by Thomas Russo and Jason Li
Start ‘em, Sit ‘em Week 6
**Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with the NFL in any way and this article simply contains the opinions of select students.
Top 3 Starts at QB
Cam Newton vs. Saints: If Cam clears the concussion protocol and is good to go this week, he has the perfect match-up to get back to putting up points like Cam. The Saints defense has continued its abysmal play from last season, and its secondary has injuries throughout. There may be no easier team to throw against this year. If Cam is cleared to go, get him in your lineups.
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Dolphins: Big Ben has been absolutely dominant this year. Discounting his Week 3 game against the Eagles, Roethlisberger has thrown for at least 250 yards and 3 TDs. The last two weeks he has thrown for no fewer than 300 yards and 4 TDs. Now, he gets a Dolphin defense that has been anything but stout against the pass.
Marcus Mariota vs. Browns: Mariota is coming off a career day where he posted an impressive 30.52 fantasy points. Now, he gets to play a Browns’ defense allowing 20.2 fantasy points per game to QBs. That’s one of the worst marks in the league. Mariota has a great chance to build on last week’s strong performance.
Top 3 Sits at QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Cardinals: There was a moment where it seemed as though Fitzmagic had returned to us. That time was Thursday Night in Week 2. The past 3 weeks have been more like Fitztragic, as his point totals over those games are equal to 21.76. He had 21.06 points in Week 2. With Fitzpatrick throwing 9 interceptions against 2 TDs the last 3 weeks, and facing one of the top defenses in the league, Fitz should be nowhere near your lineup this week.
Eli Manning vs. Ravens: There has been no greater disappointment this season than the New York Giants’ offense, and that has a lot to do with the struggles of Eli Manning. After throwing 3 TDs in the season opener, Eli has only thrown 2 since. Now he gets a Ravens’ pass defense that has been sneaky good this year. Given his recent struggles, Eli should be on the bench this week.
Colin Kaepernick vs. Bills: Yes, Kaep is back. But, he now has a new coach, and he gets to face a stout defense from the Bills to start his attempt at rejuvenation. Given how difficult it was for him to actually get the starting job, it would seem to be a safe assumption that the 49ers aren’t very hopeful about him. Let’s wait a week and see if the 2012 Kaep we loved is really back.
Top 3 Starts at RB
Ezekiel Elliott vs. Packers: Normally, I would be adverse to starting a RB against a front like Green Bay’s, but this is a special exception. Jerry Jones is grinning from ear to ear about his first round pick, and so are his fantasy owners. The league’s leading rusher has had no fewer than 11 fantasy point in a week this season, and his point totals have actually risen each week he’s played. While it’s unlikely that trend will continue indefinitely, Zeke is quickly becoming a must-start week-in and week-out.
DeMarco Murray vs. Browns: Speaking of rejuvenated careers, Murray seems to have found his old self in Tennessee, and Mike Mularkey has not shied away from using him. With Murray having scored a minimum of 13 fantasy points each game against solid defenses, it is time to take him seriously. Get him in the game this week against one of the worst defenses in football.
Le’Veon Bell vs. Dolphins: Oh, how the mighty have fallen. It doesn’t seem to make sense that a defensive front consisting of Ndamakong Suh, Cameron Wake, and Mario Williams could struggle at stopping the run, but this is what is happening in Miami. With the Dolphins giving up an average of 16 points to RBs, and Bell looking like the best RB in fantasy, you should start him (and all your other Steelers) with confidence.
Top 3 Sits at RB
Jeremy Hill vs. Patriots: As has been the case his entire career, Hill has once again found that the only way he can get any of his owners fantasy points is through TDs. That alone makes him a risky option to start any week. Now he gets to meet a tough Patriot run defense in Week 6. It also doesn’t help that Tom Brady will likely be slinging it all afternoon, so the Bengals could easily fall behind–meaning Hill out, Bernard in. You should do the same: Hill out, someone else in.
Legarrette Blount vs. Bengals: For many of the same reasons, you should sit Hill apply to Blount. While he had a great start to the year, things immediately cooled off last week with the return of Tom Brady. With Brady back, the Pats won’t be running the ball nearly as much, and it is very likely that Bellitricks won’t be far behind, meaning it’s time for that time-honored tradition of the Patriot RB committee. This means Blount will likely become more of a match-up based starter, and this is not the match-up to start him in.
Matt Forte vs. Cardinals: It was great to see Forte come out of the gates flying this season, but as expected, the wear is beginning to show. With the clear talent of Bilal Powell in the backfield, it’s likely the dreaded committee is coming to Gang Green. This means decreased opportunities for Forte. That definitely does not bode well for his stat line against the vaunted Cardinal defense. There are likely better options out there this week.
Top 3 Starts at WR
Jeremy Maclin vs. Raiders: Up to this point, no team has given up more fantasy points to opposing WRs than the Oakland Raiders. That is great news for one Jeremy Maclin, who is far and away the best WR for the Kansas City Chiefs this week. Considering the sheer number of targets he’s getting from Alex Smith and how terrible the Raider secondary is, this should be a big week for Maclin.
DeAndre Hopkins vs. Colts: Many people have disappointed, maybe even downright infuriated with the performance of DeAndre Hopkins so far this year. It’s likely you invested a first overall pick in him (unless you’re like me and traded to get him from the guy who took him in the first round), and so far have not been getting the returns you had been hoping for. Well fear not Nuk owners, because this week Hopkins gets a banged up Colts secondary which has been anything but spectacular against WRs this season. Start Nuk with confidence this week.
Larry Fitzgerald vs. Jets: Nothing has saddened us more this season than watching the decline of Darrelle Revis. Prior to this year, Revis seemed to be entering the conversation for best DB of all time. Now it is becoming a weekly occurrence where the artist formally known as “Revis Island” is being torched for long TDs. This is a gold mine waiting to be exploited by Larry Fitzgerald, and given the fact Revis no longer is following the top wideout wherever he goes, Fitz should be in for a monster night against the Jets.
Top 3 Sits at WR
Brandon Marshall vs. Cardinals: Unlike Revis, Patrick Peterson seems to have not lost a step. This week, he will likely be following B Marsh around the field. Now, Marshall seemed to do pretty well two weeks ago against Richard Sherman, until Ryan Fitzpatrick started throwing more interceptions. It’s likely the man they are now calling Sixpatrick (see Week 4 vs. Kansas City Chiefs) will be having a rough go in the desert on Monday night, which means bad news for Marshall.
Golden Tate vs. Rams: Remember this off-season when everyone was saying that Golden Tate would be the successor to Calvin Johnson. Well, it seems as though everyone was wrong. Tate is not playing at nearly the level to be considered anything more than a match-up based flier. This is definitely not the match-up to take a flier on him. This Rams’ defense has been good this season, and while Matt Stafford has been hot, we would not be willing to risk it on Tate this week.
Doug Baldwin vs. Falcons: This one may seem like a stretch but hear me out. Desmond Trufant is rapidly emerging as one of the best CBs in football. That’s strike one. Strike two is that the “Awakening” is real, and Christine Michael will be getting the football a lot. Finally, Russell Wilson is still not 100% healthy. Three strikes, and you’re out of our lineup, Mr. Baldwin.
Top TE to Start
Delanie Walker vs. Browns: It seems as though there are two things you can count on in football: the Browns defense will allow big points, and Delanie Walker will consistently put up fantasy points. Take those two together, and you have what we like to call a must-start.
Top TE to Sit
Eric Ebron vs. Rams: While Ebron has had some good days this year, he has continued to be his typically wildly inconsistent self. Couple that with a Rams’ defense giving up the bare minimum when it comes to points, and you know that there are better options out there at TE.