Week 6 Tidbits
I have written this week’s tidbits and gotten them in under the gun of Thursday night football and let me get this out of the way up front- I HATE THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL. I avoid Thursday night players like the plague. Now, if your stars are playing on Thursdays, you have to start them obviously, but what I do that may or may not be wise, is when I have a fringe player playing on Thursdays, I normally choose a player that is playing on Sunday or Monday ahead of them.
Yes, if that player has a good game on Thursday night, it bites at you the rest of the weekend. On the other side, what bites even more is when that player lays an egg and you have to see that egg all weekend long and when Sunday games commence, you know you are fighting an uphill battle.
I have purposely submitted my articles after the Thursday night games in recent weeks to avoid any chatter about them, but this week’s Chargers vs Broncos game has various fantasy implications on both sides. On the Denver side of the ball, there are various bounce back candidates after the loss to the Falcons and with the game being in Denver, I expect the offense to be strong no matter which QB plays the majority of the snaps.
The key thing to watch tonight will be the Broncos running game whose architect, Gary Kubiak, will miss tonight’s ball game.
C.J. Anderson has been held under 50 yards rushing over each of his last 3 games. This is a product of the opposing defenses focusing on stopping the run and letting either Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch at quarterback beat them. Even with this being the case, keep in mind that Devontae Booker, a rookie out of the University of Utah, is being involved more and more in the Broncos offense each week and his overtaking the veteran on the depth chart at the running back position may be on the horizon.
This week, Anderson will either have a productive week or Booker will be a very popular waiver wire addition in Week 7. With this week’s opponent being the Chargers, I suspect Anderson will rebound and could have a multiple touchdown game if things play out right for him, but do not be surprised if Booker vultures a TD for his first score of his career.
On the other side, the Chargers have been the most snake bitten team in the NFL . First, their top 5 pick of Joey Bosa did not make his NFL debut until Week 5. Then they lost Keenan Allen and DannyWoodhead for the season in the first 2 weeks of the year. In their first 4 games, they led each game in the final 2 minutes, only to end up with a 1-3 record in those games.
Week 5 may have topped it all when they failed on a field goal attempt to tie the game in the final minutes because their placeholder had gotten hurt earlier in the game and could not reach up to catch the high snap for the kick. Now, the Chargers now head to Denver on a short week to play against a Broncos team coming off of its first loss.
Philip Rivers has been a popular play all season long and to his credit, he has rewarded his owners with consistent production even without arguably his most key weapons of Allen and Woodhead. This week’s matchup may end that streak as the Denver Broncos defense will be likely to keep the pass rush on all game, and unless Melvin Gordon can sustain a running game to take pressure off of Rivers, it may be a long night for the Chargers.
Now, onto Sunday we will go.
Colin Kaepernick is being given a reason to stand this week as he is now starting for the 49ers, but do keep in mind that the 49ers are doing the trek cross country to play a 1pm eastern time game at Buffalo. Some may recall the 49ers did this earlier in the year when they went to Carolina. Before that game, I suggested that you avoid playing Carlos Hyde for the travel reasons and I also suggested that the 49ers offense would be sluggish. The final of that game was 46-27 as the San Francisco offense put up some points, but Hyde only rushed for 34 yards on 14 carries, while catching 3 passes for 18 yards and fumbled on 1 of his carries. The focus this week will be entirely on Kaepernick, but I expect that the reaction after the game will be Hyde’s lack of production. I will be benching Hyde this week in the leagues where I own him.
The shootout game of the week may be a battle of one win teams down in New Orleans as the Panthers look to rebound from a very disappointing loss to the Buccaneers on Monday night. We are all aware that Drew Brees and the Saints offense is a juggernaut when playing at home and look for Brandin Cooks to have a solid game this week.
After week one, where Cooks had two touchdowns among his six catches for 143 yards, he has been more than contained in his following three games, not having scored in any of them while accumulating 112 total yards combined. Look for the Saints, who are coming off of a bye, to make sure that Cooks gets involved early and often.
Cam Newton should be returning from his one game absence, as he is recovering from a concussion. Most will focus on Newton’s performance, but it would seem to me that the Panthers’ running game is what stands to benefit most. Not so much that Newton will be running himself, but instead, he should be handing the ball off to Cameron Artis-Payne and Fozzy Whittaker.
Yes, because of the nature of the matchup, Newton will need to throw the ball as well, but the best way to take care of a QB coming off an injury of any kind is for him to hand the ball off. Along with passes coming their way, do not be surprised if Artis-Payne and Whitaker are either accumulating yards or being targeted in over 40 plays combined on Sunday. If you own either of them, they should find a way into your lineup. If you own both and you need to replace someone on bye in your lineup, this may be the week that you start both of them.
The game of the week that I am surprised is not getting more buildup than what it has so far is the Falcons traveling cross country to face Seattle. The schedule makers did the Falcons no favors by scheduling back to back road games against Denver and Seattle.
Not only are they quality teams to be facing, but the travel involved is ridiculous. Unlike above where I referenced the 49ers traveling east and being at a disadvantage, traveling east-to-west is normally not so bad.
However, when you take into account all the travel miles involved if the Falcons returned to Atlanta this week, their legs may not be underneath them come Sunday. The Vegas line has the Seahawks favored in this game by 6.5 and that would suggest to me that people betting on these games feel the same way I do.
With such a forecast, you have to like Christine Michael with fresh legs off of a bye week to get plenty of touches and Doug Baldwin has got to be moved up in your rankings this week as well because he should be able to get open against an already suspect Falcons secondary, regardless of their travels or not.
As always, I welcome your feedback and your additional tidbits that you have come across. Have a great week everyone.
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