SSSQ is a weekly look at under-the-radar fantasy players you should consider starting and potential busts you should leave on your bench. We also identify breakout candidates to stash on your roster and players you can safely cut.
For the rest of your lineup decisions, consult our Week 6 rankings. You can also listen to the Week 6 preview episode of theScore Fantasy Football Podcast.
Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers
Winston was the top quarterback pickup in our Week 6 waiver wire column thanks to a loaded receiving corps and a perfect matchup with a Falcons defense that’s allowed three passing touchdowns per game over the last month. Winston has also thrown at least three scores in each of his last three meetings with Atlanta. The Bucs’ defense has been unable to stop anyone either, which sets up a back-and-forth, high-scoring affair.
Boone’s projection: 321 passing yards, 3 TDs
Other QBs to start
- Andy Dalton vs. Steelers
- Blake Bortles at Cowboys
- Baker Mayfield vs. Chargers
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Raiders
Lynch has quietly been a top-15 fantasy running back this season, so perhaps he’s an obvious play. But he’s bumped up to low-end RB1 status in my rankings as he gets set to face his old team. The revenge narrative is fun, but the Seahawks’ run defense is the real reason to get behind Lynch here. Seattle has given up 70-plus rushing yards to five different backs already in 2018, including 363 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns in the last three weeks.
Boone’s projection: 98 rushing yards, 9 receiving yards, TD
Other RBs to start
- Tevin Coleman vs. Buccaneers
- Aaron Jones vs. 49ers
- Nyheim Hines at Jets
Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals
Boyd has been a solid fantasy WR2 in the early part of the season with stat lines of 3-26, 6-91-1, 6-132-1, 11-100, and 4-44. The Steelers are soft against the pass, providing the third-most fantasy points to the WR position, and they’ve been particularly generous to slot receivers. With A.J. Green drawing the weekly spotlight, Boyd will see plenty of work in a game that sports a projected point total of 52.5, third-highest this week.
Boone’s projection: 85 receiving yards, TD
Other WRs to start
- Calvin Ridley vs. Buccaneers
- Chris Godwin at Falcons
- Chester Rogers at Jets
Cameron Brate, TE, Buccaneers
No one is happier to see Winston back in the lineup than Brate. In the first seven games of 2017, before Winston missed time with an injury, Brate was the TE4 in fantasy. He took a backseat to sophomore O.J. Howard at the start of this season, but with Howard sidelined, Brate’s scored touchdowns in back-to-back contests. He now gets to partake in the Bucs-Falcons shootout. In a year where quality tight ends are hard to come by, you can confidently start Brate this week.
Boone’s projection: 63 receiving yards, TD
Other TEs to start
- David Njoku vs. Chargers
- C.J. Uzomah vs. Steelers
- Hayden Hurst at Titans
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers
Rivers is on pace for a career-high 42 touchdown passes. However, the concerns about him this week stem from his opponent – the Browns are emerging as one of the best young defenses in the league. Cleveland has multiple interceptions in three of its five outings and is top 10 in picks and sacks. The Browns are also second in QB rating allowed at 74.2. It’s hard to stop Rivers and the Chargers’ passing attack, but traveling across the country for a 1 p.m. ET game against a talented young defense is enough to make you look elsewhere for a fantasy starter.
Boone’s projection: 276 passing yards, TD, 2 INTs
Other QBs to sit
- Mitch Trubisky at Dolphins
- Alex Smith vs. Panthers
- Marcus Mariota vs. Ravens
Alex Collins, RB, Ravens
Collins makes this list for the second straight week. He’s yet to eclipse 70 yards in a game this year and is now splitting touches almost evenly with Javorius Allen. We can continue to mention that he’s the best back on the Ravens’ roster, but that doesn’t mean much if he’s not seeing enough volume to deliver for fantasy owners. The Titans won’t make life easy for him either, since they haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown this season. Collins needs to be back on your bench for another week.
Boone’s projection: 62 rushing yards, 5 receiving yards
Other RBs to sit
- Lamar Miller vs. Bills
- Kenyan Drake vs. Bears
- Royce Freeman vs. Rams
Corey Davis, WR, Titans
Outside of his nine-catch, 161-yard, one-touchdown performance two weeks ago, Davis hasn’t made a major impact in fantasy this season. The talent is there and it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a consistent producer, but that’s not likely to happen against the Ravens, who have only allowed one receiver to go over 70 yards against them in 2018. And most of those games were played before Jimmy Smith returned to the lineup. Davis will always carry upside, but expectations need to be lowered this week.
Boone’s projection: 67 receiving yards
Other WRs to sit
- Demaryius Thomas vs. Rams
- Kenny Stills vs. Bears
- Larry Fitzgerald at Vikings
Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers
With so many tight ends on the shelf, it’s hard to advocate against anyone at the position. Still, Olsen is a risky option in his first game back after suffering another foot injury at the start of the season. He said he expects to have surgery after the year, but his chances of re-aggravating the fracture or experiencing a cascade injury are very high. Washington has been strong at defending tight ends, making Olsen’s outlook even more volatile. Hopefully you have a better option and can wait to see if he’s truly healthy before inserting him into your lineup.
Boone’s projection: 39 receiving yards
Other TEs to sit
- Geoff Swaim vs. Jaguars
- Antonio Gates at Browns
Chris Ivory, RB, Bills
With rumors swirling that LeSean McCoy could be traded before the deadline – perhaps to his former team, the Eagles – Ivory becomes intriguing as a potential starter in the second half of the season. Unfortunately, he’d be starting in the Bills’ offense, capping his fantasy upside.
C.J. Anderson, RB, Panthers
Christian McCaffrey is on pace for 360 touches, and due to his early bye week, he won’t get much rest as the season moves along. If the 5-foot-11, 205-pound McCaffrey breaks down, Anderson would step in as the starter in a productive offense with a decent schedule. There’s league-winning potential here.
Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
Five games into the season, Henry doesn’t have a touchdown and hasn’t broken 60 yards in any of his games. He underperformed when given a sizable workload and he underperformed in good matchups. Even if the Titans’ offense improves, there’s no guarantee Henry’s numbers will rise with it. You should try to trade him first, but it’s no longer shocking to see his name on fantasy waiver wires.
Jamison Crowder, WR, Redskins
What is it that people like about Crowder? Is it the low yardage totals? Or maybe the lack of touchdowns? Regardless, now that Crowder is dealing with an ankle injury that caused him to miss practice time this week, you can safely release him.