Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 6 of the 2012 season:
Watch ’em roll
Christian Ponder, QB, Vikings at Redskins. The second-year passer has posted three strong fantasy performances, mixed in with two zero-TD, low-yardage outings. This week, he’ll face the NFL’s 31st-ranked pass defense, which has surrendered a league-high 13 passing scores. If you need bye-week help, you could do much worse than Ponder.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Bengals at Browns. Just as Cleveland gets back its best pass defender (Joe Haden), it’s losing its top run stopper (D’Qwell Jackson). Ahmad Bradshaw ran roughshod over the Browns last week, pointing the way for the Law Firm to excel on Sunday.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys at Ravens. You might be tempted to bench the disappointing tailback against a team with the Ravens’ tough reputation; but a closer look reveals a Baltimore defense that’s highly vulnerable to the run.
Andre Roberts, WR, Cardinals vs. Bills. I have a hard time trusting Kevin Kolb after last week’s debacle in St. Louis; but with all the trouble surrounding Arizona’s running game, his wideouts should be busy. Roberts has been surprisingly effective as Larry Fitzgerald’s wing man.
Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers vs. Giants. He and Alex Smith are finally developing the chemistry that has eluded them since the heralded receiver was drafted. The duo should continue to soar against the shaky Giants secondary.
More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Peyton Manning, Matt Schaub, Andy Dalton, Alex Smith; RBs Darren McFadden, Michael Turner, Trent Richardson, Ryan Mathews, Frank Gore; WRs Percy Harvin, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Dwayne Bowe, Reggie Wayne, James Jones.
Roll ’em back
Matt Stafford, QB, Lions at Eagles. Frustrated Stafford owners are unlikely to celebrate their man’s reemergence this week, against a talented Philly secondary that just held Ben Roethlisberger to his worst outing of the season. Stafford has been a fantasy liability to date.
Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers vs. Chiefs. The rookie underachieved through the early games even before LeGarrette Blount re-entered the backfield rotation. Now that Martin is facing competition for carries, in addition to the solid run defense that just held Ray Rice and the Ravens out of the end zone, he is best held in reserve.
Alex Green, RB, Packers at Texans. Green’s facing one of the stingiest defenses in the league — the only team yet to have surrendered a rushing TD.
Denarius Moore, WR, Raiders at Falcons. To the delight of Darren McFadden’s owners, Oakland’s best chance for success will be on the ground.
Domenik Hixon, WR, Giants at 49ers. Any Giants receiver not named Cruz is a risky bet this week against the fired-up 49ers defenders.
More thumbs down: QBs Eli Manning, Sam Bradford, Carson Palmer, Tony Romo, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andrew Luck; RBs Stevan Ridley, Ahmad Bradshaw, CJ Spiller, Shonn Greene, Andre Brown, Ben Tate; WRs Brandon Lloyd, Dez Bryant, Robert Meachem, Pierre Garcon, Josh Gordon, Brian Hartline, Jeremy Kerley.
Taking a flier
Vick Ballard, RB, Colts at Jets. There is no tastier matchup for an NFL tailback than the reeling Jets.
Don’t be a bonehead who … keeps deadweight on your roster. As of this writing, Ryan Williams is still owned in roughly 70 percent of leagues, and nearly 85 percent are holding onto Cedric Benson.