* Reminder: Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em is intended to present you with the non-obvious choices for your fantasy lineup. We dig deep into player matchups, scoring trends, and other factors to best help you with your fantasy decisions. Superstars such as DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas will not be found in this column. If you’re looking for players of their caliber check out our weekly fantasy football wide receiver rankings.
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WR: Start ‘Em
- Start of the Week:
- JuJu Smith-Schuster/Chase Claypool vs. CLE
Is Claypool the next mismatch nightmare in the NFL? Although it’s certainly plausible considering his traits, the decision to roll with Steelers pass-catchers this week comes mainly down to their matchup. Cleveland allows the second-most fantasy points and touchdowns (8) to opposing WRs this season. This certainly bodes well for a Pittsburgh duo who has combined for nine total touchdowns over their first four games this season.
Odell Beckham Jr. at PIT
A buyers beware selection for us last week, Beckham saw a 26.98 point drop from his brilliant Week 4 performance. The good news for Beckham owners? Pittsburgh just allowed 13 targets and 31.2 points to a guy named Travis Fulgham one week ago. The Steelers have surrendered four touchdowns to wideouts over their past two games. Beckham has totaled 17 targets over his past two games.
Justin Jefferson vs. ATL
In reality, Jefferson’s counterpart, Adam Thielen is likely are true start of the week. Yet, after back-to-back 26.0-plus point games, we figured that was quite obvious. So instead, we’ll highlight the rookie who is fresh off his worst performance since Week 2. Jefferson has seen no more than five targets in back-to-back weeks. That should change for the better in Week 6. With Dalvin Cook likely out, expect Kirk Cousins to build on his season-high 39 pass attempts from a week ago. This should especially reign true against a Falcons defense that allows the third-most pass attempts in football. Speaking of Atlanta’s grotesque secondary, they’ve allowed three receiving duos to each record 92-plus yards this season.
Laviska Shenault vs. DET
With 20 targets over the past three weeks, Sheanult is quietly becoming the focal point of Jacksonville’s offense. Don’t expect those numbers to dissipate in Week 6 with D.J. Chark ailing from an ankle injury. The Lions allow the ninth-most points to WRs this season, including 93-plus yard performances to receivers in back-to-back games. The fact that Shenault is owned in only 34% of Yahoo leagues at the moment of writing this is a crime.
Sleeper: Christian Kirk at DAL
After completely falling off the fantasy radar to begin the season, Kirk has resurrected himself after back-to-back double-digit outings. Most importantly, Kirk saw a season-high seven targets in Week 5. It’s still tough to fully commit to Kirk. With that said, a matchup against the Cowboys makes things far more promising. No team has allowed more TDs to opposing WRs than Dallas has this season (9). They’ve also allowed a 105-plus yard receiver in all but one game thus far.
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WR: Sit ‘Em
Sit of the Week: Travis Fulgham vs. BAL
Am I saying Fulgham will lay a complete dud? No. However, this decision is based on hype (which is at an all-time high) and matchup (which is horrendous). Yes, Fulgham is fresh off a superb 13 target, 31.2 point explosion a week ago. Yet, prior to that outing, Fulgham had never seen more than three targets in any game over his NFL career. He remains a relatively unknown commodity heading into a matchup against a defense that has allowed just one touchdown to opposing WRs this season.
Terry McLaurin at NYG
A combination of Kyle Allen and Alex Smith under center led to McLaurin mustering up a season-low 29 receiving yards last week. This week he’ll likely be shadowed by cornerback James Bradberry, who held Amari Cooper to just 23 yards in Week 5. It’s hard to trust anything about the Washington offense at the moment.
Darius Slayton vs. WAS
Slayton went off for 129 yards last week. However, it was his first game with more than 53 receiving yards since Week 1. The Giants passing game is wildly inconsistent, as is Slayton’s production. While Washington has done a lot poorly this season, containing opposing WRs has not been one of them. Washington allows the third-fewest fantasy points to WRs this year, allowing just two receiving TDs to the position over the first five weeks.
Buyers Beware: Robby Anderson vs. CHI
An argument could be made that the Panthers’ signing of Anderson was the biggest steal of the offseason. However, the NFL’s third-leading receiver will have his hands full against a Bears defense that allows the 10th-fewest passing yards in football. Since Week 2, only one opposing WR has topped 58 receiving yards against Chicago.
- *Check out our other Week 6 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Ems to further optimize your lineups
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