Articles By Mark Ross

All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-wide-receiver-rankings-week-7
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Wide receiver injuries have been a big storyline in recent weeks, and their impact can clearly be seen by looking at Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 7 rankings. Randall Cobb will miss at least eight weeks after sustaining a fractured fibula in last week's win in Baltimore. Cobb has been placed on injured reserve, but is eligible to return in time to play in Week 15.

The same cannot be said for Atlanta's Julio Jones, who went on injured reserve and is done for the season after injuring his foot in the Falcons' Week 6 loss. That's two teams that will be without their No. 1 wide receivers for a while, and those aren't the only injuries they are dealing with. The Packers' James Jones sustained a shin/leg injury last week that could prevent him from playing this Sunday. The Falcons' Roddy White is in even worse shape, as he as been hampered all season by a high ankle sprain before sustaining a hamstring injury in his last game.

The Packers have Jordy Nelson to pick up the slack, but need production from Jarret Boykin to help offset the loss of Cobb and a hurting Jones. The Falcons are looking to Harry Douglas to step up and take some of the burden off of tight end Tony Gonzalez. This also means there is potential fantasy opportunity for Boykin and Douglas, and maybe even a surprise name or two, in the weeks ahead.

The good news is that there are still some No. 1 wide receivers who are healthy. This list is headed up by Dez Bryant, Athlon's No. 1 wideout this week, as the Cowboys will get their first crack against the Eagles fantasy-friendly defense. There's also Brandon Marshall, who reclaimed his position as Jay Cutler's top target last week and has another appealing matchup on Sunday against Washington's leaky secondary. The Bengals-Lions game in Detroit will feature two of the league's top pass-catchers in A.J. Green and Calvin Johnson, although Megatron is not functioning at optimum capacity right now because of a sore knee.

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.

2013 NFL Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings — Wide Receivers
Teams on bye: New Orleans, Oakland

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Dez BryantDALat PHIEagles allowing most fantasy points to WRs.
2Brandon MarshallCHIat WASReasserted himself as Bears' No. 1 (9-87-2) vs. Giants.
3A.J. GreenCINat DETWent over 100 yards for first time since Week 1.
4Victor CruzNYGvs. MIN (Mon.)Vikings are 29th against the pass.
5Wes WelkerDENat INDLeads NFL with 8 TD receptions.
6DeSean JacksonPHIvs. DALOnly 64 yards, but 2 TDs last week vs. Bucs.
7Demaryius ThomasDENat INDNo TD catches in his last two games.
8Calvin JohnsonDETvs. CINSore knee + Joe Haden = 3 catches for 25 yards.
9Vincent JacksonTBat ATLWeek's No. 1 WR following 9-114-2 effort vs. Eagles.
10Jordy NelsonGBvs. CLEBecomes Rodgers' No. 1 target w/ Cobb out.
11Antonio BrownPITvs. BAL 
12Pierre GarconWASvs. CHICaught 6 of 15 targets last week vs. Cowboys.
13Josh GordonCLEat GBProduction hasn't slipped with Weeden back at QB.
14Reggie WayneINDvs. DENPassed 1,000-catch milestone on MNF.
15Justin BlackmonJACvs. SDStole the show (14-190) in Denver last week.
16Andre JohnsonHOUat KCLeads league with 44 catches, but 0 TDs.
17Hakeem NicksNYGvs. MIN (Mon.)Has 212 yards in last 2 games, still no TDs.
18Torrey SmithBALat PITPackers' "cloud coverage" rained on Smith's day.
19Eric DeckerDENat IND 
20Steve SmithCARvs. STL 
21Larry FitzgeraldARIvs. SEA (Thurs.)First left, now right hamstring injured.
22Mike WallaceMIAvs. BUFDid he and Tannehill work on chemistry during bye?
23T.Y. HiltonINDvs. DENBroncos giving up a lot of yards through the air.
24Alshon JefferyCHIat WASHe and Cutler not clicking (1 rec., 27 yds.) last week.
25Keenan AllenSDat JACTwo straight 100-yard, TD efforts for rookie.
26James JonesGBvs. CLEWill he able to play through shin/leg injury?
27Julian EdelmanNEat NYJCame up big in final drive for Brady, Pats.
28Terrance WilliamsDALat PHIJust two catches, but one went for a TD.
29Greg JenningsMINat NYG (Mon.)Can he and Freeman make it work on MNF?
30Anquan BoldinSFat TENVernon Davis been CK's top target lately.
31Harry DouglasATLvs. TBNeeds to step up with Jones out, White hurting.
32Kenbrell ThompkinsNEat NYJCaught Brady's game-winner vs. Saints.
33Stevie JohnsonBUFat MIADNP (hamstring) last week.
34Mike WilliamsTBat ATLLate scratch last week b/c of hamstring.
35Dwayne BoweKCvs. HOUSeason-high is 58 yards, just one TD catch.
36Brian HartlineMIAvs. BUF 
37Rueben RandleNYGvs. MIN (Mon.)Has 3 TDs in last two games.
38Emmanuel SandersPITvs. BALHooked up w/ Big Ben on 55-yard TD last week.
39Michael FloydARIvs. SEA (Thurs.)Could be in line for more targets depending on Fitz.
40Vincent BrownSDat JAC 
41Golden TateSEAat ARI (Thurs.) 
42Aaron DobsonNEat NYJ 
43Cecil ShortsJACvs. SDShoulder injury, will he play?
44Miles AustinDALat PHINo catches (4 targets) in first game back (hamstring).
45Kris DurhamDETvs. CINLions' most productive receiver over last 2 games.
46Jarret BoykinGBvs. CLEGolden opportunity with Cobb out, Jones hurting.
47Kendall WrightTENvs. SF 
48Stephen HillNYJvs. NE 
49Brandon LaFellCARvs. STLHis 100-yard game last week was Panthers' first of '13.
50Austin PettisSTLat CARPanthers are No. 7 against pass.
51Jeremy KerleyNYJvs. NE 
52Robert WoodsBUFat MIAHe and Thad Lewis not on same page last week.
53DeAndre HopkinsHOUat KCBeen relatively quiet over last three games.
54Chris GivensSTLat CAR 
55Tavon AustinSTLat CARRookie still looking for breakout game.
56Leonard HankersonWASvs. CHI 
57Jerome SimpsonMINat NYG (Mon.)Can Josh Freeman jump-start Vikings passing' attack?
58Roddy WhiteATLvs. TBFirst it was his ankle, now hamstring.
59Marlon BrownBALat PITLed Ravens in targets w/ 7 (3-71) last week.
60Eddie RoyalSDat JACNo catches, or targets on MNF.
61Nate WashingtonTENvs. SF 
62Donnie AveryKCvs. HOU 
63Sidney RiceSEAat ARI (Thurs.) 
64Jacoby JonesBALat PITCaught TD pass in first game back since Week 1.

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 7 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 7 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 7
Post date: Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-tight-end-rankings-week-7
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New Orleans is on bye in Week 7, so that means no Jimmy Graham atop Athlon Sports' fantasy football tight end rankings, probably the only week he will not be at No. 1. Instead, Tony Gonzalez, the future Hall of Famer, gets our vote. While Gonzalez' numbers don't compare to Graham's through six games, he's been his usual productive self and could post some Graham-esque totals in the weeks ahead. With Julio Jones out for the season and Roddy White dealing with injuries, Gonzalez becomes Matt Ryan's clear-cut No. 1 target.

Another tight end who is quickly establishing himself as his quarterback's top weapon is San Francisco's Vernon Davis. Since missing Week 3's home loss to Indianapolis because of a hamstring injury, Davis has returned to the field with a vengeance. He has caught four touchdown passes in his last three games and last week against Arizona, he put up the following numbers — 7 rec., 171 yards, 2 TDs — in the first half. There's no reason to not expect Colin Kaepernick, who has struggled with accuracy and turnovers to start this season, to keep feeding the ball to his athletic tight end.

And as far as Rob Gronkowski goes, your guess is as good as mine as to if this is finally the week he gets on the field. Personally speaking, I have had my fill of "Gronk Watch," and I don't even have him on my roster.

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.

2013 NFL Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings — Tight Ends
Teams on bye: New Orleans, Oakland

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Tony GonzalezATLvs. TBRyan's No. 1 target now w/ Jones out, White hurting.
2Vernon DavisSFat TENWent 7-171-2 in first half last week vs. Cardinals.
3Antonio GatesSDat JACFour-catch, 28-yard effort on MNF worst of season.
4Julius ThomasDENat INDHas caught a TD pass in all but one game so far.
5Jason WittenDALat PHICareer vs. PHI: 19 G, 109 rec. , 1,233 yds., 7 TDs.
6Jordan CameronCLEat GBTotal of 10 catches, 100 yards and no TDs in last 2 G.
7Jermichael FinleyGBvs. CLEBigger role coming b/c of WR injuries?
8Martellus BennettCHIat WASNo TD catches since Week 2.
9Greg OlsenCARvs. STLWas his foot injury a factor last week (2 rec., 19 yds.)?
10Heath MillerPITvs. BALRavens have had issues defending TEs.
11Rob GronkowskiNEat NYJIs anyone else tired of waiting for him to play?
12Kyle RudolphMINat NYG (Mon.)Lone bright spot (9-97-1) last week vs. CAR.
13Charles ClayMIAvs. BUFBills giving up second-fewest fantasy pts. to TEs.
14Coby FleenerINDvs. DENJust five catches for 31 yards in last 2 games.
15Garrett GrahamHOUat KCFirst game as Texans' starter didn't go well (2-25).
16Jared CookSTLat CARLance Kendricks stealing targets, TDs from Cook.
17Jordan ReedWASvs. CHIActive (4-58) in first game back from injury.
18Scott ChandlerBUFat MIACaught his second TD pass last week.
19Brent CelekPHIvs. DALTE just not a huge part of Eagles' passing game.
20Jeff CumberlandNYJvs. NE 
21Brandon MyersNYGvs. MIN (Mon.)Has seen 0 targets in 2 of last 3 games.
22Timothy WrightTBat ATLHas 12 catches for 132 yards in last 2 games.
23Jermaine GreshamCINat DETHard to trust either Bengal TE right now.
24Brandon PettigrewDETvs. CINMore involved past 3 games, but still no TDs.
25Sean McGrathKCvs. HOU 
26Dallas ClarkBALat PITHad 81 yards, first TD last week vs. Packers.

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 7 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 7 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Tight End Rankings: Week 7
Post date: Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-kicker-rankings-week-7
Body:

Matt Prater is No. 1 on Athlon Sports' Fantasy Football 2013 Kicker Rankings for Week 7, but no one has made more field goals this season than Stephen Gostkowski. This duo is not only 1-2 in our rankings, but also in fantasy points this season. The interesting thing is that they have done this in different ways. Prater leads all kickers thanks to his league-high 34 PATs kicking for the Broncos' prolific offense. Gostkowski, on the other hand, is 16-of-17 on field goal attempts, as the Patriots haven't scored as many touchdowns this season compared to last. Regardless, you can't go wrong with either of these as your fantasy kicker on a week in, week out basis.

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.

2013 NFL Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings — Kickers
Teams on bye this week: New Orleans, Oakland

RkPlayerTeamOPPONENT
1Matt PraterDENat IND
2Stephen GostkowskiNEat NYJ
3Blair WalshMINat NYG (Mon.)
4Mason CrosbyGBvs. CLE
5Justin TuckerBALat PIT
6Steven HauschkaSEAat ARI (Thurs.)
7Nick NovakSDat JAC
8Alex HeneryPHIvs. DAL
9Dan BaileyDALat PHI
10Matt BryantATLvs. TB
11Phil DawsonSFat TEN
12Caleb SturgisMIAvs. BUF
13Adam VinatieriINDvs. DEN
14David AkersDETvs. CIN
15Ryan SuccopKCvs. HOU
16Robbie GouldCHIat WAS

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

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Kicker Rankings: Week 7
Post date: Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-defspecial-teams-rankings-week-7
Body:

St. Louis just missed making Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 7 defense/special teams rankings, but that doesn't mean we can't applaud the Rams for their performance last week. The Rams added to the Texans' woes after racking up five quarterback sacks and holding them to just 13 points. The 38-13 convincing win also featured a total of four takeaways and two defensive scores, including a record 98-yard interception return by St. Louis rookie linebacker Alec Ogletree. The main reason the Rams did not make our rankings this week is that they have been inconsistent as a fantasy DST, although they do have a total of 48 points in their last two games. Maybe the unit will play more up to preseason expectations from here out?

Instead, the No. 1 team in our rankings this week is Kansas City, who will host the aforementioned Texans this Sunday. The Chiefs padded their lead as the top-scoring fantasy DST by racking up an eye-opening 10 sacks in a win over the Raiders. If that wasn't enough, KC added three INTs and a defensive score. Now the Chiefs get a reeling Texans offense that is allowing the most fantasy points to opposing DSTs. Talk about good timing, or bad if you are going up against the KC DST this week.

Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 6

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.

2013 NFL Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams
Teams on bye this week: New Orleans, Oakland

RkTeamOPPNotes
1Kansas City Chiefsvs. HOUChiefs racked up 10 sacks and three INTs last week.
2Seattle Seahawksat ARI (Thurs.)Carson Palmer has at least 2 INTs in each of last 4 games.
3San Francisco 49ersat TEN49ers have forced 10 turnovers in last four games.
4Carolina Panthersvs. STLPanthers are third in yards allowed, second in points.
5Baltimore Ravensat PITBig Ben vs. BAL: 56.7% passing, 18 TDs, 15 INTs in 12 G.
6Chicago Bearsat WASBears' DL has been decimated by injuries.
7New England Patriotsat NYJPats' D now w/o Mayo and Wilfork, Talib also hurting.
8Cincinnati Bengalsat DETBengals sacked Thad Lewis five times last week.
9Green Bay Packersvs. CLEPackers' D up to task last week w/o Matthews.
10San Diego Chargersat JACChargers held Luck, Colts to 3 FGs on MNF.
11Minnesota Vikingsat NYG (Mon.)Giants have 23 turnovers and have given up 5 DST TDs.
12Houston Texansat KCTexans' offensive woes taking toll on defense too.
13Miami Dolphinsvs. BUFIf Thad Lewis (foot) can't go, 'Fins get Matt Flynn.
14Denver Broncosat INDBroncos got Champ Bailey back last week, now Von Miller.
15Pittsburgh Steelersvs. BALSteelers' D gets in Geno Smith's head, get first 2 INTs.
16New York Jetsvs. NEJets held Pats to 232 yards, 13 points in Week 2 road loss.

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

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 7
Post date: Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, waiver wire, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-waiver-wire-week-7
Body:

Injuries are really starting to have an impact on teams’ depth charts, as rookies and other unproven players are getting their chances to shine. Can any of these help your fantasy team in Week 7 or beyond?

The players listed in Athlon’s weekly fantasy football waiver wire may be one-week adds, some may be worth holding onto all season long and some are of the “sleeper” variety that you may want to keep an eye on. So without further ado, here are some players worth grabbing.

Teams on bye in Week 7: New Orleans, Oakland

Quarterbacks
Week 6 Recap: Nick Foles threw for 296 yards and three scores and added one on the ground to lead the Eagles to a win in Tampa Bay. Foles’ performance certainly gave head coach Chip Kelly something to think about with Michael Vick recovering from a hamstring injury and NFC East rival Dallas on tap this Sunday. Brandon Weeden (right) returned to the starting role for Cleveland and finished with 292 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the Browns’ home loss to Detroit. Jacksonville’s Chad Henne posted 303 yards passing against Denver, but tossed two picks and had no touchdowns in the loss. Blaine Gabbert will miss a second straight game because of his hamstring injury, so Henne will start this Sunday against San Diego.

Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Is it time to invest in Glennon? The rookie turned in a respectable effort against Philadelphia, throwing for 273 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. The Eagles were a good matchup for him, but that may be the case again this week. The Buccaneers go to Atlanta, and while the Falcons are coming off of their bye, they have lost a lot of key personnel to injuries and their defense has certainly had its issues. In their last game, the Falcons allowed another rookie, Geno Smith, to complete 16 of 20 passes for three scores and no picks. Glennon has less experience than Smith, but what he does have that Smith doesn’t is legitimate weapons in wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams as well as running back Doug Martin to help him. This just may be the week to give Glennon a try, especially in 2-QB leagues.

Running Backs
Week 6 Recap: Andre Ellington led the Cardinals with 12 touches and produced 92 yards and a touchdown with them in the loss to the 49ers. If this keeps up, the rookie could develop into a reliable RB2/RB3 option. Fellow first-year back Zac Stacy may have locked up the starting gig for the Rams the rest of the season after posting 79 yards rushing on 18 carries (4.4 ypc) against a pretty solid Texans defense. This week’s matchup with Carolina will be another good measuring stick for the fifth-round pick. Donald Brown had 34 total yards on five touches on Monday night against the Chargers.

Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants
Jacobs has been mentioned in this space before, but any running back that rushes for 100 yards in a game merits a little more coverage. Jacobs gashed the Bears on Thursday night for 106 yards and two touchdowns, as the Giants nearly got into the win column. What’s more important for Jacobs’ fantasy value moving forward is that David Wilson’s season could be over because of a neck injury, leaving the veteran as the team’s primary ball-carrier. Andre Brown could have something to say about this, as he’s eligible to return from his broken leg in Week 10. With the Giants on bye in Week 9 that means Jacobs should get the majority of the carries against Minnesota next Monday night and Philadelphia in Week 8, not the worst matchups for fantasy RBs.

Chris Ogbonnaya, Cleveland Browns
Wide receiver Travis Benjamin led the Browns with 45 yards rushing on Sunday, picking up all of those in one carry. What was more interesting, however, was the number of touches Ogbonnaya got. Willis McGahee doubled him in carries (10 to 5), but Ogbonnaya saw a team-high 12 targets, converting seven of them for 61 yards and a touchdown. Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron are still the top weapons in the Browns’ passing game, but Brandon Weeden appears to throwing to his running backs quite a bit too. This is more for deeper leagues, but if Ogbonnaya continues to see double-digit targets and get his chances to run the ball (24 yards on 5 att. Sunday), he could be a flex option, especially with 16 teams lined up to go on bye from Weeks 8-10.

Joseph Randle, Dallas Cowboys
DeMarco Murray had 29 yards rushing and a touchdown along with 21 yards receiving against Washington before exiting with a knee injury in the second quarter. He was scheduled to undergo a MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the damage, but the early diagnosis was a sprained LCL and it's highly likely Murray will miss at least one game. Murray has had trouble staying healthy throughout his career, which is why the Cowboys selected Randle in the fifth round. Randle wasn’t even on the field until Week 4 and after not getting any touches in his first two games, he carried the ball 11 times for 17 yards and a score and caught two passes in the win over the Redskins. If Murray is out, the Cowboys will need to increase Randle’s role in the offense, especially with Lance Dunbar dealing with a hamstring injury.

Wide Receivers
Week 6 Recap: Justin Blackmon (right) led all wide receivers this week with 14 catches and 190 yards against Denver. Denarius Moore caught his fourth touchdown of the season and is now a top-20 fantasy wide receiver. Keenan Allen posted his second straight 100-yard game with nine catches for 107 and a touchdown in San Diego's win over Indianapolis Monday night. Terrance Williams went back to being the Cowboys’ No. 3 wideout with the return of Miles Austin (hamstring), but the rookie still made the most of his chances, as he caught a 15-yard touchdown pass in the win over the Redskins.

Jarrett Boykin, Green Bay Packers
The Packers beat the Ravens on Sunday, but also lost wide receivers Randall Cobb (knee) and James Jones (shin) to injuries. Their early exits forced Boykin into action and Aaron Rodgers didn’t shy away from throwing to the second-year wideout. Boykin got six targets from Rodgers and while he only hauled in one of them, it did cover 43 yards. On Monday head coach Mike McCarthy said that there's a chance Jones will be able to play on Sunday, but Cobb could be out up to eight weeks due to a fractured fibula. One way or the other, Boykin should see more playing time, and the opportunity is there for Boykin to put up decent numbers.

Harry Douglas, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons were on bye in Week 6, yet it still feels like the team lost. A disheartening home defeat to the Jets in their last game left them at 1-4, but that wasn’t even the worst of the news to come. Julio Jones is done for the season after sustaining a foot injury against the Jets that will require surgery and Roddy White may have added a hamstring injury to the high-ankle sprain that has severely hampered him this season. With these injuries, the Falcons need Douglas to step up, as he will move into the starting lineup. He could end up being the team’s No. 1 wide receiver if White misses any games. Douglas is third on the team in targets with 27, which should only go up from here.

Kris Durham, Detroit Lions
Nate Burleson will miss a few more weeks because of a broken arm and Calvin Johnson has been hobbled by a knee injury the past two weeks. The Lions were hoping that Ryan Broyles would emerge, but instead it’s been Durham. Last week with Johnson sidelined, Durham led the way with eight targets. On Sunday, with Johnson back but clearly not at 100 percent, Durham got 13 targets and led the team with eight receptions for 83 yards. Broyles just isn’t getting the job done right now (5 rec., 61 yds. in four games), which means Durham is the Lions’ No. 2 option behind Megatron, which is not a bad place to be if you are a wide receiver.

Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals
Larry Fitzgerald played through a left hamstring injury on Sunday and led the Cardinals with six catches for 117 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown. Unfortunately, the All-Pro reportedly injured his other hamstring, which could put his availability for Thursday’s game against Seattle in doubt. Floyd is the team’s No. 2 option, but he has been somewhat forgotten in fantasy circles because of his mediocre production. Even though he has recorded at least three catches in every game, Floyd has 345 yards receiving and finally caught his first touchdown pass on Sunday. If Fitzgerald can’t go this week, Floyd moves up to No. 1 and could see double-digit targets, although the matchup with the Seahawks isn’t that appealing. Still, Fitzgerald’s health is something to monitor in the weeks ahead and Floyd is probably someone worth adding to your watch list.

Tight Ends
Week 6 Recap: Sean McGrath didn’t catch any of his three targets against Oakland, as Alex Smith completed just 14 of 31 passes for 128 yards.

Joseph Fauria, Detroit Lions
It doesn’t get any more efficient, not to mention productive, than this. Fauria caught three passes against Cleveland on Sunday and all three were for touchdowns. Overall, the UCLA product and undrafted free agent has five touchdowns and seven total catches on the season. It’s hard to trust someone who has not caught a single pass in half of his games, but it’s pretty clear that Matthew Stafford likes throwing to the rookie in the red zone.

Timothy Wright, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Who is Wright? He’s an undrafted rookie from Rutgers (where head coach Greg Schiano came from) and, more importantly, he’s been one of Mike Glennon’s (see above) favorite targets. In Glennon’s two starts, Wright has 12 catches for 132 yards receiving. It’s early, but 12 catches in a two-week span from a tight end is something worth keeping an eye on.

Defense/Special Teams
Week 6 Recap: Indianapolis held San Diego to just one touchdown and 19 points total on Monday night, but had no turnovers and sacked Philip Rivers twice. Next up for the Colts is a visit from Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

St. Louis Rams
Can the Rams be trusted again? The defense was at its nastiest on Sunday in a dominating 38-13 victory in Houston. The Rams had five sacks and forced four turnovers, turning their two interceptions into scores. The rushing defense is still a bit of an issue (153 yards vs. Texans), but Rams have 48 fantasy points in their last two games and are back among the top-10 fantasy DSTs on the season.

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.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Waiver Wire: Week 7
Post date: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 07:30
Path: /nfl/indianapolis-colts-vs-san-diego-chargers-preview-and-prediction
Body:

The Indianapolis Colts will aim for a fourth straight victory tonight when they take on the San Diego Chargers at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” Andrew Luck and company also will be trying for their second win on the West Coast this season, while the Chargers would like to get back to .500 with a victory at Qualcomm Stadium.

With Luck running the show, the Colts have used a consistent rushing attack and a stingy defense to jump out to a 4-1 start and first place in the AFC South. Philip Rivers has rebounded quite nicely under first-year head coach Mike McCoy, but inopportune turnovers and a susceptible defense have cost the Chargers on more than one occasion.

4 Things to Watch

Indianapolis’ West Coast Success
This season, the AFC South teams play both the AFC and NFC West divisions. What this means is that the Colts face all four of the NFL’s West Coast-based teams – Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle. Tonight will be the fourth of those meetings, and Indianapolis is looking for the clean sweep. Indianapolis opened its season by beating Oakland at home, and then stunned San Francisco on the road 27-7 in Week 3. Last week, the Colts overcame a five-point, fourth-quarter deficit at home against Seattle, beating the Seahawks with 11 unanswered points to close out the game. In these three victories, the formula has been pretty simple – protect the football, capitalize on the other teams’ mistakes and stop the pass. The Colts forced a total of six takeaways in their wins over the Raiders, 49ers and Seahawks, and also returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown last week, while only committing two turnovers of their own. The defense also held these three teams to an average of 181.7 passing yards per game. San Diego enters this game with a minus-eight turnover differential, including six giveaways in its last two games alone. The Chargers are averaging more than 300 yards passing per game, but as the Colts have shown, their defense has been up to the task, no matter which time zone they are playing in.

Same Old Philip Rivers?
Last season was one Rivers would like to forget, as he finished with about as many turnovers (22 total) as touchdown passes (26), and San Diego went 7-9, costing head coach Norv Turner his job. Enter Mike McCoy and new offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, who together have helped resurrect Rivers’ career. Rivers already has three 400-yard passing games this season, and was among the top four quarterbacks in the four major categories – yards (1,610), touchdown passes (13), completion percentage (73.7) and passer rating (110.6) – entering Week 6. Rivers’ early success is one of the main reasons the Chargers are fifth in the NFL in total offense at 402.4 yards per game. Unfortunately, the Rivers of last season has made a few appearances during games, which is why the Chargers are just 2-3 in the standings. In the season opener, after leading Houston for much of the game, Rivers’ lone interception was returned for a game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter with the Texans eventually winning on a field goal as time expired. Last week, Rivers threw three picks against the Raiders, one of them in the end zone in the fourth quarter, in the Chargers’ 27-17 loss. Rivers enters this game with a respectable 13:5 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and he has yet to lose a fumble. It’s important that he continues to perform more like the 2013 version rather than the 2012 model. The Colts’ defense has already forced 10 turnovers through five games, so you know they will be looking for more of the same tonight.

Paging Mr. Richardson
Indianapolis rocked the NFL world about a month ago when the team traded for Cleveland running back Trent Richardson, sending its 2014 first-round draft pick in exchange for the third overall selection of the ’12 draft. A bold move for so early in the season, the Colts showed the league they meant business by adding a talented back to an offense that already had a franchise quarterback and legitimate pass-catchers. As it turns out, the trade became even more important when Ahmad Bradshaw suffered what turned out to be season-ending neck injury in Week 3. Bradshaw’s injury was preceded by Vick Ballard’s torn ACL sustained in practice prior to the team’s second game. Richardson’s presence and production is needed even more now with him and Donald Brown the main ball-carriers left. While Richardson has gotten the carries (51 in three games), he is only averaging three yards per attempt with his new team, and has yet to break a run of more than 16 yards. Before his injury, Bradshaw was averaging 4.5 yards per carry and Brown has gained 8.3 in limited totes (19). Regardless, the key to this team’s success moving forward is Richardson. Indianapolis has clearly committed to the running game this season. The Colts are averaging 142 yards per game on the ground and their seven rushing touchdowns were tied for first in the NFL entering Week 6. The Chargers are allowing more than 124 yards rushing per game, so perhaps tonight this will be Richardson’s coming out party as a Colt. I’m sure the team and certainly the fans, would love to finally see some more sizable returns from their recent investment.

Leading the Charge(rs) on the Ground
San Diego entered Week 6 fifth in the league in total offense, gaining more than 400 total yards per game. The main reason for this is the right arm of Rivers, who is averaging 322 yards passing per game. As a team, the Chargers are gaining less than 92 yards rushing per contest. For the second straight season, running back Ryan Mathews has not gotten the job done, as he’s averaging 3.5 yards per carry and has one total touchdown through five games. Injury-prone is one of the labels most often used to describe the 12th overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft. For example, last season Mathews broke one of his collarbones on his first carry of the preseason and then after returning to action, broke the other one in the middle of the December. The injury bug struck against last week when he hurt his hamstring in practice and then played less than a quarter against the Raiders because of a concussion. Mathews has been cleared to play tonight, but he will probably split the carries fairly evenly with Danny Woodhead. The former Patriot who signed as a free agent is gaining only 3.8 yards per rushing attempt, but he’s caught 31 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns. Throwing the ball hasn’t been a problem for San Diego, but Indianapolis ranks among the top passing defenses and has seven interceptions in five games. The Chargers need to do something on the ground to keep the Colts’ defense off balance. At this point, there’s no clear-cut lead dog in the Chargers’ backfield. The team just needs someone, whether it’s Mathews or Woodhead or even veteran Ronnie Brown, to make the carries they get count for something.

Indianapolis Key Player: Robert Mathis, LB
The Colts have Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, Coby Fleener and now Trent Richardson on offense, but it’s their defense that has been making the most noise to open this season. Entering Week 6, the defense ranked among the top five units against the pass, in points allowed and stopping the opponent on third down. Indianapolis is giving up 330.4 yards per game (tied for 11th), but only 201.4 of those have come via the pass. One of the reasons for this success has been the ability to get consistent pressure on the quarterback, as their 15 sacks and seven interceptions can attest to. Mathis leads the NFL with 9.5 sacks with at least one in each game. His career high is 11.5, which he has done twice (2005, ’08) and he seems poised to go well beyond that total this season. San Diego has relied heavily on Philip Rivers to move the ball via the pass, so if Indianapolis wants to maintain its pass defense standing, Mathis will need to lead the charge, no pun intended. The Chargers have given up just eight sacks in five games, but the pass protection could have its hands full tonight with the league leader.

San Diego Key Player: Antonio Gates, TE
Similar to Philip Rivers, Gates also has turned back the clock to start this season, as the tight end is playing his best football in several years. Now in his 11th season with the Chargers, Gates said before the season opener that this is the healthiest he has been in a number of years, and it looks like he was telling the truth. Not only is he leading the team in receptions (32) and yards (438), he’s among the top four in catches at his position and trails only Jimmy Graham in yards. Gates has two touchdowns, but even more impressive, he’s already posted seven catches of 20 or more yards. No one on the Chargers has more than four and the seven also ranked Gates among the top 10 in the NFL entering Week 6. While he may not be as young as he once was, Gates is proving again that he’s one of the toughest matchups at tight end. If Rivers plans on making some plays against a stingy Colts’ defense, the two long-time teammates will need to hook up early and often tonight.

Final Analysis

While Denver, Kansas City and New England are getting most of the attention as the AFC’s current top teams, Indianapolis can’t and shouldn’t be overlooked. A win tonight would put the Colts at 5-1 and stake them to an early two-game lead in the AFC South. Chuck Pagano’s team has already shown it can not only hang with, but beat the likes of NFC powerhouses San Francisco and Seattle.

Andrew Luck may not be filling up the stat sheet, but he’s doing what it takes to put his team in position to win, as well as making the big throw or play when it’s needed the most. Philip Rivers has gotten off to a strong start and is the main reason the Chargers are even hanging around .500, but he has a track record of coming somewhat unglued when everything’s riding on him.

They may not be flashy, but the Colts stick to the game plan that has worked so well for them this season – run the ball consistently, limit the opponent’s passing game, win the turnover battle – and pick up their fourth victory against a West Coast-based team in the process.

Indianapolis 27, San Diego 20

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History may no longer be at stake, but all eyes will still be on the quarterbacks this afternoon when the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots meet up at 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX. Drew Bees brings his undefeated Saints into Gillette Stadium while Tom Brady hopes some home cooking can jump-start a Patriots offense that hasn’t exactly lit up the scoreboard.

To that point, Brady’s streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass ended last week in Cincinnati at 52. If Brady had thrown one against the Bengals, he would have had the chance this afternoon to tie Brees’ record of 54 straight games in front of the home crowd. Instead, NFL fans will just to have “settle” for a matchup of the two of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.

4 Things to Watch

Is Brady’s Bunch Back?
Before training camp even opened, Tom Brady had to start thinking about life without wide receivers Wes Welker (signed with Denver as free agent) and Brandon Lloyd (released in March), tight ends Rob Gronkowski (back surgery in June) and Aaron Hernandez (released in late June following his arrest for muder and other crimes), and running back Danny Woodhead (signed with San Diego). This quintet represented Brady’s top five receivers from 2012, accounting for a combined total of 338 receptions for 3,984 yards and 29 receiving touchdowns. New England signed free agent Danny Amendola to take Welker’s roster spot, added wide receivers Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce through the draft and signed free agent rookie Kenbrell Thompkins to restock the cupboard. However, the transition has not been without its rough patches, including Amendola getting hurt in Week 1 and missing the next three games. Amendola returned to the lineup last week and is fully expected to be out there again today. At the beginning of this week, it also appeared that Gronkowski would finally be in uniform against New Orleans. However, that initial optimism has dimmed quite a bit and although he is listed as questionable, the team is not expecting Gronkowski to play. So for yet another week, Brady won’t have his full arsenal of pass-catchers, but perhaps just having Amendola available, even if it’s for only a limited number of snaps, will help take some of the load off of the rookies. Without Gronk and getting less than two full games from Amendola, Brady has thrown for 1,211 yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions through five games. At this point last season, those numbers were 1,450, eight and one. Brady is starting to get his new band together. Now it’s time to find out what sort of music they can make.

Tight End Tango
Although now it’s looking more and more likely that Gronkowski won’t play today, this game will still feature Jimmy Graham, one of the NFL’s most dynamic and dangerous tight ends. How much of an impact have these two had on their respective teams? In 2011, this duo combined for 189 catches, 2,637 yards and 28 touchdowns. Even though Gronk was limited to just 11 games last season because of a broken forearm and other health issues, he and Graham still accounted for a total of 140 grabs for 1,672 yards and 20 scores in 26 games between them. This season, with Gronk sidelined after offseason back surgery, Graham has taken his play to a whole new level. Graham entered Week 6 as the NFL leader in receiving yards with 593 on 37 receptions (16.0 ypc), and he has caught six touchdown passes. He has posted four straight 100-yard games and was named NFL Player of the Month for September, a first for a tight end. When healthy, these two big, physically gifted targets create matchup nightmares for opposing defenses. With Gronkowski missing a lot of practice time early and only participating in a limited basis more recently, it will be interesting to see how prepared the Patriots are to defend Graham, who is similar to Gronkowski in many ways. One thing is for sure, if the Patriots are successful in limiting the damage Graham does, they will be the first team to tame the beast, if you will.

Head Coach Chess Match
Sean Payton has a reputation for being an offensive mastermind. Bill Belichick cut his teeth in the NFL as a defensive coordinator and has three Super Bowl rings as proof of his expertise on that side of the ball. Both have coordinators, but everyone knows who is calling the shots when it comes to the Saints offense and Patriots defense. Payton’s value to his team goes well beyond his play-calling prowess, as evidenced by the Saints’ 5-0 start following a 7-9 showing last season while he was serving a yearlong suspension for his role in the BountyGate scandal. With New England’s offense struggling to find its rhythm and consistency, it’s critical that the Patriots’ defense puts forth its best effort to try and limit the Saints’ offense. This is where the coaching chess match will come to the forefront, as Payton, one of the league’s most creative and aggressive play-callers will go brain-to-brain with Belichick, a master defensive tactician.

Don’t Forget about the Running Game
New Orleans has Drew Brees and New England has Brady, but whichever team is successful running the ball could end up winning this one. For starters, nothing is more effective in opening up the passing game than a productive rushing attack. Not only does it slow down a pass rush or make defensive coordinators more hesitant to blitz, it keeps the defense on its toes and doesn’t allow them to focus entirely on stopping the pass. Second, both the Saints and Patriots have been somewhat susceptible to the rush this season. The Saints (108.6 ypg) are 18th in the league in rushing defense with the Patriots (116.4) a few spots behind them in 23rd. The Patriots have had considerably more success running the ball than the Saints, but that doesn’t mean that Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas can’t pick their spots and make impact plays on the ground when New Orleans has the football. For New England, Stevan Ridley has gotten off to a slow start (3.7 ypc) and he missed last week’s game because of a thigh injury. In light of Ridley’s struggles, the Patriots have shifted to more of a committee approach in their backfield with LeGarrette Blount (leads team with 206 yards) getting most of the work and Brandon Bolden (6.6 ypc) getting an occasional carry. Either team is capable of winning without much assistance from its running game, but a little help on the ground certainly wouldn’t hurt their chances of winding up victorious this afternoon.

Key Matchup: Drew Brees vs. Tom Brady
While they don’t truly go head-to-head against each other, it’s no stretch to say that this is the on-field matchup that will have the most bearing on this game. Brees is second in the league in passing yards (1,722), and fourth in completion rate (69.7 percent) and passer rating (107.4). He has 12 touchdown passes and just four interceptions. Brady’s numbers (56.6 percent completion rate, 1,211-7-3 for a 80.5 passer rating) are not where they have been in seasons past, but his track record and championship-laden resume speak for itself. Both quarterbacks are the engines that run their offense and often times are given the keys to drive it themselves. Both defenses are in the top half of the league rankings in yards allowed and among the top four in points allowed. The keys for each quarterback this afternoon will be executing the right play when the opportunity presents itself, as well as being patient and not try and force the issue. The NFL is a quarterback-driven league and this game features two of the best that have ever played the position. Sit back and enjoy.

Final Analysis

Considering Tom Brady is 77-14 in his career at home, the Patriots would figure to be somewhat heavy favorites in this one. However, Drew Brees is not intimidated playing on the road and the Saints’ offense is similar to the Patriots’ in that it presents a number of difficult matchups and a multitude of sets that a defense must prepare for.

That said, this also is not a typical Saints team, as new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has orchestrated a dramatic turnaround for a unit that set a record for most yards allowed in a season in 2012. This defense is well balanced from the line back to the secondary and I believe it will be able to hold up on the road against Brady and company.

The Patriots’ offense is not clicking on all cylinders right now and I don’t see the return of wide receiver Danny Amendola as the lone cure-all to what ails it. While Brady probably will not have Rob Gronkowksi to throw to for a sixth straight game, Brees has his own All-Pro tight end in Jimmy Graham, and I think this connection will continue to cause headaches for the Patriot linebackers and defensive backs trying to cover him. The Saints’ offense does its part and the defense stands tall late, as New Orleans leaves Gillette Stadium the way it entered, undefeated.

New Orleans 27, New England 24

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The Washington Redskins will look to make it three wins in a row over the Dallas Cowboys tonight when these long-time NFC East rivals face off at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC. The Redskins are rested, coming of off their bye week, while the Cowboys are looking to regroup after dropping two in a row, including last week’s high-scoring affair against Denver.

After a sensational rookie season for Robert Griffin III that included a division title and AP Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, the quarterback is looking to rediscover that form. For the Cowboys, Tony Romo is putting up impressive numbers, but is getting little help from a defense that gave up 51 points to the Broncos last week and more than 400 yards passing in back-to-back games.

3 Things to Watch

Which RG3 Will Cowboys See?
In winning the NFC East last season, Robert Griffin III led his Redskins to 10 wins, including a 5-1 mark in divisional play. RG3 won both of his games against Dallas, including this first game against the Cowboys, which was on the road and took place on Thanksgiving Day. In the full spotlight of one of the most coveted time slots during the season, a poised RG3 threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns on the road to lead his team to a 38-31 victory. This season, highlights like that have been few and far between, as the ‘Skins are off to a 1-3 start and RG3 hasn’t made as many plays with his arm (6 TDs, 4 INTs) and hardly any with his legs (72 yards rushing, 4.0 ypc). The talk around the league is that he just isn’t the same player following offseason knee surgery and to this point, there’s definitely proof of that. Whether he’s just not fully confident in his surgically repaired knee is a question only he can answer, but RG3 just hasn’t been as explosive and dynamic to start this season. The Cowboys had their hands full trying to defend against RG3 last season. So which version will the defense see on the field tonight – last season’s AP Offensive Rookie of the Year model or the quarterback that has looked a step slower and been slightly out of sync to start this season?

A Quarterback’s Best Friend…
is a consistent, productive running game. Washington won its first division title since 1999 last season behind the strength of the NFL’s top rushing offense, while the Cowboys finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs in part because they had the second-to-worst ground game. This season, even though Tony Romo is throwing the ball extremely well to start the season, he is coming off of a game in which he threw for 506 yards and five touchdowns, and lost. In fact, the Cowboys have averaged 140 yards rushing in their two wins and just 60 in their three losses. The point is, no matter how successful you are slinging the football around the field, a team still needs to be able to run it if they want to win consistently. For Dallas, DeMarco Murray is off to a great start running the ball, as he entered Week 6 fourth in the league with 399 yards rushing. In the three games where’s he gotten at least 14 carries he’s averaging 110 yards rushing. In the other two games, he’s averaged 12 touches and has a total of 68 yards on the ground. After getting off to a slow start, Washington’s Alfred Morris has picked things up and is averaging 5.3 yards per carry. However, he’s only averaging 14 carries per game. Both teams may want to do whatever is necessary to see that their running back gets at least 14 carries tonight, if not more. Why is that, you ask? Well for one, Washington is allowing 142.3 yards rushing per game thus far. Only one other team (Jacksonville) is giving up more. On the other hand, Dallas is fourth in the league in rushing defense, allowing 82.8 yards per game. That said, the Redskins need to feed the ball to Morris for two reasons. First, in two games against the Cowboys last season, he rushed for 313 yards and four touchdowns. Second, the more touches he gets, the fewer possible hits RG3 will take in the pocket or outside of it should he have to scramble. So while the spotlight may be on RG3 and Romo tonight, the opportunity is there for the running backs to play a starring role as well. The only question is, will they get the chance to take the ball and run with it?

Fixing the D
Washington is last in the NFL in yards allowed at 440.5 per game. The Redskins are giving up more than 140 yards rushing and nearly 300 yards passing in each game and have just two interceptions. The Cowboys are holding up pretty well against the rush, but are giving up too many big plays in the passing game. Three different quarterbacks (Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning) have thrown for more than 400 yards against Dallas and the Cowboys gave up 51 points last week to the Broncos at home. Needless to say, both defenses have some flaws and it’s no surprise both come into this one with losing records. While games with lots of offense are entertaining for the fans, they also put a lot of pressure on the offenses, especially the quarterbacks. Robert Griffin III just hasn’t been the same dynamic player he was last season, and the Redskins’ dip in offensive production is a reflection of that. Tony Romo threw for more than 500 yards and five touchdowns last week, but even that wasn’t enough as Denver was able to march up and down the field at will. While these two quarterbacks are capable of carrying their team to victory, they shouldn’t be expected to. Whichever defense rises to the occasion and either gets that critical stop on third down or makes that big play late will not only get a pat on the back from the offense, it will probably walk away victorious.

Washington Key Player: Pierre Garcon, WR
Since Robert Griffin III is making many plays with his legs, he will need to more productive as a passer. Although Griffin’s accuracy leaves something to be desired so far (62.4 percent), he also needs his playmakers to help him out. Garcon is certainly doing his part, leading the team in targets (44), receptions (29) and yards (339). Garcon has two touchdown receptions and is averaging 11.7 yards per reception. More telling is that he has 189 yards after the catch (YAC), which places him fourth in the league entering Week 6 although he has only played four games because of the Redskins’ bye in Week 4. Garcon has three catches of 20 or more yards and his big-play and after-the-catch ability could come be a factor tonight. Dallas is allowing 326.4 passing yards per game, which places them next to last ahead of only Denver in the NFL. The Cowboys have been susceptible to the long pass plays, as 15 different players in five games have recorded at least one reception of more than 20 yards against them. If there’s any Redskin who is capable of blowing the top off of the Dallas defense tonight it’s Garcon.

Dallas Key Player: DeMarcus Ware, DE
While Dallas’ defense has struggled to stop the pass, the switch from a 3-4 to 4-3 has produced results against the run. The Cowboys are fourth in the league in rushing defense, giving up less than 83 yards per game. The switch in defensive scheme meant several players had to learn new positions entering this season. Ware was foremost among those, moving from linebacker to defensive end. So far, he has handled the transition smoothly with four sacks and an interception in five games. One way to help the Cowboys’ struggling linebackers and defensive backs in coverage is to get more pressure on the quarterback. That has been Ware’s specialty throughout his career and if he can get past the Redskins’ offensive line, he should be able to break down Robert Griffin III, especially since the quarterback has looked a step slower in his return from knee surgery. Washington has done an excellent job of protecting RG3 early on, as he’s been sacked just seven times, but Ware presents a new challenge for both the offensive line and Griffin, who better have his head on a swivel tonight looking out for No. 94.

Final Analysis

This is one of the best rivalries in the NFL and this game doesn’t lack for star power and early-season importance. No team in the NFC East has roared out of the gates, and with the exception of the New York Giants, the divisional race is wide open. The Redskins need a win or will fall to 0-2 in the division, while a victory would be second NFC East win in as many tries for the Cowboys.

As is usually the case, the focus will be on the quarterbacks, but this season has already shown that neither Robert Griffin III nor Tony Romo can be expected to carry the load all by themselves. First and foremost, the defenses need to play better, the Redskins in general and the Cowboys against the pass. One of the keys tonight will be which running back – Alfred Morris or DeMarco Murray – gets the most carries and what they are able to do on the ground in them.

Dallas came oh so close to knocking off Denver last week, and has played better than its 2-3 record shows. Washington is not the same offensive team it was last season, while the defensive issues are still very much prevalent. Romo won’t go for 500 yards and five touchdowns again, but he will make his share of plays, as the Cowboys put together another nice offensive performance. This week, however, the defense also shows up and puts the clamps down on RG3 and the Redskins in the second half as the home team pulls away for a relatively easy victory.

Dallas 34, Washington 24

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Barring a last-minute change, it appears that one elite tight end will miss his sixth straight game, while two other top options appear to be ready to go for Week 6. Here’s the latest information on the tight end injury front.

Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints
Just when it looked like “Gronk Watch” was going to finally come to an end, the latest twist in this soap opera occurred. Despite being a full go in practice and reports earlier in the week that said he would play, Gronkowski has not been medically cleared by his own doctors. Any early optimism regarding his playing status has been replaced a general belief that he will not make his season debut against the Saints. He is officially listed as Questionable, so there’s always a chance of a last-second reversal, but you have to decide if it’s worth the risk to put Gronk in your lineup or not.

Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals
His hamstring has been an issue in recent weeks, but he was a full go at practice this week and is Probable to face the Cardinals. Since sitting out Week 3, Davis has been in there for every game and looked rather explosive last week on a 64-yard touchdown reception against the Texans. This is a good matchup on paper, as the Cardinals are giving up the third-most fantasy points to TEs, so there’s no reason to sit Davis this week.

Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings
Olsen is the Panthers’ leading receiver and a top-15 fantasy TE. He also was spotted in a walking boot earlier this week, which obviously cut into his practice time. The issue, however, appears to be minor as he was back at it on Thursday and Friday, sans boot. He is Probable for today’s game and considering the Vikings are allowing the second-most fantasy points to TEs this season, you need to play Olsen.

Tight Ends in Deeper Leagues:

Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars – Lewis has only played in part of one game this season because of a calf injury. He’s out again this week and has basically dropped clear off of the fantasy radar, if he hadn’t already.

Zach Miller, Seattle Seahawks – Miller missed last week’s game because of a hamstring injury and wasn’t able to practice at all this week. Not really sure why he’s listed as questionable, as there’s no question in my mind you should just steer clear away.

Jordan Reed and Fred Davis, Washington Redskins – Reed missed last week’s game in Oakland because of a thigh injury, while Davis has been hobbled by an ankle injury. Both are probable to play tonight, but that doesn’t mean either will have any sort of fantasy impact. Reed has been more productive than Davis to this point, but any snaps Davis gets takes away from Reed’s opportunities. While I don’t think this is a timeshare, per se, there’s also not enough potential right now for Reed to provide enough fantasy value to merit much consideration.

Kellen Winslow, New York Jets – Winslow has been dealing with knee pain, but it doesn’t matter, as the tight end has been suspended for four games by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. In Winslow’s absence, Jeff Cumberland will become the starter with former New England Patriot Zach Sudfeld also expected to see time this week. Cumberland could be an option in deeper leagues down the road, but don’t bother this week.

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Backup quarterbacks will get their chance in Week 6, as several teams have already ruled out their starters. Here’s the latest information on who will be under center today.

Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It was only a matter of time, right? Vick pulled up with a hamstring injury last week against the Giants and wasn’t able to finish the game. Nick Foles came in and put the finishing touches on the 36-21 victory by throwing two TD passes in the fourth quarter. Vick practiced fully on Friday, but he is listed as Questionable and is not expected to play today. Foles will get his first start of the season, but it’s probably too risky to use him right off the bat in your lineup. If anything, this game against the Buccaneers will be a good gauge of his fantasy potential in Chip Kelly’s offense. Foles isn’t anywhere near as mobile as Vick, so most of his damage will have to come in the pocket. Plus with Vick already making progress in his recovery, chances are Foles could be back to clipboard duty as soon as next week.

Blaine Gabbert, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos
Gabbert missed two games earlier because of a thumb injury and in his first game back last week, he sustained a hamstring injury against St. Louis. He has already been ruled Out for today’s game, which means Chad Henne will get the start. Even though Jacksonville is a historic underdog on the road against Denver, that doesn’t mean that Henne and other Jaguars can’t provide valuable fantasy points. In fact, based on the likely outcome of this game and the 347 yards passing per game the Broncos are giving up, I have no problem if you want to take a chance on Henne as your bye week, fill-in starter this week or if you play in a 2-QB league.

Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers
Ponder is listed as Probable, as he’s recovered enough from the rib injury that caused him to miss the Vikings’ last game, but he will not start. The team will stick with Matt Cassel against the Panthers. At this point, neither Ponder nor Cassel merit any fantasy consideration, especially against a Panthers’ defense that has given up the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. The Vikings’ quarterback situation is just one jumbled mess right now, as the team recently signed Tampa Bay cast-off Josh Freeman to add to the circus.

Other Notable Quarterback Injuries:

Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans – Locker remains out because of the hip/knee injury he suffered in Week 4. Ryan Fitzpatrick will serve as the Titans’ starting quarterback and has a tough assignment today, playing in Seattle against the league’s sixth-ranked defense (third against the pass).

EJ Manuel, Buffalo Bills – The Bills’ first-round pick will miss a few weeks after hurting his knee (LCL sprain) last week against Cleveland. Thad Lewis will start today in Manuel’s place.

Brian Hoyer, Cleveland Browns – Hoyer’s season is over after tearing his ACL last week against Buffalo. Brandon Weeden will resume the starting role.

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The Patriots’ wide receiving corps is almost back to full strength for Week 6, while the Cardinals may be without their No. 1 guy this afternoon. Here’s the latest information on those teams and some other injury situations.

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
Fitzgerald’s good health lasted about a week, as he suffered some sort of setback with his hamstring and is Questionable to play this afternoon. He was limited Wednesday and Thursday, but was able to practice fully on Friday. The team said it’s the same left hamstring, but this injury is in a different place. Fitzgerald could be a game-time decision, but with him being in a late afternoon game, you may not be able to wait that long. Fitzgerald’s numbers have disappointed to start the season, as he’s had no more than 80 yards in any game. He also has just three touchdown receptions and two of those came in Week 1. The 49ers’ defense has been playing really well lately, so it may be worth at least considering keeping Fitzgerald on your bench this week.

Danny Amendola, WR, New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints
Amendola returned to the lineup last week, catching four passes (out of nine targets) for 55 yards in the loss to Cincinnati. His groin is not completely healed, as he was limited in practice this week. So once again, Amendola is officially listed as Questionable, but barring a setback during warm ups, he is expected to play. Even though he may be more of a WR2/WR3 right now, Amendola needs to be in your lineup, especially in PPR leagues. Although it was just one game, Amendola’s return had an immediate impact on the target distribution, as Julian Edelman (right), Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson all saw fewer looks from Tom Brady. This will be something to monitor moving forward, but Edelman and Thompkins are probably more on the WR2/WR3 level now, with Dobson slipping to flex consideration.

Cecil Shorts, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos
Shorts is not completely over his groin injury yet, which was still limiting him in practice on Friday. However, he is listed as Probable to play, and the matchup/game situation alone is enough reason to plug him in and see what happens. The Broncos should win this game rather handily, which means the Jaguars will more than likely be forced to throw because they will be playing catch up most of the game. There’s also the opportunity for garbage yards/points later in the game. Plus, Chad Henne will be starting for Jacksonville, and he and Shorts have been successful in the past. Shorts is averaging more than 12 targets per game and even with Justin Blackmon back, Shorts should see more than enough to provide WR2/WR3 production, with a chance of even better numbers.

Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins
After missing the past two games because of a hamstring injury, Austin is listed as Probable and expected to play in tonight’s big NFC East showdown. If he plays, Austin is expected to resume his role as the Cowboys’ No. 2 receiver, which means rookie Terrance Williams will go back to being No. 3. Williams exploded for 151 yards and a touchdown on just four catches last week against Denver, but could be in line for fewer targets against the Redskins. Austin has been mostly ineffective this season and even though the ‘Skins are giving up a bunch of passing yards and points, he’s no sure thing to break out in this game. Austin is at best a WR3 option tonight, which is probably the best-case scenario for Williams. No contest who offers more explosiveness and upside though.

Marlon Brown and Jacoby Jones, WRs, Baltimore Ravens vs. Green Bay Packers
Jones injured his knee in the season opener in Denver, giving the undrafted rookie Brown a chance to start opposite of Torrey Smith. Brown has made the most of this opportunity, as he has three touchdown receptions in four games. He injured his hamstring two weeks ago against Buffalo, an injury that held him out of last week’s game in Miami. Jones is back practicing, albeit on a limited basis, and he and Brown are listed as Questionable for today’s home date with the Packers. Both will probably be game-time decisions, but I wouldn’t bother with either. Smith is the only Raven wideout worth owning, as he has nearly twice as many targets as anyone else on the roster. Brown or Jones could become more fantasy relevant once they are back to full health, but some of that will depend on if either seizes the starting gig or if it ends up being more of a timeshare.

Santonio Holmes, WR, New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Holmes remains Out this week because of a hamstring injury. Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill will serve as the starters, and with a rested Pittsburgh defense ready to face rookie Geno Smith, both wideouts are probably WR3 options at best this week.

Teaser:
Week 6 Injury Updates: Larry Fitzgerald, Danny Amendola, Cecil Shorts, Miles Austin
Post date: Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury update, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/injury-updates-week-6-calvin-johnson-andre-johnson-stevie-johnson-mike-williams
Body:

If you are a wide receiver in the NFL and your last name is Johnson, you are probably dealing with some sort of injury entering Week 6. Here’s the latest information on whether Calvin, Andre or Stevie will play today, as well as two other guys not named Johnson.

Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns
Johnson was a late surprise scratch last week after it was revealed he was dealing with a knee injury. This week, reports came out that he is experiencing swelling in the knee, which limited his practice time. He did participate on Thursday and Friday, but did so with a brace on his right knee. Johnson’s official designation is Questionable and he is expected to be a game-time decision. Because of what happened last week, caution is certainly merited here. Megatron is one of the best in the business and probably doesn’t need to be 100 percent to contribute to your lineup. Matthew Stafford sure missed his No. 1 target last week against Green Bay. That said, monitor Johnson’s status carefully up until kickoff (1 p.m. ET) and be prepared to act accordingly.

Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans vs. St. Louis Rams
Johnson is still dealing with his shin injury, but it has yet to keep him off of the field. Texans head coach Gary Kubiak did say his All-Pro wideout would probably be a game-time decision, so Johnson’s Questionable designation shouldn’t be taken lightly. I suppose there’s a chance the team could decide to give him a rest if he appears limited or favoring that leg in warm ups, especially given the matchup against a Rams’ defense that is allowing more than 120 yards rushing. There’s also the matter of quarterback Matt Schaub’s accuracy/interception issues right now. Even when he’s less than 100 percent, Johnson usually produces, but it may be best to wait as long as possible before plugging him into your lineup for this one, especially if you have another legitimate option.

Stevie Johnson, WR, Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Johnson was excused from practice due to a death in his family earlier in the week, but he also is dealing with a back issue. He is listed as Questionable and is probably going to be a game-time decision. When it comes to Johnson, however, the real question mark revolves around Thad Lewis, who has been elevated from the practice squad to the starter following EJ Manuel’s knee injury last week. Lewis has started an NFL game before, but there’s a reason he was on the Bills’ practice squad too. The Bengals held Tom Brady and the Patriots to six points last week, so let the Bills’ coaches worry about Johnson’s status for their game. As far as his fantasy status is concerned, Johnson can enjoy the view from the bench this week.

Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Buccaneers are coming off of a bye, yet Williams is listed as Questionable for today’s game because of a hamstring injury. That’s not a great sign considering the extra rest he should have gotten last week. Williams is the Bucs’ No. 2 wide receiver, but with rookie Mike Glennon making just his second career start, expectations should be limited. Tampa Bay’s offense has a good matchup against Philadelphia, and Williams did catch a TD from Glennon two weeks ago. Still, Williams is clearly not at 100 percent and could end up not playing at all. The safest course of action for this week regarding Williams probably would be to look elsewhere to fill out your receiving corps.

Donnie Avery, WR, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders
Avery is dealing with a shoulder injury, but he is Probable to play today and the Chiefs are fully expecting him to be out there. Avery is the team’s leading receiver thus far, with 16 catches for 304 yards and a touchdown. Dwayne Bowe probably offers more upside, but quarterback Alex Smith seems to prefer Avery, who merits WR3 consideration.

 

Teaser:
Injury Updates Week 6: Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Stevie Johnson, Mike Williams
Post date: Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury update, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/week-6-injury-updates-marshawn-lynch-stevan-ridley-alfred-morris-ryan-mathews
Body:

When it comes to the later games, sometimes the decision on whether you start a certain player or not has to be made well before kickoff. Here’s the latest on the Week 6  injury situations for some ailing running backs who don’t play until later this afternoon, tonight or on Monday.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks vs. Tennessee Titans
Lynch is dealing with some sort of hip injury and missed one day of practice for a non-injury-related reason. The end result is that he is considered Questionable to face the Titans. Even with this designation, there doesn’t appear to be any serious concern that he will not suit up today. Lynch is coming off of his best game of the season, 102 yards rushing against the Colts, and has been productive despite the numerous injuries to his offensive line. Lynch may see fewer carries than usual, especially if this game becomes a blowout, but he still needs to be in your lineup.

Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden, RBs, New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints
Ridley missed last week’s loss in Cincinnati because of a thigh injury, which continued to limit him during practice. He is considered Questionable, but the expectation is that he will back out there. Ridley could end up stepping right back into the lead back role, as LeGarrette Blount didn’t exactly go off last week and he also had a costly fumble. Still Ridley has not been near as productive this season as he was last, so Ridley should be viewed as nothing more than a RB2/flex type of option right now. Blount may have blown his best chance and it will be interesting to see how long he stays in Bill Belichick’s doghouse. Meanwhile, Bolden’s knee continues to be an issue for him, and he also is Questionable. Bolden hasn’t had much of an impact since Week 2 and between Ridley’s apparent return and Blount’s presence, Bolden probably won’t see enough touches against the Saints to even be in the flex discussion.

Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys
Morris has been dealing with bruised ribs, but he practiced fully all week and is Probable for tonight’s primetime showdown in Dallas. The Cowboys have been tough against the run, but you have to start Morris if you own him. Don’t forget that last season, as a rookie, Morris gashed the Cowboys for 313 yards rushing and four touchdowns in two games.

Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers vs. Indianapolis Colts (Mon.)
Even though he was dealing with a hamstring injury late last week, it was a concussion that knocked him out of the game in Oakland in the first quarter. This week, Mathews was finally cleared to practice on Friday, and is Probable to play Monday night against Indianapolis. Still, Danny Woodhead did the heavy lifting against the Raiders, so don't be surprised if the two share/split the touches again this week. In fact, at this point, Woodhead is probably the safer option, as once again, Mathews is doing nothing but frustrate his owners.

Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots
Ingram hasn’t played since Week 2 because of a toe injury. He returned to practice on a limited basis this week and is listed as Questionable to face the Patriots. Even if he does return, his role figures to be limited. That same word can be used to describe his current fantasy appeal too.

Teaser:
Week 6 Injury Updates: Marshawn Lynch, Stevan Ridley, Alfred Morris, Ryan Mathews
Post date: Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury update, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/injury-updates-week-6-jamaal-charles-darren-mcfadden-marcel-reece-chris-ivory
Body:

Oakland’s backfield isn’t anywhere close to being at 100 percent, while Kansas City’s workhorse is playing with sore feet. Here’s the latest on their status as well as the Jets’ situation for today’s games.

Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders
Charles is still dealing with blisters on his feet, but he practiced fully on Friday and is Probable for the AFC West clash with Oakland. The blisters didn’t prevent him from picking up 108 yards rushing and a touchdown last week against Tennessee, so the Raiders should expect to see plenty of Charles, the top scoring fantasy RB, today.

Darren McFadden, Rashad Jennings and Marcel Reece, RBs, Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
The injury woes for Oakland’s backfield don’t seem to be getting any better. McFadden (right) and Jennings are both dealing with hamstring injuries and are considered Questionable to play against Kansas City. Both were able to practice on a limited basis and the final say on their availability against the Chiefs probably won’t be made until prior to kickoff. Meanwhile, Reece also was limited this week in practiced, but he is listed as Probable. Unless you have no other options, there’s really no reason to even consider using McFadden or Jennings this week. Reece, on the other hand, could be flex-worthy, especially if McFadden and Jennings are ruled out before game time.

Chris Ivory and Mike Goodson, RB, New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Ivory returned from a hamstring injury for the Monday night game against Atlanta and picked up four rushing attempts. His hamstring is not 100 percent, but he is listed as Probable for today’s game. Goodson made his season debut against the Falcons after serving a four-game suspension and got four total touches. He was sick earlier in the week, but also is Probable. The issue here is that the Jets’ backfield is suddenly quite crowded with Bilal Powell still getting the bulk of the carries. Honestly, Powell is probably the only one with any real fantasy value right now, as there’s no telling how Ivory and Goodson will be used. With a tough matchup against a rested Steelers defense, it may be best to just stay away from the J-E-T-S backs altogether.

Running backs that have already been ruled OUT this week:

Ahmad Bradshaw, Indianapolis Colts – Bradshaw will miss the rest of the season after being placed on injured reserve. Bradshaw hadn’t played since injuring his neck in Week 3, and he has decided to undergo season-ending surgery to repair the damage. Trent Richardson will serve as the Colts’ lead back, but he has struggled with his production, which has resulted in more work for Donald Brown. Richardson remains the Colt back to own, and perhaps the Monday night game against San Diego will be what gets him going. Unless something happens to guarantee Brown a steady diet of touches, he really doesn’t have much fantasy value going forward.

James Starks, RB Green Bay Packers – Starks will miss a second straight game because of a knee injury and there’s really no timetable on his return. The Packers have moved on with rookies Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin and at this point, Starks will probably need an injury to one of them to get back into the fantasy conversation.

Teaser:
Injury Updates Week 6: Jamaal Charles, Darren McFadden, Marcel Reece, Chris Ivory
Post date: Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, injury update, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /fantasy/week-6-injury-updates-cj-spiller-arian-foster-bernard-pierce-zac-stacy
Body:

Playing hurt is just part of life in the NFL. These running backs are dealing with different injuries and ailments. Can you count on them in Week 6?

C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Spiller’s status was somewhat in doubt for Week 5 against Cleveland, as he was dealing with an ankle injury that kept him from practicing and the Bills had to deal with the short turnaround that comes with playing on a Thursday. Spiller did suit up, and he produced his longest run of the year, a 56-yard TD scamper, in the loss. He also was held to just eight carries and once again was limited in practice this week. He is Questionable to face the Bengals, although head coach Doug Marrone said his back was making better progress this week compared to last week. The Bengals figure to be a tough matchup, but as Spiller showed last week, he is still capable of doing some damage, even if he’s not 100 percent. I would wait as long as you possibly can, but unless his status changes prior to kickoff, I would keep Spiller in my lineup.

Arian Foster and Ben Tate, RBs, Houston Texans vs. St. Louis Rams
Foster (right) has been dealing with some sort of injury since OTAs back in May and that trend has carried over to the regular season. His thumb and chest have been bothering him for the past few weeks, and these issues have limited him during practice. However, the All-Pro is Probable for today’s game and it would be surprising if he wasn’t out there against the Rams. Foster, of course is a must-start whenever he plays, and in a matchup like this his backup, Ben Tate, is definitely in the flex discussion. Tate, who has been dealing with an elbow injury, has seen at least seven carries in each game. Today, the Texans get a Rams rushing defense that has allowed more than 126 yards on the ground per game. Given Matt Schaub’s interception woes, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Texans run the ball between 40-50 times today.

Bernard Pierce, RB, Baltimore Ravens vs. Green Bay Packers
Pierce has a thigh injury which has limited him in practice this week. Even though he is Questionable, he should play considering he and Ray Rice are the only running backs on the Ravens’ roster. Pierce is one of the more appealing handcuff options out there and he has already had to fill in for Rice because of injury. However, Rice saw a season-high 33 touches last week and I would expect more of the same against the Packers today. Pierce is still worth rostering, especially if you own Rice, but he probably won’t get enough touches to even merit flex consideration for the time being.

Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams at Houston Texans
The Rams have struggled to run the ball to start the season, but Stacy turned in a respectable performance last week against Jacksonville. The rookie, a fifth-round pick, got his first career start and finished it with 78 yards rushing on 14 carries (5.6 ypc), which is the most by any Ram this season. Stacy sustained some sort of chest injury during that game, but he was able to practice fully on Friday and is listed as Questionable for today’s game. He looks like a fairly safe bet to play, but unless you have no other options, there’s really no reason to take your chances with any Ram running back against Houston’s defense.

Teaser:
Week 6 Injury Updates: C.J. Spiller, Arian Foster, Bernard Pierce, Zac Stacy
Post date: Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 06:30
Path: /nfl/fantasy-football-2013-positional-rankings-week-6
Body:

Regardless of what happens in Week 6, it will be tough to match some of the impressive performances from last week. Denver and Dallas went toe-to-toe with each other for four quarters before the Broncos came out victorious thanks to a field goal as time expired. Although Tony Romo's interception helped seal the Cowboys' fate, he also threw for 506 yards and five touchdowns. He was fantasy's top scorer for the week, with the top player overall, Peyton Manning close behind after another 400-yard, four-touchdown passing effort and a rare rushing touchdown.

Atlanta and Miami are the only teams on bye this week, and there are several appealing fantasy matchups on tap. Week 6 opens with the New York Giants going to Chicago. Thursday night games have been somewhat sloppy, but don't be surprised if both offenses make a little noise this week. New Orleans and New England is not only a matchup of two of the best teams in the early going, it features two of the top quarterbacks and, hopefully, two of the most explosive and dynamic tight ends in the NFL. Washington visits Dallas for the Sunday night game with Romo coming off his record-setting game and Robert Griffin III facing a team he had a lot of success against last season.

And then there's Jacksonville going to Denver. While the point spread may be at an all-time high, fantasy owners only care about the stats. And much like Romo and the Cowboys did last week, this could be the week to stock up on Jaguars. I'm not saying this game will be close, but I do think there's a chance that the likes of Chad Henne (Blaine Gabbert not expected to play), Cecil Shorts, Justin Blackmon and maybe even Maurice Jones-Drew could end up with a lot of fantasy points. For one, the Jags figure to be playing catch up from the start, and there's also the possibility that Manning and the rest of the Broncos' starters don't even play much in the second half. After all, head coaches don't care about your fantasy team.

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.

2013 NFL Week 6 Fantasy Football Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 6 Waiver Wire

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:
Fantasy Football 2013 Positional Rankings: Week 6
Post date: Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 07:00
All taxonomy terms: Dallas Cowboys, Dez Bryant, NFL, Fantasy
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-wide-receiver-rankings-week-6
Body:

Dez Bryant played a big role in Tony Romo's 500-yard game last week, and the Cowboys' No. 1 target finds himself in the same position on Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 6 wide receiver rankings. Bryant had 141 yards receiving and two touchdowns against Denver and next up is a Washington pass defense that's allowing nearly 300 yards per game.

Part of the reason Bryant is No. 1 in these rankings is because of the uncertainty surrounding Calvin Johnson's playing status. Johnson was a surprise late scratch last week against Green Bay because of a knee injury. While details about the injury remain sparse, it's looking like Megatron could end up being the dreaded game-time decision, unless the team addresses his situation sooner. Either way, there's enough here to be concerned about his availability, as well as his production should be play against Cleveland, which is why Johnson fell, all the way to No. 5. After all, if Megatron doesn't play it's not like you are just going to be able to replace him, right?

As far as those wide receivers who we know will play this week, look no further than Denver for some appealing options. Yes, that means Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Eric Decker for the Broncos, but don't forget about the other team in this game. Jacksonville is a historic, 28-point underdog on the road and everyone knows why. However, the Broncos are last in the league in passing defense, which is what happens when you give up 506 yards and five touchdowns. Chad Henne, who is expected to start in place of an injured Blaine Gabbert (hamstring) is no Tony Romo, but he's had some big games of his own in the past (354-4-0 vs. Texans and 348-1-3 vs. Patriots last season). And, more importantly, he has Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon as his wide receivers. While their numbers may not show it, these two are legitimate, dynamic weapons in their own right, who, if given the opportunity, are just as capable of doing what Bryant (7-141-2) and Cowboys rookie Terrance Williams (4-151-1) did last week to the Broncos' defense.

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.

2013 NFL Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings — Wide Receivers
Teams on bye: Atlanta, Miami

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Dez BryantDALvs. WASTwo TDs last week, including 79-yarder.
2Demaryius ThomasDENvs. JACRelatively quiet (5-57) vs. Cowboys.
3Wes WelkerDENvs. JACLeads NFL with 7 TD catches, had 6 all of '12.
4A.J. GreenCINat BUFJust not making many big plays (long of 45).
5Calvin JohnsonDETat CLEMissed last week's game w/ knee injury.
6Brandon MarshallCHIvs. NYG (Thurs.)Jeffery stealing his thunder, did have TD vs. NO.
7Victor CruzNYGat CHI (Thurs.)Held in check (5-48) by Eagles.
8Randall CobbGBat BALCobb had 67-yard run last week vs. Lions.
9Torrey SmithBALvs. GBLeads league with 13 catches of 20+ yards.
10Pierre GarconWASat DALDallas second-to-last in pass D.
11Jordy NelsonGBat BALLeads Packers in yards, TD catches.
12Andre JohnsonHOUvs. STLHoping for better results vs. Rams.
13Eric DeckerDENvs. JACNinth in receiving yards with 427.
14Reggie WayneINDat SD (Mon.)Chargers allowing third-most fantasy pts. to WRs.
15DeSean JacksonPHIat TBSays he's "too fast" to be stranded on Revis Island.
16Antonio BrownPITat NYJJets have just one INT on season.
17Vincent JacksonTBvs. PHIHoping to click with rookie QB Glennon.
18Josh GordonCLEvs. DET37-yard TD pass from Weeden a good sign.
19James JonesGBat BALLed Packers with 127 yards, TD on 4 catches.
20Steve SmithCARat MINDid not do himself any favors with refs this week.
21Larry FitzgeraldARIat SFBetter numbers than last year, but still not great.
22Alshon JefferyCHIvs. NYG (Thurs.)Franchise-record 218 yards vs. Saints.
23Danny AmendolaNEvs. NOLed Pats in targets (9), caught 4 in return.
24T.Y. HiltonINDat SD (Mon.)Made Hawks' pay for trash talk w/ 5-140-2.
25Hakeem NicksNYGat CHI (Thurs.)Only thing missing vs. PHI (9-142) was TD.
26Marques ColstonNOat NEPatriots have given up just 4 TD passes.
27Cecil ShortsJACat DENBroncos giving up a lot of passing yards.
28Justin BlackmonJACat DENFirst catch of season went 67 yards for TD.
29Anquan BoldinSFvs. ARICaught just two passes for 21 yards vs. Texans.
30Dwayne BoweKCvs. OAKCould be lost fantasy season w/ Smith as QB.
31Greg JenningsMINvs. CARCaught 2 TDs from Cassel last game.
32Denarius MooreOAKat KCPryor's No. 1 target has 3 TDs already.
33Terrance WilliamsDALvs. WASRookie came up huge (4-151-4) vs. Broncos.
34Mike WilliamsTBvs. PHIEagles have been generous to WRs.
35Stevie JohnsonBUFvs. CINBills down to practice squad QB starting.
36Kenbrell ThompkinsNEvs. NOBottled up by Bengals (3-16) last week.
37Julian EdelmanNEvs. NOTargets figure to go down w/ Amendola back.
38Eddie RoyalSDvs. IND (Mon.)Eight catches, 0 TDs since 10, 5 in first 2 games.
39DeAndre HopkinsHOUvs. STLNFC West teams have had his number.
40Keenan AllenSDvs. IND (Mon.)Rookie has posted 11-195-1 over last 2 games.
41Vincent BrownSDvs. IND (Mon.)Led Chargers with 117 yards vs. Raiders.
42Austin PettisSTLat HOUMost productive Rams receiver (4 TDs) so far.
43Golden TateSEAvs. TENCaught first TD of season last week.
44Jeremy KerleyNYJvs. PITGeno's favorite target on MNF (5-68-1).
45Marlon BrownBALvs. GBMissed Week 5 w/ hamstring injury, monitor status.
46Emmanuel SandersPITat NYJAt least 4 rec. every game, but no TDs yet.
47Michael FloydARIat SFFive grabs in each of last 2 games, still no TDs.
48Nate WashingtonTENat SEASeason-low 3-30 effort against Chiefs.
49Chris GivensSTLat HOUCatch rate of less than 50 percent (15-of-34).
50Donnie AveryKCvs. OAKBruised his shoulder last week, should be OK.
51Robert WoodsBUFvs. CINJust starting to really click with Manuel.
52Rueben RandleNYGat CHI (Thurs.)Two TDs vs. Eagles after none in first 4 games.
53Kendall WrightTENat SEAAveraging 11.8 ypc over last 3 games (7.2 in first 2).
54Stephen HillNYJvs. PITMade it through first game back after concussion.
55Leonard HankersonWASat DAL 
56Tavon AustinSTLat HOURookie struggling to make big impact.
57Ryan BroylesDETat CLELions looking for more from No. 2 wideout.
58Brandon LaFellCARat MINSeason-high 9 targets last week, but 1 RZ drop.
59Rod StreaterOAKat KCConnected w/ Pryor for 44-yard TD vs. SD.
60Sidney RiceSEAvs. TEN 
61Aaron DobsonNEvs. NOOne catch of 53 yards was only highlight vs. CIN.
62Dexter McClusterKCvs. OAK 
63Cordarrelle PattersonMINvs. CARDid rookie learn things during bye?
64Miles AustinDALvs. WASMissed last two games b/c of hamstring injury.

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
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 6 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 6
Post date: Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 06:30
Path: /nfl/fantasy-football-2013-quarterback-rankings-week-6
Body:

Tony Romo may not top Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 6 quarterback rankings, but you still have tip your hat to the Cowboys' signal-caller. As far as fantasy owners are concerned, the late interception is entirely forgivable considering the 506 yards and five touchdowns he put against Denver last week. Romo did what no other quarterback has been able to thus far, out-produce Peyton Manning in the same game, although No. 18 showed something "new" in his arsenal when he stunned everyone, including his teammates, and rumbled for a touchdown late in the second quarter. Yes, he threw his first interception of the season, but he now has a total of 21 touchdowns in five games. And next up for the Broncos' offensive machine? The lowly Jaguars. Enjoy.

Romo will look to continue his strong play (1,523-13-2) when the Cowboys host the Redskins Sunday night. Robert Griffin III hasn't been the same dynamic playmaker he was during his rookie season, but he does return to the site of one of his better games from 2012. Last Thanksgiving, RG3 threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns to lead the 'Skins to a 38-31 victory that helped eventually propel them to the NFC East title. Perhaps this will be just the stage to get RG3 back on track.

Speaking of getting back on track, that's exactly what Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense are hoping to do following a disappointing showing last week in Cincinnati. New England will host New Orleans and while Brady's chances at tying Drew Brees' record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass are no more, it does look like Brady will finally have all of his weapons back. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is expected to make his season debut, which comes on the heels of wide receiver Danny Amendola's return to the lineup last week. Brees has a pretty good tight end of his own in Jimmy Graham, not to mention a host of other playmakers that should make this an entertaining game to watch.

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.

2013 NFL Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks
Teams on bye: Atlanta, Miami

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Peyton ManningDENvs. JACAt least we know he's human (20 TDs, INT).
2Drew BreesNOat NEBrees vs. Brady should be fun to watch.
3Tony RomoDALvs. WASFantasy owners could care less about the INT.
4Aaron RodgersGBat BALFairly quiet day (274-1-0) vs. Lions last week.
5Andrew LuckINDat SD (Mon.)Just one game w/ 260+ passing yards.
6Robert Griffin IIIWASat DALComing off of bye, gets 31st-ranked pass D.
7Cam NewtonCARat MINCam had 4 TOs (3 INTs, fumble) vs. Cardinals.
8Philip RiversSDvs. IND (Mon.)4th in yards, but 4 INTs in last 2 games.
9Matthew StaffordDETat CLEStafford really missed Megatron last week.
10Tom BradyNEvs. NOGot Amendola back last week, Gronk this week?
11Jay CutlerCHIvs. NYG (Thurs.)Slow start, but solid effort (358-2-0) vs. Saints.
12Russell WilsonSEAvs. TENAveraging less than 200 yards passing per game.
13Colin KaepernickSFvs. ARI412-3-0 in Week 1, 557-3-4 since.
14Terrelle PryorOAKat KCPut up 221-2-0 in return to lineup last week.
15Joe FlaccoBALvs. GBNumbers not matching up w/ contract thus far.
16Eli ManningNYGat CHI (Thurs.)Leading league with 12 INTs, just 8 TD passes.
17Alex SmithKCvs. OAK3 INTs in last two games, none in first three.
18Ben RoethlisbergerPITat NYJDid the Steelers fix things during bye week?
19Nick FolesPHIat TBGets first start w/ Vick nursing hamstring injury.
20Matt SchaubHOUvs. STLSquarely on hot seat after 3 more INTs vs. SF.
21Andy DaltonCINat BUFSeason-high is 280 yards passing (Week 2).
22Sam BradfordSTLat HOUAveraging 6.1 yards per attempt (32nd in NFL).
23Chad HenneJACat DENBroncos dead last in league in pass D (347 ypg).
24Geno SmithNYJvs. PITDazzled on MNF: 16-of-20, 180-3-0 and 0 TOs.
25Carson PalmerARIat SF5:9 TD:INT ratio not going to get job done.
26Mike GlennonTBvs. PHICan rookie take advantage of PHI pass D?
27Ryan FitzpatrickTENat SEASolid in debut, but tough road test ahead.
28Brandon WeedenCLEvs. DETBack in as starter w/ Hoyer (ACL) out for season.

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
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 6 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Quarterback Rankings: Week 6
Post date: Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 06:30
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-running-back-rankings-week-6
Body:

Adrian Peterson is back from bye, which means order has been restored atop Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 6 running back rankings. Peterson posted his best numbers of the season (140 yards rushing, 2 TDs) in his last game against Pittsburgh and this week will go up against the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are seventh in the NFL in rushing defense (92.3 ypg), can these cats contain a rested "All Day" on his home turf?

On the opposite side of the matchup spectrum is Houston's Arian Foster. After averaging 100 yards rushing against the Seahawks and 49ers in his last two games, Foster gets a crack at the Rams, who are tied for 28th in the league at 126 yards allowed per game. Foster and his running mate, Ben Tate, both could see plenty of carries, as the Texans desperately need a win to break out of their funk and will probably run the ball even more with quarterback Matt Schaub battling a serious case of the pick-six yips.

No running back has a better match up, at least on paper, this week than Denver's Knowshon Moreno. Jacksonville is surrendering 160.6 yards per game on the ground. While we know the Broncos won't just hand it off all game, Moreno should be in position for another solid effort, provided he gets his work in before the score gets out of hand. In that case, Ronnie Hillman and/or Montee Ball could see more carries than usual, but are still probably too risky for flex consideration, unless your league is really deep.

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.

2013 NFL Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Back
Teams on bye: Atlanta, Miami

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Adrian PetersonMINvs. CARPeterson rested, ready to face No. 7 run D.
2Arian FosterHOUvs. STLRams tied for 28th against the run (126.0 ypg).
3Jamaal CharlesKCvs. OAKAveraging 129.4 total yards per game.
4Matt ForteCHIvs. NYG (Thurs.)Only got 16 touches last week vs. Saints.
5Marshawn LynchSEAvs. TENFinally broke through w/ 102 yards last week.
6LeSean McCoyPHIat TBSeason-low 46 yards rushing (w/ a TD) last week.
7DeMarco MurrayDALvs. WASRedskins allowing most fantasy points to RBs.
8Doug MartinTBvs. PHIJust 45 yards on 27 carries last week.
9Knowshon MorenoDENvs. JACJags dead last in rushing defense (160.6 ypg).
10Ray RiceBALvs. GB41 touches in first 3 games, 33 last week.
11Reggie BushDETat CLEHeld to 3.4 ypc last week, CLE allowing 3.3 ypc.
12Trent RichardsonINDat SD (Mon.)3.0 ypc not going to get it done.
13Alfred MorrisWASat DALDealing with bruised ribs, but should play.
14Frank GoreSFvs. ARIHas 81+ yards rushing in each of last 3 games.
15C.J. SpillerBUFvs. CINInjured ankle didn't stop 54-yard TD run vs. CLE.
16Eddie LacyGBat BALSeason-high 93 yards in first game back.
17Chris JohnsonTENat SEASeahawks have been run on some, can CJ?
18DeAngelo WilliamsCARat MINIf only he could find the end zone.
19Fred JacksonBUFvs. CIN93 total yards, 2 TDs last week vs. Browns.
20Le'Veon BellPITat NYJCan the rookie solve Jets' run defense?
21Giovani BernardCINat BUFSeason-high 62 yards rushing, but also fumbled.
22Darren SprolesNOat NEJust six touches vs. CHI, expect more vs. NE.
23Maurice Jones-DrewJACat DENWho knows how many carries he will get?
24Willis McGaheeCLEvs. DETLions allowing 5.3 yards per carry.
25Bilal PowellNYJvs. PITMore company in backfield w/ Ivory, Goodson.
26Danny WoodheadSDvs. IND (Mon.)Just 13 yards rushing, but 9-58-1 as receiver.
27Stevan RidleyNEvs. NOMissed last week b/c of knee injury.
28Zac StacySTLat HOURookie gets his chance to shine.
29BenJarvus Green-EllisCINat BUFLongest run is just 14 yards, but has 3 TDs.
30Andre EllingtonARIat SFHas been most effective Cardinal back lately.
31Pierre ThomasNOat NEDid his best Sproles imitation w/ 2 TD catches.
32Joique BellDETat CLENot much of an impact over last 2 games.
33Rashard MendenhallARIat SFRookie Ellington could cut into carries.
34Marcel ReeceOAKat KCPicked up 57 total yards in spite of knee injury.
35Rashad JenningsOAKat KCHamstring injury puts status in doubt.
36Ben TateHOUvs. STLRams have had their issues against the run.
37Brandon BoldenNEvs. NO11 total touches, 64 total yards last week.
38Brandon JacobsNYGat CHI (Thurs.)Lead Giant back w/ Wilson (neck) out.
39Bernard PierceBALvs. GBRice was workhorse, but Pierce got 11 carries.
40Daryl RichardsonSTLat HOUOut-carried and gained by Stacy last week.
41Ronnie HillmanDENvs. JACStill ahead of Ball for 2nd in RB pecking order.
42LeGarrette BlountNEvs. NOHad 51 yards and 1 costly fumble vs. CIN.
43Donald BrownINDat SD (Mon.)Now clear-cut No. 2 w/ Bradshaw out.
44Roy HeluWASat DALMorris' bruised ribs bear watching.
45Chris IvoryNYJvs. PITPicked up 27 yards on 4 carries in return.
46Da'Rel ScottNYGat CHI (Thurs.)Re-signed this week for depth, Jacobs only 2.2 ypc.
47Johnathan FranklinGBat BALPackers content to let Lacy run the show.
48Montee BallDENvs. JACCould get his chances if it's a blowout.

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
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 6 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Running Back Rankings: Week 6
Post date: Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 06:30
Path: /nfl/fantasy-football-2013-tight-end-rankings-week-6
Body:

While Jimmy Graham is far and away the No. 1 choice on Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 6 tight end rankings, Jason Witten also decided to join in on the fun last week. Witten went for a season-high 121 yards receiving and a touchdown in the high-scoring affair with Denver. Witten and his Broncos counterpart, Julius Thomas, were the two tight ends that did the most damage, fantasy wise, in Week 5. Thomas was the top scorer at the position with nine catches for 122 yards and two TDs. In fact, if you include the Cowboys' Gavin Escobar and James Hanna, all tight ends in this game combined for 18 receptions, 271 yards and three touchdowns. Welcome to today's NFL.

But we shouldn't forget about Graham either. All he did was quietly post his fourth-straight 100-yard game with another 10 grabs for 135 yards in the win in Chicago. Graham, who in September became the first tight end to be named NFL Player of the Month, is leading the entire NFL in receiving yards with 593 through five games. That's an average of nearly 120 yards per game and he's a tight end!

The Saints are in New England this week, which means we could see two of modern-day tight ends that are revolutionizing NFL offenses in Graham and the Patriots' Rob Gronkowski. Fantasy owners who have waited all season will no doubt be ecstatic to see Gronk back out there, but just keep in mind that he's no longer the fantasy standard-bearer for his position. Gronk, meet Mr. Graham.

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.

2013 NFL Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings — Tight Ends
Teams on bye: Atlanta, Miami

RkPlayerTeamOPPNotes
1Jimmy GrahamNOvs. NELeads NFL in rec. yds., 4 100-yard games in a row.
2Jason WittenDALvs. WASBig part of Romo's big day (7-121-1).
3Julius ThomasDENvs. JACPeyton's main target (9-122-2) vs. DAL.
4Vernon DavisSFvs. ARITop receiver (3-88-1) vs. HOU despite hamstring.
5Jordan CameronCLEvs. DETHad his quietest (3-36) game of the season.
6Rob GronkowskiNEvs. NOWill Gronk have immediate impact vs. Saints?
7Antonio GatesSDvs. IND (Mon.)Second only to Graham in rec. yards (438).
8Greg OlsenCARat MINVikings have allowed second-most fantasy pts. to TEs.
9Martellus BennettCHIvs. NYG (Thurs.)Game-time decision (knee) to face old team.
10Jermichael FinleyGBat BALAppears to be over concussion.
11Garrett GrahamHOUvs. STLNow the starter w/ Daniels (leg) out 4-6 weeks.
12Coby FleenerINDat SD (Mon.)Luck used WRs to attack Seahawks last week.
13Heath MillerPITat NYJShould be even more involved following bye.
14Jared CookSTLat HOULance Kendricks more involved than Cook last week.
15Brent CelekPHIat TBFirst TD pass came courtesy of Foles last week.
16Brandon MyersNYGat CHI (Thurs.)Doing more blocking than catching lately.
17Kyle RudolphMINvs. CAR 
18Jermaine GreshamCINat BUF 
19Brandon PettigrewDETat CLELed Lions (4-59) in Megatron's absence.
20Sean McGrathKCvs. OAKHas emerged as Chiefs' top TE target.
21Kellen WinslowNYJvs. PITMade most of 1 target last week = 1-yard TD.
22Tyler EifertCINat BUFSeason-high 7 targets last week, had 5 catches.
23Scott ChandlerBUFvs. CINCould be more involved with new QB starting.
24Jordan ReedWASat DALMissed last week's game b/c of quad contusion.
25Dallas ClarkBALvs. GBNot targeted at all last week vs. Dolphins.
26Delanie WalkerTENat SEABeen better in odd weeks this season.

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
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

Week 6 Waiver Wire

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Tight End Rankings: Week 6
Post date: Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 06:30
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-kicker-rankings-week-6
Body:

Mason Crosby is not No. 1 on Athlon Sports' Fantasy Football 2013 Kicker Rankings for Week 6, but you still have to give the Packers' kicker credit for his early-season turnaround. Last season, Crosby made only 21 of 33 field goal attempts, which translates to a success rate of 63.6 percent. That was lowest in the NFL of any kicker with more than 12 FG attempts. Crosby's struggles were so concerning, that the Packers brought in competition for the job during training camp.

Crosby handled his business during camp and the preseason, and the Packers decided to stick with him. So far, the team's patience has paid off, as Crosby has made all nine of his field goal attempts through four games this season, including 4-of-4 from 40 yards and out. Crosby could end up with several opportunities to kick this week, as the Packers go to Baltimore. The Ravens' defense has been pretty solid (with the exception of the Week 1 blowout in Denver), so it's possible that the Packers will be able to move the ball, but have trouble getting into the end zone. That's where Crosby comes in, and to this point, he's been automatic.

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.

2013 NFL Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings — Kickers

RkPlayerTeamOPPONENT
1Matt PraterDENvs. JAC
2Stephen GostkowskiNEvs. NO
3Blair WalshMINvs. CAR
4Steven HauschkaSEAvs. TEN
5Alex HeneryPHIat TB
6Garrett HartleyNOat NE
7Justin TuckerBALvs. GB
8Mason CrosbyGBat BAL
9Nick FolkNYJvs. PIT
10Ryan SuccopKCvs. OAK
11David AkersDETat CLE
12Robbie GouldCHIvs. NYG (Thurs.)
13Dan BaileyDALvs. WAS
14Phil DawsonSFvs. ARI
15Nick NovakSDvs. IND (Mon.)
16Randy BullockHOUvs. STL

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

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Kicker Rankings: Week 6
Post date: Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 06:30
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-defspecial-teams-rankings-week-6
Body:

Even though Seattle lost last week in Indianapolis, the Seahawks are still No. 1 on Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 6 defense/special teams rankings because they are back home and are facing a Tennessee offense that is starting its backup quarterback (Ryan Fitzpatrick). The Titans' DST is not necessarily a bad play this week either. Not only are the Titans a top-five fantasy DST entering Week 6, the unit has done a good job getting to the quarterback (16 sacks) and forcing turnovers (6 INTs, 5 fumbles).

No DST has played better in recent weeks, however, than San Francisco. After getting off to a slow start, the 49ers' defense has really flexed its muscles in the last two games, despite being without All-Pro linebackers Aldon Smith and Patrick Willis. In Week 4, the unit sacked Sam Bradford five times and held the Rams to one touchdown and 11 total points. Then last week, the 49ers held the Texans to one lone field goal and picked Matt Schaub off three times, returning one for a touchdown. This week, San Francisco is again at home and facing an Arizona offense that has turned the ball over 11 times (9 INTs, 2 fumbles) already and is having trouble scoring (18.2 ppg).

Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 6

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.

2013 NFL Week 6 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams

RkTeamOPPNotes
1Seattle Seahawksvs. TENRoad-weary 'Hawks glad to be home.
2Kansas City Chiefsvs. OAKChiefs leading NFL with 21 sacks, 8 FR.
3Chicago Bearsvs. NYG (Thurs.)Giants have 20 turnovers, 15 sacks allowed.
4San Francisco 49ersvs. ARI49ers have flexed muscles last 2 games.
5Cincinnati Bengalsat BUFShut down Brady, next up Thad Lewis?
6Houston Texansvs. STLCan't blame the Texans' D for slide.
7Denver Broncosvs. JACProbably won't give up 506 passing yards to Jags.
8Carolina Panthersat MINNo. 7 rushing defense gets AP at home.
9New York Jetsvs. PITGetting job done w/ only 3 forced turnovers so far.
10Indianapolis Coltsat SD (Mon.)Rivers has 5 INTs in last 2 games.
11Cleveland Brownsvs. DETBrowns have 12 sacks over last 3 games.
12Detroit Lionsat CLELions' D-line could spell trouble for Browns.
13Tennessee Titansat SEATitans' D in for tough test in Pacific Northwest.
14Baltimore Ravensvs. GBSuggs truly sizzling last week vs. Dolphins.
15Buffalo Billsvs. CINBill have picked off nine passes already.
16Pittsburgh Steelersat NYJGeno looked awfully good on MNF vs. ATL.

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

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2013 Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 6
Post date: Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 06:30
Path: /nfl/fantasy-football-2013-waiver-wire-week-6
Body:

Denver and Dallas engaged in a shootout on Sunday, but outside of the quarterbacks, the top fantasy producer in that game was a rookie wide receiver. This is just another example of why you never know who will emerge from the shadows in a given week. What other under-the-radar options are out there entering Week 6? Athlon Sports has got the waiver wire covered.

The players listed in Athlon’s weekly fantasy football waiver wire may be one-week adds, some may be worth holding onto all season long and some are of the “sleeper” variety that you may want to keep an eye on. So without further ado, here are some players worth grabbing.

Teams on bye in Week 6: Atlanta, Miami

Quarterbacks
Week 5 Recap: Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t win, but he was decent in his first start for Tennessee in place of an injured Jake Locker. Fitzpatrick finished with 297 total yards and two touchdowns (1 pass, 1 rush) against a pretty good Kansas City defense, although he did throw two interceptions. Remember, Locker is expected to miss more than a month, so Fitzpatrick will remain the starter and could be a bye-week fill-in, depending on the matchup. Brian Hoyer tore his ACL in Cleveland’s Thursday night win over Buffalo and is out for the season.

Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
Michael Vick injured his hamstring in the second quarter of Sunday’s win over the Giants, which presented Foles with his first meaningful opportunity of running Chip Kelly’s offense. Foles led the Eagles on four scoring drives, throwing two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and he finished with 197 yards through the air. Kelly said Vick is the starter as long as he’s healthy, but I also don’t think he would hesitate to hand the reins over to Foles if need be. If you have Vick on your roster, now would be a good time to add Foles too. After all, Vick has played all 16 games in a season just once in his career.

Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars
Blaine Gabbert got hurt, again, but it’s not like he did much (181-1-2, INT returned for TD) when he was there against St. Louis. Enter Henne, who completed 7-of-13 passes for 89 yards and a touchdown in the loss to the Rams. It’s not known how bad Gabbert’s hamstring injury is, but I would be a little surprised if Henne didn’t get the start this week against Denver. Yes, the Broncos should roll over the Jaguars with little difficulty, but don’t forget that Tony Romo just hung 506 yards and five TDs on Denver’s defense. If Henne does start, he should get plenty of chances to throw, and the Jags have some weapons on the outside in Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon (see below).

Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns
Brian Hoyer’s surprising run as the Browns’ quarterback came to a sad end as he tore his ACL Thursday night against Buffalo. Hoyer is done for this season, meaning the team will go back to Weeden, at least for the time being. Weeden took over after Hoyer got hurt in the first quarter and actually led the Browns back from a 10-0 deficit to a 37-24 win. Weeden completed 13-of-24 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown, and didn’t turn the ball over once. One of the reasons Hoyer was successful, was that he had a habit of getting the ball to wide receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron. Weeden has those same weapons at his disposal, so it’s possible that he could produce similar numbers. If that happens, Weeden could enter the bye-week fill-in conversation.

Running Backs
Week 5 Recap: Ryan Mathews left Sunday night’s game against Oakland with a concussion, leaving Danny Woodhead as the Chargers’ primary back. Woodhead finished with just 13 rushing yards, but led the team with nine receptions, which went for 58 yards and a touchdown. In that same game, the Raiders’ Rashad Jennings picked up 41 yards rushing before halftime, but didn’t return for the last two quarters after injuring his hamstring. LeGarrette Blount carried the load for New England with Stevan Ridley out because of a thigh/knee injury, but he managed just 51 yards on 12 carries (4.3 ypc) in the Patriots’ loss to Cincinnati.

Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts
Trent Richardson continues to get the bulk of the carries, but he is averaging just three yards per carry for his new team. With Ahmad Bradshaw weighing his options regarding his neck injury, Brown should see most of the work as Richardson’s backup moving forward. If Brown can continue to do what he did on Sunday against Seattle (6.2 ypc, rushing TD), he could begin to force the coaching staff to cut back on Richardson’s workload.

Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals
Rashard Mendenhall is the Cardinals’ leading rusher, but Ellington is making a strong case for turning the backfield into more of a timeshare. The rookie is averaging 6.7 yards per carry and also has been effective as a receiver (13 rec., 144 yds., TD). He led the Cardinals with 83 total yards in Sunday’s win, while Mendenhall is currently averaging 3.2 yards per carry. The offensive line can be blamed some for Mendenhall’s lack of production, but that’s another reason to give Ellington more opportunities, as he is faster and more explosive than the veteran back. With just a few more touches per game, Ellington could merit flex consideration, especially in deeper leagues.

Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams
The Rams’ offensive line is somewhat of a mess right now, which has carried over to the backfield. Daryl Richardson has been ineffective (2.9 ypc) and Isaiah Pead has been pretty much invisible this season. What the Rams’ plan is with their running backs is anyone’s guess, but it looks like Stacy will get his chance to state his case. The rookie rushed for 78 yards, a team-high this season, on just 14 carries (5.6 ypc) in the win over Jacksonville. It’s very hard to trust any Rams in fantasy right now, but if Stacy is getting the bulk of the carries, he’s one to keep on the radar.

Wide Receivers
Week 5 Recap: All Alshon Jeffery did was follow up his breakthrough 107-yard game last week with a Bears franchise-record 218 yards on 10 receptions and another touchdown on Sunday against New Orleans. Robert Woods led the Bills with 64 receiving yards, but he will have a new quarterback (Thad Lewis) throwing to him this week as EJ Manuel injured his knee in the loss to Cleveland. Nate Washington tied for the team lead with eight targets against Kansas City, but hauled in just three of them for 30 yards. Kenbrell Thompkins finished with just three receptions on 16 yards, as the return of Danny Amendola (team-high nine targets) and the Cincinnati defense negated his impact.

Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers
Malcom Floyd is on injured reserve and Eddie Royal has cooled off considerably from his hot start, so Rivers has turned his sights to Allen. In the past two games, the Chargers’ third-round pick has caught 11 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown. Allen produced his first 100-yard game of his career against Oakland (6-115-1) on Sunday night and his 225 yards on the season are second only to Antonio Gates. Rivers has plenty of options in the passing game, but he and Allen have been successful on 14 of 19 targets (74 percent), so don’t be surprised if the rookie continues to see a steady amount of passes thrown his way.

Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars
Talk about making an instant impact. Fresh off of his four-game suspension, Blackmon’s first catch of the season was a 67-yard touchdown in the first quarter against St. Louis. He finished with five catches for 136 yards and teamed with Cecil Shorts, Blackmon gives the Jaguars two legitimate weapons on the outside. Quarterback play has been an issue for the Jaguars for a while, but Blaine Gabbert threw the TD to Blackmon on Sunday and Blackmon also had some success last season when Chad Henne was under center. The bottom line is that Blackmon’s talent and upside is obvious and with him back on the field, it’s only a matter of time before he is no longer available in your league.

Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders
Moore is the Raiders’ clear-cut No. 1 target, has three touchdown receptions and is a borderline top-25 fantasy wide receiver after five games. Other than a no-show Week 2 performance, Moore has caught at least four passes in every game and he has scored in three contests. Terrelle Pryor is entrenched as Oakland’s starting quarterback and he’s starting to show a little more consistency as a passer. Moore may not be WR1 material, but he is capable of producing double-digit fantasy points most weeks.

Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys
Miles Austin missed his second straight game because of a hamstring injury, but the Cowboys may have found their new complement to Dez Bryant. Williams exploded against Denver on Sunday, picking up 151 yards on just four receptions, the biggest being an 82-yard touchdown. Dallas’ third-round pick has 11 catches for 222 yards in his last two games and appears to have carved out a role for himself even after Austin is able to return. Granted, Tony Romo is not going to throw for 500 yards every game, but as Williams showed against the Broncos, he just needs one pass to make a fantasy impact.

Tight Ends
Week 5 Recap: Coby Fleener caught just two passes for 15 yards against Seattle, as Andrew Luck focused his attention on his wide receivers.

Sean McGrath, Kansas City
McGrath is about as unknown as it gets. After playing collegiately at both Eastern Illinois and Henderson State, McGrath signed as a undrafted free agent with Seattle in 2012. He worked his way from the practice squad to the active roster, but never saw any game action with the Seahakws. The Chiefs claimed him off waivers in September and all he’s done is emerge as the team’s top tight end. McGrath is fourth on the team with 15 catches and has seen his targets go up in each of the past three games. Alex Smith has already shown he’s not going to take many shots down field (sorry, Dwayne Bowe owners), which is why McGrath could develop into a possible fantasy option, especially in deeper leagues.

Defense/Special Teams
Week 5 Recap: Carolina lost to Arizona, but don’t blame the defense. The Panthers held the Cardinals to 20 points, picked off Carson Palmer three times and sacked him twice. Carolina’s next two games are against St. Louis (home) and Tampa Bay (away).

Indianapolis Colts
After limiting San Francisco to just one touchdown on the road in Week 3, the Colts’ DST manhandled the Jaguars and then made just enough plays (namely a blocked FG returned for a TD) to beat the Seahawks at home on Sunday. After five games, Indy is the No. 4 scoring DST and next up is a San Diego team that has six turnovers in its last two games and has given up a defensive score in each. Perhaps the horseshoe on the Colts’ helmets can bring you luck, and I don’t mean Andrew, this 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.

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 08:00
Path: /nfl/philadelphia-eagles-vs-washington-redskins-preview-and-prediction
Body:

The first Monday night game of the 2013 NFL season will take place in our nation’s capital, as Philadelphia will square off against NFC East rival Washington at 6:55 p.m. ET on ESPN. This Week 1 matchup is all about firsts for both teams. Not only is this the first game of the season for both teams, it marks Chip Kelly’s debut as the Eagles’ head coach and Robert Griffin III’s first game back since injuring his knee in the Redskins’ playoff loss to Seattle in January.

These long-time division rivals have met 158 times with Washington holding an 81-71-6 lead in the all-time series. The Redskins swept both meetings last season, winning by a combined score of 58-26. This will be the first time the Redskins and Eagles have opened the season against each other since 1996. Philadelphia won that game, which was played at RFK Stadium, 17-14 behind 269 yards passing and two touchdowns from Eagles quarterback Rodney Peete.

Four Things to Watch

RG3’s Knee
There has been no more talked about, analyzed and scrutinized body part in the NFL this offseason than the surgically repaired right knee that belongs to Robert Griffin III. Last season’s AP Offensive Rookie of the Year sustained the second significant injury to his right knee late in the Redskins’ 24-14 Wild Card game loss to the Seahawks back on Jan. 6. RG3 has already proven what he can do returning from major knee surgery, as he won the Heisman Trophy two years after tearing his ACL as a sophomore at Baylor, but the degree of difficulty and the stakes have been raised. Everyone, from the player to his head coach to his doctor, are saying RG3 is ready, but no one will know for sure until we see how No. 10 handles his first snap, his first drop back, and, perhaps most importantly, his first scramble out of the pocket.

Can the Eagles’ offense fly like Kelly’s Ducks?
Chip Kelly made his reputation first as Oregon’s offensive coordinator and then later the Ducks’ head coach. In four seasons as the head Duck, Kelly’s Oregon teams piled up the yards and points, finishing in the top five in the nation in both total and scoring offense in each of the past three years. Can Kelly’s immensely successful and equally entertaining offensive system, not only work, but also thrive in the NFL? Only time will tell, but everyone can’t wait to find out.

Washington’s Secretary of Defense
The Redskins’ defense ranked 28th in the NFL last season in yards allowed and fared even worse (30th) against the pass. This unit was impacted greatly by several key injuries, and perhaps no loss was more important than when linebacker Brian Orakpo went down with a torn left pectoral muscle. The injury cost the two-time Pro Bowler 14 games last season, and results without Orakpo on the field speak for themselves. Having Orakpo back out there is not a cure-all for the Redskins’ defensive issues, but his presence in the starting lineup shouldn’t be underestimated either.

Putting the “D” in Philadelphia?
Compared to Washington’s defense, Philadelphia’s wasn’t near as bad statistically speaking, with the exception of one category. The Eagles were tied for 29th in points allowed (27.8 ppg), although the offense’s propensity to turn the ball over should take some of the blame here. Regardless, Chip Kelly and defensive coordinator Bill Davis basically started over from scratch as free agency brought in five new starters. The secondary alone is pretty much brand new and will the be the center of attention considering the Eagles’ surrendered an NFL-worst 33 touchdown passes last season. The defense’s performance during the preseason can be characterized as uneven, but all that matters now is how well this unit plays from here out.

Philadelphia Key Player: Michael Vick, QB
As important as running backs LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown, wide receiver DeSean Jackson and the Eagles’ two-tight end sets are to Kelly’s offense, the motor that makes everything hum is the quarterback. Kelly’s Oregon teams had productive quarterbacks from Jeremiah Masoli to Darron Thomas to Marcus Mariota. Vick, 33, beat out the younger competition during training camp and wants to prove to everyone that he can still be a productive, reliable starting quarterback in the NFL. Early success running Kelly’s offense would not only go a long ways towards building the Eagles’ confidence, but also improving Vick’s future outlook, especially considering he’s signed for just this season.

Washington Key Player: Fred Davis, TE
The last two seasons have been interesting for Davis. The tight end was on his way to a potential Pro Bowl invite in 2011 before he was suspended the final four games of the season for failing repeated drug tests. Then last season he played in just seven games before a torn Achilles tendon ended things in October. When fully healthy and focused, Davis has shown himself to be a valuable weapon in the passing game. His size (6-4, 247) and athleticism can help open things up for Pierre Garcon and the other Redskin receivers and also give Robert Griffin III even more reason to stay in the pocket, which is a good thing considering his surgically repaired right knee.

Final Analysis


Washington 27, Philadelphia 21

Teaser:
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins Preview and Prediction
Post date: Monday, September 9, 2013 - 10:00
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2013-positional-rankings-week-1
Body:

The 2013 NFL regular season is set to kick off tonight with Denver hosting Baltimore, which also means that fantasy football and Athlon Sports' weekly positional rankings are back!

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.

2013 NFL Week 1 Fantasy Football Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Kickers

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:
Fantasy Football 2013 Positional Rankings: Week 1
Post date: Saturday, September 7, 2013 - 19:00

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