Week 6 Quarterback Starts
Josh McCown (CLE) vs. DEN - McCown has been throwing the ball a crazy amount of times each game and that looks to continue this week. Can we trust newcomers to fantasy football relevancy like Travis Benjamin and Gary Barnidge? For as long as they are putting up points, of course we can! Denver has a great defense this year, but McCown will still need to sling the football around in order to give Cleveland a chance in this game. At the time this column was written, McCown was our #11 QB for Week 5. That makes him a great bye-week fill in or even a low end starter.
Week 6 Quarterback Sits
Andrew Luck (IND) vs. NE - Yes, we know that he is Andrew Luck. Lots of experts are very high on him this week. Our advice is to let him sit for one more week and throw in whatever replacement that you were previously using, if possible. The Colts offensive line still looks as bad as it did early on in the season and Luck will be under pressure from a good New England defense during this match-up. Classic recipe for a disappointing performance.
Week 6 Running Back Starts
Danny Woodhead (SD) vs. GB - Woodhead lost a few snaps to Melvin Gordon last week against the Steelers, but continues to show that he is productive every time he touches the football. Gordon looked better, but still not as good as Woodhead when catching the ball in the backfield and operating on 3rd downs in general. Expect Woodhead to have more opportunities in a game against the Packers where they are likely to be playing from behind.
Ryan Mathews (PHI) vs. NYG - Mathews had 73 yards and 1 TD on just 8 carries in last week's game against the Saints. He also added on a few receptions to that total. Chip Kelly is starting to realize that using Mathews and Murray as more of a tandem (and ceding goal-line carries to Mathews) may end up being a better offensive strategy. Look for more of the same for Mathews this week from a Giants defense giving up 17+ points per game to Running Backs.
Week 6 Running Back Sits
Ronnie Hillman (DEN) vs. CLE - For some reason, Hillman keeps popping up on RB rankings in the top 25. He simply does not get enough opportunities to be treated as an every week RB2 or flex start. Add to that a hamstring tweak from last week and the Broncos' offensive woes in general. Nope.
Alfred Morris (WAS) vs. NYJ - Morris used to dominate all short yardage and goal-line work for the Redskins. The only way he was fantasy relevant was by compiling the majority of carries in any given match-up. Now that he has been joined by two other touch-hungry running backs (Matt Jones and Chris Thompson) in the backfield, this is a full-blown RBBC and it will be difficult to every play Alfred Morris again in a starting role.
Week 6 Wide Receiver Starts
Torrey Smith (SF) vs. BAL - Here's a bold one.. I've seen Torrey Smith out on some waiver wires already this year - and while I don't entirely disagree with that move based on Smith's boom or bust way of playing lately, I'm looking at Smith to perform at a high level this week against the dismal Ravens' secondary. WR2 numbers, maybe? At least 80 yards and a TD will be on Smith's stat sheet after week 6.
Mike Wallace (MIN) vs. KC - Wallace is developing some chemistry with Teddy Bridgewater in a time that really calls for some passing plays downfield. The Vikings are starting to realize that they need to throw more in order to balance their offense, and Wallace is becoming the go-to guy in Minnesota. Originally we thought it would be Charles Johnson after some great performances down the stretch in 2014, but injuries have put a damper on his production so far this year. The Titans are giving up almost 20 points a game to opposing WRs - expect Wallace to get most of that.
Week 6 Wide Receiver Sits
Donte Moncrief (IND) vs. NE - Assuming that T.Y. Hilton plays, he should continue to sop up the most targets from Andrew Luck, but I'm looking at the mid-season resurgence of Andre Johnson as the Colts' WR2. After gaining more self confidence in last week's 'grudge match' against his former team, Johnson should continue to perform at a high level. Also, the addition of Ahmad Bradshaw in passing downs should give Luck a great target to dish the football off to when being pressures. Don't get me wrong, I like Moncrief - but he'll have less opportunities than he previously found himself with.
Week 6 Tight End Starts
Ladarius Green (SD) vs. GB - Even though Antonio Gates is back on the warpath, the Chargers are using Ladarius Green fairly heavily throughout the game. Makes sense, considering their other passing options have not been performing up to their expected potential. We should see Green out there by himself as well as in two tight end sets along with Gates. I expect high-end TE2 production for the foreseeable future.
Week 6 Tight End Sits
Zach Ertz (PHI) vs. NYG - Ertz stepped up last week against the Saints, but still has no touchdowns and has been generally disappointing so far in 2015. Some of that can be blamed on the performance of the offense in general, but remember that the Eagles are still splitting snaps between Ertz and Celek. In what could be a tight game between the Eagles and Giants, I think we'll see a lot of Celek because of his skill at blocking. It's all about opportunities, people!
Working the waiver wire is an important skill for all fantasy team managers, regardless of their team's record. Sure, it may be easier to sit back and relax if your team has been performing at a high level these past several weeks - but that's exactly what you shouldn't be doing. There is always someone who is not performing up to expectations and there are always up and coming players on the wire to bring onto your roster and hope that they will end up being the Victor Cruz or Devonta Freeman of that year. Generally, we recommend not sticking with players week after week who are under-performing and instead picking up one of our waiver wire picks and crossing your fingers. On the other hand, teams that have been performing poorly can catch back up with a great pickup like Charcandrick West or Brandon LaFell. So choose wisely this week as you're browsing the waiver wire and keep our picks in mind. Happy hunting!
Josh McCown, CLE – Wasn’t this guy coaching high school football like 3 years ago before the Bears called? It really should come as no surprise that a journeyman QB like Josh McCown is finding success with the Browns. In any case it doesn’t really matter who it is or what team. The bottom line is that in his last 3 games he has 1154 yards with 6 touchdowns and 1 interception. There are plenty of underperforming quarterbacks with better names out there. You know who they are and if you’re one of them then you should pick up McCown.
Jay Cutler, CHI – He makes his second consecutive appearance this week. While his fantasy scores have yet to truly impress his attempts and consistency are important to look at. The Bears continue to battle and Adam Gase seems to be getting the most out of Jay Cutler. His numbers are also being hindered by the fact that he is working with inexperienced WR5’s and 6’s. I really like Jay Cutler’s matchup next week against a dismal Detroit Lions team.
Charcandrick West/Knile Davis, KC – It’s always a sad day when a top running back goes down. At least for the owner who drafted him it is. This one is a double dose but I am leaning towards Charcandick West as the pick up here. West proved himself and was the backup before Jamaal Charles went down. Knile Davis will no doubt see an increased roll as well. Andy Reid seems to like West more at this time and he should be targeted first.
Charles Sims, TB – The second repeat of the week. Charles Sims is still only owned in 19% of leagues. He now has 3 weeks of consistent numbers to go on. He added four more receptions in week 5 for 85 yards. While Doug Martin continues to impress in Tampa Bay I don’t see them changing what’s working. That means Sims remains a high end prospect when it comes to RBBC players as he continues to hit double digit fantasy points three weeks in a row.
Jamison Crowder, WAS – Over the last 3 games Jamison Crowder has 197 yards on 21 receptions. Much of his usage is due to DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed being sidelined with injuries. That being said in week 5 he caught all 8 of his targets and is developing great report with Kirk Cousins. It would be nice to see him get in the end zone. Again, it’s week 6 and the pickings are getting slim as we focus on less than obvious waiver targets. Jamison Crowder is a good pick up that you can stash when Jackson comes back. Honestly I could see his value stay strong even on Jackson’s return as the field will be spread more.
Brandon LaFell, NE – It is that time to consider reaching out for Brandon LaFell. He is still on schedule to return in week 7 or 8. He was the clear number 2 in New England last year as he set personal bests in receptions, yards and touchdowns. The way the Patriots continue to play (cheat) makes LaFell a much anticipated return for fantasy owners. If you have the room on your bench and can wait a couple of weeks for his return then go ahead and grab him early.
Jacob Tamme, ATL – A prime example of week 6 thin pickins. Tamme had a great week last week with Leonard Hankerson exiting the game and Julio Jones nursing an injury. Those injuries are exactly why I like Tamme for one more week at least. It’s a Thursday night game so the Falcons have little time to rest their wounds. The New Orleans defense is also pathetically bad this season.
Robbie Gould, CHI – Chicago has surprised the last two weeks with comeback victories. Robbie Gould is actually the 7th best kicker when you look at fantasy points this season. The Bears have an ability to move the ball, without actually getting in the end zone; A big plus for fantasy kickers. He is also one of the most accurate kickers in the game today. It’s pretty offensive he is only owned in 23% of leagues.
Atlanta Falcons – Streaming defenses is a fickle thing. You’re going to have a better idea in your individual leagues depending on who is available. If you are looking for a little advice heading into week 6 then my suggestion is Atlanta. They have New Orleans on Thursday night in week 6. Traditionally Thursday Night Football is underwhelming due to lack of preparation so it’s a plus for defenses. They also have a pretty nice schedule over the next four weeks with New Orleans, Tennessee, Tampa Bay and San Francisco.
We had another strong week in week 5. This week will be a lot more difficult. We have several evenly matched games including a few instances in which an undefeated team could taste defeat for the first time. No time to waste, the new week is just around the corner!
Week 6 – HERE WE GO!!!!!!!!
(HOME TEAM IN ALL CAPS)
14 – GREEN BAY over San Diego – Apparently Aaron Rodgers is human! I can very easily see him doing what he can this week to make us all remember that he is indeed not human.
13 – New England over INDIANAPOLIS – The Pats are playing like they are mad at the world and now they are playing the team that was the cause of it all…and they’re struggling. Bill Belichick could make this turn out to be as ugly as…well…Bill Belichick.
12 – MINNESOTA over Kansas City – It has been a rough start to the season for the Chiefs, and it just got a whole lot worse with another Jamaal Charles injury. It won’t get any easier against a well-rested Adrian Peterson.
11 – NEW YORK JETS over Washington – Kirk Cousins will have to win this game with his arm since the running game is non-existent. That won’t work too well against the Jets secondary.
10 – TENNESSEE over Miami – This game will be hard to watch. Miami is in the middle of an overhaul…not something that should be happening in the middle of the season.
9 – SEATTLE over Carolina – The rough schedule continues for the two-time defending NFC champs as they get another undefeated team. They should be able to hand the Panthers their first loss at home this week.
8 – Denver over CLEVELAND – Call it fantasy football stubbornness, but I think this is the week that Peyton comes out of his funk. That could be bad news for the Browns.
7 – Atlanta over NEW ORLEANS – The week starts off on Thursday in the SuperDome. Devonta Freeman has taken the league by storm and should be able to continue his dominance against the now lowly Saints.
6 – PHILADELPHIA over New York Giants – The battle for the top of the NFC Lease comes to Monday Night. The Eagles might have things figured out on offense. Now they get the national stage to confirm it.
5 – DETROIT over Chicago – Everything seems to be going downhill for the Lions. In order to avoid the cellar of the league, they NEED this game.
4 – Houston over JACKSONVILLE – Blake Bortles had an amazing week last Sunday in Tampa…but that was against Tampa. Arian Foster should have his official return game against the Jags defense. Jacksonville allowed Doug Martin to have a monster game last week, which leads me to this week’s BOLD PREDICTION that ARIAN FOSTER WILL HAVE OVER 250 TOTAL YARDS.
3 – Arizona over Pittsburgh – Welcome back to dominance, Arizona! Big Ben could be back soon, but another week of Michael Vick won’t be enough to beat the Cards.
2 – SAN FRANCISCO over Baltimore – If Jim Harbaugh was still in San Francisco, the Harbaugh Bowl matchup would make this game interesting. But he’s not…so it’s not. The 9ers are at home so there you go.
1 – BUFFALO over Cincinnati – Potentially the game of the week. The Bengals are undefeated for a reason but a trip to Buffalo could very well end that.
Welcome back to the Rookie Report! Week 5 was another exciting one, with a breakout game from Thomas Rawls, the first career touchdown for TJ Yeldon, and Melvin Gordon actually being targeted in the passing game. Jaelen Strong and David Johnson each scored 2 TDs and Ty Montgomery found paydirt as well. All in all, it was a solid week from the rookies, not exactly a banner week, but you can really see the emergence of some of these young guys as they get more comfortable with the NFL grind. Let’s dive into what to expect in week 6…
Rookies to Start:
RB TJ Yeldon, JAX (Wk. 6: vs. Hou.): Yeldon has to play to be startable obviously, but he continues to see enough volume that his weekly floor is a low RB2. He’s had at least 63 yards from scrimmage in 4-of-5 games, and the Texans just got done letting Frank Gore get loose for the second time all year last Thursday. The Texans have given up 7 RB touchdowns in 5 games, and Yeldon has seen the vast majority of the Jaguars RB touches. If TJ sits, Denard Robinson might have some flex appeal as he looks about ready to return from injury.
RB Javorious Allen, BAL (Wk. 6: @SF): With Lorenzo Taliaferro on injured reserve and Justin Forsett still questionable for this week, Buck Allen might be in line for lead back work against a 49ers defense that has allowed 730 scrimmage yards and 7 TDs to RBs in just 5 games. If Forsett sits out, Allen would be a great flex option and probably a decent RB2 as well this week. He did look impressive on a couple carries last week against a bad run defense, and could do so again this week.
RB Charcandrick West, KC (Wk. 6: @Min.): This is the only week West will be listed here. He’s technically not a rookie, but I wanted to touch on the opportunity in front of him. This week will tell us a lot about West’s fantasy value going forward. He’s a boom or bust RB2 this week, but he undoubtedly has a more similar skillset to the injured Jamaal Charles than does Knile Davis. If the Chiefs don’t intend to revamp their offense to be more power run-oriented, they’re going to have to treat West as the number one guy and Davis as the backup. West won’t get the same volume as Charles was seeing, but he’ll get enough touches to be playable on a weekly basis, and have big upside in the right matchups. The Vikings are a solid run defense, but not invincible.
QB Marcus Mariota, TEN (Wk. 6: vs. Mia.): Mariota had easily his worst game as a pro last week in a loss to Buffalo, but he should have a great shot at a bounce back this week. The Dolphins are fresh off of firing their defensive coordinator during their bye week, and they weren’t exactly playing well before that. There’s always a chance that they get some extra juice from the coaching upheaval this week and play with a different attitude than we’ve seen, but there’s also a chance that they struggle even more adjusting to a new defensive scheme on the fly. If you believe the Dolphins coaching change helps them turn it around, you should probably avoid Mariota in this one. If you think the dumpster fire in Miami keeps burning, fire him up. He has low end QB1 upside against a defense that is giving up 19 QB points per game over its past 3 contests.
RB Melvin Gordon, SD (Wk. 6: @GB): Gordon is still ceding too much work to Danny Woodhead, and he’s still yet to score a touchdown, but there were positive signs that his role is increasing last week. He had more targets and catches (9 and 7) in week 5 than he had in the first 4 weeks combined (7 and 6). He also out-touched Woodhead 22-to-9 in week 5, and has had 2 red zone carries to Woodhead’s zero in the last 2 games. It’s not a full-fledged shift to Gordon as the bell cow, but it’s at least a start. The Packers are slightly above average vs. fantasy RBs, and SD could fall in a hole and abandon the run early, but Gordon has definite upside if the Chargers can hang around. Hopefully for his owners, his role continues to grow as the season progresses.
RB Duke Johnson, CLE (Wk. 6: vs. Den.): The Broncos’ defense is a fearsome unit this season, but they have been susceptible to receiving running backs, allowing the second-most RB catches (43) in the league behind only the Falcons (49). Duke had an impact against a plus defense a week ago in the Ravens, and I expect that to continue this week. Without a true number 1 WR, the Browns have had to rely on Duke and Gary Barnidge to sustain their passing attack, and I expect it to continue this week. In standard leagues, Duke is more of a dicey borderline option, but he has great upside in PPR as usual.
WR Ty Montgomery, GB (Wk. 6: vs. SD): Montgomery has been a tough guy for me to peg. I liked him two weeks ago against the 49ers, and he did next to nothing. I didn’t like his matchup with the Rams, and he puts up a 4-59-1 line. This week he draws San Diego, who has allowed the 2nd fewest WR fantasy points in the league. I don’t love the matchup, but his role in the offense seems secure with Davante Adams likely out again, which puts him right back on the WR3 cusp this week.
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI (Wk. 6: vs. NYG): I was hopeful that Agholor was in line for more touches after his semi-breakout performance in week 4, but an injury knocked him out of a very favorable matchup with the Saints last Sunday. He’s said all week that he’ll be playing when the Giants visit, but as of Thursday he’s yet to practice this week. If he does get the start, he’ll be right back into that WR3/WR4 no man’s land where you have no idea what to do with him. For what it’s worth, when healthy, the snaps have been consistent. He just needs to start converting more targets into production.
WR Keith Mumphery, HOU (Wk. 6: @Jax.): Mumphery didn’t get the headlines after fellow rookie Jaelen Strong scored 2 TDs on just 2 catches last week, but he was targeted 8 times and caught 4 passes. If Nate Washington and Cecil Shorts can’t give it a go this week, I’d expect similar volume to the 8 targets from a week ago, which should get him on the WR3 radar, even against a Jacksonville secondary that has been better than you’d think vs. WRs.
WR Jamison Crowder, WAS (Wk. 6: @NYJ): Crowder has emerged as a PPR monster in the absence of DeSean Jackson, and Jackson reportedly pulled himself out of practice Thursday after feeling a twinge in his injured hamstring. He appeared to be on target to play this week, but may again be sidelined. The Jets boast a fantastic secondary, but they also are likely to shut down the run as well. For Washington to move the ball, I think it will take a lot of the short passing game with Crowder and RB Chris Thompson to do it. I’d feel pretty good about firing him up as a PPR WR3 if Jackson doesn’t play.
Rookies to Sit:
RB Ameer Abdullah, DET (Wk. 6: vs. Chi.): The Lions simply can’t run the ball. You would think the Bears would be the perfect tonic for what ails the Detroit run game, but the Bears’ run D has been better this year than it was the past two. Abdullah scored a 24-yard TD on his first pro carry. He’s tallied just 19 points since in almost 5 full games. Is that someone you want in the lineup?
RB Tevin Coleman, ATL (Wk. 6: @NO): It looks like Coleman’s injury has cost him his role in the offense. Devonta Freeman is running like a man possessed, easily tallying the most RB fantasy points in the league over the last 3 weeks, and I see no reason why the Falcons should suddenly give Coleman a big share of the workload. This is Devonta’s job for now. Coleman is fighting for leftovers.
RB Karlos Williams, BUF (Wk. 6: vs. Cin.): It’s looking like Williams will be out again this week, but even if he plays, it looks like LeSean McCoy will play as well. The Bills will want to lean on the run game if Tyrod Taylor misses this game, but the Bengals boast an above average run defense and trotting ‘Los out there in your lineup is a desperate move.
RB Matt Jones, WAS (Wk. 6: @NYJ): Jones is dealing with a toe injury, and more than that he’s dealing with a muddy backfield situation. The Jets’ defensive front gets offseason knucklehead Sheldon Richardson back this week, so the sledding will be brutal for both Jones and Alfred Morris. The Jets were already 3rd in the league at limiting RB fantasy points without Richardson. This shapes up as more of a Chris Thompson week for the Washington backfield.
RB David Johnson, ARI (Wk. 6: @Pit.): His production is simply not sustainable on the touches that he’s getting. It’s ridiculous really. He has offensive touch totals of 1, 6, 10, 7, and 3, and point totals of 11, 16, 3, 11 and 12. Odd that the only game that he touched the ball 10 times was the only one he didn’t score 10 fantasy points. Like I said…ridiculous. To play him means you’re banking on him finding the end-zone again on 5 or fewer touches. Good luck!
WR Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN (Wk. 6: vs. Mia.): There was optimism that the Titans would get Green-Beckham more involved after the bye week, but those hopes were dashed last week. He played a season high snap total, but wasn’t targeted even once. Ken Whisenhunt has complained to the media that his receivers aren’t doing a good enough job of winning contested catches, meanwhile he keeps a weapon who specializes in this standing on the sideline. It’s time for coach Whiz to understand what’s wrong with this picture.
WR Devin Funchess, CAR (Wk. 6: @Sea.): Same as Green-Beckham. He’s just not getting the snaps and targets needed to be a worthwhile option right now. The Titans didn’t use their bye week to get DGB more involved…let’s see if the Panthers did with Funchess.
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA (Wk. 6: vs. Car.): Lockett remains a return yardage league-only option for the moment. He even posted his lowest return yardage total of the year in week 5 to go along with just 2 catches. The passing offense volume just isn’t consistent enough to trust Lockett in season-long leagues right now.
WR Jaelen Strong, HOU (Wk. 6: @Jax.): Don’t be fooled by the 2 TDs last week for Strong. He was on the field for just a handful of plays and was targeted just those two times. I’m not sure what the FIVE Colts DBs standing next to Strong were doing on the hail mary to end the first half, and another blown coverage opened him up for the second TD. He’s got a lot of talent, but until his playing time increases it’s hard to trust him to continue to produce even if Shorts and Nate Washington are out again. This isn’t going to be a repeat of Martavis Bryant in 2014, who broke out after not being active for the first 6 weeks.
WR Phillip Dorsett, IND (Wk. 6: vs. NE): Dorsett is always a big play threat, but it’s obvious at this point that he’s the number 4 receiver, and they like to use 2 TEs a bit as well. It wouldn’t shock me to see the Colts use Dorsett in some gadget plays this week trying to catch the Pats off guard, but he’s unlikely to see much volume at all. He’s just too buried on the depth chart.
TE Maxx Williams, BAL (Wk. 6: @SF): He’s still not producing enough in the opportunities he’s getting to warrant getting more of them. Crockett Gillmore looks likely to play this week, further hurting Maxx’s value.
Deep League Sleepers and Cheap DFS Options:
WR Stefon Diggs, MIN (Wk. 6: vs. KC): Most people are excited about Mike Wallace’s week 6 outlook as he had his best game of the season right before the team’s week 5 bye, and this week gets to face the league’s worst defense against WRs by far. The Chiefs allow almost 6 full points more to WRs than the next team (Baltimore) per game. While Wallace was good in week 4, Diggs was equally impressive with 6 catches for 87 yards. Charles Johnson is still battling a rib injury, and if he’s unable to go, Diggs would make a nice WR3 this week in 12-team leagues and deeper. If Johnson does play, I like CJ to have his best game of the season.
WR Devin Smith, NYJ (Wk. 6: vs. Was.): Smith hasn’t been particularly efficient since getting on the field for the first time two weeks ago, catching just 5 of his 16 targets, but the fact he’s been targeted so much is promising. The Redskins are stout up front against the run, but can be beaten on the back end. I like Smith’s chances of getting behind the defense at least once in this game.
WR Cameron Meredith, CHI (Wk. 6: @Det.): Converted Illinois State QB Meredith flashed in the preseason, and he made the most of his opportunities in week 5, catching all 4 of his targets for 52 yards. The Lions haven’t exactly been bleeding points to WRs like the Chiefs have, but they haven’t been good either. Both Eddie Royal and Alshon Jeffery practiced on Thursday, so it looks like both have a solid shot to play, but we’ve said this for a couple weeks about Alshon, and we all remember how coy they played it with Kevin White’s injury in training camp. If Royal and Alshon are out, I like Meredith to exceed his output from week 5.
WR DeVante Parker, MIA (Wk. 6: @Ten.): Parker is one of the most talented WRs on the Dolphins, and with Joe Philbin out, interim HC Dan Campbell might try something different to jumpstart the offense. Getting Parker involved would be something different. It’s likely not enough for you to want to play him in your lineup, but he’s worth some consideration as a punt option in DFS tournaments.
That’s all I’ve got for this week. Hopefully it helps you make some of the tougher lineup decisions. Feel free to hit me up on twitter if you have a complaint or question (@shawn_foss). As always… good luck, trust your gut, and have fun. It’s just a game.