Bench Miles Sanders In Fantasy, Start Zach Ertz & DeVonta Smith For Eagles vs. Bucs On Thursday Night Football

Bench Miles Sanders In Fantasy, Start Zach Ertz & DeVonta Smith For Eagles vs. Bucs On Thursday Night Football article feature image

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Eagles RB Miles Sanders

  • Should you start Eagles running back Miles Sanders in Week 6? What about Zach Ertz or DeVonta Smith?
  • Our analyst runs through whether to start or sit these three key players for Eagles vs. Bucs on Thursday Night Football.

Week 6 of the 2021 NFL season kicks off with what should be a fun, fantasy-friendly game on Thursday Night Football between the Eagles and Bucs. We know which players you're definitely starting or sitting, but let's run through the three you're likely on the fence about.

Eagles-Bucs Players To Start

DeVonta Smith, WR, Eagles

Smith has been inconsistent this season, due in part to shaky quarterback play from Jalen Hurts. The good news is that Smith is seeing a healthy target share (22.7%) and has at least seven catches in two straight games.

He hasn't found the end zone since Week 1, but he should have a lot of scoring opportunities against a leaky Buccaneers' secondary, which ranks second-to-last in fantasy points allowed and dead last in passing yards allowed.

Consider Smith a low-end WR2 with upside.

Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles

Ertz hasn't done much this season and caught just one of six targets for seven yards last week in Carolina, but he gets a matchup on the opposite end of the spectrum this week against the Buccaneers' Swiss cheese secondary — though the primary reason he makes an appearance on this list is that fellow tight end Dallas Goedert has been ruled out, meaning you can fire up Ertz as a top-12 TE play.

Eagles-Bucs Players To Sit

Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles

Sanders hasn't done much since Week 1 in Atlanta and didn't produce in Week 5, even when he saw nearly all the work out of the Eagles' backfield. He posted 11 carries for 45 yards and caught five of five passes for six yards while rookie Kenny Gainwell saw just two carries for 16 yards and caught a pass for eight yards.

It's a miserable matchup this week against the Buccaneers' top notch run defense, which is allowing an NFL-best 45.8 rushing yards per game this year. It's possible the team finds a way to use Sanders as more of a passing asset (similar to how the Dolphins deployed Gaskin last week), but he's simply too risky to play in what could be a negative game script for the Eagles.

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