Fantasy Football Insider - Week 6

by Tim Heaney and Bryce McRae on October 16, 2010 @ 14:06:36 PDT

 


Here's what KFFL's inside sources are saying this week.

Quarterbacks

  • The Chicago Bears' Jay Cutler claimed that his concussion this year was his first. Though Chicago has disputed them, reports say he has had multiple instances of concussions. There isn't much to worry about now, Cutler owners, but what if he sustains another one? Maybe he misses more time than his recent inactive week....
  • Cleveland Browns rookie Colt McCoy, who's expected to start Sunday, has looked accurate in practice. Unfortunately, McCoy doesn't have a big frame and could've used some time on the bench to work on bulking up. Expect ample checkdowns and increased wildcat use this week.
  • Don't read into head coach Todd Haley's public defense of Matt Cassel. The Kansas City Chiefs remain reluctant to use their aerial attack. If they don't employ it more often this week against the Houston Texans, when will they?
  • Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre
    What's next for No. 4?
    Brett Favre (elbow) has more issues with accuracy than throwing deep. If he were to miss a game this year, it'd more likely come from injury than a suspension for his textual harassment. The Minnesota Vikings' signal caller would probably have to be convinced to sit, but his elbow tendonitis isn't responding to cortisone shots. Maybe he's pulled during a game to keep his consecutive games played streak going.
    Jenn Sterger's cooperation in the off-field stuff will determine if a suspension is warranted. A fine is likelier for Favre, but if he were to be suspended for a few games, he might just retire on the spot. It'll probably be a few weeks or a month before we know anything further on any league action.
  • Don't downgrade Tom Brady now that the New England Patriots jettisoned Randy Moss. Spreading the rock will help like it did back when they won Super Bowls. He won't have to keep Moss happy by forcing passes to him anymore.
  • Speaking of Brady, the reported confrontations he had with quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien are a little blown out of proportion. However, numerous players have had an issue with O'Brien because of the offensive schemes he drew up last year. He seemed like he didn't have the capacity to run that department.
  • Our insider doesn't think the New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees (knee) has been himself. Brees says he's fine, but something with his knee might be bothering him. He's underthrowing people. Of course, lack of a legitimate running game hasn't helped, either.
  • The San Francisco 49ers' Alex D. Smith is going to take more downfield shots and will try to open things up a bit more. He has played cautiously in the past but will probably be in attack mode more often.

Running backs

  • Ray Rice has looked better in goal line situations than Willis McGahee lately. Expect the Baltimore Ravens' goal line split to be more even moving forward.
  • Chester Taylor is unofficially the Chicago Bears' short-yardage back and is the likelier choice to be in on plays near the goal line. Taylor is a better fit than Matt Forte, whose upright running style takes a bit away from his potential in those situations. Forte will also receive slightly more touches, though it won't be an even split.
  • The Cleveland Browns' trade of Jerome Harrison means it's Peyton Hillis' show. Their acquisition of Mike Bell fits more with him being the spell guy for Hillis - Bell can run similar downhill plays between the tackles. James Davis' role is still unknown, but it probably doesn't amount to a work increase from his backup duty.
  • Marion Barber III will be the Dallas Cowboys' starting running back. Don't worry, Felix Jones owners: That's just Wade Phillips trying not to hurt Barber's feelings. Jones will remain the lead back in terms of touches.
  • If Detroit Lions wideout Calvin Johnson (shoulder) can't go this week, expect to see the Detroit running backs play a bigger role.
  • Mike Hart (hip) should play and see about five to 10 touches for the Indianapolis Colts this week. However, he'll relinquish the No. 2 role when Donald Brown (hamstring) comes back, likely after their Week 7 bye.
  • Sure, Randy Moss is once again on the Minnesota Vikings, but Adrian Peterson will be the focus for the Dallas Cowboys' defense this week.
  • Dallas Cowboys RB Felix Jones
    Felix Jones to remain lead back?
    New Orleans Saints new addition Julius Jones could stick if Pierre Thomas' ankle injury keeps lingering. Jones' best seasons came with Dallas when Sean Payton was their offensive coordinator. He hasn't been in town long enough to warrant much work this week, but if no PT next week, he could see more.
  • As for Reggie Bush, the Saints' playmaker won't go until he's 100 percent; he won't rush back. Bush is hoping and praying he'll be back for Week 8, but it's not a good sign. Our insider wouldn't be surprised if Bush's absence extended past Week 8, which would put him past the expected recovery time when he went out.
  • The New York Jets typically aim for a 50-50 touch split for running backs LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene, but LT's play has given him most of the touches early on. Greene is getting into a groove now, though, so whenever possible, expect them to aim for an even split.
  • Jerome Harrison isn't all that familiar with the Philadelphia Eagles' West Coast offense. He probably won't play this week. Long term, however, he's a better fit than the traded Mike Bell. Harrison fits the bill of former Eagle Correll Buckhalter - someone who can make an impact on five touches.
  • The San Diego Chargers should divvy out a 50-50 touch split between Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert. Their eventual goal is to make it Mathews with around 25 touches and Tolbert with around four or five. That'll probably happen when Mathews puts in a full week of practice, but he still might get a slight majority before that happens. Don't be surprised if this week's game against the St. Louis Rams will be the time for San Diego to see what Mathews has.
  • The Seattle Seahawks will likely go with a 50-50 percent or 60-40 percent touch split between their backs Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett this week. Lynch is still picking up the new offense, which has a few of the zone principles from Buffalo but is still a difficult one to learn. Once he is comfortable in it, touches will probably go 75-25 or 65-35 to Lynch.
  • LeGarrette Blount didn't play much last week because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were concerned about pass protection schemes. They stuck with Cadillac Williams most of the time. Not surprising because he's the starter anyway. Williams will continue to see two-thirds of touches, possibly three-fourths, if they're really that concerned about protection.
  • Expect Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Justin Durant to spy the Tennessee Titans' Chris Johnson this week and force Titans quarterback Vince Young to beat them.
  • Keiland Williams might see more work on third down for the Washington Redskins, but Ryan Torain, who did some good things in pass protection last week, will be given every chance to be the primary back. If the running game isn't work, though, Washington is quick to abandon it, as they did last week against the Green Bay Packers.

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Place kickers

  • New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton said he was ready to switch back to Garrett Hartley, but our source wasn't quite sure about that. If Hartley misses a kick Sunday, expect New Orleans to have auditions lined up for Monday.

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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