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NFL Fantasy Help Week 6

eagle eye

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What a week. It was upset weekend in college football with repercussions of the carnage still being talked about. The chase for final 4 teams in the playoff hunt changed dramatically. So, why shouldn't it be so in the NFL?


Last week I predicted Buffalo with Kyle Orton would give Detroit hell and they beat the Lions outright with Orton throwing for over 300 yards. Next I said that Tampa under new starting QB Mike Glennon would give New Orleans a run for their money and they did losing late on a Khiry Robinson TD run making the final score 38-31 just bearly avoiding OT. Glennon, though, passed for 249 yards and 2 TDs and no picks. Next I said St Louis, with new QB Austin Davis and coming off a bye, could upset Philly in Philly and they damn near did. Davis threw for 375 yards a 3 TDs and no picks and if there hadn't been a couple of drops on absolutely catchable balls on the final drive for St Louis it would have been over 400 yards passing and maybe another TD and Rams win. Instead St Louis fell 34-28. Davis wasn't perfect but two drops in that drive by Austin Pettis cost the Rams the game. That and a blocked punt attempt for TD by Philly in the first quarter was the margin of victory. Last but not least I predicted Brian Hoyer and the Cleveland Browns would beat Tennessee in Nashville and they did. It was a dramatic 29-28 comeback win for the Browns in the biggest comeback in NFL history by a road team. Down 28-3 at halftime it looked like the game was over but these Browns are making a living with second half comebacks. They did it and won on the road for the first time since September of last year. Hoyer finished the day with 292 yards passing with 3 TDs and 1 pick. It didn't help that Tennessee's QB Jake Locker went out in the first half with a severely banged up thumb. Charlie Whitehurst did an okay job in relief but Locker needs some good luck for a change to stay away from weird injuries and stay on the field. All that said I was 4-4 in picking QB sleepers last week.

None of the four QBs, Orton, Glennon, Davis or Hoyer should be sleepers going forward. I've outed them and now if you need a backup for a bye week or if your starter isn't playing up to snuff you have 4 nice options now. You're welcome.


To begin this week I'm going to state the obvious. Ben Tate is back. In his first action in a long time he was in the backfield for the Browns and led the team with 123 yards on 22 carries. If you have had him on your shelf you need to dust him off and get him in your lineup while he's healthy. The Browns have proven so far they are nobody's pushover and at 2-2 they are right in the AFC North mix. Keep an eye on WR Travis Benjamin. He had 4 catches for 48 yards and 2 TDs.


If you haven't already done so rush to your free agent list and pick up San Diego's newest RB Brandon Oliver. Yeah, I know his name sounds more like an accountant than a football player but he's stepped up and replaced Ronnie Brown as the primary back. Who knows when Ryan Mathews is coming back and this Oliver kid has been pretty darn good. Last weekend against the Jets he gained 114 yards on only 19 carries with a TD. He also had 4 catches for 68 yards and a TD. Yep, you'd better grab him if he's available because these Chargers are flying under the radar a bit but they are pretty good. They even beat the Seahawks in San Diego last week.


Injuries of note:

> Rashad Jennings (NYG) - he will miss several games at least with a sprained MCL. Andre Williams is not pickup this week.

> Monte Ball (Den) - suffered a groin injury meaning he will miss 1-2 games. Ronnie Hillman came in a did nice job in relief of Ball.

> Derek Carr (Oak) - out the last couple of weeks with a high ankle sprain could be back this week. Raiders were on a bye week and got to know new head coach --- er --- well they haven't actually hired anyone yet but Tony Sparano is the interim coach. It may not matter who is coaching right now or it might. There are good football players on the roster. They just need a coach with some vision and an owner who can be patient.

> Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush are likely no-shows this week. Johnson is battling an ankle injury that has relegated him to being just a decoy (which he's not-to-happy about) and Bush is day-to-day with an ankle injury of his own suffered against the Bills. Joique Bell should be back in the lineup for Detroit Sunday against Minnesota.

> Last but not least, the Rams RB Zac Stacey left the game against the Eagles in the 4th quarter with a strained calf. Rams coach Jeff Fisher said it isn't serious and he should be back this Sunday. I wonder if he didn't just get benched because of a fumble---naaaah--- Jeff Fisher would never do that. Would he?


In the not-that-it-matters file. Former Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins was claimed off waivers by the Raiders. The placement of Thompkins on waivers was a big surprise considering how Bill Belichick and Tom Brady praised his work this past summer. Belichick said the move was because injuries have created a need to for roster spots but there is also a rumor or two about a problem between Belichick and Thompkins. The Raiders are glad to have an experienced receiver with speed to add to their roster. The fact he comes cheap doesn't hurt either. Don't look for much of an impact right away as he will need time to learn the Raiders offense and work with Brandon Carr to develop some chemistry. It's a nice pickup by the Raiders but Tony Sparano hasn't exactly set the world on fire as a head coach. The Raiders organization is still a mess. Thompkins has a job but it's Oakland, man. Definitely a mixed blessing.

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Latest injury report news:

> It seems that the report that Knowshon Moreno would be out another 4 weeks (this report was last week) as he rehabs a dislocated elbow was somewhat exaggerated. NFL.com is reporting Moreno has practiced this week and he should be able to play Sunday against Green Bay. He will be wearing a brace on the elbow but he should be good to go.

> Cincy WR AJ Green had his toe injury flare up in practice today. He was seen receiving treatment at practice today. It bears watching even though he will probably play.

> It looks like Detroit will rest WR Calvin Johnson this week. He has been dealing with a sprained ankle the past two weeks. Johnson expressed frustration being used as a decoy last week.

> Minnesota's Teddy Bridgewater has told reporters that he's 100% good to go for the Vikings this week against Detroit. Minnesota looked like crap last Thursday with Christian Ponder in the lineup. It should be a different story with Bridgewater in the lineup this week. All phases of the offense should be better this week.

> It's possible the Jacksonville Jaguars rookie WR Marquis Lee returned to practice today. He has been out with a pulled hamstring. He is a rookie and it is the Jags so how much this will impact his effect as fantasy player should know that it's not likely he will do much this week. It would be looking toward next week for him to make any fantasy noise.

> Eric Decker was limited in pratice according to Rex Ryan in his daily news conference. Decker's not going to make much noise in fantasy if the Jets Geno Smith doesn't show much improvement.


This isn't so much a fantasy issue but the Buffalo Bills now have a new owner. Terry and Kim Pegula, the husband and wife team who own the Buffalo Sabres, has been unanimously approved by the other 31 owners to buy the Buffalo Bills. It is a popular choice in Buffalo because the city knows they will not relocate the team. The Pegula's are only the second owners in the history of the franchise. The original owner since the inception of the AFL in 1960 Ralph Wilson, Jr owned the team until his death earlier this year.

Edited by eagle eye
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For those of you that have the Saints Mark Ingram on your fantasy lineup take heart, according to the article in NFL.com he could return from a fractured thumb for Week 7. I realize that won't help you this week but I, for one, am hurting for a good RB on my roster. It will be good to get a guy who was averaging 6.0 YPC when he was hurt back on the field.


Here's a helluva note. In my previous post I told you that Knowshon Moreno would likely return to Miami's lineup this week. It was certainly a surprise considering that Moreno said he was 4 weeks out last week. Now, what makes this such a pisser is I have 3 RB1s on my roster who aren't playing because they have been out with injuries. Ryan Matthews, Moreno and Mark Ingram. Now, given the info I had last week I picked up Brandon Oliver and had to let one of the 3 go. Will all the info I had at the time Moreno was going to be the last to return. About 30 minutes after the news broke that Moreno was coming back another guy in my league picked him up. DAMN! I almost went all 3rd grade and wanted to kick him in the shin and call him a big ol' poopy pants. I have had bad luck so far playing the wrong guy or guys week to week costing me points and wins. In my two leagues I'm sitting at 2-3. Still in the hunt but I'm going to have to do a better job of setting my lineup but with so many players not consistant this year it's kind of hard. And frustrating too because I've had the players to win to be 4-1 in both leagues. I've be victimized by the injuries to the RBs I mentioned above and Calvin Johnson's ankle is driving me crazy. All year Demaryius Thomas hasn't done squat and I bench him against a tough Cardinals defense and he goes off for 40 points. It's that frustration that makes fantasy so much fun and inspires so much cussing.


> Speaking of Megatron and his teammate Reggie Bush, reports are that they missed practice again today and will likely miss this week's game. I don't have Bush but Calvin Johnson has taken a seat on my fantasy team bench.


> Arizona is going to get Carson Palmer back soon but it won't be this week. Reports are that the nerve in Palmer's shoulder "woke up" and he is starting to feel much better. What that means is either Drew Stanton or Logan Thomas will start this week. Neither Stanton or Thomas looked very good against Denver last week but Stanton has come on with the playing time he's gotten since Carson Palmer got hurt but he left the Denver game with a concussion. He's been cleared now but Logan Thomas has been taking first team reps this week and he's looked at as the probable starter this week. If, for some reason, you are having to decide between the two (you have my sympathy) you'll have to keep your eyes open and ready for the game time reports on Sunday.

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Okay, the QB situation in Arizona is starting to get ridiculous. Earlier and by that I mean Thursday, 3rd string QB Logan Thomas was taking all the 1st team reps and despite Drew Stanton being cleared to practice from the concussion he received in the Denver game last week it was thought Thomas would start. Now, Saturday morning NFL.com is reporting that Stanton will likely start unless, UNLESS, Carson Palmer is good to go despite the fact that he hasn't been practicing since he got hurt 4 weeks ago. Reports are that Palmer is throwing about 80% and looking good unless you ask the Cardinals beat writers who say he isn't looking good at all. I believe Stanton will go but it is still considered a game time decision.


In the grand scheme of things we all know that the Patriots are pretty hard to worm information out of regarding injuries but now, out of the clear blue sky, the Patriots have listed Tom Brady as questionable for Sunday's game against the Bills. Brady supposedly has an ankle injury. Ian Rappaport of NFL.com is reporting that the ankle thing is minor and Tom Terrific will likely play.


News from Tennessee Titansland is that Jake Locker will likely sit out this week's game vs Jacksonville as he works through an injured thumb issue. It's expected that Charlie Whitehurst will get the start Sunday. Besides locker Shonn Greene is listed as doubtful for the game this week which means that Bishop Sankey will be called on to start.

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Here is a detailed injury report from NFL.com. It doesn't cover every team but it does cover most and there are some interesting names on the list.




If you need a WR this week sneak on over to your free agent pool and snap up Mohammed Sanu quick-fast and in a hurry. According to the injury report linked above the Bengals will likely be without AJ Green this week, although you need to keep an eye on last minute scratches, and now it's being reported that Marvin Jones will miss this week's game as well. It seems like either a groin or an ankle injury has become the new hamstring as far as nagging injuries are concerned. Sanu has shown he is a solid, maybe borderline spectacular receiver and the Bengals need someone to step up after getting their asses handed to them last week by the Patriots. Despite the presence of Green and Jones on the field Sanu is tied for the team lead in receptions (17) and he's put up 234 yards receiving and scored two TDs this season. And, don't forget that Sanu threw a TDs pass to Andy Dalton against Tennessee a couple of weeks ago. I'm WR poor right now go I'm picking up Sanu as fast as I can complete this post.

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I have just one thing to say----screw Stevan Ridley. I have trusted him for no good reason and a week after he blew up sitting on my fantasy bench he goes and gets hurt today.


I told you about Mohammed Sanu. Huge day for him and he's going to be a big part of the Bengals offense going forward, I'm sure of that. I can't believe the Bengals and Panthers freaking tied. The Bengals kicker has to feel like crap after missing the game winner at the final gun of OT.


Oh, to all you who bad mouth Tony Romo ------ SUCK IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After today Terrence Williams and Dez Bryant have the best two catches of the 2014 season. Williams' catch today was a thing of beauty. Williams is going to be a nice pick up for fantasy players going forward if a rabid Cowboys fan hasn't already picked him up!


It's been a heckuva day for the NFL with Raiders almost beating the Chargers (they almost looked like an NFL team for a change).

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The most effective way to win over the long haul is to have the ability to run the ball. Not just when you can early in a game but late, with the game on the line, is the true test of how good a team is. Tonight in the finale of Week 6 San Francisco is in St Louis in a pretty critical NFC West divisional game. San Fran has been the type of team who could close games with Frank Gore toting the rock. Since Jim Harbaugh arrived it's been all business in the Bay Area and business has been good. The Rams had that back in Steven Jackson but he was getting long in the tooth in NFL years so they let him go. The reason the Rams felt they could do that was because they had drafted several backs who had shown promise. The drafted Isaah Pead and Darryl Richardson in 2012 and Zac Stacy in 2013. Trouble was all three have not enjoyed the good health enjoyed by Jackson. Pead is gone, Richardson is gone and Stacy is left but he is being pushed by Benny Cunningham for carries. Stacy has been benched before for fumbling and even though the Rams cited an injured calf as the reason he didn't return to last week's game I think it's more than a coincidence that he went out right after a fumble. Stacy will play but I'll bet he's on a very short Jeff Fisher leash. Put the rock on the ground and Benny Cunningham will be in the lineup as quick as you can say Jack Robinson. So, what I've taken way too long to say is this, If you have Zac Stacy you ought to have Cunningham as a playing handcuff. If you have made it this far counting on Stacy cross your fingers. I think, at home, the Rams can run the ball on the 49ers but it will depend on ball security that will decide if Stacy or Cunningham is in the lineup. I didn't play Stacy in one of my leagues opting instead for Stevan Ridley. That hasn't looked like such a great move but with tonight's game yet to be played I still could have made the right choice. I'll tell you, I wish I had stuck with Stacy.


Speaking of Stevan Ridley, I won't have to decide on whether or not to play him because his season is done. An MRI has revealed that Ridley has a torn ACL and MCL. The Patriots will go back to RB by committee unless Brandon Bolden showed enough to get the start.


The Niners will have TE Vernon Davis back in the lineup tonight. Good news for Davis owners but realistically I'll bet this information is a little late for most fantasy owners of Davis. But, unless he gets hurt again he should be good for Week 7 for sure.


As for the game tonight, I think the Rams can win at home. They have come close to winning the last two times out losing late to the Cowboys and Eagles. New Rams QB Austin Davis has been pretty good, especially for fantasy owners, throwing for over 300 yards in both games he's started. He had a couple of untimely picks by the Cowboys and a couple of devastating drops in the waning moments of the Philly game. Brian Quick is his go-to guy with guys like Tavon Austin and Jared Cook making solid contributions. The Rams defense, a strength of their team up until this season, has given up a lot yards to opposing offenses. That will need to tighten up but the Rams are only two years removed from going 5-0-1 in the very tough NFC West. Final Score?


St Louis 31 San Francisco 27

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