This article can be found at Football Diehards written by Ginny Loveless:
As we head into week 6 of the NFL season, the fantasy realm is abuzz with updates and injuries. Here are some important tidbits to remember . . .
*WR Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring) is listed as doubtful and has not practiced all week. WR David Clowney will be in the starting lineup and could pick up where he left off last week, fantasy-wise. With Cotchery out, it appears Braylon Edwards’ fantasy stock rises even more, considering the interest QB Mark Sanchez has showed to him thus far. (NY Jets vs. Buffalo)
*RB Knowshon Moreno is still the featured back in Denver, although RB Correll Buckhalter (ankle) is predicted to return this week. Keep an eye on potential the role-changes in Denver. (Denver @San Diego)
*RB Mike Bell is to return to the field this week after missing two games with a knee injury. While this seemingly makes the Saints’ backfield a bit more crowded, RB Pierre Thomas (hamstring) has been limited in practice all week and is listed as probable. (New Orleans vs. Giants)
*QB Matthew Stafford (knee) and WR Calvin Johnson (knee) are unlikely to play on Sunday; both have sat out of practice all week and are officially listed as questionable. QB Daunte Culpepper is expected to make his second start, while WR Dennis Northcutt is slated to lineup opposite Bryant Johnson is Calvin Johnson’s stead. (Detroit @ Green Bay)
*RB Willie Parker (turf toe) is expected to return to the field, and has practiced every day this week. RB Rashard Mendenhall is still reported to be the starter in Pittsburgh, although Parker is slated to get a bite-size portion of the carries. The good news is that this week they are playing at home against the NFL’s worst run defense. (Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland)
*Other key injuries, currently listed as QUESTIONABLE:
Arizona WR Steve Breaston (knee)
Minnesota WR Percy Harvin (shoulder)
Cincinnati RB Brian Leonard (groin) – Doubtful
Philadelphia WR Kevin Curtis (knee)
Oakland WR Chaz Schilens (foot)
New England TE Benjamin Watson (head)
*Teams on bye: Indianapolis Colts, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers , and Miami Dolphins.
Without further ado, here is our expert edition of the Twitter Fantasy Football Roundtable that you have been dying to get your hands on all week.
Ginny Loveless, footballdiehards.com (@GBGinny)
Sleeper#1: Donnie Avery, WR, St. Louis Rams
Coming off his best performance of the year (5/87/1), Donnie Avery faces a Jaguar defense that gives up a monstrous average of 29.6 fantasy points to opposing receivers. To those same receivers, the Jags have allowed 1000+ receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Per receiver, that’s an average 16 receptions for 205 yards and 1.8 touchdowns! While that data is slightly inflated due to the outrageous performances of TJ Houshmandzadeh and Nate Burleson last week, the concept remains the same: opposing WR’s should excel against Jacksonville. The Jags have also allowed the most receptions (78) to rival wide receivers, and Avery is the most-targeted player on the team with an average of 6.4 per game. On a side note, while I officially list Donnie Avery as the sleeper WR for St. Louis this week, keep your eye on Keenan Burton. His targets increased two-fold from weeks four to five, with a 44.4% increase since the departure of Laurent Robinson.
Sleeper#2: Thomas Jones, RB, NY Jets
In this home game against Buffalo, it seems like the Jets’ main running back, Thomas Jones, is going to have a sweet ride. The Bills are under serious injury constraints with the loss of linebackers Paul Posluzny and John DiGeorgio and backups Kawika Mitchell and Marcus Buggs. In addition, safeties Donte Whitner and Bryan Scott have been out for the past two matchups. (Reports indicate, however, that Posluzny and Whitner should be back this week.) Nonetheless, the Bills give their opposing running backs an average of 24.6 fantasy points per game, with an average of 151 rushing yards and 1.4 touchdowns per game. And since the Jets like to spread the ball around their backfield, Leon Washington and possibly (in a blow-out situation) Shonn Greene could make for effective Flex plays if you face bye week issues.
Sleeper#3: Jermicheal Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers
This is one of those times when you stash a player on your bench and start him for a prime-time situational matchup. Last week I told everyone to start Finley since he was up against Minnesota, the most gracious team towards opposing tight ends. Finely broke out against them with six catches for 128 yards and a touchdown. If you missed out, don’t fret – start him this week against the Lions. So far this year, the Lions have allowed six touchdowns their opposing tight ends, the most of any team in the league, giving those tight ends an average of 10.2 fantasy points per game.
Bust#1: Matt Cassel, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Over the last three games, Matt Cassel has been the 12th ranked QB in fantasy points. That ends this week. He is going against a Washington defense that is ranked third against opposing QBs and has only allowed one TD per game through the 1st five weeks. When you add in that KC has allowed their QBs to be sacked 17 times, I am looking for Cassel to be running for his life all game.
Bust#2: Julius Jones, RB, Seattle Seahawks
After getting off to a better start than most fantasy owners expected, Jones has come back down to earth the last two weeks, only scoring a total of 10 fantasy points in both weeks combined. This week he goes against a Cardinals defense that has not allowed a single rusher over 66 yards in any contest. When you consider they have faced the likes of Frank Gore, Maurice Jones-Drew, Joseph Addai and Donald Brown, and Steve Slaton, they have done their job. Look for them to shut down Jones this week.
Bust#3: Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans
I know I am going to get a ton of flack for this, as a matter of fact I had some arguments going back and forth on twitter this week about it, but Cincy has done a great job shutting down opposing teams #1 WR. Looking back at the CIN/PIT game, some would make the argument that Hines Ward might still be considered the #1, but most fantasy owners don’t think that. Holmes has been the #1 for a while now. I know AJ can always break a big one and turn this right around, but I just think he will have a tough game against a suddenly very tough Leon Hall.
Running Back Sleeper: LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
Brian Westbrook’s role in the Philadelphia offense is on the down slope right now based solely on the fact that head coach Andy Reid said that he would be splitting carries with McCoy from here on out. Seeing as Westbrook only managed to get six carries last week, I imagine that his numbers (while not being as low as six carries each week) will continue to decline over the course of the season. In steps McCoy who was impressive in his one game as a starter (20 carries for 84 yards) and is averaging over four yards per carry in limited action. Add that to the fact that Philadelphia is playing Oakland and its 31st ranked rush defense on Sunday and McCoy is suddenly a very tempting option this week despite sharing carries with the aging Westbrook.
Running Back Bust: LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers
Tomlinson is one running back that I never thought would hit a wall. However, he has been plagued by injuries nearly all year and when he actually is on the field; he is averaging only 10 rushes per game and 3.5 yards per carry. He has looked no better than a backup at this point yet people continue to plug him into their lineups based on his name alone. Well this week the Chargers face off against the Broncos and this isn’t quite the Denver defense that took the field in 2008. The best a single back has done against the Broncos this season was Cedric Benson back in week one when he gained 76 yards on the ground. Since then, they have been downright nasty in stopping opposing runners and currently rank ninth overall in rush defense. Tomlinson might find his stride at some point this year, but it won’t be against Mike Nolan’s stout defense on Monday night.
Quarterback Sleeper: Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle Seahawks
After a huge game last week he may not count as a sleeper, but there is a good chance he is your backup QB and unless you have a stud with a great matchup I believe Hasselbeck is your man. He is at home once again, which is often key for the Seahawks and he gets the Cardinals who have given up the most yards per game through the air. There is a good chance that Arizona’s passing attack will keep them in the game which should allow Hass plenty of opportunity to throw to Burleson and Houshmandzadeh.
Quarterback Bust: Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
I’m not going to tell you to sit Philip Rivers for JaMarcus Russell, but Denver’s pass defense isn’t just a fluke. I would start Hasselbeck over him this week and not feel bad about it. Well, a little, but sometimes we have to trust the statistics and Denver has given up the least amount of fantasy points to quarterbacks. I think it’s time to get on the Denver defensive bandwagon even though they average about 52 years of age.
Wide Receiver Sleeper: Donnie Avery, St. Louis Rams
No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing receivers so far than Jacksonville. Although many of those can be attributed to last week’s four-touchdown debacle against Seattle, the Jaguars have yielded at least one touchdown to opposing wideouts every week. In addition, at least one enemy receiver has finished each game with seven catches or more. Avery ranked behind Keenan Burton in targets last week (and he’s also a sleeper this time), but it was Avery who caught three of Marc Bulger’s seven passes, including the touchdown, upon Bulger’s entrance.
Wide Receiver Bust: Andre Johnson, Houston Texans
No starting X receiver has caught more than four passes against the Bengals and CB Leon Hall this year. Among all wideouts, only one has caught a touchdown pass against Cincinnati that was actually thrown to him. (The other, of course, was that miracle tip and bounce to Brandon Stokely.) As good as Johnson is, he has already had three games this year in which he caught four passes or fewer. The players Hall has already helped to neutralize include Brandon Marshall, Greg Jennings, Santonio Holmes and Derrick Mason.
Tight End Sleeper: Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars
With a soft match-up against St. Louis, look for David Garrard to spread the ball around and utilize his big TE, Lewis. I think four catches for about 50 yards is the bare minimum Lewis can do for your squad with a good chance at finding the end-zone this Sunday.
Tight End Bust: Kevin Boss, NY Giants
Boss was a Week 5 scratch due to an ankle injury and the Giants have too many weapons to rely on Boss in Week 6 against a good Saints defense. The TE to start in this game is ex-Giant and current Saint, Jeremy Shockey. He’ll no doubt want to stick it to his old squad.
Team Defense Sleeper: Green Bay Packers (vs. Detroit Lions)
Green Bay is coming off their bye week fully rested after the tough loss to the Vikings in Week 4. Green Bay has had an extra week to study some old Daunte Culpepper game tape as the Lions will probably be without rookie QB Matthew Stafford again this week. Without Calvin Johnson, Al Harris and Charles Woodson will have no problem shutting down Bryant Johnson and company. Green Bay won’t let up in the 2nd half like Pittsburgh did last week, they’ll keep the pressure on so that they can keep pace in the tough NFC North. Green Bay was probably dropped last week in your league because of their bye week, make sure to scoop them off the waiver wire this week and start them with confidence. Another defensive score like rookie LB Clay Matthews’ TD against the Vikings is not out of the question.
Team Defense Bust: Chicago Bears (at Atlanta Falcons)
Chicago draws a tough matchup versus the white-hot Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on Sunday Night Football. The Bears finally return to the scene of one of Matt Ryan’s most impressive highlights from his rookie season, the last second 22-20 victory by the Falcons over the Bears. The Bears won’t have much of a chance to atone for their loss last season as the Falcons are coming off a 45-10 drubbing of an upstart 49ers team. The Bears still remain a name defense to many casual fantasy football owners, but they’ll continue to struggle without Brian Urlacher who is lost for the season. The 3-1 Bears are giving up 19.5 points per game, and Atlanta could easily score over 30 this week. If you don’t have another option it would be recommended to hit the waiver wire this week.