Once again taking on the task of identifying those over performers and under performers from the previous week of fantasy football is Ryan Hallam , creator of Fighting Chance Fantasy .
So, join Ryan as he takes us through the Week Six Studs and check back tomorrow as he takes a look at the Week Six Duds . And if you have any questions for him, email firstname.lastname@example.org for Week Seven fantasy football advice.
Note: All point projections read in this recap are from standard scoring leagues (non-PPR) and are projections made by the Bruno Boys staff
QUARTERBACK - STUDS
Tom Brady (New England Patriots) – Given the weather conditions, the end results for Brady could not have been expected. In just mid-October, the field in Foxboro was completely covered in snow, which led everyone to believe the game would be won or lost on the ground. Instead, Brady had a record breaking performance.
He was 29 of 34 for 380 yards and six touchdown passes, five of which came in one quarter. Brady was the No. 1 scorer in all of fantasy this week with 39 points, more than double the 18 point projection that was given to him to going into the matchup.
Hallam’s Take: If you’re experience windy conditions right now where you are, don’t fret as that is just the giant exhale coming from the New England area due Tom Brady looking like Tom Brady instead of Peter Brady .
Perhaps the real Brady was kidnapped somewhere and some impostor Brady was thrown out there for the Patriots over the first five weeks. He might not be 2007 Brady, but if he gets to 30 touchdown passes, you have to be happy with that.
Matt Schaub (Houston Texans) – It was another sensational game for Schaub as he continues to climb the ranks of fantasy quarterbacks this 2009 season. Schaub was 28 of 40 for 392 yards and four touchdown passes. The only blemish on his record for the day was one interception as he put up a more than respectable 29 fantasy points, nearly doubling his projection of just 15.
Hallam’s Take: Schaub is proving that he is among the best quarterbacks in fantasy as he continues to put up big numbers on a weekly basis. If it isn’t Andre Johnson he’s targeting, he still gets the ball to TE Owen Daniels , RB Steve Slaton , or WRs Jacoby Jones & Kevin Walter .
If you have two quality quarterbacks, maybe you should try to trade your other one and count on Schaub every week.
Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints) – It seemed like it might be another down week for Brees as he faced another strong NFC East defense in the New York Giants . But much like he did to the Eagles weeks before, Brees carved up the G-Men’s secondary and had a banner day.
He was 23 of 30 for 369 yards and four touchdowns. Brees scored a team-carrying 30 fantasy points, which far exceeded the 17 he was looked upon to score.
Hallam’s Take: That’s more like it. After two straight games where he failed to throw a touchdown, Brees was finally back on track as he had one of his patented four touchdown games. He is among the top three QBs, plain and simple, and there is never a reason not to play Drew Brees .
RUNNING BACK – STUDS
Maurice Jones-Drew (Jacksonville Jaguars) – It has been all or nothing for Jones-Drew so far in the 2009 season, and Week 6 definitely could be classified in the “ALL” category. MJD ran the ball 33 times for 133 yards with three touchdowns.
He, also, caught five passes for another 45 yards, but did have some ball control issues as he fumbled the ball away twice. Jones-Drew finally had another big game, this time to the tune of 33 fantasy points. He was one of the few top rated runners, who actually exceeded expectations, as he was penciled in for 20 points on the day.
Hallam’s Take: These are the games that we were expecting when we picked Jones-Drew in the first couple of picks of the draft, although we could all do without the absolute bombs that he has put up.
You obviously start MJD every single week and hope that he starts to get the motor running on a weekly basis, rather than 30+ points one week and six the next.
Ray Rice (Baltimore Ravens) – Many were likely tempted to sit Rice against a very stiff run defense of the Minnesota Vikings , but hopefully you resisted that urge. Rice went off in the second half, and finished the game with 10 carries for 77 yards and two touchdowns to go with his ten receptions for another 117 yards.
It is pretty impressive when you are expected to score 15 points and you are able to double that, which was exactly what Rice did as he put up 30 fantasy points on the day.
Hallam’s Take: We are witnessing the birth of a fantasy stud. I think you are at the point where you don’t have to worry about Willis McGahee stealing carries much anymore as Rice is proving that he is the No. 1 man in Baltimore, and he is making the most of his opportunity.
He is now an every week starter after having a hell of a game against one of the league’s top defenses.
Thomas Jones (New York Jets) – Jones finally had the kind of day his owners had been waiting for, and it was one of the best efforts of his career. Jones ran the ball 19 times against the Bills for a career best 202 yards and a touchdown.
He, also, had two catches for 17 yards. Jones hasn’t been exactly what those who drafted him hoped for, but he was able to put up a huge 27 point game on Sunday, after only being expected to score 15.
Hallam’s Take: Well, this is what people were expecting when they put Thomas Jones into their starting lineups. The Jets’ offensive line is just too damn good for Jones to have struggled as bad as he has to start the season. Jones might not match his production from 2008, but he still should be a solid RB2 for the rest of the season. Start Jones without any hesitation.
WIDE RECEIVER - STUDS
Randy Moss/Wes Welker (New England Patriots) – It was like shooting fish in a barrel for Tom Brady on Sunday, and both of his main receivers had a field day as a result. Welker had the most receptions as he had 10 catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
Not to be outdone, Randy Moss had eight catches for 129 yards and three touchdowns. It was an absolute blowout and both players flew past their projections. Welker put up 27 points against the 16 he was supposed to have, while Moss was the highest rated receiver with 19 points, a projection he still outperformed by posting 30 fantasy points.
Hallam’s Take: It was just a matter of time before New England had a quality offensive game, although no one expected them to put up 59 points. This game was long overdue, and now the question beckons, does this mean that the Patriots offense is officially back?
I’ll say this: I think that they will get into a groove and be better than they were for the first five weeks of this season. Will they be the 2007 Patriots? Highly unlikely. That being said, still start Moss and Welker any week that they are healthy.
Hakeem Nicks (New York Giants) – As the roles for the Giants’ receivers continue to be carved out, Nicks jumps up the charts each week. He continued his breakout with a touchdown in his third straight game.
Nicks had five catches for 114 yards on the day and perhaps, now, will get some more attention. He was projected for only seven, but reeled in 17 fantasy points for those who started him.
Hallam’s Take: Take note of this guy folks, because he is on his way to fantasy stardom. While it looked initially that Mario Manningham was going to be the go to guy for the Giants down the field, it is now obvious that Nicks is going to live up to his first round draft status.
This is now three straight weeks that he has scored for New York, and he has been getting more and more involved in the offense each week. If he is still available in your league, be sure to do something about that right away.
Hines Ward (Pittsburgh Steelers) – Often overlooked, Ward is one of the more consistent and overlooked receivers in all of fantasy. Pittsburgh seems to be throwing more this season, and Ward is having one of his finest seasons. It continued on Sunday as he hauled in eight passes for a great 159 yards and a touchdown.
He continues to surpass expectations as he scored 21 points in Week Six, 11 more than the ten that he was projected for.
Hallam’s Take: I’ve said a million times that I like players that are consistent, and how many receivers in the NFL are more consistent than Hines Ward ? The guy will get you six to eight catches every single week it seems for about 75 to 100 yards, and he will score his six to eight touchdowns every year.
This has been an exceptionally good start to the season for Ward, as the Steelers have been throwing the ball more than they have in the past. He might be old, but Ward can still bring it, and he is still a very valuable WR3 or low end WR2.
TIGHT END - STUDS
Zach Miller (Oakland Raiders) – Sometimes it only takes one play for a guy to have a successful day. Miller has had one frustrating week after another this season as his quarterback, JaMarcus Russell , continues to get sacked and fumble the football away at an alarming rate.
However, it was finally a good week as Miller hauled in six passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. Given the season he has had, the projection of just four points was reasonable, but on one big 86 yard touchdown, Miller was able to crush his projection with a huge 19 point day.
Hallam’s Take: I like Zach Miller , I really do. He was a tight end that I targeted over and over in my drafts this year. However, when your quarterback struggles to play at a reasonable level, it is going to be hard for any of offensive guy to have an impact.
As long as JaMarcus Russell is unable to play anything like a viable NFL quarterback, it will be tough for anyone to start Miller. Let’s be honest, without the 86 yard touchdown you are looking at another average 53 yard game out of him.
KICKER – STUDS
Ryan Succop (Kansas City Chiefs) – It was a strange week for the Chiefs as they were actually ahead in the game for most of the afternoon. However, they were unable to put the ball in the end zone, but that was good for Succop owners (if there are any) as he was four for four in field goal attempts from 39 yards, 46 yards, 46 yards, and 24 yards.
It was a strong projection for him to accumulate only six points, but by some divine intervention he scored 12.
Hallam’s Take: This is certainly just an aberration. I’m not saying that Succop is terrible, but he’s not that great, and the team he is playing on is even worse. Just wait until the winter comes and they are playing in the snow as the Chiefs’ last five games are either in Kansas City or at Denver and Cincinnati. Not a favorable schedule for a kicker. Don’t use him.
DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS - STUDS
Arizona Cardinals D/ST (Two Stars) – Given the fact that they were last in the NFL in passing yards allowed, and the game the Seahawks had in week five, it appeared that this game would turn into a shootout.
However, the Cards D came to play and held Seattle to just three points. It wasn’t a huge effort, but they also sacked Hasselbeck five times, picked him off once and collected one fumble. This is much better than the two stars they were projected for, more like a three or four star effort.
Hallam’s Take: It was the Cardinals’ defense, as much as their offense, that led them to their Super Bowl run last season, so you know that they are capable of putting some good efforts forward. Their secondary is especially talented with Antrel Rolle , Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie , and, of course, Adrian Wilson .
Up front they aren’t as stacked, but you can’t forget about the studly Karlos Dansby . The Cardinals are a fantasy defense that you are wise to play matchups with, not a group that you count on every week.
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