Oct 14, 2011
Injuries and six teams being off never make things easy, but hopefully I can help you navigate your way through all thirteen of the Week Six games.
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons
If Cam Newton can do what he did last week, I’ll have no worries about him the rest of the way. He doesn’t need to throw for a lot of yards as long as he continues to be active near the goal line, and that appears to be exactly what will happen. If you own DeAngelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart, they are probably good flex plays this week, but since they are splitting touches and will probably need a longer TD to score, you have to readjust any expectations going forward. Matt Ryan continues to hold back this offense and while they should still do well this week, they won’t reach their full potential or at least achieve what they want with him throwing ducks downfield. Michael Turner should be a nice play in this game only because he’ll get enough volume to produce, but if they fall behind, he’s never going to produce like a #2 RB.
Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals
Cedric Benson still doesn’t seem that happy with his role, but as we continue to see, backs can do some damage against this weak Indy defensive interior, especially a bigger back like Benson. I’d be happy to have him in my lineup. A.J. Green has been nicknamed “Auto-Tune” by our own Joe Dolan because he fixes all of Andy Dalton’s mistakes. I was holding out on getting too excited about Green because of the limitations of Dalton, but it’s apparent, not even he can stop Green from having a nice season. Curtis Painter isn’t terrible. That’s as far as I’ll go for now, but he definitely helps the value of Pierre Garcon and hopefully Reggie Wayne. Obviously, those two players won’t be what they would have been with Peyton Manning, but they’ll be good enough to use.
San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions
I love hearing that this is being called the “Turnaround Bowl.” While I expect the Lions to be contenders this season, the play of the 49ers has shocked me. I’m still not sold on Alex Smith, especially since he’s not a player I want as my QB if I’m trailing. This receiving corps has been really hurt by injuries and Vernon Davis can’t do it all. Luckily, they have a good running game that can continue to carry them because their defense is playing great and keeping them in every game. The 49er OL was not happy with the negative descriptions they received early in the season and have responded well, but they’ll face quite a test against the Lions. Matthew Stafford-to-Calvin Johnson has become my favorite connection joining Aaron Rodgers-to-Greg Jennings, and it appears that no one has a way to stop them. Jahvid Best got most of his yards on a long run last week, but he’ll face a tough test against the 49ers. Might we see more of Keiland Williams?
St. Louis Rams at Green Bay Packers
Steven Jackson says he’s 100 percent, but that might not mean anything in this game since he probably won’t have many chances to run it. The Rams have lost their top two CBs this season and have put SEVEN DBs on the IR. You can’t ask for a better matchup for the Packers. I’d be rolling with all their usual fantasy starters, and would have no problem taking a flier on Donald Driver or even John Kuhn if the bye weeks are hurting you. I would be shocked if they didn’t win this game by less than 20 points. Nothing more needs to be said.
Buffalo Bills at New York Giants
This is one of the better matchups of the week when it comes to fantasy because both of these teams can throw the ball and both secondaries are vulnerable. I may not love Victor Cruz, but he’s carved out a role on this team and has earned the trust of Eli Manning, which sometimes can be just as important as talent. Ahmad Bradshaw has reportedly been upset with the play of his OL, and he has every right to be considering he’s been dealing with their shaky play for the last few seasons yet still producing. He should get back on track this week. Oh, and Eli Manning is about as solid of a fantasy QB as you’re going to get. Interceptions aside, this guy gets it done for fantasy. The Bills suffered a big loss with Donald Jones injuring his ankle, but hopefully that gets David Nelson back into the mix a little more. For as well as the Bills have thrown it, Fred Jackson continues to be a start in this offense, and it’s gotten to the point where I expect him to be a reliable fantasy producer no matter what the matchup.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers
Abandon all hope with the Jaguars unless you own Maurice Jones-Drew. The Steelers should load up the box to stop him this week because the passing game is an absolute joke. I’ll be interested to see what Rashard Mendenhall does coming back, but as we saw last week the OL continues to struggle, which I wasn’t surprised to see Isaac Redman disappoint. Hines Ward made his presence felt in the red zone last week, but I don’t expect this to be a start of a resurgence. Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown are still the team’s best two fantasy receivers for the long-term.
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins
I don’t believe in must-win games in Week Six, but this is as close as it gets to one for the Eagles. They should respond because I don’t think Rex Grossman will test their defense. However, for as shaky as Grossman is, Jabar Gaffney and Santana Moss will continue to be solid fantasy players. Also, with Chris Cooley banged up again, this certainly looks like a nice week to give Fred Davis a shot since the Eagles haven’t stopped a TE in years. For those of you worried about the RB situation in Washington, I totally understand, but for this week, I’d feel just fine with Ryan Torain in my lineup. He’s the guy until further notice or he looks at a Shanahan the wrong way. Washington’s defense has played decent this season, but I keep having flashbacks to last season on Monday Night Football when Mike Vick and the Eagles absolutely destroyed them. I’m not saying it’ll be that bad, but the Eagles really need to win this game.
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens
Will we get decent or awful Joe Flacco this week? Well, at least he won’t have to worry about Mario Williams, although the Texan pass rush has been pretty good besides Williams this season and Flacco isn’t good under pressure. Both secondaries can be thrown on, but you have to think that both teams will rely on their backs, Ray Rice and Arian Foster, since their QBs have been tough to trust at times this season. Torrey Smith is getting another start for the perpetually hobbled Lee Evans, and could be a nice reach play since the Texans don’t have much in their secondary besides Johnathan Joseph. Ed Dickson is an intriguing player to use if you’re stuck at TE because of injuries and/or bye weeks.
Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders
Greg Little has officially been named a starter, but I’m still not ready to plug him into to my lineup so easily. The growing pains will continue to be there because as I’ve said many times, this entire offense is still developing, most importantly, Colt McCoy. I think Little’s value has risen to the point where he can be a #3 fantasy WR if you need him, but you shouldn’t be banking on anything consistent just yet. The Peyton Hillis drama continues to put a cloud over his future and you have to wonder if Montario Hardesty will begin to see an even bigger role if the Browns make it clear they really don’t want to give Hillis a long-term deal. Frankly, based on his rushing style, I don’t blame them. The Raiders will continue to be a run-first team, but I’m very interested to see if Darrius Heyward-Bey can put together a third straight impressive performance. I want to trust him, but that also means relying on Jason Campbell, which makes this leap of faith even bigger. Let’s see what DHB can do against a Brown defense that probably won’t have their top CB, Joe Haden.
Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots
Obviously, this is the marquee matchup of the weekend for fantasy players, and I don’t think it will disappoint. The Patriots showed last week that they can run and pass it with success, but I’m still not sold on their defense since Mark Sanchez and the Jets didn’t exactly test them. If you have a Patriot receiver besides Chad Ochocinco, you should be starting them. The Cowboys finally get healthy with the return of Miles Austin and hopefully Dez Bryant getting some extra time for his quad to heal. Dallas’ passing game can be downright scary with those two guys on the field at the same time and New England won’t give them much resistance, especially since Tony Romo doesn’t have to worry about them bringing much of a pass rush. This should be a great one to watch.
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers have been shaky all season, but losing DT Gerald McCoy and RB LeGarrette Blount makes things that much worse. I’ve always liked Earnest Graham, and while he might not be the runner Blount is, if the Buccaneers trail, and they will, he’s a good pass-catcher, which will keep him in the mix. Mike Williams acknowledged how poorly he’s played by apologizing to teammates and HC Raheem Morris. Josh Freeman deserves some of the blame for Williams disappointing season, and while I don’t expect either guy to all of a sudden turn it around in this game, at least take some shots downfield and give yourself a chance to hang in this game. Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles continue to carry the Saint offense both through the air and on the ground, but it looks like Marques Colston is ready to resume his role as the team’s #1 WR, although I still believe Graham will remain the top passing option. Mark Ingram has been active in the red zone, but his touches might increase if the team has a healthy lead. There’s no reason to give up on him.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
I’ve always been a Jay Cutler apologist and the flak he took after the NFC Championship last season was ridiculous, and that point was proven even further by the performance he had against the Lions on Monday night. I don’t remember him having the time to set his feet on many throws because the OL gave him no chance against a dangerous Lion pass rush. To his credit, Cutler stayed tough and did everything he could to get the ball away to one of the worst receiving corps in the league. There should be no questioning this guy’s toughness, and in fact, I wish he had a chance to play on a team with just an average OL and a decent set of receivers, because as we saw in Denver, he can do some damage with a little talent around him. Hopefully Mike Martz is serious when he says they’ll adjust the offense to avoid so many deep dropbacks, and they better against a Viking pass rush that will get after Cutler. Dane Sanzenbacher has become the team’s most reliable fantasy WR and will be again this week. Expect this one to be all about the great RBs, Matt Forte and Adrian Peterson. Unlike Cutler, McNabb has no business being a starting NFL QB, and he’s killing any value Percy Harvin should have. The Viking passing offense is a joke.
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets
Matt Moore with just under two weeks of practice vs Mark Sanchez, who can’t get enough practice time. I know Jaws and Jon Gruden will be cringing in the booth watching these two guys go at it. At least Brandon Marshall plans on making things interesting by looking to get into a fight and thrown out before halftime. That’s probably the most action he’ll see with the little time he’s had with Moore and being the lucky one to draw Darrelle Revis. This should be another game where the RBs are heavily featured. I don’t expect much out of the Dolphin passing attack, so the return of Daniel Thomas will be a welcome one. He might struggle against the Jet going back to their base defense, but anyone is better than Reggie Bush running between the tackles. Shonn Greene should have a chance to build on his nice game last week, but the Jets may also look to get Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller going over the middle and deep down the field against a beatable Dolphin pass defense. There’s still hope for the Jets, but I don’t see much left for the Dolphins.
Remember, you can leave any lineup questions or comments down below or send them to me on Twitter (@TheMattCamp). May you all get wins in Week Six.