Fantasy Football Week 6 Live Tracker

Week 6 of the 2013 fantasy football season is upon us, and with it comes a full slate of intriguing tilts for top-flight talents across the league. 

In what has been a very unpredictable first five weeks of the schedule, many fantasy owners will be looking to turn things around before the season’s a lost one for their respective teams, while others are intent on building off of fast starts. 

We’ve seen a variety of big-name players stumble out of the gates, as well as a host of relatively unknown talents show up to play, and that will only continue as the injuries pile up down the stretch. 

In order to aid you in keeping up with the latest buzz surrounding the games around the league and how it’ll impact your fantasy roster or those belonging to your opponents, here is the Week 6 live tracker. 

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Brandon LaFell exploded in Week 6, and you can expect him to carry his strong performance over to the Carolina Panthers Week 7 contest against the St. Louis Rams.

LaFell was a major weapon against the Minnesota Vikings, catching four passes for 107 yards and a touchdown through the first three quarters. He flashed his big play ability early in the third, hooking up with Cam Newton for a 79-yard touchdown. 

LaFell has been inconsistent throughout the season, so I would be wary of starting him next week. However, if one of your main wide receivers has a bye week or a tough matchup, LaFell is a great backup option. 

He can be very productive when teams overload on Steve Smith, as he proved in Week 3, when he caught two touchdown passes against the New York Giants. 

LaFell’s production dropped the next game against Arizona, but he was targeted 10 times, which is an encouraging sign. Newton is trusting LaFell, and the young wide receiver has delivered for the most part. 

Against a Rams secondary that was tied for 26th in receiving touchdowns allowed (11) entering Week 6, LaFell should have a strong day. I’m expecting five catches for 65 yards and a touchdown from LaFell against St. Louis. 

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Disaster has struck again for the Packers offense, as Randall Cobb became the second Packers wide receiver to leave Green Bay’s showdown with the Ravens due to injury. 

Randall Cobb being carted to the locker room right now. #packers

— Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) October 13, 2013

Without Cobb or James Jones (who left earlier against the Ravens), Aaron Rodgers will have to lean more heavily on tight end Jermichael Finley and No. 1 receiver Jordy Nelson, if that’s even physically possible.

For a team that once relied heavily on Rodgers’ passing abilities, it is certainly a relief that the Packers have finally developed an effective ground game, because otherwise, the losses of Cobb and Jones would be crushing blows to Green Bay’s offense.

That being said, while it should mean more opportunities for Finley in the short-term, the Packers will have to get creative in order to find space for Nelson to work without Cobb or Jones on the field. 

If both are out for extended periods of time, expect Jarrett Boykin to get another opportunity to establish himself, but if he can’t, the Packers will have to look outside the organization for help in the receiving department. 

Rodgers always seems to be able to find ways to generate offense, but that will definitely be more challenging without two of his favorite targets. 

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During the Texans’ Week 6 clash with the Rams, Arian Foster exploded during the first half, much to the delight of his fantasy owners. 

With 98 yards on 10 carries and another 46 yards on two catches, Foster racked up 144 all-purpose yards, which in itself is his second-best output of the season. Furthermore, as ESPN pointed out, it was the second-most productive half of his career.  

Arian Foster has 144 yards from scrimmage in the 1st half, the 2nd-most he’s had in a 1st half in his career (190 at Titans in 2011).

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 13, 2013

Foster’s status as an elite fantasy back came into question briefly earlier this season, when the Pro Bowl back failed to exceed 79 yards on the ground in each of his first three games. 

However, Foster’s managed at least 118 all-purpose yards in each of the three tilts since then, so it’s safe to say the former Tennessee star is back to being a truly elite fantasy back. 

Going forward, barring injury, Foster is a safe bet to reach 1,200 yards on the ground, and close another 500 through the air. 

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What is bad news for the Green Bay Packers and owners of James Jones will likely benefit those with Jermichael Finley on their fantasy rosters. 

That’s because after Jones left Green Bay’s Week 6 tilt with the Ravens, Finley is undoubtedly going to be taking on a more prominent role in the Packers’ aerial attack.  

WR Jones is out for rest of game for #Packers. #GBvsBAL

— Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 13, 2013

Now, the 26-year-old tight end will become one of Aaron Rodgers’ top three receiving targets, along with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. 

Heading into the game, Finley had 17 catches for 153 yards, but with Jones’ 339 yards of offense temporarily out of the mix, expect the former Texas standout to get more than his current 5.5 targets per game. 

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For owners of Steve Smith, as well as fans of the Carolina Panthers, Smith’s early touchdown catch against the Vikings had to be a bit of a relief. 

That’s because Smith hadn’t found the end zone since Week 1, and has watched his overall production levels decline rather sharply. 

Perhaps more importantly, it’ll provide both Smith and Cam Newton with confidence going forward, because after their last few outings, their chemistry has seemed to be off. But this early touchdown against one of the league’s most porous pass defenses will help that cause going into Carolina’s Week 7 clash against the Rams. 

Outside of the score, Smith’s already hauled in three catches by the midway point in the second quarter, which would put him on pace to have his most productive game of the season. 

Assuming he continues to hook up with Newton, expect Smith to register 50-60 yards on six catches and another touchdown against the Rams, who he torched for 85 yards on nine catches during his last tilt against St. Louis. 

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It didn’t take too long for a pair of backup quarterbacks to make their mark today, as Buffalo’s Thad Lewis and the Eagles’ Nick Foles both ran for early rushing touchdowns. 

Foles’ four-yard score capped off an impressive 85-yard drive, and he’s looked comfortable through the air, as he started off by going 4-5 for 70 yards passing. The touchdown was his first trip to the end zone on the ground since December 9, 2012, and only second of his young career. 

For Lewis, the 3-yard run had to be something of a relief for a quarterback seeing his first NFL action, and it was the finishing touch on a surprisingly effective first possession for the 25-year-old. 

Don’t expect either to do much damage on the ground though, as Foles has never been thought of as a mobile quarterback, and Lewis wrapped up his four-year career at Duke with a -78 yards rushing for the Blue Devils. 

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For fantasy owners, Larry Fitzgerald has already provided more than a few headaches this season, as the perennial Pro Bowl receiver has failed to consistently produce.

Part of it has been the play of Carson Palmer and the rest of the offense, but for whatever reason, Fitzgerald hasn’t put up the numbers that are expected of him. 

And now, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, things have gone from bad to worse for Fitzgerald’s owners. 

Definitely don’t sense much optimism on Larry Fitzgerald and his hamstring issues for 49ers game

— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) October 13, 2013

Even if Fitzgerald’s on the field don’t expect him to be much help to the Cardinals or your fantasy team, because even when healthy, he hasn’t been productive in San Francisco recently. 

During his last two trips to Candlestick Park, Fitzgerald’s managed just five catches on 54 yards with one score, so especially given the concerns over the status of his hamstring, don’t expect him to reverse that trend now. 

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For those who expected the Vikings to hand over the starting job to Josh Freeman right away, you’ll be disappointed. 

According to Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star Tribunethe former Pro Bowl quarterback isn’t even active for Minnesota’s Week 6 clash with the Panthers. 

This really doesn’t mean anything, because given that Freeman’s been with the team for less than a week, he’ll surely need more time to get a sufficient grasp of the Vikings’ system.

As a result, Matt Cassel will get the start for Minnesota against Carolina, but it seems inevitable that Freeman will soon get his opportunity to prove himself as the team’s starting quarterback. 

 

 

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Owners of C.J. Spiller, as well as those of Fred Jackson have been wondering all week whether the Bills would be taking the field on Sunday with both of their top backfield threats, as Spiller’s status has been questionable. 

According to ESPN, Spiller is not only active, but he’s going to get at least a share of the carries for Buffalo. 

The Buffalo Bills‘ official Twitter feed reports that RB C.J. Spiller (ankle, questionable) is active. He’s playing on 10 days’ rest following a limited Week 5 performance (13 snaps, 8 touches), but he practiced on a limited basis all week. Chances are, Spiller will be used in a straight time share with RB Fred Jackson if not slightly less of the two, which is why we ranked him only our No. 16 running back for Week 6, compared to 14th for Jackson.

Given that Spiller’s expected to get at most half of the carries, he’s probably not worth a start if you have a better option at running back, especially against a relatively stingy Bengals defense. 

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Now that it’s been made clear that Bills receiver Steve Johnson will miss Buffalo’s clash with the Bengals, Robert Woods immediately becomes a much more desirable third wide receiver option for owners in need of a late boost. 

Without Johnson, Woods will undoubtedly get the opportunity to build on his last two weeks, in which he was targeted more times than he was during his first three games combined.

Yes, he’ll be playing with an unfamiliar quarterback, but if Buffalo intends on moving the ball through the air much today, Woods will more than likely exceed his career-high of five catches. 

During his time at USC, Woods demonstrated his big-play potential, and though he had a breakout four-catch, 80-yard performance during Buffalo’s win over Baltimore two weeks ago, he’s capable of even more. 

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While Calvin Johnson is going to suit up for the Lions against Cleveland today, what sort of role he’ll have in Detroit’s offense remains unclear. 

As CBS Sports reported, it’s doubtful that he’ll be anything close to his normal self on the field, but his presence alone will open things up for Detroit’s other weapons. 

With that in mind, the next question is what should we expect from Johnson in terms of fantasy production? 

Well, given that the Browns boast the league’s seventh-ranked pass defense, Johnson wouldn’t have had an easy game even if he were completely healthy, because Joe Haden will surely be shadowing him all over the field. 

As such, it’s unlikely that Johnson will exceed somewhere around four catches for 50-60 yards, because with his knee still not 100%, he probably won’t be the deep threat that he normally is. 

A touchdown’s certainly a possibility, but don’t expect him to be the deciding factor in your fantasy matchup this week. 

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