Last Man Standig: Week 6 recap
*Eddie Lacy set the hammering tone in Green Bay's 19-17 win at Baltimore with 47 of his 120 rushing yards on the opening drive. The power-packed rookie proved difficult for the Ravens to bring down. He also became a large part of the defensive focus as evidenced by the secondary biting on Aaron Rodgers' perfectly executed play-action touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson. If Lacy can produce like that against a Ravens defense that entered the week allowing the fewest points to fantasy running backs, consider him a top-10 RB going forward.
*Here's what I wrote about Tom Brady for USA Today this week:
This is where non-fantasy players shake their heads. The Golden Boy once again played the role of hero by directing the last-second scoring drive to rally the Patriots past New Orleans. Brady also once again put up paltry statistical numbers. Without that game-winning toss to Kenbrell Thompkins, Brady goes a second straight game without a touchdown pass. In most formats, he's yet to score over 20 points in a game this season. Hope remains that Brady's numbers will rise once reinforcements arrive. Now Danny Amendola is dealing with a head injury and who knows when Rob Gronkowski returns. NFL Brady rocks, but the fantasy version should have owners at least thinking about rolling with others against the Jets in Week 7.
* Talk about making up for lost time. In his two games back following a four-game suspension, Justin Blackmon has complied 19 receptions for 326 yards and a touchdown. Against Denver, he received a staggering 20 targets, catching 14. Cecil Shorts' injury, the degree to which remains uncertain, has pro and con elements; defenses will steer even more coverage Blackmon's way, but where else can the Jacksonville quarterbacks look. Not sure either of those points even matter. Consider him no less than a top-20 fantasy receiver going forward, especially when Chad Henne is at quarterback, which will be the case in Week 7.
*Hope everyone got all the fountain of youth jokes out of their system following Brandon Jacobs' stellar Week 6 production. We can assume that outing ends up as Jacobs' best for the season. We shouldn't assume the 31-year-old won't help fantasy owners going forward. The upcoming schedule is appealing, the offensive line is coming off its best game and the other RB options (David Wilson, Da'Rel Scott) are out.
*It would be nice to provide Dwayne Bowe owners with some Tuesday morning optimism. Alas, what's the point in lying? Kansas City remains undefeated with a winning formula of Jamaal Charles, a playmaking defense and ball control. Until the Chiefs start finding themselves in catch-up situations that require lots of throwing, don't expect anything different. Bowe hasn't topped 60 yards or caught more than four passes in any game this season, making him a middling WR3.
*It's cool that when the fantasy community talks about the tight end position, the primary topics include Jimmy Graham's (usual) awesomeness, Rob Gronkowski's undefined timeline or the emergence of Julius Thomas and Jordan Cameron. Just make sure to make time for Vernon Davis, whose per week average ranks only behind Graham among tight ends.
*The Week 7 "Pickups of the Week" article will come out on Tuesday. As a sneak peak, we can reveal the following: Brandon LaFell will not be prominently featured. His 79-yard touchdown and 107 receiving yards can offset the overall track record of teasing and limited stats.
*Can't pretend I'm all in on Jay Cutler, but he's giving owners reasons to trust after letting them time after time. Playing behind an improved offensive line and with more overall passing game weapons, he's thrown two touchdown passes in three straight games and at least two in five of six contests this season. Most impressive, Cutler is productive without being careless; he hasn't thrown an interception in three of his last four games. We ranked him sixth among fantasy quarterbacks last week versus the Giants. Expect another top-10 ranking against Washington.
*That was a nice move by the Patriots to put corner Aqib Talib on Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. No doubt part of the strategy involved New England not fearing Marques Colston would make them pay. He didn't, finishing with one reception for 11 yards on three targets. Over the last two weeks, the eight-year veteran has 26 yards on three receptions. Over the last five games, Colston has zero touchdowns, even though Drew Brees has thrown 12 in that stretch. Not a great time to sell, but if others remain interested because of Brees, swapping him for another WR2 type or help elsewhere is fine by me.
*More stunning: The Rams' 38-13 rout over Houston or Tavon Austin playing only four snaps (per ProFootballFocus)? Sadly for owners expecting oodles of production from the slot-receiving rookie, it's not the latter. While we're on the Rams, rookie Zac Stacy put an even stronger hold on the starting RB job, but everybody else - including Sam Bradford, who threw three touchdowns passes on just 16 passes - did little to raise their fantasy value.
*Mike Goodson's return lasted all of two games after the Jets running back tore his ACL and MCL. That pain equals pleasure for Bilal Powell owners. He's turned in consecutive minimal outings, but both came with three running backs involved. Earlier in the season enough work existed for Powell and Chris Ivory. Not a great upcoming schedule, but Powell remains the lead option and should see a tick up in production.
*Those hoping Chris Johnson's productive Week 5 would be trendy were let down. That's three straight games of nothingness on the ground. Including his 12 carries for 33 yards against the Seahawks, Johnson has 71 yards on 37 carries over his last three games - or seven less than Zac Stacy compiled on Sunday. Don't expect much out of Johnson in Week 7 against the 49ers.
*The mantra with Tyler Eifert remains the same: love the talent, loathe the crowded scenario. After six weeks, nothing has changed. Andy Dalton passed for 337 yards and three scores against the Bills, but the rookie tight end had only two receptions for 13 yards. He's averaging only 4.5 targets per game and has yet to score. There are some promising upcoming matchups, but those in redraft leagues shouldn't feel compelled to wait (especially if roster space is tight). Emerging options like Jordan Reed and Tim Wright are better short-term plays until the Bengals figure out how to keep Eifter and Jermaine Gresham involved.
*Aaron Rodgers' two biggest pass plays on Sunday went to Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley. In each instance Rodgers said he strategically knew the throws were going their way. Seeing as Randall Cobb (knee) and James Jones (leg) were nursing injuries, it's not as if he had any other options. If either of those wide receivers miss time, Jarrett Boykin becomes a must add in 12-team leagues. Boykin's only catch against the Ravens went for 41 yards, Rodgers' third longest play of the game. Green Bay has compiled at least 385 total yards in eight straight games, establishing a new franchise record.
(Update: Reports out Monday evening put Cobb out 6-8 weeks with a fractured fibula. Boykin becomes a significant waiver wire addition this week. If James Jones doesn't go in Week 7, Boykin goes from back bencher to the Packers' No. 2 wide receiver.)
*Nobody expected DeMarco Murray active for all 16 games this season, which is why the sprained left MCL he suffered in Sunday night's win over the Redskins comes as no surprise. He'll undergo an MRI on Monday. For now, owners shouldn't count on having Murray around for the Week 7 matchup against the Eagles. Based on the game evidence, rookie Joseph Randle is next up, a plan projected by BloggingTheBoys.com's K.D. Drummond during an a Q & A with FFToolbox last week.
*I know pure Redskins fans don't care, but Robert Griffin III took a step forward in fantasy this week. Not just that RG3 had 77 yards on nine carries, but also he looked significantly more nimble and confident when he took off. By comparison, that's 14 more rushing yards than Colin Kaepernick generated over his last four games. That element, far more than their passing skills, made the pair fantasy dynamos last season. Griffin's stat line against Dallas (19 for 39, 246 yards, one interception) doesn't impress. Factor in Washington's offensive line being run over and receivers struggling to win battles and it's not so ugly. After facing the Bears this week, the Redskins have four matchups against pass defenses allowing lots of yards. Grab RG3 as a buy-low candidate while you can.
* Torrey Smith had his quietest game of the year at the same time Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown returned to the lineup. Don't fret. Smith is the clear leader of the group and the only must-own target in the bunch. The return of Jones, who best help as a WR3/KR, and Brown (plus the increased help from Tandon Doss) will ultimately help Joe Flacco and the scuffling offense going forward. Until scuffling becomes successful, all involved outside of Smith are risky.