We’re with you every Sunday to provide the Sunday Six Pack, an article featuring six of the biggest story lines heading into each and every week of the season. Keeping tabs on these events will keep you prepared and informed throughout the season – just don’t drive within six hours of reading this.
Can #1) Buffalo Workload
Fred Jackson paced the Bills with 25 carries to 14 for CJ Spiller last week. Chan Gailey blamed that on the rainy conditions and wet field. The weather forecast is for light rain in Buffalo this week, so we’ll see how that breaks down this week against the Rams and their 13th ranked run defense in terms of average yards per game. Fortunately for CJ Spiller owners he doesn’t need as many carries to provide a decent week, as he showed with a 44 yard TD run last week. Still, CJ Spiller owners would still like to see him get the bulk of the carries.
Can #2) Double Covered Dez
Earlier this week, Bengals Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer told a radio station that Dez Bryant reminds him of Michael Irvin. What this likely means is that the Bengals plan to scheme to take Bryant away from the Cowboys offense. Coming off three monster games in a row, it will certainly be interesting to see if the Bengals go forward with that plan and, if so, how Bryant responds. If the Bengals do focus on taking Bryant away, look for big(ger) days from Miles Austin, Jason Witten and DeMarco Murray.
Can #3) Two Scores to Settle
The Giants are coming off a loss to a division rival where they failed to contain RG3 when it counted. The Saints are coming off a loss to a division rival that likely torpedoed their playoff chances, and where Drew Brees likely torpedoed people’s fantasy seasons with no touchdowns and five interceptions. Both will be looking to get right this week. The Giants will be looking to stay on top of the NFC East and the Saints trying to keep the plug from getting pulled on their playoff life support. New Orleans is tied for the eighth least sacks given up this year at 22. The Giants will have to get pressure on Brees to keep him from snapping out of last week’s funk.
Can #4) Lambeau Passing Academy
Even with the forecast calling for snowy, slushy conditions in Green Bay Sunday night, I still suspect that these two teams, who are not exactly known for their rushing attacks, will still try and air it out into the night. Aaron Rodgers has three games in a row with less than three touchdown passes and two in a row with only one, and will be without Jordy Nelson this week. Stafford has had two good games in a row after going 17 for 39 for 266 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions when these two teams last met in Week 11. I still expect a high scoring affair, regardless of the weather.
Can #5) Kaepernick Komeback
After all of the praise heaped on Colin Kaepernick since he took over for Alex Smith, we will not get to see how he bounces back after a loss. With his 21 for 32, 208 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions was not horrible (especially when you add in the 9 carries for 84 yards), he will continue to be under the microscope in the odd situation of taking of the position at midseason on a team competing for the number one overall conference seed and a bye. The Dolphins are ranked 26th in the league in average passing yards allowed for game, so this game should allow Kaepernick to get back on track.
Can #6) Skelton’s Return
After the miserable failure of the Ryan Lindley Experiment, Ken Whisenhunt now turns back to the slightly less underwhelming John Skelton. The Cardinals’ offensive line in tatters and the Seahawks are aiming to take Larry Fitzgerald away with lock-down corner Richard Sherman. I don’t believe that the loss of Brandon Browner to a four-game suspension will matter that much to Seattle this week. I won’t be surprised if the Seahawks D/ST is the top fantasy scorer in this game. Arizona is still ranked 3rd against the pass, but only 24th against the run, and may be missing Darnell Dockett for a majority of the game due to his on-field altercation with safety Kerry Rhodes. Marshawn Lynch should be the D/ST’s biggest challenger.
Have a great Sunday!