Josh Jordan

Fantasy football under-the-radar plays — Week 6

Sony Michel is a great play in every format this week. Photo via Sony Michel/Facebook

Week 6 starts tonight and I have more sleeper plays for you. Let’s take a peek at how I did last week, and then look ahead to this week’s slate of games. My standard for a good fantasy game is around 100 total yards and/or a TD, and this is for PPR scoring. Of course, the bar is a little lower for TEs.  

Week 5 Results

RB

T.J. Yeldon (JAX): Right, great game!

Matt Breida (SF): Right, 60 total yards and a TD before he got hurt.

James Conner (PIT): RIGHT! Huge game for Conner! He was my pick for “Put your name on it” on my fantasy show Moneyline on ESPN 97.5 this week. Nailed it. 

Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry (TEN): Wrong, even in a great matchup you can’t trust these guys. I did say only play these guys if you’re desperate. At least I have that.

Sony Michel (NE): Right, he’s getting into must-start territory.

WR

Calvin Ridley (ATL): Wrong, he didn’t come through in a fantastic matchup against the Steelers. Targets will be the issue for him, but he scores TDs.

Jordy Nelson (OAK): Right, I had a feeling he would have a good game with all the attention going to Amari Cooper.

Julian Edelman (NE): Wrong, 7 catches for 57 yards in a PPR didn’t kill you, but his drop hurt his stats for sure. It was risky picking him in his 1st game back, but he was clearly involved and highly targeted.

Sterling Shepard (NYG): Wrong-ish, 4 catches for 75 yards isn’t bad. He now has 75 receiving yards or more in 3 straight games.

TE

Austin Hooper (ATL): Right, finally! I said Hooper was dead to me if he didn’t have a big game against the Steelers, and he finally did it. 9 catches and 77 yards in a PPR for a waiver wire TE, that’s what I’m talking about! I had the stones to put him in the article, did you have the courage to start him?

George Kittle (SF): Right, 5 catches for 83 yards and he left the game injured. I’ll take that.

QB

Ben Roethlisberger (PIT): Right, 3 TDs and only 1 pick for Big Ben!

Blake Bortles (JAX): Right, it’s always ugly when you start Bortles. The 4 picks were awful, but he came through with over 20 fantasy points. Over 400 yards passing and a rushing score to boot.

I don’t typically pick defenses in this article, but I did mention I liked the Titans last week. They were good but not great. In Yahoo, they scored 7 points, so I’ll call this one a push. I don’t include defenses in my record keeping, and I won’t pick one every week. In fact, last week is the first time I mentioned a DEF. If I see a DEF on the waiver wire that has a decent shot of having a good game, I will mention it, but it won’t be every week.

I went 9-4  in Week 5 if you lump the two Titans RBs together, if not, call it 9-5. Either way, a really good week picking sleepers, especially if you consider the ones I got wrong had solid games in PPR. I’m talking about you, Edelman and Shepard. All right, enough with last week. Let’s take a look at Week 6. These players are in no particular order.

Week 6

RB

Sony Michel (NE): He was great last week and I think that continues again against the Chiefs' awful defense. One more big week for Michel and I’ll have to consider him too obvious to put in this column. Michel is much better in non-PPR, but don’t be afraid to start him in a PPR as well.

Aaron Jones (GB): The 49ers aren’t good against RBs giving up over 30FPTS/G to the position, but that’s really not the issue. Knowing which back the Packers will feature is almost impossible, but I have to think they’ll take advantage of this matchup and give Jones some work. Rodgers and company should be in control of this game from jump street, and I think this is the game Jones breaks out.

Alfred Morris (SF): If you read this article regularly, you know I have featured Matt Breida several times. With Breida injured, I think Morris gets the fantasy goodness in a matchup where Green Bay gives up over 20FPTS/G to RBs. I like Morris this week because of opportunity, not because it’s a great matchup by the numbers.

Marshawn Lynch (OAK): Revenge game for Marshawn and I think he scores. The Seahawks are allowing over 22FPTS/G to running backs, which is around the middle of the pack.

WR

Calvin Ridley (ATL): I’m back on the Ridley train after a down week. The Bucs are awful against WRs giving up almost 49 FPTS/G to them. Fire him up this week.

Sterling Shepard (NYG): The Eagles are giving up over 47 FPTS/G to WRs. Evan Engram is ruled out, so Shepard should continue being a solid start. Get him in your lineup. He'll be in this article until Engram returns.

Tyler Boyd (CIN): He should have a big performance with most of the attention going to A.J. Green, plus the Steelers are awful against the pass.

Sammy Watkins (KC): He’s getting targets in a fantastic offense, and there will be a lot of points in this game.

Emmanuel Sanders (DEN): The Rams haven’t been very good against WRs over the past month giving up over 41FGTS/G to the position. Give him a shot this week, Denver will most likely be playing catch up.

Julian Edelman (NE): He's such a big part of their offense, and this should be a shootout. 

TE

Austin Hooper (ATL): It’s not Groundhog Day, but it may feel like it with me picking Hooper again. He has a great matchup though, and hopefully he builds on his big game last week with another against the Bucs.

Cameron Brate (TB): The matchup is not great, but Howard is still out and the Falcons are banged up on defense. Give him a start if you need a TE this week.

QB

Jameis Winston (TB): His matchup can’t get much better, so he’s worth a shot this week.

Andy Dalton (CIN): Dalton hasn’t had a ton of success against the Steelers over his career, but he’s playing well and the Steelers secondary can be exploited.

 

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The future is bright for the Astros. Composite image by Jack Brame.

2020 has shown us lots of things. A few of the things it's shown us is that anything is possible, expect the unexpected, and do not be surprised at the outcome. Well, the Astros checked all three of those boxes in this pandemic season and post season. Anything was possible when they finished the 60 game season 29-31 and barely made the playoffs (yes, the new format helped, but they made it). We should've expected the unexpected when they were able to beat the Twins in the first round 2-0 after the A's ran away with the division this season. We for damn sure shouldn't have been surprised at the outcome of their ALCS series when they forced Tampa to a game seven after being down 3-0 because this team is experienced and scrappy. We are talking about the team that's made it to the ALCS four years running and won it all in 2017.

Sure, there are some high dollar guys that mean a lot to this team that they may lose (looking squarely at George Springer and Michael Brantley), but that's the end of it. They'll also be without Justin Verlander after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Some will say coming back from a 3-0 deficit to force a game seven was good enough. They'll tell this team to accept its fate and fall into the background. They replaced their manager and general manager after the cheating scandal, no way they can move forward and succeed right? (insert your favorite GTFOH GIF)

Springer and Brantley could both leave as free agents

This team may not be thought of a contender moving forward, but I have faith in the talent that's still there. I believe Jim Crane knows who and what he can't live without moving forward, so I think he'll shell out the cash necessary to keep guys like Springer and Brantley...as long as it's within reason. Crane won't, and shouldn't, get into a bidding war with another team for either guy, but I think he will make a fair offer to both. Verlander being out in his last season under contract is a big blow. However, I think it can work to the team's advantage.

Let's say they're only able to bring back Springer OR Brantley, but Kyle Tucker takes that next step. Let's say Forrest Whitley, Framber Valdez, and Jose Urquidy all take that next step while Lance McCullers continues his accent. What will the league say when Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman return to their previously dominant forms? All of this speaks to the continued era of the dominant Astros.

Even if they lose Brantley and/or Springer this offseason, I still think they have enough in place to keep the lineup competitive and threatening. The pitching staff has enough firepower to put some fear into opposing lineups. If they continue to make the right moves and develop the talent they have in-house, this team won't fall off or take a dip. Instead, they'll continue to be a force if they hold true to the talent they have, and acquire the complimentary talent they need to accent the players they have now. The pitching staff will be in good hands. McCullers, Framber, and Urquidy are guys I feel that can carry the load. Meanwhile, Forrest Whitley is waiting in the wings. Kyle Tucker is poised for the next step in the lineup, and Captain Correa clearly established himself as a leader this post season.

The future is bright for Astros fans. If ownership and the front office pony up the money to keep some guys, it'll be even better.

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