Remember last season when everybody waited on Dak Prescott and he turned out to be a top-tier fantasy quarterback? This is why you should have picked up Deshaun Watson off of the waiver wire earlier this season.
Watson looks to be taking the same path as evidenced by him leading all quarterbacks in fantasy scoring in Week 5. He’s scoring touchdowns at a ridiculous rate and if there’s any chance he’s still available on your waiver wire, run, don’t walk and pick him up. He’s just about entered that covered must-start status, regardless of matchup.
Speaking of who to start and who to consider leaving on the bench in Week 6, here are some QBs (and DSTs) to consider. Remember, bye weeks are in effect so no Bengals, Bills, Cowboys or Seahawks this week.
Good Calls for Week 5...
Start Carson Wentz (32.26 fantasy points) – Wentz had his best game of the season so far, shredding the Cardinals for 304 passing yards and four touchdowns
Sit Houston Texans DST (-3 FP) – I don’t usually mention DSTs in the good calls/bad calls, but when a defense scores negative points, hopefully you listened and didn’t start them.
Bad Calls for Week 5...
Sit Philip Rivers (24.84 FP) – Rivers is a gamer, and will never quit. Crossing the country and throwing three touchdowns against a good Giants’ secondary is impressive.
I warned you against starting Cam Newton (29.2 FP), and most likely no one listened, which was a good thing as it looks like Newton might be back to being the Newton of 2015.
Teams on bye: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas, Seattle
START THESE QBS...
Deshaun Watson, HOU (vs. CLE)
The NFL has a way of catching back up to players who break out, but for now, the Watson wave of awesomeness is one you want to ride to fantasy immortality. He threw five more touchdowns last week against a solid Kansas City defense. The Browns are surprisingly good at defense, and Myles Garrett is back and looks like a stud, but Watson is doing it all — passing and running, and scoring lots of fantasy points in the process.
Philip Rivers, LAC (at OAK)
The Raiders still don’t have an interception on the year, and they are almost dead last in adjusted yards per attempt. And as long as Derek Carr is sidelined (may play this week), the offense isn’t going to be on the field for long stretches of time. Look for Rivers to have another big game against a defense surrendering a 106.6 QB rating so far, 30th in the NFL.
Carson Palmer, ARI (vs. TB)
Don’t think for a second that just because the Cardinals traded for Adrian Peterson and named him the starter that they are all of a sudden going to be a run-first team. This is still one of the worst offensive lines in football and Peterson hasn’t be AP since 2014. So expect Palmer to throw to ball a lot this week against a Buccaneers defense that allows on average 20 fantasy points to quarterbacks per game.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Josh McCown, NYJ (vs. NE)
Are you in a two-QB league and have byes to deal with? Or a deep league? Then McCown is your guy. He’ll match up against a Patriots team still finding its footing defensively after giving up the most fantasy points to QBs so far this season. McCown also figures to be throwing a lot assuming the Jets will be playing from behind.
SIT THESE QBs...
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (at KC)
Even before his five-interception game last week against the Jaguars, Big Ben was going to be a must sit this week because he’s on the road where he always plays horribly. He’s averaged about 13 fantasy points per game on the road since 2014 and is only scoring a little more than 12 fantasy points per game in total this season. There is the “prove it” narrative to this game after Ben said “maybe he doesn’t have it anymore,” but you should never play narrative street in fantasy football.
Jared Goff, LAR (at JAC)
Here’s a reminder just in case you were going to get clever on the bye weeks – Jacksonville has the No. 1 pass defense in the league. The Jaguars just picked off Ben Roethlisberger five times at home. Don’t do it.
Eli Manning, NYG (at DEN)
Just when Manning and the Giants’ offense were starting to turn things around from a fantasy perspective, he now has no one to throw the ball too. Manning had scored 22 or more fantasy points in two of his last three games, but it’s hard to imagine him scoring anywhere close to that against a Broncos defense that gives up about 15.85 fantasy points per game to QBs.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Derek Carr, OAK (vs. LAC)
All signs are point to Carr being back this week, which might be at least one week too early, but the Raiders need a win to stay in the race in the AFC. This week’s matchup against the Chargers isn’t ideal for someone coming off a back injury. The Chargers have allowed 16 or fewer fantasy points to opposing QBs over their last four games.
START THESE DSTs...
Baltimore Ravens (vs. CHI)
The Ravens have one of the best defenses in the league and are coming off a 12-point fantasy game last week against the Raiders. This week they get the Chicago Bears and rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky. Look for another strong performance this week.
Kansas City Chiefs (vs. PIT)
Yes, the Chiefs allowed Deshaun Watson to throw five touchdown passes last week, but this week they are home against Ben Roethlisberger and a Steelers offense that has lost its way. Roethlisberger might not throw another five picks, but he is on the road, where he struggles big time, averaging just 12 fantasy points per game this season.
SIT THESE DSTs...
Los Angeles Rams (at JAC)
Normally facing Blake Bortles makes a defense a must start, but when you’re travelling across the country, have the league’s worst rushing defense, and are playing Leonard Fournette – it equals must sit.
New York Giants (at DEN)
Heading into the season the Giants were projected to have one of the top fantasy DSTs, and while the unit is still good, it’s not nearly as good as it was last year, and they are going to be on the field all game because their offense is going to struggle with no wide receivers or running game.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.