McGuire should see all the work on Sunday at home against a Patriots team who has allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to RBs. Bilal Powell probably will not play or will be limited, and Forte will most likely miss this week. McGuire is capable in both the run and pass game, and should put up a nice fantasy day. This is a prime opportunity for a talented back, who can gain more opportunity if he shows well in this game. He cannot be on benches this week.
The Giants have no offense weapons anymore, and are traveling to Denver, where I don’t see them scoring a single point against that defense. With the Giants giving up 4.5 yards per rush, and the positive game flow we should expect, CJ Anderson is in a prime spot this week. I would be surprised if he doesn’t see 20-25 carries in this game. Not only that, but the Giants are 29th DVOA against pass-catching RBs.
Chicago and Baltimore should remain a fairly close game, so we shouldn’t expect Jordan Howard to be written out because of game script. The Baltimore defense’s bread and butter is their secondary, but teams have been able to run the ball against them; they’ve been giving up 4.3 yards per carry. This lines up with Chicago’s strength, and that’s running the ball behind a strong offensive line with Jordan Howard. That’s the game plan, and as long as Mitch Trubisky doesn’t turn the ball over, Howard should be in line for a 20-carry game with TD opportunity.
Jaron Brown, John Brown, and Larry Fitzgerald
Again, these guys have to be in your lineup this week against the Bucs, who have given up the most fantasy points to WRs, depending on your scoring format. Both Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown spend a lot of time in the slot, which is manned by Robert McClain, who has given up the most fantasy points to slot receivers over the last 4 games. Even with John Brown moves to the Brent Grimes’ side of the field, I’m not worried; that side has given up the 12th most fantasy points to WRs. Jaron Brown also has a great matchup, and will be primarily faced up against Vernon Hargreaves III, who has been targeted a ton this year with success.
Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess
Every week, we have to find who is going up against the perimeter defenders for the Eagles. Jalen Mills and Rasul Douglas have been really bad this year, and they’ve given up the most number of fantasy points to the left side of the field that Kelvin Benjamin primarily lines up on, and the 2nd most fantasy points in the last 4 games to Devin Funchess’ side. Both Benjamin and Funchess, along with Cam, have been in a bit of a groove lately, so as long as the Panthers can protect Cam against the Eagles pass rush, these two should have a big day.
Tate has had some touch matchups recently, but it’s time to trust him again this week. With Marshawn Lattimore likely shadowing Marvin Jones most of the time, it will give Matthew Stafford even more reason to send it Tate’s way. Ken Crawley has also been a pretty good corner this year, but he hasn’t had much help over the top. The matchup in the slot, where Tate lines up 81% of the time, sees a lot of Kenny Vaccaro, who’s given up the 3rd most fantasy points to the slot position. Fire Tate up this week.
You’re starting Hilton every week, even without Luck. The only reason why I’m listing him here is because there is a little doubt in the minds of all TY Hilton owners every week of whether they should start him or not with Brissett, but Hilton has proven that he’s able to get it done regardless. I also wanted to mention that he plays against the Titans this week, who have been giving fantasy points away to wide receivers like Oprah.
PPR only. The touchdown that Landry caught last week doesn’t happen often, and his aDOT (average depth of target) has been very low. However, Landry has been providing owners with a solid floor, averaging 11 targets per game. With DeVante Parker hobbled, Landry should pick up a ton of targets against the Falcons, who’ve been giving up the 6th most fantasy points to slot receivers this year.
Stefon Diggs hurt his groin on Monday night, so he might be limited in this game with the Packers. That leaves Adam Thielen with the opportunity to absorb even more targets. He’s already averaging 8 targets a game, and has a decent rapport with Case Keenum. You gotta think that the Vikings are going to be trying to keep up with the Packers, so that means even more opportunity. Thielen lines up in the slot 65% of the time, and the Packers have given up the 10th most fantasy points to slot receivers so far this season.
Pryor has been a disappointment this year, but he has a great matchup this week against the 49ers. They’ve allowed 4 100-yard receivers this year, and the left side of the field where Pryor lines up has been extra vulnerable, giving up the 9th most fantasy points to wide receivers. We would have to think that the Redskins tried to work out the rapport between Cousins and Pryor during their bye, and are trying to find ways to get Pryor more involved. This is a good spot for him in Week 6.
ASJ had 8 targets in Week 5, and is slowly becoming the go-to pass-catching option in the Jets offense. In a game in which the Jets figure to be catching up, ASJ should be in a favorable game script. The Patriots have allowed the 4th most fantasy points to tight ends this year, and their defense isn’t showing signs of getting better.
Kearse’s target share has been all over the place. He does have three TDs on the year, so if we’re going to take our chances with a Jets receiver against the worst defense in the league, it would be him. The Jets figure to be down in this game, and if they’re working their way back, I would expect it to be Kearse, ASJ, and Elijah McGuire getting most of the targets.
Sean Payton says that Willie Snead is “100% healthy”, and with Darius Slay covering Michael Thomas, it’s possible that Drew Brees chooses to exploit Snead’s matchup in the slot with Quandre Diggs. The Lions have given up the 11th most fantasy points this season to slot wide receivers, so Snead has a chance to pick up where he left off last year. After a bye week to settle in and get healthy, this isn’t the worst spot to put Snead in your lineup.
Marqise Lee will probably be shadowed by Trumaine Johnson, so I would expect Blake Bortles to target Allen Hurns in this game more than usual. When Morris Claiborne shadowed Lee on the outside in Week 4, Hurns had 10 targets in that game. I’m expecting something similar in this game, but the hope is that the Jaguars actually pass the ball in this one; the way their defense is playing, they’re able to just run the ball down their opponent’s throat. Hurns is a desperate play, but he has a chance to get volume with upside for a TD.
The 49ers have allowed 28 receptions to RBs in 5 games, and Chris Thompson has had 21 targets so far this season. San Francisco is also 22nd in the league DVOA against pass-catching RBs. Christian McCaffrey, Todd Gurley, and Andre Ellington all had at least 7 catches against the 49ers. If Thompson can get that type of opportunity, we all have seen what he does when the ball is in his hands. He’s a great start if you don’t have any workhorses to start ahead of him this week, and I wouldn’t mind throwing him in my flex with the hopes of a big game to raise my team’s ceiling.
With Mohamed Sanu likely sitting out Week 6, Gabriel can step up with increased opportunity. He primarily lines up on Byron Maxwell’s side of the field, which has been a huge liability for the Dolphins this year; they’ve given up the 4th most fantasy points to WRs lining up on that side. If you’re shooting for a ceiling but understand Gabriel gives you a low floor, he’s a good play this week against the Dolphins at home.
Wallace only had 3 targets last week, but went over 100 yards for the first time this year. That target volume scares me, but he has another great matchup this week when he lines up on the right side of the field against the Bears. They’ve given up the most fantasy points to that side of the right side of the field, so Wallace can have a big game if Flacco chooses to look for him in this game.
Juju has been pretty consistent in this offense, and has been running more routes and getting more snaps than Martavis Bryant over the last three weeks. Philip Gaines has been a huge liability for the Chiefs in the nickel, so Juju can put up a decent game. He’s caught two touchdowns this year, and averages 5 targets a game. He’s a desperate play, but the Chiefs have been giving up the 8th most fantasy points to slot receivers this year, so you’re hoping for a touchdown out of him.
Donte Moncrief/Kamar Aiken
Moncrief has not been getting enough targets for me to put him in my starting lineup, even this week. 3 targets per week the last 3 weeks ain’t gonna cut it. However, like I mentioned above with Hilton, the Colts are going up against the Titans this week, and they have given up a ton of fantasy points to wide receivers. He can get you a touchdown if you’re lucky. Kamar Aiken has gotten 5 and 7 targets the last 2 weeks, respectively. Even with that target share, he’s only come down with 3 catches in those 2 weeks. Not good. I rather start Moncrief than Aiken in this matchup in deep, deep leagues.
This is a scary one. Engram laid a goose egg in Week 5, but who else are the Giants going to pass it to in Denver? He’ll get the targets and should provide a solid floor. Denver hasn’t been great against tight ends, but the worry is that the Giants don’t move the ball. Maybe Engram can get a target on each three and out, and will provide a solid floor in PPR? I have no idea how this is going to shake out. If you have another option, I would go there.
The Browns and the Giants have been the worst against tight ends, and ASJ continued the trend against them last week. Expect Deshaun Watson to take advantage of the matchup this week, especially around the red zone.
Kittle was huge in the clutch against the Colts in Week 5 with 7 catches on 9 targets for 83 yards and a TD. He has a couple of end zone looks, so I expect the 49ers to use their new weapon against a Redskins team who has allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to the position.
Derby had a great game against Oakland before the bye, racking up 4 catches on 6 targets for 75 yards and a TD. He gets the Giants this week, who have allowed 6 TDs in 5 games to tight ends. Play your tight ends against the Giants.
It seems like Mitch Trubisky found his favorite target in Zach Miller, who had the ball sent to him 7 times against the Vikings on Monday night. The trend can continue, and Miller has a good matchup against the Ravens, whose only liability in the secondary is against tight ends.
The Vikings have done a great job against slot receivers this year, giving up the 5th least fantasy points to them. If Jordy Nelson is limited in this game, Cobb gets a bump, but the Vikings haven’t been as good on the outside. Nelson and Adams have the matchups Aaron Rodgers will want to exploit in this game.
The Steelers have been lights out against wide receivers this year, giving up the fewest fantasy points to the position. Tyreek Hill moves around a lot, but there just aren’t that many holes in the Steelers secondary. I would consider sitting him, except with his breakaway speed, he has a chance of reaching the end zone any time the ball is in his hands.
Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan
Chris Hogan caught most of his targets while running out of the slot last week, and Amendola primarily plays the slot as well. The Jets are the best in the league in guarding the slot receiver as far as giving up fantasy points. I’m not benching these guys because I trust Brady more than I trust the Jets’ defense, but just temper your expectations a bit.
This one is interesting. Amari Cooper was the one that was the no-brainer for Casey Hayward to shadow, and he’s still projected to shadow Cooper in this one. However, why would he? The question is, do the Chargers adjust to how the Raiders WRs are playing and shadow Crabtree instead? If not, Crabtree should have a great day. Just temper your expectations, and hope that Hayward doesn’t make his way towards Crabtree in this game.
Thomas will be shadowed by Darius Slay in this game. Slay couldn’t completely shut down Kelvin Benjamin because of his massive frame, but he can have better success against Thomas. I’m not benching him.
Wayne Gallman/Orleans Darkwa vs Denver
This offense is going to have a very tough time moving against Denver. The Broncos have also fixed their rush defense since last year, so no Giants is going anywhere near my lineup this week, including these RBs.
Adrian Peterson vs Tampa Bay
The Cardinals’ offensive line has a few injuries, and the Bucs are giving up only 3.4 yards per attempt. The Bucs secondary is very beat up and very beatable right now, their pass rush is non-existent, so I expect the pass-happy Cardinals to air it out against that defense. Peterson can benefit from a goal line carry or two, but that’s the extent of what I’m expecting from Peterson in his first game with the Cards.
Blake Bortles only threw the ball only 14 times last week, so if the Jaguars can control the game with their defense and run game, there might not be that much reason for Bortles to throw the ball much in this one either. The Rams have given up a ton of points on the ground to fantasy running backs, so the Jaguars might want to exploit them that way. As far as Marqise Lee goes, he’s going to be shadowed by Trumaine Johnson, who’s been pretty good this year. Lee wasn’t targeted at all while being shadowed by Morris Claiborne on the outside in Week 3, so I’m sitting him in this one.
Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods
A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey have been amazing on the perimeter, outside of Antonio Brown. Watkins had a one-catch performance in Week 4, followed by a goose egg in Week 5. He’ll be targeted in this one, but don’t expect either him or Woods to find much room on the outside against these two standout corners.