Written by David McCracken at Bleacher Reports.com
It’s Week 6, which means it’s officially time to freak out over your team’s record.
You’re not out of the playoff hunt yet, but the time to start making the right decisions begins now. Week 5 saw a lot of breakout performances from the likes of Marcus Mariota, SammieCoates and Jordan Howard. It also saw a lot of duds—I’m looking at you, John Brown.
The waiver-wire pool of talent is shallow at this point in the season, so as a fantasy owner, relying on your bench’s talent is a must. Here, we’ll examine the top fringe players who should be in your starting lineup in Week 6 as well as those who deserve to ride the bench for another week.
Start ’em: Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans
We’ve been waiting for a breakout game from Mariota, and we finally got it. Scoring his first rushing touchdown of the season in Week 5 against the Miami Dolphins, the second-year signal-caller out of Oregon showed his versatility as a multidimensional quarterback.
Throwing for 163 yards isn’t much to brag about, but combined with his 60 rushing yards and four total touchdowns (three pass, one rush),Mariota shined.
Going up against the Cleveland Browns in Week 6 should be a cakewalk for Mariota, as Cleveland has given up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks so far this season, according to Yahoo Sports.
Furthermore, just look what Tom Brady did to the Browns this past weekend. I’m not saying Mariota is Brady by any means, but you have to feel that Mariota can at least throw for a couple of scores and scramble around for 30-plus yards against a subpar defense, right?
Give Mariota the keys to your offense this week.
Sit ’em: Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers
It’s not even Philip Rivers’ fault. injuries, bad coaching and plain bad luck have ruined the Chargers’ season already. Rivers is a top passer in the NFL; not many fans or pundits will argue with that. But once Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead went down for the season, it was time to be realistic.
Who was he going to throw the ball to?
Antonio Gates is a shell of himself. His touchdown against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday was nice, but he looked past his prime for the first three quarters of that game. Travis Benjamin is a nice option on the outside, but he is nowhere near being a No. 1 receiver on a good football team.
While he scored an impressive 28.36 points against the Raiders, he will not have that same type of success against the division rival Denver Broncos, who have given up the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, according to Yahoo Sports.
Start ’em: Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Give Mathews a chance to redeem himself and be the reason why you win your matchup in Week 6. After all, the Eagles are playing the Washington Redskins, and Mathews is projected to score 10.46 points.
Sit ’em: Matt Jones, RB, Washington Redskins
For those who drafted Matt Jones high this year, there is still time to make amends by putting him on your bench, where he belongs.
Jones is the picture of inconsistency for fantasy tailbacks. Two weeks ago, Jones looked like a stud, scoring 19.80 points against the Browns. However, he followed up that performance with a forgettable 3.60 point outing in Week 5.
Jones fumbled in the second half against the Baltimore Ravens, but he didn’t show much ability to rack up points before the turnover. In Week 6, Jones will be facing the Eagles, who not only give up the sixth-fewest points to opposing running backs but also will likely make this a high-scoring affair, leaving running backs who can’t catch that well by the wayside.
Don’t drop Jones, but don’t start him either.
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