Welcome back Tom Brady. We missed you.
After struggling through the first five games of the season, there were plenty of questions about Brady and his return from last year's torn ACL. Would he rebound and play like 2007 again? Could he be an elite Fantasy quarterback this year?
He answered those questions in the first half Sunday against the Titans in the snow. Brady threw six touchdown passes, five in the second quarter, en route to his best day of the season. He completed 29 of 34 passes for 380 yards, and his six touchdowns matched the number of scoring passes he totaled in his first five games.
|Welker and Moss combined for five TDs and 57 Fantasy points. (US Presswire)|
It was like 2007 all over again.
The Patriots also found out Laurence Maroney can be a useful weapon with 16 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown and three catches for 10 yards. With Sammy Morris (knee) getting hurt against the Titans and Fred Taylor (knee) out, Maroney did a nice job as an injury replacement.
He could be asked to shoulder the load if Morris can't play in Week 7 at Tampa Bay, so consider adding Maroney in all leagues. He is only owned in 24 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com, so he will be a hot commodity on the waiver wire.
But Brady was the story Sunday. He probably could have thrown for 10 touchdowns if Bill Belichick left him in the game. And he should remain hot for the next two games with matchups at Tampa Bay and against Miami.
Last year, Peyton Manning got off to a slow start coming off knee surgery in the offseason before he picked things up in the second half. You had to expect Brady to also shake off some rust after missing an entire season.
But this was the wakeup call he needed, and it's the kind of game Fantasy owners were waiting for. It will only get better from here.
Let's take a look around at the rest of the Week 6 action.
Start of the Week review: It's almost impossible to believe that Matt Hasselbeck, coming off a four-touchdown game against Jacksonville, was so bad at home against Arizona, which came into Sunday's game last in the NFL in pass defense. Hasselbeck completed just 10 of 29 passes for 112 yards, no touchdowns with an interception and a lost fumble. He was absolutely horrible and finished with worse Fantasy production than Jason Campbell (89 passing yards and an interception), who was benched in Washington.
Sit of the Week review: It continues to be a rough year for Brandon Jacobs, who was held to seven carries for 33 yards and one catch for 2 yards at New Orleans. Jacobs was once again outplayed by Ahmad Bradshaw (10 carries for 48 yards and a touchdown), as we suggested, and you have to wonder if the Giants are considering giving Bradshaw even more carries. Jacobs will turn it around, but we had the right call in telling you to sit Jacobs this week. He still has only one touchdown on the season.
Insane stat line of the day: We expected Thomas Jones to run well against the Bills, but he far exceeded anything we could have imagined. Jones had 22 carries for 210 yards and a touchdown. He also added two catches for 17 yards to give you one extra Fantasy point in a standard-scoring league. You can add Mark Sanchez to this category also since he had five interceptions and no touchdowns in making the Bills defense look respectable in their upset victory.
Out-of-nowhere stat line of the day: On our Fantasy Playbook podcast this week, Dave Richard said Sidney Rice would have a great game against the Ravens. Dave said with the Vikings expected to throw, Rice would be a big part of the game plan. I don't think Dave or anybody else thought Rice would have six catches for a career-high 176 yards. He led all receivers in yards heading into Sunday night's game, and the third-year wide receiver continues to have a breakout season. Rice is owned in 77 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com, so add him if he's still available and consider him a No. 2 Fantasy option.
Guy we were way right about: It was a risk saying to sit Eli Manning in a homecoming game going back to New Orleans with the way he's played this season, but the Saints defense under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has played well. And Williams has a good history against Manning, along with defensive back Darren Sharper. Manning finished 14 of 31 passing for 178 yards, one touchdown, one interception and one fumble as the Giants lost their first game of the season.
Guy we were way wrong about: I'm having a tough time with tight ends the past two weeks. In Week 5, it was sit Kellen Winslow, who scored two touchdowns against the Eagles. This week it was sit Visanthe Shiancoe, who also scored two touchdowns against the Ravens. Shiancoe now has four touchdowns in his past three games and appears headed for a better year this year than he had last season when he scored seven touchdowns.
Overachieving defense of the week: Take your pick between Oakland and Arizona. The Raiders held the Eagles to nine points in an upset victory, and the Cardinals locked down the Seahawks in a 27-3 victory. Both defenses were beat up all season, and both were facing high-powered offenses. The Cardinals had the better Fantasy day with two turnovers, five sacks and the points allowed.
Underachieving defense of the week: The Steelers only gave up one offensive touchdown to the Browns on Sunday, but giving up two touchdowns was a disappointment. This was a Cleveland team that managed six points against Buffalo, and Derek Anderson had two pass completions against the Bills. On top of that, the Steelers got Troy Polamalu (knee) back and were playing at home. The Steelers have been the underachieving defense of the year considering they were the No. 1 option in many Fantasy leagues coming into the season.
Names to add to your scout team ...
Laurence Maroney, running back, New England (16 carries, 123 yards, touchdown, three catches, 10 yards)
Justin Fargas, running back, Oakland (23 carries, 87 yards, one catch, 11 yards)
Mike Bell, running back, New Orleans (15 carries, 34 yards, touchdown)
Sidney Rice, wide receiver, Minnesota (six catches, 176 yards)
Torry Holt, wide receiver, Jacksonville (five catches, 101 yards)
Hakeem Nicks, wide receiver, New York Giants (five catches, 114 yards, one touchdown)
Mohamed Massaquoi, wide receiver, Cleveland (five catches, 83 yards)
Lance Moore, wide receiver, New Orleans (six catches, 70 yards, one touchdown)
Robert Meachem, wide receiver, New Orleans (two catches, 70 yards, touchdown)
Zach Miller, tight end, Oakland (six catches, 139 yards, touchdown)
Jermichael Finley, tight end, Green Bay (five catches, 54 yards)
Injury alerts ...
Trent Edwards, concussion, considered questionable for Week 7 at Carolina
Daunte Culpepper, hamstring, bye in Week 7
Sammy Morris, knee, considered questionable for Week 7 at Tampa Bay
LenDale White, ankle, considered questionable, bye in Week 7
Anquan Boldin, ankle, considered probable for Week 7 at New York Giants
Donnie Avery, hip, considered questionable for Week 7 vs. Indianapolis
Percy Harvin, shoulder, considered questionable for Week 7 at Pittsburgh
Antwan Odom, Achilles' tendon, likely out for year
Lofa Tatupu, pectoral, out for year
The last word: Drew Brees was only started in 85 percent of CBSSports.com leagues Sunday, which is a surprise. That's a quarterback that you should never bench, no matter the matchup. Brees passed for 369 yards and four touchdowns against the Giants, who were ranked No. 1 in pass defense coming into the game. And Brees was coming off two games without a touchdown pass. So what. Never bench Brees. Unless you own Brees and Tom Brady or Brees and Peyton Manning, there's no one on your roster who is a better Fantasy quarterback. He should start every week.
What stood out to you this week? How did your Fantasy teams do? Drop us a line and tell us about it at email@example.com. Be sure to put Attn: Week 6 in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state and we'll respond to as many as e-mails we can.