Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
Rashard Mendenhall at Tennessee Titans
Mendenhall was a pleasant surprise in Week 5, returning from Pittsburgh's bye week in what appeared to be tip-top form. It seems that these ACL surgeries are getting better and better if the fast recoveries of Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson and, now, Mendenhall serve as any indication.
Mendenhall carried the ball 14 times against a Philadelphia defense that has been a relatively rough matchup for opposing runners thus far, racking up 81 yards and a touchdown. What makes the showing more impressive for Mendenhall is that he was productive in a limited role.
Only on the field for 30 percent of offensive snaps, Mendenhall made the most of his 22 game reps. When Mendenhall was in, the Steelers ran their offense like they would when he is healthy.
Isaac Redman was on the field for nearly double the time while looking like a bad NFL running back, as usual.
If this is what Mendenhall does on a "snap count" to get eased back in, I am anxious to see what he will be capable of when he returns to getting the lion's share of the first and second-down snaps.
The Titans are my eighth-best matchup for opposing runners coming into Week 6, and the stage could not be set any better for continuation of this breakout.
Michael Turner vs. Oakland Raiders
I have been watching the Raiders travel East for early afternoon games for years, and they typically wet the bed.
The Falcons high-powered offense faces a cakewalk on Sunday. A re-tooled Oakland secondary is banged up, as they will likely stay, and Raiders CB Michael Huff will be put in position to either shadow Julio Jones or Roddy White.
That is a mismatch, and this game will get out of hand.
When the defense gets lubed up vertically, we've seen what happens. Michael Turner, who was criminally underrated in fantasy drafts, gets involved not only in the run game but has suddenly emerged as a true receiving threat out of the backfield.
I love this kind of action from a runner on a team that will be playing with a lead.
This is how the Raiders have fared against opposing runners in away games this season:
In Week 2, the Raiders traveled to the Southeast to play the Miami Dolphins when Reggie Bush went off 197 total yards and two touchdowns.
In Week 4, the Raiders traveled to Denver to play the Broncos. A game in which Willis McGahee went off for 135 total yards and a touchdown.
START: Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons vs. Oakland Raiders