Fantasy Rewind - Week 5
Hello once again, fantasy footballers! We're honed in on the fantasy landscape and aiming to get your team to 6-0 with the big boys. But those nuggets will have to wait until Thursday. Today we're taking a look back at Week 5 of the NFL season and its fantasy standouts.
Thursday's huge fantasy performer was running back Eddie Lacy. The second year back finally broke out of his early-season slump and rocked the Vikings by way of 105 yards rushing, two touchdowns and 27 yards receiving for good measure (25.2 fantasy points).
This was the reason fantasy owners drafted him early - and hopefully you've held on to him long enough to reap the benefits. The original Lacy owner in my league traded him mere days before this game, and is no doubt kicking himself (and rightfully so).
Finishing right behind Lacy was the Packers D/ST. They devoured Christian Ponder and the Vikings offense to the tune of two interceptions, one fumble recovery and the spectacular touchdown by Julius Peppers. They finished the week as the second highest scoring D/ST in the league this week (23.9 points), and are currently available in over 90% of leagues. I wouldn't jump up and grab them off of waivers, but they may be a sneaky play on a bye week - if the matchup is right.
Due to the barrage of points that Lacy rained down on fantasy opponents, that meant that Aaron Rodgers didn't need to be as effective. However, he still managed to toss for 156 yards and three touchdown passes - enough for a serviceable 18.2 fantasy points in ESPN standard leagues. That also translated to the receivers as Jordy Nelson only caught one pass on the night - a 66-yard touchdown (12.6 fantasy points), and Randall Cobb ended the night with three catches for 38 yards and a touchdown (9.8 fantasy points).
Let's take a look at some other players who made a fantasy splash in Week 5:
Studs of the Week
Demaryius Thomas' record-setting day in Denver was the fantasy high water mark of the week. His eight catches for 226 yards and two touchdowns tallied a whopping 34.6 fantasy points! His bulging stat line was highlighted by an 86-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. Hand-in-hand with Thomas' performance was the day that Peyton Manning had. On a day when Manning tossed his 500th caree touchdown pass, he finished the day with 479 yards passing and four touchdowns - good enough for 30.8 fantasy points.
Duds of the Week
San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree failed to produce on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Along with playing less than 60% of the Niners' offensive snaps, he only tallied one catch on four targets for 16 yards. Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett also had his worst outing of the year against Carolina on Sunday. The #1-ranked tight end only caught three passes for 17 yards for 1.7 fantasy points, despite averaging 11 per game so far in 2014.
Surprise of the Week
San Diego fourth string running back Brandon Oliver broke out in a big way on Sunday against the vaunted Jets run defense. With Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead out prior to the start of the game, and Donald Brown leaving in the first half with a concussion, Oliver took advantage of his opportunity by rushing for 114 yards and a touchdown while also catching four passes for 68 yards and another touchdown (30.2 fantasy points). Even if Donald Brown clears NFL protocol for Week 6, look for Oliver to get an expanded role at Oakland. Oliver is currently available in over 99% of leagues on ESPN.com - so put in your waiver claim now! (Unless you're in my league - then leave him be.)
Another exhausting week in the fantasy books. Thanks to Demariyus Thomas, Andrew Luck and Rob Gronkowski I am still sitting atop my league undefeated at 5-0. I know that first loss is coming at some point, but for now I'm going to keep the train rolling!