Fantasy Football Focus: Who to start, sit in an intriguing Week 6

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Photo: Aaron Doster/USA Today Sports

Week 6 is approaching, which is the right time to start thinking about trades. I’m usually hesitant on making deals early in the year because the sample size is too small, but we’re now more than one-third of the way through the fantasy season, which I believe is far enough to start making conclusions on certain players.

I’ve never been a big trade guy. One of my cardinal rules of sports (and life) is: if ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But right now I have two good quarterback, Drew Brees, a future hall-of-famer, and Alex Smith, who is the No. 1 QB in fantasy football. I’m trying to deal one of them for a running back.

To get help with this, I asked my friend Cole, who is a fantasy sports trade maestro, what they key to executing a good fantasy football trade is. Here’s what he said:

“It’s that time of year that everybody is kind of evaluating their roster, and I like to go around every other roster in the league and see where they’re weak, and see where I can put together a package of multiple players for one player so that I definitely get the best player in a deal.

At this time of the year, your team is not down and out, so you make a trade, get the best player in the trade, you might give up a little depth but you get the best player in the trade and if you get one lucky free agent pickup you can really flip your team from the bottom of the barrel to top of the pack.

Before I make an offer, I try to look at it from their standpoint before I make a silly offer because if you start too low then you’re going to insult somebody and they’re not going to want to do business with you. That’s kind of how I look at it… I always try to look at where there’s the market inefficiency.

(In fantasy baseball this year) I saw that I could pick up outfielders that played like top 20 outfielders on a weekly basis and i figured out that pitching was the most difficult to come by.

So I would pick up outfielders every week and I would package them with a lesser pitcher and I would constantly make trades, and people didn’t realize that I was just using all the outfield depth on a hot outfielder and then packaging them with a pitcher. I went from middle of the pack fast to top three.

I kind of look at fantasy football in the same way in that running backs are harder to come by so I try to go through the wire and build up as much depth as possible there, and then I try to package as many wide receivers as possible to pick up that one running back that somebody is willing to give away.”

In short, Cole feels if you come away with the best player, you probably won the trade. He likes to find weaknesses in other rosters, and build packages that will entice those owners enough to give up one of their best players.

I’ve seen Cole do this a number of times, and it works pretty well. So when you’re out there on the trade market, I’d suggest following Cole’s method. Anyways, here are my start/sit picks for this week:


Oct 1, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs with the ball during the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

START: Deshaun Watson, Houston – Not that you Texans fans haven’t notice, but the rookie from Clemson is balling out. 10 total touchdowns in his last two games has vaulted him into the No. 3 spot among fantasy QBs.

This week, he gets a Browns defense giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing signal callers. If he’s not already in your starting lineup, it’s time to give the kid his shot.

SIT: Alex Smith, Kansas City – The only thing that might be more surprising than Watson’s spot among the position’s elite is Smith’s. With 1,391 yards and 11 touchdowns, the 33-year-old vet is having a transcendent season.

While I’m high on the idea he could continue playing well, he has a tough matchup this week against a Pittsburgh secondary allowing the least passing yards in the league.

Running Backs

Ken Blaze-USA Today Sports

START: Elijah McGuire, New York Jets – If McGuire isn’t already owned in your league, it’s time to pick him up and start him immediately. The rookie out of Louisiana is a versatile back who can both catch passes out of the backfield and bang between the tackles.

With Matt Forte still out and Bilal Powell day-to-day with a strained calf, it looks like McGuire is in line for a large workload against New England’s disappointing defense.

SIT: Ty Montgomery, GB – If Montgomery is still out due to the broken ribs he suffered two weeks ago, than you obviously won’t start him. But even if he’s healthy, he probably won’t return to his role as the full-time starting tailback.

Aaron Jones rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries in his absence and his 5.4 yard-per-carry average is much higher than Monty’s 3.3.

Wide Receivers

Stew Milne-USA Today Sports

START: Devin Funchess, Carolina – Funchess has replaced Kelvin Benjamin as Cam Newton’s go-to WR with 27 targets the last three weeks compared to Benjamin’s 12. If the Newton we saw the last two weeks is the one we’re getting the rest of the year, Funchess could end the season with big numbers.

He’ll likely go off this week against a Philadelphia defense giving up the second-most fantasy points to WRs.

SIT: Pierre Garcon, San Francisco – I wasn’t high on Garcon in the preseason, but he’s proving me wrong. The 31-year-old Mount Union (DIII) grad is right around the top 20 WRs despite not having a TD catch.

This week is a touch matchup, though, as he faces off against Josh Norman and a Washington secondary giving up the least catches to opposing WRs.

Tight Ends

Kelley L Cox-USA Today Sports

START: Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, New York Jets – Didn’t think I’d be saying this at the start of the year, but START EVERYONE AGAINST THE PATRIOTS. New England is giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to TEs and Sefarian-Jenkins has more targets than any other NYJ receiver since returning from two-week suspension to start the year.

SIT: Hunter Henry, LAC – Henry has been frustratingly inconsistent, with two zero-target games, but 12 catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns in his other three. Henry will be tough to predict week-to-week because the Chargers on intent on keeping Antonio Gates as part of their offense.

Henry scored in both his games against Oakland last year, but I’m going to bet he doesn’t this week, and I base that off absolutely nothing.

Defense/Special Teams

Sep 11, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant (21) intercepts a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

START: Falcons – Atlanta is averaging three sacks per game, which ties for seventh in the league. When picking out fantasy defenses, I love a good pass rush because they accumulate sacks and force quarterbacks to make dumb decisions like this:

The Falcons also get a Miami offense surrounding the third-most fantasy points to opposing D/ST units.

SIT: Cardinals – Arizona was hit hard by free agency on the defensive side of the ball and it’s showing. The Cardinals are bottom-five in sacks per game and have forced only four turnovers.

They’ll get Jameis Winston this week, who isn’t turning the ball over the way he did his first two years and has thrown for at least 300 yards in three of his four starts.

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