Every week I will give you facts that you need to know about every matchup in the NFL to help you set your lineup for the highest probability of winning. Atlanta and Miami are off this week, but we have tons of data to breakdown, so let's get started.
Giants at Bears, Thu., 8:30 p.m. ET
• Jay Cutler has his best group of
weapons and a modern offense, so he is one of just six quarterbacks to
produce 20-plus Fantasy points four times in 2013. He faces a Giants
defense that is giving up 28 Fantasy points per game to quarterbacks,
second most in the NFL. The last three quarterbacks to face the Giants
have produced at least 28 Fantasy points and are averaging three
touchdowns and 31.3 points per game.
• Matt Forte is one of only two running backs in Fantasy Football to score 10-plus points in every game this year. The opposing primary ball carrier has at least 11 points in every game against New York.
• Alshon Jeffery is becoming a star right before our very eyes. He had a career-high 10 catches for 218 yards and a touchdown in Week 5. That was his second straight game with more than 10 targets, 100 yards and a touchdown. Jeffery has received eight or more targets in four of the five games this year, which is amazing considering he did not receive eight targets in a single game in 2012.
• Through five games Brandon Marshall has 47 targets to Jeffery's 45 and both should feast on a Giants secondary that is allowing 23.3 Fantasy points per game. Both opposing No. 1 and No. 2 receivers have two scores in the last three against New York. You do have to wonder if Jeffery's emergence is hurting Marshall though. Marshall averaged 90 yards per game over the first three, but in the last two when Alshon went off, he has 109 yards total.
• Tight ends have scored at least 11 Fantasy points in four games against the Giants this year. Over the last two weeks, tight ends have produced 12 catches for 176 yards and two touchdowns alone, with at least 14 Fantasy points in each game. Tight ends are averaging 72 yards (eighth most), one touchdown (third most) and 12.6 Fantasy points per game (fourth most), so Martellus Bennett should feast.
• Eli Manning bounced back against the Eagles in Week 5, but still threw three interceptions. He will face a Bears pass defense that is averaging nearly two quarterback takeaways per game and that has only allowed Drew Brees to exceed 20 Fantasy points.
• Running backs do not have much success running on the Bears, but they can catch passes against them. In the last three games alone, backs have caught 30 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns. Da'Rel Scott is back and will be the pass catching back with David Wilson out against the Bears. He has some PPR flex value and produced 10-plus points on receiving totals alone in PPR leagues in two of his games this year.
• Despite facing the Lions and the Saints the last two weeks, no wide receiver has scored or reached 60 yards receiving against the Bears. Hakeem Nicks has yet to score this year, Rueben Randle has been very inconsistent and no No. 2 or No. 3 receiver has scored against Chicago this year. In other words, I am only trusting Victor Cruz in this game on offense from the G-Men.
• Brandon Myers has exactly five catches for 68 yards in his last three games combined.
• The Giants have turned the ball over at least three times in every game this year and are allowing 19.8 Fantasy points per game to opposing defenses, second most in the NFL. Start da' Bears.
Rams at Texans, Sun., 1 p.m. ET• No quarterback has thrown for more than 195 yards against the Texans this year and they are averaging just 11 Fantasy points per game over the last four. Stay away from Sam Bradford this week.
• Zac Stacy got the start in Week 5 and ran for 14 times for 78 yards, which is an impressive 5.6 yards per carry. He did split carries with Daryl Richardson, who ran 13 times but picked up only 48 yards, but Stacy led the team with 41 snaps played. Hopefully Stacy gets more chances starting in Week 6 against the Texans.
• The Texans have allowed a running back touchdown in three straight games (four total) and have allowed more than 100 yards rushing in three of the last four. Houston is one of only seven teams to allow more than 100 yards rushing to running backs thus far, so consider Stacy a flex option.
• Austin Pettis has scored in five of his last seven games, with an impressive six touchdowns total. He has only reached 60 yards receiving in one of those games, but Pettis is clearly the go-to-guy for Bradford right now.
• Tavon Austin has not produced 60 yards in a single game this year and Chris Givens has been held below 55 in four of his five games as well. They can not be trusted right now especially against Houston, who is allowing a league-low 82 receiving yards and a league-low 12.8 Fantasy points per game to the position.
• Over the last four weeks, Jared Cook has produced 11 Fantasy points while Lance Kendricks has scored twice and scored 20.
• Arian Foster has touched the ball at least 25 times and produced at least 118 total yards in each of his last two games. He will crush the Rams, who are allowing 160 total yards (122 rushing, second most), 1.2 touchdowns and 21.8 Fantasy points (second most) per game to running backs.
• Matt Schaub has thrown a pick six in an NFL record four straight games. Every quarterback to face St. Louis has thrown multiple touchdowns this year and they are averaging 21.2 Fantasy points per game, but man Schaub is tough to trust.
• Throw out the Jacksonville game and opposing defenses scored 10-plus in every game against the Rams and were averaging 15.3 points per game. Look for the Texans D to really step up and try to stop the bleeding in Houston.
• Andre Johnson should get back on track against a St. Louis pass defense that has allowed the opposing No. 1 receiver to score in every game this year. They have given up a league-high six touchdowns to the opposing No. 1 and Justin Blackmon just roasted them for 136 yards and a touchdown in Week 5.
Lions at Browns, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
• Only Jay Cutler has thrown for multiple touchdowns or produced 20
Fantasy points against Detroit this year and he needed 47 pass attempts
and two two-point conversions to hit 20 on the dot. They held Aaron
Rodgers to 16 Fantasy points last week and have allowed only five
passing scores in five games while forcing 11 quarterback turnovers.
This is a good matchup for the Detroit defense and a bad one for Brandon Weeden.
• Weeden has been sacked at least five times in all five of his starts, due in large part to the fact that he takes an average of 3.12 seconds to get the ball out. That is by far the slowest of any pocket passer in the league. Opposing defenses averaged 17.5 Fantasy points per game in Weeden's first two starts this year.
• Willis McGahee ran 26 times for 72 yards and a touchdown against the Bills last Thursday. He is the unquestioned starter against a Detroit team that has allowed a running back to score and produce at least 13 Fantasy points in four of five games this year. Runners have scored seven times against Detroit -- second most in the NFL -- and at least one runner has nine points in every game. Detroit is giving up 121 total yards, 1.4 touchdowns and 20.4 Fantasy points per game to backs -- sixth most in the NFL -- so McGahee is a solid flex option.
• Seven receivers have already scored 10-plus points against the Lions this year and an outside receiver has topped 100 yards with a touchdown in each of the last two games. Look for Josh Gordon, who has 16 catches for 293 yards and two scores in his three games this year, to stay hot in Week 6.
• Jordan Cameron had his first subpar game of the year with three catches for 36 yards in Week 5. Don't forget that he had 14 catches for 203 yards and a touchdown in Weeden's first two starts. Detroit has not given up a tight end touchdown this year, but they have surrendered 23 catches for 223 yards over the last three weeks.
• No team has allowed more rushing touchdowns this year than the Browns, who have given up eight such scores. Six of those were scored by running backs, which is also most in the NFL. Last week, both C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson scored against the Browns, so look for Reggie Bush to bounce back and Joique Bell has a shot to steal a goal line score. Bell has lost some of his shine recently with Bush back and he has totaled 93 yards without a score in the last two games, so he is a risky play against a Browns team that has done a good job limiting backs to just 3.2 yards per carry and 30 yards receiving per game.
• Matthew Stafford's value is directly tied to Calvin Johnson for Week 6. If Calvin plays, he is a shaky Top 12 quarterback and if Calvin is out, you must sit Stafford. After all, the Browns have not allowed a single passing touchdown in three straight games, they have not allowed a 300-yard passer this year and quarterbacks are averaging just 12.8 points per game against them for the season, third fewest.
• Kris Durham scored against the Packers last week and ran every single pass route. He has led the team's receivers in Fantasy points in each of the last two weeks and is the Detroit receiver to grab right now, not Ryan Broyles (who ran only 16 of the 46 pass routes even with Johnson out).
• Even if Calvin plays, he will have a tough matchup with Joe Haden. Through five games, Haden has held Mike Wallace, Torrey Smith, Jerome Simpson, A.J. Green and Steve Johnson to 20 catches for 199 yards combined. That's just below 40 yards per game, and Haden has yet to allow a single touchdown.
• Brandon Pettigrew has 11 catches for 113 yards the last two weeks, but has not scored all season long. The Browns have not given up a tight end touchdown this year and no tight end has even reached 55 yards or six Fantasy points against them.
Raiders at Chiefs, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
• Terrelle Pryor now has four
games with 20-plus points in five career starts and had a near flawless
game in a Week 5 win over San Diego that saw him throw for 233 yards and
two scores while adding another 33 yards on the ground. Ryan Fitzpatrick
became the first quarterback to produce 20 points against the Chiefs in
Week 5, thanks to 50 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground. In
fact, both mobile quarterbacks to face Kansas City have produced at
least nine Fantasy points with their legs alone.
• To be fair, Kansas City has not allowed a single quarterback to reach 16 points in three home games, including the only sub-20 point game of Tony Romo's 2013 season.
• Chris Johnson did score a receiving touchdown against the Chiefs last week, but was held to 17 yards on 10 carries on the ground. The Chiefs have allowed an average of 35.5 yards rushing per game to Maurice Jones-Drew, Demarco Murray, David Wilson and Johnson. Only LeSean McCoy has rushed for more than 60 yards against the Chiefs, so be careful with the starter for the Raiders this week. If Darren McFadden is out, do not even consider starting Rashad Jennings, who did not catch a single pass with Pryor under center.
• Denarius Moore has scored in four of Pryor's five career starts and has three games with double-digit points already this year. He has at least 14 Fantasy points (80 yards and a score) in each of Pryor's last two games, but this is a brutal matchup and I would consider him a low-end No. 3 at best.
• Dez Bryant remains the only outside receiver to score or exceed six Fantasy points against the Chiefs defense who locked down Cecil Shorts (Week 1), DeSean Jackson (Week 3), Hakeem Nicks (Week 4) and Nate Washington, who had back-to back 100-yard games before their meeting in Week 5.
• Alex Smith has three games of 20-plus Fantasy points this year, but struggled with the tough Tennessee defense as expected in Week 5. He should fare much better against the Raiders, who have allowed 29 Fantasy points per game to quarterbacks on the road this season. To be fair, Philip Rivers (22), Andrew Luck (28) and Peyton Manning (30) are the only quarterbacks to eclipse 20 points against Oakland, but Smith is a solid bye week broski.
• Jamaal Charles is the only running back in the NFL to have 100 total yards and a touchdown in every game this year, so I would say that the Andy Reid offense is suiting him just fine.
• Dwayne Bowe has not produced 60 yards receiving in a game yet this year. The opposing No. 1 receiver has scored or produced 90 yards in every single game against the Raiders this year. For the season, the opposing No. 1 has scored three times (fifth most) and is averaging 12.2 points per game, so if there was ever a week to dial up Bowe, this is it.
• The opposing No.2 receiver has 11-plus points in two of the last three against Oakland, including Vincent Brown, so Donnie Avery (91 yards in Week 5) is a Bye Week Broski if his shoulder is good to go.
• Sean McGrath is actually a legit sleeper this week against the Raiders. He has at least four catches in three straight games and has topped 50 yards in each of the last two. Over the last two weeks, he is averaging eight Fantasy points per game and faces an Oakland team that is allowing 8.2 points per game. Four tight ends already have at least seven Fantasy points against the Raiders this year, so he is a great bye week option for Tony Gonzalez and Charles Clay owners this week in deeper leagues.
Panthers at Vikings, Sun., 1 p.m. ET• Cam Newton will look to bounce back from an ugly Week 5 outing against the Cardinals and the Vikings might be just what the doctor ordered. Quarterbacks are averaging 338.25 yards (fourth most), 2.25 touchdowns (fourth most) and 22 Fantasy points per game against Minnesota. All of those totals are passing only, so Cam should be able to add a few points to that on the ground as well, making him a solid start if he can take care of the football.
• DeAngelo Williams struggled as expected against the Cardinals stout run defense but will fare better against the Vikings. Three backs have received 16-plus carries against the Vikings this year and are averaging 19 Fantasy points per game. Le'Veon Bell produced 84 total yards and two scores in his NFL debut against this Vikings defense back in Week 4.
• It must be noted, however, that Minnesota is only allowing 80 yards rushing to runners on 3.8 yards per carry and nearly 80 receiving, which is not DeAngelo's forte. Still, I think Williams, who had a season-high 30 yards receiving in Week 5, does enough to be a No. 2 runner or flex option, even with Mike Tolbert working in at the goal line.
• Steve Smith has not topped 60 yards yet this year and has not scored since Week 1. Both streaks could end against the Vikings, who have given up at least 88 yards to the opposing No. 1 in each of the last three games. During that span, Brandon Marshall, Josh Gordon and Antonio Brown combined for 29 catches, 347 yards and two touchdowns while averaging 16 points per game.
• Ted Ginn is playing the best football of his career right now. He has at least 60 yards receiving in three straight games, has two scores during that span and is averaging 11 Fantasy points per game. Ginn is definitely worth a look against a Vikings secondary that is allowing 201.75 yards (eighth most) and 25 Fantasy points per game to wide receivers.
• Greg Olsen is a must start against a Vikings team that has allowed a league-high six touchdowns to tight ends. For the year, they have allowed 14.5 Fantasy points per game to the position -- most in the NFL -- and the last three tight ends to face them have produced at least six catches, 66 yards and have combined for five total touchdowns. They have all finished in the Top 12 at their position for the week as well.
• Despite facing the excellent wide receiver trios of the Giants and Cardinals in their last two games, the Panthers have not allowed a single receiver to score or produce more than six Fantasy points during that span. In fact, the Panthers limited Victor Cruz, Larry Fitzgerald, Hakeem Nicks, Michael Floyd, Rueben Randle and Andre Roberts to a combined 182 yards receiving or just 91 per game.
• Jerome Simpson does have two games of 120 yards receiving this year, but three seems extremely unlikely. Greg Jennings will also come crashing back to earth this week, so sell high if you still can.
• Tight ends are averaging a league-low 25 yards per game against the Panthers, which is perfect for Kyle Rudolph. Rudolph has just two scores in his last nine games and is averaging, you guessed it, 25 yards per game during that stench, I mean stretch.
• The Panthers defense is producing 14 Fantasy points per game and three of the four defenses to face the Vikings have scored at least 13. Carolina remains a solid starting option in Week 6.
Eagles at Buccaneers, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
• Nick Foles looked great against
the Giants, completing 16 of his 25 passes for 197 yards and two
touchdowns passing. Unfortunately, it will be much tougher this week
against the Bucs, who have not allowed a 20-point Fantasy day to a
quarterback, despite facing Drew Brees and Tom Brady. At home and with
an extra week to prepare, the Bucs should handle Foles because in two
home games this year, they have four interceptions and are allowing 12.5
Fantasy points per game. I love Foles long term if he is the starter for
Philly, but just not this week.
• I'm starting him for sure, but LeSean McCoy had a season-low 46 yards and averaged just 2.3 yards per carry against the Giants with Foles in for much of the game. He did catch a season-high six passes, though, and will face a Tampa team that is the only team in the NFL yet to allow a rushing touchdown.
• DeSean Jackson has 100 yards with a touchdown in three games this year, including last week when he scored on a pass from Foles. In the other two games he has five catches for 96 yards total. Only Larry Fitzgerald has scored on Darrelle Revis this year and no receiver has reached 70 yards against him all season.
• Brent Celek scored on a pass from Foles against the Giants in Week 5, finishing with three catches for 47 yards and the score. Tampa has faced only two decent tight ends all year and both produced at least 13 Fantasy points against them. For the year, Tampa is allowing 82.25 yards per game to tight ends, fourth most in the NFL.
• Doug Martin should get on track against the Eagles. I mean, even David Wilson scored on them before leaving with an injury in Week 5. The injury to Wilson made Brandon Jacobs the primary back and he was not up to the task against Philly, but Martin will be. After all, prior to Week 5, the Eagles had given up 179 total yards and 20.3 Fantasy points per game to running backs over their last three games.
• Martin has received at least 20 carries in every game this year and still has only one game with 100 yards and has been held below 66 yards twice. It has not been a lack of opportunities that have kept his Fantasy value down in 2013.
• The Eagles are the most generous to wide receivers in each of the key categories: yards per game (241.4), touchdowns per game (2.2) and Fantasy points per game (37.2).
• Three of the last four receiver groups to face the Eagles have produced at least 41 Fantasy points, so Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams (who scored in Mike Glennon's debut) have to get going.
• Jackson is still in search of his first touchdown this year and will do better than he did in Week 4, when he caught only two of his 11 targets for 27 yards. After a 154-yard Week 1 performance, Jackson has just 138 yards in his last three games and 61 in his last two.
• Dating back to last year, Jackson has not scored in seven straight games and has just one touchdown in his last 10. The Eagles were exactly what Hakeem Nicks needed, so hopefully they will be the cure for Jackson as well.
• I guess, in the deepest of two quarterback leagues, Mike Glennon has to be considered a Bye Week Broski against this Eagles defense (338 yards, 2.2 touchdowns and 25.2 points per game to quarterbacks).
Bengals at Bills, Sun., 1 p.m. ET• Fred Jackson has scored 10-plus Fantasy points in every game this year (he and Matt Forte are the only backs) and is coming off of a season-best 21 points in Week 5 when he was the No. 1 overall Fantasy back. He is a must start right now given his performance.
• C.J. Spiller finally showed some life on his injured ankle with a 54-yard touchdown scamper against the Browns in Week 5. With Thaddeus Lewis at quarterback, the Bills will lean heavily on their ground game so both Spiller and Jackson should expect to be plenty busy against the Bengals.
• For the year, Jackson has taken 65 carries and rushed for 309 yards (4.8 yards per carry). Spiller has rushed 74 times for 296 yards (4.0 yards per carry). The biggest difference between the two right now are scoring chances and passing game involvement. Jackson has taken all three of the team's goal line carries and has scored on every one of them. Jackson has also seen 22 targets to 12 for Spiller and has 141 yards receiving to C.J.'s 41.
• The Bengals have allowed only one runner to 60 yards against them all year long and are allowing 3.9 yards per carry. Look for all of the attention to be paid to the Buffalo runners in Week 6 and while the matchup is tough, I don't see how you can get away from Jackson this week. Spiller is more of a No. 2 runner or flex option, but remains worth a look against a Bengals team that has allowed a runner to score and produce 10 points in two of the last three games.
• Lewis went 22 of 32 for 204 yards with one touchdown and one interception in his only NFL start a year ago. I have serious concerns about the Buffalo passing game this week and would look elsewhere for production.
• Steve Johnson has three catches for 18 yards in his last two games.
• Start the Cincinnati defense against Lewis and the Bills this week. Opposing defenses have produced 10-plus points in three straight games against the Bills (14 points per game) and the Browns just scored 20 on them in Week 5.
• Andy Dalton has yet to produce 20 Fantasy points or finish in the Top 12 at his position in 2013. The Bills secondary is getting healthier this week with Stephon Gilmore returning and they have not allowed a quarterback to 16 Fantasy points in either of their last two games.
• A.J. Green has not reached 62 yards receiving in four straight games this year and has not scored in three of them. With Gilmore expected back, Green would have to face his third straight lockdown cornerback in Week 6. You still start Green, but it could be another low yardage week for the young superstar, who is averaging just 6.2 yards per target.
• Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham have not yet scored a single touchdown on 52 combined targets and each has only game of six Fantasy points. Only Greg Olsen has scored or topped 40 yards receiving against a Bills defense that has been very tough on tight ends. In fact, the Bills just limited Jordan Cameron to 34 yards receiving in Week 5.
• BenJarvus Green-Ellis (34) and Giovani Bernard (35) split snaps evenly in Week 5, but it was the Law Firm who did the damage with 19 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown (his third on the year). Bernard still averaged 4.8 yards per carry against the Pats in that game and had 69 total yards. Week 6 looks like it could be a ground and pound game for the Bengals, so both Cincinnati backs are worth starting. If you throw out that inexplicable Ravens game in Week 4, running backs are averaging 130 yards rushing (4.3 yards per carry) and 15.5 Fantasy points per game against Buffalo.
Packers at Ravens, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
• Torrey Smith has at least 85
yards receiving in every game this year and has more than 120 yards
receiving in each of his last two games. The opposing No. 1 receiver has
scored in every single game this year against the Packers and is
averaging 16.25 points per game, so expect the Smith train to keep on
• In Week 5, the Ravens finally fed Ray Rice like the superstar that he is and he responded with 102 tough total yards and two scores on 33 touches. The opposing starter has 11-plus Fantasy points in three of four games against the Packers this year.
• Every quarterback who has faced the Packers has thrown for multiple scores this year except for a Megatron-less Matthew Stafford in Week 5. Still, Flacco has yet to produce 20 Fantasy points or finish in the Top 12 in any game this year.
• Dallas Clark was averaging 7.25 targets per game over the first four games of the year but did not see a single pass in Week 5. No tight end has scored or reached 60 yards in either of the last two against the Packers.
• An opposing secondary receiver has scored in two of the last three games against Green Bay. Marlon Brown has scored in three of his four career games, but make sure he is healthy (he missed Week 5) before you take a flier on him.
• Since Peyton Manning shredded the Ravens in Week 1, no quarterback has thrown multiple touchdowns against them and the last four are averaging just 9.5 points per game. Ryan Tannehill did throw for 300 yards and produced 18 Fantasy points, so look for Aaron Rodgers to get back on track this week. Believe it or not, Rodgers has 20 Fantasy points in only two of his four starts this year, though he does have 30-plus in both of those games.
• Eddie Lacy dominated the snaps (58 out of 71) and the carries for the Packers (especially post Jonathan Franklin fumble) as he rushed 23 times for 99 yards against the Lions in Week 5. He has a tough matchup with the Ravens, who have allowed only one running back touchdown all year and the Bills were the only team with a running back to reach 60 yards on the ground against them.
• James Jones has 100 yards receiving or a touchdown in three straight games. Jordy Nelson has at least eight Fantasy points in every game this year and Randall Cobb has over 100 total yards in three games himself. Start all of your Green Bay receivers every week.
• Charles Clay scored on the Ravens last week en route to an 11-point Fantasy day and now three different tight ends have already topped nine points against them. Jermichael Finley has five catches in every game and 11 points in two of his three starts this year.
Steelers at Jets, Sun., 1 p.m. ET• Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for at least 380 yards in each of his last two games and takes on a Jets team that has allowed 21-plus points to quarterbacks in three straight games. During that span, quarterbacks are averaging 273 yards passing, 2.3 touchdowns and 26 Fantasy points per game.
• Le'Veon Bell had quite the debut with 84 total yards and two scores on 20 touches against the Vikings back in Week 4. This week he faces a Jets defense that is dominant at the point of attack, allowing just 64.8 yards rushing to backs per game (second fewest) on a league-low 2.9 yards per carry.
• The Falcons runners scored three times on the Jets, but those represent three of the four scores allowed by the Jets all year long to the position. The Jets may have the best front in the NFL and this could be a long day for Bell, who will need to score to hit 10 points.
• In his last two games, Antonio Brown has been targeted 26 times and has caught 21 of them (81 percent) for 384 yards (14.8 yards per target) and two scores (1.92 Fantasy points per target). He is as hot as any receiver in the NFL and will battle with Antonio Cromartie, who has allowed only one touchdown this season. Still, three opposing No. 1 receivers have produced 10-plus points against Cromartie and Julio Jones (99 yards) barely missed being the fourth.
• Heath Miller is back and caught five passes for 70 yards back in Week 4. The Jets have surrendered a tight end touchdown in three straight games and are allowing nearly 70 yards, a score and 12.3 Fantasy points to the position during that span.
• Geno Smith has produced at least 27 Fantasy points and three total touchdowns in two of his last three games. No quarterback has eclipsed 21 Fantasy points or two scores against the Steelers, who have been brutal on quarterbacks this year. For the season, quarterbacks are averaging 203 yards (second fewest), one touchdown and 14 Fantasy points per game (ninth fewest).
• With both Chris Ivory and Mike Goodson back it appears that the honeymoon is over for Bilal Powell. After positing back-to-back games with 100 total yards, he managed just 47 against the Falcons on 13 touches. The 13 touches were his lowest number of the season, but it should be noted that he still played 35 of the team's 47 snaps.
• Powell is still worth a flex this week, however, because the Steelers have allowed a running back to score in every game this year and are allowing a league-high 22.5 Fantasy points per game to running backs. Three straight running back groups have produced at least 23 Fantasy points against Pittsburgh and for the year, backs are averaging 114 yards (fourth most) and a league-high 1.5 touchdowns on the ground. In four games, six runners have already produced seven Fantasy points against Pittsburgh and three have 16 or more.
• Jeremy Kerley led the Jets with six targets in Week 5 and caught five of them for 69 yards and a touchdown. All three of the wide receiver scores allowed by Pittsburgh this year have been to opposing secondary receivers, so he has a chance to find the end zone again if Santonio Holmes remains out.
• No tight end has scored on the Steelers this year and they have not allowed more than 10 yards receiving to tight ends in either of the last two weeks. Sorry Jeff Cumberland and Kellen Winslow, but I'm looking elsewhere for my tight end production this week.
Jaguars at Broncos, Sun., 4:05 p.m. ET
• The Broncos scored 51 points in Week 5, same as the Jags have scored
all season long. No wonder this game has a 28-point spread, the largest
in NFL history.
• Start Peyton Manning, Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Julius Thomas (my goodness he is a stud) this week and there is not any need for analysis.
• Knowshon Moreno now has 90 total yards and a touchdown in two straight and three of his last four games. He has produced 10-plus Fantasy points in eight of his last 10 games dating back to 2012 and has a clear stranglehold on the starting job. He played 52 of the team's 81 snaps in Week 5 -- his highest percentage of the season yet -- and rushed 19 times for 93 yards and a score against what had been a stingy Dallas run defense. Look for Moreno to run wild on the Jags, but be warned that he might only play a half of this game.
• Ronnie Hillman and even Montee Ball are bye week fliers to take a shot on in deep leagues, because they might play the entire second half against the Jags this week. No team is allowing more running back rushing yards per game (129.6) or giving up a higher yards per carry average (4.9) than Jacksonville. I would rank Hillman ahead of Ball, but this could be the week the rookie finally finds pay dirt.
• Even though they just gave up 48 points to the Cowboys, the Broncos defense is a must start against the Jags in Week 6. Opposing Fantasy defenses have scored at least 15 Fantasy points in every game against the Jags this year and that includes the Raiders (15), the Rams (18) and the Colts (28). For the season, defenses are averaging 20 Fantasy points per game against the Jags, most in the NFL.
• Justin Blackmon made a triumphant return to action in Week 5, catching five of his nine targets for 139 yards and a touchdown. He has a score in five of his last eight games dating back to last year and will get tons of garbage time chances against the Broncos in Week 6. Blackmon also has at least five catches in seven of those games and will benefit from Chad Henne under center.
• Cecil Shorts scored his first touchdown of the year with Blackmon back in action, hauling in five of his 10 targets for 74 yards and the touchdown. He remains the only receiver in the NFL to see at least 10 targets in every game this year.
• Denver is giving up 225 yards (second most), 1.4 touchdowns (seventh most) and 30.4 Fantasy points per game (third most) to wide receivers this year. Denver has also allowed three receivers to exceed 100 yards with a score in the last three games alone. For the year, seven receivers have produced 10 Fantasy points against Denver and nine have at least nine points.
• Henne is a deep two-quarterback league sleeper because he will be playing huck, chuck, football all game long. Denver is giving up a league-high 365.5 yards passing per game along with two touchdowns. Four of the five quarterbacks to face Denver have produced at least 21 Fantasy points this year. #GarbageTimeCounts
• Maurice Jones-Drew had his best rushing day of the year against the Rams in Week 5 as he picked up 70 yards on 17 carries. He added two catches for 16 yards en route to a season-best 86 total yards. It will be tougher against a Denver team that has held every running back not named LeSean McCoy -- who had only 73 yards -- to fewer than 40 yards rushing this year. That list includes Ray Rice, Darren McFadden, DeMarco Murray and David Wilson, so it is not a group of jabronis.
• The only hope for MJD in Week 6 is that he gets a garbage time touchdown like he did against the Seahawks earlier this year. That could be possible, though, as a running back has scored in every single game against the Broncos, who have surrendered a league-high eight running back scores this year.
Titans at Seahawks, Sun., 4:25 p.m. ET
• Chris Johnson has 36 yards
rushing on 25 carries over the last two weeks, so I am not expecting
much from Johnson on the ground at Seattle this week. He did score his
first touchdown of the year thanks to a 49-yard catch and run on a
busted play against the Chiefs, but that is and was an anomaly. The last
time Johnson scored as a receiver out of the backfield was back in 2010,
so don't expect a repeat.
• Seattle has allowed a running back to score in three straight games, but they have allowed only 59 yards rushing to backs in their two home games combined.
• Kendall Wright has caught at least five passes in four straight games and is a good PPR sleeper in Week 6. He has at least 10 PPR points in each of those games and is averaging 13.5 points per game in that format during that run.
• After back-to-back weeks with more than 100 yards receiving, Nate Washington came back to earth in Week 5 with 30 yards on eight targets. It won't get any easier for Nate against Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner in Week 6. That duo has allowed only two touchdowns all year long.
• Still, it must be noted that a receiver has 100 yards receiving against the Seahawks in three straight games. Although no receiver has scored on the Hawks in Seattle.
• Marshawn Lynch only has 20 carries in one of his first five games this year, but has reached at least 98 yards rushing in three of his last four games. He has at least 17 carries in every game and takes on a Tennessee defense that is giving up 117 yards and 0.75 touchdowns per game on the ground over the last four weeks.
• The Titans have allowed only one quarterback to reach 20 points or throw multiple touchdowns against them and it was Matt Schaub back in Week 2. The Titans even held the red hot Philip Rivers to his only game with less than 20 points or multiple scores in 2013, and they are allowing just 13 Fantasy points per game to the position this year, seventh fewest.
• Russell Wilson has 20-plus points in two games this year, including 26 last week against what had been the toughest team on quarterbacks in the NFL, the Colts (10 points per game entering Week 5). It was his second multiple touchdown passing game and he also ran for a career-high 102 yards.
• Wilson has 179 yards rushing the last two weeks, so if he continues to run like that he will have Fantasy value in spite of his typically low passing production. Keep in mind that Wilson has produced more than 210 yards passing once this year and is averaging 199 yards passing per game for the season.
• The Titans have not allowed a receiver to score in three straight games and are allowing just 10 points per game to the position during that span. For the year, the Titans have given up only 15.4 points per game to receivers, second fewest in the NFL.
• If you had to gamble on a Seattle receiver it would be Golden Tate, who leads the team with 33 targets (yes only 6.6 per game) and has 10-plus points in two of the last three games. My inclination is to look for higher upside options in Week 6.
Saints at Patriots, Sun., 4:25 p.m. ET
• Drew Brees has not thrown for
300 yards and multiple passing touchdowns in five straight outdoor
games. Only Matt Ryan (421 yards and two scores) has thrown for more
than 300 with two scores against the Patriots this year and that game
was in Atlanta. Still, the Patriots could not handle Tony Gonzalez in
that game and will have their hands full with Jimmy Graham in Week 6, so look for a big game from Brees.
• Graham has 100 yards receiving in four straight games and Tony Gonzalez hung 149 yards and two scores on the Pats back in Week 4.
• Pierre Thomas was the main back for the Saints in Week 5 and played 50 of the team's 68 snaps. He ran 19 times for only 36 yards, but caught nine passes for 55 yards and two scores against the Bears. With Vince Wilfork out, New England allowed a season-high 129 yards and a touchdown rushing to the Bengals in Week 5, with power back BenJarvus Green-Ellis doing most of the damage, so Thomas is a solid flex option again this week.
• After his big Week 4, Darren Sproles played only 15 of the team's 58 snaps in Week 5 and had 41 total yards on six total touches. No running back has caught a touchdown against the Patriots or accumulated more than 60 receiving yards in a single game against them in 2013.
• Marques Colston has not scored in four straight games and had a season-low two targets, two catches and 15 yards against the Bears in Week 5. The Patriots are likely to go all out to scheme on Graham, so Colston should get the chance to make some plays this week. Keep in mind, though, that the Patriots have not allowed a single wide receiver touchdown since Week 1 and only Julio Jones has produced 10 Fantasy points against them during that span. Colston is a No. 3 receiver for Week 6.
• Tom Brady still has only one game with 20 Fantasy points and only one appearance in the Top 12 through five weeks. Jay Cutler and Matt Ryan are the only quarterbacks to eclipse 20 points against the Saints pass defense thus far. Both threw for more than 300 yards with multiple scores, so it is definitely possible for Brady, but he will not be a recommended start to me unless Rob Gronkowski is back.
• Without Stevan Ridley in the mix, LeGarrette Blount played only 22 snaps and ran for 51 yards on 12 carries in Week 5. He did lose a fumble, which cost him some time for sure. Brandon Bolden played 40 snaps and ran for 24 yards on five carries while catching six passes for another 40 yards.
• If Ridley is back this week, it goes back to a bit of a mess, but I will still favor Ridley against the Saints in standard leagues and Bolden in PPR leagues. The Saints have allowed 4.9 yards per carry this year -- most in the NFL -- but have allowed just two running back rushing scores and only Doug Martin has rushed for more than 80 yards against them.
• Kenbrell Thompkins had his worst game of 2013 with three catches for 16 yards in Week 5. He has been held below 50 yards receiving in four of his five games this year and faces a Saints team that has allowed only two receivers to score more than 10 Fantasy points this year -- Alshon Jeffery and Julio Jones. Thompkins is a risky play this week, but ran 44 of the team's 45 routes and still has plenty of value.
• Danny Amendola was back in Week 5 and led the Patriots receivers with nine targets, four catches and 55 yards. He ran 33 of the team's 45 routes and that number will go up as he gets healthy. Consider him back as an every week starter, especially in PPR leagues.
• Julian Edelman still ran 44 of the team's 45 routes in Week 5, but as Amendola is back to a full workload, that number will decrease. He will retain value, but Edelman's targets and catches may have peaked from Week 2 to Week 4.
• Hopefully Gronk comes back this week and if he does, you start him. The three Fantasy relevant tight ends to face the Saints have put up an average of eight Fantasy points against the Saints, with two scores.
Cardinals at 49ers, Sun., 4:25 p.m. ET
• Carson Palmer has yet to be a
Top 12 Fantasy quarterback this year and the 49ers are allowing just 9.3
quarterback points per game over the last four.
• Andre Ellington will play about 30-35 snaps per game per Bruce Arians going forward. He and Rashard Mendenhall split the snaps evenly at 30 a piece in Week 5, with Ellington touching the ball 11 times and picking up 83 total yards. Mendenhall, who got the goal line touchdown, had 19 touches, 50 total yards and the touchdown.
• Both could struggle against the 49ers this week, as San Francisco has not allowed a runner to score in two straight games and is giving up only 76.5 yards rushing per game during that span. It should also be noted that the 49ers have not allowed 40 yards receiving to running backs in any single game this year as well.
• The 49ers have not given up a touchdown to a wide receiver since Week 1 and that was against Green Bay. No individual receiver has even reached 60 yards in a single game against them, despite the fact that they have faced the Colts, Texans, Rams and Seahawks.
• Larry Fitzgerald has seen six or fewer targets in three of his last four games and has not produced 70 yards in a game since Week 1. He had just 65 total yards and no scores in two games against the 49ers last year.
• Opposing defenses have scored 10-plus points in every game against the Cardinals this year and are averaging 15 points per game over the last three. This is a week where the 49ers will reward that early pick you made on them.
• Colin Kaepernick has not been a Top 12 quarterback or thrown for more than 170 yards in a game since Week 1. He has run for more than 22 yards in just one game this year as well. The first three quarterbacks to face the Cardinals in 2013 all threw for at least 275 yards with multiple touchdowns and produced 21 Fantasy points, while averaging 27 per game. The last two -- Mike Glennon and Cam Newton -- produced just one touchdown and 13 Fantasy points between them. Kap is due for a big game and had a solid 276 yards and two scores (23 points) passing in his only career meeting with 'Zona.
• Frank Gore has 10-plus Fantasy points in three straight games and four of five on the year. Arizona has had an excellent run defense this year, as the Cards have not allowed a single running back touchdown this year, nor has anyone rushed for 65 yards against them. Gore did both in his last meeting with the Cards en route to a 14-point day in Week 17 of 2012.
• Vernon Davis has scored in two straight games and will look for the hat trick against the Cards in Week 6. Davis continues to thrive when he receives six or more targets in a game this year. In two such games, he has nine catches for 186 yards and three scores. In his other two games with fewer than six targets, Davis has a total of five catches for 38 yards and one score.
• Arizona is allowing 85 yards (third most) and 12.4 Fantasy points (fifth most) per game to tight ends, so look for another big game from Vernon on Sunday.
• Anquan Boldin could be cold this week against Patrick Peterson and the Cards. Only Calvin Johnson has scored or produced 10 Fantasy points against Peterson in 2013. PP has held Marques Colston, Vincent Jackson and Steve Smith all below 75 yards receiving without a touchdown and to a combined 15 Fantasy points over the last three weeks.
Redskins at Cowboys, Sun., 8:30 p.m. ET
• Robert Griffin III threw for
311 yards and four touchdowns in his last trip to Dallas and could have
similar success in Week 6. Four of the five quarterbacks to face Dallas
have produced 25 or more Fantasy points and three have already topped
32! For the year, no team has allowed more passing touchdowns (14 total
and 2.8 per game) or Fantasy points (30 per game) to quarterbacks and
only Denver is allowing more than the 345 yards passing per game given
up by the Boys.
• Alfred Morris ran for at least 100 yards and a touchdown in both career meetings with the Cowboys, racking up 313 yards and four scores along the way. Dallas has given up over 110 yards on the ground and a touchdown to running backs in each of their last two games in 2013, so Alf should boogey over the century mark and into the end zone like he's back on Melmac.
• Pierre Garcon is one of only two receivers in the NFL to have at least six catches in every game this year. He had five catches for 93 yards and a score in his last trip to Dallas and could do the same this time around. Dallas has allowed seven receiver scores on the year -- fifth most -- and is giving up 184 yards (12th most) and 25.6 points per game (10th most) to the position on the season.
• The Cowboys have allowed four touchdowns to opposing slot receivers this year -- second most in the NFL -- so Santana Moss, who scored in Dallas last year, is a deep league Bye Week Broski. Moss has three total scores in his last three games in Big D and has not produced fewer than seven Fantasy points in any of them.
• Dallas cannot stop opposing tight ends at all. For the year, the Cowboys lead the league in catches (8.6) and yards (93.5) allowed to tight ends on a per game basis. Dallas is also allowing 0.8 touchdowns and 13.8 Fantasy points per game -- third most -- to tight ends and they have been even worse of late. In their last two games, Dallas has provided 265 yards and three scores to the position, with each opposing starter going over 100 yards with a score. Jordan Reed was coming on strong before an injury cost him Week 4 and with this matchup, he has to be looked at as a plug and play for Tony Gonzalez and Charles Clay in deep leagues.
• Start Tony Romo -- who has four games of 20-plus points -- against this Washington team that has given up at least 25 Fantasy points to every non-Matt Flynn quarterback they have played this year. Even with the Flynn game, which was so bad that the Raiders cut him, quarterbacks are averaging 324 yards, 2.5 total touchdowns and 25.5 Fantasy points per game this year. Romo threw for 659 yards and five touchdowns in two games against the 'Skins last year.
• DeMarco Murray is quietly tied for third with four Top 24 appearances and is fifth with three games of 10-plus points among all running backs. Washington has allowed a running back to score at least 11 Fantasy points in every game and if you toss out Rashad Jennings (who, yes, scored 11), every other starter has netted at least 18 Fantasy points against Washington. The Redskins allowing 127 yards rushing (second most) on 4.8 yards per carry (third most) this year to backs. In sum, they allow a league high 178 total yards per game to backs along with 0.75 scores per game, which adds up to 21.5 Fantasy points per game, third most in the NFL.
• Dez Bryant is a must-start beast, but he has found a new running buddy in Terrance Williams. Since taking over for the injured Miles Austin, Williams has caught 11 of his 12 targets (91.6 percent catch rate) for 222 yards (18.5 yards per target) and a touchdown (2.3 Fantasy points per target). His efficiency is off the charts and he can stay hot against a Washington secondary that allowed six receivers to top 10 Fantasy points in their first three games (Flynn's Raiders were the fourth game). Prior to the Oakland game, receivers were averaging an NFL best 35 Fantasy points per game against the 'Skins, so keep Williams in your lineups.
• Washington has given up a tight end touchdown in every game this year and Jason Witten has three scores in five games, matching his total from all of 2012 (one of which came against Washington). Three tight ends already have 10-plus points against the 'Skins and Witten should stay hot after his massive 121-yard, one-touchdown performance in Week 5.
Colts at Chargers, Mon., 8:30 p.m. ET
• Only five quarterbacks in the NFL are attempting fewer passes per game
than Andrew Luck's 31.8 in 2013. Every
quarterback who has faced San Diego has produced at least 22 Fantasy
points and thrown for multiple touchdowns. For the year, the Chargers
are giving up 28 Fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, second most in
• Trent Richardson is averaging a shocking 3.0 yards per carry since joining the Colts and has just one game of 10 Fantasy points in three outings. Despite carrying the ball 18-plus times in three games this year, he has yet to top 60 yards rushing in a single game and has been a complete non-factor in the passing game with just one catch for six yards in three games with Indy.
• In his three games with Indy, Richardson has yet to lead the team's running backs in both Fantasy points and rushing yards in a single game. Despite facing Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy, Chris Johnson and DeMarco Murray, no back has scored on the Chargers this year and only McCoy reached 10 Fantasy points. San Diego is giving up just 12 points per game the position, fourth fewest in the NFL.
• The opposing No. 1 receiver has 100 yards or a touchdown in every single game against the Chargers this year. They have all produced at least 13 Fantasy points and are averaging 17 points per game, so Reggie Wayne should get back on track.
• The Chargers have allowed multiple receiver scores in three of their last four games. Since you have to play T.Y. Hilton to get the good games that come along with the bad, I'd take a shot on him against a San Diego defense that is producing 215 yards (fourth most), 1.4 touchdowns (sixth) and 29 points per game (fourth).
• Coby Fleener has two games with 12 Fantasy points and two with less than three since Dwayne Allen was lost for the year. The Chargers have not allowed a tight end touchdown or six points to the position since Week 1.
• Philip Rivers is second among all quarterbacks with four games of 20-plus points, four Top 12 finishes, three Top 6 finishes and two Top 3 finishes. No quarterback has produced 20 points against the Colts this year on passing totals alone, as both Terrelle Pryor and Russell Wilson rushed for over 100 yards in their 20-point games against Indy. Still, Rivers is red hot and tough to sit.
• Danny Woodhead leads all running backs with 30 receptions and three touchdowns. He is fourth with 220 receiving yards and could play a bigger role as a runner with Ryan Mathews (concussion) banged up. Over the last four games, Woodhead is averaging 7.25 catches, 76.5 total yards, 0.75 touchdowns and 12 Fantasy points per game in standard leagues. The Colts allow the third fewest receiving yards (19.6) and Fantasy points (11.6) per game to backs, so we will see which is truly the irresistible force.
• Keenan Allen has caught 11 of his 15 targets (73 percent) for 195 yards (13 yards per target) and a touchdown (1.7 Fantasy points per target) since becoming a starter two weeks ago. He has at least five catches and 80 yards in each game and ran every single route possible in Week 5, so get this kid and feel free to start him. After all, the opposing No. 1 receiver, which I believe Allen is due to his vertical abilities, has a touchdown and 10-plus points in three of five games against Indy this year.
• Vincent Brown is also worth a look on the wire and as a deep starter. Over the last two weeks, Brown has caught 15 of his team-high 19 targets for 158 yards. PPR leagues should take notice of the fact that he has caught at least seven passes in each of the last two games.
• Antonio Gates is still a beast!