Week 6 fantasy football flex plays
Four teams on bye this week (Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville, New Orleans) means two stud running backs and two stud receivers are unavailable. With Jimmy Graham (ankle) hurting, he likely wouldn't be worth a start even if he could suit up this week, so the tight end landscape looks unscathed by these off weeks.
Still, there are always plenty of deep options worth rolling out if you're in a bad way from bye weeks or injuries. There's always a player looking to step into a starting role and thrive when someone goes down. The NFL is about that "next man up" mentality and by playing the waiver wire smartly and paying attention to depth chart fluctuations, matchups, minor injuries, etc., good starts can be found all over - sometimes where you least expect to find them (spoiler alert, a Cleveland receiver and Arizona running back made the cut this week).
Here are some attactive flex-play options for this week, followed by the week's flex rankings.
1. Randall Cobb at Houston - The Texans have a top-5 pass defense. But the Packers have Aaron Rodgers. It's clear that a terrible offensive line (among other things) has had Rodgers and the Pack offense a bit out of sorts this year, but with Cedric Benson (foot) out and minimal threat of a rushing attack, Rodgers will have to throw it a lot. Greg Jennings likely will miss another week to let his groin injury properly heal, and after a terrific performance versus the Colts, Green Bay has no choice but to get Cobb more involved in the gameplan. His dynamic after-the-catch ability should lead to a nice day yardage-wise.
2. James Jones at Houston - See Cobb, Randall. No Jennings, at best a limited Jermichael Finley (if he even plays), an underperforming Jordy Nelson and lots of passing. All those factors should translate to Jones and Cobb being the frequent go-tos for Rodgers. Furthermore, through five games Jones has increasingly become Rodgers' favorite option in the red zone with all five of Jones' scores coming from inside of 20 yards.
3. Jordan Norwood vs. Cincinnati - Greg Little was phased out of the passing attack versus the Giants as the coaching staff has apparently lost faith in him due to his chronic issue with drops. Norwood emerged in his absence and proved to be quite sure-handed as he brought in all nine of his targets. Although those nine catches went for just 81 yards, Norwood has the makings of an excellent possession receiver due to his quickness, smooth route-running and reliable hands. With Brandon Weeden attempting passes at an incredible rate, count on Norwood to continue seeing plenty of targets and racking up the catches. The Bengals allowed Weeden to throw for 322 yards and two scores in Cincinnati just four weeks ago, so Norwood figures to do some serious damage in PPR formats with a solid floor in all standard leagues.
4. Jeremy Kerley vs. Indianapolis - The Colts have not been particularly good versus the pass. Even with their numbers buoyed by a subpar performance in Week 3 from Blaine Gabbert, the Colts pass defense has allowed eight touchdowns to just two picks. That means even Mark Sanchez behind a shaky line should be able to connect with his targets. And his top target right now is clearly Kerley. Against a brutally tough Houston D, Kerley saw nine targets and turned five catches into 94 yards. And those totals could be even better with a visit from Indy this week leading to a better catch rate.
WEEK 6 FLEX-PLAY RANKINGS
*Check injury status. 1. Arian Foster HOU vs. GB
2. Ray Rice BAL vs. Dal
3. LeSean McCoy PHI vs. Det
4. Roddy White ATL vs. Oak
5. A.J. Green CIN at Cle
6. Larry Fitzgerald ARZ vs. Buf
7. Calvin Johnson DET at Phi
8. Reggie Bush MIA vs. StL
9. Trent Richardson CLE vs. Cin
10. Darren McFadden OAK at Atl
11. Marshawn Lynch SEA vs. NE - On its face 85 yards isn't bad, but it was disappointing for Lynch given the opponent.
12. Demaryius Thomas DEN at SD - Another big day, but a costly fumble for the second time this season.
13. Victor Cruz NYG at SF
14. Reggie Wayne IND at NYJ - It makes me sick that I don't have Wayne anywhere. He's going to get so many targets this year.
15. Julio Jones ATL vs. Oak
16. Percy Harvin MIN at Was
17. Wes Welker NE at Sea
18. Dwayne Bowe KC at TB
19. Frank Gore SF vs. NYG
20. Jamaal Charles KC at TB - Charles ran for 140 yards against the Ravens, though only 15 came in the second half.
21. *Adrian Peterson MIN at Was - Played through an ankle injury suffered early in the first quarter last week.
22. DeMarco Murray DAL at Bal
23. DeSean Jackson PHI vs. Det
24. Mike Wallace PIT at Ten
25. Miles Austin DAL at Bal
26. Michael Crabtree SF vs. NYG
27. Vernon Davis SF vs. NYG
28. Tony Gonzalez ATL vs. Oak
29. *Rob Gronkowski NE at Sea - Gronk's hip will probably be a lingering issue in the near future.
30. Ryan Mathews SD vs. Den - Took over the primary duties from Battle last week - 12 carries, and six catches (on eight targets).
31. Mikel Leshoure DET at Phi
32. Stevan Ridley NE at Sea - Big game clouded by a late fumble.
33. Vincent Jackson TB vs. KC
34. Torrey Smith BAL vs. Dal
35. Antonio Brown PIT at Ten
36. Dez Bryant DAL at Bal
37. Brandon Lloyd NE at Sea
38. Doug Martin TB vs. KC - Didn't get the goal line carry in Week 4, and had just eight carries in the game. I'm concerned, to be sure.
39. Ahmad Bradshaw NYG at SF
40. Michael Turner ATL vs. Oak
41. Alfred Morris WAS vs. Min
42. Eric Decker DEN at SD
43. Jordy Nelson GB at Hou - Hurt the most among the Packers wide receivers in their inability to get the deep passing game working.
44. Brian Hartline MIA vs. StL
45. Steve Johnson BUF at Ari
46. Malcom Floyd SD vs. Den
47. Willis McGahee DEN at SD - Bad drop on fourth down, followed by a fourth quarter fumble - suffice to say, not his best day.
48. Donald Brown IND at NYJ
49. *Fred Jackson BUF at Ari - Small edge over Spiller in touches last week.
50. *C.J. Spiller BUF at Ari - Another tough matchup, though maybe not as bad specifically against the rush.
51. Steven Jackson STL at Mia - I seemingly end up with Steven Jackson and Chris Johnson next to each other every week. It's not by design, I promise. They're both flat tires, though.
52. Owen Daniels HOU vs. GB
53. Jason Witten DAL at Bal
54. James Jones GB at Hou
55. Nate Washington TEN vs. Pit
56. Andre Roberts ARZ vs. Buf
57. *Andre Johnson HOU vs. GB - (Groin) Just one catch on six targets - included one bad drop.
58. Jeremy Kerley NYJ vs. Ind - Nine targets Monday night against the Texans.
59. BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN at Cle
60. Rashard Mendenhall PIT at Ten - (Knee) Averaged 5.8 yards per carry last week, though he was on the field for only 22 snaps.
61. *Chris Johnson TEN vs. Pit - Basically the only game in town with Javon Ringer out four-to-six weeks, unless they decide to bump up Jamie Harper.
62. Anquan Boldin BAL vs. Dal - Another big target day - really hurting Dennis Pitta's production.
63. Jeremy Maclin PHI vs. Det
64. Golden Tate SEA vs. NE
65. Robert Meachem SD vs. Den - Two big catches against his former team on Sunday night.
66. Donnie Avery IND at NYJ - Fewer targets than Hilton last week, though eight targets isn't really anything to sneeze at.
67. Domenik Hixon NYG at SF
68. Sidney Rice SEA vs. NE
69. Kyle Rudolph MIN at Was
70. Heath Miller PIT at Ten
71. Fred Davis WAS vs. Min
72. Shonn Greene NYJ vs. Ind
73. Kendall Hunter SF vs. NYG
74. Jacquizz Rodgers ATL vs. Oak
75. Brandon Bolden NE at Sea
76. *Alex Green GB at Hou - Stark might start, but Green is the one with the upside.
77. *William Powell ARZ vs. Buf - Possibly the lead ballcarrier for the Cardinals with Williams out, for whatever that's worth.
78. Jackie Battle SD vs. Den
79. Toby Gerhart MIN at Was
80. *LaRod Stephens-Howling ARZ vs. Buf - (Hip) Vying for carries along with William Powell and Alfonso Smith now that Ryan Williams is out for the season.
81. Andrew Hawkins CIN at Cle
82. T.Y. Hilton IND at NYJ
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