Did you read last week’s column? I was dead-on about Eli Manning getting pulled early with a big lead, and about the Giants running all day. How was I supposed to know he would throw for 173 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 pass attempts before halftime?
As always, all this week’s recommendations aren’t included below. There will always be a few more players you need to know about, and to find out who they are, you’ll need to watch the weekly Wide Write video blog.
Read on for your Week 6 fantasy football recommendations. If you have any questions, comments or insults, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who’s off in Week 6: Cowboys, Colts, Dolphins, 49ers
Start him: David Garrard, Jaguars
Garrard and the Jags host the lowly Rams and their 25th-ranked pass defense this week. He’s averaging 226 yards per game, with five touchdowns and one interception so far, and all five TD passes have come in Jacksonville’s two home games. If you’re looking to start a borderline fantasy QB1/QB2 that looks like a fire hydrant, the 245-pound Garrard is the perfect choice this week. Or any week, really.
Sit him: Brett Favre, Vikings
The Ravens are allowing 238 passing yards per game, which is good (bad?) for 26th in the NFL. They don’t appear to be a strong candidate to play well on the road. Thing is, their ballhawking style has resulted in six interceptions already, and one of the things history has taught us about Favre is that he has no problems chucking it to the guys in the wrong-colored jerseys.
I know what you’re thinking – Favre has nine touchdowns and only two picks this season, so maybe being on a solid, run-oriented team has made him less conservative. He’s still Brett Favre, and if you think he’s going to finish the season with a really good TD/INT ratio, you’re crazy.
Pick him up: Jason Campbell, Redskins
Yes, I’m picking someone from the Redskins, whose offense is now being overseen by a guy that was calling bingo games in a senior center two weeks ago (Really! Read this for details.). Campbell and the ‘Skins host the terrible Chiefs this week, but more importantly, he’s not a bad backup for the long haul as well. With six scoring passes and 221 yards per game so far, he’s been solid. He’s available in more than three-quarters of Foxsports.com leagues.
Start him: Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
I kind of liked the way Stewart ran against the Redskins last week, when he had 10 carries for 39 yards and his first touchdown of the season. Even though he’s a timeshare running back who cedes a majority of carries to teammate DeAngelo Williams, this week the Panthers are visiting the Bucs, who are giving up 152 rushing yards per game. I think Stewart and Williams are due for a breakout.
Sit him: Willis McGahee, Ravens
McGahee has seven touchdowns in five games, making him perhaps the biggest surprise of the 2009 fantasy season. You know what that means? Sell high while you still can.
It would be OK if McGahee was getting the ball all the time, because touches lead to scores. You know how many times McGahee touched the ball against the Bengals in Week 5? Twice. Ray Rice has become the lead back in Baltimore, with McGahee serving as more of a short-yardage back on a team that has another short-yardage back in Le’Ron McClain. I’m not saying that McGahee is worthless or anything, and he could pick up some vulture touchdowns on occasion, but I can’t see why you’d start a back who’s a threat to touch the ball less than five times in any given week. It’s too risky.
Pick him up: Sammy Morris, Patriots
Now that the backfield situation in New England is a little less cluttered due to Fred Taylor’s season-ending ankle surgery, I feel a little better about recommending a Patriot, and Sammy the Bull is my guy. Kevin Faulk is the change-of-pace back, and I’m surprised that Bill Belichick hasn’t tied a cinder block to the frustrating Laurence Maroney’s ankle and thrown him in the Charles River by now. Morris is the best option the Pats have, and Belichick likes him. He carried 10-plus times in a game nine times in 2008 and six straight times in 2007 before he got hurt. The guy has a 4.2 yards-per-carry average for his career, and that’s pretty good.
I know the Titans are stingy against the run, but Morris could still be fine this week. For the rest of the season he’s a strong third running back to have on your fantasy team, and since he’s owned in just 14 percent of FOXSports.com leagues, you can probably get him if you want him.
Start him: Braylon Edwards, Jets
Many people drafted Edwards as a low-end WR2, and you haven’t all been starting him every week. If you saw Monday night’s game, it’s clear that the Jets plan to throw to Edwards – and throw deep, at that – as often as they can. He should be in your lineup until further notice.
Sit him: Julius Jones, Seahawks
On this week’s Wide Write video, I recommended playing Seahawks’ QB Matt Hasselbeck because of the Cardinals’ awful passing defense. The Cards also happen to have arguably the NFL’s best run D so far, allowing 71 yards a game and just 2.9 yards per carry. You want to play Jones, who’s as inconsistent as they come, against THAT? No, thank you.
Pick him up: Jeremy Maclin, Eagles, and Jermichael Finley, Packers (TE)
I couldn’t decide between these two, so you get a bonus player this week. Maclin appears to be a full-time starter for the Eagles now, having Wally Pipped Kevin Curtis with six receptions for 142 yards and two touchdowns against the Bucs last week. Maclin isn’t going to become a star right away, but he can be a good third or fourth WR for your fantasy squad, and is worth a look against the Raiders this week. He’s owned in 56 percent of Foxsports.com leagues.
Finley is owned in 15 percent of FOXSports.com leagues, and he broke out in Week 4 against the Vikings, with six catches for 128 yards and a touchdown. This week, Finley and the Pack have a home date with the not-so-stingy Lions, who have already allowed five touchdown passes to opposing tight ends this season. If you need a bye-week replacement for Jason Witten, Dallas Clark or Vernon Davis, Finley is a no-brainer.
Also: PK Garrett Hartley’s four-game suspension is over for the Saints, but it sounds like 87-year-old John Carney will keep the job for now … 49ers RB Frank Gore is due back in Week 7 … Colts PK Adam Vinatieri might miss six weeks due to knee surgery, so cut him now. Veteran Matt Stover replaces Vinatieri … Jets WR Jerricho Cotchery said on a Wednesday radio appearance that he might sit out this week to let his hamstring injury recover. Keep an eye on him.
Thanks for reading, and once again, make sure to watch this week’s edition of the Wide Write video blog by clicking here. Share it with your friends, post it on your Facebook page – really, I’d like to be just about everywhere if it’s OK with you.
John Halpin writes Wide Write and hosts an accompanying video blog every week throughout the NFL season. He also writes fantasy columns and early-morning blogs four days a week at FOXSports.com/fantasy.