Week 5 Recap: Shootout In Texas
October 7, 2013 | Jeff
In the best game of the day, and the young season, the Cowboys and Broncos duked it out on Sunday and the outpouring of fantasy points was simply incredible. 99 total points were scored in the game, as Denver prevailed 51-48, but we aren’t here to discuss the final score. Would you like a quarterback throwing for over 500 yards? Would you enjoy nine touchdown catches and four different players topping 100 yards receiving? You got it! Even both lead running backs found the end zone in this game that perfectly defined the word “shootout.” The usual suspects (Tony Romo, Peyton Manning, Dez Bryant etc..) carved out large chunks of this box score, but a few other fantasy options made statements as well. Let’s take a look at those players and other highlights and lowlights from Sunday’s fake football action…
Julius Thomas: Thomas found the endzone twice on Sunday, giving him six scores on the season, and topped 100 yards receiving for the first time since Week 1. Peyton Manning has an eye for Thomas in the red zone and this duo will keep pumping out big time fantasy points with matchups against Jacksonville, Washington and San Diego upcoming over the next month. If you drafted a high-end tight end and picked up Thomas after his Week 1 explosion, get your Gordon Gekko on and flip one of your assets into some prime time profit.
Terrance Williams: While the perennial hamstring issues of Miles Austin have predictably kept him out over the last two weeks, Williams has been on quite a year. The Dallas rookie caught all four of his targets on Sunday for a monstrous 151 yards including an 82 yard touchdown. Although Williams is still mighty rough around the edges (his Week 4 late game fumble quickly comes to mind), he has now racked up 222 receiving yards over the last two weeks and has presumably carved himself out a role in Dallas’ offense even when Austin returns.
P.S. Don’t hurry back Miles. Terrance and I thank you.
Pierre Thomas: After Darren Sproles caught seven passes for 114 yards in Week 4, it was Thomas’ turn to be the PPR running back of the week, as PT snagged all nine of his targets for 55 yards and two touchdowns. Thomas continued his weak rushing numbers on the season with only 36 yards on 19 carries, but his use in the passing game made him a nice fantasy play for folks suffering from bye week issues. “Bye week issues” is probably something you don’t want to admit to your psychiatrist. Thomas remains a plug-in flex option as normal.
Alshon Jeffery: Leading the NFL in receiving yardage on Sunday (by a country and/or city mile) was Chicago second year wide out Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery turned his 13 targets, more than twice the amount of any other Chicago receiver, into 10 catches for 218 yards and a touchdown. This outburst comes right on the heels of a 107 yards performance in Week 4, giving Jeffery 325 yards receiving in two weeks. The scary thing about Alshon’s season is that it may only be heating up. The Bears get the New York Giants and Washington Redskins in Weeks 6 and 7 and those teams break into hives at even the mention of the word “defense.” Feel free to give your trust to Awesome Alshon.
Zac Stacy: In running back committee news, the Rams’ backfield was essentially split on Sunday with Stacy grabbing the upper hand. The carry count was 14 to 13 in favor of Stacy over Daryl Richardson, but Stacy turned his opportunities into 78 yards while Richardson couldn’t crack the 50 yard mark. Neither back was targeted in the passing game, so don’t expect Stacy (who should start next week) to do too much going forward. Now that he is at least fantasy relevant, can somebody get this guy a K for his first name? No? How about an H?
Mike Wallace: South Beach Mike led the NFL in targets on Sunday with 16, but only caught seven of them as he tallied 105 yards receiving. Lower catch rates aren’t a shocker for a deep threat like Wallace, but it neatly illustrates his boom/bust nature. Through five games, Wallace has two games over 100 yards receiving and three games under 25 yards receiving. Unless you have a more reliable option hiding in your back pocket, this is going to be a roller coaster ride all season long. Keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times.
Justin Blackmon: After serving a four-game suspension, Blackmon was back in the mix on Sunday and showed no signs of rust. Five catches for 136 yards and a score was the final line for Blackmon, who is going to creep his way into WR2 territory in no time. Blackmon’s return also didn’t spoil things for Cecil Shorts, who was still very productive. Let’s be honest, the Jags will be trailing from kickoff to final horn every week so there will be plenty of passes (of varying shades of accuracy) to go around.
Chris Johnson: Week 5 was finally a solid fantasy performance from the artist formerly known as CJ2K, but it was shrouded in smoke and mirrors. Johnson took a circus-like flip from Ryan Fitzpatrick to the house for a 49 yard score, which is where most of his production came from. Send out trade proposals to every owner in your league in hopes of ridding yourself of this guy, as hopefully one of your league mates gets sucked in by this fluky stat line. Chris Johnson stinks and gets Seattle and San Francisco next.
Hakeem Nicks: Nicks finally decided to grace the fake football world with his presence this week, as he caught nine balls for 142 yards that should have belonged to Victor Cruz if everything in the world was fair and just. As it turns out, life isn’t fair so Nicks, and team mate Rueben Randle, hogged the fantasy production as Eli attempted to throw his team to a win which never came. The target totals were fairly even (Nicks-12, Randle-13, Cruz-12) so I would expect the best receiver of the bunch, Cruz, to bounce back next week at Chicago. The moral here is that Philadelphia’s defense is horrendous, and Eli is going to have to prove his merit against a real defense before Nicks and Randle can be fully trusted.
Ray Rice: After the Ravens bafflingly (just go with it) refused to use him in Week 4, Rice found the end zone twice on Sunday en route to a nice fantasy day. The two touchdowns essentially masked a poor rushing effort (74 yards on 27 carries), but the six catches were nice to see. Even with a decent day, it sure feels like Rice’s arrow is titled downward. Hold him for now unless a league mate blows you away with a trade offer that includes a pony, or a cruise, or you could settle for just some good fantasy players. Your choice.
Calvin Johnson: The biggest impact made by a Lion was made by the great Megatron who didn’t even play. Johnson sat out Detroit’s game on Sunday and watched his squad melt down offensively to the tune of a whopping nine points. Johnson should be back for Week 6’s tilt with Cleveland and the Detroit offense should get back into working order. Matthew Stafford appeared to be missing the gas pedal on Sunday with Megatron on the sideline, so I’m sure our favorite chubby quarterback will be eager to have his fancy receiver back.
Colin Kaepernick: The 49ers weren’t required to do any heavy lifting on Sunday, thanks to one Matt Schaub, so Kaepernick’s stat line was underwhelming once again. Although game flow hurt him in this one, Kap still hasn’t topped 167 yards passing in a game since Week 1 and is now a high end QB2 in my book (it’s good you should read it and it smells like the library). I personally own Kaepernick in a few places and I will only be cherry picking good matchups with him from here on out. He simply isn’t producing enough on the ground to make up for the lack of passing numbers thus far.
Danny Woodhead: Once again, Woody was a PPR monster as he caught all nine of his targets for 58 yards and a touchdown. In even better news for you greedy Woodhead owners, Ryan Mathews left Sunday night/Monday morning’s game with a head injury. It’s not like Mathews was hurting Woodhead’s value anyway, but that’s just some Chargers colored sprinkles on this cake. That is 31 catches through five games and this PPR train isn’t slowing down.