Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em: Week 6 Fantasy Quarterbacks

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Carson Palmer is listed below as a "start" for Week 6. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 6 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Aaron Rodgers and Palmer, you should start Rodgers -- and in turn, bench Palmer.

So, while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

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Week 6 Fantasy Football QB Start'em


QB - Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (vs. CLE)

With 10 touchdowns -- nine passing and one rushing -- in his past two games, Watson has scored 33-plus fantasy points and finished as the weekly QB1 in back-to-back weeks. Even though Tom Savage started the season opener, Watson has scored the second-most fantasy points among all quarterbacks this season.

The great thing about Watson is that his dual-threat abilities provides fantasy owners with a solid floor even if he has an off day throwing the ball. For example, Watson threw for 125 yards and no touchdowns in Week 2 (his first start) yet scored 17.7 fantasy points as that week's QB7 due to a 5/67/1 rushing line.

Watson may not three-peat as the top weekly performer, but he gets a favorable matchup against the Browns. Not only have the Browns allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, but only three teams have a higher implied total based on Vegas odds this week than the Texans.

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QB - Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (vs. TB)

Palmer's matchup is nearly as good as Watson's as the Bucs have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game this season to opposing signal-callers. Aside from Tom Brady last week, the Bucs haven't faced elite quarterbacks yet they have allowed three 300-yard games in four weeks and the exception was a 288-yard performance by Eli Manning.

Even though Palmer hasn't been great, he has thrown three 300-yard games and averaged 314.6 per contest this season. While he's been inefficient (59.9% completion rate, 6.93 Y/A and 6-to-5 TD-INT ratio), he's making up for it with volume. Arizona's issues running the ball has led to Palmer throwing it a league-high 45.4 times per game, on average. Given the matchup, his efficiency may improve but I'd expect high volume to allow him to finish as a top-12 performer this week.

QB - Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. PIT)

Through five weeks of the season, no quarterback has scored more fantasy points than Smith. Granted, he's unlikely to hold that position through Week 16, but he's playing as well as he ever has. Leading the league with a 76.6-percent completion rate, Smith has thrown 11 touchdowns and no interceptions while adding a rushing score as well.

Smith has finished as a top-10 weekly quarterback in four of five games and has done so in both exploitable and unfavorable matchups. Only the Jaguars have allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, but Smith and Chiefs are playing well enough that he's still a top-12 option for me this week.

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Week 6 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em


QB - Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (at KC)

With well-known home-road splits, Roethlisberger struggled at home last week in what was a difficult matchup against an elite Jaguars secondary. Throwing five interceptions, he managed to throw only two touchdowns -- except they were to the defense. Roethlisberger has now finished as the QB25, QB22 and QB28 in his past three games, respectively.

The matchup isn't as tough as last week's matchup, but the environment will be tougher as the Steelers head to Arrowhead. Perhaps no quarterback has more around him than Big Ben does so a bounce back could happen, but I'd prefer to wait until he returns to Heinz Field in a more favorable matchup before starting him again.

QB - Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (vs. LAC)

The good news is that Carr (back) was cleared for Week 6's matchup against the Chargers even though he'll be less than 100 percent. Obviously, his return marks a significant improvement to the passing game and offense overall compared to E.J. Manuel.

If you need to start Carr, doing so isn't necessarily a horrible move, but he is just outside of my top-12 fantasy quarterbacks for the week. Back injuries are tricky so there is some concern there. Not that they've faced a "who's who" list of quarterbacks, but the Chargers have held all of their opposing quarterbacks to 242 passing yards or less this season with only one weekly top-12 performance on the year. I'd prefer to take a wait-and-see approach with Carr this week.

QB - Eli Manning, New York Giants (at DEN)

Scoring 22-plus fantasy points in Weeks 3 and 4, things didn't go as well in the short and long term for Manning in Week 5. While he scored only 13 fantasy points, the bigger problem is that he lost all three of his top receiving options including Odell Beckham Jr. to a season-ending broken ankle. That moves Roger Lewis up to the team's No. 1 wide receiver role for Week 6.

The other obvious concern for Eli this week is the team heads to Mile High to face the No Fly Zone. A couple of games don't have a point spread and/or over-under, but among the 24 teams that have both, no team is projected to score fewer points than the Giants (14.0) this week based on implied totals.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 6

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