October 3, 2013

Fantasy Football Report: Week 5

By - Tim Swift

Here's what you need to know heading into Week 5 of fantasy play.

1. Tom Brady is starting to heat up.

Photo by: John Bazemore
Tom Terrific got off to a slow fantasy start this season, having to adjust to all the new skill position players on New England's roster. But on Sunday Night Football, he registered his first 300-yard passing game of 2013, throwing for 316 yards and 2 scores against the Falcons (with Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola still on the shelf, no less). With the emergence of wideout Kenbrell Thompkins (who had 125 yards and a touchdown in Week 4) and a balanced running attack (over the last two weeks, the Patriots have run the ball 33 and 31 times, respectively), the opportunity for big plays is opening up more and more. Once his primary weapons are back on the field, Brady should be able to vault himself back to the top of the fantasy QB rankings.

2. C.J. Spiller, Ray Rice, Stevan Ridley, Chris Johnson or Doug Martin; who will get going first?

In most leagues, all of the aforementioned backs were drafted as RB1s or RB2s. So far, they've all been major disappointments. Spiller and Rice have been dealing with injuries over the first month. LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden have cut into Ridley's touches in a major way, while Johnson and Martin are just off to slow starts in general. Unless you somehow manage to spring a trade for another running back or top wide receiver, you may have no choice but to deal with the uneven performances that these guys have given through the first four weeks of the season the entire year.

3. Ohh those pass-happy Broncos.

It's gotten to the point where all of Denver's starting receivers and tight ends are solid fantasy starts on a week-to-week basis. Demaryius Thomas is still providing big plays. Wes Welker has already scored 6 touchdowns, and has been a beast in PPR leagues. Eric Decker has been a useful flex option, and Julius Thomas is averaging a score per game. You would expect the productivity to come back down to earth just a bit, but if you happen to have a team full of Broncos, you should be undefeated through Week 4.

4. Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez turn back the clock.

The future Hall of Fame tight ends had huge games in Week 4, with Gates registering 10 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown, and Gonzalez hauling in 12 passes for 149 yards and 2 scores. Gonzalez had been somewhat pedestrian through the first three games of the season, but emerged as Matt Ryan's favorite target on Sunday, even while drawing constant double-teams. Between the two, Gates feels like the better weekly play because of the resurgence of Philip Rivers and the constant use of the short passing game due to San Diego's questionable offensive line, but don't sleep on Gonzalez. He appears to be on the upswing.

5. Stalk Jacksonville's offense religiously.

In our fantasy preview, we discussed the strategy of using different defenses each week based on bad offenses around the league, and the Jaguars are far and away the worst offense in the NFL. Stats can lie, but these don't; Jacksonville has scored just 3 offensive touchdowns, to go along 18 sacks allowed and 8 interceptions thrown. In most leagues through Week 4, the D that was facing the Jags scored at least 16 points, with Indy and Kansas City scoring over 30. There are plenty of other bad offenses out there that you can chase, but the defense facing Jacksonville's offense is the one most likely to help put you in a position to win your game.

The Underrated 15 For Week 5:

- Quarterbacks

1. Russell Wilson
2. Andy Dalton
3. Brian Hoyer

- Running Backs

1. Bilal Powell
2. Fred Jackson
3. Danny Woodhead

- Wide Receivers

1. Nate Washington
2. Kenbrell Thompkins
3. Terrance Williams

- Tight Ends

1. Brent Celek
2. Greg Olsen
3. Charles Clay

- Defense/Special Teams

1. St. Louis
2. Atlanta
3. Carolina

*Catch me on Fantasy Football Live every Sunday morning from 8:00 till 9:00 on Sports Radio 560 WNSR Nashville, as well as 95.9 FM, or online @ wnsr.com.


  1. I'm trying to decide between the Panthers Brandon LaFell at the Cards or the Chiefs Donnie Avery at the Titans...

  2. I would go with Avery its tough matchup but he has been targeted a lot more than LaFell

  3. Do you think Luck or Wilson will have the bigger game? They are my quarterbacks and I can't decide which to start.

  4. I would go with Wilson, both pass D's are good but I prefer Wilson slightly over Luck.