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Week 5 Sleepers

Matt Cassel

Apologies to anybody who picked up Darren McFadden solely based on my advice. All he did was carry the ball six time for -3 yards. Ouch! Sorry, but he was facing Houston. I thought he’d at least manage a decent 70 yds or something.

This just goes to prove that nobody on Oakland should be employed on your rosters. They are young, and inexperienced. The combined age between their starting WR’s, QB, and RB is 22.5 years old.

Here are the sleepers for Week 5. Trust me, no Raiders will be here for a long time.

Week 5 Sleepers

Kerry Collins (QB), Tennessee Titans

As we saw last season, the Titans were a run-first team featuring the two-headed monster known as Chris Johnson and LenDale White. This of course was based on the fact that their defense was among the best in football.

With their secondary depleted with injuries, the Titans have become a joke at stopping the pass. They currently hold the worst pass defense in football (282 pass yds allowed per game) and they just let David Garrard destroy them for 323 yds and 3 TD. Needless to say, when Peyton Manning gets a chance at them this Sunday, the results will be catastrophic.

What does that mean for Collins? Well, it will clearly mean that the Titans will be playing from behind all game and will have no choice but to throw it. The Colts have a decent pass defense with just over 200 pass yds allowed per game. But that number was improved when they faced Chad Pennington in Week 2 and David Garrard in Week 1.

Collins is averaging 228 pass yds per game and the Colts won’t have safety Bob Sanders for the whole game due to injury. Collins has no choice but to throw, and Indy’s secondary can be beat.

Ahmad Bradshaw (RB), New York Giants

If Eli Manning doesn’t play, then New York’s running game will be what drives the offense. Even if he does play, he won’t be throwing it as much as he usually does. In either case, Bradshaw is a great play this week, especially against Oakland.

The Raiders allow over 140 rush yds per game, and with Manning not throwing it too much, both Bradshaw and Jacobs will be huge plays this weekend.

Bradshaw averages 5.6 yds per carry and may get up to 20 carries on Sunday. What’s not to love?

Mohamed Massaquoi (WR), Cleveland Browns

After an impressive breakout game where he caught 8 passes for 148 yds on Sunday, and now with the trade of WR Braylon Edwards to the Jets, Massaquoi has been shot up the depth chart to #1 WR in Cleveland.

Massaquoi only had two catches on the season prior to last Sunday’s game, but as soon as QB Derek Anderson stepped in, the men seemed to develop a chemistry. I dare say that you can compare it to David Garrard and Mike Sims-Walker over in Jacksonville.

Anyway, Week 5 looks favorable as the Browns face the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo has allowed 226 pass yds per game. They have also allowed a staggering 150 rush yds per game as well. So Cleveland may give the ball to RB Jerome Harrison a lot.

However, the Browns allow 226 pass yds and 176 rush yds per game. The game may turn into a very surprising shootout.

Matt Cassel (QB), Kansas City Chiefs

Why is a 63 million-dollar-man being called a sleeper? Well, Cassel has not exactly been off to an All-Pro start this season. First he had a sprained MCL, and then over the past few weeks, he has had to deal with some really tough matchups (Eagles and Giants), and lastly, he has head coach Todd Haley repeatedly telling the press that backup QB Brodie Croyle is going to take his job.

Over the past two weeks, Cassel has thrown 4 TD’s and zero INT’s. OK, the yardage is small (217 yds), but he isn’t making mistakes and the defense isn’t doing him any favors by allowing almost 380 total yds per game.

That being said, I like Cassel against the Cowboys in Week 5. Since the Chiefs’ defense will roll over again for Tony Romo and Dallas, Cassel will be throwing as much as possible. The Cowboys have the fourth-worst pass defense in football with over 256 pass yds allowed per game. If you can let Byron Leftwich throw for 276 yds against you, then you have problems.

Whether it is the bad defense he is facing, or fear of losing his job (for no damn reason!), Cassel will finally step it up this week.

Marcedes Lewis (TE), Jacksonville Jaguars

Lewis has proved to be a reliable asset for David Garrard. Lewis is third on the Jaguars in receptions (11) and has caught two of Garrard’s five TD’s.

A matchup against Seattle may lead to another cheap TD reception for Lewis. With Seattle’s rush defense in shambles (124 rush yds allowed per game), Jacksonville may elect to just hand it off all day to Maurice Jones-Drew.

However, Lewis has showed that he is a target against really bad pass defenses (62 yds and a TD against Arizona; 76 yds and a TD against Tennessee). So if MJD stalls in the red zone, Lewis will be targeted.

Super Shocker Sleeper Pick

Tim Hightower (RB), Arizona Cardinals

After Week 1, Hightower was the leading receiver in the NFL. Now, it seems as if he has fallen back into his old groove of short yardage carries. Against the Texans, Hightower should be productive again.

Houston has the fourth-worst rush defense in football with 164 rush yds allowed per game. Yes, they stopped Darren McFadden last week by letting him rush for -3 yds. However, the Raiders (lack of a) passing game, headed by JaMarcus Russell, wasn’t exactly spreading the field and putting up a threat. Essentially, this just meant that Houston could stack eight or nine men in the box and stop the run.

Now this week, Houston can’t do that against Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, and Anquan Boldin. Well, not unless they want to allow 500 passing yds.

So, the running lanes will be open for Hightower this week. Plus, if they aren’t, Hightower has proven to be a reliable pass-catching RB with 20 receptions in three games.

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