Now that we are into the part of the season where bye weeks wreak havoc on teams, fantasy football managers will be facing even more difficult lineup decisions. Let’s take a look at our Week 6 WR start ’em and sit ’em plays.
Week 6 Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Wide Receivers
Which wide receivers are starts heading into Week 6?
Start ‘Em | Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. SEA)
The Steelers’ sophomore wide receiver is coming off his best game of the season. Chase Claypool caught 5 of 6 targets for 130 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers’ victory over the Broncos in Week 5. Is this point chasing? Kind of, but it’s worth it.
Claypool has improved in every game this season. His receiving totals went from 45 to 70, 96, and 130. Claypool also only played 55% of the snaps last week, as he typically isn’t on the field in two-receiver sets. That’s all about to change with JuJu Smith-Schuster now out for the season with a dislocated shoulder.
Claypool was extremely efficient on limited volume as a rookie. Now, he may very well get the volume to go along with the efficiency. In Week 3, Claypool saw 15 targets operating as the WR2 without Diontae Johnson. That’s within his range of outcomes every week going forward.
The Seahawks have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Last week, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp combined for 242 receiving yards. This is a great spot for Claypool against a very beatable defense.
Start ‘Em | Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals (at CLE)
We are digging a little deeper with the second start ’em this week. Christian Kirk’s hot start seems like a distant memory, and A.J. Green was always going to be a mirage. Much like Agent Smith from the Matrix, Rondale Moore is inevitable. I’m putting my money on it happening this week.
There are several factors favoring Moore this week. First, his snap share has risen each of the past two weeks. He was up to 48% in Week 5, his highest of the season. Second, last week, Moore ran more routes than Kirk for the first time all season. And third, with Maxx Williams done for the season, the Cardinals are likely to replace their tight end with more four-receiver sets. That means more opportunities for Moore.
The Browns just let Justin Herbert throw for 398 yards and 4 touchdowns against them. This defense is vulnerable against good offenses, and the Cardinals have one of the league’s best. Yes, Kyler Murray is coming off his worst game of the season. But he’s probably not going to play that poorly in consecutive weeks. Fire up Moore as your WR3/flex.
Week 6 Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Wide Receivers
These wide receivers should be left on your bench in Week 6.
Sit ‘Em | Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (@ PIT)
New year, same Tyler Lockett. The single most boom-or-bust wide receiver over the past two seasons is trending to be that guy once again. Lockett has posted two elite WR1 performances and followed them up with three duds.
The Steelers should present a favorable matchup as they allow the second-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Unfortunately, the Seahawks underwent a radical offensive change last week with the loss of Russell Wilson.
A guy like DK Metcalf does not need precision passing or timing routes to catch the ball. Lockett does, as he is far more reliant on chemistry with his quarterback. Geno Smith is not exactly a “go through his progressions” type of quarterback. He’s going to throw to his primary read more often than not. And his primary read is going to be Metcalf.
Unfortunately for Lockett managers, Metcalf provides Smith with much more room for error. Smith will lean on Metcalf to bail him out ,and he will do so at the expense of Lockett.
Over the next 4-8 weeks that Wilson is out, I’m sure Lockett will have a big game or two. However, the duds are going to outnumber the smashes. Lockett is more a boom-or-bust WR3 and someone I will be fading for the foreseeable future unless Smith is able to prove me wrong. I hope he does, but I’m not starting Lockett this week if I can avoid it.
Sit ‘Em | Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (at DET)
To be perfectly honest, I struggled to find a second wide receiver I was interested in sitting. It’s a strange week with a number of fantasy-relevant WRs either hurt or on a bye. Ultimately, I settled on Tyler Boyd because of his splits with and without Tee Higgins.
Boyd is averaging 17.2 PPR fantasy points per game without Higgins in the lineup, but just 11 when Higgins plays. There’s a clear hierarchy in Cincinnati. Ja’Marr Chase is the alpha WR1 because he is amazing at football. Higgins is the safe, reliable big target opposite Chase. Boyd is sadly an afterthought when compared to Chase and Higgins.
Surprisingly, the Lions haven’t been terrible defensively. They’re allowing the 10th-fewest fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Combine the Lions’ competency defending the pass with Boyd’s status as a distant third option behind Chase and Higgins, and he is someone fantasy managers do not need to insert into their Week 6 lineups.