Fantasy Football: Start and sit calls for every game on the NFL schedule in Week 6

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Looking for some lineup advice? You've come to the right place. 

First, go through every game on the schedule right here to find out which non-obvious players Dave is starting and sitting for every team. 

Then, use his Cheat Sheets — for PPR leagues here, and for non-PPR leagues here — to lock in the right players.  

Eagles at Giants

Sneaky Sleepers

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Wendell Smallwood PHI • RB • 28
Dave's RankRB22


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Corey Clement PHI • RB • 30
Dave's RankRB29

Expect both Eagles backs to get a decent amount of carries and catches against a Giants defense that's seen a rusher score at least once on them in every game this year. That's a good omen for Doug Pederson's bunch — an Eagles running back has scored in two of the last three meetings. With Ajayi on the shelf in Week 3, Clement handled 15 third downs (passing downs) to Smallwood's two (both were short-yardage situations). Last week, with Clement out, Smallwood handled more of the longer third downs and actually did a nice job on a couple of them. As for red-zone usage, both backs had seven snaps in Week 3 (Clement had one more carry) while Smallwood and Ajayi had four red-zone snaps each in Week 5 until the Eagles final drive when Smallwood was in as part of their no-huddle package. Smallwood's versatility and recent contributions might give him an early edge but the expectation is that both will play a lot. 

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Carson Wentz PHI • QB • 11
Dave's RankQB11

The Giants have run hot and cold versus quarterbacks but should have trouble with the Eagles' pass-catchers while also having some trouble pressuring Carson Wentz. Per Sports Info Solutions, top New York cornerback Janoris Jenkins allowed another touchdown last week (the Curtis Samuel play) and has been tagged for over 300 receiving yards through five games. Moreover, the Eagles have done well going after Eli Apple, New York's other cornerback. Bank on the Eagles manufacturing matchups against both guys. Despite facing some tougher pass rushes the past two weeks, Wentz found a way to cobble together over 300 yards with two touchdowns (23-plus Fantasy points in each game). For whatever it's worth, the Eagles' starting O-line should be good to go for the game, and the addition of Olivier Vernon won't turn the Giants pass rush (a league-worst six sacks) into a monster. Wentz is a better option this week than Andy Dalton and anyone else you streamed over the past two weeks.

Sneaky Sleeper

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Eli Manning NYG • QB • 10
Dave's RankQB12

There's no doubting Manning's recent track record against the Eagles: In four matchups with Jim Schwartz calling the defense, Manning has over 350 yards in three games, three-plus touchdowns in three games (both last year) and at least 28 Fantasy points in three games. There's also no doubting Manning's play over the past three weeks — since tackle Ereck Flowers was benched, Manning has completed 73.6 percent of his passes at an 8.3-yard-per-attempt clip with five touchdowns and 23 Fantasy points in two of three games. The Eagles pass defense has been shaky as three of the past four passers it has faced threw for over 300 yards (two had two-plus touchdowns). A weird wrinkle: Philadelphia has allowed multiple passing scores in six straight road games, including one to Manning in late 2017. Manning is worth a look if you don't have a stable quarterback locked and loaded into lineups.

Buccaneers at Falcons

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Jameis Winston TB • QB • 3
Dave's RankQB10

What a matchup. The Falcons have watched each of the past four quarterbacks they've faced to throw for a minimum of 250 yards and three touchdowns. Winston himself has had at least those numbers in each of his past three against Atlanta — and those were when the Falcons safeties were healthier! The reality is that the Bucs probably won't be able to run the ball effectively (they rank 25th in rush attempts per game), forcing Winston to attempt a bunch of passes. Predictably, Winston has multiple touchdowns in six of nine career games with at least 40 pass attempts (300-plus yards in seven of nine). Opposing passers are attempting 39.6 passes per game versus the Dirty Birds.

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Cameron Brate TB • TE • 84
Dave's RankTE9

It's a perfect storm for Brate. Winston has always leaned on his tight ends, and Brate is the primary one in the Bucs offense with O.J. Howard sidelined. Atlanta's linebackers and backup safeties struggle in pass coverage for the most part — over the past three weeks tight ends have caught 15 of 18 targets for 168 yards and a score. Don't be shocked to see Brate have a very good game.

Sit Him

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DeSean Jackson TB • WR • 11
Dave's RankWR37

It stinks that we can't be more confident in Jackson given the Falcons' allowance of 10 touchdowns to receivers through five games. But the success D-Jax had this year came with Ryan Fitzpatrick, not Winston, including getting 107 of his 112 yards from Fitzpatrick in Week 4. Lest we forget that Winston had all of 2017 to gel with Jackson and they hooked up for one touchdown and five deep pass plays of 20-plus yards in effectively 11 games. At least Chris Godwin has some touchdown potential — it's hard to trust Jackson to make big plays with Winston until we see it.

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Austin Hooper ATL • TE • 81
Dave's RankTE10

Hooper had a career-high 12 targets and nine catches last week. It's only the third time in his pro career he's seen more than six targets in a game and only the second time he's had seven-plus grabs. This isn't normal for him. Luckily, giving up stats to tight ends is totally normal for the Buccaneers — they've given up nine-plus non-PPR Fantasy points to a tight end in three straight games. Let's start Hooper on the hunch that Matt Ryan doesn't forget about him.

RIsky Starter

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Tevin Coleman ATL • RB • 26
Dave's RankRB27

I've softened my stance on Coleman. While you can't hide his 2.8-yard rushing average over his last three games, you also can't deny the likelihood of 15 carries. Any back with that kind of workload should get lineup consideration. I thought Coleman looked good last week but still suffers from a tattered O-line that doesn't get him much runway. Tampa Bay's run defense has been stronger than its pass defense and could be much improved if Beau Allen and Vita Vea are both active (the expectation is that they are). Coleman will share work with Ito Smith, just as he did in the two games without Freeman and the quarter-game last week after Freeman left (Smith had a short-yardage score). Splitting reps, not being very explosive and having a low ceiling is a brutal combo for Fantasy, but the workload is enough to call him a low-end No. 2 running back. 

Panthers at Redskins

Risky Starter

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Jordan Reed WAS • TE • 86
Dave's RankTE11

Before Week 5, Reed averaged 6.7 targets, 4.7 receptions and 56.0 yards per game with one touchdown. Definitely not the kind of numbers you want from your tight end. Then he was taken out of the game plan by the Saints and only had a pair of targets from Alex Smith. Can he rebound? Carolina's been pretty giving to tight ends it has faced, but in two career meetings with Ron Rivera's Panthers, Reed stalled out under 50 yards in one and got hurt in the other. The Panthers should better defend tight ends with Eric Reid now in at safety and linebacker Thomas Davis returning to the field. Cameron Brate and Austin Hooper have more upside this week.

Seahawks vs. Raiders

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Derek Carr OAK • QB • 4
Dave's RankWR33

Among active starters, Derek Carr is fourth in completion percentage and seventh in yards per attempt but has just one game with multiple touchdowns. He's dinking and dunking his way to a 328.2 yards per game average but not enough of it goes Cooper's way. It seems like Cooper gets heavy target volume in easy matchups but in tougher matchups, Carr barely bothers to even look for Cooper! The Seahawks have one of the league's weaker pass rushes (10 sacks on the year, two sacks or fewer in four of five games) but one of the top pass defenses (sixth-best in both pass yards allowed per game and Fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks). It would be shocking if the Seahawks didn't blitz the Raiders' rookie offensive tackles and force Carr to get rid of the ball quickly. The matchup seems a bit better for Jared Cook in that respect. Cooper is due for a big game, but without an easy opponent it's hard to see him reach his Fantasy ceiling. I like Jordy Nelson better based on his recent play.

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Chris Carson SEA • RB • 32
Dave's RankRB12

The Raiders have been pummeled by running backs on the ground (5.1 yards per carry, five scores) and through the air (12.8 yards per catch, two scores). Carson is evidently the Seahawks' back of choice by virtue of his modest edge in snaps and touches over Mike Davis. Seattle is focused on ruining Russell Wilson ... er, I mean, becoming a run-heavy offense, and the matchup against the Raiders definitely dictates a good ground-game approach. Carson has grand upside this week.

Colts at Jets

Sneaky Sleeper

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Chester Rogers IND • WR •
Dave's RankWR30

Maybe in a different situation the Colts would bench Rogers for his untimely drops last week, but Indy is thin at receiver and Rogers is essentially locked into the slot role. That's a great place to be as the Jets have given up at least eight receptions to each of the last three primary slot receivers they've faced. Typical slot corner Buster Skrine won't play, leaving rookie sixth-round pick Parry Nickerson to guard Rogers -- he allowed a 100 percent catch rate and 95 yards to receivers last week. That should set Rogers with a floor of 70 yards on the hunch he gets six or seven catches. Do the math and he's a good third receiver ... and he's on waivers in almost every league.

Sneaky Sleeper

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Robby Anderson NYJ • WR • 11
Dave's RankWR31

With injuries ravaging their secondary over the past two weeks, Indy has allowed a 78 percent catch rate, six pass plays of 20-plus yards, 516 yards overall and four touchdowns to receivers. Anderson should be licking his chops. Targets are an issue for him as is a very low floor if he doesn't score, but if last week is any indication, Anderson's big-play potential will continue to be a part of the Jets' plan. That goes double if the Colts can't piece together a formidable defense (safeties Clayton Geathers and Matthias Farley are both out). Not a must-start by any means, Anderson is a feast-or-famine third receiver worth tossing into lineups ahead of low-upside guys like Corey Davis, Devin Funchess, Keelan Cole and Quincy Enunwa.

Risky Starters

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Isaiah Crowell NYJ • RB • 20
Dave's RankRB26
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Bilal Powell NYJ • RB • 29
Dave's RankRB32

The Jets run game was ultimately successful in Week 5 because their opponent played on the road following a short week. Not that the Colts run defense is solid, but it is well-rested and will get tackle-machine Darius Leonard back in the middle. Powell plays more than Crowell, and has actually out-carried him in three games this year, but Crowell has the edge in the red zone. Powell's receiving numbers tend to perk up when the Jets are trailing big, something that might not happen this week. It's hard to feel confident in either back, but Crowell's touchdown key-play potential makes him a little more endearing in non-PPR.

Cardinals at Vikings

Risky Starter

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Dalvin Cook MIN • RB • 33
Dave's RankRB 28

It's a plus that Cook didn't play last week and practiced in full twice this week, so don't be too worried about him getting hurt again. Do worry, however, about his workload. Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo referred to Cook as "a very, very gifted guy" but also said he likes to involve everyone, a lesson learned from his years in Philadelphia. In that regard, no back in Minnesota has more than 16 carries in a game this year and since Week 2, Minnesota's running backs have collectively carried the ball 16 times or less every week. If there's a reason for optimism, it's that Cook's been particularly awesome catching the football, landing 9 of 12 targets with seven of them going for eight-plus yards and five of them going for 12-plus yards. That's way better than what he's doing on the ground (2.7 yards per carry this season). Arizona's giving up 10.6 yards per catch to running backs and definitely botched some coverage as recently as last week to fullback Kyle Juszczyk. Maybe that builds up the low-end expectation for Cook to about 70 yards, but not too much more. Consider him at best a low-end No. 2 Fantasy running back. 

Steelers at Bengals

Start Him

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Tyler Boyd CIN • WR • 83
Dave's RankWR19

For the past two weeks we've seen more of who Boyd is: A solid, volume-dependent slot receiver who struggles in tougher matchups. Versus Miami he not only locked horns with super slot corner Minkah Fitzpatrick, but the return of Joe Mixon made for a lean stat day. At first I thought something similar could go down in Week 6, but after further inspection the combination of how slot receivers have done against the Steelers (including Mohamed Sanu last week) plus the likelihood of this being a high-scoring game put Boyd firmly in the No. 2 receiver category. It's that high-scoring expectation that makes me a little more optimistic on Andy Dalton, too.

Chargers at Browns

Risky Starter

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David Njoku CLE • TE • 85
Dave's RankTE13

Njoku's volume has shot up now that Mayfield has taken over the Browns offense, but the big lug can't find the end zone. Don't expect that to change as the Chargers have done a nice job taking tight ends away thanks to rookie safety Derwin James. Throw out George Kittle's flukish catch-and-run two weeks ago, and opposing tight ends are getting just 8.3 yards per catch (Kittle's the only one who has scored on them). Njoku is a safe play in PPR, but in non-PPR he carries some risk.

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Austin Ekeler LAC • RB • 30
Dave's RankRB24

How can a guy who averages 9.6 touches per week average 10.4 Fantasy points per game in non-PPR?! Touchdowns, of course, and Ekeler has three this season, and one in each of his last two games. But even without the scores, Ekeler averages over 80 yards per game and has at least one 10-yard carry and at least one 10-yard catch in every game this season (17 total). The Browns' run defense looked good last week against the Ravens duo but will have its hands full with Melvin Gordon and Ekeler this week. Ekeler doesn't have supreme upside yet does seem to be a fairly safe starter who might be better off as a flex than a No. 2 running back, but he has finished as a top-24 runner in four weeks this season.

Bills at Texans

Sit Him

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LeSean McCoy BUF • RB • 25
Dave's RankRB27

First, I'd like to commend the Bills coaching staff for remembering McCoy last week and giving him a season-high 26 touches (twice as many as his previous 2018 high). Next, I'd like to take note of Buffalo's running back rush attempts in games they're close or winning in (28 at MIN, 38 vs. TEN) versus the games when they get their doors blown off (16 at BAL, 14 vs. LAC, 11 at GB). The backbone of Houston's defense is in its front seven — it allows 3.4 yards per carry and 6.3 yards per catch to running backs with only one score on the ground. Ezekiel Elliott had just 84 total yards against the Texans last week. McCoy's workload figures to dwindle as the Bills play from behind, making him a rough starter without much upside.

Bears at Dolphins

Start Them

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Jordan Howard CHI • RB • 24
Dave's RankRB15
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Tarik Cohen CHI • RB • 29
Dave's RankRB17 (PPR)

If the Bears proved anything in Week 4, it's that they're prepared to scheme against an opponent's weakness. For the Dolphins, that weakness is in its run defense. They've given up at least one touchdown to a running back in every game this season, and in two games since William Hayes' injury they've let up 4.5 yards per carry and 7.2 yards per catch. This is the perfect week to lean a little more on Howard while also giving Cohen a nice workload. Howard should handle the majority of the rushing duties and Cohen should take advantage through the air. The hunch is both get a minimum of 10 touches, with Howard the better bet to score from short-yardage and Cohen to dominate receptions.

Sit Him

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Allen Robinson CHI • WR • 12
Dave's RankWR39

If the Bears can motor their way to victory on the ground, their passing game won't be leaned upon quite as much. Plus, if we're facing facts on Robinson, he's been bad. He has yet to notch double-digits in Fantasy points in non-PPR and has one game in PPR with more than 10 points. He doesn't even lead the Bears in receptions! Meanwhile, the Bears are 3-1 and finding ways to win without using their alleged top receiver. The Dolphins still have a good secondary complete with up-and-coming cornerback Xavien Howard who has had one bad game and should be tasked with covering Robinson when he lines up wide. It's been fast receivers who have done in the Dolphins, not the possession-types. Robby Anderson and Chester Rogers have more upside.

Sit Him

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Kenyan Drake MIA • RB • 32
Dave's RankRB36

I was nervous to use Drake last week, figuring that his best work would have to come on outside runs. Well, the Dolphins listened because Drake was very effective running to the edges as well as catching passes. That's how you work around a bad interior offensive line! Some garbage-time play was involved, but that doesn't mean much in Fantasy. The real question is whether or not his role as a pass-catcher when the Dolphins are trailing is sustainable. Maybe so, but the Bears have been good at stopping running backs from making plays through the air and also are tough as nails at stopping running backs on the ground. The matchup and uncertain volume keep Drake from being anything more than a boom-or-bust flex.

Rams at Broncos

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Phillip Lindsay DEN • RB • 30
Dave's RankRB23

Sit Him

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Royce Freeman DEN • RB • 28
Dave's RankRB39

The Rams run defense has been susceptible to teams that stick with the run against them. The Chargers, Raiders and Seahawks gave their running backs at least 19 carries and they each had a minimum of 4.3 yards per run. The Broncos should at least try to do the same, if only to take some pressure off of Case Keenum. Royce Freeman seems to only deliver numbers in games the Broncos are ahead or close in. When they play from behind, Freeman's out of the mix. You can't quite say the same about Lindsay, who has at least 12 carries in every game he hasn't been kicked out of this year. He's also averaged a minimum of 5.0 yards per carry in each of his last four and has seen an uptick in receptions over the past two weeks (six targets for a 5-30-0 line). Given the Rams' propensity to put up numbers and Denver's defensive struggles, this feels like a Lindsay week.

Ravens at Titans

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John Brown BAL • WR • 13
Dave's RankWR19

So, the bad news is that Brown served up his worst game of the season at Cleveland last week. If there's a silver lining, it's that he had 14 targets, marking his fourth straight game with at least seven. Now the good news: Baltimore's run game is still far from a sure thing, and the Titans haven't allowed a rushing touchdown or a 100-yard game to a running back this season. That should mean another week of passing for Joe Flacco. I like Brown's chances specifically against cornerback Malcolm Butler, who has allowed four touchdowns and nearly 400 yards this season.

Jaguars at Cowboys

Sneaky Sleeper

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Dede Westbrook JAC • WR • 12
Dave's RankWR32

Dallas has a quality boundary cornerback in Byron Jones, but he won't see much of Westbrook, who lines up in the slot. That's a money matchup for the Jaguars since Dallas has a decent slot corner in Anthony Brown and issues at safety that have plagued them. Slot receivers have come through for at least 11 Fantasy points in each of the last three weeks against the Cowboys. In addition, Jacksonville's tattered offensive line could keep Blake Bortles from dropping back in the pocket, forcing quicker, shorter passes to his short-area targets. He's a good third receiver.

Chiefs at Patriots

Sit Him

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Josh Gordon NE • WR • 10
Dave's RankWR38

You're going to start just about everyone of note in this game anyway. The best matchups for the Patriots passing game will be in the middle of the field (Julian Edelman could have a great game), which is where they like to attack anyway. Theoretically this would be a good week to give Gordon more playing time and let him post up in the red zone against Kansas City's smaller corners. However, starting him is taking a leap of faith in the Patriots coaching staff giving him more work and Tom Brady giving him more targets. One big catch could be enough like it was last week, but there's a higher probability that he'll continue being eased into an offense with many mouths to feed.

49ers at Packers

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Alfred Morris SF • RB • 46
Dave's RankRB17

With Matt Breida on the shelf, Morris figures to be the primary bell cow for the 49ers. The Packers run defense gives up plenty of numbers to running backs, so many that five have hit at least eight Fantasy points against them this year (two last week). That's a nice floor for Morris, who should be in line for 15-plus touches and goal-line work regardless of game flow. It might not be pretty, but Morris should serve as a good No. 2 rusher for your squad.

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Aaron Jones GB • RB • 33
Dave's RankRB21

Last week was a bummer — Jones had yet another game with over 5.0 yards per rush but had only seven carries as the Packers had to abandon the run. This week should be a far more competitive game, if not a Packers blowout victory, lending more snaps and touches to Jones. Packers coach Mike McCarthy insists on using all three of his backs, but two weeks ago we saw him give a little more work to Jones in a runaway victory, including a precious short-yardage touchdown. The Niners run defense has been up and down and figures to be ripe for a defeat playing at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

So who should you sit and start? And what shocking QB could win you Week 6? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB finishes in the top 10 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.  

Senior Fantasy Writer

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

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