2014 Fantasy Football: Week 6 Start/Sit
Below are the guys I like or dislike in Week 6 compared to the other experts on FantasyPros.com. I’m focusing on guys that are actually on that start/sit bubble in 12-team leagues. For quarterbacks and tight ends, that means I’m focusing on guys I have on one side of 12th at the position while the consensus is on the other side. For running backs and receivers that means guys I have on one side of 24th at the position while the consensus is on the other side. For example, there’s no need to tell you I’m higher on Fred Jackson when I have him ranked #9 and the expert consensus rank (ECR) has him ranked #17. Both rankings have him in the top 24 and tell you to start him.
If you have specific start/sit questions, leave them in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @TheRealTAL.
Andy Dalton / vs. Carolina / ECR: 13 / My rank: 9
Michael Salfino has been beating this drum for several years now, but yards per attempt has a pretty high correlation with fantasy success for quarterbacks. The top tier fantasy quarterbacks almost always have a YPA over 7.5 unless they do a lot running the football. So far this season Dalton is second among quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts with an 8.5 YPA mark. Since the start of the 2013 season, Dalton ranks eighth among quarterbacks with at least 400 attempts with a 7.5 YPA mark. So we know Dalton is good enough to be a starting fantasy quarterback. Hell, he finished last year tied for fifth in fantasy points.
The problem with citing YPA as a plus for Dalton is the ‘A’ in YPA. Unfortunately, the Bengals are one of the most run-heavy teams in the league. At 49/51 pass/run, the Bengals are the fourth most run-heavy team. It’s obviously hard to rack up a lot of yardage and touchdowns when you’re not throwing as often as other quarterbacks. Dalton was able to finish top five at the position last year because Cincy wasn’t nearly as run-heavy. But even with the concern about volume, the matchup is too good to ignore Dalton this week. The Panthers are bottom ten in 4for4.com‘s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to QBs and in Football Outsiders’ pass defense ranks.
Darren Sproles / vs. New York Giants / ECR: 32 / My rank: 24
After 18.5 and 30.4 fantasy points in PPR formats in Weeks 1 and 2, Sproles has gone silent. It’s hard to predict when a player is going to come out of a slump, especially when that player is slumping because he’s not always a big part of the game plan. But this matchup with the Giants sets up pretty well for Sproles. The Giants are seventh worst in aFPA to running backs in PPR leagues, and Football Outsiders has them ranked 23rd at defending running backs as receivers. They’ve also allowed more yards through the air to running backs than any other team. It’s a bit of a gamble, but most guys are a gamble outside the top 20 at the position.
DeSean Jackson / at Arizona / ECR: 26 / My rank: 13
Jackson has only been a top 24 receiver in two of five weeks so far, but he was a top five receiver in those two weeks. That’s no surprise since deep threat guys like Jackson are boom-or-bust players. The expert consensus seems to be leaning bust this week, but the mathcup indicates this may be a boom week. The Cardinals have allowed the second most fantasy points per game to receivers, and they’re also next to last in aFPA. It would be nice if Carson Palmer could go for Arizona because Logan Thomas might mess up the game flow for Jackson owners. If Thomas starts, Washington might not need to throw too much. But if they throw enough, Jackson will have a good chance to get his.
Brian Quick / vs. San Francisco / ECR: 30 / My rank: 19
Quick is 14th among receivers in fantasy points and has already had his bye week. When you look at fantasy points per game, Quick is 8th in the league. This week he’s facing the 49ers who are 24th in aFPA to WRs. It makes no sense for him to be ranked outside of start territory given what he’s done so far and the matchup. Absolutely no sense. I should even have him ranked higher, but I don’t have to have him ranked any higher to be higher on him than almost everyone else.
Nick Foles / vs. New York Giants / ECR: 10 / My rank: 16
The Eagles have had a weird couple of weeks. Their offense has only produced two touchdowns in two weeks while their defense has scored five. The defense obviously won’t continue to score so much, but you have to wonder how much the defense scoring affected the offense’s lack of scoring. Let’s give the offense a pass for the San Francisco game against a good defense, but the performance of Foles and Co. against the Rams was troubling. Yes, the defense scored twice, but Foles still threw the ball 37 times and only managed 207 yards (5.6 YPA). That was against a Rams team that is 22nd in aFPA to quarterbacks. This week the Eagles will face the Giants who are 9th in aFPA to quarterbacks. This may not be the week Foles gets back on track.
Keenan Allen / at Oakland / ECR: 19 / My rank: 26
First things first. San Diego actually has quite a few weapons. Eddie Royal and Antonio Gates get about as many targets as Allen gets, and they’ve been productive when targeted. Malcolm Floyd has been a useful deep threat. And Branden Oliver looked great last week in a tough matchup with the Jets. When there are multiple options, even good players like Allen can get left out.
Why Allen might get left out again this week is the matchup with Oakland. On it’s face, it looks like a good matchup. Oakland’s defense is well below average according to almost any metric. The problem is that, because they’re so bad, they’re allowing a lot more fantasy points to running backs than they are to receivers. They’ve allowed the fifth most fantasy points per game to running backs and the seventh fewest to wide receivers. To reiterate, this is not because they have a good pass defense. It’s because Oakland has been trailing for roughly 70% of the 240 minutes they’ve played this year. That’s why they’ve allowed more carries per game than any other team in the league. The Chargers will move the ball through the air early, but they could be grinding out a lead for the entire second half. That’s not a good thing for Allen.
Mike Wallace / vs. Green Bay / ECR: 21 / My rank: 32
As so many of the calls in the space are, this is a matchup issue. Green Bay is 11th in aFPA to receivers, and Football Outsiders has Green Bay as the third best pass defense in the league. Sam Shields has been very good in coverage so far per ProFootballFocus, and the Packers also have three other corners with an above average PFF coverage grade. That’s why Football Outsiders has them as a top 10 defense against No. 1, No. 2 and slot receivers.
Heath Miller / at Cleveland / ECR: 9 / My rank: 16
The Cleveland defense isn’t good, but they have been decent against the tight end this year. Aside from getting beat up by Jimmy Graham in Week 2, they have shut down Miller and Owen Daniels, and they held Delanie Walker in check last week. They’re seventh best against the tight end according to aFPA and top ten according to Football Outsiders. Aside from 10 catches for 85 yards and a score in Week 4, Miller has been pretty average. He has no other touchdowns, and he has three or four catches in his other four games. He’s nothing more than a borderline TE1 who usually won’t be worth starting unless he scores. This is not a matchup in which he should be expected to score.