The Complete Fantasy Football Guide to NFL Week 6
It's Week 6 of the 2012 NFL season, which means that we're nearing the halfway point of this year's fantasy football campaign.
With five games played, some fantasy owners are sitting pretty at 5-0 or 4-1, while others are floundering at 0-5. That being said, the majority of teams are hovering at 3-2 or 2-3, making every week that much more important.
Whether it's injury updates, sleeper plays, potential busts or the top fantasy plays at each position, here's your one-stop shop for all of your fantasy football needs with the complete guide to Week 6.
Although he'll still have to pass the NFL's concussion protocols, things are looking up regarding Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin's availability for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Head coach Mike Shanahan told Houston Mitchell of The Los Angeles Times, “Right now, it looks good."
Fantasy owners looking for a sneaky play this week may want to consider scraping Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb off the turf and roll him out there against the Buffalo Bills, which have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year.
This may sound like fantasy heresy, but team owners with viable backups may want to think twice before starting New England Patriots signal-caller Tom Brady on the road against a Seattle Seahawks defense giving up the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing passers in 2012.
The Green Bay Packers offense suffered a significant blow with news that running back Cedric Benson will be sidelined up to eight weeks due to a foot injury he suffered in last week's loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
Alex Green and James Starks are expected to step in as a committee attack in the Green Bay backfield with Benson sidelined, but neither is a viable fantasy play against a stout Houston defense this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall certainly appeared recovered from his torn ACL in last week's win over the Philadelphia Eagles, and the fourth-year pro should enjoy even greater success this week against a Tennessee Titans squad that's the fifth-friendliest fantasy matchup for running backs this season.
Running back Ahmad Bradshaw had a fantastic game last week, gashing the Cleveland Browns for 200 rushing yards. But the sledding will be much tougher this week against the San Francisco 49ers, a team with the stingiest fantasy matchup in the NFL for opposing ball-carriers.
Fantasy owners with a pair of top-10 wide receivers will no doubt be scouring the injury reports beginning Wednesday. The statuses of Greg Jennings (groin) of the Green Bay Packers and Hakeem Nicks (foot) of the New York Giants are still very much in doubt for Week 6.
The return of star cornerback Joe Haden will no doubt provide a boost to a Cleveland Browns defense surrendering the second most fantasy points to opposing wideouts in 2012. But with Haden shadowing A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins could be a sneaky productive fantasy play this week.
The Dallas Cowboys secondary was a weak spot defensively last year, but is a strength in 2012. Fantasy owners of Baltimore Ravens wide receivers Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin should bear in mind that no team is allowing fewer fantasy points per game this year to the position than Dallas.
A pair of prominent fantasy tight ends were injured last week, but Jermichael Finley of the Green Bay Packers stated his intentions to play through his shoulder injury against the Houston Texans, telling Bob McGinn and Tom Silverstein of The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "I'll be playing next week, for sure."
Likewise, Martellus Bennett of the New York Giants hyper-extended his knee in last week's win over the Cleveland Browns, but he returned to the game. Barring a setback, he should be on the field for New York's big showdown with the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
For the first time in four games this season, Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller was held out of the end zone last week. The eighth-year veteran should rebound Thursday against a Tennessee Titans squad that's gotten shredded by tight ends all season long.
Detroit Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew has been hot as of late, with 15 catches over his past two games. The fourth-year pro may be hard-pressed to keep that streak going against a Philadelphia Eagles club giving up the fifth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends in 2012.
Kickers and Defenses
For all the money that the Buffalo Bills poured into their defense, they have precious little to show for it. But if there was ever a week for the Bills' pass rush to break out, it's this week against an Arizona Cardinals team that's been handing out sacks like candy on Halloween.
The Houston Texans defense has been as formidable as any in the NFL, but between the loss of linebacker Brian Cushing to a knee injury and an unfavorable matchup with the Green Bay Packers, fantasy owners would be well served to look elsewhere this week.