Posted: Friday, October 10, 2014
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst fantasy football matchups for Week 6 of the 2014 NFL season. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.
This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Peyton Manning, Jimmy Graham, or LeSean McCoy. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.
Start 'em - Russell Wilson (SEA, QB)
For a guy who doesn't throw as often as his peers, Russell Wilson has been a fantastic fantasy QB this year. He's patient and can use his feet when the opportunity presents itself. Wilson is ranked 5th this week on FFN this week as he faces the Cowboys who are currently giving up 247 yards through the air each week. The guys is averaging more than 20 points a week and that trend should continue at home where Wilson has played flawlessly.
Start 'em - Philip Rivers (SD, QB)
The Raiders D is not particularly scary and Rivers has had his way with them in the past. Even though the Chargers are likely to run the ball quite a bit (Oliver is a good play here) against a porous Oakland line, Philip Rivers will still put the ball up. We're expecting 20+ points out of Rivers this week which isn't surprising considering his #6 ranking on FFN.
Start 'em - Andre Williams (NYG, RB)
This is the week for backup RB's to shine. Ronnie Hillman in for Montee Ball, Branden Oliver for every San Diego RB, and Andre Williams for Rashad Jennings. Williams has looked great filling in for Jennings chalking up 131 yards and 2 scores in the past two weeks. The Eagles are giving up 132 yards on the ground each week and the 8th most points.
Start 'em - Ben Tate (CLE, RB)
Ben Tate showed up for work last week rushing for 123 yards against the Titans in his first game back from injury. While the Steelers are not easy to run on (avg 101 yards total on the ground), the Browns have to run the ball. Tate looked good and should remain the featured back. He's ranked 13th on FFN this week and could finish in the Top 12 making him an RB1.
Start 'em - Andre Ellington (ARI, RB)
Fresh off a monster receiving day, Andre Ellington has basically become the Arizona offense. His 3.8 yards per carry is anemic, but it's role as a pass-catcher that really has his fantasy stock soaring. Washington is actually pretty tough on RB's, but Marshawn Lynch, Andre Williams, and Arian Foster all saw double digit fantasy days.
Start 'em - Brian Quick (STL, WR)
A leading contender for waiver wire darling this year belongs to Brian Quick, and for good reason. His rapport with QB Austin Davis has earned him an average of 9 targets per game. He's ranked 20th this week on FFN right between guys like TY Hilton, Wes Welker, Reggie Wayne, and Vincent Jackson. That's good company to keep. He's still available in nearly 40% of Fleaflicker leagues.
Start 'em - Golden Tate (DET, WR)
We're not expecting Calvin Johnson to suit up this week, and in the unlikely event that he does, Megatron will likely be relegated to decoy duty again. Golden Tate has blossomed with the attention and should continue that fantasy goodness against a Vikings defense that gives up 153 yards per game to opposing WR's this year.
Start 'em - Emmanuel Sanders (DEN, WR)
It's very tough to run on the New York Jets, but throwing on them is relatively easy. In fact, the Jets give up the 3rd-most fantasy points to opposing WR's and they haven't seen Peyton Manning yet. Emmanuel Sanders has quickly become a Top 10 PPR machine who has also had multiple century-mark games this year. We're expecting Sanders to finally see the endzone this week.
Start 'em - Owen Daniels (BAL, TE)
Tampa Bay is a great matchup this week for Owen Daniels as the Bucs give up the 9th-most fantasy points to the TE position this year. Daniels is playing remarkably well in Dennis Pitta's absence, and that should continue this week.
Start 'em - Antonio Gates (SD, TE)
What year is this? Antonio Gates has once again become a stud TE. For a guy who was likely drafted as a backup in most leagues, he has outperformed all expectations so far. The bar couldn't be much lower this week against a Raiders defense that Gates should be able to take advantage of. He's likely a Top 5 finisher this week.
Start 'em - Baltimore Ravens (BAL, DEF)
The Bucaneers cannot run the ball, and minus Vincent Jackson, their air game is potentially hazardous. The Ravens should be able to keep Tampa Bay in check and put up some numbers of their own. The Bucs give up the 3rd-most fantasy points to opposing defenses this year making Baltimore a safer play this week.
Start 'em - Robbie Gould (CHI, K)
This hasn't been the same Robbie Gould that we've known in the past. He's doing OK, but he hasn't met our draft expectations yet. That could change this week when he plays the Falcons. Atlanta is giving up the 3rd-most fantasy points to kickers this year.
Sit 'em - Teddy Bridgewater (MIN, QB)
We've heard the comparisons of Teddy Bridgewater to guys like Michael Vick and Cam Newton, and we're not sold. Even though Bridgewater is a dynamic playmaker with tons of potential, he's going to have to wait to display it. The Lions are brutal on opposing QB's giving up the fewest fantasy points to them each week. Have a seat Teddy.
Sit 'em - Tony Romo (DAL, QB)
Playing the Seahawks in Seattle is tough for any QB. Aaron Rodgers had to do it in Week 1 and he could only produce 189 yards, 1 score, and 1 pick. While it is possible to throw on the Seahawks, the matchup is not particularly good. Don't be surprised to see Romo struggle on Sunday.
Sit 'em - C.J. Spiller (BUF, RB)
It may be time to let go of our hopes for C.J. Spiller this year. Fred Jackson will play and that puts Spiller back into a timeshare. Spiller has yet to find the endzone rushing this year and is coming off a 0.8 yard per carry average last week. His saving grace is 3 receptions per game (1 rec score). New England gives up the 3rd most fantasy points to RB's (ppr), but given Spiller's inconsistency, we're not confident that he'll capitalize on that.
Sit 'em - Doug Martin (TB, RB)
Often drafted as a flex option, Doug Martin has disappointed even those low expectations. He is the 55th-best rusher (ppr) this year with a terrible 2.5 yard per carry average. Baltimore gives up the 2nd-fewest points to opposing rushers making Martin a flex option in only the very deepest of leagues. It basically comes down to this: if your whole team and the waiver wire is injured, then consider Martin. Otherwise, you could probably score more points than him. Leave him on your bench.
Sit 'em - Zac Stacy (STL, RB)
Fantasy nation had high expectations of Zac Stacy last week, but he turned in a poor performance and is now dealing with a calf injury. Benny Cunningham performed well when Stacy left the game last week so we're expecting a more equitable timeshare in the St Louis backfield. Even if Stacy were completely healthy, the matchup against the 49ers warrants consideration. Combine a difficult matchup with an injury and a timeshare situation, and the deck is stacked against him.
Sit 'em - Sammy Watkins (BUF, WR)
We've started seeing flashes of consistency with Sammy Watkins lately. He's starting to find a rhythm and Kyle Orton seems to like targeting this kid. He'll have his work cut out for him this week against Darrelle Revis and the Patriots. When Revis was on the field, he had no trouble shutting down AJ Green last week. The Pats will also have Brandon Browner back which will only make it more difficult to throw.
Sit 'em - Cordarrelle Patterson (MIN, WR)
Karma has a funny way of coming back to bite us. We're recommending a sit for Cordarrelle Patterson, but it wouldn't surprise us if karma has him with a monster fantasy day. The problem with Patterson is that the Vikings don't utilize him the way they should. It's no different than they way they used Percy Harvin. Give these types of guys the ball and they'll make plays. Patterson is not getting involved enough and his matchup with the Lions is already difficult enough.
Sit 'em - Zach Ertz (PHI, TE)
The hype around Zach Ertz was building during fantasy drafts and he delivered in Weeks 1 and 2. Since then he has basically been absent. He's put up three straight weeks of mediocrity averaging just 3 catches for 32 yards per game in that stretch. The Giants give up the 2nd-fewest fantasy points to TE's that hoping for Ertz to see double digits is a fool's errand.
Sit 'em - Jared Cook (STL, TE)
Jared Cook will face a very tough 49ers defense on Monday night. San Fran gives up the 3rd-fewest yards and the 10th-fewest points to opposing tight ends. If past history is any indication, the 49ers have held Cook to under 6 points both times they faced him last year.
Sit 'em - New York Jets (NYJ, DEF)
After 5 weeks, the New York Jets defense ranks 24th in fantasy points earned. When we compound the problem by putting them up against Peyton Manning and the Broncos, there's no reason to expect the Jets to finish the day better than 28th if we're optimistic. There are better options this week...and for the rest of the season.
Sit 'em - Nick Folk (NYJ, K)
What happened to Nick Folk? He has dropped off significantly the last two weeks producing 5 points and a big fat doughnut in that time. The Broncos give up the 10th-fewest points to kickers this year making Folk a difficult start. He's averaging 6.2 pts per game (4.5 if you take away Week 3's big performance). There are better kickers out there who can get you more points this week.