NFL: Thoughts Heading Into Week 6

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Emergence of Packers RB Aaron Jones

I like his decisiveness and ability to gain positive yards. He doesn’t dance around in the backfield and I think his emergence could allow Ty Montgomery to flourish in a Darren Sproles-like role when he returns. Not only Jones, but the return of Green Bay’s bookendswas huge, tackles David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga. This offense, as good as they’ve been one-dimensionally, is actually getting better.

It’s easy to get carried away after one game a team wins or a player balls out. I actually felt this way after watching him against the Bears after Montgomery got injured. He took 13 carries for 49 yards and a touchdown, with only 3.9 yards per carry. I noticed his style and how ti fits their offense in a way I haven’t seen flank Aaron Rodgers before. Then he faces Dallas, plays 53 of 60 snaps, taking 19 rushes for 125 yards and another touchdown.

His running balanced out the offense despite Green Bay trailing in Dallas, and did so in a way that the Cowboys couldn’t just rush Rodgers. The Packers didn’t default to just throwing the football. Jones and the O-line got them through adversity before Rodgers’ game-winning TD.

I Still Think Minnesota is Good

Who doesn’t like this team a lot better with rookie running back Dalvin Cook healthy? You can’t ignore the Vikings being able to go 2-2 without Cook, Sam Bradford, and they lost #1 target Stefon Diggs in last week’s victory. How many teams can win a game without their starting quarterback, without their #1 receiver, and with their 3rd stirng running back?

I say Jerick McKinnon is 3rd string because Latavius Murray has yet to suit up this season. Cook was the main guy but the tandem is what should have fans excited about for next season. Murray scored 12 touchdowns last season for the Raiders, putting up over 1,000 all-purpose yards in each of the past 2 seasons. He’s capable, especially with an efficient quarterback, a strong defense, and a usually good special teams unit.

Last week I felt it was too soon to play Bradford and it was evident. I think that will set him back from playing the next game or 2, but Minny will get Bradford, Murray and Diggs all on the field very soon and I think they’ll be in the wildcard hunt. I’m just not sold on the Lions, although, I won’t deny that they have more heart than a lot of other teams.

Cardinals Trade for Adrian Peterson

There are a few things I like more than most, Adrian Peterson being one of them. The team went as far to release Chris Johnson, formerly CJ2K, to make room for him. They could’ve gotten rid of an extra linebacker or someone like that, but no, they released a running back. Wouldn’t it have made sense to keep as many of them as they can until David Johnson returns. Oh well.

A.P. joins Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald in the over-30 club. They got lit up by the Eagles, Cowboys and Lions, while hanging on for dear life to eek by the Colts and 49ers. They’re an aging team for sure, for one that has already named A.P. their starter in the absence of D.J., who they heavily relied on last season. The Cards don’t have a choice, they have to feed A.P. the ball. Not the greatest O-line, the offense should look more balanced and I think A.P. has more juice left in him than you believe. Hey, I just turned 30, I can still ball it up on the basketball court with my over 30 buddies, so I’m rooting for this group to get some wins.

Bay Area WRs: Goodwin is Flier Worthy, Cooper Will Bounce Back

If you need a fantasy receiver for a week or two, you might want to look towards the Bay Area. You may be affected by the loss of the Giants’ starting receivers, or some disappointing production from players like Amari Cooper who only has 13 catches in 5 games. I will say though, Cooper is a great buy-low fantasy target, I mean, we’re still talking about a thousand-yard guy. I’d keep him on ice for the next 3 games but after that, if Derek Carr is good to go I expect Coop to make his presence felt in the second half of the season.

As for Goodwin, his 100-yard day earned him the 4th highest wide receiver grade on Pro Football Focus of 83.3. The trio that scored higher are Antonio Brown at 86.3, Tyreke Hill at 84.2, and DeSean Jackson at 83.5. Notice that these targets are all threats to catch downfield passes. Brian Hoyer isn’t someone you can rely on, as the 49ers are trying to grind through a rebuilding year.

The fact that they’ll be trailing  in most games and be forced to pass more than they would like, Goodwin’s speed to get behind a secondary should merit more targets. The next 2 weeks he faces the Josh Norman-less Redskins, and then the below average Cowboys’ secondary, both of which they should be playing form behind.