Is 2011 going to be the highest scoring fantasy season of all time? All signs indicate that it could be. Last season, seven players finished the season with more than 270 points (ESPN Standard Scoring). After four weeks this season, a staggering 18 players were on pace to beat that mark…and nine of them were QBs.
Like I said at the beginning of the season, gone are the days of fantasy rule by the RBs. Of those 18 players, only 5 are RBs…simply a staggering thought to anyone living in 2006 or before.
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With the rise in scoring, it is getting increasingly easy to predict breakout performances for players…as well as increasingly difficult to predict who will have a bad day. For instance, this week, I was 17 for 24 on my predictions for guys that I thought would be successful. On the other hand, I was only 11 for 20 on guys I thought you should sit. It’s just so difficult to predict who will play poorly when everyone is putting up record numbers.
Nevertheless, Jerod and I stand here undeterred in our predictions (as did Andy Bottoms in his Waiver Wire Pickups column). Let’s quickly recap those picks from last week before moving on to Week Six.
Week Five Recap
- Grading Scale for Predictions regarding Best Player/Start Em/Other Guys I Liked – (Hits: Top 12 for QBs/TEs and Top 30 for RBs/WRs)
- Grading Scale for Predictions regarding Worst Player/Sit Em/Other Guys I Didn’t Like – (Hits: 13th or worse for QBs/TEs and 31st or worse for RBs/WRs)
- Quick Note: The following players got injured and have been removed from the grading scale for fairness: Joseph Addai, Mike Tolbert, and Rashard Mendenhall.
Overall: 29 for 44 (66%)
Best Player Predictions: 4 for 4
- Hits: Michael Vick, Maurice Jones-Drew, Calvin Johnson, and Jermaine Gresham.
Start Em Predictions: 4 for 4
- Hits: Philip Rivers, Deion Branch, Pierre Garcon, and Brandon Pettigrew.
- Misses: None
Other Guys I Liked Predictions: 10 for 16
- Hits: Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Curtis Painter, Darren Sproles, Reggie Wayne, Hakeem Nicks, AJ Green, Greg Olsen, Jimmy Graham, and Owen Daniels.
- Misses: Mark Sanchez, LeGarrette Blount, LaDainian Tomlinson, Devery Henderson, Dallas Clark, and Scott Chandler.
Worst Player Predictions: 1 for 3
- Hits: David Nelson
- Misses: Cam Newton and Heath Miller.
Sit Em Predictions: 1 for 3
- Hits: Tom Brady
- Misses: Michael Turner and Vernon Davis.
Other Guys I Didn’t Like Predictions: 9 for 14
- Hits: Donovan McNabb, Matt Ryan, Jay Cutler, James Starks, Matt Forte, Wes Welker (Special exception…I said it would be a bad game FOR HIM and it was), Jacoby Jones, Jeff King, and Jeremy Shockey.
- Misses: Ben Roethlisberger, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Shonn Greene, Victor Cruz, Steve Smith.
Onto this week.
Fantasy Football Week 6 Start Em Sit Em
Once again, “Start Em” guys are QBs/TEs outside of the Top 12 and RBs/WRs outside of the Top 25. “Sit Em Guys” include QBs/TEs that are in the Top 12 and RBs/WRs that are in the Top 25.
Remember that the following teams are on bye in Week 6:
- Kansas City
- San Diego
Fantasy Football Week 6 Start Em, Sit em Projections: Quarterbacks
Projected Best Performer – Tom Brady
He’s the best fantasy QB there is right now…and he’s playing against Dallas. The Pats might score 60 points.
Tom Brady Fantasy Football Week 6 Projection – 420 passing yards, 4 TDs
Last week, I predicted that Mark Sanchez would have a big day against New England’s banged up secondary that was already below average. Well, my reasoning was right, but I forgot one thing – that Mark Sanchez is awful. Don’t worry, the oft-maligned Tony Romo should put up great numbers this week, especially considering both Miles Austin and Dez Bryant should be fully healed.
Tony Romo Fantasy Football Week 6 Projection – 380 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Other Start ‘Em Picks at QB for Week Six:
- Ben Roethlisberger – We finally saw the Big Ben I thought we would see all season last week. He should have another big game against Jacksonville.
- Josh Freeman – Bounceback game against the Saints at home.
- Curtis Painter – I’m all in on Curtis Painter…and he’s facing another decent matchup against Cincinnati.
- Michael Vick – If he doesn’t play well this week…well…um…yeah.
Projected Worst Performer – Miami’s QB
Let me just put it this way: in the pre-season, Dolphins’ fans were chanting the name of a QB in Denver who threw for 30 yards in the first half this week before being benched in favor of Tim Tebow. Don’t expect much from Miami QBs for the rest of the year…especially against the Jets.
Dolphins’ QBs’ Fantasy Football Week 6 Projection – 180 Passing Yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs
Sit Em – Ryan Fitzpatrick
I think this will be a weird game for the Bills. I think it’s going to be a little bit of a trap game (not unlike Cincinnati a few weeks ago), and the Giants will be looking to respond from their poor performance against Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst. Fitzpatrick won’t play AWFUL…but there should be plenty of better options in Week 6.
Ryan Fitzpatrick Fantasy Football Week 6 Projection – 240 yards, 1 TDs, 1 INT
Other Sit ‘Em Picks at QB for Week Six:
- Matt Schaub – Not against a Ravens’ team coming off of a bye.
- Alex Smith – I think the Lions and 49ers will face off in a defensive struggle. Plus, he’s been surprisingly very good against the blitz this year, but the Lions don’t have to blitz to bring pressure.
- Sam Bradford – Sophomore slump…mixed with the Packers’ defense.
I agree on Romo. The Cowboys are coming off of their bye, have their receivers healthy, and I’m sure are itching to put the Detroit debacle behind them. Plus they get the Patriots a week after they played a major rival. I actually think the Cowboys are a sneaky upset pick in this game, and for that to happen Good Romo must be on display.
Also, I don’t think Jon should get any credit for telling you that whoever plays QB for Miami (Matt Moore, at least to start) will be awful.
Fantasy Football Week 6 Start Em, Sit em Projections: Running Backs
Projected Best Performer – Ray Rice
He’s one of the best in the business…and he’s coming off a bye, facing an average run defense missing their best linemen. Rice could run wild against the Texans.
Ray Rice Fantasy Football Week 6 Projection – 150 Rushing Yards, 1 TD; 60 Receiving Yards, 1 TD
As you can see, I like guys that are coming off a bye this week, but Hillis should be fully healthy, and facing an Oakland team that could very well be emotionally and physically spent after the draining week that they just completed. Look for the Big White Avalanche to run a lot of people over this week.
Peyton Hillis Fantasy Football Week 6 Projection – 140 yards, 2 TDs
Other Start ‘Em Picks at RB for Week Six:
- Michael Turner – Maybe one of these weeks, Atlanta will get back to their roots and actually start running the ball. Nice matchup against Carolina.
- DeAngelo Williams – I think he has finally shaken off the offseason rust, and should have a nice game against a banged up Atlanta line.
- BenJarvus Green-Ellis – He’s looked great in back to back weeks, and the Pats are trying to prove that they have some sort of running game. Nice matchup against Dallas as well.
- Adrian Peterson – Always…I know…but should have a nice game against Chicago.
Projected Worst Performer – Jahvid Best
I don’t know if he’s not that good*, or if Detroit just doesn’t feel like running the ball when they can throw it up to the cheat-code every single play. Either way, the San Francisco defense is great, and Best won’t be a big factor unless he can break free on a few screens.
*As I’m writing this, Best runs for an 88 yard TD against Chicago proving that once again, I’m an idiot. My counter? Take that one run out and what has he done tonight?!? And the matchup still stinks.
Jahvid Best Fantasy Football Week 6 Projection – 30 Rushing Yards, 30 Receiving Yards
Sit Em – Arian Foster
I know he’s really good, but the Ravens are allowing less than 75 yards a game on the ground AND are coming off a bye. A lot of you might have a gut feeling that says to play Foster, and that’s fine. But my gut is telling me that he will be bottled up early and often this week.
Arian Foster Fantasy Football Week 6 Projection – 60 total yards
Other Sit ‘Em Picks at RB for Week Six:
- Tim Hightower – He’s going to start getting fewer and fewer touches as the year goes on.
- Jonathan Stewart – Look for his production to diminish as his teammate’s goes up.
- Any Saints’ RB not named Darren Sproles – Just say no to them. They hardly run the ball, and Sproles is the only guy that Brees really trusts on a consistent basis.
I cannot recommend that anyone sit in Arian Foster. In fact, I’ll say this: whoever is starting at RB for Houston is a must-start player until the Texans RBs put up two straight dud weeks. Even if the Ravens bottle up Foster between the tackles, which is in fact likely, he is a terrific receiver as he showed against Oakland.
And I would not start Peyton Hillis as anything other than a flex. Even at flex I’d be nervous. Hillis has been losing carries to Montario Hardesty, and the hard-line stance he is taking about his contract (which he needs to do for his own sake) is not endearing him to anyone on the new coaching staff I wouldn’t imagine. Look for Hardesty to continue siphoning carries, which kills Hillis’ value.
Fantasy Football Week 6 Start Em, Sit em Projections: Wide Receivers
Projected Best Performer – Megatron
Just pencil him in every week.
Calvin Johnson Fantasy Football Week 6 Projection – 120 receiving yards, 2 TDs
Start Em – Dez Bryant
I think that Bryant and Austin will both have big days against the New England secondary, but Bryant is starting to become Romo’s go to guy in the red zone. He’s big, athletic, and has great hands. He should take advantage of mismatches all game.
Dez Bryant Fantasy Football Week 6 Projection – 95 receiving yards, 2 TDs
Other Start ‘Em Picks at WR for Week Six:
- Mike Wallace – We finally saw the Big Ben I thought we would see all season last week. Wallace will be benefactor #1.
- Wes Welker – Free points.
- Percy Harvin – He’s quietly having a very solid year for Minnesota despite all of the problems. I bet you didn’t realize that he’s ranked in the Top 25 of all WRs, thanks in large part to his return skills. He should get free often against a mediocre Chicago secondary.
- Jeremy Maclin – He’s been quiet for a few weeks, and I think he’s due for a big game against the Redskins.
Projected Worst Performer – Mike Thomas
Bad day for Jacksonville…just like every other day for their fans.
Mike Thomas Fantasy Football Week 6 Projection – 3 catches for 28 yards
Sit Em – Stevie Johnson
Like I said earlier, I think the Bills will falter a little bit this week, and Stevie J will have a tough game, along with the rest of their offense that isn’t named Fred Jackson
Stevie Johnson Fantasy Football Week 6 Projection – 5 catches for 55 yards.
Other Sit ‘Em Picks at WR for Week Six:
- Julio Jones – He’s Roy Williams 2.0. Or maybe Michael Crabtree 2.0. Either way, it’s not good.
- Ted Ginn Jr. – Ginn is also having a better year than people realize, as he’s ranked the 30th overall WR. However, I think it will be a defensive struggle against Detroit. Bad day for Alex Smith = bad day for Ginn.
- Randall Cobb – Not many return yards for him this week against a team coming off a bye…he’s only a play in VERY deep leagues…like, I’m talking 20 team leagues.
First off, from here on out let’s just call the “Projected Best Performer” at WR the “Calvin Johnson Award”. Then you can stop taking the easy answer and be forced to pick who you think will be the 2nd best performer at WR.
As for Percy Harvin, yes he is very quietly having that solid year you alluded to, as in one reception for 11 yards last week. He only has 18 catches in five games. He’s not a must start. He’s a flex at best.
I think you are way too hard on Julio Jones. Yes he struggled in Week 5, but he’d had 100+ yards each of the previous two weeks. He’s already better than Roy Williams ever was, and Julio Jones through five weeks a handful of preseason games has probably already participated in more practices than Michael Crabtree has in his career.
Also, never mention Ted Ginn Jr. in a Start/Sit column again. It hurts my stomach to laugh that hard.
Fantasy Football Week 6 Start Em, Sit em Projections: Tight Ends
Projected Best Performer – Aaron Hernandez
He’s back, and he would have had a MONSTER game last week if he could have completely shaken off the rust. He’s the number one TE in the game in my opinion, and he should have a great game against Dallas
Aaron Hernandez Fantasy Football Week 6 Projection – 150 receiving yards, 1 TD
Start Em – Benjamin Watson
The Raiders gave up a ton of points to BOTH of Houston’s Tight Ends last week. Watson is a good player, and should have a solid game as the Browns look to rebound after their bye.
Benjamin Watson Fantasy Football Week 6 Projection – 8 catches for 120 yards, 1 TD
Other Guys I Like:
- Jimmy Graham – He’s unbelievable.
- Dallas Clark – He has to break out eventually, right?
- Jason Witten – Big game for all of Dallas’ receivers against New England
Projected Worst Performer – Scott Chandler
I’ve missed on him every single week. All of you should probably trade for him now.
Scott Chandler Fantasy Football Week 6 Projection – 3 catches for 15 yards
Sit Em – Jermichael Finley
I don’t love this pick at all…but I have to pick a guy in the top 12 to have a bad day and he’s my choice. Rodgers has been spreading the ball out a lot, and it’s possible that Finley gets overlooked for a week or two. It’s also possible that he catches three TDs like he did against Chicago a few weeks back…but like I said, of all the top TEs, I think he’s the riskiest play at this point.
Jermichael Finley Fantasy Football Week 6 Projection – 2 catches for 25 yards
Jon, you need to make up your mind. I distinctly remember you saying that Rob Gronkowski was the top tight end in the game before. Now you’re picking his teammate who is still getting back into the groove off of his injury? And what about Jimmy Graham? Yes, is absolutely unbelievable! He has three straight 100 yards, has the love and trust of one of the NFL’s most accurate passers, and has no other tight ends to compete for targets. Jimmy Graham is #1!
As for Finley, I’d never sit him (unless I had Graham, Gronk, Hernandez, or Witten), but the fact that he dropped a few passes Sunday night won’t help him out any either. He’s still a stud though, so I just want people to make sure they have a great alternate option if they are going to sit him.
And now, back by popular demand…
Fantasy Football Week 6 Start Em, Sit em Projections: Defense/Special Teams
[Editor’s note: These D/ST picks are all done by Jerod.]
Start Em Defense: New York Jets
They are playing the Miami Dolphins, are getting desperate for a win, and their pride has been challenged. What else really needs to be said?
Other Start ‘Em D/ST Picks for Week Six:
- Pittsburgh Steelers – they got back on track last week and get to face Blaine Gabbert and the one dimensional Jags this week. Gotta love it.
- Green Bay Packers – their secondary has been suspect this year, but they get to face a St. Louis team in Week Six that, while coming off a bye, hasn’t been able to get into any rhythm at all. Also, Clay Matthews will feast on Sam Bradford unless St. Louis’ O-Line really improves.
- San Francisco 49ers – this defense is for real folks; not only do they stop the run, but the secondary is opportunistic. Yes the Detroit offense is explosive, but the 49ers are going to give them all they can handle.
Sit Em Defense: Washington Redskins
The ‘Skins D has been outstanding this year, and they are coming off a bye, and they are facing a reeling 1-4 team that cannot seem to stop turning the ball over. So why am I telling you to sit them? Call it a hunch. Andy Reid is still one of the best offensive coaches on the planet, and the Eagles have explosive talent all over the field. Remember, they may be losing but they’re scoring plenty of points while they do it. Plus, need I remind you what Michael Vick did to Washington last year? The Eagles are 1-4 and really have their backs up against the wall. I expect them to play their best football this week, and that makes them very, very dangerous.
Other Sit ‘EM D/ST Picks for Week Six:
- New York Giants – don’t let their reputation fool you, this is not a top defense anymore, and we know how explosive Buffalo can be.
- Chicago Bears – they are coming off a disappointing, demoralizing Monday night loss and face their nemesis Adrian Peterson, who is in beast mode right now.
- Dallas and New England – this game will be a shootout; stay away from both.
Okay everyone, there is your Start Em, Sit Em for Week 6. The comment section awaits your questions. Let’s all get some Ws this week.