Welcome to Week 5 of the 2011 NFL season, and the latest Breast Cancer Awareness edition of the Fantasy Football Feature. If you’re not yet familiar, this is a fantasy football mash-up open thread. Feel free to throw out any sit/start troubles your having, or any other fantasy football related questions, thoughts, ideas you might have or even have live trade negotiation.
Week 4 in Review:
The quarterbacks are back! Well, at least a few of them. Aaron Rodgers leaps to the front of the pack with an awesome performance against Denver, dropping 408 passing yards, 4 TDs, and rushing for 36 yards, 2 TDs for a whopping 46.92 fantasy points. Rookie phenom Cam Newton (33.46) is right back on pace, putting up 374 passing yards, 1 TD, and rushed for another 2 TDs in Chicago. Finally having numbers worthy of his draft position, Mike Vick had 31.14 fantasy points and did it without a rushing TD, but passed for 416, 2 TDs and rushed for 75. A QB surprise this week came in the likes of Tarvaris Jackson, 6% owned, who dropped 24.36 points. Cincinnati rookie, Andy Dalton (21.12), has been up and down fantasy wise. There's a handful of other guys that have been back and forth, and some lower profile 15ish-20ish (weekly) guys, which actually includes, our very own, Browns QB Colt McCoy (18.60). The last QB I'll mention is, number 2 overall fantasy QB, Tom Brady, who had a down week with only 16.94, which seems for this season is as bad as it gets for him.
After missing Week 3 with a hamstring injury, Ohio State alum Beanie Wells had his first real fantasy explosion this week, doing it all on the ground, 138 yards, 3 TDs on 27 carries for a total of 31.80, capping off a great season so far. Possibly a first for Bears OC Martz, Matt Forte ran the ball 25 times for 205 yards and a TD, adding to his nice season. One of the shockers, Pierre Garcon with his sorta' new QB Painter, connected on 2 passes for 146 yards and 2 TDs, thanks to some shoddy tackling attempts by TB's defense. Guess who's back folks?! That's right, Arian Foster (22.60)! In his first full game this season, last year's leader ran over Pittsburgh for 155 yards and a TD. Another "Well, finally!" performance was delivered by the Giant's Hakeem Nicks (22.20) who caught an astonishing 10 passes for 162 yards and a TD. Some of the more obvious great performances include, Wes Welker's 21.80 and Calvin Johnson aka MEGATRON's 21.60, a huge factor in Detroit's incredible 4-0 start. Up and down for RB's are Michael Turner (20.80) and LeGarrette Blount (20.10), but both have proven to be must starts on any fantasy team. Some final notes, Ryan Torain (19.50) might be something, Rob Gronkowski (1.50) dropped off blanketed by Oakland, while Jimmy Graham (19.20) seems to be emerging.
Working the Wire:
It isn't all that surprising, but it seems that the Waiver gems are getting harder and harder to find each week. Obviously, the longer a guy has to prove he's worth something in fantasy football, the more likely he is to be picked up. Even with that, there's still always at least a few that might be worth adding to your bench just in case the break out. As always: Keep in mind, owners vary in every league so some of these guys are going to be harder to grab than others. The UDBNFL waiver wire, for example, is still fierce. (Lastly, the ownership percentage is going up on these guys every minute, so they are not exact.)
- Stevan Ridley (NE-RB-21.90) - Owned in 13% of Yahoo! Leagues - DEEP - I've said it about the New England back field before, but you can never really tell who's coming or going. He did great this week, but it's no guarantee that he'll be the guy the next week.
- Ryan Torain (Was-RB-19.50) - Owned in 20% of Yahoo! Leagues - DEEP - He had some solid production when he was in last season, the was nowhere to be seen until this week. It's a similar situation where you can't really count on anything just yet. Wait and see.
- Pierre Garcon (Ind-WR-41.50) - Owned in 49% of Yahoo! Leagues - DEEP - This guy almost made my fool's gold list this week. His performance has all the characteristics to do so, where he got all his fantasy production from limited receptions (only 2), aided by bad defense.
- Jared Cook (Ten-TE-20.90) - Owned in 28% of Yahoo! Leagues - DEEP - It's not every week that he's going to be defended by a super slow LB and it's not every week that a young defense won't put in the effort to tackle him. I expect him to slip right back into fantasy obscurity.
How healthy is Arian Foster, and how much action will he see Sunday?
He's back, baby! Haha! Ok, obviously I'm excited about this one, as a Foster owner myself. Arian Foster finally got the full load that countless fantasy owners were waiting for and he made the most of it. Averaging 5.2 yards per carry on 30 carries is nothing short of what anyone could have asked for on his very first full game back coming off the "anti-awesomeness" hamstring injury. His backup, while still playing solid with the opportunities given to him, Ben Tate, only had 2 carries. Of course, now we'll want to see some consistency from Foster, but based on this week, it is promising. It feels good to be able to finally say that in this segment, maybe next week I won't have to include this question.
What happened to Andre Johnson?
Despite what it may have looked like to some of us in the Live Game Thread on Sunday, Andre Johnson did not blowout his knee, and doesn't have a torn MCL or ACL. However, that's just about where the good news ends for the Houston wide receiver. It turns out Andre Johnson suffered a hamstring issue during Sundays game against the Steelers. Despite several MRIs, they either don't know, or are not yet willing to divulge the extent of the injury. Houston HC, Gary Kubiak said, "We're dealing with a hamstring — we know that. We're still in an evaluation process. We're going to get a couple different opinions over the course of the next two days. Once we get a better evaluation and see how he progresses over the next two days, I can probably answer your question better." He isn't exactly ruled out for the upcoming Week 5 game vs. Oakland, but it seems extremely unlikely.
Other injury concerns:
- With injuries to both Rashard Mendenhall and backup Mewelde Moore, it is expected that Isaac Redman will get the start, which has him flying off the waiver wire. I'm not buying into him until he proves something first. It could be worth it if you're really desperate for a starter.
- Despite that being adamant that he'll be ready to play next week, Miles Austin did participate in the Dallas Cowboy's bye-week practice on Tuesday. With the bye week, there's no real sense of urgency, if you're an Austin owner, just be sure to keep an eye on it.
- If for some reason you're dealing with Ben Roethlisberger as your starting fantasy quarterback, you might want to be careful as he takes on one of the best defense in the league, Tennessee Titans, with a foot sprain. He is expected to play, but not be 100%.
Unofficial DBN Fan League Standings:
Through 4 Weeks:
After an abysmal record last season, despite solid scoring, I've come back in the best way possible. Even while losing my number one draft pick for the season, Jamaal Charles, I hit on enough guys after to lead the league in scoring by a wide margin and maintain the unbeaten record. In the chase right behind me, also unbeaten, is RandallPFloyd QB, Bross's team. Making the most out of his 9th overall spot, including a risk on the Buffalo Bills that paid off in a big way with Fred Jackson and Stevie Johnson. The biggest surprise to me personally, Colt's Cowboys, who has even started a few guys that weren't active that week. That hasn't stopped him from getting a solid 3 and 1 record, however. Golan, who had previously held the last place slot that I'm all to familiar with, bounced backed right into the running, despite being 1-3. What looked to be an awful move to trade into the last draft position may turn out to be a great move if guys like Hakeem Nicks and Steven Jackson can stay consistent. Landing Cam Newton, twice, was also a huge help. It's still early, but Husker's_Hounds, 110lbs Of Kosar, and last season's runner up, WV Brownies have some work to do.
Good luck in Week 5!
*Scores mentioned in the article are based on the Yahoo! Sports default settings, utilized by the Unofficial DBN Fan League.