|Notes and Observations Week 5: Patriots Defense Solid After the Bye Week; Beat Dallas 30-6||Bruins Continue Slump, Lose 3rd Straight to Start 2015-2016||Cowboys Defense Gave Patriots’ Offensive Line All It Could Handle||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 5, 2015|
Only the Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons are on Week 6 byes. Atlanta is bafflingly 1-4 and may have just lost Julio Jones for the year. The potential return of Steven Jackson in Week 7 is a silver lining amidst a train wreck of a season for Atlanta. Week 5 was the week of the second receiver as Alshon Jeffery, T.Y. Hilton and Terrance Williams all put up huge numbers. We’re approaching the halfway mark of the fantasy regular season and the wire is a crucial way to build depth and potentially replace underperforming draftees.
Brian Hoyer’s ugly slide and subsequent ACL tear cut short what would have very likely been a quality outing against Buffalo. Terrelle Pryor had a nice game that east coast insomniacs enjoyed thanks to the A’s-Tigers series. Rashad Jennings was plodding his way to a decent outing before leaving the game with a hamstring injury while Anthony Dixon vultured the goal-line score I had hoped for out of Kendall Hunter, who only toted the rock 5 times. Mike Goodson was deployed by Rex Ryan out of the backfield for a few grabs as expected, but the Jets’ three-headed backfield is a fantasy nightmare. Robert Woods and Jeremy Kerley both had nice performances, while Brandon Pettigrew had his highest yardage output of the year (59). Garrett Graham and the Atlanta defense were busts, but Graham has redeeming value.
I am not going to recommend Pryor again as he faces a good Chiefs defense, but if you need a rest of the season option that is on the wire Pryor offers nice dual threat ability and continues to improve in his reads and progressions.
Brandon Weeden (DET @ CLE) Weeden has the Cleveland offense back after Hoyer’s injury and a nice matchup against the Lions at home. Weeden should benefit from a talented pass-catching group led by Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon as well as an anemic Cleveland rushing attack.
Speculative Add: Josh Freeman (MIN) The Vikings did not pay Freeman $3 million to sit him. They’re very likely to hand him the reins in the next two weeks and Freeman will be playing for the all important second contact.
Zac Stacy (STL @ HOU) This week is not a great matchup for Stacy, but he had a nice first game as a starter tallying 78 yards in Week 5 against Jacksonville. The rookie from Vanderbilt is likely to start going forward for the Rams and he has the size to punch it in from the goal line.
Marcel Reece (OAK @ KC) Reece is especially recommended in PPR formats since previous Raider starters Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings are hampered by hamstring issues. Reece was a valuable performer down the stretch in 2012 fantasy leagues and he is still involved in the Raider offense.
Emergency Blast From the Past
Brandon Jacobs (NYG @ CHI) David Wilson is out for Thursday night’s clash with the Bears and Jacobs figures to split carries with Da’Rel Scott. Jacobs is far more likely to score for the Giants and is a fine reach if you have David Wilson, Lamar Miller or are in a deep league.
Keenan Allen (IND @ SD) The rookie from Cal is averaging 92.5 yards over the past two weeks. The Chargers recently placed Michael Floyd on IR and Allen is seeing a ton of snaps on the outside for San Diego. He has good size at 6’2”, 211 lbs. and was a toe tap away from having two touchdowns last Sunday night and is a viable fantasy receiver going forward as long as Philip Rivers continues his bounce back season.
Austin Pettis (STL @ HOU) Two Rams in one week is exclusively a waiver wire column phenomenon because Pettis, like Stacy is currently the best player at his position in St. Louis. Pettis has four touchdowns on the season and went for two against the Jaguars on Sunday. More important for his value going forward is that he is becoming Sam Bradford’s first read on important plays, especially in the red zone.
Jeff Cumberland (PIT @ NYJ) Cumberland showed his Week 4 touchdown was no fluke on Monday Night Football displaying good speed and hands grabbing a deflection off the turf. He had 79 yards receiving against Atlanta and hopefully the Jets will grow his role in the offense as Geno Smith improves. He is more dynamic than Kellen Winslow at this point in the latter’s career.
Brent Celek (PHI @ TB) Celek will be catching passes from Nick Foles on Sunday as Vick is out with a hamstring injury at least for Week 6. Celek made a great TD grab in the back of the endzone last week and figures to get some more opportunities this week with Darrelle Revis on DeSean Jackson.
CLEVELAND (DET @ CLE) ONLY IF CALVIN JOHNSON IS OUT. Almost every favorable DST matchup this week is for drafted defenses so this is hopefully a call you don’t have to make. This is the best sleeper option out there as the Lions were not good on the road outside last week against Green Bay and they face similar circumstances in Cleveland.