I haven’t been able to figure out if this NFL season has been amazing or terrible with the week-to-week craziness. Up until this week, I’ve been leaning towards great. Sure, it means we need to work a bit harder in fantasy and luck is more evident than ever before. But as a fan of football, having no clear Super Bowl favorite will make the second half of the season that much more exciting.
Like I said before, those were my feelings up until this week. Those who know me are aware I am a fan of the Packers. On Sunday, Anthony Barr drove Aaron Rodgers into the turf, breaking his clavicle in his throwing shoulder. Monday was eerie around Wisconsin. Packers fans everywhere walked around emotionless, as if their grandma had passed away…but worse. The only thing more difficult than a loss to the Vikings is the loss of our captain, our leader, our quarterback, our savior, the baaaaad man, Aaron Rodgers.
Now, those who know me also know my strong hatred, yes hatred, for Mike McCarthy. I think he is a terrible coach and a worse play-caller. He has cost us big games time and time again. It has been trendy to hate on Mike McCarthy in Wisconsin in recent years, but understand that I was even doing it during their Super Bowl season. I’m just happy to have a bit more support now. This loss of Aaron Rodgers will cause the offense to really struggle and show McCarthy’s incompetencies, but now he gets to fall back on the excuse of being without the league’s best player. This frustrates me even more than actually losing Rodgers.
Anyways….fantasy football, right? Week six was as crazy as ever, with the continuing pile of injuries, upsets, and more controversial calls with the Patriots. Obviously we’re focused more on the injuries right now. I’ll get into injuries more specifically on the slides for each position’s “adds.” We also have bye weeks to worry about, but only two this week: Lions and Texans.
Let’s jump right into it and see if we can find some gems to win you the championship! I will be giving you some suggestions of players you should add or drop, with each player’s ownership in ESPN leagues.
I’ve already vented a bit about Rodgers, but he’s not the only injury to note. Jameis Winston left the game with a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder. He’s listed as day-to-day, but with a veteran backup like Fitzpatrick, I would be surprised if Winston plays against Buffalo this week. It’s also worth bringing up Mariota when talking injuries. If you look at the stat sheet, you’re not worried since he threw for 300+ on Monday Night Football. If you watched it, there’s plenty of reason to be nervous. He looked bad. Luckily, he’s matched up with the Browns this week, but it’s a situation to monitor.
QB Brett Hundley, GB (0.1%)
The greatest quarterback in the game is lost to injury, so in comes Hundley who inherits a respectable receiving corps. As a Packer fan, I have serious doubts about Hundley’s ability (I actually like Callahan more), and have even more doubts about his ability to stay healthy. At this point, my doubts are irrelevant. Hundley is McCarthy’s guy, so he walks right into fantasy relevance, especially considering the Packers host the Saints this week.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB (0.1%)
Like I said above, Winston suffered a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder. It doesn’t make sense to rush him back this week and risk further injury, since the Bucs do not get a bye week. The beard didn’t play phenomenal, but 290 passing yards with a 3-2 TD-to-INT ratio is probably about the same as Winston would have had.
QB Tyrod Taylor, BUF (39.8%)
Clay and Matthews are still out for the Bills, so it makes sense why Tyrod’s ownership is so low. However, he has a pretty juicy next four games: TB, OAK, NYJ, NO. Just lose Aaron Rodgers and know you won’t be able to get Hundley? Tyrod may be your man.
Running Back Adds
There really is no new injuries to discuss with running backs, besides Leonard Fournette. I expect him to play this week, but he will likely have a slightly reduced role. The following names are more about them taking advantage of opportunity.
**Updated: Ezekiel Elliott is now active for Sunday**
RB Darren McFadden, DAL (49.8%)**
Most people in the industry will tell you to pick up Morris and he will be the guy. He’s the easy guy to vouch for, since McFadden has continually been a healthy scratch. Well, I go against the grain, and I’m going to tell you that I think McFadden will have more value. Here’s why. When we examine Darren McFadden, he is older, injury-prone, and possesses more similarities in skill set to Ezekiel Elliott than Alfred Morris does. If you’re the Cowboys, it doesn’t make sense to have someone active who gives you the same type of play as your workhorse starter. I would rather use that active roster spot for a flexible player that can contribute in multiple areas, because they’re not putting McFadden out on special teams. Instead, they have Morris active. He is a better short yardage guy, more durable, more youthful, and possesses better ball security. With Zeke out, McFadden is activated and becomes the lead runner again. I wouldn’t be surprised if Morris gets the start or the first shot at carries, but honestly, he’s not very good. This is my argument for McFadden over Morris.
RB Alfred Morris, DAL (43.9%)**
Now, it’d be foolish for me to completely ignore Morris. He’s been the guy active, and that means something. I just told you why I think he was active and McFadden was not, but I’m not in the Cowboys locker room, so I can only use what I know. If you can’t get McFadden, grab Morris. At least one of these two will have significant value.
RB Orleans Darkwa, NYG (4.5%)
Running behind a terrible offensive line against the best rush defense in the league, Darkwa finished with 117 yards. I think more importantly, he got 22 total touches and 50% of the snaps. There were only five plays he was out there that he didn’t touch the ball. He gets the Seahawks this week, who are about average when it comes to stopping the run.
RB Alex Collins, BAL (29%)
I recommended Collins last week and the week before. He’s the clear back to own in Baltimore, and he’s one of the only guys giving this offense some production. They need to feed him to get any kind of energy out of this group.
RB Matt Forte, NYJ (50.5%)
The veteran is available in half of leagues, and it’s clear the Jets are fine giving him the ball plenty and letting him end his career with them. While this workload certainly makes his future past this season unknown, it also means he holds value this year.
RB Chris Ivory, JAC (5.4%)
I said last week that Ivory is a must-own for Fournette owners because injuries are bound to happen. I like to get ahead of the curve in fantasy, and last week you saw exactly why. While Fournette’s injury is not serious, it’s still an injury. This ankle injury could linger, or they may have to give him a break. You’ll see this “add” pretty commonly across the industry this week, just remember who told you to do it in week six.
RB Dion Lewis, NE (6.6%)
Lewis has 50+ rushing yards the past two weeks, and Gillislee fumbled the ball last game. This means he is likely in Belichick’s doghouse for the foreseeable future. The Patriots are obviously struggling, so maybe they’ll stick with Lewis for now. Obviously it’s a situation that is impossible to 100% predict, but he’s worth a look if you’re desperate.
Pass Catcher Adds
There’s a couple new significant injuries with Golden Tate and Emmanuel Sanders set to miss some games. There’s still some nagging injuries from previous weeks, Mohamed Sanu, for example. These are all players who can see big roles the next time they step on the field.
WR John Brown, ARI (47.3%)
Brown should be back to seeing 75-80% of the snaps on a normal week. He is one of Palmer’s go-to options in this pass-friendly offense. Yes, they ran the ball a ton last week, but that was more a product of game flow and a welcoming of Peterson to Arizona.
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI (36.2%)
He has four touchdowns in six weeks. We need to assume this is legit until further notice.
WR Marvin Jones, DET (63.4%)
The Lions are on a bye this week, but Golden Tate is expected to miss multiple weeks.
WR Sterling Shepard, NYG (60.4%)
Many rushed to pick the receiver up last week, only for him to sit out with an injury. There’s a chance he’s back this week, so have him on your radar at least.
WR Jermaine Kearse, NYJ (51.4%)
The only player to be mentioned in every single Add/Drop of the season.
WR Eric Decker, TEN (54%)
Decker looked good on MNF, and he has a great opportunity this week against the Browns’ friendly defense.
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (61.2%)
Don’t look at his name, only look at his stats. He’s a legit TE1 in PPR leagues.
TE Austin Hooper, ATL (37.8%)
Hooper saw increased looks with Sanu out last week. If he misses again, he’s a great option.
TE Zach Miller, CHI (25.2%)
TE11 on the year, and the rookie likes throwing to him.
QB Aaron Rodgers, GB (99.5%)
I’ll save my tears.
RB Latavius Murray, MIN (70%)
I’ve been telling you, Murray SUCKS. Eventually he’ll fall into the end zone and people will freak out about that, but he’s terrible. Also, to those holding on because “at least he’s the goal line back,” they gave him a goal line carry and he did nothing. The Vikings then brought in McKinnon, as Murray was heard swearing as he trotted off the field, and McKinnon ran it in. Jerick McKinnon isn’t the most talented running back in the world, but he’s far superior to Latavius Murray.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, TB (32.3%)
As long as Martin is healthy, Rodgers barely has a role.
RB David Johnson, ARI (79.7%)
This may seem like a ridiculous person to put here, but if you have DJ and you’re sitting at 1-5 or maybe 2-4, you need to move him. First, try to trade him to someone who either loves him or is sitting pretty for playoffs. If absolutely nobody will even give you pennies on the dollar for Johnson, drop him. Don’t sink your ship by being either too optimistic or stubborn. This is obviously invalid if you have an IR slot.
WR Jamison Crowder, WAS (62.7%)
Crowder isn’t a must-drop, but make the move if there’s someone you like. He has yet to hit double-digit fantasy points in a PPR league.
TE Eric Ebron, DET (37.6%)
Stop trying to make Ebron happen! It’s not going to happen!
TE Tyler Eifert, CIN (19.4%)
If you didn’t hear, Eifert elected to have season-ending surgery.
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