Week 6: PPR Watch
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Confident - Maybe it's just a hunch, but I think Martin is ready to have a very useful fantasy day Sunday against the Chiefs. He better. Considering the hype and his draft position, Martin's gotten off to a pitifully slow start, averaging just 3.5 yards per carry. Still, injuries have hampered the line, and Martin isn't a great deal to blame. It is quite possible Blount will see some additional carries in week 6, but I don't think Martin owners should worry. Coming off their bye week, look for Tampa to find more creative ways to get Martin the ball in space where he can better use his ability to make tacklers miss. The Bucs are rested and playing at home against a very beatable KC defense. It is his first truly good matchup since week 1. Take advantage.
Confident - Gresham got off to a slow start. Many owners believed he would be the breakout TE of 2012, but if you've held onto him this long you may be about to get rewarded. Over the past 3 weeks, Gresham has recorded 15 catches on 18 targets while amassing the 6th most yards at the position. I love that conversion rate, and I love that AJ Green and Andrew Hawkins are giving opposing defenses plenty to be concerned about at multiple different levels down the field. With Joe Haden returning to anchor a reeling Browns secondary, expect Andy Dalton to look Gresham's way more often against Cleveland if Green is unable to get open. 7 catches for 60+ yards seems like a safe bet if you need him.
Confident - I was really looking forward to the return of Jerome Simpson. With Christian Ponder and the Vikings playing well, Simpson seemed like the kind of guy that could take the top off defenses and really open up the offense further. Things were looking pretty good his first game back -- 4 catches for 50 yards, and immediately a big part of the offense; taking the field for 83% of the Vikings' offensive plays. Then in week 5, not only did Simpson catch none of his 3 targets, but his snap count fell from 48 to 24, just 35%. What happened? A lower leg issue that caused "weakness and numbness" and limited his time on the field. He's feeling better now, and barring a setback should be back on the field closer to his week 4 snap tally. Though he's not your typical PPR receiver, I can't help but think he's easily a WR3 this week against a Washington secondary that's been the worst in the league. If you need a spot starter, look no further.
Caution -Coming into the season there was a lot of anticipation for the fresh crop of rookie recievers. Blackmon in Jacksonville, Floyd in Arizona, Quick in St. Louis. So far only Kendall Wright has even hinted at living up to the hype. Over the past 3 weeks Wright has been the 10th in targets, 7th in receptions, and 30th in fantasy points per game in PPR. Pretty useful WR3 type numbers, and I personally have started him quite a bit in various leagues. Unfortunately, not this week. Not unless I'm desperate. The Steelers have been typically solid against WRs so far this year, and Thursday night games have been tricky to predict for fantasy. Add to that the expected return of Kenny Britt, and it is hard to imagine much upside for a receiver that has done most of his scoring in garbage time. If 4-5 catches for 50 yards is all you need, then roll with Wright, but it is too low a ceiling for my money.
Caution - Ready to jump on the Josh Gordon bandwagon? I'm not. Pick him up? Sure. It never hurts to have a 6'3 225 pound receiver with 2nd round pedigree sitting on your bench. Nevertheless, it seems like every team has a big strong rookie receiver they grabbed in the first 3 rounds this year, and none of them are really producing. 82 yards and 2 touchdowns is a pretty impressive day, but he also had only 2 catches on 8 total targets. Even with players on bye, I need to see a few weeks of consistency before I'm willing to rush a rookie into my starting lineup. Particularly in PPR , where you can always grab a guy like Davone Bess for a safe 5 catches and 50 yards. The Cincinnati secondary has allowed only 46 catches to WRs in 5 weeks, and the 5th fewest fantasy points. I can't recommend him.