Fantasy Football's Biggest Winners & Losers After NFL Week 5
We've hit the fifth week of the 2012 NFL season, and has been the case every week so far this year, it was a Sunday of excitement and surprises, including a huge win for rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts against the Green Bay Packers.
Those surprises extended into the realm of fantasy football as well, and whether it was beautiful breakouts or disheartening duds, here's a look at some of the biggest fantasy winners and losers from Week 5.
Winner: Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
It appeared that Luck could be in for a good fantasy outing, even if a lot of that production came in garbage time of a lopsided loss this Week 5.
However, not only did Luck top 350 passing yards and throw a pair of touchdown passes, but the first overall pick did so in a huge win over the Packers, rallying from a 21-3 deficit to upset Green Bay, 30-27.
Loser: Robert Griffin, QB, Washington Redskins
As well as Robert Griffin III has played to this point in his rookie season for the Washington Redskins, there have been concerns that the youngster was absorbing too much punishment that would come back to bite the Redskins and Griffin's fantasy owners.
Those fears were realized in this week's loss to the Atlanta Falcons, as a third-quarter shot from Atlanta linebacker Sean Weatherperson left Griffin with a bloodied chin, concussion and fewer than five fantasy points on the day.
Winner: Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, New York Giants
If there was any doubt about whether New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw was recovered from his neck injury, those fears were put to rest by his statistical explosion against the Cleveland Browns.
The sixth-year veteran racked up 230 total yards and a touchdown on 34 touches against the Browns, helping the Giants to rebound from last week's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles with a 41-27 win.
Loser: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
It was somewhat expected that Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis would have his work cut out for him in Week 5, as the Miami Dolphins entered Sunday's action allowing fewer than 60 yards a game on the ground.
With that said, between Miami's stout run defense and the Bengals getting behind, the fifth-year pro was absolutely invisible, failing to accrue 20 total yards on 10 touches in a Cincinnati loss.
Winner: Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts
We've already discussed the strong performance of Indianapolis' Andrew Luck, and it stands to reason that that production would also propel one of his pass-catchers to a solid fantasy afternoon.
Especially when that player is the most targeted receiver in the National Football League.
Luck continued to look to veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne early and often, and the 33-year-old responded, hauling in 13 catches for a ridiculous 212 yards and a touchdown.
Loser: Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
With Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings sidelined for this week's matchup, many fantasy owners of Jordy Nelson were probably licking their chops at the prospect of Nelson facing Indy's middle-of-the-pack pass defense.
However, Nelson was a complete non-factor in the Packers' stunning loss in Indianapolis, managing a measly two catches for 29 yards and leaving his fantasy owners grumbling in frustration.
Winner: Tony Gonzalez, TE, Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez entered Week 5 as the top scoring tight end in fantasy football.
If his most recent performance against the Washington Redskins is any indication, that isn't a title that Gonzalez intends to relinquish soon, as the 36-year-old teed off to the tune of 13 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown.
Loser: Dennis Pitta, TE, Baltimore Ravens
Tight end Dennis Pitta of the Baltimore Ravens makes his second straight appearance on the "losers" side of this weekly exercise, although in Pitta's defense this week isn't entirely his fault.
On a day with some ugly games the contest between the Ravens and Chiefs may have been the ugliest of them all, with the two teams combining for a whopping 15 points.
However, that doesn't change the fact that Pitta now has only three catches for 22 yards over his last two games, erasing all memories of the third-year pro's hot start to the season.
Winner: Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
I'm sure that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning would rather have a win, but in fantasy football it's less about the scoreboard and more about the box score, and the 36-year-old's stat line was a pretty one Sunday.
Granted, the Broncos lost to the New England Patriots, 31-21, but an early lead for the Pats forced Manning to the air, and the result was 345 passing yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
Loser: Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans
OK, so you know how last week's 25 carries for 141 yards got your hopes up that maybe Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson may have turned a corner of sorts and might finally start producing for your fantasy team?
The only corner that Johnson turned Sunday was the one that landed him right back in the fantasy toilet, gaining a measly 24 yards on 15 carries while losing a fumble in a blowout loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Winner: Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was a very busy camper on Sunday night against the San Diego Chargers.
Not only did the 12th-year pro pass for over 350 yards and four touchdowns, leading the Saints to their first victory of the season, but Brees also broke Johnny Unitas' record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass.
Brees was fantasy football's top signal-caller on Sunday, and after connecting with wideout Marques Colston nine games (including three touchdowns) his big night propelled Colston into a tie with Reggie Wayne for top wide receiver as well.
Winner: Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco 49ers
It's been pointed out to me in the comments section of this article that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith doesn't get the credit he's due, and since I can't argue that fact it's time he got some.
The eighth-year veteran is playing some of the best football of his career and was nearly flawless in the 49ers annihilation of the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, completing 75 percent of his passes for over 300 yards and three touchdowns while pitching in nearly 50 more yards on the ground.