Another week in the books and the fantasy defensive back landscape proves to be one thing…unpredictable. Listen, I’m not looking to give you the top 10 plays each week. If you want that, you can go to ESPN or any of the “other” sites that provide weekly rankings for each position. I’m looking to give you some players that have good matchups that you can exploit to help you make a roster decision. Here you will find suggestions on who might be the better start in shallow leagues and who you might pick up off the waiver wire to cover a bye. Deep Keeper and Dynasty Leagues, we got a few gems for you, too. Cornerbacks this year so far have been feast or famine. Even when I have set up the ideal matchup, the other CBs seem to be the one that cashes in. Safeties are much more reliable due to tackle opportunities. Regardless, I seek to give you sound matchups and the football gods will decided the rest. Lets take a look back at last week, before we break down Week 6.
|CB||Sam Shields||GB||1.5||1||Safeties had all the fun in GB’s blowout win against the Vikings|
|CB||Davon House||GB||3.5||1.5||No impact plays by this GB tandem|
|CB||Joe Haden||CLE||7||3||4 tackles is all that Haden could manage in a high scoring game with the Titans|
|CB||Sterling Moore||DAL||4.5||3||No impact plays for Moore|
|CB||Bradley Roby||DEN||5||7||The rookie got the only impact play of the CB group with a PD|
|S||Harrison Smith||MIN||14.75||15||As predicted, Smith was busy in the backfield this week logging 6 tackles, PD and INT|
|S||Eric Weddle||SD||8||9||Weddle didn’t have much to do as it took the Jets into the 4th quarter to reach SD territory. He did manage a PD along with this 4 tackles|
|S||Kenny Vaccaro||NO||13.5||12.5||Respectable game with 6 tackles and a PD|
|S||Michael Mitchell||PIT||4.5||3||Bummed my sleeper pick didn’t pan out. Cortez Allen was hogging all the action. Mitcher managed only 3 tackles|
|S||Kemal Ishmael||ATL||24.75||11.5||Funny how my dynasty pick was the best performer. 14 tackles makes him a monster in tackle heavy scoring.|
It’s easy to spot the wins. I said last week that Ishmael would be a boom or bust. 14 tackles in Week 6 has now moved him up to 1st on the depth chart at SS after starting the season as a special teamer and deep safety depth. Vaccaro and Harrison Smith both had nice games. My cornerbacks…well…at least I didn’t have any DNPs this week.
Week 6 brings us only two bye teams: Kansas City and New Orleans. So many great games to choose from. So many possibilities for fantasy gold or heartbreak. We are nearly halfway through the fantasy regular season, so no more room for error. Here we go…
Week 6 Targets
Play ‘Em if You Have ‘Em
Get these guys in your starting lineup!
CB Alterraun Verner – TB ( vs. BAL ) — I selected Verner in the preseason as my highest scoring CB in all scoring systems for 2014. He has not disappointed so far. While he is not the top scorer (yet), he is in striking range and has scored double digits in all five weeks in Real Deal (tackle heavy) and four out of five weeks in MLFF (impact play heavy). His solid season had been paced by averaging six tackles per game but he burst on the scene in Week 5 with three PDs and an INT. Head Coach, Lovie Smith, uses the Tampa 2 defensive scheme and this will likely see Verner see many targets in his quadrant between Steve Smith (Sr.) and Torrey Smith passing through it. His impact plays ability should continue to manifest this week started and I like Verner to have another big game at home against the Ravens.
S Kam Chancellor – SEA ( vs. DAL ) — Kam has had two big games and two quiet games this season. Week 1 saw him rack up 11 tackles and in Week 3, he broke out the impact plays with an INT, Forced Fumble and two PDs. He seems to be rotating every other game, so this is the next big week, right? I actually believe that will be the case. Dallas and Tony Romo visit the 12th Man and they are due to come down to earth. This should be the week. Yes, they man-handled the Saints, but that was in between squeaking out dramatic wins against the lowly Rams and the Ryan Fitzpatrick led Houston Texans. Dallas has already gone on record saying it needed to scale back on DeMarco Murray’s touches. Chancellor is excellent against the run and he plays in the box on the majority of the snaps. Seattle trusts the CBs to handle Man Coverage and Earl Thomas to cover Center Field. This frees up Kam to swarm to wherever the play unfolds. I could see a double-digit tackle day as well as a pick.
Double Digit Lock
Question Marks at QB make these guys a Must-Start!
CB Chris Harris, Jr. – DEN ( @ NYJ ) — I got your impact plays right here! While Harris is not known for his ball-hawking skills, the man has already managed 8 PDs this season in just four games. He has picked up one INT and registered two stuffs (running plays that lose yardage). Seeing as he only has 14 tackles on the season, he makes the most of them count as he will live and die by the impact play. So far this season, he has mostly lived averaging 17+ fantasy points in the impact play driven MLFF scoring and 11+ fantasy points in the tackle driven Real Deal scoring. Either way, the Broncos visit Geno “Gone Girl” Smith and that
potent…er…pathetic Jets offensive this week. Geno likely will need to air it out most of the game after Denver jumps out to an early lead. This is a recipe for turnovers and expect Harris to be taking advantage of it.
S Brandon Meriweather – WSH ( @ ARI ) — After serving his two game suspension to begin the season, Meriweather has been a tackling fiend. He has 26 tackles in just three games which gives him 8.67 tacklers per contest. He has sprinkled in a few impact plays (1 sack and 2 PDs) but his contribution to your fantasy team will come primarily via his tackling. Likely Arizona starter this week, Logan Thomas, is raw and looks like he might be vulnerable to a veteran SS lurking around every play. Start him with confidence in Week 6.
Guy who should repeat a big performance!
CB Vontae Davis – IND ( @ HOU ) — After throwing up a fantasy goose egg against the Titans in Week 4, Davis had a big game last week against BAL with 4 tackles, an INT and 2 PDs. He looks to follow it up this week with another great game and I think he could repeat his output. Davis is excellent at defending in Man Coverage and often shadows their opponents top receiving threat. With Andre Johnson banged up, expect to see Davis following Fitzpatrick’s new favorite target, DeAndre Hopkins, around the field Thursday night. Hopkins is averaging over 6 targets per game so Davis will have his chances to make some impact plays and keep his fantasy owners happy.
On the Rebound
Guy who could have a big performance after last week’s stinker!
S Antoine Bethea – SF ( @ STL ) — With only 4 tackles last week against the Chiefs, Bethea is another one of those guys that seems to alternate between good and bad performances. The Rams tend to play most of their games from behind and as a result have been forced to pass in over 61% of their total plays and nearly 40 attempts per game. Newly minted Rams QB, Austin Davis, has been surprisingly efficient with a 67.8% completion percentage. Bethea is another SS that swarms toward the play and always has a chance to pick up a tackle or an impact play.
WTF IDP FLEX
When all else fails, these guys could surprise with a big day!
CB Adam Jones – CIN ( vs. CAR ) — Pacman is a blast from the past. After enduring countless legal matters, Jones has managed a PD in each game this season. He averages over four tackles per game which is respectable for a CB and he is active in both the Kick and Punt return game. Pacman could be a sneak play this week especially if your league counts return yards.
S Jahleel Addae – SD ( @ OAK ) — So why would the Dime Package Safety make this article? Well, any defender playing the Raiders is a worthy play. In all seriousness, this is a waiver wire fill in for an injury or bye week. He should be available, even in deeper leagues. In tackle heavy leagues he should provide enough value to be worth a play as he was the leading tackler in the Chargers secondary last week against the Jets. He could be in line for significant snaps again this week in a likely blow out.
These Rookies could impact your team this week as well as the future!
CB Travis Carrie – OAK ( vs. SD ) — The Rookie Nickel corner should see plenty of snaps this week as, I believe, Philip Rivers and Company will be passing the ball a ton this week. This is a bold statement as Oakland has seen the 2nd fewest pass attempts per game (29) in the league and the 4th fewest yards per game (207). These stats may be deceiving due to their opponent running the clock out starting at halftime of most games. If you look a little deeper, opponents average 7.1 yards per pass attempt which is 19th in the league. So there you have it. When teams need to pass against the Raiders, they can. They just don’t need to for very long. Carrie is coming off a nice game in London where he picked up five tackles and INT and PD. He is a legit dynasty league play this week.
S Deone Bucannon – ARI ( vs. WSH ) — In the preseason, I thought this kid would be the starting SS by Week 6. The 1st Round pick has been a steady contributor in tackles this season. What I didn’t expect was for Tony Jefferson to play so well and keep the kid at bay. His snap count continues to increase each game and he should be a solid IDP play in dynasty leagues this week against a potential potent Washington offense.
Bryan Luhrs Real Deal Dynasty Sports, Creator & Executive Commissioner MajorLeagueFantasySports.com, Fantasy Baseball and Football Writer http://www.realdealdynasty.com @realdealdynasty ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ (click link below to listen live) Major League Fantasy Football Radio: Join Ej Garr and Corey D Roberts on Sunday October 12th from 11am-12pm EST for this weeks episode of Major League Fantasy Football Radio sponsored by the Sports Palooza Radio Network. We will be taking live callers at 646.915.8596. Our guests this week are Ryan Ingram and Jeff Nelson. Ryan writes a weekly article every Friday discussing QBs/TEs and who to get into your line up that week. Ryan is also an owner in Major League Fantasy Football. Jeff Nelson is the DB Coach for White Hall H.S. in PA. and a two-time MLFF Champion. We will be taking questions on offense, individual defensive players, or Team Defenses/Special Teams. Be sure and check out Bryan Robinson every Saturday on /r/fantasyfootball on Reddit. He will be doing a live question & answer session so take advantage. Here is a link from his Q&A from week 4.