Five fantasy football moves you should make for Week 6

Wednesday, 11 October 2017, 09:35:30 AM. These are the players to add, start, trade or bench this week.

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Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones should be in your starting lineup this week. (Michael Ainsworth/AP)

It’s a bummer when a megastar such as Odell Beckham Jr. — who brings fun to the football field and is one of the best wide receivers in the game — is lost for the season with a broken ankle. It was obvious in the immediate aftermath of the injury just how difficult it was on Beckham.

It’s also a bummer for his fantasy owners, because there isn’t an obvious replacement in the Giants’ receiving corps, and because in Weeks 1 and 2 the Beckham-less Giants offense was a flaming pile of sarcophagi. Eli Manning looks close to done. Brandon Marshall will also miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury, Sterling Shepard is day-to-day with his own ankle problem, and fill-in Roger Lewis is pretty much just another guy. Like I said: a bummer.

It’s also a bummer, but entirely expected, that we’d lose another star player, because the NFL is an outrageously violent playpen in which the density of bone hardly stands a chance. Think about it: Of the three no-brainer running backs in your fantasy draft, one (David Johnson) was lost in Week 1. And of the three no-brainer wideouts, one (Beckham) is also gone. It stinks, but there’s no avoiding it. Anyone can get hurt, and fantasy experts who tell you positional strategies to follow that will help you avoid injuries are snake-oil salespeople. There’s no such thing. The guillotine looms above us all.

Let’s look at some Week 6 maneuvers that could pay off, with the Cowboys, Seahawks, Bengals and Bills headed for byes:

Must-Add: Elijah McGuire, RB, Jets. It figures to be a slow week for the waiver wire, and I wouldn’t blow a ton of my FAAB to get McGuire, but he’s Week 6’s top add. The Jets combined for 34 rushing yards and one rushing first down on 18 carries Sunday against the lowly Browns, so I can’t call McGuire a future star, but the rookie figures to get all the work he can handle against the Patriots. Matt Forte has missed back-to-back games with a toe injury, and now early reports indicate Bilal Powell will miss Week 6 with the calf injury that sidelined him Sunday. McGuire is a lot like Powell: undersized, a good receiver, streaky and potentially valuable when volume comes his way. And the New England defense scares nobody.

(For more coverage of fantasy football, listen to the latest episode of the Fantasy Football Beat podcast.)

Must-Start: Aaron Jones, RB, GB. At this early date, we don’t know whether Ty Montgomery will return from his broken/bruised ribs in time for Sunday against the Vikings. But after watching Jones play against Dallas, I’m not sure I care. Jones wasn’t merely good in the box score (20 touches, 134 yards, 1 TD); he also dominated the snap count (Jones played 53 snaps while fellow rookie Jamaal Williams played two) and looked the part. Yes, Minnesota presents a sterner challenge than Dallas did without Sean Lee. But the guy who plays quarterback for the Packers is transcendent enough that any given week, you want his weapons. I can’t tell you for sure what the usage pattern will be if Montgomery is deemed healthy enough to play in Week 6, but I can say Jones is a more natural runner.

Trade For: LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills. It’s good timing. Buffalo is off this week, and the Shady owner in your league may not be able to wait for him. And you’ll get McCoy at a discount: He hasn’t scored a touchdown in five games, and we all know fantasy owners who get itchy trigger fingers. On film, McCoy still looks great– he had a 44-yard run called back by an unnecessary tight end holding penalty Sunday in Cincinnati — and while the Bills offense isn’t making anyone forget the 2016 Falcons, they’re known for producing rushing TDs. The scores are coming. Package a couple of bench players and get a star such as McCoy.

Trade Away: LeGarrette Blount, RB, Eagles. Those familiar with my oeuvre know I’m not a big fan of Mr. Blount’s skills: He’s lethargic, he can’t catch and his huge 2016 came as Tom Brady’s caddie in a great Patriots offense. I’ll give Blount credit for this: He’s a closer. He’s the guy you want carrying the rock when you’re up two touchdowns and the defense’s will is faltering. That’s what happened Sunday against Arizona, when seven of his 14 carries and 50 of his 74 yards came after the score was 31-7. That was often a winning formula last year in New England, but I can’t believe the Eagles frequently will be up by that many points, and the drawback of Blount even with Brady was that in a close game, or a game in which his team fell behind, he’d quickly become useless. Blount has 230 scrimmage yards in his past two games, so he looks great on the stat sheet. See if you can get someone to bite, and give you something real in return.

Must-Bench: Every Giants player. The Giants head to Denver in Week 6 for a national TV game against a rested Broncos defense that pretty clearly was the league’s best in September. That is not a winning formula. Those tempted to stream Evan Engram should recall that he caught zero of his three targets Sunday against the Chargers, and that the Broncos are not the Chargers. Eli Manning, Wayne Gallman, Orleans Darkwa, Sterling Shepard, Roger Lewis . . . Joe Morris, O.J. Anderson, Mark Bavaro, Phil McConkey . . . you’re all riding pine in this one.

Christopher Harris runs HarrisFootball.com, where you can find more info on the “Harris Football Podcast,” with new episodes every weekday.

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