After looking back at Week 5 in Fantasy Football, I start to peer ahead now to Week 6. Only the Vikings and Buccaneers are on byes this week, so you won’t feel as pressed to fill some spots with quality starting options. Minnesota obviously does not offer a lot offensively and outside of Mike Evans, losing a few Buccaneers won’t put major stress on your starting lineups.
-The Browns have allowed an AFC-high 13 TD passes, and Marcus Mariota is coming off a strong outing against a weak Miami secondary. Mariota did flop against the Raiders in Week 3 in another friendly matchup. You may be very tempted to start him, but don’t do it based on matchup only. He has to prove he can build on his Week 5 outing first before you plug him in over another proven starter.
-The Giants offense is struggling, and it doesn’t seemingly get any easier this week against Baltimore’s fifth-ranked pass defense. But the Ravens have allowed nine TD passes and the Giants are a desperate team playing at home, so don’t be surprised to see a temporary turnaround. Start Sterling Shepard with confidence and Eli Manning will be a contrarian DFS play. Bobby Rainey offers more versatility than the injured Shane Vereen and should continue to get serious PPR flex consideration.
-Jordan Howard and Brian Hoyer have quickly gained a lot of Fantasy favor. But in the process, they are also gaining more defensive respect. That really is not a major worry with Howard, who can catch passes to elevate his floor in PPR formats. But Hoyer has run hot and cold in the past, most notably fizzling badly down the stretch with the Browns in 2014, when he threw two TDs and nine interceptions in his last six games. No matter the matchup, Hoyer is a journeyman who can deliver a very bad performance at any time. He did miss a chance to throw a late TD to Alshon Jeffery in the loss to Indianapolis on Sunday, so despite the good numbers recently, he is still capable of making questionable decisions, which can lead to bad performances overall. You should only truly consider him a bye week filler, and there is really not a need to start him in Week 6 in many cases with only Sam Bradford and Jameis Winston idle at QB. It would not shock me to see him disappoint against Jacksonville.
-Davante Parker caught a 50-yard pass against a sturdy Titans pass defense, which is a pretty good sign that he is going to be a notable playmaker going forward. Opposing defenses know they must contain Jarvis Landry, and Parker will get his chances to make plays. Next week Miami hosts the Steelers and their 30th-ranked pass defense, which has allowed 12 TD passes. Parker is a viable WR3 play next week. He’s not always going to be useful when Tannehill faces a stronger defense that doesn’t give him enough time to locate Parker, but I would confidently use him in Week 6.
-After the Bengals were destroyed at Dallas, it does not get any easier at New England next week, As even average fans know, the Patriots do a customarily outstanding job of taking away the opposing team’s best weapon. That means limiting A.J. Green, which both the Steelers and Cowboys have done successfully this year. Tyler Eifert could return in Week 6, which may help Green in terms of getting some more help in the passing game. But New England will cap his upside regardless. Still, don’t entertain any thoughts of benching him, because sometimes marquee matchups could bring out a better performance from a proven superstar like Green.
-The Falcons passed a defensive test at Denver, but another awaits at Seattle. It’s likely Richard Sherman will follow Julio Jones, so he should at least have a respectable outing. As Ryan Fitzpatrick discovered, though, a passer cannot test Sherman too frequently without consequences. Seattle’s defense can be forgiving underneath, however, which bodes pretty well for Tevin Coleman as a pass-catcher, and Matt Ryan can still move the team well enough to throw at least two TD passes. Falcons head coach Dan Quinn was the Seahawks defensive coordinator in their consecutive trips to the Super Bowl and will have some good knowledge of how to attack the defense with some success. Don’t be surprised to see the Falcons roll up a good amount of points at Seattle. The Seahawks defense can still be useful for sacks and a pair of turnovers or so, but they may not keep the point total down enough this week. Don’t be afraid to start Ryan and Coleman based on Seattle’s defensive reputation. Both Atlanta RBs should remain in your lineup, as Devonta Freeman is versatile enough to challenge Seattle as well.
-The Packers have the league’s best run defense, having allowed 42.8 rushing yards per game with just one TD run. In a widely covered matchup, the league’s leading rusher, Ezekiel Elliott, takes on the Pack and we’ll be riveted to see if the Cowboys rookie can bust loose again. Given that Green Bay has been “tested” by the 23rd-ranked or lower ground games of the Jaguars, Vikings (last in the league), Lions and Giants so far, I wouldn’t be too concerned about Elliott delivering at least a respectable outing with another rush TD. Elliott will get a lot of work as the Cowboys try to control the clock, and he will get a few chances to finish off TD drives with scoring chances near the goal line.
-Week 5 was the time for Randall Cobb to prove he can still live up to his billing. Week 6 will be when Lamar Miller’s owners will be watching closely to see if he can finally make good on the preseason hype. The Colts were torn up by Chicago’s Howard, and the Texans need a better running game to take the pressure off an erratic Brock Osweiler. Miller has one game with over 90 rushing yards and no TDs so far. Playing at home in a divisional matchup and with a need to shake off a terrible outing at Minnesota, here is betting Miller has his best game of the season so far in Week 6.