Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Best fantasy football plays for Week 6

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Best fantasy football plays for Week 6 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

It’s officially Week 6, about that time when the contenders begin to separate from the pretenders.

With the fantasy football regular season nearing the halfway mark, it’s time to either separate yourself from the pack or try to make up ground before it’s too late. 

Here are the players you should have on your radar this week.

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Start ’em

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick, MIA (vs. NYJ)
  • Matt Stafford, DET (vs. JAX)
  • Kirk Cousins, MIN (vs. ATL)

Did you know that Ryan Fitzpatrick is the No. 7 quarterback in fantasy football? Well, he is and the ageless wonder also hasn’t put up fewer than 20 points in any matchup since Week 1. With the New York Jets up next, Fitzpatrick should be due for another big afternoon…It hasn’t been the typical start you’d expect from Matt Stafford, as the big-armed quarterback has yet to top 300 yards in any contest and has only gone one game without an interception this season. However, with the Jaguars on the docket and Detroit coming off a bye, this has all the makings of a big outing from the gun-slinger…Putting Kirk Cousins on the start ’em list is a recipe for failure. But with the winless Atlanta Falcons being Minnesota’s next opponent, it’s impossible to leave Captain Kirk off of this list. The Falcons are giving up the most points to opposing fantasy quarterbacks and have just fired their head coach. 

Sit ’em

  • Teddy Bridgewater, CAR (vs. CHI)
  • Joe Burrow, CIN (vs. IND)
  • Jimmy Garoppolo, SF (vs. LAR)

Teddy Bridgewater was a popular waiver-wire pickup one week ago, and the two-gloved signal-caller played well. However, don’t expect Bridgewater’s success in Week 5 to carry over to Week 6, as he faces a Chicago defense that is on 10 days of rest and coming off an impressive performance against Tom Brady and the Bucs…Joe Burrow had been a hot commodity as well a few weeks ago after a pair of impressive fantasy performances. However, the No.1  pick sure looked like a rookie last week against Baltimore, and now faces an Indianapolis defense that has allowed the least amount of fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks…Jimmy G was benched last week after one half against the Dolphins. That shouldn’t happen in an important divisional game against the Rams this week, but Garoppolo can’t be trusted fantasy-wise again until he puts together a complete performance.

Running Backs

Start ’em

  • Alexander Mattison, MIN (vs. ATL)
  • Myles Gaskin, MIA (vs. NYJ)
  • Antonio Gibson, WAS (vs. NYG)

If you’re a fantasy owner who’s been hoarding Alexander Mattison on your bench in case Dalvin Cook got hurt…you’re in luck. Cook won’t play this week for Minnesota with a groin injury, meaning it will be Mattison’s show against a brutal Falcons defense. Mattison has impressed when given the lead role before, so it’s fair to expect true RB1 numbers from the Vikings backup this weekend…No player has been as quietly good in fantasy this year as Dolphins running back Myles Gaskin. Despite only scoring one touchdown this season, he’s had double-digit finishes (PPR) in four of his five games and is also averaging over five receptions per game. Keep Gaskin in the lineup this week against a sorry Jets team…Gibson has been a nice addition for the Washington Football team that desperately needs weapons. He’s rushed for a touchdown in three of the team’s last four games and caught a season-high five receptions last week in the loss to the Rams. With the lowly Giants coming up, Sunday has the chance for Gibson to have another breakout game.

Sit ’em

  • Joe Mixon, CIN (vs. IND)
  • Mark Ingram, BAL (vs. PHI)
  • Melvin Gordon, DEN (vs. NE)

The return of Joe Mixon was a relief for fantasy owners in Week 4, when the Bengals running back finally put together a breakout fantasy performance. Last week was a return to reality, however, as he rushed for just 59 yards on 24 carries. Yikes. Now, he faces an Indianapolis defense that owners should think twice about before keeping Mixon in their lineup…Mark Ingram rushed for over 1,000 yards for Baltimore a season ago, but the veteran rusher has had an abysmal start to 2020. It’s not just Ingram, however, no running back in Baltimore has gotten enough carries to warrant legit fantasy consideration. Baltimore runs the ball better than any team in the league, but they don’t have one back owners can ‘truss’ right now. Weird…Melvin Gordon already had a tough matchup entering the week against a stout Patriots defense against running backs. Now, Gordon might not even be active after a DUI arrest earlier this week. Yeah, uh, keep Gordon on your bench.

Wide receivers 

Start ’em

  • Jamison Crowder, NYJ (vs. MIA)
  • Julio Jones, ATL (vs. MIN)
  • Marquise Brown, BAL (vs. PHI)

There’s very little to be excited about with the Jets. Like very, very, very, very little. But, they do have Jamison Crowder, who’s been a fantasy stud thus far in 2020. With Joe Flacco at quarterback last week, Crowder still managed to haul in eight passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. Against a Miami defense that has struggled with injuries, too, keep Crowder in your lineups…Wait, why is Julio Jones on this list? Isn’t he a must-start regardless? Well, not exactly. Jones has been dealing with a hamstring injury that has cost him two games this season thus far, and he was ineffective trying to play through it in Week 4. Still, if Jones is active this week, he is a MUST play. MUST. Minnesota’s defense is horrific and Jones should have a prime-Julio performance…Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Lamar Jackson have not clicked immediately in 2020, yet the speedy second-year receiver has still been able to produce. It’s only a matter of time before the two start to click.

Sit ’em

  • Tyler Boyd, CIN (vs. IND)
  • Robby Anderson, CAR (vs. CHI)
  • John Brown, BUF (vs. KC)

Tyler Boyd has emerged as rookie quarterback Joe Burrow’s favorite target. But after a quiet week against a tough Baltimore defense, Boyd faces an even more daunting task against a Colts unit that has allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing wideouts. Keep Boyd on the bench for now…Robby Anderson has been one of the most pleasant surprises in fantasy football. He’s currently the sixth-highest-scoring wideout and has four games of 99 receiving yards or more. However, he faces a tough matchup in Chicago this week, a defense that shut down Mike Evans for the most part last week…John Brown has been dealing with multiple leg injuries, including one that kept him out of the Bills Week 5 contest. He has a good relationship with QB Josh Allen, but even if Brown is healthy enough to play against the Chiefs, don’t expect him to make much of an impact.

Tight end

Start ’em

  • Robert Tonyan, GB (vs. TB)
  • Noah Fant, DEN (vs. NE)

Robert Tonyan had the breakout fantasy performance of the season in Week 4 when he hauled in three touchdown grabs against the Atlanta Falcons. Don’t expect Tonyan’s outing to be a one-week wonder, however. He’s scored a touchdown in three straight games and surely has the trust of Aaron Rodgers, which is a hard thing to earn. Tonyan could easily be a TE1 the rest of the season…Noah Fant’s second-year has been a solid one, despite already playing with a trio of quarterbacks. With Drew Lock expected to return this week, Fant is a must-play against New England, even if the Patriots defense is not a great matchup.

Sit ’em 

  • Dalton Schultz, DAL (vs. ARI)
  • Rob Gronkowski, TB (vs. GB)

Dalton Schultz was a surprise to many earlier in the season when he put together multiple solid outings replacing Blake Jarwin, who’s been sidelined with a torn ACL. However, it’s looking more and more as if he was just a product of a Dallas offense that was throwing the football 45-50 times a game. With Dak Prescott no longer under center and considering Dallas’ weapons outside of Schultz, it’s a safe bet to keep him sidelined…Rob Gronkowski is a future Hall of Famer and one of the best tight ends to play the game. Ever. But now that we’ve gotten past that, he’s simply not fantasy-relevant in 2020. Well, at least not yet. For Gronkowski owners, it’s okay to still believe. But until Gronk shows that he’s more than a glorified offensive lineman in Tampa, it’s time to keep him sidelined.


Start ’em

  • Miami Dolphins (vs. NYJ)
  • Los Angeles Rams (vs. SF)

The Dolphins defense was a surprisingly great option last week when they totaled five sacks, two interceptions and three turnovers against the 49ers. Now, they get to face a New York Jets team that has arguably the worst offense in football. It almost seems too good to be true, but owners should have no problem rolling with the Jets this week…What the Dolphins defense did to San Francisco last week is exactly why the Rams defense is a great play this week. The 49ers will show up on Sunday night — they have to — but the Rams defense is for real. After all, Washington had -6 yards in the second half against them last week. Negative. Six. Yards. The Rams are for real.

Sit ’em

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. GB)
  • Buffalo Bills (vs. KC)

Did you know the Buccaneers have the third-best defense in fantasy football? Surprisingly, they do and have forced two-plus turnovers in three of their last four games. None of that matters this weekend, however, as the Bucs are facing Green Bay and an-MVP quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. Tampa is a solid play most weeks, but they should be nowhere near a starting lineup in Week 6…The Bills defense entered the season a top-5 unit in fantasy, but the group has failed to live up to its potential thus far. The group currently ranks 24th in fantasy defenses, highlighted by a -4 point performance this past week against Tennessee. With the high-flying Chiefs offense up next., keep the Bills defense on the bench.

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