Welcome to The Lowdown for Week 6. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe — feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while! [Consistency Rankings begin on Page 2.]
Well, it’s official. The whole “questionable” injury rating has completely sucked this season; it’s as if Bill Belichick was put in charge of providing information on player injuries. Everyone is listed as “questionable” these days– it covers guys who have minor bruises and guys who are being held together by spit and a prayer. As someone who writes algorithms to predict weekly player performances (see rankings below), taking the players’ health as a determining factor is key. But I can’t do that anymore; how much do I cut a player’s projection if he’s listed as questionable? A couple of years ago, the NFL used probable/questionable/doubtful/out to classify player statuses, which led to a 10%/25%/90%/100% respective reduction. Write a program to read the injury report, it assigns an adjustment based on the injury listing, the rankings get churned out. Easy! But apparently, that was way too accurate and too easy.
Now I have to manually dig through local injury reports to figure out how severe a player’s injury might be, how much to adjust his ranking, etc. And here’s one thing I can definitely say about that: it stinks. It adds too much extra time to writing this column. It’s gotten so bad that I may have to hold out this off-season for better pay or until Tony Holm figures out how to automatically gather all this information and quantify it for me.
Because let’s face it, I really don’t like my readers that much to do all that extra work for them.
Random Thought As I Write This Column
I’m watching the Chargers-Broncos TNF game as I write this, and the Chargers are putting up a good fight. I think that they just might pull this one off without screwing up the finish again. But more importantly, the Chargers are wearing the best unis tonight. I basically hate the whole “color rush” gimmick– it looks like a neon paint factory exploded on the field. The Chargers’ version looks awesome though… I hope they trot them out more often.
Interesting Players for Week
Not necessarily the players in line for the biggest games this week, but rather some players that caught my interest and upon whom I shall cast my gaze …
Gee, Tom Brady is at the top of this week’s rankings? So much for stating the obvious… Brian Hoyer is likely going to be the Bears’ starting QB for the rest of the season. He’s put up a couple of nice games, and can be a sneaky start this week. If you’re down Jameis Winston or Sam Bradford this week, Hoyer should make a decent fill-in. As a matter of fact, I’d feel better the rest of the way with Hoyer as opposed to Winston or Bradford on my fantasy team.
1. Tom Brady, NEP (vs. Cin) – 48.65
2. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (vs. Mia) – 42.06
3. Russell Wilson, SEA (vs. Atl) – 41.91
4. Alex Smith, KCC (vs. Oak) – 41.78
5. Drew Brees, NOS (vs. Car) – 41.33
6. Aaron Rodgers, GBP (vs. Dal) – 41.24
7. Marcus Mariota, TEN (vs. Cle) – 39.10
8. Carson Palmer, ARI (vs. NYJ) – 38.41
9. Derek Carr, OAK (vs. KCC) – 37.51
10. Brian Hoyer, CHI (vs. JAC) – 36.97
The Panthers offense definitely needs to be jump-started– hopefully, RB Jonathan Stewart’s return to the field will provide them with a spark against a woeful Saints’ run defense. Christine Michael looks like a mistake of some sort, until you realize he’s sitting at the top of the Seahawks’ depth chart at the position.
1. DeMarco Murray, TEN (vs. Cle) – 47.88
2. LeSean McCoy, BUF (vs. SFO) – 44.20
3. Christine Michael, SEA (vs. Atl) – 43.99
4. Le’Veon Bell, PIT (vs. Mia) – 43.91
5. Ryan Mathews, PHI (vs. WAS) – 43.60
6. David Johnson, ARI (vs. NYJ) – 43.49
7. Jonathan Stewart, CAR (vs. NOS) – 43.41
8. Lamar Miller, HOU (vs. Ind) – 42.85
9. Carlos Hyde, SFO (vs. Buf) – 42.35
10. Darren Sproles, PHI (vs. WAS) – 36.85
The Jets pass defense has been underwhelming, and I can definitely see Larry Fitzgerald taking advantage of whoever is covering him. Since Golden Tate has basically wilted under the pressure of having to be the “man” in Detroit this season, it’s been up to Marvin Jones to carry the offense. I don’t see that changing this week, despite proclamations to the contrary from OC Jim Bob Cooter– so make sure Jones gets into your lineups.
1. Antonio Brown, PIT (vs. Mia) – 63.10
2. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (vs. NYJ) – 60.91
3. Jeremy Maclin, KCC (vs. Oak) – 58.18
4. Doug Baldwin, SEA (vs. Atl) – 56.65
5. Marvin Jones, DET (vs. RAM) – 56.02
6. Amari Cooper, OAK (vs. KCC) – 54.67
7. Jarvis Landry, MIA (vs. Pit) – 53.91
8. A.J. Green, CIN (vs. NEP) – 53.81
9. Jordy Nelson, GBP (vs. Dal) – 53.77
10. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (vs. Ind) – 52.05
Delanie Walker has had a rough season thus far, but it’s probably more Marcus Mariota’s fault than his own. Going up against the Browns’ pass defense this week, Walker has a great opportunity to post some strong numbers. How about stopping to recognize Jimmy Graham, who seems well on his way to a full comeback from his injury. Graham has posted back-to-back 100+ yard games and finally seems to be providing the Seahawks some return on their investment.
1. Delanie Walker, TEN (vs. Cle) – 37.23
2. Jimmy Graham, SEA (vs. Atl) – 30.55
3. Travis Kelce, KCC (vs. Oak) – 30.23
4. Greg Olsen, CAR (vs. NOS) – 27.72
5. Jason Witten, DAL (vs. GBP) – 24.75
6. Lance Kendricks, RAM (vs. Det) – 24.49
7. Coby Fleener, NOS (vs. Car) – 24.25
8. Richard Rodgers, GBP (vs. Dal) – 23.60
9. Jesse James, PIT (vs. Mia) – 23.34
10. Zach Ertz, PHI (vs. WAS) – 23.09