It was a bittersweet week in fantasy football where on one hand we got to see the “comeback story” of the season as Alex Smith got back on the football field. On the other side, we saw a different devastating injury remove Dak Prescott from the 2020 season. Now fantasy managers have bye weeks to contend with, and Tuesday Night Football to watch. 2020 is certainly different. But the season keeps rolling, and we need to set our lineups with it. So let’s review our Fantasy Football Consistency Score (CS) and Defensive Points Allowed Consistency Score (D-PAC) after what we have learned and highlight the top Week 6 matchups and players to start or sit for your fantasy lineups.
If you would like more detailed information on how the CS and D-PAC works, please refer to the Introduction to the Fantasy Football Consistency Score, but the basic premise is, the higher the CS, the more consistent a player is scoring high-level fantasy points. In the case of D-PAC, the higher the number the more consistently that team allows high-level fantasy points to the position.
PSA: I don’t feel the need to tell you, the savvy fantasy G.M., to start a player like Patrick Mahomes every week. I abide by the golden rule: start your studs. However, if there is glaring evidence to sit a bona fide starter, we will discuss that as needed.
Quarterbacks to start/sit in fantasy football Week 6
Start Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins has been a complete letdown for fantasy football managers that drafted him in 2020. Cousins’ 3.30 CS ranked 31st among quarterbacks heading into Monday Night Football, and his +4% Fantasy Point Differential (FPD) ranks 20th. Basically, the definition of middling. However, we did finally see some signs of life from Cousins against the Seattle Seahawks where he had the most pass attempts he’s thrown all season, for 249 yards and two touchdowns.
The soothing balm that can heal any quarterbacks’ woes is the Atlanta Falcons defense. The Falcons have given up the second-most passing yards and the most passing touchdowns in the NFL. In fantasy, they are allowing an average of 30+ points per game to the QB position and their 17.64 D-PAC vs quarterbacks is the second-highest. With the added unrest of Dan Quinn having just been fired, you really want to start just about any quarterback matched up against this defense.
Sit Carson Wentz
When I look and see that Carson Wentz is rostered in 80% of leagues I am surprised that it somehow seems simultaneously so high and so low. What that means is that there are a lot of fantasy football managers still trying to start Wentz, but in Week 6 you need to sit him.
Wentz is having the worst start to a season he has had in his career. In only five games he has already racked up nine interceptions, has yet to throw for 300 yards in a single game, and ahead of Monday Night Football, was 20th among QBs in fantasy points per game. With a lack of weapons and a porous offensive line, Wentz is in for a long season.
Week 6 represents a particular challenge as the Philadelphia Eagles host the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens have allowed the third-fewest passing touchdowns (6), seventh-fewest yards per attempt (7), and the third-lowest D-PAC. They have been a matchup to avoid all year, especially when the signal-caller in question is struggling as much as Wentz has been this year.
Which running backs should you start/sit in Week 6?
Start David Johnson
David Johnson has had a slow start to 2020, sitting as the 20th ranked running back in total fantasy points on the season after five weeks. So why should we ignore his 19th ranked Consistency Score (4.74) and 40th ranked FPD (-1%)?
Well over the past three weeks his attempts have gone up each week, and he has averaged 15 carries and three targets over that time frame. In their first week sans Bill O’Brien, the offense finally looked functional and dangerous as David Johnson flirted with the idea of a 100 yard rushing performance (96) for the first time since November 2018.
In Week 6, Johnson and the Houston Texans take on the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. The Titans, before their brief hiatus from football, had been more than a friendly matchup for running backs in fantasy. Heading into their Week 5 matchup with the Buffalo Bills, they are allowing an average of 23.9 PPR points per game to the position and allowed over 25 points in each of their last two games. Now they haven’t been able to practice in weeks, and who knows how many starters are going to be in or out for the Titans. Johnson is in line for a very nice Sunday.
Sit New England Patriots Running backs
I know. I know. I did the same thing with the Los Angeles Rams last week. Here I am again, suggesting you sit an entire team’s position group. But in four weeks, the New England Patriots have had Damien Harris, J.J. Taylor, Cam Newton, and Sony Michel, all lead the team in carries. Literally, a different player every game in this young season. The truest sense of a “hot-hand” approach. With James White back in the mix, the workload is going to only get messier as he gobbles up much of the receiving work.
In Week 6, the Patriots welcome the Denver Broncos, who have actually been stuffing fantasy football RBs all season. The Broncos are allowing only 16.33 PPR fantasy points to the position (30th) and have the fourth-lowest D-PAC, 6.81. It wouldn’t be a great matchup even if we knew who to target. Considering it’s running back roulette and a bad fantasy matchup, just sit all the Patriots backs in Week 6.
What wide receivers should you start/sit in fantasy football for Week 6?
Start Odell Beckham Jr.
It’s shocking that Odell Beckham doesn’t fit into the “start your studs” mantra any longer, but he has had one of the quietest top 10 fantasy seasons imaginable. He is currently the seventh-highest receiver in total points and 13th in points per game. However, his 28th ranked CS and 33rd ranked FPD explains why fantasy football managers have been struggling with whether they should start or sit Beckham all year, and Week 6 is no different.
The Pittsburgh Steelers defense has been formidable, but so has their offense, and that is giving plenty of fantasy opportunity to the passing game of their opponents. The Steelers D-PAC to wide receivers of 30.75 is second-highest in the NFL. They are allowing the highest yards per reception and just surrendered 152 yards receiving to Travis Fulgham(?). If some guy named Fulgham who was picked up off the street can put up a performance like that against the Steelers, Beckham is going to have a heck of a Sunday.
Sit Amari Cooper
Amari Cooper does not, and has not ever, fallen into the bucket of “start your studs”. His 23rd ranked CS is right in line with where he finishes year after year. With a floor of 4.1 PPR points, which we just saw in Week 5, you have to consider matchups and surrounding circumstances when it comes to Cooper.
Andy Dalton takes over under center, and as serviceable of a quarterback Dalton is, he is no Dak Prescott. We have no idea yet who out of that loaded receiving group Dalton is going to favor, but if Week 5 was any sort of indication, it doesn’t look like it is going to be Cooper.
On top of it all, the Arizona Cardinals are heading into town, and they have been shutting down receivers’ fantasy production this season. They are averaging less than 30 PPR points allowed to the position per game and their 7.63 D-PAC is the lowest among all 32 teams. All arrows are pointing down for Cooper in Week 6.
Which tight ends should you trust or be cautious of in Week 6?
Start Eric Ebron
Eric Ebron has been both a top-three tight end and a bottom of the barrel tight end at times this season. Thus, his 18th ranked Consistency Score. However, he is averaging six targets per game since becoming the starter. When looking for a tight end with upside, I look for three things: (1) A high-powered offense, Check. (2) Opportunities, Ebron’s six targets per game as a starter is 12th. Check.
And (3) matchup, The Cleveland Browns are averaging the fourth most points allowed to the TE position and have the sixth-highest D-PAC. They are consistently allowing tight ends to rack up fantasy points, Check. All three green lights for starting Ebron in Week 6 fantasy lineups.
Sit Tyler Higbee
Since Tyler Higbee’s big Week 2 performance, he has been a fantasy bust, averaging just 4.5 fantasy points per game across the other four weeks. In terms of volume, Higbee is averaging a measly 3.4 targets per game. His Week 2 blowout is padding his fantasy stats but with that minimal target share, Higbee is clearly a touchdown or bust weekly tight end.
With a trip to Levi’s Stadium to take on the San Francisco 49ers, Higbee is even less appetizing to put into starting lineups. The 49ers are averaging 6.63 fantasy points per game to tight ends (30th), and have a D-PAC of 1.73 (30th). There isn’t any upside when tight ends are going up against the Niners, and Higbee’s two or three upcoming targets just aren’t going to cut it.
Want more fantasy football analysis and news?
Be sure to follow us on Twitter @PFN365 to stay up to date with all things around the NFL and the 2020 fantasy football season. Also, continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis while also visiting our fantasy football section for more coverage and up-to-date rankings.
Did you like this piece? Disagree? Drop me a line and let me know @DumpsterDiveFF and go ahead and follow for more fantasy football nuggets & all things Consistency Score related.