*Updated QB rankings WITH COMMENTS will be posted on Friday. Any additional updates that are necessary will be posted no later than Saturday in the final week 6 rankings.
1. Tom Brady (NE) – While the occasional miscue has kept Brady’s fantasy totals in check for the most part since week 1, we are fairly confident that “Tom Terrific” will return to top flight form this Sunday. A week 6 meeting with Tennessee at home is extremely favorable and easily his best match up so far this season. The Titans currently rank 31st in pass defense and have allowed 13 TD’s through the air in just 5 games. The Tennessee secondary has been shredded by virtually every signal caller they have faced so far this season and we highly doubt that Brady will be the exception in week 6. Start him.
2. Aaron Rodgers (GB) – Despite getting sacked 8 times and turning it over twice against Minnesota, Rodgers still managed to put up excellent numbers in week 4. While pass protection remains a glaring issue for Rodgers, you have to love his chances for a huge performance in week 6 against Detroit. The Lions rank just 27th in pass defense and they have allowed 15 passing TD’s through 5 games. In 2008, Rodgers totaled over 300 yards passing with 3 TD’s and no interceptions in each of his 2 games against them (636 yards and 6 TD’s total to be exact). Rodgers is a top shelf choice for your week 6 fantasy line up.
3. Kurt Warner (ARI) – In spite of the fact that Seattle’s Jekyll and Hyde pass defense ranks a mildly impressive 9th in the NFL, they have only faced two noteworthy QB’s so far this season, Peyton Manning and Jay Cutler. Needless to say, the Seahawk secondary was no match for either and they were throttled by each. This is exactly why we are extremely optimistic that a similarly capable Kurt Warner will do the same to them in week 6. Well, that, and the fact that Warner has a solid track record of lighting them up anyway. In 2 games against Seattle last season, Warner threw for a combined 658 yards and 5 TD’s. He is a must start fantasy option for week 6.
4. Donovan McNabb (PHI) – He not only appeared healthy in week 5, but he was dominant en route to a 3 TD performance against Tampa Bay. While week 6 is not quite as favorable, similar results are likely against a middle of the road Raiders pass defense that appears to be on the downward slide. McNabb has all the tools and components at his disposal to embarrass the Oakland defense and we believe that is exactly what will happen. He makes for a solid selection as a QB1 for your week 6 fantasy roster. Check injury report: rib (probable)
5. Drew Brees (NO) – A battle of goliaths will ensue in week 6 as the NFL’s most highly touted fantasy QB heading into 2009 will face off against the NFL’s best pass defense. While you can never count Brees out at home, we have some serious concerns regarding this match up. The Giants are allowing just over 100 passing yards per game and have accumulated more interceptions than they have allowed TD passes. The G-Men also possess one of the NFL’s better pass rushes that has accounted for 14 sacks in just 5 games. Normally, we are optimistic that Brees can torch any defense he faces at home, but it is difficult not to be skeptical considering the opponent and the fact that Brees hasn’t thrown a single TD pass or even thrown for over 200 yards since week 2. Regardless, the only way you sit Brees is if you have an overwhelmingly favorable match up with your back up.
6. Matt Hasselbeck (SEA) – He was able to fight through the pain of a broken rib in week 5 en route to a monster 4 TD performance against a poor Jacksonville pass defense. He will likely have to cope with the pain again in week 6, but luckily, the match up against Arizona is equally promising. The Cardinals currently rank dead last in the NFL in pass defense giving up over 300 yards per game. Hasselbeck will carry a ton of momentum into this game and we really like his chances for yet another big week, but we must warn you that he was terrible against Arizona last season and the Cardinals pass defense was equally poor in 2008. Check injury report: rib (probable)
7. Phillip Rivers (SD) – While there is no question that Denver’s pass defense is much improved over a season ago, we still like Rivers’ chances in this match up. He has an extremely good track record against the Broncos and he has had an extra week to prepare coming in fresh off of a bye week. This game also has a history of turning into a shootout which favors Rivers. He will be challenged, but the odds are in his favor at home on Monday night. Rivers should be able to continue his successful fantasy run with yet another solid performance in week 6.
8. Matt Schaub (HOU) – He has now thrown for 300 yards or more in three of his five starts this season. While that is very impressive, it must be taken with a grain of salt considering that the three performances in question came against the three worst pass defenses in the NFL (ARI, TEN, and JAC). Regardless, Schaub is having a great season overall and he should be solid once again in week 6 against Cincy. The Bengals rank just 23rd in the NFL in pass defense, but they have only allowed 1 passing TD per game on average. For what it is worth, Schaub threw for 280 yards, 3 TD’s and 0 interceptions in a game against them in 2008.
9. Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) – With every passing week (no pun intended), Roethlisberger continues to top his fantasy output from the previous week. While that could happen again in week 6, it is not very likely. Roethlisberger should be very solid, but a match up against the Browns isn’t quite as favorable as you might think. Cleveland currently ranks 10th in the NFL against the pass and they have allowed just 5 passing TD’s in 5 games. Granted, that ranking is a bit misleading considering that most teams choose to lean heavily on the ground game against a terrible Browns run defense, but the Steelers are not likely to break that trend. As a result, Roethlisberger’s pass attempts may be down some this week which in turn could limit his production a tad. Regardless, he is on a hot streak and qualifies as a QB1 for week 6.
10. Matt Ryan (ATL) – Unexpectedly, he is coming off of his best fantasy effort of the season against what appeared to be a very solid 49er pass defense. Hopefully, Ryan can keep that momentum rolling into a week 6 match up against Chicago. While the Bears rank a mediocre 20th in the NFL in terms of passing yards allowed, they have been fairly stingy with regard to passing TD’s allowed, giving up just 4 in 4 games. Week 6 may not be a cakewalk for Ryan, but we like his chances at home coming off of a big week 5. As a side note, Ryan threw for 301 yards and a 1 TD against the Bears last season.
11. Jay Cutler (CHI) – He has yet to reach the magical 300 yard passing mark this season, but Cutler has played very well since his week 1 debacle. In his last 3 games, he has thrown 7 TD passes while being intercepted just one time. He should be able to keep that success going into a week 6 match up against Atlanta. The Falcons young secondary has been suspect to this point with regard to passing yards allowed en route to a ranking of 22nd in the NFL, but they are tied for 2nd in the NFL in passing TD’s allowed have given up only 3 so far this season. As you can see this match up has its pros and cons, but Cutler should play well enough to qualify as a low end QB1 for week 6.
12. David Garrard (JAC) – We realize that he stunk it up last week, but in his defense, he was without his best receiver, Mike Sims-Walker, who was a last second scratch (funny story actually). We are also going to take it upon ourselves to pose the excuse of jet lag on Garrard’s behalf. That said, we are confident that he will rebound in week 6 and this is why. For starters, Garrard is facing a very poor Rams pass defense. Secondly and most importantly, the game is being played in Jacksonville. Garrard has played lights out at home so far this season throwing for 605 yards and 5 TD’s in 2 games. Last, but certainly not least, big play receiver Mike Sims-Walker will be back for this match up barring any further late night activities with the ladies. We aren’t saying Garrard is going to have a monster game or anything, but he should bounce back with a solid effort in week 6.
13. Brett Favre (MIN) – The Ravens are still one of the best defenses in the NFL when it comes to stopping the run, but there is success to be had against this defense through the air. Surprisingly, Baltimore has been one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL so far this season ranking just 26th in terms of passing yards allowed. They are still a bit stingy with regard to giving up TD’s through the air, but they are not completely bullet proof in that respect either giving up 6 passing TD’s in 5 games. This isn’t the best match up Favre will face this season, but is favorable and he should put up quality numbers in this game.
14. Carson Palmer (CIN) – He isn’t on pace to break any passing records this season, but Palmer has been adequate to this point and he is certainly capable of much more. He will face a middle of the road Houston pass defense in week 6. In other words, this isn’t the best of match ups for him, but it could be far worse. While Palmer probably isn’t QB1 material this week, he definitely makes the grade as a high end QB2 or bye week replacement. Check injury report: thumb (probable)
15. Eli Manning (NYG) – In spite of his foot injury, Eli continued his impressive ’09 fantasy campaign in week 5 throwing for 2 TD’s in limited action against the Raiders. Unfortunately, we aren’t all that optimistic about his chances to continue his successful streak in week 6. The Saints pass defense has been a nightmare for opposing QB’s this season as they are tied for 2nd in the NFL having only allowed just 3 TD passes. They also rank 1st in the NFL with 10 interceptions in 4 games. We love what Manning has been able to do so far this season and solid numbers are not out of the question once again, but he looks more like a QB2 than a QB1 with this tough match up on the road. Check injury report: foot (probable)
16. Kyle Orton (DEN) – He continues to play well and he is coming off of his best fantasy performance of the season against a pretty good New England pass defense. In week 6, Orton will face a much improved, but vulnerable Chargers pass defense. San Diego ranks 12th in the NFL against the pass and has allowed 6TD’s through the air in 4 games. Orton should play well, but we anticipate a heavy dose of the ground attack from the Broncos against a very weak Chargers run defense which could limit Orton’s fantasy potential a bit. That said, he is still serviceable as a quality QB2 or bye week fill in this week.
17. Joe Flacco (BAL) – While he is coming off of his worst game of the season, that is not the reason for his abnormally low ranking this week. It is simply a product of other QB’s having better match ups. Not that Flacco’s week 6 match up is terrible against a mediocre Minnesota secondary, but it does have some drawbacks. One of which is a fierce Vikings pass rush. Minnesota leads the NFL in sacks and Flacco can get rattled under pressure on the road. He should be adequate as a QB2 or bye week replacement under the circumstances.
18. Jason Campbell (WAS) – Once again, Campbell is looking at a favorable match up in week 6 against the Chiefs. Kansas City ranks near the bottom of the pack in the NFL in pass defense and they have already given up 10 TD’s through the air in just 5 games. Regardless, Campbell is still a mediocre fantasy QB and that is being generous, but due to the cozy match up, he is serviceable as a decent bye week fill in.
19. Matt Cassel (KC) – At first glance, a match up against Washington’s 3rd ranked pass defense looks anything but appealing, but considering the Skins have played the 4 worst passing teams in the NFL in their first 5 games (STL, TB, CAR and DET) that ranking is a bit misleading. On top of that, Cassel has played pretty well of late throwing for 2 TD’s in each of his last 3 games. We aren’t saying he is going to light it up by any means and the Skins still present a solid challenge, but Cassel is not nearly as poor of a fantasy option as one might think and he could be used as a bye week replacement.
20. Jake Delhomme (CAR) – The only reason you should even consider using Delhomme this week is because he is facing a pass defense that has been every bit as bad as he has to this point. Tampa Bay has already given up 12 passing TD’s in 5 games. Even Delhomme should be able to find pay dirt against them at least once, but we still don’t trust him as anything more than a low end QB2 for week 6.
21. Mark Sanchez (NYJ) – He does have Braylon Edwards now which bodes well, but Cotchery is out this week with a hamstring injury and Sanchez has not played good football of late. He is also facing a Bills pass defense that ranks 6th in the NFL. There are worse options out there, but Sanchez is not a great fantasy play for week 6.
22. Daunte Culpepper (DET) – He appears likely to start again in week 6 in relief of the injured Matt Stafford and Culpepper actually play fairly well last week, but he will have trouble without Calvin Johnson in the line up.
23. Marc Bulger (STL) – He should have his best week of the season against a terrible Jacksonville pass defense, but that isn’t saying much considering his numbers to date and you still can’t trust Bulger or this offense against anyone. Bulger is not highly recommended in spite of the promising match up.
24. Kerry Collins (TEN) – Once again Collins will likely have to throw the ball a ton coming from behind, but the Titans passing game is sputtering and the a week 6 match up at New England is not very favorable. We suggest you steer clear.
25. Josh Johnson (TB) – He is showing improvement and we like that he is dangerous as a running threat, but Johnson is still miles away from being a trustworthy fantasy option and a match up against Carolina’s 2nd ranked pass defense in week 6 is clearly not favorable.