Every Sunday we’re featuring the Sunday Six Pack that covers the day’s biggest storylines. We follow this up each and every Monday with The Monday Morning Hangover, which looks back on those stories and covers what we learned. These back-to-back articles are sure to get you primed, pumped and informed throughout the entire season. In addition, reading these articles will ensure you understand the dangers of not paying attention or drinking too much on Sundays.
Can #1) The Return of Roddy
Few, if anyone, forecasted the epic fall from grace that is the Atlanta Falcons. In fact, I chose them to make the Super Bowl, squaring off against the Denver Broncos. Barring some other-worldy cataclysmic event, it’s pretty safe to write off the Falcons for 2013. Roddy White is as healthy as he has been all year. The result: one reception for 20 yards. The 32 year old receiver didn’t just decline, he fell off the fantasy planet altogether in 2013. While -there’s every possibility that White returns to being a fantasy producer in the near future, there’s simply no reason to have him on your radar for 2013. What was thought to be to the benefit of Tony Gonzalez hasn’t transpired either. In fact, the Falcons, save Harry Douglas, have become a fantasy wasteland. Matt Ryan has fallen to a QB2 performer and can’t be counted on for teams heading to the playoffs in only a few short weeks. Don’t write off the birds for longer than the remainder of the year, however. The coaching staff is as good as they come, Julio Jones should return healthy and new pieces are sure to be added. Until then … stay away.
Can #2) No DMC in NYC (or NJ)
Rashad Jennings rushed for 88 yards on 20 totes while adding two receptions for 19 yards. Not an over-the-top fantasy performance by any means but he’s shown that he can be a productive player when circumstances are right. Darren McFadden may have played his last game as a Raider so Jennings will have value heading into the fantasy playoffs. The Raiders have been anything but prolific on offense and, like the Falcons, don’t offer much in the way of fantasy prospects for the remainder of 2013, but the dynamic of quarterback Terrelle Pryor can’t be ignored for future consideration and you could do worse as a final flex-position play than Jennings.
It’s about time that the Raiders find their receivers of the future. For that matter, their running back and tight end as well.
Can #3) Tough Enough
Jay Cutler beat the odds and returned for the important intra-divisional game vs. the Detroit Lions. Cutler threw for 250 yards and a touchdown before exiting the game with what appears to be a sprained ankle. Josh McCown entered in relief and threw for a touchdown himself but the Bears fell by the score of 21-19. Brandon Marshall had a stellar performance on the day with seven receptions, 139 yards and two touchdowns. Fellow receiver, Alshon Jeffery secured nine receptions of his own for 114 yards. Tight end Martellus Bennett continues to under-perform expectations and could only muster four receptions for 29 yards. There’s no current update on the severity of Cutler’s most recent injury as of yet.
In case you’ve been asleep for the past three weeks. Calvin Johnson is most certainly back.
Can #4) Ship of Foles
Philly quarterback Nick Foles is quickly making me out to be a fantasy light-weight. After compiling another notable fantasy performance by passing for 228 yards and three touchdowns, it’s starting to appear that there may just be a roaring inferno of a fire beneath all that smoke. Foles took care of the ball well, but did surrender a fumble on the way to another nice game. He’s thrown ten touchdowns in two weeks and will now host the porous Washington Redskins in week eleven. At 5-5, there may just be something to these Eagles after all. LeSean McCoy totaled 155 yards on the ground and Riley Cooper pulled in another two touchdowns on only three receptions. DeSean Jackson reeled in the remaining touchdown and has proven to be a valuable WR2 thus far. For the Packers, who were on the losing end of today’s contest, they fall to 5-4 and are now on their third quarterback, Scott Tolzien, after backup Seneca Wallace went down with a groin. It’s about time to expect some whine with that cheese … and who would blame Packer faithful.
Can #5) Cam-dlestick
Yuck, yuck and more yuck. I was on Cam Newton this weekend and suggested him with enthusiasm even in the face of a relatively stingy 49’er defense. 169 yards through the air and an interception isn’t going to get it done for fantasy coaches. Every team for me with Cam at the helm went down in flames on Sunday and it’s not like those with 49’er slinger Colin Kaepernick faired much better. Kaep laid a large egg of his own with only 91 yards and an interception. It was ugly all around. None of the Carolina runners are worth their salt in fantasy. The Panthers receivers leave much to be desired and even the consistent Greg Olsen could only muster a single reception. San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis exited early with a concussion and the entire game was a steaming pile of dung for those counting on any of the performers from this tilt. I’m really glad I chose to forego the second half to rake leaves as it was obvious that that was going to the ONLY way to salvage anything productive.
Oh yeah, the Panthers won the day by the anemic score of 10-9. At 6-3, there’s sure to be a lot of optimism in Carolina. Before we get too crazy, recall that excluding the 49’ers, the wins that the Panthers have secured have come against teams that, through today, have only managed a total of 11 wins.
Can #6) Can’t Touch This
It was just short of a shoot-out, but it was still a notable aerial attack where all touchdowns except one came from the capable arms of Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers. In the end, Manning and the Bronocs handled the Chargers by the score of 28-20. Manning, for his part, added another four touchdowns and 330 yards maintaining his torrid pace of productivity. Rivers only managed a single touchdown on 218 passing yards, but was efficient. The Bronco-du-jour was none other than Demaryius Thomas who secured seven receptions for 108 yards and three touchdowns on the day. Wes Welker had a quiet day with only three receptions and 21 yards. Knowshon Moreno, this year’s out-of-nowhere fantasy performer, turned in a solid fantasy day with only 65 yards on the ground but also added eight receptions for 49 yards. Moreno remains an every week starter as a solid and consistent RB2. Of course, as the current RB4 in fantasy, an argument can be made that he’s an RB1. Welcome back to tight end Julius Thomas, who wasted no time in turning in a quick catch and run on his way to a 74 yard touchdown. Thomas ended the day with three receptions and 96 yards and that single touchdown.
For the Chargers, most receivers had a quiet day with none pulling down more than four receptions (Antonio Gates). Ryan Mathews found the end-zone but the Chargers’ run game is one to avoid outside of Danny Woodhead in PPR formats, unless you’re desperate.
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You can find Jeff on Twitter at @dlf_jeff