We had another great week of games in week 5, but those games are now overshadowed by all the injuries coming out of last week. Where do I even begin with the injuries? How about the overall number-one pick in most fantasy drafts, Justin Jefferson, injuring his hamstring? Now he is out for at least four weeks. I would be careful with Jefferson because if the Vikings keep losing, then he may be out longer with no need for the team to rush him back. We had a scare with a non-contact injury to Travis Kelce in the same game, but at least he was able to come back in and should play this week. James Conner injured his knee last week and was placed on IR this week, and the biggest surprise injury to me was the De’Von Achane knee injury; he is now also on IR. I did not even hear about Achane getting injured during the game last week until Monday afternoon. So, I hope everyone was able to put in a lot of waiver claims this week to find some possible replacements for these fantasy football stars. Now that Week 5 is in the books (thank goodness at this point), we can turn the page to Week 6 and look at who to start and sit this week.
Just a friendly reminder that these two teams are on bye this week: the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers.
The season can be a grind at times from doing waiver claims to looking at rankings and then finally deciding who to start. It can seem difficult, but that is where the staff at DrRoto.com comes in to help you. We have everything you need to make the tough decisions here in one place. I will be writing this start/sit article each week to help you make the tough lineup decisions. You can also join our members-only Discord channel and ask us personalized questions anytime you want on there.
Keep in mind before I get into my starts and sits this week that certain players should always be in your starting lineup. Please don’t try to get cute and sit the likes of Justin Jefferson, Christian McCaffrey or Patrick Mahomes. They are in your lineup regardless of matchups. The decisions I am here to help you with are for the players drafted in the middle to late rounds of your draft. These players could be an RB2, a flex play or might end up on the waiver wire eventually. So, let’s get started with week 5 starts and sits.
Week 6 Quarterback Starts
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
I already know what you are thinking: why would Kirk Cousins be a start this week with the news of Justin Jefferson missing the next four weeks with a hamstring injury? The answer is that it is the Chicago Bears and their porous pass defense that Cousins gets to play this week. I am not sure if anyone realizes this, but Cousins is actually QB4 in fantasy through the first five weeks of the season. He has completed 67.2% of his passes for 1,498 yards, 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He still has some nice weapons in T.J. Hockenson, Jordan Addison, and K.J, Osborn to throw to this week. Also, the Bears’ defense ranks 30th in total yards allowed and 32nd in passing yards allowed so far this year. I expect Cousins to have a nice game this week, even without Justin Jefferson.
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings
I realize the two quarterbacks in my start column face each other this week, so this game is going to be a shootout in my opinion. Justin Fields is coming off a career game versus the Washington Commanders last week, and he is currently the QB3 on the season. He has completed 61.8% of his passes for 1,143 yards, 11 touchdowns, and five interceptions. He has also added 191 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown so far this season. It also helps that the Vikings’ defense ranks 24th in passing yards allowed, 14th in rushing yards allowed, and 21st in total yards allowed through the first five games this season. I expect Fields to have a nice game with both his passing and rushing ability on display in this game.
Week 6 Quarterback Sits
Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns vs. San Fransico 49ers
Deshaun Watson is day to day with a bruised rotator cuff in his right throwing shoulder, but even if he did not have the injury, he would still be a sit for me this week. Watson has struggled so far this season. He has completed 63.7% of his passes for 678 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions, which puts him at QB26 on the season. He also has to face the vaunted 49ers’ defense this week. The 49ers’ defense ranks 13th in passing yards allowed and fourth in total yards allowed through the first five weeks of the season. I expect Watson or whoever ends up playing quarterback for the Browns this week to be under pressure constantly, which will lead to a few turnovers and a bad fantasy week.
Jared Goff, Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When Jared Goff is at home in the dome, sign me up every week. When Jared Goff is on the road and facing a top-five defense, no thank you. I will find someone else with a better matchup to play this week. Goff has been having a very nice fantasy season so far. He has completed 69.8% of his passes for 1,265 yards, nine touchdowns, and three interceptions, which puts him at QB11 through the first five weeks of the season. It does not help that the Buccaneers’ defense ranks fourth in passing yards allowed and second in total yards allowed this season. I realize they have played one less game than most teams so far this season, but their defense has played well. I have one rule when it comes to Goff: Never start him on the road, as he will disappoint you with a subpar fantasy performance, even if the Lions win the game somehow.
Week 6 Running Back Starts
Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins vs. Carolina Panthers
Raheem Mostert is back in the number one spot on the running back depth chart for the Dolphins this week. De’Von Achane is on IR, so expect Mostert to carry the running back workload in his absence. Even with Achane blowing up the last three weeks, Mostert has managed to remain relevant in fantasy as the RB2 in PPR leagues so far this season. He has managed 314 rushing yards, 15 receptions for 128 yards, and eight total touchdowns through the first five weeks of the season. He gets a nice matchup against a Panthers defense that ranks 26th in rushing yards allowed and 15th in total yards allowed. I can easily see Mostert having 150 total yards, four receptions, and one touchdown this week.
Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos
Isiah Pacheco draws the best running back matchup of the week on paper. He gets to face the Broncos’ defense, which ranks 32nd in both passing yards and total yards allowed so far this season. On the season, Pacheco ranks as the RB13 in PPR scoring with 325 rushing yards, 11 receptions for 99 yards, and three total touchdowns. I expect Pacheco to have over 150 rushing yards and one touchdown in this game.
Week 6 Running Back Sits
Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans vs. New Orleans Saints
Dameon Pierce gets a tough matchup this week against the New Orleans Saints’ defense. Pierce has been struggling so far this season, but it is not entirely his fault, as the Texans’ offensive line has not been healthy. Pierce is currently the PPR RB24 with 247 rushing yards, nine receptions for 84 yards, and one touchdown. He gets a Saints defense that ranks 10th in rushing yards allowed and fifth in total yards allowed so far this season. I can see the Saints stopping the run and making C.J. Stroud beat them passing the football.
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens
Derrick Henry has been struggling so far this season. He is not the same player he was two years ago before the Lisfranc injury. Henry is currently the RB15 in PPR scoring with 328 rushing yards, nine receptions for 101 yards, and two touchdowns. Henry will face a tough Ravens defense in Week 6. The Ravens’ defense ranks ninth in rushing yards allowed and third in total yards allowed, so expect Henry to have a disappointing game overseas in the international game this week.
Week 6 Wide Receiver Starts
Zay Flowers, Baltimore Ravens vs. Tennessee Titans
If you are going to beat this tough Titans defense, you will have to do it through the passing attack. The Titans’ defense ranks 25th in passing yards allowed and 18th in total yards allowed. The rookie Flowers has been fantastic so far this season. He is currently the WR34 with 29 receptions on 40 targets for 317 yards. I expect the Ravens to throw the ball a lot in this game, and that means Flowers should see plenty of targets, so hopefully, he will be a WR2 this week.
Jordan Addison, Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Jordan Addison and K.J. Osborn will be the main beneficiaries of the Justin Jefferson injury. These two receivers will pick up most of the targets that Jefferson would have received on a weekly basis. I like the rookie Addison a little more because he is more explosive and can hit a big play at any time. He is currently ranked as the PPR WR31 with 19 receptions on 29 targets for 249 yards and three touchdowns. It also helps him this week that the Bears’ defense ranks 30th in total yards allowed and 32nd in passing yards allowed so far this year. I am excited to see what Addison can do as the team’s WR1 this week.
Week 6 Wide Receiver Sits
Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns vs. San Fransico 49ers
Amari Cooper is in a tough spot with an injured quarterback who may or may not play this week and the 49ers’ defense as the opponent this week. Two weeks ago, Cooper had one of his worst games as a pro with backup quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson filling in as the starting quarterback. He finished that week four game with one reception on six targets for 16 yards. If Watson does not play this week, I would expect much of the same, even if the Browns turn to P.J. Walker instead of Thompson-Robinson. The 49ers’ defense ranks 13th in passing yards allowed and fourth in total yards allowed through the first five weeks of the season. So, they will be a tough matchup for Cooper and any of the quarterbacks that might play for the Browns this week. I believe Cooper is in for a long day. He may see a lot of targets, but not many receptions or yards this week.
Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders at Atlanta Falcons
Terry McLaurin will draw a tough matchup this week against the Falcons’ top cornerback, A.J. Terrell. Terrell had a down year last season, but he has returned to his shutdown form so far this season. He should shadow McLaurin for most of this game. McLaurin has had a nice start to the season with 25 receptions on 31 targets for 261 yards and one touchdown. That ranks him as WR28 in PPR scoring on the season. The Falcons have played great defense so far this season, as they rank eighth in passing yards allowed and ninth in total yards allowed through the first five weeks of the season. McLaurin will see some targets from Sam Howell, but probably not enough to be a top fantasy contributor this week.
Week 6 Tight End Starts
Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams
Zach Ertz gets a great matchup against a Rams defense that struggles to stop opposing tight ends on a weekly basis right now. Last week, Dallas Goedert had a big game against the Rams’ defense, piling up eight receptions on nine targets for 117 yards and one touchdown. I can definitely see Ertz putting up similar numbers this week against the Rams as well. So far on the season, Ertz is ranked as the TE15 in PPR scoring with 22 receptions on 34 targets for 146 yards and one touchdown. I believe Ertz will finish this week as a top-10 fantasy option at tight end.
Jake Ferguson, Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers
This start decision is just a feeling I have that Jake Ferguson is going to have a nice game this week. He is having a solid season as the TE14 in PPR scoring, with 20 receptions on 28 targets for 175 yards and one touchdown. The Chargers’ defense has not been good so far this season, as they rank 23rd in passing yards allowed and 13th in total yards allowed through the first five weeks of the season. I can see Ferguson making a couple of big plays this week.
Week 6 Tight End Sits
Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons vs. Washington Commanders
I know Kyle Pitts finally had a good game last week, but can he do it two weeks in a row? The Falcons’ coaching staff finally got him more involved in the game plan, and it paid off for him. Pitts had a solid seven receptions on 11 targets for 87 yards last week, but I don’t think he can repeat or better those numbers this week against the Commanders. The Commanders’ defense has played well against the tight end position this year, except for last week against the Bears and Cole Kmet. On the season, the Commanders’ defense is ranked 22nd in passing yards allowed. If the Falcons’ coaching staff gets Pitts involved early in the game, then maybe Pitts will have another solid performance this week and start building some momentum to becoming the top-five fantasy tight end everyone envisioned before the season started … but I doubt it
Dalton Schultz, Houston Texans vs. New Orleans Saints
Dalton Schultz had an excellent game last week. He has built a nice rapport with quarterback C.J. Stroud this season. He is currently ranked as TE12 in PPR scoring with 17 receptions on 27 targets for 154 yards and two touchdowns. You might be wondering why he is a sit this week, and it has everything to do with his matchup with the Saints’ defense. The Saints are excellent when covering the opposing tight end. They currently rank third against the tight end position so far this season. The Saints’ defense also ranks fifth in total yards allowed and fifth in passing yards allowed. I believe the Saints will look to take away the tight ends in this game, and they will make C.J. Stroud beat them throwing to his wide receivers on the outside.
Week 6 Defense Starts
Miami Dolphins Defense vs. Carolina Panthers
The Miami Dolphins’ defense is improving under defensive coordinator Vic Fangio every week. This week, they go up against a Panthers offense that has trouble holding onto the ball and scoring points each week. The Panthers’ offense is ranked 20th in total yards gained on the season and 23rd in points scored for the season so far. The Dolphins’ defense should get some turnovers and sacks as the Panthers’ offense has given up 15 sacks and four interceptions on the season.
Atlanta Falcons Defense vs. Washington Commanders
The Atlanta Falcons have had a sneaky good defense all season, and this week they get a Commanders team that has been giving up sacks and turnovers at an alarming rate. The Falcons’ defense ranks ninth in total yards allowed on the season. I expect the Falcons to get many sacks and some turnovers in this game, as the Commanders have surrendered 29 sacks and six interceptions to opposing defenses so far this season.
Week 6 Defense Sits
Cleveland Browns Defense vs. San Fransico 49ers
The Cleveland Browns’ defense has been the top fantasy defense this season, but I am not going to trust them this week against a red-hot and undefeated 49ers team. It should be a great matchup since the Browns’ defense is ranked first in total yards allowed on the season, while the 49ers are ranked third as an offense in total yards gained on the season. I just don’t see the Browns getting many sacks or turnovers, and the 49ers’ offense will eventually wear down the Browns’ defense and take control of the game. I would suggest benching the Browns’ defense for this week.
New York Jets Defense vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The New York Jets’ defense is one of the better defenses in the NFL, but I would not trust them against the high-flying Eagles offense this week. The Eagles offense comes in as the second-ranked offense in total yards gained on the season. The Jets’ defense comes into the game as the 24th-ranked defense in total yards allowed and 29th in rushing yards allowed, so I expect the Eagles to run the football and control the clock for most of this game. I would bench the Jets’ defense for this week, if possible, in your fantasy league.
Good luck in Week 6, everyone!