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Risk and the amount of it we take on a daily basis is a constant battle. Some people live for the adrenaline rush of a big gamble, while others tend to shy away from anything associated with danger. Fantasy football is not a hobby for those with risk-averse tendencies, as the tilt is very real.
With bye weeks beginning it’s even tougher to be able to make lineup decisions based on matchups, but if you have the luxury of other options, here are some players to lower your expectations for, or not start at all if you can possibly swing it.
Aaron Rodgers (Packers) @ Bears
It’s highly probable that you won’t be benching Aaron Rodgers this week, but I would be negligent to not include the reigning MVP in this column for Week 6. The Bears' chances of forcing a shootout in this contest like Rodgers benefited from last week are pretty slim, and their defense is playing tough against QBs this season.
Chicago is only allowing 16 fantasy points per game to opposing signal callers through five games, and without any rushing upside, Rodgers could wind up more in the QB2 range, better suited for superflex or 2QB formats. If you have another option you may want to think about rolling with him, or just don’t count on a big week from the 37-year-old.
A.J. Brown (Titans) vs. Bills
Brown hasn’t posted double-digit half-PPR points since Week 1 and even that was a meh 12.9 pts. I know you’re waiting - probably not so patiently - for your late-second to early-third round pick to return value, but this week probably isn’t going to be the one.
Buffalo is tops against WRs so far this season, only allowing 558 receiving yards and two touchdowns to the position in five games, and yielding the least amount of half-PPR points per game to receiving corps (19.5). It may be tough to sit Brown after he missed Week 4 and whiffed against the Jaguars last Sunday, but it could be ugly again for the 24-year-old on Monday night.
Josh Jacobs (Raiders) @ Broncos
In the three games he’s played in, Jacobs is averaging 13.1 half-PPR points as the fantasy RB18. He hasn’t been highly efficient as a runner (3.2 yards Y/A), but his passing game involvement has saved him in terms of fantasy production.
A trip to the Mile High City is not ideal for any sort of breakout for Jacobs, as the Broncos are only allowing 11.8 half-PPR points per contest to opposing backfields, with just two rushing touchdowns surrendered and only 65 total receiving yards to RBs. That’s a double-whammy of trepidation for Jacobs and his potential to put up points via ground and air this week.
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Adam Thielen (Vikings) @ Panthers
It’s been four straight contests with 50 or fewer yards for Thielen and he hasn’t found the end zone since Week 3. His red-zone usage is down too, as he’s only seen four targets inside the 20-yard line so far in 2021 which is usually his fantasy livelihood.
Minnesota travels to Carolina this week, to face a Panthers’ defense that’s allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points to wideouts so far. Thielen’s lower volume - particularly in the red zone - along with a difficult matchup make him a WR3 for me this week instead of his normal WR2 status.
Dalton Schultz (Cowboys) @ Patriots
If you had told me in June that Schultz would make my list of every-week starters with bust potential I’d probably still be laughing, but here we are. The Dallas TE has emerged as a legitimate fantasy asset and is currently TE5 in half-PPR points per tilt.
This week he could struggle to put points on the board in New England however, as the Patriots defense is stout inside the 20-yard line, boasting the fifth-best red zone touchdown rate in the league (50%). All three of Schultz’s touchdowns in 2021 have been from the red zone, with one inside the 10-yard line. Sitting Schultz may not be an option as we’re already without George Kittle and Kyle Pitts, and there are plenty of injuries, but at least don’t expect a fantasy TE1 day out of the 25-year old on Sunday.