Start 'em, Sit 'em, Smash 'em
It looks like I’ll be devoid of any distractions or computer issues this week, so the live chat will return to its original time commencing at 10:30am eastern and running for one full hour. You’ll be able to access the chat by hitting up the homepage of the NFP and scrolling to the “Hot News & Rumors” section. Topics will include Starts & Sits, injury updates, weather reports, survivor selections and point spread movements.
WEEK 6 SURVIVOR PICK
Last week: Atlanta Falcons over New York Jets (loss)
Plan B: St. Louis Rams over Jacksonville Jaguars (won)
Already played: Indianapolis Colts (WK 1), Baltimore Ravens (WK 2), Seattle Seahawks (WK 3), Denver Broncos (WK 4), Atlanta Falcons (WK 5).
This week: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS over Arizona Cardinals
Plan B: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS over Oakland Raiders
Why: I guess the bright side is that we made it into the month of October, but I’m a natural-born pessimist, so there’s no silver lining in what the Falcons vomited onto the field last Monday night. The Niners have won two straight and the Cardinals have lost in each of their last four trips to San Francisco. Denver would be the ultimate play in Week 6, but if you’ve already used up the Broncos, ride with Harbaugh and the Niners.
MISFIRE OF THE WEEK
Last week: Cincinnati Bengals (PK) over New England Patriots (won)
PICK: BALTIMORE RAVENS (+3) over Green Bay Packers
Analysis: Clay Matthews is out of action and the Packers are 0-2 both straight-up and against the spread on the road this season. Further, I love the idea of playing John Harbaugh and the Ravens as home dogs. Since coming to Baltimore in 2008, the Ravens are 37-7 when playing at home, which includes the playoffs.
LVH SUPERCONTEST SELECTIONS
Last week: 3-2
BALTIMORE RAVENS (+2.5) vs. Green Bay Packers
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-13.5) vs. Tennessee Titans
CINCINNATI BENGALS (-7) at Buffalo Bills
Note: The Big Puma and I are still finalizing our card for Week 6, so I’ll tweet out the other two plays once we come to an agreement.
CLICK HERE to check out all of the current Week 6 lines.
START ‘EM UP
Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts (at San Diego): The second-year signal-caller out of Stanford has tossed two touchdown passes in each of his last two starts and takes on a San Diego defense Monday night that ranks 27th in the league against the pass (288.8 yds/gm) while surrendering an average of 28.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season (second-most in NFL). Luck and the Colts have won three straight and can smell blood in the water thanks to division rival Houston’s current three-game losing streak.
Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins (at Dallas): The infamous “sophomore slump” isn’t reserved solely for quarterbacks, as Morris has evidenced through four contests this season with a rushing average of just 74.0 yards per game. But the ‘Skins are rested coming off their bye week and head to Dallas Sunday night for a matchup with a Cowboys team that is giving up an average of 18.4 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season (13th-most in NFL). In addition, you have to wonder about the Cowboys’ mindset entering Week 6 following the team’s devastating 51-48 loss vs. Denver last Sunday.
Andrew Luck has a Monday night date with one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL.
Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (at Denver): Three words: Garbage time numbers.
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos (vs. Jacksonville): Yes, the starters could get pulled early in this one, but this isn’t a college game featuring an FCS school against inferior FBS opposition (although it certainly seems that way). No matter what the score, Denver will play their starters deep into the third quarter and if the decision is then made to yank ‘em, you’ll already have enough fantasy points to warrant a strong week. Moreno has scored four touchdowns over his last four starts and should produce a strong stat line Sunday against a Jaguars team that is giving up an average of 18.9 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season (ninth-most in NFL).
Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Philadelphia): It’s been a miserable year for Jackson and the Buccaneers, but a date with the league’s 29th-ranking passing defense (326.0 yds/gm) in the Philadelphia Eagles coupled with a bye week provides an opportunity in which fantasy owners must capitalize. Through five games, the Eagles are surrendering more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers than any other team in the league (37.3 pts/gm). We also feel that wideout Mike Williams is a good start in this spot as well.
Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers (at Minnesota): Caught five passes for 79 yards following last Friday’s recommendation, which is decent, but not great. We’ll back Olsen again in Week 6 as he and the Panthers take on a Minnesota defense that is currently surrendering more fantasy points to opposing tight ends (15.1 pts/gm) than any other team in the league.
Pittsburgh Steelers, D/ST (at NY Jets): The Jets enter Week 6 on short rest following Monday night’s win at Atlanta, while the Steelers are coming off a bye. Further, New York wide receiver Santonio Holmes and tight end Kellen Winslow may not play in this one due to injuries that have severely limited the duo in practice this week. The Jets are a surprising 3-2 on the season, but we think you’ll get a max effort out of the Steelers on Sunday.
SIT ‘EM DOWN
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions (at Cleveland): Has thrown only 13 touchdown passes over his last 11 road starts and owns a road passer rating of just 88.0 since 2011. In addition, the 3-2 Browns enter this game on extra rest and have a defense that is surrendering just 15.7 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season (t-sixth-fewest in NFL). Throw in the fact that Pro Bowl wide receiver Calvin Johnson may not play this weekend and you have the classic recipe for a sit recommendation.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers (at Baltimore): Lacy returned to action in Week 5 with a commendable 23-carry, 99-yard effort, but we’re going to pass on the Green Bay running back’s services in Week 6, as the Ravens currently rank sixth in the NFL against the run (89.8 yds/gm) and are giving up fewer fantasy points to opposing ball carriers than any other team in the league (10.4 pts/gm).
The addition of quarterback Carson Palmer has done little to help Fitzgerald.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals (at San Francisco): Fitz has found the end zone only one time over his last four outings and has topped 70 receiving yards in a game just once this season (80 yards in Week 1 at St. Louis). In addition, the 49ers currently rank second in the NFL in pass defense (188.8 yds/gm) and are giving up an average of just 15.8 fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts in 2013 (second-fewest in NFL).
Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 49ers (vs. Arizona): Is averaging just 15.6 carries per game this year and runs into an Arizona defense on Sunday that currently ranks third in the NFL against the run (79.0 yds/gm) while surrendering an average of just 12.7 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season (second-fewest in NFL).
All St. Louis Rams wide receivers (at Houston): St. Louis boasts the league’s 16th-ranked passing attack (245.2 yds/gm), but we’re going to pass on each of the team’s wide receivers from Chris Givens to Austin Pettis to Tavon Austin. For as bad as Houston has looked over the last three weeks, the team still leads the league in pass defense (134.2 yds/gm) while giving up fewer fantasy points to opposing wide receivers than any other team in the business (13.3 pts/gm).
Jermaine Gresham & Tyler Eifert, TEs, Cincinnati Bengals (at Buffalo): Have a combined zero touchdowns on the season and take on a Buffalo defense this Sunday that is giving up an average of just 5.2 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season (fifth-fewest in NFL). Further, this could be a letdown spot for the Bengals following the team’s win over New England last Sunday. Trusting Andy Dalton on the road is still a scary business practice.
New Orleans Saints, D/ST (at New England): They’ve been surprisingly awesome so far in 2013, but this is a tough spot for the Who Dats. New Orleans is on the second leg of back-to-back road trips and is challenging a non-conference opponent coming off a loss. Expect a big effort from the Patriots on Sunday.
Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh