Heading into Week 6, bye weeks and injuries are making their presence known. These two issues will force many Fantasy owners to start less than desirable players.
There are also many players returning from injuries that may be a bit under the radar. Carson Palmer, Cam Newton, Arian Foster and Jonathan Stewart are all expected back this week. Doug Martin, Dez Bryant, Latavius Murray, Dion Lewis, Tyler Eifert, and Ladarius Green all have a chance to return in weeks 7 or 8.
I use a A-F grading scale for each player. I do this because I think many players values are equal. In DFS, if two players have the same grade, go with the cheaper option.
“A” Players are expected to have big games. “B” players are must starts. “C” players are borderline starters. A “C+” means I would lean towards starting them, and a “C-” means I’d lean towards not starting them. “D” players are not recommended starters, and “F” players are not listed.
As it related to DFS; These numbers are based on FanDuel’s player pricing. Grades are based on FanDuels’s 1/2 point PPR scoring system. A= $8,000 plus, B= $6,500-$7,900, C= $5,500-$6,400, D= $4,600-$5,400, and F= $4,500. Keep in mind QBs prices are inflated by around $1,000, and TEs prices are deflated by around $1,000
Week 6 Game Previews and Fantasy Predictions
San Francisco 49ers at Buffalo Bills
Colin Kaepernick will replace Blaine Gabbert as the 49ers starting QB. I have no clue what to expect out of Kaepernick. It’s possible that the team will rally around him, and his running ability is a great attribute in Chip Kelly’s offense. It’s more likely the 49ers will be a disaster playing in Buffalo though.
The Bills are on an impressive three game winning streak, defeating the Cardinals, Patriots, and Rams all by double digits. Their defense is playing great. LeSean McCoy has returned to elite running back form, and Tyrod Taylor has made just enough plays in the passing game to keep defenses honest.
Carlos Hyde C
Torrey Smith/Jeremy Kerley D+
Colin Kaepernick D
LeSean McCoy A
Tyrod Taylor C+
Charles Clay C+
Robert Woods/Marquise Goodwin D
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins
The Eagles predictably fell back down to earth losing to the Lions last week. The Redskins are riding a three game winning streak. This should be a very tough, evenly matched division showdown.
Jordan Reed is questionable with concussion symptoms. If he can’t go, that’ll be a huge blow to the Redskins offense. Matt Jones will likely struggle against the Eagle’s 3rd ranked run defense. Josh Norman will likely take Jordan Matthews out of the Eagle’s offense. The Skins will have to move the ball through the air, and the Eagles best plan of attack is to ground and pound a weak Redskins run defense.
Ryan Mathews B-
Zach Ertz B-
Carson Wentz C
Jordan Matthews C-
Jordan Reed (Q) A
DeSean Jackson B-
Kirk Cousins C+
Matt Jones/Jamison Crowder/Pierre Garcon C
Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans
Marcus Mariota had his best game as a Pro last week against the Dolphins. DeMarco Murray is running the ball like a champ. The Titans also get the gift of playing the hapless Browns at home this week.
What can you say about the Browns? They are a disaster of epic proportions. They have a legitimate chance to go winless this season. Terrelle Pryor is the only viable Fantasy option on this team right now.
Terrelle Pryor C+
Gary Barnidge (Q) C-
Isaiah Crowell C-
DeMarco Murray A+
Marcus Mariota B+
Delanie Walker B+
Derrick Henry/Rishard Matthews/Tajae Sharpe C
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
Cam Newton is on schedule to return this week. The Panthers face an absolute must win in New Orleans. The Panthers should come out firing on all cylinders on offense versus the Saint’s last ranked defense. I look for them to put up 40 plus points. Jonathan Stewart is expected back this week, but I still wouldn’t write off Cameron Artis-Payne or Fozzy Whittaker against the awful Saint’s run defense.
The Saints will be able to take advantage of Carolina’s porous secondary. Drew Brees will get his yards, and the Saints could put up some big passing numbers playing catch-up.
Greg Olsen A+
Cam Newton (Q) A
Kelvin Benjamin B+
Jonathan Stewart (Q) B-
Cameron Artis-Payne/Fozzy Whittaker C-
Drew Brees A
Brandin Cooks B
Mark Ingram/Willie Snead/Mike Thomas/Coby Fleener C+
Baltimore Ravens at New York Giants
The Ravens fired offensive coordinator Mark Tressman this week. Marty Mornhingwig will take over. You can expect the Ravens to commit more to the running game, and attack more downfield with speedsters Mike Wallace and Breshard Perriman. Steve Smith will likely be out or limited.
There’s no sugarcoating the fact that Eli Manning and the Giant’s offense has been terrible the last two weeks. They should snap out their funk eventually. I’m not sure it will be this week though. The Raven’s have the 3rd ranked defense in the NFL right now. CB Jimmy Smith should limit Odell Beckham’s production.
Joe Flacco C+
Dennis Pitta/Mike Wallace (Q)/ Breshad Perriman C
Terrance West C-
Kenneth Dixon D+
Odell Beckham B+
Eli Manning C+
Sterling Shepard C
Victor Cruz/Bobby Rainey C-
Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots
The Patriots have Tom Brady back, and their weapons are relatively healthy. The offseason additions of Martellus Bennett and Chris Hogan showed just how much they add to this offense in their first game with Brady. Brady will be a Top 3 Fantasy QB the rest of the season.
The Bengals are a very average football team on both sides of the ball. A.J. Green is their lone superstar, and you can be sure the Patriots will give him extra attention.
A.J. Green B
Giovani Bernard C+
Jeremy Hill (Q) C
Andy Dalton/Brandon LaFell D+
Tom Brady A
Rob Gronkowski A
Martellus Bennett/Julian Edelman B
LeGarrette Blount/James White/Chris Hogan C
Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions
The Lions are a completely different team at home. They beat the Eagles at home last week, after laying an egg on the road against the Bears the week before. The Lions also match-up well with the Rams. They are a heavy passing team, and the Ram’s biggest weakness is their secondary.
Todd Gurley and the Rams offense continue to struggle. They are the last ranked offense in the league. Detroit’s defense has yet to stop anybody though, so Gurley and Tavon Austin should put up some decent numbers this week.
Todd Gurley B
Tavon Austin C+
Kenny Britt C-
Case Keenum D
Marvin Jones B+
Matthew Stafford B+
Theo Riddick (Q) B-
Golden Tate/Anquan Boldin/Eric Ebron C-
Jacksonville Jaguars at Chicago Bears
Both of these teams are playing much better after each starting off 0-3. Brian Hoyer has breathed new life into the Bears offense, and rookie RB Jordan Howard is is running like a beast. The Jaguars defense is not as bad as people might think though. They are currently the No. 7 ranked defense. CB Jalen Ramsey is living up to his Top 5 draft pick expectations.
The Bears defense is not very good. The Jaguar’s offense should come out firing in Chicago after a bye week.
Allen Robinson A
Blake Bortles B
Allen Hurns B-
T.J. Yeldon/Chris Ivory/Julius Thomas C
Jordan Howard B
Alshon Jeffery C+
Brian Hoyer/Cameron Meredith/Zach Miller C
Pittsburgh Steelers at Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are a complete mess right now. Adam Gase and Ryan Tannehill are both in jeopardy of losing their jobs by seasons end. The Steelers offense is absolutely on fire right now, and I don’t see the Dolphins putting out the flames.
Ben Roethlisberger, LeVeon Bell, and Antonio Brown are all my No. 1 players at their position this week.
Antonio Brown A+
LeVeon Bell A+
Ben Roethlisberger A+
Sammie Coates (Q) C+
Markus Wheaton (Q)/Eli Rogers (Q) D+
Jarvis Landry B
DeVante Parker C+
Jay Ajayi/Arian Foster D+
Ryan Tannehill D+
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
This could be the game of the week. The Chiefs had a bye week to recover from that Sunday night pounding the Steelers laid on them. The Chiefs face a virtual must win game this week versus the 4-1 division leading Raiders.
Oakland has not been quite as good as their record indicates. They’ve played a soft schedule, and won all four of their games by less than a touchdown.
Jamaal Charles is expected to be fully back this week, and should receive the bulk of the snaps. Derek Carr struggled versus the Chiefs last season,as did Amari Cooper, who was held to just 6 catches for 89 yards in two games versus the Chiefs last year.
Jamaal Charles B
Travis Kelce B
Jeremy Maclin B-
Alex Smith C
Amari Cooper B-
Michael Crabtree C+
Derek Carr C
Deandre Washington/Jalen Richard C-
Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks
How long can the Falcons continue to play at this level? The Falcon’s No. 1 ranked offense will take on the Seahawks No. 1 ranked defense in Seattle. The Falcons RBs will not be able to dominate this game like they did against Denver. Julio Jones will have to be big in this game for Atlanta to have a chance.
The Seahawks offense got off to a slow start, but they put together two straight good offensive performances heading into last week’s bye. With two weeks to work on some of their offensive problems, the Seattle offense should be back on track going forward.
Julio Jones B
Devonta Freeman C+
Tevin Coleman C-
Matt Ryan C-
Russell Wilson A-
Doug Baldwin B+
Jimmy Graham B
Christine Michael/Tyler Lockett C
Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers
The Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott have been running wild. This week they run into the Packers No. 1 ranked run defense. Dez Bryant is likely to be out again. This game is all on Dak Prescott’s shoulders. The Packer’s secondary has been their weakness.
The Cowboy’s defense has been decent, using a bend but don’t break philosophy. The Packers have yet to find their form on offense. Jordy Nelson has scored TDs, but he has not been making the big plays he was known for. They need to give Eddie Lacy more carries as well. That could help open up the deep play action pass.
Ezekiel Elliott B-
Dak Prescott C+
Terrance Williams/Cole Beasley/Jason Witten C
Aaron Rodgers B+
Jordy Nelson B-
Eddie Lacy (Q) B-
Randall Cobb C+
Devante Adams C-
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
Brock Osweiler and the Texan’s offense has completely fallen off a cliff. DeAndre Hopkins and Lamar Miller have both fallen way short of expectations. They get a chance to turn things around at home, in a must win division game. The Colts have one of the league’s worst defenses. They just surrendered over 500 yards to the Bears last week.
The Texans rank No. 1 in the league in pass defense, however they are 25th against the run. Fortunately for them, the Colts don’t have much of a running game. This is a difficult match-up for Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton.
Andrew Luck B-
T.Y. Hilton B-
Frank Gore C
Phillip Dorsett/Dwayne Allen C-
Lamar Miller B
Deandre Hopkins C+
Will Fuller C
Brock Osweiler D+
New York Jets at Arizona Cardinals
The Jets at 1-4, crippled by injuries and with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick struggling, are pretty much done for this season. The Cardinals are slowly recovering from a slow start. Carson Palmer is expected to play this week. I anticipate a Monday night blowout in the desert.
Start all your Cardinals in this one. Brandon Marshall is the only must start player left on the Jets. He will be covered by superstar CB Patrick Peterson though.
Brandon Marshall C+
Matt Forte C+
Quincy Enunwa C
Ryan Fitzpatrick D
David Johnson A-
Carson Palmer A-
Larry Fitzgerald B+
John Brown/Michael Floyd C+
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