Fantasy Football: Week 6 Pickups
Zac Stacy, RB (STL)--The Rams running game has yet to live up to the hype in 2013, and is currently the 29th ranked rushing attack in the league, but that may change in the upcoming weeks with a new running back atop the depth chart. Enter Zac Stacy. After starting the season as the Rams No. 3 back, Stacy has worked his way to the top, and showed why in Week 5, rushing for 78 yards on 14 carries. Prior to this performance, the best outing from a Rams running back was Daryl Richardson's 63 yards back in Week 1. There was a good chance that Stacy would have eclipsed 100 yards last Sunday had he not suffered a rib injury late in the game. The injury is nothing fantasy owners should be concerned about, after head coach Jeff Fisher announced he will be the team's starter Week 6 against the Texans.
Keenan Allen, WR (SD)--?After losing both of their top wide receivers for the remainder of the season, the Chargers passing game looked to be in serious trouble, but over the last two weeks the team may have found their new No. 1 wide receiver in Keenan Allen. Hauling in 11 catches between Week 4 and Week 5, Allen has shown the ability to make big plays down field like we saw in his days playing in Berkeley. In case you were unaware, Allen was a first-round talent heading into last season's NFL Draft, but a wrath of injuries in his college career cost him a big payday last April as he slid all the way to the third round. If Allen continues to convert receptions at a high rate (73.7 percent), Philip Rivers will continue to look his way in the passing game, and will likely eclipse double-digit targets in the upcoming weeks as he solidifies himself as the team's new No. 1 wide receiver.
Andre Ellington, RB (ARI)--It was apparent a few weeks ago that Rashard Mendenhall wouldn't be able to be the every down running back the Cardinals were hoping they were getting after signing him as a free agent this offseason. That became even more clear in Week 5 when the snaps (30) were split evenly between Mendenhall and rooke Andre Ellington. Although Mendenhall was given 10 more carries, Ellington still outperformed Mendenhall in the ground game finishing with 52 yards on seven carries while hauling in four catches for 31 yards. If Ellington continues to outperform the team's top back, it is hard to imagine that Mendenhall's role with the team will not decrease, not to mention his inability to stay off the injury report. Those who miss out on Zac Stacy this week will want to give Ellington a hard look as he is potentially one or two solid performances away from being an every week starter if he continues to outdo his counterpart.
Percy Harvin, WR (SEA)--It appears the Seahawks top option in their passing game is only a week or two away from rejoining the team after undergoing hip surgery in early August. Percy Harvin is expected to be back with the team at some point this week after being checked out by his surgeon in New York on Monday. Although in most cases the timetable for a return from hip surgery is upwards of four months, Harvin continues to be ahead of schedule in the hope of returning by Week 7. If he is available in your league, now is the time to stash him, considering once the team makes an official announcement on his expected return owners will be running to the waiver wire.
Terrance Williams, WR (DAL)--For the second week in a row Terrance Williams has been featured in this column and for good reason. Williams made the best of his four targets, turning them into four catches for 151 yards and a touchdown, which made him the fourth highest scoring wide receiver in standard scoring leagues. After hauling in 11 receptions the last two weeks, Williams is solidifying himself as a legitimate fantasy option even when Miles Austin returns from his most recent hamstring injury. Obviously his targets will be limited if he is the team's No. 3 wide receiver, but if Williams continues to make big plays downfield, the Cowboys gun-slinger will continue to look his way downfield. Williams is only one week away from being a must-own wide receiver in all fantasy formats, so now is the time to stash him if you are in need of depth at the wide receiver position.
Marcel Reece, RB (OAK)--With both Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings injured, Marcel Reece has once again surfaced as a legitimate fantasy option, especially for those in PPR leagues. Although Reece was limited in practice all week with a knee injury, he suited up for Week 5 finishing with 57 total yards (32 rushing yards, 25 receiving yards) in the Raiders win over the Chargers. While it is unlikely Reece will be the every down back, even with Jennings and McFadden out, his ability to catch passes out of the backfield gives him the edge over anyone else the Raiders could plug-in with their top two options sidelined. Again, Reece's fantasy value is going to depend on the health of both Jennings and McFadden moving forward, but for a Week 6, it is looking like Reece will be the guy for the Raiders.
Terrelle Pryor, QB (OAK)--Although Terrelle Pryor has yet to score over 20 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues, it is now time to consider adding the Raiders first year quarterback. Pryor is coming off of a solid performance in Week 5, throwing for 221 yards on 18-for-23 passing for two touchdowns, while adding 31 yards on the ground on 11 carries. What is even more impressive is his ability to limit turnovers, having yet to throw an interception since giving up two picks in a Week 1 loss to the Colts. The Raiders play calling has allowed Pryor to develop into a solid NFL quarterback, relying on short and intermediate passing plays, which has translated into the sixth best completion percentage in the league at 68.3 percent. Although he has taken strides in the right direction, it is hard to imagine him finishing the season in the top 10 at his position, but he is worth starting over some of the mid-tier options if there is a favorable matchup.
Garrett Graham, TE (HOU)--Despite finishing Week 5 with only three receptions for 15 yards, the recent injury to Owen Daniels has now made Garrett Graham the top tight end option to target in Week 6. The Texans announced on Monday that they could be without Daniels for "several games," according to the Houston Chronicle, which would give Graham even more looks in the team's passing game. Graham has already scored three times this season, which ties him with Daniels and also shows that Matt Schaub is looking for his tight ends when around the end zone. Considering the recent production from Schaub, it is tough to label Graham a "must-own" player, but his production should increase none-the-less while Daniels is out.
Nick Foles, QB (PHI)--The Eagles will be without Michael Vick for at least one week after he suffered a hamstring injury in Sunday's win over the Giants, meaning Nick Foles will get the start under center against the Buccaneers. Foles did a great job filling in to Vick after he sustained the injury, going 16-for-25 for 197 yards and two touchdowns to give the Eagles enough cushion to end their three game losing streak. However, this week's matchup against the Bucs will be tougher than what he faced Sunday, so an encore is likely not in store for Week 6. With that said, those who own Vick may want to grab Foles in the event that he is out for longer than just one week, with the Cowboys, Giants and Raiders on slate the following three weeks, all of which have below average stats against opposing quarterbacks.
Austin Pettis, WR (STL)--Despite failing to surpass the 10-yard mark through the Rams first five games, Austin Pettis has now scored four touchdowns after a two-TD performance in Week 5. Similar to the Rams running game, their passing game has been far from great this season, with Sam Bradford averaging only 245.2 yards per game, which is the 16th best in the league. Of Bradford's 10 touchdowns, Pettis has four, which is encouraging moving forward. Only one receiver, Tavon Austin, has been targeted more in the Rams passing attack, but Pettis has made the best of his opportunities. If you are in a deep league in search of wide receiver depth, Pettis is a solid addition, but his value relies heavily on touchdowns.
Rueben Randle, WR (NYG)--The Giants may be 0-5, but there are still some solid players to target for fantasy football purposes. After scoring two touchdowns in the Giants Week 5 loss to the Eagles, Rueben Randle has made himself a solid WR3 in most fantasy formats, as he will look to build off of his breakout performance. The Eagles took away Victor Cruz the hole game, leaving both Hakeem Nicks and Randle open downfield, with both players taking advantage of the situation. Randle was the top targeted wide receiver in the contest, converting 6 of his 13 yards for 96 yards and two touchdowns. While this type of performance should not be expected on a weekly basis, with a favorable schedule ahead (outside of Thursday night's game against the Bears) Randle is a solid pickup for those in deep of serious depth at the receiver position.
Defensive Matchup Play of the Week
Minnesota Vikings Defense/Special Teams--Coming off of a bye week, the Vikings will have two weeks to prepare for their contest with the Panthers, who come in with the 30th ranked passing offense on the back of an ineffective Cam Newton. The Vikings defensive group has had struggles of their own, but have the third-most take-aways in the league, with seven interceptions and five fumbles. Playing at home should also favor the Vikings in this contest, with the Vikings historically playing their best football at the Metrodome. There are obviously a few other defensive groups that are better than the Vikings to have this week, but it you are like me and play the matchups, this is a good one to target, considering they are owned in a third of leagues throughout the top providers.
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Matthew Beck is a Fantasy Sports Columnist for Rotoinfo.com. If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow him on Twitter @MatthewRBeck for up-to-date Q&A and fantasy information. And, to make setting your Fantasy Football lineup easy, be sure to utilize RotoInfo.com’s new NFL Lineup Grids.
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@stmyers1 thanks for the follow!
@stmyers1 I would say so now that they have grilli and smith in setup roles...just dont know how many innings he will get now