Fantasy Football Report Week 5
Week five is already here and we're at the point where it's make or break for a number of our teams. Four teams are taking the week off on byes so you may have some holes to fill in that lineup. Here's who's out:
Dallas: Romo, Murray, Austin, Witten, Bryant (although the way these guys have been playing, it's probably a good thing they're off so you don't feel like you HAD to start them!)
Detroit: Stafford, Johnson, Leshoure, Pettigrew
Oakland: Palmer, McFadden
Tampa Bay, V. Jackson, Martin
Looking for a flier or fill in QB? Matt Hasselbeck gets his job back under center for Tennessee with the Jake Locker injury and faces a very beatable Minnesota secondary this weekend. Other possibilities are Miami's Ryan Tannehill who's better than people thought and plays for a team that will likely be playing from behind much of the season. Ryan Fitpatrick in Buffalo continues to put up numbers despite a depleted receiving corps (although they face San Francisco on the road this weekend and will likely get housed)
At running back, no one saw Brandon Bolden breaking out for 135+ and a TD for New England last weekend, and no, Ridley is NOT injured. The Pats just ran wild over Buffalo (over 250 yards and three td's on the ground) but Bolden vultured a goal line score from Ridley in week 3 and is worth a look since you never know what the hoodie will do. Jackie Battle in San Diego will be no worse than a goal line guy at the expense of Ryan Mathews, though he likely won't get as many carries as he has unless Mathews gets hurt (again) or gets the fumbles (again). The Jets may be looking for a changing of the guard. If they do, it's likely Bilal Powell who actually was on the field more than starter Shonn Greene last weekend.
At wide receiver, did you overlook Brian Hartline simply because he plays for Miami. Oops. Hartline went off for 253 yards and a score last weekend and Devone Bess is the guys across the field from him. Yep, he's the best option for a QB on the rise (see Tannehill above) James Jones in Green Bay has been inconsistent in his career, but has caught three scores already and Greg Jennings may take a seat to let his groin heal. Domenik Hixon for the Giants is getting a lot of looks with Hakeem Nick's troublesome knee keeping him sidelined. Andre Roberts is getting some balls his way for an undefeated Cardinals team as defenses roll coverage to Larry Fitzgerald's side. And Jerome Simpson fresh off suspension in Minnesota may be just a clear out decoy for underneath stuff to Harvin and AP, or he could finally be the field stretcher that the Vikings have needed. Worth a stash if you have room on the bench.
And if you need a bye week tight end, I've been touting Greg Olsen in Carolina since the pre-season and he's becoming Newton's go-to receiver. Scott Chandler in Buffalo is stepping up his game with all the wide receiver injuries and caught two scores last weekend.
Past the pickups, who should you start? Most of the 'big' QB's are playing this week, but I'm highest on Matty 'Ice' Ryan in Atlanta. I've been there since my pre-season touts and he's at the top of the heap as well as he's been playing. Run, don't walk, RUN away from QB's like Sanchez (who gets the tough Texans D a week after being blanked by the 49ers last week) Sam Bradford, who gets the Cards D Thursday, and Seattle's Russel Wilson, who just isn't putting up fantasy numbers.
Until someone steps up, Arian Foster will continue to rule the top of the charts, especially in light of Ben Tate's toe injury. I told you about Alfred Morris in Washington pre-season and the first couple weeks. Too late now, his back ups are hurt and he's been performing. Morris is a top 10 play this week. Watch the injury report, but I love Mathews (and Battle, see above) in San Diego's tilt against a winless Saints team. Spiller and Jackson in Buffalo would be a big enough nightmare figuring out who to start. But they're both dinged up and face San Francisco. BENCH 'EM!
With Calvin Johnson on a bye, we get to put the aerial show of Atlanta at 1 and 1A at the top with Roddy White and Julio Jones (assuming Jones' hand is healed from week 3. It limited him to one catch last week as White went off) AJ Green in Cincy is a beast and a must start every week no matter the opponent as well. Not as high on the Steelers wide receivers as they face a better than average Eagles secondary and they try to establish the run with Rashard Mendenhall returning to the lineup.
Good luck this weekend! I'm 2-2 in one league. I benched Romo figuring a bad game against Chicago, and the five interceptions proved me right, but back up Ponder did absolutely nothing as I wasted a HUGE game from Roddy White.
However the combination of Roddy and Matt Ryan was enough to overcome backfield hiccups as I go to 3-1 in my 'main' league.