America is getting zooted on Te-blow.
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall
For lack of a better word, Week Five was absolutely dreadful. In all seven of my leagues, I failed to record a win and it wasn’t even close. It pains me to even write that. I still hold winning records in most of my leagues ( I’m 2-3 in a few), so here’s to hoping that Week Five will be my worst week of the season. With that said, let’s delve into some of the more interesting storylines of the week. We get to it after the jump:
- Remember a few weeks back when almost every fantasy prognosticator pegged Dexter McCluster as an immediate fantasy machine. I mean, he was averaging 5.9 yards per carry, how could he not “breakout.” Todd Haley clearly doesn’t agree with that assessment, as he gave Jackie Battle an opportunity to show his worth. He didn’t disappoint, rushing 19 times for 119 yards. After that impressive performance, Battle may have supplanted not only McCluster, but also aging vet Thomas Jones in the KC running back hierarchy. Although I don’t expect Battle to continuously put up plus 100 yard games, he’s clearly going to be given the chance to be the Chief’s primary back. That alone warrants a pick up. For those needing a solid flex option, look no further than Battle.
- Last week I questioned Adrian Peterson’s somewhat unexciting start to the season. I asked whether he should be considered a Sell High or Buy-Low candidate. “All Day” must read the Sons of Roto, because he came out with guns blazing on Sunday, rushing for three touchdowns in the first half. He’s clearly still one of the most talented backs in the league, and one that you could lean on all season. Minnesota will have to throw the ball often, but Peterson is too talented not to be a fantasy difference maker. For now, he returns to my top three.
- No disrespect to Tarvaris Jackson but its time for Charlie Whitehurst to take over the starting QB position. After Jackson succumbed to injury in the second half, Whitehurst took over and eventually led the Seahawks to a victory. He looked poised in the pocket, making precise throws and running the Hawks' no-huddle offense with ease. If he gets the starting nod after the Seattle's Week Six bye, Whitehurst may make for an interesting deep league option. He also makes Doug Baldwin, who had a team high eight catches for 136 yards on Sunday, a sneaky WR3 play for the remainder of the season.
- On a gloating note, Marshawn Lynch averaged 8.1 yards per carry on Sunday, rushing 12 times for 98 yards and a touchdown. The window to buy extremely low on him has vanished. If you didn’t listen to me, you should have!
- It’s safe to assume that Kyle Orton’s days in Denver are over and the Tim Tebow experience is about to start up again. I am not the biggest Tebow admirer but I will say that in relief of Orton, he nearly was able to pull off a comeback victory over the Chargers. For reasons unbeknownst to me, the team plays better when Tebow is under center, so why not start him? Tebow is a very interesting QB play, particularly due to his running ability, but unfortunately, him starting is likely to hamper Eric Decker and Brandon Lloyd’s production. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
- The Bucs finally got what was coming to them, getting annihilated by the much better 49ers on Sunday 48-3. I, unlike most football diehards, was not surprised by this game’s outcome. Thus far, San Francisco has been given zero respect, despite their number one ranked defense and impressive play by Frank Gore. Even Alex Smith, albeit not in fantasy, has been playing spectacular. This is the clear frontrunner to win the NFC West and maybe a sneaky play to go further into the playoffs. I’ll say it again, their defense is NASTY!
- You should have listened to Starbonell when he told you Jason Hill was about to erupt. He caught four passes for 109 yards on Sunday.
- As sad as I am to say this, I think the days of Denarius Moore being a serviceable WR3 are over. In the Raiders win against the Texans on Sunday, Moore was held without a catch on only six targets. Both Jacoby Ford (seven) and Darrius Heyward-Bey (11) had more. Speaking of Heyward-Bey, he’s quietly becoming the top target in the Oakland pass offense. For the second straight week, he pulled in a quality game (seven catches, 99 yards, TD). You could do much worse at WR3.
- Jason Avant is quickly becoming an important faction of the Philadelphia offense. On Sunday, the sure-handed receiver caught nine balls on 10 targets. Michael Vick seems to like throwing the ball Avant’s way, making him a top notch PPR option. He’s currently owned in a ridonkulously low four-percent of Yahoo leagues. Grab him before its too late.
Super Sleepers of the Week
Here, we highlight one player per offensive position who despite their low start % (according to Yahoo!), is poised for a breakout game. These are the players that year after year, win you fantasy matchups, so pay attention if you know what’s good for you!
Andy Dalton vs. the Colts
Everyone’s favorite ginger has thus far performed admirably in his rookie season. Week Six will prove to be his best game yet. He faces the Colts, a team who last week let Matt Cassel throw for four touchdowns. Dalton will share similar success this week as the Colts' secondary has given up 22.4 fantasy points a game to opposing quarterbacks. Bet on Dalton surpassing that total this week.
The Prediction: 290 Passing Yards, 3 Touchdowns, 1 interception, 27 Fantasy Points
Montario Hardesty vs. the Raiders
Peyton Hillis may still be the starter in Cleveland, but Hardesty isn’t going away. Keep in mind, this is a talented runner, one who was originally drafted to be Cleveland’s every down back. He'll get his touches, and with rumours circulating concerning Hillis' demand for a trade, he may obtain more than we originally had forecast. Oakland’s pitiful run defense should yield a great opportunity for Hardesty to show his worth.
The Prediction: 13 carries, 74 yards, 4 catches, 32 yards, 1 touchdown, 20 Fantasy Points (PPR), 16 in Standard Leagues
Dane Sanzenbacher vs. the Vikings
I’ll admit, he partly makes this list because of his awesome last name, but it also has to do with his skill set. Sanzenbacher is the ideal slot receiver, similar to what Danny Amendola could have been this year (sigh). He also has become one of the favorite targets of Jay Cutler. The Vikings pass defense isn’t all that terrible, but Sanzenbacher has a knack for finding open space. Cutler will feed him the ball as often as possible.
The Prediction: 7 Catches, 92 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 22 Fantasy Points (PPR), 15 in Standard Leagues
Jermaine Gresham vs. the Colts
Yes I’m picking on the Colts again, for good reason though. Gresham is an athletic freak who in a few years time could become the league’s number one tight end. As stated, Dalton will shine in Week Six, and you can be sure he’ll include Gresham in all the fun. His speed and size will be no match for the Colts linebackers.
The Prediction: 5 Catches, 62 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 17 Fantasy Points (PPR), 12 in Standard Leagues
As always, until next week, this has been your captain speaking.