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Winning the Wire and Surviving the Bye: Week 5 Sleepers

Robert Woods (buffalowdown.com/John Starba)

Week 5 has Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Washington, and Tampa Bay on the bye.  That leaves us without two of the first 5 RBs drafted in Adrian Peterson and Doug Martin as well as several other starters.  Robert Griffin III owners will have to look elsewhere for help at quarterback and each bye week team has a legitimate starter at WR that will need to be replaced.  Roster depth matters more starting this week, and waiver acquisitions may be able to fill gaps in your roster.

LAST WEEK

I was 3 of 4 on QBs hitting on Alex Smith, Ben Roethlisberger and Jake Locker.  Smith even threw a touchdown to Dwayne Bowe.  Geno Smith…well, at best that was a miss.  Running back was not so kind as Pead was a mystery scratch and Brandon Bodlen had a TD called back on review while being largely ignored by Josh McDaniels.  Andre Ellington looked good, he just needs more touches.  Hopefully, that won’t be far off with Arizona coach Bruce Arians publicly calling out Rashard Mendenhall.  Nate Washington was a big success, but I fear for his October with Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Dobson’s snaps will only continue to decrease as the Patriots get Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski back in the lineup.  Coby Fleener had a nice game against the terrible Jaguars and the Kansas City defense rode Dexter McCluster to 19 points in most scoring formats.  I still like Jordan Reed long term over Fred Davis in Washington despite his recent injury.

QUARTERBACKS

Brian Hoyer (BUF @ CLE)  All ex-Patriot and Michigan State alum Brian Hoyer has done is put up 590 the past two weeks as Cleveland’s starting quarterback.  He has legit weapons in Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon with a decent supporting cast.  Jacksonville Jaguar fans might be most happy about Hoyer’s performance because it leaves them as the clear frontrunner in the Teddy Bridgewater sweepstakes.  Even though Buffalo’s secondary performed decently at home against Baltimore, Hoyer has a decent matchup at home again against the Bills on Thursday night.

Terrelle Pryor (SD @ OAK)  Pryor was a late scratch last week after he suffered a concussion against the Broncos.  Pryor is clearly better than Matt Flynn and the matchup against the Chargers is not quite favorable, but he can score fantasy points in different ways.  Pryor was elevated back to the top of the Raider QB depth chart today.

RUNNING BACKS

Rashad Jennings (SD @ OAK)  Jennings is as far from exciting as you can get at starting running back, but he is a man on an island in the Raider backfield due to injuries to Darren McFadden and Marcel Reece.  Jennings value goes up in PPR leagues if Matt Flynn starts for Oakland as he was effective out of the backfield receiving last week with 8 catches.

Kendall Hunter (HOU @ SF)  Hunter is more of a long-term addition contrary to Jennings who is only viable while he has a monopoly on the position by default.  Hunter has scored in consecutive weeks, plays on a good team that is committed to the run and instantly become a top 20 option if Frank Gore goes down.  He doesn’t have a great matchup with Houston this week, but Hunter is talented and the Texans take to the road coming off a crushing defeat.

PPR Special is Mike Goodson of the Jets who returns from suspension and is likely to step into the 3rd down/receiving back role against Atlanta.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Jeremy Kerley (NYJ @ ATL)  Kerley is the Jets’ slot receiver, but he is likely to be the top option for a team that will almost certainly be trailing early in Atlanta on Monday Night Football.  Santonio Holmes is almost certainly out for multiple weeks and Stephen Hill is highly questionable after suffering a concussion against the Titans last week.  Similar to Jennings, Kerley is recommended this week due to his lone ranger status among Jets wide receivers.

Robert Woods (BUF @ CLE)  The rookie from USC has clearly established good rapport with E.J. Manuel and he put up 80 yards and a touchdown last week.  Buffalo runs the most up-tempo offense in the AFC (no one is topping the Eagles in that category).  Woods was inches from a second touchdown last week and also rushed for 13 yards.  Woods is a good route runner and looks like a viable receiver who should be rostered in 12 team leagues for the remainder of the season.

TIGHT ENDS

Brandon Pettigrew (DET @ GB)  Pettigrew’s best performance of the season last week (7 REC) coincided with Nate Burleson’s pizza-saving injury.  He may be Stafford’s short-range security blanket during Burleson’s absence.  Ryan Broyles does not appear healthy enough to detract from the tight end’s targets.  Detroit throws frequently as it is, but Green Bay is a good matchup for him.

Garrett Graham (HOU @ SF)  Graham has scored in three of the Texans’ first four games.  He has clearly become a red zone target for Matt Schaub.  Pettigrew is more highly recommended due to the presence of Owen Daniels and the matchup against a good San Francisco defense.  Graham is a fair option in deeper leagues with Heath Miller, Kyle Rudolph and Fred Davis/Jordan Reed on bye weeks.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

ATLANTA (NYJ @ ATL)  Geno Smith is on the road again against a 1-3 Falcons team desperate for a win.  Smith will also be short at least one starting receiver and the Falcons are likely to take some chances and cause turnovers.  I expect them to put up at least 12 fantasy points.

About Kevin O'Keefe - @KevinOKeefe14

I am an attorney practicing in New Hampshire.  Previously I practiced in Florida, and have a Massachusetts license I have never used.  I am contributing with fantasy football pieces now and hope to expand my contributions in the future.   I attended college at the University of New Hampshire and was captain of the tennis team.  I graduated law school in 2007.    I love to surf, hike, and travel all over especially to Central America. I started playing fantasy sports in 8th grade when my friend and I would mail in our newspaper fantasy baseball salary cap league.  I play fantasy football, hockey, baseball and NASCAR.  I am happy to expand my current audience of fantasy advice recipients beyond my friends and family.  If you have lineup or draft questions, find me on Twitter @KevinOKeefe14.

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