Fantasy Football: Drew Brees Headlines 10-Player 'Dream Team' of Sunday Stars

Jay ClemonsFantasy Sports Lead WriterOctober 8, 2012

Fantasy Football: Drew Brees Headlines 10-Player 'Dream Team' of Sunday Stars

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    The following countdown touts the 10 greatest fantasy stars from the Sunday portion of NFL Week 5.

    This week's list includes one Hall of Fame-bound quarterback, one ageless tight end, two stellar tailbacks, five electric receivers and one dominant defense that's scoring at will these days.

    There are no kickers in this particular countdown...but that doesn't mean they'll be excluded from entry in subsequent weeks.

    After all, kickers may be dime-a-dozen assets in fantasy, but they're people, too.

    Enjoy the show!

Quarterback: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

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    Sunday Stats: 370 Yards Passing, 4 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. Drew Brees has accounted for 300 yards passing and/or three touchdowns in each of his first five games.

    2. Heading into Week 6, Brees will own decisive leads in yards passing (1,720) and touchdowns (14), amongst his positional brethren.

    3. Brees broke Johnny Unitas's long-standing NFL record of 47 consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass on Sunday night. It was just another feat in Brees' air-tight candidacy for the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday.

Running Back: Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants

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    Sunday Stats: 229 Total Yards, 1 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. Ahmad Bradshaw had his official breakout of the 2012 campaign, rolling over the Browns for 200 rushing yards and one touchdown.

    For the day, Bradshaw would log 34 touches for the pass-happy Giants.

    2. As part of Sunday's excellence, Bradshaw became just the second NFL tailback to rush for 200 yards this season (Jamaal Charles in Week 3).

Running Back: Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots

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    Sunday Stats: 151 Rushing Yards, 1 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. Speaking of Jamaal Charles (161 total yards vs. Baltimore), it would have been easy to include him in Sunday's countdown of fantasy dynamos.

    But Stevan Ridley ultimately earned the RB2 nod, thanks to the dual feat of amassing 150 yards and one touchdown.

    2. Ridley also stole a good chunk of the fantasy spotlight from quarterbacks Tom Brady (223 yards passing, two TD) and Peyton Manning (345 yards passing, three TD).

Wide Receiver: Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts

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    Sunday Stats: 13 Catches, 212 Yards, 1 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. When the Hall of Fame committee looks back on Reggie Wayne's superb career, they'll surely recall his 13-catch, 212-yard, one-TD outing against the Packers from 2012.

    Hopefully, they'll also remember that Wayne accomplished his personal best on Andrew Luck's watch—and not that of Peyton Manning.

    2. Wayne scored the game-winning touchdown for the precocious Colts, who rallied from a 21-3 deficit to knock off the heavily-favored Packers.

    3. Wayne's 20 targets should remain an NFL high for multiple weeks. Even if that's not the case, he's still a healthy lock to be the AFC's seasonal targets king.

Wide Receiver: Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears

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    Sunday Stats: 12 Catches, 144 Yards, 1 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. If Reggie Wayne is the AFC king of receiving targets, then maybe Brandon Marshall will hold a similar crown in NFC circles by season's end.

    Against the Jags, Marshall erupted for 12 catches and 144 yards on 17 targets. It was his third double-digit targets outing of the young season.

    2. Of the three times Marshall has accrued double-digit targets, he also finished with 100 receiving yards and one touchdown.

Wide Receiver: Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints

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    Sunday Stats: 9 Catches, 131 Yards, 3 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. Colston was a one-man wrecking crew against the Chargers, rolling for three touchdowns and 131 yards.

    2. His 18 targets were the most among NFC receivers on Sunday.

    3. With Drew Brees shepherding the razor-sharp Saints offense, Colston should be an untouchable trade commodity in points-per-reception circles.

    He's just hitting his stride of expected dominance.

Wide Receiver: Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings

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    Sunday Stats: 8 Catches, 108 Yards, 2 Total TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. There was a lot of competition for the final receiver slot in today's countdown, but I couldn't ignore the rushing/receiving accomplishments of Percy Harvin, who tore through the Titans for 116 total yards and two touchdowns.

    2. The highly efficient Harvin caught eight of his 10 targets for 108 yards and one score. And he needed only two runs to add another touchdown to his daily log.

    3. Harvin was only one of five pass-catchers (along with Marques Colston, Victor Cruz, Robert Meachem, James Jones) to net two or more touchdowns Sunday.

Flex Spot: Victor Cruz, New York Giants

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    Sunday Stats: 5 Catches, 50 Yards, 3 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. Victor Cruz is living, breathing and dancing proof that you don't always need double-digit targets to post monster fantasy numbers. He caught 5-of-8 balls for 50 yards and three touchdowns.

    2. Cruz's presence surely paved the way for teammate Ahmad Bradshaw to rush for 200 yards against Cleveland.

    3. Cruz currently stands as the NFC targets leader, averaging 11.2 per game.

Tight End: Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons

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    Sunday Stats: 13 Catches, 123 Yards, 1 TD

    Reasons For This Selection

    1. With another scintillating outing for the high-powered Falcons, Tony Gonzalez has become the No. 1 tight end in fantasy, regardless of scoring rules.

    By extension, he shall garner a top weekly ranking for the foreseeable future.

    2. For the season, Gonzalez already has three games of 70-plus receiving yards, three games of double-digit targets and four games of one touchdown.

    3. It's no secret that Gonzalez (1,188 catches, 13,726 yards, 99 TD in 16 NFL seasons) is a lock for the Hall of Fame someday. But here's something new for the masses:

    **Gonzalez now has 12 career games of double-digit receptions.

    **And Sunday's amazing effort stood as his 29th game of 100-plus receiving yards.

Defense/Special Teams: Chicago Bears

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    Sunday Breakdown

    1. Allowed only three points in 38-point road rout of Jacksonville

    2. Surrendered only 10 points/189 total yards against the Jags

    3. Compiled one fumble recovery and three sacks

    4. Two pick-six returns from Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs

    5. The Bears have produced at least one interception-return-TD in their last three games