In All-Time Quarterback, 12-year fantasy football veteran Ramon Ramirez goes inside the week’s key match-ups, searching for sleeper picks and advising you on tough line-up decisions.
We’re a third of the season in and there’s enough data filed to give one a steady feel for their respective team’s campaign limitations. I’m in six leagues and drowning in each. Some of this has to do with unfocused management; a lot of it has to do with Tony Romo and a misplaced desire for stability under center.
I need a Dashboard Confessional playlist, a quiet night of longing, and a bye week to figure this thing out. The good news is that 1-4 starts can be weathered with active management: Troll the wires and move expensive pieces like Calvin Johnson. Front-running owners are always happy to work with bottom-feeder teams because they don’t perceive threat and are almost universally in a generous psychological state. Then they fail to improve, peak in early November, and get picked off in the first round of the playoffs.
Sleeper picks: Week 6
I’d start these players Sunday with confidence in leagues with at least 10 owners. To be painfully obvious, never bench a stalwart fixture, but work these guys in if you have a shaky spot in your lineup.
Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings
William Powell, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Alex Green, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers
Kevin Ogletree, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Scott Chandler, TE, Buffalo Bills
Bilal Powell, FLEX, New York Jets
If you’ve followed this nascent column, it’s clear I love throwing out any warm body that starts against the Washington Redskins. Their secondary is ranked 31st, their offense can’t stay on the field, and quarterbacks have time and windows. This week, it’s overachieving second-year Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder’s turn to put up big numbers.
William Powell won the otherwise unglamorous job of being Arizona’s third-string running back in August because he ran all over the preseason. With Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams now lost for the season, Powell was a waiver wire commodity this week. He’ll be the starter on a 4-1 team at home against one of the NFL’s most inept defensive units. Do not think twice about using him.
Alex Green is in a similar situation. Cedric Benson is unavailable for at least six weeks and currently on injured reserve. The Packers run considerably less and will do so at an elite defense (Houston) on Sunday night. Benson was a traditional power back; Green is quicker and should make up for his lack of traditional carries with check-down receptions.
James Jones is surely owned in your league, but it’s key to point out that he has more standard-scoring fantasy points than Calvin Johnson and is a desirable weapon for Aaron Rodgers this week because all-pro Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph will be doing work on Greg Jennings. Kevin Ogletree shined last time Dallas had multiple weeks to devise a game plan. Look for him to find holes at Baltimore and show up for Tony Romo.
Scott Chandler has more fantasy points that Jimmy Graham and a nose for the red zone—he’s an every week starter going forward. Bilal Powell was the intriguing unknown we all hoped would unseat sluggish carry hoarder Shonne Greene in New York—and he’s almost there.
Photo of Christian Ponder via Kevind810/Wikipedia