Communicating for a living and not being able to communicate is a bit of an issue. This past week, I’ve been sidelined due to a bad cold – thanks, kids – that has wrecked my voice and I haven’t been able to do much from a content perspective. It turns out that having a functioning voice is kind of essential to my line of work.
The NFL doesn’t stop though and fantasy lineups still need to be set at the same time as normal, so I’m rolling with the punches here. This isn’t usually the case, but this week you can find my Starts and Fades of the Week right here in article format on The Fantasy Playbook Website!
As a reminder, my Starts and Fades of the Week are based on the consensus rankings and players that I’m higher/lower on respectively. These are not players that 100% need to be in your starting lineup – or inversely outright benched – but they’re players that I have a bit stronger feelings about than the rest of the industry.
With that in mind, let’s take a look here at some of these players as we head into Week 6.
Starts of the Week
Aaron Jones (RB – Green Bay Packers)
If you’ve got Jones, you’re obviously playing him. This matchup though is one that I am going to be circling every week moving forward and signaling that this is one we should pay attention to when setting our lineups. Last week, I talked about Raheem Mostert as one of my starts of the week due to the matchup against the Jets and he went on to have a massive performance. This Packers offense is struggling right now and the key to them getting back on track is to get Jones and AJ Dillon rolling. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a big performance here from Jones in this one against New York and he’s at RB7 on the week for me right now.
Eno Benjamin (RB – Arizona Cardinals)
Listeners of the podcast know that I’ve been talking about adding Eno off of the waiver wire essentially every week up to this point. While he’s had some moments of fantasy relevance in deeper leagues already this season, he’s instantly in the top-20 conversation if James Conner is ruled out for this one. Darrel Williams is already ruled out and Jonathan Ward has been placed on IR. Corey Clement and Ty’Son Williams have been added to the practice squad, which is usually a pretty good indication that Conner’s going to miss this one. If that’s the case, Benjamin becomes an intriguing play in a game that has a 50.5 point over/under. The Seahawks are struggling to slow down opposing running games so far this year and they’re giving up 130.8 rushing yards per game. I doubt Benjamin’s going to get 25 carries this week, but the scoring opportunities should be there for him. If you’ve been holding onto him on your bench up to this point – or you just picked him up off of waivers – he’s a solid play and he’s currently at RB20 on the week for me with the opportunity to rise if we get news that Conner’s been officially ruled out.
Brian Robinson Jr. (RB – Washington Commanders)
Robinson’s at RB31 on the week for me right now, so it’s not a slam dunk start. However, he’s apparently now the clear lead back in this offense and the matchup’s about as good as it gets. The Bears are allowing 124.4 rushing yards per game to opposing RBs and 4.7 YPC. He might not see more than 12 touches this week, but with as much room as he’ll have to run and the scoring opportunities, he’s a decent FLEX option if you’re in a pinch.
Michael Pittman Jr (WR – Indianapolis Colts)
The last two games Pittman has gone up against this Jaguars secondary, he’s totaled 11 receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown. The Colts offense has been shaky – at best – this season, but the Jags have been susceptible against the pass so far this year and their stats are skewed still from the game against the Colts when Pittman was hurt. Pittman’s averaging 9 targets per game up to this point and he’s been inches away from a couple of big performances. He’s a rock-solid start for me this week and someone that I believe it’s finally going to click for here.
Gabriel Davis (WR – Buffalo Bills)
Yeah, you’re going to want to start the big-play threats in this game that has a 54 point over/under. Patrick Mahomes vs Josh Allen and it’s simply going to be a waiting game to see who can make the first big explosive pass downfield. Davis torched this defense the last time he played them – as we all know – and we saw what he can do last week when he’s fully healthy. He’s now back to being an every-week starter due to his upside.
GABRIEL DAVIS CANNOT BE STOPPED!
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 9, 2022
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR – Kansas City Chiefs)
As just mentioned with Gabe Davis, you’re going to want to start the big play threats in this game. MVS is starting to earn Mahomes’ trust here and the playing time/opportunity is finally translating to fantasy production. He’s emerging as a consistent receiving threat in this offense and his numbers have steadily ticked up each of the past three weeks. All it takes is one big play deep downfield for MVS to push your lineup over the top as a FLEX play. He’s at WR42 in consensus and WR37 in my rankings currently.
David Njoku (TE – Cleveland Browns)
The TE rankings right now are hot garbage with a couple of key players on BYE in Week 6. So, if you have someone on your roster that’s actually contributing, they’re probably worth playing. Njoku’s been solid so far this year though. Outside of week one, he’s been a solid option for fantasy lineups and he deserves to be viewed as a top-tier option this week. He’s at TE5 in my rankings and I’m currently playing him over Tyler Higbee – who’s battling an injury – and George Kittle.
Jimmy Garoppolo (QB – San Francisco 49ers)
I find myself agreeing with consensus a lot this week in terms of QB rankings, so I’ll go a little bit further down and recommend Jimmy G as a streaming candidate up against Atlanta. The Falcons defense hasn’t exactly been stout so far this year and Jimmy’s got enough weapons around him to take advantage. He’s just at QB13 for me, so not someone that you have to start but I wouldn’t be shocked if he puts together a solid performance here.
Fades of the Week
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – Kansas City Chiefs)
Could CEH score multiple touchdowns this week due to the potential point total for Kansas City? Absolutely. However, the usage for CEH is becoming too hard to predict. When they get down to the goal line is it going to be CEH? Or will we see Jerick McKinnon? What about potentially even Isiah Pacheco there? There are two games – out of the last three – where CEH has 16 carries for 15 yards. He’s living and dying by touchdowns and that’s just not how I prefer to play fantasy football. He’s at RB22 in my rankings and there are certainly some safer options out there.
James Robinson (RB – Jacksonville Jaguars)
Robinson’s starting to see his opportunity decrease in this backfield, while Travis Etienne’s is starting to creep up. Etienne has been more efficient recently, he’s seen more snaps, and he’s seeing more targets. Robinson has to find the end zone for you to feel happy that you started him and that’s never a place that I really want to be with my RB2. He’s down to RB27 in my rankings for the week.
Kareem Hunt (RB – Cleveland Browns)
Outside of Hunt’s monstrous Week 1 performance, he really has not done a whole lot. RB27, RB32, RB37, and RB21 fantasy finishes each of the past four games and he’s taken a clear backseat to Nick Chubb and his dominance. The Patriots are allowing the 6th fewest points per game to opposing RBs, so the opportunities for Hunt to find the end zone – which is what he needs to crack the top-20 – probably aren’t going to be there. Just like with CEH and Robinson, betting on a player to score a touchdown to be a helpful fantasy asset is a difficult place to be and I’d prefer to look elsewhere if I can.
Courtland Sutton (WR – Denver Broncos)
Sutton’s actually been fine from a target standpoint recently. He’s top-10 in the NFL at the WR position in terms of targets through the first five weeks, but the upside is capped with the way Russell Wilson is playing. Just one touchdown on the year so far for Sutton and that’s preventing him from working his way into the top-12 discussion each week. He’s still a very solid play due to that target floor, but I have some concerns about his overall upside and I’d currently play Gabe Davis, Mike Williams, and Michael Pittman Jr. over him this week.
Courtland Sutton is trying to give your fantasy team hope tonight 🙏 pic.twitter.com/aycAehezbj
— Fantasy Life (@MBFantasyLife) October 7, 2022
Terry McLaurin (WR – Washington Commanders)
Not only does McLaurin have to deal with a banged up Carson Wentz here on Thursday Night Football, but he’s going to have to worry about one of the most underrated DBs in the NFL returning to the lineup. Jaylon Johnson has missed the past three games, but he’ll be out there and ready to help bolster a struggling Bears secondary in Week 6. We have yet to see that over-the-top performance from McLaurin anyway this season and now he has these other factors to go up against. He’s at WR26 in my rankings.
Juju Smith-Schuster (WR – Kansas City Chiefs)
Yes, the over/under for this game is high and Smith-Schuster could reel in a touchdown here to prove me wrong. Or he could continue to struggle to get on the same page as Mahomes and finish outside the top-30 WRs on the week yet again. Up to this point, Olamide Zaccheaus, Greg Dortch, Nico Collins, and Jakobi Meyers in just three games played has more fantasy points than Juju. He’s been a massive disappointment and yet he’s continually ranked as a top-36 WR. He’s all the way down to WR39 in my rankings this week and I think that it’s time to officially be concerned with his outlook for the remainder of the year. I wouldn’t be shocked if we start to see him secede some snaps to Skyy Moore out of the slot as the year goes along.
Gerald Everett (TE – Los Angeles Chargers)
Everett’s usage and snap split with Tre McKitty was enough of a red flag to potentially consider selling him off a couple of weeks ago, but now Donald Parham Jr. has also entered into the mix and made this a three-man committee at TE. Everett’s still the main option in terms of snaps and routes run, but there’s enough competition now that we need to really be concerned. He’s still being ranked as a top-10 TE though and that’s putting way too much faith in someone coming off of a 1-2-0 performance in Week 5. He’s at TE11 for me and I might move him down further as the week goes along.
Daniel Jones (QB – New York Giants)
Jones has been fine from a fantasy standpoint recently, but there’s not much path to upside for him with his receiving corps looking the way that it is right now. The matchup’s great on paper going up against Baltimore’s defense, but with the WR question marks and the fact that he’s still unlikely to be at 100% with his ankle injury, I’d prefer to look elsewhere for my QB2.