Week 5 in the NFL told football fans a lot about that state of the league. It reminded them that Tom Brady is still Tom Brady; it told them that the Vikings are for real, and that signing Brock Osweiler to a $72M contract is never a good idea. With this insight, it will now be that much easier for me to tell you who to start and sit for Week 6 of the NFL season, right? Well, here we go!
Start QB: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees is still an elite player and I think people forget that sometimes. His team may not be so great, and definitely isn’t the same Saints he won a Super Bowl with, but if you need a stud to start at quarterback this week (or any week for that matter), Drew Brees should be in your starting line-up. Brees plays the defending NFC champions this week, the Carolina Panthers, and I think this is a match-up that is going to favor him. I am not sure if it is the loss of Josh Norman, but the Panthers secondary has been easy pickings for quarterbacks. They aren’t in the top half of the league in passing defense this year and have given up pretty good games to Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston, Sam Bradford and Trevor Siemian, and none of those guys are Drew Brees. Brees has two games at or above 25 fantasy points in standard ESPN leagues already this year and I expect him to excel again this week.
Sit QB: Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
Don’t be fooled people, the Redskins may have won three in a row but do not start Kirk Cousins on your fantasy team this week. Cousins has been better since Week 1 but he hasn’t played his division rivals in Philadelphia yet and their secondary is the real deal. The Eagles are the second ranked passing defense in the NFL this year and if you look at the statistics it makes sense. They have the same amount of interceptions as they have given up touchdowns (three) and have only given up 774 yards in four games. Cousins is no elite quarterback and I do not expect him to be the one to pick apart a pretty elite secondary for the first time all season. Cousins has not scored 20 fantasy points yet this year and is coming off of a week in which he only scored 12, so I do not expect him to play well this week.
Start RB: LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills
Shady McCoy has looked a whole lot better as of late. In his last three games this season, which happen to be the only three wins the Bills have, McCoy had 330 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns and a passing touchdown. When he is playing well, he can be one of the best running backs in the league. McCoy’s last three weeks have been great in terms of fantasy points, as he has scored 23, 16 and 15 points. If that is not convincing enough for you, the Bills play the San Francisco 49ers this week and their rushing defense is awful. They have given up 734 rushing yards and five touchdowns in five games this year. McCoy should be able to run circles around his opponent this week and you will too if you start him in your fantasy league.
Sit RB: Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals
After leaving last week’s game with an injury, Jeremy Hill is questionable for this week’s match-up against New England. Either way, I wouldn’t start him or fellow Bengal player Giovani Bernard, who has been proven to be a pretty stout backup running back in this league. The Bengals haven’t played very well this year, and this week they play the New England Patriots who have really stuffed the run at an elite level. They only gave up 86.4 yards per game this season and two touchdowns on the whole season. The Bengals backs have only had two games where either of them have double digit fantasy points and this week shouldn’t be any easier for them. They had 62 rushing yards last week against a slightly less impressive Dallas team and that is awful, so can you only imagine what it’ll look like this week for Hill and Bernard.
Start WR: Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins
Jarvis Landry is coming off of his worst game of the year, but has had a pretty solid season aside from that. He has at least seven receptions in each game so far, aside from last week, and does not have a very strong opponent this week. The Pittsburgh Steelers have given up the sixth most passing yards this year with 302 per game and are also allowing one of the highest completion percentages to opposing teams, at 64.4 percent. Landry has not had a game as bad as last week’s game since Week 13 against Baltimore last year, and you cannot assume after a shaky Week 5 that he will repeat with another bad game this week. I do not expect Miami as a whole to have a strong week, but Landry will be a diamond in the rough for the Dolphins.
Sit WR: Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland Browns
Terrelle Pryor does a whole lot on the football field. He can throw the ball, catch the ball and rush the ball. The Browns ask him to do everything but play defense; but that does not mean you should start him this week. His player stock has gone up since Week 1 and he is owned in 84.2 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues, but a couple things are holding him back from starting on a fantasy team I am managing. The first thing is something that any fan knows: the Browns have nobody to throw Pryor the ball and it’s hard to start a receiver that has no quarterback. Yet, that may not be the biggest issue this week for Pryor. The Browns’ opponents are the Tennessee Titans, who are coming off of a week where they held Jarvis Landry (who I just suggested you start) to two fantasy points, and they have actually had a very successful year defending the pass. They are a top-15 team in the NFL in pass defense, and have more interceptions than they have given up touchdowns. If any team is going to pick apart a defense that has been stopping the pass like Tennessee, it will not be Cleveland. The Browns would love to start Pryor at multiple positions this week and I suggest you start him at none.
Bobby Farris is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.