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Week 6 fantasy football matchups preview

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX


Buccaneers


Jameis Winston: Start
Ronald Jones: Beware
Peyton Barber: Beware
Mike Evans: Start
DeSean Jackson: Flex
Chris Godwin: Sleeper
Cameron Brate: Stream
Buccaneers DST: Sit

Jameis Winston is back in the starting role after sitting out the first three games then coming in as a reliever in Week 4. This week, he has the pleasure of facing a porous Falcons defense That's exciting news for Winston and his bevy of pass-catchers, all of whom will find their way into lineups across fantasy leagues this weekend. In theory, this should be good news for the Bucs running game as well but with their inability to open holes along the line, only those with the greatest intestinal fortitude will dare to start either Ronald Jones or Peyton Barber.

Falcons


Matt Ryan: Start
Tevin Coleman: Start
Julio Jones: Start
Calvin Ridley: Start
Mohamed Sanu: Flex
Austin Hooper: Start
Falcons DST: Sit

The Falcons offense disappointed plenty of people last week but this is the definition of a 'get right" game. The Bucs have shown no inclination that they can stop any offense -- let alone one of the more productive outfits in the league. Julio Jones should bounce back from a lackluster Week 5, though plenty of people starting Jones are still waiting for that first touchdown of the season. Perhaps the only Dirty Birds you're avoiding are on the defensive side of the ball where Atlanta has been ungood.

Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX


Panthers


Cam Newton: Start
Christian McCaffrey: Start
Devin Funchess: Beware
Greg Olsen: Start
Panthers DST: Start

Carolina has redefined the term "concentrated offense" with Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey being the only two reliable fantasy options here for weeks. That should change with Greg Olsen expected to be back in action this week. The return of Newton's favorite target is a boon for anyone needing help at tight end but it blows a hole in what little value Devin Funchess was providing. After watching Washington's offense fail to produce much against the Saints last week, fantasy managers can start Carolina's defense with a high degree of confidence.

Seattle Seahawks at Oakland Raiders (London), 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX


Seahawks


Russell Wilson: Start
Chris Carson: Start
Mike Davis: Flex
Doug Baldwin: Beware
Tyler Lockett: Sleeper
Nick Vannett: Stream
Seahawks DST: Stream

The Seahawks took air transport to London for Sunday's game but this team has been a ground-based unit for the past few weeks. That's made Chris Carson and Mike Davis viable fantasy starting options. That should continue this week against a Raiders defense that's allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to the position. One would hope that Russell Wilson and the Seattle passing game could find itself against a bad Oakland secondary but the offensive line might continue to prevent DangeRuss from being great. At this point, it's hard to start Doug Baldwin until he shows signs of being the player we used to know. Nick Vannett has been a deep sleeper ever since Will Dissly went down with a season-ending injury. The Seahawks defense has sleeper sppeal versus the turnover-prone Derek Carr.

Raiders


Derek Carr: Sit
Marshawn Lynch: Flex
Jalen Richard: Deep sleeper
Amari Cooper: Beware
Jordy Nelson: Beware
Jared Cook: Sleeper
Raiders DST: Sit

Derek Carr continues to put up nice passing yardage totals week after week but he still has more interceptions than touchdowns in 2018. That makes him a continually untrustworthy start -- especially against a defense that has made things tough on opposing quarterbacks this season. It also makes it hard to start either of his maddeningly inconsistent receivers. Jared Cook has maintained a consistent target share which makes him a streaming candidate. Marshawn Lynch has been Oakland's most reliable offensive weapon but because the team has frequently trailed in the second half, Beast Mode has generally been missing from the offense in the second half of games. If Oakland can keep it close, Lynch could put up a nice number against his old team.

Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS


Colts


Andrew Luck: Start
Marlon Mack: Beware
Nyheim Hines: Sleeper
Ryan Grant: Beware
Chester Rogers: Deep sleeper
Eric Ebron: Start
Colts DST: Sit

All the concern about Andrew Luck's shoulder should be gone after he's thrown the ball 120 times in the past two weeks. That amount of volume, combined with a bad defense, should assure fantasy managers this week. The question is: who will get the targets? Last week, the answer was Eric Ebron. Ebron has potential again this week while Ryan Grant and Chester Rogers are both sleepers. Keep an eye on Nyheim Hines, who's been more effective as a pass-catcher than a runner over the past several weeks. Marlon Mack is back but he's a cautious start against a strong Jets front after missing several weeks with an injury.

Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX


Cardinals


Josh Rosen: Deep sleeper
David Johnson: Start
Larry Fitzgerald: Beware
Christian Kirk: Sleeper
Ricky Seals-Jones: Stream

There's one of two ways this could go -- either the Vikings defense isn't as good as we thought entering the season and Rosen ends up as a major sleeper this week. Or Minnesota is as good as we thought and this ends up being the cure for what ails them. If Rosen can find decent footing, it elevates the prospects for Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, and Ricky Seals-Jones. There's been a bit of a David Johnson resurgence in the past two weeks as Arizona has found more ways to get him the football. Here's hoping that continues this week.

Vikings


Kirk Cousins: Start
Dalvin Cook: Start
Adam Thielen: Start
Stefon Diggs: Start
Kyle Rudolph: Start
Vikings DST: Start

Cousins has been lighting up the stat sheet to make up for a running game that hasn't produced and a defense that has underperformed. He, along with his top two receivers, deserve starting consideration every week regardless of the matchup. It's nice to see Dalvin Cook back this week. Hopefully he can stay healthy against one of the NFL's shakier run defenses. Minnesota's defense hasn't been what we wanted it to be but they should be able to get pressure on Josh Rosen and could force him into turnovers.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS


Steelers


Ben Roethlisberger: Start
James Conner: Start
Antonio Brown: Start
JuJu Smith-Schuster: Start
Vance McDonald: Stream
Steelers DST: Sit

If you're of the "fade Big Ben on the road" persuasion, then you can probably ignore this advice. For the rest of you, the Bengals defense has struggled against opposing passing games. Antonio Brown has been a touchdown machine, even if he hasn't had a big yardage game. JuJu Smith-Schuster has underwhelmed the past couple of weeks but could get back on track this week. Our constant search for productive tight ends has us going back to the well with Vance McDonald. Cincinnati hasn't been great against the run, either. Just in case you were concerned about starting James Conner this week. Either way, we're still staying away from the Steelers defense.

Bengals


Andy Dalton: Start
Joe Mixon: Start
A.J. Green: Start
Tyler Boyd: Flex
C.J. Uzomah: Stream
Bengals DST: Sig

This looks like a Good Andy Week! Dalton has been up-and-down this season but the Steelers secondary is a good salve for wounded egos. You were starting A.J. Green anyway but now Boyd is on the radar to possibly have a big game this week. Joe Mixon should continue to dominate the touches from the running back spot. Speaking of going back to the well on tight ends ... C.J. Uzomah is here again. You can avoid the Bengals defense, though.

Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS


Chargers


Philip Rivers: Beware
Melvin Gordon: Start
Austin Ekeler: Flex
Keenan Allen: Start
Mike Williams: Sleeper
Antonio Gates: Sit
Chargers DST: Beware

Philip Rivers is quietly in the midst of a career year but he might find tough sledding against a revamped Browns defense that has given nearly everyone problems. That could be troublesome for the duo of Keenan Allen (who has underwhelmed in 2018) and Mike Williams. It certainly makes Antonio Gates a no-go for fantasy managers. Melvin Gordon's volume makes him tough to sit against any defense while Austin Ekeler has been a Swiss army knife that has found ways to produce in nearly any circumstance. The Chargers defense hasn't been too impressive but rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield still has shown a tendency to make the occasional bad decision throwing the football.

Browns


Baker Mayfield: Stream
Carlos Hyde: Flex
Duke Johnson: Sit
Jarvis Landry: Flex
Antonio Callaway: Sleeper
David Njoku: Sleeper Browns DST: Stream

Baker Mayfield has been fun to watch but he does have a tendency to get greedy and make ill-advised throws. That's bad news against a Chargers secondary that can make plays. Carlos Hyde has been a volume monster even if he's been less than efficient running the football. Still, he's prevented Duke Johnson or Nick Chubb from seeing any real work. Jarvis Landry will always get his targets but this week could make Antonio Callaway a sneaky play -- especially in best ball or DFS formats. David Njoku has seen a bump in production since Mayfield took over as the starter. This Browns defense is earning its stripe weekly and could hound the Chargers into some sacks and giveaways.

Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS


Bills


Josh Allen: Sit
LeSean McCoy: Sleeper
Chris Ivory: Deep sleeper
Kelvin Benjamin: Sit
Zay Jones: Sit
Charles Clay: Sit
Bills DST: Sit

Not much has changed with the Bills. There haven't been a lot of startable options in this offense all season. That's not going to be much different this week. We can hold out hope that Buffalo stays in this contest enough to give LeSean McCoy a good number of touches. Or better yet, they feature him in the passing game. The Bills defense has been better than expected but not good enough that you're starting them over a lot of other defenses.

Texans


Deshaun Watson: Start
Lamar Miller: Beware
Alfred Blue: Deep sleeper
DeAndre Hopkins: Start
Will Fuller: Beware
Keke Coutee: Sleeper
Ryan Griffin: Deep sleeper
Texans DST: Start

There are a lot of things about this matchup that are worrisome but Watson has thrown the ball well since Week 1, which should alleviate a lot of those concerns. Buffalo's ability to lockdown outside receivers could impact Will Fuller but may not have the same effect on Keke Coutee. Don't concern yourself with Nuk Hopkins, who generally finds a way to succeed in most situations. The running game hasn't done enough to mandate starting either Miller or Blue this week. Ryan Griffin saw a few targets last week and could be a deep sleeper if you are really hurting at tight end. Josh Allen's penchant for head-scratching throws means the underperforming Texans defense could be worth a start this week.

Chicago Bears at Miami Dolphins, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX


Bears


Mitchell Trubisky: Beware
Jordan Howard: Start
Tarik Cohen: Sleeper
Allen Robinson: Beware
Taylor Gabriel: Beware
Trey Burton: Start
Bears DST: Start

Watching the Bears offense blow up against the Bucs a couple of weeks ago sure was fun, wasn't it? That's not going to happen this week. Miami's secondary is quite a bit better than that. As such, Mitchell Trubisky could have a hard fall back to reality ... and he might be taking Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel with him. You have reason to be concerned about Trey Burton as well, but it's wise to keep the faith here. The Dolphins have been abysmal against running backs, which is great news for Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen this week. By now, you know to start the Bears defense each and every week.

Dolphins


Ryan Tannehill: Sit
Kenyan Drake: Sit
Frank Gore: Sit
Kenny Stills: Beware
Albert Wilson: Sit
Dolphins DST: Stream

Miami has one of the least productive offenses in the league and this week doesn't offer much hope against a Bears defense that has turned things up several notches with the addition of Khalil Mack. Kenyan Drake's usage has been too inconsistent to consider starting and head coach Adam Gase has said that Frank Gore will continue to work in the team's backfield rotation. Miami's passing game has been equally muddy and there's no reason to consider any of their receivers. If you're looking to stream a defense, you can consider the 'Fins against a generally lackluster Trubisky.

Los Angeles Rams at Denver Broncos, 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX


Rams


Jared Goff: Start
Todd Gurley: Start
Brandin Cooks: Start
Cooper Kupp: Start
Robert Woods: Start
Gerald Everett: Sit
Rams DST: Start

The Rams offense is far too hot right now to let a little potential snow slow them down. Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp appear to be set to play this week after suffering concussions in Week 5. Los Angeles has talked about getting their tight ends more involved but neither Everett nor Tyler Higbee are startable until we see evidence of that. The Rams run defense hasn't been great but the front seven should be able to harass Case Keenum into making mistakes.

Broncos


Case Keenum: Sit
Philip Lindsay: Start
Royce Freeman: Sleeper
Emmanuel Sanders: Flex
Demaryius Thomas: Beware
Courtland Sutton: Deep sleeper
Jeff Heuerman: Stream
Broncos DST: Beware

Keenum is on an increasingly short leash and isn't worth starting this week against the Rams. L.A.'s underwhelming run defense should give some confidence in starting Lindsay and it makes Freeman a sleeper pick this week. Emmanuel Sanders has been the most consistent of the receivers but Thomas and Sutton could see some targets -- especially if this game gets to garbage time. Heuerman surprised plenty of people two weeks ago and is worth a look in deeper leagues. The Rams have struggled to cover tight ends this season. The Broncos defense was gashed by the Jets last week. Expect more of the same this week.

Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS


Ravens


Joe Flacco: Sit
Alex Collins: Sit
Javorius Allen: Sit
John Brown: Flex
Michael Crabtree: Sit
Willie Snead: Sit
Mark Andrews: Beware
Nick Boyle: Beware
Ravens DST: Start

Don't expect a lot of offensive production in this game. The Titans have been a good defensive team this year, which should limit the opportunities of the Ravens passing game. Alex Collins continues to frustrate while Buck Allen continues to underperform. Tennessee should keep both of those players in check. The bright fantasy hope in this one rests with Baltimore's defense against Tennessee's moribund offense.

Titans


Marcus Mariota: Sit
Dion Lewis: Sleeper
Derrick Henry: Beware
Corey Davis: Beware
Taywan Taylor: Sit
Titans DST: Stream

Did I mention that the Titans offense isn't great? It's averaged fewer than 200 yards per game and has more giveaways than touchdowns. Marcus Mariota and his receivers are untrustworthy -- especially against a good Ravens defense. Dion Lewis has disappointed but his ability as an outlet receiver always gives him a chance for added touches. Derrick Henry, by contrast, is hard to start because of his one-dimensional use. Tennessee's defense could be worth a stream if you're searching on the waiver wire.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS


Jaguars


Blake Bortles: Beware
T.J. Yeldon: Flex
Dede Westbrook: Beware
Keelan Cole: Beware
Donte Moncrief: Beware
Niles Paul: Deep sleeper
Jaguars DST: Start

Do you want to ride the Bortles coaster this week? No. No you don't. T.J. Yeldon has been the only consistent fantasy performer in this lineup -- mostly because Leonard Fournette can't stay healthy. We keep waiting for one Jaguars receiver to emerge and it just hasn't happened. If you enjoy spinning that roulette wheel, be my guest. Otherwise, look elsewhere for receiver help. With Austin Seferian-Jenkins out of action, Niles Paul steps in as a deep sleeper but shouldn't be your first choice for a tight end this week. You're starting the Jaguars defense. No questions asked.

Cowboys


Dak Prescott: Sit
Ezekiel Elliott: Start
Cole Beasley: Sit
Allen Hurns: Sit
Geoff Swaim: Sit
Cowboys DST: Stream

The Cowboys offense has been a fantasy wasteland this year outside of Ezekiel Elliott. It's really that simple. There's no one here besides Zeke that you're starting. There's really no one here besides Zeke that should legitimately be on your roster. We can make an exception for the Cowboys defense, which has held its own and is likely to get some sacks and turnovers against Bortles this week.

Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC


Chiefs


Patrick Mahomes: Start
Kareem Hunt: Start
Tyreek Hill: Start
Sammy Watkins: Flex
Travis Kelce: Start
Chiefs DST: Sit

Are you really sitting any of the Chiefs main skill position players? No. You're not. Last year, this offense shocked the Patriots and announced the arrival of Kareem Hunt. This year, they're arguably the hottest offense in the league with a top-tier player at each position. Even Sammy Watkins has become a viable option this season. Then there's the defense. You're not starting them.

Patriots


Tom Brady: Start
James White: Start
Sony Michel: Start
Julian Edelman: Start
Josh Gordon: Flex
Rob Gronkoswki: Start
Patriots DST: Beware

All season long, we've advised starting just about anyone you have going against the Chiefs defense. That goes double when you're talking about an offense as productive as New England's. With Julian Edelman back, Tom Brady looks like the player we've come to know over the years. This could be the week Josh Gordon finally has his breakout and hopefully we start to see Rob Gronkowski get more involved as well. As for the Pats defense ... you might want to give them the week off.

San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers, 8:15 p.m. ET, Mon., ESPN


49ers


C.J. Beathard: Sit
Alfred Morris: Sleeper
Kyle Juszczyk: Deep sleeper
Pierre Garcon: Beware
Marquise Goodwin: Sleeper
George Kittle: Stream
49ers DST: Sit

The news just keeps getting worse for the Niners offense, which could be missing three receivers with injuries this week. On paper, the matchup is very favorable for Alfred Morris but there's always the concern that if this game gets away from San Francisco, Morris is phased out of the game plan in favor of Juszczyk in the passing game. George Kittle has maintained a consistent floor even with Beathard and should be started in most leagues.

Packers


Aaron Rodgers: Start
Aaron Jones: Flex
Jamaal Williams: Sleeper
Davante Adams: Start
Geronimo Allison: Flex
Jimmy Graham: Start
Packers DST: Stream

Aaron Rodgers reportedly had a setback with his knee in practice but it appears that all should be well by Monday night. Aaron Jones will hopefully get the bulk of the touches in the backfield but Jamaal Williams will still see snaps. Geronimo Allison could be back for this on but any of the Packers receivers are worth starting in this one. Maybe Jimmy Graham can do things this week as well? Consider streaming the Packers defense against C.J. Beathard.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a man who is more horse than a man. Or is he more man than a horse? Tell him about your identity crises via Twitter @MarcasG. If you read all of that, congrats. Follow him on Facebook, and Instagram.

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