Quarterbacks: Jameis Winston and Baker Mayfield (Start); Alex Smith (Sit)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are simply a one-dimensional offense, and that probably won’t change anytime soon with the unit struggling to find a consistent No. 1 running back threat. With the Bucs averaging just 69.5 yards a game on 3.1 per attempt, Winston will be in prime position to throw the ball close to 40 times. The Bucs face an Atlanta team that is struggling on defense as well, making this game potentially a shoot out between quarterbacks.
The Falcons have given up 28 points to Cam Newton, 40 points to Drew Brees, 26 points to Andy Dalton, and 23 points to Ben Roethlisberger. Atlanta’s defense has also allowed fourth-most fantasy points allowed to signal-callers, making Winston a must-start for Week 6.
Mayfield, on the other hand, is facing a Los Angeles Chargers defense that is susceptible to allowing a lot of points to opposing quarterbacks in the fantasy spectrum. The Chargers have allowed three of the last five quarterbacks they’ve played to score at least 20 points in standard leagues. The Chargers are hurting defensively with Jason Verrett gone for the year and Joey Bosa recovering from a lower leg injury.
In regards to Alex Smith, the Washington signal-caller had a disappointing outing against a New Orleans defense that has been below average thus far, throwing for 275 yards with a 7.05 YPA average, zero touchdowns and one interception. Carolina is giving up an average of 17 points to quarterbacks, and that number might improve this week with Thomas Davis returning to the lineup after a four-game suspension.
Running backs: Nyheim Hines (start); Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry (Sit)
Nyheim Hines might not be the starting running back as Marlon Mack makes a return from his second hamstring injury, but the former N.C State tailback has become a star in the passing game next to Andrew Luck, tallying 16 catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns and 19 carries for 55 yards in just two games. With T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle out, and Eric Ebron dealing with numerous leg issues, Hines is due for another 15 or more touches against the New York Jets.
The Tennessee Titans are struggling to find a rhythm on offense for both Lewis and Henry, and the Baltimore Ravens have been above average in terms of limiting running backs from scoring high in fantasy. The Titans’ offense is not a unit that is going to put up 24 or more points consistently. The struggles of Lewis and Henry might change this week, but owners should look else where until the Titans prove they can use both.