Each week there are some obvious starts and sits in fantasy football. Other decisions are not quite so simple. With that in mind, I offer up some not-so-obvious picks with my weekly Studs, Duds & Sleepers. Here are this week’s picks.
QB: Kyler Murray (ARI) at SEA: Murray has produced some mixed results through the first five weeks of the season, but he’s still QB10 on the year and this week’s matchup vs. the Seahawks’ young defense will be much more friendly than the Eagles’ unit he faced a week ago. Seattle has allowed the ninth most fantasy points to QB’s and those numbers are even with one of the games being Trey Lance’s injury game and another was vs. Andy Dalton last week and Taysom Hill’s points are not factored into the ranking.
RB: Kenneth Walker III (SEA) vs. ARI: Giddy up time for fantasy managers that have been sitting on Walker. With Rashaad Penny out of the season, look for the rookie to explode into a prominent role in one of the NFL’s most surprising offenses early on. Arizona has seen four RB’s reach 12 PPR points in dive games and that should be considered Walker’s floor this week.
WR: Mike Williams (LAC) vs. DEN: With Keenan Allen looking dicey to play again this week, Williams is sneaking into WR1 range and projects inside my top 12 this week at receiver vs. a Broncos’ team riddled with injuries. The matchup doesn’t look great on paper, but I am banking on projected target volume here.
TE Taysom Hill (NO) vs. CIN: As long as Andy Dalton is the quarterback Hill is going to be a thing and in most leagues, he’s a tight end, which makes it even easier to play him given the lackluster production most fantasy managers are seeing at the position. He’s the Saints’ best option in the red zone for goal line touches and has the big-play ability to hit on long scores.
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QB: Matt Ryan (IND) vs. JCK: It’s hard to shake last Thursday night. He’s not rosterable in most 1QB leagues right now, but even in two-quarterback setups the Jags have only allowed five passing touchdowns all year and Ryan has nothing to offer on the ground he’s hard to endorse.
RB: Najee Harris (PIT) vs. TB: Harris is showing up one everyone’s dud list with some of the recent trends and with the Bucs on tap he’s a fringe RB2 play at best for me in Week 6. Undrafted rookie Jaylen Warren is seeing an increased role in the offense and frankly he’s been outplaying Harris. Warren has twice as many avoided tackles per carry, a higher first-down rate and higher yards after contract per carry figure per PFF.
WR: Elijah Moore (NYJ) at GB: I was hoping for an uptick in production for Moore once Zach Wilson returned under center, but it didn’t happen last week when Moore pulled in just one catch on four targets. Granted the Jets were in full run mode once they opened up the lead over Miami, but Moore will need to play his way into any lineup where he’s on my roster.
TE: Kyle Pitts (ATL) vs. SF: After being a limited participant in practice on Wednesday, Pitts has a shot to return to action in Week 6. However, even if he’s back fantasy managers need to temper expectations. The 49ers haven’t allowed a TE to score all year and you have to go back to Week 10 of last season to find the last TE to get a TD against them. Collectively the position has yet to total 100 receiving yards vs. them all season.
QB: Matthew Stafford (LAR) vs. CAR: There hasn’t been much to get excited about the Rams, especially the passing attack, in recent weeks. A matchup vs. Carolina could be just what the doctor ordered though. The Panthers just canned their head coach and defensive coordinator and with a 11-point spread favoring the home team it feels like a get-healthy spot for LA.
RB: Brian Robinson (WAS) at CHI: Continuing to find players to pick on the Bears with is something I will look to continue to exploit in fantasy. Robinson fits the bill this week. With one game back in the mix he’s primed to take a step forward vs. a Bears’ D that has watched a RB get 18 PPR points or more in four straight weeks. Robinson should see more than the nine touches he did a week ago, especially if the Commanders can play from ahead.
WR: Devin Duvernay (BAL) at NYG: With Rashod Bateman dealing with a foot injury Duvernay saw an expanded role last week and even if Bateman is back he’s still going to have enough potential to stay in the flex conversation with four teams on byes. Six different wideouts have hit 12 PPR points vs. the Giants in 2022.
TE: Evan Engram (JCK) at IND: Engram had a big day vs. Indy in Week 2 (7/46) and was heavily involved last week as he pulled in six of 10 targets for 69 yards. He’s a sneaky play that still on the waiver wire in more leagues than he should be.
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