Fantasy football sit-and-start advice should always be relative and league-dependent. Note that some players are targeted for DFS. Good luck with your Week 6 lineups!
Washington Commanders @ Atlanta Falcons
Start: Logan Thomas, Drake London
Thomas saw 11 targets last week, leading all tight ends in fantasy usage. He benefitted from a game script that saw Washington call no run plays over the final 2.5 quarters, and the Commanders should be pass-heavy once again Sunday. Atlanta has a pass-funnel defense that has completely shut down the run. The Falcons have been especially vulnerable to tight ends too, allowing the second-most fantasy points to the position. Cole Turner was No. 1 in fantasy usage a couple of weeks back when Thomas was out, so the Commanders are using their tight ends heavily.
London saw a season-high nine targets last week and gets a game in Atlanta versus a shaky Washington secondary. Desmond Ridder has gotten 7.8 YPA at home (5.7 on the road) this season, where the quarterback hasn’t lost a game since high school (31-0). London has seen strong usage over the last month, and the last two WR1s to face the Commanders have averaged 44.0 fantasy points (PPR).
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears
Start: Jordan Addison, Justin Fields
Addison is likely to see increased targets with Justin Jefferson sidelined, and he gets a favorable matchup Sunday. The rookie saw a 27% first-read target rate after Jefferson left last week’s game, and the Bears have allowed the second-highest YPA (8.0), the second-most passing yards per game (286.0) and the second-most touchdown passes (12) this season. Assuming his ankle is good to go, it’s wheels up for Addison this week.
Some fantasy managers remain skeptical of Fields, so we’ll still include him in this column for now. But he’s been the No. 4 fantasy QB this season despite his slow start, throwing for the second-most touchdowns in the league. Fields has benefitted from an easy schedule recently, but that continues Sunday against a Minnesota defense that’s ceded the ninth-most fantasy points to QBs and a 9:1 TD:INT ratio. DJ Moore has been a huge help for Fields, whose designed runs were also way up last week. Treat Fields as a top-five fantasy QB moving forward.
Seattle Seahawks @ Cincinnati Bengals
Start in DFS: Kenneth Walker III ($27)
Start: Joe Burrow
Walker is ceding snaps to Zach Charbonnet and has been running hot with touchdowns, but he’s in a good spot Sunday. The Bengals’ defense ranks 30th against the run in DVOA and 31st in explosive run rate, which is Walker’s specialty. In a fast-paced matchup (that could be rainy/windy) and with Seattle’s passing attack off all season, expect a heavy dose of Walker.
Burrow is coming off a big fantasy performance, which was hopefully a sign he’s over his calf injury. But it came against a shaky Arizona defense, and if you remove his 63-yard TD to Ja’Marr Chase, Burrow managed just 5.6 YPA (after entering with the lowest YPA for a QB with 150+ passes ever). Still, Chase is unguardable, and Tee Higgins looks likely to return this week. Moreover, Seattle is a pass-funnel D with the No. 2 ranked run defense in DVOA. The Seahawks have allowed the second-fewest rushing yards per game (59.3) to running backs, but have given up the third-most passing yards per game (280.0). Seattle’s offense will put points on the board, so Burrow should post another strong fantasy line even if his efficiency doesn’t return.
San Francisco 49ers @ Cleveland Browns
Start: Brandon Aiyuk
Sit: All Browns
Aiyuk has emerged as one of the NFL’s best receivers and has a terrific matchup on paper this week against a man-coverage-heavy Browns defense. But his terrific route running hasn’t yet translated into elite fantasy production, and that problem could continue Sunday. The run-heavy 49ers may not have to pass a ton Sunday with Deshaun Watson out, and Cleveland has allowed an NFL-low 148.5 passing yards per game. Aiyuk is a fine start Sunday, but he’ll have much bigger fantasy games over the rest of the season.
Amari Cooper and Jerome Ford can be started if needed (injuries have certainly hit my squads), but the Browns have one of the lowest implied team totals (13.0 points) you’ll ever see. PJ Walker is slated to start at QB against a San Francisco defense allowing the third-fewest yards per play and the fourth-fewest EPA/play this season.
David Njoku deserves a shoutout for playing last week after badly burning his face.
New Orleans Saints @ Houston Texans
Start in DFS: Alvin Kamara ($22)
Start: Nico Collins
Kamara has seen 50 opportunities over two games since returning and is one of only four backs to have a 40% opportunity share this season. He plays indoors this week against a Texans defense allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs after a couple of tougher matchups during his first two games back. Kamara looks like the center of New Orleans’ offense but doesn’t have a top-10 RB salary this week.
Collins isn’t in a smash spot likely to be shadowed plenty by Marshon Lattimore, but he’s also in line for extra targets with Tank Dell still sidelined. For what it’s worth, Collins is averaging 157.0 yards and 1.5 touchdowns at home this season, and Houston is unlikely to have much success running against New Orleans. Robert Woods has also been limited by a rib injury. Fire up Collins in fantasy lineups.
Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Start: Michael Pittman Jr.
Start in DFS: Calvin Ridley ($17)
Pittman has seen a 30% target share from Gardner Minshew this season. Anthony Richardson’s injury was devastating to fantasy managers, but it was good news for Indy’s pass catchers. Josh Downs looks like a really good football player who needs to be added in fantasy leagues, but he gets a tougher matchup with Tre Herndon this week. The Jaguars have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to the slot, where Downs has run 82% of his routes. Meanwhile, Jacksonville has ceded the most fantasy points over the last month to Pittman’s primary side, so he’s a strong start this week.
Ridley’s first season in Jacksonville has been up-and-down, including leading the league in near touchdowns. But he’s coming off a strong performance in London and gets a highly favorable matchup this week. Zay Jones re-injured his knee, and the Colts have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to the slot, where Christian Kirk has run 74% of his routes this season. Meanwhile, Indy has yielded the second-most fantasy points to Ridley’s primary side. The Colts also play Cover 3 at a high rate, which is good news for Trevor Lawrence and Ridley historically.
Carolina Panthers @ Miami Dolphins
Start: Adam Thielen, Raheem Mostert
Thielen could quickly become a sell-high candidate in fantasy leagues, but he gets another nice spot Sunday. He was second in WR fantasy usage last week, behind only Ja’Marr Chase. Thielen also accounted for a whopping 38% of Carolina’s first-read targets during Bryce Young’s best game of his young career, so the WR’s fantasy value isn’t just tied to Andy Dalton. The Dolphins have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to the slot and have the highest implied team total this week, so more garbage time stats should be there.
Mostert is set for extra work Sunday with De’Von Achane on IR with a knee injury. The Dolphins are huge favorites with the highest implied team total this week. Carolina is a run-funnel defense allowing the most EPA/rush and the second-most fantasy points to running backs. Miami’s offense has looked historically explosive (getting 2.0 yards per play more than the next best team), and the run game has benefitted greatly. Mostert is a top-five RB this week.
New England Patriots @ Las Vegas Raiders
Sit: All Patriots
Start: Jakobi Meyers
The Patriots are coming off the team’s worst home loss in franchise history and getting the fifth-fewest yards per play this season. New England’s offense should find some success this week playing indoors against a Raiders defense with the third-lowest pressure rate. But the Patriots are using a rotation at WR, TE and RB with a QB getting 6.0 YPA. Rhamondre Stevenson has seen his snap share decrease each week, and his dramatic fall in performance has been one of this season’s biggest mysteries.
Meyers has been a top-12 fantasy WR with Jimmy Garoppolo this season and sports a top-20 target rate on the year despite playing alongside Davante Adams. Adams could continue to see a slightly lesser role while playing through a painful shoulder injury, whereas Meyers could see extra looks in a revenge game Sunday. Las Vegas is unlikely to have any success running against New England, so Meyers could easily turn in another top-10 WR finish in week 6.
Detroit Lions @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sit: Jared Goff
Start: Cade Otton
Goff is having a great season, but once again has seen a big increase in production at home. He had a 23:3 TD:INT ratio in Detroit last year compared to 6:4 on the road. This year he has nine touchdowns (8.4 YPA) at home compared to two (7.3) on the road (in one fewer game, admittedly). He’ll be missing Jahmyr Gibbs, with Amon-Ra St. Brown and Sam LaPorta playing through injuries. Expect a heavy dose of David Montgomery against a funnel Bucs defense that ranks 21st against the pass but second versus the run in DVOA. Matthew Stafford and Sam Howell are better fantasy starts this week.
There’s little chance Tampa Bay finds any success rushing against Detroit’s stout run defense, while Mike Evans will be limited by a hamstring injury. It’s a nice setup for Chris Godwin as well, but the Lions have allowed the third-most fantasy points to tight ends. Detroit has also yielded the most targets per game (9.8), catches per game (7.4) and the second-most yards per game (70.6) to the position.
Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams
Start: Marquise Brown, Matthew Stafford
Brown has been a top-20 WR three straight weeks and just missed a long touchdown last week. The Cardinals will be without James Conner and are touchdown underdogs, so Brown should be busy Sunday in a fast-paced matchup indoors. The Rams have one of the league’s lowest pressure rates, so keep Hollywood locked into fantasy lineups.
Stafford is playing far better this season now that he’s healthy, but his touchdown production doesn’t show it. He has the fourth-most passing yards — the other four in the top five of that category have an average of 10.5 touchdown passes this season. Stafford has the second most attempts in the league but ranks 17th in TD passes. He has the most incomplete air yards on dropped passes in the league.
The Rams have the sixth-highest pass rate over expectation this season and just got Cooper Kupp back. Suddenly, Los Angeles is loaded at wide receiver with Puka Nacua, Tutu Atwell and a healthy Kupp. Stafford is one season removed from throwing 41 touchdowns and might have better receivers now. The Rams have one of the highest implied team totals against a Cardinals defense that’s allowing the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and finally made Joe Burrow look good last week. Stafford is a top-10 QB this week.
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Jets
Start: Dallas Goedert, Garrett Wilson
Goedert is coming off his first good game of the season, and it could be his turn in Philadelphia’s offense once again in Week 6. The Jets have tough corners for A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith to deal with, but have allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Goedert should be treated as a top-five TE this week.
Wilson isn’t going to live up to his ADP with Aaron Rodgers out, but we can expect much better fantasy production moving forward. The Jets have faced an abnormally high number of strong pass defenses to open the year, including a couple of the league’s top shadow corners over the last two games. Wilson saw a healthy dose of coverage by Patrick Surtain last week, when he still nearly had multiple big plays.
Wilson ranks sixth in target share and seventh in unrealized air yards but is the No. 33 fantasy wide receiver this year. His turnaround starts this week against an Eagles funnel defense that ranks first against the run but 19th versus the pass in DVOA. Philadelphia allows a bigger percentage of its fantasy points to wide receivers than any team in the league. An unleashed Breece Hall will help the Jets’ offense too. Start Wilson this week.
New York Giants @ Buffalo Bills
Sit: All Giants
Start: Bills D/ST
Daniel Jones has already been ruled out, while Saquon Barkley won’t be close to 100% but is looking more like he'll suit up. Darren Waller is also dealing with a new groin injury. Tyrod Taylor will be starting behind an injury-riddled offensive line that’s allowed an NFL-high 30 sacks and the second-highest pressure rate this season.
Meanwhile, the Bills enter leading the NFL in sacks and pressure rate. Buffalo will be at home in prime time coming off a loss, so things could get ugly Sunday night.
Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Chargers
Start: Dak Prescott, Justin Herbert
The Cowboys have played in one normal game script all season but could be in a shootout Monday night. Prescott has struggled this year and has lost a ton of mobility, but he still has plenty of weapons to throw to and, finally, a healthy offensive line. The Chargers struggle to pressure the passer, and Joey Bosa is questionable. LA has also yielded the most passing yards per game (299.8) and the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Get Dak back in fantasy lineups this week.
Dallas has been tough on fantasy quarterbacks this year, but don’t let the matchup scare you off Herbert this week. Monday night’s game has the highest over/under (50.5 points) of the week, and Dallas’ secondary hasn’t been the same since Trevon Diggs went down. The Chargers are coming off a bye and get Austin Ekeler back, so start Herbert as usual even in the tougher matchup.
Gerald Everett would become worth starting should Donald Parham Jr. sit with his wrist injury. The Cowboys have been vulnerable to tight ends this season, and Herbert loves targeting them at the goal line.