Tuesday - Jan 19, 2021

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START/BENCH: Week 6

OK, so now it’s just piling on.

Just when you think the 2020 fantasy football season has hit maximum suck, the cosmos decided to hammer managers with possible the most shattering blow of all.

Mind you, this was already a year where the No. 1 running back (Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey) has missed substantial time. So has the top wide receiver (New Orleans’ Michael Thomas). The No. 2 back (the New York Giants’ Saquon Barkley) tore his ACL.

I’d keep going, but frankly it’s depressing.

Now the No. 1 fantasy quarterback is done for the year too. That Dak Prescott’s devastating ankle injury was a bummer for fantasy managers is the least miserable consequence of what happened last week in Dallas. That team is done. Prescott was playing under the franchise tag and suddenly faces an uncertain future. The whole thing just …

Again, 2020 sucks.

But this is a fantasy football site. And the impact of Prescott’s injury goes well beyond just the young quarterback. Whether it’s running back Ezekiel Elliott or wide receivers Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb, the league’s No. 1 offense is about to be impacted for (better or worse) from top to bottom.

And sadly, there’s going to be a lot more worse than better.

Unfortunately, this week’s version of Start/Bench is going to be abbreviated— or maybe that’s a blessing in disguise. Who knows? I take my responsibilities at Fantasy Sharks seriously — all those lineups don’t ruin themselves. And there will still be plenty of opportunities for me to be wrong here, just a little less blah blah blah between them.

But it’s been a very 2020 week for me personally, and there are things that are more important than football.

So, I’m going to stop yammering and get to work.

Four teams have a Week 6 bye. Las Vegas, the Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans and Seattle are off.

Yay! Less players!

QUARTERBACKS

STUDS

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (at Buffalo)

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (at Philadelphia)

Russell Wilson, Seattle (BYE)

Kyler Murray, Arizona (at Dallas)

Josh Allen, Buffalo (vs. Kansas City)

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (at Tampa Bay)

 

OFF THE LIST: Dak Prescott, Dallas (vs. Arizona): Prescott went from averaging 422.5 passing yards per game this season to on an operating table in the blink of an eye last week. Get well soon. And Jerry Jones? Pay the man.

ROLL THEM OUT

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota (vs. Atlanta)

Cousins hasn’t exactly been lighting it up this season, but Minnesota may have to throw more with Dalvin Cook (groin) likely to sit out. Plus, in 2020 the Atlanta defense tends to make every quarterback look like Patrick Mahomes.

Daniel Jones, New York Giants (vs. Washington)

Jones isn’t a play for the squeamish — he hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since Week 1. But from a matchup perspective, he’s the best of a not great array of streamers who are available in Week 6.

Gardner Minshew II, Jacksonville (vs. Detroit)

Minshew enters Week 6 ninth among quarterbacks in fantasy points and a walking reminder of why fantasy managers keep rostering Jacksonville quarterbacks (garbage time). Detroit is also a Top 10 fantasy matchup for quarterbacks.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (vs. Cleveland)

Cleveland is one of the bigger surprises of the first five weeks of the 2020 season. But its defense has been terrible, and Cleveland ranks third in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks in Sharks League Scoring in 2020.

SIT THEM DOWN

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati (at Indianapolis)

Burrow was a low-end QB1 over the first month of the season before the bottom fell out last week in Baltimore. Things aren’t likely to improve markedly against an Indianapolis team surrendering the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks so far this season.

Andy Dalton, Dallas (vs. Arizona)

It would be a great story if Dalton lit up an admittedly-shaky Arizona defense on Monday night. But those last two words are rather the problem. The game is at night. And for reasons known only to God and Count Dracula, Andy Dalton is terrible in night games.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta (at Minnesota)

Minnesota isn’t a terrible matchup for quarterbacks — 21st in fantasy points surrendered to quarterbacks this year. But Ryan has just one touchdown pass over the last two games combined. Until he shows a pulse, thanks but no thanks.

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.