The fantasy football world has slightly been brought back to reality: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was nearly perfect in his two-touchdown performance in a surprising blowout win over Cincinnati, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco finally had a bad game with an interception and no touchdowns and Tennessee Titans receiver Kendall Wright got in the end zone twice through the air.
However, some players are still having disappointing seasons, such as New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who tossed three interceptions in the Saints’ overtime victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Whether you benefited by the bounce-back performances or were plagued by a disappointing performance like Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, the Week 6 edition of the MTSU Sidelines: Start ‘Ems and Sit ‘Ems is here to help your fantasy woes.
Start ‘Em of the Week: Eli Manning, New York Giants: Suddenly Eli Manning is playing like it’s the playoffs.
He continued his hot streak with a 200-yard, two-touchdown performance against a poor Atlanta Falcons defense. This week he faces a Philadelphia Eagles squad that allowed the St. Louis Rams third-string QB Austin Davis to toss for 375 yards and three touchdowns in Week five. Manning is seeing his offense grow around him, with targets Victor Cruz, Reuben Randle and Larry Donnell emerging for the veteran quarterback. Manning should have a terrific game against an exposed Eagles secondary.
Start ‘Ems: Tom Brady (NE), Matthew Stafford (DET), Jay Cutler (CHI), Joe Flacco (BAL)
Sit ‘Em of the Week: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Houston Texans: The “Amish Rifle” hasn’t exactly been a good fantasy quarterback this season. His week five match up against the Dallas Cowboys wasn’t horrible, but showed little upside as well. Fitzpatrick completed 16-of-25 passes for 154 yards in an overtime loss.
With a week six match up against Indianapolis looming, the former Tennessee Titans QB might have to endure another tough game. Fitzpatrick threw five interceptions in five divisional games in 2013 as a member of the Titans, with three coming against the Colts. If history is any indication, avoid starting Fitzpatrick.
Sit ‘Ems: Austin Davis (STL), Andy Dalton (CIN), Geno Smith/Michael Vick (NYJ)
Sleeper of the Week: Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars: In order for a Jaguars quarterback to be starter worthy, he has to be playing the worst defense, which isn’t possible since Blake Bortles can’t play his own defense outside of practice.
One of the next best options would have to be the Tennessee Titans defense that allowed Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer to score three times through the air, while forcing only one turnover. The Titans’ defense imploded on itself with unnecessary penalties, one of which by cornerback Jason McCourty that negated his interception. This is a perfect game for a rookie quarterback to make some plays, especially if he will be facing off against backups Charlie Whitehurst or Zach Mettenberger, both of whom will struggle to put many points on the board, meaning that Bortles will not be pressured to keep up with the opposing offense.
Start ‘Em of the Week: Matt Forte, Chicago Bears: Matt Forte was taken pretty early in most fantasy drafts this season, yet hasn’t lived up to his draft position, similarly to Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy. The Bears running back is averaging 3.9 yards per carry with no touchdowns and one fumble.
This may be the week Forte turns it around though, going up against an Atlanta Falcons defense that allowed the Adrian Peterson-less Minnesota Vikings to rush for an astounding 241 yards in Week four and the New York Giants to rush for 124 yards in Week five. Forte should be able to crush the Falcons as he is, arguably, the best back they have faced all season.
Start ‘Ems: Ben Tate (CLE), Arian Foster (HOU), Branden Oliver (SD)
Sit ‘Em of the Week: DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys: Yes, the top running back of the 2014 season should be benched in week six.
The Cowboys travel to Seattle to face off against a Seahawks team that held the Washington Redskins to 32 rushing yards on the road. In week six, the Seahawks will be in the comforts of Seattle, and should be able to disrupt the Cowboys’ offense. The Seahawks have allowed one rushing touchdown all season, in which Green Bay Packers fullback John Kuhn scored on a two-yard run in the NFL season opener. The Seahawks defense did not stop Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins from being productive, but they definitely stopped the running game in its tracks.
Sit ‘Ems: Zac Stacy (STL), Frank Gore (SF), Jerick McKinnon/Matt Asiata (MIN)
Sleeper of the Week: Storm Johnson, Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars have another sleeper on offense, with rookie running back Storm Johnson out of the University of Central Florida. He rushed four times for 27 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week five and could benefit heavily from a very soft Titans run defense that missed nine tackles in Week five. Johnson could raise eyebrows with veteran Toby Gerhart struggling heavily, averaging just 2.6 yards per carry.
Start ‘Em of the Week: Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos: After disappearing in the Broncos’ first three games of the season, Demaryius Thomas proved that he is still the same explosive receiver that gave opposing defenses nightmares in 2013.
Peyton Manning was able to connect with Thomas for eight receptions, 226 yards and two touchdowns against an undefeated Arizona Cardinals defense. The Broncos will now face off against a New York Jets defense that allowed the San Diego Chargers to score 31 points in week five.
Thomas will continue his impressive play in week six.
Start ‘Ems: T.Y. Hilton (IND), Alshon Jeffery (CHI), Brandon Marshall (CHI), Victor Cruz (NYG), Randall Cobb (GB)
Sit ‘Em of the Week: Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions: Detroit head coach Jim Caldwell has already said that the team will heavily consider sitting one of the best receivers in the NFL due to his ankle injury. Although the Lions are playing a divisional opponent in the Minnesota Vikings, they will not risk re-aggravating Johnson’s injury for the second week in a row.
The Vikings have a soft defense that the Lions should be able to run the ball on, so even if Johnson does manage to get on the field, he will, most likely, not be a focal point of the offense. Johnson was also locked down by Buffalo in week five, prior to him leaving the game due to re-aggravating his ankle when he caught his only pass of the game. Megatron clearly is not healthy and should be kept on the bench this week.
Sit ‘Ems: Eric Decker (NYJ), Roddy White (ATL), Mike Wallace (MIA), DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)
Sleeper of the Week: Aaron Dobson, New England Patriots: Just in case you didn’t drop Dobson from your fantasy leagues after being deactivated in week four, you might have some hidden value. After catching his second pass of the season on Sunday night for 16 yards, Dobson could make a surge for more touches with Tom Brady battling the critics.
Start ‘Em of the Week: Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos: After allowing two touchdown passes and 60 yards to the San Diego Chargers’ Antonio Gates, the New York Jets will have to stop a younger, superior talent in Julius Thomas, who caught Peyton Manning’s 500th and 503rd touchdown passes of his career in week five.
Thomas and Manning have a solid connection headed into this match up, and it likely won’t stop against a Jets team that crumbled to Antonio Gates.
Start ‘Ems: Delanie Walker (TEN), Dwayne Allen (IND), Antonio Gates (SD)
Sit ‘Em of the Week: Owen Daniels, Baltimore Ravens: After keeping the New Orleans Saints’ Jimmy Graham in check to only two catches for 36 yards in week five, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on an inferior talent in the aging Owen Daniels. The Ravens will focus on feeding the ball to Steve Smith Sr. and Torrey Smith, and likely won’t need to dump it off to Daniels too much. Keep him on the bench this week.
Sit ‘Ems: Jared Cook (STL), Zach Ertz (PHI)
Sleeper of the Week: Andrew Quarless, Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers got back on track Thursday night against the Minnesota Vikings, tossing three touchdowns in a blowout win. Rodgers and the Packers will look to keep up the momentum against a Dolphins team that is on the verge of imploding. Rodgers will want to spread the ball around as he usually does, and this is the perfect game to help his fifth-year tight end gain some momentum in replacing Jermichael Finley. Quarless caught both of his targets in Week five for 19 yards.
This story has been updated to remove Rashad Jennings due to injury.
You can follow Kenneth Goit on Twitter at @KennethGoit
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