The Start’em Six
Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals (vs. Buccaneers): Palmer has thrown for over 300 yards in three of his last four games. Now he faces a Buccaneers team with a weak secondary and strong run defense. Don’t let the addition of Adrian Peterson effect your decision, as the Cardinals will need to throw to keep up with the potent Bucs offense. Not only will Palmer give you high volume, but he’s possessed a high floor within the last four matchups after a Week 1 dud against the Lions. Start’em if you got’em.
Mike Gillislee, RB, Patriots (at Jets): Ever since his three-TD explosion in Week 1, Gillislee has slowly fallen off the face of Fantasy relevance, especially in PPR leagues. Gillislee’s a boom or bust play at this point, as he relies solely on TDs. With the Patriots’ defense playing as bad as they’ve been, Gillislee hasn’t received the high volume of touches he’d normally get if the Patriots could hold onto large leads. However, Sunday’s date with the Jets is a terrific opportunity for Gillislee to get back on track. The Jets possess a bottom of the barrel run defense, so if the Patriots could take a significant lead, Gillislee could reap the volume of benefits.
Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints (vs. Lions): Kamara was slowly coming along for the Saints, then made a big splash in Week 4 with 10 catches and a TD. In PPR leagues, Kamara is on the verge of becoming a must-start, and now with Peterson gone, his volume should increase significantly. Kamara was underrated heading into the regular season due to a crowded backfield, but there’s no denying his outstanding ability. Look for Kamara to cement himself as a Top-20 PPR RB or better on a weekly basis.
Martavis Bryant, WR, Steelers (at Chiefs): This is my last hurrah with Bryant. Besides his 91-yard, one-TD performance in Week 2, he’s been a dud. Part of it is Bryant’s fault, but part of it is Ben Roethlisberger missing him deep on many plays. Bryant’s seen his fair share of targets, so volume isn’t the issue. if Big Ben can get it together, coupled with Bryant’s astronomical talent, I still believe he can be a valuable Fantasy resource in the second half of the season. Sunday may be the start of a promising run.
Falcons D/ST (vs. Dolphins): The Falcons don’t have the most dominant defense by any means, but for Fantasy purposes, they can make things happen. The Falcons have the playmakers on defense to cause turnovers & the high-powered offense to put them in an advantageous position to create turnovers. Another positive for this Falcons defense is the probable return of talented pass rusher Vic Beasley. Add in a game against a stagnant offense led by turnover-prone Jay Cutler, and you get the best team defense to stream in Week 6; one that could possibly end up as the highest scoring defense as well.
The Sit’em Six
Tarik Cohen, RB, Bears (at Ravens): Cohen’s touches have gone from a season-high 16 in Week 3, 10 in Week 4, to just seven in Monday night’s loss to the Vikings. A tough matchup against a stout Ravens defense doesn’t help Cohen’s cause, adding to Cohen’s negative trends. Cohen’s still a valuable PPR RB to own, so be patient, but I recommend sitting him until he bounces back or has a great matchup.
Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers (at Redskins): Hyde had been relatively consistent this season until last week’s eight carries for 11 yards against the Colts. He now faces a Redskins defense that’s been stingy against both the run and pass all season. Other factors, like the 49ers’ poor defense and the emergence of Matt Breida, also hurt his chances for consistent production. The 49ers have played catch-up in most games and although Hyde is an above-average receiver, he needs to find success on the ground to produce at an elevated level. I suggest benching him only if you have a player of similar volume and skill.
Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs (vs. Steelers): The Steelers have held down number one WRs all season, and Alex Smith’s dominance has to hit a roadblock at some point, right? Hill’s been inconsistent through the first five weeks and most teams look to key on him to limit his big-play ability. Look for the Chiefs to rely heavily on Kareem Hunt and control the clock against a Steelers team that’s been underperforming. Expect the Steelers to come out firing after a disappointing start to their 2017 campaign, as nothing can help a team’s confidence more than blowing out the league’s last undefeated team.
Rishard Matthews, WR, Titans (vs. Colts): Matthews has been an overall disappointment to start the regular season. Last week against the Dolphins was no different as Matthews only had three receptions for 34 yards, albeit without QB Marcus Mariota under center. Mariota may not play in Week 6, and the decision to start Matthews in Fantasy is dependent on Mariota’s health. What’s worse is the Titans won’t play until Monday night, leaving Fantasy owners with few options if Mariota doesn’t play. Either way, Matthews hasn’t been the reliable PPR receiver we’ve seen in the past, so I suggest a different option if available.
Aaron Jones, RB, Packers (at Vikings): Jones burst onto the scene last week with an explosive 20 points in PPR formats. Normally, I’d suggest riding the hot hand, but with Ty Montgomery seemingly healthy enough to come back and a matchup with a stingy Vikings defense, I recommend going a different route. We’ve seen plenty of players explode onto the scene like this, only to fall from grace and never reach those high marks again. However, I do believe Jones has talent, but this could be a flash in the pan type game for him this season.
Redskins D/ST (vs 49ers): On paper, a date with the 49ers at home looks like a mouth-watering matchup for any defense, but dig a little deeper. Brian Hoyer threw for over 350 yards against the Colts in Week 5. Now, I know doing that versus an awful Colts team isn’t very impressive, but Hoyer is starting to show signs of the capabilities he had last season. The 49ers normally attempt to create offense through their run game with Carlos Hyde, but the problem is that teams key on the run against them. Not only will teams look to shut out Hyde and the rushing attack, but most of them will score points aplenty against the 49ers’ weak defense. Combine all of this with Hyde’s recent woes and health, the 49ers having to play catch-up in most games, and the emergence of players like receiver Marquise Goodwin and tight end George Kittle in the passing game, and there’s potential for this offense to put up points. Add the fact that CB Josh Norman will not be playing in Week 6, and you have a formula for a successful 49ers offense. Look for a better streaming option than the Redskins this week.