It is that time of year when players are injured, on bye, under
performing, or over performing and fantasy managers either manage
to make the right choice or micromanage their way out of winning
hand. Studs will sit. Nobodies will play. Some are great calls and
others turn out to be head slapping, second-guesses that drive people
crazy. You sat Santana Moss for three weeks only to put him in last
week and when he had an amazing first half against the Cowboys,
you knew you were riding him to your fantasy playoffs, only to see
him go off for zero catches.
The Colts-Texans game was a perfect example. Do you play Marvin
Harrison after the bye week and a bad performance? What about
Peyton Manning over the hot handed Philip Rivers? With Indianapolis
banged up are you convinced that its time to play Steve Slaton
over Maurice Jones-Drew against Pittsburgh? This is when managing
Colts 31 - Texans 27
Fantasy Superman: Reggie Wayne, Steve Slaton, Andre Johnson
Fantasy Performers: Peyton Manning, Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark,
Fantasy Hens: Marvin Harrison, Kevin Walter
Every once in awhile fantasy football takes a back seat to a
really fun game to watch. This was one of those times. With only
a QB left in my 3 And Out picks, and Peyton Manning being that
QB, with 4:30 left in the game I had my face buried in my hands.
Sure the Texans were a top pass defense, but a bye week, returning
linemen and some time to gel, I thought this was a no-brainer.
But enough about a 21-point comeback in the final four minutes,
because those kind of things happen when Peyton Manning is leading
the comeback on one side and Sage Rosenfels on the other side.
This game had all sorts of fantasy implications. On the winning
side, Reggie Wayne was having a “nice day”, but nothing
stellar. With less than 6 minutes to go, Reggie Wayne only had
59 yards on four receptions. In a late drive he caught two more
for 33 yards. Then with less than two minutes left, Reggie made
an amazing catch and stayed in bounds for a 5-yard TD and his
six for 92-yard day turned into a seven for 97 yards and a TD.
Joseph Addai ran for 71 yards and a TD. Dallas Clark reeled in
five for 81 yards and Peyton Manning, who had less than 200 yards,
0 TDs and a interception midway into the 4th quarter, ended the
game with 247 yards, two TDs and one pick. Dungy said earlier
this week that Marvin Harrison looks like “the Marvin of
old.” With four catches for only 32 yards, the statement
may have been misinterpreted and it may be that Dungy thinks Marvin
just looks old.
Steve Slaton had another good day with 93 yards rushing and two
TDs. Andre Johnson returned to form with a nine-catch, 131-yard,
one-TD performance. But for the Sage Rosenfels meltdown in the
last half of the 4th quarter, a QB controversy could be forming
in Houston. For those that had little confidence in Andre Johnson
and instead played Kevin Walter, his 36-yard day was of little
Dolphins 17 - Chargers 10
Fantasy Superman: Ronnie Brown
Fantasy Performers: Chad Pennington, Greg Camarillo, Chris Chambers
Fantasy Hens: LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates
Those who sold high on Ronnie Brown may not have sold high enough.
After a monster week against New England and a bye week, Ronnie
Brown returned with a strong performance against the San Diego
Chargers. Averaging over five yards per carry, Brown ran for 125
yards and one TD. Chad Pennington had an okay performance against
the Chargers weak pass defense, throwing for 228 yards and one
TD. His top receiver was Greg Camarillo who had six catches for
68 yards and a TD. Anthony Fasano’s 47 yards on three catches
was a bit disappointing after his week three performance despite
lining up against a Chargers defense that have given up TD’s
to tight ends in every game until this week. Although it was against
the Charger defense, it may be time to keep an eye on Ted Ginn,
Jr., who caught seven balls.
About the only positive stat coming from San Diego was Chris
Chambers’ 30 yards and a TD. Antonio Gates had all of one
catch for 12 yards and LaDainian Tomlinson had a combined total
of 57 yards and zero TDs. Philip Rivers threw for only 159 yards
and a TD.
Redskins 23 - Eagles 17
Fantasy Superman: Clinton Portis, Chris Cooley
Fantasy Performers: Brian
Fantasy Hens: Santana Moss, DeSean Jackson (except in individual
points for special teams leagues)
Finally, fantasy managers started taking Santana Moss off the
bench, just in time for his no catch, no yard performance. Clinton
Portis may not be flashy, but it’s difficult to think of
another fantasy first rounder who is producing as well. He is
averaging over 100 yards a game and a nearly a TD each time out.
Today he had 145 yards rushing, 13 receiving, and a TD. Chris
Cooley had a monster game with 109 yards and a TD, which was thrown
to him by Antwaan Randle El. Jason Campbell only had 176 yards.
Neither QB performed well as Donovan McNabb was held just under
200 yards and zero TDs. Brian Westbrook came back from his injury
and may not have burned up the field, but his 33 yards rushing,
51 yards receiving and single TD were good enough for many teams.
Reggie Brown had a second straight decent performance with four
catches for 84 yards. On the other hand, DeSean Jackson’s
13 yards on the ground were better than his eight receiving yards.
Only in leagues where individual points are awarded for special
teams play, did Jackson assist his fantasy team owners with his
68-yard punt return.
Cowboys 31 - Bengals 22
Fantasy Superman: Tony
Fantasy Performers: Terrell
Fantasy Hens: Chris
This game is an enigma. Yes, Tony Romo had three TDs, but he
did it on only 176 yards and one interception. One of those TDs
came on a late blown coverage TD to Terrell Owens for 57 yards.
Other than that, Owens only had one catch on the day for 10 yards.
The real star in the Dallas offense was Felix Jones, whose 33-yard
touchdown, led to a 96-yard day on just nine carries. His backfield
mate Marion Barber ran for 84 yards on 23 carries. Jason Witten
continues to be the number one receiver in the Dallas offense
with eight catches for 79 yards and a TD. It should be noted that
Miles Austin may not have had any fantasy stats for the first
time in three weeks, but he had a beautiful assist in the end
zone to give Patrick Crayton a TD on one catch for 15 yards.
The Bengals once-mighty offense is circling the drain. In week
two of 2007, Chad Johnson caught 11 balls for 209 yards and two
TDs. After five weeks in 2008, good old Ocho Cinco does not have
a combined total that even comes close to his second week performance
of last year. After his 43-yard performance, Chad now has 14 catches
for 159 yards and one TD. It may be impossible to get rid of him
and may be impossible to dump him, but most teams are at the point
where they will probably have Ocho Cinco benched that one week
he finally goes off. Chris Perry and Cedric
Benson virtually split carries with equal performances of
31 and 30 yards, respectively. Carson Palmer’s elbow did not appear
to bother him significantly as he passed for 217 yards, two TDs
and 1 interception. His favorite receivers were T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Chatman, who each caught seven balls. Housh had 85 yards and
two TDs, and Chatman had 55 yards. Chatman may not be a bad waiver
wire pick up as he has now caught 15 balls over the last three
games (beware the fact that Chris
Henry was just activated).
Giants 44 - Seahawks 6
Fantasy Superman: Brandon Jacobs, Sinorice Moss, Domenik Hixon
Fantasy Performers: Eli Manning, Bobby Engram
Fantasy Hens: Matt Hasselbeck, Deion Branch, Julius Jones
The self-imposed suspension factor seems to work out very well
for NFL teams and their passing games. Carolina did okay in weeks
one and two and now New York fared well in benching Plaxico Burress.
Eli Manning threw for 267 yards and two TDs. Amani Toomer was
being swept up in most leagues for the one-week play, but only
caught four balls for 65 yards. Meanwhile, his teammates Sinorice
Moss and Domenik Hixon had much better games. Moss, who only had
4 catches for 45 yards, made the best of two of them, by scoring
two touchdowns. Hixon caught as many balls, but eclipsed 100 yards
and scored once. Brandon Jacobs topped the charts with 136 yards
and two TDs.
The return of the wide receivers not only made Matt Hasselbeck
worse, but apparently Julius Jones was adversely affected by their
return. Matt Hasselbeck could only hook up with his receivers
11 times for 109 yards and threw one interception. Reports early
this week had an “explosive” Deion Branch poised to
make a comeback and some owners bought into this philosophy. Four
quarters and 31 yards later, these same owners are scratching
their heads. Bobby Engram returned to being Hasselbeck’s
favorite target, catching seven of Hasselbeck’s 11-completions
(and one from Seneca Wallace) for eight catches and 61 yards.
Julius Jones had 61 rushing and 13 receiving yards.
Broncos 16 - Buccaneers 13
Fantasy Superman: None
Fantasy Performers: Jay Cutler, Brandon Stokley, Antonio Bryant,
Ike Hilliard, Warrick Dunn
Fantasy Hens: Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, Denver Running Backs
The Bronco aerial attack finally got grounded. Eddie Royal sprained
an ankle and caught only three balls for 23 yards. Brandon Marshall
finally looked human with his three catches for 25 yards. Brandon
Stokley and Tony Scheffler were the offensive leaders with Scheffler
catching four for 65 and Stokley catching six for 52 and one TD.
The Broncos ran the ball 26 times and no back had more than Selvin
Young’s 10 carries for 38 yards, or Michael Pittman’s
39 yards (and 22 receiving). Jay Cutler threw for 227 yards and
The Buccaneers went into Denver hoping to take advantage of the
Bronco’s porous defense. But Brian Griese only connected
on 13 of 19 passes for 88 yards before leaving the game with a
shoulder injury. Antonio Bryant caught 7 for 58 yards and Ike
Hilliard caught four, for 29 and a TD catch from Jeff Garcia.
Warrick Dunn outran Earnest Graham with 87 combined yards to Graham’s
80 combined yards.
Cardinals 41 - Bills 17
Fantasy Superman: Larry Fitzgerald, Lee Evans
Fantasy Performers: Edgerrin James, Tim Hightower, Kurt Warner,
Fantasy Hens: Marshawn Lynch, Trent Edwards
Larry Fitzgerald may not have blazed the field in the absence
of Anquan Boldin, but two touchdowns makes up for only having
52 yards on seven catches. Steve Breaston replaced Boldin with
seven catches for 77 yards. LSU rookie Early
Doucet even got into the action with 6 catches for 42 yards.
Edgerrin James ran for 57 yards and caught two for 21 yards, with
a TD. Tim Hightower is among the league leaders with his 4th and
5th touchdowns on 37 yards.
I always hate calling an injured player a hen, but it doesn’t
matter whether it is the player’s fault or not. If Trent
Edwards is on your roster and he throws for 18 yards before a
concussion knocks him out of the game, you still get zero points.
Marshawn Lynch however, is responsible for his numbers and his
65 combined yards is not the makings of a first round pick. Lee
Evans only caught the ball twice, but an 87-yarder for a TD is
always good for fantasy owners and a nice run gave Evans 100 yards
receiving, 22 yards rushing and a TD.
Patriots 30 - 49ers 21
Fantasy Superman: Randy Moss, Isaac Bruce
Fantasy Performers: Frank
Fantasy Hens: Laurence Maroney
One week helped Randy Moss get healthy and owners who want to
trade him may be able to get the value they once hoped for. Matt
Cassell was able to get the ball into Moss’s hands five
times for 111 yards and a 66- yard TD reception. Wes Welker continues
to haul in his average seven catches a game with an eight-catch
game for 73 yards. Laurence Maroney has yet to cross the 100-yard
mark for the season, with his 26 yards rushing. Maroney is not
even the second best running back in the Patriot offense. Sammy
Morris rushed for 63 yards and Kevin Faulk rushed for 32 yards
and received for 29 yards and crossed the goal line twice.
Isaac Bruce only caught the ball three times, but two of those
were for TDs and accounted for 44 of his 49 yards. Frank Gore
only carried the ball 12 times, but he averaged 4.5 yards per
carry for 54 yards and caught four balls for 24 yards and one
TD. J.T. O’Sullivan threw for 130 yards and three TDs, but
in leagues awarding negative points his three interceptions were
less then helpful.
Panthers 34 - Chiefs 0
Fantasy Superman: DeAngelo Williams
Fantasy Performers: Steve
Fantasy Hens: Larry Johnson, Tony Gonzalez
A common theme this season seems to be super performances from
bench players. With the emergence of Jonathan Stewart and news
out of Carolina’s beat reporter that the reigns are being
readied for a handover of the starting RB position to Jonathan
Stewart, it’s hard to imagine many teams running DeAngelo
Williams this week. DeAngelo Williams went Ronnie Brown-lite,
with 123 yards rushing, 25 yards receiving and three TDs. But
Panther player owners need not fear, there were many points to
pass around. Jonathan Stewart ran for 72 yards, Steve Smith caught
six for 96 and Muhsin Muhammad caught three for 71 and one TD.
Jake Delhomme aired it out for 236 yards, two TDs and one interception.
Outside the cozy confines of Arrowhead, the Chiefs struggled
again. Its kind of bittersweet to see talented Dwayne Bowe catch
5 receptions for 57 yards and say and admit that he basically
outperformed the rest of the Chiefs combined. Larry Johnson owners
will not know what to make of their blue chip running back who
has averaged 100 yards on the ground in the last two games, unfortunately
198 of those 200 yards came in that last game, with just two yards
on seven carries in this one. Tony Gonzalez’s three catches
for 17 yards was equally anemic.
Titans 13 - Ravens 10
Fantasy Superman: None
Fantasy Performers: Le'Ron
Fantasy Hens: Chris
Sure, these two teams were collectively 6-1 coming into today.
But between them, there are not too many fantasy points to be
had. And guess what? Not many were. Today’s fantasy stud
for this game was LeRon McClain with his 63 combined yards and
1 TD. Willis McGahee carried the ball 22 times and averaged less
than three yards per carry with only 64 yards. Joe Flacco only
threw for 152 yards and two interceptions and his number one receiver
was Todd Heap with only 41 yards.
The winning team had nothing to brag about either, but given
the Raven defense this year this is not all too surprising. Chris
Johnson only tallied 44 yards on the ground while his running
mate LenDale White had four yards. Bo Scaife caught seven for
72 yards and Brandon Jones had three for 54 yards.
Falcons 27 - Packers 24
Fantasy Superman: Michael Turner, Roddy White, Aaron Rodgers
Fantasy Performers: Matt
Fantasy Hens: None
Michael Turner loves the home cooking in the ATL, but it was
even more impressive that Turner went over 100 yards and had a
score in Lambeau Field. Turner’s 121-yard, one-score effort
was outperformed by Roddy White’s 132 yards on catches for
one TD. Rookie Matt Ryan threw for 194 yards, two TDs and one
Aaron Rodgers’ shoulder did not appear to hinder his game at
all. Rodgers threw for 313 yards and three TDs. Rodgers disbursed
the ball evenly with six receivers catching between three and
five receptions. Greg Jennings and Donald Driver each had a TD,
Jennings on 87 yards and Driver on 68. Ryan Grant began warming
up on the Atlanta defense with 83 rushing yards.
Bears 34 - Lions 7
Fantasy Superman: Kyle Orton, Matt Forte
Fantasy Performers: Rashied
Fantasy Hens: Calvin Johnson, Jon Kitna
When Kyle Orton, who has only had one game over 200 yards this
year, and has neutralized every TD with a corresponding interception
in the same game, goes for 330 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions,
you know who is to blame. Translation - start the QB playing Detroit
each week. Virtually every player on the Bears offense put up
respectable numbers. Rashied Davis had 97 yards. Gregg Olson had
87 yards. Devin Hester had 66 yards and one TD. Matt Forte had
a combined 61 yards and two TDs.
The Lions finally got a nice performance from trade bait Roy
Williams who hauled in seven catches for 96 yards. Kevin Smith
looked like Matt Forte with five fewer combined yards and one
less TD. Hopefully, the owners jumping on the Rudi Johnson bandwagon
recognized this was not the week to do so (and I did not see him
played in most leagues). However, his five carries for 23 yards
still outpaced Calvin Johnson and his two catches for 16 yards.
Jon Kitna was not a good play even before he went out with back
spasms with only 74 yards.
Steelers 26 – Jaguars 21
Fantasy Superman: Ben Roethlisberger
Fantasy Performers: Nate Washington, Santonio Holmes, Hines Ward
Fantasy Hens: Fred Taylor, Maurice Jones-Drew, Matt Jones
I remember a Star Trek episode where the more the Enterprise
shot its photon torpedoes at the enemy, the bigger it became.
Why does Ben Roethlisberger remind me of that episode? The more
he gets injured, the bigger and better he performs. In Sunday
night’s game every time he went down with a clearly painful
injury, Roethlisberger got back up and threw bigger and better,
for 309 yards, three TDs and one interception. Three receivers
got into the mix with Nate Washington reeling in six for 94 and
one TD, Hines Ward going seven for 90 and one TD, and Santonio
Holmes catching four for 65 yards. Mewelde Moore did a fine job
as the number four RB running for 99 yards and catching three
for 17 yards.
The Jaguars running backs had a tough night. Fred Taylor averaged
less than two yards per carry on 10 carries of 19 yards. Maurice
Jones-Drew may have had a TD, but he had little else (except in
ppr leagues) with six catches for 23 yards and seven yards rushing.
Mike Walker should be a good waiver wire addition with six catches
for 107 yards. Other than Marcedes Lewis’s 24-yard touchdown
reception, the Jaguar receivers were unmentionable. David Garrard
had a second-straight, error-free performance, throwing for 200
yards and 1 TD.
Week 6 Waiver Wire Players
QB: Jeff Garcia, J.P. Losman
WR: Chris Henry, Antonio Chatman, Mike Walker
RB: Don’t go rushing to get Mewelde Moore as Fast Willie
Parker should be back after the bye week.