“Sauer Notes” Diggs’-ing for Gold
Six weeks of football are now in the books, and you should have a pretty solid feel for your roster construction. At this point in the season, you should know if your squad is poised for a playoff run, on the cusp of contention, or if your guys have just mailed it in for the year. Nevertheless, we are here to help you make tough lineup decisions, and look at some players you should be adding for depth with injuries and bye weeks looming. This week there is a good chance you may have one of your high profile WR on bye, so make sure you have some players to plug-in in their place.
Week 7 Byes: Bears, Bengals, Broncos, Packers
Week 6 MVP’s
Deandre Hopkins- As it was stated in last week’s article, Hopkins will be a mainstay in this portion of the article until further notice. Nuk has shown that regardless of who he has throwing him the football, he will continue to make plays. Finishing as the top finisher at the WR spot in Week 6, and thus far throughout the season, he finished with an absurd 10/149/2 line. Hopkins is the only player in the history of the NFL to have three straight games in which he tallied at least nine receptions for over 145 yards. If he can consistently stay on this plateau of superb numbers, we will be talking about Hopkins being the first receiver off the board come draft day next season.
Martavis Bryant- If you were patiently waiting for guys like Bell, Foster, Gurley, Jeffery, or Martavis, you have been pleasantly rewarded for your patience. It seems that all of these players who were injured or coming back from suspension have paid dividends for what you paid for them on draft day. Bryant had a stellar debut, that actually started off quite slow as he had only eight yards at halftime with Vick under center. Nevertheless, when third stringer Landry Jones came in, Bryant caught fire. He finished with eight targets to tie Antonio Brown, but out-performed everybody, finishing with 6/137/2, including a dynamic 88-yard touchdown to seal the deal with under two minutes to play. He obviously will be a safer play once Big Ben comes back, but with his big-play upside he is definitely a weekly starter, no matter who is under center.
The honorable mentions include Calvin Johnson and Alshon Jeffery, who battled it out in a divisional matchup on Sunday. It seems the Lions remembered they have one of the best WR in the league and finally threw down the field to Megatron, as he finished with a 6/166/1 stat line. Jay Cutler was happy to see Jeffery back on the field, as he ended up with 8/147/1. One more player I would like to mention is John Brown, who was destined to have a big game after he and Palmer have missed on a couple long balls this season. Although he did not find the end zone, he did finish with 10/196/0 on 14 targets. With Bruce Arian’s propensity to throw the football, there will be more days like this for Brown.
Week 6 Busts
Randall Cobb- For all you fantasy owners out there who stacked up on the Packers studs like Cobb and Lacy, we all feel for you. When you have a player like James Jones who was picked off of waivers by the Packers, and then in your fantasy league, outscore Cobb, who people drafted in the second or third round, it must be pretty painful. Coming off another five-point outing for the second week in a row, Cobb owners are hoping the Packers get their offense right coming off of a bye. If you were to take away his three touchdown performance in Week 3 against a very porous Kansas City secondary, we would find Cobb outside of the top-40 among the position. As I stated with Calvin Johnson last week, this may be a great buy-low opportunity and you should look to those reeling owners of Cobb.
Antonio Brown- Brown has had fewer than five receptions in back-to-back games for the first time since Weeks 8 and 9 of the 2012 season. Despite having a history of amazingly productive streaks, Antonio is really in need of Big Ben. Ben is taking part of 11-on-11 drills and trying out several different knee braces in attempt to play this week, and what a time it would be for Brown owners as they would face the aforementioned porous Kansas City defense, who have allowed the most fantasy point per game to receivers this season. If Big Ben is forced to sit again, hopefully Landry Jones will get the start, as he seems to be a more competent passer than Vick at this stage in his career.
Honorable mentions include A.J Green, who played second fiddle to Marvin Jones on Sunday. Green saw seven targets, catching four of them for 37 yards. Jones saw 12 targets and finished with 9/95/1. Dalton has a lot of mouths to feed in Cincinnati with Green, Jones, and Eifert, but fear not because Green will be atop the pecking order more often than not. After having three solid weeks with at least eight receptions, Jeremy Maclin had a down performance against Minnesota, finishing with a 3/48/0 line and leaving with a concussion, so keep an eye out on his status.
John Brown/Michael Floyd- Assuming you are starting Larry Fitzgerald regardless of the matchup, Brown and Floyd can have big days as well in Week 7. In a down week that saw Palmer and the boys only produce one touchdown, the trio of receivers all eclipsed double-digit fantasy points in a PPR setup. Last weekend, the Raven defense gave up 340 yards and two touchdowns to Colin Kaepernick, and for the second week in a row the Ravens have to travel west. The once vaunted Raven defense is giving up the most points to opposing quarterbacks, so look for all of the WR to have solid games.
Mike Evans- Evans, who has been a big disappointment thus far in the 2015 season, is facing the banged up secondary of the Redskins. This is a tremendous matchup, as the Skins have allowed eight touchdowns to opposing WR, the sixth most in the NFL. Combine that with the fact the Bucs’ are coming off their bye, and this could be a recipe for supreme success. Assuming you drafted Evan’s pretty highly, there is a good chance you may not have sufficient reinforcements to start in his place, so do not overthink this one, and put Evans in your lineup.
Eric Decker- The surging Jets will face their toughest test yet, as they face off against the Patriots. We know that Belichick likes to take away his opponents number one threat. There is no question who that has been as of late, Brandon Marshall. When pondering your players matchup, you assume that your number one WR will have a big day against a team primed to score a bunch of points, but that is not the case when facing the Pats’. Over the Pats’ last four games, the WR2 has outscored the WR1 in three out of the four contests, with Moncrief only finishing a few decimal points behind Hilton. So without question, we know where the Pats’ attention will be, and you should feel comfortable putting Decker in your lineups this weekend.
Honorable mentions include Pierre Garcon, who found the end zone against the tough Jets secondary. If that is the case, what do you think he could do against an awful secondary in Tampa Bay. Wille Snead has quickly become Drew Brees favorite target, and has a friendly matchup against a beatable Colts secondary. If the Colts go off Snead’s recent success and put Vontae Davis on him, this may be a different story, but I fully expect Davis to shadow Cooks in this matchup.
Jordan Matthews- Outside of Demarco Murray, it was an abysmal performance out of the Philadelphia offense. With Matthews already struggling to put up numbers this season, it does not help that he will get a very tough matchup against Josh Norman and the Panthers. With Norman quickly establishing himself as an elite cornerback, the likes of Revis or Sherman, the Eagles and Sam Bradford would be ill advised to throw his way. With the Panthers being smart enough to not put Norman on Cooper, Agholor, or Huff, I really envision tough sledding for Matthews this week.
Kendall Wright-After the Week 5 loss, Wright was vocal about his lack of involvement in the offensive gameplan. The Titans’ coaching staff did not listen to the discouraged wideout, as he was invisible yet again in Week 6, totaling only 5 targets in a blowout loss versus the Dolphins. In Week 7, the Titans’ best receiving option will have a tough time seeing an uptick in production, as he will most likely matchup against Falcons’ CB Desmond Trufant for the majority of the game. With a hobbled QB and one of the toughest matchups in football, Wright’s minimal role should continue for yet another week.
Anquan Boldin- Yes, Boldin and the San Fran passing attack has looked better over the past two weeks, but this week his recent success of eclipsing the 100-yard mark will come to an abrupt end. In Boldin’s past five contests against the Seahawks, he has failed to meet the 100-yard threshold and has not found the end zone. If you were riding Boldin’s recent successes, it would be best for you to sit him down and find another option heading into Week 7.
Honorable mentions include Amari Cooper, even though his team is coming off of a bye, he faces a tough divisional opponent in the Chargers, who have only given up three touchdowns and the fourth-fewest points to opposing wideouts. My love for Allen Robinson will have to rest for one week, as he goes up against a Bills defense that has only allowed one teams number one WR to find the end zone, and that was Julian Edelman. Now you might say that Robinson is a different player than Edelman, which he is, but the Bills are susceptible to the slot underneath routes, whereas, Robinson does most of his work on the outside.
Waiver Wire Inquiry
Stefon Diggs- With Charles Johnson nursing a rib injury and Mike Wallace hampered by a knee injury, it has opened the door for Diggs to step up. In his last two games, he has had 13 catches totaling 216 yards. There is apparent chemistry between he and Teddy Bridgewater, and if those aforementioned injuries keep those two players of the field, we could have a teams number one receiver floating around on the waiver wire. Diggs is definitely worth adding in all league formats until there is some clarity on the statuses of the other two players.
Michael Floyd- As mentioned in the Start Em’ portion of this article, Michael Floyd may still be available on your waiver wire. Even though he is behind Fitzgerald and Brown on the depth chart, this offense can make many players viable on a week-to-week basis. Floyd saw 8 targets and finished with a 5/50/1 line, just missing on a couple more big plays. This week, having a beautiful matchup against the Ravens, you could essentially pick him up and throw him right into the fire.
Guys who I have mentioned previously who may still be out there to look out for; Marvin Jones, who at times will be inconsistent, but because of his immense upside should be owned. Rishard Matthews, who may have been dropped as the Dolphins were on their bye week, but after a rout of the Titans, he was the Phins’ leading receiver, finishing with a competent 6/85/0 line. Furthermore, if Bradon LaFell is still available, he could make his return as early as this week, and could quickly become an integral part of the Patriots offense. Lastly, if Ty Montgomery is out for some time, look to add Jeff Janis, who is a mirror image of Jordy Nelson physically.
Bold Predictions for Week 7
Well, I’ve cashed in two weeks in a row on the TNF calls with Andre Johnson and Roddy White finding the end zone, so we will start this off with another TNF prediction.
Doug Baldwin hits on one of the patented Seahawks big plays and finishes with a 6/125/1 line.
Eric Double-Decker doubles up in the touchdown category this week and grabs 7/88/2.
Antonio Brown gets back to his WR1 ways and finishes with 8/120/1, with Big Ben or Landry Jones, does not matter,
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no…It’s actually Malcolm Floyd leading the charge for the Bolts’ with a vintage 5/135/1 game.
That will wrap things up for this weeks edition of Sauer Notes. Came back next week as we will divulge into what happened over the weekend, and what to expect in Week 8.
Any lineup questions, or waiver wire additions, find me on twitter: @zaksauer
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