We are nearing the halfway point of the fantasy football season. This is when we start to separate the contenders from the pretenders. We also hope that this week brings more fantasy joy than the slow batch of early games we experienced in Week 5.
Analysis:Darren McFadden has been a major fantasy frustration this season, but this is a week to make certain he's in your lineup. The Falcons' defense has been good this season, but it's susceptible to the run. Beware of any other Raiders -- including Sebastian Janikowski. Meanwhile, if you have a Falcon, get 'em in your lineup. Matt Ryan, Michael Turner and all of Atlanta's pass-catchers should keep on rolling.
Analysis: The Ravens' defense just isn't what it used to be. But don't tell Tony Romo, who could be in for another interception-filled day. However, things are looking up for DeMarco Murray against a surprisingly forgiving run defense. It could even be a good day for Miles Austin. Beware of starting any Ravens versus a solid Cowboys defense. You're not benching Ray Rice, but be aware that his numbers could be held in check.
Analysis: Look for Andy Dalton to bounce back from a subpar Week 5 and expect A.J. Green to be heavily involved. The WR is a must-start this week. BenJarvus Green-Ellis should rebound as well -- the Law Firm posted 105 total yards in Week 2 against the Browns. Trent Richardson will continue to prove his fantasy worth this week with at least one score. Brandon Weeden is a deep-league option at quarterback if you're struggling with byes.
Analysis: For years, Steven Jackson has been underrated. Not this season. His fantasy frustrations will continue against one of the NFL's better rushing defenses. But it presents an opportunity for Brandon Gibson. Consider him if you're having bye-week issues. The Rams' defense is middling against fantasy running backs. Expect depressed numbers from Reggie Bush this week, but not enough to put him on your bench.
Analysis: This would have been a great week to start Donald Brown, but his injury makes that impossible. That doesn't mean Vick Ballard is automatically worth the start. Consider him if you're hamstrung with bye-week players. For those of you waiting on your next opportunity to use Shonn Greene, this is it. It should also be a decent day for Jeremy Kerley. Think of them as deep league flex options.
Analysis: A bye week won't be enough to get Matthew Stafford on track against the Eagles. Avoid Detroit's running game once again. Philly is tough and the possible addition of Jahvid Best means one more mouth to feed. This could be a good week for the Lions defense against the turnover-prone Birds. Expect another good week from Brent Celek while the Philadelphia defense is a must-start option this week.
Analysis: There's no way you're sitting Jamaal Charles, but he could take a step back this week. However, big things should be in store for Dwayne Bowe, including at least one score. If you're looking for a bye-week replacement, Josh Freeman is an option. For owners in 12-team leagues who feel lucky, LeGarrette Blount could be a flex option. Same goes for the Buccaneers defense.
Analysis: Once again, Ryan Fitzpatrick is to be avoided. Same for the RB duo of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. On the flip side, this could be a nice week to have Stevie Johnson in your lineup. He might not have a ton of catches, but could spring for a big play. If there was ever a week to consider Kevin Kolb, this is it. Be cautious with William Powell, but Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts are quality starts.
Analysis:Tom Brady and Stevan Ridley have earned the benefit of the doubt, but their production could be muted against Seattle's strong defense. Give Wes Welker some consideration if you're in a PPR league. The Pats have struggled against fantasy quarterbacks, but Russell Wilson isn't the guy to take advantage of that. Look for Seattle to lean on Marshawn Lynch, who could have decent, but not great, numbers.
Analysis: It's the 49ers defense, you know what that means. Either avoid Ahmad Bradshaw or expect smaller numbers this week. This could be a good week to reintroduce Martellus Bennett to your lineup. Frank Gore is a good RB2 this week against an average run defense. Michael Crabtree might not duplicate last week's numbers, but he's another WR to consider for teams dealing with bye-week issues.
Analysis:Percy Harvin's had a great year. This week could be his best yet against a Redskins' defense that has been awful against fantasy receivers. Christian Ponder could connect with Harvin and Kyle Rudolph for scores. The Vikes have slowed down running backs, which is bad news for Alfred Morris. This is another week Robert Griffin III should consider working Fred Davis into the rotation.
Analysis:Aaron Rodgers shouldn't ever be benched, but the Texans won't make things easy on him. Whether it's Alex Green or James Starks running the football, they should be avoided this week. Matt Schaub is worth a start in most leagues this week and Andre Johnson should bounce back from being shut down on Monday night.
Analysis: In a game that could feature a lot of offense, be certain to have Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker in your lineup. Willis McGahee is a nice start as well in this Monday night affair. Robert Meachem could back up his nice game from Week 5 against Denver's secondary. Philip Rivers shouldn't be your first choice at quarterback this week, but you could certainly do worse.