Start ‘Em Sit ‘ Em Week 6
Football is in full swing as we now approach week six. That means another week for fantasy football and to look at the best (and worst matchups). With that, let’s dive in and look at the players to start and sit for this weekend.
Recapping last week
Sam Darnold, unfortunately, busted in a plus matchup finishing outside the top-30 and Daniel Jones was injured in his game but Ryan Tannehill finished outside the top-20. Leonard Fournette and Cordarrelle Patterson both had top-24 weeks while Miles Sanders finished just inside the top-36. Emmanuel Sanders had a top-15 game and Brandin Cooks predictably struggled with a finish outside the top-50 but Laviska Shenault surprisingly also had a performance outside the top-50. Dalton Schultz is on a tear with another top-10 game and Robert Tonyan once again had a poor game with one catch and eight yards while Mike Gesicki managed a performance within the top-24. With that, it’s on to week six!
Teams on bye: Falcons, Saints, Jets, 49ers
Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 6 QB’s
Jaguars vs. Dolphins
ESPN Starting Percentage: 5.9%
After giving up nine turnovers (seven interceptions, two fumbles) through his first three games, Lawrence has settled down with only one turnover over his past two games. He is averaging over 70% for his completion percentage during that time as well. Lawrence has been scoring fantasy points with his legs too with 25+ rushing yards and a touchdown in each of these past two games as well. He faces a Dolphins’ defense that just got shredded to the tune of 411 passing yards and five touchdowns by Tom Brady in week five. The Dolphins have given up the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season and at least two passing touchdowns in each of their last four games. Lawrence has top-12 potential with the first week of byes upon us.
Football Team vs. Chiefs
ESPN Starting Percentage: 3.4%
Heinicke is not the most inspiring quarterback in fantasy but he has a terrific matchup and has the ability to do some damage with his legs. He had a poor performance against the Saints in week five with 248 passing yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions but still managed 40 yards rushing, which he has accumulated in each of his last two games. The Chiefs’ defense has been getting destroyed by quarterbacks as of late as they’ve allowed three straight games with 275+ passing yards and two or more touchdowns with zero interceptions during that time. They’ve also given up at least 47 rushing yards to quarterbacks in each of the last two games as well. There is no question this is a “get right” game for the Chiefs’ offense but their defense is severely lacking and Heinicke should be expected to do whatever he can to keep this game close.
Titans vs. Bills
ESPN Starting Percentage: 26.5%
The Titans’ passing offense continues to disappoint this year with Tannehill only having one game with multiple passing touchdowns and two games in his last three with less than 200 passing yards. The Titans have cleared pivoted to a more run-heavy offense as Derrick Henry is on pace for over 500+ total touches. Obviously, he won’t hit that mark but Tannehill just isn’t getting the job done right now and now faces a Bills’ defense that has given up the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks so far this season. They have accumulated eight interceptions over the last three weeks while only giving up four passing touchdowns. Tannehill’s struggles in fantasy football aren’t exclusive to strong defenses but this is a clear shy-away matchup against one of the best teams in the league.
Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 6 RB’s
Dolphins vs. Jaguars
ESPN Starting Percentage: 12.6%
Gaskin is a tough running back to evaluate in fantasy football. He goes from having two rushing attempts for three yards in week four to 10 receptions for 74 yards and two touchdowns in week five. The one thing that appears to be clear is that Gaskin is the running back to have in the Dolphins’ backfield. He saw 37 snaps compared to Salvon Ahmed’s 11 and Malcolm Brown’s five this past weekend. Brown and Ahmed just don’t offer the two-way upside in the running and receiving game that Gaskin does. And with the Dolphins’ passing game in flux with DeVante Parker hurt (again) plus Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki’s ever-changing involvement, Gaskin has emerged as a reliable option. He now faces a Jaguars’ defense that has given up at least 50 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown to an opposing running back in four of five games this year. He’ll be a top-24 option in PPR leagues, especially for this week.
Broncos vs. Raiders
ESPN Starting Percentage: 18.0%
Williams and Melvin Gordon have had a clear split this season with Gordon having the slight edge in snaps (176 to 144). Nevertheless, Williams has only had five fewer total touches (70 to 65) despite the 32 fewer snaps. However, Williams is coming off a better game (7.6 yards per carry and 8.3 yards per reception) compared to Gordon (3.8 yards per carry and 4.5 yards per reception) while having the same amount of touches (11 each). Denver clearly values Williams after trading up for him in the second round of this past NFL Draft. He is also the more explosive of the two and he could start to separate from Gordon as the season progresses. He and Gordon have a matchup against the Raiders’ defense that just gave up 75+ yards from scrimmage to both Damien Williams and Khalil Herbert in week five. This could be a solid game for both running backs but Williams could have another strong game against a weaker run defense and continue to prove his case for more work. He’ll be a top-30 option at worst with a high ceiling.
Raiders vs. Broncos
ESPN Starting Percentage: 65.8%
Speaking of this game, the same can’t be said for Jacobs and his matchup against the Broncos’ defense. With Kenyan Drake providing very little value and Peyton Barber nursing a toe injury, Jacobs has once again taken over the lion’s share of work at the running back position for the Raiders. Jacobs had 19 touches (15 carries, four receptions) while Drake only had two carries and Jalen Richard had one reception. Even with all of this work that Jacobs is getting now that he is over his ankle injury, he hasn’t been the most efficient. In his three games this season, Jacobs hasn’t averaged more than 3.4 yards per carry and six yards per reception. He now faces a Broncos’ defense that has only given up two rushing touchdowns this season and only allowed two running backs to go for 50+ rushing yards. Jacobs won’t be anything more than a touch-based RB3 in this tough matchup.
Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 6 WR’s
Giants vs. Rams
ESPN Starting Percentage: 3.4%
Toney has set the fantasy football world on fire after his last two games (22 targets, 16 receptions, 267 yards). Part of his emergence is in part due to Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Kenny Golladay, and Saquon Barkley all suffering injuries in recent weeks. But Toney has shown why he was a first-round pick and why he needs to be a featured option permanently in this Giants’ offense. He did suffer an ankle injury at the end of week five but if he is active in week six, he is a must-start option with Barkley and Golladay expected out with Shepard and Slayton questionable at best to play. The Rams have a strong defense but have given up at least five receptions and 50 yards to six different receivers in the past four weeks and have given up three receiving touchdowns to wide receivers in the last two games. Regardless of who is under center, Toney will be a top-24 option, especially in PPR leagues if active.
Patriots vs. Cowboys
ESPN Starting Percentage: 31.2%
No matter what someone may think about the Patriots’ offense, it’s clear that Meyers is the number one option in their passing game. He is on the field for 94.2% of snaps so far this season and has a strong 24.6% target share, best on the team by at least 10% (Nelson Agholor, 14.4%). Mac Jones continues to look Meyers’ way each and every game and that won’t change anytime soon. The Patriots are going to be in a week six matchup against the Cowboys, who have been on a roll and are 4-1. Dallas has scored at least 36 points in each of their last three games and with the Patriots’ defense struggling to somehow contain the Texans’ offense, the Cowboys should have their way with this New England squad. Expect to see Jones and the passing offense be featured heavily in this game with Damien Harris nursing multiple injuries. The Cowboys have actually given up five 100+ receiving yard performances to opposing wide receivers this season, including Toney’s 10 reception, 189 performance in week five. Meyers will be a top-24 option in PPR leagues this weekend.
Broncos vs. Raiders
ESPN Starting Percentage: 24.7%
This has nothing to do with Sutton’s talent level whatsoever. He is actually coming off one of his best games of the season with seven receptions, 120 yards, and a touchdown in week five against the Steelers. However, Sutton has been hard to figure out due to the Broncos’ inconsistent passing offense. He has two games of 11+ targets, 7+ receptions, and 120+ receiving yards but then also has three games of 47 or fewer yards receiving on five or fewer receptions. The Broncos will continue to rely on their strong defense and run game and now face a Raiders’ defense that has actually been tough against opposing wide receivers in fantasy football. They’ve only allowed for one wide receiver to go for 50+ receiving yards in the last three games and haven’t given up a receiving touchdown to opposing wide receivers since week one. Sutton is going to be tough to trust not only because of his inconsistency but now because of his poor matchup as well.
Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 5 TE’s
Football Team vs. Chiefs
ESPN Starting Percentage: 0.4%
In light of Logan Thomas’ injury, Seals-Jones has stepped up as an every-down option at tight end as he played 82-of-83 snaps in week five. He had an admirable game with five receptions 41 yards on eight targets. He finished with a 20% timeshare in his first full game as the starter, which was tied with DeAndre Carter for second-most behind Terry McLaurin. With Curtis Samuel having to depart due to the groin injury that caused him to start the season on injured reserve, it’s fair to question his availability in week six. If that’s the case, we could see another target-filled game for Seals-Jones. He faces a Chiefs’ defense that has given up five 50+ yard performances to opposing tight ends and a touchdown in each of their last two games. He’s the perfect bye week fill-in for someone needing to replace Kyle Pitts with him being on bye this week.
Patriots vs. Cowboys
ESPN Starting Percentage: 10.9%
While Henry and Jonnu Smith both had 40 snaps in week five, Henry saw significantly more work in the passing game with eight targets to Smith’s two. Henry also had a strong performance with six receptions, 75 yards, and a touchdown after going for four receptions, 36 yards, and a touchdown in week four as well. Henry is outproducing Smith in every receiving category over the last three games with 19 targets, 15 receptions, 143 receiving yards, and two touchdowns to Smith’s 13 targets, six receptions, 45 yards, and one touchdown. Henry is one of Mac Jones’ top passing options and now faces a Cowboys’ defense that has given up three 50+ receiving yards to opposing tight ends over the last three games. He’ll be a top-12 tight end for week six.
Packers vs. Bears
ESPN Starting Percentage: 32.3%
We wouldn’t keep listing Tonyan on this list if he wasn’t STILL being started by almost 1/3 of ESPN leagues through five weeks. Tonyan has four games with two or fewer receptions and single-digit receiving yards. That’s out of five games, so a healthy 80% of his games this season. He is an afterthought in this passing offense that even has AJ Dillon seeing solid receiving work in week five. Unless the Packers lose one of their key playmakers in Aaron Jones or Davante Adams, Tonyan is impossible to trust. The Bears have only given up one receiving touchdown to opposing tight ends and have held every opposing tight end to below 50 yards receiving in each of the last four games. Tonyan isn’t worth starting is probably droppable at this point.
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