As an elementary PE teacher, I am confronted daily with situations that make me question not only my chosen profession but also the direction of society as a whole. The notion of socially acceptable behavior is largely unknown among the elementary population and this leads to some rather interesting (and occasionally amusing) situations. Allow me to turn back the clock a few days and bring you all along for the odyssey that was my Tuesday afternoon kindergarten class. Things started out well as students came in and exhibited varying levels of awkwardness in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns. And then … disaster. About 10 minutes into the lesson one of the more quiet little girls in class raised her hand and simultaneously began to cry. Our subsequent exchange went something like this:
Me: “Yes, Tabitha? … What’s wrong?”
Tabitha: “I have to go to the bathroom!”
Me: “Of course you may go to the bathroom, let me get you the pass” (turns around to pick up bathroom pass).
Tabitha: Makes unintelligible whining noises while a dark purple stain spreads rapidly on her sweat pants … more crying ensues
Me: (Turns back around to find growing puddle on gym floor) “Oh God”
Tabitha: “I can’t hold it”
Me: Thinks to himself, “yeah, no shit” … says out-loud, “Don’t worry sweetie, it’s OK”
As I rushed Tabitha across the remaining expanse of gym floor (a strategy I immediately realized was deeply flawed as I looked back at the Niagra-like torrent of urine she was leaving behind), I considered the wonderful simplicity of the kindergarten mind. Tabitha’s singular focus on throwing and catching a yarn ball shut out all other impulses. Even the imminent call of nature could not distract her from the task at hand. Imagine what we as fantasy players could achieve if only we didn’t have the distractions of daily life. Without jobs, appointments, meetings, wives, girlfriends or children we men would be free to eat meat, piss ourselves and dominate our fantasy leagues. Despite the obvious social and hygienic consequences, there are times when I miss that singular focus that only a kindergartner’s mind can produce. Without further ado, I give you my waiver suggestions for week 6 … because there is still something to be said for taking a leak on the floor.
Thing 1: This QB took over as the starter following a move to a new city this past offseason. Over the last two weeks he has completed 71% of his passes for 388 yards and 5 TDs and 1 INT and is owned in 98% of ESPN leagues.
Thing 2: This QB took over as the starter following an injury to the opening day signal-caller. Over the last two weeks he has completed 71% of his passes for 356 yds and 3 TDs (0 INTs) and is owned in 3% of ESPN leagues.
Reality Check: Thing 1 is Jay Cutler and Thing 2 is Chad Henne. I was not a big believer in Henne coming out of Michigan but he just may be that rare QB that is a better pro than he was a college player (fellow Wolverine Tom Brady, for example). Henne has improved his completion percentage, passing yards, touchdowns and QB rating over each of the last three weeks and has some nice matchups come fantasy playoff time (Jax, Ten, Hou). Cutler is a proven star and I expect him to put up better numbers than Henne the rest of the way, but in weeks 14-16 he faces the Packers at home, the Ravens in Baltimore, and the Vikings at home. They don’t call Chicago the windy city for nothing and December will be a tough month for Cutler to rack up fantasy points through the air.
Thing 1: This RB has received 27 touches and has totaled 71 yards and 0 TDs over the last two weeks (2.6 ypt). He is currently the lead option in a RBBC and is owned in 94% of ESPN leagues.
Thing 2: This RB has received just 9 touches over the past two weeks but has totalled 51 yards (5.7 ypt). He is currently the tail end of a RBBC and is owned in 1% of ESPN leagues.
Reality Check: Thing 1 is Julius Jones and Thing 2 is Justin Forsett. Jones has averaged barely 2.5 ypc over his last two contests and has shown little playmaking ability or burst in the process. Although the return of QB Matt Hasselbeck should help open up the running lanes for Jones and recent addition Edgerrin James, Forsett is the only member of this backfield committee that has real big-play potential. His contributions in the receiving game and returning kicks also add some intrigue to Forsett’s value, especially in PPR leagues. If one (or both) of his backfield mates misses time with an injury, be sure to pounce on the former Golden Bear and his 6+ ypc average.
Thing 1: In weeks 2-5, this WR has compiled 14 receptions for 203 yards and 0 TDs. His production has been decent this season but not what his owners had hoped for after a big week 1 showing. He is owned in 99% of ESPN leagues.
Thing 2: In weeks 2-5, this WR has compiled 13 receptions for 214 yards and 1 TD. His production has been a pleasant surprise for his team and he is rapidly becoming a fantasy factor. He is owned in 3% of ESPN leagues.
Reality Check: Thing 1 is Santonio Holmes and Thing 2 is Mike Wallace. The Steelers have been very pleased with their rookie wideout from Ole Miss. Wallace has taken a solid hold on the #3 WR spot in Pittsburgh, leap-frogging Limas Sweed in the process. Ben Roethlisberger is a QB that likes to spread the wealth so although Wallace’s production may not be steady, I expect his role to continue to expand as he has shown the ability to make tough catches in traffic as well as getting behind the defense to make plays down the field. If you are looking for a bye-week fill-in, Wallace could offer some nice value over the next few weeks beginning with a solid matchup against the Cleveland Browns this weekend.
Thing 1: This veteran TE has reeled in 14 passes for 142 yards and 1 TD over his past three games. As the season progresses this player should develop more chemistry with his QB. He is owned in 100% of ESPN leagues.
Thing 2: This young TE has hauled in 10 passes for 184 yards and 1 TD over his past three games. As the season progresses this player should also develop the chemistry with his QB. He is owned in 15% of ESPN leagues.
Reality Check: Thing 1 is Tony Gonzalez and Thing 2 is Jermichael Finley. The 22-year-old Finley has made some dramatic strides in his second full season with the Packers. Although his blocking is still a work in progress, his playmaking ability is considerable (as evidenced by his huge Monday night performance against the Vikings). With defenses keying on Greg Jennings and Donald Driver, Finley should continue to find a lot of room to operate in the middle of the field and so far Aaron Rodgers looks like he will take advantage of the mismatches. There is still some boom-or-bust risk here as Finley was held without a catch in a week 3 matchup with St. Louis, but my advice is to take a chance on the upside while you can. The Packers had their bye in week 5 so health-permitting Finley is a tight end you can get cheap and plug in for the rest of the season.