It is truly hard to believe that Week 6 of the NFL season is upon us. Although, I’m guessing that New England Patriots fans as well as Tom Brady owners feel like the first four weeks took forever to get through. Rest easy Brady owners as your boy is back and he looked very good.
I’m seriously doubting that Colin Kaepernick will duplicate Brady’s triumphant return. Hey, look at that. Some bonus ‘bench’ advice in the opening of the article. Actually, I would feel a bit dirty if I went for the low hanging fruit and wrote a breakdown of why Kaepernick shouldn’t be in starting lineups.
There are a few additions and subtractions from the ‘stud’ lists. There are also some situations I will monitor closely this week as it’s time to consider possibly moving both Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman up. I can’t remember ever having two backs from the same team on the ‘stud’ list and after we see how they perform against a tough Seattle defense a decision will be made.
Let’s do this!
Moving On Up
Philip Rivers– The Chargers keep finding new and heartbreaking ways to lose games while Rivers just continues to put up big fantasy totals. Despite losing both Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead, Rivers is averaging 294 passing yards per game with 11 TDs. San Diego tends to be in a shoot out on a weekly basis and Rivers will also likely get his share of garbage time points. He’s a weekly must-start even against a stout Denver defense on Thursday night.
Marcus Mariota, TENNESSEE vs. Cleveland – Mariota finally broke out of his slump last week putting up over 220 total yards (60 rushing) and four total TDs against a weak Miami Dolphins defense. He gets another nice matchup this week against a Browns defense that has allowed three TD passes to opposing QBs in each of the past three games. Cleveland gave up 176 yards and three TDs to the TE combo of Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett so look for Mariota to utilize TE Delanie Walker this week on his way to a big day.
Trevor Siemian, DENVER at San Diego – The Broncos are expected to have Siemian back this week after he sat out Week 5 with a non-throwing shoulder injury. Rookie QB Paxton Lynch struggled mightily in his first career start and Siemian regains the starting job with a juicy matchup this Thursday. The Chargers secondary is banged up and will be without their best CB Jason Verrett as Denver comes to town. Siemian is completing 67% of his passes and will chew up a defense that’s allowing an average of 309 passing yards per game.
Matthew Stafford, DETROIT vs. Los Angeles – Stafford has thrown for three touchdowns in three of the first five games and just led the Lions to a surprising victory over a tough Philadelphia Eagles defense. The Lions have no running game so they will have to move the ball through the air this week. The Rams defense is banged up along the defensive line which should allow Stafford a bit more time to find his receiving options. Los Angeles has allowed six passing TDs in the past three games and will be without CB Trumaine Johnson this week. Let’s ride the hot hand and get Stafford in out lineups this week.
Alex Smith, KANSAS CITY at Oakland – Yes, we are suggesting rolling out the old ‘game manager’ Smith this week. The Raiders pass defense has been vulnerable allowing an average of 338 passing yards per game and 13 total TDs to QBs in the first five games. Following their bye week, you can bet the Chiefs will attack the Raiders with the passing game and Smith has enjoyed success against the Jack Del Rio/Ken Norton Jr. led defense. In the two games between the teams last season, Smith put up five TDs (one rushing) against only two turnovers. More importantly, he averaged 42 rushing yards per game and fantasy owners love a QB that generates fantasy production with their legs.
Andy Dalton, CINCINNATI at New England – Dalton managed to salvage a decent fantasy outing last week against Dallas with a pair of ‘garbage time’ TD passes to Brandon LaFell. He’s averaging only one TD pass per game over the first month of the season and the Bengals offense looks out of sync right now. The Patriots have allowed just three TD passes in the last three weeks and will scheme to shut down WR A.J. Green. This is not a week to trust the ‘Red Rifle.’
Carson Wentz, PHILADELPHIA at Washington – The Washington defense has been clamping down on QBs since allowing three passing TDs to Ben Roethlisberger in Week 1. Over the past four weeks, they haven’t allowed more than one TD per game to a QB and have picked off three passes. Wentz has been an efficient NFL QB with seven TD passes, but not a fantasy standout. It will be interesting to see how the rookie rebounds from his first interception on his last pass of the day against Detroit. It will also be wise to keep him on the bench this week.
Joe Flacco, BALTIMORE at NY Giants – The Ravens replaced Marc Trestman as offensive coordinator with Marty Mornhinweg after their Week 5 loss to Washington. That may not be the best news for Flacco as reports are that Mornhinweg will look to get the running game on track for Baltimore. Through five games, Flacco has scored seven TDs and turned the ball over six times. This is a tough matchup for Flacco as the Giants defense has given up just six TDs through the air in the the first five weeks. Let’s leave Flacco out of our lineups until we see what the new offensive scheme looks like.
Kirk Cousins, WASHINGTON vs. Philadelphia – After a shaky start, Cousins has bounced back in recent weeks leading Washington to three straight victories. In those games he has thrown six TD passes and two interceptions. Things get much tougher this week against an angry Philadelphia Eagles defense that is coming off a loss at Detroit. The Philadelphia defense continues to bring consistent pressure on opposing QBs and averages 3 ½ sacks per game. We’ve seen in the past that a pressured Cousins can be a turnover prone QB and it’s best to sit him out this week.