Trying to decide whom you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:
Start: Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons) vs. Carolina
It’s tough to endorse Ryan, coming off a start against the Green Bay Packers (who are the third worst in the league against the pass) where he managed just 167 yards, one TD and two interceptions. He also is going to be without Julio Jones who has already been ruled out for Week 6. That’s not to say that Ryan still doesn’t have options though, with Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez, as well as Harry Douglas stepping into the starting lineup.
The Panthers are in the middle of the pack against the pass (231.0 yards/game), but are coming off a game where they allowed 359 yards to Drew Brees. Obviously the Falcons are not the Saints, but don’t write Ryan off as unusable. Consider him a low-end option depending on whom else you have.
Sit: Jay Cutler (Chicago Bears) vs. Minnesota
There are plenty of reasons for fantasy owners to be nervous to install Cutler into their starting lineup. One problem has been Cutler’s inability to consistently find his wide receivers. In fact, Week 5 was the first time this season that he had more than 13 receptions to his wide receivers (including just five receptions by receivers in Week 4).
Then you have the question of if he is going to take a beating. The Vikings enter play with 16 sacks (tied for second in the league), while Cutler is tied for the league lead having been sacked 18 times. That could be a recipe for disaster.
Start: Ryan Torain (Washington Redskins) vs. Philadelphia
He re-emerged in Week 4, ripping off 135 yards and one TD on just 19 carries. While the Redskins do have various options, according to David Elfin of CBS Washington, “in other words, the job Torain’s to take and run with it (pun intended).”
Tim Hightower is backed up and, while the team figures to roll with the hot hand, Torain has the most upside and is therefore worth using this week.
Start: James Starks (Green Bay Packers) vs. St. Louis
The Packers have not utilized Starks much this season (57 rushes for 250 yards and one TD), but this week could be his chance to finally produce. The Rams are by far the worst team in the league against the run, allowing 179.8 yards per game. While we shouldn’t expect anything more than a pass-heavy attack, Starks should get his opportunities to deliver.
Sit: Jonathan Stewart (Carolina Panthers) at Atlanta
He’s just not getting the opportunities to be a productive option this season. His high for carries has been 10 (Week 3). Yes, he had one monster receiving day (eight receptions for 100 yards), but he’s actually only been targeted 20 times over the first five games. Throw in the fact that he has yet to find the end zone and he’s an easy pass.
Sit: Delone Carter (Indianapolis Colts) at Cincinnati
While the injury to Joseph Addai may bring a little bit of intrigue to Carter, he is far from worth the gamble. With Curtis Painter gaining confidence in the pocket you get the feeling that they are going to really start throwing the ball more and more. What makes it worse is that the Bengals have allowed just 88.6 rushing yards per game and Carter is averaging just 3.0 yards per carry. There is too much risk involved.
Wide receiver (two-receiver format)
Start: Santonio Holmes (New York Jets) vs. Miami
I know he has been extremely underwhelming the past few weeks. In fact, his high for the season his six receptions and 70 yards (both of which came in Week 1). However, how can you sit him against a Dolphins team allowing 307.0 passing yards per game?
They can talk about ground and pound all they want, but you have to think that Holmes is going to get his opportunities and post some numbers.
Sit: Mike Thomas (Jacksonville Jaguars) at Pittsburgh
With Jason Hill exploding a week ago (five receptions for 126 yards and one TD), could there be a changing of the guard in Jacksonville? Thomas has been targeted 18 times over the past two weeks (while Hill has 17 targets), but the presence of another capable receiver could cut into his opportunities.
Let’s face it, the Jaguars are built more towards the run and meet a Steelers defense that has allowed the fewest receiving yards per game (174.0). There are only going to be so many opportunities, which makes Thomas a risky proposition in shallower formats.
Wide receiver (three-receiver format)
Start: Percy Harvin (Minnesota Vikings) at Chicago
It has been a disappointing season for Harvin, only once exceeding five receptions or 47 yards. However, he continues to be given opportunities to run the ball and faces a Bears defense that has been porous thus far (284.0 yards/game and nine TD). There’s a good chance he breaks out of his slump and finds the end zone for the first time.
Sit: Mario Manningham (New York Giants) vs. Buffalo
He may still be listed as the starter, but does anyone believe that he is a better option than Victor Cruz at this point? Until he shows us that he can produce again he carries too big of a risk to trust.
Make sure to check out the rest of Rotoprofessor’s Week 6 information: