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) Flynn Again
Matt Flynn was a stellar 10 of 20 for 139 yards and one interception on Thanksgiving and visions of the six touchdowns that make him so much money quickly faded under the relentless pressure of the Lions defense. More troublesome was the drag effect that Flynn’s disastrous performance had on Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Jarrett Boykin who put up a bagel. Now Flynn gets one more spot with the Packers slim playoff hopes, and possibly the hopes of fantasy owners would like to see Aaron Rodgers return for the meat of the fantasy playoffs. Hopefully the Packers can get Eddie Lacy going against a Falcons team ranked 30th in the league in terms of average rushing yards per game given up.
Can #2) Purple Party
Now this is a game that Marie Schrader can get into. Joe Flacco has been the erratic fantasy quarterback he always is, currently ranked as the QB18 in 4 point per passing TD leagues. This week he gets his chance against a shaky Vikings pass defense that is ranked 30th in average passing yards per game given up. Couple that with the return of Dennis Pitta who was activated this week and will play, albeit on a snap count, and Flacco could be a bit of fantasy sleeper this week. At the very least, Torrey Smith is a must start. Cordarrelle Patterson’s target count fell back to 4 in Week 13 after averaging 10 targets over the previous two weeks (although he did receive 2 carries). Hopefully, that proves to be an anomaly and not a harbinger of his relationship with Matt Cassel.
Can #3) Peyton’s Merry-Go-Round
It was Eric Decker’s turn on Peyton Manning’s merry-go-round last week blowing up for 8 receptions for 174 yards and 4 TDs on 12 targets last week. Its anyone’s guess as to who it could be this week against a Titans pass defense that is ranked 7th in the league in terms of average passing yards per game given up. Personally, the upside is so great, I don’t think I would bench any of Decker, Demaryius Thomas or Wes Welker. In addition, it appears that Julius Thomas will finally return this week. On the other side of the ball, you could do worse in a pinch than Ryan Fitzpatrick considering that the Titans are likely to be down and throwing most of the game
Can #4) Luck Running Out
As uninspiring as Andrew Luck’s play has been as of late, he’s still the fantasy QB7 in 4 point per passing TD leagues (although he’s just the fantasy QB14 since Week 10). This week, however, it might be worthwhile to look at your other options as Luck goes up against the Cincinnati Bengals, who are ranked 8th in the NFL in terms of average passing yards per game given up and who are 5-0 at home this year. That same matchup drops T.Y. Hilton into low end WR2/high end WR3 territory. The Bengals also rank 8th in terms of average rushing yards given up per game, so waiver wire wonder Donald Brown is not a preferred option either.
Can #5) Points a Plenty
The highest over/under of the week honor goes to the Detroit Lions and the Philadelphia Eagles batter at the Linc (compare with 39 for the Raiders and Jets). The Lions are ranked 26th in the NFL in terms of average passing yards per game and the Eagles are ranked dead last. Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson should roll, and Nate Burleson will look to make up for the goose egg he laid in Week 13 after a triumphant fantasy return in the Week 12 loss to Tampa Bay. On the other side, Nick Foles, who has thrown approximately elevendy TDs and zero INTs will attempt reward Chip Kelly’s 1,000 years of confidence, which should make for nice fantasy days for DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper.
Can #6) Fin Some, Lose Some
The Miami Dolphins — the team that overspent for Mike Wallace and allowed a bullying scandal to decimate the offensive line — are 6-6 and can make a big statement in the race for an AFC Wild Card with a win in Pittsburgh this week. Wallace has come on as of late (two 20_ PPR FP games in a row) and perennial underappreciated WR Brian Hartline is the PPR WR26 this year, averaging 13.4 PPR FPs per game. Pittsburgh ranks just 18th in terms of average rushing yards per game given up, but I’d still be hesitant to start Lamar Miller in the fantasy playoffs unless my other options were truly bad. On the other side of the ball, Miami is ranked just 25th in the same category and makes Le’Veon Bell, who has been cleared from his Week 13 concussion, a very nice start.