Here’s who I like and don’t like for Week 6.
IN: Mark Sanchez, Jets
Sanchez hasn’t been as big of a fantasy disappointment as some think. Outside of his bad start against the Ravens, the Jets QB hasn’t averaged fewer than 15 fantasy points in any game this season. This week Sanchez has a favorable match-up against the Miami Dolphins, who have been dismal against the pass (31st in the league). The Jets are in panic mode and will put up a lot of points against the winless Dolphins, so Sanchez could finally get that breakout game fantasy owners have been waiting for.
OUT: Matt Schaub, Texans
Schaub proved his critics wrong last week, throwing for a season high 416 yards in his first game this season without receiver Andre Johnson. But don’t expect that kind of production from him this week. The Ravens have given up the least amount of fantasy points to quarterbacks, and no opponent has thrown multiple touchdowns against their secondary. Throw in the fact that Schaub has been bothered by a sore shoulder and a thigh bruise (he missed practice on Thursday) and you might have to keep him on your bench this week.
IN: Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars
You might be tempted to sit MJD this week because of the match-up, but that would be a mistake – he’s fourth in the league in yards and the Steelers haven’t been a consistent team this season. Jones-Drew did most of his damage in the first quarter against a good Bengals rush D last week, finishing the day with 85 yards and a touchdown. Expect rookie QB Blaine Gabbert to be under pressure on Sunday, forcing the Jaguars to rely on their dual threat running back to move the chains.
OUT: Jahvid Best, Lions
Best put up big numbers against the Bears last week: 163 yards and a touchdown, the first 100-yard rushing game of his career. But running backs are finding out week after week that it’s not easy to run against the 49ers. San Francisco is giving up only 76 rush yards a game while allowing the least amount of fantasy points to opposing backs. The Lions will look to do their damage through the air, something Matthew Stafford and his troops can do quite easily.
IN: Victor Cruz, Giants
You can’t ignore this guy any longer. Cruz has been a revelation for the Giants’ passing game (161 yards and a touchdown last week) and has been building chemistry with Eli Manning, who continues to look his way late in games. The Bills’ defense improved in Week 5, but the secondary is still giving up over 283 passing yards a game.
OUT: Santana Moss, Redskins
The Eagles D might be a mess, but Nnamdi Asomugha has kept things in check on his side of the field – Roddy White, Hakeem Nicks and Steve Johnson were have combined for just 77 yards and a touchdown versus the shutdown corner. Moss has been consistent for the Redskins (at least five catches in every game this season) but historically he hasn’t performed well against Philly (only one game with more than 28 yards in their past four meetings). Asomugha will make Moss a non-factor against the Eagles once again on Sunday.
IN: Visanthe Shiancoe, Vikings
I’m going out on a bit of a limb with this selection, but stick with me. Shiancoe has not had a good season thus far (can’t we say that about the Vikings passing game overall?) but he could be in for a breakout performance in Week 6. Minnesota is taking on the Chicago Bears this week, the worst team in the league defending tight ends (Brandon Pettigrew scored on them just last week). With all the byes this week, you might want to roll the dice with Shiancoe.
OUT: Heath Miller, Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger had a huge game against the Titans on Sunday, but Miller was a bit of a disappointment (even though he did score his first touchdown of the season). Due to his foot injury Big Ben was forced to focus more on the short passes, where Miller excels, but he targeted the tight end just four times last week. The Jaguars’ defence is ranked in the top 10 against the pass, and I think Miller is just too much of a question mark to play with any confidence.
IN: Robbie Gould, Bears
The Bears’ offence has been inconsistent to say the least this season, but Gould has been just the opposite. The kicker may be ranked just 12th in fantasy points, but he’s 10-for-10 on field goals and 11-for-11 on extra points. The Vikings are giving up the fifth most points to opposing the kickers this season – a good sign for Gould owners.
OUT: Josh Brown, Rams
Brown is a good kicker, he’s just been short on opportunities this year. The Rams’ offense has taken a major step back, and Brown’s production has suffered (only one field goal in his last two games). Sam Bradford and company will have their issues moving the football against a Packers D that is starting to gel, so I wouldn’t rely on Brown for many points.
The Lions’ defence was effective against Chicago last week (13 points allowed, three sacks) but has a tough test this week in the suddenly dangerous 49ers. San Francisco has been a scoring machine lately, with 72 points over its last two games, but has Alex Smith done enough to earn your trust? The Lions secondary is opportunistic, with two interceptions returned for touchdowns against Dallas in Week 4, and the defensive line can dominate. Turnovers could be plentiful on Sunday – especially if the 49ers are trailing early.
Yes, the Giants are a top 10 defense, but the Bills present a whole new challenge. Buffalo has been an offensive juggernaut this season, averaging almost 33 points per game. Scoring aside, the Bills’ offensive line has been solid and hasn’t allowed more than one sack in a game, and the team is also very good at protecting the football (just five turnovers). Opposing defenses have scored the fewest fantasy points against Buffalo, and that trend should continue Sunday.