Welcome to Week 6’s start/sit column. Each week throughout the regular season, I will go over a few players at each major position and tell you whether you should make room in your lineup for them or pull them out of a starting spot. Players labeled “starts” are non-obvious options that either have a good matchup or are trending in the right direction, ranking higher for me than consensus this week. Players labeled “sits” are ones I have concerns about leading into the week but are in a significant amount starting lineups. This article is most helpful for those in full- or half-point PPR leagues.
As always, you should make the final call on all of your lineup decisions. This column is intended to be a piece of your research puzzle and/or a resource to highlight some specific names that may have been overlooked in my weekly rankings. Remember, the Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, and Seattle Seahawks are on bye this week.
Without further ado, here is Start/Sit for Week 6:
START: Ben Roethlisberger (QB - PIT)
Although he’s not quite clicking like the Roethlisberger of old, fantasy managers have to be quite happy with what they’ve gotten from the veteran so far. Roethlisberger ranks as the QB12 in average fantasy points per game (20.46) and has a juicy matchup on tap with the Browns, the team allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Anyone who’s paid any attention to the AFC North in recent years knows that Roethlisberger owns Ohio. Only Baker Mayfield, with a win over the Colts in Week 5, has more wins at First Energy Stadium than Roethlisberger… for now. The emergence of Chase Claypool and the increased involvement of Eric Ebron has helped complement the talents of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson. The latter might not play in Week 6, but Roethlisberger will have plenty of weapons regardless.
START: Jared Goff (QB - LAR)
When the Rams play on the road this season, good things happen for their offense. That’s been the theme early on. In Los Angeles’ three road games, the team is averaging 33.0 points per game and Goff is averaging 25.19 fantasy points. He’ll have another chance to ball out in primetime on Sunday Night Football against a 49ers defense that is one of the 10-best units to face if you’re a fantasy quarterback. All of the Rams’ playmakers are healthy, while almost none of San Francisco’s defensive stars are. Goff’s two underwhelming home wins are masking what has been a solid fantasy season so far. Start him with confidence this week in San Francisco.
SIT: Carson Wentz (QB - PHI)
Wentz has been better as of late, actually ranking as the QB11 over the last three weeks, but I’m not tempted to play him this Sunday. One has to ask what his true upside is at this point. It’s probably 21.5 points, the total he scored at home against the Bengals in Week 3 and fell just shy of the following week on the road against a banged-up 49ers squad. Is that upside worth the risk of bottoming out? Baltimore’s defense shut down Joe Burrow last week but overall hasn’t been quite as good as they were last year. You’re not automatically running from this matchup as a fantasy manager, but given the lack of weapons around Wentz and a lower ceiling than usual, I’ll pass on playing him this week.
START: David Montgomery (RB - CAR)
Rostering Montgomery has been a frustrating experience for two seasons now, but this matchup is just too juicy to pass up—especially with a limited crop of other healthy running backs to choose from. The Panthers allow the third-most fantasy points to running backs this season and just got gashed by Todd Gurley. Montgomery has no real competition for carries—with all due respect to Cordarrelle Patterson—and, hopefully, head coach Matt Nagy finally “gets it” for a week and rides the running back to victory. His increased usage in the passing game since Tarik Cohen’s injury is encouraging as well. Montgomery is a top-20 play at the position in Week 6.
START: Myles Gaskin (RB - MIA)
After a not-so-great performance at home against the Seahawks in Week 4, Gaskin bounced right back in a blowout of the 49ers on Sunday. He had his best game of the season with 20.1 fantasy points last week. Put him right back into your starting lineup as an RB2 this week against a Jets team allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs this season. Gaskin is the clear lead back in Miami and they are heavy favorites to win this game. Gaskin is averaging 20.3 touches per game over the last three weeks and ANY player getting that much work against the 2020 Jets is a must-start.
SIT: Mark Ingram (RB - BAL)
Touchdown regression was expected. Touch regression wasn’t. Ingram averaged 15.2 touches per game last season and many—like myself—expected a similar workload this season but with maybe 10 total touchdowns instead of 15. Instead, he’s averaging only 9.6 touches per game through the first five weeks of the season, a 36.7% decrease compared to 2019. There’s no way you can trust the workload moving forward, which not only keeps Ingram out of top-30 running back territory, it makes him flat-out droppable.
START: Jamison Crowder (WR - NYJ)
Davante Adams. That is the entire list of fantasy wide receivers averaging more points per game this season than Crowder. Surprised? Maybe you shouldn’t be. Crowder is the quintessential PPR receiver, a high-volume slot who succeeds no matter the quarterback under center. His worst game of the season resulted in 17.4 points and he’s coming off his best performance (25.6) of the season so far. He has a slightly favorable matchup with the Dolphins this week and he should continue to pile up the targets, catches, and fantasy points. What alternative does Joe Flacco/Sam Darnold have? Throw to Jeff Smith? Nah.
START: Justin Jefferson (WR - MIN)
Jefferson had a surprisingly poor day in a glorious matchup against the Seahawks on Sunday Night Football, but I’m rolling him right back out there against the Falcons this week. Minnesota returns home to take on an Atlanta team that’s probably just playing out the season at this point. Atlanta’s defense is abysmal and they’re allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. I expect a better game from Kirk Cousins and for both Adam Thielen and Jefferson to have success. I would not be surprised if Jefferson is back over 100 receiving yards this week.
SIT: Deebo Samuel (WR - SF)
No team has allowed fewer points to fantasy wide receivers this season than the Rams. Couple that with a very uncertain quarterback situation and Samuel still working his way back from injury and he’s too risky to be in starting lineups this week. He’s still ranked among my top 50 wide receivers, but you likely have better options on your bench and even the waiver wire this week. Samuel has seven touches and 65 combined yards through his first two games of the season. I’m in wait-and-see mode before putting him back into my lineup.
START: Mike Gesicki (TE - MIA)
Gesicki has been a little more up and down than many had hoped, but the analysis here is quite simple: Gesicki good, Jets bad. I expect the Dolphins to provide plenty of fantasy success, as you can probably tell, and Gesicki should be good for a half-dozen or more targets against a vulnerable defense. He also has as good of a chance to score a touchdown as any tight end not named Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews. Gesicki is a must-start this week.
SIT: Tyler Higbee (TE - LAR)
There was some fear coming into the season that the consensus preseason TE6 might come back down to earth after a phenomenal final month of the 2019 season. So far in 2020, that fear has been founded. Higbee had a monstrous three-touchdown, 28.4-fantasy-point performance against the Eagles in Week 2 but has just 23.2 fantasy points combined in his other four games—none with more than 7.5 points. The 49ers aren’t a great matchup for tight ends, but I’m not sure that even matters here. We saw Sean McVay get quite creative with how he used Gerald Everett last week and neither player is a trustworthy weekly start. Higbee is not ranked among my TE1s this week.