Sit and start is relative and league dependent, so consider some of these suggestions more “fliers” and “fades” (note that some are targeted for DFS).
Good luck with your Week 6 lineups.
Miami Dolphins @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Start: Mike Gesicki, Dan Arnold
Gesicki disappointed during a favorable matchup last week but ranks top-five among tight ends in targets, air yards and air yards share. DeVante Parker is highly questionable to play in London, where Tua Tagovailoa is expected to return against a Jacksonville defense that ranks last in pass-defense DVOA.
Arnold tied for the team lead in targets last week, and it’s clear Jacksonville likes him after trading for him. If you missed out on Ricky Seals-Jones and need a tight end, Arnold is an option at a thin position.
Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers
Sit: Kirk Cousins
Start: Chuba Hubbard
Cousins goes outdoors to face the No. 2 pass defense in DVOA in a matchup that projects to be slow-paced. Dalvin Cook should return, while receivers Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen are banged up.
With Christian McCaffrey unlikely to play, Hubbard remains a strong fantasy start in a matchup against a Minnesota defense that ranks No. 6 against the pass yet No. 20 versus the run in DVOA. Only Alexander Mattison saw more carries/targets last week than Hubbard, who’s been treated like a workhorse with CMC sidelined.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Baltimore Ravens
Start in DFS: Keenan Allen ($23)
Start: Latavius Murray
Allen could be looking at 12+ targets Sunday if Mike Williams sits, and he gets a Ravens defense that’s allowed the most fantasy points to the slot this season in a matchup that projects to be fast-paced.
Game-script should be much better than last week for Murray, who also gets one of the league’s premier run-funnel defenses in the Chargers. LAC ranks No. 31 in run defense DVOA while allowing an NFL-high 135.8 rushing yards per game to RBs.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Detroit Lions
Start: Tee Higgins
Start in DFS: D’Andre Swift ($20)
Higgins is finally healthy, while Cincinnati’s running backs aren’t. Joe Burrow is getting 8.8 YPA, and Higgins should have a really nice game indoors against a bad Lions defense.
Swift had another impressive performance last week when he led all RBs in routes run. He’s quietly on pace to finish the season with 1,500+ scrimmage yards, 99 catches, and 10 touchdowns while playing through a groin injury against a difficult schedule. He’s yet to see even 15 carries in a game. Swift’s DFS salary remains plenty affordable despite returning home in a fine matchup this week.
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
Start in DFS: Davante Adams ($37)
Start: Khalil Herbert & Darnell Mooney
While it’s usually best not to chase last week’s stats, Adams remains a strong DFS building block even if he’s unlikely to match his career-best (in yards) performance against the Bengals. Adams leads the NFL in target share and air yards and continues to maintain a big gap between him and fantasy’s No. 2 WR. The Bears have played surprisingly well on defense (No. 5 in DVOA) but have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to receivers — not that matchups matter with Adams, who’s seeing nearly 40 percent of Aaron Rodgers’ throws and has actually been a little unlucky in the TD department.
With Damien Williams joining David Montgomery on Chicago’s sidelines, Herbert takes over the Bears’ feature-back role against a shaky Green Bay rush defense that ranks 29th in DVOA. Herbert can be treated as a top-20 fantasy RB in Week 6.
Mooney, who’s emerging as Justin Fields’ No. 1 target, is also a sleeper with Allen Robinson banged up. Mooney quietly ranks top-20 in WOPR this season.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Washington Football Team
Start in DFS: Patrick Mahomes ($40), Ricky Seals-Jones ($11)
Mahomes is coming off a shaky game in which he got the worst YPA (5.0) of his career. He was facing the league’s best defense (Buffalo) in poor weather conditions, and you’ll want him in your Week 6 DFS lineup when he bounces back in a big way. KC should run even less than usual with Clyde Edwards-Helaire out, and they face a massively disappointing Washington defense that’s allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and ranks No. 29 in pass-defense DVOA. Kansas City also has easily the highest implied team total this week.
Seals-Jones didn’t come through last week, but he saw eight targets (three in the end zone) and had another 40+ yard catch nullified by a penalty, so the volume was encouraging with Logan Thomas out. That came against one of the league’s toughest defenses (New Orleans), whereas Sunday Washington faces a KC D that ranks last in DVOA and has yielded the fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends. RSJ is a strong flier this week in a game with this week’s highest total and facing a defense on pace to allow the most yards per play (7.1) in NFL history.
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts
Start: Brandin Cooks, Michael Pittman Jr.
Cooks is coming off a couple of quiet games, but they came against the league’s best D so far this year (Buffalo) and a Bill Belichick defense known for shutting down its opponents’ best player. Cooks ranks No. 2 in WOPR this season, and Davis Mills looked dramatically improved last week (10.8 YPA). I have Cooks as a top-20 WR this week.
Pittman ranks top-20 in WOPR this season and benefits from a healthier Carson Wentz. He’s emerged as the Colts’ clear WR1, and this week Indy has one of the slate’s highest implied team totals. Pittman is in the middle of fully breaking out in Year Two; lock him into fantasy lineups.
Los Angeles Rams @ New York Giants
Start in DFS: Darrell Henderson ($20)
Start: Devontae Booker
Henderson missed some snaps last week while getting checked for a minor injury during one long drive, but he’s otherwise been treated as a full-blown workhorse by the Rams this season. He remains a big injury risk long-term, but Henderson being featured on this offense equates to a borderline top-five fantasy back, not to mention in a matchup where LA is near double-digit favorites.
Booker should see most of NY’s backfield action with Saquon Barkley sidelined, and hopefully, Daniel Jones, Andrew Thomas, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton return this week. Booker is an easy fantasy start given his projected volume and the lack of depth at RB right now; the Rams miss Brandon Staley and have a middling defense this season (Aaron Donald is also questionable).
You have my full permission to start budding star Kadarius Toney this week as well.
Arizona Cardinals @ Cleveland Browns
Sit: James Conner, Baker Mayfield
Assuming Chase Edmonds is active, Conner preferably looks like a bench option this week if possible. Cleveland’s physical front has allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to running backs and ranks fifth in rush defense DVOA this season. This game looks to be windy, and Kyler Murray is possibly dealing with a shoulder injury, so Arizona could try to run more than usual, but the Browns should also be able to score plenty of points against a Cardinals’ defense missing Chandler Jones.
Mayfield had a nice fantasy line last week but still attempted just 32 passes in a 47-42 game. While Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are both banged up, expect Cleveland to remain one of the most run-heavy teams Sunday against an Arizona pass defense that ranks No. 3 in DVOA and has produced the lowest neutral pass rate.
Mayfield is also struggling with downfield throws while playing through a partially torn labrum (non-throwing shoulder), which could be especially problematic in a game with 15-20 mph sustained gusts of wind in the forecast.
Las Vegas Raiders @ Denver Broncos
Start: Henry Ruggs
Start in DFS: Courtland Sutton ($20)
Sutton has the second-most air yards among all receivers this season and is Denver’s clear No. 1 WR with Jerry Jeudy out. Teddy Bridgewater has been a huge upgrade at quarterback (and is showing a surprising willingness to go downfield), and the Broncos have a fine matchup at home this week against the Raiders.
Ruggs is more of a flier in deeper leagues but is an option this week in a matchup that should force Las Vegas to throw frequently while unable to run much. Ruggs ranks 17th in air yards this season.
Dallas Cowboys @ New England Patriots
Start: Dalton Schultz, Hunter Henry
Schultz continues to see good targets and remains a borderline top-five fantasy tight end, especially with Michael Gallup out.
Henry easily led New England in targets last week and has separated himself from Jonnu Smith. Much like the Bucs, teams have barely even tried to run against the Cowboys, as Dallas’ defense has produced an extremely high neutral pass rate. Henry should be treated as a top-10 fantasy tight end in this favorable matchup.
Seattle Seahawks @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Start: Tyler Lockett, Ben Roethlisberger
Lockett is once again having a boom-or-bust season and will now have Geno Smith as his QB instead of Russell Wilson. But there’s reason for optimism. Smith looked plenty competent in relief last week (Lockett saw 10 targets), and it’s safe to expect Seattle to throw less downfield while scheming to get Lockett the ball more. This is especially probable with the Seahawks unlikely to be able to run with much success in a tough matchup and likely without Chris Carson.
Meanwhile, the Steelers have allowed the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, and DK Metcalf is dealing with a foot injury that may keep him out of this game.
Big Ben is more of a flier for deeper or Superflex leagues, but he’s an option in Week 6. Roethlisberger has played much better at home this season (and last), averaging 288.7 pass yards over three games. JuJu Smith-Schuster was getting 4.6 yards per target, which ranked 94th in the league. Meanwhile, Chase Claypool ranks top-15 in yards per route run. The loss of Smith-Schuster may not be necessarily bad for Roethlisberger’s stats, and Sunday night he faces a Seattle defense that’s somehow on pace to allow the most yards in NFL history.
Buffalo Bills @ Tennessee Titans
Start: Emmanuel Sanders
Sit: Ryan Tannehill
Sanders ranks top-15 in air yards this season and gets to play for a team that’s one of the most pass-happy in the league with a quarterback who’s gotten 9.3 YPA (with 11 total touchdowns) over the last three games. Moreover, Tennessee has been gashed for the most fantasy points by wide receivers this season.
Tannehill may get Julio Jones back this week, but the QB is preferred on fantasy benches facing a Buffalo defense that ranks first in DVOA and has allowed the fewest YPA (5.4) and fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Moreover, the Titans have had the league’s lowest neutral pass rate over the last three weeks.
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