We saw a number of breakout performances in Week Five from a lot of players who you probably did not have in your lineup. Austin Collie and Miles Austin are two examples of these big-time fantasy performances. Whoever waited patiently for the stars on the Atlanta Falcons to get rolling were greatly rewarded this week. We’re already just over a quarter of the way through with the season. Let’s take a look at the fantasy highlights from Week Five.
Cleveland Browns 6 @ Buffalo Bills 3
Hopefully you weren’t counting on anybody in this game to produce big numbers for your team.
The Cleveland Browns may have regretted the trade of Braylon Edwards after their lackluster offensive performance this week. Derek Anderson finished with 23 yards passing on the day. No, that’s not a typo. Anderson put up a big fat zero this week.
There were two respectable players in this game—Jamal Lewis and Marshawn Lynch.
Lewis, who seems to have retaken his spot as the Browns’ top feature back, had 31 carries for 117 yards. Who knows what’s going to happen in this backfield, but I don’t like anybody on this team going forward.
Lynch racked up more than 100 total yards. Don’t forget about Fred Jackson just yet, though. Lynch had 17 carries, but Jackson still got 13.
Terrell Owens caught four passes for 44 yards. It’s been hinted many times already, but I think it’s confirmed now that Owens’ fantasy capabilities are no longer what they once were.
New York Giants 44 vs. Oakland Raiders 7
Today was supposed to be a huge day for Brandon Jacobs. But Ahmad Bradshaw stole his thunder.
Bradshaw scored twice and rushed for more than 110 yards. The worst part about this for Jacobs’ owners is that one of Bradshaw’s scores was a one-yarder. The future for Jacobs’ role in this offense does not look good as long as Bradshaw is healthy and going full steam ahead.
Eli Manning was taken out of the game early (coach’s decision), but he still threw for two scores and 173 yards. Steve Smith was on the receiving end for 70 of those yards. The Giants have become more of a pass-first offense with the emergence of Smith, Mario Manningham, and Hakeem Nicks. Manningham and Nicks got the two touchdowns. I don’t think Smith will be the clear top receiver on this team all year round. I’d expect Manningham and even Nicks to have their days at the top of the stat sheets, as well.
Then there’s the Oakland Raiders. With Darren McFadden out this week, I’m wondering if anybody had any other Raider in their lineup. Zach Miller caught 69 of JaMarcus Russell’s 100 yards passing, but that’s really about it for this team. I don’t think you can call this just a bad game for the Raiders. This is going to be their season pretty much.
Philadelphia Eagles 33 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14
Welcome to the show Jeremy Maclin. Maclin posted huge numbers today (142 yards, 2 touchdowns). Maclin’s first breakout game of the season might have owners of DeSean Jackson a little worried. Jackson had one catch for one yard today. He’ll obviously have better days.
The broken ribs appear to be fully healed for Donovan McNabb, as he threw for 264 yards and three touchdowns. Brian Westbrook also found the endzone, but he finished with only 18 yards on the ground. LeSean McCoy didn’t do any better, so Westbrook’s job is safe for another week.
Talk about huge days, Kellen Winslow racked up 102 yards in the air with two scores. Winslow has become the top receiver in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offense. Last year’s top receiver, Antonio Bryant, had a decent game as he posted 62 yards receiving. The ground game was not working for the Bucs for either Cadillac Williams or Derrick Ward. Williams had the most carries, but only had eight yards rushing. Ward had 37 yards on the ground. Neither of these two are reliable every-week starters.
Pittsburgh Steelers 28 @ Detroit Lions 20
Ben Roethlisberger was projected to have a huge day this week and he delivered. Big Ben had three touchdowns and threw for 277 yards. He connected with Hines Ward for Ward’s first TD of the season. Ward, once again, led the Pittsburgh Steelers with seven catches for 85 yards.
Santonio Holmes had four catches for 50 yards. Heath Miller stayed hot this week, hauling in five catches for 54 yards with a touchdown. Rashard Mendenhall didn’t have a huge day, but had 77 yards rushing with a touchdown. Mendenhall only had 15 carries today. Pittsburgh was clearly getting it done through the air.
Calvin Johnson got a little banged up. Be sure to check for updates on him all week. Dennis Northcutt led the Detroit Lions with five catches for 70 yards with a score. Bryant Johnson and possibly Northcutt could be sleepers for next week if Megatron has to miss any time. In his first start of the year, Daunte Culpepper didn’t do too bad (282 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT).
Dallas Cowboys 26 @ Kansas City Chiefs 20
Even with Roy Williams out of the lineup, I don’t think anybody was expecting that performance from Miles Austin. Austin caught two bombs for touchdowns from Tony Romo and finished with 250 yards along with those scores. Austin caught 10 passes, as well, clearly asserting himself as Romo’s favorite target of the day. Austin’s day obviously made Romo’s numbers look good. Romo ended the day with 351 yards passing with two touchdowns.
Marion Barber took the bulk of the carries, and looks to be back to his old form, but it was Tashard Choice scoring the Dallas Cowboys’ rushing touchdown.
Matt Cassel put up strong numbers for the first time this year (253 yards passing, 2 TDs). He connected with Dwayne Bowe for one of those scores. Bowe had 74 yards receiving. The Cassel-Bowe combination hasn’t looked too bad so far, but the offense in general for the Kansas City Chiefs is so bad that it may keep these two from connecting for a lot more scores in 2009.
The running game still isn’t working for KC, as Larry Johnson got the ball 21 times and only managed 37 yards rushing.
Carolina Panthers 20 vs. Washington Redskins 17
The two offensive studs for the Carolina Panthers, Steve Smith and DeAngelo Williams, were both kept off the scoreboard this week. Smith caught a two-point conversion, though, and led Carolina in receiving with five catches for 65 yards. Smith owners need to continue to be patient. He’s due for a breakout game next week when the Panthers face Tampa Bay.
Jonathan Stewart hit pay dirt and had 10 carries to Williams’ 18. Williams finished with only 40 yards, but sometimes your studs are going to have quiet days.
Anybody who was patient with Clinton Portis and left him in their lineup was rewarded this week. Portis scored twice, once on the ground and once through the air, and had 19 carries for 57 yards. Portis had the definite bulk of the workload today and continues to hold off Ladell Betts from cutting into his work. Santana Moss came back down to Earth today, as he totaled four catches for 44 yards. That’s what you’re going to get out of Moss in the long term.
Minnesota Vikings 38 @ St. Louis Rams 10
Adrian Peterson made up for a quiet 69 yards on the ground with two touchdowns to turn in a nice fantasy performance. For the second straight game, Visanthe Shiancoe scored a touchdown. He was on the receiving end of Brett Favre’s only touchdown of the game. After a quiet first three games, Shiancoe and Favre are starting to build a little bit of a rapport.
Percy Harvin led the Minnesota Vikings in receiving with four catches for 66 yards. Despite being a rookie, Harvin continues to keep turning in strong fantasy outings.
Once again, Steven Jackson was kept out of the endzone, but Jackson continues to rack up the yards. He finished with over 100 total yards today. As expected, the loss of Laurent Robinson has boosted Donnie Avery’s value. Avery caught five passes for 87 yards with a touchdown. There’s still hope for Avery to turn his season around produce some decent fantasy numbers.
Cincinnati Bengals 17 @ Baltimore Ravens 14
After having a quiet week last week, Cedric Benson proved once again why he may be the biggest surprise of 2009. Benson ran for 120 yards with a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens.
Carson Palmer continues to keep things going with Chad Ochocinco. While Ochocinco didn’t score, he posted 94 yards receiving on seven catches. Chris Henry recorded 73 of his 92 yards receiving on one play. Palmer threw for 271 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Joe Flacco hit a bump in the road today, finishing with 186 yards passing with a touchdown and two interceptions. Derrick Mason, who has been Flacco’s steady option so far, was held without a catch today. Ray Rice’s 48-yard touchdown pass saved his fantasy day. Willis McGahee didn’t do anything for your fantasy team today.
Atlanta Falcons 45 @ San Francisco 49ers 10
So much for the San Francisco 49ers’s defense putting up another day like they did last week against the St. Louis Rams. The fantasy studs of the Atlanta Falcons all got in on the action today.
All the owners of Roddy White breathed a collective sigh of relief to see him go off for a huge day today after being quiet in his previous three games. White finished with 210 yards receiving and two scores. One of his touchdowns was a 90-yarder.
Michael Turner hit pay dirt three times. He just missed hitting the century mark, finishing with 97 yards rushing. Matt Ryan threw for 329 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The star in this offense that didn’t have a huge day was Tony Gonzalez. He ended the day with 55 yards receiving.
For the Niners, Glen Coffee found the end zone to go with his 45 yards rushing. He only had 12 carries as San Francisco was forced to throw for most of the afternoon. Josh Morgan just missed getting a touchdown when he was tripped up inside the five yard line at the end of a 61-yard reception. Vernon Davis caught five passes for 51 yards.
Seattle Seahawks 41 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars 0
Another lopsided game today was the Seattle Seahawks' dismantling of the Jacksonville Jaguars. It seems as though Matt Hasselbeck is back and better than ever. Hasselbeck threw for 241 yards and four touchdowns.
Two of his touchdowns went to T.J. Houshmandzadeh and two went to Nate Burleson. Burleson was the team’s leading receiver with six catches for 98 yards. Julius Jones had a quiet day with only 34 yards rushing.
He wasn’t the only running back to have a quiet day, as Maurice Jones-Drew was held in check. MJD finished with 57 total yards. Mike Sims-Walker was a late scratch for breaking a team rule, which allowed Torry Holt to turn in a decent fantasy day. Holt finished with 95 yards receiving on seven catches.
Arizona Cardinals 28 vs. Houston Texans 21
Larry Fitzgerald scored twice on Sunday to go with his 79 yards receiving. A lot of people have been waiting for Fitz to show them why he was the top receiver drafted this year, and he showed them why today.
Anquan Boldin also had a strong game. He was the Arizona Cardinals’ leading receiver with seven catches for 81 yards. Steve Breaston hauled in four catches for 66 yards.
For how poorly the Houston Texans’ rush defense has been, neither Tim Hightower or Beanie Wells managed anything on the ground. At least Hightower punched in a one-yard touchdown.
Despite losing today, Houston’s offense was still clicking. Matt Schaub put up 371 yards passing with two touchdowns and an interception. Both of his TDs went to Andre Johnson. Johnson finished with 101 yards receiving, while Owen Daniels had 94 yards receiving. Steve Slaton had 13 carries for 39 yards, but the Texans had to throw all day.
Denver Broncos 20 vs. New England Patriots 17
Brandon Marshall is back. Marshall hauled in two touchdowns to go with his 64 yards in the air. However, Marshall was not the Denver Broncos’ leading receiver.
Eddie Royal finally showed up and collected 10 catches for 90 yards. Owners of Royal are hoping that wasn’t a fluke day for Royal, but Marshall’s return to dominance should help Royal get open more easily.
Kyle Orton threw for 330 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He had a better day than his counterpart, Tom Brady, who ended the day with 215 yards passing and two touchdowns.
Brady’s TDs went to Wes Welker and Ben Watson. Welker led the New England Patriots with eight catches for 86 yards.
Unfortunately for owners of Randy Moss, he only had one catch for 36 yards. The Brady-Moss combo is not clicking like it did in 2007. Still, at any point in the season, these two could get red hot again.
Knowshon Moreno got the bulk of the workload in the backfield for the Broncos. Moreno had 21 carries for 88 yards. This could change when Correll Buckhalter returns, but it’s looking more like Moreno will be the feature back here.
Indianapolis Colts 31 @ Tennessee Titans 9
Enter Austin Collie. Every week it seems like Peyton Manning likes to give one of his receivers a huge day. Collie caught two touchdowns from Manning and had 97 yards receiving.
Manning threw for 309 yards, three TDs and an interception. Manning’s other touchdown pass went to Reggie Wayne, who caught six passes for 60 yards. Dallas Clark caught nine passes for 77 yards. The passing game for the Indianapolis Colts seems to be clicking on all cylinders.
Chris Johnson had a really quiet night, rushing for 34 yards. Nate Washington caught three passes for 37 yards. Washington has been best receiver for the Tennessee Titans, but now it seems there’s a quarterback problem with the Titans. The fantasy value for Washington and Justin Gage could take a hit as long as it takes Tennessee to figure out its QB troubles. Collins finished Sunday night’s game with 164 yards passing with an interception.
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THIS ARTICLE WRITTEN BY BRUNO BOY JIMBO JONES.
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