1 of 6 | Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins leads the NFL with 13 touchdown passes. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 11 (UPI) — Kirk Cousins and Gardner Minshew are among UPI senior sports writer Alex Butler’s four must-start fantasy football quarterbacks for Week 6.
Justin Fields leads my Top 20 quarterback rankings, which are listed below. Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence join Cousins and Minshew as must-start plays. Several streaming options also can be found within my rankings.
Quarterbacks Jordan Love and Kenny Pickett should not be in starting lineups, as the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers have Week 6 byes. Anthony Richardson of the Indianapolis Colts should be benched or dropped because of his recent placement on injured reserve.
Tagovailoa leads the NFL with 1,614 passing yards and is tied for second with 11 touchdown passes through five weeks. The Miami Dolphins quarterback continues to provide high-end fantasy football QB1 value while surrounded with world-class fast weaponry at wide receiver and running back.
Tagovailoa totaled at least 300 passing yards and two scores in three of five games so far this season. I expect similar statistics Sunday, when the Dolphins host the Carolina Panthers. The Dolphins, who are expected to be without injured star rookie running back De’Von Achane, could be a bit less explosive on the ground, leading to more pass attempts for Tagovailoa. That should result in one of his best games of the season.
The Panthers allowed the fifth-fewest passing yards in the NFL through five weeks, but just surrendered 236 yards and three scores to Jared Goff and allowed Cousins to throw for two scores a week earlier. Look for Tagovailoa to carve up this defense in a Dolphins blowout. He is my No. 3 option.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings will face the Chicago Bears on Sunday in Chicago. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI
Like Tagovailoa, Cousins continues to be a prolific passer. The Minnesota Vikings quarterback leads the NFL in passing completions, attempts and touchdown passes (13). He is also averaging about 300 passing yards per game.
While a recent hamstring injury sustained by star wide receiver Justin Jefferson isn’t great for his long-term outlook, I think the Vikings’ other pass catchers are talented enough to help Cousins provide QB1 value in Week 6 against a struggling Chicago Bears defense.
Cousins, who threw for more than 340 yards in three games so far, also logged at least two touchdown tosses in every appearance this season. The Bears allowed the most fantasy points, passing yards (1,476) and second-most touchdown passes (12) to quarterbacks through five weeks.
Look for Cousins to log at least 44 pass attempts for the fifth time this season in what should be a high-scoring matchup. I expect at least 325 yards and two scores from the Vikings quarterback against a defense that just allowed 388 yards to Sam Howell.
Cousins is my No. 6 option.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence runs away from the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in London. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
Lawrence sits at No. 8 in my rankings. The Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback threw for a season-high 315 yards in Week 5 agains the Buffalo Bills. Now he will face an Indianapolis Colts defense that allowed the second-most passing yards (1,410) to quarterbacks through five weeks.
Lawrence only logged one multiple-touchdown game so far, but I expect this to be his second. He is a near-lock for at least 275 yards and two scores.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew (R) will start in Week 6 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI
Minshew isn’t someone you want to start on a regular basis, but he provides streaming value in Week 6. The veteran quarterback will earn his second start this season after fellow Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson landed on injured reserve.
Minshew threw for 227 yards and a score in Week 3, his first start this season. Look for a similar performance this week against one of his former teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars allowed the fifth-most passing yards (1,358) and ninth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks through five weeks. They also just surrendered 359 passing yards and three total scores to Josh Allen in Week 5.
Minshew, my No. 13 play, should provide low-end QB1 value. I expect close to 250 passing yards and two scores from the veteran backup.
Week 6 fantasy football quarterback rankings
1. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears vs. MIN
2. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals vs. SEA
3. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins vs. CAR
4. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills vs. NYG
5. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles at NYJ
6. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings at CHI
7. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens at TEN
8. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. IND
9. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers vs. DAL
10. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams vs. ARI
11. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys at LAC
12. Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers at CLE
13. Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis Colts at JAX
14. Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. DET
15. Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks at CIN
16. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions at TB
17. Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons vs. WAS
18. Jimmy Garoppolo, Las Vegas Raiders vs. NE
19. Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints at HOU
20. Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers at MIA
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa runs with the ball in the second quarter against the New York Giants in Week 5 of the NFL season at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on October 8, 2023. The Dolphins won 31-16. Photo by Larry Marano/UPI | License Photo