Start ’em, Sit ’em, Smash ’em

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The GameDay live chat kicks off at 10:30am eastern on Sunday and runs for one full hour. Bring your fantasy questions and predictions for Week 6. I need all the help I can get.

FADE OF THE WEEK (Season: 2-3)

Last week: NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-3.5) vs. San Diego Chargers (win)

Two wins in a row? I haven’t been this hot since it hit 114 degrees out here in Vegas back in August.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-4.5) vs. New York Giants: This is a big game for both teams, but I’ll take home field advantage and the more reliable defense over the team that has to travel across the country.


This is getting real ugly, real fast. A 1-4 record last week puts us at 10-15 on the season. Flip that around and it’s respectable. Keep it where it is and it’s an embarrassment to my family’s good name.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-4.5) vs. New York Giants
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-3.5) vs. Brady Quinn
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (+3.5) vs. New England Patriots
DETROIT LIONS (+4.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (-1.5) vs. Denver Broncos

CLICK HERE for all of the current Week 6 lines.


We moved to 4-1 on the season after the Giants came back to smash the Browns last Sunday afternoon. So what do I have in store for this week?

ATLANTA FALCONS over Oakland Raiders: This is a real tough week for survivor selections and with Atlanta as the biggest favorite on the board, we’ll jump on the wagon for this Sunday.

Teams used prior to this week: Detroit, New England, Chicago, Green Bay, NY Giants


Due to popular demand, we’re still rolling with the format we’ve used the last couple of weeks: $2 entry, $1,000 prize pool and bragging rights if you can take down Matt Bowen and myself. Bowen will likely be posting his roster on the site sometime in the next couple of days, so study up and then let us have it on twitter.

CLICK HERE to enter.


Christian PonderNext man up: Ponder should produce a solid stat line against the 'Skins on Sunday.

Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings (at Washington): With the bye week sending starting signal-callers like Drew Brees and Cam Newton to the bench this weekend, many of you may be looking for a capable replacement to get you through Sunday. We advise you take a look at Ponder, who has thrown two touchdown passes in three of his last four starts and currently boasts a QB rating of 95.5. In addition, the second-year quarterback has a Week 6 date with a Washington defense that is surrendering an average of 25.2 fantasy points per game this season (third-most in NFL). This also means we think wideout Percy Harvin is due for a monster outing.

Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Kansas City): Martin’s off to a relatively slow start this year, but he’s averaging 19.7 touches per game and is coming off a bye, so we’re expecting a solid all-around performance out of the rookie from Boise State on Sunday. But the main reason for our optimism lies with Martin’s opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs, who currently rank 22nd in the NFL against the run (121.0 yds/gm) and are giving up an average of 22.1 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs in 2012 (10th-most in NFL). This isn’t the best of options, but Martin makes for a respectable RB2/flex for Week 6.

Michael Crabtree, WR, San Francisco 49ers (vs. NY Giants): Crabtree put up modest numbers over the first four weeks of the season, but broke through in Week 5 against the Bills with a 113-yard effort and his first touchdown of the year. He’s not the safest of options on the board, but the fourth-year wide receiver does have a very favorable matchup on Sunday against a Giants defense that currently ranks 22nd in the league against the pass (274.0 yds/gm) and is surrendering an average of 27.3 fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts this season (seventh-most in NFL).

Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns (vs. Cincinnati): The rookie from Alabama is averaging a healthy 21.4 touches per game through five weeks and ripped off 145 total yards and two scores back in Week 2 against this same Bengals football team. And that wasn’t a fluke, because so far this season Cincinnati ranks 19th in the NFL in run defense (118.2 yds/gm) and is surrendering an average of 22.6 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (eighth-most in NFL). This is a great spot for Richardson.

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos (at San Diego): The second-year wideout has posted 100+ receiving yards in each of his last two starts and ranks 15th in the NFL in targets (46). And with the total for Monday night’s Bolts-Broncos game opening at 50 here in Vegas, the underlying assumption is that this game has all the makings of a shootout. On the other side of the ball sits a San Diego defense that currently ranks 21st in the NFL against the pass (273.4 yds/gm) and is giving up an average of 25.7 fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts this season (ninth-most in NFL). Expect Peyton Manning to be looking Thomas’ way when Denver gets inside the San Diego 20-yard line.

Brent Celek, TE, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Detroit): Celek went quiet after his 157-yard performance against the Ravens in Week 2, amassing just 102 yards and a touchdown over his last three starts. But Sunday offers owners a good opportunity to get the Philadelphia tight end back into the lineup, as Celek squares-off against a Lions defense that is giving up an average of 10.8 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season (fourth-most in NFL).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, D/ST (vs. Kansas City): They’re at home, coming off the bye and face Brady Quinn on Sunday. That’s pretty much all you need to know.


Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Dallas): Flacco completed just 48.1% of his passes for 187 yards with no touchdowns and one interception against a very soft Kansas City secondary last Sunday, so we don’t trust him in Week 6 showdown against a Cowboys team that is coming off the bye and giving up an average of just 14.6 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season (fourth-fewest in NFL). There are better options out there.

Ahmad BradshawICONForget about last week. Bradshaw is going to have his hands full against the 49ers.

Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, New York Giants (at San Francisco): Last Sunday’s 200-yard rushing effort was impressive, but don’t let that cloud your judgment when preparing for Week 6. Why? Because Bradshaw runs into the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, who rank seventh in the NFL in run defense (81.4 yds/gm), have yet to surrender a rushing touchdown on the season and are giving up fewer fantasy points to opposing running backs than any other team in the league (7.8 pts/gm).

Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers (at Houston): He’s found the end zone just once through five starts and is averaging a pedestrian 57.8 receiving yards per game this season. The Green Bay offense is bound to start clicking at some point, but Week 6 brings a tough road matchup against a Houston secondary that ranks fourth in the league against the pass (209.6 yds/gm) while allowing only 15.4 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers this season (second-fewest in NFL). Nelson isn’t a terrible start because the Packers’ running game is likely to sputter, meaning Aaron Rodgers will have to take to the skies at a high rate. But we think the overall upside here is limited.

Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots (at Seattle): Ridley has been on fire this season and currently ranks third in fantasy scoring at the running back position on the strength of four touchdowns and three 100+-yard efforts in five starts. But take caution in Week 6, because the former LSU standout and his Patriot teammates are heading all the way across the country to play a non-conference game against a Seattle Seahawks defense that currently ranks third in the NFL against the run (66.6 yds/gm) and is giving up an average of only 9.6 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season (third-fewest in NFL).

Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins (vs. St. Louis): His 53 targets through five weeks may rank seventh overall in the NFL, but Hartline is in a tough spot on Sunday against an upstart St. Louis defense that ranks 12th in the NFL against the pass (238.6 yds/gm) while surrendering an average of just 16.3 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers (fourth-fewest in NFL). We’d leave Hartline on the bench for this one and would look elsewhere.

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Cincinnati Bengals (at Cleveland): Gresham posted just four receptions for 37 yards the last time he faced Cleveland back in Week 2 and for his career (five games), the former Oklahoma Sooner is averaging only 40.8 receiving yards with two scores against the Browns. Keep him on the bench in Week 6 as Cleveland is surrendering only 4.7 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season (third-fewest in NFL).

Green Bay Packers, D/ST (at Houston): Between Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and Arian Foster, it’s no wonder that the Houston Texans are giving up fewer fantasy points to opposing D/STs this season than any other team in the league (2.8 pts/gm). This should be one hell of a game, but we advise you to look for another option in the D/ST department this weekend.

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh

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