Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:
Start – Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Cleveland
Ordinarily after a four-game suspension I would consider sitting a player, especially a quarterback. He has been sitting on the sidelines for so long, you just don’t know what type of timing he is going to have with his receivers.
However, Roethlisberger had the advantage of his bye week, giving him two full weeks to work with his receivers and rediscover their rapport. He also draws a Browns defense that has allowed eight touchdowns versus just three interceptions. Mike Wallace and company have anxiously been anticipating Roethlisberger’s return to the lineup, and while the team may ease him back in (meaning a few extra carries for Rashard Mendenhall), it’s just too good of a situation to pass up.
Other quarterbacks to start:
- Eli Manning – New York Giants – vs. Detroit
- Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – at New England
Sit – Donovan McNabb – Washington Redskins – vs. Indianapolis
Coming off a game that saw McNabb throw for 357 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT against the Green Bay Packers, it’s easy to be inclined to include him in your starting lineup this week in one quarterback formats. However, as many teams have proven this year already, in order to compete with the Colts you have to take it to them on the ground.
In their two loses, the Colts have allowed over 250 rushing yards to the Texans and over 150 rushing yards to the Jaguars. Obviously Ryan Torain is not up to the status of Arian Foster or Maurice Jones-Drew (or Ahmad Bradshaw for that matter, who averaged 5.2 yards per carry despite not being featured by the Giants), but I would expect the Redskins to try and control the clock. That will likely mean fewer opportunities for McNabb and company to excel.
Other quarterbacks to sit:
- Mark Sanchez – New York Jets – vs. Denver
- Kevin Kolb – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Atlanta
Start – Felix Jones – Dallas Cowboys – at Minnesota
After seeing LaDanian Tomlinson and company break off 155 yards on the ground against the Vikings in Week 5, they no longer seem so opposing, do they? Obviously one game should not make your decision, but his play alone has made him a palatable option in all formats.
There has been talk of the Cowboys expanding his role and we saw it in full force in Week 5. He had 105 yards on 15 carries, while also adding four receptions for 17 yards. It’s clear that he has overtaken the lead back role over Marion Barber. Even with a tougher matchup, he’s worth using.
Start – Michael Bush – Oakland Raiders – at San Francisco
With Darren McFadden likely missing another week of action with a hamstring injury, Bush is primed to again be the focal point of the Raiders offense. He had 104 yards and a touchdown in Week 5 and gets a 49ers defense ranking in the middle of the pack (allowing 111.4 rushing yards per game).
Given his performance in Week 5 and the fact that the team has few other options to turn to, he’s a solid play this week.
Other running backs to start:
- Mike Tolbert/Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers – at St. Louis
Sit – Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks – at Chicago
In his first game as the lead back for the Seahawks, Lynch draws a tough opponent. The Bears are the third best rush defense in the league, allowing just 78.6 rushing yards per game. It’s just too big of a risk, outside of using him as a FLEX option.
Sit – Peyton Hillis – Cleveland Browns – at Pittsburgh
Even if he was healthy, Hillis would be a tough play this week. However, he’s battling a quad injury and faces the toughest rushing defense in the league. The Steelers are allowing just 62.2 rushing yards per game and are one of just two teams who have not yet allowed a run of at least 20 yards.
Just to make matters worse, both Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme are likely out for Week 6, meaning rookie Colt McCoy is going to be under center. Talk about allowing the Steelers to stack the box without a threat of being beat deep.
Other running backs to sit:
- BenJarvus Green-Ellis – New England Patriots – vs. Baltimore
- Carnell Williams/LaGarrette Blount – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. New Orleans
Wide Receivers (Two Wide Receiver Formats):
Start – Percy Harvin – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Dallas Cowboys
The presence of Randy Moss, coupled with him potentially finally getting healthy, has seemingly done wonders for Harvin. With the Jets unable to focus on him, Harvin had five receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns. You know that could continue to be the trend, and with Brett Favre at the helm, you know he’s going to try to get the ball downfield.
Other wide receivers to start:
- Johnny Knox – Chicago Bears – vs. Seattle
- Danny Amendola – St. Louis Rams – vs. San Diego
Sit – Santonio Holmes – New York Jets – at Denver
In his first game with the Jets Holmes played a minor role in the offense, with three catches for 41 yards (despite being targeted 9 times). It’s odd to see the Jets throw the ball 44 times, and I would expect that number to decrease significantly next week. With Holmes still finding his way, Braylon Edwards is the better option at wide receiver.
Other receivers to sit:
- Michael Crabtree – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Oakland
- Donald Driver – Green Bay Packers – vs. Miami
Wide Receivers (Three Wide Receiver Formats):
Start – Devin Hester – Chicago Bears – vs. Seattle
With Jay Cutler back in the lineup, all of Chicago’s receivers become better plays, especially against a Seahawks defense that has allowed 302.0 passing yards per game. While Johnny Knox is likely the better option, there should be plenty of balls to go around this week.
Other receivers to start:
- Davone Bess – Miami Dolphins – at Green Bay
Sit – Mike Sims-Walker – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Tennessee
Does anyone trust him at this point? He has been so unpredictable this season, even in a positive matchup it would be tough to trust him. Rumors have started circulating that the Jaguars are actually shopping him, and with just one game of more then 46 yards, how can he be in your lineup?
Other receivers to sit:
- Eddie Royal/Jabar Gaffney – Denver Broncos – vs. New York Jets
What are your thoughts on these decisions? Who would you start? Who would you sit?
Make sure to check out the rest of our Week 6 Rankings: