Fantasy football owners who had invested in Marquez Valdes-Scantling had an easy decision to make last Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
With Davante Adams ruled out for the Green Bay Packers and Valdes-Scantling ascending to the top of the depth chart, the second-year receiver was a must-start option inside a Packers offense that has only ramped up more each game this season. He had also caught 17 passes over his previous two games for 146 total yards and a touchdown catch coming into Week 5.
But the lucrative potential never paid out, as the young pass-catcher had his worst performance of the 2019 season and hauled in just one of his four targets for 18 yards. Worse than that, Aaron Rodgers finished with 21 completions to other receiving targets, finding running back Aaron Jones — the NFC Offensive Player of the Week — for seven catches and 75 receiving yards.
Now, things are a little different Week 6. The Detroit Lions tout one of the league’s worst pass defense and will be put to the test inside the Packers’ house on Monday Night Football. But is enough there to trust Valdes-Scantling to shine in prime time?
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Marquez Valdes-Scantling Fantasy Outlook Week 6 vs. Lions
Back a few seasons ago, there were prime fantasy football targets available in the Packers offense. Aaron Rodgers, of course, was and still is a valuable QB1. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb took their turns being leading and steady receiver choices. Life was good if you snagged the chosen few for your roster.
But those days are gone, replaced with a hard-to-decipher Packers offense that has yet to crown a steady target — and keep him healthy, in the case of Davante Adams.
Rodgers has spread his 113 completions between 12 different receiving targets. Though, to be fair, tight end Robert Tonyan has been ruled out with Adams, while Trevor Davis has since been traded to the Oakland Raiders. That leaves nine options, which drops to five when looking at the ones who have received at least 10 targets.
Valdes-Scantling has been given nine more looks than any of the rest of them and has a second-most 235 yards behind Adams’ 378. His best game nearly touched 100 yards — 99! — and saw him pull down his only touchdown this year, but his production and targets have steadily declined in the weeks since.
The encouraging sign is what Valdes-Scantling has done with his catches (13.8 ypg), but rising to the occasion isn’t the issue. It’s an issue of the occasion not rising to meet him.
Should You Start or Sit Marquez Valdes-Scantling in Week 6?
According to FantasyPros, Valdes-Scantling is still hovering in the range of WR3 or WR4 as the 37th-ranked receiving option in Week 6 and is projected for 11.5 points in PPR leagues and 7.7 in standard. He is several spots ahead of teammate Geronimo Allison, who is also in line for increased opportunity without Adams on the field, but neither holds tremendous value over the other with the love spread so generously in the Packers’ passing game.
Final verdict: Sturdier options exist, such as Philadelphia’s Alshon Jeffery or Denver’s Emmanuel Sanders, and you should leave him on the bench if you are only eyeing him for a breakout week. The risk isn’t worth taking just to take one. Only if you have a limited set of options should Valdes-Scantling enter your lineup in any capacity.