Week 6: Sleepers
During his last three games, Flacco has thrown just two TDs to go along with six INTs. Not the sorts of numbers you hope to see when you pull up your team's box score. What Flacco has going for him this week is two-fold. First, the Ravens are scheduled to potentially have WRs Marlon Brown and Jacoby Jones. Brown was inactive last week and Jones has been out since Week 1. The second point is the matchup against Green Bay. Even in four-point passing TD leagues, the Packers have allowed three quarterbacks to accumulate at least 20 fantasy points. The only point of pride the Packers' secondary could possibly appreciate about themselves is that they shut down the Megatron-less Lions last week - not exactly an impressive feat. With defenses unable to blanket just Torrey Smith or stack the box against Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, Flacco should see larger passing windows to connect with his guys downfield.
The Chiefs are 5-0 for the first time since 2003. Trent Green and Priest Holmes are long gone, but who needs them when you have Alex Smith under center, right? Well, all sarcasm aside Smith is holding his own and the game-manager moniker affixed to his name is applicable this year. The former Utah Ute is a weekly matchup play; a guy who can be counted on in this sort of game. This week he and his Chiefs host Oakland; the Raiders have allowed fantasy quarterbacks to score six total TDs and accrue 552 pass yards in two road contests. Smith has also played better at home, tossing five TDs passes and throwing for 511 yards in two home games. All of this lines up for a great opportunity for the Chiefs to continue their winning streak further into October.
Despite carrying the questionable tag into Week 6, Stacy was able to practice Thursday as a limited participant. He's still recovering from an injury to his ribs suffered a week ago. The former Vanderbilt back performed admirably in Week 5 against the Jaguars by rushing 14 times for 78 yards, good for a 5.6 yards per carry average. The Rams' running game ranks toward the bottom of the league, averaging just 66.4 yards per game and Stacy will look to turn that around. This matchup against Houston isn't as tough on paper as you might expect given their defensive reputation. They've sacrificed three rushing TDs to RBs over their last three contests. In four out of the last five games, one opposing RB has scored at least 10 fantasy points in standard leagues. Stacy should be considered a RB2/flex every week he retains the starting gig.
In most games, the "PT Bruiser" is a fantasy afterthought since he's competing with Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram for touches. Last week, that was not the case as the offense opened up for him. Thomas ran the ball 19 times for 36 yards (okay, that's really bad), but he also added nine receptions for 55 yards and two TDs. You could make the arguments his yardage could be better and the two touchdowns were a bit of a fluke, but this all comes down to touches. A New Orleans running back hasn't had 28 touches in a game in years (I went back as far as 2011 and couldn't find another example). If this becomes a trend, it's something worth jumping on. The Saints aren't getting much production from their WRs, so giving the Thomas a bigger workload makes sense.
Surprise, surprise. In case his Week 5 performance (nine targets, five receptions for 136 yards and a TD) was not enough to persuade you, please allow me. Blackmon is the real bread-and-butter of the Jaguars offense. Sure, it's been one game and yes, he won't do that every week. Look at it like this, the now 0-5 Jags are going to enter every second half facing a deficit. We can already assume Maurice Jones-Drew has accrued about 30 yards on 10 carries and with the team down two touchdowns, where else can Jacksonville turn? Blackmon scored five TDs during November and December last season. There were some hits and some misses along the way, but the Jags also have targeted him 11.4 times in his last five games. It's all well and good to like Cecil Shorts as well, there's enough to go around since Jacksonville also doesn't have a TE worth a hoot. If you aren't all-in on Blackmon by now, there's no hope for you because you should've been a year ago. As for Week 6, he faces Denver's secondary and that's the same team that allowed Tony Romo to look like a 2013 Peyton Manning.