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Fantasy Football Week 6 Start 'Em Sit 'Em: Cam Newton Will Punish Low-Ranking Falcons Pass Defense

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 9: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers looks to pass against the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Having trouble decided who to start and sit on your fantasy football team in Week 6? Maybe this will help.

Fantasy football is one percent skill, one percent football intelligence and 98 percent pure luck. There are 0-5 football genius and there are people who have never watched an entire football game in their lives who are sitting at 5-0. 

Even though fantasy football is all luck -- sorry 5-0 guy, it is -- that two percent that isn't can make the difference between a win and a loss. Here's some guys that you should start and some that you should sit in Week 6 of the 2011 NFL season on your fantasy teams. It might help just enough tip the scales.


Cam Newton QB Carolina Panthers -- Start

Newton is a decent play week in and week out anyway but he should be started this week. He's going up against the Atlanta Falcons and their 28th ranked pass defense. With the way that Newton and Steve Smith have been connecting so far this season, Newton should be started on your team, especially if your usual starter is playing a top-ranked pass defense.

Joe Flacco QB Baltimore Ravens -- Sit

The Baltimore Ravens are hosting the Houston Texans who have the sixth ranked passing defense. Flacco usually isn't a weekly starter in most leagues -- he only starts on 23 percent of ESPN fantasy teams -- and this week it should stay that way. The Ravens are much more likely to rely on Ray Rice and the running game against the No. 12 ranked run defense than they are on Joe Flacco's arm, especially if the Raven's defense can keep the Texans from scoring enough to get a lead over the Ravens.

Running Backs:

Cedric Benson RB Cincinnati Bengals -- Start

His pending suspension is weeks away so Benson will still be the Bengals' work horse this weekend when they host the Colts. Indianapolis allow an average of 145.2 rushing yards per game and they've given up six rushing touchdowns in five games. Expect the Bengals to run and run and run against the Colts who haven't been able to stop opposing running backs this season.

Rashard Mendenhall RB Pittsburgh Steelers -- Sit

What a down season for the Steelers and their running game, which has been their bread and butter in the past. Mendenhall has had a bad season part in thanks to injuries and part in thanks to the Steelers terrible offensive line. Mendenhall and the Steelers are hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars and their top-10 run defense (No. 10) and I fully expect Mendenhall to struggle in Week 6 like he has all season so far. Maybe he picks up his game later in the season but not this weekend.

Wide Receivers:

Miles Austin WR Dallas Cowboys -- Start

Miles Austin is back in the lineup and he's going to take the field for the first time in three weeks. Luckily for him, he's going to make his first appearance since the second week of the season against the worst pass defense in the league, the New England Patriots. Miles Austin and Tony Romo have been deadly in the past and there's no reason to expect anything less this weekend. If the Cowboys defense can't stop the Patriots' top-ranked offense, this game has shootout written all over it and that's good news for fantasy owners.

Brandon Marshall WR Miami Dolphins -- Sit

Brandon Marshall is talented but he's in a crappy situation right now in Miami. He's lost his starting quarterback in Chad Henne for the season and now he's stuck with Matt Moore. On top of that, the Dolphins are playing the Jets in New York on Monday night which means Marshall will have to go up against Darrelle Revis or Antonio Cromartie. Either one is capable of shutting Marshall down.

It's time to put Marshall on your bench, or even drop him, for the season.

Tight Ends:

Dallas Clark TE Indianapolis Colts -- Start

We all know that Dallas Clark is one of the best tight ends in the league, especially when Peyton Manning is throwing the ball. Unfortunately, Manning is out but Curtis Painter is looking better and better. This weekend the Colts play the Bengals, who have had trouble covering talented tight ends in the past. 

Even though the Bengals have the top-ranked defense in the league, Clark could still have a big game, especially if the Bengals' pass rush gets Painter uncomfortable in the pocket. If that happens, and it's likely that it will, Clark could become his safety valvue.

Owen Daniels TE Houston Texans -- Sit

Daniels has been good this season and he gets some extra looks when Andre Johnson is out, which he is this week. However, the Texans are playing in Baltimore against one of the top defenses in the NFL who don't give up many points to opposing tight ends. If you don't have a backup tight end, go ahead and start Daniels but if you do and he has a more favorable matchup, start him.


Cincinnati Bengals -- Start

The Bengals have the best defense in the NFL and they're facing an 0-5 Colts team at home. Curtis Painter has looked more impressive but when he's rushed he still makes bad decisions and the Bengals are good at putting pressure on the quarterback, especially when the offensive line they're going up against isn't very good. The Colts' offensive line isn't very good. Start the Bengals.

San Francisco 49ers -- Sit

The 49ers have been good this year, especially on defense but they go up against the undefeated Lions and the deadly combination of Matthew Stafford and Megatron, Calvin Johnson, who is on pace to destroy wide receiver records this season. The Lions offense is good -- really, really good -- and you should avoid playing them with your defense at all costs. Find a defense with a better matchup this week.

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