The fantasy matchup stats you need to know for Week 6
Jeff Ratcliffe runs through each of the weekend games to find the most important stat takeaway for fantasy players.
The fantasy matchup stats you need to know for Week 6
Play the matchups in fantasy football, and you’ll win more often than you lose. Now that we’re in the thick of the bye weeks, knowing the matchups to avoid and exploit becomes even more important. Bellow you’ll find the key matchup stats to know from each of the 14 remaining games this week.
Don’t forget to also take a look at the best and worst wide receiver matchups for the week. Also, new this week, we have our fantasy positional matchups chart, which allows you to quickly identify all of the best matchups each week for all offensive and IDP positions.
Just a quick note about the recommendations. Downgrading a player is not the same as sitting a player. If an RB1 is downgraded, that means he moves to an RB2 for the week, and vice versa for upgrades. These matchup recommendations and others are reflected in our weekly rankings, which are an invaluable tool in lineup decision making each week.
San Francisco @ Buffalo
Don’t stream Colin Kaepernick.
The 49ers made the change to Kaepernick this week, but fantasy players shouldn’t look to Kaepernick for streaming value or as a DFS play. The Bills are currently the No. 31 fantasy matchup for quarterbacks, allowing just two passing touchdowns so far this season. Rex Ryan’s defense is also averaging 3.4 sacks per game. This has the makings of a long day for Kaepernick. Fantasy owners would be wise to also fade Jeremy Kerley this week.
Philadelphia @ Washington
Kirk Cousins could struggle this week.
The Eagles have also been a very tough pass defense this season. In four games played, Philly gives up the sixth-fewest passing yards per game and allows just 64 percent of aimed passes — which excludes throwaways and spikes — to be completed. The matchup bodes poorly for Cousins, especially with Jordan Reed concussed and likely to miss this contest.
Cleveland @ Tennessee
Delanie Walker is a top tight end play.
Sure, he’s in the TE1 conversation every week, but Walker could threaten for the top spot in Week 6. He faces a Browns defense that has gotten absolutely torched by tight ends over the last two games. Last week, Martellus Bennett found the end zone three times, and Jordan Reed scored twice in Week 4. Opposing tight ends are averaging 10 targets, 8.6 catches, 100.2 yards and one score per game against the Browns.
Baltimore @ NY Giants
Tough sledding for the running backs in this one.
The Ravens and Giants currently rank as the second- and fifth-worst matchups for fantasy running backs, so it’s a good idea to downgrade the backs in this contest. New York is much improved as a run-
defending unit, allowing just 3.8 yards per carry to opposing backs. Baltimore should turn more to the run following Marc Trestman being fired, but it’s tough to trust Terrance West as anything more than a back-end RB2. Rashad Jennings has been limited in practice this week, but is on track to play. Still, fantasy owners should avoid Jennings against this Ravens team that has only allowed two rushing touchdowns this year.
Carolina @ New Orleans
Fire up Jonathan Stewart.
Stewart was a full participant in Thursday’s practice and appears to be on track to play in Week 6. He picked a great week to return, as the Saints are the No. 1 fantasy matchup for running backs this season. Through four games, New Orleans gives up an average of 110.3 yards and two touchdowns on the ground to opposing backs. Also, keep in mind that with Stewart active, Cameron Artis-Payne could easily go back to a game day inactive because he doesn’t play special teams.
Jacksonville @ Chicago
Downgrade Zach Miller.
The Chicago tight end has been on fire over the last three weeks, but he projects to come back to earth in this contest. The Jags currently rank as the seventh-worst fantasy matchup for tight ends. So far this season, Jacksonville yields just 3.5 catches and 28 yards per game to the position. Consider Miller a back-end TE1 with a somewhat low fantasy ceiling this week.
Los Angeles @ Detroit
Case Keenum is on the fantasy radar this week.
You read that correctly. The NCAA’s all-time passing yards leader isn’t a fantasy-relevant option most weeks, but he’s worth a look in 2QB leagues and in DFS tournaments this week. The Lions enter the week as the No. 2 fantasy matchup for quarterbacks, giving up an average of 273.6 passing yards and 2.8 touchdowns. A Keenum/Tavon Austin stack could prove lucrative in DFS this week.
Pittsburgh @ Miami
Ride Sammie Coates again … if he plays.
Coates hasn’t practiced this week due to a lacerated finger, but he’s a borderline WR2 with upside if he suits up. Miami has been one of the best matchups for opposing receivers this season, giving up an average of 14.2 catches and 174.4 yards per game to the position. Coates is expected to play, but keep a close eye on his Friday practice status.
Cincinnati @ New England
Martellus Bennett and Rob Gronkowski continue to roll.
This is one of those examples where you have dig deeper into the matchup data. On the surface, it looks like a tough matchup for the New England duo. After all, Cincinnati gives up the ninth-fewest fantasy points per game to tight ends. But they played against two teams with essentially no tight end in the Jets and Dolphins. If you scrub out those games, the Bengals are actually a plus matchup, having given up two scores to the position against the Steelers and another score to the Broncos. Look for the Patriots to continue to lean heavily on their tight ends. Both are in play as strong TE1 options this week.
Kansas City @ Oakland
Stream Alex Smith this week.
In case you didn’t receive the memo, Smith is one of this week’s top streamers at quarterback. Through the first five weeks of the season, the Raiders are the No. 1 fantasy matchup for both quarterbacks and wide receivers. Smith hasn’t been known as a passer throughout his career, but he’s on pace to shatter his career high in attempts (508) and yards (3,486). If he keeps up his current pace, Smith will attempt 672 throws and go for 4,292 yards. While he’s likely to regress from that clip, it won’t happen this week. Get Smith in your lineup if you need a streamer.
Atlanta @ Seattle
Christine Michael and Jimmy Graham continue to roll this week.
Get as much of the Seahawks offense in your lineups as you can. Atlanta is rolling on offense, but they’re still struggling on the defensive side of the ball. The Falcons currently rank as the No. 5 matchup for running backs and No. 2 matchup for tight ends. Michael and Graham are both strong fantasy plays this week.
Dallas @ Green Bay
This could be the last week to start Dak Prescott.
With the Cowboys heading into their bye next week, this could be the last game this season that we see Prescott under center with Tony Romo slated to return after the bye. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Prescott is still in play as a starting option against the Packers. Green Bay gives up an average of 297.3 passing yards per game to opposing signal callers. Prescott is a fringe QB1.
Indianapolis @ Houston
Lamar Miller gets back on track.
Week 5 was ugly for Miller, as he managed just 20 yards on eight carries. But fear not if you own the Texans’ running back. Miller gets a delicious matchup this week against a Colts defense that has continually gotten shredded by opposing running backs. Indy has given up at least 100 yards on the ground in four of five games, including last week when rookie Jordan Howard ripped them apart. Miller has yet to break out this season, but he’s a good bet to do so this week.
NY Jets @ Arizona
Carson Palmer returns with a bang.
The veteran signal-caller missed last week with a concussion, but he’ll be back under center as the Cards get the Jets at home. The once-vaunted Jets secondary has been a shadow of its former self this season, yielding a whopping 319.6 passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks. Darrelle Revis looks like he could be sidelined once again for this contest, but it doesn’t really matter. Palmer is poised for a big day regardless. He should be started with confidence as a rock-solid QB1 play.
Jeff Ratcliffe | Director of Fantasy
Jeff Ratcliffe is the Director of Fantasy at Pro Football Focus. He produces all of our projections and is 2016's second-most-accurate ranker in the fantasy industry. Jeff also is the host of our show on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio and is one of the main hosts of our Fantasy Slant podcast.