With Week Six on deck, we’re fast approaching the midpoint of the fantasy regular season. Can you believe that?
Maybe your dreams already lie in ruins, or maybe you’re already dreaming of a championship.
Either way, fantasy is a game of weekly battles and we’re here to set you up for another one with this set of start/sit suggestions for the season’s sixth week.
It’s the third of the bye weeks, with this week’s two absentees a little less notable than last week’s loaded quartet – although the 5-0 Vikings are amongst them, which is one way to ensure that they remain the only undefeated team in the NFL. Intriguing contests dot the schedule throughout, making for some tricky start/sit decisions based on the respective matchups.
As always, we present one start and one sit at each of the four main offensive positions in fantasy – QB, RB, WR, and TE.
Here are those calls for this week…
Start this QB: Russell Wilson
It’s become a little easy to overthink what to do with Wilson, given his battles with injuries that might have benched a player at any other position.
His fantasy value is derived from his mobility, after all, both in terms of yardage on the ground and from passes completed after running away from defenders who get past the “blocking” of his offensive line.
Don’t overthink this. He’s had the bye week to rest up, he managed to put up numbers against a New York Jets team who should have been able to get penetration up front on almost every snap but didn’t, and now happens to face an Atlanta Falcons team who have won four on the bounce in spite of their D rather than because of it.
In fact, the five Falcons games have seen an average of 63 total points each; that’s almost double the figure of 33.25 from the Seahawks’ four games so far.
That makes it very clear that the presence of these high-flying Falcons at CenturyLink Field will be a rising tide to lift all fantasy boats.
Sit this QB: Matt Ryan
There are a lot of good options at QB this week. Marcus Mariota gets to feast on the Cleveland Browns at home and if you aren’t starting him then he shouldn’t be on your roster; Blake Bortles gets to face the Chicago Bears, who are so bad they just lost to a 1-3 team with jet lag; Dak Prescott could continue his hot rookie streak against a Green Bay Packers stop unit who destroy running games for fun and are burnable at the back end; finally, Tyrod Taylor is eminently startable against the San Francisco 49ers.
At least two of those will be hanging around more than a few waiver wires.
Ryan could be sat for any of them, as the Seahawks’ presence will offset the usual fantasy goldmine style of the Falcons.
Plus, do you really trust your starting fantasy QB to put up points in that stadium? Nope, didn’t think so.
Start this RB: Theo Riddick
If a teacher at Springfield Elementary School took over the general manager reins in Detroit, they would require Lions coach Jim Caldwell to write on the chalkboard “THEO RIDDICK IS NOT A REAL RUNNING BACK” enough times to make him believe that maybe, just maybe, he should give someone else the inside handoffs.
Unfortunately, Ameer Abdullah is on IR, while Dwayne Washington is no lock to be available, causing the Lions to pick up the ghost of Justin Forsett to fill out their roster with someone, anyone, who might be able to do anything. The other alternative to Riddick for between-the-tackles running, after all, is Zach Zenner, whose 3.0 YPC career average is even worse.
Riddick’s ability as a backfield receiver makes him a viable bye-week fantasy play anyway, even in standard non-PPR leagues, in the right matchup. He’s got one of those against the Los Angeles Rams, who tend to give up a fair chunk of yardage to receiving backs.
Sit this RB: Terrence West
While West looks like the clear lead dog in this Baltimore backfield, Kenneth Dixon might just be eased in a bit more.
There’s only so much fantasy value being the lead dog in the Baltimore backfield this week anyway, as the Ravens have a road game with the New York Giants. Whilst all the attention on this overpaid defensive line has come from their lack of sacks, they have been a force against the run, with “Snacks” Harrison devouring running backs for breakfast. You may want to nominate someone with an easier matchup, especially as the Ravens are a pass-first team who happen to be three-point underdogs in this one.
Start this WR: Sammie Coates
Wearing the (in)famous “bumblebee” alternate uniform of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Coates was a “bomblebee” last week with a 72-yard touchdown reception. He is a threat to put up useful fantasy points in an instant at any time.
That goes double against defensively inept opposition, and oh boy, does he ever get that with this trip to Miami!
The Dolphins are absolutely falling apart, and the secondary is as badly affected as any part of this team. It’s plausible that Bene Benwikere, a panic cut by the Carolina Panthers whom the Dolphins picked up on waivers, will actually start despite having had almost no time to learn the playbook.
Byron Maxwell and Tony Lippett are the other two top corners on this roster, for certain values of “top” that stretch credibility. One of those will probably be constantly covering Coates one-on-one given the presence of Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. This will probably not end well.
Note that Coates does have a minor hand injury which may have led to his drops last week, but as long as he’s active on Sunday, you have to fire him up. The upside in this matchup is immense.
Sit this WR: Tavon Austin
Allegedly, Tavon Austin is the Rams’ WR1.
Considering he averages 9.5 yards per reception this year – and that this is his highest since 2013 – this stretches credibility until you look at the alternatives and how talented they aren’t.
That means Austin could draw the attention of top Lions corner Darius Slay. He can kill the fantasy numbers of WR1s who are actually good, let alone this gadget guy.
Start this TE: Delanie Walker
The Tennessee Titans play the Cleveland Browns at home this week.
Do you need any further justification for starting this guy? No, didn’t think so.
Sit this TE: Dwayne Allen
The Indianapolis Colts have once again got a committee at tight end going, which usually means you ignore that team at the position regardless.
Their Sunday night clash with the Houston Texans, who have done a good job against defending tight ends this season, is very definitely not an exception to this. Allen, who’s losing serious volume to Jack Doyle, should be dropped in all leagues.