Alright, fine. Brian Hoyer has now proven me wrong in back-to-back weeks, as he was the QB5 last week against a weak Colts defense. I was also one week early on Cameron Artis-Payne. But let’s also take a look at where I was right last week because that’s a whole lot more fun my me and my ego.
In Week 5, I helped you avoid dreadful outputs from Tajae Sharpe (WR70), Will Fuller (WR89), and Matt Jones (RB42). I also pushed you away from Matt Ryan, which was a good call, as his 14.98 fantasy points had him as the QB18. Hopefully you listened to me when it came to rolling with Carlos Hyde (RB8), Demaryius Thomas (WR21), Odell Beckham Jr. (WR15), and Matthew Stafford (QB10), while inserting Terrance West (RB21) and Travis Benjamin (WR14) into your lineup. (Toot, toot.)
Again, the advice wasn’t flawless – I pray you didn’t go out of your way to pick up Paxton Lynch – but it was pretty darn good. (Denver fan though I am, I promise I won’t urge you to start Lynch again this week, mostly because he isn’t starting for the Broncos now that Trevor Siemian is back.)
While I’m sure you already know that starting Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown against Miami, DeMarco Murray against Cleveland, Greg Olsen against New Orleans, Tom Brady against anyone are all winning ideas, you may be a little less certain about some of the following guys.
Don’t forget to tune in again next week, if not for the stellar advice, then at least for my latest synonym for “firm”.
A Rigid Seven Fantasy Tips for Week 6
1) Start Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart
Forget about Cam Newton’s last two starts. In the first, he faced one of the league’s best defenses against the pass, and in the second, he didn’t even finish the game. He may not be his 2015 self, but the reigning league MVP will get back to that form in Week 6. (No promises beyond this week, though.)
Not only are the Saints giving up the tenth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year, but Newton’s recent history against them is quite appealing. In the last three meetings, Newton has thrown for 872 yards, ten touchdowns, and just one interception, while adding 165 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. View him as a top-three play at QB.
Ron Rivera knows the Panthers’ formula for winning games is running the ball and playing good defense. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look they’re capable of one of those two, but they certainly can still run the ball, despite their streak of 30 consecutive games rushing for more than 100 yards being snapped two weeks ago. What they’ve been missing is their bruising tailback, Jonathan Stewart, who has been sidelined for the last three games with a hamstring injury.
I don’t expect the Panthers to shield Newton from running the ball after his Week 4 concussion, but I do foresee them calling Stewart’s number a little more often. In his return, Stewart becomes an RB1 against a Saints defense that is allowing a league-worst 29.90 fantasy points each week to running backs.
2) Thanks to matchups, consider starting…
C.J. Anderson – Despite currently sitting at RB11 on the season, Anderson has not given his fantasy owners much over the last three weeks (21.5 points). However, the Broncos are not only getting starting right tackle Donald Stephenson and supreme blocking tight end Virgil Green back from their three week absences (not a coincidence Anderson has been quiet without them), but they also face a Charger defense giving up 25.44 fantasy points per week to running backs (second-most). Anderson will be back to doing RB1 things this week.
Brock Osweiler – I really want to accentuate the word “consider” here. But I’ll forget about that if I’m right. If there was a week for Osweiler to break out and finally give the Texans what they paid for, it’s against the Colts. Indianapolis is giving up 19.67 fantasy points per week to quarterbacks (sixth-most), and are fresh off getting torched by guys like Brian Hoyer and Blake Bortles. Osweiler has the matchup and all the weapons to put up a top-ten performance, but I understand the hesitancy to put your trust in him – as my fellow writer Nicholas echoes.
Jeremy Maclin – Through four games, Maclin only has 244 receiving yards and one touchdown to his name, despite the Chiefs constantly playing from behind and being forced to pass. Although I believe Kansas City will focus on establishing their ground game this week, I also see Maclin finally breaking out against a Raider defense that is allowing a league-worst 30.98 fantasy points per week to wide receivers. His ceiling may not be that high, but he’s a good high-end WR2 thanks to the matchup.
3) Thanks to matchups, consider benching…
Philip Rivers – He has to deal with the Broncos, which is enough in itself. To make matters worse, it’s a pissed off Bronco defense. Denver is giving up the eighth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks per week. Stay away from Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams as well.
Matt Ryan – Sitting him last week paid off against the Broncos, and now he has to face a Seahawk defense on the road that is giving up the fewest fantasy points per week to quarterbacks (9.78). He may still hold the fantasy crown on the season, but he won’t hold it for Week 6. I wouldn’t sit Julio Jones, though.
Matt Jones – The Eagles defense may have given up 20.20 fantasy points to Theo Riddick last week, but that was as a pass-catching back, not on the ground. Jones is not anywhere close to the same receiving threat as Riddick and will have a tough day carrying the rock against a Philadelphia defense that is only allowing 3.9 yards per carry and has surrendered just two rushing touchdowns through four games.
4) Don’t even think about sitting Zeke
Don’t do it. I don’t care that the Packers are only allowing 2.0 yards per carry, or that they have yet to surrender more than 50 yards on the ground in a game this season; and I especially am not concerning myself with the fact that they have only given up one rushing touchdown this season.
Here’s what you need to know: Green Bay has played four of the worst rushing teams in the league thus far in the Jaguars, Vikings, Lions, and Giants. All of those teams rank in the bottom ten in terms of rushing. Guess who doesn’t reside in the bottom third of the league in rushing. You guessed it, the Dallas Cowboys. They rank first in rushing attempts, yards, and touchdowns, and fifth in yards per carry.
Ezekiel Elliott is getting better by the week and will go for at least 100 and a touchdown against this overrated Packer run defense.
5) Jarvis Landry is the only Dolphin you should have in your lineup
This team is an absolute mess. Thanks to a horrendous offensive line, Ryan Tannehill is taking one beating after another, and his fantasy numbers are suffering as a result (QB20). There is a good chance this game sees some garbage time, but I wouldn’t want to rely on it.
There finally seemed to be a leader in the Dolphins backfield, as Jay Ajayi emerged with 13 touches last week. Unfortunately, he didn’t do much with those carries, but he did save his day with a short touchdown plunge. Ajayi will now head into Week 6 preparing to spend more time on the sideline, as Arian Foster is likely to return from his injury. Adam Gase may ease Foster back into his starting role, though, which doesn’t make him an attractive option either.
Then there’s Jarvis Landry, who has seen at least ten targets in four of five games this season. Gase will surely try to find ways to get the ball out of Tannehill’s hands quicker, and Landry is the one who will benefit from it. The third-year receiver serves as Miami’s version of Wes Welker, and has all the explosiveness to make something big happen with the ball in space.
Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker are too hit-and-miss; stay away from them this week.
Keep faith in Landry, it’ll pay off for you.
6) Despite a tough matchup, side with Luck and Hilton
The Texans’ defense is giving up the fifth-fewest fantasy points per week to quarterbacks (11.42) and the fifth-fewest to wide receivers (18.66) as well. But the defense has not been the same without J.J. Watt. Through the first three weeks (with Watt), they did not allow an opponent to put up 300 total yards. In their last two (without Watt), they have allowed both the Titans and Vikings (15th and 30th in total offense) to go over 300 total yards, including 255 yards through the air from Sam Bradford.
On top of that, both of Houston’s starting corners, Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson, are banged up. Joseph left Week 5’s game with a concussion; he’s returned to practice since and is listed as questionable. Meanwhile, Jackson missed Week 5 with a hamstring injury and is also listed as questionable for Sunday night.
I’m not expecting either Luck or Hilton to be a top-five play at their respective positions, but both should remain in your lineup against a Texans defense that’s leaning against the ropes with wobbly knees.
7) Do not be fooled into starting…
I won’t say Brian Hoyer, but I’m also not saying you should start him. (This is me discreetly saying Brian Hoyer, again.)
Marcus Mariota – Yes, his 30.52 fantasy points in Week 5 was tops among all players, but don’t get used to it. Mariota capitalized on a horrible Dolphin defense. That won’t happen again. I’m not going to say that Cleveland’s defense is any better, but I will go out on a limb and say Mariota doesn’t throw another three touchdowns. The Browns may be giving up the fifth-most fantasy points per week to quarterbacks, but they’re also giving up the sixth-most per week to running backs. DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry will be the ones dancing in the endzone in Week 6.
Cameron Meredith – Just because he had one big week and now gets to play a Jags secondary that’s allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per week to wide receivers (26.13 per week), it doesn’t mean he deserves a spot in your lineup. Alshon Jeffery is the number one receiver in Chicago, and the Bears will be doing everything they can to get him the ball this weekend. Meredith may be worth the waiver wire addition, but give it another week before you thrust him into your lineup.