta)
While Andrew Luck isn’t exactly airing the ball out, his pass volume has been extraordinary so far this season. Given the fact that the lowest number of times he’s thrown a ball this season in a game is 31 (he’s thrown over 50 times on 3 different occasions), it is clear that his most recent surgery came courtesy of the same surgeons from the Million Dollar Man. As long as he is throwing that much, Luck is a great play. Jared Goff finally came back to earth against Seattle in week 5, throwing for only 321 yards and a touchdown with 2 interceptions. While Goff could be short on weapons with Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks in the concussion protocol, odds are both players will suit up on Sunday. Like most teams, expect Denver to concentrate on slowing down the Todd Gurley led run game, which means Goff should have the ability to exploit a solid but not spectacular Denver defense. Jameis Winston has had a half and a bye week to prepare for his first start of 2018, and he draws a superb matchup against an Atlanta defense giving up 25.5 points to quarterbacks per week. Early Vegas lines have the Falcons/Bucs matchup at 57.5 points, which means the world can expect a shootout. Given Winston’s weapons, that could mean a big day for a lot of players. Go out and get him, especially with two top tier QB’s (Brees and Stafford) on bye.
Chris Carson (vs Oakland (In London))
Chris Carson has really exploded the last 2 games he has played as he’s become the primary ball carrier in Seattle this year. In week 4 against Dallas, he took 32 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown. Against a strong LA Rams front in week 6, Carson carried the ball 19 times for 116 yards while adding 1 catch for 11 yards. The London games have historically been a mixed bag on offense, but it is clear that Seattle is going out of its way to establish a more run-focused offense to take pressure off Russell Wilson. Look for Carson to play a heavy role against a Raiders defense that is allowing 26.8 yards per game to opposing fantasy running backs.
Nyheim Hines (at NY Jets)
As the season goes on, Nyheim Hines has proven that he is carving out a consistent role in the Colts offense. He touched the ball 22 times in week 4, and even though his value has been in the receiving game this year (29 catches for 164 yards and 2 touchdowns), he logged 15 carries against the Patriots. If Marlon Mack’s paper mache hamstrings ever hold up, Hines will lose rushing touches for certain. However, it would seem that his pass game production is almost locked in at this point (20 targets in the past 2 weeks). The Jets have allowed 23 receptions for 165 yards and a touchdown to running backs this week, an area that Andrew Luck and the Colts can hope to exploit.
Alfred Morris (at Green Bay), Phillip Lindsay (vs LA Rams), Joe Mixon (vs Pittsburgh)
Alfred Morris has had an up and down season in regards to his touches, rebounding from a 4 carry effort in week 4 to 18 rushes in week 5. Much of this can be attributed to the injury to uber-efficient Matt Brieda against the Cardinals. With Breida presumably out of the fold in week 6, Morris becomes the lead rusher in San Francisco. The Packers have been pretty good against the run (only 18.5 fantasy points per week), but a lot of that can be attributed to teams throwing the ball all over them on a weekly basis. With a lead back workload (and an expanded role in the passing game), Morris could be a high value upside play for your team in week 6. Phillip Lindsay continues to see consistent volume this season, getting another 12 carries for 61 yards and 3 catches for 20 yards against the Jets in week 5. The Rams will be a daunting task for the Broncos, but with the high potential for a negative game script for the Broncos, Lindsay could potentially get a boosted workload in the passing game, further bolstering his PPR appeal this week. After missing 2 weeks due to arthroscopic knee surgery, Marvin Lewis promised that Joe Mixon would get a light workload. According to Marvin Lewis, a reduced workload consists of 22 carries for 93 yards and 3 catches for 22 yards and a touchdown. The Steelers have actually been pretty strong against the run, allowing only 16 points per week to running backs, but Joe Mixon will get a ton of volume and has value in the passing game, which makes him a very high upside play.
Mohamed Sanu (vs Tampa Bay)
The forgotten man in the Falcons passing game, Sanu emerged against the Steelers last week, turning 7 targets into 4 catches for 73 yards and a touchdown. Since week 4, Sanu is averaging 7.6 targets per week and has 2 touchdowns. While every team tries to slow down Julio Jones in the passing game, and most teams have become aware of Calvin Ridley in the red zone, there are only so many bodies in the secondary, and Sanu should have the volume and opportunity to exploit a Tampa Bay defense that has allowed an average of 280 passing yards a game since the beginning of the 2017 season.
Chris Godwin (at Atlanta)
On the other side, the Falcons are the 7th worst defense in the NFL against opposing receivers, allowing an average of 43.5 yards per game to opposing wideouts. While Godwin had a season-low output against the Bears (only 2 targets), it was the first week he didn’t score a touchdown. Given the bye week to prepare, look for Godwin to have established more rapport with Jameis Winston to get back in the scoring column.
Taylor Gabriel (at Miami), Tyler Boyd (vs Pittsburgh), Sterling Shepard (vs Philadelphia)
In a sea of upgraded weapons, Taylor Gabriel was the least talked about Bears acquisition this offseason. However, head coach Matt Nagy was dialing up plenty of plays for him going into the bye week, as Gabriel racked up 24 targets (7, 10, and 7) while converting on 17 of them. His biggest performance came against the struggling Buccaneers, and he registered 7 catches for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns. With Allen Robinson drawing a difficult matchup with Xavien Howard on the outside, Gabriel should have plenty of space to operate and make big plays again in week 6. The Pittsburgh Steelers are allowing opposing defenses to average 46.1 fantasy points per game (3rd worst in the NFL). With the injury to Tyler Eifert and opposing defenses shifting focus to AJ Green, Tyler Boyd has been operating efficiently in the seams. Given a floor of 5 targets (week 1) and a ceiling of 15 (week 5), Boyd has carved out a consistent role this season with Andy Dalton. Boyd should be poised for a productive day against a Steelers defense that is attempting to find a way to stop passing games. In his last 3 games (2 since Evan Engram went down with a knee injury), Sterling Shepard is averaging 6.7 catches and 77.3 receiving yards. It is getting more and more difficult to ignore his emerging role in the passing game, even with Odell Beckham Jr. finally breaking out of his early season touchdown slump. Despite their reputation as a staunch defense, the Eagles are allowing the 4th worst total of receiving yards (45.6) to opposing fantasy receivers. Odell Beckham will likely draw the consistent attention of Ronald Darby, leaving Sterling Shepard against the overmatched linebackers for the Eagles.
Cameron Brate (at Atlanta)
After registering 0 targets the first two weeks of the season, Cameron Brate had started to come on before the bye, catching 3 of 4 targets and a touchdown for 2 consecutive weeks. With OJ Howard out with a knee injury and Jameis Winston’s preference for Brate in the end zone, he seems to be a high upside tight end in a season where anything with a pulse is a good option. Helping matters is the fact that Atlanta has struggled against opposing tight ends, allowing 19 receptions for 194 yards and a touchdown. Brate is a high upside play in week 6.
CJ Uzomah (vs Pittsburgh)
CJ Uzomah seems to be the tight end to emerge in the absence of Tyler Eifert after his brutal ankle injury. While his target share hasn’t been anything special this season, he has efficiently caught 9 of 10 targets for 117 yards and a touchdown, including 2 for 43 against the Dolphins last week. Pittsburgh is allowing a league worst 20.5 points to fantasy tight ends this season, leaving Uzomah with an excellent opportunity to have a big week in week 6.
Austin Hooper (vs Tampa Bay), George Kittle (at Green Bay), Trey Burton (at Miami)
Austin Hooper has seen inefficient workloads so far this season, but he draws the 2nd worst defense against tight ends this year in week 6 (20.1 points per game). Against Pittsburgh, he capitalized on 9 of 12 targets for 77 yards and while he didn’t score, those are fantastic numbers given the tumult of the tight end position this season. Let the hot hand ride again this week against a plus matchup. George Kittle continues to see targets, getting 7 more against the Cardinals and turning it into 5 catches for 83 yards. While he did suffer a knee injury in week 5, it didn’t seem to slow him down and should make him very playable against a Packers team that has allowed tight ends to register 13.7 fantasy points per week. The Dolphins have been better than average against the tight end this season, surrendering only 10.7 points per week. Trey Burton has been getting consistent targets in the Bears offense this season (15 in 4 games) and it wouldn’t surprise me if Matt Nagy used the bye week to scheme some more creative ways to get him the ball after a week off.
Marcus Mariota (vs Baltimore)
The Marcus Mariota rollercoaster ride of 2018 continued in week 5, as he struggled to a 14 of 26 for 129 yards with 0 touchdowns and an interception against a lackluster Bills defense. This came off the heels of a stellar performance against the Eagles in week 4, meaning that none of us have any idea of what to expect from the Titans signal caller this year. He draws a much more difficult matchup in week 6 against a Ravens defense allowing only 13.5 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and only 6 touchdowns to 5 interceptions. That probably means he will throw for 500 yards and 8 touchdowns this week, but I’m willing to believe he will underwhelm this week.
Derek Carr (vs Seattle (In London))
Despite an underwhelming record so far this season, Seattle has been surprisingly effective against quarterbacks this season, positioning themselves as the 4th best team against opposing quarterbacks in 2018 (13.8 fantasy points per week). On the other side, Carr is leading the league in interceptions and outside of a strong performance against the Browns in week 4, has either had 0 or 1 touchdown in each game (and to boot has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in 3 of 5 games). Add in the fact that this game will be held in London and there are plenty of factors indicating Carr may struggle again in week 6.
Dak Prescott (vs Jacksonville), Joe Flacco (at Tennessee), Sam Darnold (vs Indianapolis)
The Cowboys clearly want everything on their offense to run through Zeke Elliott, which means Dak Prescott will continue to be an underwhelming fantasy option this season. Through 5 weeks, he has a 62% completion percentage and is only averaging 7.1 yards per attempt this season. Don’t expect those numbers to improve in week 6 against a Jaguars defense that has allowed only 4 passing touchdowns in 5 weeks. After a hot streak (for him at least), Joe Flacco came back to earth in week 5 against the Browns, completing 29 of 56 passes for 298 yards and 0 touchdowns to 1 interception in an overtime loss. Admittedly, the Browns aren’t a slouch defense and the volume of attempts was impressive, but the job doesn’t get easier this week against a Titans defense allowing quarterbacks only 15 fantasy points per week. While the Colts are league average against quarterbacks this season (19.9 ppg), it is also clear the Jets view their most successful formula to winning as using Sam Darnold as a compliment to a strong rushing attack. Darnold was only 10 of 22 for 198 yards on Sunday, but he did have 3 touchdowns against 1 interception. In that game, the Jets relied on a record day from Isaiah Crowell with Bilal Powell. The Colts have struggled against the run this year, so it would seem that formula would be utilized again this week, limiting Darnold’s upside.
Adrian Peterson (vs Carolina)
Up to week 5, Peterson was seeing consistent volume with the Redskins, averaging roughly 18 carries per game. However, once the game script went negative for Washington on Monday, Peterson was seldom used, carrying the ball only 4 times for 6 yards and adding 2 catches for 36 yards. Carolina has been average against the run (22.4 points per game), but have been as damaged against receptions from RB’s as they have in the backfield. It’s clear that the Redskins struggle to score on offense, and if that is the case then Peterson may wind up getting a reduced workload again in week 6.
Nick Chubb (vs LA Chargers)
There are a group of Nick Chubb truthers out in the world who believe that as he shows he is a highly efficient back, he will get more work. That has yet to come to fruition as he carried the ball only 3 times for 2 yards against the Ravens defense. The Chargers are strong against the run as well, and Chubb is nothing more than a bench option until something happens to either Carlos Hyde or Duke Johnson Jr. in Cleveland.
Kenyan Drake (vs Chicago), Royce Freeman (vs LA Rams), Derrick Henry (vs. Baltimore)
Kenyan Drake finally emerged as a fantasy viable rusher in week 5, carrying the ball 6 times for 46 yards and catching 7 passes for 69 yards and a touchdown. However, it is worth noting Frank Gore still had 13 carries to his 6 and is still cutting into his workload. Week 6 boasts a matchup against a Bears rushing defense that is allowing opposing running backs in 12.1 fantasy points per week and 0 rushing touchdowns on the season. Fade Drake again. Once again, Royce Freeman found himself out-touched by Phillip Lindsay as the Broncos were forced to play from behind against the Jets. Freeman had only 5 carries for 31 yards and 3 catches for 16 yards and saw his consecutive games with a touchdown snapped at 3. While the Rams were gashed by Chris Carson and Mike Davis in week 5, they still rank 13th in fantasy points allowed to running backs with 22.5 per week. If the Broncos defense struggles to contain the explosive Rams offense (likely), then we could have another situation where Lindsay gets a majority of the work. Derek Henry had his most efficient rushing output this season in a prime matchup against the Bills (5.1 yards per carry), but the results still weren’t great. He carried the ball 11 times for 56 yards and was out-touched by Dion Lewis (12 to 15). The Ravens have been stellar against opposing running backs this season, allowing only 14.7 points per game to opposing runners. Make sure Henry is comfortably on the bench heading into week 6.
Allen Robinson (at Miami)
Robinson draws a difficult matchup out of the bye, getting Xavien Howard in the Dolphins defense. Miami has had no problem using Howard to shadow sometimes this season, especially when the opposing team has a clear number one receiving option. As a matter of fact, while AJ Green had a good day on Sunday, most of that work came in the slot when he avoided the shadow coverage (he had only 2 catches against Howard). As the primary target recipient in the Bears offense, Robinson will probably get a steady diet of Howard in week 6 and with the Bears other weapons, it is reasonable to believe he could be used primarily as a decoy.
Devin Funchess (at Washington)
Despite a lackluster showing on Monday Night Football, the Redskins have been largely successful against opposing receivers allowing only 25.0 points per week to receivers. The Saints were able to exploit this, but for all intents and purposes were able to contain Michael Thomas to the tune of 4 catches for 74 yards, which is well below his typical output this season. It wouldn’t be a shock for the same outcome for Funchess this week, especially as DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel showed a greater role in week 5 against the Giants.
Corey Davis (vs Baltimore), Nelson Agholor (at NY Giants), Jarvis Landry (vs LA Chargers)
A week after a huge performance, Corey Davis registered only 4 catches on 6 targets for 49 yards against Buffalo. While the Ravens haven’t been fantastic against the pass this season (36.3 points per game), most of that production came with Jimmy Smith on the suspension list. With him back in the fold, look for the Ravens to use him to try and contain Corey Davis and force Mariota to utilize his other options to beat them. Surprisingly, the Giants have been the most effective team in the NFL against opposing wideouts this season, allowing an average of only 26.2 points per game. Since the return of Carson Wentz (and Alshon Jeffrey), Nelson Agholor has been the receiver who has struggled the most production, highlighted by a 4 catch, 45-yard performance last week against the Vikings. Wentz seems to be focusing on getting his timing back with Alshon and taking quick dump offs to Zach Ertz and the running backs, so Agholor could have another week where he is not highly utilized. Despite 20 targets in 2 weeks, Jarvis Landry and Baker Mayfield clearly do not have a strong rapport, with them connecting only 9 times for 103 yards in that time span. While that is concerning, it is good that Mayfield seems to have no problem putting the ball in his direction on a weekly basis. The greater issue this week comes in the form of cornerback Casey Hayward. Look for Hayward to consistently be attached to Landry’s hip, which may force Mayfield to look for ancillary options to move the ball this week.
Eric Ebron (at NY Jets)
With all his other weapons injured, Eric Ebron has stepped into the primary receiving role for Indianapolis. He received double-digit targets for the 3rd straight week, catching 9 of 15 targets for 105 yards and two touchdowns against the Patriots week 5 on Thursday Night Football. His matchup gets way more difficult against the strong safety tandem for the Jets, who have allowed only 15 catches on 167 yards and a touchdown on 25 targets this season (7.5 points per week). It’s hard not to roll Ebron out given the state of tight ends this season, but if you can find a secondary option this might be the week to do it.
Geoff Swaim (vs Jacksonville)
Swaim has quietly emerged as the most consistent receiving option in Dallas (non-Zeke Elliott edition), registering another 3 catches for 55 yards against the Texans in week 5. He has a much more difficult matchup with the Jaguars defense and speedy linebackers in week 6, as they have allowed the 9th best mark against opposing tight ends, registering only 10 points per week.
Jonnu Smith (vs Baltimore), David Njoku (vs LA Chargers), Jared Cook (vs Seattle (In London))
There was a lot of optimism that Jonnu Smith could replicate the Delanie Walker role in Tennessee once the latter went down with an injury. However, he registered his second consecutive week with 0 catches on 2 targets against a struggling Buffalo defense. At this point, you should abandon all hope of fantasy production from Smith this season, especially with a tough matchup against a Ravens defense only allowing 11.7 fantasy points per game to tight ends in 2018. David Njoku finally emerged as a viable target for Baker Mayfield in week 5, collecting 6 of 11 targets for 69 yards. While that is fantastic for his long term value this season, the looming matchup against the Derwin James led secondary in Chargerland poses a significant threat in week 6. The Chargers have allowed fantasy tight ends to catch 19 of 34 targets for 232 yards and a touchdown this season, good for an average 9.6 points per week. The emergence of Njoku is promising, but may not yield much value this upcoming week. Finally, Jared Cook continued his fantasy yo-yo season in week 5, catching 4 of 6 targets for 20 yards against the aforementioned Chargers defense. He draws another difficult matchup this week in the form of a Seattle secondary that has allowed opposing tight ends to register only 9.3 fantasy points per game (less than the Chargers at 9.6). Even if Cook was entering a stronger matchup, Derek Carr should give anyone a reason to pause right now, so beware of Cook in week 6 as he hits up foggy old London town.