Thursday - Feb 25, 2021

Home / Lineup / START/BENCH: Week 6


Week 5 was an object lesson in the disconnect that sometimes exists between a good game in the NFL and one in fantasy football.

My Spot-Start of the Week in Start/Bench at quarterback for Week 5 was Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles. Headed into a matchup with the marshmallow-soft defense of the Kansas City Chiefs defense, I expected Bortles to have a big game.

To be fair, in some scoring systems he did. In the Shark Leagues here at Fantasy Sharks, where there’s no penalty for interceptions, Bortles was fantasy’s No. 3 quarterback thanks to 430 passing yards, a touchdown and another score on the ground.

Oh yeah.

Even in a league like Deathmatch that penalizes heavily for turnovers, Bortles fell only as far as seventh among quarterbacks despite turning the ball over a jaw-dropping five times.

Bortles has long been a thorn in my side. My fantasy Lucy—teasing me with the football only to yank it away at the last second to leave me lying flat on my back.

Even when he came through for me (finally) it was in a performance that could best be described as a cross between a reactor meltdown and a dumpster fire.

It’s a weird and wild hobby we play.

It was actually a really good week for my spot-start recommendations. James Conner ran for 110 yards and two scores in Pittsburgh’s win over the Atlanta Falcons. Jordy Nelson was on the receiving end of Oakland’s lone touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers.

The tight end call (Charles Clay) was a disaster, but it’s been that kind of year at the position—especially for yours truly.

Now it’s just a matter of keeping that momentum rolling.

And so off I go, taking another run at the football with the Week 6 edition of Start/Bench at Fantasy Sharks.

Here’s hoping my foot makes contact again and not my backside.

It’s another two-team bye in Week 6. The Lions and Saints are off—with no Drew Brees, Matt Stafford, Alvin Kamara or Golden Tate there’s a lot of holes in lineups for just two teams to be idle.

Let’s get to plugging them.




Jameis Winston, TBB (at ATL)

Winston will make his first start of 2018 for the Buccaneers in Atlanta this week, and per ESPN’s Jenna Laine head coach Dirk Koetter indicated it’s good to have him back in the fold.  “He came back prepared. That’s no big surprise. It was great to have him back,” Koetter said. “Jameis is a favorite of everyone around here. It was great to have his energy back in the building, to have his smile back in the building. I know he’s happy to be here and we’re happy to have him.”

Winston played in the second half of Tampa’s blowout loss to the Bears in Week 3, throwing for , throwing for 145 yards and a score with a pair of interceptions. However, that debut came against one of the NFL’s best defenses. Now Winston has had an extra week to get ready to face an injury-ravaged Falcons defense that has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks in 2018.


Andy Dalton, CIN (vs. PIT)

The Bengals got their fourth win in five games last week against the Miami Dolphins, but Andy Dalton‘s worst fantasy outing of the season dropped him out of the top-12 at the position. He’ll get back in Sunday against a Pittsburgh defense that has struggled mightily this season.

Eli Manning, NYG (vs. PHI)

This is admittedly not a call for the faint of heart, and Odell Beckham probably won’t be starting Manning in his fantasy league in Week 6. But Manning’s coming off his best effort of the season and draws a favorable matchup at home Thursday night against the Eagles.

Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (at CIN)

To this point in the season, Roethlisberger has been just about what fantasy owners expected—he’s seventh in Shark League Scoring among quarterbacks through five weeks. A big week should be in store in Cincy—the Bengals are seventh (coincidentally) in fantasy points given up to the position.


Derek Carr, OAK (vs. SEA)

Carr’s had one great game this season and four blah ones. This shapes up as blah No. 5—not only are the Seahawks giving up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks, but the game’s in London. London games have been known to be sloppily played.

Marcus Mariota, TEN (vs. BAL)

Mariota’s barely rosterable at this point—his Week 4 explosion against the Philadelphia Eagles looks like an aberration after last week’s clunker against the Bills. Look elsewhere for a spot-starter headed into a matchup with a stingy Ravens defense.

For our VIP members, we include one more quarterback that’s been hot this season to bench this week due to the sneaky difficult matchup..

You must be a Platinum member to view this content.

Become a Platinum Member

About Gary Davenport

A member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and Pro Football Writers of America who resides in Columbus, Ohio, Gary has been featured on a number of fantasy websites and in nationally circulated publications. These publications include the USA Today Fantasy Football Preview and the magazines distributed by Fantasy Sports Publications Inc., for whom Gary is a both a contributing author and associate editor. Gary is an nine-time FSWA Award finalist and three-time winner who has been a finalist for that organization's Fantasy Football Writer of the Year award each of the last four years. He won the honor in 2017 and 2019. Gary also appears regularly on Sirius XM Radio (including live from Radio Row at Super Bowl XLIX) and over-the-air stations across the country. Gary was one of the co-founders of, and Head Writer at, Fantasy Football Oasis before joining Fantasy Sharks as an IDP Senior Staff Writer in 2011. He knows football. Or so he's heard.