It's Week 6 in the NFL. This week, New Orleans and Detroit are on byes, so be sure to take your Saints and Lions out of your lineups. And while figuring out what to do with your lineups, why don't you let us help you make a few of those tough decisions for you? Here are our calls on 26 players. Good luck!
Quarterbacks - JJ Wenner
START: Andy Dalton, CIN vs PIT - Back in the saddle again for some hot takes! I want to preface this by saying my accuracy with projections is about the same as a Josh Allen pass. However, I am 100% sure about starting the Red Rocket against Pittsburgh this week. Andy’s season has been an awesome sandwich, with three great weeks stuck between two clunkers. Well kids, his season will be a Dagwood, so he is going heap more fixins’ this weekend.
START: Pat Mahomes/Tom Brady, KC at NE - You’re still here? I thought my Blondie references would drive some of you away. I checked the Vegas lines for the o/u and it read, “A Boatload”. The punches will come in bunches this weekend and you will want a piece of both sides. It is like when Beetle and Sarge would go at it, you wanted to root for Beet, but he was so darn lazy.
SIT: Case Keenum, DEN vs LAR - I double dosed you with cartoon references and you have stuck around, will I press my luck? Case Keenum is not good at this quarterbacking thing. The plan was for Denver to have their typical stout defense, so they brought in a game manager who wouldn’t make the big mistake. The Denver D did not cooperate with this plan and have started the year poorly. The Rams’ defense will have him running for his life.
SIT: Derek Carr, OAK vs SEA - Marshawn Lynch and Jalen Richard are going to eat this week against a poor Seattle run defense. Carr will be stuck in neutral as he tries to get this Oakland offense in gear. Park him in your garage and wait for a more favorable matchup.
SIT: Josh Rosen, ARI at MIN - Josh Rosen had the distinction of being the best QB in the 2018 draft with the first name of Josh. Unfortunately, his introduction to the league has been a disaster as the Cardinals are in decline since Bruce Arians retired. I’m not sure if it is the heat or living among millions of retirees, but they seem to have forgotten who David Johnson is and what he is capable of. Until a cure for this offensive Alzheimer’s is found, best leave Rosen on the bench.
Running Backs - Ryan Bickerstaff
START: James White, NE vs. KC - Suddenly the Patriots backfield isn’t such an unpredictable mess. White has stepped up big, emerging as a strong fantasy option since Rex Burkhead went to the IR. Rookie Sony Michel has been getting the bulk of the carries the last few weeks but White has been cleaning house out of the backfield, making 21 receptions over the last three games, with a touchdown in each. This week’s matchup against the Chiefs will likely be a high scoring one with a lot of throwing the football. White should be on the receiving end of several passes.
START: Tarik Cohen, CHI vs. MIA - It may be time to admit that Jordan Howard isn’t the best running back in Chicago. That title may belong to Cohen, the second-year player out of North Carolina A&T. Despite his size, he’s tough to bring down. Plus, he’s a good receiver. The coaches will continue to get the ball in his hands. He seems to be tailor-made for that offensive scheme. Coming of a bye, I think Cohen plays a large role against the suddenly struggling Dolphins this week.
START: Phillip Lindsay, DEN vs. LAR - The Rams can be run on. They’ve looked prone to it this year and the Seahawks proved it last week. I’m willing to give Denver’s showing against the Jets a pass, as they may have been looking ahead to this matchup against the Rams. And I think Denver will play LA tough enough that they aren’t playing from behind the whole game. Lindsay looks like the best running back on the team and has handled the majority of carries in 4* out of 5 games (*him and Royce Freeman both had 15 carries Week 1). It’s about time he finds the endzone, too.
START: Austin Ekeler, LAC vs. CLE - I have a feeling about this one. Melvin Gordon’s “backup” is actually an active contributor on the Chargers offense. He’s a dual threat running back who has roughly the same number of yards on the ground as he does through the air (203 and 207, respectively), and has scored a touchdown in 3 of 5 games this year (2 in a row). This week’s matchup against Cleveland’s defense isn’t ideal but it’s not scaring me off from starting Ekeler.
Sleeper: Nyheim Hines, IND vs. NYJ
SIT: Alex Collins, BAL vs. TEN - To me, one of this year’s most disappointing players in fantasy. Collins has dealt with some fumbling issues and has been benched at times this season because of it. To his credit, he’s scored in 3 of 5 games, but the yardage simply has not been there, plus he’s splitting a lot of snaps with Buck Allen, who has looked like the better player in a few games so far. Their offense might be a mess, but Tennessee’s defense is no joke. The matchup is bad, the player is trending down, and I’m sitting Collins this weekend.
SIT: Adrian Peterson, WAS vs. CAR - The old man has looked like a younger version of himself at times this year, but that wasn’t the case last week against New Orleans (4 carries, 6 yards; 2 receptions, 36 yards) and won’t be again this week against the Panthers defense, which hasn’t been the easiest unit to run on. Add in the fact he’s a little beat up right now, questionable at the time I’m writing this, I’m avoiding Peterson this weekend.
Doghouse: Derrick Henry, TEN vs. BAL - A new category, specifically for the most disappointing players at their positions. This week, Henry is in the doghouse. If he doesn't do something big against Baltimore this week, I'm not just saying to bench him, I'm tempted to cut him outright and try to find a more productive player (shouldn't be too hard).
Wide Receivers - JJ Wenner
START: Keke Coutee, HOU vs BUF - I know I am going to take flak for picking Mahomes and Brady as a Start, so I decided to go a little rogue on the wide receivers. I love you Keke, no need to ask. You are everything that Sig Bloom dreamt you’d be. For the more casual fan, I’ll let you in on a bit of a secret. Keke is an amazing deep threat and is playing in the slot because a hurt hamstring is hampering his top end speed. Basically, you are seeing about 50% of his game. Coutee has performed as a borderline WR1 over the past two weeks and you should expect his role to expand moving forward. (Did I mention he was playing the Bills?)
START: Julian Edelman, NE vs KC - Frankenstein had a solid first game back from his HGH (or whatever TB12 has him taking) suspension. 7 receptions on 9 targets for 57 yards was just the start. Now the wheels are spinning, Julian, and Tom will make beautiful music together moving forward. The Chiefs D played well last week, but they can’t handle the nastiness of Edelman in the slot. Expect one of many big days to occur this Sunday night.
START: Dede Westbrook, JAX at DAL - I believe in Blake Bortles...is something that I will never say in my life. I was not a fan of Dede until he broke out against the Jets. It’s funny what 13 targets will do to a stat line. Jacksonville must get the ball to their most talented players and Dede is in that group with TJ Yeldon and Keelan Cole. The only thing stopping this team is Bortles. If he can be ok, Dede will have a great game against the Cowboys.
SIT: Doug Baldwin, SEA at OAK - Doug is my favorite Baldwin brother, so I don’t want you to take this recommendation personally. He is playing a ton of snaps considering his injuries, 76% vs ARI and 88% vs LAR, but not posting numbers. I think this might be his breakout game, but it may not happen. The Hawks have a bye after this week and you should expect Doug to 100% against the Lions in Week 8.
SIT: Corey Davis, TEN vs BAL - Tennessee is the team I care the least about in the whole NFL. Mariota is a train wreck, incapable of stringing together solid games/seasons. Every offseason, experts throw out platitudes about how great he will be, and then he is middle of the pack. Their running game had me excited with Derrick Henry, then they add Dion Lewis and make Henry their RB2. Delanie Walker is on IR after a gruesome injury. If I have to hear about how great Corey Davis one more time without seeing back-to-back productive weeks, I am going to scream. Plus, what kind of name is Corey Davis. If I have to pick between Keke, Corey, and Dede, I’m skipping Corey every time.
SIT: Cole Beasley, DAL vs JAX - Cole Beasley is the best WRWR* in the league. That fact has not helped him perform up to expectations this year. I thought Ryan Switzer might breakout this year, before I realized he and Cole Beasley are two different players and Switzer was traded. Dak has disappointed as Scott Linehan has brought his brand of boring offense to town. I’m not sure if Dak is this bad, but it is not looking good for any Cowboy WR this year. It is almost like they need a vocal and talented WR who can catch contested balls and is a physical freak. Hmm? How could they possibly get one of those on the team? Gallup has disappointed as the team relies on Zeke to put up yards. Avoid Cole against the best defense in the league.
*White Rapping Wide Receiver
Tight Ends - Michael Klos
START: Austin Hooper, ATL vs. TB – Last week, Hooper collected 9 passes for 77 yards against the Steelers defense. Twelve targets were the most he’s seen all year, as Matt Ryan constantly looked for his safety valve while checking down. If you picked up Hooper because of Trey Burton’s bye week or you needed a replacement for OJ Howard, you’re still starting the Atlanta tight end this week. The Bucs have given up the most points to the Tight End position over four weeks.
START: Jimmy Graham, GB vs. SF – Graham saw a season-high 11 targets last Sunday, mostly because the Packers had to ramp up their passing offense in a negative game script against the Lions. Graham could have had 2 scores on the day, but missed his opportunities. He’s still a remarkable red-zone threat and should put up Top 5 numbers against the 49ers.
START: Cameron Brate, TB vs. ATL – Jameis loves his tight ends, most notably Brate. In the last two years, Winston and Brate hooked up for 14 scores and the pair should add to the numbers this week. He’s coming off two straight games with a touchdown and I’m confidently starting him, even when Howard returns.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Griffin, HOU vs. BUF – I like seeing the Houston TE with 9 targets in an OT win, and that was against a passing defense that has been good defending the tight end position. Might be a sneaky play against Buffalo.
SIT: Ricky Seals-Jones, AZ vs. MIN – I can’t trust any part of the Cardinals’ offense not named David Johnson (and even that’s a stretch this year.) Seals-Jones did draw 6 targets but couldn’t catch a single pass from Rosen. Add the Minnesota defense into the mix and I’ll pass on any Cardinal tight end this week.
SIT: C.J. Uzomah, CIN vs. PIT – It seems like everything is lining up for Uzomah this week. The Steelers are giving up points to the tight end position. Tyler Kroft is dealing with a foot injury. Still, I don’t trust Uzomah this week because of the return of Joe Mixon. If you own Uzomah, have him ride the pine this week and see what you got. If he plays well, you can always start him against the Chiefs and Buccaneers in week 7 and 8 respectively.
SIT: Any Baltimore Ravens Tight End vs. TEN – Nick Boyle, Hayden Hurst, Mark Andrews and Maxx Williams are all competing for targets, and there isn’t a clear #1 on the depth chart. Stay away from this timeshare.