Thursday, October 11, 2007

Matt's Stats: Week 6 NFL Preview

It was a nice comeback week in Week 5, a return to normalcy for Matt's Stats after a slight bump in the road in Week 4. While only 29% of CBS leagues were starting Jason Campbell last week, it was Matt's Stats who was telling you that he would make for an excellent start. The result was Jason Campbell having the best game in his career with 248 Yards (career high), 2 TD (tying a career high), and a 125.3 QB Rating (first time in his career with a QB Rating over 100). Now to look to the future with the players and picks you will want to make for Week 6 of the National Football League.

"Sleep"ing on the Job:

Byron Leftwich (QB, Atlanta Falcons) - Now I know you are going to see this and think I'm crazy. You may even ask, Why would anyone want a backup QB on their roster? Well here is why. Everyone knows that Harrington is about to lose his job. He was taken out towards the end of the game last week, and is now on a quick hook. Going against the tough Giants defense should equal another rough week for Harrington, and make it a distinct possibility that Leftwich starts in Week 7. It was a surprise when Jacksonville released Leftwich earlier in the year, but he is still a good NFL QB. He has a lifetime 58.5 completion percentage, 84 TD and 51 INT. Every year of Leftwich's career except his rookie season in 2003, Leftwich threw for more TD then INT. With more and more QB's going down, the waiver wire shouldn't have much options left. When he becomes a starter, Leftwich could become a popular waiver pickup. Currently he is owned in only 7 percent of CBS Leagues, pick him up now and beat the pack if you can, and you could be adding a great fill-in QB that can assist in your push to the playoffs.

"Play" or "Stay Away"

QB - Play Donovan McNabb (QB, Philadelphia Eagles). McNabb has been very up and down this year and doubt has crept into owner's heads as evidenced by only 65% of owners in CBS leagues having him in the starting lineup for Week 6. McNabb is facing off against the Jets (Currently ranked 25th against the Pass) and is well rested coming off the bye. Expect McNabb to bounce back nicely this week. He won't duplicate the 381 Yards, 4 TD Week 3 performance against Detroit, but he will do better then the 138 Yards, 0 TD Week 4 performance against the Giants. McNabb should total about 250 Yards and 2-3 TDs in an easy win against the Jets, making him an excellent starter for this week.

Stay away from Carson Palmer (QB, Cincinnatti Bengals). Palmer has struggled two weeks in a row (Totalling 2 TD and 4 INT against Seattle and New England) and now must go against the tough Kansas City Chiefs defense. Herm Edwards always has a good defense and this year is no exception, as the Chiefs rank 5th in the league against the Pass. Palmer will turn it around eventually, but that will probably take one more week until he plays the Jets in Week 7. Stay away from Palmer this week if you have a good back up on your roster.

RB - Play Larry Johnson (RB, Kansas City Chiefs). Of course this is an obvious choice. A top RB taken in the first round should start every week. This is more to reassure you that all is not lost with LJ. Johnson had the worst game of his career last week (9 Rushes for 12 Yards against Jacksonville) and has totalled only 275 Rushing Yards this year, with 0 TD on the season. Week 6 will be the week that Johnson breaks out. The Bengals rank 29th in the league against the run and Johnson in 2 career games against Cincy has scored 3 TD and averaged 6.3 yards per rush.
Expect Johnson to finally get in the endzone this week, with a 165 yard, 3 TD game being a distinct possibility.

Stay away from Cedric Benson (RB, Chicago Bears). Benson has been decent at best this year (303 Rushing yards, 3 yards per rush avg, 2 TD) and will struggle against Minnesota this week. Do not get excited by the Bears comeback last week against Green Bay, they are still not good at all. The Vikings go into this game against Chicago ranked #1 in the NFL against the Run, only giving up 62 yards per game. Benson is going to struggle and is not a recommended start in Week 6.

WR - Play Bobby Engram (WR, Seattle Seahawks) this week. Engram has totalled 275 Yards and 2 TD so far this year playing as the #3 WR of the Seahawks. With Branch now out, Engram will be starting and will now get increased playing time. Seattle plays against New Orleans (19th Ranked Defense against the Pass) on Sunday Night Football and Engram looks to be a popular target for Hasselbeck.

Stay away from Braylon Edwards (WR, Cleveland Browns) in Week 6. Cleveland is playing against a horrible Miami team but Miami still has a good defense. They rank third against the pass this year and while the Browns should be able to win, Derek Anderson will have some difficulty getting the ball to his WRs. Bench Edwards this week if other options are available.

Survival of the Fittest:

Thanks to Arizona's win over St. Louis last week, I got back on the winning side of things to put my record at 4-1 for the season. The pick this week is the San Diego Chargers at home over the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are good, but LaMont Jordan is injured and Dominic Rhodes may take a few weeks to get going. The Chargers are returning home after finally breaking out with a 41-3 win at Denver last week. Expect the Chargers to win and enter the bye week at .500.

Have a Great Week 6!

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mangan said...

Some decent advice this week Matt, and I agree with you on most of it... but I can't back you on starting McNabb. As a McNabb owner myself, I have been burned by a couple of single digit weeks from the former fantasy monster. Although I do like his matchup against the Jets, I can't bring myself to start him until I see some much needed pass-protection and a good game or two. I'm going with Kurt Warner this week instead.

As for the pick'em, I think this is the week to use the popular "Any Team against St Louis" strategy as I am going with the Baltimore Ravens. I don't see the chargers losing either... but the Raiders might surprise some people.