COVID is throwing a curveball to fantasy owners around the country with game cancellation and schedules shifting. Here are 3 players to start and 3 players to sit for the upcoming week of NFL Fantasy.
Start #1: David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears
Montgomery scared a lot of people off of drafting him after his inconsistent performance throughout last season. However, Montgomery and the Bears offensive line have taken great strides, which has resulted in great production from Montgomery. Last week, Montgomery finished with just 59 scrimmage yards and a touchdown to go along with 7 receptions.
Montgomery will face the Panthers, who have struggled against opposing running backs since the first week of the season. The Carolina front 7 has given up 8 touchdowns to running backs through 5 games. They have also given up 100 or more rushing yards to opposing running backs in 4 out of the 5 games. The Panthers announced this week that star defensive tackle Kawann Short would be missing the remainder of the season. That adds a gaping whole to an already shaky Panthers defensive line. Look for Montgomery to continue to build on his big performances with a solid outing against Carolina.
Start #2: Chase Claypool, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
The former Notre Dame wideout had one of the best performances by a receiver this season in only his 4th career game. Claypool torched the Philadelphia Eagles defense for 7 receptions, 110 yards, and 3 touchdowns last Sunday. Many fantasy owners were quick to point out that this was an outlier of epic proportions compared to Claypool’s first 3 games. However, given the matchup and circumstances, Claypool could be poised to produce big numbers again in Week 6.
First, Claypool’s matchup for Week 6: a divisional game against the Cleveland Browns. This provides an enticing matchup for Claypool as the Browns have struggled against receivers all season long. They have given up 8 touchdowns through 6 games to opposing receivers. In Week 4, the Browns secondary got scorched by the Cowboys. They gave up 26 receptions, 319 yards, and 3 touchdowns to Dak Prescott and company. The Steelers offensive trio of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, fellow receiver Juju Smith-Schuster, and Claypool should be able to replicate a similar amount of success. Steelers receiver Diontae Johnson was also ruled out for Sunday’s game, creating even more volume for Claypool.
Start #3: Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns
While Landry is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Steelers, he will be able to put up big numbers if he suits up.
While the Browns have had their fair share of struggles defending the pass to start the season, so have their opponents, the Steelers. In 3 of the Steeler’s first 4 games, the Steelers gave up 2 touchdowns to opposing receivers. They have also given up at least 200 receiving yards in 3 of 4 games as well. The opportunity is there for Landry and company to capitalize. Landry could find himself assuming WR1 volume as star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is questionable with an illness. Even if Beckham Jr. suits up, Landry still is a strong play against a shaky Steelers secondary.
Sit #1: Robby Anderson, WR, Carolina Panthers
This move requires guts when factoring in Anderson’s performance thus far. Since coming over from the Jets this past offseason, Anderson has developed into a legit WR1 alongside D.J Moore in Carolina. In all of his games this season, he is yet to score below 10 fantasy points in any game. However, that stands to change this weekend with a matchup against the Chicago Bears.
The Bears have been well above average against the pass this season. In 5 games, they have only allowed 1 touchdown to an opposing receiver. They have never allowed more than 205 receiving yards in any one game either. Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will struggle with the pressure brought by the front 7 of Chicago, which will cause a decrease in efficiency for all Panthers receivers. Expect Anderson to have a down week against a stingy Bears secondary.
Sit #2: Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings
This is a controversial decision, but the numbers suggest that Mattison will not have the week he is expected to have.
Mattison finds himself in the RB1 spot after star Vikings running back Dalvin Cook was ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Falcons. With Cook out, Mattison will assume a pretty significant workload and a solid amount of touches. However, the Viking’s gameplan might steer away from Mattison based on their opponent. The Falcons have been absolutely atrocious against the pass, ranking dead last in the league in nearly every metric. The Vikings will most likely opt to use Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, and rookie wideout Justin Jefferson as their main offense sources come Sunday. While the Vikings and head coach Mike Zimmer are more traditionally a run-based team, the fact that the Falcons are so horrible against the pass may work against Mattison’s fantasy owners.
Sit #3: T.Y Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
On the surface, Hilton looks like a solid play, given the situation surrounding him in Indy. Tight end Mo-Alie Cox and rookie receiver Michael Pittman Jr. are both out after suffering from various injuries. The only notable active pass catchers for the Colts this Sunday are Hilton, wide receiver Zach Pascal, and tight end Trey Burton.
The Colts matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The Bengals have been pretty solid against the pass-through 5 games. They only allowed one touchdown per game on average to opposing receivers and have allowed less than 10 receptions in 3 of the 5 games they have played so far this season. Quarterback Phillip Rivers has also struggled so far this season with 4 touchdowns and 5 interceptions to start the season. Rivers inaccuracy is a concern for Hilton owners going into an already tough matchup. The Bengals run defense is much more susceptible to attack, and the Colts will likely turn to the backfield tandem of Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines to lead the offense come Sunday.