Week 6 of the NFL season is upon us, and it brings the first bye week of the year as well. If fantasy managers are forced to look for replacements in their lineups, there are a number of favorable matchups to leverage on this week’s game slate. We have three running back options to start and highlight which ones should sit in Week 6.
Running Back Starts
Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals
Walker is likely the top waiver wire candidate this week, and he remains a go-starter in fantasy lineups every week going forward. The loss of Rashaad Penny to a season-ending injury immediately vaults Walker in the RB1 spot in Seattle. He could be finding his rhythm at the perfect time as well, coming off a season-high 14.8 PPR fantasy performance in Week 5.
James Conner, Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks
Conner is going up against the Seahawks in Week 6, and through the start of the season, they’ve been especially accommodating to opposing running backs. They’re surrendering an average of 23.8 fantasy points per game to the position, which is the fifth-most in the league so far. This matchup could be a sneaky high-scoring game on the slate, so look for Conner to take advantage of scoring opportunities early and often.
Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots vs. Cleveland Browns
Stevenson had a career game in the Patriots' win over the Lions, totaling 161 rushing yards for a total of 19.5 PPR fantasy points. The odds of him putting up another strong performance this week are favorable with the Browns on deck, as they are giving up the third-most fantasy points to running backs (24.7 PPG). If Damien Harris is ruled out for Week 6, Stevenson is in an excellent position to be the lead option in the backfield.
Running Back Sits
Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams vs. Carolina Panthers
The Rams are an underwhelming 2-3 so far this season, and the lack of a running game has been one of many factors in their struggles. Los Angeles ranks dead last in rushing yards per game (62.4) and second-to-last in rushing yards per attempt (3.2). Their noteworthy struggles make Akers a sit this week, even against the lowly Panthers.
Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Steelers will likely go through some growing pains as they continue to roll with Kenny Pickett as the starter under center. Though Harris may get a larger volume of touches come his way as a result, his matchup this week isn’t favorable. The Bucs' defense remains top-tier through the first six weeks of the season, and they're giving up just 13.1 fantasy points per game to running backs, which is the third-fewest.
Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns vs. New England Patriots
The Patriots are coming off a 29-0 shutout win over the Lions, who entered Week 5 as one of the best-scoring offenses in the league. It’s a testament to their defense, which is giving up the sixth-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season (13.7 PPG). New England should make it tough on the Browns backfield as a whole, but fantasy points should be tough to come by with Hunt playing behind Nick Chubb.