Monday - Oct 21, 2019

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START/BENCH: Week 6

As is always the case in fantasy football, the 2019 season has featured its share of surprises — for better or worse.

There have been some players who have come from nowhere to become every-week must-starts, like Jacksonville rookie wide receiver D.J. Chark. There have been others from whom much was expected but little (so far at least) has been delivered. That’s not that unusual — it happens every year.

Still, I’m about to type something I never thought I would.

This week, I have no choice but to pull Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Cleveland wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from the “Studs” list.

I know. It’s a stunner.

The thing is though, it’s not. Through five weeks, Rodgers ranks 18th among all fantasy quarterbacks in Sharks League Scoring. After throwing for 238 yards without a touchdown against Dallas last Sunday, Rodgers has topped 250 passing yards once in five games. Rodgers has six touchdowns for the season and has yet to throw three in a game in 2019.

At least Green Bay is winning. It’s been that much worse for Beckham and 2-3 Cleveland. After logging just two grabs in a blowout loss to San Francisco in Week 5 (his second game in a row with two catches) Beckham has 23 catches for 335 yards and one touchdown — and almost half that yardage and the touchdown came back in Week 2 against the New York Jets.

It’s a reminder that fantasy football is never static. It’s always changing. And team owners need to be ready and willing to roll with the punches.

It’s a four-team bye week in Week 6 — Buffalo, Chicago, Indianapolis and Oakland are off. Get players from those teams out of lineups.

QUARTERBACKS

STUDS

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (vs. Houston)

Deshaun Watson, Houston (at Kansas City)

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (vs. Cincinnati)

Russell Wilson, Seattle (at Cleveland)

SPOT-START OF THE WEEK

Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville (vs. New Orleans)

Minshew Mania has taken over in Jacksonville to the extent now that once veteran Nick Foles does recover from his broken collarbone, it’s entirely possible that he’s going to be the same thing he was in Philadelphia — a backup. And as CBS Sports wrote, smart fantasy owners in need of a spot-start will get a piece of mustache fever in Week 6.

“Minshew completed 26-of-44 pass attempts for 374 yards and two touchdowns last Sunday against (Carolina),” they said, “while also adding seven rushes for 42 yards. For the season, Minshew has a total of nine touchdown passes to just one interception. Now, he gets a mouthwatering matchup against a (New Orleans) defense that has struggled on the road. In fact, (New Orleans) gave up over 400 yards passing and four total touchdowns to Russell Wilson in Seattle in Week 3.”

Since Week 2, Minshew has quietly been a Top- 10 fantasy option in Sharks League Scoring. There’s little reason to think that won’t continue Sunday against a New Orleans team that leads the NFC in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks.

ROLL THEM OUT

Kyle Allen, Carolina (vs. Tampa Bay – London)

Like Gardner Minshew, Allen’s been surprisingly effective as the starter for Carolina with Cam Newton on the shelf. He’s another decent spot-start for streamers or fantasy owners dealing with bye week or injury issues under center.

Kyler Murray, Arizona (vs. Atlanta)

The yardage has been there for the most part with Murray, but a lack of end zone trips has capped his fantasy upside. That could change this week against an Atlanta defense that just surrendered five passing touchdowns to Deshaun Watson a week ago.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta (at Arizona)

Atlanta is a complete disaster as a team, but statistically speaking Ryan’s been as advertised, posting Top 5 fantasy numbers over the past month. Another big game against Arizona on Sunday could have Ryan challenging for “stud” status.

SIT THEM DOWN

Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (vs. San Francisco)

Goff’s a hard player to sit given that he is throwing the ball 50-plus times a game of late. But San Francisco just humiliated Baker Mayfield on national television, and no team in the NFC has given up fewer fantasy points to the quarterback position so far this year.

Daniel Jones, New York Giants (at New England)

The bloom came off Jones’ rose a bit in last week’s lopsided loss to New England. The youngster may have a bright future, but his present (at least on Thursday at Gillette Stadium) is almost certainly going to be depressing.

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland  (vs. Seattle)

Mayfield entered the 2019 season a sure-fire fantasy star in the making in the eyes of many. Five weeks in, his coronation is a disaster— Mayfield has regressed badly in Year 2 and is coming off a game against San Francisco in which he had negative fantasy points in many scoring systems.

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 eight-time FSWA Award finalist and two-time winner who has been a finalist for that organization's Fantasy Football Writer of the Year award each of the last three years. He won the honor in 2017. 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.