Swimming Upstream: Week 6

Swimming Upstream: Week 6

Lineup Management

Swimming Upstream: Week 6

A popular tactic in fantasy football is known as “streaming,” where owners cycle through the best available matchups among waiver wire options from week to week. This strategy is most commonly used with defensive teams, place kickers, tight ends and sometimes even quarterbacks.

Week 6 bye teams: Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Quarterbacks to consider

As written in this week’s edition of “The Pickup Joint,” Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (at Raiders) is a fine one-week play.

Case Keenum, Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions

The Rams operate a ball-control offense, which makes Keenum a game manager more weeks than not. He has at least 30 pass attempts in four of five games this season, topping 265 passing yards in two of the last three weeks. He threw four touchdowns and only one INT in his last two road games (TB, ARI), so consider something around 270 yards and two touchdowns to be a respectable effort.

Detroit’s pass defense has been rough most of the season, despite sitting ninth in getting to the quarterback. Ranking as the third easiest defense for quarterbacks to exploit, the Lions have granted 14 aerial scores in five games while intercepting a mere two passes. Signal callers have averaged a shade over 273 yards, as well.

Tight ends to trust

Richard Rodgers, Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas defense has been surprisingly strong on the back end. The secondary is likely to focus heavily on keeping Jordy Nelson from going crazy. Randall Cobb (neck) is expected to play, too, which will occupy more coverage attention. The running game is in question because of injuries to James Starks and Eddie Lacy, leaving Aaron Rodgers to look for the tight end sharing his surname more than usual.

Dallas has given up 36 receptions to the position, which is the second most of any team. Only the Cleveland Browns have allowed more yardage than the 397 surrendered by this group, and allowing a TD every 12 catches is the ninth worst ratio.

Lance Kendricks, Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions

Just how desperate are you? Kendricks has seen 23 targets on the year, converting 13 times for 152 yards and no scores. It was only two weeks ago when he was targeted seven times against Arizona. That level of involvement would be a great sight, but he may not need it to produce enough fantasy points to satisfy your fill-in need.

Yes, I am picking on the Lions again … Detroit has allowed six — SIX!!! — touchdowns to tight ends on only 28 catches. That barely is the second worst rate in the league. Kendricks could score (maybe twice?) as the Lions focus on keeping Todd Gurley out of the end zone.

Cozy up with a kicker

Wil Lutz, New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers

Trusting a rookie kicker in an offense that hasn’t historically made the position prominent for gamers is a difficult act. It becomes an even more troubling when said kicker has made 62.5 percent of his field goal kicks. Digging deeper, it becomes less daunting to know that Lutz has missed two of his eight attempts from 50-plus yards.

In many situations, game flow is a determining factor for kickers’ value. Opportunities drive production, since a kicker cannot rack up points without, you know, kicking the ball. Carolina has allowed 11 field goal attempts on the year — more than two per game — and 13 touchdown-capping attempts. The Panthers are wounded but can still strike out enough to slow this divisional opponent’s prolific offense and force field goals tries.

Get daring with this defense

Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns

Tennessee has allowed more than 20 points in only two of its five outings, and Cleveland has scored more than that figure in only one game. After having six sacks in four games, the Titans unleashed against Ryan Tannehill in Week 5 and matched that total. Tennessee has six picks in its last four games. All told, this isn’t a totally useless defense.

Speaking of useless, the Browns’ offense has given up 13 sacks, five interceptions and three fumbles in five games played. Collectively, this is the ninth best matchup for a defense.

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