Well what looked like a beautiful season of writing about the triumphs and struggles of our fantasy football league turned into a five week “break” for the commish.  Fortunately within that time I avoided getting a divorce from my wife by remembering to do something relevant for her 30th birthday party and our elder statesman, Grossnickle Sr. had successful hip surgery and eventually will be able to take the tennis balls off the front end of his walker.  However, all that being said, a promise was made.  That promise was to include more writing into the season, so here we are trying to make up for lost time.  While this will technically be a power ranking article, there will be some additional writing.  Of course as I write this I realize I am off for a first anniversary trip tomorrow so the full slate of articles will return next week, but let’s jump right into things:

Week 6 Power Rankings:

  1.  Stumpf – Record: 4-1 (1st)  Points Scored: 543.5 (2nd)

Stumpf is off to a hot start.  He started off 4-0 before he finally hit a snag in the road last week against Mitt.  Looking at the roster, things look solid.  Obviously Brady at quarterback you cannot ask for a better option.  Even after a rough start one thing Brady and Belichick always do is figure out the offense as the season progresses, so Stumpf should feel confident at that spot.  The receivers are top notch.  Dez Bryant, Keenan Allen, Alshon Jeffery and a re-emerging Randall Cobb is probably as best you can get in fantasy.  However, Dez has not looked like the Dez of old as he has only been over 15 points once.  Regardless the potential at the position is there with the names on that roster and I do think Dez at some point begins to show his ability.  However, this team has two big issues, running back and tight end.  Starting with running back, because it is far more important, how great has Todd Gurley been….right Rohde?  Gurley has been one of the best backs in the league thus far and Sean McVay is showing why he is considered a young offensive genius.  While that is all well and good, Gurley has one of the toughest remaining schedules of anyone in the league and it remains to be seen if he can keep up this production.  On the other hand, Stumpf’s RB2 is currently a choice between the Ravens backfields, CJ Prosise, or Theo Riddick.  Ugly.  If I am Stumpf, I am analyzing my receivers and absolutely trading one to try and upgrade that spot because it is an immediate need.  The other spot, tight end, Eric Ebron sucks.  Stumpf needs to absolutely starting looking at a bundle trade option or start playing the waiver wire hard.  For now he remains the top dog but how long will that last?

2.  Mitt – Record:  2-3 (6th)  Points Scored:  551.3 (1st)

This team is currently 2-3, but I still love this squad.  From a position player standpoint, this team is right near the top.  Running back wise, there is a ton of depth here.  Melvin Gordon does not run for the best average, but he is the bell cow and catches a bunch of passes which adds up point wise when you are talking fantasy.  Also, within the red zone he gets the ball first and second before any other option.  Along with Gordon, Duke Johnson fits the same mold and in my opinion should be the bell cow in Cleveland as Isaiah Crowell sucks, period.  Currently sitting on his bench is the duo in Washington D.C. which is an interesting scenario.  Rob Kelley needs to get healthy and Chris Thompson really should not be touching the ball more than 12 times a game with how fragile he is built.  I guess the question remains for Mitt is how does he navigate this backfield.  Does he start both? Does he rest his hopes on just one for an explosive week or does he start neither?  This will take some managing.  Along with his running backs his receivers are right there as some of the best.  Chris Hogan has been awesome.  He is proving that he can fill the Patriots current void.  On the other end of the spectrum, when will Brandin Cooks break out of this mediocre slump.  It is safe to say he is the most unpredictable fantasy option in the league in my opinion.  While Mitt has to figure out the Patriots offense, he is getting some questions answered for him with DeAndre Hopkins and T.Y. Hilton.  Both receivers are finally benefitting from some decent quarterback play.  If they can just get mediocre results from their quarterbacks, they are top 15 type receivers.  The tight ends are a little underwhelming, however they are decent enough options to get by week to week.  The question here is quarterback.  Andrew Luck is done for the season.  They might not come out and say it by why the Colts play him this year?  They are currently coming out every Monday mornings and automatically ruling Luck out for the following week.  My guess is they wait until they are out of the race and say, “Well why would we play him now?”  Maybe 2018.  Currently Mitt’s two options are Case Keenum and Andy Dalton….woof.  Again, he is much in the boat of Stumpf.  A trade needs to be made somewhere to improve that quarterback spot or else I think it could cost him something special.

3.  Gross Jr. –  Record:  3-2 (4th)  Points Scored:  512.8 (6th)

As you all know, I do not write these things to toot my own horn, so I will save you all from reading that nonsense.  Obviously if you ask me I enjoy my team very much and it seems like things are slowly starting to pan out after starting 1-2.  My big question mark somehow is my running back situation.  Ajayi has been good, the Dolphins have been atrocious, which has made Ajayi very mediocre if not bad.  Of course the other big question is Zeke and what will happen with the suspension.  It is funny though, it make me wonder….with everything going on in the NFL and all the story lines taking place, does the NFL want another major headline?  Or do they absolutely want a major headline that will take away from the protest stuff?

4.  Gross Sr. –  Record:  3-2 (5th)  Points Scored:  435.9 (11th)

From the numbers, this one makes no sense.  However, this team is 3-2 and in my opinion has played its absolute worst fantasy football.  This team is headed towards a significant upswing if handled correctly.  Starting things off, Matt Ryan has been just “okay.”  Things have gone wrong partly because of injury to receivers but also still trying to mesh with Steve Sarkisian as the offensive coordinator.  With a stretch of sub-par defenses coming up, Atlanta should start to produce offensively.  Not only will this be good for Matt Ryan but should also benefit Devonta Freeman, who has been very solid this season.  Starring this running back core, Gross Sr. got great news as Doug Martin is out of suspension and that should make for a healthy one-two punch.   On top of all of that, he also now has the current lead back in Baltimore, Javorius Allen.  Not to mention, he does still have the 31 year old Marshawn Lynch who looks every part of missing a year of football, he deserves to remain on the bench for now.  From a receivers perspective, Larry Fitzgerald and Jarvis Landry is such a nice duo being cursed by such poor quarterback play.  Carson Palmer and Jay Cutler both need to head to the booth.  However, the biggest blow to this team certainly came with the loss of Greg Olsen, but the good news is he will return before fantasy season’s end.  Again, like several others I mentioned, Gross Sr. is in a very nice position to make a trade.  Get this, he has Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston….Mitt happens to have a quarterback issue and a few receivers to play with….not playing match maker but just saying??

5.  Ness –  Record:  4-1 (2nd)  Points Scored:  516.0 (4th)

I wish I had the time and the effort to write a five page essay about how gross fantasy football is and one of my main points would be the creation of Alex Ness’ team.  How the hell is this 4-1 material?  Every week I have had to receive a text about sub-par quarterback play, normally generated by user error and starting to wrong one.  However, Cam has had a bit of a resurgence as of late but can he keep it up?  If the quarterback play does not appall you look at the running back situation.  If Ameer Abdullah and Alvin Kamara get you to 4-1, I am not so sure I want to play fantasy football anymore.  What a pile of shit.  One position I cannot deny is the receiver play.  Al’s receivers are good.  Antonio Brown and  Davante Adams are both solid and the pickup of Will Fuller was a great addition, that flew so far under the radar, we all screwed up not drafting that guy.  However, of course, when Al finally decided to make a decision on a keeper, his choice was awful as Amari Cooper has been terrible, though he is definitely due to bounce back.  Again, somehow this gets you to 4-1 which is just unreal to me, I shake my head as I even have to write this and put him in the fifth spot.  Yikes.

6. Tagye –  Record:  3-2 (3rd)  Points Scored:  528.8 (3rd)

Am I not giving this team enough credit?  That is the question I continue to ask as I look at those numbers up at the top.  As I look at the roster, I still do not know the answer to that question.  Quarterback wise, Tagye is at the top.  What Rodgers did with a minute against that Cowboys team was absurd and his numbers back it up.  The running backs throw me off.  Lesean McCoy has been fine but has not really had an “explosive” game, but he has definitely been productive.  Lamar Miller falls into that same category.  He has been fine and has had one monster game but still has carried very limited wow factor.  Honestly, I think by year’s end he loses his job so Tagye would be smart to hold onto Foreman.  Here is the big question, Tarik Cohen.  After a monster first week, the bloom seems to be off the rose for Cohen.  In fact, should we wonder if Cohen’s production came solely because of the QB play of Mike Glennon.  Check it out, Trubisky is a rookie and on Monday night his main function was to throw the ball down the field.  In fact we have seen that most young quarterbacks do not rely on check down running backs but rather their tight end, which just so happened to be when Zach Miller scored on Monday night.  Going forward I think John Fox will lean on Jordan Howard and let Trubisky do the work down the field when throws are needed, phasing Cohen out of the offense.  Receiving wise, Tyreek Hill is explosive, but is he not starting to show shades of Brandin Cooks?  It seems like Hill is most productive when he hits the home run which obviously will not happen every week.  Again, DeVante Parker is a stud but is having the curse of the Cutler.  In my opinion, those fans that were chanting for Matt Moore last week were not incorrect.  Cutler does not care about winning or losing, we have seen that everywhere he has played football, yet Gase thought things would change?  Matt Moore at least cares.  A lot of guys would have moved on after losing out to a Ryan Tannehill but he stayed and he wants to play, how much worse can he be than Cutler?  Give him the shot.  Tight end wise, Kelce is the best tight end in the game….yep better than Gronk.  Feel free to debate it and tell me why I am wrong.  Here is the thing with this team, it is set up to go in an extreme to blow everyone out of the water with crazy production or completely sink.  There are too many guys on the roster that are boom or bust every week and that is a very dangerous way to play.  This team has my eye for the next three to four weeks.

7.  Ryan Scott –  Record:  2-3 (7th)  Points Scored:  515.9 (5th)

This team falls into the Mitt category for me, perhaps underperforming but there should be plenty to like.  Washington will absolutely benefit from the bye week as it gives them another week to get things straight offensively, which will only benefit Ryan Scott having Kirk “Kurt” Cousins and Jamison Crowder.  I would fully expect these two to start producing much larger numbers.  Going along with those two, Ryan Scott has arguably two of the best fantasy receivers in the game with Julio Jones and Michael Crabtree.  Does everyone remember the San Francisco 49ers Michael Crabtree and how awful he was?  It is truly amazing to me what this guy is doing in Oakland, he looks like a brand new guy and what the Niners expected from the jump.  Along with that dynamic group of pass catchers is Zach Ertz who seems to be Carson Wentz’s new man crush.  Ertz is emerging as a no doubt about it top three tight end, which is huge for the Ryan Scott squad.  The big question mark going forward on this squad is the running back situation.  I’ll say this; to this point in the season I have been completely wrong about Leonard Fournette.  However, here are two things to note.  One, the Jags are currently 3-2, which means they have been playing ahead in more games than not, which means game script focuses on Fournette.  Two, he has had over 20 touches in four of his five games.  With a history of injury concerns will he fatigue out at some point of a 16 game season?  I am curious to see what happens with Fournette if and when the Jags start to go on a bit of a losing streak.  The other part of this running duo is Carlos Hyde who seems to be slowly losing his grip on the starting job in San Francisco.  With limited options on his bench, Ryan Scott needs to start getting creative at this spot or else he could be in some trouble.

8.  Alex Smith –  Record:  2-3 (8th)  Points Scored:  507.8 (7th)

When I think about this team I keep reverting back to the fourth and fifth round of the draft.  Jordan Reed (40th) and Russell Wilson (57th).  Jordan Reed is currently ranked 39th, so good value right?  Except he is the 39th ranked tight end!  To put that into perspective, A.J. Derby has scored more fantasy points than Jordan Reed.  On the other hand, Russell Wilson is the 8th ranked quarterback, however, his bye week hits this week so I would imagine he will be dropping to somewhere around 15th after the week is complete.  On top of that, Wilson has only scored over 16 points twice this season.  Rough.  These two are solely responsible for Alex Smith’s current situation.  Here are some of the key names that Smith could have had, after drafting Reed and Wilson, that would most definitely benefit where he was had he waited on tight end and quarterback:  Tyreek Hill (41st), CJ Anderson (43rd), DeAndre Hopkins (44th), Michael Crabtree (45th), Pierre Garcon (50th), Emmanuel Sanders (63rd).  As a result, Smith needs some answers.  The base of his team is solid.  Two good, maybe even great receivers but he needs answers at quarterback and second running back and even flex.  If Diggs comes back healthy, the flex option will fix itself but even while Smith has been hitting the waiver wire hard, that running back situation is hindering his chances.  Possibly another fantastic candidate for a trade scenario if one of his bench guys starts to produce more.

9.  Dan –  Record:  1-4 (12th)  Points Scored:  506.4 (8th)

Dan has had brutal luck thus far in the season.  He has been ravaged by points against, a whopping 583.2 points.  Looking at his team, much like Gross Sr., his worst fantasy football days might be behind him this season.  Let’s play out some scenarios:  Carson Wentz in that Doug Pederson offense is turning out to be a shining star and quietly is the fourth best fantasy quarterback currently.  Now look at this running back situation.  Mark Ingram has less to share in New Orleans, Aaron Jones is the new hot thing in Green Bay and Adrian Peterson is the new toy for Bruce Arians to play with in Arizona.  That is some serious upside.  However, the Giants run game still stinks.  Pass catching wise, things look good here as well.  A.J. Green is getting back on track with the new play calling in Cincy, Emmanuel Sanders has a bromance with Trevor Siemian and Adam Thielen is the best receiver you would never recognize on the street.  Not to mention a little guy by the name of Gronk, health pending of course.  Dan is not a team I would want to face for the rest of the season.  Question is, can he make a comeback after a 1-4 start?  It has been done before.

10.  Ryan Smith –  Record:  2-3 (10th)  Points Scored:  454.3 (10th)

When you are towards the bottom your reviews get shorter, mainly because I have already pumped out 2,900 words and I get tired of writing.  I have to give credit to Smith, it is a rough roster but he is working his tail off on the waiver wire.  He has made some key changes, biggest being he is going with youth with Deshaun Watson at quarterback.  While he has looked like the real deal thus far, there is bound to be some freshman games ahead.  From there, his running back situation is strong.  Kareem Hunt has turned into a superstar and DeMarco Murray is still quietly proving while still deserves to be the guy in Tennessee.  The question is, is this enough to get this team over the hump?  Sammy Watkins and Golden Tate are nothing to write home about in the receiver category and Smith has found himself in the unfortunate three headed monster of the Jets running back situation for his flex position.  Ultimately this is a lot of bandaids to put on some early stab wounds but will these quick fixes get him straight and back of track for a playoff run?  Tough to say this early on.

11.  Wells –  Record:  2-3 (11th)  Points Scored:  429.1 (12th)

This looks awful but there is a glimmer of hope here.  That is the craziest thing to say considering he just lost his best player in OBJ.  By the way is this the early sign of the keeper curse?  We have all been so jealous of Wells and his OBJ keeper for what four years or so, and low and behold karma is not so sweet.  All that being said, he still has a couple of game changing backs, comparable receivers and a tight end that should now be the premier receiver in New York.  The question is, when will all of that be put together to pay off for a few wins?  While there are a couple of potential high scorers on this roster, the majority is just mediocre.  If he is going to win, he is going to win some ugly games.

12.  Rohde –  Record:  2-3 (9th)  Points Scored:  460.8 (9th)

What a fucking mess.