FOXSports.com writer Joel Beall examines five takeaways from Week 6 action during the 2013 NFL season.
By Joel BeallFoxSports
Talk about drama! Sure, New England stunning the Saints with a last-minute drive was one of the more thrilling finishes in recent memory, and third-stringer Thad Lewis engineering a 14-point comeback before falling in overtime made for quite the spectacle. However, years from now, huddled around a fire with our grandkids, we’ll be recalling the remarkable struggle of a courageous few, who, in the face of overwhelming odds, banded to together to achieve a common goal, one thought by many to be impossible.
I’m, of course, referring to Jacksonville’s herculean efforts in covering the 27.5-point spread in Denver. Further evidence that, with a little team work, people can make their dreams work.
Five takeaways from Week 6 action:
The Bears defensive front is a mess
I like Brandon Jacobs. Along with Joe Webb, man holds a sacred place in Beall’s Fantasy Wall of Fame for his three-touchdown Week 16 performance in 2008. Nevertheless, no reason why, in 2013, Jacobs should be racking up roto conquests like his exploits on Thursday, where the New York bruising back went for 106 yards and two scores against the Bears. Keep in mind, this is a G-Men running attack that, even including Week 6’s feats, produces the third-worst output in the league.
Which brings us to the title of this segment: Chicago has colossal problems in the defensive trenches. Pro Bowler Henry Melton was lost for the season with an ACL tear in late September; a week later, fellow tackle Nate Collins suffered the same injury. Their replacement, Stephen Paea, has missed the last two contests with a toe ailment. Worse, though he remains relatively healthy, the esteemed Julius Peppers is a shell of his former self, recording a lone sack this campaign after notching 11.5 a season ago.
Chicago is 4-2 but its upcoming slate is littered with talented rushing games. Traditionally a stay-away in terms of fantasy matchups, the Bears have now become a must-play for owners of opposing backs.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis is the second coming of 2010 Thomas Jones
For the historically-challenged, you may remember Jones as the bane of the fantasy realm for siphoning a bulk of carries (245 attempts) from breakout star Jamaal Charles despite his lack of success (3.7 yards per carry). The Law Firm finds himself in a similar situation with Cincinnati. Although only good things seem to happen when the ball finds its way to Giovani Bernard (431 total yards, four scores on a modest 80 touches), Green-Ellis endures as the primary back for the Who-Deys, illustrated in his 37 carries the last two weeks. To his credit, Green-Ellis was solid against Buffalo, managing 86 yards on 18 endeavors. Alas, he’s averaging a meager 3.3 yards per carry in 2013 and doesn’t offer the receiving versatility that Bernard brings to the table.
Perhaps Bernard begins to see higher assimilation in the second half, but Green-Ellis will likely persist as a major piece of the Bengals offense, curbing Bernard’s prospects as a top-end fantasy contributor.
Grab Nick Foles in two winks of a coal miner’s eye
Michael Vick’s ground prowess is allegedly a stimulus for Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense. Conversely, whatever level of evasiveness Vick’s speed injects, his accuracy, or lack thereof (53.8 completion percentage), negates. Enter Foles, who hit 71 percent of his intended targets on Sunday for 296 yards and three touchdowns. The second-year signal caller also added a four-yard ground excursion for pay dirt.
At first glance, these deeds can be brushed off, realizing they came against a winless Buccaneers ball club. Further investigation reveals that Tampa’s record is not indicative of its defense, as, before yesterday, the Bucs had amassed more interceptions than passing touchdowns allowed.
The Eagles are far from a polished entity, with a porous defense at the forefront of its issues. However, the collective incompetence of the NFC East has Philadelphia right in the thick of playoff contention through six weeks. Though no one possesses the dual dexterity of Vick, his erraticism restrains the potential of Philly’s offense. With Foles under center, the Eagles assault, already third-best in the league, could transform into an unwavering threat. Available in over 95 percent of FOXSports.com fantasy football leagues, Foles merits a roster spot ASAP.
Don’t be “that guy/girl” who rushes to pick up Joseph Fauria
Unless your league rewards points for end-zone celebrations. In that case, have at it.
In one regard, as long as Megatron is limited with knee woes (and to a lesser extent, Tony Scheffler with a concussion), Fauria’s 6’7” frame serves as an ideal red-zone apparatus. On the other side of that spectrum, the undrafted neophyte has received just nine targets this year for seven receptions, making the proposition of inserting Fauria into the lineup a feast-or-famine move. For now, view him as a rich man’s Scott Chandler. That’s not a compliment.
Eddie Lacy is the real deal
Since returning from a concussion, Lacy has posted back-to-back sound outings, the second of which was reached versus a Baltimore resistance that had been holding adversaries to 90 yards per game. Better yet for Lacy owners, fears of backup Johnathan Franklin tapping into Lacy’s workload have been assuaged, with Franklin getting only four rushing attempts in that time span.
Initially assumed to be a deviation, the Packers now seem hell-bent on making the run a bigger part of their offensive scheme. As an upshot, Lacy will see plenty of love going forward, and has a chance to be a top-12 back this fall. Adjust your lineups accordingly.