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 – Chase Claypool (PIT) vs. Cleveland
There is no chance Claypool matches last week’s explosion, as he totaled 4 TD, but would it be shocking if the second round rookie has quickly emerged as Ben Roethlisberger’s top target? Even if he’s sharing the targets with JuJu Smith-Schuster, against the Browns there should be more than enough opportunities for both to thrive.
The Browns have allowed the second most points per game to opposing wide receivers, including 8 TD. That includes a matchup with the Colts in Week 5, when they only allowed 171 yards and 0 TD.
While no one should go crazy pushing Claypool into the Top 10 or 15 given one monster week, there’s no questioning the skill and upside. In Week 6 the emergence could be complete.
Sit – Deebo Samuel (SF) vs. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams have allowed the fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers, including the second fewest yards (665). That alone would make you think twice about using Samuel or any of the other 49ers wide receivers, but then you have the questions about Jimmy Garoppolo who was pulled against the Dolphins after going 7 for 17 with 77 yards and 2 INT.
The 49ers also have Brandon Aiyuk, who has been targeted at least 5 times in each of the past three weeks and could emerge as the team’s top option.
Tough Matchup + QB Questions + Battle for Targets = Player to Sit
Start – Jamison Crowder (NYJ) at Miami
The Jets’ offense is a hot mess, that’s no secret. However when healthy Crowder has been the exception, getting at least 10 targets and 100 receiving yards in all three games he’s played:
- at Buffalo – 7 receptions (13 targets) for 115 yards and 1 TD
- vs. Denver – 7 receptions (10 targets) for 104 yards
- vs. Arizona – 8 receptions (10 targets) for 116 yards and 1 TD
With Le’Veon Bell now in Kansas City and with a favorable matchup against the Dolphins (936 yards is the sixth most in the league) and this is a perfect situation to take advantage of.
Sit – D.J. Moore (CAR) vs. Chicago
Moore isn’t unusable by any stretch, but he’s not the WR1 we had envisioned. Instead he’s a WR3, at best, as he’s had more bad games (three games with 65 yards or fewer) than good (two games over 90 yards). One of those good games came in Week 5, when he posted 93 yards and 1 TD against Atlanta. Chicago is not Atlanta, however…
The Bears have allowed the second fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers, with 105 targets turning into just 58 receptions. With Robby Anderson also in the mix, Moore’s value is as low as it could be.
Start – Marquise Brown (BAL) at Philadelphia
It has been a bit of a disappointing season for Brown, who has 22 receptions, 319 yards and 1 TD over five games. However he’s seen more opportunities over the past two weeks (18 targets), which has led to back-to-back 75+ yard games as well as finally finding the end zone. That’s all promising, and against an Eagles’ defense that’s allowed the seventh most points per week to opposing wide receivers he’s an easy must play.
Sit – Travis Fulgham (PHI) vs. Baltimore
Fulgham seemingly came out of nowhere in Week 5, turning 13 targets into 10 catches, 152 yards and 1 TD. That came against the Steelers, however, and not a Baltimore defense that’s allowed the eighth fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers.
Granted the Eagles need to throw the ball to someone, and that puts Fulgham on the WR3 spectrum, but he’s a risky low-end option. In this matchup he could easily be a bust.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 6 rankings: