Fantasy Football Week 6 Lineup Cheat Sheet: Starts, sits and sleepers

Week 6 Rankings: Standard | PPR

The Lineup Cheat Sheet combines Fantasy analysis and game flow predictions with a confidence scale to give you a definitive answer on who to start in your leagues.

The higher the number next to a player's name, the more confident you should be to start him.

If a player isn't listed, don't start him.

Numbers are based on non-PPR scoring but are typically applicable to PPR formats.

To find a specific player, use your search function -- CTRL-F on PCs and Command-F on Macs. If neither of those are options, or if you're on a mobile device, you can search by game.

If you're still unsure, just send a note on Twitter (@daverichard) using #CBSFLCS and I'll give it a look, time permitting.

Broncos at Chargers

This has to be the week the Broncos really kick their run game into high gear. The Chargers have allowed a touchdown to a running back in every game this season and have struggled against each of three rushers who had a minimum of 10 carries (at least 14 Fantasy points). The Broncos have also leaned on the run in each of their five straight wins over the Bolts, gaining a minimum of 115 rush yards per game with five backs totaling over 10 Fantasy points.

Broncos Chargers
Trevor Siemian (6.2) Philip Rivers (4.9)
C.J. Anderson (8.8) Melvin Gordon (8.0)
Devontae Booker (2.9) Travis Benjamin (5.0)
Demaryius Thomas (8.2) Tyrell Williams (3.7)
Emmanuel Sanders (7.6) Hunter Henry (5.9)
Virgil Green (2.8) Antonio Gates (5.0)
Broncos DST (8.0) Chargers DST (2.8)

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Philip Rivers LAC • QB • 17
2016 season

Rivers' last game with 20 or more Fantasy points against the Broncos came just about two years ago, at Denver. His last game with 20 or more Fantasy points at home against the Broncos? That would be November of 2010. For whatever reason, he has struggled with the Broncos at home. In a related item, quarterbacks have recently struggled against the Broncos regardless of location. Not one has thrown multiple touchdowns against them yet, and not one has exceeded 275 yards. And all but one have thrown at least one interception. This isn't the week to trust Rivers.

49ers at Bills

In the past three weeks, the Bills have held quarterbacks on the other team to 17 Fantasy points -- combined! To be fair, we're talking about Carson Palmer and a couple of stiffs, but it's tough to see Colin Kaepernick finding success in his debut on the road against an aggressive Buffalo defense. On the season, the Bills have allowed two passing touchdowns and come down with six interceptions. With a depleted defense unlikely to solve the Buffalo offense, the pressure on Kap and the 49ers passing game will be too great to overcome.

49ers Bills
Colin Kaepernick (4.0) Tyrod Taylor (5.7)
Carlos Hyde (8.6) LeSean McCoy (9.3)
Jeremy Kerley (4.2) Mike Gillislee (4.0)
Garrett Celek (3.8) Robert Woods (4.6)
49ers DST (2.6) Marquise Goodwin (2.3)
Charles Clay (5.6)
Bills DST (8.5)

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Jeremy Kerley BUF • WR • 14
2016 season

Just how good has the Bills pass defense been in the last three weeks? No receiver from the Cardinals, Patriots or Rams has caught more than seven passes, and no receiver went beyond 75 yards. Kerley was definitely a hot name off of waivers this week, but he not only faces a challenging matchup on the road, he's also catching passes from a different quarterback. Will Kaepernick lean on Kerley as Blaine Gabbert did over the last two weeks? I wouldn't use Kerley as anything more than a volume-needy bye-week receiver.

Eagles at Redskins

So far this season Philadelphia has done a nice job modifying its offense to attack opponents' weaknesses. If that holds true, the Eagles will try to run early and often against the Redskins. Jay Gruden's crew is giving up 5.3 yards per rush to running backs with seven rushing touchdowns in five games. Ryan Mathews should be counted on for a good dose of work -- potentially 15 touches. He's as safe as they come as a No. 2 rusher.

Eagles Redskins
Carson Wentz (6.3) Kirk Cousins (4.8)
Ryan Mathews (7.9) Matt Jones (5.1)
Darren Sproles (4.1) Chris Thompson (3.3)
Jordan Matthews (6.5) DeSean Jackson (5.9)
Dorial Green-Beckham (3.2) Jamison Crowder (4.55)
Zach Ertz (6.1) Pierre Garcon (2.1)
Eagles DST (7.0) Jordan Reed (7.1)
Redskins DST (2.9)

Risky Starts
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DeSean Jackson TB • WR • 11
2016 season
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Zach Ertz PHI • TE • 86
2016 season

I wouldn't feel good about starting either Jackson or Ertz given their matchups. D-Jax can harm his old team in just one play, but the Eagles have given up just 11 pass plays of 20-plus yards on the season. Jackson has eight targets or less in each of his last four with 10-plus Fantasy points in one of them. He's overdue for a big game, but his old team will keep things tough. Ertz, meanwhile, will get challenged by a Washington defense that has held all tight ends to eight Fantasy points or less -- and only one (Crockett Gillmore) had more than five. With the hunch that the Eagles find success on the ground, this could be a lean week for Ertz.

Browns at Titans

Injury update: Browns offensive guard Joel Bitonio is out for the season. He was the Browns' second-best blocker behind Joe Thomas. His absence will hurt Cleveland.

Here's an interesting opportunity for the Titans to either show off their No. 2-ranked run offense or try to flex their passing prowess. Whichever they go with, they should be happy. The Browns don't have the luxury of picking their own poison as they'll deal with what's turned out to be an underrated Titans defensive front. The bulky D-line and pass rusher Brian Orakpo make for a dangerous combination for a Browns offensive line that's gotten four quarterbacks hurt already this season.

Browns Titans
Cody Kessler (2.8) Marcus Mariota (7.0)
Isaiah Crowell (6.9) DeMarco Murray (9.2)
Duke Johnson (5.0) Derrick Henry (6.1)
Terrelle Pryor (5.2) Andre Johnson (2.4)
Gary Barnidge (6.0) Delanie Walker (8.7)
Browns DST (2.3) Titans DST (7.5)

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Marcus Mariota TEN • QB • 8
2016 season

The matchup is saucy for Mariota -- every passer to face the Browns has walked away with a bushel of Fantasy points -- but Mariota has had great matchups before (remember Week 3 vs. Oakland?) and not produced. I was jittery about starting him at first, but this was the tipping point: Mariota has been involved in only two blowout wins in his career -- his first NFL game and last week at Miami. In both games he was very efficient on under 30 pass attempts and nailed at least three touchdowns. Start him.

Ravens at Giants

Injury update: The Ravens have some serious injury issues beyond receiver Steve Smith missing the game. Inside linebacker C.J. Mosley is unlikely to play, meaning the team's top tackler will be out. Rookie Kamalei Correa and Albert McClellan figure to take over inside, but that won't deter the Giants from trying to run the ball one bit. On offense, the Ravens will be without two starting linemen -- Ronnie Stanley and Marshall Yanda -- and Rick Wagner could also miss the game. It's an absolute crusher that could really limit the entire Ravens offense.

The Giants' biggest problem? It's the O-line that has really been a problem since its right tackle went down. Going up against the Vikings and Packers on the road is a tough pair of assignments. Getting the Ravens at home should be easier. The Giants might try to run the ball to take pressure off of Eli Manning, but it's too risky to say they'll find success. New York is averaging 83.6 rushing yards per game and has one measly run of 20-plus yards on the year. The safer bet is for high-volume pass attempts from Eli Manning. Again. This doesn't guarantee good stats because Manning has averaged 40 attempts over his past four games, but has under 300 yards per and just two total touchdowns. If the play calling is predictable and the offensive line can't improve its pass protection of Manning, it could be another tough week for the Giants.

Ravens Giants
Joe Flacco (4.4) Eli Manning (6.0)
Terrance West (7.6) Rashad Jennings (5.25)
Kenneth Dixon (2.5) Bobby Rainey (5.2)
Breshad Perriman (3.9) Odell Beckham (8.0)
Mike Wallace (3.8) Sterling Shepard (5.4)
Dennis Pitta (5.2) Victor Cruz (3.4)
Ravens DST (4.95) Will Tye (3.6)
Giants DST (6.2)

Risky Start
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Sterling Shepard NYG • WR • 87
2016 season

You'll hear a lot about Ravens cornerback Shareece Wright and how he's been a sieve in pass coverage lately. The Ravens did just fine with Tavon Young playing in Wright's place last week and there's no guarantee Wright will get his job back. But even if he does, it's unlikely he'll line up in the slot against Sterling Shepard. That's where Jerraud Powers has been holding it down. Powers did a nice job last week while Shepard's receiving average has dwindled in his past two games against very good competition. It'll be a little bit easier for Shepard this week, but only enough to look at him as a possible flex or third Fantasy receiver.

Panthers at Saints

Injury update: The Panthers secondary took another hit when veteran cornerback Robert McClain was ruled out. That means either fifth-round pick Zack Sanchez or special-teams contributor Teddy Williams will start opposite rookie Daryl Worley.

The Saints are at home coming off of a bye week. Expect some fresh wrinkles for New Orleans on defense, which could put a crimp in the Panthers' deep ball game. Where Cam will most definitely win is over the middle with Greg Olsen, who has torched the Saints. But with Jonathan Stewart back on the field, look for a re-dedication to the run game. He should be ready for at least 15 touches versus a Saints squad giving up 4.6 yards per rush on the year with eight rushing touchdowns allowed in four games!

Panthers Saints
Cam Newton (8.8) Drew Brees (9.5)
Jonathan Stewart (7.5) Mark Ingram (8.1)
Fozzy Whittaker (3.4) Travaris Cadet (3.1)
Kelvin Benjamin (7.8) Brandin Cooks (7.9)
Greg Olsen (9.0) Willie Snead (6.7)
Panthers DST (5.7) Michael Thomas (6.8)
Coby Fleener (7.2)
Saints DST (2.7)

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Coby Fleener NO • TE • 82
2016 season
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Michael Thomas NO • WR • 13
2016 season

After a week of self-scouting, don't be surprised to see the Saints continue to feed targets to these guys. Thomas actually leads the Saints in receptions (21) and draws a great matchup against the Panthers beat-up secondary. Fleener has had only one good game this season, but Week 6 will bring another. You have to love his matchup against a Panthers linebacking corps that has given up a touchdown to a tight end in three of the past four games. Start both.

Jaguars at Bears

When you think Jaguars, you don't think defense. But the unit that rolls out on Sunday will be the best it's been all season, maybe in years. Their top three cornerbacks will be on the field a lot, and combined they've given up just two touchdowns. And their front seven will be well stocked coming out of the bye -- they've allowed just two touchdowns on the ground to running backs. Brian Hoyer's been playing well and has some familiarity with the Jaguars after playing them twice last year with Houston (one great game, one bad game), but there's three weeks of game film on him and the rest of the Bears offense. This is a dangerous spot for a Chicago team that doesn't win very often at home.

Jaguars Bears
Blake Bortles (6.4) Brian Hoyer (6.9)
T.J. Yeldon (6.85) Jordan Howard (8.7)
Chris Ivory (3.9) Alshon Jeffery (7.1)
Allen Robinson (9.4) Eddie Royal (5.75)
Allen Hurns (5.65) Cameron Meredith (5.3)
Marqise Lee (2.9) Zach Miller (7.5)
Julius Thomas (6.3) Bears DST (4.7)
Jaguars DST (4.0)

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Alshon Jeffery PHI • WR • 17
2016 season

After going scoreless for five straight weeks, Jeffery's Fantasy owners are getting jittery. Last week the Colts were selective about double-teaming him (long third downs, some snaps in the last two minutes), but really they left him in single coverage often. Hoyer also didn't look his way a bunch -- there were a number of attempts where he locked on to Cameron Meredith and Eddie Royal. In Jeffery's favor: the Jaguars will probably stick with single coverage on him since Meredith has become a legitimate threat, plus there have been headlines about Jeffery asking for the ball. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, so expect a season-high in targets for Jeffery with some good numbers to develop. He's OK as a No. 2 receiver.

Rams at Lions

This looks like the best matchup to-date for Rams rusher Todd Gurley. Detroit is not only going to be without linebacker DeAndre Levy but huge defensive tackle Haloti Ngata also is expected to miss multiple games. So a Lions run defense that already allows over 5.0 yards per carry is getting weaker. Gurley's had at least 20 touches in each of his last four games including three-plus receptions in his last two. Bank on the Rams revolving around Gurley on offense.

Rams Lions
Case Keenum (2.9) Matthew Stafford (8.0)
Todd Gurley (8.9) Dwayne Washington (5.7)
Tavon Austin (5.1) Marvin Jones (8.1)
Kenny Britt (4.4) Golden Tate (2.8)
Lance Kendricks (3.4) Anquan Boldin (2.7)
Rams DST (4.9) Lions DST (6.9)

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Matthew Stafford DET • QB • 9
2016 season

The Rams defensive line isn't 100 percent and neither is their secondary. Matthew Stafford had a great stat line last week, but he himself didn't have a great game for the second week in a row. That will change this week. The loss of cornerback Trumaine Johnson for Los Angeles is a big one because his replacement will either be Troy Hill (who was roasted for three weeks before getting benched) or Dwayne Gratz (who was so bad that Jacksonville cut him). Stafford and Marvin Jones are must-starts, and bank on the quarterback delivering better than the 245-2-1 line he had against the Rams in 2015.

Steelers at Dolphins

How can the Dolphins keep up in this one? It'll take a lot of Steelers mistakes and a lot of gutsy play calling from the Fins. Maybe Adam Gase will order up a bunch of no-huddle to take pressure off of his O-line and his quarterback, though when the Dolphins did that late last week against the Titans they turned the ball over pretty quickly. Maybe they go with a slower approach to keep the Steelers off the field, but that means long sustaining drives with the run game pitching in. That's unlikely considering that they've run for 17 first downs this season, second-worst in the league. This one could get out of hand in a hurry.

Steelers Dolphins
Ben Roethlisberger (9.6) Ryan Tannehill (4.7)
Le'Veon Bell (9.5) Arian Foster (5.5)
Antonio Brown (10.0) Jay Ajayi (2.6)
Sammie Coates (7.4) Jarvis Landry (6.55)
Markus Wheaton (3.0) DeVante Parker (5.6)
Jesse James (6.8) Dolphins DST (2.5)
Steelers DST (7.4)

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Sammie Coates HOU • WR • 18
2016 season
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Jesse James PIT • TE • 81
2016 season

Sometimes it's a bad idea to stick with a "hot hand" in Fantasy. This isn't one of those times. James has produced a modest seven Fantasy points or more in three of his past four games while Coates' breakout game last week was preceded by a six-catch, 79-yard outing in Week 4. The Dolphins pass defense is putrid, allowing eight scores and 257 yards per game through the air, and Roethlisberger has the strongest arm of any quarterback they've played. Their best pass defender, safety Reshad Jones, is a huge question mark to play. Coates and James are start-worthy!

Bengals at Patriots

Marvin Lewis' Bengals have played the Patriots six times and lost five of them, only coming up with a victory in 2013, beating the Pats 13-6. Rob Gronkowski didn't play in the game and Tom Brady was sacked four times. Otherwise, the series has been pretty lopsided with the Patriots scoring at least 34 points and Brady having multiple touchdowns and/or 250 yards. Making his home debut with an offense that is near-impossible to cover, the expectation is for Brady to notch another big game.

Bengals Patriots
Andy Dalton (5.1) Tom Brady (9.4)
Giovani Bernard (6.2) LeGarrette Blount (7.7)
Jeremy Hill (4.9) James White (5.4)
A.J. Green (8.5) Julian Edelman (5.8)
Brandon LaFell (4.1) Chris Hogan (5.5)
C.J. Uzomah (3.2) Rob Gronkowski (9.1)
Bengals DST (4.85) Martellus Bennett (8.5)
Patriots DST (7.1)

Sneaky Sleeper

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Giovani Bernard CIN • RB • 25
2016 season

Because the Bengals figure to play in a come-from-behind effort, and because Jeremy Hill was limited with a chest injury in practice, Giovani Bernard should get a lot of playing time and perhaps a season-high in touches (that would be 15). In the past three weeks the Pats let the Texans, Bills and Browns running backs land 19 receptions on 25 targets for 137 yards (7.2 yard average) and a touchdown. Bernard's rush attempts have spiked over the past two weeks to 9.5 per game along with 4.5 receptions per game. A five-catch, 70-yard game isn't out of the question, and it might be enough to make him a better start than Hill. He's a good flex play.

Chiefs at Raiders

All but one Raiders game has seen the combined score hit at least 55 points, making for some juicy Fantasy numbers. The Chiefs offense isn't known for being explosive, but the matchup dictates as much. The Raiders are allowing a league-worst 330.6 pass yards per game and every quarterback they've faced not named Marcus Mariota has delivered at least 23 Fantasy points. Alex Smith's track record against the Raiders includes five straight games with at least two touchdowns and 20-plus Fantasy points. This is about as close to a sure thing as you can get with Smith, whose O-line should be back at full strength.

Chiefs Raiders
Alex Smith (6.5) Derek Carr (7.3)
Jamaal Charles (8.2) Jalen Richard (5.8)
Spencer Ware (4.5) DeAndre Washington (5.3)
Jeremy Maclin (6.0) Jamize Olawale (3.0)
Travis Kelce (7.0) Amari Cooper (7.65)
Chiefs DST (5.1) Michael Crabtree (6.6)
Seth Roberts (2.2)
Raiders DST (4.5)

Start Him, but ...

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Derek Carr OAK • QB • 4
2016 season

Without Carr doing his thing, the Raiders offense is sunk. Carr's offensive line is in good shape and should protect him well against an under-performing Chiefs pass rush that has just five sacks in four games. Carr has been sacked just five times this year. Given time to throw and given the volume of pass attempts he'll have, he should fall into production easily. Just don't expect a big number -- he's interception prone and threw four of them in two games against the Chiefs last year. He'll be good, just not great.

Falcons at Seahawks

Injury update: There's some trouble in Seattle -- pass rusher Frank Clark and stud strong safety Kam Chancellor are game-time decisions. How valuable are these guys? Clark is a Top 25 edge rusher and Chancellor is graded as a Top 10 safety on Pro Football Focus. Clark is tied for the team lead in sacks (3.0) and Chancellor is third on the 'Hawks in tackles. If they're out, Matt Ryan won't be under as much pressure and the deep middle of the field will become a target.

This doesn't mean it's an easy matchup for Atlanta. Just apotentially improved one. And none of this changes the fact that they're on the road for the second week in a row against a team coming off a bye that plays its best ball at home. The Seahawks typically come out strong after a week off and have enough playmakers to make the Falcons defense worry. Plus the Falcons' defensive scheme was born out of what the Seahawks do!

Falcons Seahawks
Matt Ryan (6.1) Russell Wilson (9.1)
Devonta Freeman (7.0) Christine Michael (8.4)
Tevin Coleman (6.65) Doug Baldwin (8.3)
Julio Jones (7.0) Tyler Lockett (4.3)
Mohamed Sanu (2.5) Jimmy Graham (8.6)
Jacob Tamme (2.6) Seahawks DST (8.1)
Falcons DST (2.4)

Risky Starts

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Devonta Freeman ATL • RB • 24
2016 season
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Tevin Coleman ATL • RB • 26
2016 season

The Falcons have used both of these guys phenomenally. But this is where the magic will end, if only for a week. The Seahawks' run defense is as good as advertised -- take out the fourth quarter of a blowout win at home against the Niners and they've held opposing rushers to 2.8 yards per rush and no touchdowns. They're particularly good against edge rushers -- Pro Football Focus claims the Seahawks allow just under 3.0 yards per carry to backs running outside the offensive line. And these Seahawks are fresh after having Week 5 off! Freeman and Coleman will need to make plays as receivers to help their Fantasy stat lines thrive. Don't count on a whole lot from either one.

Cowboys at Packers

This is a tricky matchup for the Packers because the Cowboys' weakness is in their run defense. On the season they're allowing 4.8 yards per rush and 9.2 yards per catch to running backs. But the Packers' running backs are banged up -- Eddie Lacy is dealing with an ankle injury and James Starks was ruled out on Saturday. If these guys can't go then it leaves the Packers offense a little vulnerable against a better-than-expected Cowboys pass defense.

Cowboys Packers
Dak Prescott (5.8) Aaron Rodgers (8.3)
Ezekiel Elliott (9.0) Eddie Lacy (7.3)
Alfred Morris (2.7) Jordy Nelson (7.7)
Cole Beasley (5.7) Randall Cobb (7.55)
Terrance Williams (4.5) Davante Adams (4.7)
Brice Butler (4.0) Packers DST (6.3)
Jason Witten (3.0)
Cowboys DST (3.9)

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Randall Cobb GB • WR • 18
2016 season

The Cowboys have done a nice job taking away a team's No. 1 receiving threat on the outside, but they haven't done so well with non-No. 1 receivers, including slot guys. We should be encouraged by Cobb's usage last week with 9 of 11 targets caught and a rush attempt too. If the Packers' run game is limited by injury, it will only up the volume for Cobb against a Cowboys pass defense that doesn't mind bending to shorter underneath routes.

Colts at Texans

Like all of their matchups, the Colts will eventually turn to Andrew Luck to command the offense. But this is a nice matchup for Frank Gore. Ever since J.J. Watt hurt himself, the Texans have struggled keeping rushers out of the end zone, giving up five scores in three games. And while Indy's offensive line isn't in great shape, Gore has still averaged 4.8 yards per rush on 15.0 carries per game in his last two. With a floor of 70 total yards and the potential of a touchdown, Gore is solid as a No. 2 Fantasy running back.

Colts Texans
Andrew Luck (8.5) Brock Osweiler (5.2)
Frank Gore (7.8) Lamar Miller (8.5)
T.Y. Hilton (9.3) DeAndre Hopkins (9.0)
Phillip Dorsett (3.5) Will Fuller (7.5)
Dwayne Allen (5.4) C.J. Fiedorowicz (4.0)
Jack Doyle (2.4) Texans DST (6.1)
Colts DST (5.3)

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Will Fuller HOU • WR • 15
2016 season

It's really not that hard to predict when Fuller is going to play well. Brock Osweiler looks like a high school quarterback when there's loads of pressure in his grill, but when he plays toned-down defenses, especially at home, Osweiler has time to throw and will do so. Fuller, provided his hamstring doesn't hold him back, should be in line for a couple of big plays and the Colts allow plenty of numbers to speedy wideouts.

Jets at Cardinals

Maybe there's some appeal for the Jets as Todd Bowles' new team takes on the defense he used to coach, but the Jets really look like a team hitting rock bottom, especially on defense. That is absolutely perfect for Carson Palmer, who is coming back from a concussion. The real dilemma is how Palmer navigates behind an offensive line expected to miss both starting guards. It's not a state secret that getting to Palmer will help your chances of winning, and the Jets' defensive line is the strength of the defense. Palmer's still start-worthy thanks to guys like Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown making plays after the catch, but don't be surprised if he finishes closer to the bottom of the Top 10 than the top.

Jets Cardinals
Ryan Fitzpatrick (3.0) Carson Palmer (7.5)
Matt Forte (5.35) David Johnson (9.4)
Bilal Powell (5.15) Larry Fitzgerald (8.4)
Brandon Marshall (7.2) John Brown (6.4)
Quincy Enunwa (4.8) Jaron Brown (3.6)
Jets DST (3.0) Michael Floyd (3.3)
Cardinals DST (8.4)

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Brandon Marshall SEA • WR • 15
2016 season
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Quincy Enunwa NYJ • WR • 81
2016 season

The battle between Patrick Peterson and Brandon Marshall will be a lot of fun to watch, and Ryan Fitzpatrick will do more than watch it. He has already proved this season he'll throw at Marshall no matter who covers him. Marshall had nine targets against the Bills, 10 targets against the Chiefs, 12 against the Seahawks and 15 against the Steelers. Marshall brought home 10-plus Fantasy points in three of those four games including 14 versus Richard Sherman and the Seahawks. While Marshall is the only Fantasy option on the Jets you can trust, I'm still curious to see how Quincy Enunwa does in his role as a No. 2 pass catcher.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Dave Richard has spent nearly his entire career covering the National Football League. Beginning with at the boom of the Internet, Richard was that site's first Fantasy Football writer before transitioning... Full Bio

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