Cleat Geeks

Cover 3: Week 6


Entering week six, there were six teams that remained unbeaten, which is the most in NFL history. Well, it didn’t take too long for one to fall. On Thursday Night Football, the Atlanta Falcons were handed their first loss of the season in New Orleans. What does this mean for the other five? In this edition of “Cover 3” I decided to cover three of the games that include some of the remaining undefeated teams. Each of these games will be under one of my “Cover 3” categories: Fantasy Showdown Game, “Bad Blood” Game, and the Must-Watch Showdown.

Fantasy Jackpot Game of the Week—San Diego Chargers vs Green Bay Packers

After a frustrating loss against the Steelers on Monday, the Chargers have one less day to prepare as they travel to Green Bay to take on the unbeaten Packers. The defenses for both of these teams have had some great moments, but also many disappointing ones. Both teams give up 130 rushing yards per game, but the secondary for both teams have played pretty well. Unfortunately for the Chargers, they have to face Aaron Rodgers at home as he looks to redeem himself after a rare disappointing performance. Unfortunately for the Packers, injuries are really starting to pile up for them as they approach their bye-week.

The passing-attack for the Chargers has been good so far this season, but the rushing has been a letdown. Last week they happily welcomed back their star tight end, Antonio Gates, as he instantly made an impact for his team as he scored two touchdowns. Yes this has only been one game, but yes he will have a strong season. Having him back will help draw attention away from other receivers, and prevent teams from being able to load the box. One of the receivers that should benefit from his return is Stevie Johnson, but he will most likely be inactive with a hamstring injury. This means even more targets for Keenan Allen. He has played well this season gaining 444 yards and three touchdowns in their five games. Another wide receiver to watch in place of Stevie Johnson would be Malcom Floyd. He is not a player that puts up consistent numbers, but he is always a threat to catch a long touchdown. melvin-gordon-ncaa-football-nebraska-wisconsin2-850x560Since the Packers run defense is not good, and they are missing big players like Raji in the middle, I think the Chargers will be able to run better than they have all season. Which running back will be the main beneficiary of this? Melvin Gordon. He is finally coming home to Wisconsin, and you can guarantee he will see a lot of family and some people wearing his college jersey (On Wisconsin!). Of course, those people will also probably be wearing cheeseheads. Gordon has been getting more of the passing down snaps lately as well, but Danny Woodhead will also get plenty of touches, especially if the Chargers are trying to catch up.

Aaron Rodgers

After the Packers’ offense struggled against the Rams last week, they look to get back on track against a defense who is much less intimidating. Their run defense is bad, so hello Eddie Lacy! If you could somehow buy-low on Eddie Lacy quick before Sunday’s game, I’d do it. Not only should he have a strong performance here, but there is nowhere else to go from here but up. This is the exact same way as he started last year, and he finished very, very strong. Passing the ball for the Packers is the reigning MVP, Aaron Rodgers. He joked after the game regarding his home interception streak being broken, but make no mistake, Rodgers wasn’t happy. Players like him are so competitive that things like this keep him up at night, and he is itching to get back on that field and show why he is the best quarterback in the league. This is why I don’t care how well the Chargers’ secondary has played, they are facing Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, so they might as well stay on the sideline in front of the heaters. Rodgers will continue passing to Randall Cobb, James Jones, and Ty Montgomery. Richard Rodgers will also catch his typical 3-4 passes, but you should have some better people to play at tight end than him. Wide receiver Davante Adams is getting close to returning, but I would think that they sit him and have him return after their bye next week. If he does return, it will hurt Montgomery’s value quite a bit.


“Bad Blood” Game of the Week—New England Patriots vs Indianapolis Colts


Usually this section is restricted for division rivals, but this is the obvious choice this week. The Patriots have all of this anger built up this season, and it all started in the AFC Championship game against the Colts. The Colts squealed! They tattled! Spilled the beans! The huge story of “Deflategate” originated during the game with the Colts, and you can bet the Patriots and Tom Brady will be seeking their revenge. The Colts enter this game as the underdogs, but they have had plenty of time to prepare since their last game was on a Thursday.brady

Tom Brady has been playing angry all season as he picks apart the defenses. The last time these two teams met, the Patriots ended up destroying the Colts 45-7, and Brady will look to be just as dominating on Sunday as he hears thousands of boos from the Colts’ fans, I’m sure. He will continue to throw to his favorite targets from last year: Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman. Teams have not been able to cover either of these guys making it really easy on Brady. Edelman’s speed and agility makes it pretty impossible for defenders to stay with him. Gronkowski’s style is pretty much the opposite. Gronk is a match-up nightmare with his rare combination of speed, size, and strength. Once he gets the ball, he tosses the defense off of him like rag dolls. Brady will also continue to get the ball to his new target out of the backfield, Dion Lewis. He has proved to be one of the best value offseason pickups in the league. His quickness allows him to find the open gaps, and he has great hands to make him an every-down back. When the Patriots need to switch it up, they are still able to bring in LaGarrette Blount for some power running. The one weakness for the Patriots right now is the left tackle position. Starting tackle, Nate Solder, suffered a torn bicep and will miss the rest of the season. This is the weakness that I see the Colts trying to exploit.

The Colts have put together some wins lately and have looked better with Andrew Luck out with a shoulder injury. They do expect him back in this game after putting in a good week of practice. He will have to prove that he can make good decisions under pressure, something that he has been unable to do so far this season. He will have a healthier receiving core than he did previously with Hilton, Moncrief, Johnson, and both tight ends being good to go for this game. These receivers should be able to get separation at home against the secondary of the Patriots, but the offensive line will have to protect Luck long enough to make a good throw. Running the ball for the Colts this season is Frank Gore. He looked good last week  gaining 98 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The Colts added another familiar face to the backfield this week with the signing of Ahmad Bradshaw. He had success in this offense last season before getting hurt, so this seams like a great fit for him. We are unsure if he will be active on Sunday, but if he is, expect to see him tossed right in since he already knows the offense.


Must-Watch Showdown—Carolina Panthers vs Seattle Seahawks


The Must-Watch Showdown will feature the undefeated Carolina Panthers coming off their bye to travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks. The Panthers look for revenge in this rematch of the NFC Divisional Round Playoff game where the Seahawks won 31-17. Both teams will hopefully be getting back their core player. Luke Kuechly should be returning for the Panthers after missing a few weeks with a concussion. The Seahawks look to get Marshawn Lynch back from a hamstring injury to hopefully help revive this offense.

The Panthers look to remain unbeaten and atop of the NFC South. They have mostly relied on their defense up to this point, and the return of Kuechly will only make this unit better. The addition of Jared Allen on this defensive line will help them be aggressive and look to get after Russell Wilson often. Strangely enough, this will be the second time that Jared Allen has face the Seahawks in Seattle this year since he played there with the Bears back in week three. Having one game against them already may have helped him learn specific things to key on to help him come out victorious this time. Offensively it has been the Cam Newton show since he is pretty much doing it by himself. Jonathon Stewart has been ineffective with only 220 rushing yards in four games. Cam has 195. There is one familiar receiving target with tight end Greg Olsen leading the team in catches and yards with 34 for 243. The one other receiver doing anything is Ted Ginn Jr. with 25 catches for 206 yards. This offense doesn’t really scare you at all, but hopefully they used the bye-week to figure things out, and develop an effective game plan for the Seahawks.

A lot of the things I said about the Panthers can be related to the Seahawks. The defense has been playing pretty well, and always plays better at home, but the offense has struggled. Marshawn Lynch has been out with injury, but Thomas Rawls filled in nicely. The biggest problem with this team is the offensive line. They have given up a league-most 22 sacks, and eighth-most 42 quarterback hits. Wilson is mobile, but he can only get away from pressure so many times until he gets hit. This has caused the Seahawks to bring in a blocking tight end at times since Jimmy Graham is a terrible blocker. By doing this, they remove their best (pretty much only) receiving option from the field. Once the offensive line starts to play better, things will start to click for the Seahawks. The problem with that is the lack of time. They are third place in the NFC West with a 2-3 record, and the Cardinals look outstanding at 4-1. If Seattle takes a loss here, they may need to make some quick changes, starting with the offensive line.


How many teams will remain undefeated? What did you think of this week’s Cover 3? You can post your questions and comments down below, or talk to me over on Twitter @FantasyFlurry! If you mention that you read the Cover 3 article, I’ll be sure to give you a shout-out!

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