When it comes to making start/sit decisions in fantasy football, the advice is simple: Play the matchups, and you’ll win more often than you lose. Now that we’re in the thick of the bye weeks, knowing the matchups to avoid and exploit becomes even more important. Bellow you’ll find the key matchup stats to know from each of the 13 remaining games for Week 6 of the 2017 NFL season.
Is this Jay Ajayi’s week?
There are a lot of frustrated Ajayi owners out there in fantasy land. While it’s tempting to bench Ajayi, the wise move is to stay the course with Ajayi as a fantasy starter. While his numbers don’t pop this season, his play has been solid. Better yet, he gets a plus matchup this week. Atlanta has given up the fifth-most PPR points per game to running backs this year.
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Downgrade Aaron Jones.
There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the rookie runner following his breakout Week 5 performance. However, fantasy owners will want to temper expectations for Jones this week. Ty Montgomery’s status is still up in the air, but regardless of whether he plays, this is a rough matchup. The Vikings have yet to allow 100-plus yards to an opposing backfield this season, and only the Broncos surrender fewer fantasy points per game to the position.
This game has the potential to be the week’s highest-scoring contest, so get any piece of this you can. Both quarterbacks make for top-10 plays, and the running backs are also very appealing. We’ll see an uptick in work for Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara with Adrian Peterson now in Arizona, and Ameer Abdullah also gets a favorable matchup. The Saints have surrendered the fourth-most PPR points per game to running backs this year.
Elijah McGuire is interesting.
There are a few moving parts here, but McGuire has the potential to offer a lot of upside in this contest. Of course, his value is linked to the status of both Bilal Powell and Matt Forte. Powell has yet to practice this week, and is trending toward not playing. Forte managed to get limited work in on Wednesday and Thursday, so there’s a chance he suits up. That would put a cap on McGuire’s ceiling, but he’d still be a viable flex option in this plus matchup. The Patriots currently surrender the most PPR points per game to running backs.
If you’re desperate at running back, Samaje Perine is an option.
Rob Kelley isn’t likely to play, which means we’ll see a lot of Perine on early downs for the Redskins this week. The rookie hasn’t impressed this season with an average of just 3.1 yards per attempt. However, volume should be in his favor, and the matchup is fantastic. San Francisco gives up the fifth-most combined yards per game to running backs and is one of just six teams to give up more than one score per game to the position.
Zach Miller is a tight end streamer option.
With Mitch Trubisky making his first professional start last week, Miller saw seven targets, catching three for 39 yards and a score. The volume should continue for Miller this week, and he draws a favorable matchup. Through the first five weeks of the season, the Ravens have given up the 10th-most PPR points per game to tight ends. Those in a pinch at tight end may want to dial up Miller this week.
Deshaun Watson could go big again.
Watson has finished as the No. 1 fantasy quarterback in back-to-back weeks, and he could make it a third. Cleveland has been extremely kind to opposing quarterbacks this year, allowing at least two passing scores in four of their first five games. The Browns currently sit behind only the Bucs and Patriots as the No. 3 fantasy matchup for quarterbacks.
Both quarterbacks get a matchup boost.
Fantasy owners will want to fire up Jameis Winston with confidence in this one. Carson Wentz just carved up the Cardinals secondary for 304 yards and four scores, so Winston should have no problem putting up strong numbers. Carson Palmer enters the week second in the league in passing yards, but has thrown just six touchdown passes. However, he’s still worth streaming against a Bucs defense that gives up the fifth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.
Leonard Fournette keeps rolling.
At this point, he’s an every-week RB1. But Fournette owners will be happy to see his matchup this week. The Rams currently yield the second-most PPR points per game to opposing running backs and give up an average of 1.5 rushing scores per game to the position.
Can Big Ben bounce back?
Last week was a complete disaster for Ben Roethlisberger, as the veteran tossed five interceptions for the first time in his career. It’s obviously tough to trust him as a starter, but there is a chance Roethlisberger redeems himself this week. The Chiefs currently rank as the fifth-best fantasy matchup for quarterbacks after surrendering five passing scores to Deshaun Watson this past week. It’s too risky to start Roethlisberger in season-long, but he might be worth a few darts in DFS.
Keep going be to the well with Marshawn Lynch.
Okay, so he isn’t quite the Beast Mode of old. But Lynch has been running hard and is coming off a rushing score last week. The Chargers have allowed every backfield they’ve faced this season to top 100 yards and currently surrender a league-high 151 rushing yards per game to running backs. Lynch is a sneaky DFS option and should be relied on as an RB2 in season-long.
Fade the Giants offense.
Stating the obvious here, but you’ll want to avoid most of the Giants offense this week. Eli Manning gets a brutal matchup will have essentially no receivers to throw to if Sterling Shepard ends up sitting. The Broncos are also the worst fantasy matchup for opposing running backs, so Wayne Gallman and Orleans Darkwa should be avoided. The only Giants player worth starting is Evan Engram, who actually draws a reasonably good matchup. The Broncos have surrendered a touchdown to a tight end in two of four games played this season.
Stream Jacoby Brissett.
Those in need of a streamer at quarterback will want to give Brissett a long look. The Titans are currently tied with New England for the most passing scores surrendered this season with 12, and they yield the fourth-most fantasy points per game to the position. Brissett failed to throw for a score last week, but he did manage to top 300 passing yards and found the end zone as a runner. He’s a front-end QB2 with QB1 upside in this plus matchup.