I will be breaking down every single football game this week. Like on NFL Playbook they break down every single game thats what i did that and my article is long so be ready for a show.
Matchups: Donnie Ball is Back
As the October 20 deadline approaches, Week 6 is the final opportunity for organizations to "showcase" players for trades. Last year's biggest deal was the Cowboys' acquisition of Roy Williams on the day of the deadline. Braylon Edwards' move to the Jets will probably go down as 2009's most high-profile in-season trade, but here are some skill players that may be on the block due to expiring contracts and/or talent behind them on the depth chart:
1. Sinorice Moss - In the last year of his rookie deal and likely to lose return duties to Domenik Hixon. There were strong indications this preseason that Moss was on the trade block. He could appeal to teams in need of speed on offense, especially in the slot.
2. Justin Fargas - Contract expires after 2010, and the Raiders can roll with Michael Bush and Gary Russell at tailback until Darren McFadden (knee) returns. Fargas is 29, but versed in the zone-blocking scheme and blitz pickup. The Texans are a good fit on paper.
3. Roscoe Parrish - Buffalo has tried pawning Parrish off for a few years now and is facing another lost season. Like Moss, he is a diminutive slot receiver with special teams value.
4. Donald Driver - Still playing at a high level, but only signed through 2010 and the Packers need a way to get Jordy Nelson and James Jones more snaps. GM Ted Thompson fields all trade calls.
5. Byron Leftwich - Obviously can't be "showcased" as the Bucs' No. 3 emergency quarterback, but could generate interest as a serviceable, strong-armed backup.
6. Joshua Cribbs - Return man wants a new contract that the Browns refuse to give him. Cleveland has already thrown in the towel on the season, and the Dolphins, Chiefs, and Colts are showing interest.
Last Week I was 7-7
1:00 ET Games
Bengals (3-1) at Ravens (3-1) (My Pick) X
(My Pick) R Vikings (4-0) at Rams (0-4)
Buccaneers (0-4) at Eagles (2-1) (My Pick) R
Redskins (2-2) at Panthers (0-3) (My Pick) R
(My Pick) R Steelers (2-2) at Lions (1-3)
Raiders (1-3) at Giants (4-0) (My Pick) R
Cowboys (2-2) at Chiefs (0-4) (My Pick) X
Browns (0-4) at Bills (1-3) (My Pick) X
4:05PM ET Games:
Falcons (2-1) at 49ers (3-1) (My Pick) X
4:15PM ET Games:
Texans (2-2) at Cardinals (My Pick) R (1-2)
Seahawks (1-3) at Jaguars (My Pick) X (2-2)
(My Pick) X Patriots (3-1) at Broncos (4-0)
Sunday Night Football:
Colts (4-0) at Titans (My Pick) X (0-4)
Monday Night Football:
(My Pick) X Jets (3-1) at Dolphins (1-3)
Speaking of matchups, let's get cracking...
Week 6 Byes
Indianapolis Colts (5-0)
1 Sep 13 JAC 12 @ IND 14 Final
2 Sep 21 IND 27 @ MIA 23 Final
3 Sep 27 IND 31 @ ARI 10 Final
4 Oct 04 SEA 17 @ IND 34 Final
5 Oct 11 IND 31 @ TEN 9 Final
San Francisco 49ers (3-2)
1 Sep 13 SF 20 @ ARI 16 Final
2 Sep 20 SEA 10 @ SF 23 Final
3 Sep 27 SF 24 @ MIN 27 Final
4 Oct 04 STL 0 @ SF 35 Final
5 Oct 11 ATL 45 @ SF 10 Final
Dallas Cowboys (3-2)
1 Sep 13 DAL 34 @ TB 21 Final
2 Sep 20 NYG 33 @ DAL 31 Final
3 Sep 28 CAR 7 @ DAL 21 Final
4 Oct 04 DAL 10 @ DEN 17 Final
5 Oct 11 DAL 26 @ KC 20 Final
Miami Dolphins (2-3)
1 Sep 13 MIA 7 @ ATL 19 Final
2 Sep 21 IND 27 @ MIA 23 Final
3 Sep 27 MIA 13 @ SD 23 Final
4 Oct 04 BUF 10 @ MIA 38 Final
5 Oct 12 NYJ 27 @ MIA 31 Final
Rams (0-5) at Jaguars (2-3) Weather: 67° F (H) 51° F (L) P 0%
Jacksonville Municipal Stadium - Jacksonville, FL
St. Louis Rams
Points 6.8 (32th), Total Yards 281.0 (28th), Passing Yards 167.2 (27th), Rushing Yards 113.8 (12th)
Points 29.2 (31nd), Total Yards 363.0 (25th), Passing Yards 237.2 (25th), Rushing Yards 125.8 (23th)
Points 19.4 (23th), Total Yards 328.0 (20th), Passing Yards 214.8 (18th), Rushing Yards 113.2 (13th)
Points 25.4 (24th), Total Yards 380.6 (30th), Passing Yards 273.0 (30th), Rushing Yards 107.6 (18th)
St. Louis Rams
Kyle Boller Att 86, Cmp 49, Yrds 481, TDs 2
Marc Bulger Att 75, Cmp 42, Yds 427, TDs 2
Steven Jackson Car 104, Yds 451, Avg 4.3, TDs 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
Donnie Avery Rec 18, Yds 196, Avg 10.9, TDs 1
Laurent Robinson Rec 13, Yds 167, Avg 12.8, TDs 1
David Garrard Att 169, Cmp 100, Yds 1129, TDs 5
Maurice Jones-Drew Car 75 Yds 330, Avg 4.4, TDs 5
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
Torry Holt Rec 22, Yds 306, Avg 13.9, TDs 0
Mike Sims-Walker Rec 19, Yds 278, Avg 14.6, TDs 3
Players Match Ups
1. (Winner) Steven Jackson RB Vs Jacksonville Jaguars Defense
2. St. Louis Rams Defense Vs Maurice Jones-Drew RB (Winner)
3. Jason Smith RT Vs John Henderson DE/DT (Winner)
4. (Winner) DE Chris Long Vs Eugene Monroe LT
St. Louis Rams
James Butler S Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Out 2-4 weeks
Ruvell Martin WR Hamstring Limited Participation in Practice Doubtful
Anthony Smith S Achilles Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
C.J. Ah You DE Illness Did Not Participate In Practice Probable
Leonard Little DE Illness Did Not Participate In Practice Probable
Kyle Boller QB Concussion Full Participation in Practice Probable
Scott Starks CB Hip Full Participation in Practice Questionable
Sean Considine S Groin Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Justin Durant LB Hip Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Maurice Williams G Knee Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Tyron Brackenridge CB Illness Did Not Participate In Practice Probable
John Henderson DT Shoulder Full Participation in Practice Probable
Rashean Mathis CB Hip Full Participation in Practice Probable
Mike Thomas WR Ribs Full Participation in Practice Probable
Tra Thomas T Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Greg Jones RB Knee Limited Participation in Practice Probable
St. Louis @ Jacksonville
Mike Sims-Walker's late scratch was a death sentence for the Jags in Week 5. Slow-legged Torry Holt was forced into the top receiver role, with usual slot man Mike Thomas moving outside. It removed playmaking ability from the field and plays from OC Dirk Koetter's game plan. Sims-Walker's return in a home game versus a Rams team juggling bodies in the secondary should rejuvenate Jacksonville's attack. Sims-Walker needs to be immediately reinserted into fantasy lineups as he goes against rookie RCB Brandon Fletcher, who makes his second career start.
Maurice Jones-Drew will bounce back big from two slow weeks (97 yards, one TD total) with St. Louis down DT Gary Gibson (fractured ankle) and practice body-type LaJuan Ramsey thrust onto the first unit...Holt has a bone to pick against his old team, but is someone to avoid with Rams top CB Ronald Bartell likely to shadow him all over the field. Bartell isn't a shutdown corner, but tackles well and Holt does very little after the catch...David Garrard will benefit from Sims-Walker's return more than any Jaguar. The conditions (mid-70s, sun, light wind) will also work in Garrard's favor.
Donnie Avery's ludicrous "stanky leg" TD dance with the Rams down 31-9 last week aside, he is a viable WR2 this Sunday. "Donnie Football" comes off his best game of the year (5-87-1) and saw three targets from Marc Bulger after the Rams' QB entered for the final two possessions...Bulger, who rejoins the starting lineup full time after a two-week rotator cuff injury, is worth considering in two-QB leagues. The Jags have the weakest pass rush in the NFL (four sacks in five games), have surrendered the fourth-most passing touchdowns (11), and might be without top CB Rashean Mathis (hip).
The Jags may open Sunday's game with a "stacked box" to stop Steven Jackson, but an awful secondary always requires coordinator Mel Tucker to resort to nickel looks as games progress. Jackson, fourth in the NFL in yards from scrimmage, is a good bet to score for the first time this year. It doesn't hurt that Jaguars ILBs Justin Durant (hip) and Clint Ingram (ankle) are dealing with injuries...Keenan Burton lacks separation skills and is clearly not an NFL wideout. He's averaging two catches for 26 yards per game since Laurent Robinson's season-ending Week 2 injury.
My Pick- Jaguars
Ravens (3-2) at Vikings (5-0)
Baltimore @ Minnesota
The Vikings went conservative after jumping out to a big early lead in Week 5 against St. Louis, limiting Bernard Berrian's (3-39) numbers. Expect a far closer game Sunday, and Berrian to get back on track. He'll primarily square off with Ravens RCB Domonique Foxworth, who is on the verge of losing his starting job to small-school rookie Lardarius Webb. Berrian's deep speed is accentuated on the Metrodome turf...Sidney Rice is also worth consideration in leagues that start a WR3. A red-zone star, Rice is 6'4" and Baltimore has been exploited by big wideouts all year.
Adrian Peterson's matchup seems poor, but owners can note that Cedric Benson dropped 136 yards and a score on Baltimore last week. A.P. is clearly a superior back...Brett Favre resumes QB2 status despite facing the Ravens' seventh-worst pass defense. Vikings LT Bryant McKinnie, who struggles with speed rushers, faces All-Pro OLB/DE Terrell Suggs. Favre will complete a few deep balls as Baltimore "cheats" to stop Peterson, but will be hurried all day...The Ravens defend the slot poorly, so consider Percy Harvin (shoulder) a strong WR3 if he plays, which is likely.
Willis McGahee's role will remain tiny Sunday. The Vikes' heavy front four is more susceptible to quick, scatback types like Ray Rice than "grinders" like McGahee. Rice probably won't find the end zone, but is the No. 6 overall RB in standard leagues and nearly impossible to bench in any matchup. He's on pace for 1,831 total yards...Minnesota's pass defense is coming back to earth. Now ranked 18th overall while giving up 17 plays of 20+ yards (fifth most), the Vikes aren't a tough enough matchup to bench Joe Flacco, particularly in the dome. Expect 220 yards and two TDs.
The Bengals held Derrick Mason target-less with bracket coverage in Week 5, begging the other Ravens to beat them. Rice nearly did, but ultimately fell short. This week, Pro Bowl shadow CB Antoine Winfield will be assigned to Mason. It severely limits Mason's upside because Winfield is such a sure tackler...Filling in for Jared Gaither (neck), Ravens LT Michael Oher stoned red-hot Bengals RE Antwan Odom last Sunday. Oher, perhaps the league's best rookie so far, has the athleticism and feet to contain Jared Allen. That will free up Todd Heap to run more pass routes.
My Pick- Vikings
Lions (1-4) at Packers (2-2) Weather :52° F (H) 38° F (L) P 0%
Lambeau Field - Green Bay, WI
Points 20.6 (19th), Total Yards 322.0 (21th), Passing Yards 218.8 (16th), Rushing Yards 103.2 (19th)
Points 32.4 (32nd), Total Yards 358.0 (22nd), Passing Yards 244.6 (27th), Rushing Yards 113.4 (21th)
Green Bay Packers
Points 26.0 (8th), Total Yards 340.8 (14th), Passing Yards 241.0 (12th), Rushing Yards 99.8 (22th)
Points 23.2 (21nd), Total Yards 335.2 (18th), Passing Yards 223.0 (17th), Rushing Yards 112.22 (20th)
Matthew Stafford Att 139, Cmp 79, Yds 894, TDs 3
Daunte Culpepper Att 48 Cmp 29, Yds 336, TDs 1
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
Kevin Smith Car 94 Yds 287 Avg 3.1, TDs 3
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
Calvin Johnson Rec 22, Yds 325 Avg 14.8, TDs 1
Aaron Rodgers Att 127, Cmp 77, Yds 1098, TDs 6
Ryan Grant Car 67, Yds 257, Avg 3.8, TDs 2
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
Donald Driver Rec 18 Yds 288 Avg 16 TDS 2
Greg Jennings Rec 11, 240 Yds, Avg 21.8, TDs 1
Player Match Ups
1. Kevin Smith RB Vs A.J Hawk ILB and Nick Barnett ILB
2. Larry Foote MLB Vs Ryan Grant RB (Winner)
3. (Winner) Ernie Sims OLB Vs Chad Clifton LT
4. (Winner) Julian Peterson OLB Vs Allen Barbre RT
Ko Simpson S Hamstring Did Not Participate In Practice Doubtful
Calvin Johnson WR Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Likely will not play
Matthew Stafford QB Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Likely will not play
Dewayne White DE Hamstring Did Not Participate In Practice Questionable
Jerome Felton RB Shoulder Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Casey Fitzsimmons TE Thigh Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Maurice Morris RB Hip Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Grady Jackson DT Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Probable
Gosder Cherilus T Shoulder Full Participation in Practice Probable
Brandon Pettigrew TE Hamstring Full Participation in Practice Will Play
Jordon Dizon LB Foot Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Ernie Sims LB Shoulder Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Green Bay Packers
DeShawn Wynn RB Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Mark Tauscher T Knee Limited Participation in Practice Out
Korey Hall RB Calf Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Out
Jason Spitz C Back Did Not Participate In Practice Questionable
Scott Wells C Hamstring Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Atari Bigby S Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Daryn Colledge G Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Brandon Jackson RB Ankle Full Participation in Practice Probable
Cullen Jenkins DE Ankle Full Participation in Practice Probable
Ryan Pickett DT Hip Full Participation in Practice Probable
Brady Poppinga LB Illness Full Participation in Practice Probable
Jeremy Thompson LB Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Chad Clifton T Ankle Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Detroit @ Green Bay
New OT Mark Tauscher won't contribute for a few more weeks, but Aaron Rodgers' protection is likely to improve if only because of the opponent. Lions RE Dewayne White is still hobbled by a hamstring pull, and LE Cliff Avril has lost his starting job. Packers LT Chad Clifton, back from a high ankle sprain, should have no trouble containing White's sluggish replacement, Turk McBride. Expect Rodgers to have his biggest game so far against a Lions pass defense surrendering more touchdowns passes (15) and a higher quarterback rating (119.7) than any team in the league.
The bye week worked wonders for Ryan Grant in '08. He averaged a measly 3.38 YPC with one TD before Green Bay's Week 8 Sunday-off last season, and 4.22 YPC with four scores after it. The Packers' bye came earlier (Week 5) this year, and Grant has been a stronger winter runner ever since coming over from the Giants in 2007. The Lions allow 4.9 yards a carry and a rushing TD per game...Jermichael Finley was a hot waiver pickup after his 128-yard outburst against the Vikings two weeks ago, but have guarded expectations. He plays almost strictly in passing situations.
Daunte Culpepper, who gets another start with Matthew Stafford still nursing a sprained knee, showed improved athleticism and aggressiveness in Week 5 against Pittsburgh. However, he did most of his damage while playing from behind, took seven sacks, caused an ill-advised intentional grounding penalty, and fumbled three times. Expect the Lions to rely heavily on the ground game at chilly Lambeau Field. With Calvin Johnson (knee) likely out, career backups Dennis Northcutt and Bryant Johnson will be Detroit's starting wideouts. This isn't a recipe for passing success.
If Detroit is to move the ball through the air, fast-improving rookie TE Brandon Pettigrew may be Culpepper's main target. While LCB Charles Woodson shuts down Northcutt and RCB Al Harris tries to hang with Johnson, Pettigrew will mostly deal with LB Brandon Chillar and SS Atari Bigby (knee), who's been out over a month. Culpepper has targeted Pettigrew 11 times since replacing Stafford late in Week 4. Look for a short-field game plan from Lions playcaller Scott Linehan as Johnson and Northcutt struggle to beat Green Bay's zone. Pettigrew can exploit the soft spots.
My Pick- Packers
Texans(2-3) at Bengals(4-1) Weather: 53° (H) 34° F (L) P 0%
Paul Brown Stadium - Cincinnati, OH
Points 23.0 (12th), Total Yards 349.0 (11th), Passing Yards 273.6 (5th), Rushing Yards 75.4 (30th)
Points 24.0 (22nd), Total Yards 363.0 (24th), Passing Yards 222.2 (16th), Rushing Yards 140.8 (26th)
Points 20.2 (20th), Total Yards 335.4 (18th), Passing Yards 208.8 (20th), Rushing Yards 126.6 (9th)
Points 18.0 (9th), Total Yards 327.6 (17th), Passing Yards 228.8 (23rd), Rushing Yards 98.8 (12th)
Players Match Ups
1. DeMeco Ryans MLB Vs Cedric Benson RB (Winner)
2. Dunta Robinson RCB Vs Chad Ochocinco WR (Winner)
3. (Winner) Andre Johnson WR Vs Leon Hall RCB
4. (Winner) Matt Schaub Vs Bengals Defense
Nick Ferguson S Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Shaun Cody DT Illness Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Brian Cushing LB Foot Limited Participation in Practice Likely will play
Zach Diles LB Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Mario Williams DE Shoulder Full Participation in Practice Probable
DeMeco Ryans LB Shoulder Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Brian Leonard RB Groin Did Not Participate In Practice Likely will not play
Frostee Rucker DE Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice Doubtful
Tank Johnson DT Foot Did Not Participate In Practice Questionable
Roy Williams S Forearm Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Kyries Hebert S Hip Full Participation in Practice Probable
Rashad Jeanty LB Finger Full Participation in Practice Probable
Chinedum Ndukwe S Hamstring Full Participation in Practice Probable
Carson Palmer QB left Thumb Full Participation in Practice Probable
Jerome Simpson WR Illness Full Participation in Practice Probable
Houston @ Cincinnati
No team is as potent at stopping No. 1 wideouts as the Bengals. Braylon Edwards (0-0), Derrick Mason (0-0), Santonio Holmes (1-18), Greg Jennings (0-0), and Brandon Marshall (4-27) have all been minimized by DC Mike Zimmer's scheme. Andre Johnson is a different animal, and torched RCB Leon Hall for 143 yards on 11 grabs in their last meeting. The No. 3 overall fantasy receiver, A.J. can never be benched...Worry more about Kevin Walter, who is losing targets to TE Owen Daniels at a rapid rate. In the last two weeks, Daniels has had 15 balls thrown his way to Walter's nine.
Matt Schaub's matchup looks difficult on paper against a Cincy pass defense that's yielded five scores all year. But the Bengals allow a mediocre 7.0 YPA (15th in NFL) and no team gives up more big plays through the air (20 gains of 20+ yards). The conditions will also be favorable, with only light wind expected at Paul Brown Stadium, lots of sun, and temps in the 50s. Look for 38-42 throws from Schaub, giving him considerable upside...While the pass-heavy offense makes Steve Slaton an every-week starter in PPR leagues, don't expect him to have success on the ground.
It hurts to say, but Cedric Benson is an elite NFL back. His power and speed have made a full 180 from his Bear days. Houston's run defense is improved of late, but still ranks 26th overall with a league-high nine TDs surrendered. He's easily a top-five RB1 in Week 6...While Carson Palmer still hasn't put together a complete game, doing most of his damage in crunch time, this matchup provides an opportunity to play well for four quarters. The Texans bring no heat (fourth-fewest in sacks), and top CB Jacques Reeves (leg, finger) still hasn't rejoined the starting lineup.
Good weather and skill player talent on both sides equate to a high-scoring affair, boding well for wideouts. Chad Ochocinco, the No. 6 fantasy receiver, will square off with Texans RCB Dunta Robinson while Houston's corner depth is tested by a blend of Laveranues Coles, Chris Henry, and Andre Caldwell. Of those three, Caldwell has emerged as the receiver to own. He only plays in three-wideout sets, but the Bengals use them plenty of those because of their tight end deficiencies.
My Pick- Bengals
Browns (1-4) at Steelers (3-2) Weather: 47° F (H) 32° F (L) P 20%
Heinz Field - Pittsburgh, PA
Points 11.0 (12th), Total Yards 248.4(31th), Passing Yards 142.2 (31th), Rushing Yards 106.2 (16th)
Points 24.2 (23nd), Total Yards 380.2 (29th), Passing Yards 209.8 (10th), Rushing Yards 170.4 (32th)
Points 22.6 (14th), Total Yards 375.8 (17th), Passing Yards 275.4 (4th), Rushing Yards 100.4 (21th)
Points 19.6 (15th), Total Yards 290.8 (4th), Passing Yards 219.6 (14th), Rushing Yards 712 (2nd)
Brady Quinn Cmp 45, Att 74, Yds 400, TDs 1
Derek Anderson Cmp, 39 Att, 84 Yds, 384, TDs 1
Jamal Lewis Car 56, Yds 212, Avg 3.8, TDs 0
Jerome Harrison 56 TDs, Yds 202, Avg 3.6, TDs 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
Mohamed Massaquoi Rec 11, Yds 195, Avg 17.7, TDs 0
Player Match Ups
1. Joe Thomas LT Vs James Harrison OLB (Winner)
2. D'Qwell Jackson MLB (Winner) Vs Rashard Mendenhall RB
3. Mohamed Massaquoi WR (Winner) Vs Ike Taylor LCB
4. Ryan Mack C Vs Casey Hampton DT (Winner)
5. Jamel Lewis RB Vs Steelers Defense (Winner)
Anthony Madison CB Illness Full Participation in Practice --
Eric Barton LB Neck Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Kenyon Coleman DE Groin Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Phil Dawson K right Calf Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Rex Hadnot G Knee Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Steve Heiden TE Knee Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
D'Qwell Jackson LB Hamstring Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Robaire Smith DE Calf Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Mike Adams S Groin Full Participation in Practice Probable
David Bowens LB Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Gerard Lawson CB Groin Full Participation in Practice Probable
Jamal Lewis RB Hamstring Full Participation in Practice Likely Will Play
Shaun Rogers DT Foot Full Participation in Practice Probable
Robert Royal TE Foot Full Participation in Practice Probable
John St. Clair T Thumb Full Participation in Practice Probable
Kamerion Wimbley LB Shoulder Full Participation in Practice Probable
Floyd Womack G Ankle Full Participation in Practice Probable
Dave Zastudil P right Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Cleveland @ Pittsburgh
Word out of Pittsburgh is that Rashard Mendenhall will remain the lead back when Willie Parker (turf toe) returns. The team already conceded that Parker isn't 100% by inserting a fiber plate into his shoe. Mendenhall has a decisive edge in productivity, receiving skill, blitz-pickup ability, future value to the franchise, and health. This one's a no-brainer for the coaching staff; Mendenhall will dominate the backfield against Cleveland's last-ranked run defense and beyond...Mewelde Moore is surprisingly owned in most leagues, but is strictly a third-down back with no bigger role coming.
A 30% chance of showers at Heinz Field won't stop Ben Roethlisberger. Fantasy's No. 3 QB is an every-week starter thanks to improved protection (41-sack pace after taking 46 last year in a run-based offense) and a far more aggressive attack. The Browns' defensive strength is in coverage, but it surrenders plenty of big plays (15 of 20+ yards) and only eight teams have fewer sacks...Santonio Holmes' numbers are down because he runs so many clearing routes down the sideline. They open things up for Heath Miller (No. 7 fantasy TE) and Hines Ward (No. 11 WR).
Derek Anderson: meet a smoking-hot James Harrison. Pittsburgh's right outside linebacker and 2008's Defensive POY has 18 tackles and six sacks in his last three games, with a forced fumble in all but one this season. Anderson isn't a good bet to last four quarters, either because of injury or benching...Jamal Lewis' 31-carry, 117-yard Week 5 performance brought the Jerome Harrison hype train to a screeching halt. Lewis, 30, will undoubtedly break down if he continues to be used in such a manner. He'll also be a poor bet to top 50 yards against the AFC's No. 1 run defense.
How about the position Browns shot callers put promising but raw Mohamed Massaquoi in? With Braylon Edwards traded away for a bucket of mediocrity, the rookie will see a safety over the top for the rest of the year after coming to Cleveland as an underclassman draft pick. It's a terribly unfair situation...The point spread in this one is 14. With SS Troy Polamalu back from his knee injury, give me the Steelers all day long.
My Pick- Steelers
Chiefs (0-5) at Redskins (2-3) Weather: 48° (H) 38° F (L) P 80%
FedExField - Hyattsville, MD
Kansas City Chiefs
Points 16.8 (25th), Total Yards 258.0 (30th), Passing Yards 162.4 (29th), Rushing Yards 95.6 (24th)
Points 27.6 (28th), Total Yards 402.8 (32nd), Passing Yards 270.0 (29th), Rushing Yards 132.8 (25th)
Points14.6 (27th), Total Yards 299.8(23rd), Passing Yards 205.0 (22nd), Rushing Yards 94.8 (25th)
Points 6.4 (6th), Total Yards 290.8 (5th), Passing Yards 171.2 (3rd), Rushing Yards 119.6 (22nd)
Kansans City Chiefs
Matt Cassel Att 130, Cmp 76, 711 Yds, TDs 7
Larry Johnson Car 93, Yds 226, Avg 2.4, TDs 0
Dwayne Bowe Rec 15, Yds 181, Avg 12.1, TDs 3
Player Match Ups
1. Brian Waters LG Vs Albert Haynesworth DT (Winner)
2. Dwayne Bowe WR Vs Carlos Rogers RCB (Winner)
3. Tyson Jackson DE Vs LG Derrick Dockery (Winner)
4. Brandon Flowers LCB Vs Santana Moss WR (Winner)
5. (Winner) Cheifs Defense Vs Jason Campbell QB
Branden Albert T Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice Questionable
Jarrad Page S Shoulder Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Andy Alleman G Shoulder Full Participation in Practice Probable
Chris Samuels T Neck Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Hunter Smith P right Groin Did Not Participate In Practice Questionable
Phillip Daniels DE Biceps Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Cornelius Griffin DT Elbow Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Anthony Montgomery DT Knee Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Albert Haynesworth DT Ankle Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Clinton Portis RB Calf Limited Participation in Practice Will play
Kansas City @ Washington
In another game I'd advise to bet on, the Redskins are favored to win by six points Sunday. It's nice to play at home, but boos are likely to be more plentiful than Redskins scores at FedEx Field. Santana Moss is Washington's lone big-play threat and has a good on-paper matchup against a slow-footed K.C. secondary, but Jason Campbell won't have time to connect deep with former undrafted free agent Stephon Heyer on his blind side due to LT Chris Samuels' (spine) absence. The Skins' offense will be in especially bad shape if Chris Cooley is used as Heyer's "help" blocker more than he runs routes.
Hopefully, you've already sold "high" on Clinton Portis. He scored twice in Week 5 to finish with a productive fantasy game, but did not have a good real game, generating 3.0 YPC and getting thrown for a safety. His long run was seven yards. He has no upside, even in this matchup...The weather in D.C. calls for a 40% chance of rain and up to 20 MPH winds. It's not a huge concern for underneath receivers, but you don't want to use Antwaan Randle El or Malcolm Kelly anyway. Cooley, assuming he isn't forgotten in the passing game, is the Skins' best bet for catches.
The Chiefs intend to increase their use of the no-huddle offense. It's a very good idea, especially in this matchup. An up-tempo attack would keep heavyweight Skins DT Albert Haynesworth off the field for longer stretches and play to Matt Cassel's strengths in the shotgun. It would also sap Larry Johnson's usage, as he doesn't pick up blitzers or run pass routes well enough to be an every-down player. Play-to-play personnel change is more difficult in a no-huddle system. Should coach Todd Haley follow through with the plan, Jamaal Charles could end up as the primary back.
Windy, potentially slippery conditions could limit the passing-game production on both sides, but Dwayne Bowe's matchup is ripe for the picking. Kansas City's split end will spend most of his time against Redskins RCB DeAngelo Hall, who's been Washington's weakest corner all year. Hall's gambling style results in big plays for the opponent. Expect 70-80 yards and score from Bowe on Sunday.
My Pick- Chiefs
Panthers (1-3) @ Buccaneers (0-5) Weather: 67° F (H) 51° (L) P 10%
Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, FL
Points 14.2 (28th), Total Yards 282.0 (27th), Passing Yards 184.8(24th), Rushing Yards 97.2 (23rd)
Points 26.0 (26th), Total Yards 321.2 (15th), Passing Yards 165.8 (2nd), Rushing Yards 155.5 (30th)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Points 13.6 (29th), Total Yards 284.2 (26th), Passing Yards 189.6 (23rd), Rushing Yards 94.6 (26th)
Points 28.0 (30th), Total Yards 379.8 (28th), Passing Yards 227.2 (21st) Rushing Yards 152.6 (28th)
Jake Delhomme Att 116, Cmp 70, Yds 782, TDs 3
DeAngelo Williams Car 59, Yds 220, Avg 3.7, TDs 2
Jonathan Stewart Car 33, Yds 138, Avg 4.2, TDs 1
Steve Smith Rec 20, Yds 255 Avg 12.8, TDs 0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Byron Leftwich Att 107, Cmp 58, Yds 594, TDs 4
Josh Johnson Att 82, Cmp 43, Yds 382, TDs 3
Cadillac Williams Car 48, Yds 199, Avg 4.1, TDs 1
Derrick Ward Car 32 Yds 133, Avg 4.2, TDs 1
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
Kellen Winslow Rec 26 Yds 257, Avg 9.9, TDs 4
Player Match Up
1. (Winner) Chris Gamble LCB Vs Antonio Bryant WR
2. Jeff Otah RT Vs Jimmy Wilkerson DE (Winner)
3. (Winner) Jon Beason MLB Vs Carnell Williams RB and Derrick Ward RB
4. (Winner) Steve Smith WR Vs Ronde Barber RCB
James Anderson LB Concussion Full Participation in Practice Questionable
Dante Rosario TE Ankle Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Jon Beason LB Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Na'il Diggs LB Rib Full Participation in Practice Probable
Nick Hayden DT Toe Full Participation in Practice Probable
Captain Munnerlyn CB Shoulder Full Participation in Practice Probable
Steve Smith WR Knee Full Participation in Practice Will Play
Jonathan Stewart RB Achilles Full Participation in Practice Will Play
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
B.J. Askew RB Back Did Not Participate In Practice Week to week
Jeff Faine C Triceps Full Participation in Practice Probable
Earnest Graham RB Hamstring Full Participation in Practice Probable
Kyle Moore DE Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Donald Penn T Ankle Full Participation in Practice Probable
Clifton Smith RB Ankle Full Participation in Practice Probable
Jerramy Stevens TE Quadricep Full Participation in Practice Likely will play
Jimmy Wilkerson DE Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Antonio Bryant WR Knee Limited Participation in Practice Likely will play
Carolina @ Tampa Bay
Much more was expected from DeAngelo Williams last week, but the Redskins' front seven finally came to play and Jonathan Stewart vultured a touchdown. This matchup, however, sets up well for both backs to be worth fantasy starts. Size-deficient Tampa ranks 28th against the run and is a mismatch up front for Carolina's mauling front five...Jake Delhomme also has a favorable matchup, but the No. 30 overall fantasy QB simply isn't playing well enough for consideration.
Sunday's forecast at Raymond James Stadium calls for 70-degree temps and zero chance of precipitation. The Bucs allow more yards per pass attempt (9.1) than any team in the league, and their 12 touchdowns against are third most. Steve Smith lit up RCB Ronde Barber for an average of seven catches for 115 yards with one score in their two 2008 meetings. Smith's long overdue second big game of the year should be at hand...Despite a somewhat favorable matchup with LCB Aqib Talib, keep Muhsin Muhammad and his 9.4 yards-per-catch average benched.
Eight-man fronts will be the norm against Tampa's offense as long as Josh Johnson is under center, but you may as well use Carnell Williams against weak font sevens. While Cadillac will play himself hurt again soon enough, Carolina is 30th against the run with only Cleveland and Houston allowing higher YPC averages...Derrick Ward again significantly out-produced Williams in Week 5 (37 yards on six touches to Caddy's 16 yards on 13 opportunities), but the Bucs are using Williams as a clear-cut lead back. Ward is only playing every third series.
Kellen Winslow's first game with Johnson was a clunker, but he was a target monster in Week 5, racking up 102 yards and two TDs on a team-high nine catches. On Wednesday, playcaller Greg Olson touted Winslow as the team's No. 1 passing-game option. Winslow is rarely asked to block in Olson's scheme, and his short-to-intermediate routes perfectly suit Johnson's mediocre arm. He'll likely be inconsistent, but is an every-week start...Keep Antonio Bryant and Michael Clayton on benches. Bryant's knee issues have become chronic, while Clayton's starting job is in doubt.
My Pick- Panthers
Giants (5-0) at Saints (4-0) Weather: 66° F (H) 50° F (L) P 0% (Dome Game)
Louisiana Superdome - New Orleans, LA
New York Giants
Points 30.2 (4th), Total Yards 417.4 (2nd), Passing Yards 257.0 (9th), Rushing Yards 160.4 (4th)
Points 14.2 (3rd), Total Yards 210.6 (1st) Passing Yards 104.8 (1st) Rushing Yards 105.8 (15th)
New Orleans Saints
Points 36.0 (1st), Total Yards 414.2 (3rd), Passing Yards 248.0 (11th), Rushing Yards 166.2 (2nd)
Points 16.5 (7th), Total Yards 295.2 (6th), Passing Yards 212.0 (11th), Rushing Yards 83.2 (7th)
Eli Manning Att 135, Cmp 87, Yds 1212, TDs 10
Ahmad Bradshaw Car 58, Yds 375, Avg 6.5, TDs 2
Brandon Jacobs Car 100, Yds 355, Avg 3.6, TDs 1
Steve Smith Rec 37, Yds 481, Avg 13, TDs 4
Mario Manningham Rec 20 Yds 342, Avg 17.1, TDs 3
Players Match Ups
1. (Winner) Drew Brees Vs Giants Defense
2. (Winner) Eli Manning Vs Saints Defense
3. (Winner) Ahmad Bradshaw RB and Brandon Jacobs RB Vs Jonathan Vilma MLB
4. Kareem McKenzie RT Vs Charles Grant DE (Winner)
5. (Winner) David Diehl LT Vs Will Smith DE
6. (Winner) Giants D-Line Vs Pierre Thomas RB, Reggie Bush and Mike Bell RB
7. (Winner) Justin Tuck DE Vs Jonathan Stinchcomb RT
8. (Winner) Osi Umenyiora DE Vs Jermon Bushrod LT
9. Corey Webster CLB Vs Marques Colston WR (Winner)
New York Giants
Michael Boley LB Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Return Week 10?
Chris Canty DT Calf Did Not Participate In Practice Return Week 8?
Aaron Ross CB Hamstring Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Kevin Boss TE Ankle Full Participation in Practice Likely will play
C.C. Brown S Shoulder Full Participation in Practice Probable
Bryan Kehl LB Finger Full Participation in Practice Probable
Rich Seubert G Shoulder Full Participation in Practice Probable
Danny Ware RB Elbow Full Participation in Practice Probable
Ahmad Bradshaw RB Ankle Limited Participation in Practice Will play
Eli Manning QB Foot Limited Participation in Practice Will play
New Orleans Saints
Malcolm Jenkins CB Ankle Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Leigh Torrence CB Hamstring Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Mike Bell RB Knee Full Participation in Practice Will Play
Jermon Bushrod T Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Kendrick Clancy DT Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Darnell Dinkins TE Foot Full Participation in Practice Probable
Jason Kyle LS Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Jahri Evans G Toe Limited Participation in Practice Probable
Pierre Thomas RB Hamstring Limited Participation in Practice Likely will play
NY Giants @ New Orleans
Few wideouts are as boom-or-bust as Devery Henderson, in both real life and fantasy. But he always has the potential to go off, and his Week 6 matchup is swell on paper. With shutdown CB Corey Webster on Marques Colston and the Saints' ground game unlikely to be overly productive against a relentless Giants front seven, Henderson will spend most of his time against Terrell Thomas. Thomas, who many teams considered better fit to play safety coming out in the 2008 draft because of mediocre speed, doesn't have the wheels to stay with New Orleans' top deep threat.
Colston is a risk against Webster, as owners of Dwayne Bowe, Roy Williams, Antonio Bryant, and Santana Moss will attest...Use Jeremy Shockey against a Giants team that's allowed a tight end to be its opponent's leading receiver in each game since losing SS Kenny Phillips...Saints RBs should be avoided with a difficult matchup, Pierre Thomas batting a lingering hamstring injury, and Mike Bell recovered from his MCL sprain. It's anyone's guess as to which back will get the most carries...Drew Brees is always a must-start in the Superdome. Expect a pass-first game plan.
Eli Manning's foot injury will not threaten his availability, but a stingy Saints secondary keeps him as a low-end QB1. Only the Broncos and Colts have allowed fewer passing TDs (3), and no team has more picks (10). Still, he's hard to sit in the domed environment...Steve Smith is an every-week starter. His precision routes should give Saints rookie nickel back Malcolm Jenkins fits in the slot...Mario Manningham's value is on the down slope. Hakeem Nicks is simply a better all-around talent. This is a rotation, and both are more likely to help the Giants more than fantasy owners.
Brad Morgan was right to predict in his Red Zone Report that "Brandon Jacobs' touchdowns will come." Ahmad Bradshaw has been terrific, but Jacobs has received all but two of the Giants' goal-line carries this year and the coaching staff indicated this week that it will make a concerted effort to get Jacobs going. He's a strong bet for his second TD of the year in what figures to be a high-scoring game. The return of blocking TE Kevin Boss (ankle) will also help Jacobs' cause.
My Pick- Giants
Cardinals (2-2) Vs Seahaws (2-3) Weather: 60° F (H), 49° F (L), P 30%
Qwest Field - Seattle, WA
Points 21.2 (17th), Total Yards 336.2 (16th), Passing Yards 279.8 (3rd), Rushing Yards 56.5 (31st)
Points 22.2 (19th), Total Yards 374.0 (27th), Passing Yards 303.0 (32nd), Rushing Yards 71.0 (1st)
Points 23.0 (13th), Total Yards 346.6 (12th), Passing Yards 241.0 (13th), Rushing Yards 105.6 (18th)
Points 16.4 (5th), Total Yards 314.8 (12th), Passing Yards 208.0(9th), Rushing Yards106.8 (17th)
Kurt Warner Att 160, Cmp 106, Yds 1165, TDs 6
Tim Hightower Car 38, Yds 126, Avg 3.3, TDs 2
Beanie Wells Car 23, Yds 95 Avg 4.1, TDs 0
Larry Fitzgerald Rec 22, Yds 260 Avg 11.8, TDs 4
Anquan Boldin Rec 23, Yds 252, Avg 11, TDs 1
Matt Hasselbeck Att 84, Cmp 53, Yds 617, TDs 7
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
Julius Jones Car 69, Yds 285, Avg 4.1, TDs 1
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
Nate Burleson Rec 30, Yds, 358, Avg 11.9, TDs 3
T.J. Houshmandzadeh Rec 27 Yds 325, Avg 12, TDs 2
Player Match Ups
1. (Winner) Cardinals Defense Vs Matt Hasselbeck
2. Tim Hightower RB and Beanie Wells RB Vs Lofa Tatupu MLB (Winner)
3. (Winner) Kurt Warner Vs Seahawks Defense
4. Levi Jones LT Vs Aaron Curry OLB (Winner)
Stephen Spach TE Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice Out
Steve Breaston WR Knee Limited Participation in Practice Likely will play
Ali Highsmith LB Thigh Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Kenny Iwebema DE Ankle Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Bryant McFadden CB Ankle Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Jason Wright RB Back Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Darnell Dockett DT Ankle Full Participation in Practice Probable
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie CB Finger Full Participation in Practice Probable
Reggie Wells G Thumb Full Participation in Practice Probable
LeRoy Hill LB Groin Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Return Week 8?
Walter Jones T Knee Out (Definitely Will Not Play) (Maybe Out for The Season)
Sean Locklear T Ankle Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Out
Rob Sims G Ankle Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Out
C.J. Wallace S Hamstring Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Out
Nate Burleson WR Back Full Participation in Practice Likely will play
Travis Fisher CB Pelvis Full Participation in Practice Probable
Matt Hasselbeck QB Rib Full Participation in Practice Will Play
Lawrence Jackson DE Rib Full Participation in Practice Probable
Patrick Kerney DE Groin Full Participation in Practice Probable
Cory Redding DE Shoulder Full Participation in Practice Probable
Mansfield Wrotto G Ankle Full Participation in Practice Probable
Arizona @ Seattle
Arizona's offseason moves (use of top draft pick on Chris Wells, passing of playcalling duty to ex-Steelers OC Ken Whisenhunt) pointed to a conversion from a pass-first offense to a balanced attack. The change hasn't been realized, as the Cards rank 11th in the league in pass attempts and 31st in carries. Whiz allows Kurt Warner to audible out of running plays whenever he sees an eight-man front, and Arizona is leading the NFC in passing offense. That's good news for Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and particularly the consistency of No. 3 wideout Steve Breaston.
Of course, it's terrible news for Wells. The 31st overall pick is averaging seven carries a game with no catches. He doesn't pick up blitzes well, or know the pass routes. Tim Hightower is this team's feature back going forward...60-degree temps, virtually no wind, and only a 30% chance of rain won't slow the Cardinals' up-tempo attack, and neither will Seattle's defense despite its Week 5 shutout of Mike Sims-Walker-less Jacksonville. The Seahawks are getting healthier with DE Patrick Kerney (groin) due back, but this has proven to be a mediocre unit even at full strength.
Seattle's No. 1 concern on either side of the ball remains at left tackle. They'll start '07 undrafted free agent Kyle Williams there in just his sixth NFL appearance. Williams, who was shuttled between the practice squad and active roster earlier this season, will square off with Cards ROLB Chike Okeafor. Luckily for Williams, the declining pass rusher is 33 and has one sack all year. Protection woes will catch up with Matt Hasselbeck, but probably not this week...Keep your Seahawks running backs benched. The Cardinals have the No. 1 run defense in the league.
Arizona can't stop the pass, though. Only six teams have fewer sacks, and the Cards' pass defense ranking has plummeted to 32nd in the NFL. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, coming off back-to-back big games, will see struggling LCB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in primary coverage while Nate Burleson goes against RCB Bryant McFadden. The Seahawks play the Cowboys, Lions, and Cardinals again in their next three games, so their wideouts will be worth relying on in fantasy for awhile.
My Pick- Cardinals
Eagles (3-1) Vs Raiders (1-4) Weather: 63° F (H), 54° F (L), P 10%
McAfee Coliseum - Oakland, CA
Points 31.8 (2nd), Total Yards 368.8 (8th), Passing Yards 260.5 (7th), Rushing Yards 108.2 (14th)
Points 21.5 (18th), Total Yards 272.2 (3rd), Passing Yards 171.5 (4th), Rushing Yards 100.8
Points 9.8 (31st), Total Yards 191.6 (32nd), Passing Yards 108.6 (32nd), Rushing Yards 83.0 (28th)
Points 26.0 (27th) Total Yards 382.0 (31st) Passing Yards 221.0(15th) Rushing Yards 161.0 (31st)
Donovan McNabb Att 39, Cmp 26, Yds 343, TDs 5
LeSean McCoy Car 40, Yds 162, Avg 4.1 TDs 1
Brian Westbrook Car 32, Yds 134, Avg 4.2 TDs 1
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
Brent Celek Rec 26, Yds 303, Avg 11.7, TDs 2
DeSean Jackson Rec 13, Yds 260, Avg 20, TDs 2
Passing Att Cmp Yds TDs
JaMarcus Russell Att 121, Cmp 51, Yds 606, TDs 1
Michael Bush Car 42, Yds 157, Avg 3.7, TDs 2
Darren McFadden Car 47, Yds 146, Avg 3.1, TDs 1
Zach Miller Rec 15, Yds 215, Avg 14.3, TDs 0
Louis Murphy Rec 12 Yds 174 Avg 14.5 TDs 1
Player Match Ups
(Winner) Brian Westbrook RB and LeSean McCoy RB Vs Nick Morrison
Jason Peters RT Vs Greg Ellis OLB (Winner)
Winston Justice LT Vs Richard Seymour DE/DT (Winner)
DeSean Jackson WR Vs Nnamdi Asomugha RCB (Winner)
Todd Herremans G Foot Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Week to week
Dimitri Patterson CB Quadricep Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Out
Kevin Curtis WR Knee Full Participation in Practice Game-time decision
Darren Howard DE Toe Did Not Participate In Practice Probable
Sheldon Brown CB Abdomen Full Participation in Practice Probable
Chris Clemons DE Ankle Full Participation in Practice Probable
Ellis Hobbs CB Wrist Full Participation in Practice Probable
Akeem Jordan LB Neck Full Participation in Practice Probable
Donovan McNabb QB Rib Full Participation in Practice Will Play
Robert Gallery G Fibula Did Not Participate In Practice Week To Week
Ricky Brown LB Ankle Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Out
Cornell Green T Calf Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Out
Darren McFadden RB Knee Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Out 2-4 Weeks
Luke Lawton RB Ankle Did Not Participate In Practice Doubtful
Greg Ellis DE Knee Did Not Participate In Practice Questionable
Chaz Schilens WR Foot Limited Participation in Practice Game-time decision
Jon Alston LB Concussion Full Participation in Practice Probable
Nnamdi Asomugha CB Wrist Full Participation in Practice Probable
Kirk Morrison LB Knee Full Participation in Practice Probable
Nick Miller WR Shin Out (Definitely Will Not Play) Out 4-6 Weeks
Philadelphia @ Oakland
There were three hot waiver pickups at wide receiver this week: Miles Austin, Donnie Avery, and Jeremy Maclin. My bet is that Maclin attains the most value the rest of the way, while Avery has the biggest Week 6. Maclin's matchup simply isn't any good. While he's certain to start with Kevin Curtis (knee) a probable inactive or backup at best, the former Mizzou Tiger will usually be on the left side of the offensive formation. That's Raiders RCB Nnamdi Asomugha's territory.
DeSean Jackson is the much stronger play as he looks to put his one-catch, one-yard Week 5 behind him. Raiders LCB Chris Johnson doesn't have speed to stay with Jackson, who Donovan McNabb already admitted he'll make a serious effort to re-involve...Oakland is weak down the seams with the strong early-season play of safeties Tyvon Branch, Hiram Eugene, and Michael Huff fading. Continue to use Brent Celek...A committee with LeSean McCoy is cause for long-term concern in Brian Westbrook's case, but not when he's facing Oakland's No. 31 run defense.
As mentioned last week, there's little to say about Oakland's passing offense. JaMarcus Russell isn't even an option in two-QB leagues, Louis Murphy is poised to lose snaps to Chaz Schilens (foot) and was already unproductive, and Darrius Heyward-Bey has caught two of 20 targets on the year. Zach Miller is the lone player worth fantasy consideration, but may block often Sunday. Despite the tragic passing of former DC Jim Johnson, the Eagles haven't stopped bringing heat. Rookie coordinator Sean McDermott's defense blitzes more than any team in the league.
Darren McFadden will miss another game, and the struggles of Oakland's rushing offense will continue. While it was determined that Michael Bush is the fill-in starter and will get goal-line carries (he scored from five yards out last week), he saw just 13 touches to Justin Fargas' 12. Until McFadden, LG Robert Gallery (fractured fibula), and RT Cornell Green (calf) return -- which won't be this week -- the Raiders will struggle to move the football on a weekly basis.
My Pick- Eagles
Bills (1-4) at Jets (3-2)
Buffalo @ NY Jets
At some point, it's on the quarterback. Trent Edwards' protection has been poor, but his play isn't any better. He's scared in the pocket, especially to go downfield, and can't sense the pass rush. In addition to a new coaching staff, the Bills will be looking for a QB after the season...The Jets will likely assign LCB Darrelle Revis to Terrell Owens while RCB Lito Sheppard will cover Lee Evans for most of the game. Sheppard hasn't played in a month due to a quadriceps strain. Evans is the best fantasy bet at receiver for Buffalo if you have the mental toughness to use him.
Miami made the Jets' run defense appear vulnerable on Monday Night Football, but Rex Ryan's unit will be back for vengeance. The Bills' soft, undersized offensive line simply doesn't match up well with Jets NT Kris Jenkins and company. Browns NT Shaun Rogers consistently rag-dolled Bills LG Andy Levitre and C Geoff Hangartner in Week 5. While Marshawn Lynch still finished with a solid week (125 total yards), he was most productive in the receiving game. Consider Lynch a FLEX play. Fred Jackson and his declining role make him a non-factor in this one.
The Meadowlands forecast calls for a 70% chance of showers and 18 MPH winds. While Braylon Edwards will be impossible to sit for the rest of 2009, his quarterback needs to be benched. Mark Sanchez is still the most impressive rookie skill player in the league, but the Jets will focus on the run game in this weather...Edwards will likely match up with Bills RCB Drayton Florence for most of Sunday. Florence, a zone corner, won't be able to run with Braylon...Dustin Keller surprisingly blocked for most of Week 5, but now faces a Bills team that is very poor in tight ends coverage.
Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring) is very unlikely to play, thrusting "Mr. August" David Clowney onto the first team. Clowney has blinding speed, but isn't much of an option because his game is so dependent on timing. We'll guess six targets and two catches for 37 yards...The even Thomas Jones-Leon Washington timeshare continues. Jones has 76 touches on the year to Washington's 67. Jones has more fantasy value because he gets goal-line carries, but Washington is always a decent FLEX play in PPR leagues. He has 12 receptions to Jones' two.
My Pick- Jets
Tennessee @ New England
The Pats' game plan for Sunday seems obvious enough. With Tennessee down CB Nick Harper and nickel back Vincent Fuller indefinitely due to broken arms, and RCB Cortland Finnegan (hamstring) clearly not 100 percent, New England can flood the field with wideouts and pass the Titans to death. Tennessee is so desperate for defensive back bodies that it signed Roderick Hood on Thursday and will likely put him on the field immediately. The other options are practice squad type Cary Williams, and badly-struggling rookies Jason McCourty and Ryan Mouton.
In other words, Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and Wes Welker are all must-starts against the NFL's No. 31 pass defense...However, if the Pats use the spread attack, a heavy rotation/committee of running backs is likely. Kevin Faulk is usually the primary "spread back," while Week 5 lead man Sammy Morris and Laurence Maroney can step in occasionally. This isn't the week to invest in a New England runner because they'll probably all see action and cancel each other out.
Chris Johnson's 11-touch Week 5 outing was painful considering it came against a Colts defense he should've owned. The Titans simply fell behind early and abandoned the run game. Johnson is an every-week starter, but the Patriots have the passing-game tools to pull off similarly efficient scoring. Be satisfied if Johnson tops 100 total yards and scores once...C.J. owners can at least be confident that LenDale White won't see the field. White does not play when the Titans are trailing, or when the game is close. And you can bet they won't have a lead often Sunday.
The swarming play of new Pats FS Brandon McGowan makes all three of the Titans' tight ends non-options. McGowan has helped hold Tony Gonzalez, Todd Heap, and Tony Scheffler all under 46 yards in the last three weeks...Kenny Britt and Justin Gage continue to rotate and cancel each other out from a fantasy perspective. Nate Washington is the only every-down receiver of the group, but remains too inconsistent to use as more than a desperate WR3.
Bears (3-1) at Falcons (3-1)
Sunday Night Football
Chicago @ Atlanta
The Bears return from a bye to play at the Georgia Dome. As the weather gets colder, you'll notice that this matchup column will tout players in domed games. The Falcons are 22nd against the pass and 24th against the run, so it's easy to like any start-able Bears skill player...During the off week, OC Ron Turner went back to watch tape of Chicago's first four games and emerged with a renewed committment to Greg Olsen. Desmond Clark, healthy after an early-season rib injury, will help LT Orlando Pace block Falcons RE John Abraham while Olsen burns down the seams.
Turner has adjusted his offense to make it more "quarterback-friendly," helping Jay Cutler to become a touchdown machine. He has eight all-purpose TDs in his last three games...LCB Brian Williams won't sit out, but was a late addition to the Falcons' injury report with an "eye issue." Devin Hester is already a fine WR2/3, and the corner he'll mostly be covered by Sunday night has vision problems...Johnny Knox and Earl Bennett continue to rotate evenly. Expect Matt Forte to run successfully and often in this one, crushing Knox and Bennett's upsides. They need pass-heavy game plans to matter.
Michael Turner has a difficult matchup against Chicago's No. 9 run defense and will miss bruising FB Ovie Mughelli (calf), but can't possibly be benched. Atlanta's mauling, built-for-power front five should open holes against the Bears' undersized line...Chicago's secondary is tough (6.6 YPA against, one TD per game allowed), but Matt Ryan showed last week that he is too good to sit against quality defenses. The every-week fantasy starter dropped 329 yards and three all-purpose touchdowns on a 49ers club that was high in the pass defense ranks coming in.
Roddy White will match up often with Bears LCB Charles Tillman. Tillman is solid in all areas, but possesses significantly less speed than Atlanta's deep threat. White, who proved last week that he is not mailing it in after a $48 million contract extension, should have no trouble getting behind him...Michael Jenkins will go against Zackary Bowman, but is too slow and low on Ryan's list of options for valuable production...Tony Gonzalez has predictably slowed down since a hot start, but is always a good play against a Cover 2 scheme. Lots of soft spots to settle into.
My Pick- Falcons
Monday Night Football
Denver @ San Diego
Regular readers of this column and Rotoworld's weekly Running Back Report know that these are not the places to come for positive outlooks on LaDainian Tomlinson. Color me surprised if he tops 50 yards against the NFL's No. 6 run defense. Tomlinson simply can't play anymore...This matchup again sets up for San Diego to resort to the pass and drop any hint of a power rushing attack. Darren Sproles is too risky to rely on in fantasy leagues, but look for this to be the week he retakes the Chargers' featured back role.
Vincent Jackson averages 94 yards a game and has become a complete receiver. He dominates at all three levels, blocks well, and is an every-week starter in fantasy...Assuming the Bolts do go pass heavy (the approach with which their offense runs best), the Broncos will have to decide whether to put brackets on Jackson or Antonio Gates, sacrificing pass rushers. Gates averages six catches for 88 yards a game...Chris Chambers' average is 18 yards a game. He should be benched even when the Chargers have favorable matchups, which this isn't.
The Chargers will stand pat with the trade deadline looming in hopes that DL Travis Johnson, who's been injured since his pre-Week 1 trade from the Texans, can cure the team's run defense woes. It's just unlikely. Johnson has terrific size and can play all four positions on the line, but Houston was never potent against the run with Johnson at nose tackle. San Diego is currently 27th in run defense, allowing 1.5 rushing touchdowns per game. Knowshon Moreno will see 20 touches Sunday despite Correll Buckhalter's (ankle) return. He's a high-end RB2 play.
Eddie Royal's 10-catch Week 5 game was promising, but we don't have any idea if he'll remain a fixture in the passing offense going forward. He was a decoy leading up to the upset of New England, and benefited from Kyle Orton easily setting his season-high for pass attempts (48). Expect a run-first game plan from playcaller Josh McDaniels, and Royal to resume mediocrity...Brandon Marshall has had the Chargers' number in all three of his pro seasons. There's no reason to think that will change Sunday for fantasy's No. 4 overall wide receiver, particularly with 73-degree weather, light wind, and hardly any chance of rain in the forecast for Qualcomm Stadium.
My Pick- Chargers
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