We should have the chance for a fun Fantasy week in Week 6 with several players coming back from injury or ready for their first big game of the year. Let's hope we'll all benefit with plenty of points.
Jamaal Charles could be ready to take off after being limited with his torn ACL from last year, and he has the chance for a strong outing against the Raiders. And it looks like Cam Newton and Carson Palmer are coming back from last week's concussion issues, and both are considered starters in the majority of leagues.
Eddie Lacy (ankle) should be able to play after being just limited in practice Wednesday, and Arian Foster (hamstring) and Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) are on track to return following lengthy absences. Lacy is a must-start option if he's active as expected against Dallas, and Stewart is a sleeper against the Saints. Foster, however, isn't a great option at home against the Steelers.
We also have some good situations for players who have struggled of late like C.J. Anderson, who faces the Chargers on Thursday night, and Lamar Miller, who gets the Colts. We like both to rebound with strong performances, especially Miller as you'll read below.
Editor's Note: Projections are provided by CBS Sports and not Jamey Eisenberg.
Start of the Week
Fantasy owners are in a panic about Miller, which is understandable given his recent woes. He hasn't scored a touchdown this season, and his production hit rock bottom last week at Minnesota with eight carries for 20 yards and one catch for 4 yards.
The thought coming into the season was Miller would benefit with a heavy workload. The touches have been there with at least 20 in his first four games, but he's averaging a career-low 3.7 yards per carry so far. But good times are ahead, starting this week against the Colts.
Indianapolis has allowed a running back to score or gain 100 total yards in every game this season, and six running backs have scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. Jordan Howard just had 163 total yards and a touchdown against the Colts last week, and even T.J. Yeldon had 117 yards against Indianapolis in Week 4 in London.
Brock Osweiler is struggling coming into this game, and the Texans would be smart to lean on Miller in this matchup. He should come through with his best performance of the season, which would make all his nervous Fantasy owners more than happy.
Wilson has a great history coming off a bye in his career with an average of 28.3 Fantasy points a game in a standard league. His worst game was 18 points last year against Arizona. He's coming off his best game of the season in Week 4 at the Jets with 30 Fantasy points, and hopefully he'll stay hot after a slow start when he scored 15 points or less in his first three games. The Falcons defense just shut down the Broncos in Denver, but that was rookie Paxton Lynch making his first NFL start. Prior to that, Atlanta gave up three passing touchdown in each of the first four games. The Falcons should be tired on the second half of consecutive road games, and a fresh Wilson off a bye should be exceptional this week.
Palmer is cleared to return from the concussion he suffered in Week 4 against the Rams, which kept him out of last Thursday's game against the 49ers. And he should bounce back with a big game against the Jets. New York has allowed three quarterbacks in the past four games to score at least 30 Fantasy points in a standard league, including Tyrod Taylor, Wilson and Ben Roethlisberger. The Jets secondary is a mess, and Darrelle Revis (hamstring) was out in Week 5 against the Steelers. Prior to facing the Rams, Palmer had at least 22 Fantasy points in a standard league in each of his first two home games. He should have another solid outing this week, and the one concern would be facing the Cardinals former defensive coordinator, Todd Bowles, who is the head coach of the Jets. If Bowles had a better secondary this would be more of a concern, but Palmer should be great in this matchup.
Stafford rebounded from his worst game of the season in Week 4 at Chicago when he had seven Fantasy points with a surprising outing against the Eagles. On the strength of Theo Riddick and a short-passing game, Stafford had 180 passing yards and three touchdowns for 24 points in a standard league. He should have an easier time against the Rams at home, and Los Angeles is banged up defensively. Top cornerback Trumaine Johnson (ankle) is likely out in Week 6, and the Rams were without three starters on the defensive line in Week 5 against Buffalo (Robert Quinn, Will Hayes and Michael Brockers). If all three remain out again, Stafford won't face a heavy pass rush and should be able to pick on this secondary. He's a solid No. 1 Fantasy quarterback this week.
Mariota is coming off his best game of the season in Week 5 at Miami with 163 passing yards and three touchdowns and 60 rushing yards and a touchdown for 36 Fantasy points in a standard league. This was only his second game of the season with at least 20 Fantasy points (he had 20 in Week 2 at Detroit), but this is a favorable matchup to trust him. Every quarterback to face the Browns this season has scored at least 20 Fantasy points, including Wentz, Joe Flacco, Ryan Tannehill and Kirk Cousins. We expect Mariota to continue the trend of doing well against the Browns, and he's an excellent streaming option in Week 6.
We hope Bortles comes off his bye in Week 5 and plays like he did in Week 4 against the Colts in London, which was his best game of the season. He passed for 207 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 36 yards and a touchdown for 29 Fantasy points. Maybe it was facing the Colts defense that helped him. Or maybe it was leaving the country. We just hope he takes advantage of the Bears defense this week, and Chicago has already allowed three quarterbacks to score at least 20 Fantasy points with Brock Osweiler, Dak Prescott and Andrew Luck. Bortles has two games with at least 22 Fantasy points, and both have come away from Jacksonville. Maybe leaving Jacksonville is good for his stats.
- Carson Wentz (at WAS): He's looking for his fourth game with at least 20 FPTS.
- Brian Hoyer (vs. JAC): He's got three in a row with at least 300 yards and two TDs.
- Alex Smith (at OAK): He's scored at least 20 FPTS in four games in a row vs. OAK.
- Trevor Siemian (at SD): SD is a mess on defense, and Siemian should get hot this week.
Ryan played well last week at Denver with 267 passing yards and one touchdown, but as per usual for quarterbacks against the Broncos, he only had 16 Fantasy points in a standard league. It was easily his worst game of the season, and now he has another tough test at the Seahawks. Seattle comes into this game allowing the fewest Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and Ryan Fitzpatrick is the lone passer to throw a touchdown on this defense. Now, to be fair, the competition has been awful with Ryan Tannehill, Case Keenum, Blaine Gabbert and Fitzpatrick on the schedule, but Palmer is the only quarterback to throw multiple touchdowns in Seattle in the past 10 home games. Ryan is a low-end starter at best in this matchup.
We expected Dalton to have a good Fantasy outing at Dallas in Week 5, and he delivered with his highest-scoring game of the season with 25 points in a standard league. It was his first game this year with multiple touchdowns when he had 269 passing yards and two scores, but we expect a regression this week against the Patriots. New England allowed Palmer and Tannehill to score at least 22 Fantasy points in the first two games of the year, but since then the Patriots have limited Brock Osweiler, Tyrod Taylor and the Browns quarterbacks to an average of 14 points a game. Dalton will be better than that with likely garbage-time production, but it might not be by much. He's only worth using in two-quarterback leagues this week.
Cousins streak of three games in a row with at least 20 Fantasy points in a standard league ended in Week 5 against Baltimore when he had 260 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception for 14 points. Maybe playing in inclement weather with bad wind hindered his performance, or it could have been a tough matchup with the Ravens. This week, Cousins has another tough opponent in the Eagles, who have only allowed Stafford to score more than eight Fantasy points in a standard league. Cousins has a great history against the Eagles with an average of 361 passing yards in his past three meeting with nine total touchdowns and one interception, but this unit is much better than the one he faced in previous outings. We expect Cousins to stay under 20 Fantasy points again this week, and he's not worth starting in most formats.
Like Cousins, Flacco might have struggled with the wind in Baltimore last week, but he had a bad game against the Redskins with 210 passing yards and one touchdown for 14 Fantasy points in a standard league. He now has three games this season with 14 points or less, and his only two games with at least 20 Fantasy points came against Cleveland and Oakland. He also has just one game with multiple passing touchdowns, and now Steve Smith (ankle) and Mike Wallace (ribs) are injured. The Giants have only allowed Cousins in Week 3 to score at least 20 Fantasy points, including matchups with Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. It will be hard to trust Flacco this week on the road.
I'm hopeful Manning snaps out of the slump he's in to start this season because he's been terrible as a Fantasy quarterback. He scored 24 Fantasy points in Week 1 at Dallas but since then has averaged 12 points in games against New Orleans, Washington, Minnesota and Green Bay, with only two touchdowns over that span. Granted, the schedule was brutal with consecutive road games against the Vikings and Packers, but the Giants offensive line has struggled, leaving Manning in plenty of tough spots. The Ravens have allowed Josh McCown, Bortles and Derek Carr to throw multiple touchdowns, but Carr is the only one with more than 18 Fantasy points. Manning will likely score about 18 points if he plays well compared to recent weeks, making him useful in two-quarterback leagues only in Week 6.
It's remarkable what Rivers has done so far this season considering three of his top targets have suffered season-ending knee injuries in Keenan Allen, Danny Woodhead and Steve Johnson, and Antonio Gates has also been hobbled. But Rivers has still be an exceptional Fantasy quarterback, and he comes into this game with at least 22 Fantasy points in a standard league in three of his past four outings. Now, those scores have come against Jacksonville, New Orleans and Oakland, but the Broncos are clearly on a different level defensively, even on the road. Rivers averaged 12.5 Fantasy points against Denver last year, and he only scored six points against the Broncos at home in Week 13. Denver has yet to allow multiple passing touchdowns this year, and only Cam Newton had more than 16 Fantasy points against the Broncos because he had a rushing touchdown in Week 1. Denver has held Andrew Luck, Dalton, Jameis Winton and Ryan in check, and the next victim of the Orange Crush should be Rivers on Thursday night.
Michael should regain his must-start status coming off his bye in Week 4, and we hope the week of rest doesn't slow down his momentum. In his past two games against San Francisco and the Jets, Michael has 38 carries for 164 yards and two touchdowns and seven catches for 37 yards and a touchdown. He's taken over for the injured Thomas Rawls (leg) and shouldn't give the job back any time soon. This week he faces a Falcons defense that has been solid against the run, with Mark Ingram's 77 yards in Week 3 the high. But four running backs have scored at least nine Fantasy points against Atlanta in a standard league, with Ingram and Latavius Murray going over 100 total yards. The Falcons are playing on back to back road games and should be a tired defense, and Michael should have the chance for another big outing in Week 6.
In the two games without J.J. Watt (back), the Texans have allowed three rushing touchdowns to DeMarco Murray (two) and Matt Asiata. And even when Watt was active in Week 3 against the Patriots we still saw LeGarrette Blount rush for 105 yards and two touchdowns, and Houston has allowed a running back to score double digits in Fantasy points in every game this year. Gore just had a three-game streak of scoring double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league end last week at Chicago when he had 14 carries for 75 yards and one catch for 4 yards, but his 5.4 yards-per-carry was easily his best of the season. He's had at least 15 touches in every game this year, and we expect him to remain successful this week. He's a high-end No. 2 running back in all leagues this week.
Having Anderson here is like our post with Miller since Fantasy owners are a little panicked at his recent lack of production, along with Devontae Booker cutting into his workload. It's understandable to freak out, but don't be surprised when Anderson has a dominant game against the Chargers on Thursday night. At least that's the expectation. He's still getting more work than Booker (14 touches to 10 in Week 5 against Atlanta), and the Chargers have allowed a running back to score in every game this year. Three running backs with double digits in carries against San Diego (Spencer Ware, Gore and Ingram) have scored at least 14 Fantasy points in a standard league, and Anderson has two games in his past three meetings with the Chargers with at least 90 total yards, including a touchdown in their last game in Week 17. Keep Anderson locked in as a No. 1 running back this week.
There was some concern last week that Mathews would lose work to rookie Wendell Smallwood, but Smallwood played just one snap to 25 for Mathews, with Darren Sproles (34 snaps) getting the majority of touches. But Mathews has been the best Fantasy running back for the Eagles, and in the three games where he's been healthy he has at least 11 Fantasy points in a standard league. It was nice to see him involved in the passing game in Week 5 at Detroit with 11 carries for 42 yards and five catches for 33 yards and a touchdown on five targets. He should have the chance for another good outing in Week 6 against the Redskins, who have allowed seven touchdowns to running backs this year and five have at least 85 total yards. Mathews should have a floor of about eight Fantasy points this week and is worth using as a No. 2 Fantasy option in all formats.
We're not sure how the Chiefs are going to use Charles and Spencer Ware, but the Kansas City Star projects Charles could get a "healthy amount of touches" coming off their bye after he played sparingly in Week 4 at Pittsburgh with two carries for 7 yards in his return from last year's torn ACL. He's worth trusting this week as at least a No. 2 running back given the matchup since the Raiders have allowed a running back to score at least 12 Fantasy points in a standard league in four games in a row. Charles, as you would expect, has a tremendous history against the Raiders with at least 100 total yards and a touchdown in three of his past four matchups. Hopefully this is the point in the season when Charles takes off from his injury-plagued campaign.
- Derrick Henry (vs. CLE): This will be the game he scores his first NFL touchdown.
- T.J. Yeldon (at CHI): He had 117 total yards in Week 4 and hopefully can build on that.
- James White (vs. CIN): He has 9 catches in his past 2 games and is ready to take off.
- Bobby Rainey (vs. BAL): He has 13 catches in his past 2 games and is a PPR flex.
- Jonathan Stewart (at NO): His return comes at the right time with a matchup vs. NO.
There's talk about getting Rob Kelley more work for the Redskins, which would come at the expense of Jones, who has struggled more times than not this year. He has two games with at least 12 Fantasy points in a standard league, but he also has three games with seven points or less. Jones has one game with more than 65 rushing yards, which was Week 4 against Cleveland, and the Eagles have been tough against the run, with only Isaiah Crowell rushing for more than 50 yards. Theo Riddick just beat up the Eagles with 19 Fantasy points in a standard league, but that was on the strength of six catches for 33 yards and two touchdowns. Jones has eight catches for the season and should just be considered a flex option this week in most formats.
Forte is going to eventually break out of this three-game slump he's in when he's combined for 14 Fantasy points in a standard league, but right now he's tough to trust, especially with Bilal Powell doing a better job in the passing game. Powell has 18 catches in his past three games, while Forte has just six over that span. He's only scored in one game this season, and we could see Powell start taking on more work, especially when the Jets are chasing points. The Cardinals have allowed three running backs to score double digits in Fantasy points with Blount in Week 1, LeSean McCoy in Week 3 and Carlos Hyde last week, but McCoy is only running back with more than 80 rushing yards. Forte has been at 65 yards or less each of the past three weeks, and he should only be considered a flex option in this matchup.
Hill is expected to be fine following last week's shoulder injury at Dallas, but he should be considered a No. 3 Fantasy running back at best in this matchup on the road. Hill has one good game this year, which was Week 3 against Denver when he had 17 carries for 97 yards and two touchdowns for 21 Fantasy points. In his other four games he's combined for just 22 points in a standard league. He offers minimal in the passing game with just three catches for 37 yards on the year, and this should be a game where Giovani Bernard has a better outing, which makes him a sleeper in most formats. The Patriots have allowed five running backs to catch at least four passes this year, but they've only allowed two rushing touchdowns to running backs. It's clear that if Hill doesn't score then his stat line is worthless, so avoid him in most leagues this week.
Foster is expected to return in Week 6 following a three-game absence with a hamstring injury. Hopefully he doesn't suffer a setback and is ready to go for the rest of the year, but injury is always going to be a concern with Foster at age 30. He had a decent stat line in Week 1 at Seattle with 13 carries for 38 yards and three catches for 62 yards, but he will likely continue to share carries with Jay Ajayi in this matchup. And based on time of possession (Miami is last in the NFL) and expected score, the chance for extended touches will likely be limited for Foster. The Steelers are No. 11 in Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, so there is a chance here for Foster to have success. But given his shaky offensive line and potential for rust, we'd avoid Foster if possible in Week 6.
One of these running backs might be good this week against the Chiefs. Or both could take away production from each other and leave you with minimal stat line like we saw last week against the Chargers. With Latavius Murray (toe) out against San Diego, the Raiders split touches almost evenly with Washington and Richard, and Murray is expected to sit again in Week 6. Washington had nine carries for 23 yards and five catches for 29 yards on six targets against San Diego, and Richard had eight carries for 31 yards and six catches for 66 yards on seven targets. Washington played 46 snaps to 30 for Richard, but Jamize Olawale also had six carries for 22 yards and a touchdown. Olawale would be the most-likely candidate to score again this week, and Kansas City has allowed just Melvin Gordon and DeAngelo Williams to score on the ground. It's not a great run defense for the Chiefs, but the unpredictability of the Oakland backfield makes Washington and Richard hard to trust as anything more than a flex option.
Crowell has been great for Fantasy owners this year, but he's coming off his worst game of the season in Week 5 against New England and should struggle again this week. He had 13 carries for 22 yards and one catch for 18 yards against the Patriots for three Fantasy points, and the Titans surprisingly have been good against the run. They've allowed just two touchdowns to Latavius Murray and Jay Ajayi, and Ajayi and Miller are the lone running backs to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league with exactly 10. Miller is also the only running back to gain more than 60 rushing yards on the ground with his 82 yards, and the Titans will load up the line of scrimmage to force Cleveland to throw, especially if an injured Cody Kessler (ribs) starts as expected. It will be hard to completely bench Crowell given his overall performance this year with double digits in Fantasy points in three of five games, but he should be considered just a flex option at best on the road.
After a standout game in Week 1 against Oakland when he had six catches for 143 yards and two touchdowns on nine targets for 27 Fantasy points in a standard league, Cooks has been a dud. He's combined for 10 Fantasy points against the Giants, Falcons and Chargers, but he's due for a breakout game this week. The Panthers have been awful against No. 1 receivers the past two games with Julio Jones (12 catches for 300 yards and a touchdown) and Mike Evans (six catches for 89 yards and a touchdown) playing well, and Cooks was fantastic against Carolina last year with 13 catches for 183 yards and a touchdown in two meetings. This was the time last year when Cooks took off with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in seven of 11 games from Week 5 on. We hope a similar situation happens this season, and he should post a quality stat line this week. Willie Snead remains a solid starter this week as well, and Michael Thomas is a high-end sleeper.
Baldwin's track record has been consistent this year compared to the past two seasons that when he gets at least seven targets in a game he usually scores double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. Since 2014, he's had seven targets in a game in 15 times, and he's scored double digits in Fantasy points in 12 of those outings, including Week 1 against Miami and Week 3 against the 49ers. He should avoid Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant since Baldwin typically plays in the slot, and Baldwin should take advantage of Atlanta slot corner Brian Poole. But the bottom line for Baldwin is the targets, and if he gets at least seven then he should be successful. Someone tell coach Pete Carroll, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Wilson that Baldwin needs the ball at least seven times.
Lost in the Patriots blowout victory at Cleveland in Week 5, amid Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan going over 100 receiving yards and Martellus Bennett catching three touchdowns, was that Edelman actually led the team in targets with 10. He only managed five catches for 35 yards, but plenty of good things will happen for Edelman if Brady continues to lean on him as expected. He's obviously a must-start option in PPR leagues, but he should do well in standard formats as well. And interior receivers like Quincy Enunwa, Jarvis Landry and Cole Beasly have all had either seven catches for 60 yards or a touchdown against the Bengals this year. In Edelman's last five home games with Brady, he is averaging seven catches for 74 yards and three touchdowns over that span.
Maclin has been disappointing as a Fantasy receiver so far this year. He has one touchdown, which was Week 1 against San Diego, and he's failed to top 80 yards in any of his four games. He's had at least seven targets in all four games, so it's not like Alex Smith is avoiding him, but he's due for a breakout performance, which should happen this week. Maclin was great against the Raiders last year with 12 catches for 149 yards and three touchdowns in two games, and Oakland has allowed the most Fantasy points to opposing receivers this year. Last week, Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams combined for 12 catches, 234 yards and a touchdown against this secondary, so hopefully Maclin will follow suit. He's worth starting as at least a No. 2 Fantasy receiver in the majority of leagues.
Brown, as expected, suffered with Drew Stanton starting for the injured Palmer in Week 4 against the 49ers, and he finished with one catch for 11 yards on four targets. But in Week 4, when Palmer was healthy, Brown had his breakout game with 10 catches for 144 yards on 15 targets against the Rams. He also had six catches for 70 yards on 11 targets at Buffalo in Week 3, so it appears like he's coming around following a slow start. We know the Jets secondary is atrocious and has allowed the second-most Fantasy points to opposing receivers, which will help Larry Fitzgerald, Brown and possibly Michael Floyd, although no one is starting him. There's a strong chance Brown scores his first touchdown of the season this week on Monday night.
- Davante Adams (vs. DAL): He has scored in 3 of 4 games, including both at home.
- Cole Beasley (at GB): He has scored at least 12 FPTS in a PPR league in 4 of 5 games.
- Chris Hogan (vs. CIN): Last week should be a sign of things to come. He's a No. 3 WR.
- Cameron Meredith (vs. JAC): Hoyer loves throwing right, which is where Meredith lines up.
Benjamin and Williams were stars last week at Oakland with 12 catches, 234 yards and a touchdown on 17 targets, but this is obviously a much tougher secondary this week. Denver has allowed just three receivers to gain more than 50 yards, which was Kelvin Benjamin (91), A.J. Green (77) and Mike Evans (59), which also includes matchups with T.Y. Hilton and Julio Jones. Kelvin Benjamin is the lone receiver to score against the Broncos, and this should be ugly for the Chargers passing game. Travis Benjamin faced the Broncos last year when he played for the Browns and actually had nine catches for 117 yards, and he's one of only three receivers to have more than 100 yards against this secondary in the past 24 games (Antonio Brown and Marquess Wilson are the others). The Chargers guys should be considered low-end No. 3 receivers at best in this matchup on Thursday.
Things were so bad for the Dolphins offense in Week 5 against the Titans that Parker had the most yards from scrimmage of any skill player with two catches for 70 yards. It's hard to trust any of the Dolphins right now, but hopefully the offensive line will get healthy if left tackle Branden Albert (illness) and guard Laremy Tunsil (ankle) are able to play. That should help Ryan Tannehill, but really the only Dolphins player worth starting is Jarvis Landry. Parker has 13 targets combined in his past three games, and he only has seven catches for 141 yards and a touchdown over that span for an average of 6.7 Fantasy points in a standard league. The Steelers also have allowed just two receivers (Jackson and Brandon Marshall) to score double digits in Fantasy points against them this year. Parker is just a low-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver in the majority of leagues.
Pryor, as expected, had a tough game against the Patriots in Week 5 with five catches for 48 yards on just six targets, which was a season low. He could see more time at quarterback this week, which would help with Kessler banged up, but Kessler is expected to start. That limits the upside for Pryor, who should see plenty of time opposite Titans cornerback Jason McCourty. It would be great for Pryor if he's matched up with cornerback Perrish Cox, who is beatable, but the quarterback problem in Cleveland is a Fantasy problem for owners with Pryor. He's only worth starting as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week.
I thought Hurns would be a sleeper this week if Julius Thomas was out again after he missed Week 4 against the Colts in London with an elbow injury. But it appears like Thomas will play against the Bears, and Hurns has struggled when Thomas is active. He only has two games with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in his past nine games when he and Thomas are healthy. With Thomas out against the Colts, Hurns had his first game this year with more than seven Fantasy points when he scored his first touchdown, and he finished with two catches for 45 yards and a score. It's clear he needs to score to help your Fantasy team with an average of 3.8 catches for 56.5 yards on the season, and the Bears have allowed just two receivers to score in their past four games. Hurns isn't worth starting in most formats coming off his bye week.
I had no intention of Coates being in this spot of the column when the week began, especially after his dominant performance against the Jets in Week 5 with six catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns on 11 targets. He now has 19 targets over his past two games for 12 catches, 218 yards and two scores, and this is a dream matchup against the Dolphins on the road. But he showed up to practice Wednesday with what was reported as a sizeable cast on his left hand due to a lacerated finger. He's expected to play in Week 6, but Fantasy owners can't feel confident about starting him, so keep an eye on his status prior to Sunday. If he's active then consider him a high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver, but this injury downgrades his outlook. Eli Rogers (toe) also is expected to return for the Steelers, which will take away targets from Coates.
It looks like Graham is all the way back from last year's knee injury, and he was dominant in two games prior to Seattle's bye in Week 5 with 12 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown on 18 targets against San Francisco and the Jets. Those were favorable matchups, and so is this week's game against the Falcons. Atlanta has allowed five touchdowns to opposing tight ends, with Clive Walford, Coby Fleener and Greg Olsen all scoring double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. We hope the bye week didn't slow down Graham, and he should be considered a must-start tight end in all leagues until he proves otherwise.
Like Graham, Kelce was hot prior to his bye in Week 5 with 11 catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns on 15 targets against the Jets and Steelers, and he should do well again this week against the Raiders. Oakland is No. 5 in Fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends with three touchdowns allowed, and Jacob Tamme and Hunter Henry both scored double digit in Fantasy points in a standard league against the Raiders. Kelce only has one touchdown in four career meetings against Oakland, but he should have the chance for another score against the Raiders in Week 6.
We hope Ertz shook off the rust of his three-week absence from a rib injury in Week 5 against the Lions when he was limited to three catches for 37 yards on three targets. He should be more involved this week, and the Redskins just had a rough game against the Ravens tight ends when Dennis Pitta and Crockett Gillmore combined for 11 catches, 87 yards and a touchdown on 15 targets. Ertz hasn't scored in his past five meetings against Washington, but he does have two games with at least 13 catches and 115 receiving yards in two of his past three matchups with the Redskins. We hope that kind of performance happens this week for Ertz, and he's worth trusting as a No. 1 tight end this week.
- Zach Miller (vs. JAC): Revenge game? The former Jaguar has played well with Hoyer.
- Jesse James (at MIA): He's scored in three of his past four games.
- Coby Fleener (vs. CAR): CAR has allowed four touchdowns to tight ends this year.
Henry did a good job in Week 5 against the Raiders with three catches for 74 yards and a touchdown on four targets, but the return of Antonio Gates lowers his value. And Gates had more targets (five) and also scored with four catches for 30 yards. The Broncos have yet to allow a tight end to score this year, and Greg Olsen had the best game against Denver with seven catches for 73 yards. We'd have more faith in Henry if Gates was still out, but since he's sharing targets at the positon in a tough matchup we recommend benching him this week on Thursday night.
The Packers have allowed two touchdowns to opposing tight ends with Thomas in Week 1 and Kyle Rudolph in Week 2, but Witten has yet to find the end zone this year. He's not a terrible option in PPR leagues with two games this season with at least seven catches, but he's been held to 51 yards or less in his past four games, which severely hampers his value in standard formats. His average in standard leagues is just 4.2 points per game, which makes him easy to avoid in those formats. He's averaging 9.0 points a game in PPR.
Pitta is still worth starting in PPR leagues since he has at least six catches in three of his past four games, and he had seven catches for 59 yards in Week 5 against the Redskins. But he hasn't scored a touchdown yet this year, and he's scored a combined 10 Fantasy points in standard leagues in his past three outings. The Giants have allowed one touchdown to a tight end this year, which was Rudolph in Week 4, but they also held Witten, Fleener, Reed and Richard Rodgers to six Fantasy points or less in a standard league. Pitta will likely be held out of the end zone again, so only use him in PPR leagues this week.
Allen came through with a huge game in Week 5 against the Bears with six catches for 50 yards and a touchdown on six targets. It was his first touchdown since Week 1, and the six receptions were a season high. He has a tough matchup this week against the Texans, who have been excellent against tight ends all year. Houston has faced Miller, Kelce, Bennett and Gronkowski, Delanie Walker and Rudolph and held them all to three Fantasy points or less in a standard league. Allen and Doyle should struggle as well, and Houston has proven to be the tight end eliminators for Fantasy owners this year.
Steelers (at MIA)
- Week 6 projected stats: 11.1 FPTS
The Steelers DST has not been a dominant Fantasy unit this year, but they should be able to dominate Miami this week. The Dolphins are a mess, especially on offense, and opposing DST units have thrived against Miami this year. Every team has scored at least 10 Fantasy points in a standard league against the Dolphins, and Tannehill has two interceptions in three of his past four games. He's also been sacked at least five times in three games, and the Dolphins have scored just 24 points the past two games against the Bengals and Titans. The Steelers DST had its best game in Week 4 against the Chiefs with 12 Fantasy points, but this game should be a new season high. I consider the Steelers DST a Top 5 unit in all leagues.
- Titans (vs. CLE): CLE is hopeful Kessler starts this week. Yes, I said hopeful.
- Lions (vs. LAR): LAR has scored fewer that 20 points in four of five games.
- Bears (vs. JAC): Bortles has been sacked at least three times in three of four games.
Rams (at DET)
- Week 6 projected stats: 10.2 FPTS
This post is mostly about the Rams and their injuries with Trumaine Johnson (ankle) banged up, and three starters on the defensive line coming off injuries in Week 5 against Buffalo (Quinn, Hayes and Brockers). If all four are out then the Rams DST will be hard to trust against the Lions. The Rams DST had no turnovers and just two sacks against the Bills, while giving up 30 points. It's actually the third time this year the Rams have allowed at least 28 points, and Stafford just had his first game since Week 1 without an interception against the Eagles. Keep an eye on the injury report for the Rams and their defensive players, and if they remain banged up in Week 6 then you shouldn't start the Rams DST in most formats.
Novak returns home this week, where he has been exceptional for Fantasy owners. He's scored 11, 13 and 11 Fantasy points in three home games this year against Chicago, Kansas City and Tennessee, and this is a great matchup for him against the Colts. Indianapolis is No. 2 in Fantasy points allowed to opposing kickers, and the past four kickers against the Colts have made at least three field goals, with all scoring at least 10 Fantasy points in a standard league. Novak is the best streaming option at kicker this week.
- Caleb Sturgis (at WAS): He has at least nine FPTS in every game this season.
- Will Lutz (vs. CAR): The past four kickers vs. CAR has made at least two field goals.
- Jason Myers (at CHI): Three kickers have at least three field goals vs. CHI this year.
Brown has managed to be a decent Fantasy kicker over the past four games despite the Giants offense struggling. He's scored at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league in three of his past four games, and he's made at least two fields in three of those outings. But this week he faces a tough matchup since the Ravens have been stingy to opposing kickers. Baltimore is No. 1 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing kickers, and no kicker has made multiple field goals against the Ravens this year. We'll see if Brown can be the first to have a big game against Baltimore, but you might consider other alternatives given the track record for the Ravens through five weeks.
Full Disclosure from Week 5
Week 5 had a lot of highs and lows when it came to our start and sit suggestions, but for the most part it was good, especially with the sleepers. I wish Carson Wentz was better as the Start of the Week, but he still finished as a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback, which is all I can ask for.
Our good start suggestions, including sleepers, were Derek Carr, Brian Hoyer, Philip Rivers, Andy Dalton, Jordan Howard, Terrance West, LeGarrette Blount, Jay Ajayi, Chris Hogan, Randall Cobb, Sammie Coates, Martellus Bennett, Hunter Henry and Jesse James. Rivers, Hoyer, Howard, Coates, Bennett and Henry were all Top 5 of their respective positions.
We also said to sit guys like Matt Ryan, Matt Forte and Terrelle Pryor, among others, and they all struggled. But we also recommended players like Eli Manning, Jerick McKinnon and DeSean Jackson as starters, and they weren't very good.
Our big misses as sits were Marcus Mariota, Matthew Stafford, Tevin Coleman, Theo Riddick, Travis Benjamin, DeAndre Hopkins and Dwayne Allen. With Coleman, I was afraid he wouldn't play much because of his sickle cell trait in Denver, but he was amazing. And Hopkins had a bad game at Minnesota until a garbage-time touchdown, so I still feel good about that call.
This week, we should get plenty of Miller time as the Start of the Week, and I'm expecting him to have a standout performance against the Colts.
Start of the Week: Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles
- Fantasy points: 20
- Position rank: 12
Recommended starts who made us look good
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers
- Fantasy points: 34
- Position rank: 4
Jordan Howard, RB, Bears
- Fantasy points: 21
- Position rank: 4
Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers
- Fantasy points: 13
- Position rank: 3
Recommended sits who made us look good
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
- Fantasy points: 16
- Position rank: 19
Matt Forte, RB, Jets
- Fantasy points: 5
- Position rank: 34
Terrelle Pryor, WR, Browns
- Fantasy points: 4
- Position rank: 44
Recommended starts who made us look bad
Eli Manning, QB, Giants
- Fantasy points: 11
- Position rank: 23
Jerick McKinnon, RB, Vikings
- Fantasy points: 4
- Position rank: 35
DeSean Jackson, WR, Redskins
- Fantasy points: 3
- Position rank: 48
Recommended sits who made us look bad
Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans
- Fantasy points: 36
- Position rank: 2
Tevin Coleman, RB, Falcons
- Fantasy points: 22
- Position rank: 3
Theo Riddick, RB, Lions
- Fantasy points: 19
- Position rank: 6