Week 6 Start Them-Sit Them
By Steve Schwarz, Fantasy Sports Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - We have put together our weekly "Start Them-Sit Them" list so you will know what to do with your fantasy lineup. Obviously, if Arian Foster, Roddy White and Tom Brady aren't walking with crutches, or on a bye, you are going to start them.
This list targets the borderline players whom fantasy owners aren't sure whether to play or sit.
There are four teams on bye this week - Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville, New Orleans.
Oakland at Atlanta
Start - Carson Palmer, Darren McFadden, Denarius Moore, Brandon Myers, Sebastian Janikowski
Start - Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez, Matt Bryant, Falcons defense
Comments - The Falcons may be 5-0, but they have proven to be vulnerable against the run, yielding 142.8 ypg. This could be an opportunity for McFadden to shine with the added bonus that it keeps the ball away from Atlanta's potent offense. Ryan has proven to be very "Peyton Manning-like" in not focusing in on any one receiver, but feeding the open guy. That's great for the quarterback's numbers, but makes it tough on fantasy owners as he features a different receiver each week. Turner has played well in his reduced role, making the most of his 14.6 carries-per-game (18.8 attempts-per-game last season) and is a must start.
Dallas at Baltimore
Start - Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Dan Bailey
Start - Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin, Justin Tucker
Comments - Despite loads of talent at the skill positions, the Cowboys are averaging just 16.2 ppg - 30th among 32 teams. The reason is a beat up offensive line, but the good news is that they seem to be getting a little healthier. The Ravens have just nine sacks this season and if Haloti Ngata doesn't play (questionable with a shoulder injury) it would make the Cowboy's job a lot easier. Flacco has been great at home (QB rating 106.5) and poor on the road (QB rating 62.4). The rise in Boldin's performances over the past two weeks has had the reverse effect on tight end Dennis Pitta's numbers.
Cincinnati at Cleveland
Start - Andy Dalton, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, A.J. Green, Andrew Hawkins, Bengals defense
Start - Trent Richardson
Comments - Green-Ellis is on pace for 960 yards and six touchdowns, but more was expected when he took over the workhorse role in Cincinnati. An opportunity against the weak Browns run defense (142.4 ypg) may give his fantasy owners hope for improvement. Hawkins is still getting more than six targets-per-game and is still a viable fantasy option during the bye weeks. Richardson is the only Browns' player worth starting, but keep a watchful eye on youngster Josh Gordon. He had a two-touchdown game last weekend and could become the Browns go-to receiver down the road.
St. Louis at Miami
Start - Sam Bradford, Steven Jackson, Brandon Gibson, Greg Zuerlein
Start - Ryan Tannehill, Reggie Bush, Brian Hartline
Comments - Jackson has been hampered by a groin problem, but isn't on the injury list for the first time since Week 2 and is worthy of a start even against a Miami defense ranked No. 1 against the run. Gibson takes over as the No. 1 receiver in Danny Amendola's absence. Bush has only had one big day this season, in Week 2, but as long as he is healthy you have to play him. The Tannehill-to-Hartline combination returned to earth last weekend, but both are still viable fantasy options.
Indianapolis at New York Jets
Start - Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne, Adam Vinatieri
Start - none
Comments - Luck has thrown for 1,208 yards, 7 TDs, 5 INTs. By comparison, in the first four games of Manning's career he threw for 992 yards, 3 TDs and 11 INTs. Wayne leads the NFL in targets with 60 in four games. While the Colts have been vulnerable to the run, the Jets' offense has yet to prove they have any fantasy-worthy players. Running back Bilal Powell played more snaps than Shonn Greene for the second straight week Monday night, but neither should be started.
Detroit at Philadelphia
Start - Matthew Stafford, Mikel Leshoure, Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Brandon Pettigrew, Jason Hanson
Start - Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek, Alex Henery
Comments - The Lions have had a week off to get healthy and prepare for the Eagles. Detroit is second in passing yards-per-game (322) yet fantasy owners have been disappointed with Stafford because he's thrown three touchdown passes. Philadelphia's defense has just seven sacks in five games, so unless they start blitzing, Stafford should be able to throw early and often. The Lions' defense is ranked ninth overall (315.8 ypg), but giving up 28.5 ppg due to bad special teams play. Jackson and Maclin have yet to play well in the same game, but they may need to this Sunday in what should be a high-scoring affair.
Kansas City at Tampa Bay
Start - Jamaal Charles
Start - Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson
Comments - With Matt Cassel sidelined the Chiefs will obviously feature the running game and Charles, but the Bucs know that too and they are ranked No.4 against the run (73.8 ypg). Brady Quinn will be the new Kansas City starting quarterback this week which is why you don't see Dwayne Bowe's name on the list. In 12 career starts, Quinn has produced just three fantasy-worthy performances. Martin may yield a few more carries to LeGarrette Blount, but he's still the correct play. While Mike Williams has improved his play this season, Week 4's big game (4-115-0) was probably more mirage than a new reality. He's only being targeted 5.5 times per game and averaging 2.25 receptions which is not a viable level.
Buffalo at Arizona
Start - Ryan Fitzpatrick, Scott Chandler
Start - Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts
Comments - We're still not sure how the Bills will divide their running game between Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, but the Cardinals are 3-0 at home and yielding just 15.6 ppg so we're not excited about either back. If forced by the bye week situation we would choose Spiller. After three consecutive weeks with a touchdown to start the season, wideout Stevie Johnson has struck out the last two weeks and now faces a tough assignment in Patrick Peterson. Chandler has four touchdowns this season and with Johnson covered by Peterson we like him to reach the end zone again this Sunday. The Cardinals' backfield is a complete mess to be avoided, but wideouts Fitzgerald and Roberts are viable options.
New England at Seattle
Start - Tom Brady, Stevan Ridley, Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Rob Gronkowski, Stephen Gostkowski
Start - Marshawn Lynch
Comments - Aaron Hernandez might return this week, but he certainly won't be 100 percent. Meanwhile, Welker has exploded since Hernandez's injury. While we're not sure what each of their roles will be down the road, we think for this week at least, Welker will continue to see double-digit targets. Seattle will start the game by running Lynch and finish the game the same way if things go their way. He's the Seahawks best (read only) option and serves two purposes - moving the ball and keeping Brady on the bench. This is one of those rare weeks when you shouldn't start the Seahawks defense at home.
New York Giants at San Francisco
Start - Eli Manning, Ahmad Bradshaw, Victor Cruz, Lawrence Tynes
Start - Alex Smith, Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, David Akers
Comments - Bradshaw comes off a 200-yard week, but the reality of playing the 49ers' run defense will quickly bring his fantasy owners back down to earth. The Giants will move the ball primarily via Manning's arm. Victor Cruz is the only sure fantasy value for the Giants receiving corps unless Hakeem Nicks and Martellus Bennett, both likely game-time decisions, are active. If neither play, Domenik Hixon and Rueben Randle have low-end fantasy value. Gore owners who worried about Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James and Brandon Jacobs taking away opportunities have seen that their concerns were greatly overblown as Gore has posted double-digit fantasy points in four of five outings. If forced by the bye weeks, you could do a lot worse than starting Smith against a Giants' pass defense allowing 261.4 ypg.
Minnesota at Washington
Start - Christian Ponder, Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, Kyle Rudolph
Start - Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris, Fred Davis
Comments - To date, everybody has been successful throwing against the Redskins' secondary and Ponder will be too. Rudolph has four touchdown catches in the last four games. Griffin seems over his mild concussion, but we expect him to run a little less this week to protect himself, no matter what the coaching staff says. Pierre Garcon is still bothered by his foot injury and the remainder of Washington's wideouts are too inconsistent. Davis is the team leader in targets and should continue as such. Short passes to the tight end have the added bonus of keeping your quarterback, the one just getting over a concussion, healthier.
Green Bay at Houston
Start - Aaron Rodgers, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Mason Crosby
Start - Matt Schaub, Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, Shayne Graham
Comments - Greg Jennings has said he doesn't want to come back until he's 100 percent so we think he'll sit out another week. That decision makes Jones a solid receiving option off consecutive two-touchdown games. Jermichael Finley is blaming "lack of chemistry" for his low production, but we think it's dropped passes. Johnson has been disappointing over the past two weeks, but the Texans are going to have to put points on the board this week against the Packers. Daniels has touchdown receptions in Houston's last three games and leads the team in targets (33).
Denver at San Diego
Start - Peyton Manning, Willis McGahee, DeMaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Matt Prater
Start - Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews, Malcom Floyd, Antonio Gates, Nick Novak
Comments - Week 6 should finish with a shootout in San Diego between two excellent passers. Manning is fourth in the league with 1,499 yards, including three consecutive 300-yard games. He's thrown for 11 touchdowns against three interceptions - all in the first quarter against the Falcons. Willis McGahee has 11 catches in the past two games. He's on pace for a career-high reception total. Except for an ugly game against Atlanta, Rivers has been solid this season. We expect to see him use Gates much more in this game as the Broncos excellent corners (Champ Bailey and Tracy Porter) could give Floyd and Robert Meachem a tough time. Fantasy owners were happy to see Mathews emerge from coach Norv Turner's doghouse and perform well. He should return to being a top running back option.
10/12 13:14:35 ET