Fantasy Football Week 6: Monsters & Mortals

Every week we see some guys go above the call of duty for our fantasy teams. Some guys just seem to know we need a big week and they show up in a BIG way for us. These guys are straight up MONSTERS! Then again for every player posting 35 points we have a guy we expect to kick ass and take names who lays a goose egg by all accounts. This guy is a lot of times the solo reason we drop a fantasy match up, and so they are known as MORTALS! Every week after the dust clears on Sunday night I will post my list of weekly Monsters and Mortals. A few names at each position who have either exceeded our expectations at ffchamps for the week, or who we expected a great deal from but fell flat on their face like a dad on America’s Funniest Home Videos (the good old school AFV, the ones hosted by Bob Saget) after taking a wiffle ball bat to the nuts.

So without further ado I present your week 6 Monsters and Mortals.

MONSTERS

QUARTERBACKS

  • Andy Dalton CIN
    • 22/33 for 243 yards, 3TDs, 0INT 21 fantasy points
    • Dalton has multiple touchdown passes in 5 of 6 games this year. He’s gone over 18 points each week this year, and over 20 in 4 of 6 games. He’s on pace to shatter every passing record he has so far in his career, and this Bengals offense has looked legit since day 1. Even if you scooped up Dalton as a Ben Roethlisberger or Tony Romo owner, it’s going to be hard to sit Dalton once those boys are back in action.
  • Andrew Luck IND
    • 30/50 for 312 yards, 3TD 0INT, 35 rush yards 27 fantasy points
    • Luck made his first start in 3 weeks and he rewarded his owners patients with a huge first game back. Luck threw the ball 50 times; which sounds like a lot until you read about Philip Rivers. Luck also posted his first game over 300 passing yards and his first game with 3+ touchdowns on Sunday night. Last year Luck had 300+ yards in 4 game through week 6 and 3+ TD passes in 4 of those 6 as well. Luck and the Colts offense still has as many weapons as most elite units out there and Luck will be going on a tear now that he’s back and healthy. This was Luck’s 6th career game with exactly 3 touchdown passes. In the 5 games after he had 3TD passes in the past Luck has averaged 340 yards and 3TDs with just 3 total picks in those 5 contests. Luck has a very favorable match up with the Saints in week 7; expect those numbers to repeat in Indy this coming Sunday.
  • Philip Rivers SD
    • 43/65 for 503 yards, 2TD 0INT 28 fantasy points
    • The Chargers couldn’t get anything going in the run game on Sunday so Rivers decided he’d just go ahead and set some personal records and put the team on his back. San Diego backs carried 21 total times for 60 yards. Career bests in completions, attempts, and yards, Rivers didn’t have much of a choice. It was his 4th career game with at least 50 pass attempts; Rivers is 1-3 in those games, and this year Rivers already has 3 games with 40 or more pass attempts in 2015 which is 2 away from a season-high and he’s got another 10 to go with a bad run blocking offensive line.
  • Matthew Stafford DET
    • 27/42 for 405 yards, 4TDs 1INT, 6 rushes for 37 yards 33 fantasy points
    • Stafford put up his first 300 yard game in 2015; ok it was a 400 yarder but still you can’t hit 400 without passing that 300 barrier. Stafford posted over 20 fantasy points this season and it was his first game with over 30 in almost 3 years to the day. The Lions passing attack has faced 4 of the toughest pass defenses in their first 5 games but the road ahead looks much less bumpy with Stafford getting to face 5 cupckaes over the next 9 games.

RUNNING BACKS

  • Devonta Freeman ATL
    • 13 carries for 100 yards, 1TD, 8 catches for 56 yards, 1TD 27 fantasy points (35 PPR)
    • Freeman had his 3rd straight performance of 30+ points (PPR) on Thursday Night. Since 2006 only 4 players have had 3 straight games (PPR) with 30+ points: Le’Veon Bell (2014), Chris Johnson (2009), LaDainian Tomlinson (2006; he did it in 7 of 8 games), and Steven Jackson (2006). Not even Adrian Peterson in his years of greatness has accomplished that feat. Freeman is on pace of 435 points in PPR formats, which would be the 2nd most since 2006 and just the 3rd season of 400+ points in that span (LT & Steven Jackson in 2006). No doubt the best waiver pick up of 2015 and if he posts another 30-burger next week he would join Tomlinson as the only players to have 4 straight games of 30+ points.
  • Lamar Miller MIA
    • 19 carries for 113 yards, 1TD, 2 catches for 5 yards 17 fantasy points (19 PPR)
    • I was down on Miller this week because of how he was playing and the tough match up. When I said to sit Miller I said he needed 14 or more rushes to have a chance to be effective and today was the first game of the year that Miller was alotted more than 13 rushing attempts. It was just the 2nd game in Miller’s career he’s gone over 100 yards on the ground and scored a touchdown.
  • Jonathan Stewart CAR
    • 20 carries for 78 yards, 2TDs, 1 catch for 8 yards 19 fantasy points (20 PPR)
    • And that’s another back I hated this week that had an oddly good week, but honestly who would have though Stewart would have had his best week of the season, and best in terms of fantasy points since week 16 last year against the toughest defense he’s faced in 2015. It was Stewart’s first 2 rushing touchdown game since 2009, and he got 20 touches for the first time in a game this year.
  • Chris Ivory NYJ
    • 20 carries for 146 yards, 1TD, 3 catches for 50 yards 25 fantasy points (28 PPR)
    • Last week Ivory set a career high in rushing yards. This week he posted his 3rd best single game rushing performance and for the first time in his NFL days, Ivory had back-to-back weeks with over 100 yards on the ground. Ivory is on pace for career highs across the board, both in the rushing and passing game. Ivory has 90+ rushing yard in 3 of his 4 games played this year, and at least one score in 3 of 4 as well. Ivory with a tough match up in Foxboro against the Patriots next week, but after that he has 5 easy match ups in his next 8.
  • LeGarrette Blount NE
    • 16 carries for 93 yards, 1TD, 1 catch for 11 yards, 1TD 22 fantasy points (23 PPR)
    • Blount continues to tear apart the Colts. While he didn’t reach 100 rushing yards this time, his 93 are beyond respectable and once again he found the end zone. Blount has scored at least one touchdown against the Colts in 4 of 5 career games and in the 3 games he’s faced Indianapolis wearing a Patriots uniform, Blount has scored multiple touchdowns every time. Sunday night was the first time in his career that Blount caught a touchdown pass and Blount has 22 of his 37 career scores in a New England uniform.

WIDE RECEIVERS

  • Calvin Johnson DET
    • 9 targets, 6 catches for 166 yards, 1TD 22 fantasy points (28 PPR)
    • Megatron is back! After 3 straight games under 80 yards, Johnson broke his 4th longest streak of games without a 100-yard day; going for his most yards in a single game since 2013. It was Johnson’s 10th career game with 160+ yards. After dealing with Johnson’s and the Lions offensive woes, Calvin rewarded his owners for their patients with a huge day. Detroit has faced 4 tough opponents in their first 5 weeks of play but they have just 3 more tough match ups in their next 10 games. Let’s hope this is the first step in the right direction for the Lions offense and Calvin Johnson.
  • DeAndre Hopkins HOU
    • 15 targets, 10 catches for 148 yards, 2TDs 26 fantasy points (36 PPR)
    • He’s done it again! Double-digit targets? Check. 8 or more catches? Check. Over 100 yards? Check. Find the end zone? Double check. Hopkins is already more than half way to a new career high in yards, is just 25 catches away from a new receptions personal-best, and is 1 touchdown shy of tying his career-high of 6TDs for a year. Even if he was selected late int he 2nd round, Hopkins could be paying the biggest dividends for his owners this year. Just sit back and enjoy as he is going to do something extremely special this year.
  • Martavis Bryant PIT
    • 8 targets, 6 catches for 137 yards, 2TDs 25 fantasy points (31 PPR)
    • Welcome back Martavis Bryant! Little Bryant made his presence in his first game of 2015 felt in a big way finding the end zone twice and going for over 100 yards. He had just as many targets as Antonio Brown but his fantasy day with a whole lot better (as you will see later in the article). Bryant caught just 1 pass for 1 yard from Michael Vick until he was injured and then caught 5 of Landry Jones’ 8 completions for 81% of Jones’ total passing yards (136 of 168) and both his touchdown passes. When Ben Roethlisberger returns this offense will be damn near impossible to stop.

TIGHT ENDS

  • Benjamin Watson NO
    • 12 targets, 10 catches for 127 yards, 1TD 18 fantasy points (28 PPR)
    • No one saw this coming. It was Watson’s 3rd career 100-yard game and first since he had exactly 100 in week 13 of 2010; with the 127 yards a career high. His 10 catches tied a career high as well and has weeks with back-to-back touchdowns for just the 2nd time in the last 8 years. The last two times Watson hit the century mark he combined for just 36 yards in his next 2 games. This was a great performance we didn’t see coming but don’t expect an encore next week.
  • Gary Barnidge CLE
    • 9 targets, 3 catches for 39 yards, 2TDs 15 fantasy points (18 PPR)
    • It was the first games since week 2 that Barnidge had 3 or fewer catches and was held under 75 yards. Even with the Broncos defense suffocating Gary for just 3 grabs and 39 yards, Barnidge found the end zone twice for the Browns only offensive scores of the day and Mr. Barnidge has 12+ points in standard scoring in each of his last 4 games including catching at least one score in each of those games. Some names will just be on this list damn near every week: Andy Dalton, Devonta Freeman, DeAndre Hopkins, and it looks like some guy named Gary will be another one.
  • Julius Thomas JAX
    • 13 targets, 7 catches for 78 yards, 1TD 13 fantasy points (20 PPR)
    • Thomas showed today why he is such a valuable piece to any offense. He lead the Jaguars in targets, was 2nd in catches and was one of three Jags to have better than 75 yards in the receiving game. Thomas has scored in 18 of his 28 games played since 2013 started and if the past is any indication than Thomas should find himself in the end zone frequently the next few weeks as Thomas likes to score in the beginning of his year scoring in 9 of 10 games in his first 5 contests each of the last 2 seasons.
  • Jimmy Graham SEA
    • 12 targets, 8 catches for 140 yards, 0TD 14 fantasy points (22 PPR)
    • There’s the Jimmy we’re used to seeing. A guy getting a majority of targets and given the ability to take over the passing game, and he did. It was the first game this year that Graham had double-digit looks, and it was just his 3rd game with 12+ targets since week 3 of 2013. We know the Seahawks offense isn’t the Saints and Graham may not have the same opportunities he did down in New Orleans but if Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson take away anything from today’s game plan it should be to target their best player, Jimmy Graham, way more than they have in the first quarter of this season.
  • Greg Olsen CAR
    • 11 targets, 7 catches for 131 yards, 1TD 19 fantasy points (26 PPR)
    • Cam Newton completed 20 passes and Olsen caught 7 of those. Olsen was the only Panther to snag more than 3 passes and no other pass-catcher for Carolina managed more than 25 yards through the air. Olsen once again has proven that he is the only reliable and useable Panther on a weekly basis not named Cam. Olsen has two games with 130+ yards and at least one score in his last three games, and his two games over 100 yards this year are just 1 away from his season high of three games over the century mark.

KICKERS/DEFENSE

  • Saints D/ST: 5 sacks, 3FUMB recoveries, 1TD
  • Broncos D/ST: 4 sacks, 1INT, 1FUMB recovery, 1TD
  • Dolphins D/ST: 5 sacks, 2INTs, 2FUMB recoveries, 1TD

MORTALS

QUARTERBACKS

  • Marcus Mariota TEN
    • 21/33 for 219 yards, 1TD, 2INTs, 2FUMB lost 4 fantasy points
    • After not having a turnover in his first 2 games, Mariota has at least one turnover in each of his last 3 games and has multiple turnovers in 2 of those 3 games with 7 total give aways over that period. He has under 220 passing yards in his last two games. Mariota has not faced a single tough match up yet this season and won’t see a difficult game until week 10, so if he can’t get back on the winning track in the next few weeks against lesser opponents then when the rookie faces legit secondary competition he is going to have some really horrific numbers.
  • Peyton Manning DEN
    • 26/48 for 290 yards, 1TD 3INTs 9 fantasy points
    • Another week, another pick-6 thrown by Peyton. He’s thrown a touchdown to the opposing team every year this season, and has at least one pick in each of his first 6 games of the season for the first time since his sophomore campaign in 1999. The Broncos are 6-0 but the defense has bailed out Peyton every single week, and if Peyton doesn’t hit Emmanuel Sanders on a long touchdown after he threw one to Cleveland his stat line would look a whole lot worse. Peyton’s 7TD passes through 6 games is the 2nd worst in his career and fewest since he was a rookie in 1998; hell Peyton had 7TD passes the opening night of the season just 2 years ago and he’s posted 7 passing touchdowns or better in 4 weeks or less every year he’s been with Denver to this point. Once the Denver defense has a bad game we will see what exactly Peyton has left in the tank and my guess is he’s riding on fumes.

RUNNING BACKS

  • Adrian Peterson MIN
    • 26 carries for 60 yards, 1 catch for -3 yards 6 fantasy points (7 PPR)
    • Peterson having a slow day against the Chiefs isn’t shocking but Peterson having his worst rushing day since week 17 of 2013 is. It was just the 2nd time in Peterson’s career he’s had 25 or more carries in a game and had 60 or fewer yards, although the 1st time it happened in 2009 Peterson at least scored that day. Kansas City is still a top unit against RBs; take away the 102 yards and 4TDs the Bengals back combined for a few weeks back and KC is allowing an average of just 60 rush yards per game without a touchdown allowed. Peterson will be fine with 3 easy match ups versus just 1 difficult one in his next 6 games.
  • Alfred Morris WSH
    • 11 carries for 21 yards, 0TD, 1 catch for 11 yards 3 fantasy points (4 PPR)
    • Morris had a tough match up with the Jets but the Redskins didn’t have Matt Jones in this game so Morris basically was the guy to shoulder the entire workload. Morris had had 12 or fewer carries in 3 of his last 4 games; the only time in his career he’s had 12 or fewer attempts in 3 games in a 4 game stretch. Morris already had two games this season with single-digit carries; entering 2015 Morris had just one game in his career with less than 10 attempts and that game didn’t come until his 45th career start. Morris’ 21 rushing yards we’re the 3rd most the Jets have allowed this year.
  • Charcandrick West/Knile Davis KC
    • Combined for 14 carries for 46 yards, 2 catches for 18 yards, 1FUMB lost West 1 fantasy point (2 PPR); Knile Davis 2 fantasy points (3 PPR)
    • No one can replace Jamaal Charles … hell two guys can’t replace him. This backfield looks to be a headache the rest of the way without a true RB1 who wants to take control. It could happen at some point but the Chiefs face 3 tough run defenses in their next 4 contests.
  • Chris Johnson ARZ
    • 14 carries for 40 yards, 0TD1 catch for 5 yards 4 fantasy points (5 PPR)
    • After having 70+ rushing yards in each of his last four games, including 2 of 100+, Johnson fell back to the ranks of the mortals. He still had by far the most carries for the Cardinals; the rest of their running backs combined for 4 carries, and should have the majority of touches the rest of the season. The Cardinals have been an offensive juggernaut scoring just under 40PPG before their game with Pittsburgh last week in which they managed just 13 points.
  • Melvin Gordon SD
    • 7 carries for 29 yards, 0TD, 1FUMB lost 0 fantasy points (0 PPR)
    • GOOSE EGG! After getting a lot of praise of how he’s been improving the last few weeks Gordon came back and dropped a 0 week for his owners. He fumbled twice; just losing one, and wasn’t seen much on the field after that happened. Rivers threw the ball 65 times as the run game didn’t get rolling at all for the Chargers. The Chargers we’re without 3 of their starting offensive linemen in Lambeau and it showed as they got less push in the rush game than usual, and they are bad when they are at full strength. Gordon will have some useful weeks the rest of the way but he’s a flex play at best until he shows some positive consistency.
  • Eddie Lacy GB
    • 4 carries for 3 yards, 0TD, 2 catches for 17 yards 1 fantasy point (3 PPR)
    • He was supposed to be healthier. He was supposed to have a good match up with San Diego. The Packer score a ton of points at home. Almost all those things came to fruition, the only problem is the big game for a running back came from James Starks! Lacy had just 6 total touches accumulated 20 yards. Starks just 5 more total touches with 11 but he was able to put up over 100 on the ground and he found the end zone twice, once by land and one by air. If you’re a Lacy owner you should be scared. Over the last 3 weeks Lacy has been on the field for 18 more snaps than Starks (100 to 82) but has 38 fewer rushing yards despite having 11 more carries. Starks also has 5 more targets in the passing game catching 2 more balls for 17 more yards than Lacy and Starks has 2 total TDs over those 3 weeks while Lacy hasn’t found the end zone since week 1. We knew Lacy would start slower than most elite back but this is getting ridiculous.

WIDE RECEIVERS

  • AJ Green CIN
    • 7 targets, 4 catches for 36 yards, 0TD 3 fantasy points (7 PPR)
    • Green wasn’t needed much as the Bengals took down another opponent. While Green owners are upset with his poor production in what was a juicy match up, Green isn’t the type of talent to have another game this bad again next week. In fact Green has had back-to-back games with 3 or fewer fantasy points just once in his career; that coming weeks 16 & 17 in 2011 in Green’s rookie season.
  • Kendall Wright TEN
    • 5 targets, 4 catches for 34 yards, 0TD 3 fantasy points (7 PPR)
    • Mariota’s poor day trickled down to basically everyone on the Titans outside of Delanie Walker. Although this was the 3rd game this year that Wright has had 5 or fewer targets, and his 4th game with 4 or fewer catches. Wright is much more useful in PPR leagues but he hasn’t had back-to-back weeks with double-digit points since weeks 12 and 13 in 2013 and Wright has 4 difficult match ups in his next 7 games without an easy opponent in that span. The good news is Wright is still leading Tennessee is targets with 31 this year.
  • Antonio Brown PIT
    • 8 targets, 3 catches for 24 yards, 0TD 2 fantasy points (5 PPR)
    • Brown’s owners are probably rooting harder for Big Ben’s return than Roethlisberger owners. Brown has had 3 straight games with under 50 receiving yards, this being his 3rd of the batch and worst. Brown has been targeted 9 or fewer times in the last 3 games; the first time since weeks 13-15 in 2013 Brown has failed to have double-digit targets 3 in a row. No one is suffering more with Ben on the sidelines than Antonio Brown.

TIGHT ENDS

  • Martellus Bennett CHI
    • 11 targets, 6 catches for 59 yards, 0TD 5 fantasy points (11 PPR) 
    • None of your major tight ends had an extremely poor day. Bennett managed just 5 points for his standard owners but he still was tied for the most looks with Alshon Jeffery with 11 targets against the Lions on Sunday. While the Bears posted 34 points this week, their most since week 15 of 2013, they need to get healthier and they have a bye this coming week which will do wonders for guys like Bennett who are still hobbled right now.
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