Fantasy Football Roundtable: Week Six

Michael WhooleySenior Writer IOctober 17, 2009


1. With the New York Giants squaring off against the New Orleans Saints this weekend, we have a battle between the league’s top-rated defense (the Giants) and the league’s third-best offense (the Saints). Something has to give, so who wins the match-up: the Giants’ defense or the Saints’ offense?


Bruno Boys Jimbo: GIANTS’ DEFENSE. The New Orleans Saints’ passing game has been pretty quiet in their last two games. The strength of their offense has been Pierre Thomas .

The New York Giants have been missing some key members of their defense due to injury, but have constantly been finding ways to be effective. I don’t think this game is going to be quite the shootout that everybody’s predicting.

We’re going to find out if the Saints really are a contender this week, but I think Drew Brees and his boys are going to be quiet for a third straight game. The Giants aren’t the Detroit Lions .


Bruno Boys Cavigs: NEITHER. I expect both of these units to do just enough to make their fantasy football owners happy. Basically, what I am saying is that you can expect the Giants defense to do enough to be used as a low-end D/ST No. 1 this week but still expect Drew Brees & Co. to get their fantasy points.

On paper, the Giants defense look tough, but who have they played? Outside of a match-up against the Cowboys, New York and their second-rated defense has taken on Washington, Kansas City, Tampa Bay and Oakland. Not what I call stiff competition.

Expect the score to be in the 24-20 range, with neither team having a true edge. 


2. Donnie Avery and Eddie Royal had high expectations heading into 2009 only to disappoint fantasy owners early on, becoming waiver wire fodder; however, both finally put together solid outings in week 5. As owners look to grab one of the two off their league’s waiver wire, who has more staying power?

Bruno Boys Jimbo: AVERY. I think you have to go with Donnie Avery here because of the loss of Laurent Robinson . Marc Bulger has to pass to somebody and Avery is literally his only option now.

The St. Louis Rams are going to be behind a lot, so they’ll have to pass a lot to keep up. Meanwhile, Brandon Marshall has returned to his old form of being a standout wide receiver. What worked for Eddie Royal with Jay Cutler last year, isn’t working with Kyle Orton .

Bruno Boys Cavigs: AVERY. Both finally made an impact in Week 5 but outside of a scarce amount of teams they were either on the bench or on the waiver wire.

The reason I like Avery is because unlike Eddie Royal , he is the clear cut No. 1 wide out in St. Louis and with the Rams playing from behind on a weekly basis, it should lead to plenty of garbage stats from Avery.

Both will likely be somewhat of a roller coaster ride throughout the season but it’s Avery that should get closer to his preseason projection.

WEEK SIX LIGHTNING ROUND   (Fantasy Football Questions in a Flash)

Real Deal or One-Week Wonder

1. Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys (37 points in week 5)


Bruno Boys Cavigs: ONE WEEK WONDER. Chalk this one up as a career game for Miles Austin . Like the first five weeks of the season expect it to be a revolving door in terms of play makers in the Dallas Cowboys s offense.

When the match-up is right, you can consider Austin as a Flex play in a deep league, but it takes more than one big game to make me a believer. I don’t think Austin produces anywhere near this level again.


Bruno Boys Jimbo: ONE-WEEK WONDER. Last week, Roy Williams was out of the lineup and the Dallas Cowboys were playing the Kansas City Chiefs . Miles Austin is a boom-or-bust receiver, and last week he was a definite boost.

As long as Williams is out of the lineup, he has a chance or putting up nice numbers, but Tony Romo’s top targets are still Williams and Jason Witten .


2. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (26 points in week 5)

Bruno Boys Jimbo: REAL DEAL. He finally got a chance to show what he can do last week, and he put up huge numbers. Jeremy Maclin is almost a mirror image of DeSean Jackson in terms of speed, except Maclin is taller than Jackson.

The only downside to him is how much Donovan McNabb likes to spread the wealth around, but Maclin should see a lot more opportunities to succeed.

Bruno Boys Cavigs: REAL DEAL. No doubt about it, Maclin is one talented wide receiver, and that showed during his torching of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week.

However, I was a bit hesitant to proclaim Maclin as the “Real Deal” because he is still learning on the spot and everyone knows quarterback Donovan McNabb doesn’t play favorites.

Maclin owners should expect some solid outings of production but if he tanks from time to time (similar to DeSean Jackson ), don’t hit the panic button.


3. Austin Collie, WR, Indianapolis Colts (12 points in week 4 and 21 points in week 5)

Bruno Boys Cavigs: REAL DEAL. You’d be crazy to think he is going to average 16.5 fantasy points per contest like Collie has since Week 4, but don’t be surprised if Peyton Manning continues to target his sure-handed rookie. 

Manning has already told the media that he loves throwing to Collie and the Indianapolis fans have gravitated to Collie and have already nicknamed him “Lassie.”

Collie might not be as productive once Anthony Gonzalez returns, but he still should be productive enough to post double-digit fantasy points on some weeks.

Bruno Boys Jimbo: ONE-WEEK WONDER. Let’s not forget that Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark are still by far the two best options in this passing attack. In addition, Austin Collie is competing with Pierre Garcon to be the third receiver.

Don’t forget about Anthony Gonzalez when he returns to the lineup. There just isn’t enough room on this team for Collie to be a consistent fantasy contributor.


4. Chad Henne, QB, Miami Dolphins (17 points in week 5)

Bruno Boys Jimbo: REAL DEAL. Chad Henne looked like an old pro last Monday night. He connected with Ted Ginn Jr. for a 53-yard touchdown.

It looks like he’s got a better arm than Chad Pennington , which could be just what the doctor ordered for Ginn, as well.

Ronnie Brown is basically the QB on the Miami Dolphins , but Henne should make this passing attack a little stronger.


Bruno Boys Cavigs: ONE WEEK WONDER. Henne did impress against what was supposed to be a top-notch New York Jets passing defense, but I can’t see the second-year QB producing at this level on a weekly basis.

Remember the Dolphins have a talented, yet inconsistent, wide-out in Ted Ginn Jr. but after that, their talent declines at the position, and this will hinder Henne’s ability to be fantasy-relevant.


WEEK SiX MATCH-UPS   (Who Will Have the Better Week?)

1. Andre Johnson (Hou) vs. Cedric Benson (Cin)

Bruno Boys Cavigs: BENSON. Never thought I would choose Benson over the most prolific wide receiver in all of football (along with Larry Fitzgerald ), but when all is equal I always lean towards playing the running back.

The reason for this is because we can just about guarantee that Benson will get 20 touches in this football game while Johnson will hover anywhere between 6-10 receptions.

The more touches means the more opportunities, and with Benson facing a Texans defense that has allowed nine rushing TDs in five games, you have to like his chances to be the top a top performer in Week 6.


Bruno Boys Jimbo: BENSON. Nobody is worse at defending the run than the Houston Texans . Cedric Benson has been electric for the most part this season, and this matchup looks like an excellent one for him.

While Andre Johnson is always a must-play receiver, you can’t ignore what the Cincinnati Bengals have done on defense this season.


2. Kevin Smith (Det) vs. Ryan Grant (GB)

Bruno Boys Jimbo: GRANT. It’s hard to bet against anybody going against the Detroit Lions . While Ryan Grant hasn’t been spectacular so far this season, this is a good matchup for him to get going.

I think the Green Bay Packers are going to put this game away early with the passing game, but it will leave a lot of time for the Packers to run the ball with Grant with the lead.

Bruno Boys Cavigs: GRANT. Close call here as both options should surpass 10+ fantasy football points, but it’s the Lions with the weaker of the two defenses and something tells me Grant breaks out in a big way this week.

Expect him to make it two straight games against Detroit with at least 100 rushing yards. Look for Grant to punch in a touchdown for the first time since the second week of the season.


3. Donnie Avery (StL) vs. Mike Sims-Walker (Jax)

Bruno Boys Cavigs: SIMS-WALKER. I flipped a coin and it landed on “tails” so MSW gets the nod here. Just kidding, but in all reality you can make a strong case for either option.

It’s Sims-Walker who plays in the more dynamic offense and his consistency (minus Week Five) over the past three weeks has been enough of a sample size to make me believe in him against the St. Louis Rams and their 25th-ranked passing defense.

Bruno Boys Jimbo: AVERY. I think the St. Louis Rams have a good chance of getting their first win of the year this Sunday. With the sudden one-game suspension of Mike Sims-Walker , you don’t really know what to expect from him this week.

I think we’ll see a lot of Maurice Jones-Drew this week, as well. The Jacksonville Jaguars have been pretty terrible on the pass defense, and Donnie Avery is really the only option in the Rams’ passing attack.


4. Joe Flacco (Bal) vs. Brett Favre (Min)

Bruno Boys Jimbo: FAVRE. If this game was being played in Baltimore, I’d probably go the other way here, but I like the Minnesota Vikings’ defense at home. Jared Allen is a stud on defense for the Vikings, and I think their defensive line will give Joe Flacco trouble all day long.

Brett Favre is playing like he’s back in his prime right now, and while the Baltimore Ravens’ defense has been solid, they’ve had their trouble against the pass and I think Favre is good for a couple scores on Sunday.

Bruno Boys Cavigs: FAVRE. Despite being old enough to be considered a “father” to some of his teammates, Favre has been nothing short of spectacular on the field.

The 19-year veteran has thrown nine touchdown passes to just two interceptions and what used to be a tough match-up against the Ravens secondary is no more.

Baltimore ranks 26th against the pass and with the presence of Adrian Peterson forcing the defenses to worry about the rush this should lead to Favre throwing into single coverage against inexperienced defensive backs.

5. Brandon Jacobs (NYG) vs. Pierre Thomas (NO)

Bruno Boys Cavigs: JACOBS. With Pierre Thomas likely entering this game far from 100 percent (hamstring), you have to play it safe and use the big bruising running back in Jacobs.

I know his fantasy football owners are discouraged by his inability to find paydirt but you can’t let just five games get the best of you. Roll with the healthy option and watch Jacobs score his first TD since Week 3. 

Bruno Boys Jimbo: THOMAS. Pierre Thomas has been the best asset to the New Orleans Saints’ offense in the past couple weeks. Thomas has been on a roll since returning from his injury.

I don’t think he’ll have a huge day this week against the New York Giants’ tough defense, but I think he’ll outperform Brandon Jacobs .

Owners of Jacobs have got to be hoping that the apparently sleeping giant (no pun intended) just hasn’t awoken yet, but Ahmad Bradshaw has been terrific for the G-men.

6. Hines Ward (Pit) vs. Santonio Holmes (Pit)

Bruno Boys Jimbo: WARD. Everybody got all excited over Santonio Holmes because of the postseason last year and the first game of the season, but the consistent top receiver on the Pittsburgh Steelers is still Hines Ward .

He is the team’s leading receiver, and unless he gets hurt, I like him to stay that way.

Bruno Boys Cavigs:

7. DeAngelo Williams (Car) vs. Cadillac Williams (TB)

Bruno Boys Cavigs: DEANGELO. This divisional showdown against Tampa Bay looks just like what the doctor ordered to get him back on track.

Williams has just 220 rushing yards and two touchdowns through four games, but with the Buccaneers allowing over 152 yards per game against the rush, I wouldn’t be surprised if Williams puts together his best game of a young season.

Bruno Boys Jimbo: DEANGELO. I actually like the running backs for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers more in this game, but it’s likely to be an even split in the carries between Cadillac Williams and Derrick Ward , while DeAngelo Williams should see the bulk of the work for the Carolina Panthers .

Both of these teams use two RBs, but I like Williams having the best day out of all four.


8. Dwayne Bowe (KC) vs. Santana Moss (Was)

Bruno Boys Jimbo: BOWE. I’m not crazy about either of these receivers, but Santana Moss is more inconsistent in this matchup. Dwayne Bowe is really the only option for Matt Cassel , while Chris Cooley is also a big target for the Washington Redskins .

The Cassel-Bowe combination has been pretty productive so far, and the Redskins’ are in so much disarray right now, Cassel and Bowe should connect again on Sunday.

Bruno Boys Cavigs: BOWE. Like Bruno Boys Jimbo , neither are “great” plays but if you are forced to choose between the two go with Bowe. You win fantasy football with consistent options that will be a staple in your roster through thick and thin.

That guy is Bowe and even against a touch Redksins passing defense 60-70 yards and a TD is likely.

9. Brian Westbrook (Phi) vs. LeSean McCoy (Phi)

Bruno Boys Cavigs: WESTBROOK. Both running backs should have solid games but it’s Westbrook that is a better threat to find the end zone and reach his projected point total.

McCoy, a rookie out of Pittsburgh , will be a productive lead back in the NFL, but don’t expect the Eagles coaching staff to phase out their workhorse anytime soon.

Bruno Boys Jimbo: MCCOY. The job still belongs to Brian Westbrook , but LeSean McCoy is coming on stronger and stronger. All it’s going to take is one more injury to Westbrook, and McCoy could take on an even larger role in this offense.

In this week’s matchup vs. the Oakland Raiders , the game will probably be over so quickly that the Philadelphia Eagles are likely to take Westbrook out early to keep him healthy.


10. Kurt Warner (Ari) vs. Matt Hasselbeck (Sea)

Bruno Boys Jimbo: HASSELBECK. The Arizona Cardinals pass defense is one of the worst in the league. Last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars , Matt Hasselbeck went off for four touchdowns.

This game looks like it’s going to be a shootout. I don’t think you can go wrong with either QB here, but I like Hasselbeck slightly more.

Bruno Boys Cavigs: HASSELBECK. It’s tough to go against Warner because the Cardinals still have one of the most dynamic passing attacks in football but Hasselbeck is fresh off a four touchdown performance and he has the opponent to do it again.

The Cardinals rank dead last against the pass thus far and they have surrendered nine passing touchdowns in just four games.

If the weather holds up, look for Hasselbeck to ride the tails of T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Nate Burleson en pursuit of top-5 fantasy football numbers for Week 6.


11. Chris Johnson (Ten) vs. Randy Moss (NE)

Bruno Boys Cavigs: MOSS. It’s not often that I take a WR1 over a RB1, because running backs are guaranteed touches, which leads to more opportunity each week, but you can’t pass on Moss in this contest.

The Tennessee secondary has allowed 13 passing touchdowns and over 1,500 passing yards and just five games thus far which leads me to believe Moss should have no problem bouncing back after a few lackluster showings. Think 90-100 receiving yards out of Moss in Week 6. 

Bruno Boys Jimbo: MOSS. Here you have Tom Brady and Randy Moss facing a terrible team with an equally bad pass defense.

This smells like a huge day for the New England Patriots’ passing attack. Chris Johnson shouldn’t have a bad game, but Brady and Moss should put big smiles on their owners’ faces this week.


12. Marshawn Lynch & Fred Jackson (Buf) vs. Thomas Jones & Leon Washington (NYJ)

Bruno Boys Jimbo: LYNCH & JACKSON. Marshawn Lynch put up 100 total yards last week. The Buffalo Bills’ passing attack has been pretty lackluster, so I think a pretty even 50-50 split between Lynch and Fred Jackson is likely to be on the menu since the New York Jets defense didn’t look too tough last week against the Miami Dolphins .

Granted, Miami was running with the Wildcat, but I still like Lynch and Jackson more here.

Bruno Boys Cavigs: JONES & WASHINGTON. Despite Jones averaging a shade over two yards per carry over the last two weeks the edge goes to the Jets.

New York has the better of the two match-ups which is evident by the Bills allowing 154 rushing yards per game and seven TDs allowed and they should have no problem running the football down the throat of a struggling Buffalo franchise.

13. Matt Forte (Chi) vs. Michael Turner (Atl)

Bruno Boys Cavigs: TURNER. On paper it’s Forte with the better match-up but the deciding factor between the two options will be touchdowns.

Look for Turner to build off his three TD performance in Week 5 and hit pay dirt at least once against a Chicago Bears defense that allows one rushing TD per week.

Bruno Boys Jimbo: FORTE. Fresh off of a bye week against a team that is susceptible to the run, I like Matt Forte more in this game.

It’s hard to bet against Michael Turner after his huge week last week, but I think Forte is on the verge of turning things around right now. Also, I like the Atlanta Falcons to try to beat the Chicago Bears through the air.

14. Brandon Marshall (Den) vs. Vincent Jackson (SD)

Bruno Boys Jimbo: JACKSON. Brandon Marshall has looked good the past couple weeks, but Vincent Jackson has been sensational so far this season.

The San Diego Chargers are facing a tough defense this week, but Philip Rivers and Jackson have proven in the past that they can produce against stiff defenses.

I like both receivers in this game because the Chargers’ defense has been quite a disappointment, but I like Jackson a little bit more.

Bruno Boys Cavigs: MARSHALL. Tough to bet against a guy that has 17 receptions, 222 receiving yards and three touchdowns over his last three games.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Jackson has more receiving yards, but until the San Diego Chargers offense starts finishing off drives give me Marshall because he is the better TD threat.




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