All of the focus this week is going to be on running backs as another 1st round pick is on the shelf for the season. Major injuries and flat out under performing have been a theme all season, by now you should be expecting it. Don’t get me wrong, I drafted Lynch in the 1st round and if it were not for accidentally drafting Freeman my season would be in shambles. Side note, for all the study and stat analysis you still need a little luck to become fantasy champion. We are beyond the point of no return with running backs and even though we have handcuffs available you are going to be hard pressed to find another Freeman. If you are looking for an RB, don’t worry we will get to that.
The bigger story for me this season has been the QB situation. It baffles me how year after year we spend high draft picks on QB’s when it is probably the deepest position in the league. The difference in average between the “top tier” and everyone else is minimal at best. This is one of the times when fantasy and reality don’t match up. Josh McCown will not be playing for a Super Bowl this season or probably any season. However over the last 3 or 4 weeks he has dominated fantasy football. There are a few names like that on the list.
The decline of Peyton Manning, Drew Brews, Colin Kaepernick, and Matthew Stafford have not really affect their draft stock too much and I don’t get it. Manning has scored single digit points two weeks in a row and it still owned in 99% of leagues it’s astonishing. By the way I told you to trade him 3 weeks ago for a RB because most people are still living in the “Don’t bet against Peyton” era. Well guess what, I am betting against him every single week. At this point you would be better of starting Ryan Fitzpatrick, double digits in every game so far this season, and he is on the Jets.
So here we are again heading into week #6 and I said last week things have settled and you should know what to expect the rest of the season. We have almost reached the mid-way point and the next 2 weeks will let you know how your season is going to end. I don’t know about you but this beats the one week fantasy season hands down. I know that one day leagues are taking over but I am staying old school. Anyone can get lucky once, but do you have the skill to build and manage a team to last an entire season? That is where the real challenge is. I am playing in several leagues for fun, but I am 3-2 in my competitive league and I am going to have to manage flawlessly to get my trophy back.
As usual let us start at the QB position.
Josh McCown, QB, Cleveland Browns – 4.3% Owned
They say that it takes three weeks to develop a habit and if that rings true McCown will finish the season in the top 5. He is currently 11th overall and he has only played three games. I am not a huge matchup guy but if you are the next three games are against good defenses, but that shouldn’t be enough to shift your attention elsewhere. The running game is not working so the pressure is going to be on McCown to keep the chains moving. He has made good use of spreading the ball around and looks like he is creating fantasy stars in the process. He is averaging 380 yards and 2 touchdowns per game giving him a 3 game fantasy average of 25.3 points per week. Yes that number is going to come down, but even at 17 a game he is ranking near the top. I would start him over Manning without even thinking about it.
Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars – 27.5% Owned
We are looking at the next Ryan Tannehill here, which means you need to get this guy into your lineup. 7th overall and with exception of a rough first week has been really consistent. The Jaguars offense is underrated and if their defense would pick it up we might have a different team. Since their record is poor all eyes are off Bortles which again makes him a steal. Going up against a Houston team that is terrible, I like Bortles a lot this week. Rivers, Newton, Ryan, and Manning are all names that are looking up at Bortles after 5 weeks are in the books. Couple of big receivers make for easy target and the possible return of TE Thomas makes Bortles even scarier. He is averaging 260 yards and 2 TDs a game, not bad at all.
I am a Jay Cutler fantasy fan. For a guy who gets so much heat, he seems to pull it out more often than not. This is another one of those times where fantasy and reality are not the same. There isn’t a lot to say about Cutler except that he will get you 15-17 points each week and right now he is going it with very limited weapons. The eventual return of Alshon Jeffery will make him even more of a threat. He has looked good since coming back from injury. Another no good QB who I would consider starting over Manning.
Sam Bradford, QB, Philadelphia Eagles – 57.7% Owned
Let’s not mince words here, the Eagles offense has been horrible. There was a little flash of greatness in the second half of week #1 against the Falcons but for the most part it’s been a disappointment. Here is the question you have to ask. Is Chip Kelly really smart or really dumb? The last 5 quarters or so the Eagles have looked like they know what they are doing. The offensive line play has been better and we saw Murray finally get some yards. We also got to see Bradford throw more touchdowns than interceptions. There is a huge if here that could pay off. If the offense has turned a corner and this is what you can expect to see from them every week, Bradford is a must start. He was a number one pick and injuries have slowed him, not poor play. A vote for Bradford is really a vote for Kelly. There could be a lot of points sitting here right now that may not available if his trend of good play continues.
Charcandrick West, RB, Kansas City Chiefs – 1.2% Owned
He is logically this weeks must add, even though we have not seen much work. Reid announced a week ago the West is the #2 RB sliding into the spot that once belongs to Knile Davis. West small body of work is a concern but we know that KC relies heavily on their running backs and Reid has a history of getting the most out of his. Westbrook, Charles, and Davis have all found success under Andy Reid and West is sure to follow. West has great hands and up to this point has been primarily used in passing downs. We can only expect his touches to increase now that he gets the hand offs as well.
Knile Davis, RB Kansas City Chiefs – 23.7% Owned
Davis is already a proven commodity covering for Charles in the past and doing really well. When Davis was drafted it was because he was such a successful handcuff in the past and he still has value even though he is behind West. Davis could very easily see the end zone carries as well as there is a possibility they split carries. In the event West doesn’t cut it Davis will be a must start, but until we see that he is still just a must add.
Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns – 64.3%
Only available in about 35% of leagues I understand that he may not be someone you have the option of picking up but if you do and you are in a 12 team league you need to grab him. He out touched Crowell again for the second week in a row. 15 touches for 77 yards isn’t bad and his 6 reception puts him in double digits for PPR leagues. He is a good talent that will be the lead back in Cleveland before the season is over. Keep an eye on this kid, he is going to be good. MUST ADD if you can.
Thomas Rawls, RB Seattle Seahawks – 44% Owned
This is strictly a handcuff pick at this point with Lynch expected to return to practice on Thursday. However don’t doubt this Thomas as he proved worthy of fantasy consideration rushing for over 100 yards in 2/3 games he played. Against a good Bengals team he rushed for 169 yards and touchdown on his way to 22 pts. It is still unclear if Lynch will be back this week or if he will carry the full load. It is also unclear why the best handcuff out there is only owned in 44% of leagues.
Willie Snead, WR, New Orleans Saints – 29.2% Owned
While all of the focus has been on Cooks, Snead has worked his way to being the most consistent receiver on the roster up to this point. I suspect is lack of touchdowns has kept him off of your radar since you need touchdowns to get attention in standard leagues. In his last three games he has caught 17 passes for 274 yards. A home game against the Falcons secondary who is playing better than they are might be what Snead needs to finally break out. He is a must add in all leagues and in all formats. He is getting looks, he is getting targets and that is going to get him fantasy points.
Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars – 48.6% Owned
Let’s just start off as a must add is all formats, he is a legit WR2, WR3 or flex depending on the condition of your current roster. He is a low WR1 in PPR leagues as he has become a reliable target for Blake Bortles. Three straight games scoring double digit points with touchdowns in all 3 and over 300 yards receiving. As noted on here last week, he is playing opposite Allen Robinson who is owned in 91% of all ESPN leagues and is currently out playing him. Get Hurns, start Hurns. Especially if you are missing Vincent Jackson or others to a bye week.
Marquess Wilson, WR, Chicago Bears – 5.2% Owned
Cutler is back for 2 weeks and Wilson has 2 very productive fantasy games and that is not a coincidence. 12 catches for 165 yards and a score is a pretty good line. His value will only last as long as Jeffery and Royal are out. Keep your eye on the injury report for this one. If Jeffery and Royal are still out then Wilson will be a great sub. I stress that he is not worth consideration when those other guys come back.
I am going to give Kamar a little more love this week because he still isn’t owned enough and I don’t want you to miss out on a good thing. Similar to Wilson, Aiken’s value is really high because Smith is out and when he returns you will need to sit him until we see what is going to happen going forward. As for now he is a safe add as he is the #1 target currently for Joe Flacco and that is always a positive sign. They pretty much have to throw it to him so he is going to get targets. Yes, it sounds simple because it is that simple. The more chances you have to score, the more chances you have to score. Get it?
Gary Barnidge, TE, Cleveland Browns – 37.7% Owned
There are going to be plenty of people kicking themselves this week for passing this guy up. He is still available in over 60% of leagues which means you could have gotten him without wasting your waiver pick. Now if you are not in the top 2 or 3 you probably have no chance. 20 catches, 319 yards, and 3 touchdowns in his last 3 games. So he is averaging 6/100/1, pretty good stat line. That is head and shoulders better than all other TE’s over that period of time. He is the real deal and as long as McCown plays the gun slinger week in and week out we are looking at top 5 TE.
Larry Donnell, TE, New York Giants – 50% Owned
Randle and Beckham Jr. are both nursing injuries which could result in a few more targets for Donnell. He is a frustrating pick up but if you have Witten this week you are going to need to put someone there. He is catching passes and he getting targets. The question is can he get in the end zone?