Week 5 Recap: Perfect Peyton
October 6, 2014 | Jeff
Sunday was filled with fantasy football action and plenty of real life NFL drama as late field goals, injuries, and dynamic performances flooded the scene. We have plenty to discuss here in our weekly Sunday recap as we breakdown the wonderful, the wounded, and the worrisome from Week 5. This week, we are led by two Broncos who went absolutely crazy and recorded stellar fantasy stat lines. Let’s dig right in…
Peyton Manning: Denver buried the previously unbeaten Arizona Cardinals on Sunday and they were led by the best quarterback on the planet, as Peyton Manning was feeding all his receiving options to the tune of 479 passing yards and four touchdowns. It was a performance straight out of 2013, with Peyton spreading the ball around at will including two touchdowns to each of the Thomas brothers. With Montee Ball now dealing with an injury (more on that later), Manning will continue to shred opposing teams through the air as he did this week. Next up for Peyton and his pals is a trip to MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Jets, who were torched by the Chargers in Week 5. Buckle up.
Demaryius Thomas: Leading the Denver Peyton Mannings in targets on Sunday was Demaryius Thomas, who caught 8 of 16 targets for an absurd 226 yards and two touchdowns. DT’s 226 yards on Sunday were 85 more than he had totaled in Denver’s first three games of the 2014 season, in the least surprising breakout performance in recent memory. Hopefully you fine fake footballers kept the faith in Thomas, as he remains a rock solid WR1 and will be raking in points moving forward.
Montee Ball: Ball’s disastrous 2014 season has officially moved to a new level, after he left Sunday’s game with a groin injury. Early reports out of Denver indicate that Ball will be out “for a while,” so it could be the Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson show moving forward. We will touch on that situation more in our Waiver Wire Madness column this week, but Ball owners need to start making alternate plans for the next few weeks.
Matt Forte: While the Bears were busy coughing up a lead to the Carolina Panthers, Matt Forte put together a running back PPR game for the ages, as he caught all twelve passes Jay Cutler sent his way while racking up 105 yards and a score through the air. The 12 catches brings Forte to 36 already this season, with a weekly average of 7.2 catches per contest as he continues to be a PPR monster. Next up for Forte is a trip to Atlanta to take on the buttery soft Falcons defense. There will be points.
Ben Tate: Returning from injury in Week 5 was Cleveland running back Ben Tate, who now has two rookie running back to contend with in his backfield. As it turns out, the youngsters are no threat to Tate’s workload, as he received 22 carries on Sunday while Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West combined for just 13. Tate turned his 22 carries into 123 yards (5.6 yards per carry) and looked solid in his return to action. With the ground-focused Browns feeding their backs at this clip, Tate will be a solid RB2 as long as he remains healthy.
Rashad Jennings: In a gravy matchup against Atlanta, Jennings bowed out early with a knee injury after tallying 72 total yards. An MRI is upcoming for Jennings, so we should know more information on his status early this week. After Jennings departed, rookie Andre Williams handled 20 carries and chipped in with 65 yards and a touchdown. If Jennings is out for multiple weeks, Williams will be a scorching hot waiver waiver commodity. Stay tuned.
Arian Foster: In the battle of the Lone Star State, it was the running backs who took over. Foster exploded for 157 yards on the ground including two touchdowns and looked liked his old self after dealing with hamstring trouble for the last few weeks. With the way in which the Texans feed Foster, he is a top-tier RB1 when healthy and his fantasy owners will just have to eat the injury issues as they happen. This was Foster’s third effort of over 100 yards and as long as he stays upright, he will be a fantasy force. Just be sure to keep Alfred Blue around in your back pocket in case of emergency.
DeMarco Murray: The other half of the Texas running back battle was DeMarco Murray, who didn’t find the end zone, but stacked up 192 total yards as Dallas beat Houston in overtime. This makes five straight games of 100+ yards for Murray, who is on pace for a serious Marshall Faulk/Barry Sanders/LaDanian Tomlinson type season in 2014. If you feel like Murray will hold up under this 400+ carry pace for the entirety of the season, then make sure to play the lottery this week. In all likelihood, Murray will break down at some point this season but we are fake footballers and not fortune tellers, so we will let the mountains of fantasy points keep rolling in while Murray is healthy.
Calvin Johnson: Megatron was “DecoyTron” again on Sunday as he caught just one pass for seven yards before eventually aggravating his troublesome ankle injury and leaving the game. It now seems silly of the Lions to keep Johnson active in hindsight, but these are the breaks in fantasy football land. I would bet that Johnson will miss a game or two in the next month before Detroit arrives at their bye week in Week 9. This will be tricky for fantasy owners, but simply declaring Megatron “out” prior to Week 6 would at least give owners a fair shot at finding a replacement, and give the stud receiver a better chance to get healthy for the stretch run. We will know more about the status of Johnson this week.
Branden Oliver: The surprise performance of the week was turned in by San Diego running back Branden Oliver, who took over after Donald Brown left with a concussion. Oliver received plenty of work as the Chargers crushed the Jets, and he found the end zone once on the ground and once through the air on his way to 182 total yards. Brown’s status is unknown at this point and Ryan Mathews will be back in a couple weeks, so Oliver’s shelf life may be short lived. However, the Chargers get to play the Bad News Bears, errr Raiders next week so he may be worth the waiver wire addition for Week 6 alone.
Tom Brady: Handsome Tom is indeed alive, after the world and fantasy football community left him for dead after his dreadful Week 5 Monday Night Football performance. Brady threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday night as the Patriots easily handled the Cininnati Bengals. This is a nice step in the right direction for Tom Brady, but I will need to see him string a couple solid performances together before he creeps back into QB1 territory. Tom will have a chance to do just that next week when New England travels to Buffalo to take on surprising Kyle Orton and the Bills.