Fantasy: Start, Sit, Stash, Quit - Week 6
SSSQ is a weekly look at under-the-radar fantasy players to consider starting and potential busts you should leave on your bench. We also identify breakout candidates to stash on your roster and players you can safely cut.
Taylor Heinicke, Washington
Heinicke had posted three straight top-12 fantasy finishes prior to a down game last week:
- Week 2: QB12
- Week 3: QB9
- Week 4: QB5
He sits ninth in rushing yards among quarterbacks this campaign, and the signal-caller now gets to take on a Chiefs defense allowing the second-most fantasy points to his position.
In addition to giving up 13 touchdowns to quarterbacks over the last four weeks, Kansas City has been particularly vulnerable against dual-threat passers. Lamar Jackson (107 rushing yards), Jalen Hurts (47 rushing yards), and Josh Allen (59 rushing yards) have all enjoyed success on the ground when squaring off against the Chiefs.
Consider Heinicke a fringe QB1 in this friendly matchup at home.
Boone's projection: 281 passing yards, 2 passing TDs, 37 rushing yards
Other QBs to start
- Joe Burrow at Lions
- Carson Wentz vs. Texans
- Trevor Lawrence vs. Dolphins
James Robinson, Jaguars
After a slow start to the season, Robinson has regained his form and delivered significant production over the last three weeks.
Now he'll take on the Dolphins, the third-easiest opponent for fantasy backs. Miami has given up 90-plus yards from scrimmage in each game so far to at least one running back.
While this year's version of Brian Flores' defense is a much different unit, Robinson put up 129 yards and two scores against this club in Week 3 of the 2020 campaign.
Even with all the turmoil surrounding the Jags, Robinson is a locked in top-10 option this week.
Boone's projection: 76 rushing yards, 34 receiving yards, TD
Other RBs to start
- Zack Moss at Titans
- Darrel Williams at Washington
- Khalil Herbert vs. Packers
Michael Pittman, Colts
Pittman is quietly emerging as a solid fantasy asset while tucked away in an uninspiring Colts passing attack.
The sophomore wideout has logged the 14th-most targets among receivers through five weeks while turning in stat lines of 8-123-0, 6-68-0, 6-59-0, and 6-89-1 over his last four outings.
The Texans held New England's receivers in check this past Sunday, but they weren't so lucky versus Stefon Diggs (114 yards), Emmanuel Sanders (74 yards), DJ Moore (126 yards), DJ Chark (86 yards), and Marvin Jones (77 yards) in previous weeks.
You shouldn't expect them to have an answer for Pittman either. Treat him as a WR3 with WR2 upside moving forward.
Boone's projection: 83 receiving yards, TD
Other WRs to start
- Chase Claypool vs. Seahawks
- Emmanuel Sanders at Titans
- Tee Higgins at Lions
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins
Gesicki can be hard to trust due to his usual boom-bust production.
Fortunately for him, injuries to Dolphins receivers have cleared a path to a ton of opportunities in recent weeks.
Based on usage, we could argue that Gesicki should be classified as a receiver since he spends the majority of his time lined up in the slot or out wide.
Regardless, with Fuller on the injured reserve and Parker's status unknown, you can confidently start Gesicki against a Jags team that's allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to tight ends this year.
Boone's projection: 68 receiving yards, TD
Other TEs to start
- Tyler Higbee at Giants
- Ricky Seals-Jones vs. Chiefs
- Hunter Henry vs. Cowboys
Baker Mayfield, Browns
Mayfield is coming off his first strong fantasy performance of the year, but it was a bit fluky due to a 71-yard touchdown when David Njoku did most of the work. It's not every day a tight end catches a short pass and turns it upfield for a long score, so that's hardly the kind of production we can bank on.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals have only allowed one quarterback to throw for 245-plus passing yards, and it's hard to imagine Mayfield bucking that trend with the way he's played most of the season.
It's best to avoid this situation in Week 6, and in Week 7 when the Browns host the Broncos and their tough defense.
Boone's projection: 241 passing yards, TD, INT, 9 rushing yards
Other QBs to sit
- Derek Carr at Broncos
- Justin Fields vs. Packers
- Daniel Jones vs. Rams
Damien Harris, Patriots
Harris came through with a touchdown last week and nearly scored another before fumbling at the goal line. He was also in and out of the game due to a rib issue that's caused him to miss some practice time heading into the Cowboys matchup.
However, the projected game script New England will need to use on Sunday is more concerning than the injury.
Dallas has emerged as a potential Super Bowl contender, and the Cowboys are favored on the road. If they get out in front, that could cap Harris' fantasy ceiling due to his limited passing-game involvement.
Prior to last week, Harris received just eight touches for 11 yards and six touches for 24 yards in a pair of losses to the Saints and Buccaneers, respectively.
The Cowboys have also held every running back they've encounter to 57 rushing yards or less this year.
Harris will be a touchdown-or-bust play in Week 6.
Boone's projection: 36 rushing yards, 7 receiving yards
Other RBs to sit
- Chris Carson/Alex Collins at Steelers
- Latavius Murray vs. Chargers
- James Conner at Browns
Allen Robinson, Bears
Robinson is one of the NFL's most talented receivers, and he's been able to overcome some truly awful quarterback play during his career.
However, the key was always volume. The 28-year-old has recorded four seasons with 150-plus targets.
This year he's on pace for just 99 targets, and that's including the extra game added to the schedule. The result has been just one game with over 35 receiving yards through the opening five weeks.
Perhaps rookie quarterback Justin Fields will settle in and Chicago's offense will eventually find its rhythm. But Robinson is a risky fantasy play right now.
Boone's projection: 51 receiving yards
Other WRs to sit
- Henry Ruggs at Broncos
- Robby Anderson vs. Vikings
- Cole Beasley at Titans
Robert Tonyan, Packers
Tonyan is the featured tight end in the sit section for another week.
His playing time has taken a hit (59% of the snaps in Week 5) as the Packers work other players into the mix at tight end.
He's now been held to four or fewer targets in four of the team's five outings this season, emphasizing his touchdown-dependent profile.
We're getting to the point where Tonyan makes more sense in the quit section.
Boone's projection: 37 receiving yards
Other TEs to sit
- Jonnu Smith vs. Cowboys
- Cole Kmet vs. Packers
- Anthony Firkser vs. Bills
Dan Arnold, Jaguars
Arnold (8% rostered) saw his playing time jump from 32% to 73% of Jacksonville's snaps during his second week with the Jaguars.
The increased usage came with a significant bump in targets, with Arnold catching six of the eight balls thrown his way for 64 yards.
It's an incredibly small sample size, but Arnold could become a significant contributor in Jacksonville's offense with Chark out for the year.
Depending on your tight end situation, you may even consider starting Trevor Lawrence's new weapon this week.
JaMycal Hasty, 49ers
We've seen absolute chaos in the 49ers' backfield this year, with injuries creating a constant revolving door atop the depth chart.
San Francisco is on a bye this week, but releasing veteran backs Kerryon Johnson and Chris Thompson may have been a sign that Hasty (2% rostered) will be ready to come off the injured reserve prior to the club's Week 7 contest.
While we don't know if that order has changed over the last few weeks, it's worth stashing Hasty in case another wave of injuries thrusts him into the lead-back spot.
Cole Beasley, Bills
With Emmanuel Sanders taking over as the new No. 2 receiver and tight end Dawson Knox breaking out as a consistent part of the Bills' passing attack, Beasley (62% rostered) has become an afterthought in Buffalo.
His playing time has declined over the team's last three games, falling to just 38% of the snaps this past week.
He's also been given just four targets during Buffalo's last two games, resulting in three catches for 21 yards.
With the Bills' offense humming, it's tough to turn your back on anyone connected to Josh Allen. But Beasley is eating up a spot on your roster that could be better used on a high-upside stash.