Week 5 is almost in the books and here are some early crib notes.
Cam Newton: He’s going to have his ups and downs every game like he did against the Saints, but he’s immune to bad fantasy games. He’s on pace to set the record for most quarterback rushing touchdowns in a year and by a long ways. I love me some Cam and I don’t care who knows it!
Adrian Peterson: He scored 3 first quarter touchdowns and then coasted. He remains the best running back in the league and it’s not even close. He is an unstoppable force of nature. Like a hurricane, but more agile.
Ben Roethlisberger: 5 touchdown passes on a gimped up foot wasn’t what most people were expecting. He only threw for 228 yards, but it was an efficient showing that gives me some faith that the Steelers can game plan around some of their o-line deficiencies. And makes me feel much better about Mike Wallace going forward.
Tim Tebow: Tebow somehow just rah rahs his team to at least get excited about playing football. I don’t know how much energy and grit and whatever can last, but his ability to scramble and score near the goal line will make up for some of his deficiencies, especially in fantasy.
Frank Gore: He doesn’t look too old or slow or crappy anymore. He’s been on his game the last two weeks and pretty much ran over the Buccaneers this week for 125 yards and a touchdown. Funny how quickly things can change in this game. I was ready to crown Kendall Hunter as Gore was averaging under 3 yards a carry and had hurt his ankle, but he’s looked great and I can’t say there’s any reason to sell high right now.
Vincent Jackson: He got Champ Bailey’d this week and then he’ll get bye’d and then Revis’d. That’s eff’d. But he should get 100% healthy over the bye and will have a productive second half of the season. He’s someone to target.
Aaron Hernandez: In his first game back he had 9 targets to Gronkowski’s 4, but Gronkowski was so ill that he didn’t even participate in pre-game warmups. Next week we should see a return to the Pats tight end-centric offense with both able to put up startable numbers.
Eric Decker: His 2 receptions for -4 yards was a nice crotch kick for his fantasy owners and then seeing Tim Tebow come in for Orton was a pie to the face, but one made of shaving cream. Decker loses value with Tebow at the helm whereas Brandon Lloyd should be ok since Timmy Ballgame likes to chuck it up to him with wild abandon.
Stevan Ridley: I write this blurb with a heavy heart. Ridley got off to a slow start and Benjarvus “long hyphenated stupid face name ” Green-Ellis went off for 149 yards and 2 touchdowns. I’m not going to give up on Ridley, but BJGE took a firmer grip on the running back job. I don’t want to drop him for the following guy, but I might.
Jackie Battle: Jackie Battle attorney at law had a nice game against the Colts. His 20 carries for 50 yards last year and his inability to do anything in 4 years didn’t instill much confidence in him coming into this week. His biggest skill is falling forward according to Matt Cassel. He needs good blocking to succeed and he got it. He is not going to blow anyone away, but he is going to continue to get his chances. Yes, if you need a live body during the byes (his is next week) I’d grab him, even for my man Ridley, but if you are stashing some lottery tickets I just don’t see cashing in on him.
Pierre Garcon: Curtis Painter seems to like Garcon and it’s paying off in fantasy. Garcon led the team with 9 targets and had 125 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s of course worth picking up, but I’d be selling high. This team is just not that good. The Chiefs defense on the other hand, is that bad.
A.J. Green: Green is good enough to elevate Andy Dalton’s game. He makes many catches that he shouldn’t (well, he should because he’s awesome) and as long as he keeps getting his targets he will continue to be a wide receiver 2 in fantasy circles. Those are the best kind of circles.
Ryan Mathews: This guy could be a top 5 back if he could stay healthy. He had 125 yards rushing and looked good doing it as usual, but injured his calf. Mike Tolbert left the game with a concussion so Jacob Hester was next in line. Thankfully they have a bye next week and Mathews should at least start their next game. I just hope he finishes it.
Darrius Heyward-Bey: Has he finally turned a corner or is this a mirage? I like the amount of targets he got, but the Raiders have too many good receivers and run the ball too much. I’d add DHB in the hopes that he continues to turn this corner, but he’s swerved back into the ditch enough times to not drop anyone decent for him.
DeAngelo Williams: His 69 yard touchdown run was a thing of beauty and that’s what he’s capable of. Unfortunately he’s not going to sniff a goal line carry and his touches will fluctuate tremendously depending on many factors. His skill is why you’ve kept him and with teams worried about Cam Newton’s arm and legs DWilly should have good lanes to run into when he does get the ball. But you do have to expect some inconsistency.
Victor Cruz: Darn, this guy just makes plays. He led the team with 11 targets and even though Manningham did start Cruz is the full time slot guy now and will be on the field enough to get his targets. All three of the Giants receivers should be rostered, but not all three will be able to put up numbers consistently. But while Cruz is hot he is worth throwing out there.
Doug Baldwin: He had 8 receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown and has thrown together a couple more nice games this season. He’s going to be inconsistent in that offense and his bye is next week so he’s not a must add in 12 team leagues. If you’ve got some crap to scrape off your team’s shoe you could scoop him up though.
James Jones: Lordy lordy look who dropped 140. That Aaron Rodgers sure is good huh? James Jones was the beneficiary this week for 140 yards and a touch down. There are absolutely too many good receivers on the Packers. They need some outbreaks of staph infection or something to thin out that crowd.
Joseph Addai: He left the game with a strained hamstring and Donald Brown and Delone Carter took over for him. Carter got a goal line touchdown, but Donald Brown out played him for the most part. That isn’t good. You really, really don’t want that on your resume. I kind of doubt he’d put that on there though. Experience: Outplayed by Donald Brown. Crumple, crumple, toss, 2 points! The crowd goes wild!
Dwayne Bowe: I hope you didn’t take my advice and sell high on Bowe! I still can’t see this offense being consistent, but somehow Bowe keeps getting his. I’d still sell high, but now it’s even higher. Don’t sell until you get to the tippy top. And he does have a bye next week. If you are hurting that might give you some incentive to sell and get that Todd Haley stink of your clothes.
Josh Freeman: He faced a bad 49ers pass defense and could only muster 187 yards passing on 33 attempts while adding a couple interceptions. This Buccaneers team just looked horrible. You won’t be able to count on any of the Tampa Bay receivers (yeah, I’m looking at you Mike Williams) until they can start getting into some kind of rhythm.
Santonio Holmes: The Jets didn’t take advantage of the Patriots obvious weakness in the secondary, but thankfully Holmes did get into the end zone. His 6 targets to Plaxico Burress’ 8 seems fairly idiotic. Burress has lost a step and isn’t going to do much after the catch if he does end up catching the ball. Holmes is their best receiver and should see more targets. We’ll see if he does.