Hello again, Fantasy Football fans. We’ve arrived at Week 6 of this column in Cleary’s Notebook. I hope that all the readers of this column are sitting at 5-0 I am 5-0 in one of my leagues and 4-1 in the other. This is my best start in the 25 years I’ve been involved in fantasy football.
If Ben Roethlisberger had not been suspended, he would have been a top 10 QB this season. He has a great starting game for week 6 as Pittsburgh. This week, Big Ben will host Cleveland and he should come back with a vengeance. Last year he threw for 417 yds and 2 TDs. He should stick with those numbers.
Eli Manning will host the Detroit Lions this weekend. Detroit has given up 4 TDs and had 6 interceptions in the past 3 games. Not bad numbers given the likes of Favre, Rodgers and Bradford. That said, Manning had 297 yds vs Houston last week with 3TDs and he should build off of that momentum.
Kyle Orton is home vs the Jets this weekend. So far, Orton has not thrown for less that 295 yds and has 3 games with multiple TDs. New York will be without Darrelle Revis this weekend and Orton should be able to take advantage of this with both Eddie Royals and Brandon Lloyd.
Tom Brady faces Baltimore at home on Sunday and even though he no longer has
Jay Cutler faces Seattle at home this Sunday and although there could be a little rust from the missed game last week, the Seahawks have proven that their pass defense is not all that good. In the last three games, Kyle Orton, Phillip Rivers and Sam Bradford have combined for 6 TDs and have passed for not less that 289 yds. Cutler should show some big play ability this weekend. In his past 5 home games, Cutler has averaged 244 yds with 10 TDs.
I do not recommend Donovan McNabb vs. Indianapolis, Shaun Hill at New York Giants, Sam Bradford vs. San Diego, Josh Freeman vs. New Orleans, Kevin Kolb vs. Atlanta or Brett Favre vs. Dallas.
Michael Bush is at San Francisco this Sunday and it’s going to be a game time decision on Darren McFadden (hamstring). The 49ers have allowed 3 YDs and 100 YDS to running backs this year and, if Bush gets the start, he should thrive in this game. He had 104 yds and 1 TD vs. the Chargers last week. Keep an eye on Oakland this year as they seem to be stepping up on all levels.
Ronnie Brown visits Green Bay this weekend. The frustration here is that Brown has only 48 carries this year but is averaging 4.7 yds per carry. This week the Dolphins are coming off the BYE so with the additional rest, I’d trust that Brown will get the lions share of the carries for this game.
Shonn Greene is at Denver this weekend and both he and Tomlinson should play quite well. The Broncos are beat up on Defense and the running game should be featured here. The Jets may want to limit Tomlinson after the Monday night games vs. Minnesota. This is a good opportunity for Greene to step into the lead role to keep Tomlinson fresh. Greene has had very good games vs. both Buffalo and Minnesota so he could shine here.
Ryn Torain faces the Colts at home and he has a chance to play well here. Indianapolis has struggled vs. the run this year and the 5 running backs they’ve faced had gotten at least 87 yds each. Last week, Torain also had 4 catches for 27 yds. He should produce here.
Marshawn Lynch is at Chicago on Sunday and he should get 15 carries in his first game as a Seahawk. He’s averaging 4.4 yds per carry this year so he should do well. Seattle wants to get him involved early and often. He’s worth a spot as a No 2 running back this weekend.
I recommend that owners bench Peyton Hillis at Pittsburgh, Knowshon Moreno vs. New York Jets, BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. Baltimore, Brandon Jackson vs. Minnesota and Thomas Jones at Houston
Malcom Floyd had an 8 catch 213 yd 1 TD day in a losing effort vs. Oakland last week. This weekend, Floyd has a great match up in St. Louis. The Rams have allowed 6 receivers to have great games this year and Floyd should increase that number to 7 as he has gained the confidence of Quarterback Phillip Rivers and has made all Charger fans forget about Vincent Jackson.
Santonio Holmes is at Denver this weekend. The Broncos have a decimated defense and are missing three starters including Brian Dawkins. Although Braylon Edwards has established himself as the “go to” guy, he should draw some double coverage allowing Holmes to free up for targets. Number 2 options like Holmes have dne well vs. Denver this year. Generally, Champ Baliey draws the number one receiver and this game should be no different.
Eddie Royal is home vs. New York Jets on Sunday and as with Holmes, Royal is the second option behind Brandon Lloyd. Who is also recommended as the Jets have trouble stopping the deep ball where Lloyd thrives. Eddie Royal is a pure slot receiver and Denver hasn’t had one as good since Ed McCafferty. Owners over 4 years old will know who I’m talking about here. If you don’t remember easy Ed, ask an old timer. New York always have problems with slot receivers and Royal should thrive here.
Hines Ward is home vs. Cleveland this weekend. I’ve not had Ward on my list this year and this is a good time to add him. As I mentioned earlier, Roethlisberger is back with Pittsburgh and Ward is his guy. In Ward’s past 5 games vs. the Browns, he has 0 catches, 389 yds and 5 TDs. In his past three home games vs. Cleveland, he has 21 catches for 309 yds and 2 TDs. Ward should have a big game here.
Kenny Britt at Jacksonville had 7 catches for 105 yds last year. The Jaguars have one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL and Britt should be solid in this game. He has 3 TDs in each of the last three games and had his best game of the year last week against Dallas with 4 catches and 86 yds and 1 TD. He’s an excellent one week replacement and should be in the lineup.
I don’t like the matchups for Greg Jennings vs. Miami, Austin Collie at Washington, Deion Branch vs. Baltimore, Dez Bryant at Minnesota, Kevin Walter vs, Kansas City or deSean Jackson vs. Atlanta.
Zach Miller travels to San Francisco this week. In his last three games, Miller has 21 catches for 248 yds and 3 TDs. Unless you have Antonio Gates, Miller should be in your starting lineup every week. The 49ers have a lousy percentage vs. opposing tight ends this year having allowed 3TDs. Miller should do well in spite of the Quarterback being used for Oakland.
Kellen Winslow is home vs. New Orleans this weekend. The Saints have struggled against quality tight ends this year having allowed 21 catches for 264 yds and 2 TDs to the opposition. Although he’s still looking for his first TD this season, Winslow should be productive here and will see plenty of targets from Josh Freeman in what could turn into a shootout.
Brent Celek vs. Atlanta this week and in spite of me not recommending Jackson as a wide out for Philly, I am giving Celek the nod here because of the quarterback. Kolb is no Vick. He does not that ability to throw the long ball that Jackson thrives on. He can, however, get the ball to the tight end, who is not nearly as deep. It’s a different yet still effective approach. Celek scored in their meeting last year and is a fine one week replacement in this game.
Bench Owen Daniels vs. Kansas City, Benjamin Watson at Pittsburgh, Visanthe Shiancoe vs. Dallas and Chris Cooley vs. Indianapolis this week.
DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS
New York Giants vs. Detroit, Miami at Green Bay, Tennessee at Jacksonville and San Francisco vs. Oakland
I do not like Kansas City at Houston this weekend.
Josh Scobee vs. Tennessee, Nick Folk at Denver, Ryan Longwell vs. Dallas and Dan Carpenter at Green Bay
I don’t recommend Phil Dawson at Pittsburgh this weekend.
Arizona, Buffalo, Carolina and Cincinnati
Make sure you have replacements for Fitzgerald, Breaston, Hightower, Wells, Fred Jackson, Fitzpatrick, Spiller, D’Angelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, almer, Benson, Owens and Ochocinco
That’s all for this week folks. I’ll be looking for more of your comments in the weeks to come. I hope to hear any questions or concerns or suggestions to improve this column.