EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 08: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets reaxcts after he ran for a first down in the secon dhalf against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium on October 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
We're going to cover fantasy football all season long here at Birds' Nest by answering five questions every week about various fantasy-related topics. Let's roll.
1. Who's a sleeper fantasy player in Thursday's Steelers-Titans game? First, the good news for the Titans: Kenny Britt is expected to play after seeing limited action in Week 5. But these are still the Titans, with Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback and Chris Johnson at running back. An outfit that currently sports a 1-4 record and was outscored 68-21 by the Texans and Vikings in the previous two weeks. This is a long-winded way of suggesting that if you're looking for sleepers, look to the Steelers. Their playmakers are well established -- Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger -- but Pittsburgh's offense is all about distribution.
The other young wideout, Emmanuel Sanders, is one option. There's also running back Rashard Mendenhall, who returned to the lineup for the first last week after suffering an ACL tear in January. Then there's one of Big Ben's favorite weapons that no one talks about: tight end Heath Miller. All could be in for a big night against a Tennessee team that already appears to have given up on the season.
2. Which Joe Flacco can I expect against the Cowboys Sunday? Your guess is as good as ours. His biggest weakness a year ago was inconsistency. A newfangled no-huddle offense was supposed to showcase his talents and for the most part it has. But he was abysmal against the Chiefs last week, completing 13 of 27 passes for 187 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT. (He also fumbled a ball that was returned for a touchdown but the officials conveniently ruled he was down.) That said, we expect Flacco to show up. The game is in Baltimore and Flacco's confidence has been through the roof this season. Plus, Dallas has an uncanny knack for making other teams look really good. We think Flacco could go bonkers Sunday.
3. Will the Patriots get 200 yards on the ground for the third straight game against the Seahawks? Nope, because Seattle's defense is pretty good. Then again, that doesn't mean the Pats won't lean heavily on Stevan Ridley (start 'em if you got 'em) until he fumbles his way out of the lineup. For the first time since those heady Corey Dillon days in 2004-2006, New England has a legit, reliable running game and we expect them to, ahem, patronize it if for no other reason than to set up the pass. Since, you know, they have that Tom Brady fellow in the backfield, too.
4. Is this the week I should start Tebow? Other than Week 2, days after Mark Sanchez played one of the best games of his career, this might be the worst time to take a flier on Tebow in your starting lineup. He got to actually throw a pass downfield in Monday night's loss to the Texans (it was incomplete), but he's still a glorified punt protector at this point. That said, don't give up on the season. If New York loses to Indy Sunday -- and it's a distinct possibility -- Tebow Time could be upon us.
5. Which Eagles player should I start in Week 6? All of them. Seriously, the Lions are secretly one of the league's worst teams -- on both sides of the ball. They're allowing 28.5 points per game, are coming off three straight losses (including a 44-41 embarrassment against the Titans in Week 3), and that vaunted pass rush has been nonexistent. According to Football Outsiders, Detroit is 21st in defensive efficiency (16th vs. the run, 24th vs. the pass). And while its secondary is average against No. 1 receivers, they're bottom-of-the-barrel against everybody else (No. 2 WRs - 23rd, Other WRs - 24th, TEs - 25th). So, yeah, go crazy. Your fantasy team can't have too many Eagles' players this week.