Kaleel Weatherly, Mitchell Westall and Ramon Mejia, staff writers
(Megan Zendek/photo illustration)
Biggest Disappointments from Week 6
Randall Cobb (GB, WR) – For the third consecutive week, Cobb posted fewer than five fantasy points. This comes as a major surprise, considering that Aaron Rodgers is throwing him the football. Cobb has been outscored by fellow Green Bay wideout James Jones in four of the six games they have played this season. Jones has a knack for finding the end zone. Cobb owners will have to wait a week to see if this trend continues as Green Bay is on their bye week this week.
Dion Lewis (NE, RB) – It’s official: Bill Belichick hates your fantasy football team. Lewis was active this week even though he had an abdominal injury, yet he only touched the ball seven times. He scored just 3.90 points, his worst as a Patriot. His counterpart LeGarrette Blount, who saw more playing time, scored 22.40 points. Lewis owners should monitor his health over the coming week and possibly consider starting someone off the waiver wire who has a solid match-up next week.
Antonio Brown (PIT, WR) – Antonio Brown has suffered without Big Ben throwing him the ball, which may continue this week as Landry Jones starts in place of the injured Roethlisberger. Brown scored 2.40 points last week, his lowest score of the season. Sunday’s game against the Cardinals was Brown’s third consecutive game below five points. Owners should consider sitting him if they have other viable options until Roethlisberger returns from his injury.
Le’Veon Bell (PIT, RB) – Bell posted his slimmest total since returning from a two-game suspension. His 8.80 points were not terrible, but owners expected more from their first-round pick. He may have fared better had he found the end zone, but for the first time this season he was unable to do so. Pittsburgh will definitely be leaning on their running game this week, which means that their opponents, the Kansas City Chiefs, will be loading up the box against the dangerous runner. It could be feast or famine on Sunday for Bell. It would not be wise to bench him this week.
Surprise Performances from Week 6
Philip Rivers (SD, QB) – Statistically speaking, Rivers, one of the NFL’s most prolific gunslingers, gave a historic performance this week. Rivers completed the second-highest number of passes in NFL history. He was only two completions shy of Drew Bledsoe’s record of 45 completions set in 1994. Also, Rivers set Chargers’ records with 43 completions, 65 attempts and 503 passing yards. Fans may ask why Rivers is on this list since he is a weekly starter for the majority of fantasy teams. Despite the unappealing match-up on paper, Rivers finished the day with a historical performance and further established himself as a weekly Top 10 fantasy quarterback. If for some strange reason Rivers is sitting in your league’s waiver wire as a free agent, do yourself a favor and pick him. Seriously, pick him up.
Julius Thomas (JAX, TE) – Following a disappointing outing in his Jaguars debut, Thomas seems to be returning to his old playmaker-self. During his first game, Thomas’s playing was a bit rusty, indicating that he had some work to do. However, Thomas seemed to have shaken off most of the rust during Sunday’s match-up against the Texans, surprising fantasy owners who had stashed him on the bench. Thomas hauled in seven receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown. Now that Thomas appears to have his sea legs, his impact on the Jaguars offense will continue to pay dividends. He will be a viable option in the red zone for the remainder of the season. Thomas is still available in a majority of fantasy leagues, so he would be a valuable addition to your fantasy roster.
Jimmy Graham (SE, TE) – Seattle’s so-called “Jimmy Graham Experiment” has been a flop so far this season. Heading into Week 6, Graham has only two touchdowns on the season with the last one scored in Week 3. Many began to question whether Graham would be a viable option moving forward or if owners should part ways with the once highly-coveted tight end. To say that Graham has been underutilized in the Seahawks’ offense this season would be an understatement. That changed this past Sunday as he finished the day with eight receptions and 140 yards, the kind of performance fantasy owners have been craving from him all season long. With the tight end market being a desolate wasteland in the fantasy realm, it would be advantageous to hold on to Graham for the remainder of the season. If he is available in your league, he is a must-add. Owners who have given up on Graham should pick him up before others beat them to it.
Potential Fantasy Studs for Week 7
Todd Gurley (STL, RB) vs. Cleveland Browns’ defense – Jeff Fisher loves to run the football. Sometimes he likes to run the ball a little too much, though. This week will be the week owners of Todd Gurley will love Fisher. Gurley will be facing off against a Cleveland Browns’ defense that ranks last in the NFL against the run. This defense can’t even stop a brown paper bag. The Rams were on their bye week in Week 6, and Gurley should be well rested to wreak havoc on this Browns’ defense. Look for him to record 20.00 points in fantasy leagues in this game.
Larry Fitzgerald (ARI, WR) vs. Baltimore Ravens’ defense – Can someone please name a Raven’s cornerback other than Jimmy Smith? After this game, every player in the secondary will be known for being the guys who let Larry Fitzgerald run wild all over that defense. Last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Fitzgerald had a mediocre performance by only recording 9.30 fantasy points. This will be his rebound game. This Ravens’ defense ranks twenty-eighth in the NFL against the pass. They gave up over 1,000 passing yards already, and it is only Week 7. Look for Fitzgerald to post 25.00 points in fantasy leagues this week. John Harbaugh, if you have cornerback Shareece Wright covering Fitzgerald in this game, you may not be the head coach in Week 8.
Benjamin Watson (NO, TE) vs. Indianapolis Colts’ defense – For some reason, the Colts’ defense cannot stop opposing tight ends. In fantasy leagues, this defense ranks twenty-fifth against tight ends. Their matchup does not get any easier this week. Benjamin Watson is coming to town, and he is fresh off of a breakout performance against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 6 when he recorded 18.70 points in fantasy leagues. He caught 10 passes for 127 yards and recorded a touchdown. The Colts’ defense ranks twenty-ninth against the pass in the NFL. They already gave up over 1,700 yards in six games. Look for Watson to put up close to 20.00 points this week.
Philip Rivers (QB, SD) vs. Oakland Raiders’ defense – The Raiders will be traveling to San Diego to face off against Rivers, who had an excellent outing last week against the Green Bay Packers, registering 28.12 fantasy points. Rivers threw for 503 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday’s game. This Raiders’ defense ranks eighteenth in the NFL against the pass. Look for Rivers to put up around 25.00 points this week against a mediocre Raiders’ pass defense. Other than Khalil Mack and Aldon Smith, who is on Oakland’s defense? This is one of life’s biggest questions.
All statistics and facts were compiled with the help from espn.com, Yahoo Sports, ESPN Fantasy and nfl.com.