After 5 weeks of football it’s getting a little easier to separate the real from the fake, the players you can trust from the players you cannot. Guys like Devonta Freeman, Dion Lewis, and Gary Barnidge can not be considered one week wonders any longer and are must starts every week. While on the opposite end of the spectrum there are players like Jeremy Hill, C.J. Anderson, and Jordan Matthews who had huge success last season but have not lived up to the billing thus far. The hardest decision each week with fantasy football lineups is trusting the unknown breakout players of the year or the known perceived fantasy star who hasn’t gotten on track this season. Lets get to this week’s start/sit and decipher the chaos that is fantasy football.
Fantasy Football Start/Sit – Week #6
Start – Carson Palmer vs Steelers
The Arizona Cardinals offense and QB Carson Palmer have coasted through the first 5 weeks of the NFL season and the offense should continue to roll this week against a sub par Pittsburgh Steelers defense. Palmer has passed for over 300+ yards in 3 out his 5 starts. In the other 2 games he only passed for 346 yards but totaled 7 touchdowns in those games making him an easy start each and every week. Palmer’s consistency is just what a fantasy owner needs in such an inconsistent league and this week’s matchup will not hinder the Cardinals QB one bit as you should expect at least a Top 10 quarterback performance and more than likely Palmer finishes in the Top 5. Opposing QBs have thrown for over a 70% completion rate and 100 QB rating against the Steelers secondary. Start Palmer.
Notables – Eli Manning vs Eagles, Sam Bradford vs Giants, Andy Dalton vs Bills
Sit – Josh McCown vs Broncos
Fantasy football darling Josh McCown gets a tough matchup this week against the top rated Denver Broncos defense with a chance to prove he is matchup proof. Over the last 3 weeks McCown has gone bananas making him a fantasy football waiver add by averaging a robust 384.7 yards per game over his last three outings. Those of you who added the career journeyman need to pump their breaks against a stingy Broncos defense that has yet to have a QB throw for multiple TDs against them while leading the NFL with 22 sacks. Opposing QBs have a total of 3 touchdowns and 7 interceptions with 3 fumbles. Keep McCown on your bench this week.
Notables – Cam Newton vs Seahawks, Alex Smith vs Vikings
Start – Giovanni Bernard vs Bills
Coming into the 2015 season the Bengals hoped to have continued their hard nose ground pounding success they enjoyed with Jeremy Hill last season. Although the Bengals have had success winning their first 5 games it has not been Hill carrying the load but Giovanni Bernard reclaiming his running back spot out-snapping Hill 212 to 130. Bernard has now out-snapped Hill in 3 of the last 4 games including last week’s come back win against the Seahawks where he played in 62 of the Bengals 79 offensive snaps. Not only is Bernard out snapping Hill but he is also thoroughly out playing him averaging 5.5 yards per carry compared to Hill’s 3.0. The only downfall to Gio’s fantasy outlook is the fact he has only 1 touchdown thus far but his usage rate within the Bengals offense makes it just a matter of time until he cashes in with TDs. The Bills defense has been stout against the run this season ranking third overall but has not had the same success against backs that can catch the ball out of the backfield. Look for Bernard to get a half dozen catches and be the back to start against the Bills defense this week.
Notables – Arian Foster vs Jaguars, CJ Anderson vs Browns
Sit – Isaiah Crowell vs Broncos
Another sit for the Cleveland Browns against a Broncos defense that has been stingy against both the pass and run. Isaiah Crowell has continued to lose snaps to explosive rookie Duke Johnson and with the Broncos coming to town having given up the second most catches to the RB position, Johnson’s ability as a receiver out of the backfield should be the play over Crowell this week. Not only has Crowell been average as a runner this season with only 3.9 yards per carry but he is also dealing with a toe injury that should limit his fantasy success.
Notables – Alfred Morris vs Jets, Jonathan Stewart vs Seahawks
Start – Anquan Boldin vs Ravens
The 49ers number 1 receiver Anquan Boldin has had an up and down season thus far due to the fact his quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been inconsistent while being unable to throw the ball outside of the hashes. So why am I recommending starting Boldin this week? It has everything to do with his former team the Baltimore Ravens, particularly the Ravens secondary. The Ravens defense as a whole has been a shell of its their former self but last week was an all time low for them giving up 457 passing yards to Josh McCown and a Browns receiving core that you would be hard pressed to name their starting receivers. Yes, the 49ers offense has been just as atrocious as the Ravens defense this season but they showed some promise last week against the Giants defense with Boldin catching 8 of his 12 targets for 107 yards and a TD. While the Ravens defense has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing QBs and the second most fantasy points to opposing WRs. Start Boldin in a revenge game against the Ravens.
Notables – Mike Wallace vs Chiefs, Allen Hurns vs Texans, James Jones vs Chargers, John Brown vs Steelers
Sit – Pierre Garcon vs Jets
The sit of Pierre Garcon is two fold as he will probably get a heavy dose of Revis Island this week coupled with the fact that his QB Kirk Cousins is unable to push the ball down the field over 10 yards. It was expected that Garcon would emerge as the go to guy in the offense with the injury to DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed but the lack of big plays in the Redskins offense has put a damper on Garcon’s fantasy value. I do not recommend starting Garcon this week as the Jets defense which ranks second in passing yards per game allowed at 185.5 boast elite talent in the secondary with not only Revis and Antonio Cromartie but underrated slot CB Buster Skrine.
Notables – Sammy Watkins vs Bengals, Travis Benjamin vs Broncos
Start – Antonio Gates vs Packers
How can you go wrong with starting Antonio Gates after his exciting return last week catching 9 passes for 92 yards and 2 touchdowns? Even though Gates is facing a tougher matchup against the Packers this week you need to put the red zone monster in your lineup. In what can become a shootout at Lambeau field look for the Chargers to be in passing mode with Phillip Rivers targeting his buddy, the ageless Gates.
Notables – Gary Barnidge vs Broncos, Julius Thomas vs Texans
Sit – Charles Clay vs Bengals
Charles Clay ranks 5th at the tight end position in fantasy football but will be without his starting QB Tyrod Taylor in a tough matchup against the Bengals defense. The Bengals D has been outstanding against the tight end position not giving up a double digit TE since Week 7 of last season and has only allowed 1 TD to a TE in that 15 game span. Clay is not a safe play this week with a groin injury limiting him in practice and E.J. Manuel as his quarterback.
Notables – Larry Donnell vs Eagles, Kyle Rudolph vs Chiefs
Start – Vikings D vs Chiefs
Vikings are coming off of a bye week at home against a Chiefs offense without Jamaal Charles. Start the Vikings D against Alex Smith and company.
Sit – Colts D vs Patriots
The Patriots have owned the Colts recently clobbering them on the ground with LeGarrette Blount the last two playoff matchups, but this game will be about Bill Belichick and Tom Brady sticking it to the Colts after the deflate gate scandal which took place in their playoff matchup last season.