Oh the six pack, quite possibly one of man’s greatest inventions. It’s gotta be up there with the discovery of fire and the miracle of flight. Just be careful when mixing the three together, especially when travelling overseas. Take my word for it.
One of the saddest things though has got to be when you grab the last brew out of a six pack. Like the last bite of a nice filet. It was great while it lasted, you enjoyed every bit of it, but now there’s just one left. Maybe that’s what ticked me off about the “Holiday Five Pack” commercials by Heineken a few years ago. Clever, no doubt. And I could easily see myself pulling the stunt. But if anyone ever tried it on me, I might have to disconnect their brake lines. It’s almost like, “Hey, I was digging through the old man’s attic and found a box with all of his old vinyls. Here’s a copy of The Wall. I know how much you love Pink Floyd. It was still in perfect condition when I found it, but I decided to put a scratch through it with my car keys just for fun. Anyways, enjoy.” Too far? If you say so.
Here we are, cracking open the sixth week of the season. The first five were awesome, but definitely disappeared too quickly. Gotta savor this one. But thank goodness it’s not the last one!
Onto the good, the bad and everything in-between.
Week 6 BUYS:
Matt Ryan takes the lead for fantasy football’s MVP. Right now Matty Ice (yeah, we all know how you really earned that nickname) only trails Drew Brees for the title by eight points in standard scoring formats. Brees gets the week off after breaking Johnny Unitas’ touchdown streak. What does Ryan get? A dream matchup versus the Raiders’ leaky secondary. Drew, you’re going to have some catching up to do when you get back.
Trent Richardson stands a good chance to keep his touchdown streak going, proving that he is far from an ordinary talent. There are always owners that reach for rookies every year, hoping to find the latest and greatest. Of course there are always owners that do the opposite, refusing to draft a rookie no matter what. A lot of the time, rookies fail to live up to the hype (see: Justin Blackmon), but Richardson has proved the doubters wrong. This week Richardson gets a rematch against the Bengals, the team he had his best game against so far in his young career, at home. Reservations, Mr. Richardson, for six?
A.J. Green’s matchup isn’t as easy at it appears on paper. The Browns are the second worst team so far when it comes to defending the wide out position, but this week they get their best corner back as Joe Haden comes off suspension. Green is the number one receiver in all of fantasy though, so you don’t bench him, you trust that he will still get his. While Haden is shaking off his rust, Green will be shaking off his coverage.
Matchups I like this week:
- QB: Kevin Kolb vs. the Buffalo Bills. Kevin Kolb was lucky to escape last Thursday night’s game without needing facial reconstructive surgery. It did look like his trainers were checking him for TMJ along the sidelines after the Rams’ defense kept trying to plant him into the artificial turf. Luckily he’s had a few extra days to recover, and now he gets to stay home this week against the Buffalo Bills who give up more points to quarterbacks than any other team through five weeks of action. His offensive line is still a problem, but his receivers getting open shouldn’t be.
- RB: Rashard Mendenhall vs. the Tennessee Titans. The year of the robo-knee continues. Yeah, that whole thing about needing a full year to recover from a blown out knee… well, Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson and now Rashard Mendenall all missed the memo. In Mendenall’s first action since his injury last season, he totaled 101 total yards and a touchdown. The three backs listed above might have problems making it through TSA without their bionic knees setting off alarms, but they’re definitely making their way through opposing defenses. Now Mendenhall gets to square off against the Titans, who are dead last in points allowed as well as the 5th worst defense against running backs. They can rebuild it; they have the technology.
- WR: Percy Harvin vs. the Washington Redskins. After a three point outing in Week 4 versus the Detroit Lions, Percy bounced back in a major way last week against the Titans. Not only did he get over a hundred yards and a touchdown through the air, he also ran one in. He’s also shown he can score on returns, too, so it’s probably just a matter of time before they start letting him chuck the rock as well. Heck, let the dude play defense while we’re at it. He’s obviously capable of pretty much anything. This week Percy gets to torture the Washington Redskins. I’m not saying he’s going to top his 22 point outing from last week, but I wouldn’t bet against it.
Week 6 HOLDS:
Time to sell on Cam Newton? He’s on a bye this week, so obviously you weren’t planning on using him this week to begin with. But do you want to use him in Weeks 7 and 8, versus the Bears and the Cowboys, both ranked in the top 10 versus quarterbacks? That’s three weeks in the heart of the season, where he might be more of a liability than an asset. The problem is, you either spent an early pick on him in the draft or spent a horde of players in a trade hoping for a repeat of last year. Can you get that kind of value back? Doubtful, unless you can find an owner whose heart still yearns for his 2011 mancrush.
Stevan Ridley is putting together an impressive season. He’s currently tied for third with Ray Rice at the running back position, trailing only Arian Foster and Jamaal Charles. Yeah, you saw that coming. In New England? Shhh… you’re embarrassing yourself. The problem clearly isn’t his ability… or his dance moves (nice cabbage patch Stevan). The problem is his grip. His inability to hold onto the ball landed Ridley in Belichick’s doghouse last year and kept him off the field. Now he’s showing the same tendency to cough it up. If this keeps up, he could also lose his grip on the starting job. Heading out to Seattle this week to face a tough Seahawks defense, this is definitely a situation to keep an eye on.
Tough Matchups for Studs this week:
- QB: Tom Brady vs. the Seattle Seahawks. Would you honestly bench Tom Brady? Yeah, me neither. Unless I have a guy like Matt Ryan as my backup, going up against the Raiders. I’m doubt many of you are facing that dilemma this week. The Patriots’ offense is running full bore right now through the air and on the ground. Enter the Seattle Seahawks. The Pats are flying cross country to face a team that has allowed the 2nd fewest points to quarterbacks and the 3rd fewest points to running backs. I’m sure Brady and the rest of the Patriots will still find a way to make it to the end zone, but probably not as easily or as often as his owners would like.
- RB: Alfred Morris vs. the Minnesota Vikings. Possibly one of the biggest surprises of the fantasy season so far, Morris keeps putting up numbers week in and week out. He’s scored double digit points every week but one. Will this week be any different? There are a couple of factors that could make that answer a “yes.” Minnesota has done a great job holding opposing runners in check, second overall right now. Then there’s Robert Griffin III’s concussion issue. If Griffin sits the game out, it will allow the Vikings to focus even more on the run. If Griffin does play, I imagine that Washington will focus on protecting their newly minted franchise quarterback. All that could mean more touches for Morris, but I think Minnesota will be ready for that.
- WR: Victor Cruz vs. the San Francisco 49ers. The salsa doesn’t get much hotter. Three touchdowns in last week’s game definitely had the Browns’ secondary in need of water. This week, the Giants are heading west to face the 49ers, the number one defense against wide receivers. They’re like a loaf of bread and gallon of cold milk that’s ready to take away the heat. The 49ers also happen to be pretty good against the run (as you might have heard), so trying to set up play action might not be so simple. This week could be more of the “mild” variety than “five alarm.”
Week 6 SELLS:
It’s been an ugly season for Tony Romo. His only good game of the season was his first one against the New York Giants. The three following weeks he posted: 14 points, five points, then eight points. Fresh off a bye, the Cowboys get to travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens. Not sure which will be longer for Tony, Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium or the flight back to Dallas? Stewardess, what’s the in-flight movie? The English Patient. Awesome.
Bradshaw went buck wild last week against Cleveland. 30 carries for 200 yards and a touchdown, plus another 29 yards receiving. That is filling up the stat sheet! This week against the 49ers though, I’m guessing he leaves plenty of room on the sheet and more than a few yards on the field.
Jordy Nelson’s slump continues. Last season Jordy had no problems finding wide open spaces. This year everywhere he goes, all he sees are “occupied” signs. Is it because Greg Jennings isn’t around to take away coverage? Aaron Rodgers blames himself for Green Bay’s offensive woes. Or could it be that teams have had more time and tape to prepare for Jordy? Whatever it is, I don’t see him breaking out of his slump this week against the Texans, the number three defense against receivers.
Matchups to Avoid this week:
- QB: Ryan Tannehill vs. the St. Louis Rams. Tannehill threw for 431 yards two weeks back against a good Arizona Cardinals defense. Last week he threw for just over half of that total. The Rams are coming off an extended break after playing the Thursday night game last week and should be ready to inflict some pain. Does that mean Tannehill will be picking himself off the ground all game like Kolb did last week? Probably not, after another nine sacks, the Dolphins do have a much better offensive line than the Cardinals. But I expect the Rams’ corners to do an effective job against the Miami receivers while the front four still create pressure.
- RB: Alex Green, James Starks and Brandon Saine vs. the Houston Texans. Alex Green was easily the most added player on waivers this week. If you were the lucky winner, congratulations. Now stick him on your bench. Green Bay has been throwing out the “c” word to anyone who will listen this week, “committee.” That could just be coach-speak, but I don’t really think it matters. Green Bay is playing at Houston this week, and Houston isn’t the type of defense that lets backup running backs cause them problems. I expect this to be a two or three-headed monster, and a particularly ugly one at that.
- WR: Brian Hartline vs. the St. Louis Rams. Hartline leads the league in receiving with 514 yards, thanks in large part to the 253 yards he logged in Arizona back in Week 4. Do I really think the league’s leading receiver is going to struggle? Yup. Like I mentioned, most of those yards came in one game. Another 111 of them came against the Raiders whose secondary is laughable. That leaves between 40 and 60 yards per game for the other three this season. The Rams are the number four defense against wideouts, so I’m guessing we’ll have a new leading receiver by this time next week.
Until the next go-round.