Week 6 of the 2020 NFL season is right around the corner. After a COVID-filled two weeks, this one appears to be going off without a hitch *knocks on wood*. Bye weeks are officially up and running, which means that fantasy football owners are once again looking to their benches for the best running back start/sit options. Alexander Mattison should be a star without Dalvin Cook, and Myles Gaskin offers a safe floor without Jordan Howard.
Alexander Mattison, Myles Gaskin Highlight Fantasy Football Week 6 Running Back Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em
Start: Alexander Mattison
As of this posting, Dalvin Cook looks like a longshot to suit up in Week 6. The star running back suffered a groin injury midway through Week 5 and could only return for one snap. This makes Alexander Mattison the de-facto leader of the backfield and a must-start in every possible format.
Mattison might not be as talented as Dalvin Cook, but he’s still an above-average runner and he will have a three-down role. In Cook’s partial absence last week, Mattison recorded 20 carries for 112 yards to go along with three receptions for another 24 yards. He has legitimate RB1 upside and should have a field day against a terrible Atlanta Falcons defense.
Sit: Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown
The Los Angeles Rams backfield is an absolute disaster for fantasy football. Head coach Sean McVay truly is using a three-headed approach, which means Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson, and Malcolm Brown simply don’t have enough volume for fantasy relevance. So far this season, each back has found a way to be a viable fantasy option, but only when one of the others is battling injury. All three are healthy heading into Week 6, so you should keep them all on your bench.
Start: Myles Gaskin
Through the first four weeks of the season, Myles Gaskin didn’t quite have the body of work to be a week-in, week-out starter. While the second-year pro had full control of the early-down snaps, the Dolphins gave all of the goal line work to Jordan Howard. Touchdowns are king in fantasy football, and Howard was siphoning all of the valuable touches away from Gaskin. However, Miami’s coaching staff appears to trust Gaskin with the red zone carries, as they made Howard inactive in Week 5. This should continue moving forward, giving Gaskin the necessary volume to be a viable start for fantasy.
Sit: Frank Gore, La’Michal Perine
Le’Veon Bell is out of town, but that doesn’t mean you should go out and get Frank Gore or La’Mical Perine. The New York Jets are an absolute mess, and nobody in this backfield is going to carry any type of fantasy relevance. The offense is the worst in the league, the offensive line can’t open holes, and both Gore and Perine don’t have the necessary talent to overcome their situation. Neither one of these guys did anything of note when Bell suffered his hamstring injury, and there’s no reason to think that will change now. Outside of Jamison Crowder, steer clear of the Jets in fantasy football.
Start: Phillip Lindsay Without Melvin Gordon
Earlier in the week, Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon was charged with DUI while going more than 25 miles per hour over the speed limit. Looking at this through solely a fantasy football lens, now is the perfect time to grab Phillip Lindsay. While the NFL probably won’t impose a suspension until all the facts are in, there’s a very real chance that the Broncos suspend Gordon for at least one week. If this happens, Phillip Lindsay will have complete control of Denver’s backfield. Lindsay faces off against a good New England Patriots defense, so the ceiling is somewhat limited. However, the volume alone makes him a solid flex play.
Sit: Leonard Fournette
For the time being, this is Ronald Jones’ backfield. Leonard Fournette is coming back from an injury, but he wasn’t even the starter when he was healthy. He’ll need to earn his way back onto the field, as Ronald Jones has actually played well in the past two weeks. Since Fournette’s injury, Jones has recorded 37 carries for 217 yards, good for an impressive 5.86 average. Fournette might see some of the passing work, but the volume just isn’t there to trust him in fantasy football.
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