Week 6 is in the books, which means we’re almost halfway through this thing. The hard part about writing a fantasy column for people bad at fantasy is the unfortunate reality that, at some point, there’s no point in paying attention anymore. I’m 1–5 in three different leagues, which leaves me with no incentive to do anything outside of bitterly trade any solid players I have to whoever buys me Taco Bell first. My loyalty is easily bought.
Oh yeah, football. Whoops. I’ll be honest, I’m drifting out. Steve Young called the NFL a “league of mediocrity” after Monday night’s game, which isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of the product. (Oh, man, we L.A. fans are thrilled.) The Eagles are twitching, which is fun, but outside of that there’s maybe three good storylines right now. Also, Indy caught seemingly every break on Sunday and still got handily put away, which means it’s on every other team now to make the rest of this season feel like anything other than an excruciating Patriots coronation.
Help us, Andy Dalton. You’re our only hope.
Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Hoyer were the fourth and fifth highest scoring QBs this week, so, y’know, abandon hope, all ye who enter. It’s anarchy out there. Take solace in the fact that those two chewed up Washington and the Jaguars, respectively, so it’s not like they’re suddenly smart pickups. But then again, you don’t need pickups, do you? It’s Week 6. You’re either good with the team you’ve got at this point, or you stopped caring. If you’re the type of person that picks up and plays a mediocre QB over your starter in anticipation of the mediocre one shredding a garbage D, you might be too emotionally invested. Dial it back.
Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers were the two highest scoring players overall, which is less shocking, given their history of statistical adequacy, but hoo boy, they haven’t exactly lit the world on fire this season, have they. Fun fact about Philip Rivers: he has never not looked like an angry sixth-grader. That boy came out of the womb convinced that someone ate his Uncrustables. You can’t tell me otherwise.
Stafford just looks like a regular sixth grader. Gotta love those two. We’ll do midseason awards next week, but I’ll admit right here and now that I was woefully wrong about both Tannehill and Mariota looking like sleepers. But I’m wrong about most things, so that’s honestly really on you. Your fault. Those garbage Sam Bradford interceptions that jacked up the Giants’ point total this weekend and cost you the matchup? Not your fault.
Oh my GOD, Devonta Freeman. We GET IT already.
Congrats to Chris Ivory on single-handedly swinging some matchups this weekend, undoubtedly prompting someone to draft him too early in next year’s fantasy draft. Keep this misery train going, my man.
They say if you close your eyes and listen closely, you can still hear the Colts defense trying to tackle LeGarrette Blount. On one hand, I want to know why he decides to always play well against Indianapolis. But on the other hand, some mysteries are more fun left unsolved, you know? That leaves room for speculation! Maybe a Colts player turned him down for an autograph as a kid or dumped him while he was still at Harvard and hadn’t invented Facebook yet. There’s all kinds of juicy origin stories for LaGarrette Blount, Colt-Slayer. He’s killed more Indys than a bad Pitchfork review.
James Starks sometimes appears to me in my dreams, taunting me. “Your brother snagged me off the waiver wire,” he chuckles, “and you drafted Eddie Lacy No. 1 overall in the one league you kind of cared about. Also, your smile is weird.” It’s oddly specific, and definitely kind of mean. Leave me alone, James Starks. Take your projection-shattering season and let me cry in peace.
Someone named Martavis Bryant had an awesome week for Pittsburgh, which isn’t fair. I wasn’t told about this. Antonio Brown clearly wasn’t told about this. Were you told about this? I demand answers. Landry Jones was mostly famous in college for having a mustache, so I’m comfortable implicating him in shenanigans.
One of the genuine bright spots this season has been John Brown, who, in addition to freeing up Larry Fitzgerald from the occasional double coverage, was supposed to be an emerging keystone in the Cardinals offense. And he has been! He put up 196 yards this week in a loss. That’s good production! Good for you, John Brown. Good for all of us. The Cardinals, meanwhile, have Baltimore and Cleveland up next, which likely means a pair of close wins and some decent offensive output. Fitz leads all wideouts right now with six touchdowns, which is some serious feel-good stuff. I was worried he’d just limp off into the sunset, the way Calvin Johnson is starting to.
The Ravens continued their amazing practice of losing close games this week despite a Steve Smith resurgence that validated anyone holding onto 2005. You know, like 50 Cent or USC football fans. Also, in the three games since I called out Travis Benjamin for playing overly well, he hasn’t posted a single touchdown. Which feels good, obviously, but he’s also put up 21 receptions and 250-plus yards, so it’s not as validating as it could be. Still, small victories.
Also, Andre Johnson went right back to his old ways (get it, because he’s—nevermind) catching three passes for a measly 35 yards. Andre Johnson is a tease.
Twenty tight ends have at least two touchdown catches. That’s a lot! Did you know the Patriots have a second giant tight end with a number in the high 80s? Because I didn’t, and I subsequently looked like an idiot celebrating every time Scott Chandler caught the ball. Those were supposed to be GRONK points. Also, hey, Antonio Gates returned to earth, which is sad.
The Broncos’ defense is really, really good. The Eagles looked like world-beaters out there, but I’m curious how much of that is them and how much of that was Eli Manning.
The Seahawks have Kam Chancellor back, but it hasn’t exactly turned that D into a points machine. I can’t figure the Seahawks out. Like, they’re clearly good. But their wins came at home against two teams that are currently a combined 3–9. At some point, losing close games to good teams has to stop earning you street cred, right?
PERSON WHO USED TO BE GOOD
Peyton Manning is falling apart right before our eyes and it’s horrifying. No joke here, really. Just hoping he makes it out OK. He’s earned it.
PERSON WHO IS STILL GOOD
I swear to god, Steve Smith will still be scoring touchdowns ten years from now. He’s an indomitable little machine powered by rage and the collective goodwill earned from this adorable rowboat TD celebration. He’s great.
PERSON AT WHOM YOU SHOULD CREEPILY TWEET A THANK YOU
The NFL, for sharing this.
Boy, that is the butt-fumble of playcalls. It’s beautiful. Have a good week, everyone.