Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota

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Thomason: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em For Week 6

Jameis Winston has a quality matchup, while Marcus Mariota could have trouble on the horizon.

Jack Thomason
October 11, 2018 - 11:03 am

(670 The Score) "Sit ‘Em, Start ‘Em" is a breakdown of some of the best and worst fantasy football matchups to help you navigate setting your lineups for the week.

My goal with this article is to provide you with a player to start who may not be the most obvious of starts and to share a player to sit who you normally wouldn't consider shying away from regardless of the matchup.

Quarterback

START – Jameis Winston, Buccaneers (at Falcons) Ryan Fitzpatrick looked like Dan Marino in the Buccaneers' first three games -- and then he ran into the Bears defense. Now, Winston returns off of his suspension and a bye week to face a hobbled Falcons defense missing many key players. Atlanta is allowing more than 32 points per game, the second-worst mark in the NFL behind Tampa Bay. Winston and the Buccaneers are sporting a 26.5 team point total, they're four-point road underdogs and this game has the second-highest over/under of the week at 57 points. Atlanta is ranked No. 27 on defense in aFPA (4for4's schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed) and is ranked No. 28 in Football Outsiders' pass defense in DVOA. 

SIT – Marcus Mariota, Titans (vs. Ravens) The Titans have been a roller coaster this year, much like Mariota. Two weeks ago, he lit the Eagles up. This past week, he struggled mightily against the Bills. Mariota is still dealing with the lingering effects of the nerve issue within his elbow and his throwing hand, and he's facing a Ravens defense that's hitting its stride. Top cornerback Jimmy Smith is also back for the Ravens. The Titans' team total sits at a paltry 20.5 points, and they're one-point home underdogs. This should be a low-scoring affair, with an over/under of 41 points.

Running back

START – Aaron Jones, Packers (vs. 49ers) The 49ers are in the bottom six in aFPA to running backs. Jones is still in a three-way timeshare, but he has led the Packers' running backs in tallying 21 touches over the last two weeks. Green Bay's expected point total is 27.5 points and it's a 10-point home favorite, meaning Jones should see plenty of work. He's been the most explosive Packers back, averaging more six yards per carry. He could have a potential breakout game coming.

SIT – David Johnson, Cardinals (at Vikings) The Cardinals' coaching staff is an abomination. I could rant about this forever, but the Cardinals are refusing to use their best overall player as anything outside of a between-the-tackles grinder. While Johnson's usage has been steady with 45 touches over the last two weeks, he's making his hay on touchdowns. That's not sustainable. The Cardinals run the fewest offensive plays in the league and are 10.5-point underdogs. If they don't get Johnson more involved in the passing game, it could be an ugly outing for him. Arizona has a team total of 16.5 points, the second-lowest of the week.

Receiver

START – Robert Woods, Rams (at Broncos) Woods has to be one of the most underappreciated fantasy receivers. No one talks about him, and all he does is produce. Woods is top 15 in the NFL in receptions, yardage and touchdowns, and he may see an extra bump this week with both Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp in the concussion protocol. As of now, there's optimism surrounding their health and availability for this week, but if one or both miss the game, Woods will see an additional bump in targets. The Rams have a 29.5-point team total, and the Broncos are in the middle of the pack in aFPA (No. 16) and pass DVOA (No. 18).

SIT – Corey Davis, Titans (vs. Ravens) A lot of this concern goes back to Mariota. Outside of one monstrous explosion in Week 4, Davis has done little to nothing to help fantasy owners. He'll be squaring off a fair amount with Smith, and Marlon Humphrey is a good cornerback as well. The Ravens allowed multi-touchdown games to A.J. Green and Antonio Brown, but other than that, they've allowed just two receiving touchdowns to date. I'm shying away from Davis.

Tight end

START – Cameron Brate, Buccaneers (at Falcons) Winston loves his tight ends, and he has shown it going back to his Florida State days. He and Brate hooked up for 14 touchdowns in the past two seasons, and O.J. Howard is battling a knee injury, which means Brate should see plenty of opportunities. We mentioned earlier that these are the two worst scoring defenses in the NFL. Brate should be looked at a top-five tight end this week, especially with how horrendous the position has been five weeks into the season.

SIT – Kyle Rudolph, Vikings (vs. Cardinals) The Cardinals are top 12 in aFPA to tight ends and the Vikings, so heavily concentrated target-wise, favor Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen over Rudolph. You likely don't have a better option unless Brate is available on waiver wire, but Thielen has seen 66 targets and Diggs has had 55 targets Diggs, leaving few for Rudolph this season (27). If you have to start Rudolph, limit expectations, especially if Dalvin Cook returns, which would hinder Rudolph even more.

Other starts: Eli Manning (vs. Eagles), Isaiah Crowell (vs. Colts), Emmanuel Sanders (vs. Rams), David Njoku (vs. Chargers)

Other sits: Mitchell Trubisky (at Dolphins), Kenyon Drake (vs. Bears), Doug Baldwin (at Raiders), Hayden Hurst (at Titans)

Jack Thomason is 670 The Score’s fantasy football expert. Follow him on Twitter @jthomason77 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.​