Week 6 Start 'Em/Sit 'Em
It’s time to start getting those lineups set for this weekend’s action. Let’s take a look at some of the National Football Post’s favorite Starts and Sits for Week 6.
Bye Week: Dallas, Indianapolis, Miami, San Francisco
GET THEM IN THE LINEUP
Knowshon Moreno RB Denver Broncos: He’s averaging 9.4 fantasy points per week and has a Monday night date with a San Diego defense that ranks 27th against the run (151.0 yards per game). In his first game as the featured running back (last Sunday vs. New England), Moreno touched the ball a career-high 25 times for 124 yards. Expect him to see another healthy dose of touches in Week 6.
Todd Heap TE Baltimore Ravens: Heap is in a great situation this week as opposing tight ends have had a field day playing the Vikings this season. The Packers’ Jermichael Finley (6-128-1) and the 49ers’ Vernon Davis (7-96-2) posted monster numbers against Minnesota’s Cover-2 defense (even Randy McMichael had three receptions for 45 yards). Athletic tight ends will find success against the Purple Machine by getting down the middle of the field. Middle linebacker E.J. Henderson will be forced to turn his back to cover Heap, who will split the two safeties down the middle, giving quarterback Joe Flacco an open window to strike. In addition, look for Heap to settle in underneath when the Ravens come out in three-receiver sets, which will force Henderson to get deep and leave Heap open for short gains.
David Garrard QB Jacksonville Jaguars: With big-play wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker back in the lineup, look for Garrard to post some solid numbers against a St. Louis defense that ranks 25th against the pass (237.2 yards per game) and is allowing an average of 29.2 points per game.
Ryan Grant RB Green Bay Packers: Grant’s stock has dropped due to his less than impressive four-game stat line (257 rushing yards, two touchdowns). However, Grant had to open the season against some of the NFL’s best run defenses in the Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals and Minnesota Vikings. Look for him to bounce back this Sunday against a Lions defense that is allowing 113.4 yards per game on the ground (21st).
Nate Burleson WR Seattle Seahawks: The NFL’s second-most targeted receiver (49) should have a field day against the league’s worst-ranked passing defense in the Arizona Cardinals. Burleson is averaging six receptions and 11.4 fantasy points per game in 2009. Look for that trend to continue on Sunday, especially with a healthy Matt Hasselbeck.
Jacksonville Jaguars D/ST: This unit has really struggled in 2009 (380.6 yards per game, 30th), but if there is one matchup on the schedule that should make you jump at the opportunity to start the Jaguars, Week 6 is it. Jacksonville hosts the St. Louis Rams and their 28th ranked offense (281.0 yards per game) on Sunday. Oh yeah, the Rams are scoring an average of 6.8 points per week. That doesn’t exactly scream “firepower.”
Bernard Berrian WR Minnesota Vikings: Berrian’s gotten off to a slow start this season, catching just 19 passes for 216 yards and one touchdown through five games. In addition, his 11.4 yards per reception average is way below last year’s staggering 20.1 YPR. Look for him to break out in Week 6 when the Vikings play host to the Ravens. Baltimore has been exposed through the skies this season, allowing 238.0 yards per game (26th). If Ray Lewis and Co. can figure out how to limit running back Adrian Peterson, expect Brett Favre to start taking shots down the field to his deadliest deep threat.
Cadillac Williams RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers: One game he’s hot, one game he’s cold. So has been the case for running back Carnell Williams in 2009. The guy actually has three games this season in which he’s rushed for less than ten yards! How can we recommend him as a reliable start in Week 6? It’s simple. The Carolina Panthers have gotten shredded on the ground this year for an average of 155.5 yards per game (30th). The Bucs can’t expect to win football games on the shoulders of inexperienced quarterback Josh Johnson, so expect a healthy dose of carries for Tampa’s top rusher.
PUT THEM ON THE BENCH
Willis McGahee RB Baltimore Ravens: What about this equation makes you feel comfortable? The fact that McGahee has only carried the ball six times over the past two weeks, or the idea of watching him run into the NFL’s 10th ranked rushing defense (96.0 yards per game) on the road at Minnesota? With the way second-year back Ray Rice has been playing lately, McGahee owners shouldn’t expect to see enough touches to make a serious impact.
Terrell Owens WR Buffalo Bills: Sorry, T.O. owners. Between the mediocre averages (2.4 receptions for 40.4 yards per game), his inability to beat press coverage and the fact that he’ll be matched up against superstar wideout Darrelle Revis on Sunday, nothing in this analysis is going to make you feel good about getting Owens into the starting rotation. Nothing, that is, unless you think quarterback Trent Edwards is due for a breakout game. So, yeah. Nothing.
Owen Daniels TE Houston Texans: Nothing against Daniels, but this is not a good matchup for him. The Bengals have limited opposing tight ends to an average of 4.4 receptions for 34 yards in five games this season. In addition, the five tight ends Cincinnati has faced in 2009 have combined for a grand total of one touchdown.
Jamal Lewis RB Cleveland Browns: It seems like Lewis is on the “Sit ‘Em” list every week, and for good reason. The aging rusher has yet to score a touchdown this season, is averaging 3.8 yards per carry and just 7.6 fantasy points per week. To make matters worse, Lewis has to try to get something going against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL’s second-ranked rushing defense (71.2 yards per game). Look for a better option. There isn’t much upside here.
Cincinnati Bengals D/ST: One of 2009’s biggest surprises, you can go ahead and put them back on the bench in Week 6 because the Bengals welcome in Andre Johnson and the Texans this Sunday. Houston’s averaging 23.0 points (12th) and 348.0 yards (11th) per game this season. The scary thing is that those numbers reflect a poor outing in Week 1 against the New York Jets. The Texans have put up an average of 27.0 points per game over the past four weeks. The Bengals are going to play them tough, but there are better options out there.
Joe Flacco QB Baltimore Ravens: Flacco’s gotten off to a hot start in 2009, but he’s averaging just 227.0 yards with two interceptions in two road games this season (278.3 yards per game at home). Not bad, but certainly not promising considering the fact that he has a Sunday showdown with a Vikings’ defense that is ranked ninth in points allowed this year (18.0).
Antonio Bryant WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bryant’s been battling knee pain resulting from an August surgery he u nderwent to repair a torn meniscus. He’s only caught ten passes over the past three games, has an inexperienced quarterback who is completing just 52.4% of his passes and goes up against a Carolina Panthers defense that ranks second against the pass in 2009 (165.8 yards per game). He’s not a terrible option, but there are better players to choose from in Week 6.
LaDainian Tomlinson RB San Diego Chargers: The big question L.T. owners are faced with in Week 6 is whether or not their first-round draft pick will be able to get the job done. Considering the fact that he’s got a Monday night divisional showdown with the red-hot Denver Broncos, the chances are slim. The Broncos have been one of the stingiest defenses in 2009, allowing just 8.6 points and 81.0 rushing yards per game on the ground this season. Factor in the touches L.T. will lose to backup running back Darren Sproles and owners are stuck with yet another weekend of first-round futility. He’s worth a RB2/Flex spot in deeper leagues, but don’t expect Tomlinson to carry you to victory.
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