Everyone can use a win. Unfortunately for fantasy football participants, only half of the playing field will get it.
Panic starts surfacing this time of the year. While opening the NFL season 1-5 or 2-4 won’t officially eliminate anyone from playoff contention, it certainly won’t help your chances. Perhaps a bad break or lineup blunder caused the poor record, but even strong squads will struggle to climb back from the bottom of the standings.
Another Sunday morning presents yet another opportunity for fantasy operators to get it right. After spending the entire week deliberating over lineup decisions, let’s take one last look at Week 6’s flex rankings.
Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins
Sometimes, a reboot does a world of good.
After an uneven first season, HBO’s The Leftovers ditched its gloomy setting and dead casting weight. Now, there’s at least a glimmer of hope and intrigue instead of pure sadness. The Miami Dolphins are hoping for similar progress after jettisoning head coach Joe Philbin following a 1-3 start.
In Philbin‘s regime, running back Lamar Miller underwent an unexplained departure. He has compiled 47 touches through four games after averaging 5.1 yards per run last year and is still searching for the end zone.
He’s logging regular snaps as Miami’s starter, but he’s not getting the typical looks of a featured back. Omar Kelly of South Florida Sun-Sentinel examined the bizarre circumstances:
There’s no guarantee of anything changing with a new leader running the same offense. But for disappointed owners, the potential for what’s behind door No. 2 is greater than the underwhelming prize they’ve received so far.
Also fueling optimism for a Week 6 rebound, the Tennessee Titans have relinquished 4.4 yards per carry this season. If Miller merely gets an opportunity, he’ll work his way back into owners’ good graces.
Charcandrick West, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
If nobody claimed him yet, do it now and stop sleeping on the wheel. OK, now this is for everyone who held the top priority or made the highest bid for West’s services. He’s on your roster, but what about the starting lineup?
If he were guaranteed to carry the load, West would make a great No. 2 back or flex play. Then again, few rushers have the safety of regular touches. Per ESPN.com’s Adam Teicher, head coach Andy Reid discussed his current backfield, which also includes Knile Davis and practice-squad promotion Spencer Ware:
We have a lot of trust in Knile and he’s different, though, than what Jamaal was and what (West) is. So (Charles) and (West) were closer together than what Knile was as far as the quick moves, you know the feet and dancing and all of that stuff. Knile is going to pound you and he’s got real good speed to go with that. And I think when you look at Spencer, he’s probably got a combination of that. He can play a power game, but he’s also got enough elusiveness there.
West received seven carries to Davis’ two last Sunday, so look for West to steer the way. Based on Reid’s assessment, however, Davis seems like a probable candidate for goal-line looks. Since the Minnesota Vikings cough up 4.7 yards per carry, take a chance on West anyway.
Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Hold up. Stop digging a grave for Anquan Boldin’s fantasy stock. It looks like he has something left after all.
Rendered useless by an incompetent San Francisco 49ers offense, the 35-year-old wide receiver registered 124 receiving yards through four games. A sturdy veteran who doesn’t do bad years suddenly looked as irrelevant as newer Family Guy episodes, reaching a new low with 12 yards during Week 4’s 17-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Time to bench him. Time to consider dropping him…wait, he rattled off eight catches for 107 yards and a score against the New York Giants last Sunday night. After the bounce-back outing, Pro Football Focus’ Mike Clay offered an encouraging tidbit on his red-zone usage:
Bring out the revenge-game narratives, as Boldin faces the Baltimore Ravens, who gifted him to San Francisco for nearly nothing before the 2013 campaign. Facing a familiar foe doesn’t make him better at football, but his old team also stinks against the pass.
Baltimore has allowed 278.2 passing yards per game with a 66.2 completion percentage and 7.6 yards per attempt. The Ravens represent the second bottom-10 passing unit Colin Kaepernick has faced this season. The first were the Giants. Look for the maligned quarterback to produce another decent outing—enough to make Boldin a capable flex contributor.
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