Brought to you by the one and only Geoffrey Manboob…
Many thanks to Iran for nominating me to complete this week’s replacement team after I beat him again. This is always a tricky prospect given the size of everyone’s rosters and with injuries and bye weeks in full effect, but given how bad I always seem to do, I’m not holding out much hope for my selected 22 “Expendables”.
General Thought Process
The players that are available are generally high risk/reward players. Fringe stars who could score you 15 points in one week but only score 1.5 for the remainder of the season. In fact, most rookie gambles have already been stashed away. Due to this, I’ve tried to avoid being influenced by total player scores for the season or the MFL predictions weekly predictions. Instead I’ve tried to pick players who have good match-ups as well as some level of consistency over all their starts. I have probably picked a lot of the higher scoring free agents but I’ve tried not to be overly persuaded by this statistic.
The Team – Skill Positions
Obviously the most important part of any fantasy side is the skill positions, so I’ll pick these first:
PK – Chandler Cantanzaro (Ari)
Cantanzaro is Arizona’s rookie kicker who has had a great start to his NFL career. He’s been steady through his first 4 starts and should continue this against Washington this week
PN – Jon Ryan (Sea)
Difficult to know how much the Seahawks will need to punt against the Cowboys, but what impressed me in week 5 was the quality of Seattle’s punt coverage. Ryan had excellent distance and hang-time on his kicks, forcing the opposition to start deep within their territory. The Cowboys’ defense has been a surprise this year, so Ryan may see plenty of action.
QB – Drew Stanton (Ari)
Stanton has done well stepping into Carson Palmer’s shoes, but struggled last Sunday when the Broncos gave him a bit of a battering. Week 6 sees a good matchup for Arizona at home against Washington and their soft secondary. The Cardinals have some great receiving targets, so they should be able to move the ball downfield effectively through the air as Washington are one of the most generous defenses for fantasy QBs
RB – Jaquizz Rodgers (Atl)
Running backs by committee in Atlanta and one that seems to be growing. Rodgers provides the speed option out of the backfield, so he could be at the races if he makes it to the second level (see his TD touchdown against the Giants). It’s difficult to know how much action he’ll see, but with the threat of injury always hanging over Steven Jackson, he could quickly become the feature back. Also his pace against Chicago’s linebackers could make a difference.
Chris Ogbonnaya (Car)
Someone has to run the ball in Carolina and as the last man standing, that someone appears to be Ogbannaya. While Riverboat Ron will be hopeful that Jonathan Stewart can take some snaps on Sunday, it would appear the Ogbonnaya will continue to shoulder the majority of the load. Carolina face the Bengals this week who were taken apart on the ground by Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen in Week 5.
Denard Robinson (Jac)
Wildcard selection because the pickings at RB are very slim. I’m a believer of sticking to my philosophy, which is selecting 3 running backs and 4 wide receivers. Robinson continues to improve and has looked lively when carrying the ball this year. While he won’t see the majority of snaps, hopefully he can exploit some third down situations for big yardage. Plus he was the cover star of NCAA Football 2014
WR – Stevie Johnson (SF)
Odd selection seeing as I just sacked him from the Dynasty of Sadness, but he’s too good not to select here. Yes, he’s hamstrung by Kaep’s inability to play QB, but he appears to have won the 3rd receiver position in San Francisco and they’ve facing one of the worst pass offenses in the league. He should make a handful of catches and maybe even bag a touchdown.
Jarius Wright (Min)
This all rests on my love of Teddy B. In Bridgeater’s only start, Wright was used effectively in the screen game. While Detroit are a much sterner test than the porous Atlanta defense, I’d expect Norv Turner to run a similar game plan, allowing Teddy to complete plenty of short passes to keep the chains moving. While it’s too early to properly judge, Wright had some decent chemistry with Bridgeater.
Ted Ginn Jr (Ari)
As per Drew Stanton, I expect Arizona to more the ball well through the air. Ginn has the added advantage of being the 3rd receiver, therefore “covered” by the largely ineffective EJ Biggers or injured Tracy Porter. While that is appealing, what tips Ginn over the edge for selection is the fact he’s a top return man against one of the most shambolic special teams in the history of football. I wouldn’t rule out a touchdown for him.
Brandon LaFell (NE)
So, I’m low on Brady, the Patriots seem to be a run first team and they deploy 2 TE sets. Why have I gone for LaFell. Well, he’s the only receiver who can catch a ball. He’s the deep threat that allows the things above to work. I’ve been fairly bullish on LaFell all season and against a tough but limited defense in Buffalo, i think he could do well (if Tim can throw this week).
TE – John Carlson (Ari)
Any receiver playing in the seam against Washington will score touchdowns. John Carlson is in prime position to go all Larry Donnell this week. If Housler decides to take the Donnell role, Carlson could easily replicate Giants backup TE Daniel Fells with a touchdown.
DE – Haloti Ngata (Bal)
Baltimore’s very own Mr Interception this season. He’s had two big games and he’s a disruptive presence at the line against a poor Tampa Bay side that can’t run the ball well. Mike Glennon should see a fair amount of him.
William Gholston (TB)
Gholston has been steady through his first 4 games (after missing week 1), but that is partly what I’m looking for. I like the matchup this week against a stretch-zone running side like Balitmore. Getting pressure at the edge should lead to tackles and some pressure on Flacco, who struggled against an average Colts defense last week.
DT – Letroy Guion (GB)
Letroy Guion had a break out performance last week in a key position for the Packers defense. While he’s not done much before the blowout win over the Vikings last week, I like the matchup against Miami, who rush a lot between the tackles and have poor pass protection for Ryan Tannehill.
LB – Keenan Robinson (Was)
He’s quick, athletic and apparently good in coverage, which is why Perry Riley has been picking up the seem receivers. Robinson should be active against Arizona who will look to use the speed and ellusiveness of Andre Ellington as a receiver. Robinson has the size to challenge for passes to TEs or even a Larry Fitzgerald.
Jabaal Sheard (Cle)
Another pick based on steady performance. Sheard has been consistent and this week sees the Browns up against the Steelers who are enjoying a strong start to the season by LeVeon Bell. This selection was for a player who I expect to busy with tackles on a pretty tough Browns defense.
Justin Durant (Dal)
He’s might be the last man standing in Dallas who can play linebacker, but he’s had a good start to the season in a defense that has surprised many of us. He’s only played 3 of the 5 Dallas games this year, but he has plenty of tackles and a few forced fumbles. In week 6, Dallas face Seattle who will be looking to get their ground game going early on.
Brandon Graham (Phi)
Very consistent through the first 5 weeks as Graham seems to be resurrecting his career under Chip Kelly. It will be a tough assignment playing outside linebacker against the Giants, but there should be plenty of opportunities for his to rush and pressure Eli. With the Giants still running the ball, he should be busy with tackles too.
S – Kemal Ishmael (Atl)
Playing safety against Jay Cutler is normally a good sign for an interception. While Atlanta don’t have the best secondary, Ishmael is good enough to catch a Cutler pick.
Tony Jefferson (Ari)
Jefferson has been pretty impressive at safety this season. This week he faces Washington and the erratic decision making of Kirk Cousins. Cousins has more ups and downs than a yo-yo. After a good performance against Seattle, he’s due to regress. The strong Cardinals run defense should force him to air it out two. Jefferson could be set for a big game.
CB – Perrish Cox (SF)
3 Interceptions already for Cox and this week he gets to line up against whichever body that St Louis can agree to play quaterback. Cox could be the best opportunity for The Replacements posting a decent score this week.
Kyle Arrington (NE)
Are you sold on Kyle Orton as the guy that will save Buffalo’s offense? No, neither am I. While Orton isn’t as bad as EJ Manuel, I can see him making some bad throws this week. What Orton is good enough to know is don’t throw to Revis, which should be great for Arrington.
Well, that ended up taking a lot longer than I expected. I might as well finish off with my suggestion for next week’s GM. While ideally I would like Mark to show us how the Roster Doctor really does it, he’s far too busy eating bananas to even remember to draft or pick up waivers in the Chatterbowl. Therefore, I’d like to nominate “Mr Fantasy Football” himself, D-Slatz, to GM the Replacements in week 7.