Fantasy Football Week 6: 5 Nightmare Matchups to Avoid at All Costs
Are you ready for another crazy week of fantasy football?
Week 6 is here, and that means fantasy owners across the country are getting back to business. With fantasy football playoffs closer than you realize, true fantasy gurus understand that every win counts.
After studying coaches' film and combining it with advanced NFL metrics, it's time to start the slideshow below and check out five nightmare matchups fantasy football owners must avoid at all costs.
*All stats and fantasy football scoring information courtesy of ESPN.com unless noted otherwise.
*All advanced stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus (subscription required) unless noted otherwise.
Sam Bradford vs. Houston Texans Defense
While Rodgers will outscore him by season's end, the fact remains Bradford has been a productive quarterback for fantasy owners.
Going up against the Houston Texans in Week 6, fantasy owners might be looking for another strong performance from Bradford.
But, before you throw him back into your starting lineup, it's time to examine why this is going to be a brutal matchup for the Rams QB.
Although they are giving up 27.8 points per game, this Houston defense has been solid. Did you know the Texans and their top-ranked overall defense in the NFL have not allowed any quarterback to pass for more than 300 yards in a game this season?
That trend will likely continue when the Texans face off against Sam Bradford and the lethargic Rams offense.
According to Pro Football Focus' metrics (subscription required), the Rams have given up 73 QB hurries, 23 QB hits and 14 sacks. Those are some pretty scary statistics considering J.J. Watt plays for this Houston defense.
Avoiding Sam Bradford this week should be a no-brainer for fantasy owners.
Eddie Lacy vs. Baltimore Ravens Run Defense
Going up against the Baltimore Ravens and their sixth-ranked run defense could prove to be a daunting task for Green Bay Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy.
Returning from a concussion last week against the Detroit Lions, Lacy was effective rushing 23 times for 99 yards.
One of the highlights of watching Lacy play on film is that this young man responds incredibly well to contact and runs with a purpose. While he will be a solid No. 2 running back in fantasy for the rest of the year, this week Lacy could really struggle.
The Ravens run defense has been great, allowing just 89 yards per game on the ground. But the real concern here isn't the yardage. It's the fact that the Ravens have only surrendered one rushing touchdown so far this season.
That means fantasy owners who start Lacy and think that he can punch in a touchdown could be in for a rude awakening.
With the Ravens defense more vulnerable through the air, look for Aaron Rodgers to throw the football a lot in Week 6.
Larry Fitzgerald vs. San Francisco 49ers Pass Defense
It's been a roller-coaster ride for Larry Fitzgerald owners this season.
After getting off to a hot start against the St. Louis Rams, Fitzgerald's production has slowed down thanks to a lingering hamstring injury and and poor quarterback play.
For owners who have been frustrated by Fitzgerald, don't get too upset. He's still a tremendous talent and believe me, brighter days are coming.
With Bruce Arians as head coach and Carson Palmer throwing the football 180 times in five weeks, the opportunities will be there for Fitzgerald.
Sadly, heading into a tough Week 6 showdown with the San Francisco 49ers, you may want to send Fitzgerald to your bench.
Allowing just 188.8 passing yards per game, the 49ers defense have held the St. Louis Rams and Houston Texans to just 14 points combined in the past two weeks.
To add salt to the wound, last season Fitzgerald struggled against the 49ers, hauling in just seven receptions for 65 yards receiving and zero touchdowns.
That's why this week, if you have another wide receiver with a favorable matchup, don't be afraid to start him over Fitzgerald.
Chris Johnson vs. Seattle Seahawks Run Defense
For the second straight week, Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson is a player you need to avoid starting.
Going up against the Seattle Seahawks run defense is a challenge in itself. Playing them in Seattle is a challenge most running backs can't overcome.
At home this season, Seattle has stuffed opposing running backs. Holding Frank Gore and Maurice Jones-Drew to under 60 combined rushing yards just goes to show you this defense means business.
Outside of catching a 49-yard touchdown pass on a broken play last week, Johnson has been a major disappointment for fantasy owners.
Averaging just 3.1 yards per carry, you begin to understand why it's hard to picture Johnson playing well against the Seahawks.
Marques Colston vs. Aqib Talib
One of the biggest games in Week 6 is the showdown between the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots.
With plenty of offensive talent to go around on both teams, one guy who might struggle this week is Saints wide receiver Marques Colston.
Lining up against Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib is not an easy task. According to PFF's metrics, Talib is the third-best cornerback in football. Out of the 28 passes thrown in his direction, Talib has only surrendered 11 receptions for 159 yards and one touchdown.
For all of the success that Drew Brees and the Saints have had on offense this season, Colston has struggled. Aside from catching just one touchdown pass, the former Hofstra product has yet to break the 100-yard receiving mark in a single game.
Facing off against an outstanding cornerback in Talib, things might not get any better for Colston in Week 6.