It’s that time of the week again. Time to make your last-minute adjustments to your fantasy football lineups and get your picks locked in to your pick’em pool. Here’s my picks for sleepers and winners in this pivotal NFL week 6.
Last week I ended up with 8 wins in Pick’Em and had some hits and misses on my sleepers. Here’s a quick recap:
Sleeper Picks that made me look good
James Jones-Green Bay Packers-WR: 4 catches, 46 yards, two touchdowns
Kyle Rudolph-Minnesota Vikings-TE: 4 catches, 23 yards, touchdown
Devery Henderson-New Orleans Saints-WR: 8 catches, 123 yards, touchdown
Owen Daniels-Houston Texans-TE: 4 catches, 79 yards, touchdown
Sleeper Picks that made me look bad
Bernard Pierce-Baltimore Ravens-RB: 2 carries, 13 yards
Robert Turbin-Seattle Seahawks-RB: 4 carries, 6 yards, 2 catches, 8 yards
Greg Little-Cleveland Browns-WR: o catches on just 2 targets
Here’s this week’s rundown with a pick against the spread (taken from ESPN’s Pigskin Pick’Em) and a potential sleeper in each game.
Oakland Raiders at Atlanta Falcons (-8.5)
Pick: Atlanta Falcons. It’s a lot of points to cover but the Raiders have shown they struggle when traveling east and the Falcons are good at home. I think they’ll win this one comfortably.
Potential Sleeper: The Raiders will be playing from behind, but the Falcons have been very good about limiting opposing wide receiver fantasy points (third best in standard scoring). They have, however, been a little vulnerable to opposing tight ends making Brandon Myers an intriguing last minute pickup if you find yourself without a tight end to start in week 6.
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (+2.5)
Pick: Beware the home ‘dogs in this one. I’m taking Cleveland to get their first win of the year after playing close with the Ravens, Eagles, and Giants for at least part of the games in the last few weeks. The Browns get back Joe Haden and should be able to limit a Bengals offense that struggled mightily last week in a loss to Miami.
Potential Sleeper: Bengals’ wide receiver Andrew Hawkins is still underrated across the country and is having a breakout hear in Cincinnati. If he’s available in your league, get him quick. Last week he was targeted a team-leading 13 times and made some great catches. He had a long TD against the Browns week 2 and will look to build on his five-catch 47-yard performance from last week. Cleveland is vulnerable to the run and hitting Hawkins on bubble-screens and even handing him the ball could prove very effective and lead to a monster week for Hawkins.
St. Louis Rams at Miami Dolphins (-3.5)
Pick: Miami at home and should win in what shapes up to be a defensive struggle. The Dolphins have lost twice in overtime and beaten the Raiders and Bengals the last four weeks. I don’t like giving the 3.5, but I don’t trust the Rams offense to put up points on the road against a really good Dolphins defense.
Potential Sleeper: After the loss of Danny Amendola, the Rams need someone to step up at wide receiver. Of the group they have, the only one with multiple catches last week was Brandon Gibson who has had multiple receptions in all of the Rams four games this year including two touchdowns the first two weeks of the season. He should get more looks and have the opportunity to become the #1 going forward. Start him this week only if you’re desperate but monitor how he does if you need help at wide-out going forward.
Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets (-3.5)
Pick: The Colts won last week, and the Jets lost. New York is on a short week and have looked various shades of awful since blowing out Buffalo week one. How many do I have to give with Indy? Wait, I’m getting 3.5? Wow, don’t understand the line but will gladly take the points.
Potential Sleeper: I’ll avoid the obvious Vick Ballard pick although I do like him to have a solid game against a troubled Jets rush defense. Instead, I’ll take Jeremy Kerley who has emerged as the number one wide receiver for the Jets. The New York offense is still a mess, but Kerley is about the only Jet I’d play under any circumstances and then only if I had little choice. Kerley had five catches for 94 yards last week and has multiple receptions in every Jets’ game this year.
Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles (-5.5)
Pick: The Eagles have been up and down all year but are unbeaten at home with quality wins over the Ravens and Giants. The Lions didn’t look good before their bye losing to San Francisco, Tennessee, and Minnesota. At home, I’ll take Vick and the Eagles to cover, but I wouldn’t put too many eggs in this basket since there’s always a chance Michael Vick would fumble them.
Potential Sleeper: Maybe it’s the off week, but did everyone forget about Joique Bell‘s breakout games as a receiving back out of the backfield? Mikel Leshoure is handling the heavy-lifting in the backfield but Bell led the Lions in receiving with 72 yards two weeks ago against Minnesota and had four catches and 67 all-purpose yards the week before. In fact, since the opening game when he scored his only touchdown, Bell has had over 65 yards each game on 12 receptions and 13 carries.
Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5)
Pick: The Bucs come off their bye and host the Chiefs. KC hung with the Ravens losing 9-6 at home. However, on the road in Tampa I don’t think they’ll keep it that close behind Brady Quinn at QB. The Bucs have lost three in a row and will look to continue their growth under new Head Coach Greg Schiano.
Potential Sleeper: The Bucs leading receiver in their week 4 game against Washington wasn’t Vincent Jackson but former Syracuse Orange receiver Mike Williams. Williams has 115 yards and is the deep threat on this offense. The Chiefs have given up 10 passing TDs in their five games and I think Williams will find the endzone this week.
Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens (-3.5)
Pick: Both teams are incredibly high-profile and wildly inconsistent.The Ravens barely escaped Arrowhead last week 9-6, but I think they’ll bounce back and beat the Cowboys. Dallas was trounced before their bye last week by a Bears defense that rushed Tony Romo incessantly and capitalized on his mistakes. Expect the Ravens defense follow that blueprint and win at home this week. I thnk they’ll win by a touchdown to cover.
Potential Sleeper: Most of the players on both rosters are well-known, but I think Jason Witten is in line for a big game coming off a resurgent 13-catch, 112-yard, 1-touchdown performance before the bye. The Raves struggled with Brent Celek week two and Ben Watson week 4 and when they bring pressure Witten will be the first checkdown Romo takes. Witten is a top 5 tight end and should be started in every league this week.
Buffalo Bills at Arizona Cardinals (-4.5)
Pick: Even the Cardinals offense should be able to move the ball against a Bills team that has been absolutely destroyed its last 6 quarters. I think they’ll cover since their D will create turnovers from the struggling Ryan Fitzpatrick and they’ll be able to limit the Jackson/Spiller run-game of the Bills.
Potential Sleeper: The Cardinals have found their second wide receiver in Andre Roberts. You don’t want to miss this guy if he’s on waivers. He could have had a long TD last week if he wasn’t overthrown and had two trips to the endzone in week 4 as part of his breakout six-catch, 118-yard performance. The Bills are very beatable through the air so expect Roberts and Larry Fitzgerald to both have huge games.
New England Patriots at Seattle Seahwaks (+3.5)
Pick: I’m a big Patriots fan, so if this works as a reverse-jinx so be it… Why is Seattle getting 3.5 points at home? I get that the Pats are good, but the ‘Hawks at home are crazy good. I could easily see Seattle pulling out the win here or at least keeping it close enough to cover.
Potential Sleeper: He’s not a deep sleeper, but Sidney Rice should be in for a nice game against a vulnerable New England secondary. The Pats front seven are much improved which should limit Marshawn Lynch and force Russell Wilson to the air.
New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers (-5.5)
Pick: Since slipping up at Minnesota the ‘Niners have won their last two games by a combined 89-3. They’ll be out for revenge for last year’s NFC Championship game and at home I think they’ll get it by enough to cover the 5.5 point spread. The Giants have gotten away with slow starts against Cleveland and Tampa Bay with big comebacks but that won’t be possible against the San Francisco defense.
Potential Sleeper: If you need pickup plug-and-play help at wide receiver Mario Manningham caught his first touchdown last week as part of his four catches and 26 yards. He’ll try to come back to haunt his former team and has become a big part of San Francisco’s passing game although he hasn’t piled up yardage yet.
Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins (-2.5)
Pick: It looks like RG3 will play for Washington, but I still think they’ll lose this one in a close game. The Vikings have shown some surprisingly quick growth on offense as they’ve beaten the Titans, Lions, and 49ers in their last three games. Washington has been greatly improved this year but has still lost to the Rams and Bengals while barely squeaking out a win over Tampa. I think the Vikings stay on a roll as they go on the road.
Potential Sleeper: Again this week, I like Christian Ponder, to step up in a nice matchup. He’ll play against the Redskins secondary that’s allowing the fifth most fantasy points to QBs and the most to WR (which bodes well for Percy Harvin). Ponder is a solid QB2 and a fill-in in QB1 leagues if you need him.
Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans (-3.5)
Pick: What a Sunday Night game as the Packers enter Houston at 2-3 to take on the unbeaten Texans! The Packers are desperate for a win and the Texans are on a short week after a less-than impressive win in New York. The Packers get the win here I think or at least keep it close enough to cover.
Potential Sleeper: I think Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have a big game and Rodgers gets points for scrambling for plenty of yardage. If I had to take a Packers reciever, I’d go with Randall Cobb who could see more time in the backfield as well due to the loss of Cedric Benson.
Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers (-2.5)
Pick: I’ll take the Chargers at home on Monday Night. They got robbed last week on the road in New Orleans and I think they’ll be able to overcome the loss of OT Jared Gaither behind a big game from Ryan Mathews.
Potential Sleeper: The Broncos may give more run to Ronnie Hillman with Willis McGahee’s struggles, but I’ll take Robert Meachem who has developed chemistry with Philip Rivers but is still inconsistent. He’ll get the opportunities and could capitalize on them against a iffy Broncos secondary.