Fantasy Fever: Week 5  From image

Fantasy Fever: Week 5

Fantasy Football Advice for Week 5

By Joel Beall,
October 7, 2010

Every Tuesday during the NFL season, will release its fantasy projections for the upcoming week. The statistical inputs to the thousands of NFL games simulated are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth chart and statistically-based player rankings. In addition to our computer forecasts, will also offer a "creative" perspective at its fantasy football coverage in a weekly feature called "Fantasy Fever." Enjoy.

Start 'Em:

QB: Sam Bradford, Rams. The 2008 Heisman winner has been quietly effective the past three games, passing for 691 yards with 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. This week's matchup against the Lions, who've surrendered 8 aerial touchdowns and currently rank 26th in passing defense, should prove prosperous for the young QB from Oklahoma.

RB: Cedric Benson, Bengals. Benson, coming off a career year in 2009, has been somewhat stuck in stall. Through four games, the Bengal back has 262 yards and two touchdowns. Luckily for Benson, Tampa Bay comes into town on Sunday, as the Buccaneers are allowing 141.3 yards a contest thus far in 2010. Additionally, Benson has historically performed well against the NFC South, averaging 71 yards a contest. If Benson can't thrive in this matchup, owners might want to look in other directions for running back production.

WR: Marques Colston, Saints. Drew Brees has a penchant for spreading the love on offense, as six players have already registered double-digit receptions for the season. Yet traditionally, Colston has been Brees' favorite target, gathering 285 catches in four seasons prior to 2010. While Colston hasn't lived up to his fantasy hype in the first four games (18 receptions, 190 yards, 0 touchdowns), a favorable matchup with Arizona should provide Colston an opportunity to explode.

Brandon Pettigrew

TE: Brandon Pettigrew, Lions. After a so-so rookie season (30 receptions, 346 yards and 2 touchdowns in 11 games) Pettigrew has emerged as one of the top tight-ends of 2010. The former 1st-rounder has garnered 22 balls for 249 yards, giving Detroit a solid compliment to WR Calvin Johnson. A battle with St. Louis should produce some offensive fireworks, giving Pettigrew numerous chances to put up points this week.

DEF: Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagle defense has been hit-or-miss this season, but faces a favorable opponent in San Francisco this week. The 49er offense has been woeful, scoring just five touchdowns through four games. The team had hoped to change their fortunes by firing offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, but the results have remained the same.

Sit 'Em:

QB: Kyle Orton, Broncos. Orton has been this season's statistical surprise, accruing 1,419 yards and 6 touchdowns in four games. However, Denver has yet to face a formidable foe. That sentiment will change this Sunday as the Broncos head into Baltimore to face a top-5 defense in the Ravens. While Orton remains a solid play for the rest of the season, keep him on the bench if other options are available.

RB: Ray Rice, Ravens. The Baltimore medical staff claim Rice is back to 100% and the former Rutgers star did participate in practices this week. However, Rice has been a bust through the first quarter of the season. Although it's tough to keep a #1 fantasy pick on the bench, Rice might be better suited sitting out until he proves he can regain last season's form.

WR: Percy Harvin, Vikings. The arrival of Randy Moss should open the field for the reigning Rookie of the Year. Yet, Minnesota's matchup against the stout Jet defense will not provide many opportunities for the Vikings to strut their stuff. Wait a few weeks for the Minnesota offense to get accustomed to Moss before employing Harvin.

TE: Greg Olsen, Bears. Todd Collins. 'Nough said.

DEF: Jacksonville Jaguars. On paper, a battle with Buffalo seems promising. But since taking over the reins from Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick has been surprisingly effective, throwing for 375 yards, running for another 92, and accounting for 4 scores. With distraction Marshawn Lynch now in Seattle, the Bills could find new life. Best to leave the Jags at home this week.

Captain Clutch

Drew Brees Many a fantasy owner owe thanks to Brees

Fantasy Flashback Performance: It is not an aberration for Drew Brees to amass 300 yards and 3 touchdowns in a game. So at first glance, a 328-yard, 3-TD endeavor against the Falcons on Monday Night Football, while impressive, would not be a stat line that would provoke uproar. However, as most fantasy aficionados can attest, Week 14 is the last week of the regular season or 1st round of the playoffs in their FFB leagues. If Peyton Manning has the reputation of fantasy kryptonite (thanks to the Colts' pension of sitting their starters in the final weeks), then Brees rightfully deserves the classification of "clutch." Here's a breakdown of Brees' stats from Week 14-17 the past three seasons:

2009 (3 games): 852 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT
2008 (4 games): 1,199 yards, 10 TDs, 3 INT
2007 (4 games): 1,247 yards, 8 TDs, 3 INT

Screw Canton; when Brees decides to hang 'em up, he deserves immediate enshrinement in the Fantasy Hall of Fame. Other active first balloters: Wes Welker, Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs (representing the entire Chicago defense), Ladainian Tomlinson (despite killing teams in '08 and '09), and Brian Westbrook (although constantly injured, always came through as a mid-round steal). Notable exclusions: Brett Favre (brutal from '05-'08), Peyton Manning (never reliable during the fantasy postseason), Reggie Wayne (ditto), Tom Brady (his 2008 injury ruined thousands of fantasy teams), Randy Moss (the Oakland years), and Terrell Owens (self-explanatory).

Waiver Wire Watch: Everyone knows about Ryan Torain. A running back that's getting considerably less pub is Tampa Bay's LeGarrette Blount. You might remember Mr. Blount from his roundhouse punch to Boise State's Byron Hout, which led to a suspension that cost Blount most of his senior season at Oregon. Blount went undrafted and played with Tennessee during the preseason, but was waived on September 5. Tampa claimed him the next day, and Blount made his NFL debut in Week 3 with 6 carries for 27 yards and a touchdown. Coach Raheem Morris recently announced that Blount will be receiving more carries, specifically in the red zone. Blount could be useful as a Bye week fill-in.

This Week in Kevin Walter: While it's been established that Walter transcends conventional WR expectation, even K-Money has occasional limitations. With Andre Johnson out, Jacoby Jones injured, and Arian Foster suspended for a quarter, #83 was "held" to 4 receptions and 35 yards in Sunday's win over Oakland. However, the Texan running game was able to stampede the Raiders for 250 yards, undoubtedly because the Silver-and-Black were too enamored stopping the Texas Tornado.
Walter's 2010 stats:20 receptions, 242 yards, 3 touchdowns.
Walter's 2010 CBC (Cornerback Body Count) : 6

John Carney

Rookie Review: Jermaine Gresham is not putting up the same numbers as Aaron Hernandez, but the Bengal tight-end is becoming an integral part of the Cincinnati passing game. Sam Bradford's favorite target at Oklahoma, Gresham has quickly developed a bond with Carson Palmer. Gresham has been targeted 27 times and is third on the team in receptions with 18 catches. Gresham could prove to be a solid fantasy tight-end in the latter parts of the season.

Gatorade Shower Goes To: John Carney, Saints. Carney, the 46-year-old kicker who hadn't played since December 2009, was signed by New Orleans in wake of Garrett Hartley's abysmal start. The signing produced immediate dividends, as Carney's three field goals proved to be the difference in a 16-14 victory over Carolina.

Personal Foul On: Maybe Jay Cutler lingers in the pocket. But 10 sacks? I'm going out on a limb and saying the line might be partially at fault.

Varsity Blues Quote of the Week:

Coach Kilmer: You got to be the dumbest smart kid I know.

Let us know what you think of's Fantasy Fever. Shoot us an email at

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