Week 6 Rankings

Patrick Daugherty
October 13, 2013
Matchups: CJrunshardagainK
Evan Silva discusses Chris Johnson's rushing resurgence and breaks down every fantasy Matchup in every Week 10 game

Updated 10/13/2013 at 12:00 PM ET.

Chris Johnson: RB3? Johnson is 20th overall in raw running back fantasy points — remember six teams have already had their bye — and a further distant No. 25 in fantasy points per game (excluding players who’ve played less than three games). Johnson is No. 5 in the league in carries (94), but has yet to score a rushing touchdown. He’s averaging 3.12 yards per tote after posting a 4.50 mark in 2012. Johnson also has only eight catches in five games. That’s fewer than FBs Bruce Miller and Anthony Sherman, to name a few. This is a player who averaged three grabs per game coming into 2013.

So to summarize: Johnson is one of the league’s most worked running backs, but doesn’t have a score on the ground. Despite the heavy workload, he’s not Tennessee’s goal-line back (just five of his 94 carries have come inside the opponent’s 10-yard line), and doesn’t have a role in the passing game. In other words, Johnson has the volume fantasy owners crave, but none of the advantages it usually provides (guaranteed goal-line looks, catches to pad poor rushing totals).

Culprits? The Titans’ remade interior line hasn’t panned out the way they were expecting. First-round pick Chance Warmack is No. 55 in Pro Football Focus’ guard ratings, while free-agent prize Andy Levitre is only No. 28. C Robert Turner is getting pushed around. Tennessee’s schedule has been bandied about as a factor, but by enemy run defenses, Johnson has faced the league’s No. 25 (Pittsburgh), No. 29 (Houston), No. 24 (San Diego) and No. 21 (Kansas City) units by yards allowed. Only the Jets in Week 4 (No. 2) rank as a truly imposing matchup on paper.      

The film reveals a simple truth: Johnson is less willing than ever to fight for extra yards. His legs stop churning once he reaches the pile. Johnson only seems interested in going the whole nine yards if … he can see the whole nine yards the second he gets the ball. He loses interest if there’s not a big hole, and that’s a problem, as Warmack, Levitre and Turner aren’t creating many big holes. Johnson, of course, has never been known as the league’s most physical runner. There’s always been much more finesse than violence to his game. But this season you can practically see him waving the white flag at the first sign of a fight. Johnson has five broken tackles in five games. That’s fewer than Danny Woodhead. CJ?K is perfectly content to get arm tackled, and will slow up to make things easier for incoming linebackers. He also gets more passive, or perhaps tired, as the game wears on. On carries 1-10, he’s averaging 4.0 yards. On everything after, that number plunges to 2.14.   

Are there any silver linings? The schedule … sort of. Johnson gets Seattle and San Francisco in Weeks 6 and 7 before things ease up with St. Louis, Jacksonville and Indianapolis after the Titans’ Week 8 bye. Those teams are permitting a collective 4.73 yards per carry. But that soft spot of the schedule is still three weeks away, and as Weeks 1-5 have shown, inviting matchups might not be enough in and of themselves to get Johnson going.  Since Johnson only seems interested in operating in space, the Titans have to get him more involved as a receiver. Week 5 was a sign that they’re hoping to do just that, as he notched four of his eight 2013 catches, taking one to the house for a 49-yard touchdown. Otherwise … this might be a player who simply isn’t keen on doing what needs to be done to get his season out of the gutter. Johnson’s workload will keep him on the RB2 borderline for another 2-3 weeks, but unless something changes in a hurry, CJwhateverK will soon find himself among the RB3s of the world.   

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $50,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 6. It's $25 to join and first prize is $7,500. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the link.

Week 6 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Peyton Manning vs. JAC -
2 Aaron Rodgers at BAL -
3 Drew Brees at NE -
4 Tony Romo vs. WAS -
5 Robert Griffin III at DAL -
6 Philip Rivers vs. IND -
7 Andrew Luck at SD -
8 Tom Brady vs. NO -
9 Matthew Stafford at CLE -
10 Cam Newton at MIN -
11 Jay Cutler vs. NYG -
12 Russell Wilson vs. TEN -
13 Terrelle Pryor at KC -
14 Colin Kaepernick vs. ARZ Probable (foot)
15 Eli Manning at CHI -
16 Ben Roethlisberger at NYJ -
17 Alex Smith vs. OAK -
18 Joe Flacco vs. GB -
19 Chad Henne at DEN -
20 Nick Foles at TB -
21 Sam Bradford at HOU -
22 Andy Dalton at BUF -
23 Matt Schaub vs. STL -
24 Geno Smith vs. PIT -
25 Brandon Weeden vs. DET -
26 Carson Palmer at SF -
27 Ryan Fitzpatrick at SEA -
28 Matt Cassel vs. CAR -
29 Mike Glennon vs. PHI -
30 Thad Lewis vs. CIN -

QB Notes: How do you know when the No. 1 quarterback is heads and shoulders above his competition? When he’s so good that the matchup of a lifetime could be a fantasy liability. We know Peyton Manning is going to rip apart the Jaguars limb by limb. The problem is, he might do it too quickly. There’s no way of knowing how long Manning will play in what is being billed as one of the biggest mismatches in NFL history. There’s also the matter of the Jaguars’ league worst run defense. Manning might be perfectly content to stick the ball in Knowshon Moreno’s chest for the majority of the afternoon. We’re just nitpicking, however. One quarter might be all Manning needs to make his fantasy owners’ day. Just don’t be surprised if he has one of his “worst” games of the young season, throwing for “only” 300 yards and three touchdowns. … Has Aaron Rodgers’ start seemed slow to you? It shouldn’t, he’s on pace for a career-high 5,324 yards, and is the No. 4 fantasy quarterback (by average points) through five weeks.

Drew Brees’ typically hot start speaks for itself, but it’s worth noting that with 31.25 percent of the season in the books, he’s on pace to break his 2011 NFL yardage record of 5,476 by 34 yards, and throw for a career-high 48 touchdowns. … Remember Tony Romo’s slow start? Romo entered Week 5 averaging just 6.72 yards per attempt, and on pace for a modest (by his standards) 4,060 yards. 506 yards and one 14.06 YPA later, Romo has laid to rest any concerns, and follows up his historic performance — his 36 attempts against Denver were the fewest ever by a quarterback in a 500-yard performance — with an even better matchup. The Redskins enter Week 6 allowing 9.2 yards per attempt — 0.4 more than any other team. Romo’s top-five rank isn’t a reaction to his Week 5, but a reflection of the right matchup at the right time. … The matchup is right for Robert Griffin III — Monte Kiffin’s defense has spent the year chasing ghosts — but it was in Week 4, too, and Griffin managed only 16.4 fantasy points against the Raiders. If RGIII doesn’t show noticeable improvement coming off Washington’s Week 5 bye, it might be time to readjust expectations.

Matthew Stafford’s Week 6 rank is inextricably linked to Calvin Johnson’s (knee) health. If Megatron plays, Stafford will be a top-eight option. If Mega doesn’t go, Stafford will remain out of the top 10. For now, Johnson is a true game-time decision. … Philip Rivers has been held below 400 yards only twice in five games. That’s the good news. The bad news is, he’s faced two top-10 passing defenses, and been held below 200 yards each time. Monday, he gets Indy’s sixth-ranked unit. It’s a big test. … Week 5 snapped Tom Brady’s streak of 52 consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass. Week 6 is expected to snap a different streak — Brady’s five-game stretch without world-beating TE Rob Gronkowski. With Danny Amendola (groin) also one week healthier, things remain on the upswing for Tom Terrific. … Andrew Luck gets a Chargers’ pass defense that can really only be described as a swinging gate. The Bolts are allowing enemy passers to complete 69.8 percent of their passes, while permitting 289 yards per game. Their 112.4 QB rating against is the worst in football. With injury and ineffectiveness beginning to sap the Colts’ run-first philosophy, Luck could be entering the top 10 to stay.

Cam Newton wasn’t blameless in Sunday’s debacle. As former Rotoworlder Gregg Rosenthal notes, Newton still has (major) issues sensing the rush. It’s a big part of the reason he was pressured an unfathomable 20 times against Arizona. But the majority of the blame still falls on the Panthers’ horrendous coaching, and inability to put their quarterback in the best position to succeed. Until “OC” Mike Shula realizes he needs to be manufacturing rush attempts every game for his dual-threat quarterback, Newton’s weekly output is going to be hard to nail down. The upside remains high, but the downside is lower than it should have ever been allowed to get. … On one hand, there’s “Jay Cutler is facing the Giants, hooray!” On the other there’s “turnover happy quarterback playing in a weekly showcase known more for its sloppiness than anything else.” Cutler is a QB1 for Week 6, but the matchup isn’t an inviting as it would be on a Sunday. … Averaging just 25.4 pass attempts per game and without a rushing score, Russell Wilson finds himself mired in the QB1 “friend zone.” His real-life play has been steadier than the stats suggest, but the fantasy upside might not be there until Percy Harvin returns and/or the Seahawks’ offensive line improves. Otherwise, coach Pete Carroll is going to stick with what's working, and that’s feeding Marshawn Lynch.

Terrelle Pryor has looked more impressive every week. His field awareness is light years ahead of where we thought it would be, while he’s sixth in the NFL in completion percentage (68.3). He’s turned the ball over only twice, and zero times over his past three starts. But he’s still just 20th in fantasy points per game, and is taking on a Chiefs defense that leads the league in sacks (21) and is second in QB YPA against (5.9). The time isn’t right to be overcome with excitement and start Pryor over one of your studs. … I’m a Colin Kaepernick apologist, but combined with his recent sluggishness, the matchup just isn’t right in a Cardinals defense that took its play to the next level after getting ILB Daryl Washington back in Week 5. Kaep is a QB1 dice roll for Week 6. … Two quarterbacks are completing fewer of their throws than Eli Manning this season: Blaine Gabbert and Josh Freeman. On the road on a Thursday night, Eli is a boom-or-bust QB2 against the Bears’ slipping defense. … Matt Schaub will be on a short leash Sunday. … Nick Foles has the ability to put up fantasy points in Chip Kelly’s offense, but on the road in a game where his No. 1 receiver will be doing battle with Darrelle Revis, he’s got a rough matchup. … Don’t expect any “FitzMagic” from Ryan Fitzpatrick in Seattle.

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Week 6 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Adrian Peterson vs. CAR -
2 Jamaal Charles vs. OAK Probable (toe)
3 LeSean McCoy at TB -
4 Arian Foster vs. STL Probable (thumb)
5 Marshawn Lynch vs. TEN Questionable (hip)
6 Matt Forte vs. NYG -
7 Doug Martin vs. PHI -
8 DeMarco Murray vs. WAS -
9 Reggie Bush at CLE Probable (knee)
10 Alfred Morris at DAL Probable (ribs)
11 Ray Rice vs. GB -
12 Trent Richardson at SD -
13 Frank Gore vs. ARZ Probable (knee)
14 Knowshon Moreno vs. JAC -
15 Le'Veon Bell at NYJ -
16 Eddie Lacy at BAL -
17 C.J. Spiller vs. CIN -
18 DeAngelo Williams at MIN -
19 Giovani Bernard at BUF -
20 Chris Johnson at SEA -
21 Danny Woodhead vs. IND -
22 Darren Sproles at NE -
23 Stevan Ridley vs. NO Questionable (knee)
24 Fred Jackson vs. CIN Probable (knee)
25 Ryan Mathews vs. IND Probable (concussion)
26 Zac Stacy at HOU -
27 Bilal Powell vs. PIT -
28 Willis McGahee vs. DET -
29 Maurice Jones-Drew at DEN -
30 Pierre Thomas at NE -
31 Joique Bell at CLE -
32 Darren McFadden at KC Questionable (hamstring)
33 BenJarvus Green-Ellis at BUF Probable (ankle)
34 Rashard Mendenhall at SF Probable (toe)
35 Da'Rel Scott at CHI Sidelined (hamstring)
36 Brandon Bolden vs. NO Questionable (knee)
37 Andre Ellington at SF -
38 Rashad Jennings at KC Questionable (hamstring)
39 LeGarrette Blount vs. NO -
40 Ronnie Hillman vs. JAC -
41 Ben Tate vs. STL -
42 Brandon Jacobs at CHI -
43 Chris Ivory vs. PIT Probable (hamstring)
44 Bernard Pierce vs. GB Questionable (thigh)
45 Daryl Richardson at HOU -
46 Roy Helu at DAL -
47 Mike Tolbert at MIN -
48 Chris Ogbonnaya vs. DET Probable (concussion)
49 Donald Brown at SD -
50 Bryce Brown at TB -
51 Kendall Hunter vs. ARZ -
52 Jackie Battle at SEA Probable (-)
53 Michael Bush vs. NYG -
54 Mike Goodson vs. PIT -
55 Montee Ball vs. JAC -
56 Marcel Reece at KC Probable (knee)
57 Robert Turbin vs. TEN -
58 John Kuhn at BAL Questionable (hamstring)
59 Bobby Rainey vs. DET -
60 Khiry Robinson at NE -
61 Ronnie Brown vs. IND -
62 Johnathan Franklin at BAL -

RB Notes: Between Weeks 1-3, Adrian Peterson averaged “just” 93.6 yards per game and 4.1 yards per carry. Those numbers came in the absence of suspended FB Jerome Felton. How did AD fare in Felton’s Week 4 return? 23/140/2. Throw Carolina’s strong numbers against the run out the window. … Jamaal Charles is only seventh in rushing yards per game (79.4), but is second in yards from scrimmage thanks to his weekly 5.6/50 as a receiver. … LeSean McCoy has 93 more yards rushing than any other back in the league, but with backup QB Nick Foles under center, he’ll be tested against the Bucs’ ninth-ranked run defense. Tampa has yet to allow a rushing touchdown. … Fresh off racking up 271 yards from scrimmage on 58 combined touches against the Seahawks and 49ers, Arian Foster gets a Rams defense allowing 126 rushing yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry. Throw in the fact that Houston will be reining in error-prone QB Matt Schaub, and you have all the ingredients for a monster afternoon from Foster. … Third in the league in rushing, Marshawn Lynch is first in broken tackles (per Pro Football Focus). Matchups don’t matter for Beast Mode.

Matt Forte has surpassed 90 yards from scrimmage in every game this season, and is averaging 5.4 catches. The Giants are allowing the ninth most points to enemy running backs. You do the math. … Doug Martin’s start: Not ideal. His Week 6 matchup is, however. The Eagles are allowing just 3.9 yards per carry and 108 yards per game, but are averaging 7.4 missed tackles per week. ILBs DeMeco Ryans Mychal Kendricks are a combined -27.9 in Pro Football Focus’ ratings, including -11.5 against the run. With rookie Mike Glennon at the controls, the Muscle Hamster is going to be the focal point for Tampa. … DeMarco Murray gets his third cake matchup in four weeks against the Redskins’ No. 31 run defense. He’s a veritable guarantee for 100 yards from scrimmage. … Trent Richardson? He’s getting his second cake matchup in three weeks. Unlike Murray, however, he didn’t take advantage of his first, and is averaging just 2.96 yards on 51 carries as Colt. His talent continues to stand out on film, but so does his hesitation. He’s a borderline RB1 when he should be an elite one.

Although he will play against the Cowboys, Alfred Morris’ admission that “remnants” of his rib injury remain is a bit concerning. AlMo has been dynamite when on the field this season, but has the potential to fall in this week’s ranks. … Reggie Bush’s status: Tied to Calvin Johnson’s health? The Packers suffocated the box in Megatron’s absence last weekend, limiting Bush to 69 yards from scrimmage and 3.4 yards per carry. Considering Cleveland’s front seven is twice as good as Green Bay’s, Bush will be a borderline RB1 if Johnson sits again. … The gory Ray Rice details: An average of 2.85 yards on his 57 carries, zero rushes of 20-plus yards and two lost fumbles. He’s averaging just 1.58 yards after first contact (per PFF), putting him behind the likes of Rashard Mendenhall and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. He has a tough road to hoe against a Packers’ run defense permitting 3.7 yards per carry.

The matchup couldn’t be better for Knowshon Moreno in a Jaguars defense allowing 4.9 yards per carry and a league-worst 160.6 rushing yards per game. As it is with Peyton Manning, the question is how much will he play. The Broncos have let Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball close out their other blowouts. “Too good of a matchup” is no reason to bench a player, however, particularly one that’s second in the league in rushing touchdowns and averaging 5.1 yards per carry. … Glass half empty: C.J. Spiller notched only 13 snaps and eight touches against the Browns last Thursday. Glass half full: He still finished with 66 yards and a touchdown despite playing on a bum ankle. Fantasy frustration is mounting with Spiller, but you know what the only thing more frustrating than his recent inconsistency would be? Leaving him on your bench for his inevitable 150-yard, two-touchdown outburst. This is not a player you give up on. … Giovani Bernard fumbled at the most inopportune time last Sunday, but guess how many he has this season? One. Guess how many BenJarvus Green-Ellis has? One. Bernard is averaging 1.7 more yards per carry (4.6 to 2.9) than his veteran teammate, and has 120 more yards on 14 fewer touches. He remains the clear fantasy call.  

Pierre Thomas is out-catching Darren Sproles this season (by two). Let’s just say that’s not something you should count on continuing. Per PFF, Sproles is averaging 3.02 yards per pass route to Thomas’ 1.84. Both players are averaging 12.0 fantasy points over the past three weeks, but with Sproles as spry and durable as ever, his track record gives him a considerable edge over Thomas. … Danny Woodhead flopped as the Chargers’ goal-line back last Sunday, but leading all runners in catches with 31, he’s an every-week FLEX in all formats. … The early signs suggest Stevan Ridley (knee) will play. LeGarrette Blount’s Week 5 fumble also suggests order will be restored in New England’s backfield. … Zac Stacy is worth FLEXing after parlaying easily the best performance by a Rams running back this season into another start. … If you must start a Giants running back Thursday evening, Da'Rel Scott gets the slight edge, though Brandon Jacobs is a better bet for a touchdown. … Apparently capped at 30-32 snaps per week, Andre Ellington is a boom-or-bust FLEX play. … Despite Week 5’s committee, Bilal Powell is the only Jets’ running back worth starting for the time being.

Week 6 Wide Receivers

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Dez Bryant vs. WAS -
2 Calvin Johnson at CLE -
3 Demaryius Thomas vs. JAC -
4 Torrey Smith vs. GB -
5 Victor Cruz at CHI -
6 Brandon Marshall vs. NYG -
7 A.J. Green at BUF -
8 Jordy Nelson at BAL -
9 Andre Johnson vs. STL -
10 Randall Cobb at BAL -
11 Pierre Garcon at DAL -
12 Wes Welker vs. JAC -
13 Eric Decker vs. JAC Probable (ankle)
14 Antonio Brown at NYJ -
15 Josh Gordon vs. DET -
16 Vincent Jackson vs. PHI -
17 DeSean Jackson at TB -
18 Reggie Wayne at SD -
19 Hakeem Nicks at CHI -
20 Alshon Jeffery vs. NYG -
21 Danny Amendola vs. NO Questionable (groin)
22 T.Y. Hilton at SD -
23 Justin Blackmon at DEN -
24 Marques Colston at NE -
25 Cecil Shorts at DEN Probable (groin)
26 James Jones at BAL -
27 Anquan Boldin vs. ARZ -
28 Steve Smith at MIN -
29 Julian Edelman vs. NO -
30 Michael Floyd at SF -
31 Emmanuel Sanders at NYJ -
32 Dwayne Bowe vs. OAK -
33 Greg Jennings vs. CAR -
34 Denarius Moore at KC -
35 Kendall Wright at SEA -
36 Vincent Brown vs. IND -
37 Keenan Allen vs. IND -
38 Terrance Williams vs. WAS -
39 Miles Austin vs. WAS Probable (hamstring)
40 Robert Woods vs. CIN -
41 DeAndre Hopkins vs. STL -
42 Kenbrell Thompkins vs. NO Questionable (shoulder)
43 Larry Fitzgerald at SF Questionable (hamstring)
44 Rueben Randle at CHI -
45 Nate Washington at SEA -
46 Golden Tate vs. TEN -
47 Stephen Hill vs. PIT -
48 Jerome Simpson vs. CAR -
49 Austin Pettis at HOU -
50 Brandon LaFell at MIN -
51 Donnie Avery vs. OAK Probable (shoulder)
52 Jeremy Kerley vs. PIT -
53 Chris Givens at HOU -
54 Marlon Brown vs. GB Questionable (hamstring)
55 Tavon Austin at HOU -
56 Leonard Hankerson at DAL -
57 Jerricho Cotchery at NYJ -
58 Ted Ginn at MIN -
59 Jason Avant at TB -
60 Darrius Heyward-Bey at SD -
61 Rod Streater at KC -
62 Sidney Rice vs. TEN Probable (-)
63 Eddie Royal vs. IND Probable (-)
64 Davone Bess vs. DET -
65 Santana Moss at DAL -
66 Doug Baldwin vs. TEN -
67 Andre Roberts at SF -
68 Mohamed Sanu at BUF -
69 Jacoby Jones vs. GB Questionable (knee)
70 Kenny Britt at SEA -
71 Kenny Stills at NE -

WR Notes: Dez Bryant leads all receivers in fantasy points per game through the season’s first five weeks. … Calvin Johnson (knee) will remain at No. 2 as long as there’s a reasonable expectation he suits up for Week 6. For now, there is. … To the surprise of no one, Demaryius Thomas’ 261 yards after the catch are tied for first (with Julio Jones) through five weeks. Don’t be surprised if/when he eventually overtakes Wes Welker for the Broncos’ touchdown lead. … Third in the league in receiving yards, Torrey Smith has zero drops on 51 targets. He’s averaging 20.6 yards per catch, and 8.0 yards after every catch. His 2.57 yards per pass route (per PFF) are tied for fourth. Whether or not you believe the former one-dimensional speedster can keep up at this rate, there’s no debating he’s off to a positively elite start. … Averaging 6.2 catches per game, Victor Cruz has cleared 118 yards in three of five contests. He’s the only good thing the embarrassingly bad Giants have going.

Alshon Jeffery is averaging 7.3 catches for 125.3 yards over his past three games. They’re obviously elite numbers that lock the second-year pro in as a high-end WR3 with room to grow. The question is, what do they mean for Brandon Marshall? Truthfully, probably good things. Jeffery’s breakout means opposing defenses can no longer bracket Marshall, freeing up more clean looks for one of the league’s pound-for-pound strongest players. Owners may be concerned that Jeffery out-targeted Marshall 13-5 in Week 5, but what that really means is that rival defensive coordinators will now see a quarterback in Jay Cutler who has two receivers he’s not afraid to lock onto. The more defensive attention for Jeffery, the less for Marshall. Will Marshall match last year’s 118/1,508/11? Probably not. Is the 99/1,210/10 he’s on pace for still very much attainable? Absolutely. Jeffery’s emergence means Marshall’s monster weeks may be fewer and farther between, but they certainly aren’t going the way of the dinosaur.

A.J. Green’s got a problem: Its name is Andy Dalton. With the Bengals tightening the reins on their regressing third-year quarterback, Green is averaging just 5.5/50 over his past four games. More troubling is that Green has drawn a weekly 11.5 targets during that time span, but Dalton is missing on over half of them. No quarterback can keep a receiver of Green’s talent down for long, but a top-five finish is beginning to look like a stretch. Green could break his slump as early as this weekend, however, if Bills CB Stephon Gilmore (wrist) still isn’t ready to return. … With his injury-wrecked 2012 firmly in the rearview mirror, Jordy Nelson is on pace for 92/1,484/12. … The Rams are allowing the eighth most points to enemy wideouts. Andre Johnson is going to eat after his down Week 5. … Only 14 more players — players, not receivers — are averaging more yards from scrimmage than Randall Cobb. … Wes Welker: touchdown dependent? As strange as that sounds, Welker is scoring a weekly touchdown while averaging just 6.2 catches and 63 yards. The latter number is 17.2 less than he averaged during his Patriots career. Welker will be more WR3 than WR2 if/when his touchdown numbers taper off.

Eric Decker is tied with Mike Wallace for the league lead in drops with six, though he’s cleared 87 yards every game since Week 1. … DeSean Jackson is second in the league in yards per pass route (per PFF), but will be dealing with Darrelle Revis and Nick Foles on Sunday. With three boom performances and two bust ones thus far this season, he’s a high-upside, high-risk WR2 for Week 6. … If you think Brandon Weeden is going to torpedo Josh Gordon’s fantasy production, maybe you should refresh yourself on the numbers Gordon posted as the third-youngest player in the league last season. Obviously Brian Hoyer — or a trade — would be preferred, but old-man Weeden will get the ball to his No. 1 receiver, much like he did on the duo’s beautifully-executed 37-yard touchdown last Thursday. … It’s getting harder and harder to hold out WR1 hope for Larry Fitzgerald, who’s averaging just 4/52 since Week 2. Blame a deteriorating Carson Palmer. … Hakeem Nicks has laid two eggs this season, but has actually cleared 83 yards each of his other three times out. His upside isn’t as high as it once was, but he’s a WR2.

Danny Amendola (groin) didn’t appear all the way back in Week 5, but 4-55 on just 38 snaps in a game where Tom Brady was uncharacteristically inaccurate and the weather exceptionally poor was not a bad return. He’s a must-start WR2 whenever he’s in the lineup. … T.Y. Hilton has been boom-or-bust in 2013, but facing a defense allowing the fourth most points to opposing receivers and third-worst enemy YPA (8.6) is a prime “boom” opportunity. … That’ll do Justin Blackmon, that’ll do. Even if Blackmon has a poor first half against the Broncos’ pedestrian pass defense, he should make up for it in garbage time. Blackmon was a much more effective player with Chad Henne, as opposed to Blaine Gabbert, under center last season. … Julian Edelman can still be a 6-7 catch player even with Danny Amendola back in the lineup. He’s an acceptable, if low-end, WR3. … Terrance Williams is mistake-prone, but he’s also big-play prone. He’s caught 16-of-19 targets, and is fantasy’s No. 19 receiver over the past three weeks. Even if Miles Austin (hamstring) returns, Williams is worth a WR3 dice roll. … Keenan Allen is no higher than No. 4 on the Chargers’ targets totem pole, but his overall skill-set has stuck out like a sore thumb the past two weeks. A pair of sure hands that’s going to get red-zone looks, Allen needs to be 100 percent owned.

Week 6 Tight Ends

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Jimmy Graham at NE -
2 Antonio Gates vs. IND -
3 Jason Witten vs. WAS -
4 Julius Thomas vs. JAC -
5 Jordan Cameron vs. DET -
6 Vernon Davis vs. ARZ Probable (hamstring)
7 Greg Olsen at MIN Probable (foot)
8 Jermichael Finley at BAL Probable (concussion)
9 Heath Miller at NYJ -
10 Martellus Bennett vs. NYG -
11 Garrett Graham vs. STL -
12 Coby Fleener at SD -
13 Jared Cook at HOU -
14 Kyle Rudolph vs. CAR -
15 Tyler Eifert at BUF -
16 Brandon Pettigrew at CLE -
17 Brandon Myers at CHI Questionable (ankle)
18 Jermaine Gresham at BUF -
19 Jordan Reed at DAL Probable (quadriceps)
20 Sean McGrath vs. OAK -
21 Brent Celek at TB -
22 Scott Chandler vs. CIN -
23 Delanie Walker at SEA -
24 Dallas Clark vs. GB -
25 Clay Harbor at DEN -
26 Jeff Cumberland vs. PIT -
27 Lance Kendricks at HOU -
28 Mychal Rivera at KC -
29 Tim Wright vs. PHI -
30 Joseph Fauria at CLE -
31 Rob Housler at SF -
32 Fred Davis at DAL Probable (ankle)
33 Zach Ertz at TB -
34 Gavin Escobar vs. WAS -
35 Luke Willson vs. TEN -
36 Michael Hoomanawanui vs. NO -

TE Notes: Forget tight ends, Jimmy Graham leads all pass catchers in receiving yards. … Averaging 7.5 catches for 97.3 yards since Week 1, Antonio Gates has turned back the clock. That means opposing defenses should soon do the same, bracketing Gates like they did during his glorious prime. For now, however, he’s a consistent bright spot at a position without much consistency this season. … 20 Jason Witten’s 43 targets have come during the two games Miles Austin missed. With Austin (hamstring) tentatively on track to return this weekend, it’s fair to wonder if the Witten gravy train might dry up to its Week 1-3 levels. Regardless, the matchup in Washington’s swinging-gate defense — a unit Witten stung for 16 catches in two games last season — is too good to consider Dallas’ ageless tight end anything other than a top-three option. … Rob Gronkowski (back, forearm) is finally expected to make his 2013 debut this weekend. Plug him in and never look back.

Julius Thomas is shaping up as a bit of a boom-or-bust option in Denver’s loaded option, but when someone booms the way Thomas does, you can never consider benching them. This week he’s squaring off with the Jaguars, a team allowing the seventh most points to opposing tight ends. … Something you may have forgotten about Jordan Cameron’s hot start: His first 14 catches, 193 yards and touchdown came with Brandon Weeden under center in Weeks 1-2. Of course Brian Hoyer is preferable, but Weeden isn’t going to suddenly derail Cameron’s breakout campaign. … Vernon Davis has been inconsistent this season, but is still No. 4 in tight end fantasy points, and is squaring off with a Cardinals team allowing the fourth most points to rival tight ends. … Martellus Bennett (knee) is expected to play Thursday evening, but is a game-time decision. Be ready to bench him if the 7ET inactives bring bad news.

Greg Olsen (foot/ankle) will be limited in this week’s practices, but is fully expected to suit up against the Vikings. He can’t be benched against a team getting positively smoked by tight ends this season. … An every-snap player in Week 4, Heath Miller has already resumed his role as the league’s top plug-and-play TE2. … A red-zone threat who’s posted a 15/141/3 line despite limited playing time, Garrett Graham is a TE1 sleeper to monitor in the absence of Owen Daniels. He’s worth a Week 6 flier. … As per usual, Coby Fleener followed up his Week 4 5/77/1 with a dud. He’s the definition of a TE2. … Jared Cook is averaging 3.3/31.3 since his 7/141/2 Week 1. The upside is still there, but St. Louis — Cook included — still appears to have no idea how to harness it. … Sean McGrath has at least four catches is three straight games, and is a mildly compelling TE3 in 12-14 team leagues.     

Week 6 Kickers

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Stephen Gostkowski vs. NO -
2 Blair Walsh vs. CAR -
3 Dan Bailey vs. WAS -
4 Garrett Hartley at NE -
5 Matt Prater vs. JAC -
6 Sebastian Janikowski at KC Probable (calf)
7 Justin Tucker vs. GB -
8 David Akers at CLE -
9 Nick Novak vs. IND -
10 Greg Zuerlein at HOU -
11 Josh Brown at CHI -
12 Kai Forbath at DAL -
13 Mason Crosby at BAL -
14 Phil Dawson vs. ARZ -
15 Steven Hauschka vs. TEN -
16 Alex Henery at TB -
17 Jay Feely at SF -
18 Shaun Suisham at NYJ Probable (hamstring)
19 Adam Vinatieri at SD -
20 Robbie Gould vs. NYG -
21 Dan Carpenter vs. CIN -
22 Nick Folk vs. PIT -
23 Ryan Succop vs. OAK -
24 Rob Bironas at SEA -
25 Mike Nugent at BUF -
26 Randy Bullock vs. STL -
27 Graham Gano at MIN -
28 Josh Scobee at DEN -
29 Billy Cundiff vs. DET Probable (quadriceps)
30 Rian Lindell vs. PHI -

Week 6 Defense/Special Teams

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Seahawks Def/Spec Team vs. TEN -
2 Broncos Def/Spec Team vs. JAC -
3 Fortyniners Def/Spec Team vs. ARZ -
4 Bengals Def/Spec Team at BUF -
5 Chiefs Def/Spec Team vs. OAK -
6 Jets Def/Spec Team vs. PIT -
7 Texans Def/Spec Team vs. STL -
8 Bears Def/Spec Team vs. NYG -
9 Panthers Def/Spec Team at MIN -
10 Lions Def/Spec Team at CLE -
11 Vikings Def/Spec Team vs. CAR -
12 Eagles Def/Spec Team at TB -
13 Browns Def/Spec Team vs. DET -
14 Buccaneers Def/Spec Team vs. PHI -
15 Colts Def/Spec Team at SD -
16 Cardinals Def/Spec Team at SF -
17 Steelers Def/Spec Team at NYJ -
18 Cowboys Def/Spec Team vs. WAS -
19 Ravens Def/Spec Team vs. GB -
20 Bills Def/Spec Team vs. CIN -
21 Rams Def/Spec Team at HOU -
22 Patriots Def/Spec Team vs. NO -
23 Packers Def/Spec Team at BAL -
24 Saints Def/Spec Team at NE -
25 Titans Def/Spec Team at SEA -
26 Chargers Def/Spec Team vs. IND -
27 Raiders Def/Spec Team at KC -
28 Giants Def/Spec Team at CHI -
29 Redskins Def/Spec Team at DAL -
30 Jaguars Def/Spec Team at DEN -