By The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
I can not believe it is week six already. Times flies when you are having fun. Hopefully your teams are kicking some serious butt. Or, if you are anything like me, you have multiple leagues on opposite ends of the spectrum. Seriously. One league I am 0-5 and another, the Skrip Club (the only one that matters really) I am 5-0. Go figure.
I am a firm believer in this week being your make or break week. You can turn your season around in one week and go on a run (hey, if I finish either of the above leagues at 8-5, I’m likely getting into the playoffs), or go the complete other way and start selling off your pieces for capital next year – if you play in a league that is cool enough to do this.
I am at your beck and call to help you with your lineup decisions. This column is not your bible, but a form of suggestion designed to entertain you and open your eyes to possibilities you may not have thought of. Got it? Great.
If you live in Florida, hopefully you made it through the hurricane okay. My condolences go out to those in Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina where Matthew did some serious restructuring. Not cool dude. Not cool.
To refresh what this column is, these are my confidence plays in a Start/Play/Bench format. “Start” represents your studs and numbers twos that will overachieve. Get them in your lineup, stat! “Play” represents some bench or FLEX plays that should outperform their draft position based on matchup. “Bench” presents your studs that you should temper expectations for or FLEX plays you should swap out with a bench player. And really, it’s based off my rankings. Check them out and use them as a guide!
Good luck in this pivotal week 6!
QB Drew Brees & WR Brandin Cooks (NO) – Coming off a bye week, Brees and the Saints offense should be firing on all cylinders. Cooks was very quiet in their last two games and the Saints, playing at home where Brees does his best work, should get back on track against a Panthers secondary which is clearly not the 2015 version we drafted them to be.
WR Kelvin Benjamin (CAR) – TE Greg Olsen got all the love from backup QB Derek Anderson last week. Cam Newton is on track to return for this game and with that returns Benjamin’s production. The Saints may have held Julio Jones to less than stellar numbers earlier this season, but the Falcons have more weapons than the Panthers. I’m fully expecting this game to be a shootout of epic proportions.
RB DeMarco Murray (TEN) – The Titans may not be able to do much in their passing game, but you know what they do really well? Run the football. A combination of rookie Tackle Jack Conklin and the acquisition of Murray has helped take the pressure off of the Titans defense, which has been performing well so far this season. Also, did you know Murray is the number 1 running back in fantasy this season? Now you do.
QB Tom Brady and TEs Rob Gronkowski & Martellus Bennett (NE) – Apparently Brady and the Patriots are playing like it’s 2011. That was the year Gronkowski finished first in tight end scoring and his running mate, fellow tight end and currently incarcerated ex-teammate Aaron Hernandez finished third. In Brady’s first week back last week, Gronk went for 15.9 points and Bennett 30.7. They’ll be closer in margin this week, but I expect this type of production the rest of the season.
QB Dak Prescott & TE Jason Witten (DAL) – I mean, what’s not to like about Prescott? He has only committed one turnover all year – a fumble – and is contributing with his legs. He throws underneath a lot and the Packers give up points to tight ends. Easy math if you ask me.
QB Carson Wentz & WR Jordan Matthews (PHI) – If Josh Norman were 100% healthy, I likely wouldn’t have Matthews here. But Norman is not healthy, so here we are. Another rookie QB taking the NFL by storm. And the Redskins don’t exactly play lights out defense.
WR Amari Cooper (OAK) – I put Crabtree in this spot last week and it was Cooper who went off. The Chiefs play good defense, but their numbers are a little skewed after their duds against the Chargers in Week 1 and the Steelers in Week 4. Cornerback Marcus Peters will be on one of them, likely Cooper, so my guess is Crabtree goes off. But here’s hoping the universe resets itself and the more talented of the Raiders’ duo keeps the streak going.
Bills D/ST – It’s starting to become a law that if you play the Browns or 49ers, your defense will be awesome. Well, the Bills get the 49ers at home, and west coast teams flying east rarely perform well. And the Bills have been on a tear in recent weeks, with 20+ point performances in three straight weeks.
QB Matt Ryan (ATL) – He performed better than expected last week versus a pretty stout Broncos defense. But the Broncos do not have a quarterback the caliber of Russell Wilson throwing the football to keep pressure on the opposing offense. This is Ryan’s hiccup game this season. Still like him a lot going forward, just not this week.
WR Brandon Marshall & RB Matt Forte (NYJ) – News flash: the Cardinals defense is still really good. And guess who hasn’t played well in recent weeks? Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Pass.
WR Alshon Jeffrey (CHI) – We all know he’s the most talented receiver on the Bears, but they’re not getting him the football. It’s that simple. They don’t want to pay him long-term and they’re killing his value not only going forward, but for fantasy owners everywhere.
TE Dennis Pitta (BAL) – One thing the Giants have done well this season is play great defense. If only their offense would step up. WRs Steve Smith Sr. and Mike Wallace are banged up so Pitta is likely to see lots of attention, but the Giants defend TEs really well. I’m finding a new option this week.