Fantasy Football Matchups

Fantasy Football Matchups: Week 6

Author: Chris Dale

rayrice

Expect the unexpected.  The NFL is just so unpredictable; it’s what makes it so great for the fans, and so frustrating for fantasy football players.  The top scoring WR and RB (in standard, non-PPR leagues) are both un-drafted players (Wes Welker and Fred Jackson).  Every week players come out of nowhere to deliver huge games (Jackie Battle, Jonathan Dwyer) and big names come up short (Brandon Lloyd, Darren McFadden, Larry Fitzgerald, Stevie Johnson, just to name a few).  Here is this week’s matchup based predictions, including who will win each game (9-4 last week).  As always, comments are encouraged.

 

jac_logo-50x50pit_logo-50x50Jacksonville at Pittsburgh

 

Pittsburgh came back in a big way against Tennessee, once again looking like a playoff team.  They did so without Rashard Mendenhall and James Harrison.  Mendenhall could be back this week, but Coach Mike Tomlin has said it will depend on how practice goes this week.  If he can’t go, Isaac Redman should get the start, but may end up splitting carries with a college favorite of mine, Jonathan Dwyer, who ran for 107 yards last week.  Big Ben scored the 2nd most fantasy points playing with an injured foot.  Don’t expect nearly as many points this week, but he is still a good start.  Mike Wallace is a must-play each week, averaging over 100 yards a game, and has 3 TD catches over 5 games.  Hines Ward and Heath Miller both had great games last week, but their production this season has been pretty poor, as this was the first week that either of them scored a TD.  Jacksonville has allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to TEs, so you could justify playing him this week.

 

I’ll make this quick.  Start Maurice Jones-Drew.  Remove all other Jaguars from your fantasy roster.  Immediately.

 

Winner: Pittsburgh

 

Jaguars

 

***** Maurice Jones-Drew

**** --

*** --

** --

* --

 

Steelers

 

***** Mike Wallace

**** --

*** Rashard Mendenhall (?), Ben Roethlisberger

** Heath Miller, Isaac Redman

* Hines Ward, Jonathan Dwyer, Antonio Brown

 

 

buf_logo-50x50nyg_logo-50x50Buffalo at NY Giants

 

Neither of these teams has a good defense, so start everyone you have from either team.  The Bills showed last week that they can capitalize on turnovers in a big way, so they must be excited to face Eli Manning.  Fred Jackson is currently leading all RBs in scoring in standard, non-PPR leagues.  Wow.  Ryan Fitzpatrick has cooled off after a ridiculously hot start, but should do well this week if he can avoid the pressure of the Giants front four.  Stevie Johnson took a backseat to the Fred Jackson show last week, but it would be tough to jacksonjustify benching him in any circumstance.  Donald Jones will be out for a few weeks, so David Nelson should be more involved.  Scott Chandler doesn’t get enough targets to be a consistent fantasy option, but if you need a bye week plug, there is always a chance he gets a redzone TD.

 

Eli Manning will put up big numbers in 3 categories each week: yards, TDs, and turnovers.  Luckily for owners, you get a lot more points for TDs than you lost from turnovers, so he is definitely a great play this week.  Brandon Jacobs will be out again this week, so Ahmad Bradshaw will have an increased workload.  Hakeem Nicks is the #1 WR, but Victor Cruz seems to be the apple of Eli’s eye right now, especially in the 4th quarter, which is bad news for Mario Manningham owners.  Pick up Victor this week, and pick up a victory.  Jake Ballard scored his 2nd touchdown in 2 games, along with 73 yards.  He seems to be playing a bigger role in the offense, and is definitely worth a waiver add.

 

Winner: Buffalo

 

Bills

 

***** Fred Jackson, Stevie Johnson

**** Ryan Fitzpatrick

*** David Nelson

** --

* Scott Chandler

 

Giants

 

***** Hakeem Nicks, Ahmad Bradshaw, Eli Manning

**** Victor Cruz

*** --

** Jake Ballard, Mario Manningham

* -

 

 

car_logo-50x50atl_logo-50x50Carolina at Atlanta

 

Michael Turner has got to be licking his chops leading up to this week.  He managed a solid fantasy day against a stingy Green Bay defense last week, and should have a monster game this week.  Carolina allowed Matt Forte to run for over 200 yards against them just two weeks ago, and while I’m not expecting 200 yards from Turner, a 125 yard, 2 TD effort definitely doesn’t seem unreasonable.  Carolina has been much stronger against the pass than the run, and the Falcons will be without Julio Jones.  Temper your expectations for Matt Ryan, as he has historically done very poorly against the Panthers.  Roddy White is still a must-start, as is Tony Gonzales, but again, don’t expect either to have a monster game.

 

Cam Newton has been in the top 4 fantasy QBs in four of the first five weeks this season, despite the Panthers 1-4 record.  His role as the go-to rusher in the endzone makes him valuable in any matchup.  Steve Smith is having quite the comeback year, currently 3rd among WRs in standard leagues.  The Falcons will probably try to take him out of the equation as much as possible this week with Brent Grimes, but honestly, good luck.  Do yourself a favor and look up Smith’s 54 yard TD catch last week, where he threw down a larger defender, ran in for the score, absorbed a blatant late hit, and then threw down a larger defender in the scuffle that followed.  The Falcons have been one of the most generous defenses (fantasy-wise) to opposing WRs, so roll with Smith, Brandon LaFell, and Greg Olsen.  DeAngelo Williams had 115 yards and a TD on just 9 carries last week, but there is no way he can keep up that kind of average.  Try to sell high on Williams if you can, he won’t be producing consistently.

 

Winner: Atlanta

 

Panthers

 

***** Cam Newton, Steve Smith

**** --

*** Greg Olsen

** Brandon LaFell, DeAngelo Williams

* Jonathan Stewart

 

Falcons

 

***** Michael Turner, Roddy White

**** --

*** Matt Ryan, Tony Gonzalez

** --

* Harry Douglas

 

 

phi_logo-50x50was_logo-50x50Philadelphia at Washington

 

The Eagles lost their 4th straight game last week against the Bills.  This time instead of blowing a late lead, they went down early, and couldn’t claw their way back.  Washington sacked Sam Bradford seven times last week, and should get to Vick often.  Also, the Redskins have three RBs who could run all over the weak Eagles running defense, depending on who has the hot hand.  Despite all this, the Eagles simply have too much talent to continue losing.  They should be able to shut down Rex Grossman, and simply outscore the vickeaglesredskinsRedskins.  Obviously you play Mike Vick, because even with multiple turnovers, he still puts up a lot of points.  It is also hard to forget about the all-time greatest fantasy football performance by Vick last year against Washington.  LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin are all must-starts.  You could take a flyer on Jason Avant if you are really in a tight spot.

 

I think everyone is tired of guessing who Mike Shanahan will go with at RB each week, but here we go again.  If I had to play one of the Redskins RBs this week, I would take Ryan Torain over Tim Hightower and Roy Helu.  Ride the All-Torain-Vehicle this week over the porous Eagles defense.  Rex Grossman has had quite a few good weeks so far, but that will definitely change this week.  Grossman gets cocky when he plays well, so he will try to force some throws that he has been getting away with in past weeks.  Look for the Eagles secondary to capitalize on that by blanketing Santana Moss and Jabar Gaffney and picking off Grossman multiple times.  The only person I consider playing from the Skins passing game is Fred Davis, as the Eagles struggle covering TEs.

 

Winner: Eagles

 

Eagles

 

***** Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin

**** DeSean Jackson

*** --

** Jason Avant

* Brent Celek

 

Redskins

 

***** --

**** Ryan Torain

*** Tim Hightower, Fred Davis

** Rex Grossman

* Santana Moss, Jabar Gaffney, Roy Helu

 

 

hou_logo-50x50bal_logo-50x50Houston at Baltimore

 

I thought for sure that Matt Schaub would struggle without Andre Johnson.  Instead, he threw for over 400 yards.  This week, he is certain to struggle.  Baltimore has allowed the least fantasy points to QBs this year.  Most of the passing yards Schaub got last week were to his TEs and RBs.  The Ravens defend the TE position well, and Arian Foster can’t account for all of the passing game as well as the running game.  Foster is a must-start, but will have to work hard against this defense.  Downgrade everyone else on the Texans.  Owen Daniels will probably get enough targets to make up for the good coverage, but still won’t produce like he did last week, since Baltimore has allowed the 2nd fewest fantasy points to TEs.  This also will hurt Joel Dreessen’s chances of having another big week.  Last week he had 5 catches for 112 yards and a TD.  The Texans just acquired Derrick Mason in a trade, but its tough to see him making a huge difference this week.

 

Ray Rice owners could not be happier with the matchup coming up after the bye week.  Houston has not played great defense against either the run or the pass.  Joe Flacco and Anquan Boldin might suffer a bit due to the amount of running that should take place, but I could definitely see them hooking up for a TD in the first half.  It looks like Lee Evans will not play again this week, so Torrey Smith should get the start.  Ed Dickson has been a surprise performer at TE, and he gets a lot of targets, but Houston has given up the 3rd fewest fantasy points to TEs.

 

Winner: Baltimore

 

Texans

 

***** Arian Foster

**** --

*** Owen Daniels, Matt Schaub

** Jacoby Jones

* Derrick Mason, Kevin Walter

 

Ravens

 

***** Ray Rice

**** --

*** Joe Flacco, Anquan Boldin

** Ed Dickson

* Torrey Smith

 

 

dal_logo-50x50ne_logo-50x50Dallas at New England

 

Following the bye week, Dallas has everyone looking healthy again (Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Felix Jones).  Had the New England defense not shown up to play last week for the first time all season, I might have had Dallas winning this game.  Anyone involved in the passing game on either team gets a green light this week.  Jason Witten’s production might drop off a bit now that Miles Austin is back, plus NE contains TEs pretty well.

 

BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a career day last week, rushing for over 100 yards and 2 TDs.  Unfortunately, he will likely hit a rock-solid wall this week in Dallas.  Play someone else if you can.  Aaron Hernandez didn’t have a huge day coming back from his injury, but he was involved, and got a lot of targets.  He should start eating into Rob Gronkowski’s numbers from here on out.  This should be a shootout, so even Deion Branch could be a decent bye-week fill-in this week.

 

Winner: New England

 

Cowboys

 

***** Miles Austin, Dez Bryant

**** Tony Romo

*** Jason Witten

** Felix Jones

* --

 

Patriots

 

***** Tom Brady, Wes Welker

**** Rob Gronkowski

*** Aaron Hernandez

** Deion Branch

* BenJarvus Green-Ellis

 

 

stl_logo-50x50gb_logo-50x50St. Louis at Green Bay

 

This one is easy.  Start EVERYONE on Green Bay, bench everyone on the Rams.  Stephen Jackson could salvage a decent stat line, but only from catching passes out of the backfield.  He won’t have much success running the ball.

 

Winner: Green Bay

 

Rams

 

***** --

**** --

*** --

** Stephen Jackson

* --

 

Packers

 

***** Aaron Rodgers, Jermichael Finley, Greg Jennings

**** --

*** Ryan Grant, Jordy Nelson

** James Starks

* James Jones

 

 

ind_logo-50x50cin_logo-50x50Indianapolis at Cincinnati

 

The Colts have kept their games close with Curtis Painter starting, and I would expect the same this week.  However, Cincinnati’s defense has been playing great ball, and should give the Bengals a win.  Pierre Garcon is Painter’s favorite target, and has passed Reggie Wayne in both yards and TDs.  Joseph Addai is out this week, so Delone Carter should get most of the carries, with Donald Brown thrown in from time to time.  Dallas Clark has suffered as much as anyone on this team because of Peyton’s absence, and probably isn’t worth having on your team.

 

If you are ever in need of legal help, get in touch with Cedric Benson’s lawyers.  Not only did they manage to reduce his jail sentence at the beginning of the year so he wouldn’t miss the opener, but they have now postponed a possible 3-game suspension for over two weeks now.  As of Thursday, Benson is slated to play.  Andy Dalton and A.J. Green continue to exhibit great chemistry.  Green is averaging over 80 yards per game, and have 3 TDs.  Jermaine Gresham is the only other player worth owning in this passing game, getting lots of targets to go along with 3 TDs.

 

Winner: Cincinnati

 

Colts

 

***** --

**** --

*** Pierre Garcon

** Curtis Painter, Reggie Wayne, Delone Carter

* Dallas Clark, Donald Brown

 

Bengals

 

***** --

**** A.J. Green

*** Jermaine Gresham, Cedric Benson

** Andy Dalton

* Jerome Simpson

 

 

sf_logo-50x50det_logo-50x50San Francisco at Detroit

 

Both of these teams have been surprise success stories this year.  Detroit seems to be able to overcome any obstacle, and should be able to overcome the 49ers this week, even after their 48-3 trouncing of Tampa Bay.  Matthew Stafford has been playing at a high level all year, thanks in large part to Calvin Johnson.  Johnson has 9 TDs over 5 games, simply unbelievable.  Jahvid Best had a breakout game last week, busting off a back-breaking 88-yard TD run.  He’s not a great play this week against a strong San Fran run defense, despite davis_300the fact that he topped 150 yards against Chicago.  Brandon Pettigrew is the only other consistent factor in the receiving game.  Titus Young seems to be creeping closer and closer to taking the #2 WR position from Nate Burleson, but neither have been steady producers.  Much to my dismay, Tony Scheffler seems to be less and less involved each week.  I really want another of his touchdown celebrations!

 

The 49ers dismantled the Buccaneers last week, and still said they need to do better.  Alex Smith played good, mistake free game, hitting Vernon Davis for two TDs, and Delanie Walker for another.  The 49ers did lose Josh Morgan for the season with a broken leg, so Michael Crabtree and Delanie Walker will need to step it up.  Braylon Edwards is still out.  Frank Gore has posted back-to-back 100+ yard games, after struggling over the first few games.  Kendall Hunter has done a good job filling in when Gore needs a rest, and the two seem to complement each other well.  Its tough to run on Detroit though, so don’t expect much from Gore, and don’t play Hunter if you have other options.

 

Winner: Detroit

 

49ers

 

***** Vernon Davis

**** --

*** Frank Gore, Alex Smith

** --

* Kendall Hunter, Delanie Walker, Michael Crabtree

 

Lions

 

***** Calvin Johnson

**** Matthew Stafford

*** Brandon Pettigrew, Jahvid Best

** Titus Young, Nate Burleson

* Tony Scheffler

 

 

cle_logo-50x50oak_logo-50x50Cleveland at Oakland

 

Darren McFadden had a lackluster week against Houston, but that should just be an anomaly.  He still leads all RBs in yards this year, and you cannot bench him in any circumstance.  Denarius Moore exploded onto the fantasy scene early this year, but has been overshadowed over the past few weeks by Darrius Heyward-Bey.  DMC and DHB are two only two players I would recommend playing this week.  Michael Bush always has the potential to steal a goal line carry, but doesn’t get consistent yards.  Jason Campbell is an option if you need a bye-week replacement at QB.

 

Coming off the bye, Peyton Hillis should have a field day this week now that he’s totally healthy.  Montario Hardesty played decently, and could steal some touches from Hillis.  Don’t get invested in the Browns passing game.  In the week 4 game where Colt McCoy set Browns records in both passing attempts (61) and completions (40), no Browns receiver reached 60 yards.  Six players had five or more receptions, but no one had more than six receptions.  Also, don’t expect Colt McCoy to ever need to throw that much again.

 

Winner: Oakland

 

Browns

 

***** Peyton Hillis

**** --

*** Colt McCoy

** --

* Greg Little, Benjamin Watson, Mohammed Massaquoi

Raiders

 

***** Darren McFadden

**** --

*** Darrius Heyward-Bey

** Jason Campbell

* Michael Bush

 

 

no_logo-50x50tb_logo-50x50New Orleans at Tampa Bay

 

New Orleans will take advantage of a reeling Tampa Bay team this week.  Not only did the Bucs lose to the 49ers 48-3, but they also lost LeGarrette Blount for this week, which means that there will be more pressure on Josh Freeman.  Earnest Graham will start in Blount’s place, so he could be a nice pick-up for you.  Josh Freeman will definitely have a better game than last week (that’s not saying much) and could have a great game having to throw a lot because the Bucs will be playing from behind.  I’ve got to believe Mike Williams reaches the endzone this week, and Preston Parker could see quite a few targets as well.  Kellen Winslow should also be heavily involved.

 

It’s the typical New Orleans storyline here.  You start Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham, and Darren Sproles.  You hope Marques Colston plays like a WR1, and then it’s just a wild guess as to whether Lance Moore, Robert Meachem, or Devery Henderson will be the other WR who happens to have a good game.  Mark Ingram is just barely staying fantasy relevant, leading the team in rushing and has 2 TDs on the season.

 

Winner: New Orleans

 

Saints

 

***** Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham

**** Darren Sproles

*** Marques Colston

** Lance Moore, Mark Ingram

* Robert Meachem, Devery Henderson

 

Buccaneers

 

***** --

**** Josh Freeman

*** Kellen Winslow, Mike Willliams

** Earnest Graham

* Preston Parker

 

 

min_logo-50x50chi_logo-50x50Minnesota at Chicago

 

Matt Forte is on pace to become just the 3rd player in history to top 1,000 yard rushing and receiving.  He leads the team in rushing and receiving yards, and has 112 total touches on the ball (receptions and carries).  The rest of the team has combined for 94.  Jay Cutler has been doing surprisingly well giving the enormous holes that constantly develop in his offensive line.  The only other player who is averaging more than 50 yards per game is Johnny Knox, and thus should be the only other player you own on this team.  Devin Hester is acceptable if you get points for return yards.

 

Adrian Peterson stormed out of the gate with 3 TDs in the first quarter.  My opponent had Adrian Peterson on his team, and I promptly stopped following my players, it was over.  All-Day remains the only player to own from the Vikings.  Over five games, Donovan McNabb has thrown just about the same number of yards as Cam Newton did over his first two games.  As a result, there are no receivers worth talking about on this team.

 

Winner: Chicago

 

Vikings

 

***** Adrian Peterson

**** --

*** --

** --

* --

 

Bears

 

***** Matt Forte

**** --

*** --

** Jay Cutler, Johnny Knox

* Devin Hester

 

 

mia_logo-50x50nyj_logo-50x50Miami at NY Jets

 

Without Derrick Mason, Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and Dustin Keller should get more attention from Mark Sanchez.  Shonn Greene finally put together a decent game last week, with 83 yards and a score.  The Jets claim they really want to get back to the ground game, so Greene could start producing decent RB2 numbers, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

 

Brandon Marshall is apparently planning on getting a $50,000 fine this week, so be sure to tune into the game on Monday.  He won’t be doing much else, other than getting a tan on Revis Island.  Chad Henne is out for the season, so Matt Moore is the new starter.  Daniel Thomas is back, and is the only solid start on Dolphins this week, as the Jets have not defended the run very well.

 

Winner: Jets

 

Dolphins

 

***** --

**** Daniel Thomas

*** --

** Brandon Marshall

* Reggie Bush

 

Jets

 

***** --

**** Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller

*** Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene

** Plaxico Burress, Ladainian Tomlison

* --

 

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