Week 6 Fantasy Football Sneaky Starts
All but the luckiest fantasy owners at some point need to find the proverbial diamond in the rough—a waiver wire or bench player capable of putting up some points in a pinch. This weekly feature is dedicated to that part of fantasy football. It's not pretty, but it's part of the game.
A good way to identify a potential spot start is to leverage 4for4’s signature strength-of-schedule metric, adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA). Many sites publish raw fantasy points allowed by position, but 4for4 goes a step further and adjusts those numbers for a defense’s relative year-to-date schedule strength. So if a defense has seen a murderer’s row of running backs, it will be reflected in the defense’s aFPA. As a ranker, I use this metric weekly when putting together our award-winning projections.
This week, four teams—Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas, and Seattle—are on bye. In addition, owners lost Odell Beckham (fractured ankle) and Brandon Marshall (ankle) for the season, while Charles Clay is out for a few weeks after undergoing knee surgery. There are a number of other high-profile players—Travis Kelce, Matthew Stafford, Jordy Nelson, Bilal Powell, DeVante Parker, Marcus Mariota, Ty Montgomery, and Rob Gronkowski—who are questionable for Week 6, so owners are scrambling for decent-to-good options on the waiver wire.
With that in mind, let’s look at a few Sneaky Starts for Week 6.
Jacoby Brissett, Colts (@ TEN)
Over the past three weeks, Brissett is the No. 13 quarterback in fantasy, and that includes a not-so-good performance in a tough matchup in Seattle in Week 4. In favorable home matchups against the Browns and 49ers, Brissett produced 601 total yards and 4 total touchdowns (2 via the ground), while posting an elite-level 9.88 yards per attempt. This week, Brissett travels to Tennessee for a good matchup against a Titans defense ranked No. 31 in QB aFPA. Tennessee shut down Jay Cutler last week, but gave up a combined 706 total yards and 9 total touchdowns (8 pass, 1 rush) to Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson in Week 3 and Week 4.
Case Keenum, Vikings (vs. GB)
In the last three weeks—in what amounts to two and a half games of football—Keenum has completed 69.0% of his passes and averaged 8.67 yards per attempt. In that span, he’s also posted an efficient 4.8% touchdown rate, and has yet to throw a pick this season. He has a good matchup at home against a shaky, banged-up Packer defense that currently sits at No. 18 in QB aFPA, but just gave up 251 passing yards and 4 total touchdowns to Dak Prescott.
Trevor Siemian, Broncos (vs. NYG)
The Giants are No. 19 in QB aFPA, so this is a solid home matchup. In 10 home games dating back to last season, Siemian has averaged 7.64 yards per attempt and 1.5 total touchdowns per game. I worry about how competitive the Giants will be, but the Denver offense should have enough success to support a good fantasy line for Siemian.
Josh McCown, Jets (vs. NE)
The Patriots are leading the league in passing yards allowed (323 per game) and passing touchdowns (2.4 per game), and the Jets figure to be playing catch up in this one. McCown doesn’t have the most talented receiving corps, but Jermaine Kearse, Robby Anderson, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins are all capable pass-catchers, so all signs point to a quality fantasy performance for McCown.