Articles By Athlon Sports

All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-kicker-rankings-week-7
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Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings — Kickers

Rk Player Team OPPONENT
1 Stephen Gostkowski NE vs. NYJ
2 Lawrence Tynes NYG vs. WAS
3 Blair Walsh MIN vs. ARI
4 David Akers SF vs. SEA (Thurs.)
5 Jason Hanson DET at CHI (Mon.)
6 Sebastian Janikowski OAK vs. JAC
7 Greg Zuerlein STL vs. GB
8 Phil Dawson CLE at IND
9 Robbie Gould CHI vs. DET (Mon.)
10 Mason Crosby GB at STL
11 Rob Bironas TEN at BUF
12 Garrett Hartley NO at TB
13 Justin Tucker BAL at HOU
14 Shayne Graham HOU vs. BAL
15 Dan Bailey DAL at CAR
16 Kai Forbath WAS at NYG

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

KICKER SCORING
PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Additional Week 7 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Week 7 Waiver Wire

Week 7 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Kicker Rankings: Week 7</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 05:45
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-defensespecial-teams-rankings-week-7
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams

Rk Player OPPONENT Notes
1 Chicago Bears vs. DET (Mon.) In just 5 games, has scored 29 more points than No. 2 DST
2 San Francisco 49ers vs. SEA (Thurs.) Should be plenty motivated after last week's performance.
3 Minnesota Vikings vs. ARI Vikings glad they won't be seeing RGIII again this week.
4 Houston Texans vs. BAL Another defense looking to put Week 6 behind them.
5 Seattle Seahawks at SF (Thurs.) Hawks' D did job at home against NE, SF road test on tap.
6 Arizona Cardinals at MIN Cardinals are No. 4 in league in scoring defense.
7 Green Bay Packers at STL Packers held Texans' vaunted rushing attack to 90 yards.
8 Pittsburgh Steelers at CIN Even w/o Polamalu, Steelers D is healthier than O.
9 New England Patriots vs. NYJ Patriots No. 6 in rush defense so far, Jets had 252 last week.
10 Baltimore Ravens at HOU Ravens' D will certainly miss Lewis, Webb.
11 Dallas Cowboys at CAR Cowboys' D hoping to contain Cam.
12 New York Giants vs. WAS Giants dominated 49ers, looking for repeat performance vs. RGIII.
13 Cincinnati Bengals vs. PIT Steelers' o-line, RBs are hurting.
14 Cleveland Browns at IND Browns already have 10 interceptions, Luck has 7.
15 Buffalo Bills vs. TEN Bills' D finally showed signs of life last week in Arizona.
16 Oakland Raiders vs. JAC Raiders have a total of 4 sacks so far.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

DEFENSIVE SCORING
0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

Additional Week 7 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers

Week 7 Waiver Wire

Week 7 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 7</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 05:44
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-waiver-wire-week-7
Body:

With a total of six teams on bye in Week 7, this figures to be a busy week on the waiver wire. Besides owners who may be looking for a fill-in quarterback with no Matt Ryan, Peyton Manning, Michael Vick or Philip Rivers available, as well as other position players, there are also those who may be looking to replace an injured or nonproductive player.

Even though Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego all get this week off, your fantasy team doesn’t. Here are some names worth considering as you look to fill out your roster for this week and beyond.

Bye week teams: Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego

Quarterbacks
Week 6 Recap: Robert Griffin III not only played, but he showed no ill effects from last week’s concussion and instead he gave Minnesota’s defense headaches on Sunday. Griffin’s production and ability to stay on the field rendered Kirk Cousins a mere spectator, albeit one with perhaps the best view of his teammate's spectacular performance. Josh Freeman also starred on Sunday, passing for 328 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Kansas City. Freeman remains a viable options in the weeks ahead thanks to a schedule that includes New Orleans, Oakland and Carolina in the next five weeks. The Jets got back on track with a convincing win over Indianapolis and although his statistics weren’t all that great, Mark Sanchez (more on him below) did more than enough to reassert his hold on the starting job over backup Tim Tebow. Brady Quinn may find himself holding the clipboard once more when the Chiefs return to the field in Week 8. Quinn (22-of-38, 180 yds., 0 TDs, 2 INTs) and the entire Chiefs’ offense struggled against the Buccaneers, and the team could go back to initial starter Matt Cassel, who missed the game because of a concussion, after the bye, provided he’s cleared to play.

Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders
Palmer’s numbers (1,434 yds., 6 TDs, 3 INTs) may not jump out, but he’s 10th in the league in passing yards per game at 287. The Raiders have not been shy to throw the ball this season, as Palmer is averaging 39 attempts per game. The touchdowns are low, but the Raiders’ wide receiving corps has been banged up all season long. Still with match-ups against Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Kansas City on tap the next three weeks, Palmer is definitely worth a look if you’re in need of a temporary signal caller.

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
Look who’s back? OK, “back” may be a little too strong considering the Sanchize threw for a grand total of 82 yards against Indianapolis, but don’t lose sight of his two touchdown passes, and, more importantly, no turnovers. As bad as the Jets’ offense may have looked the past few weeks, it was certainly clicking on all cylinders, especially the running game, this past Sunday. Next up for Sanchez and the revived ground-and-pound rushing attack is New England, who just gave up 368 yards of offense (283 through the air) in a disappointing loss at Seattle.

John Skelton, Arizona Cardinals
Skelton beat out Kevin Kolb for the starting job in the preseason, only to leave Arizona’s opening game with an ankle injury and watch Kolb lead the team to a come-from-behind victory. Kolb then proceeded to win the next three games as the starter before the Cardinals lost in Week 5 in St. Louis. On Sunday against Buffalo, it was Skelton’s turn, as he took over in the fourth quarter after Kolb suffered a rib and chest injury. Trailing the Bills by three late, Skelton first moved the team into position for the game-tying field goal (a franchise-record 61-yarder by Jay Feely with 1:09 left), and then did it again to set up a game-winning attempt. Unfortunately, Kolb and the Cardinals were unable to finish the deal, as the attempted game-winner was partially deflected and Skelton’s interception in overtime set up the Bills’ own game-winning field goal. X-rays on Kolb's ribs and sternum came back negative, but he underwent an MRI on Monday to make sure there are no fractures or serious damage. Kolb's health will undoubtedly play a huge role in determining who starts this Sunday at Minnesota, but remember Skelton was No. 1 before he got hurt.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Wilson was at his best on Sunday against New England, as his 293 yards passing and three touchdowns were both career highs. Wilson also is a threat to make plays with his legs, although he’s really yet to post huge rushing numbers. That said, Wilson is just a rookie who is six games into his NFL career. So while there will more than likely be other games this season that look like what he did against the Patriots, there also will be a number that will finish with a stat line of something along these lines: 17-of-25, 160 yards, no touchdowns, three inteceptions, which is what he did in a Week 4 loss to St. Louis. If you’re thinking about starting Wilson this week, keep in mind the Seahawks play San Francisco on the road. It’s probably best to place your expectations somewhere between how he fared against the Patriots at home and the Rams on the road.

Running Backs
Week 6 Recap: Both Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman got hurt in Thursday’s loss to Tennessee, which brings a new name (see below) into the picture for the Steelers, while the Titans were content to let Chris Johnson handle the load, making Darius Reynaud a special teams player only. Alex Green and LaRod Stephens-Howling both got the starts for their respective teams, but Green was the only one who produced as Stephens-Howling was upstaged by his teammate (see below). Meanwhile, David Wilson put together a second straight solid performance, contributing to the Giants’ convincing win in San Francisco as both a returner and rusher.

Baron Batch, Pittsburgh Steelers
With both Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) and Isaac Redman (ankle) suffering injuries against Tennessee, the Steelers turned to Batch to carry the load. He finished with just 22 yards rushing against the Titans, but that led the team and he also had a one-yard touchdown run. Batch was the Steelers’ seventh-round pick in 2011, but missed all of last season after tearing his ACL in training camp. Mendenhall and Redman are clearly ahead of him on the depth chart, but if one or both can’t go this week in Cincinnati, Batch appears to be the most likely candidate to fill in.

LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Perhaps the rumors of Blount’s fantasy demise were greatly exaggerated, no? Doug Martin is the clear-cut starter in Tampa Bay, but Blount ‘s workload has increased in each of the past three games. Sunday against Kansas City, he had 58 yards on seven carries and scored his second touchdown in as many weeks. If Blount can continue to produce with the opportunities he’s given, the Buccaneers may have to find ways to give him even more touches.

Montario Hardesty, Cleveland Browns
Trent Richardson left Sunday’s game against Cincinnati with a rib issue and Hardesty stepped in, helping to lead the Browns’ fourth-quarter charge and earn their first win of the season. Hardesty finished with 56 yards on 15 carries (3.7 ypc) and it was his touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter that put the Browns ahead of the Bengals to stay. Richardson said after the game he would definitely play against Indianapolis this Sunday, and on Monday head coach Pat Shurmur said the rookie is considered day-to-day. If Richardson is unable to play this Sunday, it appears Hardesty would get the start in his place. Don’t forget the Colts gave up 252 yards rushing to the Jets this past Sunday.

Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys
Dallas ran wild on Sunday, gashing Baltimore for 227 yards rushing, the most ever given up by the Ravens franchise. DeMarco Murray got things started with 93 yards on 14 carries (6.6 ypc), but he suffered a foot injury before halftime, setting the stage for Jones. The former first-round pick made the most of his first significant playing time this season, scoring on a 22-yard run in the first quarter and finishing the game with 92 yards on 15 carries (5.1 ypc). Murray said he wanted to go back in and it was the coaching staff that held him out, but an MRI on Monday revealed he sustained some ligament damage and it appears that Murray will miss at least one week, if not more. Jones would more than likely get the start in Murray’s stead, beginning this week as Dallas travels to Carolina.

William Powell, Arizona Cardinals
LaRod Stephens-Howling got the start, but it was Powell who did the most damage for the Cardinals. The second-year pro, who was a pleasant surprise during the preseason, led the team in carries (13) and rushing yards (70) in the overtime loss to Buffalo. Powell out-gained Stephens-Howling, who has 22 yards on the ground, and also enjoyed more success (5.4 ypc) when he got the handoff. The Cardinals' offensive line still has its share of issues, but any starting running back in the NFL has some value when it comes to fantasy, even if it’s only as a flex option. When it comes to the Cardinals, it looks like Powell is the one to own/target moving forward and not Stephens-Howling.

Wide Receivers
Week 6 Recap: Mike Williams was the only one to score, courtesy of a 62-yard hookup with Josh Freeman, but Brandon Gibson, Kendall Wright and Mario Manningham each finished with more catches than the Buccaneer on Sunday. Gibson stepped up in Danny Amendola’s absence, leading the Rams in targets, receptions and yards in the loss to Miami. Gibson’s production also appears to be helping another teammate (see below) emerge. Manningham enjoyed a strong game (5 rec., 72 yds.) against his former Giant teammates, albeit in a loss, while Wright once again led the Titans in receiving.

Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks
After leading Seattle in all receiving categories as a rookie last season, Baldwin has been virtually invisible this season. Whether he was dealing with injuries or trying to acclimate himself to rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, the second-year pro from Stanford entered Sunday’s game with just seven catches for 70 yards. Against New England he doubled his season yardage total on just two catches, as he finished with 74 and his first touchdown of the campaign against the Patriots. The targets are still an issue, as he had a total of three against the Patriots, but perhaps this past Sunday is the first step to Baldwin and Wilson establishing better chemistry.

Chris Givens, St. Louis Rams
Second-round pick Brian Quick was expected to be the Rams’ rookie deep threat this season, but instead it’s fourth-rounder Givens who has made the impact on the field. Givens has averaged nearly 63 yards receiving over the past three games, and for the season is averaging 28.1 yards per catch. Consistency is still an issue for the first-year wideout (22 targets, but only seven receptions), but so is his big-play potential. His lone touchdown of the season came on a 51-yard catch and he has two other receptions longer than that.

Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns
Gordon also is another wide receiver who has recently shown a knack for making the big play. The Browns’ supplemental draft pick is averaging 22.8 yards per reception and has three touchdowns in his past two games. He has led the team in receiving these past two games and with a wide receiving corps that’s been hampered by injuries, inconsistency and drops, the opportunity is clearly there for Gordon to establish himself as quarterback Brandon Weeden’s favorite target.

Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders
To be honest, I’m surprised Moore is owned in only 70 percent of Yahoo! leagues. He may not be a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver, but in my book he’s a bona fide No. 2 and at worst an indisputable WR3. Moore missed the first game because of injury, but has posted a total of nine receptions for 175 yards (19.4 ypc) and a score in the past two games alone. Carson Palmer is averaging nearly 40 pass attempts per game and despite mssing one game already, Moore is still leading the team in targets with 14 more than any other Raiders wideout. Run, don’t walk, to your waiver wire to grab this steal of a deal if he’s still available.

Tight Ends
Week 6 Recap: Jermaine Gresham posted another solid game (7 rec., 68 yds., TD) for the Bengals, while Rob Housler managed a total of two catches for 12 yards. In Housler’s defense, no Cardinal not named Larry Fitzgerald did much offensively against Buffalo.

Jared Cook, Tennessee Titans
Even though he’s the No. 11 tight end in fantasy, Cook is owned in only half of Yahoo! leagues. I’m not sure what’s not to like, considering he’s ninth in receiving yards (291) at his position, second on the Titans in receptions and has already caught two touchdowns. The team also has said that it plans on getting the ball to him even more moving forward, which only increases his potential value. It’s not often you can acquire a top-10 fantasy producer at his position in Week 7.

Anthony Fasano, Miami Dolphins
Very quietly, Fasano is putting together another solid season and becoming one of rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s favorite targets in the process. Fasano is third on the Dolphins in targets and receptions, but leads in touchdown catches with two. Since missing the Dolphins’ opener, he has caught at least two passes in every game and is averaging better than four catches and 39 yards receiving over his past four contests.

Defense/Special Teams
Week 6 Recap: Miami picked up three sacks and recovered a fumble in its win over St. Louis, but the Dolphins also gave up a season-high 162 yards rushing. Minnesota was victimized by Robert Griffin III's arms and legs as Washington's rookie quarterback shook off any lingering effects from the concussion he suffered last week to put up 310 total yards of offense and three touchdowns (2 rush, 1 pass) in the Redskins' win over the Vikings. The Vikes gave up a season-worst 38 points and managed only a sack and an interception.

Cleveland Browns
With the Atlanta, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego DSTs all on bye this week, Cleveland could be a sneaky pick this week. The Browns have fared pretty well fantasy-wise, with 15 sacks and 14 turnovers (10 INTs, 4 fumbles) fueling their scoring. This week the Browns will face Indianapolis, a team that’s dealing with injuries in their backfield and asking rookie quarterback Andrew Luck to throw the ball a lot. Luck has more than held his own in his first season, but he’s also thrown seven interceptions and has been sacked 13 times, two areas where the Browns’ D has thrived so far.

Scoring is based on Athlon Sports default scoring which is 6 points for all TDs, .5 points per reception and 1 point per 25 yards passing, 10 yards rushing/receiving and 40 return yards.

— By Mark Ross, published on Oct. 16, 2012

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 7</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Legends Poll, News
Path: /college-football/legends-poll-top-25-college-football-week-7
Body:

In the seven-year history of the Legends Poll, fifth-ranked Notre Dame had never been ranked in the top 5.

That streak ended this week as the Fighting Irish and Kansas State made their first ever top 5 appearances in the Legends Poll rankings. Both teams improved to 6-0 and benefited from a second straight week of upsets.

“I think Notre Dame’s offense is definitely getting better,” former Indiana coach Bill Mallory said. “But I think their defense is the thing that’s really improved. From what I’ve seen last year to this year, they’ve definitely improved on the defensive side of the ball. Their defensive front is really strong and that linebacker (Manti Teo) is really outstanding.”

Alabama continued its dominance with a commanding victory at Missouri and remained the unanimous No. 1 team. Idle Oregon maintained its spot at No. 2.

No. 3 Florida also moved up two spots this week after a win over Vanderbilt, but the Gators face another tough test next week when their former coach pays a visit to Gainesville with his South Carolina Gamecocks.

The SEC gauntlet caught up with Steve Spurrier and South Carolina, and they failed to stay unbeaten, falling 26-23 at LSU. The Gamecocks fell six spots to No. 9.

With the victory, LSU moved up four spots to No. 6, and jumped seventh-ranked Florida State as the highest ranked one-loss team.

No. 8 Oklahoma moved back into the top 10 after a resounding 63-21 victory over archrival Texas. The lopsided loss catapulted Texas out of the top 25.

No. 11 Oregon State was the biggest mover in the poll this week, jumping five spots following a 42-24 win at BYU.

West Virginia slid 11 spots all the way to No. 15 after it was embarrassed at Texas Tech, 49-14. The loss was a huge blow to quarterback Geno Smith’s Heisman hopes.

Texas Tech moved into the rankings for the first time following their surprise upset, debuting at No. 21. No. 24 Michigan and No. 25 Arizona State joined the Red Raiders as newcomers to the rankings.

Iowa State and Louisiana Tech along with Texas dropped out of the top 25 this week.

To see the individual votes by coach, visit the Legends Poll.

THE LEGENDS POLL TOP 25

RK TEAM RECORD POINTS PV RK
1 AlabamaAlabama (17) 6-0 425 1
2 OregonOregon 6-0 408 2
3 FloridaFlorida 6-0 384 5
4 Kansas StateKansas State 6-0 361 6
5 Notre DameNotre Dame 6-0 352 7
6 LSULSU 6-1 344 10
7 Florida StateFlorida State 6-1 307 8
8 OklahomaOklahoma 4-1 302 11
9 South CarolinaSouth Carolina 6-1 287 3
10 USCUSC 5-1 266 9
11 Oregon StateOregon State 5-0 250 16
12 ClemsonClemson 5-1 230 12
13 GeorgiaGeorgia 5-1 218 14
14 Mississippi StateMississippi State 6-0 193 17
15 West VirginiaWest Virginia 5-1 180 4
16 LouisvilleLouisville 6-0 170 18
17 Texas A&MTexas A&M 5-1 150 19
18 StanfordStanford 4-2 144 13
19 RutgersRutgers 6-0 117 21
20 CincinnatiCincinnati 5-0 108 20
21 Texas TechTexas Tech 5-1 82 -
22 TCUTCU 5-1 74 22
23 Boise StateBoise State 5-1 60 23
24 MichiganMichigan 4-2 53 -
25 Arizona StateArizona State 5-1 18 -
 

Others Receiving Votes: Louisiana Tech 13, Wisconsin 5, Ohio 4, Nebraska 4, Iowa State 4, Northwestern 4, Oklahoma State 4, UCLA 3, Iowa 1

Teams Dropped Out From Last Week's Poll: Texas, Iowa State, Louisiana Tech

* The Legends Poll voting process is exactly what the BCS is trying to create and Athlon will bring it to you as the de facto Selection Committee for fans to follow over the next two seasons, allowing you to see how the Selection Committee will operate from 2014 onward.  You can see the entire Poll at www.legendschannel.com.

Teaser:
<p> As voted on by 17 coaching legends</p>
Post date: Monday, October 15, 2012 - 05:55
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, NFL, Fantasy
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-start-or-sit-week-6
Body:

Drew Brees won’t be extending his NFL record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass since the Saints aren’t playing in Week 6. The Bears, Panthers and Jaguars are also off, meaning fantasy owners will have to do without the services of Cam Newton, Jay Cutler, Maurice Jones-Drew, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham and others.

These offensive stars aside, the biggest loss felt this week might end up being by those who have the Bears DST on their roster. By far the highest scoring DST in fantasy football, the Monsters of the Midway have scored five defensive touchdowns in the last three weeks. Regardless, unless you want to run the risk of fielding an illegal lineup or are willing to accept getting no points from your DST this week, Bears owners will need to find a fill in, and the same goes for the other aforementioned players.

Athlon Sports is here to help you make all of those important lineup decisions for your Yahoo!, NFL.com or ESPN fantasy football league with our weekly Start and Sit suggestions. Keep in mind these are merely our suggestions as the ultimate decision comes down to you, the owner.

Week 6 Positional Rankings

Week 6 Waiver Wire

Bye week teams: Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville, New Orleans

Sneaky Start of the Week
Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets vs. Indianapolis
How sneaky is this? Going with a running back that is averaging less than three yards per carry and is coming off of a 26-yard effort on Monday night? Yes, Greene and the Jets as a team have had all sorts of trouble running the ball so far, despite head coach Rex Ryan’s insistence that they would return to their “ground and pound” ways.

The Jets are averaging 83 yards per game on the ground and only 3.2 yards per carry. They have only one rushing touchdown (by Greene), and the longest run from scrimmage is 22 yards and it belongs to backup quarterback Tim Tebow. Put it all together and it’s more like the Jets’ rushing attack has been grounded rather than pounding the opposition.

However, in Greene’s and the Jets’ defense, they have had to play some of the tougher rush defenses in the league. Four of the Jets’ first five opponents – Houston, Miami, Pittsburgh and San Francisco – rank among the top 11 in rush defense. Against these four teams, Greene has rushed for a grand total of 123 yards on 49 carries (2.5 ypc).

The Jets’ other opponent has been Buffalo, who they destroyed 48-28 in Week 1, and against whom Greene rushed for 94 yards on 27 carries (3.5 ypc) and also scored his lone touchdown of the season. Not incredible numbers, granted, but far better than his other games. This week should present another opportunity for Greene to do some damage as Indianapolis is currently ranked 22nd in rush defense, giving up an average of 135.8 yards per game and 4.7 yards per attempt.

Ryan has voiced his support of Greene to the media, but Greene also knows that he needs to start producing or he will begin to cede some carries to backup Bilal Powell and possibly Tebow as well. So between the matchup and increasing pressure on him to perform, the timing just feels right for Greene to make his owners proud, at least those who have stuck with them to this point.

Surprise Sit of the Week
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington vs. Minnesota
Griffin took a nasty hit last week against Atlanta as Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon undoubtedly made an impression on the rookie quarterback, and I’m not just talking about the stitches RGIII needed after the blow. Griffin suffered a concussion, which immediately put his playing status for this week up in the air.

Griffin has returned to practice, but has yet to be cleared for contact (as of Thursday) and will still have to pass a battery of tests before his playing status is determined. So in some ways this Sit designation is health-related, as there’s a chance he may not be on the field Sunday against Minnesota.

That said, even if he does play against the Vikings, I am still saying it’s probably best to leave him on your bench, and this declaration is more about the Minnesota defense than it is RGIII. The Vikings’ defense has been pretty solid thus far - No. 7 against the run and No. 15 against the pass. They’ve done a good job of pressuring the quarterback (14 sacks) and have allowed only six touchdown passes in five games.

Griffin has been everything advertised to this point, as he’s No. 6 among quarterbacks in fantasy scoring, but a closer look at his numbers reveal something rather telling. Griffin has as many rushing touchdowns as he does passing, four apiece. While his versatility and ability to make plays with his legs are part of the reason he’s so deadly and been so productive, it’s also why he’s recovering from a concussion that could keep him out this week.

Understandably, Griffin, who is just five games into his NFL career, still has much to learn about pocket awareness and decision-making. More importantly, he has a lot to learn when it comes to protecting himself and his body when he does scramble out of the pocket and take off down field.

Should Griffin play, my thinking is that a combination of two things will occur: his coaches order him to not try and be a hero every time he feels the pocket collapsing, and the Vikings won’t let him out of their grasp and make plays with his legs. As talented as RGIII is, he is not an experienced or polished enough passer in the NFL to do a lot of damage with just his arm. Because of the lingering concussion, RGIII is a one-dimensional weapon this week. And as it stands right now, I don’t think he’s good enough using only his arm, to count on for your fantasy team.

Quarterbacks
START

Philip Rivers (SD) vs. Denver (Monday)
Prior to last week’s game in New Orleans, Rivers was averaging less than 225 yards passing per game. Contrast that to the last two seasons in which he averaged nearly 300 yards (291.7) per contest. So needless to say, Rivers owners were happy to see him break out for 354 yards passing in the loss to the Saints. The other good news is that to this point, Rivers has done a much better job of taking care of the ball. He has just six total turnovers (5 INTs, 1 fumble) compared to eight touchdown passes in his first five games. Rivers also is more than familiar with this week’s opponent, Denver, who the Chargers host on Monday night. In 13 career games against his AFC West rivals, he has thrown 20 touchdowns versus just seven interceptions.

Kevin Kolb (ARI) vs. Buffalo
Kolb has yet to really light it up, averaging 243.8 yards passing in four games as Arizona’s starter with six touchdowns and two interceptions. However, this could be his best chance yet as he’s facing a Buffalo defense that has been absolutely shredded – try 1,201 yards and 97 points – in its last two games. What’s more, the Bills are allowing the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. This includes 26.6 points to Mark Sanchez and 23.5 to Matt Cassel, who are currently ranked 31st and 32nd respectively in passer rating. I’m not sure opportunity could knock any louder.

Brandon Weeden (CLE) vs. Cincinnati
Weeden may be the 33rd-ranked passer in the league right now, but he’s also showing signs of progress. He was huge in helping the Browns jump out to an early lead on the road against the defending Super Bowl champs. And even though the Giants came back and won the game fairly easily, Weeden finished with decent stats – 22-of-35, 291 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. This week, Weeden finally gets to face someone for a second time as the Browns and Bengals get together again. The Bengals won the first meeting back in Week 2, but Weeden did his part, as he completed 70 percent of his passes for 322 yards, two scores and no interceptions in the best outing of his rookie season. Considering the improvement of the Browns’ rushing attack behind fellow first-round pick Trent Richardson and that he’ll be playing at home, there’s really no reason to not expect Weeden to post similar, if not better, numbers this time around.

SIT
Matthew Stafford (DET) at Philadelphia

Through the first four games of last season, Stafford had already thrown 11 touchdown passes compared to just three interceptions. This season those numbers have completely reversed, as the Lions’ gunslinger has tossed only three touchdown passes to go with four interceptions. For whatever reason, the Lions’ offense has been out of sync to start the season, but the team was off last week giving the unit plenty of time to work out the kinks, right? Perhaps, but I still wouldn’t expect Stafford and company to go off this week in Philadelphia. The Eagles are allowing only 209 yards passing per game and are giving up an average of 13.2 fantasy points per contest to opposing quarterbacks.

Carson Palmer (OAK) at Atlanta
Like Stafford, Palmer and the Raiders also were off last week. While the break allowed injured players the chance to recover and the team had more practice time to get everyone on the same page with rookie head coach Dennis Allen and his staff, the schedule-makers didn’t really do the Raiders any favor coming out of it. The west coast team has the pleasure of making the cross-country trip to take on an undefeated Atlanta team on its home turf. The Falcons’ defense is No. 9 in the league against the pass, as the unit has surrendered just five touchdown passes, while picking off nine, including three Peyton Manning passes in the first quarter in Week 2.

Brady Quinn (KC) at Tampa Bay
Yes, Tampa Bay is allowing a league-worst 345 yards passing per game, but that’s largely because Eli Manning hung 510 on them in Week 2. Take out that game and the average drops to 303 yards per game. But also let’s not kid ourselves here, Quinn is not anywhere near the quarterback that Manning is, not to mention that he will be making his first start since 2009. There’s absolutely no reason to try and be sneaky or clever here. Just walk away and move on.

Running Backs
START

Trent Richardson (CLE) vs. Cincinnati

Richardson is still in search of his first breakthrough performance in his rookie season, and there’s a chance it could happen this week. Not only will he be playing in front of the home crowd, but he gets the Bengals, who are allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. This also is the same team he posted his first and only 100-yard game against thus far, picking up 109 on just 19 carries (5.7 ypc) in Week 2. Can anyone say repeat?

DeMarco Murray (DAL) at Baltimore
The Cowboys have had plenty of time to digest their disappointing 34-18 Week 4 loss to Chicago. First and foremost on the team’s to do list during the bye was probably how to fix the running game. After posting 131 yards rushing against the Giants in Week 1, Murray has accumulated a total of 106 yards on the ground in the three games since. Besides being well rested, Murray has the benefit of going against Baltimore and its 22nd-ranked rush defense. The Ravens are allowing 118.4 yards per game on the ground and are coming off of Jamaal Charles gouging them for 140 last week. Not saying Murray will get that many, but I do think he will be able to his share of damage, which also will help stabilize Tony Romo and the passing game.  

C.J. Spiller (BUF) at Arizona
After injuring his shoulder in Week 3 against Cleveland, everyone was expecting Spiller to miss at least one game, if not more. Everyone that is, except Spiller himself, who returned to the field that next week and has proceeded to produce a grand total of 62 yards of total offense in the past two games. Some of this has to do with the simultaneous return of opening-week starter Fred Jackson, as well as the Bills match-ups with New England and San Francisco. To put it mildly, the Bills’ defense has been lit up two straight weeks, and the carnage caused by the Patriots’ and 49ers’ offenses did not help the production of the Bills’ offense, even if it resulted in more possessions. That said, I think this week’s game in Arizona will not follow the same script, and I also think that since he appears to be completely recovered from the shoulder injury, Spiller, and not Jackson, will get the majority of the touches. This will allow him to look more like the player that led the NFL in rushing after the first two weeks of the season, compared to the one that’s been out there these past three weeks.

SIT
Alfred Morris (WAS) vs. Minnesota
First, let’s give credit where credit is due. Morris, the Redskins’ sixth-round pick out of Florida Atlantic, is fourth in the NFL in rushing (491 yards), is averaging nearly five yards per carry and is No. 6 in fantasy scoring for his position. Unfortunately, his next opponent, Minnesota, could care less. The Vikings are seventh in the league in rushing defense and have allowed a grand total of one touchdown on the ground. Combine that with the Redskins’ quarterback situation heading into Sunday’s game (see above), and you may want to consider letting Morris sit this one out.

Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG) at San Francisco
There’s no backfield controversy with the Giants, not after Bradshaw ran over and through the Browns for 200 yards last week. But while his starting job may be secure, don’t expect a repeat performance in San Francisco this week. The 49ers have allowed only one running back (Adrian Peterson) to rush for more than 53 yards this season and have yet to allow a rushing touchdown. The Giants relied heavily on Eli Manning and his arm to beat the 49ers in last season’s NFC Championship Game, and I’m expecting a similar game plan this Sunday as well.

Steven Jackson (STL) at Miami
Miami is No. 1 in the NFL in rushing defense, as they have allowed a total of 307 yards rushing in its first five games. That is only 36 yards less than what Jackson himself has accumulated thus far, which is an average of 54.2 yards per game. Considering the Rams completed a total of seven passes last week against Arizona, and are now without the services of their top wide receiver (Danny Amendola), I’m not expecting either of these numbers – what the Dolphins are allowing or what Jackson is getting – to change that much.

Wide Receivers
START

Andre Johnson (HOU) vs. Green Bay
Johnson started out strong with eight catches for 119 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. Since then he’s caught nine passes for 164 yards and one other score. Johnson’s getting good yardage – he’s averaging 16.6 yards per reception – he’s just not catching a bunch of passes. He has been dealing with a groin issue, but it hasn’t kept him from playing and doesn’t appear to be serious. Green Bay is allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and I have a feeling that AJ may break out this Sunday against the Packers.

Michael Crabtree (SF) vs. New York Giants
With the exception of his Week 4 performance against the Jets, Crabtree has caught at least six passes in every game. Last week against Buffalo he grabbed six for 113 yards and his first touchdown of the season. The Giants are allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, including eight touchdown catches already. The 49ers are showing trust in Alex Smith by letting him throw the ball more, and I think this trend continues Sunday.

Jeremy Kerley (NYJ) vs. Indianapolis
Houston has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, an average of 20 per game. On Monday night, Kerley caught five passes against the Jets for 94 yards or 11.9 points. That’s the second-most yards the Texans have allowed to a receiver (Eric Decker had 136 in Week 3) and it was the fourth-most fantasy points (17.6, also to Decker, is the most). This week the Jets get Indianapolis, who is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts. I think the Jets’ offense will be able to do a little more this week against the Colts than have been the previous few weeks. And part of the reason will be due to the new Sanchez-to-Kerley connection.

SIT
Brandon Lloyd (NE) at Seattle
Lloyd is more of a deep threat than Wes Welker or any of the other Patriot wide receivers. When Brady is content to attack a team with quick reads, underneath stuff and timing routes, like he did last week against Denver, Lloyd has a tendency to disappear from the game plan. That’s why he had just three catches for 34 yards against the Broncos. It’s not going to get any easier for Brady, Lloyd and the Pats this week in Seattle either, as the Seahawks’ defensive pressure and aggressive secondary will take the deeper routes, and therefore Lloyd, away for a second straight week.

Torrey Smith (BAL) vs. Dallas
As talented and dangerous as Smith is, he’s still learning how to play his position. Case in point, Smith has struggled against press coverage, which is what Kansas City primarily used against him last week. Smith had a hard time getting free, which is part of the reason why he had just three catches for 38 yards. There’s no reason to think Dallas won’t follow the same game plan this Sunday. What’s more, the Cowboys have allowed the fewest catches (38) and yards (515) to opposing wide receivers thus far, along with just two touchdowns.

Brian Hartline (MIA) vs. St. Louis
Hartline is leading the NFL in receiving yards, averaging more than 102 per game. The Rams have allowed just one touchdown catch by a wide receiver and only two receivers have gone for more than 71 yards against their defense. Their names are Calvin Johnson (111) and Larry Fitzgerald (92). Hartline is not Johnson or Fitzgerald and he has a rookie quarterback throwing to him. Any questions?

Tight Ends
START

Kyle Rudolph (MIN) at Washington
Rudolph caught only four passes for 23 yards last week against Tennessee, but one of those resulted in a touchdown, his fourth of the season. Washington is tied with New England for giving up the second-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. I also think that Vikings’ quarterback Christian Ponder, who threw his first two interceptions last week, may look to his sure-handed tight end a little more than usual.

Dustin Keller (NYJ) vs. Indianapolis
Keller hasn’t played since Week 1, sitting out the past four games with a hamstring injury. He is expected to return this week against Indianapolis and, other than Keller, no one is happier than Mark Sanchez. With Santonio Holmes already out for the season with a foot injury, Keller is far and away Sanchez’ favorite and most trusted target. Sanchez needs a productive game passing, and I fully expect him to look to Keller early and often to try and accomplish that. 

SIT
Aaron Hernandez (NE) at Seattle
Hernandez has not played since injuring his ankle in Week 2, but he returned to practice this week and could be back out there Sunday in Seattle. The Patriots haven’t really missed Hernandez in terms of offensive production as Wes Welker, Stevan Ridley and others have picked up the slack. Even though the Patriots are in for a tough test against the Seahawks on their home field, I don’t think they “need” Hernandez. So even if he is able to return to the field, I don’t think he gets enough snaps to make much of an impact this week.

Jermichael Finley (GB) at Houston
Finley has scored just one touchdown, and that came in Week 1. He’s averaged less than four catches since collecting seven in the opener against San Francisco. Last week he had just three catches for 11 yards against Indianapolis and also suffered a minor shoulder injury. He is hoping to play on Sunday in Houston, but considering the Texans’ defense and his recent production, I would not have high expectations for Finley this week.

Defense/Special Teams
START

Miami vs. St. Louis
The Dolphins’ defense is ranked No. 18 overall, but they are No. 1 against the run. While they have been more susceptible to the pass (281.8 yards per game), this week they are facing the Rams, who are averaging the second-fewest yards through the air in the league. The Rams have also had issues protecting the quarterback, which plays into the Dolphins’ hands (15 sacks). Also, don’t forget that the Rams won’t have leading receiver Danny Amendola for this game (and many to follow), and quarterback Sam Bradford completed a total of seven passes last week against Arizona. 

Tampa Bay vs. Kansas City
The Buccaneers have given up a league-worst 345 yards passing per game, but this week’s quarterback won’t be Eli Manning, Cam Newton, Tony Romo or Robert Griffin III. No, it’s Brady Quinn, who last started a game in 2009 and for his career has completed less than 53 percent of his pass attempts. The Bucs will have their hands full trying to contain Jamaal Charles, the league’s leading rusher, but rush defense (73.8 ypg) hasn’t really been an issue so far. With Quinn trying to shake the rust off on the road, I just don’t think the Bucs will have to worry about the pass that much, allowing them to focus on Charles. I don’t have a problem if you want to take a chance with them as your starting DST this week.  

SIT
Dallas at Baltimore
Statistically, the Cowboys’ defense has fared very well, No. 1 in both total and pass defense. However, that has not translated to fantasy success, much like the Steelers last season, as they are not getting many sacks (9) or turnovers (4). In fact, the Cowboys are currently No. 26 among DSTs in fantasy scoring. While the Ravens have given up a fair number of sacks (13), they’ve only turned the ball over six times and have played very well at home. I just don’t see the Cowboys feasting on the Ravens in this one.

Cincinnati at Cleveland
The Bengals are tied for the league lead in sacks with 18, but they also gave up 439 yards of total offense and 27 points to the Browns back in Week 2. Since then the Browns have been fairly competitive in road losses to Baltimore and the Giants. This game is at home, and I think the Browns will finally break into the win column by posting similar, if not better, offensive numbers against their AFC North and in-state rivals.

Kickers
START

Greg Zuerlein (STL) at Miami
The Rams haven’t exactly been the most explosive team on offense this season, but as Zuerlein has already shown, he doesn’t need them to get very far to be in field goal range. The rookie is tied for the league lead in made field goals with 13, and he’s yet to miss one. Nine of his makes have come from 40 yards and beyond, including a franchise-record 60-yarder against Seattle. Unless the Dolphins just completely shut the Rams down, “Greg the Leg” will put some points on the board.

Justin Tucker (BAL) vs. Dallas
Tucker also in his first season as the Ravens’ kicker and has been equally effective, connecting on 11 of his 12 field goal attempts. He’s made two from beyond 50, including a long of 56 yards and has been successful on all of his PATs. The Cowboys’ defense has played very well so far, but I think the Ravens will be able to move the ball enough so that Tucker’s services will be needed a few times.

SIT
Dan Carpenter (MIA) vs. St. Louis
The Redskins parted ways earlier this week with Billy Cundiff, who was successful on only seven of his 12 field goal attempts. With that move, Carpenter takes over the “lead” in the field goal inaccuracy department, as he’s only connected on six of 10 attempts. Job security may not be an issue yet, but you have to think the coaching staff will be leery of letting him try any real long ones this week. Couple that with the Rams’ defense and Carpenter may not see much field time this Sunday.

Rian Lindell (BUF) at Arizona
Lindell has attempted (and made) a total of two field goals so far this season. One of those came last week against the 49ers and it also was the only points the Bills put on the scoreboard. While I am expecting a little more offense from the Bills this Sunday against Arizona, there’s no reason to trust Lindell to be in a position to score a lot of points, for his team or yours.

— By Mark Ross, published on Oct. 12, 2012

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Start or Sit: Week 6</p>
Post date: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 06:15
Path: /nfl/5-crappy-nfl-teams-who-need-start-over
Body:

Five games into the season is more than enough time to take the pulse of a team, to know if it’s headed anywhere near the right direction. Things can change, of course, and in a league of parity everyone’s still in the race.

Some are just a little more in it than others.
 
Which makes this a good time to look at five teams that just can’t seem to get a grip on success – teams that need to re-evaluate their entire plan and just start over. For some, that will mean firing the coach or the general manager. For others, they just need wholesale changes in personnel.
 
Whatever they need, here are five teams that are just spinning their wheels at best, and should be plotting a course to some sort of change in direction:
 
New York Jets (2-3) – They have become the poster children for a team without a plan, which is so odd considering they looked so focused two years ago. Dominated by Rex Ryan’s defense and led by an emerging young quarterback, they had come off two straight AFC championship games and looked to be on the verge of a new era.
 
Now? It’s hard to tell if they even believe in Mark Sanchez anymore, especially after they saddled themselves with the burden of Tim Tebow. They are a team that relies on gimmick plays and a gimmick change-of-pace quarterback, putting Sanchez in an unenviable position. It’s impossible for a young quarterback to grow if everything the team does screams about a lack of faith.
 
Add in a defense that is a shell of itself and the Jets may just need to blow the whole thing up. If GM Mike Tannenbaum isn’t already on the hot seat for his strange personnel moves, he certainly should be. Ryan is a good coach, but his act has grown cold.
 
Dallas Cowboys (2-2) – It’s hard to imagine anything but a run at the Super Bowl will safe Jason Garrett when he’s working for an owner like Jerry Jones. That’s especially true after they spent money this offseason to improve their secondary – their biggest weakness.
 
But the bigger question with this franchise is this: Is Tony Romo really the quarterback you want to trust to lead you to a championship? He’s a good quarterback. He puts up impressive numbers. But it seems undeniable he can be a liability in big games. His five-interception performance against Chicago was a major red flag.
 
A new quarterback means completely starting over, but it might be something the Cowboys will have to consider soon.
 
Buffalo Bills (2-3) – They stopped acting like a small-market team when they made a big-market-like move for defensive end Mario Williams during the offseason. Adding him to what seemed like a decent defense was supposed to be what put them over the top.
 
Instead the Bills currently have the second-worst defense in the NFL and a shaky quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick who throws too many interceptions. The pieces seem to be there (even the quarterback has showed some promise) but when the production is so dramatically different than what’s expected, the plan comes into question.
 
It’s a good bet that Chan Gailey is already on the hot seat. If he’s not, he should be. The Bills have a window to get into the AFC East race over the next couple of years, but they may need someone else to help them do it.
 
Cleveland Browns (0-5) – This is an obvious team to include on this list because it seems a given that they will be starting over. They have a new owner and that almost always leads to change – especially when the team is 0-5.
 
But where to start? It’s easy to blame coach Pat Shurmer – and he’s almost certain to be one of the fall guys – but where exactly is the plan with this franchise. Start with the quarterback, where they’ve gone from Jake Delhomme to Brady Quinn to Seneca Wallace to Colt McCoy and now to 28-year-old rookie Brandon Weeden in just the last three seasons. How is that any way to build any consistency?
 
And is starting over with a 28-year-old rookie a smart move? By the time Weeden puts it all together he might be 31 or 32 and the Browns will already be looking for his replacement. Yes, they seem to have made a great pick in running back Trent Richardson, but much of the rest of the roster looks bare.
 
That will change, but before it does there’ll be more pain for the city of Cleveland, where the Browns just haven’t been able to get anything right since returning to the NFL in 1999.
 
Kansas City Chiefs (1-4) – There was such hope two years ago when the Chiefs went 10-6 and made the playoffs as a wild-card. There was even more hope last year after they shook off a disastrous 0-3 start by winning four straight games. OK they lost five of their next six, but they did win two of their last three – both against playoff teams – under then interim coach Romeo Crennel, sparking hope again.
 
It’s gone now, of course, despite a powerful rushing attack and the NFL’s 10th-ranked defense. If you want a reason why, look no further than QB Matt Cassel who has five touchdowns and nine interceptions. An NFL team can’t win with a ratio like that – and it’s even more inexcusable considering how well Jamaal Charles is running (551 yards) and that Cassel has a target to throw to like Dwayne Bowe.
 
Crennel is a quality coach who knows how to get the most out of his team, but he may not be able to get much more out of the Chiefs without a more trustworthy quarterback. There’s a chance GM Scott Pioli could be on the hot seat in Kansas City. If he’s not, he may need to put Cassel there instead and spend the offseason trying to find someone else.
 
—By RALPH VACCHIANO
Teaser:
<p> They wish they could have a do-over</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-positional-rankings-week-6
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any website can give you.

2012 NFL Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 6 Start or Sit

Week 6 Waiver Wire

Note: Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville and New Orleans are all on bye this week.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

DEFENSIVE SCORING
0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

KICKER SCORING
PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Positional Rankings: Week 6</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 05:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-quarterback-rankings-week-6
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville and New Orleans are on bye this week.

2012 NFL Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Matt Ryan ATL vs. OAK Ryan: 13 TDs, 3 INTs; Oakland pass D: 9 TDs, 0 INTs.
2 Aaron Rodgers GB at HOU Texans No. 6 vs. pass (6 TD passes, 7 INTs).
3 Eli Manning NYG at SF Put up 316-2-0 vs. 49ers in last season's NFC title game.
4 Peyton Manning DEN at SD (Mon.) Averaging 338 yds (8 TDs, 0 INTs) over last three games.
5 Tom Brady NE at SEA Hawks have already held Rodgers and Romo in check. Brady next?
6 Ben Roethlisberger PIT at TEN (Thurs.) Titans have allowed 12 TD passes, have just 3 INTs.
7 Matthew Stafford DET at PHI Has 3 TDs, 4 INTs so far, compared to 11, 3 in 2011.
8 Robert Griffin III WAS vs. MIN Cleared to practice (concussion), but monitor status closely.
9 Philip Rivers SD vs. DEN (Mon.) Put up first 300-yard game (354-2-1) last week vs. Saints.
10 Michael Vick PHI vs. DET Turnovers hurting team, his fantasy production.
11 Tony Romo DAL at BAL Had bye week to put 5-INT Week 4 debacle behind him, hopefully.
12 Andrew Luck IND at NYJ Rookie came up big (362-2-1, rush TD) in comeback win vs. Packers.
13 Joe Flacco BAL vs. DAL Owners hope last week (187-0-1) vs. Chiefs is just a fluke.
14 Matt Schaub HOU vs. GB Not very sharp (14-of-28, 209-1-1) vs. Jets on MNF.
15 Andy Dalton CIN at CLE Went for 318-3-1 in Week 2 vs. Browns.
16 Christian Ponder MIN at WAS Threw first two picks of season vs. Titans, 'Skins last in pass D.
17 Carson Palmer OAK at ATL Falcons have been stronger against pass than run so far.
18 Alex Smith SF vs. NYG Leads NFL in passer rating (108.7), put up 303-3 vs. Bills.
19 Kevin Kolb ARI vs. BUF Bills allowing 29.0 fantasy points per game to QBs.
20 Josh Freeman TB vs. KC Looking to get off to strong start coming off of bye.
21 Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF at ARI Struggled (126-0-1) vs. 49ers, Cardinals shouldn't be as tough.
22 Brandon Weeden CLE vs. CIN Had best game so far (322-2-0) vs. Bengals in Week 2.
23 Sam Bradford STL at MIA Looking for new top target with Amendola sidelined for a while.
24 Matt Hasselbeck TEN vs. PIT (Thurs.) Hasn't been very sharp (393 yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs) since taking over.
25 Ryan Tannehill MIA vs. STL Has 2 TDs, 6 INTs so far. Rams have allowed 2 TDs w/ 8 INTs.
26 Russell Wilson SEA vs. NE Could be in for another long afternoon against Pats pressure.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 6 Positional Rankings

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 6 Waiver Wire

Week 6 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings: Week 6</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 05:29
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-running-back-rankings-week-6
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville and New Orleans are on bye.

2012 NFL Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Backs

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Arian Foster HOU vs. GB No. 2 rusher coming off of 152-yard effort at Jets on MNF.
2 Ray Rice BAL vs. DAL Dallas No. 4 defense overall, but No. 15 against rush.
3 Jamaal Charles KC at TB League's leading rusher faces off against No. 4 rush defense.
4 LeSean McCoy PHI vs. DET No. 6 in yards from scrimmage, only 2 total TDs so far.
5 Adrian Peterson MIN at WAS Said he tweaked ankle on first carry last week, still had 84 yds.
6 Trent Richardson CLE vs. CIN Rookie had best game (109 yds) vs. Bengals in Week 2.
7 Marshawn Lynch SEA vs. NE Will need to carry load against Patriots.
8 Ryan Mathews SD vs. DEN (Mon.) Last week (139 total yds, TD) sign of things to come?
9 Darren McFadden OAK at ATL Coming off of bye gets No. 27-ranked rush defense.
10 Frank Gore SF vs. NYG Averaging 5.4 yards per carry.
11 Reggie Bush MIA vs. STL Averaging less than 60 ypg since 172-yard effort in Week 2.
12 Alfred Morris WAS vs. MIN Rookie currently No. 4 rusher in league.
13 Rashard Mendenhall PIT at TEN (Thurs.) Looked good in season debut last week.
14 DeMarco Murray DAL at BAL Did Cowboys fix run game issues during bye week?
15 Michael Turner ATL vs. OAK Averaging 14.6 rush attempts per game.
16 Willis McGahee DEN at SD (Mon.) Chargers No. 5 against run (74 ypg).
17 Doug Martin TB vs. KC Breakout game coming vs. Chiefs?
18 Stevan Ridley NE at SEA Leads all RBs with 37 first downs.
19 Ahmad Bradshaw NYG at SF Don't expect another 200 yards vs. 49ers.
20 Mikel Leshoure DET at PHI  
21 Steven Jackson STL at MIA Dolphins No. 1 against rush (61.4 ypg).
22 BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN at CLE Had 26 carries in Week 4, only 9 last week.
23 Chris Johnson TEN vs. PIT (Thurs.) Past time for Titans' highest-paid player to provide spark.
24 C.J. Spiller BUF at ARI Only 24 yards last week, should get more touches this week.
25 Fred Jackson BUF at ARI Timeshare, Spiller's versatility impact FJax' touches/impact.
26 Shonn Greene NYJ vs. IND Still getting bulk of carries, but for how long?
27 LaRod Stephens-Howling ARI vs. BUF Missed last two games b/c of hip, expected to play Sunday.
28 Alex Green GB at HOU Starks expected to play, but Green will get chances too.
29 Vick Ballard IND at NYJ Colts' starter with D. Brown out 2-3 weeks (knee surgery).
30 Jackie Battle SD vs. DEN (Mon.) Took backseat (4 att.) to Mathews last week vs. Saints.
31 Jacquizz Rodgers ATL vs. OAK  
32 William Powell ARI vs. BUF Will share load with Stephens-Howling in new Cards' backfield.
33 Kendall Hunter SF vs. NYG  
34 James Starks GB at HOU Expected to make season debut after missing first 5 games.
35 Isaac Redman PIT at TEN (Thurs.) Mendenhall's the starter, but he should get some carries too.
36 Brandon Bolden NE at SEA His role will depend on Ridley's production/ball security.
37 Ben Tate HOU vs. GB Missed MNF b/c of toe, should be back this week.
38 David Wilson NYG at SF Scored on 40-yard burst last week = more carries this week?
39 Shaun Draughn KC at TB  
40 Danny Woodhead NE at SEA Pats preferred back when they go no-huddle.
41 Daniel Thomas MIA vs. STL Suffered possible 2nd concussion last week, monitor status.
42 Daryl Richardson STL at MIA His role depends solely on SJax' health.
43 Bilal Powell NYJ vs. IND Has gotten some chances, yet to capitalize on them.
44 Ronnie Hillman DEN at SD (Mon.)  
45 Toby Gerhart MIN at WAS  
46 LeGarrette Blount TB vs. KC Got goal line-work in Week 4.
47 Robert Turbin SEA vs. NE  
48 Delone Carter IND at NYJ Expected to spell Ballard in Colts' backfield.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 6 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 6 Waiver Wire

Week 6 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings: Week 6</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 05:20
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-wide-receiver-rankings-week-6
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville and New Orleans are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings — Wide Receivers

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Calvin Johnson DET at PHI Has 29 catches, but only 1 TD in first four games.
2 A.J. Green CIN at CLE Browns allowing second-most fantasy points to WRs.
3 Percy Harvin MIN at WAS Harvin getting opportunities as WR, RB and KR.
4 Roddy White ATL vs. OAK Trails only teammate Gonzalez in first downs (27).
5 Larry Fitzgerald ARI vs. BUF Bills have given up 1,201 yds and 97 pts in last two games.
6 Victor Cruz NYG at SF Only 5 catches last week, but 3 went for TDs.
7 Mike Wallace PIT at TEN (Thurs.) Titans are 25th against pass.
8 Julio Jones ATL vs. OAK Shook off hand injury, put up 10-94-1 vs. Skins.
9 Demaryius Thomas DEN at SD (Mon.) Second only to Harvin in YAC with 214 yards.
10 Reggie Wayne IND at NYJ Coming off of career-best 212-yard game vs. Packers.
11 Dwayne Bowe KC at TB Bucs are last in NFL in pass defense (345 ypg).
12 Miles Austin DAL at BAL Ravens have only allowed 2 TD catches to WRs.
13 Andre Johnson HOU vs. GB Eight catches in Week 1, only 9 since.
14 Wes Welker NE at SEA Had career-best nine receptions in first half vs. Broncos.
15 Antonio Brown PIT at TEN (Thurs.)  
16 Jordy Nelson GB at HOU Has 23 catches, but only 1 TD so far.
17 Vincent Jackson TB vs. KC  
18 Dez Bryant DAL at BAL Still looking for first TD of season.
19 DeSean Jackson PHI vs. DET  
20 Stevie Johnson BUF at ARI  
21 Brandon Lloyd NE at SEA Had quiet game (3, 34) vs. Broncos.
22 Torrey Smith BAL vs. DAL Cowboys have allowed fewest catches, yards to WRs.
23 Malcom Floyd SD vs. DEN (Mon.) Averaging nearly 18 yards per catch.
24 Eric Decker DEN at SD (Mon.)  
25 Brian Hartline MIA vs. STL Still leading league in receiving yards with 514.
26 Michael Crabtree SF vs. NYG Big game (6-113-1) vs. Bills.
27 Denarius Moore OAK at ATL  
28 Pierre Garcon WAS vs. MIN Hasn't been same since injuring foot in Week 1.
29 James Jones GB at HOU Caught 2 TDs vs. Colts.
30 Anquan Boldin BAL vs. DAL Led team in receiving past two games.
31 Andre Roberts ARI vs. BUF  
32 Jeremy Maclin PHI vs. DET  
33 Hakeem Nicks NYG at SF Will be (finally) be able to go?
34 Andrew Hawkins CIN at CLE  
35 Kenny Britt TEN vs. PIT (Thurs.) Played last week, but severely limited by ankle.
36 Brandon Gibson STL at MIA Needs to step up with Amendola sidelined.
37 Nate Washington TEN vs. PIT (Thurs.) Has disappeared since Hasselbeck replaced Locker.
38 Greg Jennings GB at HOU Still not practicing, very questionable for Sunday.
39 Randall Cobb GB at HOU  
40 Kendall Wright TEN vs. PIT (Thurs.) Quickly becoming Titans' top target.
41 Nate Burleson DET at PHI  
42 Domenik Hixon NYG at SF Impact dependent upon Nicks' status.
43 Jeremy Kerley NYJ vs. IND Was Jets' top receiver last week.
44 Titus Young DET at PHI  
45 Robert Meachem SD vs. DEN (Mon.) Finally showed signs of life (3-67-2) last week.
46 Darrius Heyward-Bey OAK at ATL Expected to return (concussion) this week.
47 Rueben Randle NYG at SF Had his best game (6-82) last week vs. Browns.
48 Davone Bess MIA vs. STL Rams tied w/ Ravens for fewest TD catches (2) allowed.
49 Sidney Rice SEA vs. NE  
50 Mario Manningham SF vs. NYG Big game coming against former team?
51 Donnie Avery IND at NYJ  
52 Golden Tate SEA vs. NE  
53 Jerome Simpson MIN at WAS Dealing with back issue, but expected to play Sunday.
54 Josh Gordon CLE vs. CIN Caught first two career TDs last week.
55 Leonard Hankerson WAS vs. MIN  
56 Kevin Ogletree DAL at BAL  
57 Mike Williams TB vs. KC Averaging nearly 20 yards per catch.
58 Greg Little CLE vs. CIN Still having problems with dropped passes.
59 Donald Jones BUF at ARI  
60 T.Y. Hilton IND at NYJ  
61 Kevin Walter HOU vs. GB  
62 Santana Moss WAS vs. MIN Caught 77-yard TD pass from Cousins last week.
63 Brandon Stokley DEN at SD (Mon.)  
64 Chaz Schilens NYJ vs. IND

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 6 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 6 Waiver Wire

Week 6 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 6</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 05:17
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-tight-end-rankings-week-6
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville and New Orleans all are on bye.

2012 NFL Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings — Tight Ends

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Tony Gonzalez ATL vs. OAK Has 14 more receptions than any other TE.
2 Vernon Davis SF vs. NYG Posted 8th career 100-yard game (5-106) last week.
3 Rob Gronkowski NE at SEA Has better stats compared to first 5 G of '11, except for TDs (3 vs. 5).
4 Kyle Rudolph MIN at WAS Tied for first among TEs with 4 TDs.
5 Owen Daniels HOU vs. GB Leading Texans in rec., yards and TD catches.
6 Brent Celek PHI vs. DET Leads TEs with 15.4 ypc.
7 Heath Miller PIT at TEN (Thurs.) Titans have allowed 7 TDs to opposing TEs.
8 Jason Witten DAL at BAL Is he back? 13-112-1 vs. Bears in Week 4.
9 Fred Davis WAS vs. MIN Vikings allowing sixth-most fantasy points to TEs.
10 Brandon Pettigrew DET at PHI Tied with Gronk for third-most catches by TE.
11 Antonio Gates SD vs. DEN (Mon.) Looking to shake slow start (13-143-0) vs. familiar foe.
12 Jared Cook TEN vs. PIT (Thurs.) Team says they want to involve Cook more in the offense.
13 Dennis Pitta BAL vs. DAL Had 18 catches in first three games, only three total since.
14 Aaron Hernandez NE at SEA Returned to practice, could play on Sunday.
15 Martellus Bennett NYG at SF Injured left knee last week, but stayed in game.
16 Jermichael Finley GB at HOU Injured shoulder last week, monitor status.
17 Scott Chandler BUF at ARI  
18 Jacob Tamme DEN at SD (Mon.) Had 10 catches in first three games, 11 in last two.
19 Jermaine Gresham CIN at CLE  
20 Coby Fleener IND at NYJ  
21 Brandon Myers OAK at ATL  
22 Dustin Keller NYJ vs. IND Expected to be on field for first time since Week 1.
23 Joel Dreessen DEN at SD (Mon.)  
24 Lance Kendricks STL at MIA Caught first career TD pass last week.
25 Anthony Fasano MIA vs. STL  
26 Zach Miller SEA vs. NE

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 6 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 6 Waiver Wire

Week 6 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings: Week 6</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 05:16
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-defensespecial-teams-rankings-week-6
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville and New Orleans are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams

Rk Player OPPONENT Notes
1 Arizona Cardinals vs. BUF Bills had just 204 yards, 3 pts last week vs. 49ers.
2 Pittsburgh Steelers at TEN (Thurs.) Quick turnaround, but Titans struggling on offense.
3 Baltimore Ravens vs. DAL Ravens ranked 26th on D, but Cowboys are 24th on O.
4 San Francisco 49ers vs. NYG 49ers looking to slow down Eli, Bradshaw.
5 Houston Texans vs. GB Tough test for Texans' first game w/o Cushing at MLB.
6 Miami Dolphins vs. STL Dolphins No. 1 against run, Rams' passing attack is 30th.
7 Atlanta Falcons vs. OAK Key will be 27th-ranked rush D vs. McFadden
8 Minnesota Vikings at WAS Looking like RGIII will play, can Vikes get to him?
9 Seattle Seahawks vs. NE Already held GB and Dallas in check at home, NE next?
10 St. Louis Rams at MIA Rams rush D will be tested against Reggie and co.
11 Philadelphia Eagles vs. DET Eagles looking to slow down Stafford, CJ.
12 New England Patriots at SEA Pats need to contain Lynch, make Wilson beat them.
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. KC No. 4 rush defense vs. No. 1 rusher (Jamaal Charles).
14 Dallas Cowboys at BAL Cowboys No. 4 in total defense, No. 1 vs. pass.
15 Cincinnati Bengals at CLE Gave up 375 yards, 27 pts to Browns in Week 2 win.
16 Green Bay Packers at HOU Packers need to slow down Texans' running game.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

DEFENSIVE SCORING
0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

Additional Week 6 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers

Week 6 Waiver Wire

Week 6 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 6</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 05:14
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-kicker-rankings-week-6
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville and New Orleans are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings — Kickers

Rk Player Team OPPONENT
1 David Akers SF vs. NYG
2 Matt Bryant ATL vs. OAK
3 Greg Zuerlein STL at MIA
4 Stephen Gostkowski NE at SEA
5 Blair Walsh MIN at WAS
6 Lawrence Tynes NYG at SF
7 Justin Tucker BAL vs. DAL
8 Jason Hanson DET at PHI
9 Shayne Graham HOU vs. GB
10 Sebastian Janikowski OAK at ATL
11 Mason Crosby GB at HOU
12 Alex Henery PHI vs. DET
13 Matt Prater DEN at SD (Mon.)
14 Phil Dawson CLE vs. CIN
15 Nick Novak SD vs. DEN (Mon.)
16 Mike Nugent CIN at CLE

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

KICKER SCORING
PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Additional Week 6 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Week 6 Waiver Wire

Week 6 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Kicker Rankings: Week 6</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 05:11
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/sandusky-statement-surfaces
Body:

Bellefonte, PA (Sports Network) - Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to 30-60 years in prison for his conviction on charges of child sexual abuse.

Judge John M. Cleland handed down the sentence on Tuesday after Sandusky was found guilty in June on 45 counts charging him with sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period.

The scandal, which broke last November with Sandusky's arrest, brought down the Penn State football program, tarnished the legacy of the late Joe Paterno and scarred the entire university.

Teaser:
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to 30-60 years in prison for his conviction on charges of child sexual abuse.
Post date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 23:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-waiver-wire-week-6
Body:

Several top fantasy producers will be getting a rest in Week 6 with Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville and New Orleans all on bye. Not only does that mean no Drew Brees, Cam Newton or Jay Cutler, it also means owners won’t get anything out of Matt Forte, Maurice Jones-Drew, Brandon Marshall, Marques Colston, or Jimmy Graham, among others. And don’t forget about Chicago’s defense/special teams, which is far and away the No. 1 unit in all of fantasy football as the Monsters of the Midway have out-scored opposing offenses on their own over the past three weeks.

While there is not a suitable replacement for the Bears DST out there, that does not mean there aren’t any viable options available on the waiver wire. The same goes for other positions that are either impacted by the bye week, injury or a lack of production. Here are some names worth considering.

Week 6 Positional Rankings

Week 6 Start or Sit

Bye week teams: Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville, New Orleans

Quarterbacks
Week 5 Recap: This past week didn’t go that well for Matt Hasselbeck, Kevin Kolb or Ryan Tannehill, although Tannehill’s Dolphins were victorious over the Bengals. Hasselbeck had the best fantasy numbers thanks to a fourth quarter touchdown in the Titans’ loss to the Vikings, but overall his numbers (200-1-1, 10 rushing yards) were nothing to get that excited about. Hasselbeck will get another chance this Thursday at home against Pittsburgh as Jake Locker (shoulder) has already been ruled out by head coach Mike Munchak. Hasselbeck also could benefit from facing a Steelers defense that won a physical, hard-hitting affair against the Eagles on Sunday, but besides being battered and bruised, suffered even more injuries and faces a quick turnaround for this week's game. Kolb and Tannehill scored even fewer fantasy points than Hasselbeck, as the Rams knocked Kolb around (9 sacks) and he committed three turnovers (2 INT, 1 fumle), while Tannehill wasn’t called on to do that much (17-of-26, 223 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT) in the passing game. Kolb appears to have the better match-up this week as the Cardinals will host Buffalo, while Tannehill and the Dolphins welcome the aforementioned Rams to Miami.

Kirk Cousins, Washington Redksins
Purely speculative, but starter Robert Griffin III suffered an apparent concussion in Sunday’s loss to Atlanta, so he will need to pass all the mandatory tests and be cleared to not only practice, but play Sunday against Minnesota. If Griffin can’t go, Cousins will get the start, as he made his NFL debut in relief of Griffin and picked up his first career touchdown pass, a 77-yard strike to Santana Moss to give the Redskins the lead early in the fourth quarter. He also was picked off twice as the Falcons scored the final 10 points for the victory, but the rookie still finished with decent numbers (5-of-9, 111 yards, TD, 2 INT) in his first taste of NFL action. He could be in line for significantly more this Sunday.

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Freeman hasn’t done an awful lot (790 yards passing, 5 TD, 4 INT, 22 yards rushing) in his first four games, but Tampa Bay is coming off of its bye week, allowing Freeman and the offense time to work out the kinks. Also, don’t overlook that this week the Buccaneers will host Kansas City. Even after holding Joe Flacco and the Ravens to just nine points (yet still losing), the Chiefs are still allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. They have given up a total of 10 passing touchdowns compared to just three interceptions so far.

Brady Quinn, Kansas City Chiefs
Matt Cassel left Kansas City’s 9-6 loss to Baltimore with an apparent head injury, opening the door for Quinn. The reality is that while injury may end up being the official reason for a quarterback change in KC, the truth is that this was probably coming regardless. The Chiefs are 1-4 and in spite of the defense’s own issues, it’s quite easy to point the finger at Cassel. He is completing less than 59 percent of his passes for an average of 230 yards per game. More troubling is the turnovers, as he’s coughed it up 13 times (9 INTs, 4 fumbles) while accounting for only six touchdowns (5 passing, 1 rush) in five games. Injury or not, there’s a good chance Quinn will get the nod this Sunday in Tampa Bay. Quinn started 12 games in 2008-09 for the Browns, and for his career has completed less than 53 percent of his attempts for 1,934 yards, 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions. One other thing to keep in mind: Tampa Bay has given up an average of 345 yards passing in its first four games.

Tim Tebow, New York Jets
Like Quinn, Tebow may soon get the chance to show what he can do under center for the Jets, especially if Mark Sanchez and the offense continue to struggle. By now, it’s no secret what Tebow can and can not do when it comes to playing quarterback, but if he gets the opportunity to start, it instantly increases his fantasy value. His shortcomings as a passer aside, Tebow has already shown that he’s capable of producing as a rusher. Even with his limited playing time so far, Tebow is third on the team in rushing and is responsible for the Jets’ longest running play (22 yards) from scrimmage.

Running Backs
Week 5 Recap: Rashard Mendenhall certainly made his presence felt in his season debut, as he led the Steelers in carries (14), rushing yards (81) and scored the team’s only touchdown in the win over the Eagles. There’s no reason to think he’s not the team’s top back moving forward. Kendall Hunter also had 81 yards rushing as he made the most of his opportunities in San Francisco’s 45-3 blowout of Buffalo. Jackie Battle, Brandon Bolden and Ronnie Hillman combined for 83 rushing yards on 21 carries as they saw the starters in front of them, namely Ryan Mathews for San Diego and Stevan Ridley for New England, assert themselves. All three are still worth owning, but expectations, barring injury, for each moving forward should probably be tempered.

Alex Green, Green Bay Packers
Cedric Benson left Sunday’s game in Indianapolis with a foot injury and Green got the most carries (9) after that. The second-year pro from Hawaii, who was the team’s third-round pick in 2011, finished with 55 yards (6.1 ypc) and is now in line for even more opportunities, as Benson will be out for at least eight weeks (possibly lost for the season) after suffering an apparent Lisfranc injury to his foot. James Starks (and perhaps Brandon Saine) could still have something to say about this. Starks, who was the presumed starter before the Packers signed Benson during training camp, has missed the first five games with a toe injury, but is reportedly almost healthy enough to return to the field. Regardless, I wouldn’t expect a great deal out of any of the Packers' backs this week when they take on the undefeated Texans and their No. 6-ranked defense.

Isaac Redman, Pittsburgh Steelers
Rashard Mendenhall made his triumphant return as the Steelers’ lead back on Sunday against the Eagles and looks to have cemented his status as such moving forward. That said, Redman finished with only one fewer carry (13 to 14) than Mendenhall and he is currently the team’s leading rusher. Also, the Steelers decided to make Jonathan Dwyer inactive, even though he was healthy, against the Eagles, so it appears that Redman, and not Dwyer, will maintain the role of the team’s No. 2 back. There could be worse positions to be in considering the Steelers’ propensity to run the ball and this Thursday’s match-up with Tennessee, who is giving up more than 144 yards rushing per game.

Darius Reynaud, Tennessee Titans
Chris Johnson isn’t losing his job as the Titans’ starting running back, especially now that backup Javon Ringer is out four to six weeks after spraining his left knee. However, that doesn’t mean that CJ might not lose some carries, as he’s been largely ineffective (210 yards, 2.9 ypc, 0 TD) running the ball and has yet to score. To that end, it appears that Reynaud (who also could be eligible at WR depending on the league) would get the chance, as he currently has more carries, targets and receptions than Jamie Harper, who is also on the roster. The Titans already know about Reynaud’s speed and playmaking ability, as he’s averaging 27.6 yards per kickoff return, including one he brought back 105 yards for a touchdown. At this point, it certainly can’t hurt to give someone other than Johnson a shot at running the ball.

LaRod Stephens-Howling, Arizona Cardinals
Beanie Wells is already on injured reserve because of a toe injury, but there’s a chance he will return at some point this season. The same cannot be said for Ryan Williams, however, as the shoulder injury he suffered during Thursday’s loss to St. Louis ended up being worse than initially believed. Williams’ 2012 season is over as the second-year back will need to undergo shoulder surgery to repair the damage. Stephens-Howling is expected to move to the top of the Cardinals’ depth chart at running back, although he has missed the past two games with a hip-flexor injury. He was reportedly close to playing last Thursday, so if he’s healthy enough, he should get the first shot. The Cardinals also have William Powell, the only other running back other than Williams to get a carry against the Rams, and Alfonso Smith on the roster. This is a situation that bears watching, especially in deeper leagues, as Arizona welcomes Buffalo to the desert on Sunday. The Bills’ defense is among the worst in the league statistically and it gave up 311 yards rushing and 45 points to San Francisco last week.

David Wilson, New York Giants
Ahmad Bradshaw rumbled for 200 yards on 30 carries (6.7 ypc) against Cleveland, but it was Wilson who perhaps made the most of his chances against the Browns. Andre Brown went down early with a head injury, presenting Wilson with an opportunity as the Giants looked to eat up some time with a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter. Wilson finally got another chance to run the ball and he promptly took it 40 yards to paydirt. Whether or not this results in Wilson getting more opportunities in the future remains to be seen, but it certainly doesn’t hurt the rookie that he capitalized on the chance he got on Sunday, especially in light of Brown’s injury and the Giants’ renewed emphasis on running the ball.

Wide Receivers
Week 5 Recap: James Jones (4-46-2) made the most noise in Week 5, while Brian Hartline, Domenik Hixon and Andre Roberts each caught at least four passes. Donald Jones only managed two receptions, but then again the Bills had a total of 204 yards of offense and scored three measly points against the 49ers. Hartline, James Jones and Roberts appear to the most appealing options of these moving forward based on their respective situations, although Hixon’s outlook is tied directly to the health of Hakeem Nicks.

Brandon Gibson, St. Louis Rams
The Rams will be without the services of leading receiver Danny Amendola for at least a month, meaning some other wideout will need to step up in his absence. Gibson appears to be the most likely candidate to assume Amendola’s role, as he’s second on the team in targets, receptions and receiving yards and he’s already caught two touchdowns. Rookie Chris Givens probably bears watching as well. He caught a 51-yard touchdown against the Cardinals, but has had problems holding on to the ball overall (4 receptions, 15 targets).

Mario Manningham, San Francisco Giants
Alex Smith, the NFL’s top-rated passer, threw for 303 yards and three touchdowns against Buffalo. Not to say the 49ers will continue to air it out, but Smith’s showing himself capable as a passer. To that end, Manningham is third on the team in both targets (23) and receptions (19) and has the same number of touchdown catches (one) as leading receiver Michael Crabtree. It also doesn’t hurt that this Sunday Manningham’s former team, the Giants, will be making the cross-country trip to take on the 49ers.

Robert Meachem, San Diego Chargers
Perhaps all it took was some familiar faces to get Meachem going. After catching just six passes for 92 yards in the Chargers’ first four games, the free agent acquisition erupted for three catches, 67 yards and two touchdowns against the Saints, his former team. Malcom Floyd is Philip Rivers’ top target and tight end Antonio Gates will probably continue to get more looks, but Meachem can still be a productive receiver for the Chargers and someone’s fantasy team. It starts by putting together two solid games in a row as the Chargers will host Denver this coming Monday night.

Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vincent Jackson gets more targets (and makes considerably more money), but Williams has been a reliable and productive secondary option for Josh Freeman in Tampa Bay’s passing attack. Williams is averaging slightly more yards (19.9 to 19.0) per reception than Jackson and each have caught two touchdown passes so far. The Bucs have had an extra week to get ready for Kansas City, who has had its share of problems on defense and is giving up an average of 29 points per game.

Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans
Tennessee’s offense is struggling, especially when it comes to running the ball, but you can’t pin it on the rookie. Not only is he leading the team in receptions, he’s tied for 19th in the league as his 27 is also the most of any first-year wide receiver. Wright’s not getting a lot of yards (214, 7.9 ypc), but he’s tied for the team lead in touchdown catches with two and has caught a total of 13 passes the past two games. Wright is worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses, especially in PPR leagues.

Tight Ends
Week 5 Recap: Scott Chandler was the Bills’ leading receiver (4 rec., 40 yds.) against San Francisco, which isn’t saying much, but he also lost a fumble. Greg Olsen fared similarly (2, 37), minus the fumble, but that’s not surprising considering Cam Newton was 12-for-29 for only 141 yards (4.9 ypc) against Seattle. The Bills will try to get some offense going at Arizona, while Olsen and the Panthers have the week off.

Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals
Gresham is averaging five catches and 57 yards over his last three games and he’s also caught a touchdown during that span. He’s second on the Bengals in receptions and even though A..J. Green is the clear-cut primary option in the team’s passing attack, Andy Dalton has been averaging nearly 34 pass attempts per game and is seventh in both passing yards and touchdowns. With numbers like that, there should be more than enough to make Gresham fantasy relevant too.

Rob Housler, Arizona Cardinals
Housler’s not catching a ton of passes, only eight on the year, but seven of those have come over the past three weeks. He’s also averaging nearly 15 yards per reception and Kevin Kolb targeted him six times last week. If anything, it appears that Housler has established himself as the Cardinals’ primary tight end moving forward. If he can increase his production and show some consistency, at worst he could become a viable bye week replacement option.

Defense/Special Teams

Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins' defense has played well to start the season, especially against the run. The 'Fins are No. 1 in rush defense as they have allowed only 61.4 yards per game and have already faced off against running backs like Arian Foster and Darren McFadden. They have been a little more susceptible to the pass (281.8 ypg), but are only surrendering 20.6 points per game. Next up is a Rams team at home that's lost its top wide receiver and only completed seven passes last week. Following their bye in Week 7, the Dolphins have the Jets, Colts, Titans, Bills and Seahawks on their slate. Of these six teams, only Indianapolis ranks higher than 21st in the league in total offense.

Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings are tied for fourth among DSTs in fantasy scoring, largely due to their ability to pressure the quarterback (14 sacks) and having viable threats for both kickoff (Percy Harvin) and punt (Marcus Sherels) returns. Overall, the Vikings' defense has been a pleasant surprise thus far and their upcoming schedule — at WAS, ARI, TB, at SEA — doesn't appear to be all that daunting either. In fact, this week's game in Washington could look a lot different if Robert Griffin III is unable to play because of the concussion he suffered last week.

Scoring is based on Athlon Sports default scoring which is 6 points for all TDs, .5 points per reception and 1 point per 25 yards passing, 10 yards rushing/receiving and 40 return yards.

— By Mark Ross, published on Oct. 9, 2012

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 6</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/top-25-college-football-game-capsules-0
Body:

Eugene, OR (Sports Network) - Marcus Mariota threw four touchdown passes on Saturday and the No. 2 Oregon Ducks dominated No. 23 Washington, 52-21, at Autzen Stadium. Mariota went 15-of-24 passing for 198 yards and an interception, while Kenjon Barner added 122 yards on 20 carries and De'Anthony Thomas chipped in 75 yards and a score on 10 rushes for the Ducks (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12), who have scored 30- plus points in 19 straight games. Keith Price finished 19-of-31 for 145 yards and two interceptions for Washington (3-2, 1-1), which has lost nine straight meetings with the Ducks, which is the longest streak for either side in the 111-year history of the rivalry. Bishop Sankey rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries in a losing effort.

Final Score: North Carolina State 17, (3) Florida State 16

Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Mike Glennon's 2-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Underwood with 16 seconds remaining capped a furious second-half rally that propelled North Carolina State to a stunning 17-16 victory over third-ranked Florida State in Atlantic Coast Conference action from Carter-Finley Stadium. Glennon completed 30-of-55 passes for 259 yards -- all but 41 of which came after halftime -- and a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns as North Carolina State (4-2, 1-1 ACC) overcame a 16-0 deficit at intermission and knocked off a nationally-ranked Seminoles squad for the fourth time in the last nine years. Florida State (5-1, 2-1) was also upset in Raleigh by a 28-24 count in 2010, when the program was ranked 16th at the time, and was also dealt defeats by the Wolfpack while in the national polls during the 2005 and 2006 seasons.

Final Score: (10) Florida 14, (4) LSU 6

Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) - Mike Gillislee ran for a pair of second- half touchdowns to lead No. 10 Florida past fourth-ranked LSU, 14-6. Gillislee finished with 146 yards on 34 carries for the Gators (5-0, 4-0 SEC), who racked up 176 yards on the ground to remain undefeated. Jeff Driskel completed 8-of-12 passes for 61 yards and was backed by a stifling defense that held LSU to 1-for-13 on third-down conversions. Zach Mettenberger went 11-for-25 through the air for 161 yards and an interception for the Tigers (5-1, 1-1), who had their 18-game regular season win streak snapped. LSU had not dropped a game in the regular season since a 31-23 decision to Arkansas in the 2010 finale. The Tigers' Odell Beckham paced all receivers with 81 yards on four receptions in defeat.

Final Score: (6) South Carolina 35, (5) Georgia 7

Columbia, SC (Sports Network) - Connor Shaw threw for a pair of touchdowns and rushed for another as sixth-ranked South Carolina rolled over No. 5 Georgia, 35-7, on Saturday. Ace Sanders added a 70-yard punt return for a score for the Gamecocks (6-0, 4-0 SEC), who set a new school record with their 10th straight win dating back to last season. Shaw completed 6-of-10 passes for 162 yards and added 78 yards on 14 carries. Marcus Lattimore totaled 109 yards and a touchdown on 24 rushes as South Carolina improved to 6-0 for the first time since 1988. Aaron Murray went 11-for-31 through the air for 109 yards and an interception for Georgia (5-1, 3-1), which had its streak of 15 straight regular season wins snapped.

Final Score: (7) Kansas State 56, Kansas 16

Manhattan, KS (Sports Network) - John Hubert carried the ball 10 times for 101 yards and four touchdowns, lifting the seventh-ranked Kansas State Wildcats over the Kansas Jayhawks, 56-16. Collin Klein completed 7-of-14 passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns for the Wildcats (5-0, 2-0 Big 12), who are unbeaten after five games for the second straight season. Klein also carried the ball 10 times for 116 yards and two scores. Tyler Lockett and Travis Tannahill caught TD passes for Kansas State, which scored 35 points in the second half. Dayne Crist connected on 16-of-27 passes for 189 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions for the Jayhawks (1-4, 0-2), who have lost four in a row since starting the season with a win over South Dakota State. James Sims rushed for 115 yards and a score on 28 carries.

Final Score: (8) West Virginia 48, (11) Texas 45

Austin, TX (Sports Network) - Geno Smith threw four touchdown passes and Andrew Buie ran for 207 yards and a pair of scores, including the game-sealing TD with under two minutes left, as eighth-ranked West Virginia earned a wild 48-45 win over No. 11 Texas. Smith finished 25-of-35 for 268 yards for the Mountaineers (5-0, 2-0 Big 12), who got three TD receptions from Stedman Bailey. Tavon Austin caught 10 passes for 102 yards and a score. It was a far cry from a record-setting performance like last week, when Smith set school marks with eye-popping totals of 656 passing yards and eight touchdown throws in a 70-63 win over Baylor. Smith has 24 TD passes this season without an interception. David Ash connected on 22-of-29 throws for 269 yards, including an 8-yard TD pass to Marquise Goodwin with 15 seconds remaining. West Virginia recovered the ensuing onsides kick and sent the Longhorns (4-1, 1-1) to their eighth straight loss when facing a team ranked in the top 25.

Final Score: (9) Notre Dame 41, Miami-Florida 3

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Cierre Wood and George Atkinson III ran all over a shaky Hurricanes defense on Saturday as No. 9 Notre Dame dominated Miami-Florida, 41-3, at Soldier Field. Wood ran for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, while Atkinson ended his night with 123 yards and a touchdown on just 10 carries for the Fighting Irish (5-0), who have won the first five games of the season for the first time since beginning the 2002 campaign 8-0. Cam McDaniel and Theo Riddick each added a rushing touchdown in the victory as the Irish racked up 376 yards on the ground. Everett Golson was benched to start the game due to a violation of team rules, but entered on the team's second offensive series. He threw for 186 yards on 17-of-22 passing and ran for 51 yards on six carries as Notre Dame remained perfect at Soldier Field in program history with a 10-0-2 record. Stephen Morris threw for 201 yards on 18-of-35 passing for the Hurricanes (4-2), who had their three-game winning streak snapped. Jake Wieclaw accounted for the only Miami points with a 28-yard field goal.

Final Score: (12) Ohio State 63, (21) Nebraska 38

Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Braxton Miller rushed for a career-high 185 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and Carlos Hyde added four rushing scores as No. 12 Ohio State downed No. 21 Nebraska, 63-38, on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Miller added 127 yards and a touchdown pass on 7-of-14 passing and Hyde finished with 138 yards on 28 carries for the Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten), who slipped past Michigan State on the road last weekend to open conference play. Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez threw for 214 yards and one touchdown on 15-of-25 efficiency, but tossed a career-high tying three interceptions in the setback, which snapped Nebraska's (4-2, 1-1) three-game winning streak. Rex Burkhead rushed for 119 yards on 14 carries, while Kenny Bell hauled in five passes for 133 yards in a losing effort.

Final Score: (14) Oregon State 19, Washington State 6

Corvallis, OR (Sports Network) - Jordan Poyer came up with three interceptions, and Sean Mannion threw for 270 yards and a touchdown, as 14th- ranked Oregon State downed Washington State, 19-6, at Reser Stadium. Markus Wheaton had 95 yards receiving and a touchdown for the Beavers (4-0, 3-0 Pac-12), who also got a pair of field goals from Trevor Romaine. Brandin Cooks contributed five catches for 82 yards. With the victory, Oregon State surpasses their three-win total from last season and improves to 4-0 for the first time since the 2002 season. Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday had a rough game, going just 9- of-20 passing for 81 yards and three interceptions. His replacement, Jeff Tuel, went 11-of-17 for 126 yards and an interception, and also was sacked three times. Gino Simone caught three balls for 83 yards and Andrew Furney connected on two field goals for the Cougars (2-4, 0-3).

Final Score: Iowa State 37, (15) TCU 23

Fort Worth, TX (Sports Network) - Jared Barnett threw for 183 yards and three touchdowns, Josh Lenz hauled in three TD passes and threw for another score, as the Iowa State Cyclones upset the No. 15 TCU Horned Frogs, 37-23, at Amon G. Carter Stadium. For TCU (4-1, 1-1 Big 12), the loss puts an end to the nation's longest active win streak, as the Horned Frogs had won 12 straight dating back to last season. It also marks their first loss to a conference opponent as a new member of the Big 12. The Horned Frogs were forced to face Iowa State (4-1, 1-1) without one of their biggest weapons. Junior starting quarterback Casey Pachall was arrested Thursday morning on suspicion of DWI and suspended by head coach Gary Patterson for at least a game, possibly more. Without Pachall, the Horned Frogs turned to redshirt freshman Trevone Boykin, who responded with a tough performance, going 23-of-40 for 270 yards and a touchdown. Boykin also threw three interceptions, with two in the fourth quarter, taking TCU out of contention.

Final Score: (15) Clemson 47, Georgia Tech 31

Clemson, SC (Sports Network) - Tajh Boyd threw for 397 yards and two touchdowns, adding 63 yards and a rushing score, as the 15th-ranked Clemson Tigers turned up the heat with a 47-31 decision over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in an ACC shootout at Memorial Stadium. DeAndre Hopkins totaled 173 yards and a pair of TDs on seven catches for the Tigers (5-1, 2-1 ACC), who have won two in a row and have two weeks to enjoy the victory before returning to action on Oct. 20 against Virginia Tech. Roderick McDowell posted two rushing scores, while Andre Ellington ended with 82 yards on 24 carries for Clemson. Tevin Washington passed for 144 yards and one score, adding 104 yards and two rushing touchdowns for the Yellow Jackets (2-4, 1-3), who have dropped three straight and also have a week off before a clash with Boston College. Orwin Smith rolled up 117 yards and two end-zone entries on just seven totes and Jeff Greene registered a TD reception in the loss.

Final Score: (17) Oklahoma 41, Texas Tech 20

Lubbock, TX (Sports Network) - Landry Jones threw for two touchdowns and Blake Bell added two scores on the ground as the 17th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners steamrolled the Texas Tech Red Raiders, 41-20, to earn their first Big 12 victory of the season. Jones completed 25-of-40 passes for 259 yards and connected with Justin Brown and Kenny Stills for scores. Bell took two 1-yard carries into the end zone for touchdowns as Oklahoma (3-1, 1-1 Big 12) rebounded nicely off its bye week following a 24-19 loss to Kansas State on Sept. 22. Seth Doege led Texas Tech to a victory over Oklahoma last season, but struggled on Saturday and was unable to replicate the same result. Doege finished 22-of-36 for 203 yards and was intercepted three times, with his third returned by Javon Harris for a score that put the game out of reach for the Red Raiders (4-1, 1-1), who were denied a 5-0 start for the second consecutive season.

Final Score: (18) Stanford 54, Arizona 48 (OT)

Stanford, CA (Sports Network) - Stepfan Taylor's 21-yard touchdown run in the first overtime period lifted the 18th-ranked Stanford Cardinal over the Arizona Wildcats, 54-48. Stanford's defense came up big in overtime. On Arizona's fifth offensive play, Matt Scott had his pass deflected at the line of scrimmage and Chase Thomas came up with the interception. Taylor then found a hole up the middle and sprinted 21 yards into the end zone for the come- from-behind victory. Taylor carried the ball 31 times for 142 yards and two scores for the Cardinal (4-1, 2-1 Pac-12), who have won nine straight games in the month of October dating back to Oct. 9, 2010. Josh Nunes completed 21- of-34 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns for Stanford, which bounced back from a 17-13 loss to Washington on Sept. 27. Nunes also carried the ball seven times for 33 yards and three scores.

Final Score: (20) Mississippi State 27, Kentucky 14

Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - Tyler Russell threw for 269 yards and two touchdowns, leading No. 20 Mississippi State past Kentucky, 27-14, and helping the Bulldogs to their best start since 1999. Russell completed 23-of-39 passes to keep the Bulldogs (5-0, 2-0 SEC) undefeated. Adrian Marcus caught a 10-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and Chad Bumphis paced all receivers with nine catches for 104 yards and a score. Bumphis' touchdown catch was the 18th of his career, passing Eric Moulds and Justin Jenkins for the most in school history. Jalen Whitlow returned as the Kentucky quarterback after Patrick Towles suffered an ankle injury at the end of the second quarter. Whitlow finished 10-of-21 for 73 yards and rushed for 26 yards and a score, but the Wildcats (1-5, 0-3) dropped their fourth consecutive game. La'Rod King hauled in two passes, both from Towles, for 46 yards and a touchdown in the defeat.

Final Score: (22) Rutgers 19, Connecticut 3

Piscataway, NJ (Sports Network) - Gary Nova threw a touchdown pass and the Rutgers defense forced five turnovers, as the 22nd-ranked Scarlet Knights earned a 19-3 victory over Connecticut. Nova completed 18-of-27 passes for 157 yards, including a 14-yard TD strike to Mark Harrison for the game's lone offensive touchdown in the third quarter of the struggle between the Big East's top two defensive squads. Wayne Warren returned an interceptions 25 yards for a late touchdown for Rutgers (5-0, 2-0 Big East), which played as a ranked team for the first time since 2009 and won a game while ranked for the first time since 2007. Jawan Jamison ran for 110 yards, eclipsing the 100-yard mark for the fifth time in as many games this season for the Scarlet Knights, who are unbeaten after five games for only the third time since 1976 and are 2-0 in Big East play for second straight year and third time overall. UConn running back Lyle McCombs sat out the first quarter for disciplinary reasons and finished with just 32 yards on 12 carries. The Huskies (3-3, 0-1) were playing their conference opener and coming off a win last week against Buffalo.

Final Score: Penn State 39, (24) Northwestern 28

University Park, PA (Sports Network) - Matt McGloin's five-yard touchdown run was the go-ahead score late in regulation, as Penn State rallied from an 11- point fourth-quarter deficit to upend No. 24 Northwestern, 39-28, in front of a delirious crowd at Beaver Stadium. McGloin finished with 282 yards passing and a pair of scores through the air for the Nittany Lions (4-2, 2-0 Big Ten), who won their fourth straight game. Allen Robinson and Michael Zordich added touchdowns in a 22-point final stanza for Penn State, which has won six in a row over its suburban Chicago foes. Trevor Siemian was 21-of-36 for 135 yards and one TD for the Wildcats (5-1, 1-1), who failed in their bid to start 6-0 for the first time in 50 years. Venric Mark totaled 72 yards and a score on 13 carries and contributed a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown which sent Northwestern up 28-17. Kain Colter picked up a score on the ground in defeat.

Final Score: California 43, (25) UCLA 17

Berkeley, CA (Sports Network) - Zach Maynard threw four touchdown passes as California knocked off the 25th-ranked UCLA Bruins, 43-17. at Memorial Stadium. Maynard completed 25-of-30 passes for 295 yards with an interception and also ran for a touchdown for the Golden Bears (2-4, 1-1 Pac-12), who snapped a three-game losing streak. C.J. Anderson had a huge day on the ground for the Golden Bears, running for 151 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. He also caught a touchdown pass. Richard Rodgers led the receiving corps with seven catches for 129 yards and Keenan Allen caught eight balls for 79 yards and a pair of TDs. Brett Hundley threw for 253 yards on 31-of-47 passing and two touchdowns, but was intercepted four times. Cassius Marsh and Joseph Fauria caught touchdown passes for the Bruins (4-2, 1-2), who have dropped two of their last three. Johnathan Franklin ran for 103 yards on 15 carries in a losing cause.

Teaser:
Marcus Mariota threw four touchdown passes on Saturday and the No. 2 Oregon Ducks dominated No. 23 Washington, 52-21, at Autzen Stadium. Mariota went 15-of-24 passing for 198 yards and an interception, while Kenjon Barner added 122 yards on 20 carries and De'Anthony Thomas chipped in 75 yards and a score on 10 rushes for the Ducks (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12), who have scored 30- plus points in 19 straight games. Keith Price finished 19-of-31 for 145 yards and two interceptions for Washington (3-2, 1-1), which has lost nine straight meetings with the Ducks, which is the longest streak for either side in the 111-year history of the rivalry. Bishop Sankey rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries in a losing effort.
Post date: Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 23:00
All taxonomy terms: News
Path: /mlb/alds-preview-baltimore-orioles-vs-new-york-yankees
Body:

Of course, New York is quite familiar with this Orioles team that is back in the postseason for the first time since 1997. New York split 18 meetings with Baltimore and battled for a division title with it all through September before finally securing the crown on the final day of the regular season.

New York had been in first place since June 11, but thanks to the pesky Orioles, needed all 162 games to nail down its 12th AL East crown in the last 15 years with a three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox, coupled with Baltimore losing two of three to the Tampa Bay Rays.

It's no secret that New York is driven by its offense, an attack that this year belted a major league-high 245 home runs. Leading the charge is All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano, who may be the hottest hitter in baseball entering the playoffs.

Over his last nine games Cano is hitting .615 with three HRs, 14 RBI and seven doubles. He ended the year hitting .313 with 33 home runs, 94 RBI and 105 runs scored. His torrid stretch may continue, as he is a .338 hitter against the Orioles with 24 home runs and 89 RBI in 135 games.

Cano isn't the only superstar in the Yankees' lineup, as Derek Jeter led the majors with 216 hits, Curtis Granderson belted 43 home runs and Nick Swisher also had a productive season. Not to mention first baseman Mark Teixeira appears healthy after missing most of September with a calf injury.

Ichiro Suzuki has also fit the Yankees' lineup like a glove since being acquired from Seattle on Aug. 3. In 67 games with the Yankees, Ichiro batted .322 - 61 points higher than he hit in 95 games with the Mariners - with five home runs, 27 RBI, 28 runs scored and stole 14 bases.

Then, there is Alex Rodriguez. The three-time AL MVP missed a few months with a broken wrist, but had one the least productive seasons of his career, hitting .272 with 18 home runs and 57 RBI.

Plus he hasn't homered since Sept. 14. And of course, the postseason hasn't been kind to A-Rod, who is just 6-for-39 in his last two series with 10 strikeouts.

CC Sabathia will get the call for the Yankees in Game 1 following a down year by his standards, as Sabathia endured two stints on the disabled list and ended the season 15-6 with a 3.38 ERA.

Lefty Andy Pettitte came out of retirement and was pitching well up until a line drive broke his leg back on June 27. Pettitte returned in September and gave up just three runs in three starts and ended the year 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA.

The playoffs are where Pettitte shines, though, as he owns a major league record 19 postseason wins.

Hiroki Kuroda (16-11, 3.32) enjoyed a terrific first season in the Bronx and will likely get the nod in Game 3, while right-hander Phil Hughes (16-13, 4.23) will go in Game 4 if needed.

Rafael Soriano gave the Yankees everything they could have hoped for in the wake of Mariano Rivera's season-ending ACL injury in May. Soriano saved 42 games and pitched to a 2.26, but has nowhere near the air of invincibility as Rivera, especially come playoff time, where the all-time saves leader was close to automatic.

Righties David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain will serve as the main bridges to Soriano, while Boone Logan and Clay Rapada will be called upon to get lefties out.

As good as the Yankees bullpen is, it pales in comparison to that of Baltimore's, which is spearheaded by closer Jim Johnson, who led the majors with team-record 51 saves. He actually had 10 less strikeouts than he had saves.

Sidewinding Darren O'Day serves as his main setup guy and gives right-handed hitters fits. Lefty Brian Matusz may have found a home in the bullpen after struggling as a starter, as Buck Showalter doesn't hesitate to use him against a lefty in a big spot.

In all, five Orioles pitched in 50 or more games this year, and all five ended with ERAs between 2.28 and 2.64. Baltimore relievers threw 60 innings from the 10th frame on, and allowed five runs, for a 0.75 ERA.

Quite simply the bullpen is the biggest reason the Orioles posted their first winning season in 15 years.

It's the reason they went 29-9 in one-run games, the best record in one-run affairs since 1900. It's the reason they've captured 16 consecutive extra- inning wins, the longest streak since the 1949 Cleveland Indians won 17 in a row. And the reason they were 74-0 when holding a lead after seven innings.

It all added up to a 93-69 finish, the team's first winning record since 1997.

If you can name three Orioles starting pitchers, you are probably in the minority. Chris Tillman emerged as the team's ace down the stretch and went 9-3 with a 2.93 ERA. After a solid first half, Taiwanese product Wei-Yin Chen struggled and closed the year by losing his last four decisions spanning seven starts.

The group could get a lift in this series, though, with the return of right-hander Jason Hammel, who has missed most of the second half with a knee injury. Hammel, though, was the Orioles' top pitcher in the first half of the season and won eight of his first 10 decisions

"I would assume that if you would trust me to start, if I am starting, there wouldn't be a pitch count because it's a 25-man roster and you need those extra guys in the pen so you have to expect a guy to go deep for that important a game," Hammel said."I would think no pitch count until I was told otherwise."

Lefty Joe Saunders could also be a factor after giving up a run and six hits in 5 2/3 innings of the O's wild card win over the Texas Rangers.

Offensively, the young O's are led by burgeoning superstars Adam Jones and Matt Wieters. Jones hit .287 with 32 home runs, 82 RBI and 103 runs scored, while Wieters swatted 23 homers and knocked in 83 runs.

A player to watch in this series could be 20-year-old third baseman Manny Machado, who has drawn comparisons to Rodriguez and really started to come into his own down the stretch.

Chris Davis has also contributed of late and closed the regular season by homering in six of his final seven regular season games.

The Orioles and Yankees are certainly no strangers to one another and in addition to all the regular season meetings, these teams also met in the 1996 ALCS, a series won by New York, but one that was made famous by the Jeffrey Maier catch. New York won that series in six games.

As good as Baltimore's bullpen has been, New York gets the overall edge based on a decided advantage in the starting pitching department. Still, given the way these teams fought tooth and nail down the stretch, this should be a pretty entertaining series.

But, in the end New York's experience should prevail.

PREDICTION: YANKEES in FOUR

Teaser:
The New York Yankees begin their quest for a 28th World Series title on Sunday when they open the American League Division Series against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
Post date: Saturday, October 6, 2012 - 23:00
All taxonomy terms: News
Path: /nascar/kahne-tops-talladega-qualifying
Body:

Talladega, AL (Sports Network) - Kasey Kahne claimed the pole for the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 -- the fourth race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship -- after posting the quickest lap in Saturday's qualifying at Talladega Superspeedway.

Kahne, who is one of the 12 drivers in the Chase field, turned a lap at 191.455 mph for his third pole of the season and the 25th of his Sprint Cup Series career. It will be the first time he starts up front for a race at this 2.66-mile superspeedway.

"It's fun to get my first pole at Talladega," Kahne said. "It's a tough track, and I've never done that. (The car) felt good, and we'll see how it runs tomorrow. It ran great (in practice) yesterday and really well today."

Ryan Newman, who is not in the Chase this year, secured the outside pole with a lap at 191.145 mph.

Title contenders Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle and Jeff Gordon qualified third through sixth, respectively. Bowyer has won the last two fall Sprint Cup races at Talladega.

"I thought we were going to qualify poorly, and we didn't," Bowyer said. "We're in the top-five and certainly up front, and we need to try to stay there and stay out of trouble. Certainly going to race up there as much as I can until something crazy happens."

Carl Edwards, Trevor Bayne, Martin Truex Jr., a Chase driver, and Sam Hornish Jr. completed the top-10.

The remaining Chase drivers and their starting positions include: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (12th), Matt Kenseth (15th), Jimmie Johnson (17th), Kevin Harvick (21st), Brad Keselowski (22nd) and Denny Hamlin (23rd).

Keselowski currently holds a five-point lead over Johnson and a 16-point advantage over Hamlin. Bowyer is 25 markers out of the lead, while Stewart and Kahne both trail by 32. Keselowski has won two of the first three Chase races. He also won the spring event at Talladega in May.

"The best strategy is to be the guy who doesn't wreck, but you don't know until after the race," Keselowski said. "Things happen so fast late in the race here that even the best strategy can get thrown out the window. I just want to be there with five laps to go."

All 43 drivers who attempted qualifying made the starting field for Sunday's 500-mile race at Talladega, which is scheduled to start just after 2 p.m. (ET).

Teaser:
Kasey Kahne claimed the pole for the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 -- the fourth race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship -- after posting the quickest lap in Saturday's qualifying at Talladega Superspeedway.
Post date: Saturday, October 6, 2012 - 22:00
All taxonomy terms: News
Path: /nfl/titans-qb-locker-out-sunday
Body:

Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker has been ruled out for Sunday's contest against the Minnesota Vikings with a left shoulder injury.

The club's injury report on Friday confirmed the move, as it revealed Locker did not participate in practice at all this week.

Locker left Sunday's 38-14 loss to the Houston Texans when he was hit by Houston's Glover Quin midway through the first quarter. He stayed on the ground for several minutes before heading back to the locker room with his left arm tucked against his chest. He returned to the sideline in the second quarter in street clothes with his left arm in a sling.

The Titans listed linebackers Patrick Bailey (hand) and Colin McCarthy (ankle), wideout Kenny Britt (ankle), tackle Mike Otto (finger) and defensive end Scott Solomon (hamstring) as questionable.

Tight end Jared Cook was deemed probable after participating fully in practice on Friday after having been limited on Wednesday and Thursday.

Teaser:
<p> Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker has been ruled out for Sunday's contest against the Minnesota Vikings with a left shoulder injury.</p>
Post date: Friday, October 5, 2012 - 16:06
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, NFL, Fantasy
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-start-or-sit-week-5
Body:

Indianapolis and Pittsburgh are both back in action in Week 5, but Dallas, Detroit, Oakland and Tampa Bay all get a break, which means even more players will be unavailable this week compared to last. Those who have Matthew Stafford or Tony Romo will be looking for a starting quarterback, while owners will also have to find a way to make do without Calvin Johnson, Darren McFadden and others this week.

Byes aside, everyone has to get their teams in order for this weekend’s action, and Athlon Sports is here to help you make those important lineup decisions for your Yahoo!, NFL.com or ESPN fantasy football league with our weekly Start and Sit suggestions. Keep in mind these are merely our suggestions as the ultimate decision comes down to you, the owner.

Week 5 Positional Rankings

Week 5 Waiver Wire

Bye week teams: Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, Tampa Bay

Sneaky Start of the Week
Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego at New Orleans
No doubt, Mathews owners were a little worried if they took a look at the box score from San Diego’s 37-20 victory over Kansas City last week. If they did, they would have seen that Mathews had 14 carries and two receptions, but Jackie Battle had 15 and four, not to mention two touchdowns and 12.9 more fantasy points (22.1 to 9.2).

Some of this discrepancy can be explained in that Chargers head coach Norv Turner apparently benched Mathews at the start of the game due to a Week 3 fumble. While nothing was announced or, more impressively, was leaked regarding this decision prior to kickoff, what’s more telling is that after it came to light both the running back and coach seemed to be on the same page about it. In other words, message delivered, message received, let’s move on.

Unfortunately, further developments, namely the fact that Battle, and not Mathews, is currently listed atop the Chargers’ depth chart, would lead one to assume that this perhaps this matter isn’t over. Last week and depth chart positioning aside, I am fairly confident that it will only be a matter of time before this is behind everyone and that Mathews resumes his rightful place as the Chargers’ No. 1 back.

In fact, I am willing to go so far as to say that regardless of whether he starts or not this Sunday in New Orleans, that Mathews will do more than enough damage to merit starting for your fantasy team. The Saints are dead last in the NFL in both total defense and rushing defense, as they are allowing 186.8 yards on the ground. That’s more than enough for both Battle and Mathews to get theirs, and then some.

New Orleans also is allowing more than 30 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, including 21.6 to Alfred Morris in Week 1 and 37.8 to Jamaal Charles in Week 3. While I don’t anticipate either Mathews or Battle reaching either of those levels, I am expecting them to do something along the lines of what the Carolina duo of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams did in Week 2. In that game, Williams had more carries and rushing yards than Stewart, but Stewart was more productive as a receiver and ended up with slightly more fantasy points (13.3 to 12.9). Mathews is more versatile and more of a threat out of the backfield as a receiver than Battle, and I am expecting him to do a little more damage that way against the Saints, which will help him to finish with more fantasy points than his teammate.

Surprise Sit of the Week
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville vs. Chicago
I know, I know. You never sit your studs. In general this is a theory I subscribe to, so by naming MJD here, I am not necessarily saying that you MUST sit him. I am merely trying to prepare his owners for what I believe will be a fairly pedestrian day at the office this Sunday.

Jones-Drew is currently seventh in the NFL in rushing with 352 yards and is averaging nearly five yards per carry. Quite an accomplishment considering he missed basically all of the preseason because of a contract holdout. However, a closer look at his numbers reveal that he’s had one fantastic game and three fairly ordinary ones.

In Week 3 against Indianapolis, Jones-Drew rambled for 177 yards on 28 carries (6.3 ypc) and a touchdown. In the three other games he has 175 yards on 54 carries (3.2 ypc) and no scores. Chicago is currently third in the league in rushing defense, allowing just 67.3 yards per game, 3.6 yards per carry, and the Bears have given up just one rushing touchdown.

Fantasy-wise, the Bears are allowing the third-fewest points to opposing running backs, having already shut down DeMarco Murray and Steven Jackson. Cedric Benson’s 81 yards in Week 2 is by far the most rushing yards they have allowed to a single back so far, and that was in a game in which Green Bay intercepted Bears quarterback Jay Cutler four times.

Jones-Drew is the best running back the Bears have faced yet, no argument here. However, the Monsters of the Midway have been up to the task to this point when it comes to defending the run. More importantly, I just don’t see Jaguars second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert faring any better than Tony Romo (5 INTs), Aaron Rodgers (1 TD, 1 INT) or Andrew Luck (1 TD, 3 INTs) did against the Bears’ D, allowing the Monsters of the Midway to focus their attention on stopping MJD. Jones-Drew won’t be shut out, he’s  too talented and tough for that, but he’s going to have to earn every yard he gets this Sunday, and I just don’t think it will be all that many.

Quarterbacks
START

Andrew Luck (IND) vs. GB
Since throwing three interceptions in his pro debut in Chicago, Luck has a 4:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Outside of Jay Cutler, Green Bay has allowed the opposing quarterback to score at least 19 fantasy points, and gave up 35.8 to Drew Brees in last week’s win at home. Luck isn’t Brees, not yet anyways, but he’s more than capable of taking what the defense allows and finding a way to move his team down the field. The Colts have allowed just five sacks in their first three games, which will be key against the Packers. I think they find a way to keep Luck upright, and if anything, the game situation will probably allow Luck plenty of opportunities to air it out in the second half.

Alex Smith (SF) vs. BUF
Smith posted back-to-back solid games to open the season, but has seen his production decline since then. Against Minnesota he saw his franchise record for passes without an interception come to an end. Then last week against the Jets, he didn’t need to throw the ball that much as the 49ers rushed for more than 250 yards and dominated the proceedings from start to finish. That could very well be the case this Sunday against Buffalo, but instead I am saying the coaching staff will let Smith take a few more shots down field against a Bills defense that is allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

Christian Ponder (MIN) vs. TEN
The Vikings’ young quarterback is 8th in the league in passer rating and has yet to throw an interception. However, he’s also 25th in the league in passing yards, 22nd in passing attempts and has just four touchdown passes in four games. If there’s ever a week to let the second-year starter air it out it’s this week. Tennessee is allowing opponents to complete more than 75 percent of their passes, 285 yards per game through the air, and has given up 10 touchdown passes compared to just one interception. The Vikings’ offense also finally got Jerome Simpson back from suspension last week, giving Ponder another weapon in the passing game, along with fellow receiver Percy Harvin and tight end Kyle Rudolph.

SIT
Cam Newton (CAR) vs. Seattle

It probably seems like I’m picking on Newton, but actually I’m not. He certainly proved me wrong last week with his three-touchdown, zero-turnover effort against Atlanta. However, Seattle’s defense is fourth in the league in total yards allowed and their pass rush is even more disruptive than Atlanta’s. The difference here, in my opinion, is that the Seahawks will be able to contain Newton in the pocket more and limit his yards if he does escape. I also don’t see Newton finishing this game without turning it over at least once, even if this one is at home.

Michael Vick (PHI) at PIT
Like Newton, Vick is a dual threat who can hurt you with both his arm and his legs. Vick’s biggest issue so far has been turnovers, as he’s already produced nine (6 INTs, 3 fumbles) of them. However, Vick didn’t turn the ball over once in leading his Eagles to a win over the Giants this past Sunday night, and Pittsburgh’s defense has only produced three takeaways of its own. So why is Vick in the Sit section, you ask? 1) I don’t think Vick plays another turnover-free game, he’s been somewhat erratic (56.8 completion rate) when he’s thrown the ball, and hasn’t been all that dangerous (4.8 ypc) when running it. 2) The Steelers welcome back hard-hitters and defensive leaders Troy Polamalu and James Harrison this Sunday, have had an extra week to get healthy and prepare for Vick and the Eagles, and have allowed only 190 yards passing per game so far. Also, while Vick didn’t turn the ball over a single time against the Giants, he still only put up 20.5 fantasy points. I just don’t see him putting together a big game in this one.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (BUF) at SF
Fitzpatrick leads the league in touchdown passes with 12 and is tied for second in interceptions with seven. He had four of each in the Bills’ 52-28 loss to New England last Sunday. This week the Bills are in San Francisco to take on a 49ers defense that’s sixth in the league in passing defense and has already held in check both Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford. Chances are Fitzpatrick will finish Week 5 as a league leader, but my thinking is that it will be for interceptions and not touchdowns. Several solid starting quarterbacks are already missing this week because they are on bye, but I still think there are better options out there than Fitzpatrick for Week 5.

Running Backs
START

Cedric Benson (GB) at IND

After a slow start out of the gates in Week 1 against San Francisco, Benson has averaged 95.3 total yards and 13.5 fantasy points over his last three games. The biggest omission from his production to this point has been the end zone, as in he’s yet to find it. Green Bay’s offense obviously goes through Rodgers and his right arm, but the Packers have put more emphasis on the running game as of late. Here’s saying that continues against Indianapolis, who is giving up 131.3 yards per game rushing.

Alfred Morris (WAS) vs. ATL
Morris has gone from a nice story during training camp to surprise Week 1 starter to, dare I say it, reliable fantasy option. The main reason for this is twofold – Morris is getting the touches (averaging 20.5 carries per game) and the rest of the ‘Skins backfield is either banged up (or worse) or has been ineffective when given an opportunity. The bottom line is this – Morris is the man right now in the backfield and you want to keep rolling with him this week against an Atlanta defense that’s 29th in the league against the run.

Pierre Thomas (NO) vs. SD
Yes, the Saints also have Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram in their backfield, but this recommendation of Thomas is more of a usage thing. Thomas is second to Ingram in carries by only four fewer attempts, but he’s leading the team by far in rushing yards (152). What’s more, Thomas is fifth on the team in both receptions (11) and targets (16), meaning he’s getting his chances as a receiver too. Sproles is the undisputed backfield receiver, but Brees throws enough and spreads it out enough for others, like Thomas, to benefit. This week’s match-up with San Diego looks to be one of those prime opportunities as the Chargers have given up the third-most receptions (32) to opposing running backs. These factors make Thomas an appealing RB3/flex option this week.

SIT
Michael Turner (ATL) at WAS
Turner turned back the clock last week against Carolina, rushing for 103 yards and also taking a pass 60 yards for a touchdown. It was good to see Turner show off some of that speed and breakaway ability that seemed to be missing at the start of the season. Then again, this was against the Panthers, who are allowing the most fantasy points to opposing running backs. This week, I think the going will be a little tougher for Turner against Washington, who is giving up 89 yards on the ground per game. I also expect the Falcons to attack the Redskins’ 31st-ranked pass defense a little more than they will run it, which in turn limits Turner’s opportunities.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis (CIN) vs. MIA
The Law Firm can’t seem to get out of his own way. He’s getting the carries (averaging 20.5 per game), but not the yards (286, 3.5 ypc) or the touchdowns (2 total). He hasn’t been much of a threat out of the backfield (6 rec., 46 yds.) and has already lost two fumbles, which is uncharacteristic of him. Miami is No. 1 in the league in rush defense, as the Dolphins are giving up just 56.8 yards per game and 2.4 yards per carry. This seems like a pretty good week to leave BJGE on your bench.

Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller (BUF) at SF
I’m sure Jackson and Spiller owners alike were happy to see their guys back in action last Sunday against New England. I’m not so sure how they felt after the duo combined for 117 total yards, no scores and two lost fumbles, or a total of 10.2 fantasy points. That’s not enough for a starting running back and this was their combined output. Both seemed to make it through no worse for the wear in coming back from their respective injuries, but this also means they will be sharing the touches from here out. I’m not saying there’s not enough opportunities for each to produce, and I am curious to see how the timeshare plays out (who gets the most carries, what’s the breakdown). Just not this week, in San Francisco against a 49ers defense that’s allowing 3.2 yards per carry, has surrendered one rushing touchdown so far and has yielded less than 10 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. No thank you.

Wide Receivers
START

Domenik Hixon (NYG) vs. CLE
In Week 3 against Carolina, Ramses Barden exploded for nine catches and 138 yards starting in place of an injured Hakeem Nicks AND Hixon, who missed the game due to concussion-related symptoms. Hixon returned last week to catch nine passes for 104 yards and a touchdown, as Nicks missed a second straight game. Nicks isn’t playing again this week against Cleveland, who is allowing the second-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and is still missing Joe Haden, their best defensive back. Barden isn’t expected to play either as he suffered a concussion in last week’s loss to the Eagles. So who does that leave?

James Jones (GB) at IND
One could make the argument that Jones, who is leading the Packers in touchdown catches with three, is second in yards (191) and fourth in receptions (16), is already a decent WR3/flex option. This argument only gets stronger with the knowledge that Greg Jennings will miss this week’s game (and possibly more) because of a groin injury. Jones may not get the official start opposite Jordy Nelson, but he’ll be out there plenty and should get strong consideration to receive the start from you if you own him or choose to pick him up.

Kendall Wright (TEN) vs. MIN
Wright leads all rookie wide receivers in catches with 18 and while he may not have accumulated lots of yards (148, 8.2 ypc) so far, it’s clear he’s getting plenty of opportunities. Even though he’s the Titans’ No. 3 receiver, he leads the team in targets by 13 over tight end Jared Cook and with fellow wideout Kenny Britt hampered by an ankle injury that could keep him out another week, this trend should continue. Also it’s worth pointing out that Wright’s first career touchdown pass, an 11-yarder in the fourth quarter at Houston last week, came courtesy of Matt Hasselbeck. Why’s that significant you ask? Because it’s Hasselbeck, and not Jake Locker, who will be the Titans’ starting quarterback this Sunday against Minnesota, as Locker is out with a shoulder injury. There appears to be no reason to think that Hasselbeck won’t continue to look Wright’s way in the passing game.

SIT
Dwayne Bowe (KC) vs. BAL
This is more of an indictment of Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel than Bowe. Cassel has thrown twice as many interceptions (four) as touchdowns (two) the past two weeks and has completed less than 60 percent of his attempts in that span. Baltimore has been susceptible to the pass, allowing Brandon Weeden to throw for 320 yards last week. However, they also have only allowed two receiving touchdowns so far and are still capable of forcing a turnover or two. Just not crazy about how this appears to be setting up for Bowe and his mates.

Jeremy Maclin (PHI) at PIT
In his defense, Maclin has been dealing with a couple of different hip ailments, which have limited his practice time and kept him from taking the field in Week 3. The real concern, however, is what he’s done when he has played, which is two catches for 30 yards in his last two games. One of those did go for a touchdown, but Maclin owners are looking for and needing more production from him. Unfortunately, I think the hip is still an issue and the Pittsburgh defense, with Troy Polamalu back in the secondary, will be an even bigger one come Sunday. The Eagles are off in Week 7. Maclin owners may have to be patient and hope for better things starting in Week 8. Right now, I don’t think he’s startable.

Pierre Garcon (WAS) vs. ATL
Similar to Maclin, Garcon also has been hampered significantly by a foot injury. Since breaking out for four receptions, 109 yards and a long TD (80 yards) against New Orleans in Week 1, Garcon has played in one game and caught  a total of, wait for it, one pass for 20 yards. He does finally appear to be getting healthier, as he’s been practicing fully for the first time in weeks, but his absence has allowed others, namely receiver Leonard Hankerson and tight end Fred Davis, to work on chemistry with rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. Until Garcon makes it through an entire game and posts some decent numbers, you may want to stash him away and hope Week 1 doesn’t end up as his lone highlight for this season.

Tight Ends
START

Fred Davis (WAS) vs. ATL
In Washington’s first two games, Davis caught a combined four passes for 52 yards. In the past two, he’s caught 11 for 160. The only bugaboo that remains is he’s still searching for his first touchdown. I think that changes this week against the Falcons, who allowed Carolina’s Greg Olsen to go for 6-89-1 last week.

Joel Dreessen (DEN) at NE
Denver has two reliable tight ends in Jacob Tamme and Dreessen. Tamme is leading his position mate in targets, receptions and yards rather comfortably. However, Dreessen has two touchdowns to Tamme’s one. New England is allowing the second-most fantasy points to tight ends and Peyton Manning is not afraid to throw to either of his. Tamme may be the safer pick here because he gets more opportunities, but I say Dreessen is the one who makes the most of his by finding the end zone this Sunday in Foxboro.

SIT
Heath Miller (PIT) vs. PHI
Miller is tied for second in the league with four touchdown catches and he’s had an extra week to let his ribs heal completely. That’s great for Miller and his owners, but here’s what’s not: the Eagles are allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends and held the Giants’ Martellus Bennett (No. 6 TE in fantasy) to one catch for two yards last week. Miller owners may be better off if they extend his break another week.

Tony Moeaki (KC) vs. BAL
Kevin Boss has been sidelined by injury, which theoretically should open up the door for Moeaki. Remember, Moeaki burst on the scene in 2010 when he caught 47 passes for 556 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been the same since he tore his ACL during the preseason last year and has just nine catches for 76 yards and no touchdowns so far. There’s no telling when, or if, Moeaki will return to his rookie-year form and no reason why he should even be on your radar right now.

Defense/Special Teams
START

Minnesota Vikings vs. Tennessee Titans
The Vikings are fourth among defense/special teams in fantasy scoring. They are capable of getting after the quarterback (12 sacks) and the big kick return (2 TDs). The Titans’ offense has been inconsistent to start the season, is making a switch at quarterback (although Matt Hasselbeck has plenty of starting experience), and  is allowing 27.4 yards (eighth-highest in NFL) on kickoff returns. Seems like a decent match-up to me, no?

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
This is certainly not a pick based on statistics. Granted the Steelers have only played three games so far, but they still have a total of just five sacks and three turnovers on defense. No, this choice is more circumstance-driven, if you will, as the Steel Curtain happily welcomes back two of its key members – safety Troy Polamalu and linebacker James Harrison. Do I think the addition of two All-Pro playmakers to the Steelers’ defense will make that much of a difference? Yes, yes, I do and we will see why starting this Sunday against the Eagles.

SIT
Green Bay Packers vs. Indianapolis Colts
The Packers are doing a good job of getting to the quarterback (14 sacks, 4th in the NFL), but they aren’t really forcing that many turnovers. The Colts have done a pretty good job of protecting Andrew Luck (5 sacks allowed, tied for 29th) and since throwing three picks against Chicago, he’s had only one interception in his past two games. I think the Colts’ offensive line will give Luck enough time and the rookie will continue to take care of the ball in a game that allows the home team to pile up some yards and put some points on the board against the Packers.

New York Jets vs. Houston (Monday)
As bad as the Jets’ offense has been recently, the defense hasn’t exactly been stellar. They gave up 254 yards on the ground against San Francisco last week and have just five sacks on the season. Enter an undefeated Texans team that loves to run the ball (most rushing attempts in NFL) and has given up a total of three sacks in four games. The Jets’ offense won’t be able to put up much of a fight against a stout Texans’ defense, which allows the Texans to wear down the Jets and pound them into submission with the ground game by the second half.

Kickers
START

Blair Walsh (MIN) vs. Tennessee
Walsh, a rookie, is 9-of-10 so far on field goal attempts, including three makes from 50 yards and out. He’s attempted more field goals than PATs (9). The Titans are allowing 37.8 points per game, the most in the league. What more could you ask for?

Robbie Gould (CHI) at Jacksonville
The always-reliable Gould is a perfect 20-for-20 on all of his kicks (12 PAT, 8 FG) so far. The thinking here is that his kick distribution evens up a little bit this week. The Bears will be able to drive the ball against the Jaguars, but have to settle for three enough times to allow Gould to put up double digits.

SIT
David Akers (SF) vs. Buffalo
Akers will score, as will the 49ers, but the majority of his kicks against the Bills will count for one point, not three.

Nick Folk (NYJ) vs. Houston (Monday)
The Jets scored no points against San Francisco, the No. 5 defense in the NFL. Next up is Houston, who just happens to be the No. 3 defense. It’s kind of hard for a kicker to score if his team doesn’t/can’t move the ball, right?

— By Mark Ross, published on Oct. 5, 2012

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Start or Sit: Week 5</p>
Post date: Friday, October 5, 2012 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: MLB, News
Path: /mlb/red-sox-fire-valentine
Body:

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - The Boston Red Sox have fired manager Bobby Valentine after just one season.

Boston finished the 2012 season last in the American League East with a record of 69-93, the worst for the storied franchise since a 62-100 mark in 1965. He had one year remaining on the contract he signed last winter.

"Our 2012 season was disappointing for many reasons," said Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington in a statement Thursday. "No single issue is the reason, and no single individual is to blame."

The disastrous record wasn't the only problem for Valentine, who was back in a big league dugout for the first time since 2002. He had issues with some of his coaching staff and a few players during the trying campaign.

After the team's meltdown last September, in which a 7-20 record denied the team a playoff berth, the Red Sox parted ways with Terry Francona and hoped the change to Valentine would help restore the luster of two World Series championships.

It didn't. The Red Sox started with three straight losses, never really contended after a 4-10 start and went on to miss the playoffs for the third straight season.

"This season was by far the worst we have experienced in over 10 years here," Red Sox chairman Tom Werner. "Ultimately, we are all collectively responsible for the team's performance. We are going to be working tirelessly to reconstruct the ballclub for 2013. We'll be back."

Valentine kept three members of Francona's coaching staff, and in a radio interview on Wednesday before the season finale against the Yankees said he didn't feel full loyalty from all of his coaches during the season. He didn't mention any names.

It was, likely, the last straw in what had long been rumored -- Valentine's ouster.

"Bobby leaves the Red Sox's manager's office with our respect, gratitude, and affection," said Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino. "I have no doubt that he will continue to contribute to the game he loves so much and knows so well."

Player issues evolved early in the season when Valentine, on April 15, questioned whether Kevin Youkilis had been playing with the same passion as in the past. He quickly apologized, particularly after Dustin Pedroia came to Youkilis' defense. Youkilis was eventually traded to the Chicago White Sox in June.

In mid-August, reports surfaced about a meeting players had with ownership regarding Valentine. It had been speculated that the players asked management for a managerial change in the late July meeting.

Reports had indicated that players were upset when Valentine left pitcher Jon Lester in a blowout game on July 22, a game in which the left-hander gave up 11 runs. Owner John Henry and Pedroia acknowledged that meetings took place, but both denied that players asked for Valentine's removal.

The Red Sox also had plenty of key injuries during the season. Andrew Bailey, acquired from Oakland to be the club's closer, underwent thumb surgery just before the start of the season and didn't return until August, while outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury missed most of the first three months because of a dislocated shoulder. Pedroia also battled a thumb injury and David Ortiz missed the last 2 1/2 months because of an Achilles problem.

With the club quickly fading from contention in late August, the Red Sox then orchestrated one of the biggest post-waiver trades in baseball history by dealing first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, outfielder Carl Crawford, pitcher Josh Beckett and infielder Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"We've been making personnel changes since August, and we will continue to do so as we build a contending club," Cherington added. "With an historic number of injuries, Bobby was dealt a difficult hand. He did the best he could under seriously adverse circumstances, and I am thankful to him."

Valentine spent six-plus seasons as manager of the New York Mets and parts of eight seasons as skipper of the Texas Rangers. He has an overall big league record of 1,186-1,165 and guided the Mets to the 2000 World Series.

"I understand this decision," said Valentine in the club's release. "This year in Boston has been an incredible experience for me, but I am as disappointed in the results as are ownership and the great fans of Red Sox Nation.

"It was a privilege to be part of the 100 year anniversary of Fenway Park and an honor to be in uniform with such great players and coaches. My best to the organization. I'm sure next year will be a turnaround year."

The Connecticut native also spent time as a manger in Japan, winning the Japan Series title in 2005.

Teaser:
<p> The Boston Red Sox have fired manager Bobby Valentine after just one season.</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 14:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-running-back-rankings-week-5
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Dallas, Detroit, Oakland and Tampa Bay are on bye.

2012 NFL Week 5 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Backs

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Arian Foster HOU at NYJ (Mon.) Jets gave up 254 rushing yards to 49ers last week.
2 Ray Rice BAL at KC Could have field day against Chiefs.
3 Marshawn Lynch SEA at CAR Panthers allowing most fantasy points to RBs.
4 Adrian Peterson MIN vs. TEN Almost back to being a Top 10 RB.
5 LeSean McCoy PHI at PIT Should get another heavy workload vs. Steelers.
6 Jamaal Charles KC vs. BAL Ravens D not as fearsome as past years.
7 Frank Gore SF vs. BUF Bills allowed two Patriots to rush for 100+ last week.
8 Maurice Jones-Drew JAC vs. CHI Bears D has been solid against rush.
9 Reggie Bush MIA at CIN Didn't do a lot against Cardinals, but key is knee is OK.
10 Ryan Mathews SD at NO May finally break through against Saints.
11 Trent Richardson CLE at NYG More than held his own against Ravens last week.
12 Matt Forte CHI at JAC Limited, but still had impact on MNF vs. Cowboys.
13 Alfred Morris WAS vs. ATL Had first 100-yard game against Tampa Bay.
14 Chris Johnson TEN at MIN CJ finally got loose (141 yards) against Texans.
15 Stevan Ridley NE vs. DEN Even with Bolden's big day, ran for 100+ and 2 TDs.
16 Michael Turner ATL at WAS Busted out in a big way last week, encore?
17 Cedric Benson GB at IND Has one rushing TD so far.
18 BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN vs. MIA Dolphins have been good against the rush so far.
19 Willis McGahee DEN at NE Rib issue didn't slow him down (112, TD) vs. Raiders.
20 Darren Sproles NO vs. SD  
21 Ahmad Bradshaw NYG vs. CLE Didn't do much but still got majority of work over Brown.
22 Steven Jackson STL vs. ARI (Thurs.) Questionable (groin) vs. Cardinals, game-time decision.
23 Fred Jackson BUF at SF Got more carries, targets than Spiller last week.
24 Ryan Williams ARI at STL (Thurs.)  
25 C.J. Spiller BUF at SF Shoulder seems OK, but now in timeshare with Jackson.
26 DeAngelo Williams CAR vs. SEA Had most carries of any Panther back against Atlanta.
27 Donald Brown IND vs. GB  
28 Michael Bush CHI at JAC Opportunities could decrease as Forte gets healthier.
29 Rashard Mendenhall PIT vs. PHI Expected to start, but will share carries.
30 Jonathan Stewart CAR vs. SEA Returned, but crowded backfield limits impact.
31 Shonn Greene NYJ vs. HOU (Mon.)  
32 Ben Tate HOU at NYJ (Mon.) Texans not really limiting Foster's workload so far.
33 Kendall Hunter SF vs. BUF  
34 Pierre Thomas NO vs. SD  
35 Jackie Battle SD at NO More touches than Mathews last week, will it continue?
36 Mark Ingram NO vs. SD  
37 Jacquizz Rodgers ATL at WAS  
38 Daniel Thomas MIA at CIN  
39 Brandon Bolden NE vs. DEN One-week wonder or is there a timeshare in NE?
40 Andre Brown NYG vs. CLE Didn't get a lot of chances with Bradshaw back.
41 Isaac Redman PIT vs. PHI Should get his chances even with Mendenhall back.
42 Shaun Draughn KC vs. BAL  
43 Ronnie Hillman DEN at NE Finally got some consistent playing time, more coming?
44 Robert Turbin SEA at CAR Had 45 yards on just six carries last week.
45 Bernard Pierce BAL at KC  
46 Daryl Richardson STL vs. ARI (Thurs.) Will start if S. Jackson (groin) can't go.
47 Bilal Powell NYJ vs. HOU (Mon.)  
48 Toby Gerhart MIN vs. TEN Not getting many chances with AP back.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 5 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 5 Start or Sit

Week 5 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings: Week 5</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 06:03
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-positional-rankings-week-5
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any website can give you.

2012 NFL Week 5 Fantasy Football Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 5 Start or Sit

Week 5 Waiver Wire

Note: Dallas, Detroit, Oakland and Tampa Bay are all on bye this week.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

DEFENSIVE SCORING
0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

KICKER SCORING
PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Positional Rankings: Week 5</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 05:16
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-quarterback-rankings-week-5
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Dallas, Detroit, Oakland and Tampa Bay are on bye this week.

2012 NFL Week 5 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Aaron Rodgers GB at IND Had best game yet (319-4-1) vs. Saints last week.
2 Drew Brees NO vs. SD Leading league in yards (1,350), 24th in accuracy (57.6).
3 Matt Ryan ATL at WAS No. 1 fantasy QB gets No. 31 passing defense.
4 Tom Brady NE vs. DEN Put up 340 yards passing vs. Bills, 4 TDs (3 pass/1 rush).
5 Eli Manning NYG at CLE Second to Brees in yards, Browns gave up 356 last week.
6 Robert Griffin III WAS vs. ATL Rookie has same number of passing and rushing TDs (4).
7 Peyton Manning DEN at NE No. 18 is 6-10 in regular season vs. Patriots, 36 TDs, 23 INTs.
8 Joe Flacco BAL at KC Ravens throwing more than running, will it continue?
9 Cam Newton CAR vs. SEA Rebounded vs. Falcons, but 'Hawks another tough test.
10 Philip Rivers SD at NO Averaging less than 225 yards per game, breakout vs. NO?
11 Ben Roethlisberger PIT vs. PHI Career vs. Eagles: 1-1, 314 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT total.
12 Matt Schaub HOU at NYJ (Mon.) Revis-less Jets D not nearly as fearsome.
13 Andy Dalton CIN vs. MIA Has 9 total TDs, only 3 INTs in last three games.
14 Michael Vick PHI at PIT Steelers have had extra week to get healthy, ready for Eagles.
15 Jay Cutler CHI at JAC Can he do it two games in a row?
16 Andrew Luck IND vs. GB Had extra week to prepare for Packers.
17 Alex Smith SF vs. BUF 49ers should feast on second straight AFC East opponent.
18 Christian Ponder MIN vs. TEN Will Vikes let Ponder air it out against Titans (27th vs. pass)?
19 Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF at SF First in league in passing TDs (12), tied for second in INTs (7).
20 Kevin Kolb ARI at STL (Thurs.) Had first 300-3 game since Oct. 2010 last week.
21 Matt Hasselbeck TEN at MIN Veteran gets start in place of Locker (shoulder).
22 Sam Bradford STL vs. ARI Shaky O-line holding Rams' passing attack back.
23 Russell Wilson SEA at CAR Rams bring rookie back to earth: 160 yards, 3 INT, 0 TDs.
24 Matt Cassel KC vs. BAL Ravens not what Cassel needs to maintain hold on job.
25 Brandon Weeden CLE vs. NYG Has 3:3 TD:INT ratio since tossing 4 picks in Week 1.
26 Ryan Tannehill MIA at CIN Coming off of 432-yard effort (1 TD 2, INTs) at Arizona.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 5 Positional Rankings

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 5 Start or Sit

Week 5 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings: Week 5</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 05:15
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-wide-receiver-rankings-week-5
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Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Dallas, Detroit, Oakland and Tampa Bay are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 5 Fantasy Football Rankings — Wide Receivers

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 A.J. Green CIN vs. MIA No. 1 fantasy WR right now.
2 Victor Cruz NYG vs. CLE Capable of carrying load if Nicks is out again.
3 Roddy White ATL at WAS Had most yards (169) since Week 7 of 2010 last week.
4 Larry Fitzgerald ARI at STL (Thurs.) Finally finding chemistry with Kolb.
5 Andre Johnson HOU at NYJ (Mon.) Jets won't have Revis to slow down big Texan.
6 Brandon Marshall CHI at JAC Looks to be back on same page with Cutler.
7 Percy Harvin MIN vs. TEN Should have bigger impact on offense vs. Titans.
8 Jordy Nelson GB at IND Finally found end zone last week.
9 Mike Wallace PIT vs. PHI  
10 Julio Jones ATL at WAS Hand issue holding him back.
11 Brandon Lloyd NE vs. DEN Looking for big game against former team.
12 Demaryius Thomas DEN at NE Big target could cause Pats' DBs problems.
13 Steve Smith CAR vs. SEA Smith vs. SEA secondary will be fun to watch.
14 Reggie Wayne IND vs. GB  
15 Marques Colston NO vs. SD Big game against Packers, foot issue behind him?
16 Wes Welker NE vs. DEN Been big part of offense since Hernandez went down.
17 Torrey Smith BAL at KC One of top vertical threats in NFL.
18 Dwayne Bowe KC vs. BAL  
19 DeSean Jackson PHI at PIT  
20 Stevie Johnson BUF at SF  
21 Malcom Floyd SD at NO Saints allowing fourth-most fantasy points to WRs.
22 Eric Decker DEN at NE  
23 Antonio Brown PIT vs. PHI  
24 Domenik Hixon NYG vs. CLE Big opportunity with Hakeem Nicks out again.
25 James Jones GB at IND No Jennings, means more snaps for Jones.
26 Danny Amendola STL vs. ARI (Thurs.) TD last week came on fake field goal.
27 Lance Moore NO vs. SD  
28 Brian Hartline MIA at CIN Leading league in receiving yards, but relies on rookie QB.
29 Jeremy Maclin PHI at PIT  
30 Michael Crabtree SF vs. BUF Will 49ers throw enough to take advantage of Bills?
31 Anquan Boldin BAL at KC After slow start, had 9 rec., 131 yds. vs. Cleveland
32 Pierre Garcon WAS vs. ATL Had only one catch last week, but foot appears OK.
33 Nate Washington TEN at MIN  
34 Kenny Britt TEN at MIN Hoping to at least practice (ankle), monitor status.
35 Andre Roberts ARI at STL (Thurs.) Top fantasy WR (No. 12) on Cardinals.
36 Andrew Hawkins CIN vs. MIA Big-play or bust option right now.
37 Donnie Avery IND vs. GB  
38 Randall Cobb GB at IND  
39 Greg Little CLE at NYG If only he could hold onto ball better.
40 Jerome Simpson MIN vs. TEN Led team in catches, yards in first game back.
41 Brandon LaFell CAR vs. SEA  
42 Davone Bess MIA at CIN Had strong game (7, 123) in support of Hartline last week.
43 Sidney Rice SEA at CAR  
44 Leonard Hankerson WAS vs. ATL Used Garcon's absence to carve out role in passing game.
45 Kendall Wright TEN at MIN Rookie could see more opportunities if Britt's out.
46 Justin Blackmon JAC vs. CHI Six catches, 48 yards a start for rookie.
47 Jeremy Kerley NYJ vs. HOU (Mon.) Holmes done for year, so could Jets' passing attack.
48 Donald Jones BUF at SF  
49 Alshon Jeffery CHI at JAC  
50 T.Y. Hilton IND vs. GB  
51 Brandon Stokely DEN at NE  
52 Mario Manningham SF vs. BUF  
53 Jon Baldwin KC at KC Starting to show more consistency, TD next?
54 Randy Moss SF vs. BUF  
55 Travis Benjamin CLE at NYG Injuries have given him a chance to produce.
56 Devin Hester CHI at JAC Caught TD vs. Dallas, more looks coming?
57 Kevin Walter HOU at NYJ (Mon.)  
58 Golden Tate SEA at CAR  
59 Eddie Royal SD at NO  
60 Chaz Schilens NYJ vs. HOU (Mon.)  
61 Santana Moss WAS vs. ATL  
62 Brandon Gibson STL vs. ARI (Thurs.) Second on team in receptions, targets.
63 Robert Meachem SD at NO Will facing former team finally get him going?
64 Harry Douglas ATL at WAS  

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 5 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 5 Start or Sit

Week 5 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 5</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 05:13

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