Week 6 Fantasy Starts and Sits
What is true love?
There should be plenty of love to go around next Tuesday if the following “starts” step up and deliver as predicted.
And before we get started, be sure to check out Brian Bassett’s (theJetsBlog.com) Week 5 recap of the Procter & Gamble fantasy bloggers league. The NFP squad delivered a big win thanks to the right arm of Philip Rivers and now sits and 3-2.
While we're on the topic, be sure to check out the NFP Expert's League, where the Post is currently sitting at 4-1 with a Week 6 showdown against my man Corey Erdman from the Hardcore Fantasy Show.
START ‘EM UP
ICONWeek 6 is one of the few matchups so far where Flacco finds himself in a good spot.
Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens: He currently ranks 18th in scoring among fantasy quarterbacks, which is why a good portion of Flacco owners are currently regretting this draft pick. However, Flacco enters Week 6 with a very favorable matchup against a New England pass defense that ranks 28th in the NFL (272.2 yds/gm) and is giving up an average of 22.4 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (third worst in league). In addition, in two home games this season (Cincinnati and Buffalo), the Patriots are surrendering an average of 27.0 points and 296.0 passing yards per game. This matchup is one of the reasons why we advised Flacco owners to hold tight and not panic.
Also consider: Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (vs. Seattle Seahawks)
Ryan Torain, RB, Washington Redskins: He appeared in the “Sit” category last week due to a showdown with the Green Bay Packers (22 touches, 67 yards, 0 TDs), but this weekend owners are advised to get the former Denver Bronco in the starting lineup. On Sunday night, Torain and the Redskins play host to an Indianapolis Colts run defense that currently ranks 29th in the league (142.2 yds/gm) and is giving up an average of 20.9 fantasy points per week to opposing running backs (eighth worst in NFL). Keep in mind that the Indy run defense has been absolutely torched on the road this season to the tune of 159.3 yards per game (5 rushing TDs). Torain will be handling a serious workload on Sunday night and we expect him to deliver.
Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee Titans: He’s only caught 14 passes on the year, but Britt has found the end zone in each of his last three games and is coming off his best performance of the 2010 season (4-86-1 at Dallas). Expect the solid production to continue on Monday night when the Titans travel to Jacksonville for a divisional showdown against the NFL’s 29th ranked pass defense (282.2 yds/gm). In addition, no defense in the league is surrendering more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers than the Jaguars (33.3 pts/gm). If that wasn’t enough to get you excited, try this: In three home games this season, Jacksonville is allowing an average of 24.3 points and 312.6 passing yards per game.
Bush is coming off an impressive Week 5 performance against the Chargers.
Michael Bush, RB, Oakland Raiders: Don’t be alarmed when you read below and notice that the San Francisco D/ST is listed as a “Start.” Bush is going to produce enough to make him worthy of a roster spot this weekend, but the rest of the offense will make enough mistakes to warrant a place in your lineup for the Niners as well. San Francisco is currently giving up an average of 19.7 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (ninth worst in NFL) and through five weeks ranks 18th in the NFL in run defense (111.4 yds/gm). In addition, Bush got his first start of the season last Sunday against the Chargers and delivered in a big way, amassing 135 total yards and one touchdown. With Darren McFadden likely on the shelf again in Week 6, look for another solid performance from the league’s seventh ranked rushing offense (134.2 yds/gm).
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs: ALERT! (Be sure to read the following paragraph). Bowe has been a big-time disappointment this season. Through four games, the four-year veteran has caught just nine passes and scored only one touchdown, which has prompted many of you to ask whether or not he’s worth keeping for the remainder of the season. The reason Bowe is listed in this week’s “Start” column is because if he fails to deliver against the Houston Texans, it’s time for owners to move on. Houston currently ranks dead last in the NFL in pass defense (329.6 yds/gm) and is surrendering an average of 28.9 fantasy points per week to opposing wide receivers (second worst in the league). If this guy fails to deliver on Sunday, dump his ass and don’t look back.
Kellen Winslow, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Winslow currently ranks 22nd in scoring among fantasy tight ends, but keep in mind that the Buccaneers have already had their bye week, which is partly to blame for his low output compared to the rest of the TE class. Expect the former Pro Bowler to improve on his 4.2 receptions per week average this Sunday against a New Orleans Saints defense that is giving up an average of 9.3 fantasy points per week to opposing tight ends (fifth worst in NFL). In addition, tight ends Visanthe Shiancoe, Vernon Davis and Tony Gonzalez have combined for 23 targets, 16 receptions, 264 yards and two touchdowns against New Orleans this year. Hopefully the Tampa Bay coaching staff has noticed that as well.
ICONSamurai Mike and Patrick Willis need to get it going this weekend.
San Francisco 49ers, D/ST: A preseason top-ten defensive unit, the 49ers have found themselves in nothing but trouble over the first five weeks of the season, which is why it’s no surprise this D/ST currently ranks 26th in scoring among fantasy defenses (standard scoring). The good news is that this Sunday the Niners play host to an Oakland Raiders offense that is giving up an average of 9.6 fantasy points per week to opposing defenses (tenth worst in NFL). The Raiders have fumbled the ball 14 times this year (second most in NFL), have thrown six interceptions (ninth in NFL) and allowed 16 sacks (fifth most in NFL). If there was a week to start the 49ers, this is it.
SIT ‘EM DOWN
ICONTom Brady and his long hair could be in for a long day vs. Ray Lewis and the Ravens.
Tom Brady, Q B, New England Patriots: I realize that many of you probably don’t have a better option than Brady this weekend, so starting him won’t be the end of the world. But just keep in mind that he’s going up against a Baltimore defense that has allowed the least amount of fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season (10.7 pts/gm). In addition, the Ravens rank second in pass defense (156.6 yds/gm), fourth in scoring defense (14.4 pts/gm) and have allowed only one quarterback (Kyle Orton, Week 5) to throw for more than 170 yards. Oh yeah, Pro Bowl wide receiver Randy Moss is no longer on the team, which makes matters even worse considering Brady threw three interceptions in two games against the Ravens last season.
Also consider: Shaun Hill, Detroit Lions (at New York Giants)
Peyton Hillis, RB, Cleveland Browns: Hillis has been a very pleasant surprise this season, but this is not the week to count on him delivering the goods. The former Arkansas Razorback travels to Pittsburgh this Sunday to take on a lights-out run defense that ranks first in the NFL (62.2 yds/gm). Not only that, but Dick LeBeau’s bunch ranks first in scoring defense (12.5 pts/gm), is giving up only 11.9 fantasy points per week (second best in NFL) and has yet to allow an opposing running back to rush for more than 75 yards in a game. In addition, Hillis is battling a thigh injury (he won’t be 100%) and has an inexperienced rookie starting at quarterback (Colt McCoy). Good luck.
Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Much like Peyton Hillis above, Williams is enjoying a breakout rookie campaign in which he’s averaging a rock-solid 10.2 fantasy points per week (standard scoring). But this Sunday the Buccaneers have a divisional showdown with a New Orleans pass defense that ranks seventh in the NFL (187.6 yds/gm) and has given up just five touchdowns through the air (tied for seventh-best in the league). Not only that, but no team in the NFL has given up fewer fantasy points to opposing wide receivers than New Orleans (9.4 pts/gm). With Williams as the lone wide receiving threat on the Tampa Bay roster, expect the Saints to give him plenty of attention.
ICONEstablishing a well-oiled running game in Minnesota is a tough thing to do.
Felix Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys: In his first start of the season last Sunday, Jones rolled up an impressive 126 total yards against the Tennessee Titans. The bad news is that not only has the four-year veteran failed to find the end zone this season, but he’s got a showdown with a Minnesota Vikings defense that currently ranks 14th against the run (104.2 yds/gm) and is giving up only 15.9 fantasy points per week to opposing running backs (ninth best in NFL). Also keep in mind that in their last ten home games, Minnesota is surrendering an average of just 69.8 rushing yards per game while holding those opposing running backs to just four rushing touchdowns. It also doesn’t help matters when you consider that the Cowboys run the ball less than any other team in the NFL (66.4% pass to run ratio).
Danny Amendola, WR, St. Louis Rams: With Mark Clayton lost for the season due to a knee injury suffered in Week 5, fantasy owners bum rushed the waiver wire in an attempt to land the new No. 1 wideout in St. Louis. While Amendola has been a pleasant surprise this season (33 receptions for 303 yards), he hasn’t scored a touchdown in any of the Rams’ five games this year, has yet to top 100 yards receiving in a contest and runs into a San Diego pass defense that ranks third in the NFL (159.8 yds/gm) and is surrendering only 10.3 fantasy points per week to opposing wide receivers (second best in NFL). Amendola was a good pickup, but this is not the week to start him.
Chris Cooley, TE, Washington Redskins: Cooley’s currently a top-seven fantasy tight end, but he’s got a tough matchup in store this Sunday night when the Redskins play host to the Indianapolis Colts. Indy may only rank 13th against the pass this season (203.6 yds/gm), but no team in the league has done a better job of shutting down opposing tight ends than the Colts (3.4 fantasy pts/gm, best in NFL). Cooley isn’t a terrible start, so if you’re lacking options at the position, it won’t kill you to put him in the lineup. Just be advised that this isn’t his most favorable matchup of the season.
New England Patriots, D/ST: For pretty much the same reasons mentioned above in regards to quarterback Joe Flacco, owners are advised to sit the Patriots defensive unit this weekend. This one may seem obvious, but we don’t want anybody getting too excited over the 32-point fantasy explosion this squad posted in Week 4 at Miami. Defenses that have gone against the Ravens this season are averaging just 5.6 fantasy points per game (fifth worst in NFL).
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