Week 6: Sleepers of the Week
If one of your normal starters is injured or facing a tough match-up, here are some players you might consider starting in their place. While these players may not be every week starters, they are good bets to perform well this week. Most of the players that will be listed are on fantasy rosters, but not normally starters.
Christian Ponder and the Minnesota Vikings travel to Washington to take on the Redskins in week six. Ponder continued his hot start to the season with a 258 passing yard, 31 rushing yard, two touchdown, two interception performance in a lopsided win over the Tennessee Titans. Ponder leaned on Percy Harvin throughout the game, and should continue to do so as Harvin has proven to be one of the league's most explosive players. The second year quarterback will be able to keep his game rolling this week against a Redskins secondary that has been exploited by opposing quarterbacks all season long. The Redskins are allowing more than 325 passing yards per game, 29th in the league, while their run defense is allowing just 88 yards per game. The Vikings know that they will have success through the air, leading to more pass opportunites than usual for Christian Ponder. Fantasy owners should get Ponder off their bench and into their lineups, and can expect 250 passing yards and at least one touchdown from the former Florida State Seminole.
Alex Smith and the San Francisco 49ers face the New York Giants in week six, in a rematch of last years NFC Championship game. Smith is coming off a great game in week five against the Buffalo Bills in which he threw for more than 300 yards, three touchdowns, no turnovers, and 49 rushing yards. The former number one overall pick will have a tougher match-up this week against the reigning Super Bowl Champions, although they have not been stout against the pass this season, allowing 261 yards per game, 21st in the league. Michael Crabtree had a breakout game in week five, catching six passes for 113 yards and a touchdown, and should continue to excel against Giants corner Nate Webster this week. Fantasy owners who are in need of a bye week fill-in can count on at least 225 passing yards and one touchdown from Alex Smith this week.
Alex Green and the Green Bay Packers travel to Houston for a match-up with the Texans in week six. Green played a major role in the Packers offense for the first time in week five, rushing for 55 yards on nine carries while also adding one reception for eight yards out of the backfield. The rookie running back should be in for his biggest workload of the season this week, as Cedric Benson has already been ruled out with an injury, and James Starks may play but is still dealing with a toe injury. I expect Green to touch the ball at least 15 times this week, making him a good fill-in as a flex play in fantasy leagues. Green was only owned in 19 percent of fantasy leagues before last week, but that number should skyrocket this week following the injury to Cedric Benson. Fantasy owners can start Alex Green this week and can expect at least 75 total yards and a touchdown.
Rashard Mendenhall and the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans in week six. In what was expected to be a light season debut, Mendenhall ended up rushing the ball 14 times for 80 yards and a touchdown, while also adding two receptions for 20 yards in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Mendenhall looked as good as ever coming off a torn ACL, and made it through the game without any injury complications. With the rest of the Steelers running backs struggling, expect Mendenhall's role in the offense to continue to grow in the coming weeks. Mendenhall has a good match-up this Thursday night against a Titans defense that has allowed 144 yards per game on the ground -- 28th in the league. Fantasy owners should make sure that Rashard Mendenhall is in their lineups this week and can expect at leasy 90 total yards and a touchdown.
Randall Cobb and the Green Bay Packers travel to Houston to face the Texans in week six. Cobb is coming off a four catch, 82 yard, and one touchdown performance in a loss to the Indianapolis Colts. The second year wide receiver has shown tremendous playmaking ability with the ball in his hands, and I expect the Packers to try to get him the ball more often as the season progresses. This week's game against the Texans should be a high scoring affair, meaning that pretty much all of your Packers skill position players should be in your fantasy lineup. In addition to his work as a wide receiver, Cobb could also be used out of the backfield on third downs with the Packers backfield situation now complicated by the long-term injury to Cedric Benson. Fantasy owners can start Randall Cobb this week and can expect 85 total yards and a touchdown.