We're already a quarter of the way through the 2016 season. NFL football flies by. Bye weeks are kicking in, but this week is not too bad with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings sidelined for the weekend.
Last week's advice had some big hits, and of course some misses. We’re back for Week 6 to help set you up for fantasy football success!
QB Alex Smith at Raiders: Smith has been solid but not spectacular the past two weeks, netting 13 and 17 points, depending on your league. This week he gets a bad Raiders defense that could provide some big opportunities.
QB Carson Palmer vs. Jets: Palmer has officially been cleared through the concussion protocol, which means he will play this Monday. The Jets have been abysmal against quarterbacks all season. The Cardinals’ passing attack has been inconsistent this season, but this is a big opening for them.
RB Jonathan Stewart at Saints: The Panthers running back returns from a hamstring injury that cost him three games. Normally you might want to wait and see what the first game back brings, but he faces a Saints defense giving up more fantasy points against running backs than anybody else.
RB Tevin Coleman at Seahawks: The Falcons are rolling, but face their biggest challenge to date. The big weakness for the Seahawks defense is running backs. Football Outsiders ranks them No. 25 against running backs in DVOA. Coleman had four receptions for 132 yards last week. Don’t expect that much, but look for him to be plenty busy.
WR Markus Wheaton at Dolphins: This depends in part on the status of Sammie Coates, but with Coates missing some time in practice this week, Wheaton could be in line for a breakout performance. The Dolphins have struggled against receivers, giving up the sixth most fantasy points. If Coates doesn’t play, Wheaton could be a strong play.
WR Doug Baldwin vs. Falcons: Baldwin has alternated strong performances, so you could say he is due for a big day in Week 6. He is facing a Falcons defense giving up the 12th-most fantasy points to wide receivers.
TE Jesse James at Dolphins: The Dolphins have struggled against tight ends. James has yet to really break out in a big way, but he has a touchdown in three of the last four weeks. With Sammie Coates dealing with a finger injury, James could be the biggest beneficiary.
TE Jimmy Graham vs. Falcons: After struggling last season, Graham has started to re-emerge in his return from a patellar tendon injury. He has surpassed 100 yards receiving each of the last two weeks. In Week 6, he faces a Falcons defense that gives up the second most fantasy points per week against tight ends.
QB Eli Manning vs. Ravens: Manning has scored in the single digits each of the last two weeks, thanks in part to turnovers (an interception in Week 4, a fumble in Week 5) and only one touchdown in that span. He is returning home in Week 6, but faces a Ravens defense that is in the top 10 for fewest fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks.
QB Kirk Cousins vs. Eagles: Divisional matchups are always tough, and the Eagles are playing solid football lately. Cousins has been decent, but he has at least one interception in four of his five starts, and the Eagles have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points against quarterbacks.
RB Devonta Freeman at Seahawks: Tevin Coleman is the significantly better start in this matchup. The Falcons offense is rolling lately, but this is a tough one. If you don’t have anybody better so be it, but there are better options this week.
RB Matt Forte at Cardinals: The multi-purpose running back has slowed to a crawl over the past three weeks. After two big games to start the season, he has been held under 65 total yards each of the last three weeks, with no touchdowns. Bilal Powell is emerging as a receiving option in this offense, which has cut into Forte’s value.
WR DeSean Jackson vs. Eagles: I think most of the Washington fantasy options are going to have limited upside in this Week 6 matchup. The Eagles’ pass defense has been mostly stout.
WR Jeremy Kerley at Bills: The 49ers receiver has emerged as the only viable threat in the San Francisco 49ers’ passing attack. He has a touchdown and 80-plus yards each of the last two weeks, resulting in double-digit fantasy performances. The 49ers switched to Colin Kaepernick at quarterback this week, so we do not know what that means for Kerley’s own potential as a fantasy quarterback. However, the Bills have given up the third-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers.
TE Jordan Reed vs. Eagles: We’ll just go with the Washington trifecta this week. Reed is dealing with a concussion, which could mean he is not even available for this one.
TE Dwayne Allen at Texans: Allen has been inconsistent with two double-digit scoring performances bookending a combined 80 yards and no touchdowns in Weeks 2-4. He faces a Texans defense that has given up the second fewest fantasy points to tight ends and should have a strong performance against the Colts in Week 6.