October is an amazing month for sports fans. The NFL is settling into its mid-season groove, the baseball playoffs are kicking off, the NBA preseason just began, and hockey fans get to familiarize themselves with terms like “court of appeals” and “negotiations stalled.” Football and basketball fans feel your pain, and we hope you enjoy our American sports until yours gets the work stoppage resolved. But as I said, for the rest of us life is good.
It’s good unless you started a lineup of RG3, Mike Wallace, Jordy Nelson, Torrey Smith, Law Firm, Cedric Benson, and Jimmy Graham. When you have a Sunday like that, you sit around all week asking yourself why, and wondering if you can get any dumber. But the beauty of fantasy football is that Week 6 starts on Thursday night, and with it comes a chance to totally redeem yourself.
Here are your Week 6 targets for non-standard leagues:
2QB Leagues –Kirk Cousins
It’s a shame that it comes on the heels of a scary hit to RG3, but it looks like Cousins might get his first career start next week against the Vikings. The matchup is clearly not great, but with byes for Brees, Cam and Cutler as well as the injury to RG3, owners scrambling for a starter could do worse. Even if he turns the ball over a few times, I can easily see the Skins putting up a garbage time TD or two from their backup QB. Getting 250 yards and 2 TDs from a waiver-wire QB will have you kissing Cousins in Week 6.
PPR Leagues – Andrew Hawkins
Hawkins has been somewhat of a boom-or-bust player so far this year. After an 8-reception game to start the season, his points have mainly come from long TDs in Weeks 2 and 3, and the formerly “hot” pickup may have been dropped in your league. Looking a little closer, Hawkins was targeted an average of 11 times in games where Cincy trailed, and an average of 3.3 times when they had the lead. After a game against the Browns next week, the Bengals face playoff contenders in seven of their last nine games. Assuming Cincinnati needs to throw in most of those games, Hawkins will see enough targets to make him a PPR WR3. With his propensity for the big play, and with AJ Green taking coverage away from him, Hawkins could be in store for a huge second half.
TD-Only Leagues – John Kuhn
He’s probably the most reviled player in fantasy football, but Kuhn is remarkably consistent at his job, which just happens to be stealing TDs from your fantasy team. He was at it again on Sunday, punching the ball in from the 2 for Green Bay’s first touchdown. The Packers’ backfield is inconsistent even when Benson is healthy, but if he misses time, good luck deciding who gets the most carries between James Starks and Alex Green. The only thing we know for sure? When Green Bay runs it inside the 5, Kuhn is likely going to be the one carrying it. He’s averaged a TD every 4 games in the last 3 years, and with the bye weeks hitting hard, I’ll gladly take a 25% shot at 6 points.
IDP Leagues – Luke Kuechly
Rookies tend to come at an inflated price on draft day, as the shiny new toys are often more appealing than the old reliable ones. Kuechly was drafted around the same spot as London Fletcher, who has been a top-5 LB for the better part of a decade, and was a bit of a disappointment through Week 2. The rookie had 3 solo tackles and 6 assists in his first two games, which may have led some inpatient owners to drop him. Injuries to Jon Beason and Thomas Davis have given Kuechly more playing time and he has responded with some impressive stats. Over the last three games, Kuechly has put up 16 solo tackles and 12 assists, along with an interception and three pass deflections, good for eighth among linebackers in fantasy points. With the Panthers likely not going anywhere this year, expect to see Kuechly’s playing time increase as the season wears on, even if Beason and Davis get healthy.
Return Yardage Leagues – David Wilson
I mentioned Wilson in this space after Week 1, but a lot has changed since then. Ahmad Bradshaw went down with a foot injury, Andre Brown emerged on the scene in New York and ran all over Carolina, and Wilson applied for voter registration in Tom Coughlin’s dog house. When Bradshaw returned, it looked like he would be splitting carries with Brown, but Brown went down with a concussion early in Week 5, allowing Bradshaw to run for 200 yards as the lead back. Wilson got only two carries, but made one of them count, taking it 40 yards to the house. Moving forward it remains to be seen if Brown will miss any time, but Wilson should be on the radar of both Coughlin and fantasy owners, as Brown and Bradshaw have never been the model of health. Wilson has provided a spark in limited action, mostly in the return game, and if either Brown or Bradshaw misses time, Wilson is a flex option in Return Yardage leagues.