Like every other week in the NFL, week 6 was full of ups and down. What makes it different for us fantasy players is that even when a player has a solid game yardage wise, he may still be near the bottom of the league in terms of fantasy points if he doesn’t score. Most leagues are touchdown heavy for scoring, so even when Andrew Luck throws for 280 yards, it means nearly nothing in fantasy terms because he didn’t find the endzone. Our fantasy team of James Morris and Jon Cope recap all of the week 6 action in fantasy football, and get you set for week 7, an interesting week for fantasy owners with 6 teams having a bye.
Winners (by James Morris)
Aaron Rodgers – QB Packers: I normally don’t put elite players on the winners list because that is what we expect them to do, win. The 338 passing yards are normal enough for a QB of Rodgers’ stature, but the 6 TDs are what makes his fantasy weekend truly amazing.
Robert Griffin III – QB Redskins: RGIII didn’t have flashy yardage totals, but he put up numbers where it counts, touchdowns (3). Griffin threw for just 182 yards, ran for another 138 yards, but the 3 TDs accounted for 18 points all on their own in standard scoring formats. Despite the passing yards, he still ended week 6 as the #2 ranked fantasy QB.
Josh Freeman – QB Buccaneers: I had a feeling that Freeman and the Bucs offense would click this week, which is why I said to start Vincent Jackson. And, they did just that as Freeman finished with 328 yards passing and 3 TDs. The problem with Freeman is that he is streaky, so owning him is one of the more frustrating things in all of fantasy football.
Shonn Greene – RB Jets: Green had a career day on Sunday as he run through, around, and over the Colts defense to the tune of 161 yards and 3 TDs. He was easily the #1 fantasy QB with a total of 34 points in NFL.com PPR scoring formats. This wasn’t a breakout game for Greene, but 57 percent of NFL.com owners started him this week, so congratulations to some truly lucky people.
C.J. Spiller – RB Bills: Spiller arose from the fantasy football graveyard just in time for Halloween as he torched the Cardinals run defense for 88 yards rushing, 22 yards receiving on 4 receptions and a TD. Because Fred Jackson is healthy, Spiller is only going to be used when the passing game is totally ineffective. He isn’t someone I would play, regardless of this week’s numbers.
Jeremy Maclin – WR Eagles: Just when I completely write Maclin off and tell a few fantasy emailers not to play him, he runs out and catches 6 balls for 130 yards and a TD. Maclin and the Eagles passing game is such a rollercoaster ride for stats that it is almost impossible to play them, or sit them! You want my advice on week 8 (bye in week 7) right now? Flip a coin; I got heads.
Vincent Jackson – WR Buccaneers: And my pick for WR paid off this week as V-Jax hauled in 4 passes for 66 yards and 2 TDs. Because he did so well this week, there is no way on God’s green Earth I am playing him next week. He has a performance history this season of only being good every other week.
Jordy Nelson – WR Packers: Nelson put the smack down on the Texans secondary on Sunday night as he roasted them for 9 catches, 121 yards and 3 TDs. Nelson flew by Dez Bryant for fantasy points at WR this week and took home the #1 spot in week 6.
Kyle Rudolph – TE Vikings: My sleeper pick in the pre-season at TE is making me look better and better with each passing week. This week he finished with 6 catches for 56 yards, a TD and a 2PT conversion as icing on the cake. This kid is going to be fantasy gold all season long, and you can remember that I told you about him before the big box websites did!
Atlanta Falcons defense: Those who emailed me, or reached out via social media, and asked about possible waiver wire defenses this week got told to go with the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons did allow 20 points to the Raiders, but they also racked up 3 sacks, 2 recovered fumbles, and an INT which they ran back to the house for a defensive TD. All totaled, the Falcons defense finished ranked #2 this week behind the Giants.
Losers (by James Morris)
Andrew Luck – QB Colts: And on the other side of the rookie coin we have Luck, who threw for a respectable 280 yards, but failed to find the endzone. Because Luck didn’t score, he ranked out at #22 in NFL.com scoring.
Alex Smith – QB 49ers: There is a reason why I want nothing to do with Smith in fantasy leagues, and it is because eventually he is going to remember he is Alex Smith and go back to single handedly losing fantasy owners’ games because of his poor play. This week Smith and the 49ers offense went into Operation Shutdown as they scored a grand total of 3 points, while Smith threw for 200 yards and played pitch-n-catch with the Giants defense for a total of 3 INTs. Smith ranked out as the dead last fantasy QB in week 6.
Rashard Mendenhall – RB Steelers: Mendenhall tweaked his Achilles tendon, and finished with just 11 yards receiving, and 6 yards rushing. It was truly a disappointing game for fantasy owners who have been holding on to him all season long, just to see him exit the game with yet another injury.
Stevan Ridley – RB Patriots: Ridley’s riddle continued on Sunday as the Patriots running back scrambled for just 34 yards on 16 carries (2.1 YPC). This was more of a testament to Seattle’s run defense than a decline in Ridley’s abilities. Chalk it up to a good defensive showing, and play Ridley as normal going forward.
Darrius Heyward-Bey – WR Raiders: DHB jumped from 9 percentage points in being started in NFL.com fantasy leagues this week, and even NFL.com expected big things for him as they projected him out at 5 catches for 72 yards and a TD. What he actually did was 20 yards rushing on an end-around, and didn’t manage to log a single catch on the day. I would seriously consider cutting DHB if it weren’t for the waiver wires being picked clean at this point.
Dwayne Bowe – WR Chiefs: I told every single person that emailed, Facebooked or Twittered me not to start a single Chiefs player this week. Not because the Bucs defense is that good; rather, because Brady Quinn was under center. Because of that Bowe managed just 21 yards on 3 catches on Sunday.
Jermichael Finley – TE Packers: Finley has been by far one of the biggest fantasy football busts this season, as he has been plagued by dropped passes and admittedly has a lack of chemistry with his QB, Aaron Rodgers. This week Finley managed to catch 2 passes for a meager 12 yards and no endzone vists. The reality is that unless there is a drastic change in Finley’s on-field production, he is not going to be worth playing and you should find other options at TE going forward.
San Francisco 49ers defense: It is rare for a defense to break even in fantasy terms, but that is just with the 49ers did this week. Because they allowed 26 points, and didn’t register a single defensive stat for fantasy scoring (no INTs, fumbles, sacks, etc.), they got fantasy owners a big fat 0.00 in NFL.com scoring. While they didn’t help you, they also didn’t hurt you I guess is the best way to look at it.
Week 7 Waiver Wire Additions (by Jon Cope)
Felix Jones- RB, Cowboys (owned in 11.5% of NFL.com leagues)- with starting running back DeMarco Murray leaving Sunday’s game in Baltimore early, Jones is a good speculative add for owners looking for help at the position. Jones was impressive on Sunday as he totaled over 100 yards of total offense for the Cowboys in relief of Murray. If Murray can’t go on Sunday, Jones is good start for owners as he gets a very friendly matchup with the Cowboys visiting the Carolina Panthers.
Alex Green- RB, Packers (owned in 25.8% of NFL.com leagues)- Green was the first name on this last week, and deserves another mention after receiving a whopping 23 touches in the Packers big win over the Texans. While Green only gained 63 yards rushing and didn’t find the end zone, he displayed a nice burst against a stingy defense and is clearly the Packers #1 back with Cedric Benson out. Green has a decent matchup this week against the Rams, but then a very favorable matchup in week 8 when the Packers host the Jaguars.
Ryan Fitzpatrick- QB, Bills (owned in 27.9% of NFL.com leagues)- with Michael Vick, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan and Philip Rivers all on bye this weekend, I feel compelled to put a quarterback on this list. I don’t love Fitzpatrick as a fantasy player overall, but he has thrown 12 TDs on the year and is facing a Titans defense that has allowed a higher QB rating by opposing quarterbacks than any other defense in the league. If you need a QB for this week and Josh Freeman, Andy Dalton and Carson Palmer are unavailable, then Fitzpatrick is your guy. How’s that for a lukewarm recommendation?
Brandon Gibson, WR, Rams (owned in 3.7% of NFL.com leagues)- another guy we told you about last week, Gibson racked up a nice 7 reception 91 yard performance on Sunday. As Dolphin fans could clearly see, without Danny Amendola in the lineup Gibson is Sam Bradford’s top target in the passing game. Gibson gets a pair of favorable matchups in the weeks ahead as the Rams face the Packers and Patriots- a pair of teams with strong offenses, but also a pair of teams that will allow passing yards especially if they have a sizeable lead on the Rams.
Mike Williams, WR, Buccaneers (owned in 14.0% of NFL.com leagues)- putting Williams on this list instead of Randall Cobb because we’ve talked repeatedly here about how Cobb is underrated and worth a spot on your roster. Williams is another receiver that deserves consideration because he has gone over 100 receiving yards in each of his last two games and has 3 TDs in 5 games this season. Williams benefits from the attention that Vincent Jackson receives on the other side, and is a good bye-week WR3 option this Sunday when the Buccaneers take on a vulnerable Saints secondary.
Be sure to check back on Wednesday, for a fantasy Q & A.
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