We’re onto Week 6 as we welcome the start of NFL bye weeks. At quarterback, there are usually enough decent options unless there’s a brutal combination of quarterbacks out, but this week isn’t so bad in terms of byes. However, matchups and injuries are still thinning out the rankings, making it somewhat difficult to find 12 worthwhile starters in our Week 6 fantasy QB rankings.
To begin, we’ll note Jameis Winston, Matt Ryan, Zach Wilson, and Trey Lance/Jimmy Garoppolo are all on byes, so those are the guys off the table. Luckily, none have been all that attractive to start this year anyway, so it’s unlikely anyone was starting them every week in single-QB leagues.
Kyler Murray (@ Browns), Lamar Jackson (vs. Chargers), Dak Prescott (vs. Cowboys), and Justin Herbert (vs. Ravens) are notable studs with tough matchups this week, but none can be benched. Russell Wilson (@ Steelers) would’ve been on this list, but sadly he’s on the shelf for the foreseeable future because of a hand injury. Geno Smith is off-limits for the time being.
Among attractive streamers, Sam Darnold (vs. Vikings) and Taylor Heinicke (vs. Chiefs) have both produced solid fantasy performances this year and can do so against some bottom-dweller defenses even though they’re both coming off their worst performances of the season. Consider both decent streamers. Daniel Jones (vs. Rams) has a tough matchup on paper, but he is also a streaming option if healthy. His dual-threat upside can give him value against anyone, but he suffered a nasty head injury last week, so he might be out this week, too. Lower-tier streamers include Carson Wentz (vs. Texans) and Mac Jones (vs. Cowboys).
Kirk Cousins (@ Panthers), Derek Carr (@ Broncos), Ryan Tannehill (vs. Bills), and Teddy Bridgewater (vs. LV) have been solid options in some weeks this season, but their matchups look to be difficult in Week 6. Tua Tagovailoa (@ Jaguars), Ben Roethlisberger (vs. Seahawks), and Jared Goff (vs. Bengals) have decent matchups on the surface, but they’re tough to trust. It wouldn’t be a complete surprise to see any of them have a decent game, though, so don’t completely write them off if you’re trying to force in a mediocre QB in a tough matchup.
Just as a side note, what a week it is for the top dogs Josh Allen (@ Titans) and Patrick Mahomes (@ Washington). Those two have some of the most favorable matchups possible, so it should be a fun week for the very top of the position.
In Superflex/two-QB leagues, you might’ve been relying on one of the quarterbacks who are off in Week 6. Now that byes are beginning, the deeper part of our rankings will have much more meaning. Just looking ahead, this was one of the more mild bye weeks as far as its effect at the top of the rankings. It will get worse, so enjoy this while you can.
Note: We’ll be updating these QB rankings as needed throughout the week, so check back for the latest changes and analysis.
Fantasy QB Rankings Week 6: Who to start at quarterback
Rankings are based on standard, four-point passing TD formats.
|1||Patrick Mahomes, KC @ WAS|
|2||Josh Allen, BUF @ TEN|
|3||Matthew Stafford, LAR @ NYG|
|4||Kyler Murray, ARI @ CLE|
|5||Tom Brady, TB @ PHI|
|6||Jalen Hurts, PHI vs. TB|
|7||Aaron Rodgers, GB @ CHI|
|8||Lamar Jackson, BAL vs. LAC|
|9||Dak Prescott, DAL @ NE|
|10||Joe Burrow, CIN @ DET. Keep up with Burrow’s throat injury situation, but if he’s good to go, Cincinatti’s WR group well outmatches the Lions’ secondary, and Burrow has looked much improved in his sophomore season. This could be one of Burrow’s best games as a pro in his young career.|
|11||Justin Herbert, LAC vs. BAL. Yes, Herbert is coming off a game of over 400 total yards and five total touchdowns, but we have to think Baltimore won’t be so generous. You’re obviously going to start him, but look for the Ravens’ to force LA into running the ball, keeping Herbert from a monstrous game on the road. After all, Baltimore lives on controlling the clock and keeping offenses off the field.|
|12||Sam Darnold, CAR vs. MIN. We got our first taste of fantasy disappointment from Darnold in Week 5, as he threw for fewer than 200 yards and tossed three interceptions. However, despite Minnesota playing solid defense the past two weeks, we like Darnold’s chances to bounce back. There certainly is the risk he stacks another dud, though, which is why he’s only a borderline starter.|
|13||Daniel Jones, NYG vs. LAR. While the Rams aren’t an awful defense, they aren’t the elite defense we’ve seen in years past. If Jones is active (concussion), he’s shown the ability to put up QB1 performances and should be called on to rush more in the absence of Saquon Barkley (ankle).|
|14||Kirk Cousins, MIN @ CAR. The Panthers’ defense is strong, but Cousins always has a high ceiling. He’s been streaky throughout his career, and this year is no different. After a red-hot start, he’s cooled down in the last two weeks, but we like his chances to pick it back up and view him as a high-end QB2.|
|15||Carson Wentz, IND vs. HOU. Wentz has been better than you think in fantasy this season. He’s posted at least 17.9 points in four of his past five contests, including a 400-yard, two-TD effort last Monday against Baltimore. The Colts’ offense could keep it rolling against Houston’s porous secondary. Michael Pittman Jr. has quietly started to break out, and the offense as a whole has shown signs of life with an improved rushing attack led by Jonathan Taylor.|
|16||Taylor Heinicke, WAS vs. KC. We have realistic expectations for Heinicke, which is why he’s only ranked at No. 15, but his ceiling is sky high against one of the worst defenses in the league this week. We’ve seen him torch the Atlanta defense, and at this point, Kansas City’s unit might be worse. That said, he is a backup with limited weapons in the absence of Curtis Samuel (groin) and Logan Thomas (hamstring), so we refrained from moving him any higher. He should have a safe floor, though, even if it does come with an INT or two.|
|17||Mac Jones, NE vs. DAL. Jones has his fair share of struggles against Houston, but he still showed us enough positive play to like his chances against Dallas. Heading into Week 5, Dallas had given up the fourth-most points to fantasy quarterbacks. Whether this is a back-and-forth game or Jones gets it done in garbage time, he should have the chance to rack up plenty of points in this contest.|
|18||Ben Roethlisberger, PIT vs. SEA. This is a great matchup on paper, and many quarterbacks would be a top-10 play heading into a game with Seattle. Despite Roethlisberger showing some flashes of his former self against Denver, we can’t fully trust him just yet. However, he’s barely been startable in supeflex/two-QB leagues this year, but in this matchup, he is.|
|19||Ryan Tannehill, TEN vs. BUF. Buffalo is arguably the best defense in football, and the Titans’ passing attack is lacking the big-play ability we’ve seen over the past two seasons with Tannehill at the helm. The good news is A.J. Brown is getting healthier (although he was on a snap count against Jacksonville), but the bad news is Julio Jones is still likely to be questionable with a hamstring issue. Of course, if Brown and Jones can get healthy and share the field, Tannehill’s season-long prospects will look better, but for now, it’s tough to view him as more than a low-end QB2.|
|20||Teddy Bridgewater, DEN vs. LV. After a slow start in Pittsburgh, Bridgewater salvaged his day with 288 yards and two passing touchdowns late in the game. He’s been pretty consistent thus far, but his ceiling appears to be somewhat low. Las Vegas has actually been very strong against WRs and this game feels like one where Denver relies heavily on Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams to carry the load on the ground.|
|21||Tua Tagovailoa, MIA @ JAX|
|22||Derek Carr, LV @ DEN|
|23||Jared Goff, DET vs. CIN|
|24||Baker Mayfield, CLE vs. ARI|
|25||Trevor Lawrence, JAX vs. MIA|
|26||Justin Fields, CHI vs. GB|
|27||Geno Smith, SEA @ PIT|
|28||Davis Mills, HOU @ IND|