Fantasy Football thoughts and opinions heading into NFL Week 5.
Bye: Baltimore, Dallas, Miami, St. Louis, Washington, Cleveland
- RB Ryan Torain reminded fantasy owners what he’s capable of when healthy. It will only last intermittently, so don’t panic RB Tim Hightower owners.
- How did QB Matt Moore do in Carolina? Trade wide receivers Brandon Marshall, Davone Bess, and Brian Hartline immediately.
Tennessee at Pittsburgh
- QB Matt Hasslbeck to WR Damien Williams touchdown was one of the most unique corner-end zone routes I’ve ever seen. The ball seemed to travel in slow motion, allowing Williams time to get around the defender and make the catch.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Steelers give up the third fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. Hasselbeck has been hot and LB James Harrison is out with a fractured face, but he’s still a dangerous fantasy start.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Steelers give up the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. Stock down Williams, Nate Washington, and, ummm, who’s WR3 onTennessee?
- Finally some life from TE Jared Cook. The catch was easy, but outrunning a defensive back down the sidelines is why fantasy owners drool over what could be.
- DB Jordan Babineaux replaced an injured DB Chris Hope in Week 4 and responded with a pick-six. He’s only useful to exploit good fantasy match-ups while Hope is inactive.
- CB Jason McCourty has 5 Solos+PD’s or more in every game this season. Add the turnovers and sacks, and we should become believers.
- Buy low on QB Ben Roethlisberger.
- I wish my “down” game could be 4 Receptions, 4 Targets, 77 Receiving Yards. That’s how good WR Mike Wallace has become.
- In the “Two Minute Drill, Week 1” I stated “The only reason RB Isaac Redman belongs on your fantasy roster is if (1) you own RB Rashard Mendenhall, or (2) you’re a relative.” Time to add Redman, and it’s just in time for emergency bye week usage.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Titans give up the second fewest fantasy points to linebackers. This ain’t the week to input new starter Larry Foote into your fantasy lineup.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Titans give up the fewest fantasy points to safeties. Stock down Troy Polamalu.
Seattle at NY Giants
- I’m trying to get tickets to this game. Any help? I’m looking in the $60 range. The cheapest I’ve seen is $90 in the nose-bleeds.
- QB Tavaris Jackson, Week 4: 25/38, 319 Passing Yards, 16 Rushing Yards, 3 TD’s, 2 Int. Ignore.
- RB Marshawn Lynch, season-to-date: 46 Rushes, 141 Rushing Yards, 3.1 Yards per Rush.
- Rookie WR Doug Baldwin, Targets per week: 6, 2, 4, 6, total 18. Something to think about if you’re desperate.
- TE Zach Miller got paid. He’s fine with his decision to go to Seattle. You’re the only one who’s upset.
- CB Brandon Browner should be covering WR Hakeem Nicks. Big fantasy day for the both of them.
- LB David Hawthorne, season-to-date: 2 lousy games, 1 good game, 1 game missed due to injury. If you wait a few games to make a decision, you’re going to be too late. I say hold… but don’t expect LB1 stats.
- What was that I said about QB Eli Manning being a winner?
- WR Victor Cruz is a great bye week replacement, but he shouldn’t be a mainstay in your starting lineup. WR Mario Manningham is a better player, despite losing snaps to him in Week 4.
- Hello DE Osi Umenyiora.
- LB Mathias Kiwanuka lost value in August when he was switched from DE to LB. Now his value is even lower with subpar fantasy stats.
- DB Antrolle Rolle, season-to-date: 26 Solos (at least 6 Solos every game), 3 Assists, 1 FF, 1 Int, 2 PD. Start him every week until he cools off.
Cincinnati at Jacksonville
- RB Cedric Benson is still not officially suspended, but it seems like he will be. Make sure you add RB Bernard Scott now.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Jaguars give up the third (tied) fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. Still start A.J. Green.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Jaguars give up the most fantasy points to tight ends. It’s a great week to use Jermaine Gresham as your flex.
- DB Reggie Nelson has been productive every game this season. But c’mon, it’s Reggie Nelson. This can’t possibly continue, can it?
- Outside of Nelson, no Bengals’ player has produced more than 16 Solos on the season.
- Rookie QB Blaine Gabbert has thrown for 335 yards in two games started. How are the receivers supposed to generate stats?
- It gets worse in week 5. Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Bengals give up the third (tied) fewest fantasy points to wide receivers.
- How many owners benched LB Paul Posluszny after three poor games? So he explodes in Week 4 and you are forced to get him active this weekend. Odds are he has another clunker. That’s the fantasy gods’ cruel sense of humor.
- LB Daryl Smith, past three weeks, Solos: 5, 5, 6. Nothing special, but definitely serviceable.
New Orleans at Carolina
- Consecutive 100+ yard games for TE Jimmy Graham, and TD’s in three of the four games. His arrival to fantasy stardom is official. He’s what you’re supposed to get excited about, not Cook or Jermichael Finley.
- Doesn’t it seem like RB Darren Sproles has the same stats as RB Mark Ingram and RB Pierre Thomas combined?
- You may be tempted to use WR Marques Colston as a bye replacement, but again, keep him benched until you witness him having a good game.
- CB Jabari Greer has 4 Solos+PD’s or more in every game this season. In the one game he only had 4, he caught an interception. Use him with confidence this week presumably against WR Steve Smith.
- Outside of DB Roman Harper, no Saints’ player has produced more than 16 Solos on the season.
- I don’t recall a rookie QB having as much of an impact as Cam Newton. I got to write the rest of this article, so maybe you can find the last rookie quarterback who’s been this explosive.
- Think TE Greg Olsen is glad to be out of Chicago? He’s on pace for 68 Receptions, 108 Targets, and 876 Receiving Yards.
- RB DeAngelo Williams is officially a “throw-in” in any trade.
- I want to add WR Legedu Naanee in my 16-team league because of his 25 targets. But his eight receptions convince me otherwise.
- One week up, one week down for DE Greg Hardy.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Saints give up the third most fantasy points to cornerbacks. Quick, who are the Panthers’ cornerbacks?
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Saints give up the third most fantasy points to safeties. Stock up Sherrod Martin and Charles Godfrey.
Oakland at Houston
- QB Jason Campbell has had three good fantasy games and one poor fantasy game. That’s two better than I thought he’d have at this point. Trust him, I think.
- The lowest single-game rushing plus receiving yard total for RB Darren McFadden is 123. If he stays healthy, that could be his low after 16 games.
- A WR2 is not currently on the Raiders’ roster.
- Take what you’re getting from LB Rolando McClain. It’s progress.
- DB Tyvon Branch has 5 Solos+PD’s or more in every game this season.
- Losing WR Andre Johnson for about a month is good news. Now we see how good this zone-blocking scheme really is.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Raiders give up the second most fantasy points to running backs. With RB Ben Tate gimpy, a healthy Arian Foster should run wild.
- So far, LB Mario Williams has better fantasy stats than LB Brain Cushing. And Mario hasn’t exactly been a fantasy monster, so it’s more of an indictment on Cushing.
- CB Jonathan Joseph had not one, but two touchdowns taken away by penalties in Week 4. That left him with 1 lousy Solo for the game.
Philadelphia at Buffalo
- WR Josh Morgan’s TD sums up the Eagles’ season to date. Watch DB Asante Samuel refuse to make a tackle on the 5-yard line. As an Eagles’ fans, are you sick to your stomach watching one of your stars act so soft?
- WR Andre Johnson wasn’t the only player who was shot. Watch OL Jason Peters get hit by a sniper on WR Jeremy Maclin’s game-ending fumble. He’ll miss time, and it’s a major blow to the Eagles’ offense.
- TE Brent Celek is now getting outperformed by some guy named Clay Harbor. Celek is safe to cut.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Bills give up the fewest fantasy points to defensive ends. With Trent Cole gone for multiple weeks, Jason Babin is going to get a ton of resistance.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Bills give up the third fewest fantasy points to linebackers. Bench Jamar Chaney. You shouldn’t have to ask about the other linebackers.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Eagles give up the most fantasy points to running backs. C.J. Spiller isn’t getting touches, but he’s probably a better bye week option in 16-team leagues than the trash on the waiver wire.
- Look for subpar stats from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and WR Steve Johnson. RB Fred Jackson is going to gash the Eagles defense.
- You won’t get too many gift fantasy points like DB Bryan Scott’s touchdown.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Eagles give up the fifth most fantasy points to safeties. Stock way up Scott, George Wilson, and Jarius Byrd.
Kansas City at Indianapolis
- Stop-and-go, bobble, bobble, spin move, side-step, hurdle, touchdown. This isn’t the first time WR Dwayne Bowe’s touchdowns have some flair.
- If you’re starting RB Jackie Battle, you’re 0-4. If you’ve addedBattle, you’re 1-3.
- Can the Chiefs’ management stop this dumb Dexter McCluster experiment at RB and move him exclusively to WR?
- I told you WR Steve Breaston will get some value.
- LB Derrick Johnson doesn’t have a sack or turnover on the season. They’ll come.
- Tambi Hali has quietly become one of the best fantasy 3-4 outside linebackers.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Colts give up the fourth fewest fantasy points to cornerbacks. Stock down Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr.
- I own WR Reggie Wayne, and I’m cool with him so far. I haven’t needed him to win, so his lack of WR1 stats aren’t driving me nuts.
- If your Dynasty team stinks, acquire RB Delone Carter.
- Middle linebackers in the Tampa-2 drop deep into coverage. Weakside linebackers clean up close to the line of scrimmage. It explains LB Kavell Conner’s 14 Solo, 4 Assist Week 4 performance. QB Josh Freeman kept dumping it off, and Conner kept making tackles.
Arizona at Minnesota
- QB Kevin Kolb’s stats have gone done every week. The lack of a WR2-4 could have something to do with it.
- RB Beanie Wells wasn’t dominant last week. He was the recipient of three first-and-goals and was able to cash in each time. Good job for sure, but lots of good fortune too.
- If someone cut LB Paris Lenon, pick him up if you have the room.
- Maybe it’s age. Maybe it’s his bicep injury. But after four games, it appears DB Adrian Wilson is done as a fantasy force.
- At least QB Donovan McNabb gets you 200+ yards passing every week and his not turning the ball over. It could be worse.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Cardinals give up the fourth most fantasy points to wide receivers. Maybe this will be the week Percy Harvin finally gets a receiving or rushing touchdown.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Cardinals give up the third most fantasy points to linebackers. E.J. Henderson and Chad Greenway have been disappointing, but they are must starts this week.
- CB Antoine Winfield is banged up. Check his status Sunday morning.
Tampa Bay at San Francisco
- DoesTampaBaythrow deep at all? I don’t see enough of them to give you a solid analysis.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: 49ers give up the second fewest fantasy points to running backs. Stock down LeGarrette Blount and Earnest Graham.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: 49ers give up the fifth most fantasy points to wide receivers. Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn are obvious starts. Slot receiver Preston Parker is a sneaky bye week option.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: 49ers give up the most fantasy points to defensive tackles. Gerald McCoy was all over the field in Week 4. Start him with confidence.
- I know about rookie DE’s Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers. Who the heck is Michael Bennett?
- In the two games with the green dot, LB Mason Foster had 6 Solos, 3 Assist, 1 Sack. The sack is nice, but the tackles are poor for a 3-down middle linebacker.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: 49ers give up the fewest fantasy points to cornerbacks. DB Aqib Talib is so overrated anyway, and look for a replacement for Ronde Barber.
- Eleven touches in consecutive weeks for rookie RB Kendall Hunter. It’s enough to take notice, but this team still runs through RB Frank Gore.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Buccaneers give up the second fewest fantasy points to kick/punt returners. This isn’t the week to use Ted Ginn Jr.
- LB Patrick Willis is on pace for 88 Solos. His career low is 101, and that was only 15 games played. I’m still not nervous. The optimistic me says it’s just more tackles to come later this season.
- In two games this season, DB Dashon Goldson has played like it’s 2009.
NY Jets at New England
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Patriots give up the third most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Don’t believe head coach Rex Ryan’s “ground and pound” proclamation. He doesn’t have the personnel. Mark Sanchez will be throwing often against the Pats.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Patriots give up the third most fantasy points to running backs. Look for LaDainian Tomlinson to get numerous screens. I like him better than Shonn Greene this week. Regardless, start both.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Patriots give up the most fantasy points to wide receivers. Stock up Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and Derrick Mason.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Patriots give up the fourth fewest fantasy points to linebackers. You have to start David Harris, but expect a down week.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Patriots give up the most fantasy points to safeties. Stock up Eric Smith, and Jim Leonhard is a sneaky start despite his slow season.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Jets give up the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. The only way you’re benching Tom Brady is if you own Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees.
- Don’t brush aside RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis just yet. He’s a proven vet.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Jets give up the second fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. Rumor has CB Darrelle Revis covering Wes Welker. Start Welker and deal with it.
- LB Jerod Mayo gets bulldozed at the goal line, and now he’s out multiple weeks with a knee injury. LB Gary Guyton is a nice short term fantasy replacement.
San Diego at Denver
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Broncos give up the second most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Stock up Philip Rivers.
- WR Vincent Jackson catch was incredibly, but it’s the extra effort to get in the end zone that fantasy owners like.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Broncos give up the second most fantasy points to wide receivers. Start Malcolm Floyd, but ignore Patrick Crayton.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Broncos give up the third fewest fantasy points to tight ends. Antonio Gates replacement Randy McMichael disappointed in a good match-up last week, so no way you’re using him this week.
- LB’s Takeo Spikes, Donald Butler, and Shaun Phillips have all been average. I’m still waiting for one to pull away as the stat leader.
- What round did you draft WR Eric Decker?
- RB Willis McGahee is the new lead back in Denver. Still roster RB Knowshon Moreno. These things can change quickly.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Chargers give up the second most fantasy points to linebackers. A healthy D.J. Williams and rookie Von Miller, who has sacks in three straight games, are must-starts.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Chargers give up the fourth most fantasy points to safeties. Stock up Brian Dawkins and rookie Rahim Moore.
Green Bay at Atlanta
- I want the Falcons to be competitive, but I don’t see how it’s possible for their defense to slow down QB Aaron Rodgers.
- RB James Starks received his season high in rushing attempts in Week 4, but it was only 13. How valuable can he really be with that?
- WR James Jones finally showed up last week, and you might be tempted to use him as a bye week replacement. Don’t do it.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Falcons give up the second most fantasy points to defensive tackles. B.J. Raji makes a good desperation start.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Falcons give up the most fantasy points to cornerbacks. Charles Woodson gets started every week. Start Sam Shields in 12-team leagues and Tramon Williams in deep leagues.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Falcons give up the second fewest fantasy points to safeties. Now we’ll see if Morgan Burnett can produce in a poor fantasy match-up.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Packers give up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Anything less than 300 yards and 2 TD’s will be a downer for Matt Ryan owners.
- RB Michael Turner won’t get you a ton of 100-yard games for the season, but he’ll find the end zone often.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Packers give up the third most fantasy points to wide receivers. Stock up Roddy White and Julio Jones. Start Harry Douglas if you’re the owner of Dez Bryant, Anquan Boldin, Santana Moss, and Mike Sims-Walker.
- I’d allow you to juggle knives over my baby (if I had one), on the condition that TE Tony Gonzalez was nearby. He’ll catch anything that goes astray.
- The Falcons have four sacks for the season, and none by DE Ray Edwards. Where are you DE Jared Allen?
Chicago at Detroit
- You’re a big fat fibber if you predicted the Bears commitment to RB Matt Forte and the run in Week 4.
- I don’t get why WR Devin Hester can’t do this as a receiver.
- DE Julius Peppers hasn’t had more than 2 Solos in any game this season. He’s paid for sacks, but how about three or four.
- The best thing WR Roy Williams has done in the past five seasons is give WR Calvin Johnson his nickname. Megatron has two touchdowns in four straight games.
- Get ready for some “Points Allowed” – the Bears are loaded at both poles.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Bears give up the fourth most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Stock up Matthew Stafford.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Bears give up the second most fantasy points to tight ends. Lack of a solid run game plus juicy match-up is great news for Brandon Pettigrew owners.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Bears give up the second fewest fantasy points to defensive tackles. Ndamukong Suh’s struggles should continue.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Bears give up the third most fantasy points to defensive ends. Stock up Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril.
- Season-to-date, Points Allowed: Bears give up the second fewest fantasy points to cornerbacks. Bench Chris Houston and Eric Wright.
- No need to add LB Bobby Carpenter. His touchdown was athletic, but he’s just filling in for the injured LB Justin Durant.
Vegas, NFL Spreads Week 5, Season Record 9-5-1
- Buffalo (+3) vs Philadelphia
- NY Giants (-9.5) vs Seattle
- NY Jets (+9.5) at New England
- Oakland (+6) at Houston