It's Week 6 and we are almost at the halfway point of the 2015
fantasy regular season. Now is not the time to sit back and relax.
Trends are becoming recognizable and the smart fantasy owner adjusts
as early as possible so their changes will have more time to produce
Truth, when not sought after, rarely comes to light.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes
1) Eli Manning is a better fantasy
QB than older brother Peyton Manning.
I posted that bold prediction
in the first week of August and it’s turned out to be 100-percent
true. Even without a healthy Victor
Cruz, the younger Manning is averaging 283.4 ypg through the
air and has amassed 10 touchdowns against just two interceptions.
Meanwhile, 39-year-old Peyton has gone from five-time MVP to “game
manager” despite staying relatively healthy (246.8 ypg, six TDs,
seven INTs). Peyton is no longer a plug and play option though
after the team’s bye in Week 7 Denver has a favorable schedule
so don’t trade him away for cents on the dollar.
2) Now is the perfect time to “sell
high” on Cleveland’s Josh McCown.
McCown led all quarterbacks with 40 fantasy points last weekend
and has thrown for more than 300-yards in each of the past three
games along with seven touchdown passes. His numbers look great,
but check out his next three opponents and you won’t want to start
him in any of the games. He’ll face Denver, St. Louis and Arizona.
They have combined to pick off 23 passes while yielding just 15
touchdown passes and are all top-6 against opposing fantasy quarterbacks.
“Sell” McCown while his value is at the highest point of his 13-year
Back to the bench: Thomas Rawls will likely
take a back seat when Marshawn Lynch returns in Week 6.
3) Seattle’s Thomas Rawls will be
the next DeAngelo Williams.
After his second 100-yard rushing game of the season, Thomas
Rawls will likely take a back seat to returning Marshawn
Lynch just as Williams did upon the return of superstar Le’Veon
Bell. Though Todd Haley promised to keep Williams involved
in the offense, it hasn’t happened and Rawls will see the same
treatment if Lynch returns from his hamstring injury on Sunday
as expected. Rawls will become the next Robert
Turbin - who as backup to Lynch from 2012-14 never saw more
than 80 rushing attempts in any season. Plus, Fred
Jackson is there to pick up the receiving work.
5) Over the past three weeks, the
best fantasy TE has been Gary Barnidge.
Barnidge has caught 20 balls for 319 yards and three scores
over the span, including one between his legs for a touchdown
against Baltimore. The Browns tight end is only owned in about
half of all fantasy leagues, but don’t go overboard trying to
acquire him. Just as Josh
McCown will have a tough time against his next three opponents,
so will Barnidge. The Broncos, Rams and Cardinals are all top
teams against opposing tight ends too.
Beware of the “half-truth.” You may have gotten hold of the
- Unknown source
1) Calvin Johnson is still Megatron.
Even considering he’s faced two of the toughest cornerbacks in
the league over the past two games (Richard
Sherman and Patrick Peterson), Calvin
Johnson hasn’t looked like the wideout who has averaged 1,429
yards and 10 touchdowns from 2008-13. Part of that is the addition
of a quality receiver across from him (Golden
Tate) and part is the dramatic fall in production from his
Stafford), but Johnson simply hasn’t looked like an upper-echelon
fantasy receiver. He’s currently ranked 20th in total points (70.20)
and 25th in fantasy points per game (14.04). That’s WR2 production
… at best. The Lions schedule gets a lot easier, so Johnson’s
value should improve, but I doubt it will rise to elite status.
2) Devonta Freeman will continue to
produce at his current level.
Nobody can keep up the pace Devonta
Freeman has produced over the past three games – 37.6 fantasy
ppg. In Chris
Johnson’s magical 2009 season he rang up 421 fantasy points
(26.3 ppg). In 2012 Adrian Peterson produced 23.5 ppg. Hey, in
1942 the great Don Hutson was not only a wide receiver but the
Green Bay Packers’ place-kicker and he could only average 24.45
ppg (assuming anyone had played fantasy football 73 years ago).
Freeman has a favorable schedule, but the return of Tevin
Coleman could eat into his total as could the team deciding
to ease Freeman’s workload as they think about a deep playoff
3) Matt Forte’s struggles in the passing
game are due to the offensive coordinator.
In Week 4, I blamed OC Adam Gase for Matt
Forte’s reduced role in the passing game. That turned out
to be one of those “half-truths.” The problem was also Jimmy
Clausen at quarterback. Since Jay
Cutler returned from his hamstring injury in Week 4, Forte’s
role in the passing game has risen significantly. He averaged
3.4 targets per game under Clausen and 6.5 targets with Cutler
at the helm this season. That’s still below last season’s 8.1
targets per game, but not horrible. Forte has three above average
matchups on the schedule over the next four weeks (he’s on bye
in Week 7).
4) Jameis Winston is a turnover machine
who is killing the Bucs and fantasy owners.
OK, it’s true he’s a turnover waiting to happen (seven interceptions,
three fumbles in five games), but he's also producing better numbers
than McCown and Mike
Glennon did last season or Glennon and Josh
Freeman in 2013. The rookie is averaging 7.7 yards per attempt
and 234.8 ypg through the air. Winston is ranked 15th in fantasy
points ahead of the likes of Sam
Carr, Stafford and Peyton
Manning. And the threat of Winston seems to have opened up
the running game for Doug
Martin, who is having his best season since 2012.
5) Charcandrick West will be the most
popular pickup in Week 6.
Don’t get caught up in the hype. Charcandrick
West, a second-year back out of Abilene Christian, has been
the backup to Jamaal
Charles over the past few games. He inherited the backup job
Davis suffered an injured knee in the season opener. West
may be the starter in Week 6 and if you only need a back for one
week he’s your guy, but there are many, this writer included,
who think Davis (career 5.8 ypc) is the better fit for the Chiefs’
offense and will eventually win out.
Steve Schwarz served as the fantasy sports editor of The Sports Network and is the 2014 FSWA Football Writer of the Year.