What should you do with Ben Roethlisberger this week?
The quarterback position in fantasy football got a little more complicated in Week 6. Aaron Rodgers’ injury throws a wrench in every fantasy football league, while Deshaun Watson continues to prove why head coach Bill O’Brien may not have seen preseason practice.
Where do you turn to without Rodgers? That’s a difficult question to answer with so few quality quarterbacks on the waiver wire. Each week, there are a few surprises, so here’s your Week 7 quarterbacks (and defense/special teams) start’ em, sit’ em suggestions.
Good Calls for Week 6...
Start DeShaun Watson (23.3 fantasy points) – There isn’t a hotter player in the NFL right now. He tossed another three touchdowns last week.
Start Carson Palmer (20.92 FP) – Maybe all Palmer needed was a good running back (hello Adrian Peterson), or maybe the Bucs’ defense really is bad.
Sit Ben Roethlisberger (11.88 FP) – Big Ben would have had about six total fantasy points if that tipped ball wasn’t caught and turned into a touchdown by Antonio Brown.
I said it might be worth the risk to start Josh McCown (20.26 FP) and once again a QB lit up the Patriots’ defense, this time for 354 passing yards and two touchdowns (with two picks).
Bad Calls for Week 6...
None. Zero. Nadda. I had a great week last week. Hope you were paying attention.
Teams on bye: Detroit, Houston
START THESE QBS...
Russell Wilson, SEA (at. NYG)
West Coast teams playing East Coast games can be tough, especially from a fantasy perspective. But Wilson seems to be one of those players to buck that trend. The Seahawks do not have any type of running game, so they are going to need Wilson to lead them to victory. Which is great news because over their last three games, the Giants have allowed an average of more than 21 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
Marcus Mariota, TEN (at CLE)
It was good to see Mariota out there on Monday night, but he was just okay from a fantasy perspective, scoring only 14.2 fantasy points. He should have a much better game this week against the lowly Browns. So far this season the Browns have given up the most touchdown passes (14) and the second-most fantasy points (20.53 ppg) to QBs.
Carson Wentz, PHI (vs. WAS, Mon.)
You most likely drafted Wentz as your backup QB, but he’s been producing as a QB1, scoring 21 or more fantasy points in the past two weeks, thanks to seven touchdown passes. All the way back in Week 1, Wentz scored 18 fantasy points against Washington, and that was with Josh Norman in the lineup. With Josh Norman out again this week, Wentz should once again score 20-plus fantasy points.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Tyrod Taylor, BUF (vs. TB)
This one’s for Aaron Rodgers owners. Since he was on bye in Week 6, Taylor may have been dropped in many leagues, but now he’s back and gets a home game against a Buccaneers defense that just revived the seasons of Carson Palmer, Adrian Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald. Taylor is never an easy bet to produce much via the air, but he’s due for more rushing production. Adding him now gives Rodgers owners the option of using him in Week 8 at home against the Raiders too.
SIT THESE QBs...
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (vs. CIN)
Cincinnati's pass defense is legit. That will pose a problem for Roethlisberger, who even after bouncing back in a good way in Week 6, was off the fantasy radar. He still ranked only 18th in scoring last week. It seemed like a major accomplishment after his Week 5 disaster against Jacksonville. Cincinnati harasses quarterbacks, generating the fifth-most sacks this year (with already a bye under their belt). The Bengals are limiting teams to less than 160 yards through the air this year, so I'd back off the Big Ben train in this one. Avoid this matchup like the plague for both fantasy quarterbacks.
Philip Rivers, LAC (vs. DEN)
For the Chargers to win games, they need Rivers to be more like he was in Week 6 than the gunslinger we remember from years past. He didn't turn over the ball and the Chargers utilized a decent running game to beat Oakland last Sunday. It didn't turn out to be a major fantasy production day for Rivers (although he still ranked 12th among quarterbacks), but it was a more efficient way to manage a game. Expect more of the same this week against the Broncos, who are looking to bounce back after losing to
the Giants at home.
Jameis Winston, TB (at BUF)
Winston suffered an injury to his throwing shoulder last week and is currently listed as questionable on the injury report. He said after last week’s game that he will start, but that doesn’t mean you should follow suit with your fantasy team. The Bills have surrendered just two touchdown passes in their first five games, and no quarterback has scored more than 13.3 fantasy points against them.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Cam Newton, CAR (at CHI)
Newton gets a harder than expected game in Week 7 against the Bears. This defense has limited quarterbacks to no more than a touchdown in five of six games this season. Newton has struggled with the pressure this season and the Bears rank seventh in the NFL with 16 sacks. Newton had decent fantasy outing last week but tossed three interceptions giving him eight on the season. With all his ups and downs, it may be best to avoid starting Newton against unfavorable matchups.
START THESE DSTs...
Tennessee Titans (at CLE)
As is the case most weeks of the NFL season, starting whichever defense is playing the Cleveland Browns is a smart play. The Browns are giving up the second-most fantasy points to opposing DSTs this season, having turned the ball over 16 times in their first six games. Tennessee may not have the sexiest defense, but the Titans do have enough to torment whatever quarterback the Browns throw out there in Week 7.
Jacksonville Jaguars (at IND)
So the Jags DST disappointed last week, scoring only five fantasy points against the Rams at home. Forget about that as Jacksonville should feast on a Colts team that is giving up the second-most fantasy points (11 ppg) to DSTs.
SIT THESE DSTs...
Los Angeles Rams (vs. ARI, London)
Although Arizona gives up many sacks, this offense looked so much better in Week 6, that anyone should be wary starting the Rams DST in Week 7. The Rams DST has been overly reliant on special teams and defensive touchdowns this season. In the four games, Los Angeles has not scored a non-offensive touchdown, the Rams DST has averaged just 4.75 fantasy points per game.
Washington Redskins (at PHI, Mon.)
The Redskins’ D has been surprisingly good so far this season, but from a fantasy perspective, they’ve only managed to score five fantasy points in the last two games. They’re not going to score that many fantasy points this week either against Carson Wentz and Co. No DST has recorded more than five points against the Eagles since Week 3.
— 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.