Gregg Rosenthal

Goal Line Stand

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Week 6 Rankings Update

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Vikings and Ravens game isn't the defensive battle that we would have expected at the beginning of the season.

The famed Williams Wall remains solid, but the Vikings are giving up 3.8 yards per carry and 124 yards from scrimmage to opposing running backs each week, numbers that don't scare you. If the Vikings ever played from behind, the total yardage could soar. Don't be afraid of starting Ray Rice if Steven Jackson was able to carve out 109 yards against them.

The Vikings do a great job getting to the quarterback, but they still give up 7.5 yards per pass attempt. The Ravens are giving up 8 yards per pass, and Carson Palmer had way too much time in the pocket last week against them. Palmer, Tom Brady, and Philip Rivers have all arguably played their best games against Baltimore.

I wouldn't be afraid to use Joe Flacco or Brett Favre this week, yet they still didn't crack Rotoworld's top-12 quarterbacks below. That illustrates how easy it easy to find a quality starting quarterback in fantasy leagues this week, like most weeks.

Borderline starters to open the year like Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, and Jay Cutler have stepped their games up a notch. Matt Schaub is playing too well to sit, and Eli Manning is playing the best football of his career. Donovan McNabb and Matt Hasselbeck have quickly bounced back from injuries to top form.

In a given week – like this one - there are 14 quality quarterbacks to start. Then there are players like Jake Delhomme and David Garrard who I wouldn't hesitate to use if necessary because the defenses for Tampa and St. Louis are so dreadful. By the time I get to Kyle Orton, who won't kill you, we're almost out of the top-20 .

Owning Peyton Manning has been huge this season, but the relative difference between the top-five quarterbacks and the ones ranked 10-20 most weeks isn't that large. Fantasy leagues will be won at running back and wide receiver, just like they usually are. Even though there are far more busts at those positions, it was still worth investing your early picks there. It was hard to make a bad pick at quarterback, much less two, no matter when you took them.

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Week 6 Quarterbacks

RankPlayer NameOpponentNotes
1Aaron Rodgersvs. DET -
2Tom Bradyvs. TEN Probable(-)
3Matt Schaubat CIN -
4Ben Roethlisbergervs. CLE -
5Drew Breesvs. NYG -
6Donovan McNabbat OAK Probable(ribs)
7Kurt Warnerat SEA -
8Matt Ryanvs. CHI -
9Philip Riversvs. DEN -
10Carson Palmervs. HOU Probable(thumb)
11Matt Hasselbeckvs. ARZ Probable(ribs)
12Jay Cutlerat ATL -
13Eli Manningat NO Probable(foot)
14Joe Flaccoat MIN -
15Jake Delhommeat TB -
16Brett Favrevs. BAL -
17David Garrardvs. STL -
18Kyle Ortonat SD -
19Matt Casselat WAS -
20Jason Campbellvs. KC -
21Josh Johnsonvs. CAR -
22Marc Bulgerat JAC -
23Mark Sanchezvs. BUF -
24Trent Edwardsat NYJ -
25Daunte Culpepperat GB -
26Derek Andersonat PIT -
27Kerry Collinsat NE -
28JaMarcus Russellvs. PHI -

QB Notes: In a league without any quality running quarterbacks, Josh Johnson holds some long-term intrigue. He is staring down receivers and has no clue where blitzes are coming from, but he also would have had a 300-yard passing day against the Eagles if it wasn't for a ton of dropped passes. 81 rushing yards in two weeks from a quarterback can make a big difference in fantasy leagues. Johnson put up 20 fantasy points last week despite three picks. … Carson Palmer played his best game of the season against Baltimore. His pass protection was surprisingly awesome. That gives hope that he can be a difference-maker in fantasy leagues, at least when he has lay-up matchups like this one against Houston.

Concerns that the Seahawks would go run-heavy haven't really come to pass this season. Matt Hasselbeck threw at least 30 passes in both of Seattle's blowout victories. Hasselbeck was lucky to miss some tough early games on the Seattle schedule. He leads the league in touchdowns per throw, and should keep it going against a Cardinals pass defense that is third-worst in giving up fantasy points to quarterbacks. … FootballOutsiders compared Matt Cassel to a poor man's Ben Roethlisberger this week. I like the comparison. Cassel is learning to make plays on his own behind a terrible offensive line. His seven touchdown throws in four games are fortunate, but they are partly the product of Kansas City's terrible running game. The Chiefs aren't going to score running the ball in the red zone.

There are legitimate questions about what exactly we're going to get from the Saints offense this year now that the running game and defense has improved this much. They don't need Drew Brees to throw for 5,000 yards. This week's test against the Giants should be telling. The schedule has certainly helped New York out, but their defensive numbers are insane. If Brees puts up a big day against them, there isn't much reason for concern. If he's so-so for the third straight week, it's fair to wonder if he's come back to the quarterback pack. And there is a big one of legitimate QB1s this year. … The Browns don't have a pass rush that can get to Ben Roethlisberger or the cornerbacks to stay with the Steelers receivers. Expect a huge day.

Kurt Warner and the Cardinals passing attack aren't remotely consistent within a game, but they have put up numbers in two plus matchups this year. The Seahawks should be another one, despite their two shutouts. … The Bucs defense is bad enough to make Jake Delhomme a useful option.

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Gregg Rosenthal has directed Rotoworld's football content since 2003. He co-hosts the NBC Fantasy Fix and covers the NFL for and Catch him on Twitter.
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