Making final lineup decisions seems to get tougher with each passing week. A combination of injuries, byes and NFL teams settling into to their weekly game plans—leading to less breakout performers on the waiver wire—forces fantasy football owners to make some tricky choices.
For most fantasy teams, it comes down to two or three tough calls on a weekly basis. Getting them right provides a major boost on the road to victory, although star players like Peyton Manning or Adrian Peterson always have to come through to seal the deal, of course.
With that in mind, let's place some fringe fantasy players where they belong, either in the lineup or on the bench, for Week 6. It's followed by a breakdown for some of the hardest picks.
Start 'Em or Sit' Em?
Analysis of Tricky Calls
Sit: Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks)
Wilson has been a borderline fantasy option all season. He ranks 13th in standard scoring among quarterbacks, which means he should be viewed as a matchup play rather than a full-time starter, despite his long-term potential.
Week 6 is one of those weeks where Wilson belongs on the bench, though. The Tennessee Titans have only allowed six passing touchdowns through five weeks, and three of those came in one game. They also rank ninth in passing yards allowed at less than 220 per game.
Wilson might be able to make a couple plays with his legs, but it won't be enough to offset the lack of ability to attack the Titans secondary. He's still a valuable asset moving forward, but don't expect a big game against the Titans' stout defense.
Start: Eddie Lacy (Green Bay Packers)
The Baltimore Ravens rank sixth in rushing yards allowed, at a shade under 90 per game, and they have also only allowed one touchdown on the ground. Although it makes Lacy a slightly more risky option, his heavy workload should make him worth a start anyway.
Baltimore's numbers are a bit skewed because it has faced some pretty poor rushing attacks thus far in 2013. Two teams that have proven they can move the ball on the ground, the Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans, gained nearly 270 combined rushing yards against the Ravens.
Last week, the Packers gave Lacy 24 touches and he finished with 97 yards. It's clear that Green Bay is hoping to build a more balanced offensive attack, and the rookie running back is a key piece of the puzzle. Another high touch total will lead to a solid fantasy score on Sunday.
Start: Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers)
Fantasy owners are likely running out of patience with Smith. He caught a touchdown and tallied 11 points in the season opener. Since then, however, the Panthers' No. 1 wide receiver hasn't scored more than six fantasy points in any game.
The struggles of Cam Newton, who's taken a clear step backwards after two-straight solid seasons to start his career, are obviously a major factor. But Smith has also made his fair share of mistakes, including a drop on what should have been a touchdown last week.
Smith deserves one more chance before he gets exiled to the bench, though. The Panthers are set to go up against a Minnesota Vikings defense that is giving up nearly 330 yards per game through the air. It makes the speedy veteran a worthy starter for Week 6.