Week 6 of the Fantasy Football season is already here, so savor the season while we still have it. Before we know it, we'll be on the couch watching the games in a turkey-caused stupor. 4QWI is coming at you with steamy hot takes to consider as you craft your lineups for the week. With recent league-wide injuries, underperforming players and interesting matchups this week, there is much to consider come Sunday. Today's 4QWI members handling the task are Jay Rooney, Brett Shevlin, Austin Specht, and Noah Drouin. Follow them on Twitter/X, their handles are below.
This may go without saying, but we will go ahead and leave out the effective matchup-proof picks such as Tyreek Hill, Christian McCaffrey and Justin Jefferson (but make sure he's on your IR...). With all that said, let's get down to business.
Start: Justin Fields vs. Minnesota Vikings (10/15 @ 1:00 PM EST)
Justin Fields is coming off of back-to-back phenomenal fantasy weeks with 335 passing yards, 4 TDs, and 25 rushing yards on 4 tries in Week 4 against the Buccaneers, and a Week 5 that saw the Bears secure their first win since last October with Fields throwing for 282 yards, 4 TD’s with 57 rushing yards on 11 attempts. Even more impressively Fields did not turn the ball over in Week 5 against the Washington Commanders.
This week Fields has a favorable matchup at home against the Vikings defense who are 18th in the league in yards/game allowed and are 23rd in the league in points allowed per game. Furthermore, the Vikings defense has allowed 9 passing touchdowns in 5 games. Look for Fields to continue his hot streak here.
Start: Kirk Cousins @ Chicago Bears (10/15 @ 1:00 PM EST)
On the other side of the matchup, Kirk Cousins has perhaps an even more favorable matchup despite the devastating news that Justin Jefferson is headed to the IR. Through 5 games Cousins is averaging just under 300 passing yards and 2.6 passing TDs per game. Cousins matches up against a Bears defense that is last in the league against opposing teams QB’s that include a cast of Russell Wilson, Sam Howell, Jordan Love, and Baker Mayfield. Look for this defense to get cooked by Cousins despite missing Jefferson.
Start: Matthew Stafford vs. Arizona Cardinals (10/15 @ 4:25 PM EST)
With the return of Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua’s rise to stardom, Matthew Stafford finds himself with two elite fantasy WRs and a phenomenal support cast that includes Tyler Higbee and Tutu Atwell. With all his weapons back Stafford managed 222 yards and 2 TD’s, which was good for his highest passer rating of the season. This week Stafford faces a very favorable matchup against a Cardinals offense that has surrendered the fourth most passing yards and sixth most touchdowns in the NFL so far this season. I wouldn’t be surprised if Stafford puts up 300+ yards with 3 TD’s. If you need a streamer option in a deeper league Stafford is a more than reliable option.
Sit: Deshaun Watson vs. San Francisco 49ers (10/15 @ 1:00 PM EST)
Deshaun Watson’s shoulder is a problem as he continues to miss practices this week with P.J. Walker getting QB1 reps at practice this week after Watson missed the week 4 game versus the Ravens. Even if Watson does start the QB who has struggled to find a rhythm with the Browns faces a tall task against the San Francisco 49ers.
Opposing QBs against the 49ers this year have thrown for 5 TDs while giving away 8 INTs in 5 games so far this year. The 49ers rank second against opposing teams QB’s and with Nick Chubb done for the season after his devastating week 2 injury the Browns will likely struggle to get their ground game going making things even harder for Watson. Watson should, without a doubt, sit this week.
Sit: C.J. Stroud vs. New Orleans Saints (10/15 @ 1:00 PM EST)
Please don’t come for me here, C.J. Stroud has been balling this year, he’s thrown for 1461 yards, 7 TDs, and has yet to throw an interception this year. Stroud turned in a less-than-favorable performance last week against the Falcons defense, with 250 yards and 1 TD with no turnovers. This week Stroud will face his toughest test in the Saints defense and he may be without his fellow rookie receiver Tank Dell who is second on the team in receiving yards. Meanwhile, the Saints defense currently ranks 8th in the league against opposing teams QB’s and is getting key safety Marcus Maye back from suspension this week after coming off of a very impressive fantasy week (albeit against the worst offense in the league, the New England Patriots). Look for the Saints to give Stroud some trouble this week and I would likely avoid starting him if you have another option at QB this week.
Sit: Jared Goff @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10/15 @ 4:25 PM EST)
Goff has proven to be a fringe QB1/QB2 option for fantasy football, however, he faces a tall task this week against an impressive Buccaneers defense. In four games this year the Buccaneers have only allowed 4 passing TDs to 6 interceptions good for 3rd in the league against opposing teams' QBs. Add in the factors of Aman-Ra St. Brown potentially being out and the fact that Goff’s two worst performances have been on the road and Goff is again on the road this week and I would recommend avoiding Goff this week.
Running Backs: @BreTT_Shevlin
Start: James Cook vs. New York Giants (SNF, 10/15 @ 8:20 PM EST)
The New York Giants are just a complete dumpster fire right now. Although Cook hasn’t exactly performed up to expectations so far this year, I like him in this home matchup on Sunday Night Football. If the Bills get out to a hot start expect 20 plus touches no questions asked. The Giants defense through 5 games have given up a league high 9 rushing TD’s, tied with only the Carolina Panthers. The Giants are also allowing 151 yards on the ground a game. Let Cook Cook!
Start: Alexander Mattison @ Chicago Bears (10/15 @ 1:00 PM
Shoutout my boy Noah for this one. With the news of Justin Jefferson being placed on injured reserve, the Vikings will be forced to establish more of a running game and Mattison should benefit from that. The Bears are currently ranked 27th in the league in run defense so I really like this spot here for Mattison. I’m not too concerned with Cam Akers involvement so far it seems he’s more there for passing down situations so consider Mattison a high end flex play for this one.
Sit: Dameon Pearce vs. New Orleans Saints (10/15 @ 1:00 PM EST)
If anyone watched the massacre that took place at Gillette Stadium last week (I was there) then you noticed how fast the Saints are at getting to the QB and stopping the run. The Saints allow the 5th least yards to running backs; not to mention Pierce is averaging a disgusting 2.9 yards per carry this season. You can definitely find much better on your waiver wire.
Sit: Javonte Williams @ Kansas City Chiefs (TNF, 10/12 @ 8:15 PM EST)
Javonte does not hold an injury designation heading into this game against the Chiefs on Thursday night so he will miss just the one game. However, I don’t care how desperate you may be with injuries to your team do not start Javonte Williams. I get the temptation of wanting to watch and root for one of your players on Thursday Night Football, but I suggest you pump the brakes. Javonte has yet to hit the end zone this season and 52 yards in week 1 was his high. I like what I’ve seen from Jaleel McLaughlin the past 2 weeks so I’d feel more confident with him moving forward.
Wide Receivers: @spechty49
Start: DJ Moore vs. Minnesota Vikings (10/15 @ 1:00 PM EST)
Easy choice. Kinda a layup at this point. There are drives where Fields stares down DJ. He is clearly option number 1. With a hospital's worth of backfield injuries look to them to target DJ Moore against another weak secondary in Minnesota.
Start: Garrett Wilson vs. Philadelphia Eagles (10/15 @ 4:25 PM EST)
With a Breece Hall emergence it opens up some options for the Jets. Not only is Wilson seeing almost 9 targets a game he goes up against a weaker Philly secondary. Should see decent numbers if Zach Wilson keeps feeding him the ball.
Bonus Start: Michael Thomas @ Houston Texans (10/15 @ 1:00 PM EST)
Mr Reliable strikes again. If you’re in a deep league his consistency warrants a start every week it seems. Boasting a very similar stat line each week a TD would just be gravy.
Sit: Terry McLaurin @ Atlanta Falcons (10/15 @1:00 PM EST)
Howell is just letting that MFer fly to anyone in a burgundy jersey. Curtis Samuel seeing 6-7 targets in back to back games. Even Dotson had the same targets as Terry. Combine this with a stingy Falcons defense… not a good look!
Sit: Gabe Davis vs. New York Giants (SNF, 10/15 @ 8:20 PM EST)
It’s not that he isn’t putting up numbers but it’s how he’s putting up numbers. He is so TD reliant it’s hard to trust at times. He only has 18 receptions on the year so you take away those TDs we are looking at weak games all around. The Giants aren’t the scariest defense but there are better options than Gabe Davis
Tight Ends: @spechty49
Start: Logan Thomas @ Atlanta Falcons (10/15 @ 1:00 PM EST)
Remember when I said Howell is spreading the love? Well this guy got a lot of it last week. Against a secondary which is bunz against TEs I would expect a similar performance this week.
Start: Jonnu Smith vs. Washington Commanders (10/15 @1:00 PM EST)
Has Ridder found his stride? No probably not. But a lot of that sucking is aimed in Smith's direction. Posting 6+ targets in his last 4 games. Honestly in a 12+ man league that’s amazing for a TE. It is against a tough defense in Washington but in a world where it’s Kittle, Kelce, LaPorta, Andrews and 20 feet of shit, Jonnu Smith is the least smelly of the pile.
Sit: Hunter Henry vs. Las Vegas Raiders (10/15 @ 4:05 PM EST)
Sit any Patriots player honestly. I mean did you watch the game last week? I feel no need to elaborate. As a Patriots fan I hope I’m wrong.
Sit: Dalton Schultz vs. New Orleans Saints (10/15 @1:00 PM EST)
Back to back games with TDs is enticing however I expect Nico Collins and Tank Dell to be more involved this week. New Orleans is a pain against TEs so this may be a good week to leave Dalton on the bench or in most cases the waiver.
Start: Las Vegas Raiders vs. New England Patriots (10/15 @4:05 PM EST)
Ironically this game exists as the lowest hanging fruit imaginable, but we’ll roll with it. The Patriots have the least points for in the entire National Football League through five weeks. An unimaginable fact just a few years ago and yet here we are. The Raiders for their part are 11th in the league in passing yards allowed per game so they are already a tougher defense to air it our against. Pair it with Mac Jones struggling to find any open pockets to throw and then gifting some absolutely awful interceptions (2nd most in the league) whenever he does get one. The Patriots are 2nd worst in the NFL in turnover differential (-8) and have a whopping 3 points scored in their last two games; the Raiders are likely fit to feast this week, especially at home.
Start: Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals (10/15 @4:25 PM EST)
The Rams are actually a middle-of-the-pack squad on the defensive end, but find themselves hosting a Cardinals team that has been struggling quite a bit. Despite having only surrendered 5 turnovers this season, the Cardinals have scored the 6th least points in the NFC so far this season. With James Conner ruled out, the focal point of Arizona’s offense has to be recalibrated while on the road. The Rams won’t get you a million points this week but should provide a strong enough showing to warrant a streaming option this week.
Sit: Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears (10/15 @1:00 PM EST)
On the emphatic SIT side of the house, we lead off with the Minnesota Vikings: a team tied for the second least takeaways in the NFL with just 3 so far this season. That, combined with allowing the 6th most points in the NFC and a road matchup against the reignited Chicago Bears that just torched the Commanders spells disaster for anyone choosing to roll with the Vikes this week.
Sit: Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars (10/15 @1:00 PM EST)
The Jaguars find themselves with a tremendous amount of momentum going into a home matchup after two straight games in London, England. An initially shaky performance by Trevor Lawrence still resulted in a respectable statline and a dub against a super rigid Bills defense last week. Now back in Jacksonville, the Jaguars play host to the Colts; a defense that has surrendered the 4th most points in the AFC. The Colts did just hold Derrick Henry to a 13/43 day last week, but there is no doubt that the Jaguars can offset potential challenges Travis Etienne might face with a passing game that has stars such as Calvin Ridley, Evan Engram and Christian Kirk. To that point, for how strong the Colts can be up front against the run, they are currently allowing the fifth most passing yards per game (262.8) in the league. In a battle for first place in the AFC South, expect the hot Jags to come out swinging this week.
Kickers: @Endydoe Start: Jake Moody @ Cleveland Browns (10/15 @ 1:00 PM EST)
At this point almost every starter on the 49ers offense is rosterable/startable in fantasy football and Moody is no different. The high-powered team already sets up the rookie for plenty of opportunities each game, but in a unique matchup against a tough Browns defense that is allowing just 196.8 yards per game (1st in NFL), we could see the 49ers possibly not completing drives with the same efficiency as the last few weeks and set Moody up for some field goal attempts. Moody, for his part, is also boasting 100% accuracy on field goals and extra points going into the week as well, including a 57-yard make against the Rams in Week 2.
Start: Nick Folk vs. Baltimore (10/15 @ 9:30 AM EST)
One of the more consistent kickers of the last decade, Folk finds himself having a quietly strong season amidst the frustrating Titans offense. Rostered in just 12.6% of ESPN leagues despite entering Week 6 as K4, Folk is currently looking like a confident weekly start, which is a rare commodity for the position in fantasy. Folk, 38, is also perfect on the season in all field goal and extra point attempts thus far. Playing the Ravens at home, who are allowing the 3rd most fantasy points to Kickers this season, Folk is a sneaky pickup this week that could stay in your lineup every week going forward at this current rate. Also, the Patriots should not have traded him.
Start: Tyler Bass vs. New York Giants (SNF, 10/15 @ 8:20 PM EST)
After a quiet game (0/0, 2/2 XP) against the Jaguars in London last week, Bass's fantasy owners should not be discouraged going into a Sunday night showdown against the ailing New York Giants. On the season, Bass has been perfect on all of his field goal and extra point attempts, and with the Bills looking to remain competitive for the top spot in the AFC East, look for Buffalo's offense to keep their foot on the gas at home setting up Bass for plenty of snaps.
Sit: Younghoe Koo vs. Washington Commanders (10/15 @1:00 PM EST)
Koo reminded us last week that he is one of the better kickers in the NFL last week, clutching up for a 37-yarder that put the Falcons in the win column in a tough game against the Texans. Koo can boast that he is recognized as the second most accurate kicker of all time (89.116%) behind only Justin Tucker. However, on the season, Koo has certainly left much to be desired on the fantasy football front. Ranked as K24 on the season, Koo is now rostered in just over half of all ESPN leagues and that number is decreasing every week. A promising matchup against the Commanders exists, (dead last in fantasy points allowed to kickers) but until we see a truly strong game out of Koo, he's staying on benches or waivers.
Sit: Matt Prater @ Los Angeles Rams (10/15 @1:00 PM EST) The 17-year veteran Prater has seen the latter part of his career spent on a volatile offense in Arizona and this year is no different. Ranked K15 in ESPN leagues and with just one field goal attempted in the last two games, Prater does not build a convincing case for your lineup this week. Compounded with the absence of James Conner, it could be even more difficult for the Cardinals offense to get anything going in an away matchup against the Rams. Look elsewhere this week if you're in need of a kicker.