Welcome to Tuesday Morning Buzz! Week 6 was pretty pedestrian overall, as most of the matchups were fairly uneventful. However, there was some great action and some insight to be had in fantasy, and TMB will try to bring it all to you without tearing a triceps. Let’s get right into it:
Last week, much to-do was made about Drew Brees breaking one of passing’s most prestigious records; however, this week there is very little press about another magnificent record falling. Roethlisberger, in his hottest passing start ever, became the best quarterback the Steelers have ever had statistically. Now, Terry Bradshaw was not exactly a prolific passer by today’s standards, but we should consider that it took Roethlisberger only eight full seasons and some change to get the record. That’s impressive.
The Titans also looked impressive on Thursday night, what with four 50-yard receivers. Kendall Wright and Kenny Britt may be worth starting if you feel like playing roulette—it’s an all-or-nothing offense. CJ2K also ran well against the Steelers, racking up 91 yards and a near-touchdown.
Just to throw fantasy owners for a loop, the Raiders decided to go on the road against an undefeated team and play their best football of the season. Palmer managed to keep his TD:INT ratio at 1:1 (a fantastic achievement for him), and Denarius Moore hit almost 21 yards per catch on five receptions, and he scored a touchdown to ice the proverbial cake. I would like to see Palmer complete four passes to Derek Hagan for 80-plus yards more than once before I start playing these Raiders in non-bye-week matchups.
My analysis of the Falcons’ fantasy value after this week would be like the Vice Presidential debates: highly unlikely to change your mind. So I won’t waste your time. Typically, even the most dominant teams don’t blow out their opponents every week. Keep starting your Falcons.
The Cowboys learned a great lesson from their intrastate rival, the Houston Texans, and let the run open up the pass. This isn’t your father’s Baltimore D; they can’t stop the run, and DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones proved it. Look for Jones to be a hot commodity, as Murray is hurt and may miss some time. The Ravens overall looked on par offensively, though Anquan Boldin once again performed well past his station, with 98 yards on five catches.
Also, that 24/7 security detail needs to get Dez Bryant on the practice field a little more. He’s dropping balls like crazy!
If I told you the 3-2 Bengals and the 0-4 Browns game in Cleveland this Sunday would end 34-24, how much could I get you to bet on the Bengals? Of course, if I knew the end score, I probably couldn’t get most of you to bet much, but that’s beyond the point. This Browns offense is moving the ball! Is Brandon Weeden finally the savior of Cleveland? May there come a time this season when a Browns pass catcher is worthwhile? We’ll have to wait and see, but things are looking up a little.
For the Bengals, Jermaine Gresham again proved his fantasy worth as a starting TE, and A.J. Green is saving fantasy seasons everywhere. You might consider Andy Dalton if you’ve grown tired of having quarterbacks named Cam Newton or Ryan Fitzpatrick on your roster.
Despite Miami’s scoring only 17 points, this game was not as close as the 14-17 final score belies. The Rams were able to get good yardage, but they did not score a touchdown until there were only five minutes remaining. Bradford did save his fantasy day with a rushing touchdown, but the Rams are virtually forgotten in fantasy, as well they should be.
Speaking of saving their day with touchdowns, Anthony Fasano and Ryan Tannehill both embellished sub-par yardage totals with scores. Look for Tannehill to come off the waiver wire in many leagues this week. It may not be a bad idea to pick him up if you’re looking for QB depth or can play two.
In the first of a couple of unlikely blowouts this weekend, the Jets swarmed and put up 35 points to the Colts’ measly 9. Don’t be surprised if this Jets team stays alive and pesters the Patriots all the way into the playoffs. Shonn Greene put on a vomit-inducing 161-yard, 3-touchdown performance, and Joe McKnight added another 71 yards rushing. In addition, Mark Sanchez impressively managed to throw two touchdowns on only 11 completions for 82 yards. So, what does this mean for the Jets fantasy prospects? N-o-t-h-i-n-g! The Colts were obviously not ready for a Jets rushing attack and simply couldn’t adjust. Just as I cautioned when they scored 48 points in week one: this is not the norm for the Jets.
For the Colts, the offense was so non-existent (thanks largely to the let-down that almost always follows an emotional high like last week’s victory over the Packers) that there is little to take away. Take note that Reggie Wayne still got 87 yards on five receptions when the rest of his team was fading away.
In a somewhat bizarre turnout, Stafford and Vick both threw for 311 yards, though Vick threw for twice as many touchdowns (and picks) and rushed nine times for 59 yards. Also, Calvin Johnson and Jeremy Maclin both caught 6 passes for 135 and 130 yards, respectively. However, while DeSean Jackson followed Maclin with five catches for 74 yards, it was Tony Scheffler who most closely followed Johnson. Despite his 81-yard performance, I feel there are many stronger TE options than Scheffler—l would let someone else have that game-day worry each week.
Is Brady Quinn the answer to the Cassel conundrum? Here is how they break down:
Looking at those numbers, the answer is definitively “no.” However, Cassel has had similarly illustrious failures under center (92 yds, 0 TD, 2 INT against Baltimore). Sadly, whoever can come out and consistently impress under center for the Chiefs is not currently on their roster. I would avoid all of these passers like the plague. More prevalently for fantasy, however, I would struggle to start any Chiefs pass catchers as well. Even Dwayne Bowe is having a disgustingly feast-or-famine year.
For the Buccaneers, Josh Freeman is another great waiver-wire option if you need him during the bye weeks, and Doug Martin is proving to be worth your time as a starter if you paid the right price for him. Finally, Mike Williams is showing up again, with the help of the physically astounding Vincent Jackson drawing most of the coverage. Williams and Jackson are the poor man’s Roddy White and Julio Jones, and in my opinion, they don’t get the respect they deserve.
Only the Arizona Cardinals could welcome the historically awful Buffalo Bills defense to the Western time zone and struggle to score 16 points in a loss. Neither passing game was able to muster 200 yards. William Powell did have a promising push for 70 yards on 13 carries, but if his time-share with LRSH persists, those 13 carries won’t net your team many points.
The Pats receiving game thrived as usual on multiple pass catchers (four with more than 40 yards, three with more than 60), but could not get the complimentary rushing attacking the 2012 new-look Pats offense needs to win. Simply put, the Seattle D is just too tough at home for rushers to get much ground. Look to find replacements most weeks when your favorite players see those horrific navy and electric green unis across the line of scrimmage.
The second unlikely blowout of the weekend happened in San Francisco. That’s not a knock against the Giants offense, which has been good all year, but these 49ers were exploited big-time on Sunday. The Giants are looking D-proof, as three wide receivers (Hixon, Cruz, Nicks) and two running backs (Bradshaw, Wilson) all had nice days in addition to Manning’s. In fact, Bradshaw is probably the most exciting of all, with 116 yards and a touchdown against a very stingy run D on their home field. For the Niners, it’s tough to say much fantasy-wise when you score 3 points. I would definitely use this de-motivation to ditch Smith if you’re still starting him.
Christian Ponder once again put up good numbers alongside too many turnovers, but he was unable to get as much done with his legs as he had in weeks past. Adrian Peterson was unable to score, but 79 yards isn’t bad for limited opportunities (17 carries). For the Redskins, it was promising to see RGIII go from being unable to remember what quarter it was to throwing a touchdown and rushing for 138 yards and two more scores a week later. He is undoubtedly the value pick of the year, since he may have gone undrafted in your league and is the No. 1 fantasy scorer after six weeks.
It went largely unnoticed, but Texans defensive end Antonio Smith listed his education as “Shaolin Temple.” This is a dig at his hilarious edition of “On the Nose” with Shaun Cody, which is, of course, is a dig at his “Ninja Assassin Slash of Death” sack celebration.
On to the game! I think Aaron Rodgers is the most vindictive quarterback in history. Every time someone slights this man, he comes out and has a career game. If I were the Packers media, I’d be looking at every chance possible to piss him off. His anger manifests itself in ways like, “Oh? You think I’m not MVP-worthy this year? Have six touchdowns!” and, “Oh? The NFL thinks Alex Smith is better? Look at that! I just won the Super Bowl!” Always start Rodgers, but make bets when the media starts to get down on him.
For the Texans, they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. They played a good game, but rare is the opponent that allows 45 points and still wins. The Packers were an irresistible force in Houston, and the Texans were a slightly-moveable object.
$#^% Chris Collinsworth Says
CC on Daniel Manning’s moronic punching of the helmet of Marshall Newhouse:
“Alright now, you’re going to fight. You’re going to hit him in the head… with a helmet on! You might as well have given him a kiss! Oh my, I’ve never seen a team self-destruct like this!”
This is classic. I can’t ever figure out what players see in punching a helmet meant to withstand the force of a 300-pound man running a 4.6 40. The only thing Manning did when he attacked Newhouse was give the Packers a third set of downs to try to score a touchdown with, which they did. The Packers were held to a field goal (on three downs), then Connor Barwin leapt off the back of a teammate to give them a first down, then the Packers were once again held to a field goal (three more downs), and Manning decided to strike three blows alongside the helmet of Newhouse. Finally, on their eighth down with goal to go, the Packers scored on Rodgers’ fourth touchdown pass of the night.
This was a game of two separate halves. In the first half, the Rivers–Gates connection was rocking and the DST was picking up the slack. The Chargers were up 24-0 at halftime. Then, Peyton Manning, the football demigod, descended upon the field in the second half and wrought havoc among the San Diego elite. He threweth not one touchdown but three to his valiant receiving corps, and his defensive battalion unleashed a turnover-crazed might upon the Bolts such that the world may never see again. In fact, ‘twas never before accomplished that which the Broncos did this eve, for they were down by 24 and led so furious a charge, nay, so courageous a refusal to accept defeat, that they won by double digits! A feat hitherto never ascended. So be it known the great power of the Football Demigod Peyton Manning!
P.S. Eric Decker wasn’t too shabby, and that Denver D wasn’t too bad either. Not that the Manning Mythos won’t consume all credit for this game.
And that’s it! Week 6 had some epic late action, despite the morning and afternoon Sunday games being somewhat of a snoozefest. With your Falcons, Broncos, Chiefs, Dolphins, Eagles, and Chargers on bye next week, look to the Titans, Giants, Saints, Buccaneers, and Texans to fill in for you. Also, ask me questions in the comments below or via my Twitter account and then make sure to check back in on Wednesday for a reply!