Who do I start in fantasy football in Week 6? Who should I avoid? We know that many fantasy football managers are in do-or-die mode, facing dilemmas on the best ways to round out your roster, and finding the optimal matchups to take advantage of. Fortunately, I’m here to help you navigate the murky waters of Week 6 with the top PPR targets to start (and who to avoid) as we approach the midway point of the fantasy season.
Fantasy Football Week 6 Quarterbacks to Start
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at Jacksonville Jaguars)
Stafford is coming off of a three touchdown performance against the New Orleans Saints, and rolls right into another favorable matchup against a Jaguars secondary that has allowed 11 passing touchdowns to gunslingers this season. Stafford’s main squeeze Kenny Golladay, who was banged up early in the season, likely benefited from the early bye.
Cam Newton, New England Patriots (vs Denver Broncos)
Newton is back in action against an injured Broncos defense and it is just what the doctor ordered. I expect Cam to make a statement that he is unquestionably the starting QB of the Pats. Bank on two rushing touchdowns, and the Patriots asserting their will.
More quarterbacks to target:
- Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins (vs New York Jets)
- Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (vs Atlanta Falcons)
Fantasy Football Week 6 Quarterbacks to Avoid
Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers (vs Chicago Bears)
The Bears have allowed only four passing touchdowns this season, and in the top 10 in passing yardage defense. Bridgewater would be a very risky play and I’d recommend avoiding playing him this week.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (vs Baltimore Ravens)
The Ravens defense is just too good to trust Wentz as a start in Week 6.
Related | Week 6 Buy Low, Sell High trade targets
Fantasy Football Week 6 Top PPR Starts: Running backs
Alexander Mattison, Vikings (vs Falcons)
I anticipate Dalvin Cook to be on the shelf this week due to a groin injury, and Mattison should step right in and shine. Last week against Seattle, Mattison put up 112 yards, and I see him picking up where he left off against a horrible Falcons defense that is not only horrible to begin with, but also dealing with extenuating circumstances in the organization.
David Montgomery, Bears (at Panthers)
Montgomery is having a respectable season, averaging almost 75 yards of all-purpose yardage. I like this matchup against a Panthers defense that allows running backs to score at will. I also love the volume he is receiving in the Bears passing game, as he is tied for fourth on the team in targets with almost five per game.
Myles Gaskin, Dolphins (vs Jets)
Gaskin has been a pleasant surprise this fantasy season, in both the rushing and passing game for the Dolphins. This week, Gaskin takes on a Jets defense that is more ready for the season to end than taking on Miami. Opposing ball carriers have scored eight touchdowns against the Jets, and the rush defense is near the bottom quartile of the league in rushing yardage allowed. I expect a solid day for Myles.
More running backs to start in PPR leagues:
- James Robinson, Jaguars (vs Lions)
- Jonathan Taylor, Colts (vs Bengals)
- Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals (at Dallas Cowboys)
Fantasy Football Week 6 PPR Picks: Running backs to avoid
Melvin Gordon, Broncos (at Patriots)
Fresh off of a DUI and straight into a difficult matchup. Though the Patriots lost 26-10 in their last game versus the Chiefs, the defense looked good and stymied the Chiefs attack for much of the night. Specifically in Gordon’s case, they held the Chiefs running game to a sub-4.0 yards per carry average.
Gordon has received the fourth most targets in the passing game thus far, and possibly getting starting quarterback Drew Lock back from injury, but the caveat is that Gordon is only averaging 4.1 yards per catch. His longest reception of the season is 16 yards. It’s simply not enough against a stout defense to warrant much consideration for your fantasy lineup this weekend.
Devonta Freeman, New York Giants (vs Washington Football Team)
The Giants will need Freeman to help with pass protection for Daniel Jones this week. Say what you will, but the Washington Football Team has an admirable pass rush, and is likely getting a healthy Chase Young back. The anemic Washington offense will likely prevent the Giants from having to get into a pass-heavy game script that would allow Freeman more passing targets.
Fantasy Football Week 6 Top PPR Starts: Wide receivers
Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs Cleveland Browns)
It’s evident Claypool is special. I see similarities with D.K. Metcalf in him. In order for the Steelers to keep pace with the Browns offense, they are going to have to score a lot of points, and Claypool will help them do just that. The Browns secondary is the third-worst in the NFL in terms of passing yardage, and with the bevy of options in the Steelers arsenal, Claypool should have one-on-one matchups for much of the day. Can he take advantage of them? My vote is yes.
Justin Jefferson, Vikings (vs Falcons)
The Falcons are giving up a ton of fantasy points to opposing wide receivers — hell, they’re giving up points to everybody. Atlanta’s secondary is allowing over 300 passing yards per game, and Jefferson should be on the receiving end of a healthy volume of those targets. Jefferson had a measly five target, three catch performance last week versus the Seahawks, so he should be ready to rebound and get back into the 100+ yard category.
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (at San Francisco 49ers)
I like Kupp’s matchup this week against “next man up” defensive back K’Waun Williams, the 49ers slot corner. Kupp is averaging at least five receptions per game, and the Rams will take advantage of this juicy matchup. The Dolphins were able to move the ball through the air in a variety of ways against the 49ers secondary, even in “unforgivable” situations like third and long. Jared Goff and company will have every opportunity to find similar success.
More wide receivers to start in PPR leagues:
- Russell Gage, Falcons (at Vikings)
- Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs (at Buffalo Bills) — Sammy Watkins is injured.
- Curtis Samuel, Panthers (vs Bears)
- Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs Green Bay Packers)
Fantasy Football Week 6 PPR Picks: Wide receivers to avoid
Marquise Brown, Ravens (at Eagles)
I don’t like the matchup against Darius Slay. The Eagles defense is middle-of-the-pack in both run and pass defense, and considering the other available Ravens passing options and/or leaning on the ground game in a positive game script, I do not see Brown having a fantasy-relevant game this Sunday.
Deebo Samuel, 49ers (vs Rams)
I don’t like the matchup against Jalen Ramsey. Jimmy Garoppolo looked horrible returning from injury last Sunday versus the Dolphins, and it’s schematically-plausible that the 49ers come in with a run-heavy approach to take the pressure off of their franchise quarterback and reestablish their identity.
Fantasy Football Week 6 Top PPR Starts: Tight end
Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans (vs Houston Texans)
Jonnu has five touchdowns so far this season, and is receiving a hefty target share from Tannehill — the passing duo combined for two touchdowns on Tuesday Night Football versus the Bills. The Texans defense has struggled against opposing TEs this season, and I expect Jonnu to find the end zone again in Week 6.
TJ Hockenson, Lions (at Jaguars)
Fresh off a bye week and ready to roll. Hockenson is being more heavily utilized in the Lions passing game in their last two matchups, and this week faces a Jaguars defense allowing the most yards per target to opposing TEs.
Other tight ends to start in PPR leagues:
- Robert Tonyan, Packers (at Buccaneers)
- Trey Burton, Colts (vs Bengals)
Related | Week 6 defense/special teams rankings
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Anita Marks is the Chief Fantasy Analyst at Pro Football Network. Marks is also a gambling analyst for ESPN and appears on Daily Wager, which airs from 6-7 PM ET on ESPN 2. Her radio show — Weekend Wager — airs on ESPN New York (98.7) FM every Friday at 10 PM ET. Follow her on Twitter: @AnitaMarks.