WEEK 6 FANTASY FOOTBALL FLEX RANKINGS (INACTIVES UPDATE): START OR SIT CALVIN JOHNSON?
***SUNDAY NEWS & RANKINGS UPDATE (12:00pm ET)***
(Scroll to bottom for Full Rankings)
Calvin Johnson is active. I'm playing him but I can't pretend I'm not concerned over his potential "Decoy" status. I'm still starting all my safe and quality options ahead of him. That collection of WRs goes all the way down to Eric Decker: Decker WR #19, Megatron WR #20, James Jones #21
#TampaMike OUT. Crap. I really liked Mike Williams this week too. Vincent Jackson jumps from #39 to #29. But as a friend just texted me, "Vincent Jackson to get two dozen targets, while only one-third of them will even be catchable." Not an invalid point. Shout out @Coffeegonecold. Also, that means Tim Wright is now a deep-league PPR option and a big time gamble TE sleeper. I like him more than Jared Cook. Who I hate, always.
Darren McFadden is in. Didn't anticipate that. Since he's active, I'll assume he'll get at least a plurality of the touches in the Raiders' backfield. So DMC > Rashad Jennings > Marcel Reece.
Larry Fitzgerald is iffy for the late games. But I'd struggle to start him even if he plays. Have to be desperate.
Andre Johnson's shin won't keep him out against the Rams. This is awesome news for AJ owners. Sure, 6 of the Texans 7 passing TDs this season have gone to tight ends (GARRETT GRAHAM SLEEPER ALERT). Doesn't matter. Johnson is going to pile up yardage and receptions. St. Louis has been victimized by WR1s so far this season. I've bumped AJ from 30 to 25 in the Ranks, that's just ahead of Danny Amenolda and Jordy Nelson among WRs. DeAndre Hopkins remains a decent FLEX too. He's slotted in just behind Santana Moss. And yes, I'm aware this isn't 2007. Moss is a Cowboy killaaaaaa.
Stevie Johnson out for the Bills. Expect a ton of targets for Robert Woods, but not a lot of success. T.J. Graham now makes the list as a super, duper, uber sleeper, but he's a pure home run play.
***SUNDAY NEWS & RANKINGS UPDATE (10:02am ET)***
(Updated up until game time)
Megatron is a "true game time decision". Great. Plan accordingly. Oh and this...
Lions will work out Calvin Johnson this AM to see if he can go. They are hopeful he can help on 3rd down and red zone
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) October 13, 2013
This could just be a smokescreen, but I'm starting to get less optimistic about Megatron's ability and the rankings now reflect that. I've dropped him below every wide receiver I consider "safe". That means he's plummeted in the FLEX ranks from 15 to 40, and from WR #4 to WR #20, one spot behind Vincent Jackson and one ahead of James Jones. He's still too talent to just bench for a lesser option because of his upside, even if it's just redzone looks, but you need to be realistic about his situation.
FYI: I have C.J. Spiller ranked so "highly" because I think he's an elite talent. Not a guy you just bench for a scrub with a good matchup. Also, his ankle's fine.
To reiterate: I like Kennan Allen as a pickup long term, but I really don't enjoy his propects against the Colts.
Oh, I'll be lingering around the Twitter machine most the morning too if you have questions... @ThePME
***SATURDAY NEWS & RANKINGS UPDATE (9:35pm ET)***
Well, Rob Gronkowski is just a perpetual tease at this point. If you were counting on GRONK to contribute this week you need to make other plans immediately. Right now, Coby Fleener and Garrett Graham are the two best “sort of” available alternatives, but in most competitive leagues they’ve already been scooped up. If you’re really in a spot - the week’s least surprising news that Kellen Winslow was suspended for PEDs - opens the door for Jeff Cumberland to see a bump in his usage. Don’t expect similar numbers to what he posted at Atlanta Monday night, but he’s a decent upside roll of the dice. In deeper PPR formats, Sean McGrath should continue to be on the end of six or so targets from Alex Smith. McGrath lacks a high ceiling, but he won’t leave you looking at a big fat zero in your TE slot.
All that said, if you’re still in the GRONK market, now’s the time to pounce. His value likely won’t be this depreciated at any point in the future - unless he’s ruled out for the year, I suppose. Last night, I was able to swap Danny Amendola and Julien Edelman for GRONK’s services. That’s a pretty low-risk gamble and one I think will pay massive dividends coming down the stretch and into the Fantasy playoffs. Trading for GRONK isn’t the best of ideas if you’re currently below .500, but if you’ve jumped out to a hot start, you should be buying.
Calvin Johnson is going to be a dreaded “game-time decision”. Thank God he’s in the early games. If he plays, you play him. But if he’s ruled out, I’m looking at Jerome Simpson, Cowboy killer Santana Moss or even Kris Durham who drew the most looks from Matt Stafford last week in Megatron’s absence, and was able to find the endzone as decent, readily available plug and play options.
Stevan Ridely is listed as questionable with his knee/thigh issues, but it appears like he’ll be in. Still not starting him however. I envision the Saints jumping out to a lead early and forcing Tom Brady to take to the air. Meaning, a heavy dose of Brandon Bolden leaking out of the backfield. He’s the New England back you want to be starting. #BEBOLD.
Ryan Mathews is probable to play Monday after practicing fully Saturday and passing his concussion test. You want no part of him against the Colts, but he does scale back Danny Woodhead’s upside a tad. Woodhead remains a clear start, though.
Darren McFadden practiced Friday, but is doubtful to play. Making matters worse, Rashad Jennings and Marcel Recce were both limited with knee injuries too. In a terrible match against the Chiefs none are quality starts, especially considering we have no idea how the workload will be distributed. But if you have to use one, it’s Jennings.
Mike Williams is questionable, but expected to play. And if he does, I still love him this week.
Donnie Avery’s shoulder seems like it won’t prevent him from starting. Avery has been generating more targets - and production - than Dwayne Bowe, but it’s difficult to tell how the injury will restrict him. But Avery’s presence alone damages Bowe’s value in a great matchup.
Larry Fitzgerald appears like he’ll suit up despite the hamstring problem. You may have to play him because of a complete lack of other options, but a banged up Fitz in a brutal matchup isn’t someone I feel good about starting.
Zac Stacy’s ribs won’t hold him out. He’ll start but likely spilt carries with one of the others in the Rams’ cavalcade of ineffective running backs, probably the awful Daryl Richardson.
And one the weirder things from the weekend, Marshawn Lynch was listed on the injury report Friday with no apparent malady. Some have speculated it’s his hip, but no one really knows. I’d expect him to be in and dominating the Titans on Sunday, but just in case, you may want to grab Robert Turbin as a precaution.
You got Julio Jones problems,
I feel bad for you son.
I got 99 problems (not actually, 99’s shocking amount)
but receiver ain’t one.
Julio Jones owners, you just got Piper’d - Just when you had the answers... the question changed! Jones straight gave you the Verbal Kint. One day, your league mates trembled in fear with a mere glance of your receiving stronghold, and like that, POOF… it’s gone.
[Cut to black. Remember to insert Hitchcockian string beat too]
So what to do? Pray that bench depth comes through? That would be nice, but we all don’t play in 10-team leagues. Simply hit the Waiver wire? We just lost our second round pick here. Keenan Allen’s not exactly filling that void. Hate to tell ya.
It’s basically an unsolvable problem, unless you play with dimwits, I suppose. You’re not going to recoup the loss of Jones’ production without damaging your squad elsewhere. Mainly, because you’re inevitably going to try to replace said production at wide receiver.
This is why we have a FLEX spot.
To most, the FLEX is used as a last resort; temporary placement for your serfs on your roster. It doesn’t need to be that way. Although it’s entirely logical - which is probably the issue – turns out, every single starting spot in your lineup is worth exactly the same. Yet few regard it that way. From quarterback to kicker, you want to get the most points possible from each slot. Doesn’t matter the position. I’d make a sizeable wager whoever owns KC D/ST in your league is currently kicking ass.
So instead of routinely playing roulette at FLEX every week, go out and acquire the most undervalued player - at any position – to mitigate your loss, and play them at FLEX. All it means is that instead of flipping a coin between a mediocre running back/wide receiver/tight end on Sunday mornings, just fill your FLEX with high end talent, and play that game with your final WR spot.
Basically, that was my longwinded way of saying trade for Jordan Cameron, Rob GRONKowski or Julius Thomas as your Julio Jones replacement.
Fatal 3-Way: GRONK > Cameron > Thomas
Forget how those symbols work? Think of them as Pac-Man, it’s eating the better choice. Don’t confuse with Miss Pac-Man however; you see, she has a bow in her hair.
I’m pretty certain the most common draft-day scenario this summer had someone drafting GRONK in the fifth or sixth round, then gambling on Cameron in the tenth or so. I play in 13 leagues; in nine of them this is the case. In three of the remaining four, if the GRONK owner didn’t scoop up Cameron late, they splurged on Thomas after his giant opening Thursday. And for whatever reason, now that it appears GRONK is returning this week, Fantasy players are willing to take 75-cents on the dollar to get rid of one half of their burly duo.
So far this week I’ve witnessed Cameron get swapped straight up for Eric Decker, Larry Fitzgerald and Hakeem Nicks. And those were just in my leagues. I guess this is an overreaction to Cameron not catching a touchdown against the Bills. If he’s not going to find the end zone every week why even own him, right? Sounds stupid, but this is really the way peoples’ minds work in the age of instant reaction. It’s not even “what have you done for me lately?” It’s “What are you doing it for me RIGHT NOW?”
Still don’t like Cameron as much as GRONK, though.
Maybe it’s the allure of the unknown - the romanticism of risk. It’s strange, but I just don’t worry about his health all the much. All along he - and the Patriots - have clearly stated he wouldn’t be rushed back until it was clear he was at full strength. Good enough for him, good enough for me. Not to say he can’t get hurt again. It would be foolish to think that way, but his upside trumps both Cameron’s and Thomas’ by a substantial margin.
Gronk possesses the best traits of both: He’s the focal point of the offense for his team - like Cameron - and has one of the league’s best pivots getting him the ball - like Thomas.
Some will argue Thomas is actually the superior option of the three. It’s not an awful side to take, but one clearly being influenced by his outing at Dallas, where his stat line clearly chugged some special pre-game nerve tonic. The result? GIGANTISM! Problem is, it’s not going to be this way every week. On the whole, Thomas’ week-to-week numbers will be consistently capricious. Basically, he’s slightly more athletic Dallas Clark in a Peyton Manning offense. Meaning, a handful of huge games, followed by serviceable outings, but will rarely be the top option. Which isn’t terrible, but there's a chance – in any given game – that he could slide as far down the Broncos’ offensive pecking order to fifth behind brother from the same mother (not really) Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker and Knowshon Moreno. It seems far more likely one of the triumvirate of receivers falls to the bottom of the usage index before Orange is the New Julius, or Knowshon for that matter, but if the big man keeps terrorizing the competition, defenses will take him out of the game.
Frankly, all three are in a tier by themselves behind Graham – that’s JIMMY, not Garrett. All three are great and all three will continue to be great. And if someone in your league owns both, go find out how little it will take to pry away the one they like the least.
That’s how you solve your Julio Jones problem.
Shout out to the ultimate middle school slow-dance track of the late-90s, only Aerosmith's Armageddon single is close. If it wasn’t for the soothing vocal stylings of K-Ci (or potentially JoJo, I don’t know which is which) in Grade 8 I may never have built up the courage to pull off the “shift-hands-from-lower-back-onto-ass” move mid-slow dance. And if I didn’t do that, what kind of man would I be now? A lesser one for sure... and I’m already barely a man as is…
There were a slew of songs in the running this week but I had a moment in my epiphany elevator – not to be confused the rooftop “epiphany toilet” – during one of the copious amounts of cig breaks I take while writing this. But right before I ventured down to the fifth floor smoking stoop, I randomly downloaded a collection of the 90s best songs – shockingly, the playlist was longer than eight tracks. So, I have my headphones in when I depress the “5” button, but there’s someone else in the lift, and they've decided to talk to me. Since I exclusively use noise-canceling buds, I have absolutely no idea what he’s saying. So, I rip them out and try catching up on what this guy’s spewing mid-sentence. It doesn’t get that far, though. He cuts himself off and simply says, “Dude, K-Ci and Jojo?”
Crazy thing was, the super recognizable opening stanza hadn’t even come on yet. It was some ultra long piano opening version I didn’t know existed. Yet, through the faint sound emanating from my ear buds, this guy was instantly able to pin point the track, without hearing the most detectable part. This man is a hero. He was also wicked high. So this is dedicated to you sir.
It’s insane how your brain absorbs hyper specific things. I haven’t heard this song in at least 10 years, but I still remember every inflection on every word. So, after Johnny Stoner exited the elevator I quickly went into my iPhone notes lists and added All My Life to “Songs Pat can do at Karaoke”. Now, I know that seems like a bizarre thing to keep track of, but when it comes time to select a tune to belt out, I invariably pick one that I think I know the words to. You should have seen my reaction upon finding out that The Animals’ House of the Rising Sun has more lyrics than, “There is a house in New Orleans, they call the Rising Sun”. The only reaction worse than mine, was everyone else’s at the bar listening to me labor through it.
WEEK 6 QB RANKS: (1-12) Peyton, #ROMO, Rodgers, RG3!!!!, Luck, Brees, Stafford, CAAAAM, Handsome Tom Brady, Cutler, A Smith, Kaepernick...
— Patrick Mayo (@ThePME) October 8, 2013
WEEK 6 QB RANKS: (13-24) HENNE!!!!!, Rivers, GLENNONN!!!!!, Wilson, Book of Eli, Big Ben, Pryor, Flacco, Bradford, #GENO, Dalton, Foles
— Patrick Mayo (@ThePME) October 8, 2013
EARLY GAME WATCHABILITY INDEX
SUICIDE LAY UP
STREAM DEFENSE OF THE WEEK
CIN at BUF or DEN vs JAX. Both were dropped in a passel of leagues last week because of their awful matchups.
SUPER DEEP STREAM DEFENSE OF THE WEEK
PIT v. NYJ
NYJ v. PIT
The Houston Texans like throwing to tight ends in the redzone. Matt Schuab likes throwing to tight ends in the redzone. Matt Schaub is the starting quarterback - barely - for the Houston Texans. GARRETT GRAHAM IS A TIGHT END!!!!
Cecil Shorts, Justin BlackMON & Chad Henne are all going to be garbage time saviors against the Broncos.
First it was Leonard Hankerson. Then Eddie Royal, Donnie Avery, Eric Decker and both Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle last week. It’s a blueprint: Start WR2s against the Eagles. So if you were wondering, that’s why I like Mike Williams more than Vincent Jackson in Week 6. I was so looking forward to the ultimate "Mike Showdown" between #TampaMike & #PrisonMike. But Michael Vick's legs had to ruin that one for me. Oh, and can we stop qualifying Mike Williams with "Tampa"? Fat Mike Williams hasn't taken an NFL snap since 2011.
If Calvin Johnson is out again: A) I'm not starting Matt Stafford and B) Kris Durham becomes a sneaky deep play. Led all Lions with 8 targets last week sans Megatron. And scored a TD! Ditto for DeAndre Hopkins if Andre Johnson's hamstring makes him a no-go. The Rams don't cover WR1s so good.
I’m writing this with The Bourne Legacy on in the background. A flick I really don’t know why I haven’t watched before. I love the Bourne series. No other films make wildly overcomplicated scenarios and ideas seem so trivial. Now, I was only half watching, so I can’t give a full review, but these we’re the things that made me look up from my computer:
- Ed Norton likes running
- I wonder how much they had to give Paddy Considine appear for 8 seconds?
- There’s a lot of snow. I bet this filmed in British Columbia.
- I don’t remember any of these color-coded serums for the other movies. Also, how cool are serums?
- Why is Ed Norton wearing blue contacts? And what movie did Ed Norton get to make to appear in this? Maybe he just wanted to be in it because he seems to be taking this part very seriously. Just a big Bourne fan maybe? Couldn’t blame him, who’s not?
- No… don’t take the pill. This is a movie… that’s not The Matrix.
- MISSLES, WOLF, GUNS!!!!!
- Nice RAM1500 product placement. BEST FUEL ECONOMY, PALLL
- Hurt Locker sure asks a lot of questions.
- This was definitely filmed in BC.
- One generic Treadstone henchman looks just like Jason Sudeikis.
- Every Bourne movie has the "look into a fluorescently lit bathroom mirror in despair before changing appearance” scene between our hero and the random babe du jour.
- This timeline is all over the place. The production team must have killed “non-linear editing” in college.
- Now they’re actually talking about going to Canada! It was a fake though.
- The “go ahead, call your boss and ask him” move never fails.
- Oh good, a loudmouth Aussie. This role should always be Tony G’s to turn down.
- Sweet, random flashbacks. Turns out the magic super drug is Acid. They should just go talk to The Dude.
- I don’t think the filmmakers were allowed to use the Bourne branding without including a quick-cut-through-the-city chase scene. Wasn’t as good as the ‘Ronin-style’ one from the first movie though.
- I wonder how much it costs to insure street-side fruit stands? Their premiums must be astronomical. I wonder how many people drive straight through them per year? At least seven, I’d say.
- I wonder how many people confused the Pilipino flag with Cuba’s at the end. Or Texas’ for that matter?
Overall, solid flick… probably.
Talked a bit last week about Terrelle Pryor’s “Spader Upside”, and it was on display against the Chargers. He looked terrific. Although, most pivots tend to against San Diego. Either way, Denarius Moore walked away from that win as the Raiders receiver to own. While he and Rod Streater were highly useful, it was clear Pryor was leaning on Moore when he needed a big play. Denarius was targeted eight times, Streater just three.
With Donnie Avery banged up, I like Dwayne Bowe to finally break out.
Having tight end troubles? No problem. Figure out who is starting at TE for BYE this week and play them against the Dolphins.
Meet Terrance Williams, hot waiver pickup of the week. After one game with seven receptions and another with 151-yards and a touchdown of production, Fantasy gamers were quick to use their waiver priorities and blow their FAAB Budgets on the Cowboys #SUPERROOK who really does resemble a genuine solution to PPR players’ WR3 or FLEX needs. But that was all without Miles Austin on the field. Now Austin returns and no one knows what to do. I’m guessing, Williams gets a few more looks than he did when Austin was there before, but not many more. I like Miles Austin 3:16 more this week and going forward, assuming he’s healthy. Williams is a terrific stash however should Austin's hamstring decided to take revenge on him... again.
I’m back conducting the Coby Fleener train this week. The Chargers lack a pass rush, so Fleener won’t need to stay in the block like he was forced to last week against Seattle.
Pierre Thomas is legit. More legit than Darren Sproles in fact… as long as the horrible Mark Ingram remains sidelined.
If you’re going with a Chargers receiver, make it Keenan Allen this week. But don’t be stunned to see Royal outscore Vincent Brown. I don’t like Brown, at all. Or any of these guys that much against the Colts this week for that matter. Philip Rivers included.
As long as Chris Johnson doesn’t score the week’s flukiest TD, expect him to do nothing against the Seahawks.
I'm such a big fan of Jerome Simpson. Not entirely certain why, though. Probably the flip, that lingers in my mind.
And of you're completely out of options, remember, Santana Moss always kills the Cowboys. Especially in Dallas.
WEEK 6 RANKS
(Rankings & injuries spin updated Saturday & Pregame Sunday morning)
Points per reception (PPR) scoring must be treated differently than standard leagues. Receivers and scat backs like Darren Sproles, Danny Woodhead and Roy Helu have inflated value in PPR scoring. As do possession receivers – Wes Welker, Danny Amendola and others in their mold are safer options. Catches tend to be more consistent and predictive. Obviously, touchdowns and yards are still important, but when considering FLEX options exploit any advantage you can. For standard scoring, running backs with hands of stone like Alfred Morris, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Stevan Ridley all see their stocks rise without catches in the mix.
For a more in-depth look at each player from every game tune into this week's "Pat Mayo Hour". (Subscribe on iTunes)
Not Ranked because of injury: Rob Gronkowski, Santonio Holmes, Mike Williams, Stevie Johnson, David Wilson, Owen Daniels
Bye, Bye, Byes: Miami, Atlanta
- Arian Foster
- Adrian Peterson
- Jimmy Graham
- Dez Bryant
- LeSean McCoy
- Jamaal Charles
- A.J. Green
- Torrey Smith
- Pierre Garcon
- Reggie Wayne
- Cecil Shorts
- Demaryius Thomas
- DeMarco Murray
- Julius Thomas
- Alfred Morris
- Reggie Bush
- Marshawn Lynch
- Pierre Thomas
- Josh Gordon
- Antonio Brown
- Justin BLACKMON!!!!
- Wes Welker
- Randall Cobb
- Andre Johnson
- Jordy Nelson
- Ray Rice
- Knowshon Moreno
- C.J. Spiller
- Vincent Jackson
- Jordan Cameron
- Jason Witten
- Danny Amendola
- Doug Martin
- Danny Woodhead
- Eric Decker
- Darren Sproles
- Brandon Bolden
- Willis McGahee
- Frank Gore
- Calvin Johnson
- James Jones
- DeAngelo Williams
- Trent Richardson
- Steve Smith
- Marques Colston
- T.Y. Hilton
- Denarius Moore
- DeSean Jackson
- Le’Veon Bell
- Vernon Davis
- Antonio Gates
- Coby Fleener
- Garrett Graham
- Maurice Jones-Drew
- Chris Johnson
- Zac Stacy
- Kendall Wright
- Donnie Avery
- Jerome Simpson
- Dwayne Bowe
- Santana Moss
- DeAndre Hopkins
- Miles Austin
- Julian Edelman
- Anquan Boldin
- Giovani Bernard
- Eddie Lacy
- Fred Jackson
- Joique Bell
- Darren McFadden
- Jermichael Finley
- Larry Fitzgerald
- Brandon LaFell SEXUAL
- Jeremy Kerely
- Aaron Dobson
- Kenbrell Thomkins
- Leonard Hankerson
- Bilal Powell
- Golden Tate
- Emmanuel Sanders
- Andre Ellington
- Heath Miller
- Greg Olsen
- BenJarvus Green-Ellis
- Rashard Mendenhall
- Rashad Jennings
- Bernard Pierce
- Stevan Ridley
- Greg Jennings
- Austin Pettis
- Robert Woods
- Jeff Cumberland
- Marcel Reece
- Terrence Williams
- Mike Goodson
- Tavon Austin
- TED GINN JRRRRRRRRR
- Kris Durham
- Stephen Hill
- Keenan Allen
- Chris Givens
- Davone Bess
- Sean McGrath (Note: Not the lead singer of Sugar Ray)
- Darrius Heyward-Bey
- Tim Wright
- Jordan Reed
- Daryl Richardson
- Ben Tate
- Roy Helu
- Donald Brown
- Michael Floyd
- Nate Washington
- Marlon Brown
- Ryan Mathews
- Lance Moore
- Mike Tolbert
- Ronnie Brown
- Brandon Pettigrew
- Ronnie Hillman
- Kendall Hunter
- Eddie Royal
- Bryce Brown
- Johnathan Frankin
- Vincent Brown
- Mohamed Sanu
- Andre Roberts
- Kenny Stills
- Kyle Rudolph
- Greg Little
- Rod Streater
- T.J. Graham
- Scott Chandler
- Tyler Eifert
- Robert Turbin
- Jackie Battle
- LeGarrette Blount
- Daniel Thomas
- Chris Ivory
- Riley Cooper
- Delanie Walker
- Brent Celek
- Jermaine Gresham
- Clyde Gates
- Jason Avant
- Jordan Todman
- Anthony Dixon
- Tashard Choice
- Knile Davis
- Rob Housler
- Ed Dickson
- Zach Miller
- Sidney Rice
- Tiquan Underwood
- Ryan Broyles
- Tandon Doss
- Cordarrelle Patterson
- Doug Baldwin
- Robert Meachem
- Kenny Britt
Worst Place: Mark Ingram
2nd Worst Place: Montee Ball
3rd Worst Place: Jared Cook
How'd You Miss...
Pat Mayo Hour - Week 6 Fantasy & Spread Preview
Week 6 QB Ranks and Values
Week 6 RB Ranks & Values
Week 6 WR Ranks & Values
Pat Mayo Hour - Week 5 Rewind: Waivers, Injuries & Takeaways
Week 6 Waiver Wire Pickups
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