Some of the games elite are touted in the top five fantasy football quarterbacks this week.
5- Russell Wilson (SEA), $14,050 vs (DAL)
My biggest fear with using Wilson is that Money Lynch will soak up most of the fantasy points facing a pathetic Cowboys run defense that Pro Football Focus (PFF) and Football Outsiders (FO) ranks dead last defending the run. Of course, that weakness in the Cowboys defense could also result in a gargantuan point total from a quarterback who just scampered for 122 rushing yards on Monday Night Football. Wilson has yet to eclipse 300 yards passing in a single game this year, but he’s hucked exactly a pair of touchdowns in all four game the Seahawks have played, and he’s thrown just one interception. Furthermore, the man that rounds out the top five fantasy football quarterbacks for week six makes up for his lack of gaudy passing yardage by tallying plenty on the ground (209 rushing yards to be exact). His efficiency with the football and accuracy have helped him post the second best PFF QB rating this year behind only Aaron Rodgers. And while the porous nature of the Cowboys defense demands most of the attention, they haven’t exactly been world beaters defending the pass ranking 14th in pass coverage at PFF and 16th in pass defense according to FO. The Seahawks are sizable eight point favorites in a game with a 47 point total according to Vegas Insider, so get some shares of Wilson on your DFS squads.
4- Ben Roethlisberger (PIT), $13,000 @ (CLE)
Concerns with using Roethlisberger mirror those of using Wilson, but he also cracks the top five fantasy football quarterbacks like the Seahawks pigskin hurler. Big Ben lacks the running ability of Wilson, but he’s cheaper, and facing a bad Browns defense that more evenly distributes their giving nature on the ground and through the air. PFF ranks the Browns 26th in pass coverage and FO ranks them 30th defending the pass. In the season opener they had almost no answer for Roethlisberger, and he torched them for 365 yards and a touchdown through the air. The Steelers signal caller ranks fourth in PFF QB rating, and he’s tallying sizable chunks of passing yards each pass with the 11th highest yards per attempt at 7.77 Yds/Att. Big plays could be even easier to come by this week for Big Ben since Browns cornerback Joe Haden is battling a hip injury and will be at less than 100 percent if he does play, and it’s not given that he’ll play.
3- Kirk Cousins (WAS), $12,150 @ (ARI)
After crapping the bed against the Giants, Cousins turned in a solid effort against the Legion of Boom Seahawks secondary. He took care of the football a week after throwing four picks against the G-Men, and threw zero against the defending Super Bowl Champs, yet he wasn’t checking down relentlessly and made some challenging deep throws. The Cardinals will pose a much less daunting challenge this week since they are PFF’s 28th ranked pass coverage unit and FO’s 18th ranked pass defense. Even with his clunker against the Giants on his season resume, Cousins ranks 16th in PFF QB Rating, and his gouging defenses for 8.11 Yds/Att, good for the fifth highest mark this year. Cousins isn’t some burgeoning star like the media coverage after he initially took over for an injured Robert Griffin III would have suggested, but he’s not the turnover machine he was against the Giants either. With a soft defensive matchup, an average to good quarterback like Cousins is a strong play at his cost, and is one of the top five fantasy football quarterbacks this week that probably won’t be heavily rostered.
2- Matt Ryan (ATL), $15,400 vs (CHI)
The highest total of the week belongs to the Bears and Falcons, and Ryan is the better quarterback in this shootout by a somewhat wide margin. Don’t get me wrong, Jay Cutler isn’t awful, but Matty Ice is very good. He ranks 10th in PFF QB rating, and he’s been picking up a hearty 8.02 Yds/Att, sixth best among all quarterbacks. His 11 touchdown passes are tied for the sixth most, and he’s second in passing yards with 1,579. He’s airing the ball out to an elite receiver in Julio Jones, and he’s backed by a terrible defense that will always leave him keeping his pedal to the metal. The Bears defense he’ll be airing it out against this week ranks 23rd in pass coverage according to PFF and is 16th in pass defense according to FO. The price isn’t too steep to keep me from making Ryan my second ranked quarterback in week six’s top five fantasy football quarterbacks.
1- Peyton Manning (DEN), $18,600 @ (NYJ)
The priciest quarterback this week, Manning, requires some serious salary cap management, but it’s worth it. I’ve already highlighted three of his pass catchers in their positional top fives this week, therefore I’m obviously expecting huge things from the elder active Manning. The Jets pass defense ranks 22nd at FO, and they rank 27th in pass coverage and they rank 23rd in pass rush according to PFF, so good luck to them in their quest to serve as anything more than a speed bump for Manning. The newest member of the 500 passing touchdown club cracks the top 10 in passing yards ranking tied for ninth with 1,293, is tied for second in passing touchdowns with 12, and is fourth with 8.18 Yds/Att, yet he’s played in just four games with the Broncos already having had their bye. With starting running back Montee Ball out for an extended period of time, and the Jets run defense one of the best in the business, an even heavier workload than usual falls on Manning’s shoulders, and it’s scary to think about what type of fantasy point total he’s capable of posting with that being the case. The top pick for this week’s top five fantasy football quarterbacks was even easier than one might expect with his huge cost, but don’t get thrifty and bypass on Manning.