Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 6
With the regular season close to 33% done, we are getting closer to the mid-point of the season where every week has large implications. Plus, with more teams hitting bye weeks, the options become that much more limited for fantasy football owners looking to somehow replace key productivity while continuing to compete. Between those on the waiver wire and players riding your bench for these very moments, we’ll look at who should be in your lineup and who deserves to stay seated. Let’s talk about Week 6.
Recapping last week
Much like the rest of the season, Week 5 was an interesting one to navigate through. There were some good hits and good calls on some sits with some players with some misses as well. Both Justin Herbert and Teddy Bridgewater had top-12 weeks but Ryan Fitzpatrick finished as the second-highest scoring quarterback. Unfortunately, Jerick McKinnon and Mark Ingram finished outside the top-36 for running backs while Melvin Gordon’s game was postponed. Justin Jefferson and Tre’Quan Smith both failed to capitalize and finished outside the top-50 while Jarvis Landry was a top-30 play. Mike Gesicki had a top-six performance while Eric Ebron finished outside the top-18. With that, on to Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 6!
Teams on bye: Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers
Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Quarterbacks
Vikings vs Falcons
ESPN Starting Percentage: 5.5%
This has more to do with the match-up versus the player themselves. Cousins had a respectable but ultimately disappointing performance against a soft Seahawks defense with 249 yards passing and two touchdowns. The Falcons are hemorrhaging fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks right now with at least 300 yards passing and three touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in each of the last three games. Between being ravaged by injuries and just plain poor performance, the Falcons have become the ultimate streaming situation for opposing quarterbacks. Cousins has a chance to do more this weekend with Dalvin Cook hurt and two very good wide receivers in Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson.
Lions vs Jaguars
ESPN Starting Percentage: 6.2%
Fresh off an early-season bye and with a healthy pass-catching core, Stafford is coming into this weekend well-rested and with all of his playmakers at his disposal. He has three straight multi-touchdown performances and seven over his last three games with only one interception over that time. He faces a Jaguars defense that has given up 300+ yards passing and 2+ passing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in three of their five games this season. That includes a 359-yard, three-touchdown performance from Deshaun Watson this past weekend. Stafford is in a great position to come back from BYE week and put up a top-12 performance.
Bengals vs Colts
ESPN Starting Percentage: 19.1%
After three straight games with 300+ yards passing and at least one touchdown, Burrow ran into a buzzsaw known as the Ravens defense. With a paper-thin offense line and underwhelming play all-around, Burrow was given a proper introduction to the NFL and struggled mightily. He finished with under 200 yards passing, zero touchdowns, and two turnovers (one interception, one fumble lost). This week, it gets no easier for Burrow and the Bengals as they face another defense in the Colts. They have not allowed a single quarterback to throw for more than 250 yards and have also forced six interceptions in the last three games and nine in their last four. Between their top offensive line and strong secondary play, they have been a menace for opposing offenses and Burrow looks to be in for another rough game.
Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Running Backs
Dolphins vs Jets
ESPN Starting Percentage: 37.1%
In a surprising turn of events that almost no-one could’ve predicted, Myles Gaskin has not only had a role in the Dolphins offense, but he is also their main running back. He has at least 13 offensive touches in each of the last three games, with two of them being 20+ touch performances. While he has only one touchdown to show for it, he has no less than 62 scrimmage yards in any game this season. The Jets represent a huge “smash” spot for Gaskin as New York just gave up at least 62 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown to both Chase Edmonds and Kenyan Drake in Week 5. On top of that, they’ve given up at least 50 scrimmage yards and/or a touchdown to an opposing running back in every game this season. Gaskin could be in line for his best game yet.
Giants vs Washington FT
ESPN Starting Percentage: 23.4%
After a silent Week 3 debut, Freeman has started taking on more and more of the work amongst Giants’ running backs in the past two weeks. Freeman has at least 15 offensive touches and 68 scrimmage yards in the last two games with a favorable matchup this weekend. The Giants face Washington, who have given up three total touchdowns over the past two games with also allowing two running backs (Darrell Henderson and Cam Akers) to garner at least 60 scrimmage yards each in Week 5. Freeman is taking on more and more work plus also being one of the top targets in the passing game as well. In what is expected to be an NFC East showdown between two of the weaker teams in the league, we could see a bunch of points scored as well.
Any Patriots Running Back
Patriots vs Broncos
ESPN Starting Percentage: N/A
It’s hard to pinpoint any one running back in this offense as the one to “sit” this weekend with how much they have spread the ball around. James White, Rex Burkhead, and Damien Harris all had at least 10 offensive touches in Week 4, and the backfield split will continue to be a question going forward. On top of that, the Patriots have a difficult matchup against the well-rested Broncos this weekend, who have been extremely tough to opposing running backs. They’ve only allowed for one running back to accumulate more than five fantasy points in half-PPR scoring in the past games and have only given up one total touchdown to running backs this season. This matchup would be tough for any running back but with the Patriots splitting it between three of them, it’s even more of a reason to stay away from this mess in Week 6.
Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Wide Receivers
Cardinals vs Cowboys
ESPN Starting Percentage: 4.9%
Kirk is coming off two strong games for fantasy owners after dealing with an injury. He has seen 12 targets and accumulated eight receptions for 98 yards with a touchdown. With the Cardinals continuing to put up points and questions around their passing game besides DeAndre Hopkins, Kirk could continue to be a top-two/three target in this high-scoring offense. He has a terrific matchup on paper against the Cowboys in Week 6, who have given up at least 81 yards receiving to four different wide receivers and six touchdowns in the past three weeks to opposing wide receivers. With Hopkins continuing to see a lot of attention from opposing defenses, Kirk is in a terrific spot to keep ascending and be a strong FLEX play for fantasy football owners needing a replacement this weekend.
Jaguars vs Lions
ESPN Starting Percentage: 9.4%
Shenault is one of the many rookie wide receivers having a strong debut season. He has consistently seen his role grow as the season has progressed with 20 targets in the last three games and 17 receptions and 198 receiving yards to show for it. He also has two carries for six rushing yards as well. He faces a Lions defense that has given up two straight multi-touchdown performances to wide receivers and allowed for four wide receivers to garner at least 12 points in half-PPR leagues over the past two games. With D.J. Chark hurt once again and his status for Week 6 up-in-the-air, Shenault could see himself as the number one wide receiver in an offense on the rise and facing a weak defense.
Bengals vs Colts
ESPN Starting Percentage: 52.9%
After some impressive performances from this young Bengals offense, it came crashing to a halt when they faced a tough defense like the Ravens in Week 5. The Bengals managed only three points scored and the entire offense played poorly. Boyd had one of his worst games of the season with only 42 yards on four receptions after three straight games with at least 72 yards or a touchdown. This weekend proves to be another tough matchup with the Colts on tap. Joe Burrow crumbled when faced with a top defense and is in line for another top defense in the Colts. They’ve only allowed for two receivers to go for 75+ yards receiving and have only given up three receiving touchdowns to opposing wide receivers over the last three games. It’s hard to have much faith in this offense until we can see them perform better against some of the tougher defenses in the league.
Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Tight Ends
Steelers vs Browns
ESPN Starting Percentage: 17.9%
Despite not putting up huge numbers in a plus matchup this past weekend, Ebron finds himself with another favorable game this weekend. He has at least three receptions and 43 yards in each of his last three games while also garnering 58 of 73 snaps at tight end in Week 5. He is very clearly the starter and an important part of the offense even after Chase Claypool’s incredible four-touchdown performance. The Browns have allowed four different tight ends to get at least four receptions and 40 yards receiving along with four receiving touchdowns given up to opposing tight ends this year. With so much focus likely to go to the Steelers deep wide receiver group after Claypool’s breakout, Ebron could find himself being targeted more often this weekend.
Eagles vs Ravens
ESPN Starting Percentage: 88.6%
It’s tough to sit here and recommend sitting a top tight end in fantasy football. But the fact of the matter is that Ertz, like the rest of the Eagles passing offense, is struggling tremendously. Ertz has only five receptions for 15 yards in his last two games as Carson Wentz continues to struggle mightily. On top of that, Ertz has an incredibly tough matchup this weekend against the Ravens, who have only given up a combined three receptions and 30 yards to opposing tight ends. He’s simply not playing like a top-12 tight end despite Dallas Goedert’s injury. It may be time to look at other options.
Doug Moore is a fantasy football writer for Gridiron Experts. He has previously written for sites such as ESPN, SBNation, FFToday & Inside The Pylon. He also was the co-host for the highly-rated fantasy football podcast Overtime Ireland for several years. You can find him on Twitter at @DMooreNFL