Four of the best fantasy quarterbacks are not in our player pool this Sunday. With Drew Brees on bye, Patrick Mahomes visiting Tom Brady on Sunday night and Aaron Rodgers returning home on Monday, we are left more inconsistent quarterbacks than usual. As another high total game expects to dominate quarterback ownership, we have to decide whether the chalk is good enough to eat, or unstable enough to fade. Without further ado, let’s identify our quarterbacks to avoid in week six.
Ben Roethlisberger: $8,500
CIN Pass Yards Allowed/Game: 277 (22nd) CIN Sacks: 13 (T-14th) CIN Turnovers: 8 (T-10th)
Even if you’re the most casual fantasy player, you know Ben Roethlisberger (Ben) has had some crazy home-road splits. These splits are furthered when Ben travels to Cincinnati. In his past three trips to Cincinnati, he’s averaged 25 completions on 38 attempts, for 286 yards, one touchdown and .67 interceptions. That stat line equates to 14.77 FanDuel points. It’s also worth noting that Le’Veon Bell was the starting running back for all three of those starts. I’ve been on record saying James Conner can produce like Bell; however, that doesn’t mean I think that Conner is as good as Bell from a talent perspective.
If Ben posts his average production on the road in Cincinnati, he won’t even make cash value at $8,500. He is getting the benefit of the doubt after performing well at home, versus Atlanta, a defense that has been ravaged by injuries. Even if he does make cash value, why on earth would a cash game player pass over players like Cam Newton ($8,400), Matt Ryan ($8,300) and Deshaun Watson ($8,100) who are all less expensive and in better matchups? Paying for Ben is by no means a “bad play”, but there are objectively better options in that price range if you’re going to pay up at quarterback.
Jared Goff: $8,200
DEN Pass Yards Allowed/Game: 256 (16th) DEN Sacks: 11 (T-19th) DEN Turnovers: 5 (T-24th)
Jared Goff has been fantastic thus far. Even in a road game in which two of his top three receivers left the game with concussions, Goff still threw for over 300 yards. Sadly, Goff’s touchdown output was his lowest since week two. And in week six at Denver, I don’t think he’ll fully bounce back.
There are two main reasons for my hesitation with Goff. First, the Broncos are pitiful against the run. Denver is currently the 30th ranked run defense. This unit gives up just under 140 yards per game. The best part about this statistic is that there is no adjustment the Broncos can make because it’s a schematic issue. Their wide nine defense leaves them vulnerable to inside runs, and one of the best run blocking units in the NFL visits Denver this Sunday. The only way Denver can stop this run game is to completely install a different defense before their game against the Rams.
The second reason I’m off Goff is the weather. The temperature at kickoff is expected to be 24 degrees with light snow. Snow dramatically shrinks the field. It eliminates certain routes and is not conducive to downfield passing. So when we combine the weather, the banged up receiving core and the Denver run defense, Jared Goff becomes a much less attractive option.
Alex Smith: $7,400
CAR Pass Yards Allowed/Game: 281 (26th) CAR Sacks: 9 (24th) CAR Turnovers: 9 (T-7th)
Alex Smith and company are not as bad as their performance on Monday night was. However, Smith is not the player he was last season. Without Andy Reid, Smith is not as effective. His weapons are clearly inferior to what he had in Kansas City, and it shows. At $7,400 this Sunday, there are plenty of options in this price range. Jameis Winston is likely to be one of – if not the – most popular quarterbacks on the slate. And if you want to avoid the chalk, pay up to Russell Wilson at $7,600 against the woeful Oakland Raiders.
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