We’re nearly to the halfway point of the fantasy regular season in many leagues – are you sitting pretty, or scrambling to fill holes created by underperforming stars? Confused with what to do this week? We're here to help.
Now, you're not going to find "start Peyton Manning" here. If you drafted a player in the first five rounds, chances are those are your go-to players, so we'll try to give you some less-than-obvious choices to bolster your lineup every week.
On that note, here we go for week 6:
Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants wide receiver at Philadelphia
The first round draft pick Beckham finally was healthy enough to see action on Sunday against a bad Atlanta defense and was immediately targeted five times by Eli Manning. He pulled down four of those for 44 yards and a key touchdown. He’s on film now and Victor Cruz and Larry Donnell are still Manning’s top targets, but the Philadelphia defense hasn’t stopped anyone – its giving up the second most fantasy points to wide receivers in the league.
Branden Oliver, San Diego Chargers running back at Oakland
The diminutive running back filled in for an injured Donald Brown and rushed for 114 yards and touchdown while catching four passes for another 68 yards. He clearly caught the New York Jets defense off guard and now there is film on him, but Oliver can be a good one-week stop gap against a bad Oakland defense that is being led by a new head coach. He probably won’t put up nearly 200 yards of offense, but he should be a solid bet to get you double-digit points.
Last week: Heath Miller (4 targets, 3 catches, 46 yards); Mike Glennon (249 yards, 2 TD, INT).
Tim Wright, New England tight end at Buffalo
This is the second time Wright has made this section, but after breaking out with a 5-catch, 85-yard game on national TV, it makes sense that he’ll be a quick add to rosters. That’s all well and good, but I’d wait to start him. He only played on 19 of the Patriots’ 84 offensive snaps, and it’s hard to predict that he’ll have the same production in such a limited role. If you have him, stash him another week or two until he’s proven to be a reliable, weekly threat.
Philadelphia Eagles defense vs. New York Giants
Good on you if you’ve rolled the dice with this Eagles unit the last two weeks – they’ve scored four touchdowns, have come up with four turnovers and have sacked the quarterback eight times. First, you can’t count on more special teams touchdowns off punt blocks and returns, and the Giants are hot, having scored 35 points a game the last three weeks. While Eli Manning will probably turn the ball over once or twice, the upside of the Eagles defense isn’t as high this week.
Last week: Brandon LaFell (4 targets, 1 catch, 20 yards); Knile Davis (6 rush yards, 1 target, 0 catches).
Owen Daniels, Baltimore tight end at Tampa Bay
The Ravens are down to their third tight end and Joe Flacco has looked for him the last two weeks (13 combined targets, 9 catches, 113 yards) but he has to find the end zone. Tampa Bay gives up the fourth most fantasy points in the league to tight ends – a number that is perhaps deflated by the fact that all-world New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham was knocked out early last week. Daniels might be a sneaky play for 4-5 catches and a touchdown this week.
Last week: Scott Chandler (6 targets, 4 catches, 21 yards).
Jim Owczarski is an award-winning sports journalist and comes to Milwaukee by way of the Chicago Sun-Times Media Network.
A three-year Wisconsin resident who has considered Milwaukee a second home for the better part of seven years, he brings to the market experience covering nearly all major and college sports.
To this point in his career, he has been awarded six national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, breaking news and projects. He is also a four-time nominee for the prestigious Peter J. Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, presented by the Chicago Headline Club, and is a two-time winner for Best Sports Story. He has also won numerous other Illinois Press Association, Illinois Associated Press and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association awards.
Jim's career started in earnest as a North Central College (Naperville, Ill.) senior in 2002 when he received a Richter Fellowship to cover the Chicago White Sox in spring training. He was hired by the Naperville Sun in 2003 and moved on to the Aurora Beacon News in 2007 before joining OnMilwaukee.com.
In that time, he has covered the events, news and personalities that make up the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, NCAA football, baseball and men's and women's basketball as well as boxing, mixed martial arts and various U.S. Olympic teams.
Golf aficionados who venture into Illinois have also read Jim in GOLF Chicago Magazine as well as the Chicago District Golfer and Illinois Golfer magazines.