Posted: Wednesday, October 11, 2017
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 6 of the 2017 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.
Please Note: 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 Aaron Rodgers, Rob Gronkowski, or Antonio Brown. 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 Deshaun Watson (HOU, QB)
Deshaun Watson lead all players in standard scoring last week and finished with 5 touchdowns for the second week in a row. He's ranked 5th this week against a Cleveland secondary that has allowed an average of 27.5 fantasy points to both Jacoby Brissett and Andy Dalton. Watson is definitely in contention for Rookie of the Year and should remain firmly in lineups as a solid QB1.
Start 'em Jameis Winston (TB, QB)
Jameis Winston hasn't necessarily lit the fantasy world on fire, but he is coming off three straight 300+ yard games. It's worth noting that his production last week against the league's worst pass defense came almost entirely in the second half. That being said, he still has a nice matchup against the 21st-ranked Arizona secondary - a defense that hasn't been as tough as in years past. Carson Wentz put up 27 fantasy points against them last week so 20+ is certainly feasible for Winston.
Start 'em Alvin Kamara (NO, RB)
Don't look now, but Alvin Kamara is ranked inside our Top 12 this week even though Detroit's front line has been solid against running backs giving up the 3rd-fewest yards on the ground to them. With no AP, there should be a few more touches for Ingram and Kamara, and Detroit has actually been pretty lenient on pass-catching backs with McCaffrey and Freeman touching double digit fantasy production. He may not finish as a Top 12 back this week, but RB2 is easily within range.
Start 'em Jay Ajayi (MIA, RB)
Sadly, Ajayi hasn't been the player that we thought he'd be this year. He hasn't found the endzone yet, is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry, and his production has only come because of the volume. This week should be a bounce-back game for Ajayi though. In PPR, every lead running back that faced Atlanta this year has seen double-digit fantasy production (McCoy, Abdullah, Montgomery, and Howard). Ajayi is ranked 19th this week making him a low-end RB2.
Start 'em Golden Tate (DET, WR)
Short-term memory will help here. Tate hasn't done much over the last two weeks, but a matchup against the Saints should change things considerably. Tate is ranked 10th among wide receivers on FFN this week (ppr). New Orleans gives up the 5th-most yards through the air, and Vegas projects this to be a high-scoring affair. Tate should see plenty of action from the slot this week.
Start 'em Rishard Matthews (TEN, WR)
Marcus Mariota looks to be a true game-time decision for Monday night. He's been active at practice and has indicated that he hopes to play this week. So do we as Rishard Matthews value goes up considerably with Mariota under center. Matthews is ranked 18th this week (ppr) against the Colts who gave up an average of 17 fantasy points to Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin last week. The Colts give up the 3rd-most yards per game through the air making this a sweet matchup.
Start 'em Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NYJ, TE)
Austin Seferian-Jenkins was a recommended start last week garnering most of the team's targets and producing 6-for-29 and a score. If you're looking for a bye-week filler, ASJ is your man. He's ranked 8th this week in PPR facing a Patriots defense that gave up 17.8 fantasy points to Cameron Brate last week, 9.2 points to Ed Dickson in Week 4, and 17.1 fantasy points to Ryan Griffin in Week 3. If ASJ can find the endzone again, it could be a nice fantasy day against the league's worst secondary.
Start 'em Evan Engram (NYG, TE)
To say that the receiving corp in New York is depleted is an understatement. There aren't a lot of options here so someone will have to emerge. Even though he gave us a big, fat doughnut last week, Evan Engram is ranked inside our Top 10 and has the potential to break out here. The Broncos have a tough secondary but they've been decent to tight ends this year surrendering 15.9 points to Charles Clay and 25.7 points to Jason Witten (ppr).
Start 'em Baltimore Ravens (BAL, DEF)
The Baltimore Ravens offense has been terrible, but their defense has kept them in games. The Ravens are ranked 3rd this week against rookie QB Mitch Trubisky and the Bears.
Start 'em Ryan Succop (TEN, K)
Ryan Succop has been one of the better fantasy kickers this year, and that should continue when he faces Indy this week who have given up an average of 9.4 fantasy points each week. He's ranked 7th among all kickers.
Sit 'em Ben Roethlisberger (PIT, QB)
Is this one really such a surprise? After suggesting that he himself "may no longer have it", Ben Roethlisberger has changed his tune suggesting that he is still "one of the best" quarterbacks in the NFL. You can take his word for it if you like, but given that he's ranked 20th among all QBs on FFN this week, he's better left on your bench. It's a shame as the matchup is fantastic, but Big Ben is too difficult to trust right now.
Sit 'em Jay Cutler (MIA, QB)
Jay Cutler's stats have steadily decreased each game that he's been under center in Miami. Things couldn't get any worse than his 92 yards, 1 score, and a pick last week, but how much better can they get? Opposing QBs have produced an average of just 15 fantasy points against Atlanta with Aaron Rodgers besting everyone with just 18.52 points. Jay Cutler is no Aaron Rodgers. Even as a bye-week filler, Cutler (ranked 23rd) can't be in any lineups.
Sit 'em Adrian Peterson (ARI, RB)
No question has been asked more than what to do with Adrian Peterson this week. He's ranked 41st among all running backs putting him squarely outside the RB3/flex range. We don't know what kind of workload he'll get this week, and based upon the touches that he had with New Orleans, he wasn't all that impressive to begin with. Folks excited to start the future HOFer would be well served to temper their expectations. The Bucs have been pretty stout against the run giving up the 8th-fewest yards per game on the ground.
Sit 'em LeGarrette Blount (PHI, RB)
LeGarrette Blount should see a heavy workload again this week with Wendell Smallwood likely out of action. After posting a monstrous 18 touchdowns last year, he's seen the endzone just once in this offense. His matchup is difficult though as the Panthers have the 6th-toughest run defense and have allowed just one running back to hit double-digit fantasy production in standard scoring.
Sit 'em Amari Cooper (OAK, WR)
The Oakland passing game is a shell of itself. Amari Cooper is averaging just 1 catch for 7.6 yards over the last three games. He's ranked 30th this week (WR3 territory) against a Chargers secondary that has given up the 4th-fewest yards per game (just 190 yards). His knee issues have kept him limited at practice and his actual fantasy production should keep him limited in fantasy lineups.
Sit 'em Martavis Bryant (PIT, WR)
He has a ton of upside but Martavis Bryant is averaging just 3 catches and 40 yards per game this year. He always has the potential to put up big numbers, and it is possible to do that against Kansas City, but with a ranking of 41, he's no more than a flex option this week.
Sit 'em Antonio Gates (LAC, TE)
The future HOFer has seen his production decrease. He hasn't seen more than 3 receptions or 30 yards all year, and Hunter Henry is finally starting to take his place atop the depth chart. Gates is ranked 25th putting him well outside of starting range against an Oakland defense that has not give up more than 2 fantasy points to TEs over the last two weeks.
Sit 'em Ed Dickson (CAR, TE)
Ed Dickson was a waiver wire darling this week after hauling in a monstrous 5 catches for 175 yards last week. He has the potential to be a bye-week filler, but while Philly has been generous to wide receivers, they've been tough on tight ends. Only one TE (Travis Kelce in Week 2) has seen double-digit fantasy production. All others have been kept in check.
Sit 'em New York Jets (NYJ, DEF)
The Jets were a nice fantasy option last week against the Cleveland Browns. It's time to stream someone else as they'll be facing Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
Sit 'em Harrison Butker (KC, K)
For as prolific as the Kansas City offense is, Harrison Butker hasn't been as productive. The matchup is difficult as Pittsburgh has given up an average of just 4.2 fantasy points to the position all year.