Week 6 Fantasy Football Last Second Decisions October 13, 2012  |  Kevin Roberts

Thursday Night Football tormented our hearts and souls, as I can only imagine the remainder of week six will do to us all. Not sure what I’m talking about? Chris Johnson played like a man with a pulse and working legs, Baron Batch and Jamie Harper found the end-zone, Matt Hasselbeck actually played well, and Rashard Mendehall didn’t do jack and got hurt (achilles).

Needless to say, it wasn’t the best night possibly for fantasy football. Perhaps if we had issued a last second decision column prior to the game, things would have gone differently. Not? Yeah, probably not. But we’ll try it for the games that are left over anyways, as we try to right ships, keep undefeated teams humming, and embarrass your brother in law and/or wife.

Without much further haste (because you know I had to have at least a little), let’s dive into some week six issues:


The Injury Pile


Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins (Head)

RG3 should be fine to go, but the Vikes are no push-over anymore and he could easily get hurt again. As crazy as it sounds, week six might not be a bad time to let him sit one out.

Matt Cassel, QB, Kansas City Chiefs (Head)

You probably don’t want/need Cassel anyways, but he’s not going to play this week. So go get Brady Quinn in your lineup. No, I’m kidding.

John Skelton, QB, Arizona Cardinals (Ankle)

Skelton is nearing 100%, but it looks like the Cards are going to play it ultra safe and keep Kevin Kolb in for now. Translation: they trust Skelton even less than Kolb, and that’s pretty telling. Translation within translation: who cares, just don’t ever start either of these jackwagons.

Jahvid Best, RB, Detroit Lions (Head)

Best could be getting closer to a return, but the Lions certainly aren’t letting anyone know how close. He’s an interesting waiver wire stash piece right now, but that’s really about it.

Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts (Knee)

Brown is out 2-3 weeks with a bum knee, giving Vick Ballard a crack at taking over as the top running back in Indy.

Peyton Hillis, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (Ankle)

Hillis is slated to miss his third straight game. It’s probably a good thing, as Tampa Bay’s run defense isn’t very forgiving.

Ben Tate, RB, Houston Texans (Toe)

Tate missed last week and could miss this matchup with the Packers, too. Houston would be smart to rest him another week, and you would be, too.

Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants (Knee)

Nicks has traveled with the Giants to take on the 49ers, but is looking to be a game-time call. It’s not the best matchup in the world and he’s not 100%, so I’m not ready to go all-in with him.

Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay Packers (Groin)

Jennings is a very shaky option this week and is almost certainly going to sit another week with a sore groin. It’s the smart thing to do, as he simply hasn’t been effective all year.

Percy Harvin, WR, Minnesota Vikings (Hamstring)

Harvin practiced in full on Friday and looks ready to roll against the Redskins. He’s a beast and the Redskins give up fantasy football production as much as anyone else, so you have to keep him in your lineup.

Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins (Foot)

Garcon is still dealing with foot issues and hasn’t been healthy or effective since week one. The Vikings offer potential over the top, but I’d refrain from taking a swing (and a miss) on this one. Let Garcon sit for another week.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Oakland Raiders (Head)

DHB is getting closer to returning from a concussion, but is still no lock to play this week. Atlanta isn’t the best matchup, anyways, so I’d sit him this week.

Danny Amendola, WR, St. Louis Rams (Collarbone)

Amendola is out for at least six weeks with a jacked up clavicle, so he’s probably safe to drop to your waiver wire. In the interim, it’s anyone’s guess who kills it for the Rams in the passing game. My guess is actually no one, but if someone has to it looks like Brandon Gibsin is the leader at the moment.

Jerome Simpson, WR, Minnesota Vikings (Leg)

Simpson has been debating surgery, rest, or playing all week, so he’s got to be a major risk. He has a nice matchup but he hasn’t exactly been on fire since returning two weeks ago. I’d sit him this week and find a safer option.

Stephen Hill, WR, New York Jets (Hamstring)

Hill has missed the past two weeks and hasn’t done anything worthy of note since two week one scores, but there’s a chance he returns this week against the Colts. It’s a solid matchup, but knowing the Jets’ offense and his raw ability, he’s clearly not even close to a reliable option. I’d look elsewhere for receiver help.

Aaron Hernandez, TE, New England Patriots (Ankle)

The Hern could make it back this week, but did not hit the practice field on Friday, and is still a full-blown questionable for Sunday. You’re taking a risk even if he’s suiting up and I’d lean toward sitting him for at least this week to see where that ankle is at.

Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers (Shoulder)

Finley is likely going to be a game-time decision with a shoulder injury. If he plays, he might actually finally do something against a Texans unit sans Brian Cushing. Then again, he’ll probably just drop everything thrown his way.

Dustin Keller, TE, New York Jets (Hamstring)

Keller is set to make his return to the field, which will be his first action since week one, when he caught one ball for seven yards. I’m not overly amped and I doubt he crushes it in his first game back.

Nate Kaeding, K, San Diego Chargers (Groin)

Nick Novak has been shaky as heck, so Chargers fans everywhere probably want Kaeding back ASAP. Unfortunately, they’ll probably have to wait at least one more week.


Role Control


William Powell vs. LaRod Stephens-Howling vs. Alfonzo Smith

Some are rolling with LSH here, but I don’t buy him as an every down guy. Or really even a sometimes down guy. He’s tiny and ineffective inside, and I see him as a bit player. Apparently he has conditioning issues, anyways. Smith is an average talent, so he’s out, too. That leaves the reigns to Powell in place of the injured Ryan Williams and Beanie Wells.

I actually was very high on Powell after a terrific preseason, and can see him blossoming into one of those special finds that went undrafted but shocks the NFL world. I don’t know if he’ll be a beast this week against the Bills, but he should get the most touches and at the very worst give you solid Flex value. Arizona’s o-line is awful and struggles to open up holes, but Powell has run the best out of all Cardinals backs dating back to the summer. I like him to prove a lot of people wrong.

Alex Green vs. James Starks

Again, same kind of deal here. A lot of people think Starks will get his chance again soon and finally get it right, but I don’t see it. He’s an average talent and reminds me a lot of Brandon Jackson. Green isn’t a big guy, but he’s shifty and explosive, and probably a little more versatile than Starks. Look for Green to get the start and be more productive. A worthy note: Brian Cushing is out for the year for Houston, which could mean the Texans’ vaunted run defense may struggle a bit – at least initially.


Matchup Delight


  • Matt Ryan should torch and Oakland Raiders pass defense that Ryan Tannehill even abused. They’ve been benged up or ineffective all year, and I don’t see that changing this week, especially given that the game is in Atlanta. Look for Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez to continue their solid play.
  • Michael Vick has either been a turnover machine or ineffective, but I think his fortunes begin to change in week six. He’s getting a shaky Lions defense that has been worked over a bit this year, and it’s about time the guy plays up to his skill-level. He has too much talent around him to be this mediocre all year. Look for a big breakout game this week.
  • Call me crazy, but I think Tony Romo is going to be a top-10 fantasy football option this week. I’ve ranked him above the likes of Matthew Stafford (stinking up the joint) and Eli Manning (matchup vs 49ers), and think he’ll bounce back nicely from a terrible week four showing. Don’t try to make too much sense of it. I just don’t think Romo will allow himself to play that badly two games in a row.
  • Vick Ballard (who I mentioned above) could shine this week against a Jets run defense that is just getting slapped around on a weekly basis. With Donald Brown out, Ballard will get a full load and his nice running ability could be on fully display. I think he’s an underrated back with a good amount of upside. We should get a good glimpse at that this week.

On the flip-side, here are some bad matchup one-liners (aka, don’t trust these guys with your mortgage cash):

  • RG3 may be tempting if a full-go, but Minnesota’s defense has actually been horrible to play against since week three.
  • The Patriots are an unstoppable force, I know, but the Seahawks kind of are, too. Something to think about.
  • A.J. Green is a machine, but he does face elite cover man Joe Haden this week. Just don’t expect a huge game.

For any lingering issues or question, comment below or hit my up on Twitter. Good luck to everyone in week six!

50 Responses

  1. jay says:

    Hey, finally something goes as we thought it should. Thanks for the input

    • yeah, glad to see Gates work out. Rivers’ implosion was utterly classic, though. worst thing I’ve ever seen, probably. that dude cost me like $600 bucks over at draftstreet. I was 9 pts out of 2nd place in two big money leagues and his 6 turnovers ruined me.

  2. You could be right, as Gates hasn’t done jack in the 4 games he’s been healthy enough to play. But you have to think Champ Bailey will take away one of the receivers and Floyd and Royal aren’t even 100% healthy.

    I can’t see how Gates finishes this game without 50+ yds and a TD.

  3. jay says:

    Thanks, thats how i feel… just keep thinking after the game Dressen will have another TD and Gates will have 3/26, but its definately more probable Gates does better

  4. jay says:

    Need 10 pts tonight. i have Gates but even though its crazy, Dressen or Tamme have a better chance at getting 10pts than Gates. What do you think, stick with gates even though hes doing nada or chase a Dressen TD

    • I would personally stick with Gates. He is DUE, my friend, and division rivalry + prime time can bring out the best in him. Rivers likes to keep his guys happy so you know he’s gunning to get Gates going this week.

      Relying on Tamme or Dreessen is by far a bigger risk than hoping Gates finally comes through.

  5. Nate says:

    .5ppr Start 2:
    Nicks, Syd Rice, Bey?

  6. SS says:

    Vick Ballard or James Jones for flex? and RG3 or Luck?

  7. Mike says:

    Start Doug Martin or Vick Ballard?

  8. Adam says:

    .5 PPR…

    With Floyd listed as questionable for MNF, would you rather play him or Fred Jackson this week at FLEX?

  9. Steve T says:

    Should I go with Fred Jackson or Stevie Johnson as a flex play in a PPR league?

  10. Jeremiah says:

    Pick 3 please: Dez, Cruz, VJax, Roddy. I’m havin trouble deciding between Dez and VJax.

  11. JK says:

    Only question I can’t decideis the easiest….Blair Walsh or Matt Bryant?

  12. y4rivera says:

    RG3 or Stafford?

  13. JK says:

    Have a few start toss ups…Randall Cobb or Mike Williams in my Flex? .5PPR.
    Matt Bryant or Blair Walsh at kicker? I have Walsh but Bryant at home in the dome…also own Matt Ryan and Roddy.
    lastly…have MIN and SEA Defense…have MIN starting but PHI is on waivers…?

    • I’ll take Cobb as it looks like Jennings is out again this week and Pack should throw a lot, per usual. I like Bryant because his offense is so reliable (as is he). I feel good about MIN defense. Can’t trust seattle vs Tom Brady and Pats and eagles are shaky because you just never know if Stafford will get it going this week.

  14. TA says:

    RG3 or Vick this week?

    • Neil Parker says:

      Similar to the question above between Eli/Rivers. However, I think you have to go with RGIII. Vick has been unreliable this season, and the more Philly tries to work on his turnover issues, the less he resembles the fantasy superstar he was two seasons ago. If Vick isn’t on the move, throwing the deep ball and pushing the limits he is a border line starter in fantasy. RGIII’s health is in check and although he may also shy away from playing ‘reckless’ he has put up the numbers in Weeks 1-4. Most sources have them closely ranked, but I like RGIII, especially if turnovers go for negative points.

    • TA says:

      Thanks for the help mate. Thinking I’ll give RG3 a run because as you say Vick is still have some issues that hold him back from being fantasy superstar.

    • Most weeks I’d say Rg3, but not for week six, and not when you have Vick. The problem here is people still think the Vikings suck, when they really don’t. They’ve been awesome for three weeks in a row, and could make life tough for Rg3 this week. Beyond that, RG3 has the whole concussion thing and his top target Garcon isn’t a lock to play.

      On the flip-side, Vick is DUE for a big game. The Lions defense is shaky as hell, too, so it all adds up to a big day for Vick. I have Vick ranked #6 and Rg3 #7, so you can see it’s a close call, though.

  15. Go Ducks says:

    Eli or Rivers? Dont know if I can trust Rivers, but the 49ers scare me

    • Neil Parker says:

      Eli thrives in these high pressure games, and is ranked higher by most sources. The worry I have with Rivers is that he doesn’t have a go to target, whereas with Nicks potentially back in the mix Eli has two. For good reason the San Fran defense scares you, so starting Rivers on Monday Night in a division game at home, opposed to Eli in a cross country road game isn’t an unreasonable move. Further, I could see more points on the board in the MNF matchup. There is a little perspective on their matchups, but you’ll find Manning ranked higher across most sources as a mid tier start, while Rivers is a low tier starter. Keep an eye on Hicks’ status and the weather shouldn’t be a factor in either game. If you are able to sit on your decision – both play in later games so if you’re sitting pretty Manning may be safer, but Rivers might have more potential in a shootout. You should be in good shape. See what Kevin and the others think – they might be more definitive than my wish wash back and forth.

    • Great points by Neil. Eli does really feed off the big moments at times. However, an important thing to note is that he’ll sometimes just be solid and win the game, rather than go off and tear the 49ers up. Its the 49ers and its on the road. I’m guessing his ceiling is 250 yards and 1-2 TDs in a win, but he could implode with turnovers, too. I prefer Rivers because he’s been solid, its a big stage and the Broncos D really isn’t stopping people much this year. You’re probably fine either way, but Rivers carries more upside here.

  16. Andrew says:

    Would you sit AJ for Reggie Wayne in my flex??ppr. Julio and harvin are my other wr

    • No. Packers got abused by #1 WR last week, and now AJ has his chance. Wayne is odd man out here. Doubtful he has crazy game like that in back to back weeks (especially with Cromartie on him, who contained AJ last week).

  17. iMP says:

    Realize Barden is actually probable. Does that put a damper on Randle and make Barden the better bet for WR3 in NYG if Nicks is out?

    • Barden would probably be the safer play, yes. But if you don’t have Barden and need Randle, he could still be solid if Nicks is out. You’re taking a chance with any of those guys vs. the 49ers, though. That’s just the way it is.

  18. iMP says:

    Would you rather have Manningham or Randle as an emergency backup in case Nicks doesn’t go tomorrow? PPR league.

  19. Sully says:

    10 team PPR: which WR rides the bench this week, Nicks, Maclin, or Decker?

    • Nicks might answer that for you with his bum knee. Monitor his status and if he’s out or known to be limited, he’s the odd man out. If he’s a full-go, however, that changes things. If you have to pick between Maclin or Decker, I think you have to go Decker. He’s been a really solid PPR option and Maclin has been quiet since getting hurt in week 3.

  20. Jeff says:

    I have been having trouble all year on my Flex, RB or WR? I am only in an 8 team league, so my team is fairly stacked. This week I went with the overwhelming opinion of RB, who for me is DMC, I chose him over Mike Wallace. Now I doubt DMC scores as many fantasy points as Wallace did, so I am asking do you support me just playing best matchup regardless of position at the FLEX? Or is the smart move playing RB more often then not. Non Ppr by the way. Thanks

    • I personally prefer a RB in my Flex as long as it makes sense. PPR leagues can mess with that logic BUT since your league isn’t a PPR league, I think playing the RB makes more sense. The big thing there is the RB (especially DMC) gets way more touches than your average WR.

      It might depend who the options are, but normally if they’re even remotely on the same playing field, I’m starting the RB over the WR.

      I’m not starting Steven Jackson over A.J. Green, but I’d take Jackson over, say, Brian Hartline or Sidney Rice.

  21. rob J says:

    R.Bush or Run DMC? I have Mathews & Rice,also. Only can start 3…ppr

  22. Robert says:

    So, I’m going back and forth on Leshoure, Ridley or SJax this week. All three have tough run matchups…thoughts?

    • Yeah, all have brutal matchups. S-Jax has been cold all year and he faces Miami, who is actually the stingiest in yds per game allowed on the ground. Leshoure is equally tough to trust due to having a great game in his debut and a stinker in his second game.

      Ridley has a horrible matchup, but he’s really been a machine overall on the year and its really tough to go against the Pats offense. I’ll rank them Ridley, Leshoure, Jackson for week six.

  23. Scott says:

    Would it be crazy for me to start Vick Ballard over Stevan Ridley this week?

    • Not crazy, no. I’m still thinking Ridley is the guy to use, though. The Seahawks are a stiff matchup, but this is still the Patriots we’re talking about and Ridley has three 100+ rushing games and 4 TDs on the year already.

      Consider this, too: Ridley hasn’t touched the ball less than 13 times in any game and four of five games had him having 20+ touches. The logic says stick with Ridley.

  24. keets says:

    Opinion on flex: Bowe or VBallard?

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