Unlike the outcomes of games outright, the landscape of fantasy football hasn't returned to something resembling the usual heading into tough Week 6, start 'em, sit 'em decisions.
Where games themselves have started seeing the usual suspects even out and win, a guy like Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson slotted as one of the top fantasy performers in Week 5.
Compounding the issue now is owners left scrambling for help with the NFL losing superstars like Odell Beckham Jr. to season-ending injuries.
These factors all stack atop the normal fantasy problems, like trying to dissect what looks like a tough overall week. Here are reinforcements of sorts for owners in need as we compare some of the top matchups to rank the best values before diving into start-sit questions.
|Cam Newton (vs. PHI) vs. Carson Palmer (vs. TB)||Cam Newton|
|Kirk Cousins (vs. SF) vs. Ben Roethlisberger (at KC)||Kirk Cousins|
|Jameis Winston (at ARI) vs. Matt Ryan (vs. MIA)||Matt Ryan|
|Deshaun Watson (vs. CLE) vs. Drew Brees (vs. DET)||Drew Brees|
|Aaron Rodgers (at MIN) vs. Matthew Stafford (at NO)||Matthew Stafford|
Star to Start: Kirk Cousins vs. SF
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is on fire heading right into what could be one of his best matchups of the year.
Coming off a Week 5 bye, meaning extra time to prepare, Cousins gets to stay home and beat up on the San Francisco 49ers, whose defense is allowing the 12th-most points to quarterbacks on average this year.
San Francisco's poor resume includes coughing up north of 300 passing yards to Indianapolis Colts backup Jacoby Brissett, who totaled 18.96 points.
Cousins shouldn't have any problems blowing past that number, especially considering he's thrown five total touchdowns over his past two outings.
Star to Sit: Jared Goff at JAX
In Week 6 Goff walks headfirst into a buzzsaw known as the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Those Jaguars allow the fewest points per game to signal-callers, holding four out of five quarterbacks encountered to single-digit production.
Make no mistake—Goff has been a breakthrough stud this year, both in fantasy and real life. But he regressed to single-digit production in Week 5 and doesn't figure to recover against the Jaguars.
|Kareem Hunt (vs. PIT) vs. C.J. Anderson (vs. NYG)||Kareem Hunt|
|Todd Gurley (at JAX) vs. Christian McCaffery (vs. PHI)||Todd Gurley|
|Melvin Gordon (at OAK) vs. Jordan Howard (at BAL)||Jordan Howard|
|Leonard Fournette (vs. LAR) vs. DeMarco Murray (vs. IND)||Leonard Fournette|
|Jerick McKinnon (vs. GB) vs. LeGarrette Blount (at CAR)||LeGarrette Blount|
Star to Start: Jordan Howard at BAL
Time to jump back aboard the Jordan Howard train.
Yes, Howard has had a pair of disappointing outings this year, including a 7.6-point showing in Week 5. But the Chicago Bears' lead back worked his way through a shoulder injury to start the season and has still posted three outings of 12 or more points, including a 26.6-point outburst.
Now Howard should have an easier time than usual with the Bears deciding to go with rookie Mitchell Trubisky under center. This didn't show in Week 5 thanks to a tough Minnesota Vikings defense, but it will in Week 6.
There, Howard will get to beat up on a Baltimore Ravens defense coughing up the eighth-most points to running backs on average. Opportunities equal production, and with Howard getting a minimum of 18 carries in each of his past three outings, he's going to have one of the bigger days of the week.
Star to Sit: Jay Ajayi at ATL
Don't release Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi outright, but don't expect much from him in Week 6, either.
Owners have to be getting used to the idea by now. Ajayi has yet to score a rushing touchdown and has reached double-digit output just once, meaning he hasn't been close to the player he was last year.
Matchup doesn't always equal production, either. In this case, Ajayi gets an Atlanta Falcons defense allowing the ninth-most points to backs.
It sounds great, but we're talking about a Dolphins team that has scored six, zero and 16 points over their past three games going to Atlanta and likely falling behind against quarterback Matt Ryan. Look for game flow to limit Ajayi's usage right away.
|Antonio Brown (at KC) vs. Larry Fitzgerald (vs. TB)||Antonio Brown|
|T.Y. Hilton (at TEN) vs. DeAndre Hopkins (vs. CLE)||T.Y. Hilton|
|Julio Jones (vs. MIA) vs. Mike Evans (at ARI)||Julio Jones|
|Kelvin Benjamin (vs. PHI) vs. Jarvis Landry (at ATL)||Jarvis Landry|
|Alshon Jeffery ( at CAR) vs. Tyreek Hill (vs. PIT)||Tyreek Hill|
Star to Start: T.Y. Hilton at TEN
Don't shy away from Colts wideout T.Y. Hilton now.
Andrew Luck or not, Hilton hasn't had any problems putting on a show in recent weeks, hitting 17.7 points or higher in two out of his last three appearances. Granted, the exception was a three-point affair, but so it goes in Seattle.
Matchup is everything with Hilton right now without Luck, which makes him one of the more notable starts in Week 6 when his Colts visit the Tennessee Titans.
Tennessee has coughed up the fourth-most points to wideouts on the season, including a whopping eight touchdowns. This doesn't guarantee Hilton a touchdown outright, but his target total sitting at six or better in every game so far says the odds rest in his favor.
Star to Sit: Demaryius Thomas vs. NYG
While still a big name, Denver Broncos wideout Demaryius Thomas has been one of the bigger fantasy duds of the year.
Over four appearances, Thomas has yet to score double-digit points despite eight targets in three games. Blame can go all over the place in Denver for this, but the reality is that even in a four-touchdown week from quarterback Trevor Siemian, Thomas only caught six passes for 71 yards.
Now Thomas walks into a miserable encounter against the New York Giants, owners of a defense permitting just the fourth-fewest points to wideouts on average.
The long-term outlook for Thomas isn't good, though the short term is outright miserable.
|Cameron Brate (at ARI) vs. Austin Hooper (vs. MIA)||Cameron Brate|
|Zach Ertz (at CAR) vs. Austin Seferian-Jenkins (vs. NE)||Zach Ertz|
|Rob Gronkowski (at NYJ) vs. Zach Miller (at BAL)||Rob Gronkowski|
|Ed Dickson (vs. PHI) vs. Delanie Walker (vs. IND)||Delanie Walker|
|Evan Engram (at DEN) vs. Travis Kelce (vs. PIT)||Travis Kelce|
Star to Start: Zach Ertz at CAR
Zach Ertz of the Philadelphia Eagles finally hit double digits a week ago, posting 12.1 points on six catches for 61 yards and a score.
Which isn't to suggest Ertz has struggled all year. He's been arguably the most reliable tight end in fantasy while scoring a minimum of 8.1 points every week, a rarity given how tough the spot has been.
Ertz doesn't have the best matchup outright against the Carolina Panthers in Week 6, but he's too reliable to pass up here after a 12-target game, his third foray into double-digit targets this season.
Few tight ends see this sort of usage, and Ertz is outright the top target in Philadelphia, meaning he's going to see plenty of looks against a stingy defense in a game that could feature plenty of scoring.
Star to Sit: Kyle Rudolph vs. GB
Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph enters Week 6 coming off his best game of the season, a 10.5-point showing via six catches for 45 yards and a score.
But Rudolph setting season highs in targets (nine) and catches doesn't mean he set a new weekly bar. In fact, it means regression is likely on the menu in most normal circumstances.
Compounding this issue is a game against the Green Bay Packers, owners of a defense that has allowed the second-fewest points to tight ends on average, even holding Jason Witten to 4.1 points on eight catches and 10 targets.