A lot of highly drafted fantasy quarterbacks are going to be disappointments in Week 6. It starts most obviously with the New Orleans Saints’ red-hot Drew Brees, who will be on a bye this upcoming Sunday after stringing together the most reliable first five starts of 2012.
It continues with Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins. RGIII will be facing an established run defense in the Minnesota Vikings (and shouldn’t be playing this week due to a nasty Week 5 hit that resulted in a concussion, anyway).
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the Super Bowl participants from early this year may be massive disappointments for their fantasy owners.
The New England Patriots’ Tom Brady and New York Giants’ Eli Manning are each going across country to face off with a couple of vicious NFC West defenses on the road: the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, respectively.
San Francisco has embarrassed its last two opponents in preparation for its NFC Championship Game rematch with New York. Manning threw for 316 yards and two touchdowns in Candlestick last winter with Hakeem Nicks on the field.
The current assumption is that Nicks won’t play, so a 300-plus yard, multiple-touchdown, zero-turnover game for Manning seems unlikely.
Brady, meanwhile, will venture into Seattle, which has neutralized an explosive Green Bay Packers offense already this season.
Reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers only managed 219 yards to go with zero touchdowns and zero interceptions at Seattle in Week 3.
He’s the only quarterback who the Seahawks haven’t taken the ball from. The most generous Seattle has been to an opposing quarterback was when it allowed 12 standard-scoring fantasy points to Tony Romo in Week 2.
Start Brady at your own risk.
Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles should experience some success against the Detroit Lions because they don’t cover well. The Eagles/Lions game should be a fun shootout for fantasy football.
The Arizona Cardinals’ Kevin Kolb might be a nice spot start for the Brees owner or anyone else operating out of desperation. The Buffalo Bills, Kolb’s Week 6 opponent, have gotten steamrolled in the last two weeks.
Arizona might be throwing out of necessity, as well. William Powell performed well in the preseason, but he has not been tested at the regular-season level just yet. The same goes for Arizona’s other runners.
Here are my early top 15 quarterbacks for Week 6.
1. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (vs. Oakland Raiders)
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (at Houston Texans)
3. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Tennessee Titans)
4. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (at San Diego Chargers)
5. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Detroit Lions)
6. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (vs. Minnesota Vikings)
7. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (vs. Denver Broncos)
8. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Dallas Cowboys)
9. Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings (at Washington Redskins)
10. Eli Manning, New York Giants (at San Francisco 49ers)
11. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (at Cleveland Browns)
12. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (at New York Jets)
13. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (at Philadelphia Eagles)
14. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (at Baltimore Ravens)
15. Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals (vs. Buffalo Bills)