Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 5: Fantasyland turns topsy-turvy, again

So it appears Tom Brady isn’t quite finished yet.

And the Patriots defense that cost me a win last week by actually producing negative points proved they can still be a formidable fantasy play.

The Matt Asiata juggernaut hit a serious speed bump on Thursday night, but Eddie Lacy is back in fine form.

Any worries about Arian Foster’s health were put aside in Dallas, for one week anyway. But the natives are getting restless waiting for LeSean McCoy to break out. If he doesn’t have a solid outing against the Giants on Sunday night, his fantasy owners might start calling him “Trady.”

Week 5 also brought us a monster Demaryius Thomas sighting along with an early exit for Calvin Johnson.

Martellus Bennett disappeared, Jimmy Graham left with a shoulder injury before he could offer much help and Antonio Gates worked his way back into the Chargers’ game plan after a miserable two-week absence.

Meanwhile, only Peyton Manning put up gaudier numbers than Austin Davis on Sunday. Yes, that Austin Davis.

Fantasy football is not for the faint of heart. And they don’t make it easy on us “gurus” either.


To win a fantasy championship, it helps to start with a great draft. But filling in your roster throughout the season with the right free agents is also important. Here's a look at players worth considering, and others who would look better in someone else's lineup.

Catch ‘em while you can

Branden Oliver, RB, Chargers. Ignore the name on his jersey. Oliver is the reincarnation of Darren Sproles in San Diego. The undrafted rookie stepped in after Donald Brown was concussed and trampled over the Jets’ (formerly) league-best rush defense. Imagine what he could do against the lowly Raiders next weekend.

Andre Williams, RB, Giants. He posted 83 yards and a TD against the Falcons and will get the start next week if Rashad Jennings’ knee injury keeps him sidelined. The rookie isn’t much of a receiving threat, but he’s a powerful runner and an effective goal line back.

Ronnie Hillman, RB, Broncos. Montee Ball was flirting with bust status before pulling up with a severe groin injury Sunday. He is expected to be out for an extended period, leaving the backfield in a likely committee situation headed by Hillman. But C.J. Anderson and Juwan Thompson will compete for touches as well, making Hillman a risky play. Anderson was a healthy scratch this week, because he doesn’t contribute on special teams; but he arguably has more upside than Hillman.

Brian Quick, WR, Rams. Now in his third season, Quick has never finished among the Top 100 fantasy receivers. And yet, with third-stringer Austin Davis at the controls, he has suddenly become a fantasy force, amassing 322 yards and 3 TDs in his first four games. Stranger things have happened; but not many.

Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, Giants. The rookie excelled in his long-awaited debut, reeling in four receptions for 44 yards and a touchdown. The 12th overall draft pick obviously has talent, and Eli Manning appears more than happy to exploit it. Victor Cruz and Reuben Randle are still above him in the pecking order, but Beckham will push for playing time. Randle’s days as a starter may be limited.

Don’t be fooled

Mike Vick, QB, Jets. I predicted last week that he would take over for Geno Smith soon. What I failed to note is that his play-making abilities would be squandered amid the lack of talent surrounding him. Regardless who gets the start, no quarterback on this team merits roster consideration.

Toby Gerhart, RB, Jaguars. With just 216 combined yards and one TD on the season, it’s clear that Gerhart is a bust in Jacksonville. There’s no reason to hang onto him now, especially given his ankle injury and the sorry state of his winless team.

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