Fantasy Football Start ’Em, Sit ’Em

It’s time to get your lineups squared away for Week 6. Who should you start and which players should stay on the bench?
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Mark Ingram and the Ravens are playing the Bengals at home this weekend, a friendly environment for running backs.

Mark Ingram and the Ravens are playing the Bengals at home this weekend, a friendly environment for running backs.

Quarterbacks

Start:

Kyler Murray, Cardinals (vs. Falcons)

Last week the Falcons gave up more than 50 points against the Texans, and Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins looked like they were open on every play. I am not saying that Kyler Murray will have a game like Deshaun Watson did, but they share a similar playing style. I can easily see Murray throwing for 250+ passing yards and getting 50+ yards rushing. The key, though, will be for Murray to finally convert red zone appearances into touchdowns. Once he begins to do that with regularity, he will become a fantasy star.

Matt Ryan, Falcons (vs. Cardinals)

It looks like the tale of two Falcons this season. The offense, spearheaded by Ryan, has looked good in the first five weeks. However, the defense has been abysmal and hasn’t been able to stop anyone. Enter the Cardinals who like to play fast and run a ton of plays. This should be perfect for Ryan who will air it out against the worst secondary in the league. WR Julio Jones usually has one game per season where he goes for over 200 yards receiving—this might be the game.

Sit:

Matthew Stafford, Lions (vs. Packers)

Outside of the game against the Eagles, the Packers defense has been incredibly stingy all season long. Moreover, the Lions have committed to being a run-first team, which should mean that they will try to beat Green Bay with the legs of RB Kerryon Johnson and not the arm of Stafford. Stafford should throw for around 220-240 passing yards this week which just isn’t good enough for fantasy purposes.

Running Backs

Start:

Mark Ingram, Ravens (vs. Bengals)

Outside of Miami, there is no team more generous to opposing running backs than Cincinnati. To wit, even Cardinals backup RB Chase Edmonds ran for 68 yards against them, including a 37-yard TD. The Ravens are going to give the ball to Mark Ingram early and often this week, and watch for Ingram to score multiple touchdowns—unless the team takes him out at the goal line for Gus Edwards. But owners know to start Ingram and not look back.

Adrian Peterson, Redskins (vs. Dolphins)

Redskins interim coach Bill Callahan has said that he wants the team to be a run-first offense—can the team capitalize against the Dolphins this week, who have the worst run offense in the league? If Washington gets out to an early lead, watch for Adrian Peterson to be unleashed.

Sit:

Miles Sanders, Eagles (vs. Vikings)

Sanders is now in a time-share with Jordan Howard at running back mainly because Sanders has missed running lanes while Howard has done everything the coaching staff has asked. The Vikings have an aggressive defense who contain the run very well (they are the fifth-best in the league in stopping opposing running backs), so I don’t see Sanders getting outside to break off any big plays. Additionally, if the Eagles get close to the end zone, they will bring in Howard as the short-yardage back. There will be many days to start Sanders, but Week 6 is not one of them.

Wide Receivers

Start:

Stefon Diggs, Vikings (vs. Eagles)

The Vikings were forced to change their offense in Week 5 as the players led a revolt which forced the coaching staff to open up the offense and start passing the football. Against the Giants Adam Thielen had a huge week as he scored two touchdowns. This week against the Eagles, I think will be a Stefon Diggs week. Both starting cornerbacks for the Eagles are injured and neither backup CB will be able to handle Diggs’s speed on the outside.

D.J. Chark, Jaguars (vs. Saints)

The Saints have struggled to cover slot receivers all season, so there is a good chance that Chark sees more P.J. Williams and less Eli Apple (assuming Lattimore is on Dede Westbrook). That might be one of the top plus WR/CB on the board, making Chark a must play.

Sit:

Corey Davis, Tennessee (vs. Broncos)

The Broncos have been incredibly strong against the pass this season, especially when it comes to covering the opposing team’s WR1. Last week, Denver held Chargers’ Keenan Allen to four catches for 18 yards which really hurt his fantasy owners. Tennessee’s WR1 is Corey Davis, and I expect him to be totally shut down in this game as Marcus Mariota will be forced to throw A.J. Brown’s way.

Tight Ends

Start:

Greg Olsen, Panthers (vs. Buccaneers)

Two things are in play here for Olsen. First, the Bucs are the second-worst team statistically against opposing tight ends. Secondly, Olsen had six receptions for 110 yards on nine targets the first time these two teams played in Week 2. Will Kyle Allen will be good enough to find him. Assuming Allen plays well, Olsen is at the top of my list for tight end production.

Austin Hooper, Falcons (vs. Cardinals)

Shockingly, Bengals QB Andy Dalton missed TE Tyler Eifert wide open in the end zone against the Cardinals. Falcons QB Matt Ryan is way more precise with his passing and won’t miss Hooper at all in Week 6. The Cardinals are the worst team against opposing tight ends in the league.

Sit:

O.J. Howard, Buccaneers (vs. Panthers)

Howard was one of my favorite players coming into the season, but he is a big sit for me in Week 6. The Panthers pass rush is fierce and the Bucs will need Howard to help block to give Jameis Winston time to throw. Also, Carolina has been outstanding at covering the tight end position all season long. Right now, Howard is more name than game and he needs to be benched until he gets more involved in the offensive scheme.

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