Week 6 Review: It's Now Or Never
We’re just about halfway through the regular season in most fantasy football leagues. If you don’t know your team by now, you probably never will. For many of us, this is the time to make some moves. There is no better example of this then my own home league, which saw 10 trades this past week. That number is ridiculous. I’m not advocating trading your whole team, but it’s definitely time to make a key move to fill some holes. With that said, let’s dive into some of the standouts from this week and their equally unimpressive counterparts.
1. Nick Foles steps in, and the Eagles don’t miss a beat.
The day Foles had is worth noting because HC Chip Kelly made it known that if he played well, they may never look back. For Michael Vick owners, this is nothing short of heartbreaking. We don’t know what direction they’ll head moving forward, but any Vick owner should have handcuffed him with Foles a long time ago. It’s ridiculous that a quarterback even needs to be handcuffed, but Vick has shown in the past that he is anything but durable.
Cam Newton had quite the day against the Vikings; this is exactly what people had in mind when drafting him. With favorable matchups on the way, Cam should continue to impress. Andy Dalton put up over 300 yards to go along with three touchdowns en route to a hard-fought victory against the Bills. Dalton isn’t much more than a QB2 but he should be serviceable as a bye week fill-in. On the flip side of that game, Thaddeus Lewis played well filling in for the injured E.J. Manuel.
Some other notable games include, Matthew Stafford (248/4/1), Jay Cutler (262/2/0) and Joe Flacco (342/2/0). Notable "poor" games came from Aaron Rodgers (315/1/1), Drew Brees (236/2/1), Peyton Manning (295/2/1) and Colin Kaepernick (252/2/1). All four put up decent numbers, but certainly not what you’re looking for from you stud quarterback. Manning’s down day also included two lost fumbles. Both appeared to stem from miscommunication with center Manny Ramirez. Manning owners can’t complain. He has been otherworldly thus far. Even Peyton Manning is allowed to have one average game a season.
2. Justin Blackmon may have figured it out.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was skeptical about Justin Blackmon. After getting burned by him last season, how couldn’t I be. But, he absolutely went off Sunday. If you played him any format you benefited greatly. If it was PPR, you may have won just because of him. His ridiculous day was aided by Cecil Shorts’ early departure, but it’s hard to ignore a 14-catch day no matter what the circumstances.
Vincent Jackson wasn’t far behind Blackmon. Jackson benefitted from Mike Williams absence on the way to a nine-catch, two-touchdown day. Jackson has been inconsistent so far this year, but it’ll hard to keep him out of your lineup after a day like that.
DeSean Jackson benefitted from Nick Foles’ huge day catching six passes for 64 yards and a pair of scores. Through six games Jackson is having a career year. Likely off the board as a WR3/4 in your draft, he has played well above that level.
We got solid games from Jordy Nelson (4/113/1), who did the majority of his damage on a 64-yard strike from Aaron Rodgers; A.J. Green (6/103/1); Larry Fitzgerald (6/117/1); Josh Gordon (7/126/0); Denarius Moore (5/82/1); and Wes Welker (6/63/1). Moore is still available in over 25 percent of Yahoo! Leagues even though he has played above expectations thanks to Terrelle Pryor. He is definitely an intriguing bye week fill-in moving forward, if not an every week WR3. Jordy Nelson has played well all season, after seeing Randall Cobb and James Jones both exit the game with injury his role should continue to grow moving forward.
3. Knowshon Moreno surges forward for three touchdowns.
Moreno only rushed for 42 yards, but when you score three times it doesn’t matter. Tack on seven catches for 62 yards, and you have the best day of any running back this week. Battery-mates Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball both had issues with Hillman fumbling and Ball dropping two catchable balls. Moving forward, Moreno will continue to be the back to own in Denver. He’s exceeded expectations three weeks in a row now.
Around the league running backs continued to pick up their play. Marshawn Lynch totaled 155 yards from scrimmage with a pair of scores. It was beast mode at its finest. Jamaal Charles was the lone bright spot on the offensive side of the ball as he racked up 128 yards and two scores of his own. Stevan Ridley finally got it going, rushing for 96 yards and a pair of TDs. Arian Foster continues to improve, even as the offense continues to get worse. He had 198 yards from scrimmage but lost a garbage time touchdown to Ben Tate.
Giovani Bernard and Andre Ellington put together respectable days on limited touches. Look for their roles to continue to expand, as they’ve been the most productive backs on each of their team’s rosters.
Eddie Lacy powered his way to 120 yards on the ground. After failing to have a running back eclipse the 100-yard mark for what seemed like an eternity, the Packers have now had a 100-yard rusher in three of their last four games. What’s even more amazing is that three different backs have done it, and it would’ve been four straight weeks if Lacy found one more yard Week 5 against the Lions.
The Saints’ backfield continues to be an enigma. Two weeks ago it was Darren Sproles. Last week it was Pierre Thomas. This week both were sprinkled in, and undrafted rookie Khiry Robinson added 53 yards and a score. With the exception of Sproles, stay away, you never know whose number Sean Payton will call on any given Sunday.
4. Vernon Davis explodes for 8/180/2.
Davis was mostly quiet after the break – catching just one ball for nine yards. Davis was finally healthy Sunday, and as a result, he exploded. We have no reason to believe that he won’t be a Top Five tight end moving forward.
For the most part, the tight ends that put up big numbers benefitted nobody. Joseph Fauria scored three times, bringing his season total to five on just seven catches. His big week can be overlooked, don’t read anything into all those points. Kyle Rudolph (9/97/1) had his best came of the season with most of his points coming in garbage time. If you need to play him you can, but he needs to get into the end zone to maintain any fantasy relevance. His nine catches won’t happen again any time soon. Heath Miller is owned in less than half of Yahoo! Leagues, but he is a solid bye week tight end, if nothing else. Healthy again – following a devastating knee injury late last season – he is far from a sexy option, but he gets the job done.
The rest of the league’s top tight ends disappointed this week. The Rob Gronkowski saga continues. As an owner myself, it hurts. You’ve held out this long, all you can do now is wait. Jordan Cameron sputtered for the second straight week. When you’ve come to rely on him for TE1 numbers, 5/64 simply won’t get it done. Finally, and most painfully, Jimmy Graham was held without a catch for the first time since his rookie season. Graham left, and then returned briefly, before exiting the game for good with a left ankle/foot injury. With a Week 7 bye on the horizon and no indication that it was a serious injury, it shouldn’t be too worrisome for fantasy owners.
With Week 6 (almost) in the books, it’s time to make moves. I know I said it earlier, but it’s now or never. If you’re 2-4 or even 1-5, you’re not necessarily out of it yet, but you will be soon. Again going back to my own league, eight teams entered Week 6 with a 2-3 record (unbelievable considering it’s only a 10-team league) and almost all of us decided it was time to for a change. If you made a trade Week 2 or 3, you might be kicking yourself. Eddie Royal didn’t quite pan out. Arian Foster picked it up. But now, with a larger sample size, we can see clear roles that have developed. Take heed and act quickly.