We’re with you every Sunday to provide the Sunday Six Pack, an article featuring six of the biggest storylines 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. With that in mind, let’s take a look at this week’s Sunday Six Pack:
Can #1) Don’t Gamble on Campbell
Brian Hoyer crushed some of my fantasy dreams when he awkwardly slid for a first down that fateful Thursday night in Cleveland. I can admit that now. The effect is cathartic. Unfortunately, that doesn’t do much for my Josh Gordons and Jordan Camerons who have been languishing under trade rumors and the regressive play of elderly quarterback Brandon Weeden the past two weeks. I use the term “languishing” relatively with respect to Cameron, who’s put up decent numbers thanks to garbage time production on his 15 targets the last two weeks. However, his 20 targets since Hoyer’s injury (including most of the Bills game) is certainly a disappointing total. Gordon’s 2-for-21 on six targets is even more distressing, especially combined with news the constant trade speculation is affecting his performance. At least that will wrap up one way or another after this week. Regardless, I remember the deer in headlights look on Jason Cambell’s face the last time he starters — as a Bear against the 49ers. For good measure, he gets an aggressive and dominating Chiefs defense at Arrowhead. The only question for me is whether Dontari Poe will drive home after the game with Campbell mounted on the hood of his car.
Can #2) The Jaguars are So Bored With the USA
The Jaguars are 0-7 in the United States and an even 0-0 in the United Kingdom, so there’s that. Unfortunately for the Jags, they are bringing their league worst rushing defense (they’re giving up 153.3 yards per game) with them to face the 49ers and their third ranked rushing offense that is producing 143.3 rushing yards per game – that means look for a lot of Frank Gore and maybe even reborn dynasty darling Kendall Hunter. Even though Blaine Gabbert is apparently healthy again, the Jags plan to start less awful option Chad Henne which should continue to support the fantasy values of Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts. It will be interesting to see if rookie Ace Sanders, who has now returned from a concussion, has lost his role to Mike Brown. Sanders had a couple of decent games (5 receptions for 64 yards in Week 2 and 4 receptions for 59 yards in Week 4) before getting hurt.
Can #3) Ponder Scum
Christian Ponder has been so ineffective this year that the Vikings decided to throw a thoroughly unprepared Josh Freeman to the wolves on Monday Night Football last week. Now Freeman is concussed and its is likely that Ponder will make his last series of starts until Freeman can get back to overthrowing his intended receivers. Ponder is the QB21 in average weekly points for quarterbacks in four point per passing touchdown leagues, but that number is artificially inflated by this two rushing touchdowns in week three against the Browns. He’s thrown two touchdowns and five interceptions and the quarterback position should continue to be a drag on whatever value the Vikings’ offensive skill positions offer. Indeed, it even seems to be affecting the dinged-up Adrian Peterson, who was held to 28 rushing yards by a previously ineffective Giants defense that was clearly not worried about being beaten through the air. First round rookie Cordarelle Patterson seemed to be more involved Monday Night with a career high six targets. Hopefully that becomes a trend going forward.
Can #4) My Quizz Got SJaxed
Thanks to Steven Jackson’s lingering leg injuries, Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers is actually the PPR RB16 through seven weeks (which even includes his bye week). Since Week three, his average of 18.525 PPR FPs per game makes him the PPR RB7 in that time frame (three spots higher than LeSean McCoy). Now with Jackson returning, it looks like the Quizz party is coming to an end. What his performance and usage (including some goal line work shocking enough) is that he is a more than capable handcuff for SJax, and is acceptable running back depth for contending teams, especially considering it is far from a lock that SJax can stay healthy.
Can #5) Calvin, Dez (and Terrance?)
Since Week 4, Dez Bryant is the PPR WR2 in terms of total points, Calvin Johnson, despite having missed a game, is the PPR WR17 and Cowboys third-round rookie receiver Terrance Williams is the PPR WR9. Williams has taken complete advantage of the latest Miles Austin hamstring injury and has almost certainly ended Austin’s tenure in Dallas after this year. The most impressive part of Williams’s game so far is that he has been able to secure 24 of 28 targets this year — a staggering 85.7%. That kind of efficiency, while likely not maintainable over the long haul (especially considering that Williams does run a fair amount of lower percentage longer routes) certainly bodes well for the future. A pair of hands that Tony Romo trusts is definitely something you want in your fantasy lineups.
Can #6) Elementary, My Dear Watson
It is fairly distressing that Jimmy Graham’s foot injury has kept him out of practice coming out of the bye week. He was able to get in a limited session on Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s home game against the Bills. If he sits, Ben Watson is an able pass catcher who could serve as a desperation TE2 for teams that have bye week or injury issues. More likely, we’ll see more of Marques Colston, Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas. Thomas especially has been (as my podcast co-host Tim Stafford predicted) a PPR asset this year. In addition, either Lance Moore who is returning from a wrist injury or rookie Kenny Stills could also see some extra targets in a game that could turn into a shootout. There are only two teams in the NFL that have scored 20 points or more in every game so far this year – the Denver Broncos and the Buffalo Bills.