Fantasy Football Week 6: Diamonds in the Rough

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystOctober 9, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 07: Donald Brown #31 of the Indianapolis Colts breaks a tackle attempt by Sam Shields #37 of the Green Bay Packers at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts defeated the Packers 30-27.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It's Week 6 of the 2012 NFL season, and with bye weeks in high gear and injuries continuing to wreak havoc on fantasy football rosters, team owners are frantically scrambling to turn over rocks, hoping that they'll find a viable starter for this week hidden under one of them.

Well folks, look no further, as not only are the players listed here viable fantasy football starts but the table is also set for each to post solid numbers this week.


Kevin Kolb, QB, Arizona Cardinals (vs. BUF)

The Arizona Cardinals' winning streak ended with a thud last week against the St. Louis Rams, and the thud was caused by quarterback Kevin Kolb being bounced off the turf repeatedly.

The sixth-year pro was sacked nine times by the Rams, a problem that head coach Ken Whisenhunt told KTAR Radio via Dave Dulberg of Arizona Sports the team needs to resolve. 

"When you get hit as many times as [Kolb] did, he battled his tail off," head coach Ken Whisenhunt told Arizona Sports 620's Doug & Wolf. "You respect that, and he certainly answered the question about his durability and being able to handle that."

However, from a fantasy perspective Kolb's pass protection problems aren't yours, and with the Cardinals running game in shambles, Kolb will be forced to air it out early and often against a Buffalo Bills team allowing the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks so far this year.


Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts (at NYJ)

UPDATE 10/10/12 1:00 P.M. EDT: Phillip Wilson of The Indianapolis Star reports that Donald Brown will miss 2-3 weeks after having surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee. Rookie Vick Ballard will start in his place and is a serviceable low-end RB2 start this week for fantasy owners hurting at running back.

It hasn't been an ideal start to the 2012 season for Indianapolis Colts running back Donald Brown, but the fourth-year pro is coming off his highest rushing total of the season, gaining 84 yards on 17 carries in the Colts' comeback win over the Green Bay Packers.

That showing got Brown up to an even four yards a carry for the season, and as Phillip Wilson of the Indianapolis Star reports, according to left tackle Anthony Costanzo Sunday's game only highlighted Brown's considerable skills.

"Donald can make some plays," said left tackle Anthony Castonzo. "He's obviously really fast, really quick. If a hole is clogged up, he can bounce it outside and make something himself."

The 25-year-old should have every opportunity to make it two good games in a row this week when the Colts travel to face the reeling New York Jets, who have been a top 10 fantasy matchup for opposing running backs to this point in the season.


Andrew Hawkins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (at CLE)

One of the questions facing the Cincinnati Bengals entering the 2012 season was who was going to step into the void at wide receiver created by the departure of Jerome Simpson, and it appears that that hole has been filled by second-year pro Andrew Hawkins.

The 26-year-old has racked up 20 catches for 294 yards and two scores through five games this season, and as Joe Kay of the Associated Press via The Albany Times-Union recently reported Hawkins is thrilled to be a contributor to the same NFL team that his older brother played for.

"It's an incredible feeling," Hawkins said. "I didn't think I'd ever be at this point. Ever. I'm so appreciative and thankful to be where I'm at. We have a long way to go, but there are a lot of positives."

Star cornerback Joe Haden returns to the Cleveland Browns' lineup this week, and with No. 1receiver A.J. Green set to be shadowed by Haden all day, Hawkins should be in for an uptick in targets that could easily lead to a very nice stat line.