2. Jay Cutler (DEN) – After a monster start to the 2008 season, Cutler has cooled off in his last 2 games. That said, we fully expect the hot hand to return in week 6 against a Jacksonville pass defense that is on the slide. The Jaguars pass defense now ranks 26th in the NFL and has allowed back to back 300 yard, 3 TD passing games, last week to a beat up Ben Roethlisberger and week 4 to a struggling Matt Schaub. Cutler has a good chance to extend Jacksonville’s streak to 3 straight games of 300 yards and 3 TD’s through the air. He is a must start with this match up.
3. Drew Brees (NO) – He had mixed results in his week 5 match up against the Vikings. While Brees managed to throw for over 300 yards for the third consecutive game, he only posted 1 TD and turned the ball over 3 times. He will face a middle of the road, but improving Raiders pass defense in week 6. Oakland’s secondary will probably challenge Brees to some extent in this game, but he will ultimately come out on top. Brees is averaging a league best 335 passing yards per game, and he should be in your week 6 fantasy line up.
4. Kurt Warner (ARI) – The average game so far this season for Warner includes 294 passing yards and 2 passing TD’s. He should be in that neighborhood once again in week 6 against a struggling and beat up Dallas pass defense in what looks to be a pass heavy match up. The Cowboys are allowing a lofty 210 passing yards per game and only have 1 interception on the season. Dallas will also be without starting CB Terence Newman and SS Roy Williams this week. Warner makes for a strong fantasy start in a favorable week 6 match up at home.
5. Aaron Rodgers (GB) – For a guy that could barely throw a tennis ball last Thursday in practice to go out and throw for over 300 yards and 3 TD’s on Sunday is impressive to say the least. Rodgers’ injured shoulder should be up to the challenge once again in week 6 as well. He will face the Seahawks 25th ranked pass defense that allows 237 passing yards per game on average. They have also given up 7 passing TD’s and only have 1 interception through 4 games. Rodgers should handle this defense with ease barring any setbacks with his shoulder. Check injury report: shoulder
6. Brett Favre (NYJ) – A 6 TD performance in week 4 has propelled Favre to an NFL leading 12 passing TD’s on the season in spite of a week 5 bye. While it is unimaginable to expect Favre to throw 6 TD’s in a week 6 match up with Cincinnati, we do expect another strong fantasy performance. The Bengals have been impressive against the pass so far this season, but that is mostly due to the ease with which teams run the football against them. In case you haven’t noticed, the Jets do not run the football often against any opponent, so Favre should put this defense to the test, and he will likely come out on top.
7. Jason Campbell (WAS) – Week 5 was not especially kind to Campbell and fantasy owners alike, but we do expect him to rebound with a strong week 6. Campbell will almost certainly come out throwing early and often against the Rams 28th ranked pass defense. St. Louis has been horrible against the pass so far this season allowing 246 yards passing per game, as well as 8 TD’s through the air and only 1 interception in 4 games. Campbell should get back to finding Santana Moss deep this week, and the match up is ideal for your starting fantasy roster.
8. Eli Manning (NYG) – Over his last 3 games, Manning is averaging 272 yards and 2 passing TD’s per game, and maybe more importantly, he has not thrown a single interception since week 1. There is no doubt that he has been impressive of late, but he hasn’t exactly faced any juggernauts on defense over that stretch either. He should be solid again in week 6, but the Browns pass defense will not be a pushover. The Cleveland pass defense ranks 10th in the NFL and they have only given up 3 passing TD’s in 4 games against some pretty good competition at QB. They have also recorded 6 interceptions. Manning should play well, especially with Plaxico Burress back from suspension, but don’t expect this match up to be a walk in the park for him as advertised just because it’s the Browns.
9. Peyton Manning (IND) – While Manning looked better in week 5 than he has looked all season; he was still below par by his standards. He will be hard pressed to show improvement in week 6 facing the Ravens number one ranked pass defense, but we like his chances. The Baltimore defense has been great defending the pass all season, but they have yet to face a passing attack of the Colts caliber. On top of that, Baltimore will be without CB’s Fabian Washington and Samari Rolle due to injuries. In addition, he threw for 249 yards and 4 TD’s in a game against them last season, although Manning and the Ravens defense were on opposite sides of the spectrum from where they each were at this time a year ago. We don’t think Manning will light them up as he did in 2007, but we do expect a solid effort.
10. Donovan McNabb (PHI) – After a strong fantasy campaign through the first 2 weeks, McNabb has struggled a bit in the face of stiff competition the last 3 weeks. A week 6 match up against the 49ers should provide some much needed relief, and we expect him to get back on track this week to some extent. We don’t think he will torch the 19th ranked San Francisco pass defense, especially if Brian Westbrook is out, but he should improve on his mediocre production in recent games. McNabb is worth starting in week 6, unless you have a better option.
11. Kyle Orton (CHI) – With an average of 267 yards passing and 7 TD’s in his last 3 games, Orton has been about as solid as anyone in the NFL at QB recently. It may not last for long, but we like his chances at least through week 6 with a favorable match up against Atlanta. The Falcons pass defense ranks near the bottom of the NFL and has allowed 9 passing TD’s already this season, not to mention an injured Aaron Rodgers lit them up last week. Orton probably isn’t your best week 6 fantasy option at QB, but if he is, ride the hot hand with this match up.
12. Phillip Rivers (SD) – The last 2 weeks have been an unwelcome reminder as to just how unreliable Rivers can be as a fantasy QB. After 3 straight monster efforts to begin the season, we gave him the benefit of the doubt that he had turned the corner with regard to his week to week dependability, but it was not to be. There is a possibility that he could get back on track in week 6 against New England, but we wouldn’t bet the farm on it. The Patriots are fairly solid against the pass and Rivers’ numbers are on a steady decline of late. To his credit, Rivers does tend to play well in night games, and he has a decent shot to do so again, but you might consider a better option this week if you have one until he gets back on track.
13. Jake Delhomme (CAR) – He still isn’t setting the world on fire, but Delhomme has shown vast improvement in his last 2 contests. He will face Tampa Bay’s 21st ranked pass defense in week 6. While the Buccaneers have struggled against opposing QB’s for the most part this season as their ranking suggests, they are still dangerous, especially in a division rivalry game at home. Delhomme has the weapons to do some damage, but we think this match up will be tougher than it looks on paper. He is only worth starting this week if your options are somewhat limited at QB.
14. Gus Frerotte (MIN) – He is not someone that we would typically suggest for fantasy use, but any QB facing the Lions has more than a decent shot at solid production. The Detroit pass defense has allowed 2 passing TD’s per game on average to go along with a lofty 250 yards passing per game. They only have 4 sacks on the season and have yet to record a single interception as well. While Frerotte has been decent through 3 starts this season, we aren’t sure that he is capable of torching any defense, even one as bad as the Lions. We do know that he almost certainly won’t hurt you with this match up, and he is solid this week if you are in need of a starting fantasy QB as a bye week replacement.
15. Matt Schaub (HOU) – He will return to the Texans starting line up this week after spending last weekend in the hospital with severe flu like symptoms. Schaub should be at full strength for a week 6 match up with Miami. While Schaub was worse than bad in his first 2 games of the season, week 4 proved to be a promising break out fantasy week for him. He will face a Dolphins pass defense that ranks 15th in the NFL, but they have shown great improvement in their last 2 games since being torched by Kurt Warner in week 2. In all honesty, we aren’t completely sold on Schaub or the Miami pass defense just yet, so it is anyone’s guess as to how this match up will turn out, but we think it favors Schaub slightly. We like Schaub’s potential, but one great game is not enough to remove the risky banner he so deservedly earned in his first 2 games.
16. David Garrard (JAX) – He isn’t quite back to putting up 2007 type numbers, but he seems to be getting a little better each week. That said, we kind of like his chances in week 6 against Denver. The Broncos pass defense has looked better in its own right the last 2 weeks, but they still rank near the bottom of the NFL in pass defense and have certainly proved vulnerable in that area. A week 6 start could pay off, but Garrard still hasn’t established himself as a reliable week to week fantasy option. Even with the promising match up, Garrard is a little shaky in our opinion.
17. Matt Cassel (NE) – The fact that he finally built up the nerve to throw to a double covered Randy Moss with positive results bodes well. A match up against the NFL’s worst pass defense this week doesn’t hurt either, but in all honesty, Cassel is not a very good QB, period. He has had great match ups practically every game he has started and has yielded mediocre results at best. Week 6 against a Charger pass defense that has allowed more passing yards and TD’s than any other team in the NFL certainly has the potential to be his best performance to date, but we wouldn’t count on it if we were you. Cassel is worthy as a bye week filler for week 6, but only because of the match up.
18. Chad Pennington (MIA) – He probably isn’t going to be the big bread winner in your fantasy line up this week or any week for that matter, but Pennington has established himself as an efficient signal caller that certainly won’t break you in any match up either. He will face a solid, but vulnerable Houston pass defense in week 6. Pennington is not a highly recommended fantasy option with this match up, but he should suffice if you are in a pinch.
19. J.T. O'Sullivan (SF) - With 6 TD passes in his last 3 games, O'Sullivan has proven to be a capable fantasy QB, but only when the match up is right. Unfortunately, a week 6 match up against the blitz heavy Philadelphia Eagles is not the right match up for him. The Eagles can be vulnerable against the pass, but O'Sullivan simply doesn't have the experience to dominate this defense. He is not a safe fantasy start this week, and should only be used if you are in a really tight spot.
20. Matt Ryan (ATL) - It looks like he is starting to come along nicely, and a 2 TD week 5 performance was his best to date, but he isn't quite there yet. In spite of a favorable match up against a shaky Bears secondary, we do not suggest using Ryan in fantasy play unless you are completely desperate.