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. With that in mind, let’s take a look at this week’s Sunday Six Pack:
Can #1) Contenders or Pretenders
The 49ers four losses have come against arguable the four best teams on their schedule: the Seahawks, Colts, Panthers and Saints. Now, although they destroyed the then struggling Rams in St Louis week four, they get a Rams team that has played well two weeks in a row (including their own demolition of the Colts in week ten at Indianapolis). The 49ers do get Michael Crabtree back from an Achilles tear this week and it will be interesting to see how much he plays. I wouldn’t expect him to be a startable fantasy asset this first week, but he may be able to take some of the pressure off of Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis against a Rams team that is playing much better as of late, but it is still only ranked 21st in terms of passing yards per game given up.
Can #2) Foles Real?
Other than his week seven clunker against the Dallas Cowboys, Nick Foles has been lights out as he’s thrown for a well publicized 16 touchdown and no interceptions so far this season. This week he gets Patrick Peterson and an Arizona Cardinals defense ranked just 17th in terms of average yards per game given up, but playing very well as of late. Riley Cooper came back to Earth in week eleven against the Redskins before the Eagles’ bye, catching just 3-of-7 targets for 37 yards. We’ll see how much damage he can do while Peterson is presumably preoccupied with the PPR WR9, DeSean Jackson.
Can #3) In The Weedens
Seemingly septuagenarian Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden returns to the lineup as Jason Campbell won’t be dancing on the ceiling due to a concussion. In his last two games of significant action, Weeden is just 30-of-72 passing for a woeful 41.7% completion percentage. While the bloom has fallen significantly off of the rose of tight end Jordan Cameron (still the PPR TE3), stud-WR in the making (already there?) Josh Gordon has proven to be essentially quarterback proof and is the PPR WR11 despite missing two games due to suspension to start the season. Gordon is the only Brown you can start confidently against the Jaguars this Sunday, although you are probably starting Cameron due to a lack of better options and keeping your fingers crossed.
Can #4) Spiller’s Revenge
Bills running back CJ Spiller is absolutely in the conversation for biggest fantasy bust this year. When I checked and saw he was the PPR RB39, I was actually surprised he was that high. Both method of use and a lingering ankle injury has hampered Spiller all year, but coming off of his bye and with a series of dream matchups coming, owners who exercised patience with Spiller may finally see their investment pay off. The Falcons defense has been woeful this year and is ranked just 29th against the run in terms of average yards per game given up (130.0 ypg). With banged up receivers, both Spiller and his backfield compadre Fred Jackson appear to be reasonable RB2 starts this week.
Can #5) You Can Call Me Allen
He was once in the conversation for the 2012 1.01 rookie pick – then a PCL injury that own resident Dynasty Doctor Scott Peak said didn’t concern him long term, coupled with some people’s unhealthy obsession with “measureables” dropped him, often times, into the late middle of most rookie drafts where Chargers Keenan Allen is looking to be the steal of most first rounds. Even though he saw just four targets in the first three weeks of the season, Allen has been on a tear and is now the PPR WR26. Anyone who shied away from him last week based on the minor knee injury he suffered week eleven against the Dolphins missed nine receptions for 124 yards on 12 targets. Allen unjustifiably falling an area where presumably the better teams are picking is just another example of the rich getting richer and the poor getting Montee Ball.
Can #6) Tear Through The Bears
How the mighty have fallen. The once stout Bears defense has been decimated by injury and free agency and are shockingly the worst defense in the NFL against the run, giving up an average of 145.2 yards per game on the ground. And now they get Adrian Peterson and his 997 rushing yards (good for second in the league ) on the fact track in the Metrodome. Its going to be a long day for that Chicago defensive line. After ten weeks of limited usage, Vikings rookie reeciver Cordarrelle Patterson has 20 total targets. Apparently Leslie Frazier remembered that CeePee is on the team. Hopefully that trend of actually using their explosive young weapon continues.