Week 6 of the fantasy football season is upon us, and the bye week blues continue. Four teams are on a bye, including the New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, and Seattle Seahawks. Take players like Alvin Kamara, D.K. Metcalf, Russell Wilson, Keenan Allen, Josh Jacobs, etc., out of your starting line-ups. They won’t produce for you while on the couch.
And now, onto the players I like and dislike this week.
Quarterbacks to Play
- Matthew Stafford: Up until this point, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford hasn’t had a very good season for his fantasy football owners. Currently ranked as QB22 in fantasy, he’s on track to improve on his numbers, due to Kenny Golladay being back 100 percent, and very favorable match-ups for the next two weeks. This week, his favorable match-up is a road game to play the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have given up the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Count me in on Stafford having at least another top-10 performance this week in Duval County.
- Kyler Murray: The short man can run! Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is off to a great start this season. Currently the fifth highest-scoring quarterback in fantasy football, Murray has done the most damage on the ground among any quarterback, as he has the most rushing yards and rushing touchdowns at the position. This week, Murray has ample opportunity to do more damage through the air, as the Cardinals travel to Big D to take on the Dallas Cowboys, who have given up the fourth-most passing touchdowns, and just one interception this season. Only the Houston Texans have fewer picks than the Cowboys this season. Start Murray every week, but especially this week.
- Kirk Cousins: I don’t like this, Kirk. Last week I listed you as someone to play against the putrid defense of the Seattle Seahawks and THIS IS THE THANKS I GET?!?! QB17?! 14 LOUSY FANTASY POINTS?!?! I don’t appreciate that whatsoever. Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has been bad this season. However, he has a great opportunity to not be bad this week, as the Vikings host the Atlanta Falcons this week, who give up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. With the Falcons firing their head coach and general manager this past week, this game shouldn’t be a contest. If he doesn’t produce this week, I’m done with Kirk Cousins. Nonetheless, start him on Sunday.
- Matt Ryan: Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has been bad this season. “Matty Ice” has looked closer to a “Matt-ural Disaster” this season, scoring the 19th-most fantasy points this season. However, he has an opportunity to bounce back this week against the Minnesota Vikings, who are the 21st-worst defense at giving up fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Even without Julio Jones, start Matt Ryan this week.
- Sleepers: Gardner Minshew, Ryan Tannehill
Quarterbacks Not to Play
- Carson Wentz: I feel like I’ve mentioned Carson Wentz in here so much, where I may need to rename this section the Carson Wentzes of the week. However, it’s for good reason because the Philadelphia Eagles QB has been dreadful this season. Though it isn’t all his fault, the reality is he’s QB18 in fantasy football this season; and he needs to play better if the Eagles are going to make a fourth-consecutive playoff appearance. However, bouncing back this week will prove to be difficult, as the Eagles host the Baltimore Ravens, who are a top-10 defense against opposing fantasy quarterbacks. With the litany of injuries to the Eagles receiver corps, I fully expect Carson Wentz to struggle this week. Keep Wentz on the bench.
- Joe Burrow: I told you last week Joe Burrow was a bad play against the Ravens defense, and I WAS RIGHT!!!! The Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback struggled mightily at M&T Bank Stadium last Sunday, finishing with 183 yards passing, an interception, and a fumble lost, resulting in a measly four fantasy points. To put that into even greater perspective, he was outscored by Philip Rivers, and Taysom Hill of all people. And to top it all off, Burrow and the Bengals travel to Lucas Oil Stadium to play the Indianapolis Colts, who have given up the fewest points to opposing quarterbacks in fantasy football. Burrow will be better than what he showed last week; however, that won’t happen this week. Sit Joe Burrow.
- Baker Mayfield: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield hasn’t been waking up feeling dangerous this season. He is QB24 in fantasy football this season, and he hasn’t scored more than 15 points in a single game this season. Mayfield will have a tough time scoring close to 15 points this week, as the Browns travel to Heinz Field to face the loathsome Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers, who have given up the ninth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks, registered the most sacks, third-most interceptions, and sixth-lowest passer rating against this season, will give Mayfield and the Browns more than they can handle on Sunday. Don’t play Baker this week.
- Aaron Rodgers: What am I crazy? Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is out here reminding all the naysayers he’s still an excellent quarterback, and Jordan Love needs to get comfy on the bench. Currently QB6 in fantasy football this season, Rodgers is enjoying a throwback season in spite of Davante Adams being out since the second half of the Detroit Lions game. That’s all well and good; however, Rodgers and the Packers head south to face off against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have given up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Don’t bench him, because Davante Adams is likely back this week. However, temper your expectations for the kind of day he’ll have on Sunday.
- Lowered Expectations: Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen
Running Backs to Play
- David Montgomery: Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery is assuming the role of workhorse back with Tarik Cohen out for the season. He received the most carries and second-most receiving targets on the team in a victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This week, the defense won’t be as stout as the one he faced last week, as the Bears travel to Bank Of America stadium to face the Carolina Panthers, who have given up the most receptions to running backs, and the most fantasy points to the position this season. With a favorable match-up in store, David Montgomery should have a field day against that Panthers front. Start him in all leagues.
- Alexander Mattison: When in doubt, stick with running backs coached by Gary Kubiak. Minnesota Vikings star running back Dalvin Cook injured his groin last week against the Seattle Seahawks, and is unlikely to play on Sunday. As a result, his backup Alexander Mattison, who played very well in relief of Cook after he left the game, has an opportunity to showcase his talent as a feature back against an Atlanta Falcons defense who have given up the most receptions to running backs this season, and the eighth-most fantasy points to the position. Start Mattison, especially if Cook doesn’t play. He has legit RB1 potential.
- Devin Singletary: Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary has been as advertised this season. Ranked by many to be more of a flex option at running back, Singletary is proving them right as RB27 in fantasy football. However, this week, he has an opportunity to showcase more of that RB2 upside, as the Bills host the Kansas City Chiefs, who are a bottom-10 defense against running backs in fantasy. In spite of Zack Moss potentially returning this week, start Devin Singletary.
- James Robinson: Jacksonville Jaguars rookie running back James Robinson has been a pleasant surprise in an otherwise dismal season for the team. Through five games this season, he’s RB9 in fantasy football; not bad for an undrafted free agent. This week, Robinson has an ideal match-up, as the Jaguars host the Detroit Lions, who give up the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs this season. Start Robinson in all leagues this week.
- Sleepers: Myles Gaskin, Frank Gore
Running Backs Not to Play
- Joe Mixon: Coming off of a decent effort against the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon is having a very good start to the season. As of now, he’s a top-10 running back in fantasy football, and is coming off a 15-point outing against the Baltimore Ravens. However, this week he’ll be hard pressed to put up double digit points this week, due to the Bengals traveling to Lucas Oil Stadium to play the Indianapolis Colts, who have given up the third-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. Coming off of scoring 57 points in two weeks, Mixon may be too hot to bench at this time. However, you must temper your expectations for his production in a difficult match-up.
- Darrell Henderson: Welcome to musical chairs; Los Angeles Rams running back edition. Last week, after Cam Akers returned from injury, Darrell Henderson still received the bulk of the carries for the offense. Against the Washington Football Team, Henderson had 15 carries for 38 yards, a rushing touchdown, and caught 3-of-4 targets for 30 yards and a receiving touchdown. With Cam Akers out again this week, Henderson should still receive the bulk of the carries. However, Henderson and the Rams rushing attack will be hard-pressed to gain traction on the ground this week; as the Rams travel up I-5 North to face their division rivals from Northern California, the San Francisco 49ers, who have given up the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season, and an average of three yards per carry. Given these circumstances, it might be for the best to bench Darrell Henderson this week.
- Kareem Hunt: Although it’s largely due to Nick Chubb getting hurt, Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt is the featured back for an offense again, and making the most of his opportunity. This season, Hunt is the eighth-highest scoring running back in fantasy football through five games, reminding people he can still be that bell cow back he was in Kansas City. However, the Browns running game will have a tough time getting going this week, as the Browns head to Heinz Field to take on the contempt-worthy Pittsburgh Steelers, who give up the fewest catches to running backs this season, and the fourth-fewest fantasy points to running backs. You can’t bench him this week because his usage will be extremely high. However, temper your expectations for Kareem Hunt this weekend.
- Lowered Expectations: Miles Sanders, Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Pass Catchers to Play
- JuJu Smith-Schuster: After a hot start to the season, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has been virtually nonexistent. Over the last four weeks, he’s the 52nd highest-scoring receiver in fantasy football, trailing the likes of Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor, and Braxton Berrios. This level of production is clearly not what he had in mind, given he’s in the last year of his rookie contract. However, he has ample opportunity to turn his season around, starting this week in a favorable match-up against the Cleveland Browns, who have given up the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers, and the third-most touchdowns to the position this season. With second-year receiver Diontae Johnson ruled out for Sunday, look for Smith-Schuster and rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool to see increased targets this week. Start JuJu on Sunday.
- Odell Beckham Jr: Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. has had the exact opposite start to the season compared to JuJu Smith-Schuster. After a rough start to the season, Beckham is the sixth-highest scoring wide receiver in fantasy football over the past four weeks. After all the training camp hype that Beckham was back to his old self, the hype has become reality. And to top it all off, Beckham and the Browns travel to Heinz Field to face the hated Pittsburgh Steelers, who have given up the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. With Jarvis Landry banged up coming into this game, expect an even greater target share for OBJ on Sunday.
- Will Fuller: After being thrust into the number one wide receiver role, Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller has had a solid start to his season. Currently WR19 in fantasy football, and healthy through five games, Fuller is proving he’s a solid WR2 in fantasy football. Furthermore, Fuller has a great match-up on Sunday, as his Houston Texans travel to Nashville to face the Tennessee Titans, who give up the eighth-most fantasy points to wide receivers through five games. In another critical division game for a Texans team trying to turn their season around, start Will Fuller.
- Evan Engram: Among the top fantasy tight ends heading into the 2020 season, New York Giants tight end Evan Engram has been a serious disappointment for fantasy owners, along with essentially the tight end position as a whole unless you own Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, Darren Waller, or Mike Gesicki. Currently ranked as TE18 in fantasy football, Engram has been frustrating for his fantasy owners. Fortunately, he’s presented with an opportunity to turn his season around, as the Giants host the rival Washington Football Team; who have given up the fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Start Engram on Sunday.
- Sleepers: Kyle Rudolph, Laviska Shenault
Pass Catchers Not to Play
- Robby Anderson: One of the bigger surprises of the 2020 season, Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson has played at a very high level this season. Through five games, he’s the seventh-highest scoring wide receiver in fantasy football, and is outscoring teammate D.J. Moore this season. However, Anderson will struggle to produce this week, as the Panthers host the Chicago Bears, who have given up the second-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Given how well Anderson has been producing, I won’t advocate benching him. However, you must temper your expectations for him this week.
- Deebo Samuel: Coming off of a foot injury that sidelined him through training camp, and the first three games of the season, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel has been quiet in the two games he’s played so far. In the last two weeks, he’s WR76 in fantasy points scored, which indicates he may not be 100%. However, his target share is encouraging, as he was tied with George Kittle with the most targets on the team last week. In spite of that information, I would not play him this week. With the 49ers hosting the division and in-state rival Los Angeles Rams this week, who have given up the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. Count me out on Samuel this week.
- Amari Cooper: Through five games, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper is a top-10 wide receiver in fantasy football; which surprises absolutely no one. Cooper is demonstrating exactly why the Cowboys made him a $100 million man. However, he’ll have his hands full getting open on Sunday, as the Cowboys host the Arizona Cardinals, who have given up the fifth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season. You can’t bench Amari Cooper, but certainly temper your expectations for how well he produces this week.
- Tyler Higbee: Outside of his 28-point outing against the Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee has been an immense disappointment in fantasy football this season. He hasn’t scored in the double digits in any of the other four games played, and has combined for a miniscule 23 points in those four games. And with the Rams traveling up the coast to play the San Francisco 49ers, who are a top-10 defense in regards to covering tight ends, it’s in your best interest to not play Tyler Higbee this week.
- Lowered Expectations: Stefon Diggs, Allen Robinson,
Defenses to Play
- Baltimore Ravens: Through five games, the Baltimore Ravens defense have been the highest-scoring defense in fantasy football. This week, they travel to the City of Brotherly Love to face the Philadelphia Eagles, who have given up the third-most sacks, who have thrown the most interceptions, and tied for the most giveaways this season. Due to these circumstances, start the Ravens defense with confidence this week.
- Washington Football Team: To this point in the season, the Washington Football Team have the sixth-most sacks in the league, and are tied for the third-most interceptions this season. Enter the division rival New York Giants, who have given up the most points on average to opposing defenses in fantasy football. In light of this information, start the Football Team’s defense this week.
- Miami Dolphins: Start any and every NFL defense who plays against the New York Jets. They’re an abysmal team.
- Sleepers: New York Giants, Tennessee Titans