Last Minute Emergency Lineup Changes: Week 6
The theme of the sixth week in the NFL seems to be injuries. As a matter of fact, injuries have been plaguing teams all season long, but it seems as if a plethora of accidents have been happening recently. Teams have lost everyone from their starting QB’s all the way to their kickers. The silver lining for all of these ailments comes from the Fantasy Football Gods, because with these injuries comes a lot of waiver wire work that Fantasy nerds, like myself, thrive off of. This weeks advice for your last minute lineup changes comes with a couple of unfamiliar faces and has someone for pretty much every position that will be finding success because of a teammates injury.
The Indianapolis Colts had a huge blow to their roster this past week when they learned that they would be without starting back, Donald Brown, for a month. Well, one man’s loss is another man’s gain as Brown’s rookie backup, Vick Ballard, will be given the reigns to lead the Colts running attack. Even though Ballard has been the Colts second most used back this season, he has yet to break out of any game with significant numbers. That trend should change this week as the rookie out of Mississippi State will be at the forefront of the Colts rushing attack against a New York Jets defense that seems to be allergic to tackling anyone with the slightest bit of talent. A lot of the game will be Andrew Luck tearing apart the depleted Jets secondary, but the second that Luck wants to run a play action screen or even a draw to throw off the defense, Ballard should be a huge beneficiary. I am not only predicting that this will be a good game for Ballard, but I am expecting this to be a game that could put Brown’s future starting job in jeopardy.
Predictions for week 6: 23 rushes for 115 yards and a touchdown, 4 receptions for 55 yards
I am yet to re-pick any of my sleepers from an earlier week but this is a time where it is perfectly warranted. The St. Louis Rams top target, Danny Amendola, is out for close to two months and Sam Bradford is going to have to find a new favorite receiver to play catch with. While my week 4 prediction for Gibson (6 Rec for 90 yards 1 TD) couldn’t have been farther from what actually happened (2 Rec for 28 yards), I made that prediction while Amendola was still healthy. This time around I am much more confident in the ability of the 4 year man out of Washington State to have a breakthrough performance. If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try it again, right? Gibson and the Rams are going up against a very pesky defense in the Miami Dolphins, but Bradford’s keen ability to find the open man when there is no actual open man has befuddled defenses all season long. The Rams are a surprising 3-2 and Bradford’s excellence is one of the main reasons why. I am looking for Gibson to carry the entire Rams receiving core and absolutely dominate the game.
Predictions for week 6: 9 receptions for 140 yards and 1 touchdown
There was a time some 6 years ago when the newly drafted Notre Dame QB, Brady Quinn, was supposed to be the savior that would turn around the Cleveland Browns franchise. Obviously that never panned out and now Quinn finds himself as the back up to one of the worst QB’s in the NFL, Matt Cassel. After Cassel went down last week with a terrible concussion, which his fans booed him during, Quinn new that he would once again have an opportunity to prove himself as a legitimate stater in the NFL. Luckily for Quinn and the anemic Chiefs offense, they are going up against the equally pathetic Tampa Bay Buccaneers and actually have a chance to win this game. While I feel that Jamaal Charles will be the true beneficiary of Cassel’s demise, this is a sleeper article and Charles is owned in 100% of Fantasy leagues. I can assure everyone in the world that Brady Quinn is a FA in your respective leagues and you might want to consider starting him this week if you have a question mark at the QB position. Quinn will show early struggles but when it comes down to it, he is facing a terrible Bucs defensive secondary that even he should be able to capitalize on.
Predictions for week 6: 22-40 for 235 yards and two touchdowns, 4 rushes for 30 yards
Last week, I chose the Panthers Mike Tolbert to vulture a couple of TD’s for the Carolina offense and I seemed to be wrong. This week I am putting my money on the Green Bay Packers fan favorite, John Kuhn, to capitalize on redzone opportunities. Kuhn picked up his first touchdown of the season this past week and I expect him to continue with that trend this week. Because of an injury to the Packers starting tailback, Cedric Benson, I feel that Kuhn will have a few more touches that he normally does and that this will be the biggest week of the season for him. The Packers are a surprisingly bad 2-3 to start the season and now have the unfortunate week 6 matchup against the best team in the NFL, the Houston Texans. While the Texans defense is amazing, I still feel that Rodgers and company will turn their slow start to the season around this week. Kuhn will be Rodgers go to guy with a handful of screen passes and short-yardage third down attempts. Once Green bay gets the ball inside their opponents 10 yard line, expect no one else on the team to touch the ball except for Kuhn himself.
Predictions for week 6: 7 rushes for 30 yards and a touchdown, 4 receptions for 25 yards
The final player of the week that will thrive during his predecessors injury time off is the San Diego Chargers kicker, Nick Novak. Normal Chargers kicker, Nate Kaeding, has been out the past two weeks and in his absence Novak has gone 4 for 5 from FG range. Novak might be most famous for taking a leak during a game and being caught by a camera man, but I think after this weeks game against the Broncos, he will be remembered for more than just that. The Chargers are a team that can run up the scoreboard or be the complete opposite with an nonexistent offense. In a prime time matchup for Monday Night Football against the Peyton Manning lead Denver Broncos, I expect Novak to have a bunch of opportunities to put it through the uprights. Denver has a very stingy defense and the Chargers will have a tough time punching the ball into the endzone so they will be relying on Novak’s leg to build as many points as possible. If you are like me and have a kicker on the bye week this week than ‘Novak’aine will be your perfect solution. Kickers are a dime a dozen and expect Novak to have more than a dozen points this week.