Four teams that house fantasy superstars will be on a bye in Week 6. Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Maurice Jones-Drew, Marques Colston, Brandon Marshall, Jimmy Graham and the Bears defense (yes, the Bears defense) will be taking a break this week.
With the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints watching games on television during Week 6, matchup plays will be crucial to victory in fantasy football.
Here are a few guys you might want to take an extra look at as well as a few that you may wish to avoid in Week 6.
Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Dallas Cowboys)
Flacco averages 345.7 passing yards per game at home this season to go with six touchdowns and two picks. By comparison, on the road, he’s averaging 209.5 yards per game and one total passing touchdown against one interception.
Flacco’s Week 6 game will be at home.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Tennessee Titans)
Thursday night games have been kind of ugly this season from a fantasy perspective, but the Tennessee Titans haven’t been stopping too many opposing passing games.
The Titans have just three defensive picks on the season, compared to 12 passing touchdowns allowed.
Michael Turner, RB, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Oakland Raiders)
It’s futile to resist.
As the provider of balance to the Falcons offense, Turner has scored a touchdown in each of the last four weeks. The Raiders are allowing more than four yards per carry and will likely be on their heels the entire game.
Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Tennessee Titans)
Mendenhall had a nice season debut in Week 5, averaging almost six yards per carry against a pretty solid Philadelphia Eagles run defense. He also scored a rushing touchdown.
Tennessee, meanwhile, isn’t stopping many dudes on the ground, either.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys (at Baltimore Ravens)
Did you see what Jamaal Charles did to those guys on the Ravens? If the Chiefs can trust their guy to run the rock against the Ravens 30 times and move it, then Murray should be happy to follow up with a 100-yard game himself coming off a bye.
Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys (at Baltimore Ravens)
Who would you rather start?
Baltimore is also bottom-half in terms of slowing down fantasy wide receivers this season.
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (at Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
If Brady Quinn is under center for the Chiefs in Week 6, he should look Bowe’s way early, late and often altogether against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bucs have been torched by guys at the wide receiver position this season.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings (at Washington Redskins)
The way to beat the Redskins is through the air. I didn’t list Percy Harvin as a start because…well, you’re already starting Percy Harvin.
Heath Miller, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Tennessee Titans)
Continue to start your fantasy tight ends against the Titans until further notice.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers D/ST (vs. Kansas City Chiefs)
This is a young team at home coming off a bye…to face Brady Quinn?
Arizona Cardinals D/ST (vs. Buffalo Bills)
Ryan Fitzpatrick has been a pick machine in his last eight quarters of play, tossing five interceptions to the defense in the last two games. The Cardinals have some playmakers in the defensive backfield and should be able to take the ball away from him at home on Sunday.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Buffalo Bills (at Arizona Cardinals)
Fitzpatrick’s fantasy value was predictably decimated against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5. It probably won’t get much better against the Cardinals while the Bills remain on the road.
Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins (vs. Minnesota Vikings)
The Vikings stop the run. That’s what they do. And if Morris happens to be without RGIII for this game, he’ll have an even tougher time finding lanes to run against the guys in purple.
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, New York Giants (at San Francisco 49ers)
The 49ers stop the run, too.
Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins (vs. St. Louis Rams)
Who would you rather start?
St. Louis has harassed receivers that are a lot more skilled than Hartline. You know what Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Marshall and Calvin Johnson have in common?
Answer: None of them scored a touchdown against the Rams.
Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins (vs. Minnesota Vikings)
In the last two games, Garcon has caught four passes for 44 yards. That explosive first quarter of Week 1 is a distant memory.
Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Detroit Lions (at Philadelphia Eagles)
The Eagles haven’t given up double-digit receptions or triple-digit yardage to opposing tight end position groups this season. They gave up one touchdown to Bear Pascoe of the New York Giants, but that was his only catch of the game and it went for just six yards.
Dallas Cowboys D/ST (at Baltimore Ravens)
You have to figure the Ravens will find the end zone a few times in Week 6 after their field-goal-fest with the Chiefs in Week 5.
Also see: Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens.