Week 6 Fantasy Football: Sit or Start

In this first edition of Sit or Start, the agenda is to point out those players worth starting above others based upon matchup and past performances.  It will not be exhaustive but instead will cover players who are considered undeniable starts that are primed to produce.



Big Ben will be just fine this week, even if Mendenhall re-emerges as a viable contributor to the offense.

  • Ben Roethlisberger-With two elite wide receivers, a revamped running game, and a weak opposing defense, Roethlisberger is situated for a big game and is a must start.
  • Matt Ryan – Has there been a biggest fantasy surprise than Ryan? He has reached must start status for almost every week and with a matchup against the Raiders who have given up huge games to both Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning recently, Ryan should do the same.
  • Peyton Manning – Having seen what Manning has done through the air and what San Diego has been allowing through the air, this matchup should be a great one for Manning.  Expect a large yardage total and a few touchdowns.
  • BELOW THE RADAR GUYS – Both Christian Ponder and Matt Schaub are safe plays this week that could have elevated value.  Ponder is playing the Redskins pass defense which has been underwhelming and Schaub is facing a Packer defense that could be overcome by a strong running game and powerful play-action passing.  Expect both to exceed expectations.


  • Tony Romo – After a great first game, Romo hasn’t exceeded HALF the amount of points of that outing.  His offensive line is a mess, his receivers are inconsistent, and the running game is stagnant as well.  In addition they are facing a talented and well-schemed Ravens defense that should pick him apart.  Avoid him at all costs.
  • Matthew Stafford – While he has been able to put up large yardage amounts, Stafford has had trouble in finding the end zone and trouble being consistent.  With a matchup against a strong Eagles secondary it would make sense that Stafford will have trouble moving the ball down the field and will likely throw multiple interceptions.
  • NOTE OF CAUTION: Both Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers face tough defenses this week (San Francisco and Houston respectively) and while they are both must start quarterbacks they could both have underwhelming games.  Be warned.

Running Backs


  • Trent Richardson – He has moved into a must start status with his ability to consistently score as well as get a large amount of touches.  He might be the variable that keeps the Browns in the game against Cincinnati.
  • Rashard Mendenhall – With a matchup against the lowly Titans, Mendenhall should get a lot of carries (especially in the 2nd half if the Steelers are up big) and will be a big part of the Steelers game plan.
  • Darren McFadden – While he has been disappointing so far, McFadden is still very talented and the Falcons are a team that has given up plenty of rushing yards so far.  As long as the Raiders don’t fall into too big a hole early, McFadden should have a great opportunity to put up a big day.
  • UNDER THE RADAR: Both Doug Martin and BenJarvus Green-Ellis have been underwhelming recently but both will have the opportunity and touches to have better days this week.


Steven Jackson has only scored more than 6 rushing touchdowns twice in his career: 2005 (8) and 2006 (13).

  • Stephen Jackson – While it’s hard to sit a player with such a strong track record, Jackson hasn’t scored a touchdown yet and has yet to top eighty yards rushing.  Also, the Dolphins are top five in the league against the rush.  Start Jackson with extreme caution.
  • Chris Johnson – He has registered only one 100 yard game and that will not change against the Steelers.
  • Ahmad Bradshaw – He just had a 200 yard game last week but with a matchup against the 49ers he will be lucky to get 75 yards.  Start him only if desperate.
  • CAUTION: Jamaal Charles, and the Bills backs (Spiller and Jackson) have tough matchups this week against a strong Tampa run defense and a strong Cardinals defense.  All three could have depressing outings.

Wide Receivers


  • Percy Harvin – He’s been explosive this season and has scored on returns, receiving, and even rushing.  Against a weak Washington secondary Harvin should have a field day.
  • Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker – Having seen what New Orleans did to the Charger pass defense last week, both Thomas and Decker should have big games.  Thomas should go over 100 yards once again and should score as long as he can avoid fumbling down field.  Decker has been registering touchdowns lately and that should continue.
  • Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown – The Titans aren’t very good and both Wallace and Brown should be able to find space in the secondary all night.
  • Julio Jones and Roddy White – Both these guys should go over 100 yards against the Raiders this week.




  • Jordy Nelson – His performance has been uneven so far this year due to a poor Packer offensive line that limits Rodgers ability to throw deep and Greg Jennings has been often injured which makes Nelson the main target of the defense.  Against a strong Houston defense Nelson could end up with another 29 yard outing like last week.
  • Torrey Smith – The Dallas secondary is possibly the strongest unit on the team and they should be able to keep Smith and his deep threat talent in check.  Smith’s yardage will likely be limited.
  • Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker – While its hard to sit these guys it should be mentioned that the Seattle defense has been excellent and their secondary is strong.  Either Welker or Lloyd could be neutralized.  Be warned.

Tight Ends


  • Heath Miller – Miller has scored almost every week and Ben Roethlisberger has made a point of making him a focal point of the offense.  Miller is a threat to score every time out.

The 36-year-old tight end was projected to lose a step this season. He’s got 39 catches for 388 yards and 4 touchdowns thus far.

  • Tony Gonzalez – With Matt Ryan throwing him the ball and with a matchup against a weak Raiders defense, Gonzalez should be amongst the top tight end scorers again this week.  Currently he is the top scoring tight end in fantasy.
  • Kyle Rudolph – Rudolph has emerged on the scene and has had some great games including a multiple touchdown outing.  With a matchup against the weak Redskins pass defense Rudolph should be a viable red zone threat again this week.


  • Jermichael Finley – He has been disappointing except for one outing and with a matchup against the tough Texans defense there may be little action for Finley this week.
  • Martellus Bennett – After a hot start for the Giants, Bennett has fallen back to average and with a visit to San Francisco there is little hope for a big game.
  • Antonio Gates – He has been the epitome of the elite fantasy tight end for years but it looks like age and injury has caught up with him.  While it’s hard to sit Gates in theory, the production just hasn’t been there.  His upside is disappearing.



  • Jason Hanson – He’s been super consistent thus far and with a matchup against a tough Eagles defense, he might be the main point producer for the Lions.
  • Blair Walsh – He has emerged as one of the better fantasy kickers this year and with their matchup against the Redskins, the Vikings could be in store for a high scoring game with means a lot of kicking.
  • Greg Zuerlien – He has been a great surprise as a rookie kicker this year and with a matchup against a good Miami defense Zuerlien will be counted upon to make kicks.


  • Sebastian Janikowski – He has been one of the better fantasy kickers in the past, but with a struggling offense he probably won’t get many opportunities.



The Cards’ defense just won’t stop. They are tied for third in the NFL in takeaways with 11 through 5 games.

  • Arizona – The Cardinals defense has been strong and with a fledgling Bills offense in town, the Cardinals should be able to keep them in check.
  • Pittsburgh – The Titans have had only one big offensive outing against a terrible Lions secondary and the Steelers are nowhere as weak as that unit.  Expect the Steelers D to smother the Titans.


  • New York Giants – While they have been able to get after the quarterback easily, the 49ers have a great offensive line and should be able to contain the strongest unit of the Giants D.  The Giants secondary is not great and the 49ers will be able to exploit it.
  • Seattle – The Seahawks defense has been excellent, but the Patriots will find a way to score and could negate any positives made by the defense.

This post was written by Eric Watson, a newcomer to The Farm Club and fantasy football geek. He has his own blog as well, named The Fantasy Football Exchange. Leave him some comments if you enjoyed the piece as much as we did. 

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