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 – D.J. Chark (Jacksonville Jaguars vs. NO)
One of the biggest breakouts over the first five weeks, Chark has amassed 485 yards and 5 TD as the go to receiver for Gardner Minshew II. He has two games of at least 146 yards, while finding the end zone in four of five.
Things should continue to trend in the right direction this week as he takes on a New Orleans defense that’s allowed the seventh most points per week to opposing wide receivers:
- Yards – 972 (fifth most)
- Touchdowns – 7 (tied for fifth most)
While they have been better over the past two weeks, allowing a total of 230 yards, it’s not enough. Fire him up in all formats as a potential WR1.
Sit – Marquise Brown (Baltimore Ravens vs. CIN)
After getting off to a monster start, Brown has faded the past three games (much like the Baltimore passing attack in general):
- Week 3 – 2 receptions for 49 yards
- Week 4 – 4 receptions for 22 yards
- Week 5 – 3 receptions for 22 yards and 1 TD
Cincinnati has also been one of the tougher defenses to pass against this season, allowing the fifth fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers. While Brown remains a potential WR3, in shallower formats the performance/matchup makes him difficult to trust.
Start – Courtland Sutton (Denver Broncos vs. TEN)
The 2018 second round selection has been coming into his own this season, emerging as Joe Flacco’s favorite receiver. He’s been targeted at least 7 times in each game, turning it into at least 87 yards three times and racking up 3 TD over the past two weeks.
The Titans don’t represent the easiest matchup on paper, with 784 yards and 4 TD allowed to opposing wide receivers. That said it was just a week ago that they allowed 177 yards and 1 TD to the Buffalo Bills’ receiving corps (and 175 yards to Atlanta’s the week before). With the consistent performance, the matchup isn’t enough of a reason to knock him off the WR2 spectrum.
Sit – Brandin Cooks (Los Angeles Rams vs. SF)
As it is the 49ers have allowed the seventh fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers, but Cooks is a boom or bust option that isn’t guaranteed opportunities. Just look at the wide receiver target breakdown this season:
- Cooper Kupp – 63
- Robert Woods – 47
- Brandin Cooks – 34
Over the past two weeks tight end Gerald Everett has also become a big part of the offense, being targeted 19 times. Cooks was targeted 12 times over that span, though just 3 times in Week 5. In other words the risk is simply too great, outside of potentially three-receiver formats.
Other wide receiver to start:
- Terry McLaurin (Washington Redskins vs. MIA) – There are going to be questions about Washington’s quarterback play, but against the Dolphins will it really matter who is under center? The Dolphins have allowed 7 TD to opposing wide receivers and after struggling against New England it’s a good bet that Washington’s top receiver rebounds.
- Michael Gallup (Dallas Cowboys at NYJ) – He’s Dallas’ second receiver, but the Jets’ have been hospitable to all options thus far. Gallup has at least 113 yards in two of his three games, with at least 6 receptions and 7 targets in all three. He’s an ideal WR2.
Other wide receivers to sit:
- Mike Williams (Los Angeles Chargers vs. PIT) – Sure he was targeted 13 times last week, but he managed to turn it into just 6 receptions and 74 yards. Yet to surpass 83 yards or find the end zone, there’s simply too much risk (especially with Keenan Allen and a dynamic running back combination that should dominate the opportunities).
- Robby Anderson (New York Jets vs. DAL) – This is really just a blanket statement for all Jets’ receivers. It’s a tough matchup against a Dallas team that’s allowing the fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers, but with it also being an unknown what Sam Darnold is capable of in his first game back the risk is that much greater.
Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs
Make sure to check out all of our Week 6 rankings: