A lot of things happened in week 5, including another Packer loss, a couple guys with 200+ yards, and an important lesson for a rookie QB to learn. Shanahan could have just showed RG III videos of Michael Vick’s career, but sometimes you just have to touch the hot plate. Hey, if we’re lucky, Shanahan will panic and go back to his irrational behavior of starting a different running back every week. Guy can dream, right?
Be Proud of Yourself:
First, just because I need to say it, if you own Arian Foster, good job. My fellow FFAdvisor, @FFAdvisor_Matt backed Foster as the #1 RB for the season in his post, Who to Pick #1. It seemed as though him and Rice went back and forth in most drafts, but I was one of many who had doubts about Foster – health, Tate, on a team that can throw – and had I had the #1 pick in any of my drafts, probably wouldn’t have drafted him. But he has been an absolute stud so far with just over 4 yards per carry and averaging a TD per game. So, just because I think he deserves to be mentioned considering how good he has been, way to go Foster owners. Hope you’re enjoying it.
The other hot off-season topic was the emergence of tight ends. Graham this, Gronkowski that. While they are obviously great players, with so much hype there hardly seemed to be a way you could acquire them without overpaying. Now the ones who should be proud of themselves are the ones who waited for Tony Gonzalez. Week 5 was his latest reminder that he may be old, but he’s still pretty good. Thirteen receptions for 138 yards and a TD makes him the #1 fantasy tight end, and a continuous red zone option for a really good offensive passing team. Him and Todd Helton need to start a club. If Kevin Garnett has one more good year, he can be in it too. I digress…
Sorry You’re Disappointed:
Remember in week 1 when Shonn Greene got the ball 27 times, ran for 94 yards and scored a touchdown? You must have thought, “he might actually not disappoint me this year!” Well, I’m sorry you’re disappointed. In the last four weeks, Greene has barely cracked half of the fantasy points he put up in week 1, with a stellar 26 yards on 9 carries in week 5. In the Jets’ defense, it’s hard to run the ball when your quarterback is just so talented…
Chris Johnson came back to earth in week 5 and started to run terribly again. I got a little worried last week when he up and ran for over 100 yards – something didn’t feel right there. But he found his form again quite theatrically with a nice big goose egg. This week I came across the team name: “Johnson’s Career Ending Contract.” Well played.
Finally, this shout out goes out to the players who started the wrong QBs this week (myself being one of them). Alex Smith, Andrew Luck, Jay Cutler, Christian Ponder, and Brandon Weeden were probably on a lot of benches, and most likely outscored the starter. If it would have made the difference between a win and a loss, I’m sorry you’re disappointed.
Don’t Get Too Excited:
That being said, there are only two names on that list I would consider starter caliber signal callers: Andrew Luck and Christian Ponder. Luck seems to be everything he was hyped up to be, and Ponder has actually been really impressive, especially with his legs. But I wouldn’t get too excited about the other guys. Alex Smith is on a team that wins mostly with it’s defense and ground game, Brandon Weeden is on a bad, bad team, and Cutler has that ‘deciphering his players from the defense’ problem. Bye week fill-ins, sure. But my guess is these aren’t the guys you drafted as your QB1, so don’t treat them that way.
Ahmad Bradshaw had quite the line against the Browns, rushing for 200 yards on 30 carries, four receptions for 29 yards, and scoring a touchdown. It’s worth noting however that in week 5 he nearly doubled all of his stats from the first four weeks combined: from 35 carries to 65 carries, 5 receptions to 9 receptions, 135 rushing yards to 335 rushing yards, and 21 fantasy points to 47 fantasy points. The reason we keep statistics is to be able to label outliers. His performance against the Browns was an outlier. It was a great week, and he’ll have more good games this year, but they won’t be close to that. Not when little Manning demands so much attention for being the inferior Manning his whole life.
Another guy with a phenomenal week was Marques Colston – 9 receptions on 18 targets, 131 yards and 3 touchdowns. Every time Drew Brees sits in a post-game press conference and talks about the level at which he knows his team can play, but they’re just not there yet, I always wondered what he meant. I think this is what he meant. Devery Henderson also had a buck-twenty and a score. But we know the Saints offense. I would love to see that they have gotten back on track and will be fantasy gold for the rest of the year, however I’m tempering my excitement for now. Brees is constant, he will get his. But as for the weapons around him, they’re largely boom or bust. If I’m a Colston fan, I’m mostly excited about the targets, especially the red zone targets. But again, my expectations are tempered…
Now You Can Get Excited:
No offense to Curtis Painter, but when you can’t make Reggie Wayne look good, you must be pretty bad. Due to his awful year last year, Wayne was getting drafted as late as the ninth round in ten team leagues, and it looks like he took it personally. It’s either that, or his QB is much better now. I’m gonna go with, it’s a little of both… I personally am a Reggie Wayne owner, and I’m excited, not just because of his 212 yard and TD outburst, but because of the consistency and the chemistry between him and Luck. I have a feeling he’s going to be in the mix with the top fantasy wide receivers when the season is close to its end.
Last week I talked about draft-day risks, and failed to mention Ryan Mathews. That was mostly because he didn’t fit what I was talking about. However, he was as a high on the risk/reward scale as any of those other guys, and I think he’s tipping the scales toward reward pretty quickly. His health is still going to be a concern, definitely. But 80 yards on just 12 carries, getting involved in the passing game, and finding the end zone for the first time this season… it’s all heading in the right direction. This might be the last week you could buy low on Mathews.
If you picked up a win in week 5, congratulations. Unless the guy who beat me is reading this. In your case, you just got lucky…