Week 6 is here and we are almost halfway through the season. In fantasy’s week to week battles, some teams are rising to the top while some are falling. I leave out some of the obvious starters here AP, Brady, Foster, etc., and highlight some of the less heralded players or players with question marks, though I’ll admit sometimes I just want to go “Yeah you should start Megatron!” (see week 4). Ahem. So week 6 start’ems.
Ben Roethlisberger – After suffering a leg injury that kept many owners up at night, Big Ben came back to throw 5 TDs last week. With the run game and the O-line having issues Roethlisberger is taking to the air a little more, and especially in the goal line area. The Jags have a fairly stout run defense which should lead to more throws for Ben.
Tony Romo – After the BYE week Romo and the Cowboys should be close to full health and get a match up against a league worst Patriots secondary. Despite the breakdowns late in games, Romo has put up good numbers each week throwing for over 300 yards in all but one week.
Joe Flacco – The Texans lost Mario Williams for the season and their pass rush will suffer, and when quarterbacks are given more time defenses tend to suffer. He could make for a good BYE week filler and could use Torrey Smith’s speed to attack an ineffective Jason Allen.
Others I like: Eli Manning – Manning has found the comfort in Victor Cruz taht he had previously with Steve Smith, and fantasy owners are reaping the benefits. The Giants face a Buffalo defense that has proven vulnerable to the pass. Andy Dalton – Dalton was a question mark coming into the season, but has progressed well and will face the punching bag of the league in Indianapolis.
Cedric Benson – Same story different week, the Colts can’t seem to stop the run and Benson has been playing like he is on borrowed time with a possible suspension looming.
Ryan Torain – Many can argue about the mess Shanahan has created at the running back position in Washington, and fantasy owners can take their Exedrin for it. However, for all the hot air the coach bellows, Torain will be the back to run against an abysmal Eagles run D and will be the expected back in the red zone.
Earnest Graham – With LeGarrette Blount out, Graham will likely see the bulk of the touches in Tampa, and though the Saints haven’t been the most giving against opposing backs, Graham will see any goal line duties and is a reliable pass catcher.
Others I like: Peyton Hillis – Coach Pat Shurmur has confirmed that Hillis will see the bulk of the carries against Oakland, who is given up 5.2 YPC on average. Good match up. Ahmad Bradshaw – The Giants offense has come together and Bradshaw faces another week of feature back touches against a weak Buffalo run defense.
Dez Bryant – The BYE week should have done wonders for Dez. After repeatedly being slowed late in games due to a quad injury, he has had time to heal and looks to be at full speed and ready to take advantage of the Patriots secondary giving up the most fantasy points to wide outs, and the return of Miles Austin should also be a boon for Bryant.
Roddy White – With Julio Jones out with a hamstring injury, the Hot Rod will see an increase in targets this week against Carolina’s 27th ranked pass defense. His stock should be up big this week, especially in PPR settings.
Jordy Nelson – I have been iffy about Nelson following last week’s rotation of James Jones and Jordy Nelson per series. I still like Nelson this week against a brutally bad Rams team. St. Louis has been susceptible to the deep pass and Nelson has yet to put up back to back bad performances.
Others I like: AJ Green – Dalton and Green continue to hook up from game to game and could take advantage of a match up against a Colt’s defense that will struggle with Cedric Benson. Miles Austin – The Cowboys clearly missed Austin while he was out, and the team has been adamant about keeping him out until he is fully healthy and he is. He was a clear WR1 the first 2 games of the season and has a great return match up against the Pats.
Aaron Hernandez – Hernandez made a speedier recovery than was anticipated by some, and picked up right where he left off. More of a wide receiver than a tight end, Hernandez dropped a would be touchdown last week and will look to redeem himself this week while Rob Gronkowski likely draws coverage from a suddenly strong cover linebacker in Sean Lee.
Vernon Davis – He started slow, but Davis has once again emerged as a viable red zone target for San Francisco. The Lions have had difficulties with tight ends over the past 3 games, especially in the red zone and none have had Davis’ talent.
Dustin Keller – The Dolphins are almost dead last in sacks and in turn the can’t stop the pass. They have been torched by tight ends, giving up 3 TDs in 4 games.
Others I like: Tony Gonzalez – Gonzo was pretty quiet in the Packers rout of the Falcons until late. He should be another benefactor of the absent Julio Jones. Fred Davis – After 2 great games to start the year, Davis has cooled off with very sub-par games. Davis has reportedly not taken a lot time off over the BYE, but has instead chosen to catch passes with Rex Grossman. It’s a true sign of motivation from Davis.
Stephen Gostkowski – Dallas can stop the run and the Patriots haven’t been able to run consistently. With BenJarvis being slowed with a toe injury they could end up short on a few drives that Gostkowski could cash in on.
Jason Hanson – Same case as the aforementioned, the Lions have been great at getting into field goal range which Hanson has made good on converting all 11.
Others I like: Dan Bailey – Bailey is emerging as a top fantasy kicker Mike Nugent – The Bengals will move the ball well enough for Nugent to get his fair share of tries and has yet to miss this season.
Cincinnati – The Bengals have quietly ranked number 1 in total defense this season, and face a Colt’s team that, though re-energized a bit by Curtis Painter, still have real issues.
Pittsburgh – The Steelers were punched in the mouth early this season on defense and have been called old. It’s a fair assessment, but the team has responded by only allowing 13.5 points per game since the rout by Baltimore. Against a young Blaine Gabbert the Steelers should continue this.
Others I like: Green Bay – The Rams have not been able to get things going on offense all season, and despite a fresh Steven Jackson, they will face the Packers in Green Bay. Not a good combination. Minnesota – The Vikings haven’t been the best on defense versus the pass, but they have been able to stop the run and are tied at 2nd for most sacks with 16. They should be able to keep Cutler from getting comfortable, who is prone to mistakes while under duress.
Thank for reading. Please any comments or questions here or you can follow me on Twitter @dwillPSB.
About the Author
Written by David Willow
My name is David Willow. Your NFL and Fantasy Jedi. I have lived in Dallas, TX most of my life. I have been following both football and basketball since I was a child. I love being able to research and analyze different players and teams. I've been a fantasy sports enthusiast for around 8 years with some titles to back that. I have a Bachelors degree in History with a minor in English. Other hobbies include me being part of an acting workshop for five years, playing guitar, and working out. Hit me up with any comments, questions or opinions.