Heading into Week 6, it’s getting to the point where certain disappointing picks in the first five rounds of your draft are having a hard time remaining in the lineup.
Matthew Stafford @ Eagles -
The Lions have struggled on offense as defenses play more zone coverage, forcing Stafford to work underneath. This week should be a different story as the Eagles personnel is set up for man coverage. If they go against their strength, I believe they will play out of position and Stafford can take advantage of them. If they play man, they are doing exactly what the Lions want them to do.
This should be a big week for Calvin Johnson and Stafford should have his best game of the season, up to this point.
Philip Rivers vs. Broncos –
Rivers is doing a terrific job of not forcing the football and spreading the ball around. Expect another high-scoring game as the Chargers host the Broncos and Peyton Manning.
Bilal Powell @ Colts –
If your looking for a roll of the dice running back start this week, Bilal Powell makes for an interesting player to put in your lineup. Powell hasn’t done much in recent weeks, but then again he’s played the Dolphins, 49ers and Texans.
Expect Powell to continue to push Shonn Greene for time and this could be the week he flashes and overtakes the floundering veteran for an expanded role of over 15 touches.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis @ Browns –
Since his productive debut against the Ravens, Green-Ellis has struggled to deliver for his fantasy owners. Last week was a tough performance as he posted just 14 yards on nine carries against the Dolphins. This is the kind of performance that gets players benched, but stick with him this week against the Browns, especially if D’Qwell Jackson is out after suffering a concussion last week.
Donald Brown vs. Jets –
The Jets are struggling against the run big time. While Brown clearly doesn’t have the same skills that Arian Foster or Frank Gore posses, he should have a productive week as the Jets play on short rest.
Jeremy Maclin vs. Lions –
Maclin matched up against the Lions' secondary should be a no brainier, but the veteran has struggled with injuries and his play hasn’t been up to holding in lineups for a few weeks now. Give him a shot this week if you’re in need of some help because he should have a productive game in a high-scoring contest.
Sidney Rice vs. Patriots –
Like Maclin, Rice has struggled with health problems over the years and unfortunately he’s on a team that wants to throw the football as little as possible. This week, Seattle will have to throw and they are matched up against the Patriots secondary that will give up yardage. This is a good week to consider Rice a safe WR3 play that may even surprise and post WR1 type numbers.
Owen Daniels vs. Packers –
While Andre Johnson is having an up and down season, veteran tight end Owen Daniels is starting to look more like the player we remember before his knee injury in 2009. Another solid performance against the Jets should have us feeling good about his odds of success against the Packers.
Brent Celek vs. Lions –
It has not always been pretty, but Celek has found a way to be productive most weeks this season. With Maclin struggling, Celek is more like Michael Vick’s No. 2 receiver and is an important part of what the Eagles do on offense.
Bills Defense @ Cardinals –
If you’re in need of a play at defense this week and you're not afraid to roll the dice, give the Bills a try. Buffalo has been stomped on in recent weeks, but remember they were playing two of the better teams in the league.
While overmatched against quality opponents, this talented front four will have a field day in the Cardinals backfield.
Tom Brady @ Seahawks –
Ok, maybe it’s hard to pull the trigger on benching Brady, but he’s playing a tough secondary. Brady should throw a few touchdowns, but it’s hard to believe he will have over 250 yards passing in this game.
Andy Dalton @ Browns –
A big let down last week as Dalton should have had a better performance against the Dolphins' secondary. Give Miami credit, but expect the Bengals to lean on the running game a little more as Cleveland struggled mightily with D’Qwell Jackson out of the lineup in New York last week.
Another reason to keep Dalton on the bench is the Browns' talented corner Joe Haden is coming back from a four-game suspension.
Alex Green @ Texans –
We should look to Green as a waiver wire pickup this week, but he’s nothing more than a flex play option. At least Green should benefit from Brian Cushing being out of the lineup, but don’t expect big numbers in this game.
Brandon Bolden @ Seahawks –
We could see Stevan Ridley find the bench after his fumbling problems over the past two weeks. Still, playing against the Seahawks is never an easy task and Bolden should remain on your bench this week.
Nate Washington vs. Steelers –
Even with Kenny Britt struggling to get back on the field, Nate Washington is having a hard time with Jake Locker around. It appears Matt Hasselbeck has hung around the NFL a little too long and his offensive line and running game have done little to help. Washington needs to be on the bench this week and probably for some significant time after that.
Antonio Gates vs. Broncos –
Only bench Gates is you have another option like Owen Daniels that is getting it done on a weekly basis. The veteran will turn things around and it could be as soon as this week. Still, I’m disappointed in the lack of activity he’s had in the passing game and his inability to find the end zone.
I think part of the problem is to blame on some bad luck, as he had a touchdown in his hands last week that was knocked away, and Rivers has been a little off in his timing with Gates.
Texans Defense vs. Packers –
With Cushing out for the rest of the season the Texans have a huge void in the middle of the defense and it will be a problem, especially in pass protection. This was a bad matchup on paper before Cushing’s injury and we need to stay away, if possible.