With four teams on bye in Week 6, many fantasy owners may have to find a replacement tight end or quarterback. Between injuries and schedule shuffling, the 2020 season has not been easy so far... and it's not even half over.
Fantasy owners may struggle from week to week and commissioners are certainly struggling. It's not easy to predict what will happen each week, but fantasy owners need to take a look at their teams, make sure they can fil their starting rosters, and hope for the best.
Teams on bye: Las Vegas, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans, Seattle
START These QBs
Cam Newton, New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos
After missing Week 5 because of a positive COVID-19 test, Newton was cleared to return to practice on Thursday. Barring a setback, he should be back at quarterback on Sunday, which gives the offense a boost. Newton immediately jumps back in as a QB1 against a Broncos defense that has been decimated by injuries and has allowed multiple touchdowns to all quarterbacks they've faced (except Sam Darnold). Newton should be back in all fantasy lineups.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets
Fitzpatrick may be hearing Tua Tagovailoa's footsteps, but you couldn't tell this by his recent play. The grizzled veteran has been vintage FitzMagic to this point, as he's currently a borderline top-10 fantasy QB (depending on league scoring). Don't worry that the Jets haven't been horrible in terms of fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks this season, they're still 0-5. And even though FitzTragic could resurface at any moment, you may as well start the bearded one and enjoy the ride as long as it lasts.
SIT These QBs
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Detroit Lions
The matchup against the Lions isn't bad, but that doesn't mean Minshew will be able to take advantage of it. DJ Chark Jr. is banged up; he left last week's game with an ankle injury and has yet to practice, putting his status for Sunday in jeopardy. When Minshew had to play without Chark in Week 3, he didn't throw a touchdown. It was his worst game of the season. Perhaps it was the matchup (the Dolphins?) but it seemed like he missed Chark. If Chark is out, downgrade Minshew for Week 6.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Carolina Panthers vs. Chicago Bears
Bridgewater was a recommended start last week (got that one correct!), but this week is going to be much tougher. The Panthers face the Bears, who are allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. The last tough defense Bridgewater faced was the Buccaneers in Week 2. He did throw for more than 300 yards in that game but didn't account for a touchdown. Bridgewater is a matchup-based starting option for fantasy. This isn't one of those matchups.
START These TEs
Evan Engram, New York Giants vs. Washington Football Team
Even with only two targets in Week 5, Engram saved his fantasy day with a rushing (?!) touchdown. Prior to Sunday, he had at least five targets in each game. In Week 4, he had 10 targets. The team wants him to be involved, which is understandable. It just didn't happen in Week 5. However, this Sunday, the Giants face Washington, a team that is typically a great matchup for tight ends (although Tyler Higbee owners may dig to differ based on what he did last week). Washington has allowed five touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season. Engram has a decent shot of getting in the end zone on Sunday
T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Lions face the Jaguars in Week 6, which is a good matchup for tight ends. Matthew Stafford has been looking to Hockenson so far this season, as he's had at least four targets in each game. He's had at least 50 yards or a touchdown in every game as well. While he's not a must-start TE1, this is a good week to look at Hockenson.
SIT These TEs
Drew Sample, TE, Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts
Sample had a great game in Week 2 but has struggled since. In Week 6, the Bengals face the Colts, who allow the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. They have not allowed a tight end to score a touchdown all season. The most receptions they have allowed are five; the most yards 57. At this point, it's hard to recommend keeping Sample on fantasy rosters. You certainly shouldn't be starting him this week.
Noah Fant, TE, Denver Broncos at New England Patriots
To be fair, it's not clear if Fant is definitely playing in Week 6 as he's still dealing with an ankle injury. It seemed that it was possible that he could play before he was ruled out on Saturday (prior to the game needing to be postponed Sunday morning). It's a tough matchup against the Patriots and even if he does play, Fant will not be 100 percent. In the past two games he's played, Fant didn't even clear 50 yards. If he is active, fantasy owners still should consider leaving him on their bench.
START This DST
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets
The Dolphins face the Jets in Week 6, and that's really all that needs to be said. On top of the Jets' offensive woes, the Miami DST has fared well in good matchups. The Dolphins collected four sacks against Jacksonville and five last week in the convincing victory over San Francisco. With four fumble recoveries and four interceptions this season, the Fins are the best bet for a streaming DST for Week 6.
SIT This DST
Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Mon.)
The Bills DST is owned in more than three-quarters of fantasy leagues and prior to Week 5, they were a decent fantasy option. But they did not fare well against the Titans on Tuesday night and now on a short week have to face the Chiefs. Points should be a plenty as Buffalo gets another primetime matchup. If possible, leave the Bills DST on the bench this week.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.
(Top photo by Brandon Todd, courtesy of panthers.com)