The injuries are piling up, the bye weeks are in full effect and there are some names in the fantasy world you did not think you would have to rely on so early. Such is life as a fantasy owner as we reach Week 6 of the 2012 NFL season. Here’s a little info about those that are injured or those replacing the injured that can hopefully help lead you to a fantasy victory this week.
Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Detroit Lions vs. Philadelphia Eagles
A knee injury limited Brandon Pettigrew in practice this week but he is listed as probable and should start today against Philadelphia. But should you start him against the Eagles and their fifth-best defense against fantasy tight ends? Only Dennis Pitta has had over four catches and only Pitta has had over 41 yards against Philly this season. Pettigrew has eclipsed four and 41 in three of four games this season, in fact he's had at least five and 61 in those three games. But will he have to stay on the line to try and fend off that Eagles pass rush or can he roam free and help move the Lions down the field? He's worth a shot on a team that has attempted at least 32 passes every game and at least 42 in three of four games. Do keep in mind that Bear Pascoe has the only TD scored against the Eagles at the position this season.
Ben Tate, RB, Houston Texans vs. Green Bay Packers (Sunday night)
The toe injury that kept Ben Tate out of the Monday night game against the Jets has him as probable on the injury report for this week's Sunday night game. The Houston Chronicle reports that Tate will play, but does he resume his more-than-a-handcuff role behind Arian Foster? The Chronicle goes on to say the team is hopeful he can get 10-12 touches. In the six games last season where Tate got 9-15 touches, he averaged 76.2 yards with two touchdowns. Sounds like Tate could be right back in his flex wheelhouse.
Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins vs. St. Louis Rams
Miami is still the 25th ranked team when it comes to wide receiver production and that is because the Dolphins don't score touchdowns at the position. Hartline has the lone score and that was as a part of his 12-253-1 day. He has never dipped below 50 yards receiving this season and he has the 253 and a 111-yard day. But you have to wonder if he is not going to settle in as a 4-59 guy like he was against a more than gracious fantasy WR defense like Cincinnati last week. Now Hartline gets a Rams team that allowed Larry Fitzgerald to go 8-for-92 on 15 targets last week - the most any receiver has been targeted against St. Louis this season. Outside of his 92-yard, no-TD day, the Rams have allowed four receivers to eclipse a 4-59 day (Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Leonard Hankerson and Brandon Marshall). It is Hankerson who has the lone wide receiver TD against St. Louis this season. Look elsewhere for a receiver this week as there is nothing to say Hartline can get loose against the Rams.
— Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter