Week 6 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Smart Matchup Plays, Sleepers and More
It was a rough week for the "Starts and Sits" column as a few players decided to take the week off, while others finally realized that the season had started and played like they used to.
So to make up for it, here are two bonus picks:
•Bonus Start: Everyone in Denver
•Bonus Sit: Everyone in Jacksonville but one guy we'll get to later.
Here's the recap of the somewhat bizarre results from last week. We'll try to do better this week.
Brandon Myers: two catches for 35 yards
Robert Woods: five catches for 64 yards
Steve Smith: 4 catches for 60 yards
Jordan Cameron: three catches for 36 yards
Darren Sproles: 10 rushing yards, three catches for 31 yards
Reggie Bush: 44 rushing yards, four catches for 25 yards
Hakeem Nicks: nine catches for 142 yards
Sam Bradford: 222 yards, three TDs
Maurice Jones-Drew: 70 rushing yards, two catches for 16 yards
Start: The Chicago Bears Offense vs. New York Giants Defense
This just in: The New York Giants aren't very good.
This sounds like the sort of game—especially at home—that the Chicago offense should shred.
However, nobody should be more locked into your lineup than tight end Martellus Bennett.
Tight ends have absolutely destroyed the Giants defense in the red zone all season long. In five weeks, only one hasn't scored a touchdown.
And it's not all top names either. Here's the "murderer's row" of tight ends.
•Brent Celek: 3 receptions-47 yards-1 TD
•Sean McGrath: 5-64-1
•Greg Olsen: 4-54
•Julius Thomas: 6-47-1
•Jason Witten: 8-70-2
Witten is the only lockdown stud on this list, though Thomas has emerged as the real deal as well. Celek and McGrath, though?
McGrath hasn't sniffed the end zone again and only topped 50 yards one other time, while Celek had one other touchdown in Week 1 and has not had more than three catches this season.
Maybe Bennett won't have a huge day, but expect a score and about 50-60 yards at minimum.
Sit: Stevie Johnson vs. Cincinnati Bengals
There are so many reasons for this. Let's count them and make ourselves a bit crazy since Stevie Johnson was supposed to be a solid No. 2 wide receiver.
That may actually be it, but it's enough. Keep him as far from your roster as possible.
If healthy, Johnson might have overcome the other issues, but while banged up, he's not worth a spot in your lineup.
Start: Terrance Williams vs. Washington Secondary
Washington's secondary is monumentally bad right now and that means that the Dallas Cowboys should be able to pass at will on them.
Meanwhile, rookie wide receiver Terrance Williams appears to be hitting his stride, especially in the absence of Miles Austin, who is hurt.
That's fine for Dallas because Williams has really emerged as a dangerous player—and a reliable one as well. He's caught 16 of his 19 targets—including 11 of his last 12.
Over the course of the last two games he's totaled 222 yards and a touchdown.
Washington just cannot seem to stop a good offense, and while their own defense has issues, the offense can put points on the board.
Williams should be a great start this coming week.
Sit: Ben Roethlisberger vs. New York Jets
Now before you type "well, duh," consider that over the last two games Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for 789 yards and three touchdowns. The three interceptions hurt, but that's a ton of fantasy points otherwise.
So it's not insane to consider that he can still be starting for multiple fantasy teams.
Against the New York Jets though? Not a chance.
The Jets do one thing well—play defense. They rush the passer as well—if not better—than almost anyone, and while the secondary absolutely misses Darrelle Revis, it can still hang with most receivers.
While Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders are solid, they aren't elite, and the Jets can contain them.
Expect a regression by Big Ben.
Start: Justin Blackmon
As I said in Monday's "Hot/Not" piece, if you're going to miss four games with a suspension, you'd best bring the heat your first game back.
Five catches for 136 yards and a touchdown about does it, no?
He's going up against a battered Denver defense and there's every chance the Jaguars will play from behind from the opening whistle.
Blackmon is set up for a very good game—perhaps not the one he had last weekend, but a worthwhile one for fantasy owners nonetheless.
Sit: Larry Fitzgerald vs. San Francisco 49ers
We thought that Larry Fitzgerald finally had a good quarterback—not great but at least competent—in Carson Palmer.
So far? Not so much.
Fitzgerald has just three touchdowns (only one since Week 1) and has yet to equal the 80 yards he got in Week 1, much less top 100 even once.
It's brutal to be Larry Fitzgerald and worse being his owner.
The Niners seem to have found their feet defensively, and Palmer is always under pressure and can't throw. It's a recipe for not having Fitz in your lineup this week.
Start: Jordan Cameron vs. Detroit Lions
As mentioned on the front page of this piece, Jordan Cameron had a bad outing last week.
Don't dare bench him because of it.
The Detroit Lions have been allowing some nice games to tight ends, especially in point-per-reception leagues.
Jermichael Finley didn't have a ton of yards but piled up a ton of catches last week. The week before, Martellus Bennett caught eight passes for 90 yards.
The yards are there for a solid tight end who is a mismatch for the linebackers. Expect a bounce-back week.
Sit: DeAngelo Williams vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings are not a great run defense, though they can be stingy.
DeAngelo Williams is a solid back who flew off the rails a bit against the Arizona Cardinals last week. As bad as the Cardinals have been, they're actually the No. 3-ranked rush defense in the league. The Vikings are No. 15.
Williams is going to have a long day against a tough front which is going to come in hungry out of their bye week. He's mostly a matchup guy anyway, and this is just one you should avoid.
Start: Robert Griffin III vs. Dallas Defense
It hasn't been an easy road for most Robert Griffin III owners so far. He's been getting going late in games and the turnovers have hurt. The last two games have seen him throw just one touchdown and he's running the ball less than he did last year.
Some of that will continue—he's still coming back from the catastrophic knee injury after all. And while his recovery time is amazing—much like Adrian Peterson's recovery was—he is still clearly getting back to normal.
He faces a Dallas defense which can certainly give up points—and not even necessarily to good quarterbacks (for example, see Week 3 and Sam Bradford).
Griffin was looking better and more confident the week before the bye and an extra week off will do him a world of good. And you know he—and Washington—will get up for a game against a division rival in a tight (albeit in a bad way) divisional race.
I know it's been up and down so far, but start RG3 this week—you'll be glad you did.
Sit: Colin Kaepernick vs. Arizona Cardinals
As it stands right now though, he's not very good.
Now, I believe Kaepernick to be a tremendously talented quarterback, but he's suffering from a Seattle-induced hangover as well as a lack of receivers not named Anquan Boldin. That's why Gordon—even without being in San Francisco long enough to know the whole playbook—would make a big difference.
Kaepernick isn't himself right now and that's making him a very scary proposition each week. The last two weeks he has thrown three touchdowns, but he hasn't cracked 200 yards since Week 1. In most fantasy leagues, that's a killer. He also hasn't rushed the ball for more than 20 yards since Week 2.
Also a killer.
This week he faces an Arizona Cardinals defense which is better than folks give it credit for. I expect the Niners to run the ball a lot, and that will limit Kapernick's numbers.
He should get back on track at some point, but that isn't going to happen against the Cards.
Andrew Garda is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. He is also a member of the fantasy football staff at FootballGuys.com and the NFL writer at CheeseheadTV.com. You can follow him at @andrew_garda on Twitter.