Written by Mikey Ostrowski
Season-Long record: 45-35 (56%) on Start Ems, 52-28 (65%) on Sit Ems
*All season long, I will be keeping track of all of the starts/sits I get correct. I like to keep myself honest here…*
Okay, I have to say it… I only missed on ONE “start” last week (damn you Tyler Higbee) and was able to go (15-1) in the start column! I’m extra amped because I started the season with a 43% correct rating on the starts and have been able to go (25-7) over the last two weeks to improve to a 56%. Hopefully, this gets some of you excited as well, as *knock on wood* I’m back baby!
Let’s see if we can find repeat success this week, and as always, feel free to comment on Reddit, Twitter or Facebook (wherever you’re seeing this) and I’ll do my very best to answer all start/sit questions ahead of week 6!
Week 6 BYEs:
New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders, Seattle Seahawks
Start of the Week: Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) vs CLE
I guess it doesn’t really matter which receiver Ben chooses each week; he’s going to ball out either way. Big Ben has looked awesome since the start of 2020 and I can’t see him slowing down in a divisional game against the Browns. Between BYEs and injuries, I genuinely think that Ben can be trusted as an every-week, top-10 option moving forward.
Start: Tom Brady (TB) vs GB
It’s looking like Brady should have his full arsenal back for week six, and the timing could not be more perfect as they’ll have an insanely difficult matchup with Green Bay. The good news is that this game is definitely in line to turn into a shootout, which will obviously bode well for Brady’s stats. After his dud in week five, I think Brady should rebound and reward fantasy managers with a QB1 performance.
Start: Matt Ryan (ATL) vs MIN
Okay, hear me out. I know Matt Ryan currently has the longest streak in the NFL for passes thrown without a touchdown… it’s very frustrating. However, if the Vikings aren’t a team that he completely rebounds against… well, I’d be very surprised. It’s also worth mentioning that Julio Jones should be able to return to the lineup next week, which is an obvious boost for Ryan. I know you may be hesitant to start him after being burned, but I think he’ll be fine in week six.
Start: Kirk Cousins (MIN) vs ATL
A matchup with Atlanta is a dream matchup for any quarterback. I know Cousins isn’t awesome, but the matchup definitely is. Combine that with that fact that this running game will be missing Dalvin Cook and you’ve got a recipe for airing out the ball. With at least two very startable options on BYE this week, Cousins will offer some sneaky upside to a desperate manager.
Sit of the Week: Philip Rivers (IND) vs CIN
Maybe the Colts should consider making Rivers their sit of the week as well. He’s looked flat and just can’t seem to get it done for Indianapolis. Again, I know that desperate times call for desperate measures, but surely there’s gotta be a better option out there for you to slot in over Rivers this week at your QB spot.
Sit: Carson Wentz (PHI) vs BAL
I keep listing him as a sit and he keeps playing decent… at least for fantasy purposes. Wentz draws a very tough matchup against a Ravens team that just let up a mere 3 points against the Bengals in week five, so you’ll have to forgive me if I am less than optimistic in his ability to be your QB1 for the week. Between how he’s played, how Zach Ertz has played, and how his entire receiving corps has been injured… he’s just someone I want to completely avoid.
Sit: Jimmy Garoppolo (SF) vs LAR
I don’t even know if Jimmy G is playing in week six as I am writing this, but assuming he is, he won’t be playing on my fantasy squad. He was abysmal in week five and gets a really rough matchup with the Rams in week six. Maybe it’s recency bias, but I have lost all confidence in the 49ers’ offense ahead of this weekend. Count me out.
Sit: Daniel Jones (NYG) vs WAS
I know the matchup screams “streaming option”, but the player screams “not a streaming option”. Jones has been terrible this year. Granted, the Giants lost their star running back and have had a terrible offensive line, but at some point, Jones is going to have to accept some of the blame. While this is a good matchup on paper, Washington’s defensive line is going to run right through that Giants’ line. I almost feel bad for Daniel Jones… but then I remember he was taken significantly earlier than anyone could have guessed in last year’s draft and I suddenly realize we should be expecting more from him.
Start of the Week: David Montgomery (CHI) vs CAR
Carolina’s defense has been showing up lately against the passing game, but they are still very lackluster against the run. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Monty is my running back start of the week. He had himself a decent game in week five and will look to build off of that performance against one of the league’s worst rushing defenses. Hopefully the Bears will continue to keep him involved in the passing game as well.
Start: Alexander Mattison (MIN) vs ATL
As you know, Dalvin Cook is out and Alexander Mattison is in. This is a cakewalk matchup for the Vikings’ offense so I’ll be firing up almost all of them in week six wherever I can. Mattison is no exception, as I think he should be able to turn out a top-15 performance in this one. He rushed for over 100 yards and had 20 attempts last week, and I’d imagine his usage stats rather high once again.
Start: Todd Gurley (ATL) vs MIN
Can the real Todd Gurley please stand up? Wait, he did… against the Panthers (again, get Monty in those lineups!), and even though I’m a Panthers fan, it was refreshing to see Gurley come back to life. The Vikings have a lackluster rushing defense as well, which means this is another juicy matchup for Gurley. I’d get him in with confidence as a decent RB2 option.
Start: Myles Gaskin (MIA) vs NYJ
We finally saw Gaskin find the endzone in week five (of course he did that on my bench) as the Dolphins steamrolled the 49ers. I’d fully expect him to have continued success… especially if Jordan Howard remains a healthy scratch… in week six. He’s a very safe floor play, and if he’s only sharing the backfield with one other runner, his chances of scoring a touchdown are officially higher than ever.
Sit of the Week: Ravens Running Backs vs PHI
LET. J.K. DOBBINS. EAT!!! Goodness… C’mon on Baltimore, we all want to see it, just let the guy be fantasy relevant!
Seriously though, Dobbins has been incredibly efficient, but doesn’t see enough volume to be a considerable start option. Mark Ingram has been decent, but again, that volume is a total issue. This backfield is split nearly evenly in three ways and it’s just too tough to trust in fantasy.
Sit: Darrell Henderson Jr. (LAR) vs SF
Cam Akers looked good last week, Malcolm Brown looked good the week before… much like Baltimore, this backfield seems to be anyone’s guess moving forward. Henderson definitely has the most upside, but given the three-way timeshare, I just can’t stomach the idea of getting him in my lineups. Beware if you’re firing him up this week, as he’s just a boom/bust option moving forward.
Sit: Melvin Gordon (DEN) vs NE
Admittedly, I didn’t want to put Gordon down as a sit, but I needed a fourth guy for the list and he was among my least favorite “relevant” players for the upcoming games. I think he’s a fine start if your expectations are him performing as an RB3/Flex option, but I don’t think he’ll be able to crank out those RB2 numbers that we’d like to see come from him against the Pats.
Sit: Adrian Peterson (DET) vs JAX
I know this one seems irrelevant, but it is anything but. Peterson is going to be started in some lineups this week… between the injuries and the BYEs, some poor sap in at least one of your leagues is going to be forced to slot him in. If that poor sap is you; don’t do it. I think the Lions are going to be getting D’Andre Swift more involved after the BYE week. Peterson is, at best, a touchdown dependent week six option.
Start of the Week: Terry McLaurin (WAS) vs NYG
Terry… very scary… quick as a canary… start him this week, it’ll make you merry.
I already regret typing that. Nonetheless, McLaurin is my start of the week at the receiver position. He’s got a decent matchup with the Giants, which he should be able to exploit given the fact that he’s done some big damage against some much tougher opponents. I know he’s coming off of a down week, but it was far from an easy matchup. With Alex Smith at the helm, Terry sees an immediate uptick and can definitely be relied on as a high-end WR2 this weekend.
Start: Justin Jefferson (MIN) vs ATL
Again, Atlanta sucks. Jefferson has already broken out this year. This one isn’t rocket science. Get him in your lineup and thank me later.
Start: A.J. Brown (TEN) vs HOU
HE. IS. BACK!!! Brown looked fantastic against the Bills on Tuesday night and I am all aboard the AJB hype train. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but he was my #1 rated receiver heading into the 2019 draft (admittedly, I hated the landing spot… but then Ryan Tannehill took over and everything was bliss). Brown will get another very positive matchup in his second game back in action and is a must-start in those lineups.
Start: Laviska Shenault (JAX) vs DET
Shenault has been solid enough to be an every-week flex option, and I think this is the week that he trends closer to that higher WR3 tag. You’ve got to love his floor, but we have yet to see his ceiling. I think a game against Detroit could be Shenault’s first breakout game in the NFL. Call it a hunch, but I like him a whole bunch (I really have to stop doing that).
Sit of the Week: A.J. Green (CIN) vs IND
I know that this is a cop out but go down the list of receivers that are actually playing in week six and tell me you absolutely hate more than a few of the relevant guys. There’s a lot of BYE weeks going on and I think we’re going to have to take what we can get this weekend. A.J. Green, unfortunately, is not a player you should settle for in your lineup, regardless of situation.
Sit: T.Y. Hilton (IND) vs CIN
It’s not that I HATE Hilton this week, it’s just that I don’t love him this week. His 69 yards (nice) in week five were encouraging, but the elite fantasy player that was T.Y. Hilton seems to be long gone at this point. I’m not sure if it’s him or Rivers (or both), but something just ain’t right and I’m going to stay away from it if I can.
Sit: Deebo Samuel (SF) vs LAR
After the 49ers got dismantled by the Dolphins, I immediately dreaded this week for them with a game against the Rams. Much like I mentioned with Jimmy G above, the San Fran options are going to be tough to trust this week. I know we want to see Deebo come back and breakout, but we’ll have to wait at least another week. I would not put him in my lineup.
Sit: Brandon Aiyuk (SF) vs LAR
Again, I want nothing to do with the 49ers receivers. I know Aiyuk has quietly put together a good game or two, but even if you’re in BYE week hell, there’s gotta be a better option out there for you.
Start of the Week: T.J. Hockenson (DET) vs JAX
Hock has been a staple of this Detroit offense and I’m looking for him to continue with that trend in week six against the Jaguars. I think this is a potential blow up spot Hockenson, as we’ve been waiting for the true “boom” game this season. I wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes the week in the top 3 at the position.
Start: Jonnu Smith (TEN) vs HOU
So, it might be getting to the point where me telling you to start Jonnu isn’t very helpful. It’s starting to look like he’s fitting in with the George Kittles and Mark Andrews. Don’t believe me? He is TE4 on the season… with one less game played than the three ahead of him. If you took him late in your drafts, you have already been rewarded. Keep him in those lineups for the rest of the season. Seriously, dude is a baller.
Start: Mike Gesicki (MIA) vs NYJ
Gesicki was on fire last week and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see him carry that success into week six. Although there’s been consistency issues, the Jets offer an incredibly juicy matchup that Gesicki should be able to easily exploit. He’s gotta be in your lineup this week if you’ve got him.
Start: Dalton Schultz (DAL) vs ARI
Schultz duded out in week five but should bounce back against Arizona this weekend. While Andy Dalton is an obvious downgrade at the QB position, I’m not too worried. Andy should be able to sustain enough offense to continue to make multiple receivers fantasy relevant every week (including Schultz). While I don’t see him as a top option this week, he definitely can be used fairly confidently as a low-end option.
Sit of the Week: Mo Alie-Cox (IND) vs CIN
We’ve been dying to see him… we saw him… and now we’re left wondering: where’d he go? He put up a goose egg in week five, and barring a serious shakeup, should be in line for another game of 3 targets or less. The ride was fun while it lasted, but Alie-Cox can probably head back to free agency.
Sit: Zach Ertz (PHI) vs BAL
Ugh, rough. That’s all I can say about Ertz’ play recently. He’s going from a top-5 tight end (top two last year) to landing on the sit list. Granted, this may be a little harsh, but combine the subpar recent play with a mega tough matchup, and you’ve got yourself quite the decision to make. Ertz is seemingly a higher end TE2 for the week rather than a top-12 option.
Sit: Tyler Higbee (LAR) vs SF
Well… apparently Gerald Everett is a thing again. Higbee was practically an afterthought in week five, and while I expect them to correct his usage a bit, I wouldn’t expect much. Now that this team has really got going and has transitioned into a run-first offense, Higbee’s weekly value is definitely cloudy. Although Gesicki just ate up the 49ers, I just can’t put Higbee in my lineup if I have another option.
Sit: Chris Herndon (NYJ) vs MIA
Is this a cop out or a tradition at this point? Chris Herndon. Is. A. Lie.