The Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers both have Week 6 bye weeks. Thus top fantasy options such as Mike Evans, the Vikings D/ST and Stefon Diggs will be not be able to help your team this week. Don’t fret, Baltimore Beatdown has you covered with not only who to insert as replacements, but help for owners who just have to choose one player to start out of two or more players in the weekly starts and sits column.
Start of the Week: Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks - Overall, the Seahawks offense in 2016 has been less than impressive. But Baldwin has been one of the few bright spots for the team. The slot man has continued to find the end zone as he did last year. Against the Jets in Week 4, Baldwin totaled only five points. Baldwin is rested coming out of a bye week, and will look to bounce back in a big way against an Atlanta Falcons secondary that has allowed 14 touchdowns to wide receivers, the most in the NFL.
Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears - I’m all in on this guy. The Bears got an absolute steal in this former Indiana Hoosier. He is going up against the Jaguars who have allowed the ninth fewest yards to running backs this season. But don’t expect Howard to be shut down by the reeling Jaguars. Howard receives a huge workload with no competition of any kind in the Bears backfield, largely due to injuries. As long as Jeremy Langford his out, Howard’s job as the workhorse back is secure. Brian Hoyer and the Bears offense will continue to lean on Howard in Week 6. Expect another big week for Howard.
Will Fuller V, WR, Houston Texans - Fuller, like so many other receivers in 2016, did absolutely nothing against the Vikings defense. However, that dud will be an outlier for the rookie, as he will return to form against a weak Colts defense in Week 6. The Colts will primarily focus on slowing DeAndre Hopkins, which could give Fuller a few deep opportunities. Fuller is one of the few primarily deep threat wide receivers that can be relied on from week to week, and Week 6 is no exception.
Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders - While the matchup is inviting, Latavius Murray is a very risky play for Week 6. Not only is Murray still listed as questionable after missing the Radiers’ Week 5 game, but he will face competition for carries. Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington have both proved to have value in Oakland’s offense, and that shouldn’t change in Week 6. It seems unlikely that Murray will be at 100% for this game, and as a result, Richard and Washington could play a decent role in the Raiders offense. Murray is a flex play if your team is desperate, but an incredibly risky one. At the flex spot, I would start players like Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard, Jeremy Maclin, and Terrelle Pryor all over Murray this week.
Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Jets - Like Murray, Jennings is fresh off of an injury that has kept him sidelined for the past few weeks. His return will not be particularly welcome. Not only have other Giants running backs inserted themselves into the conversation for carries, but the Giants face the Ravens defense this week, which hasallowed the second fewest points to running backs. The Ravens also haven’t allowed a running back to score a touchdown since Week 2. If a Giants running back does manage to find the end zone, it would likely be Orleans Darkwa, who the Giants like to use on the goal line. Look for other options this week.
Chargers passing offense - Matthew Berry talked about the problems the Chargers passing offense could face on his fantasy football podcast, and he was dead on. Berry mentioned that the Chargers offense has been involved in many shootouts this season, and it has led to a major uptick in the production of Philip Rivers and the Chargers wide receivers. This trend likely will end against Denver on a short week. Outside of Minnesota, Denver has the best secondary in the NFL. The Denver run defense has been surprisingly average. As a result, this game will be all about Melvin Gordon. Philip Rivers is the only Chargers player involved in the passing game worth starting, and even that is risky. I would start Blake Bortles, Alex Smith, and Marcus Mariota all over Rivers in Week 6.