The following rankings support my early top 25 picks for Week 6, among fantasy quarterbacks.
To clarify, this countdown doesn't lean on a particular stat. It's merely an educated early guess of which signal-callers will have the best combination of total yards (passing/rushing) and total touchdowns for the NFL's sixth weekend.
Regardless of how these rankings shake out every week, it shouldn't supersede two important factors that go into regular lineup consideration:
1. Always play your healthy superstars
2. Always ride your gut instinct over a certain guru's analysis
NOTE: For the time being, Chiefs QB Matt Cassel (possible concussion) shall remain off the board.
Top 25 QBs For Week 6
1. Matt Ryan vs. Oakland
2. Aaron Rodgers @ Houston
3. Matthew Stafford @ Philadelphia
4. Tom Brady @ Seattle
5. Andrew Luck @ N.Y. Jets
6. Michael Vick vs. Detroit
7. Philip Rivers vs. Denver
8. Peyton Manning @ San Diego
9. Joe Flacco vs. Dallas
10. Eli Manning @ San Francisco
11. Robert Griffin III vs. Minnesota
12. Tony Romo @ Baltimore
13. Matt Schaub vs. Green Bay
14. Ben Roethlisberger @ Tennessee
15. Andy Dalton @ Cleveland
16. Carson Palmer @ Atlanta
17. Alex Smith vs. N.Y. Giants
18. Brandon Weeden vs. Cincinnati
19. Christian Ponder @ Washington
20. Kevin Kolb vs. Buffalo
21. Ryan Fitzpatrick @ Arizona
22. Ryan Tannehill vs. St. Louis
23. Josh Freeman vs. Kansas City
24. Matt Hasselbeck vs. Pittsburgh
25. Russell Wilson vs. New England
25a. Mark Sanchez vs. Indianapolis
25b. Brady Quinn @ Tampa Bay
25c. Sam Bradford @ Miami
1. There are no obvious candidates for the top spot in this week's countdown. So, when in doubt, go with the red-hot quarterback (Matt Ryan) who's already had four games of 300 yards passing and/or three touchdowns, and takes on the NFL's 28th-ranked pass defense (Raiders).
2. I must be crazy to rank Philip Rivers (1,251 yards passing, eight TD in 2012) over Peyton Manning (1,507 yards passing, 11 TD). In his last eight games against the Broncos (2008-11), Rivers has per-outing averages of only 248 yards passing and 1.63 touchdowns. On the flip side, Manning boasts averages of 324 yards passing and 1.75 touchdowns in four career games at San Diego.
3. Joe Flacco's clash with the Cowboys—the NFL's top-ranked pass defense—should be an excellent litmus test for his fantasy viability when playing at home. In three games at M&T Bank Stadium this season, Flacco is averaging 312.3 yards passing and two TDs.
4. The Buccaneers' NFL-worst pass defense may be getting a break this week, taking on the run-heavy, quarterback-estranged Chiefs. At this point, I wonder if Brady Quinn has the trust level of his coaches to take downfield chances.
5. A part of me wanted to assign a higher weekly ranking to Matt Schaub (vs. Green Bay). But with Andre Johnson only averaging 2.5 catches, 4 targets, 41 yards and 0.25 TDs in his last four games, I don't have the gumption to tout Schaub for elite fantasy numbers.
6. From a guru's perspective, there is nothing scarier than knowing that Kevin Kolb (1,041 yards passing, eight TD) has an A-plus home matchup with a disintegrating defense (Buffalo). His ranking could fluctuate wildly in the coming days.
7. For those wondering why Robert Griffin III garnered only a No. 11 ranking (13th on Wednesday), here's my rationale: Through five games, the surprisingly stingy Vikings have surrendered per-outing averages of 244 total yards and 1.4 TDs to opposing quarterbacks.
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.
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