Jackson Prince, co-editor-in-chief
Down goes Calvin Johnson. Down goes Rashad Jennings. Down goes Donald Brown, Mike Evans, Jake Locker. Down goes Reggie Bush. Down goes Montee Ball. Down goes Zac Stacy. Down goes Jimmy Graham.
Hell of a week, if you ask me.
Add Drew Brees, Brandin Cooks, Khiry Robinson, Pierre Thomas, Travis Kelce and Jamaal Charles, and we’ve rounded out the Week Six inactives.
Chances are that you are the proud owner of at least one of these men, and you might be scrambling.
Scratch that. You are scrambling. I am scrambling. On top of an arduous senior year schedule, I have to spend all week worrying about the state of Joique Bell’s brain and Knowshon Moreno’s elbow. Granted, I’m leaning toward the prediction that these two are held out.
I’m in a predicting sort-of mood, and I’m feeling confident. If you’re planning to read on, you should share the sentiment.
FIVE FANTASY FORECASTS
1. Andre Williams is a top-five running back Week Six.
Being the smart fantasy owner I’m sure you are, you anticipated that Rashad Jennings would go down early, as he’s just getting adjusted to the workhorse lifestyle. Right? No?
Here’s your solace: Andre Williams is a beast. He’s got sticky hands in the check-down game and a solid frame that can handle 20+ carries. Pounce on him if he’s on the waiver wire and start him this week against the Eagles. It’ll be a high-scoring, high-yardage affair, and Williams will reap the rewards.
2. Torrey Smith will score. Twice.
Let’s face it: Torrey Smith has been a huge disappointment. Despite averaging six targets per game, he’s only reeled in 11 catches for 176 yards and one touchdown.
But, my friends, this putrid stat-line is a fluke.
Smith’s longest catch of the year went for 29 yards. We’re talking about a top deep-threat in the NFL not garnering any long receptions all year. He’s so very talented, and he’s bound to strike at some point. Week Six feels like a ripe hour for a breakout, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren’t doing anything special on defense and the Ravens’ run game is as bad as ever.
Two touchdowns. One of them goes for over 40 yards. Big game this week for Torrey Smith, and for his owners. Start him.
3. Quietly, James Jones will continue to put up top-25 WR numbers.
In four games, James Jones has caught 21 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns. If my iPhone calculator is correct, he’s averaging 5.25 catches, 68 yards and half of a touchdown per game. In PPR leagues, that’s a top-25 receiver. In standard leagues, 60 yards and a touchdown is a treat.
Either way, he’s got value. As the only viable receiving option for the Raiders, look for him to exploit a shaky Chargers’ secondary this Sunday. It doesn’t hurt that the Raiders will not have the lead in this matchup. Feel blessed if he’s your third wide receiver.
4. Ben Roethlisberger is going to throw four touchdowns.
Here’s one for Le’Veon Bell. Sure, take one, Heath Miller. What the heck, Antonio Brown, I’ll give you two. While Big Ben might toss a pick, this game will either see a blowout in favor of the Steelers or a tightly-contested affair against their division rivals, the Cleveland Browns. Either way, the scoreboard will be active.
Look for a big day from the Steelers’ offense. Brown and Bell are scary right now and Roethlisberger is at the helm of this fiery crew.
5. Eric Ebron will be the surest-handed Lion this week.
He’s no Calvin Johnson, but he’s big. At 6 feet 4 inches, 265 lbs, Eric Ebron is a mammoth man. He’s also, according to NFL analyst Mike Mayock, “one of the best athletes [he’s] seen at that size.” Mayock went on to compare Ebron to a less “twitchy” version of Vernon Davis, but noting that Ebron is “a better athlete with better hands.”
I don’t like Megatron’s chances of playing this week. Even if he does, he’ll be limited. And with a hurting run game (both Bush and Bell are questionable), Matt Stafford’s sandbox will have lost many of its toys.
Yet, I see Week Six as Ebron’s coming-out party. Enough yards and a touchdown against the paltry Vikings’ defense will earn him a spot as one of the top-10 tight ends this week.
This’ll be fun.