I hate to toot my own horn, but I told you all that there was zero chance that Michael Vick protected the ball as well as he did last season.  So far in 2011, he already has 7 interceptions.  One more than he threw all of last season.  Honestly though, I don’t find it all that impressive that I figured this out.  What’s truly impressive is that hardly any other fantasy prognosticators figured it out.  For some reason these experts just seemed to buy into the fact that what we saw last season was the “new” Michael Vick.  Apparently they didn’t look into the numbers and see that while in Atlanta, Vick threw one interception per every 33.26 attempts.  Last season in Philly, Vick threw one interception for every 62.5 attempts.  I’m not sure about you, but almost twice as many attempts per pick, sounds a heck of a lot like an aberration to me.  Of course, Vick could prove me slightly wrong by throwing zero interceptions for the rest of the season, but does anyone see that happening?  It’s a perfect lesson in fantasy hype, look into career numbers, not just last season.  Now, on to week 6.

Quarterback

BEST:      Cam Newton, CAR

-Yup, I said it.  The rookie gets the not as the best quarterback play this week.  Although, it really shouldn’t come as that much of a shock.  Sure, Newton is getting way more hype than he deserves from the 4-letter network, but you’d have to be crazy to deny that he’s looked pretty darn good from a yardage perspective.  And you also can’t argue that the Falcons have looked hideous against the pass recently.  Aaron Rodgers just made them look like a JV club for the last 3 quarters of the game, after the emotion and hype for the Sunday night game had worn off.  The Falcons are giving up an ugly 294.2 yards per game this season, and I think that Cam Newton could easily pass that number with even a little help from his all-world wide receiver, Steve Smith.  It should be noted that Newton has thrown just as many interceptions as touchdowns this season, and that could be a concern.  However, you should also realize that 3 of his 5 interceptions came against Green Bay who already have 10 picks, good for second best in the NFL.  I have Newton marked down for 325 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception.  I also think it’s possible that he could add a rushing touchdown into that mix.

WORST:  Eli Manning, NYG

-Anybody in here know who has intercepted opposing quarterbacks the most this season? Green Bay?  Bad guess, I already told you they were second. Pittsburgh?  Not even close, they’ve only intercepted one pass all season (something we’ll have to get into in later weeks if the trend continues, as it could be a problem for their fantasy value).  Give up?  It’s the surprising Buffalo Bills.  That should pose a major problem for the turnover prone Eli Manning this week.  I think it’s very possible that Eli gets solid yardage numbers, and it’s very possible that he’ll throw for 2 or 3 touchdowns.  Unfortunately for Manning, I think he’ll also throw 3 picks.  Heck, if he threw 3 against Seattle, I find it hard to believe he’ll go interception-free against the Bills.

Running Back

BEST:    Darren McFadden, OAK

-McFadden is one of the hardest backs to matchup against in the league.  He’s big, fast, strong, and quick.  I guess I could put that more succinctly, and say he’s nearly perfect.  And so far this season, he’s showed that all the hype coming out of the draft was deserved.  He leads the league in rushing yards, and also ranks 11th in the league in receiving yards by running backs.  This week he faces a Cleveland defense that has been giving up 124.5 yards per game.  However,Cleveland has only given up 1 rushing touchdown this season.  That will change this week.  I think McFadden has a huge game and goes for 135 yards and 2 or 3 touchdowns.  I know that’s an awful lot to expect, but I have faith in this guy.

WORST:  Patriots Running Backs (But mostly BenJarvus Green-Ellis)

-BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who is the most viable starter from that New England running back trio, has been very good this season, despite the 3-way split.  However, this week expect very little from the Law Firm and his backfield mates.  The Cowboys have only been giving up paltry 61.8 yards per game, and have only given up 1 touchdown on the ground all season.  If you split up around 62 yards in some kind of 3 way split you’re in a lot of trouble from a fantasy perspective.  There is a ray of light, however.  Green-Ellis could still have some value if he gets a few goal line carries, as the Cowboys will certainly be looking to stop Tom Brady first and foremost inside the 5.  That could cause Green-Ellis to sneak into the end zone, and end up with a respectable, if unspectacular game.  Hoping for a lucky touchdown isn’t really the best way to run your fantasy team though, so if you have a better option, use it.

Wide Receiver

BEST:    A. J. Green, CIN

-As I’ve said time and again, I don’t usually like rookie wide receivers, that’s not the case with Green.  The guy has been consistent through 5 weeks, catching 4 or more passes in every game but the season opener.  This week he faces an Indianapolis defense that, while not terrible, hasn’t exactly been great either.  What’s more, I’m beginning to sense a very bad mentality starting to rear its head in Indy.  The fans, team, and coaching staff all seem to expect this team to find a way to lose, and I think it will happen again this week.  Green has been the best receiving threat for the Bengals all year, and I’m looking for him to end up with around 120 yards receiving and 1 score.

WORST:  Brandon Marshall, MIA

-He’s been good this season, but now he’s going to have to adjust to a new quarterback and will be blanketed by Darrelle Revis.  That doesn’t sound like a great recipe to me.  What’s worse, is that as the Dolphins stagnated, mostly in weeks 3 and 4, so has Marshall’s output.  In weeks 1 and 2 he caught 13 passes for 218 yards, but in weeks 3 and 4 he only caught 9 passes for 95 yards.  Without Chad Henne, not that he’s a pro-bowler or anything, I think this will only get worse.  I think Marshall will catch only 3 passes this week for 35 yards with no touchdowns.  If you can trade him, I think now is the time.

Tight End

BEST:    Jimmy Graham, NO

-I admit it.  I should have bought into the hype when the season started.  For everything I think I got right before the year, I whiffed horribly on this one.  Graham has been a beast this season with 32 catches (making him a PPR monster, by the way) for 496 yards, and 3 scores.  It looks to me like no matter who Graham faces he’ll be a weekly fantasy beast.  This week he faces a Tampa Bay team that ranks in the bottom half of the league in pass defense, and with Drew Brees and company coming to town there should be plenty of footballs filling the air.  Graham will catch his fair share of those, probably around 85 yards and 1 touchdown.

WORST:  Jermichael Finley, GB

-The guy is ultra-talented, and I actually don’t think he’ll be the worst TE this week.  My biggest problem with Finley is that it’s clearly impossible to know who is going to be seeing passes in Green Bay from week to week.  In the real world that’s great, as it keeps opposing defenses guessing.  However, in fantasy football, it’s a recipe for an ulcer.  You have to start Finley every week, but at this point I just genuinely don’t have any clue how to work the numbers to figure out what kind of production he should have on any given week.  Unless the Packers get hit by injuries in the receiving corps in the coming weeks, I don’t see myself mentioning Finley again in this fantasy article, because he’s too much of a crap shoot.

Defense

BEST:     Minnesota Vikings

-The only reason I’m picking the Vikings for this slot is because of the Bears’ offensive line.  I think that the Vikings will give up a lot of yards to Matt Forte this week, but I also think they’ll beat up Jay Cutler all game.  Honestly, I think it will be just as bad for Cutler as it was last week against the Lions.  Look for Cutler to be under pressure all game, and this will result in sacks and turnovers in bunches.  I think he’ll be sacked 5 times, and throw 2 interceptions as well as lose one fumble.  The Vikes will probably give up a fair number of points too, but the sacks and turnovers will make them a great play.

WORST:  Washington Redskins

-The Eagles may have had their problems winning, but you can’t deny that they’re moving the ball.  I have a gut feeling that the Eagles will mostly keep the ball to themselves this week, and will rack up a ton of points in a must-win situation.  I think that Washington will give up at least 30 points this week, and only manage 1 sack and one turnover.  I have a feeling that this generally good defense will be in for an ugly week.

SLEEPER OF THE WEEK

Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco 49ers

He’s going to get hit…a lot.  But you know what, he’s also going to throw a lot.  I see this game against Detroit being a high scoring affair, and that means he will get plenty of opportunity to sling the ball around the field.  I think there is a good chance that he throws for over 350 yards this week with 2 or 3 touchdowns, and, on the negative side, also probably 1 or 2 interceptions.  He’ll get to these numbers based on sheer volume, but that doesn’t mean the points don’t count all the same for you.  If your quarterback is on bye, he may be a nice sneaky play for you.  Sure, all those hits could lead to a terrible game, but if you like risk, Smith is your guy.

*For more fantasy tidbits, insights, and info make sure to follow me, @lehmanna36, on Twitter!