At the beginning of the week, Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly left open the possibility that Nick Foles could supplant Michael Vick as the starting quarterback. While Foles didn’t go 100-for-100 with 27 touchdown passes as Kelly stated in his press conference, the rookie coach was probably quite pleased with his backup signal-caller, who went 22-for-31 for 296 yards and four total touchdowns (including a rushing score).
With Foles in fine form, receiver Riley Cooper exploded for a career-high 120 yards, receiver DeSean Jackson scored twice and running back LeSean McCoy added 171 total yards against a respectable Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. Vick told reporters on Saturday that “it’s going to be a long road” back to health from the hamstring injury that forced him out of the game in Week 5.
The Q: Should Foles stay as starter?
While it seems unlikely Vick will lose his job, Foles could make it interesting with a similar effort in Week 7 against the Dallas Cowboys.
Other Week 6 fantasy highlights:
— Owners need to recognize that although Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton cannot be special every week, he is more than capable of performing at an elite level – especially when he has a favorable matchup. The third-year signal-caller did most of his damage over the first three quarters against a listless Minnesota Vikings defense, throwing for 242 yards and three touchdowns while adding 30 yards and another score on the ground.
— A couple of players likely drawing the ire of their owners entering Week 6 finally came through in a big way. With running mate Mike Williams out due to a hamstring, Tampa Bay receiver Vincent Jackson (nine catches, 114 yards and two scores) shredded a leaky Eagles’ secondary. Similarly, Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (nine receptions, 97 yards and a TD) tore apart a Carolina Panthers defense that entered the game giving up the second-fewest points per game to the position. Regardless, after two interceptions from quarterback Matt Cassel, Minnesota fans are probably counting the minutes until Josh Freeman is named the starter.
— To steal a tired old line, Houston … we do have a problem. Fantasy owners will probably take no issue with the bottom lines of running back Arian Foster (198 total yards) and wide receiver Andre Johnson (seven catches, 88 yards), but the Texans have become a turnover machine. Backup T.J. Yates took over for injured quarterback Matt Schaub in the third quarter and picked up where he left off, throwing two interceptions. The first of those miscues led to the fifth straight game the Texans have seen an interception returned for a touchdown against them.
— Unlike Houston, the Green Bay Packers overcame adversity on their way to a victory over the Baltimore Ravens, but it may have come at a steep price. Wide receivers James Jones and Randall Cobb were lost to knee injuries, with Cobb potentially suffering the more serious of the two. WR Jordy Nelson (four catches, 113 yards and a TD) predictably excelled in their absence, but owners in need of receiving help may need to get waiver claims ready for Jarrett Boykin – the Packers’ fourth receiver – this week.
— Speaking of potential impact fantasy free agents, two Detroit Lions also figure to be hot commodities. Undrafted rookie free agent tight end Joseph Fauria turned all three of his catches into touchdowns while receiver Kris Durham added eight receptions for 83 yards as Calvin Johnson (three catches, 25 yards) continued to be limited by the knee injury that caused him to miss Week 5. QB Matthew Stafford – also Durham’s college teammate – lit up a very good Cleveland Browns defense for 248 yards and four touchdowns.
— Taking advantage of an injured Buffalo Bills secondary, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (337 yards passing and three touchdowns) and receiver A.J. Green (six catches, 103 yards and a score) found their connection after a rough patch. Giovani Bernard (100 total yards and a receiving TD) gave his owners a worthwhile fantasy day, but fellow running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (86 rushing yards) outgained him on the ground for the second straight week, likely further delaying the rookie’s possible ascension to a feature-back role.
— Most will remember St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (117 passing yards and three touchdowns) for the dreadful performance he posted on a Thursday night against the San Francisco 49ers two weeks ago, but he has thrown for three scores in three of his six games this season. Bradford still has the feel of a matchup-based quarterback in fantasy and some difficult defenses ahead of him, but he is showing he can deliver when the Rams give him some time in the pocket.