Week 6 Wide Receiver Starts and Sits | Fuller Time
How ’bout them Vikings! No Bridgewater. No Peterson. No Matt Kalil. No losses. Minnesota has undoubtedly been the most impressive team the first five weeks of the NFL season. Their defense was dominant once again on Sunday against the Texans. They completely locked down both DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, holding them to a combined six catches for 60 yards. Hopkins did collect a garbage time touchdown to save his fantasy day in the fourth quarter. Nuk and Fuller should be in for a better day this weekend, but more on that later.
Every week I provide you with my recommended start or sit wide receivers. I do not discuss obvious must-starts like Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones, etc. Instead I will assist with the tough lineup decisions such as Will Fuller or T.Y. Hilton? Or Jordan Matthews or Randall Cobb? You get the idea. It is important to note that these are just recommendations and I always believe following your gut is the way to go when making a final start or sit call.
My suggestions are based on numerous factors such as matchups, opportunities within the offense, and past performances, to name a few. All statistics provided are based on standard scoring (non PPR).
For more start or sit advice and any other fantasy football questions you may have, visit our forums where myself and all of our wonderful writers will be more than happy to help you out. You can also follow FTA on Twitter @FanTeamAdvice or myself @ajohnsonFTA. Finally, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this week’s matchups so be sure to leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
Start of the Week: Will Fuller (vs IND)
Week five was disappointing for Will Fuller, to put it lightly. I listed him here last week as a sit and he struggled as expected. The stout Vikings defense held the Texans rookie to just one catch for four yards. Prior to last week’s disappearing act, Fuller had only one other game with fewer than four receptions and 81 yards. Fuller still only has one fewer target (40) and two fewer receptions (20) than DeAndre Hopkins, who leads the team in those categories. He is averaging 16 yards per catch and has at least one reception of at least 25 yards in three of five games. The opponent this week is the Indianapolis Colts, who are allowing 22.2 fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Wideouts have caught 77 passes against Indy, the second most of any team. The Colts also rank in the bottom five in passing yards allowed. I expect a bounce back performance from Fuller and the entire Texans offense.
Bottom Line: Fuller will be back on the WR2 radar for his date with the Colts.
Emmanuel Sanders (*TNF* at SD)
Emmanuel Sanders’ 2016 season got off to a sluggish start. He caught eight passes for just 88 yards and no touchdowns in the first two games. Since then he is averaging eight receptions for 95 yards per game and has found the end zone three times in three weeks. Sanders leads the Broncos in targets (51) and receptions (32). This week Sanders will get his quarterback back from injury and will take on a banged up San Diego secondary. The Chargers have allowed nine passing touchdowns on the season and a 300 yard passer in four of five games. Receivers are averaging 25 fantasy points per game vs the Bolts, the 12th most of any team.
Bottom Line: Start Sanders as a high-end WR2. Note: This game will be played on Thursday Night Football so set your lineups accordingly.
Jeremy Maclin (at OAK)
The Raiders, despite their shiny 4-1 record, continue to give up heaps of points to opponents, both in reality and in fantasy. The Raiders are giving up the most passing yards per game (331), and the second most fantasy points per game to wide receivers (31). The Jets are the only other team to have given up more than 1,000 yards to wideouts heading into week six. On Sunday, Philip Rivers became the third quarterback to throw for at least 300 yards against them in five games. Jeremy Maclin has at least five catches and 60 yards in every game except for one this season. He leads the team in targets (37) and receiving yards (244). In two games against the Raiders in 2015, Maclin combined for 12 catches, 149 yards and three touchdowns.
Bottom Line: Maclin should be started as a solid WR2.
John Brown (vs NYJ)
Well, I’m going to give this another shot. Last week I told you to start John Brown and, well, that didn’t quite go so well. With Carson Palmer out and the short week, John Brown was limited to just one catch for 11 yards. Sadly, that was not even his worst performance of the year. Palmer is expected back this week, though, with the Jets coming to town for Monday Night Football. Prior to Palmer’s concussion, he and Brown were finally starting to click. In weeks three and four, Brown combined for 214 yards on 16 receptions and was targeted a team high 27 times. They should hopefully pick up where they left off before Palmer’s injury with a very inviting matchup ahead. The Jets rank near the bottom in almost every defensive category against the pass. They’ve given up the second most passing yards per game (302), most yards per pass attempt (9.2), and third most fantasy points per game to opposing receivers (28.9). Quarterbacks have the highest passer rating (118.6) against the Jets as well as the highest completion percentage (71.7%, tied with DET). The Jets have allowed a ton of long pass plays which is the Cardinals’, and specifically John Brown’s, specialty. They have given up a whopping 19 completions of 20 yards or more and eight of over 40 yards in just five games.
Bottom Line: Brown is a high upside WR3 this week.
Others with favorable matchups: Sammie Coats (at MIA), Larry Fitzgerald (vs NYJ), Cole Beasley (at GB)
Sit of the Week: DeSean Jackson (vs PHI)
The former Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson will face off against his old team this week in a battle of NFC East rivals. Jackson is coming off back-to-back disappointing outings in which he combined for four catches for 40 yards. He has three games (out of five) with three or fewer catches and 40 receiving yards or less. D-Jax has found pay-dirt just once in 2016 and has only one game of 100+ yards. Opposing wide receivers have scored an average of just 18.6 fantasy points per game against the Eagles, ranking as the fourth best in the NFL. Quarterbacks are being held under 200 yards passing on average while only one receiver has scored. Jackson tends to have his best fantasy days when he is able to beat a secondary deep. Unfortunately for him, Philadelphia finds itself in the top half of the league in fewest completions allowed of 20 yards or more.
Bottom Line: D-Jax is a boom-or-bust fantasy receiver who will likely provide more bust than boom in week six. He’s a high risk/reward WR3.
Brandon Marshall (at ARI)
It’s tough to sit a guy like Brandon Marshall so this is more of a “buyer beware” than a must sit. Marshall is coming off his best performance of the season (8-114-1) but will have to contend with Patrick Peterson and the Cardinals defense on Monday night. Arizona’s defense ranks fourth against the pass and 12th in fewest fantasy points from opposing wideouts. They’ve allowed just one receiver to top the century mark in five games.
Bottom Line: Marshall is still a low-end WR2 based on volume but temper expectations.
Terrelle Pryor (at TEN)
Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown, Cody Kessler. Those are the names of the three quarterbacks to start in five games for the Browns. The team hopes Kessler, who left Sunday’s game versus New England with rib and chest injuries, will be ready to play this weekend. Rookie Kevin Hogan was elevated from the practice squad just in case. Pryor has played well but his quarterback situation and this week’s matchup against the Titans make him a very risky fantasy play. Tennessee ranks in the top ten against the pass and top five in fewest points per game from fantasy receivers.
Bottom Line: It is tough to trust Pryor as anything more than a low-end WR3 until his quarterback situation is more stable.
Travis Benjamin (*TNF* vs DEN)
If you took my advice and started Benjamin and his teammate Tyrell Williams last week, you were not disappointed. Benjamin caught seven of 11 targets for 117 yards against the Raiders. The matchup this week, however, will present quite a challenge for Benjamin and the Chargers’ pass attack. The Broncos rank third against the pass and have allowed the second fewest points per game to fantasy wide receivers (15.9).
Bottom Line: Benjamin will be a low-floor WR3 vs the Broncos. Note: This game will be played on Thursday Night Football so make lineup adjustments accordingly.
Others with difficult matchups: A.J. Green (at NE), Julio Jones (at SEA), Sterling Shepard/Victor Cruz (vs BAL)