Sink or Swim: Week 6

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Once again I was wrong to trust Jay Cutler, and will never again no matter the match up. It’s really hard to trust QB’s like him or Ben Roethlisberger who just seem disinterested in being out there anymore. None of the RB’s swam last week outside of Andre Ellington, who continues to be a great PPR find for those who added him weeks ago. My two favorite plays of the week, Bilal Powell and Davante Parker were both injured early in their respective games, leading to big let down performances. Evan Engram somehow finished without a catch last weekend despite the Giants losing all of their receivers throughout the game. Chalk that one up to being more of a fluke than anything. Most of those featured on the “sink” side of things did in fact do very little last week, with Cam Newton being the biggest exception.

QUARTERBACK

SWIM

Kirk Cousins (Washington Redskins):

Coming off the bye, at home, against a team being absolutely roasted through the air this season…Cousins is definitely a top play this week. The Redskins passing game hasn’t exactly lived up to the high expectations set heading into the year, but this is the perfect “get right” match up for Cousins and co.

Carson Palmer (Arizona Cardinals):

Even after having some underwhelming finishes the past few weeks, he’s still been good enough to stay in the top 15 QB discussion each time. The stars align this week for him to finally go off, facing a TB pass defense that has been very vulnerable, mostly in part to featuring a lackluster pass rush. The game being in Arizona and a 4:25 PM ET start are also pluses.

Deshaun Watson (Houston Texans):

Watson is one of the better QB plays in the league this week, with huge potential upside against a non-existent Browns pass defense. I don’t expect his TD rate to stay at the rate its been, but he should still score a few times this weekend, and 300+ yards is definitely within reason.

Philip Rivers (Los Angeles Chargers):

Rivers has a great track record against the Raiders in his career and should be in a position to throw all over them on Sunday afternoon. With Mike Williams returning, he has a ton of weapons at his disposal, making it hard for the Raiders depleted secondary to keep them in check.

SINK

Jared Goff (Los Angeles Rams):

Goff finally saw a legitimate pass defense last weekend, and the results were not great. Now he sees the best pass defense in football at the moment, making him avoidable at all costs this week.

Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers):

It’s just incredibly hard to trust a guy who isn’t even sure if he should still be playing anymore. Ben’s confidence seems to be shot for some reason, making him best kept on the bench at this point, especially going into Arrowhead to face a tough Chiefs defense.

Brian Hoyer (San Francisco 49ers): 

I originally had Eli Manning here, but that seemed a little too obvious, so for those thinking about streaming Hoyer this week I’d caution against it. Sure the Redskins will be without Josh Norman, but the that defense is still solid without him, much more so than the Colts team that Hoyer shredded last week.

RUNNING BACK

SWIM

Marshawn Lynch (Oakland Raiders):

The Chargers have repeatedly been gashed on the ground by any and all RB’s they go up against. This has the potential to be a vintage beast mode game for Lynch, making him a must start in all formats this weekend.

Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara (New Orleans Saints):

The departure of Adrian Peterson obviously gives both backs a boost moving forward, and should make the two viable fantasy starts this week. Ingram should see 20 touches with Kamara seeing slightly fewer, and both have high floors/ceilings against a Lions team just mediocre at defending opposing running backs.

Buck Allen (Baltimore Ravens):

Allen seems to have established himself as the teams top option for goal line carries, which to go along with his passing game work, will help keep his floor relatively high. The Ravens will be without Terrance West again and playing a Bears team that is struggling to move the ball, should be in charge of the game throughout. Allen should easily see 20+ touches on Sunday against a defense that has allowed its fair share of fantasy points to opposing RB’s.

Jerick McKinnon (Minnesota Vikings):

I wouldn’t expect similar numbers to last week again, but McKinnons floor is buoyed this week by his role in the Vikings passing game, which should be called upon often this weekend. It was made clear on Monday night that McKinnon is the better back at this point, with Latavius Murray showing little to no burst. Expect a heavy dose of McKinnon on Sunday.

Deep Dives–Elijah McGuire, Duke Johnson: Even if Matt Forte plays, he will be limited, making Elijah McGuire a great RB2/Flex option against a suspect Patriots defense. Duke Johnson has really been the only consistent offense option for the Browns to this point, and should continue to be used plenty enough in the passing game to return RB2/3 PPR value.

SINK

Jay Ajayi (Miami Dolphins):

The entire Dolphins offense is trending in the Sink direction following 3 straight poor outings against teams that have allowed plenty of yards/points. Ajayi is hampered the most by Cutler and the passing games inefficiencies, and going against a tough Falcons defense won’t make matters better.

Isiah Crowell (Cleveland Browns):

Crowell’s outlook for the season is looking dimmer and dimmer by the minute, with him averaging only 3.1 yards per carry now despite having some very favorable match ups. Sure the Texans defense is banged up pretty bad, but they should still be able to contain the run while racking up points on offense, meaning another negative game script for Cleveland.

 

WIDE RECEIVER

SWIM

Tyrell Williams (Los Angeles Chargers):

A lot of attention will be made about Mike Williams potentially making his NFL debut, but I think this is a prime spot for Tyrell Williams to explode for a big play or two with the Raiders secondary banged up and paying close attention to the other Chargers offensive options.

Will Fuller (Houston Texans):

While he has scored 4 touchdowns in his first two games back, he has also only seen 6 targets. The TD’s will obviously regress, but that doesn’t mean he won’t begin to see more targets in the passing game and he has a prime match up this weekend against a Browns team who can not stop opposing passing attacks. He should finish second in targets in this one.

Marvin Jones Jr. (Detroit Lions):

After squaring off with Patrick Peterson, Janoris Jenkins, Desmond Trufant and Xavier Rhodes the first 4 weeks of the season, things got easier for Jones last week against Carolina, where he turned 6 catches into 54 yards. Things get even easier this week, going up against a Saints defense who is still very much vulnerable to perimeter receivers. Week 6 could be a bit of a break out game for Jones.

Jamison Crowder (Washington Redskins):

I’m buying the talk about Gruden wanting to start getting him more involved, with this week being a perfect time to start. The 49ers have defended slot receivers better than boundary ones, but there are holes all over that defense still so if Gruden really wants to get Crowder going, he’ll find a way to make that happen.

Deep Dives–JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mike Wallace: JuJu Smith-Schuster should be in line for a higher target share this week and the Chiefs are prone to allowing big plays/games to slot guys. Mike Wallace is always more of a boom or bust option but he has had back to back WR2 finishes going into Sunday and gets a Bears defense susceptible to big plays.

SINK

Amari Cooper (Oakland Raiders):

Back to back weeks for this WR trio in the sink column, all for good reason. Cooper is going through possibly the biggest rough patch of his career, and while he gets Derek Carr back this week, he still has a tough perimeter match up and is best off being left on benches until he shows some signs of life.

Martavis Bryant (Pittsburgh Steelers):

Bryant has already under performed all year and is now looking at “getting some time off” this week, which is just a nice way of saying he is being benched. It’ll be incredibly difficult for him to find any fantasy value if his snap count diminishes any more.

Sammy Watkins (Los Angeles Rams):

So far only two receivers have finished as a top 30 WR for the week after facing the Jaguars this season. So once again Sammy Watkins, or any of the Rams receivers for that matter, can not be trusted to provide any fantasy value this week.

 

TIGHT END

SWIM

Austin Seferian-Jenkins (New York Jets):

He’s the go to option in the passing game now on a team that will be forced to pass often on Sunday. In a league with limited tight end options to trust, ASJ’s 5-35-.33 averages are actually not so terrible. I’d expect to see that yardage average go up this week also.

Evan Engram (New York Giants):

If the Broncos are vulnerable anywhere, it is against opposing tight ends. Engram also happens to be the only reliable pass catcher the Giants will have on Sunday, so it would be a shock if he doesn’t see a bunch of targets and catches.

Hunter Henry (San Diego Chargers):

Henry was finally used more in the passing game last week, running 30+ pass routes, marking his season high so far. His usage should continue to rise with Antonio Gates running on fumes and this weekend presents a good match up. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s a favorite of Rivers in the red zone either.

SINK

Martellus Bennett (Green Bay Packers):

Bennett has just been impossible to trust this year, already disappointing in potentially great match ups for himself this season. The Vikings are typically tough on opposing tight ends, making him best left on the bench for this week.

Eric Ebron (Detroit Lions): 

Ebron’s outlook is not looking good for the rest of the season or for his career even. He was always a better athlete than actual football player, and he is injured way to often to actually get better as a football player. Avoid playing him this week if you can.

Coby Fleener (New Orleans Saints):

I don’t expect the Lions to forget that TE’s are indeed eligible pass catchers again this week, and with the return of Willie Snead to the lineup, Fleener’s target potential takes a decent sized hit.

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Rick Graham

Currently reside in Foxboro, MA so you can guess where my loyalties lie. Seasoned fantasy football vet who craves for the return of the true feature back. I also contribute over at PitcherList.com.

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