Predicting Roddy White’s Fantasy Stats vs. Jets on Monday Night Football

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White is officially listed as questionable with an ankle injury for the Week 5 matchup against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football, according to the team’s website.

If you own White in your fantasy league, do not expect top receiver numbers this week.

With a nagging high-ankle sprain and a tough matchup against a stingy Jets defense, the veteran receiver will be more of a decoy for Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense than a legitimate threat.

This is what fantasy owners should expect from White.

All projections based on standard-scoring leagues.

Roddy White’s Week 5 Projected Stats
Receptions Yards Touchdowns Proj. Fantasy Points
4 45 0 4
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking Down Roddy White This Week and Beyond

Fantasy owners were ecstatic to see White on the field for the majority of Atlanta’s plays last week, but the receiver told D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he suffered a setback in the matchup.

White is one of the toughest players in the league, and if he is still being hampered by an injury, it’s serious enough for the franchise to be legitimately concerned. With three receptions for 28 yards in the team’s Week 4 loss to New England, it’s clear Ryan’s weapon is still not 100 percent.

Would YOU start or sit Roddy White?

Would YOU start or sit Roddy White?

  • Start him!

  • Sit him!

The test is even tougher this week as Atlanta takes on New York’s third-ranked pass defense. Not only are the Jets ranked seventh against the pass in terms of yards per game, but the talented front seven is also the third-best against the run.

New York knows that the Falcons can’t run the ball effectively with Steven Jackson still injured, so adding more help in coverage will limit the effectiveness of the entire Atlanta passing attack. Add in White’s nagging ankle injury, and fantasy owners won’t get the production they want.

While that is bad news for Week 5, the Falcons are on bye in Week 6 and White should return to his elite form as the season continues. If you have White on your roster, stash him until the run for the playoffs begins and the veteran proves he is back physically.

For the fantasy owners that do not own White and want to, start looking to make a deal now. Buy low and watch it pay off when the Falcons wideout has huge statistical days in the second half of the season.

Follow @Donald_Wood

Raiola accused of verbal abuse of UW band


ALLEN PARK, Mich. — The Detroit Lions are looking into an alleged verbal abuse incident involving starting center Dominic Raiola during Sunday’s 22-9 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Raiola is alleged to have hurled insults, some involving the sexuality and physical appearance of some University of Wisconsin band members, both before the game and at halftime.

Michael Leckrone, the director of bands at Wisconsin, told ESPN.com that the incident occurred just prior to the start of the national anthem in the end zone, as the band was planning on finishing up its pregame performance. The Wisconsin band travels once a year to perform at a Packers game.

“The band was lined up in the end zone preparing to finish the Star Spangled Banner, which would complete the pregame and basically they were verbally assaulted by a member of the Detroit Lions team,” Leckrone said. “To their credit, they just stood there and did what they were supposed to do, which is focus on their performance.

“I think they were a little bit shaken by it and they reported it to me after the conclusion of the pregame show and we were back in our seats.”

Leckrone guessed between eight and 12 band members approached him following the alleged verbal assault. Leckrone said he did not hear the altercation happen himself, as he was on the other side of the field and was not directly involved.

For that reason, he did not want to go into detail about what was allegedly said to his students.

“That would all be hearsay on my part,” Leckrone said. “The tone certainly was very abusive and certainly not something that you would expect from somebody who is a professional.”

Leckrone said he instructs his band how to deal with opposing players “every day” and was “very pleased” with how they handled this alleged situation. He also said it would have been very difficult for any incident to have happened at halftime, as the band’s performance started and ended before players returned to the field.

One thing is known for sure — Wisconsin’s band is planning on filing a complaint with the Lions. As of 2 p.m., Leckrone said they had not filed it yet.

“We’re still planning to,” Leckrone said. “Haven’t gotten to that. Too many phone calls today.”

Lions coach Jim Schwartz emphasized that he has high standards for his players’ conduct, both on and off the field.

“When you go on the road, there’s hostile environments, fans say a lot of things and stuff like that,” Schwartz said Monday. “We need to stay above stuff like that. I didn’t hear that personally on the field. No other coaches did. I think we’ve already released a statement that we are going to look into it as an organization.

“I would be very disappointed if that was the case, because that’s certainly not the character we want to display.”

The Lions issued their statement prior to Schwartz’s news conference Monday.

“We are aware of the reports involving Dominic Raiola and the University of Wisconsin Marching Band,” the statement said. “Those reports are extremely inconsistent with the standard of behavior we expect from our players and from every member of our organization.

“We currently are gathering more information and will respond further when appropriate.”

If true, this incident wouldn’t be Raiola’s first run-in with fans. He was fined $7,500 during the team’s winless 2008 season when he made a gesture at Lions fans following a loss that dropped Detroit to 0-13.

In 2010, Raiola was fined $15,000 for a verbal altercation with a fan in Miami that also included an obscene gesture.

If the latest allegations are found to be true, Schwartz said “we’ll certainly address it, for sure,” when asked about whether or not the team would discipline Raiola.

Raiola has been with the Lions his entire career after being drafted by Detroit in 2001 out of Nebraska. Coincidentally, Raiola’s brother, Donovan, was an offensive lineman at Wisconsin.

  • Previously covered University of Michigan for ESPN.com and AnnArbor.com
  • Also covered Notre Dame for Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

Prosecutor says Pacman punched woman

Updated: October 7, 2013, 2:27 PM ET


Associated Press


CINCINNATI — Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones punched a woman in the head after she poured beer on his shoulder to stop him from using profanity toward her and her friends, a prosecutor said Monday at the start of the player’s trial on an assault charge.

Jones is charged with misdemeanor assault stemming from the dispute outside a downtown Cincinnati bar on June 5. Jones’ attorney told the judge who will decide the case that the player was defending himself and that the woman struck first.

Assistant City Prosecutor Christopher Ryan said 34-year-old Shannon Wesley poured the beer because she was not going to tolerate the insults being thrown at her and her friends by Jones.

“The blow caused her head to snap back,” he said, adding that the blow knocked Wesley to the ground.

Ryan said Wesley suffered bruises, scrapes and a headache.

But Jones’ attorney, Ralph Kohnen, told the judge that Jones was the victim.

“The video says it all,” Kohnen said. “She physically assaulted Mr. Jones.”

Brooke Boling, a friend who was with Wesley that night, testified that Jones came up to the rail on the patio outside the bar and was insulting her and her friends and calling them foul names.

Boling said she did not know it was Jones at the time.

“I thought it was some person, drunk,” she said.

She said Wesley poured the beer on Jones’ shoulder but did not touch him with the bottle.

“When she poured it she got hit and went down, and I ran inside,” Boling said.

She described Jones as being angry and loud.

In addition to the legal outcome, Jones could face discipline from the National Football League under its conduct policy.

Jones has been in trouble previously, including pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct stemming from a 2011 case.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

Source: Eagles’ Vick likely out against Bucs

Updated: October 7, 2013, 2:14 PM ET


ESPN.com news services


Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is expected to miss Sunday’s Week 6 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of his hamstring injury, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Eagles coach Chip Kelly said Monday he hasn’t made a decision on who will start at quarterback against the Buccaneers. On Sunday, after his team defeated the New York Giants, he said Vick was still the starting quarterback when he’s healthy.

“I don’t know if he’ll play Sunday. Right now he’s day to day. We’ll see how he goes through the rehab process,” Kelly said Monday.

Vick tweaked his injury late in the second quarter on a run around the left end — his seventh carry of the game, including several designed sweeps.

“I’m just running by myself, just running out of bounds,” Vick said Sunday. “I tried to slow down. I think I just took the wrong step.”

He had an MRI on the hamstring Monday. Kelly said he didn’t have the result of the exam.

Backup Nick Foles replaced Vick on Sunday and threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes in Philadelphia’s 36-21 victory.

Kelly was asked Monday if Foles can win the starting quarterback job if he starts for Vick against the Buccaneers and performs well.

“Can [Foles] win the starting job? If Nick goes out there and goes 100 for 100 … sure,” he said.

“If somebody comes in and puts on an unbelievable performance, you have to take it all into account. If Nick plays this week and does an outstanding job, that will be great for everybody.”

Vick finished Sunday’s game against the Giants with seven carries for 79 yards. He wasn’t as successful in the passing game, completing just 6 of 14 for 104 yards.

Foles came in with 1:25 left in the second quarter and took the Eagles from their 7 to the Giants’ 18, and Alex Henery kicked a 36-yard field goal as the half ended, pushing Philadephia’s lead to 19-7. Foles completed 7 of 8 passes on the drive for 68 yards.

For the game, Foles was 16-of-25 passing for 197 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked just once, and his passer rating was 114.9.

Vick won the starting job in a preseason competition with Foles. Kelly said he didn’t want Vick looking over his shoulder once he was named the No. 1 quarterback. But injuries limited Vick to 23 starts in 2011 and 2012 combined.

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and ESPN.com Eagles reporter Phil Sheridan contributed to this report.

Wyche: NFL tried to stop no-huddle in ’80s

Updated: October 7, 2013, 1:34 PM ET


ESPN.com news services


The no-huddle offense has become a staple of the NFL in 2013, but Sam Wyche, who introduced the system to the league in the 1980s, has revealed that the NFL tried to stop it when he was coaching the Cincinnati Bengals.

Wyche, whose Bengals used the no-huddle during the 1988 season to reach the AFC Championship Game against the Buffalo Bills, told Newsday that then-commissioner Pete Rozelle told him two hours before that game that his team would be penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct if it ran the hurry-up.

“We’d been using it for five years, that’s all we used all season long, we had the No. 1 offense in football, that’s all we practiced all week long, that’s how we got to the AFC championship,” Wyche said. “And then two hours before he said, ‘You can’t use that.'”

Wyche said the league had previously informed then-Bengals owner Paul Brown and NBC, which was televising the game, of its plans. Wyche was to be one of the last to know, but one of NBC’s commentators, who Wyche said was a former teammate of his but didn’t identify by name, informed him that the NFL wanted to end the no-huddle, so he was prepared when he got Rozelle’s message.

“I immediately told the NFL delegate along with the referee who was in the office there with me and [now-Bengals owner] Mike Brown, I said ‘Go get Pete Rozelle on the phone right now because I want to tell him that he’s interfering with the competitive balance of this game, and if we get penalized and lose this ballgame, the first thing I’m bringing up in the press conference is this conversation and there are a lot of gamblers out there who aren’t going to be very happy.’

“It wasn’t 20 seconds before he came back, he left the room and came back, I’m not exaggerating, I bet it wasn’t 20 seconds. ‘Uh, commissioner says go ahead and use the no-huddle, no problem,'” Wyche said.

The Bengals won the AFC title game 21-10 to reach Super Bowl XXIII, where they lost to the San Francisco 49ers 20-16.

Broncos (-28) tie mark for highest spread

Updated: October 7, 2013, 1:01 PM ET


By
Chad Millman | ESPN The Magazine


Of all the records Peyton Manning is laying waste to through the first five weeks of this season — 20 passing touchdowns, 1,884 passing yards, 230 points — it is perhaps this number that best defines how dominant he and the Denver Broncos have been: minus-28.

That’s how many points Denver is favored by over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 6 opening lines posted by the Las Vegas Hotel.

According to The Gold Sheet, a sports-betting publication that has been tracking point spreads since the 1950s, that number ties the highest spread of all time, set by the Baltimore Colts over the expansion Atlanta Falcons in 1966. The Falcons covered. It is the highest since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.

“The Jaguars are just so awful, and the interest in betting on the Broncos has been pretty consistent,” Jay Kornegay, who runs the sports book at the Las Vegas Hotel, said Sunday night. “There’s a group of us here who put together the lines for each week, and it took us 10-15 minutes to debate what this number would be. Some folks didn’t feel that good about making history with this.”

The Broncos have become the kind of team that recreational bettors can’t stay away from. They’re scoring 46 points per game, which is 16 points more than the second-best team in the league, the Dallas Cowboys. They are winning games by an average of 18 points, and other than against the Cowboys this past Sunday, they’ve covered not just the point spread, but the over in every game.

In recent history, it’s a run matched only by the 2007 New England Patriots, who went undefeated during the regular season and began the year 8-0 against the spread, regularly winning as 15- or 16-point favorites. But despite how dominant they had been, even the Patriots didn’t see spreads that approached more than three touchdowns until the second half of the season. It happened three times — 24 against the Philadelphia Eagles, 20½ against the New York Jets and 22 against the Miami Dolphins — and all three times the underdogs covered. In fact, after starting the season as can’t-miss favorites, the Pats went 2-8 against the spread to end the season, including their only outright loss, in the Super Bowl against the New York Giants.

“The Pats were a nightmare for us in every way,” Kornegay said. “At first we couldn’t stop losing because everyone was on them and they covered. Then once they didn’t cover, all the money kept coming in against them. There was nothing we could do.”

But the Broncos didn’t become four-touchdown favorites six weeks into the season just because they seem to score at will and Manning makes even the best defenses look silly. The Jaguars contributed, too.

As historically awesome as Denver has been, Jacksonville has been equally bad. It took the Jags nearly two games to score a touchdown. It’s only thanks to their 20-point outburst against the St. Louis Rams, a relative bonanza, that they’re averaging slightly more than 10 points per game, fewer than any other team. (The Jaguars’ 51 total points are equal to what the Broncos scored Sunday against Dallas, which Denver pointed out via its Twitter account, garnering a quick response by the Jaguars in a follow-up tweet).

Stay classy, Denver. RT @DenverBroncos: The #Broncos‘ 51 points in yesterday’s win are as many points as the Jaguars have scored all season.

— Jacksonville Jaguars (@jaguars) October 7, 2013

The Broncos didn’t miss a beat, responding soon after.

No shots, just stats. RT @jaguars: Stay classy, Denver. MT @DenverBroncos: #Broncos‘ 51 pts Sun. are as many as JAX has scored all season.

— Denver Broncos (@DenverBroncos) October 7, 2013

Even worse for the Jaguars, their 112-point differential is tied for second-fewest through five games in league history. (They can thank the 1971 Eagles for being 11 points more inept.)

They have already lost a game in which they were nearly 20-point underdogs — to the Seattle Seahawks — by 28 points.

Even many of the professionals in Las Vegas, who pride themselves on betting against big favorites, have turned their backs on the Jaguars. But the best example of how lightly regarded the Jags are by bookmakers and the betting public is the fact that, in Week 5, they were double-digit underdogs to the Rams, a team that had yet to cover a spread this season and was on a three-game losing streak.

The Jaguars did not cover.

Kornegay and his team had been looking ahead to this game for weeks, thinking about basic line-making factors such as how each team was playing and what the betting patterns were. Their challenge is finding a line that will draw equal action on both sides. And, more than anything, the factor that mattered most was public perception. What do fans think of the Broncos? What do fans think of the Jaguars? Those are questions the oddsmakers have been asking themselves, knowing this game was on the horizon.

As a test balloon, they floated a line of Denver minus-26½ several days before the Week 5 games, nearly 10 days in advance of the matchup. Early on, the professional bettors made a few bets on the Jags. “But, today, we saw the public betting on the Rams as nearly two-touchdown favorites against Jacksonville. The Rams!” Kornegay said Sunday night. “Meanwhile, all the money was coming in on the Broncos against the Cowboys. It was clear to us we were going to have to open that number higher.”

Historically high, it turns out.

  • Editor in Chief of ESPN The Magazine
  • Writes “Behind The Bets” blog on sports gambling
  • Authored seven books, including “The Odds”

Fantasy Football Week 6: Early Look at Favorable Matchups to Exploit

Although Week 5 of the NFL season isn’t technically in the books just yet, it’s never too early to start looking toward the future when a fantasy football championship is at stake. 

With that in mind, it’s due time we took a sneak peek at the Week 6 situation. 

After promising and disappointing performances over the weekend, fantasy owners everywhere are probably trying to decipher their most recent lineup while trying to plan for next week’s lineup in the process. 

Below, we’ll take a look at a few can’t-miss matchups you should exploit in Week 6. Needless to say, the players mentioned in the next few sections have “must start” written all over them. 

Green Bay Packers WR James Jones vs. Baltimore

After a complete no-show in Week 1, Jones has rebounded to officially become one of Aaron Rodgers‘ top receiving options. 

Which Green Bay wideout will finish with the most fantasy points?

Which Green Bay wideout will finish with the most fantasy points?

  • James Jones

  • Randall Cobb

  • Jordy Nelson

  • Jermichael Finley

  • Other

He’s been targeted a whopping 26 times over the past three games, and he turned in a four-reception, 127-yard day in Week 5, spurred by an 83-yard touchdown catch. 

While Jones is doing most of his damage on big plays, it’s clear that he’s still a top target on the outside, and Rodgers feels comfortable trusting him to make plays as a possession receiver as well. 

The Packers will visit Baltimore in Week 6, a team that allowed Ryan Tannehill to throw for over 300 yards and a touchdown without an interception on Sunday. Also, he and No. 1 receiver Mike Wallace hooked up seven times for 105 yards on the afternoon. 

It’s a virtual crapshoot in regards to which Green Bay receiver will have the best performance every week, but Jones has been good for at least four catches since Week 2 and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Start him with confidence against an average Ravens secondary. 

Houston Texans RBs Arian Foster and Ben Tate vs. St. Louis

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not often that two running backs from the same backfield are listed as potential starters when both are healthy and active. 

Tate and Foster are the exception to that rule in Week 6 against St. Louis, however. 

It’s clear that Houston is going to have to run the ball well to win games. Matt Schaub proved that, yet again, with a three-interception game against San Francisco on Sunday night, while the duo listed above still managed to combine for 126 rushing yards on 28 carries. 

St. Louis has had problems stopping the run all year, and a promising performance in Week 5 is negated when you consider the opponent (Jacksonville). Currently, the Rams are the fifth-worst team in the NFL in rushing yardage allowed each game at—wouldn’t you know it—126.0 per contest. 

I like Foster and Tate to score at least one touchdown each in Week 6. Gary Kubiak will need to rely on the running game to turn things around, and the Rams are the perfect opponent for the Texans to run ragged against. 

Any Denver Broncos Starter vs. Jacksonville

What Denver is doing on offense is simply unfair. 

The Broncos put up 51 points against Dallas on Sunday afternoon, and Peyton Manning lead the way among fantasy with 414 passing yards, four passing touchdowns and one rushing score. He did throw an interception, but that’s hardly of note here. 

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Can the Denver Broncos finish 16-0?

Can the Denver Broncos finish 16-0?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Too early to tell

Against the winless Jags in a game that will likely feature one of the biggest spreads in NFL history, count on Manning, Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Julius Thomas to be viable options for your fantasy roster. Heck, even Knowshon Moreno has been consistent out of the backfield so far. 

Jacksonville gives up the most rushing yardage (160.6) in the league per game. They have been better against the pass, but a matchup with the Broncos is hardly an ideal proving ground for the Jacksonville secondary. 

Expect an offensive onslaught from Denver in this one. It’s starting to feel very cliche, but you seemingly can’t go wrong by starting a Bronco in your fantasy lineup each week. 

Follow B/R’s Ethan Grant on Twitter. 

Fantasy Football Week 6 Rankings: An Early Look Ahead

Raise your hand if you predicted that Ryan Fitzpatrick, Pierre Thomas, Alshon Jeffery, Terrance Williams and Rueben Randle would all exceed 20 fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues.

Yeah, me neither.

While a few huge performances saw unexpected players crack the top 10 in the positional rankings, sanity prevailed atop the rankings in general. Peyton Manning and Tony Romo won fantasy matchups by themselves. Ray Rice returned to form. Dez Bryant exceeded his teammate Williams in fantasy points. Jimmy Graham hit double-digit points for the fifth straight week.

Surprises emerge in fantasy, but the cream still rises too. With that in mind, let’s take an early look at which players will crack the top 10 at each position in Week 6.

Quarterbacks

Week 6 Quarterback Rankings
1 Peyton Manning Denver Broncos Jacksonville Jaguars 35
2 Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys Washington 27
3 Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts San Diego Chargers 25
4 Robert Griffin III Washington Dallas Cowboys 24
5 Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers Baltimore Ravens 22
6 Drew Brees New Orleans Saints New England Patriots 21
7 Jay Cutler Chicago Bears New York Giants 20
8 Tom Brady New England Patriots New Orleans Saints 19
9 Cam Newton Carolina Panthers Minnesota Vikings 18
10 Philip Rivers San Diego Chargers Indianapolis Colts 17

Quarterback Notes

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Peyton Manning will remain No. 1 on this list until further notice. In fact, expect to see a lot of Denver Broncos this week with the Jacksonville Jaguars next on the schedule. After all, the Broncos scored 51 points this week, which is the same total as the Jaguars have scored…all season.

Yikes.

Dallas (326 passing yards per game allowed, 31st in NFL) and Washington (298 passing yards per game allowed, 27th) have two of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, so Tony Romo and Robert Griffin III will have a field day.

Ditto for Andrew Luck, who faces a San Diego Chargers defense that has allowed at least 18 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in standard-scoring leagues every single week.

I really like Jay Cutler this week against a New York Giants defense that made Nick Foles look like a stud in little over a half of play (16-of-25, 197 yards, two touchdowns) after he came on in relief duty for Michael Vick.

Foles and Vick totaled 26 fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues, the fourth week in a row the Giants have given up at least 20 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Meanwhile, Cutler has quietly scored 16 or more fantasy points in four of five weeks and put up 22 this week in a loss to the New Orleans Saints.

If you’ve got him, don’t be afraid to start him.

Running Backs

Week 6 Running Back Rankings
1 Arian Foster Houston Texans St. Louis Rams 23
2 Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs Oakland Raiders 21
3 Matt Forte Chicago Bears New York Giants 20
4 Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings Carolina Panthers 19
5 Ray Rice Baltimore Ravens Green Bay Packers 18
6 Marshawn Lynch Seattle Seahawks Tennessee Titans 16
7 Knowshon Moreno Denver Broncos Jacksonville Jaguars 16
8 LeSean McCoy Philadelphia Eagles Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14
9 DeMarco Murray Dallas Cowboys Washington 14
10 Alfred Morris Washington Dallas Cowboys 13

Running Back Notes

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Arian Foster has a brilliant matchup against the St. Louis Rams, a team that has given up 21 or more fantasy points to opposing running backs three times this season. Foster remains a consistent source of production for fantasy owners, and with Matt Schaub struggling mightily in the passing game, expect the Houston Texans to run early and often.

After a 19-point performance, Ray Rice has returned to RB1 status, while Knowshon Moreno should have another big week against the Jaguars.

Neither Fred Jackson nor C.J. Spiller makes the list, in part because the Cincinnati Bengals are tough against the run (95.6 rushing yards allowed per game, 11th in the NFL) and in part because they’ll probably stack the box against new starting quarterback Thad Lewis.

Yes, Thad Lewis. From the Buffalo Bills’ official Twitter account:

#Bills QB Thad Lewis will start for Buffalo against the Bengals

— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) October 7, 2013

Beyond that, there aren’t too many surprises on the rankings this week.

 

Wide Receivers

Week 6 Wide Receiver Rankings
1 Dez Bryant Dallas Cowboys Washington 26
2 A.J. Green Cincinnati Bengals Buffalo Bills 25
3 Demaryius Thomas Denver Broncos Jacksonville Jaguars 22
4 Jordy Nelson Green Bay Packers Baltimore Ravens 20
5 Reggie Wayne Indianapolis Colts San Diego Chargers 20
6 Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions Cleveland Browns 18
7 Torrey Smith Baltimore Ravens Green Bay Packers 18
8 Josh Gordon Cleveland Browns Detroit Lions 17
9 Pierre Garcon Washington Dallas Cowboys 16
10 Wes Welker Denver Broncos Jacksonville Jaguars 16

Wide Receiver Notes

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Has anyone seen A.J. Green lately? After registering 28 fantasy points in Week 1, he’s managed to hit double-digit points just once since. But against a Bills team that has allowed 29 or more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in four of five weeks, Green will reemerge as a dynamic fantasy producer.

Dez Bryant is going to eat the Washington secondary alive, though Pierre Garcon will elevate himself to the land of the WR1 this week against an equally shaky Dallas secondary.

At this point, Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Eric Decker are all must-starts each week for the Broncos, while in Green Bay, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones are the same. Don’t be surprised if up to four of those six receivers crack this week’s top 10.

Two players that have cracked this list in the past but miss out this week are Vincent Jackson and DeSean Jackson. The former is recovering from a rib injury and has a rookie quarterback in Mike Glennon, so expectations should be tempered there, while Jackson will surely be shadowed by Darrelle Revis all game long when the Philadelphia Eagles play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Honestly, Jackson is really the only major threat in the Eagles’ passing offense. If Revis doesn’t blanket him all game long, the Bucs need to seriously change their scheme.

 

Tight Ends

Week 6 Tight End Rankings
1 Jimmy Graham New Orleans Saints New England Patriots 22
2 Julius Thomas Denver Broncos Jacksonville Jaguars 20
3 Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys Washington 18
4 Vernon Davis San Francisco 49ers Arizona Cardinals 17
5 Jordan Cameron Cleveland Browns Detroit Lions 15
6 Greg Olsen Carolina Panthers Minnesota Vikings 12
7 Martellus Bennett Chicago Bears New York Giants 11
8 Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots New Orleans Saints 10
9 Antonio Gates San Diego Chargers Indianapolis Colts 8
10 Owen Daniels Houston Texans St. Louis Rams 7

Tight End Notes

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

At this point, Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron and Antonio Gates are no-questions-asked starters every week. The possible return of Rob Gronkowski vaults him into the top 10, though it’s fair to expect some rust.

Jason Witten should exploit a great matchup against a shaky Washington defense, while Vernon Davis faces an Arizona Cardinals defense that was torched by Jared Cook (24 points) in Week 1 and Jimmy Graham (25 points) in Week 3.

Defense/Special Teams

Week 6 Defense/Special Teams Rankings
1 Denver Broncos Jacksonville Jaguars 22
2 Chicago Bears New York Giants 20
3 Seattle Seahawks Tennessee Titans 18
4 Cincinnati Bengals Buffalo Bills 16
5 San Francisco 49ers Arizona Cardinals 15
6 Houston Texans St. Louis Rams 14
7 Kansas City Chiefs Oakland Raiders 13
8 New York Jets Pittsburgh Steelers 12
9 Detroit Lions Cleveland Browns 10
10 Pittsburgh Steelers New York Jets 9

Defense/Special Teams Notes

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Wingo of ESPN lets you know precisely why the Chicago Bears defense will have a big week for fantasy owners against the Giants:

Giants have 20 turnovers in 5 games. Last season they had 21 for the entire season.

— trey wingo (@wingoz) October 6, 2013

Sheesh.

The Broncos will demolish the Jags, while the Bengals should eat Lewis and the Bills alive. The most boring game of the weekend—the New York Jets facing the Pittsburgh Steelers—should ensure both defenses provide a decent output for fantasy owners.

It’s hard to imagine a shootout materializing in that one.

Kickers

Week 6 Kicker Rankings
1 Matt Prater Denver Broncos Jacksonville Jaguars 20
2 Justin Tucker Baltimore Ravens Green Bay Packers 16
3 Mason Crosby Green Bay Packers Baltimore Ravens 15
4 Garrett Hartley New Orleans Saints New England Patriots 14
5 Steven Hauschka Seattle Seahawks Tennessee Titans 14
6 Dan Carpenter Buffalo Bills Cincinnati Bengals 13
7 Stephen Gostkowski New England Patriots New Orleans Saints 13
8 Blair Walsh Minnesota Vikings Carolina Panthers 12
9 Dan Bailey Dallas Cowboys Washington 11
10 Robbie Gould Chicago Bears New York Giants 10

Kicker Notes

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Picking a kicker is like ordering sushi—you don’t always need the highest quality to enjoy the experience, but if you choose poorly you’re going to pay.

Big time.

This week alone (prior to the Monday night game), 15 kickers had double-digit points in standard-scoring leagues. On average, 11.8 kickers per week (we’ll round it up to 12) score at least 10 points for fantasy owners.

The point is this—you don’t need to find the best kicker week in and week out, but you better make sure you have one who is scoring double-digit points, or you’re going to be behind the eight ball. Make sure you go after the most consistent performers, not necessarily the boom-or-bust prospects.

Hit me up on Twitter—I’ll answer your fantasy lineup questions, make ill-fated NFL predictions and tweet hilarious (OK, corny) jokes. Join the party.

Follow TRappaRT on Twitter

CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson’s Updated 2013 Fantasy Outlook with Thad Lewis

The Buffalo Bills have officially announced via Twitter that the team’s former practice squad quarterback Thad Lewis will get the start in Week 6 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

#Bills QB Thad Lewis will start for Buffalo against the Bengals

— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) October 7, 2013

This news has fantasy owners of running backs CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson concerned.

While it was already tough enough trying to decipher how the team would split carries between the two backs week by week, the equation has become even more convoluted with an unproven player like Lewis taking the helm of the offense.

Lewis played in one game for the Cleveland Browns in 2012—throwing for 204 yards with one touchdown and one interception—and that lack of experience will force Buffalo to keep Sunday’s game plan simple.

Which player is the better fantasy option?

Which player is the better fantasy option?

  • Fred Jackson

  • CJ Spiller

The strategy will likely feature both Spiller and Jackson being heavily involved on the ground and through the air, but it also gives Cincinnati the chance to bring serious pressure and stack the box against the run.

Fantasy owners should expect between 13-17 touches for each back—a mixture of receptions and carries for both versatile players—but the statistics will not be as impressive as they would have been with rookie EJ Manuel still under center.

With Manuel recovering from a knee injury that will keep him out of the lineup for several weeks, according to Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today, the game plan in Buffalo must shift to a more West Coast style built on short passes and running the ball effectively.

Of the two running backs featured for the Bills, the veteran Jackson will likely see his role increase the most. As the more consistent of the two, the more reliable on third downs and the more effective pass-blocker, Lewis will look to the calming force of Jackson early and often.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Spiller is still one of the most dynamic players in the NFL, but he needs to get the ball in open space to be at his most effective. With the Bengals focusing in on the short passes because of Lewis’ inexperience, Spiller won’t have a chance to breath on Sunday, let alone break off a huge run.

Jackson is also the more effective red-zone running back (the veteran has four touchdowns to Spiller’s one), but the team will give both men ample opportunities to shine.

With Spiller running for 66 yards on eight carries last week against Cleveland and Jackson amassing 17 carries for 53 yards and two touchdowns while adding four receptions for 40 yards, it’s clear that both men will be in for a heavy workload with Lewis under center.

It won’t be easy running on Cincinnati’s 11th-ranked rush defense, but each back will get enough touches on Sunday to warrant a fantasy start. As long as Lewis is the starting quarterback, expect Spiller and Jackson to carry most of the offensive workload.

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2013 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Advice: Get ‘Em or Don’t Sweat ‘Em Week 6

There were some unusual heroes this week. There always are. Let’s take a look at them and see if they are worthy of a spot on your fantasy rosters.

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins

Ryan Tannehill threw for 307 yards and a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens. He’s averaging 276.6 yards per game. He’s a decent QB2 but is only a bye week play.

Ruling: Don’t Sweat ’em.

Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals

Andre Ellington ran for 52 yards on seven carries against the Carolina Panthers. He added four catches on four targets for 31 yards. He continues to be a borderline play during bye weeks with added value in points-per-reception leagues.

Ruling: Get ’em.


Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams

Zac Stacy ran for 78 yards on 14 carries against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Daryl Richardson had 13 carries but only managed 3.7 yards per carry compared to Stacy’s 5.6. Jacksonville is awful, so be sure to discount Stacy’s performance a little. Nonetheless, he should be owned as long as his rib injury isn’t serious.

Ruling: Get ’em.

Austin Pettis, WR, St. Louis Rams

Austin Pettis caught four of five targets for 49 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Jacksonville. He is averaging 51.5 yards and a touchdown over the past four games.

Ruling: Get ’em.

Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Terrance Williams caught all four of his targets for 151 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Last week he caught seven passes for 71 yards. He’s worth adding while Miles Austin is banged up.

Ruling: Get ’em.


Robert Woods, WR, Buffalo Bills

Robert Woods caught five of 13 targets for 64 yards against the Cleveland Browns. He’s averaging 53 yard and 0.4 touchdowns on the year. Woods has been targeted 37 times over the past four games. Losing E.J. Manuel for a few weeks is a blow, but he still is a solid option.

Ruling: Get ’em.


Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans

Kendall Wright caught six of eight targets for 74 yards. He’s averaging six catches for 63.8 yards in his past four games. He’s a solid bench option, especially in PPR leagues.

Ruling: Get ’em.


Lance Kendricks, TE, St. Louis Rams

Lance Kendricks caught four of six targets for 37 yards and a touchdown against the Jaguars. He has scored in consecutive games but is still not an ideal fantasy option.

Ruling: Don’t Sweat ’em.

Also check out LestersLegends.com for additional fantasy football information.

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