We’ve survived the first bye week with six of the better teams in the league on a two week vacation. It led to unusual results and other players taking a turn in the other spotlight. Miami and Oakland are the only teams on bye in Week 5 after they beat up on each other in London, so there aren’t that many players you need to replace this week. Oakland also needs to replace its coach, but that’s another story. But there is one player that needs to go immediately, and his name is Tom Brady.

Brady has been shoddy at best this season, and it’s got to be killing fantasy teams. For the season, he has 791 passing yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions, and has failed to break the 250-yard barrier this season. It hit a low point last night when he was replaced by Jimmy Garoppolo, who was put in during the fourth quarter of the Chiefs’ 41-14 a**-kicking of New England. Brady just doesn’t look right. He still has Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, but after that, there is little else in the way of receiving talent that he can utilize. His tackles aren’t protecting him well, and the ground game isn’t getting the holes it used to. Brady can still dink and dunk, but without a good deep threat, it looks ugly for the 37-year old signal caller from Michigan. He’s on pace for career lows for a full season and he has a Sunday night game with 3-0 Cincinnati and it’s tough defense in Week 5, before Buffalo and the New York Jets in a five-day span.



Brady’s not getting it done, and you have to do something. While his name has value, his performance doesn’t. Let’s look at some quarterbacks from Week 4 and see who is who in what I like to call a “blind taste test”. We’ll give you the stats of the players but not their names until the end. Here we go.

Player A: 12-of-23 for 177 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT
Player B: 16-of-25 for 146 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT
Player C: 14-of-23 for 159 yards with 1 TD and 2 INT

So who are these low performers?

Player A is Charlie Whitehurst, B is Derek Carr before he left hurt, and C is Brady. When you take away the names, it shows that Brady had a terrible week and is on par with Clipboard Jesus and a guy with two lower-leg injuries. Brady might not ever wake up this season. Let’s take a look at some of the other options out there at quarterback….

Kyle Orton (BUF) has been named the starter over EJ Manuel. The good news is that he’s a starter who is widely available. His next four games (@DET, NE, MIN, @NYJ) have some okay matchups in it. Until he proves himself on the field, Orton remains nothing more than a speculative add.

Christian Ponder (MIN) is another quarterback to pass on. He came on in relief after Teddy Bridgewater was carted off with an ankle injury. Ponder might know the offense, but we don’t trust him on a short week when the Vikings visit the Packers Thursday night. Check and see if Bridgewater is available, since he put up solid numbers against Atlanta but is questionable for Thursday. You might not start Bridgewater this week but his long-term value is there.

Eli Manning has been sharp lately. He’s led the Giants to two straight wins and an impressive 75 points in the process. His schedule looks favorable with Atlanta, Philadelphia and Dallas all coming up before Big Blue has it’s bye week in Week 8. He would make a nice addition for those of you suffering the Brady Blues.

Joe Flacco is coming off of a great game with 327 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions. Flacco is a quiet part of a 3-1 Baltimore team without Ray Rice and Dennis Pitta. They take on Indianapolis and Tampa on the road in the next two weeks so anything could be possible from Flacco. I still want to see one more solid game from him before I view Flacco as something more than a QB2.


Running Backs

Let’s take a look at our second blind taste test of the column. These three running backs have relatively similar rushing numbers. Which one do you want on your team?

Player A: 199 rushing yards, 4.9 YPA, 2 TD
Player B: 192 rushing yards, 2.7 YPA, 1 TD
Player C: 203 rushing yards, 3.3 YPA, 1 TD

If you guessed that A was Bobby Rainey, B was LeSean McCoy and C was Trent Richardson, you’re very impressive. Hopefully the numbers start to flow for McCoy, but when you consider who his peers are in stats, it makes him a strong buy-low candidate. Richardson has been okay this season in a complimentary role to Ahmad Bradshaw. Rainey has fallen in line behind Doug Martin after Martin missed two games with a knee injury.

Jerrick McKinnon (MIN) saw his first real action of the season and makes a good add if you’re looking for depth. He was lost in the headlines behind the three-touchdown outburst from Matt Asiata. McKinnon rolled up 135 yards on 18 carries and had a touchdown wiped out by a penalty. He’s got the goods to get the job done, but has a tough schedule with Green Bay on Thursday, with Detroit and Buffalo over his next three games.

Darrin Reaves of Carolina sits on top of the Panthers depth chart at running back. Reaves gets the honor with Mike Tolbert, DeAngelo Williams and Johnathan Stewart all battling injuries. They signed former Cleveland running back Chris Ogbonnaya this week, so one of them will be the top dog against the Bears. Neither seems to be an overly attractive option, but starting running backs are hard to come by.


Wide Receivers

Here’s our final blind taste test to get you thinking on wide receivers. Who do you have out of this group?

Player A: 16 receptions, 235 yards, 1 TD
Player B: 12 receptions, 233 yards, 1 TD
Player C: 12 receptions, 254 yards, 3 TD
Player D: 22 receptions, 260 yards, 1 TD

These guys are (in order) Brian Quick, AJ Green, Allen Hurns and Julian Edelman (before the Kansas City game). Quick and Hurns are widely available and should be added. Green and Edelman are only available by trade at this point.

Andrew Hawkins of Cleveland should be looked at in every PPR league. Hawkins has a team-high 32 targets and 21 receptions to lead the Browns. Tight end Jordan Cameron should get the tighter coverage and with running back Ben Tate on his way back from a knee injury, it should open up more chances for Hawkins.

Eddie Royal of the Chargers had a sweet game against the Jaguars with 105 yards and two touchdowns on five catches. Pair it up with a matchup against the soft secondary of the Jets, and Royal could be in line for another solid day in Week 5. Louis Murphy was signed by Tampa earlier in Week 4 and came out with 99 yards on 7 catches against the Steelers. Mike Evans is down for at least a couple weeks with a groin injury, so Murphy could squeeze out a couple more solid games against the Saints and Ravens before the Bucs go on bye.

For a deeper option, look at John Brown of Arizona. The rookie speedster has three of Arizona’s four receiving touchdowns this season. His speed and ability to get open could pose problems for the Broncos on defense in Denver. Carson Palmer is expected to play for the Cardinals so Brown could be in line for a big day. He’s finding the end zone while Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd have been shut out of it through three games.


Tight Ends

If you need one, take a look at Tampa TE Austin Sefarian-Jeknins, who was on the field for all 71 snaps of the Bucs offense last week. This is the last week to get on the Travis Kelce train after his 8-93-1 line against the Patriots, and should be added in all leagues. The same can be said about Giants TE Larry Donnell who is uber-hot after a three-score game against the Redskins. With the injuries that have hit this position, Sefarian-Jenkins should be a backup add if Donnell and Kelce are already snapped up.


Defense & Special Teams 

Philadelphia’s DST had a monster day with three return touchdowns. They take on St. Louis this week and are still suffering from quarterback woes since Sam Bradford went down for the season with another torn ACL. The Pittsburgh defense gets Jacksonville this week and should be rather pissed after coughing up a win in the final 10 seconds against Tampa Bay. You can hold onto the San Diego DST for one more week as they take on the Jets in Week 5 since the Jets didn’t look that great against the Lions. See if the Cincinnati DST got dropped on their bye week and try to pick them up as they host a woeful New England offense this week.



Shaun Suisham of the Steelers should be busy against Jacksonville this week. Randy Bullock of Houston is a deeper option with the Texans taking on Dallas after he hit three field goals and both extra points last week. Shayne Graham of the Saints gets another nod here for the divisional matchup with Tampa Bay.

In closing, take a look through and see what players were dropped last week with six teams on bye. There could be something of value that was let go, so don’t forget to check through last week’s waivers before you file your claim this week. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.


Follow me on Twitter @AndrewNordmeier and fire off your questions. 

  1. Kendrick Lamar says:

    Two QB league would you do brady donnell for Benjamin flacco

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:

      @Kendrick Lamar: I wouldn’t. I’d rather hang on to Donnell. He seems to have a little better situation than Kelvin Benjamin does.

      This answer might change depending on the rosters.

  2. dyingaslowdeath says:

    looking to send this duo out before the end of the week: Andre Johnson/Montee Ball. how would you rank these? it’s a keeper league. thinking of going after the dez deal first, then josh gordon, then a.j. green

    1) andre/montee for josh gordon/andre ellington
    2)andre/montee for dez
    3)andre/montee for a.j. green

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:

      @dyingaslowdeath: Go for Dez first–agreed. then AJ then Gordon because of potential future issues.

  3. Bren says:

    Is knile still must own for JC owners? I dropped knile for Ingram earlier but now I want to drop j bell, Khiry or j hill for knile …

    • Braun Weasleys says:


      j bell and j hill are must owns unless you’re in a small league. Khiry is only useful for one last week. Ingram is back after their week 6 bye and thomas is still there to steal carries.

      • Andrew Nordmeier

        Andrew Nordmeier says:

        @Braun Weasleys: Drop Khiry is the right move. Ingram’s broken hand will heal but if Gio or Jamaal go down, you need their backups. Whether its for you or trade bait to someone else.

  4. Devante Adams says:

    Would you rather hold onto me, Eddie Royal, or Jordan Reed for the long run? Pick 2….

  5. Ryno says:

    If Sankey, Moreno, and McKinnon are on waivers this week who would you pick up?

    Moreno, Sankey then McKinnon?


    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:

      @Ryno: Sankey, McKinnon, Moreno

      Sankey should be the lead in TEN and has good matchups ahead. McKinnon still is stuck behind Asiata. Moreno is still a few weeks away and you want guys how can produce now.

  6. owen says:

    I have V. Cruz and D. McFadden in a Standard league. I was offered DeSean Jackson and Ryan Mathews (don’t know when he is coming back). Should I accept this?

    • Trevor says:


      Yes, McFadden is junk!

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:

      @owen: Yes I would. McFadden is bound to get hurt any time now and with a new coach you have no idea what to expect.

  7. mguy31 says:

    Just got offered Le’Veon Bell & Calvin Johnson for Luck, Garcon, Reggie Wayne & Asiata.

    Standard 12 team League. I have Phillip Rivers that I can plug in for Luck. Should I pull the trigger? Trying to unload luck or rivers mainly due to having the same bye week.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:

      I would hold onto Luck. He’s been on fire in the early going. There should be a way to re-do that deal to make it more worth your while.

  8. jim says:

    im in a deep ppr league with kick and punt return yardage as well. luck is my qb. was offered cobb for andre johnson and kaepernick. thoughts? would love some help with this

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:

      @jim: I’d do it. Cobb has looked solid so far. Kaep has been inconsistent and Andre looks lost with poor QB play.

  9. Lemmingness says:

    Standard scoring league,

    Would you go Rainey or McKinnon?

    • Lemmingness says:

      @Lemmingness: And Hawkins over James Jones, right?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:

      @Lemmingness: Mckinnon and Jones for me.

  10. Fantasy Icon says:

    Qb. Luck
    Rb. Forte
    Rb. Murray
    Wr. Julio Jones
    Wr. C. Patterson
    Te. M. Bennett
    Flex. R. Jennings
    D/ST. Houston
    B. Lamar Miller
    B. Jeremy Hill
    B. K. Wright
    B. Kelce
    B. I. Crowell
    IR. O. Beckham
    IR. Jordan Reed

    Usually I’m the one people come to for advice, but for the life of me, I can’t make up my mind on this one. Would you trade Murray, Kelce, and Houston’s D for Calvin Johnson and Seattle’D? I think it boils down to do I trust Jennings or Miller as my rb2 more than Patterson or Wright as my wr2. I’d also have 3 of my 4 wr’s and my te with the same bye week. I know some people like having players with the same bye, but I hate giving away a win. Murray has never played a full season, but sure is looking like beast mode this year. It’s a 12 team redraft league with .5 pt per reception. Any advice would be appreciated. I’m torn on this one. Would you do it or not? And why?

    • CatalinaWineMixer says:

      @Fantasy Icon: Not a bad trade, might wait and see how bad Calvin is hurt before making it though.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:

      No, I would hang on to DeMarco Murray since he is tearing it up right now. I wouldn’t trade for a DSt when you can stream them each week. megatron is a little banged up and that gives me hesitation on doing it. So for right now, no.

  11. Bob says:

    Hey Andrew, with tomowrow AM being the waiver rush I’m third in the waiver order this week (order changes each week).
    Just seeing who you’d recommend adding based on my team:

    QB: brady I’m not ready to drop him yet, plus I also have romo

    RB’s: gio bernard, ben Tate, ahmad Bradshaw, terrance west, jeremy hill, DMC, and Gerhart

    WR’s: Demaryius thomas, Crabtree, Kelvin benjamin , cordarrelle patterson, wheaton , jordan matthews & Andrew Hawkins.

    TE: just have Ertz

    RB’s I’m looking at: jerick mckinon, darrin reaves, antone smith, benny Cunningham , Braden Oliver & Andre Williams.

    WR’s I’m looking into: jarius wright, Hester, brandon Lafell , Stevie Johnson , Jeremy Ross, john brown . Bowe & doug Baldwin.

    TE’s looking into; Heath miller (week 7 for ertz’s bye miller vs houston), Ebron (week 7 for Ertz bye Ebron faces saints) & Dwayne Allen (week 7 for Ertz bye Allen faces Cincy )

    Lastly; keep or drop Texans D? They face dallas & INDY this week & next.
    I’d looking into
    Eagles D (week 5 vs Rams & week 6 vs Giants)

    Giants D (week 5 vs Falcons & week 6 @ philly)

    Browns D (week 5 @ tenn & week 6 vs Pitts)

    Titans D (week 5 vs Browns & week 6 vs jags)

    – one I plan on dropping is DMC for either one
    Of the players above. Or would you look to drop DMC for one of the RB’s then maybe drop j matthews or Hawkins to add a TE?

    Thanks, have a good one!

    • Bob says:


      Or drop Gerhart too? Or wait another week for cutting bait w/ him, if I drop Gerhart I could put a claim in for Heath miller or Ebron & maybe adding one of the rbs above by dropping DMC?

      • Andrew Nordmeier

        Andrew Nordmeier says:

        @Bob: Get rid of Gerhart. Worst piece of crap so far in fantasy this season. Claim for Ebron. For the defense, you could go with either CLE or TEN and I will lean towards CLE since they are coming off the bye.

        • Bob says:

          @Andrew Nordmeier:

          Thanks for the response! Would you still drop DMC for mckinon , andre Williams or antone smith?

  12. james a says:

    montee ball and cruz for mccoy?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:

      @james a: Yes. Buy low while you can.

  13. Fungazi says:

    Drop Crowell for Knile Davis?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:

      @Fungazi: Yeah. Like now. And dangle it over the Charles owner. Charles said his ankle was sore after the win.

  14. The don says:

    Waiver priority question my rbs are lorenzo, asita, Donald brown weak I know. Who should be my 1 waiver priority Moreno or McKinnon?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:

      @The don: McKinnon…

  15. Count de Monetball says:

    Andrew, great write-up
    I’m in a 10-team 0.5 ppr league with 1QB, 2RB’s, 3 WR’s, 1 W/R/T, TE, DST, K starting. The leaugue also gives 1 pt per 10 return yards. I was just offered

    Phillip Rivers (I have Brady-suck ass; and Blake Bortis as QB’s) trying to pick up Manning (waivers)
    Montee Ball


    C.J. Spiller
    Demaryius Thomas

    Notes: I picked Colston up off waivers and he’s my 4th reciever
    My other RB’s include (keeping in mind our league counts return yards)
    DeMarco Murray
    Knile Davis
    Ryan Mathews (hurt)
    Khiry Robinson

    My other WR’s are
    Hester (return yards)
    Victor Cruz
    Kendall Wright (may drop for Andre Roberts – again return yards)
    What do you think of this trade? II have a surplus of RB’s and need a QB…

    • Count de Monetball says:

      @Count de Monetball: By the way, I live and die by your buy posts! Great job man!

      • Andrew Nordmeier

        Andrew Nordmeier says:

        @Count de Monetball: Thanks for the pressure. LOL I would stay with what you have. Those other two guys will come around. Not worth the panic sell.

  16. Scooter G says:

    Hi there! Im 4-0 in a 10 team league half ppr. Only have 5 bench spots and 3 are being used for A Peterson, CJ2K, B Rainey. My starters are L Miller and L Bell.

    Should I drop anyone for Mckkinon, Reaves, Ingram, Blount or J Stewart?

    Would you hang on to AP or is is just wishful thinking that he plays at all this season?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:

      @Scooter G: Drop AP…he won’t play this season and I would pick up Ingram when the Saints are on bye.

  17. friar says:

    I’m looking to pick up a backup RB in my 12-team non-ppr league. I don’t need to start him this week, but I’m looking for someone who, in a week or two, might be worth plugging into my lineup or could have enough value to fetch something in a trade.

    How would you rank these guys, in terms of their chance of being startable in 1-2 weeks? Thanks!
    – D. Brown
    – Forsett
    – McKinnon
    – Pierce
    – Reaves

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:


      Mathews will be coming back soon. Reaves might be a this-week -only play and McKinnon has to wait behind Asiata.

  18. Arrabers Greg says:

    Need to start 3 of the following:


    Who ya got???? Thanks…

  19. CatalinaWineMixer says:

    Dynasty league, any player kept you want no penalty. Full IDP as well but not needed for this.

    QB Stafford
    WR Calvin
    WR. AJ Green
    WR D. Hester
    RB Lynch
    RB Bernard
    TE Olsen
    W/T/R R. Jennings
    BN Gore
    BN Bradshaw
    BN Donald Brown
    BN J. Hunter
    BN M. Sanu
    BN R. Randle

    Looking to move Gore since its dynasty and figure I might as well sell as I am pretty set at RB.

    10/pt Rush 10/pt Rec 1 ppr 25/pt Return yard 6 TD

    I got offered James Jones for Gore or M. Colston for Gore.

    Do you think I could do better or sell when I can for a solid #3 WR.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:

      @Devante Adams: You and Eddie. Niles Paul did too much to let Jordan Reed get his job back easily when hes healthy.

  20. mike durkee says:

    Im currently 4-0, which means i lost on the waiver wire this week. Im looking to add depth to my weakest position, which is RB.

    I have…
    P. Thomas
    M. Asiata
    S. Vareen
    J. Bell

    Im considering picking up M. Ingram, he is available. I understand he wont be available till after NO week 6 bye. I could pakage a WR for a trade. I currently roster…
    D. Bryant
    J. Jones
    K. Benjamin
    C. Patterson
    B. Cooks
    J. Gordon

    I was considering packaging two and making an offer for a buy low Rb, but who to trade and for who?

    • mike durkee says:

      @mike durkee: This is a 10 team PPR league.

  21. buclover says:

    I’m commissioner of a 12 team espn league. The league is over 10 years old. Six of the members are father son. It has never been said, but I think these father son combos haven’t traded amongst themselves, at least in the case with me and my dad, so to avoid the appearance of collusion. In this case, the savy football manager (the dad) concocted a trade with his son to get Bishop Sankey (90+% owned) for Dwayne Allen (< 11% owned). There are TE’s on the waiver wire just as attractive as Allen and there are teams with better second tight ends that would have gladly traded one for Sankey. This is a money league, btw. It takes 4 votes to deny a trade. The commissioner can not veto a trade. There are about 4 or 5 hard core players in this league who will see the trade and have an opinion. One of them is the guy getting Sankey. The rest of the guys, it will be hit or miss if they even notice the trade before the deadline is reached. Should I (A) not make waves and not vote because the trade is fair enough (B) just vote no and let the chips fall where they may (C) as commissioner, lobby the league to vote their conscience since I want to keep this kind of potential collusion or manipulation under control?

    • buclover says:

      @buclover: to be totally forthcoming, these te’s are currently available Fleener, Ebron, Green, Cook, Quarless

  22. Andre says:

    Hey Andrew. Few questions for you. This is a 12 team PPR leage

    1. I had to drop Ingram after he got hurt bc of a limited bench and another owner just picked him up this week with a higher WW claim. I have Forte and Stacy as my primary backs. Which players do you think could produce numbers on par with Ingram of these options. A) Crowell B)T. West C) K. Davis D) Andre Williams

    2. I picked up Jordan Reed as an injury stash. Currently Donell is my #1. Does Reed overtake Donnelll as a TE1 once he’s healthy?

    3. Do I drop the Texans D this week for Philly? or do we believe that the Texans can at least contain Murray?


  23. Jay_0321 says:

    When can we add Prater?

  24. SheriffMcRawDawg says:

    super crappy 1-3 team in a 20-teamer. please help.

    Should I grab Orton over Jake Locker to back up Brady? Also – Antone Smith and Jordan Reed are on waivers and I’d have to use some FAAB. Would you make changes for any of those and who would you drop? Thanks man!

    Q – Brady
    WR – Andre Johnson
    WR – Colston
    RB – Forte
    RB – Gore
    TE – Kelce
    Flex – Marvin Jones

    B- Niles Paul
    B – Bowe
    B – Moreno
    B – Locker
    B – Jared Cook

  25. Brian says:

    Who to start:
    McKinnon @ GB or Bradshaw vs Balt?
    Stills vs TB or Fitzgerald @ Den?

    I’m leaning against conventional wisdom and going with the first ones listed.

  26. malamoney

    malamoney says:

    You starting Big Ben over Brady this week?

  27. grif says:

    Standard scoring, no ppr, drop Torrey Smith for Brian Quick?

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