Seriously. That’s a real question, and I don’t think I’m insane. The purpose of this entry is to give you last-minute fantasy tinkerers some help in deciding which players to plug in at the last minute for your Week 6 fantasy matchup.
We have an NFC West battle on the docket for tonight, and while it’s not the best possible NFC West battle, it’s football, nevertheless. The 49ers are in St. Louis to take on the Rams, who will be wearing good uniforms, for once, as they’re donning the beauties they wore the last time they won the Super Bowl. Anyway, I think I’ve killed enough time with this intro, so let’s move on.
Colin Kaepernick (49ers) vs. Austin Davis (Rams)
Ok, back to this. On the surface, it would seem a no-brainer, since Colin Kaepernick is someone you’ve heard of and Austin Davis is Austin Davis. I’m not even totally sure Austin Davis isn’t a Madden create-a-player. But he’s been the Rams’ starting QB all season with their top-two guys seemingly dead, and he’s played pretty well! In last week’s tough loss to the Eagles, Davis completed just under 60 percent of his passes for 375 yards with three touchdowns and no picks. I know the Eagles’ defense isn’t very good, but we did see them shut-out an offense last night that is supposedly better than the one the Rams are trotting out there. San Francisco is a substantially taller order for Davis, but hey, they’re at home.
Kaepernick has been…not so good. San Francisco is 3-2, but Kaepernick hasn’t really been the driving force. He hasn’t thrown more than two touchdowns in any of the team’s five games thus far, and hasn’t even topped 248 yards. The rushing totals help (205 yards on 43 carries), but he hasn’t scored via the ground, either. He’s shown weakness when faced with a blitz so far this year, and it just so happens that no team rushes the passer more than St. Louis.
It’s tough to love either of these fellas tonight, but in a pinch I think I’d go with Davis.
Frank Gore (49ers) vs. Zac Stacy (Rams)
Frank Gore is pretty old and has been around for a pretty long time. But he’s also still pretty good and isn’t really showing any signs of not being good anymore, either. He’s put up back-to-back games of over 100 yards rushing, and, not coincidentally, the 49ers have won both of those games. Putting the game into Gore’s hands and taking the ball out of Kaepernick’s appears to be something of a formula for success for the 49ers, and I doubt they’ll abandon that one tonight.
Stacy has been mediocre this season, and hasn’t topped 71 yards rushing in any of the Rams’ four games. He’s battling a calf injury but apparently he’s good-to-go for tonight and should take the lion’s share of the carries for St. Louis.
It’s tough to trust any RB going up against the 49ers’ tough front, so let’s go with old man Gore in this one.
If you’re scrounging around among the backups, I’ll take Carlos Hyde over Benny Cunningham. Mostly because he’s an adult that goes by “Benny”.
Michael Crabtree/Anquan Boldin/Stevie Johnson/Brandon Lloyd’s Corpse (49ers) vs. Brian Quick/Kenny Britt/Austin Pettis (Rams)
Slim pickins here. I said above that I’m not really high on either of the passers tonight, which leads to the notion that I’m not expecting a whole lot out of any of these receivers, either. Brian Quick has been a fairly quiet revelation this year for the Rams as he finally appears to be tapping into some of that monster potential. He’s scored three times over the last two games, and has proved a solid start in each of the club’s four contests thus far. Kenny Britt has showed signs of life over the last two games by catching eight balls for 137 yards and a TD, but I’m going to have to see more before trusting that sack. Speaking of sacks, Austin Pettis is one. One you should ignore. Cuz he’s a sack, you see.
Michael Crabtree has been dealing with a bit of a foot issue over the last couple of games which has hindered his effectiveness. He seemed primed for a pretty big season prior to that, and there’s a chance he could round back into form tonight. If Crabtree continues to struggle to see the field, then Boldin becomes target No. 1 for Kaep. Stevie Johnson and Brandon Lloyd’s corpse are both negligible.
So, if we’re ranking for tonight, I’m going Quick, Crabtree, Boldin, Britt, Johnson, Lloyd, Pettis.
Vernon Davis (49ers) vs. Jared Cook (Rams)
Davis has struggled with health this season, and has been limited to just 9 catches. He’s supposed to play tonight, but I don’t have any confidence in him doing anything. Seeing is believing, America.
Cook, despite being a monster bust last season that ruined by entire fantasy team, has actually been quietly effective in 2014. He’s yet to reach pay dirt, but he’s hauled-in 19 passes for 221 yards in four games. He’s a nice safety valve for Austin Davis. So, if you simply must use one of these TEs, then it’s looking like Cook is the safer play.
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