Trying to figure out who to start and who to sit for Week 6 of the 2014 NFL fantasy football season? Check out our tip sheet to find out which players will lead you to victory this week and which players should be avoided.
Who to Start in Week 6
QB: Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (vs. Atlanta Falcons): The Bears’ offense has fared a bit worse than most expected so far this season, but Cutler has at least two touchdown passes in every game and the Falcons are a mess on defense. Expect him to put up big numbers in a game that will likely turn into a high-scoring affair. Start him.
RB: Branden Oliver, San Diego Chargers (vs. Oakland Raiders): This undrafted rookie out of the University of Buffalo looked like the second coming of Darren Sproles in Week 5, torching a normally strong Jets defense for 114 rushing yards, 68 receiving yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, he looked much better than Donald Brown, who has struggled all season and was dinged up last week. The Raiders are 24th in the league against the run and have been torched by opposing running backs on several occasions this season. Start him.
RB: Andre Williams, New York Giants (vs. Philadelphia Eagles): Williams has looked solid lately and will be in for a heavy workload in Week 6 with usual starter Rashad Jennings out with a knee injury. Philadelphia has already allowed six touchdowns to opposing running backs. Start him.
WR: Andrew Hawkins, Cleveland Browns (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers): The diminutive slot receiver has an obvious rapport with Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer, drawing at least nine targets in every game this season. Moreover, he’s already roughed up the Steelers once this season, catching eight passes for 87 yards against them in Week 1. He should be a WR3 in Week 6, especially if you’re in a PPR league. Start him.
WR: Golden Tate, Detroit Lions (vs. Minnesota Vikings): Tate has sneakily become a must-play wide receiver in fantasy leagues, with back-to-back 100-yard performances in Weeks 4 and 5. With Calvin Johnson, the Lions’ top target, hobbled with an ankle injury, expect quarterback Matt Stafford to look for Tate early and often against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 6. Start him.
WR: Brian Quick, St. Louis Rams (vs. San Francisco 49ers): Quick has established himself as Rams quarterback Austin Davis’ clear No. 1 target. He crushed the Eagles in Week 5, reeling in five passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns. St. Louis’ matchup against a strong 49ers defense in Week 6 isn’t ideal, but the Rams are at home and Quick should be extremely active. Start him.
TE: Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (vs. Oakland Raiders): Gates may be a bit past his prime, but he remains one of Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers’ favorite red zone targets. He caught two touchdowns against the Jets last week and now has five touchdowns on the season. Historically, he dominates the Raiders, with 31 catches in his last six games against them. This game will probably get ugly, and Gates could be a big reason why. Start him.
Defense/Special Teams: Denver Broncos (vs. New York Jets): This recommendation is based more on the Jets’ offensive struggles than Denver’s defensive chops. New York didn’t score a single point against San Diego in Week 5, and neither starting quarterback Geno Smith nor backup Michael Vick could mount any type of momentum. Moreover, Smith is extremely turnover-prone -- he’s thrown at least one interception in every game this season. The Jets will probably have to throw the ball a lot to keep pace with Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ offense, and Smith could struggle against Denver’s strong pass rush. Start them.
Who to Sit in Week 6
QB: Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Seattle Seahawks): Romo has played well lately, throwing for seven touchdowns against just two interceptions over his last three games. But the Seahawks are a dominant team when playing at home -- over their last 10 games in Seattle, they’ve surrendered an average of less than 200 yards passing and recorded 18 interceptions, NFL.com notes. Plus, Romo is a bit of a gunslinger, which could cost him against Seattle’s stalwart secondary. Sit him.
RB: Matt Asiata, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Detroit Lions): Asiata has been a decent replacement for embattled Vikings star Adrian Peterson this season, but he's far from explosive and will face the Lions’ dominant run defense in Week 6. As a short-yardage back, Asiata’s value is largely tied to his ability to get into the end zone, something that Detroit’s defense has allowed opposing running backs to do just three times this season. Sit him.
RB: Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams (vs. San Francisco 49ers): Injuries have limited Stacy’s performance all season, and that doesn’t appear likely to change ahead of St. Louis’ Week 6 matchup with the 49ers. Stacy and his balky calf will face a San Francisco run defense that has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Sit him.
WR: Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Detroit Lions): Patterson was considered a strong candidate to enjoy a breakout year in 2014, but the Vikings’ coaching staff has struggled to keep him involved in their offensive game plan. He hasn’t caught more than four passes in any game this season and was targeted just four times against the Packers in Week 5. Patterson’s fortunes are unlikely to improve in Week 6, when Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will be forced to reckon with Detroit’s furious pass rush and strong secondary. Sit him.
WR: Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Seattle Seahawks): It’s hard to sit a guy who has caught four touchdown passes in his last three games, but Williams has still yet to attract more than seven targets in a game this season. He’s a risky proposition in a tough Week 6 road game against the Seahawks, especially with shutdown corner Richard Sherman lurking in the background. Sit him.
WR: Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills (vs. New England Patriots): The first wide receiver chosen in the 2014 NFL Draft looked great in Week 5, pulling in seven catches for 87 yards in Kyle Orton’s first outing as Buffalo’s starting quarterback. But the Patriots have allowed the fewest points to opposing wide receivers in Yahoo leagues, and Watkins will have his work cut out for him against dominant cornerback Darrelle Revis. Sit him.
TE: Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Cleveland Browns): Miller is usually a solid, if unremarkable play at tight end, but the Browns completely shut him down in Week 1 -- he caught just three passes for 26 yards. Moreover, Miller has just one touchdown in his last six games against Cleveland. Sit him.
Defense/Special Teams: Philadelphia Eagles (vs. New York Giants): The much-maligned Eagles defense and special teams units have actually produced well in fantasy leagues this season, racking up five touchdowns through this season’s first five weeks. On the other hand, Philadelphia’s defense is allowing more than 400 yards per game, and the Giants’ running and passing games are on the upswing lately. Sit them.