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.
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.
- 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!