Before jumping into the upcoming week’s fantasy football rankings, managers everywhere will torment themselves for not prophesying unpredictable results.
Last week’s rankings totally touted Shane Vereen and Andre Johnson as top flex plays, and this author definitely didn’t bench them both for Ameer Abdullah and Leonard Hankerson in his league. Don’t bother looking it up for confirmation. And, of course, everyone knew to sit Eddie Lacy and Randall Cobb for Marcel Reese and Josh Huff. That just seemed like common sense.
This time next week, we’ll meet in the same spot to again scoff at unforeseeable outcomes. But fantasy fanatics are a stubborn bunch, so let’s keep striving for perfection with Week 6’s early flex rankings, divided into separate lists for standard and point-per-reception (PPR) leagues. Note that some ranked players enter the week with injury uncertainty, so keep an eye on their status.
Any Eddy Lacy owners feeling deja vu? For the second straight year, the Green Bay Packers running back has fantasy investors fretting about their first-round pick.
Against the St. Louis Rams, Lacy delivered his second stinker of the young season, compiling 35 total yards on 14 touches. The perennial top-five choice hasn’t located the end zone since Week 1.
He started 2014 just as poorly, as noted by The Fake Football’s Rich Hribar:
The slow start didn’t deter him from finishing with 1,139 yards and nine scores on the ground. Before panicking about a seemingly limited workload, he averaged 15.4 rushes per game last year. It doesn’t look like a lot on a weekly basis, but his consistent usage adds up, especially in a landscape where few backs get afforded steady opportunities.
Lacy doesn’t have Adrian Peterson‘s strength, Le’Veon Bell’s agility or Matt Forte‘s high volume of touches as a runner and pass-catcher. But last year’s events should calm terrified owners. If that doesn’t work, the San Diego Chargers’ No. 28 rushing defense should do the trick.
The 0-5 Detroit Lions hit rock-bottom on Sunday, surrendering six turnovers in a 42-17 loss in which Dan Orlovsky replaced Matthew Stafford. Detroit, the only remaining winless team, rates No. 26 in total offense despite harnessing a future Hall of Fame wide receiver.
Calvin Johnson has hardly vanished into the abyss. The 30-year-old wideout has caught 32 passes for 322 yards, and his 54 targets place fourth among all receivers. But his 10.1 yards per catch and 6.0 yards per target both represent the lowest marks of his career by a wide margin.
Really, it’s like a pitcher not having a very good day. The pitcher comes out and the pitcher obviously, he’s still the starter. He’s still our starter, so there’ll be no issues there. So there is no quarterback controversy or anything of that nature. But I know one thing, we got to get better. This was poor. Just not the kind of outing that we like to see around here.
Let’s not get too dramatic. You’re still starting Johnson, who gets a friendlier Week 6 matchup against the Chicago Bears. Only the Kansas City Chiefs have allowed more touchdowns to opposing wideouts, per ESPN.com.
But as long as Detroit’s offense remains a miserable mess, it’s hard to keep treating Megatron as a premier option. Until the big plays returns, he’s more of a No. 2 receiver than the guy who nearly broke 2,000 yards in 2012.
C.J. Spiller sprinted into Week 5 on the euphoria of a walk-off 80-yard touchdown catch to beat the Dallas Cowboys in overtime. For an encore, he etched out minus-eight receiving yards against the Philadelphia Eagles.
A fantasy tease throughout his career, Spiller possesses huge big-play talent and elusiveness that makes him a perfect fit in the New Orleans Saints offense. Still, the 29-year-old running back has received 20 touches through four games. If not for that one big play, he’d have a full ledger of duds.
New Orleans looks uninterested in factoring him into a rushing attack already featuring Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson. Spiller upped his season’s carry tally to nine, and he has yet to amass more than 10 yards on the ground in a single contest.
This is all bad. By the second paragraph most readers probably declared “Bench Spiller, got it. Anything else?” Actually, the Atlanta Falcons present the perfect matchup for Spiller to guide gamers to an early lead on Thursday night.
According to ESPN.com, the Falcons have relented the most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Before assuming this number only matters for Ingram, they have also allowed an NFL-high 42 receptions on 50 targets to the position. PPR players who can stomach steep risk should roll the dice on the high-upside endeavor.
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