This photo makes us giggle because it looks like the ref is chasing Alex Smith.
Can you imagine if you could get fired for losing in Fantasy Football? Yeahhhh...that would suck.
By: Tony Andracki, Scott Krinch and Mark Strotman (AKA, the three best friends anyone could have)
Welcome to another edition of CSNChicago.com's Start'em and Sit'em, where three totally unqualified guys give their take on the best and worst plays in the upcoming fantasy football week.
We're not experts, but then again, how can anybody truly be an "expert" at fantasy football? This is a game of luck and nobody can predict the future.
We don't have special powers, but we are pretty obsessed with fantasy sports. Just ask our girlfriends...if we had any.
Every week, each of us will comprise a trio of players with the best matchups or situations on tap for the week ahead and a corresponding trio of guys who are most likely to run into a metaphorical brick wall.
[RELATED: 40 players to stay away from]
And because we're men and we love perpetuating stereotypes, we, of course, turned this into a competition. Why not?
After three weeks (and all of last year), we realized a major flaw in our scoring: If we assign 0-5 values to each player's performance, there's nothing worse than a zero. And Mark's Week 3 sit of Antonio Brown (who went off for 31 ESPN standard points) should have been bad enough to sink his entire week, instead of just that one pick.
So we've instituted a new system. We will add up the ESPN standard fantasy points for all of our "Starts" and subtract the points from all our "Sits" and the difference will be the weekly score. So if one of us winds up with a negative score, so be it.
(Scoring example: If Scott's three starts total 45 fantasy points and his three sits total 20, he would finish the week with 25 points.)
So without further ado, here are our picks for Week 6:
Tony Andracki (Week 5: 1 point; Total: 3 points)
This new scoring system is intriguing. Seeing the stat lines last Sunday, I thought I was having a pretty good Start/Sit week, but when I really broke it down, my starts barely broke even over my sits.
Torrey Smith was a big blow. He didn't get into the endzone as predicted, but his 121 yards was impressive. He's actually been incredibly consistent this year, so maybe I was wrong about him. But that "maybe" is the key word because I don't like admitting I'm wrong since I'm a man (though that's probably a debatable statement).
It's also hard to call a guy who has just one touchdown "consistent" in standard fantasy football leagues, but he'll eventually find the endzone more. Maybe if Joe Flacco worried more about his passing game than where his freaking McDonald's spicy wings went, Smith could become an elite fantasy wideout.
Anyways, let's talk about another Smith this week:
Alex Smith, QB -- KC (vs. OAK)
Think Jim Harbaugh is playing a little Monday Morning quarterback (that's funny on so many levels, most notably because I could actually see Harbaugh playing quarterback in some Monday morning flag football league) with letting Smith go and sticking with Colin Kaepernick? Smith has been money this year, in both fantasy and real life, with his 5-0 Chiefs. Kaep has been downright awful since Week 1 in fantasy, but the Niners are a good team around him, so they're winning and Harbaugh won't be losing his job anytime soon. Side note: Could you imagine losing your job because of poor fantasy performance? That'd be awful. There'd be so much pressure each week. Which would make this weekly column actually vitally important. Which makes me scared to think about. Anyways, start Smith this week. Raiders pass D sucks.
Trent Richardson, RB -- IND (@ SD)
I took up a lot of words on Smith, so let's go quick-hitting. T-Rich is learning more and more of this offense and he's got to be better than he has been. Just has to be. Eventually.
Eric Decker, WR -- DEN (vs. JAC)
I know, this is basically cheating to start anybody on the Broncos, but Decker is tied for the team lead with 43 targets and is averaging a team-high 14.7 yards per catch. He's a safe option this week. But, you know, duh.
Cam Newton, QB -- CAR (@ MIN)
He hasn't been good this year, coming in as the 22nd-ranked QB in ESPN standard leagues. Make him prove he's a weekly must-start before giving him that title.
C.J. Spiller, RB -- BUF (vs. CIN)
Coming off his first tuddie of the season, Spiller might seem like a good play. But he's banged up with quad/ankle injuries, he's facing the Cincy defensive line and he's dueling against a rejuvenated Fred Jackson. No thanks.
DeSean Jackson, WR -- PHI (@ TB)
Tampa Bay's pass defense is actually pretty good and Jackson just motivated Darrelle Revis when he said Revis couldn't keep up with him. Not a smart move, DeSean.
Mark Strotman (Week 5: -16 points; Total: -6 points)
Wow, so not the hottest week. Russell Wilson went OFF for 102 rushing yards and Chris Johnson seems to be coming around. Sorry about those misses. This week I'm picking maybe my most confident starts of the year, while my sits are going to be youngsters who I think see a drop-off this week after positive yields in Week 5.
Colin Kaepernick, QB -- SF (vs. ARZ)
So Kaepernick has been one of the more disappointing fantasy quarterbacks, especially after his dominant Week 1 performance against the Packers. But this is a good matchup for the dual-threat signal-caller. The Cardinals have done well the last two weeks, holding Tampa Bay and Carolina to one passing touchdown, but Kaepernick is more talented than Josh Freeman and Cam Newton. Expect a bounceback performance for Kaep, who threw for 276 yards and two scores last year against Arizona.
Willie McGahee, RB -- CLE (vs. DET)
What a juicy matchup for McGahee, who carried the rock 26 times last Thursday and added a touchdown against the Bills. It's clear that Willis is the Browns' go-to guy, and that won't change with Brandon Weeden back calling the shots. The Lions have been awful against the run and have allowed rushing TDs in four of five games. Expect that to be 5-of-6 after this one's done. Get Willis in your lineup as an RB2/Flex.
James Jones, WR -- GB (@ BAL)
What a pick Jones has been for fantasy owners who believed his 14-TD campaign a year ago was no fluke. While he won't match those numbers -- he's got 2 TDs in four games -- he's quickly becoming Aaron Rodgers' most efficient targets, catching 19 passes on 28 targets to date. That should continue against the Ravens, who allowed Ryan Tannehill to throw for 307 yards and a score. Rodgers should do just as well, meaning Jones could be in line for another big game.
Terrelle Pryor, QB -- OAK (@ KC)
Mr. Pryor has been one of the most fun fantasy quarterbacks to own this season, but it may come to a halt this week. The Chiefs have allowed the 7th fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and no team has thrown for 300 yards against them. It's worth noting that Michael Vick, a fellow runner, ran for 99 yards against this defense, but on the road against a 5-0 team is reason for concern. Pryor will be a solid quarterback the rest of the way, but this week won't help his causes.
Le'Veon Bell, RB -- PIT (@ NYJ)
OK, so you've had time to relax after the rookie went for two scores in his NFL debut. It's going to be difficult for the Michigan State alum to find room against a stout Jets defense, and the fantasy gods usually make it so Bell is in for a letdown in his second week back. If you must use him as a flex, go for it. If not, find a better option with a more favorable matchup.
Eddie Lacy, RB -- GB (@ BAL)
The best news for Lacy was that he ran 23 times the week after a concussion. More so, however, is that those 23 carries show the Packers don't want to use anyone else; it's Lacy or no one. However, facing a league-best defense against the run in Baltimore means the Packers are going to be throwing early and often. Perhaps Lacy gets a goal-line touchdown, but you can do better.
Scott Krinch (Week 5: 1 point; Total: 15 points)
Call me crazy -- some may already do that -- but I'm loving the new scoring system we've implemented. It's only been two weeks and I'm pulling away from those two chumps. Catch me if you can, kind of like Tom Hanks tried catching Leonardo DiCaprio in the aforementioned movie. Okay, enough of the cheesy film references. I did miss big on Lamar Miller in Week 5 after hyping the hell out of him. I won't be fooled by a Dolphins running back anymore. I hit the jackpot with my sit of Marques Colston, who's not even looking like a flex player these days. For this week, I'm looking at a couple fantasy studs from a few years back, who I believe are relevant once again. Also, I'll explain why one of Reggie Wayne's teammates in Indy is a must-start each week. So with that said, here are my picks:
Ben Roethlisberger, QB -- PIT (@ NYJ)
In Big Ben's last two games, he's averaging 394.5 yards passing per game. Obviously he's not going to reach those numbers every week, but if your QB1 is on a bye, Roethlisberger is a viable option in any league. This weekend he will try his hand against a Jets defense that's given up 600 passing yards and six touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks the last two weeks. As the Steelers sit at 0-4 coming out of a bye, I expect Roethlisberger to come out with something to prove and show the Steelers aren't done just yet, especially in a shaky AFC North. Get Benny in your lineup and reap the benefits.
Chris Johnson, RB -- TEN (@ SEA)
Is CJ2K back? Not quite, but that doesn't matter anymore. If you have Johnson on your fantasy team, you likely drafted him around the 25 range. If you're expecting 30-point fantasy games from Johnson then your expectations are way too high, but he's a guy that can win you plenty of fantasy matchups if he's in your RB2 of flex spot. If the Seahawks defense sounds like a nightmarish matchup, think again. Seattle's "D" is allowing 109 rushing yards per game. Despite not having a spectacular season, Johnson is a threat to break free for a long run each week. I believe this is the game. Don't be scurred and play C.J. this weekend.
T.Y. Hilton, WR -- IND (@ SD)
There were 12 wide receivers drafted before T.Y. Hilton in 2012 and only one -- Alshon Jeffery -- has scored more fantasy points than him this season. The second-year wideout is emerging as a dangerous vertical weapon in a potent Colts offense. Hilton is dangerous after the catch and is a threat to score each time he touches the ball. Andrew Luck is looking his way more and more as the season progresses, and it's clear Hilton is the No. 2 in Indianapolis over Darrius Heyward-Bey. If you drafted T.Y., be excited because he's yet to scratch the surface of his potential. His numbers should continue to improve this weekend. Hilton faces off against a Chargers defense that's given up the third-most yards per pass attempt this season. Obviously that bodes well for the diminutive speedster.
Matt Stafford, QB -- DET (@ CLE)
The passing yards aren't what scares me with Stafford. His lowest total this season was 242 against the Bears in Week 4. What alarms me is he only has eight touchdowns in 2013. Yes, eight is a reasonable number for any quarterback through five games, but with the sheer volume of passes he throws, you'd expect to see him launch at least an extra tuddy in each game. Stafford will have to solve a Browns secondary on the road that boasts one of the best cornerbacks in the game in Joe Haden and a defense that's allowed the seventh-fewest points to opposing quarterbacks. Stay away, far away, from this matchup.
Frank Gore, RB -- SF (vs. ARI)
It seems like Frank Gore has found the Fountain of Youth in 2013. In his last two games, he's rushed for a combined 234 yards and two touchdowns. His YPC have gone up each week, but I think his sudden emergence has been linked to the uninspiring play of Colin Kaepernick. I believe Kaep is ready to breakout this week and jump back into the upper echelon of fantasy quarterbacks which will result in a decline of Gore's numbers. On Sunday, the 49ers welcome the Cardinals to the Bay Area. Arizona has allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. Yeah, strange right? The Cardinals defense has been surprisingly good, who would of thought? If you're going to sit Gore, this is the week to do it. Trust me on this one.
Torrey Smith, WR -- BAL (vs. GB)
Smith has been pretty boom or bust in fantasy terms. His 556 yards are third-most in the NFL. The only problem is that it's only equated to one touchdown. It's clear Joe Flacco is zeroing in on him. Although there isn't much else for Flacco to target in Baltimore. The Ravens host the Packers on Sunday. Green Bay's defense held A.J. Green in check and Calvin Johnson to zero, ZERO points, well that's because Megatron didn't play. In all seriousness, the Packers "D" is better than they get credit for despite the loss of Clay Matthews. If you're expecting Smith to continue his dominance in Week 5 ... well let's just say you'll be sorry.