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Fantasy Game Recaps: Week 6

Week Six proved to be the week of the proven quarterback. The one or two week wonders of Brian Griese, J.T. O’Sullivan and Kyle Orton took the backseat to the proven field generals like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tony Romo and Philip Rivers, who with the exception of Rivers, were chosen second, third and fourth amongst quarterbacks in most fantasy formats. Each of these quarterbacks connected on three touchdowns and with the exception of Peyton Manning, threw for over 300 yards.

Accordingly, I give the opening nod this week to Drew Brees.

Saints 34 - Raiders 3

Fantasy Superman: Drew Brees, Reggie Bush
Fantasy Performers: Lance Moore, Mark Campbell
Fantasy Hens: Justin Fargas, Darren McFadden

Drew Brees is by far the top quarterback through the first six weeks of the season. His 320-yard and three touchdown performance was the fifth time this year he went for 320 yards or greater and the third time he has thrown for three touchdowns. While he may not be close to breaking the touchdown record, Brees is on pace for breaking Dan Marino’s quarter century old yardage record of 5,084. While I was unable to report on Reggie Bush’s Monday night performance, which caused pain to his owners and ecstasy to his fans who were playing against him, Reggie returned to fantasy stud-dom on Sunday with two touchdowns, neither of which came on special teams this week and 67 yards. Lance Moore may or may not have had his last big week with seven catches for 97 yards, as Marques Colston should return to the Saints line-up next week. The enigma that is Devery Henderson continued to put up massive yards on limited catches (averaging about 32 yards per reception), with all of two nabs for 68 yards. In the absence of Jeremy Shockey, two tight ends are splitting catches with Mark Campbell and Billy Miller each catching three balls, Miller for 53 yards and Campbell for 37 yards and one touchdown.

The most successful Raider today could only be Lane Kiffin for having got the hell out of Dodge. Darren McFadden and Justin Fargas may be back at full strength, but their 30-yard and 35-yard performances, respectively, do not help fantasy managers. The team’s fantasy leader today was Zach Miller with three catches for 46 yards.

Colts 31 - Ravens 3

Fantasy Superman: Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison
Fantasy Performers: Dominic Rhodes, Ray Rice, Derrick Mason (ppr), Demetrius Williams (ppr)
Fantasy Hens: Joseph Addai, Willis McGahee, Le’Ron McClain, Dallas Clark, Joe Flacco

The high octane passing game of the Colts returned this week to the joy of those who have one or more of the triumvirate of Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and/or Reggie Wayne. Manning threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover. Two of the touchdowns came on Marvin Harrison’s three receptions for 83 yards. The other touchdown came on one of Reggie Wayne’s eight receptions for 118 yards. Anthony Gonzalez and Dallas Clark had quiet days, Gonzalez going four for 33 yards and Clark going two for 17 yards. As expected, the running game was held in check by the Raven defense, giving up only 12 yards above its average. However, the Ravens defense gave up its first touchdown on the ground to Dominic Rhodes (likely inactive in 99.9% of leagues), who also had 73 yards rushing. Joseph Addai killed fantasy owners after going out early in the game with two carries for three yards. The Colts defense also helped fantasy owners this week, giving up only three points, forcing five turnovers and four sacks.

Very little good came out of this game for Ravens owners. Willis McGahee rushed for 18 yards and caught four balls for 26 yards. Le’Ron McClain who finally worked his way into many active rosters this weekend touched the ball three times without earning a positive fantasy point, and in leagues which penalize for turnovers, went negative with a fumble. Conversely, Ray Rice, who finally found his way onto the waiver wire in many leagues, ran for 23 yards and caught seven balls for 64 yards. Joe Flacco threw three interceptions and no scores. In point per reception leagues, Derrick Mason and Demetrius Williams had some value, each with six receptions, Mason for 70 yards and Williams for 53 yards.

Cardinals 33 - Cowboys 27

Fantasy Superman: Steve Breaston, Larry Fitzgerald, Tony Romo, Marion Barber
Fantasy Performers: Kurt Warner, Patrick Crayton
Fantasy Hens: Edgerrin James, Terrell Owens, Felix Jones

Okay, maybe this is premature, but did we just see a possible NFC Championship match-up? Maybe not, but chalk up a nice win for the AZ.

Larry Fitzgerald may be use to alternating being the top dog with Anquan Boldin, but on Sunday he alternated this spot with Steve Breaston. And his 8 catches for 102 yards and a touchdown. Fitzgerald still had a nice game with five catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. Kurt Warner’s 236 yards and two touchdowns was slightly diminished by a fumble and an interception. The Arizona running game was completely silenced with Edgerrin James gaining 29 yards on the ground and Tim Hightower gaining 20 yards on the ground and 29 yards in the air.

Tony Romo continued to offer Drew Brees the toughest competition for top quarterback with his 4th game of over 300 yards and his 4th three-touchdown performance. Marion Barber may not have accomplished much in the run game averaging less than three yards a carry in his 45 rushing yards, but his 11 catches for 128 yards and a 70-yard touchdown even made Reggie Bush gasp. Terrell Owens and his 36 yards, once again took back seat to another Cowboy receiver when Patrick Crayton caught three balls for 84 yards and a touchdown. Felix Jones’ 22 yards hopefully were benched in most formats, but last week’s Cincinnati performance may have been too much to pass up on.

Chargers 30 - Patriots 10

Fantasy Superman: Philip Rivers, Vincent Jackson
Fantasy Performers: Wes Welker, Sammy Morris, LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates, Malcom Floyd
Fantasy Hens: Randy Moss

Rounding out the consistent top quarterbacks this year, Philip Rivers had his 4th three-TD performance throwing for just over 300 yards. With Chris Chambers out, Vincent Jackson finally stepped up to the plate and caught five balls for 134 yards and a touchdown. Antonio Gates caught his fourth touchdown of the year on four of 34 receiving yards and Malcolm Floyd filled in as the number two receiver with three catches for 75 yards and a score. IN what is becoming a rapidly developing theme, LaDainian Tomlinson did not do Tomlinson type damage, but was not entirely ineffective, rushing for 74 yards and catching three balls for 44 yards. However, he was held scoreless.

The Patriots did not learn that it does no good to stay out west to avoid traveling coast-to-coast-to-coast-to-coast in two weeks. Furthermore, while a bye week helped them get fat in week five against the 49ers, Randy Moss & Co. came into San Diego and resumed their anemic ways. Moss’ three catches for 26 yards makes him look like a one week wonder (one would have to discount approximately 10 years of prior performances except for the Raider years). Always reliable Wes Welker had nine catches for 73 yards and while he is not crossing the plane at all, is quite productive in ppr leagues. Kevin Faulk had 77 combined yards, without a score and Sammy Morris had a combined 75 yards and one touchdown.

Texans 29 - Dolphins 28

Fantasy Superman: Andre Johnson, Patrick Cobbs
Fantasy Performers: Chad Pennington, Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Kevin Walter, Matt Schaub, Owen Daniels
Fantasy Hens: Steve Slaton, All Miami Receivers

After a tough few losses, Houston finally got on the left side of the win-loss column. Miami’s run defense remained tough and limited Steve Slayton to a combined 61 yards. Matt Schaub put an end to any potential quarterback controversy, throwing for 379 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. The big winner of the day was Andre Johnson who had his second consecutive huge day with 10 catches for 178 yards and one touchdown. Kevin Walter and Owen Daniels each caught four balls, Walter for 98 yards and Daniels for 70 yards. Even Ahman Green ran effectively (but not from a fantasy standpoint), rushing for 41 yards on eight carries.

The Ronnie Brown express keeps rolling for its third straight week (not counting the bye week). Ronnie Brown rushed and received for a combined 93 yards and one touchdown. Ricky Williams also put up decent numbers with 46 yards and a touchdown. But the running back of note today was probably on .01% of rosters and even less active rosters. Two of his three catches went for touchdowns of 80-yards and 53-yards. The three running backs combined for 185 of Chad Pennington’s 284 yards and both of his touchdowns. Leaving 99 yards and no touchdowns to be split between Greg Camarillo, Ted Ginn, Jr., Anthony Fasano and others.

Rams 19 - Redskins 17

Fantasy Superman: Clinton Portis, Josh Brown
Fantasy Performers: Antwaan Randle El (ppr), Chris Cooley (ppr), Donnie Avery
Fantasy Hens: Santana Moss, Torry Holt

Looking at the fantasy lines on this game, its difficult to believe the Rams got their first win of the season. Clinton Portis is continuing to post the most consistent numbers of a first round running back, rushing for 129 yards and two touchdowns, along with an additional 14 yards in the air. Antwaan Randle Els and Chris Cooley each hauled in five catches, Randle El for 87 yards and Cooley for 57 yards. However, I’m out of the 3 And Out with Jason Campbell being the first quarterback unable to put up numbers against the Ram defense. Also, between a date with the Rams and zero catches last week, I figured Santana Moss was due for a rebound performance. Two catches for 22 yards has to be killing Moss owners who are sitting and starting him in the wrong weeks every week.

How bad are things in the fantasy football world when the only Ram player you can count on for points is the kicker Josh Brown, who connected on four-of-four. No Ram offensive player put up a stat worthy of note. The best performer was Steven Jackson, who ran for 79 yards, caught three balls for 32 yards, but fumbled once. Donnie Avery caught four balls for 73 yards. Torry Holt averaged only 4.4 yards a catch after reeling in five for 22 yards. No offensive player scored a touchdown.

Jets 26 - Bengals 14

Fantasy Superman: Thomas Jones
Fantasy Performers: Jerricho Cotchery, Laveranues Coles, T.J. Houshmandzadeh (ppr), Chad Johnson (ppr), Ryan Fitzpatrick
Fantasy Hens: Brett Favre, Chris Perry

Thomas Jones never blazed the field on Sunday, but he put up one of the best stat lines of the day. His longest carry was only an 8-yard carry (not even for a touchdown) and he averaged only 3.8 yards per carry on 17 touches, but he crossed the goal line three times, two on the ground and one in the air. The Gunslinger Brett Favre turned the ball over three times and threw for one-sixth as many touchdowns as his last performance, however, his receivers Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles each caught eight balls, Cotchery for 85 yards and Coles for 61 yards.

Owners finally are sitting Chad Johnson with confidence and he put up his highest numbers of the year in receptions (5) and yards (57), but did not score. T.J. Houshmandzadeh maybe ready to doff the Bengal stripes (how much would that suck for Chad, who was demanding a trade in the off-season), and Ryan Fitzpatrick made it easier, connecting on seven passes, but only for seven yards per catch for a total of 49 yards. Chris Perry’s and Cedric Benson’s combined total of 20 rushing yards fell short of fleet footed Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 23 yards.

Packers 27 - Seahawks 17

Fantasy Superman: Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings
Fantasy Performers: Ryan Grant, John Carlson
Fantasy Hens: Julius Jones, Bobby Engram

Aaron Rodgers continues to be a top quarterback throwing for 208 yards and two touchdowns, rushing for 23 yards and a third touchdown and turning the ball over once with a fumble. Ryan Grant rushed for 90 yards, but he did so on 33 carries. Greg Jennings posted yet another touchdown on five catches for 84 yards. Donald Driver posted 6 receptions for 53 yards and while he is yet to be a household fantasy name, Jordy Nelson had his 3rd four catch performance in four weeks, this time for 42 yards.

The Seahawks are officially grounded and Boeing should move out of town. Although they scored both touchdowns in the passing game, the leading receiver were tight end John Carlson with 22 yards and a touchdown and Koren Robinson with 23 yards. Julius Jones ran for only 44 yards.

Buccaneers 27 - Panthers 3

Fantasy Superman: None
Fantasy Performers: Steve Smith, Muhsin Muhammad, Warrick Dunn, Earnest Graham, Alex Smith
Fantasy Hens: Jake Delhomme, Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, Antonio Bryant, Ike Hilliard

Still, no one is picking up Warrick Dunn and yet again, he outran Earnest Graham with 133 combined yards to Graham’s 58 combined yards and one touchdown. Alex Smith hauled only three catches for 43 yards, but one was a 2-yard touchdown catch. Virtually silent were Antonio Bryant and Ike Hilliard, who each only caught one ball, Bryant’s 13-yarder being the longest. Jeff Garcia managed the game well, connecting on 15 of 20 passes for 173 yards and one touchdown.

Both heads of the Panthers’ two-headed running back monster were lopped off. DeAngelo Williams only ran for 27 yards and Jonathan Stewart ran for only 12. The only thing that may have spared fantasy owners is the fact that they did not know which running back to play and likely sat these players in most formats. Carolina’s two lead receivers put up good (not great) numbers, Steve Smith with six catches for 112 yards and no touchdowns and Muhsin Muhammad catching four for 68 yards. Jake Delhomme’s three interceptions in leagues which penalize with negative points, neutralized nearly all of his 242 passing yards.

Vikings 12 - Lions 10

Fantasy Superman: Bernard Berrian
Fantasy Performers: Gus Frerotte, Kevin Smith, Calvin Johnson
Fantasy Hens: Adrian Peterson, Rudi Johnson, Roy Williams

Sure I expected the Vikings defense to clamp down on the Lions, especially with quarterback issues present in Detroit. But, All Day Adrian Peterson has shocked me for the second straight week and has had his third single digit fantasy performance in four weeks. For goodness sake Adrian, this was the 30th best run defense in the National Football League and the most explosive running back in the league. Two fumbles ate into his 111 yards rushing and one catch for negative yards. Bernard Berrian was quite the beacon of light in this otherwise low octane offense, catching five balls for 131 yards and a touchdown. It should be quite apparent now that Gus Frerotte’s 296 yards, one touchdown and an interception do not translate into pick-up for next week. If you are thinking this way, just ask those who picked up Kyle Orton last week.

Rudi Johnson may have had the hot hand, but his 17 carries got the Lions 38 yards, while Kevin Smith broke off a 50-yard run and ended the day with 62 yards on five carries and two catches for 11 yards. The 0-5 Lions should be in re-building mode now and running Rudi Johnson just seems pointless. Calvin Johnson did not skip a beat with Dan Orlovsky in as he caught four balls for 85 yards and a touchdown. Roy Williams on the other hand only caught two balls for 23 yards.

Falcons 22 - Bears 20

Fantasy Superman: Roddy White, Matt Forte
Fantasy Performers: Matt Ryan, Harry Douglas, Kyle Orton, Devin Hester, Rashied Davis
Fantasy Hens: Michael Turner

The re-building Falcons are 4-2 and the Bears are 3-0. I’m not sure I saw this one coming. Rookie Matt Ryan did not fear the Bear defense and threw for just over 300 yards and one touchdown, without a turnover. Roddy White continues to feast on defenses, catching nine balls for 112 yards and a touchdown. WR Harry Douglas outperformed his entire season to date, with five catches for 96 yards. The mantra of the Falcons fortunes ride on Michael Turner were proven wrong, with the Falcons winning on Turner’s 54 yards.

Kyle Orton had a decent game, but nothing like his smorgasbord against Detroit. Orton threw for 286 yards and one touchdown. Matt Forte had another solid performance gaining a combined total of 110 yards and a touchdown. Devin Hester made strides with six catches for 87 yards while Rashied Davis caught 4 for 41 and a touchdown.

Eagles 40 - 49ers 26

Fantasy Superman: Correll Buckhalter, Frank Gore
Fantasy Performers: DeSean Jackson, Donovan McNabb, Hank Baskett, Vernon Davis
Fantasy Hens: Isaac Bruce

Brian Who? Correll Buckhalter put up Westbrook -like numbers on Sunday with 93 yards rushing, 85 yards receiving and one touchdown. Donovan McNabb threw for 280 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. DeSean Jackson returned to his early season activity with six catches for 98 yards, while Hank Baskett may have only had 38 yards, but a touchdown as well.

Frank Gore proved himself Sunday, taking on a tough Philadelphia run defense and breaking 100 yards on the ground, along with three catches for 16 yards and a touchdown. Vernon Davis made a surprise appearance with six catches for 75 yards, but Isaac Bruce was hardly heard from after going two for 28 yards.

Jaguars 24 - Broncos 17

Fantasy Superman: Maurice Jones-Drew, Michael Pittman
Fantasy Performers: David Garrard, Marcedes Lewis, Matt Jones (ppr), Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Brandon Stokley
Fantasy Hens: Fred Taylor, Nate Jackson

The Denver defense seems to be becoming a place for fantasy performers to regain their confidence and many of the Jaguars did just that this weekend. Maurice Jones-Drew came out of hibernation with a combined 148-yard and two-TD performance. His running mate Fred Taylor however, dipped further into oblivion with 10 yards rushing, 10 yards receiving and a turnover. David Garrard is returning to form as a consistent quarterback with his third consecutive single touchdown - no interception performance, this time on 276 yards. Matt Jones had seven receptions for 69 yards and Marcedes Lewis had three for 64 and a touchdown.

Forced by an injury to Selvin Young, the Broncos highlighted a single running back and with it, Michael Pittman broke the 100-yard plateau for the first time this year for a Denver running back. Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler looked like they were on pace for a huge game when the first three plays of the game were all catches by Marshall for a total of 45 yards and Cutler drove the ball downfield for 75 of the 80 yards and a touchdown, but Marshall ended the day with nine catches for 98 yards and Cutler only 192 yards, two touchdowns and two turnovers. Brandon Stokley filled in for Eddie Royal with only a few catches for 29 yards and a touchdown. Nate Jackson was a sleeper tight end for many fantasy managers, with Tony Scheffler out, but turned out to be a nightmare without any catches and the tight end of choice was Daniel Graham who made his one catch count for an 11-yard touchdown.

Week 7 Waiver Wire Players

QB: Jeff Garcia, J.P. Losman
RB: Dominic Rhodes, Ray Rice (again), Warrick Dunn
WR: Antwaan Randle El, Malcolm Floyd (if Chambers is out longer)
TE: Marcedes Lewis