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Fantasy News: Week 6 Edition

Is Jacobs ready to breakout?

As the fantasy football phenomenon has taken off, so has the public mindset regarding statistics. Ahmad Bradshaw’s Week 5 outburst has started the red flag raising, and it’s something that power starter Brandon Jacobs doesn’t appreciate. According to the

Associated Press, in New York this week Jacobs was feeling the heat from reporters and when asked about his struggles early on and the success of fellow runner Bradshaw the power back brought out a little aggression.

“A lot of the stuff suits him perfectly,” Jacobs said. “If someone is running free, he is able to see him real quick, make him miss and do something. Me, I am 6-foot-4, 265 pounds. I am supposed to run into people. I am supposed to take somebody on. That’s me. If I don’t do that, I am terrible. So it is what it is.”

Jacobs was then asked if he is a tone-setter.

“Yes! I see myself as a tone-setter,” Jacobs said. “Yes, I do. I am going out and just running into people. I’m 6-4 and 265 pounds, doing what I am supposed to do, running into people to get a two-yard loss. Happy?”

Yes, his statistics are less appealing than most would like to see, especially his one touchdown through five games, but offensive coordinatorKevin Gilbride expects Jacobs to channel his frustration on the Giants’ Week 6 opponent, the New Orleans Saints.

“What I expect him to do is to channel that into a great effort,” Gilbride said. “Going home, looking to show everybody that, ‘Hey, I am a special football player. My role on this team is very important. I am angry, I am frustrated.’ I think he is just going to dig down a little bit deeper. I think he is going to respond very positive to do it.”

If you’re looking for a time to buy (trade for) Jacobs it’s this week, because I suspect that he will come out with a chip on his shoulder and Gilbride will make damn sure that his power is used to the fullest against the Saints this week, especially if the Giants want to keep Drew Brees off the field.

No more donuts for Mason.

Last week Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason pulled a Greg Jennings and didn’t catch a single pass. In fact, Mason was targeted just one time for the game.Who’s to blame? Mason blamed himself, but, according to the

Carroll County Times, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has come out and said that it’s his fault for his star receiver’s lack of production.

“It falls squarely right here,” Cameron said. “It’s unacceptable for that to happen. It’s my responsibility, period. And we’ll do everything we can, and I guarantee it’s not going to happen again.

“I know Derrick, he doesn’t really care as long as we win the game and he’s sincere about that. But I don’t blame him. We’ve got to get that guy involved. He’s one of our best players, if not our best player.”

This week the Ravens will be on the road in the hostile Metrodome to face a Vikings defense that hasn’t allowed a single rushing touchdown in five games. I suspect the pigskin will be doing some sightseeing in the windless dome, especially when the Ravens are in the red zone, which makes Mason a solid play in any format this week.

Is Marshall on the right path?

Brandon Marshall received a swift kick in the butt this past offseason, and as fantasy owners have witnessed the kick has done him good, so far. After struggling in the first two games, Marshall started to show signs of improved chemistry with quarterback Kyle Orton in Week 3, and ever since has averaged 74 yards per game and has scored four touchdowns. His latest outburst of production begs the question: Has he changed his attitude? According to the

Colorado Springs Gazette, the answer is yes.

“I don’t think we have had an instance here for a few weeks where we were kind of off or anything,” Orton said. “He has put the time in practice and in the film room. I think he is a special talent and has certainly caught up with the rest of the guys.”

What about his bad hip?

“My hip? I had a 51-yard touchdown (against Dallas) where I cut off my hip, stopped a couple times, jumped up – I don’t think that should be a question anymore,” Marshall said.

Wow, I’m not surprised here. The Broncos are 5-0, and Marshall is back on track with a “winning” attitude. It’s amazing what an undefeated record will do for a disgruntled superstar (sarcasm).

Saints to have a loaded backfield.

As depicted above, when a team is undefeated it’s easy for the players to say all the right things and have a team-first mentality. When a fantasy team is completely defeated or in flux the fantasy owners is looking for me first. Unfortunately for fantasy owners who own Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush and Mike Bell, this week will be a team-first mentality.

According to

The Times-Picayune, Thomas, Bush and Bell will all be healthy simultaneously for the first time this season, and from a team standpoint the timing is impeccable with the undefeated dominant Giants coming to town.  From a fantasy point of view it’s not the news some who own just one of the talented backs would like to hear.

“We’re just ecstatic to have everybody back in the backfield,” Thomas said. “It’s a good rotation. We’re going to try to keep the best guy in there.”

Whoever carries the ball the most should have a decent amount of success as the Giants run defense is tied for 26th in the NFL in the yards per carry category (4.8). If I were to guess I would say that overall, a healthy Thomas gives the Saints the best chance on the ground.Before the Saints’ bye week Thomas recorded 212 rushing yards, scored three times and averaged 6.4 yards per carry in Weeks 3 and 4.

On the injury front….

LB Brian Cushing – Questionable

QB Carson Palmer – Probable

WR Calvin Johnson – Questionable

LB Justin Durant – Questionable

WR Percy Harvin – Questionable

RB Ahmad Bradshaw – Probable

QB Eli Manning – Probable

RB Pierre Thomas – Probable

LB D’Qwell Jackson – Questionable

RB Jonathan Stewart – Probable

WR Steve Smith (Carolina) – Probable

WR Kevin Curtis – Questionable

RB Darren McFadden – Out

WR Chaz Schilens – Questionable

WR Steve Breaston – Questionable

RB Fred Taylor – Out

DE Jevon Kearse – Questionable

S Michael Griffin – Questionable

QB Tom Brady – Probable

CB Cortland Finnegan – Questionable

WR Randy Moss – Probable

S Bryan Scott – Out

LB Keith Ellison – Questionable

WR Jerricho Cotchery – Doubtful

LB Hunter Hillenmeyer – Doubtful

Defensive stat look: Focus on receiving numbers

On the outside the Detroit Lions’ defense is a receiver’s gold mine in touchdown leagues, as they’ve allowed a league-high 15 touchdowns to pass-catchers this season. However, keep in mind that six of those came in Week 1 against Drew Brees and the Saints. Since then, they’ve allowed an average of 1.8 per game.

If you’re wondering why the Tennessee Titans are 0-5, look no further than their pass defense. The Titans as a unit have allowed league highs in receptions (138) and yards (1523), and have surrendered 17-20+ yard receptions.

Fantasy owners will find out this week if the top rated New York Giants pass defense is truly top-rated as they head south to face a potent New Orleans passing attack. The Giants have allowed league lows in receptions (66), yards (623), and most importantly first downs (30). If the Giants can limit the Saints to converting their current pass defensive average of six first downs per game like they’ve done with previous opponents they will win the game.

Speaking Out: Forget Gonzo?

The patient wait is on. Fantasy owners are salivating and twitching as they wait for Anthony Gonzalez’s return to the starting lineup, and why wouldn’t they? I mean Peyton Manning has been spectacular thus far and it doesn’t look as though he’s going to slow down (barring injury) any time soon. But I’m starting to wonder: Is the Colts offense better off without Gonzo?

Now, I’m not trying to be insensitive or cruel here, but as far I’m concerned maybe Gonzo should wait until he’s 100 percent healthy to make any kind of comeback. Why?

Ok, so as fantasy owners you probably already know that Manning has been phenomenal this 2009 season and his young fill-in receivers have come up big, but do you know that:

1) Manning has thrown for 300+ yards in every game this season. That’s right, count ‘em; five games over 300 yards. Amazing, right?  Well, last season while Manning did throw for 4,002 yards, he threw for only 300+ yards just four times.

2) Manning is averaging 329 yards per game through five starts, and since his one-touchdown performance in Week 1, he’s averaged 2.75 touchdowns per game over the last four. In 2004, when he threw for career highs in yards (4,557) and touchdowns (49) Manning averaged 284.8 yards and 3.06 touchdowns per game.

3) Manning has thrown 20 passes of 20+ yards this season and is on pace for 64 for the season; that’s just four short of his 2004 career high of 68.

4) Manning has a completion percentage of 73.5. His career high is 67.6.

Clearly, based on these stats Manning and his young crew are doing just dandy without Gonzo, and most importantly the Colts are 5-0. So why mess with something great?  Yes, Gonzalez brings a little more experience to the table, but remember that when he does become healthy enough to play he’ll be coming back from a sprained knee and will need a few weeks to get back in to the game rhythm of the offense.

Injuries create opportunities and sometimes can be good, oddly enough. In this case, Gonzo’s injury has not only created more opportunities for a few young receivers and Manning himself, but it has made the offense better and almost unstoppable.

Reggie Wayne is on pace for a career-high 13 touchdown receptions, and Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon have combined for five touchdowns; an average of one per game. Last season, Wayne recorded just six touchdown receptions, and Marvin Harrison and Gonzalez combined for nine touchdowns; an average of .56 per game.

So why break the momentum of your star quarterback when he is having one of his best starts in this, now his 12th NFL season, and has what seems to be plenty of talent to continue to produce at a high level?

No offense Gonzo, because I think you have a lot of potential and have mad skills, but for this season, please stay on the bench!

Thanks for reading!

Eric Huber is a staff writer for E-mail him


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