Week 6 Fantasy Rewind
What should owners make of Brandon LaFell's recent run of touchdowns? Is it time to buy into Joe Flacco? Our Jamey Eisenberg shares his impressions of Week 6 in his Fantasy Rewind.
Oliver started at Oakland with Donald Brown (concussion) and Ryan Mathews (knee) out, and he finished with 26 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown and four catches for 23 yards. He should remain a significant contributor in Week 7 against the Chiefs, but we'll find out if Brown and/or Mathews are able to return.
Hillman started at the Jets with Montee Ball (groin) out, and he had 24 carries for 100 yards and three catches for 25 yards. Ball is likely out for at least two more games, and Hillman was better than Juwan Thompson, who had eight carries for 38 yards, and C.J. Anderson, who did not play. Hillman should be considered at least a flex option in Week 7 against the 49ers.
There were a lot of good running back performances in Week 6, highlighted by Matt Forte (27 Fantasy points in a standard league), Giovani Bernard (21 points) and DeMarco Murray (20 points), who dominated the Seahawks in Seattle. The quarterbacks were led by Joe Flacco (42 points), Tom Brady (38 points) and Cam Newton (37 points).
Mohamed Sanu was great as an injury replacement for A.J. Green (toe) with 11 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers. And some other top receiver performances were Andre Holmes (24 points), Brandon LaFell (21 points) and Demaryius Thomas (18 points). At tight end, we were led by Julius Thomas (17 points), Jordan Cameron (16 points) and Clay Harbor (15 points).
Now, it wasn't all pretty. Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford and Ben Roethlisberger all scored less than 14 Fantasy points. Marshawn Lynch only had 10 carries against the Cowboys and scored just six Fantasy points, with Bishop Sankey (six points) and Eddie Lacy (four points) even worse.
Ridley will undergo an MRI on Monday, but if he's out for the rest of the season we could see a lot more of Shane Vereen. Or the Patriots could turn to rookie James White or Brandon Bolden, and we expect Bolden to have more Fantasy value as a veteran in this offense.
Player on the rise
Brady was good in Week 5 against the Bengals with 24 Fantasy points. He was awesome in Week 6 at Buffalo with 27-of-47 completions for 361 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He connected with Brian Tyms, Timothy Wright and LaFell for two touchdowns, and he should have another great game in Week 7 against the Jets at home. Every quarterback has thrown multiple touchdowns against the Jets this season, and Brady could be doing a lot more throwing with Ridley out.
Player on the decline
Ryan, Stafford and Roethlisberger all belong in this category. Ryan now has 30 Fantasy points combined in his past two games against the Giants and Bears, and he could struggle in Week 7 at the Ravens, especially with his offensive line woes. Stafford is clearly missing Calvin Johnson (ankle), and he has just 26 Fantasy points combined in his past two games against Buffalo and Minnesota. Stafford has just one game with more than 15 Fantasy points since Week 1. Roethlisberger had 13 Fantasy points at Cleveland and now has just one game with more than 20 Fantasy points on the season. He needs a big game in Week 7 against Houston to restore some confidence in Fantasy owners.
Quarterback injuries: None
Quarterback waivers: Joe Flacco (70 percent), Kirk Cousins (69 percent), Carson Palmer (60 percent), Ryan Tannehill (43 percent), Blake Bortles (27 percent), Kyle Orton (10 percent), Derek Carr (8 percent)
Of note: Flacco was just ridiculous against Tampa Bay with 21-of-29 passing for 306 yards and five touchdowns. He picked the right time for a great game heading into Week 7 against Atlanta. The Falcons have allowed the past three quarterbacks they have faced to score at least 20 Fantasy points, including Jay Cutler (24 points) in Week 6. ... Newton decided to run again, and he was amazing at Cincinnati. He did well throwing the ball with 29-of-46 passing for 284 yards and two touchdowns, but he added 17 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown. Prior to Week 6, Newton had 23 rushing yards combined in his previous three games. He should be able to stay hot in Week 7 at Green Bay, and we hope this Newton is here to stay. ... Carr needs to prove Week 6 against San Diego wasn't a fluke, but in his first game for interim coach Tony Sparano he was 18-of-34 passing for 282 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. He could be an option in two-quarterback leagues moving forward. ... Andy Dalton played well without Green with 34-of-44 passing for 323 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions and four carries for 25 yards against the Panthers. Green is expected to be out in Week 7 at the Colts, so use caution when using Dalton in a tough matchup on the road. ... Welcome back Palmer. He started his first game since Week 1 because of a shoulder injury and was 28-of-44 passing for 250 yards and two touchdowns against the Redskins. He should do well in Week 7 at the Raiders. ... Since the disaster against the Giants in Week 4, Cousins has posted good Fantasy production with at least 20 Fantasy points in consecutive games against Seattle and Arizona. He has a chance for another good outing in Week 7 against the Titans. ... Tony Romo said he might have hurt his ribs in Sunday's win at Seattle, so keep an eye on his status heading into Week 7 against the Giants. Romo did well against the Seahawks with 21-of-32 passing for 250 yards, two touchdowns and a fumble.
Player on the rise
Ben Tate was excellent as the Start of the Week with 25 carries for 78 yards and two touchdowns against the Steelers. He now has 31 Fantasy points in his past two games against Tennessee and Pittsburgh, and he should be considered a must-start option in Week 7 at Jacksonville. Isaiah Crowell also did well against the Steelers with 11 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown, and Crowell is worth adding in all leagues, especially as a handcuff for Tate.
Player on the decline
Lacy appeared to turn the corner with his performance against the Vikings in Week 5 with 13 carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns, but he was dud against the Dolphins in Week 6. He had only 14 carries for 40 yards and no catches, and he shared playing time with James Starks, who had eight carries for 31 yards and two catches for 11 yards. Lacy now has just one game this season with more than 14 carries, which was Week 4 at Chicago. He has a good matchup against Carolina in Week 7, and he should remain a starter in the majority of leagues. But if he continues to split time with Starks and struggle, it might be time to bench Lacy if you have a better option.
Running back injuries: Stevan Ridley
(knee), Darren Sproles (knee), Theo Riddick (hamstring), Fozzy Whittaker
Running back waivers: Ronnie Hillman (80 percent), Jeremy Hill (66 percent), Darren McFadden (65 percent), Jerick McKinnon (57 percent), Bernard Pierce (50 percent), Antone Smith (50 percent), Storm Johnson (39 percent), Isaiah Crowell (33 percent), James Starks (30 percent), Joseph Randle (7 percent), Juwan Thompson (4 percent), James White (3 percent), Brandon Bolden (2 percent), Theo Riddick (1 percent), Fozzy Whittaker (1 percent)
Of note: Bernard appeared to leave the game against the Panthers with a shoulder injury, but he was able to return. If he's out for any reason in Week 7 at Indianapolis then Hill could be a star. He had eight carries for 22 yards and a touchdown and four catches for 13 yards against the Panthers. He's a must-stash candidate in all leagues even if Bernard is OK next week. ... Reggie Bush (ankle) said he's playing in Week 7 against the Saints after being out in Week 6, but if he's unable to return then Joique Bell could again play well. He was great against the Vikings with 18 carries for 74 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 23 yards. Even if Bush does play against the Saints, Bell should remain a quality starting option in all leagues. ... The Dolphins got Knowshon Moreno back from his elbow injury in Week 6 against the Packers, but he struggled with six carries for 10 yards and one catch for 8 yards. Lamar Miller stayed hot with 14 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown and three catches for 40 yards. We expect Moreno will continue to get more work heading into Week 7 at Chicago, but Miller should be considered at least a flex option until proven otherwise. ... All Antone Smith does is score big touchdowns. He had a 41-yard touchdown reception against the Bears, and he now has five scoring plays of at least 38 yards or more this year. But he hasn't had more than six touches in any game this season, and we'd like to see what he can do if the Falcons gave him more work. ... The Ravens did whatever they wanted at Tampa Bay, and Justin Forsett was part of the fireworks. He had 14 carries for 111 yards and should be considered a must-start option in Week 7 against the Falcons. Bernard Pierce had 15 carries for 32 yards and a touchdown against the Bucs and should be considered a sleeper next week. ... Jerick McKinnon might have passed Matt Asiata as the top running back for the Vikings. McKinnon had 11 carries for 40 yards and six catches for 42 yards against the Lions, while Asiata had two carries for minus-5 yards and one catch for 18 yards. McKinnon could be a flex option in Week 7 at Buffalo, and Asiata could end up being dropped if this is a sign of things to come. ... In the first game for Sparano we saw McFadden run well with 14 carries for 80 yards and two catches for 6 yards against the Chargers. He outplayed Maurice Jones-Drew, who had four carries for 30 yards and one catch for 10 yards, and you can use McFadden as a flex option in Week 7 against the Cardinals. ... If you were to tell me prior to Week 6 that Sankey would have 18 carries against the Jaguars then I would have expected a huge game. Instead, Sankey had only 61 rushing yards, and he added one catch for 7 yards. He lost a goal-line touchdown to Jackie Battle, and Sankey was again a disappointment. Maybe things will change in Week 7 at Washington, especially if Shonn Greene (hamstring) remains out. But until Sankey has a breakout game he should remain benched in most leagues, and Week 6 was extremely frustrating given his workload. ... Sproles hurt his knee against the Giants, and hopefully he will be OK after the Eagles bye in Week 7.
Player on the rise
Sanu has done a nice job all season for the Bengals, but he was excellent against the Panthers with Green out. He had 11 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown on 14 targets. He'll have a tough matchup at the Colts in Week 7 even with Green out, but Sanu is easily worth consideration as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in the majority of leagues. He now has four games in a row with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league.
Player on the decline
Keenan Allen was once again a non-factor in Week 6 at Oakland with three catches for 27 yards on six targets. He now has one game this season with double digits in Fantasy points, which was Week 4 against Jacksonville. The frustrating thing is Philip Rivers has 14 touchdowns in his past five games, but he's spreading the ball around to Antonio Gates, Malcom Floyd and Eddie Royal, with Allen getting left out. Allen will eventually come around, or so we hope, but right now he's not worth starting in the majority of leagues.
Wide receiver injuries: Victor Cruz
(knee), Eddie Royal (ribs)
Wide receiver waivers: Mohamed Sanu (81 percent), Torrey Smith (79 percent), Eddie Royal (77 percent), James Jones (58 percent), Mike Evans (55 percent), Odell Beckham (54 percent), Justin Hunter (45 percent), Allen Robinson (39 percent), Malcom Floyd (37 percent), Cecil Shorts (34 percent), Brandon LaFell (17 percent), Davante Adams (9 percent), Robert Woods (7 percent), Louis Murphy (6 percent), Andre Holmes (6 percent), Brian Tyms (1 percent), Jarvis Landry (1 percent), Brice Butler (0 percent), Chris Hogan (0 percent), Brandon Tate (0 percent)
Of note: Cruz suffered an apparent torn patellar tendon in his right knee and could be lost for the year. Stay tuned to the news, but it's a tough blow for the Giants and Eli Manning. ... Holmes is a must-add in all leagues after he had four catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns on eight targets against the Chargers. He should be the Raiders best receiver the rest of the season, and it's too bad he was buried on the bench for the start of the year. ... Welcome back Torrey Smith. After being overshadowed by Steve Smith all season, Torrey had four catches for 51 yards and two touchdowns at Tampa Bay. He could stay hot heading into that juicy matchup against the Falcons. ... DeSean Jackson had a big week despite facing Patrick Peterson with three catches for 115 yards and a touchdown at Arizona. He scored on a 64-yard reception. ... With Palmer back, Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald looked good. Fitzgerald had his best game of the season with six catches for 98 yards and a touchdown on six targets, and Floyd had four catches for 47 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. Both should do well in Week 7 at Oakland. ... LaFell is worth speculating on for the Patriots after he had four catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns on six targets at Buffalo, but he's going to be too inconsistent to trust on a weekly basis. It was nice to see Julian Edelman play well with nine catches for 91 yards on 12 targets. ... Robert Woods stepped up with seven catches for 78 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets with Sammy Watkins locked up by Darrelle Revis, and Watkins had just two catches for 27 yards. We still like Watkins as the best receiver in Buffalo, but Woods is worth adding in deeper leagues. ... Eric Decker returned from last week's hamstring injury to face his former team with the Broncos, and he had six catches for 54 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. But you can bench him in Week 7 since he will likely draw Revis on Thursday night. ... When healthy, the top two receivers for the Jaguars will be Allen Robinson and Cecil Shorts. Shorts had 10 catches or 103 yards on 16 targets at Tennessee, and Robinson had eight catches for 68 yards on nine targets. Both should be owned in all PPR leagues. ... Percy Harvin got burned by some bad penalties in Week 5 at Washington that cost him three touchdowns, but he was a disappointment in Week 6 against the Cowboys. He had three catches for no yards on four targets, and he added three carries for minus-1 yard. I expect a big bounce back game in Week 7 on the turf at St. Louis.
Player on the rise
Jordan Reed has been out since Week 1 with a hamstring injury, but he returned in a big way at Arizona with eight catches for 92 yards on a team-high 11 targets. Reed is a standout tight end when healthy, and we hope his injury woes are behind him. You can cut Niles Paul, who was limited to one catch for 7 yards on two targets against the Cardinals, and Reed should be a must-start option in Week 7 against the Titans.
Player on the decline
Heath Miller had another down game in Week 6 at Cleveland with two catches for 19 yards on four targets. He now has one game this season with double digits in Fantasy points, and he's had five points or less in his five other outings. He has a tough matchup in Week 7 against Houston, and we can't recommend starting Miller in any leagues. I had high expectations for Miller this year, but he's been a letdown so far this season.
Tight end injuries: None
Tight end waivers: Jordan Reed (65 percent), Timothy Wright (51 percent), Coby Fleener (33 percent), Ladarius Green (32 percent), Scott Chandler (14 percent), Clay Harbor (12 percent), Jace Amaro (10 percent), Jermaine Gresham (6 percent), Andrew Quarless (6 percent)
Of note: It was great to see Cameron finally have a good game for the first time this season. He only had three catches on five targets, but he finished with 102 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers. He should stay hot in Week 7 at the Jaguars. ... Harbor now has at least seven Fantasy points in two of the past three games after he had three catches for 91 yards and a touchdown on four targets at the Titans in Week 6. He is a good tight end to add in deeper leagues heading into Week 7 against the Browns. ... Amaro finally had a breakout game for the Jets with 10 catches for 68 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets against the Broncos. He will look to keep it going in Week 7 at the Patriots, who just allowed six catches for 105 yards to Scott Chandler for the Bills. Amaro is worth a speculative add in deeper leagues. ... As for Chandler, he played well, but it's unlikely this is a sign of things to come. ... Wright only had one catch for 1 yard on one target against the Bills, but he made it count with a touchdown. We'd like to see more from Wright, but he remains a good stash candidate in most leagues. ... Jason Witten finally got a red-zone target against the Seahawks, and he made it count with a touchdown. He finished with two catches for 24 yards and the score on five targets, but he still needs to show more before Fantasy owners can fully trust him.
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