Sunday, October 5, 2014

Week 5 fantasy football tips for your lineup

Week 5 is here with just two teams on a BYE (Miami and Oakland who played in London last week), and off a week where the (once) great Tom Brady looked like he is swiftly ready for the fantasy football waiver wire (Brady is under 60 percent for the season on completion percentage and averaging a paltry 197.8 yards passing per game). I called this last week saying the heyday for Tom Brady has come and gone (and start Blake Bortles instead). So, let's continue to work to stay one step ahead! Here's a look at tips for Week 5 and sleepers to consider for your lineup. 

DeMarco Murray has opened with four straight games to start the season with 100 rushing yards and score a rushing touchdown - it is truly rarified air. Jim Brown owns the record at 6 games, followed by O.J. Simpson (5), and then Emmitt Smith and now Murray at 4. Murray remains the top back in fantasy for Week 5. 

Eli Manning is finding his groove. It's not surprising that Manning started slow as the team installed a completing new offense new Ben McAdoo. Manning completed just 61% of his passes in Weeks 1 and 2 (that’s darn near Tom Brady levels!), but he’s completed 73% the last two weeks. He’s on fire and impossible not to start this week at home against the Falcons. Manning threw his 238th career touchdown last week, passing Jim Kelly and moving into 20th all-time. 

Staying with the Giants, I have running back Rashad Jennings as a Top 3 option this week. The Atlanta Falcons have been an absolute sieve on defense against the run (ranked 28th, including getting shredded for 241 yards last week at Minnesota). Jennings had just 13 carries in the Giants’ last game, but that was mainly due to that game being out of hand and letting rookie Andre Williams get some game action. Prior to that Jennings was averaging 25.3 touches per game. A full 10 days to rest since their last game is a plus as well.

Everything adds up here for Matthew Stafford to tear it up this week. Buffalo has been super stout against the run (4th against) while weak against the pass (27th against) - if Detroit is going to do damage, it will be via the air (especially with Joique Bell likely out with a concussion). Perhaps most importantly, Calvin Johnson should be back healthy, while Lions look to move to 4-1. 

Look for Cam Newton to get his act together fantasy-wise a little this week. His ribs are another week healed and his ankle is reportedly feeling better as well - head coach Ron Rivera has said they plan to let Cam be Cam a little bit more this week. They need to after getting demolished last week against Steve Smith and the Baltimore Ravens. The Panthers have fallen to 2-2 and need to come out and get a win. I think they do so this week. Kelvin Benjamin is on pace for 84 receptions, 1,316 yards and 12 TDs for the season. Benjamin could have a 2-TD game in this one. 

Giovani Bernard is simply a super safe elite back - he was the 14th-best running back in Week 1, the 3rd-best running back in Week 2, and the 8th-best running back in Week 3. He is also due to take one to the house. The Bengals are off a BYE and have had plenty of time to devise a gameplan, and did you see the way Jamaal Charles abused the Patriots defense last week? 

Nick Novak has now made 27 field goals in a row and is the number one kicker heading into Week 5. Keep him locked in your lineup – the Chargers don’t have their BYE week until Week 10. 

Daily fantasy football: My lineup from last week was a little middle-of-the-pack (Donald Brown was a brown banana in particular) so let’s work on a winner here. My Week 5 lineup is: QB Eli Manning ($7,300), RB DeMarco Murray ($9,000), RB Rashad Jennings ($7,200), WR Percy Harvin ($7,600), WR Kelvin Benjamin ($7,100), WR Sammy Watkins ($6,600), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins ($4,700), K Steven Hauschka ($5,200), Philadelphia Defense ($5,300). 

Percy Harvin isn't a sleeper per se, but I think he is a sneaky play for a Top 10 week on Monday Night Football. The Seahawks have had a week off to prepare for this one and face a Washington team whose strength on defense is stopping the run. Look for Russell Wilson to Harvin to have a strong game. Washington has allowed 300-plus yards in back-to-back games and 82 points in their last two games. Harvin is also from Virginia so this is a bit of a homecoming game for him as an added wild card factor. 

With Mike Evans out for a few weeks there is an opportunity for targets for someone in Tampa. Louis Murphy should draw the start in his absence. Murphy saw 11 targets last week and converted six of them for 99 yards. He and Mike Glennon had a chance to work together on the reserve team. The other sleeper is tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who saw 7 targets last week and played in all 71 snaps. This week’s game could be a shootout against the Saints, and they rank 30th against the pass. 

I am adding Joe Flacco here. Joe Flacco? Sleeper? Flacco has two 300-yard games on the season, and 7 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions - the Ravens likely will need to keep up with the Colts in the dome. 

St. Louis wide receiver (and former Appalachian State star) Brian Quick has come into his own here in his third year. He’s posted between 14-17 fantasy points every game this season and should be good for another solid game. He and Austin Davis have developed a nice rapport and the Rams will likely have plenty of snaps in this game playing against the Eagles and their up-tempo approach. 

Someone has to carry the ball this week in Carolina and it looks like undrafted rookie Darrin Reaves will have to carry the bulk of the load this week. I certainly would prefer to have better options but if you are in a bind somehow Reaves should be available on your waiver wire. 

Starting Cleveland Brown receivers may not sound super attractive but Miles Austin and Andrew Hawkins are both legit #3 fantasy receivers. Austin comes into Week 5 with touchdowns in back-to-back games and Hawkins is ranked 19th in targets among receivers (and despite already having had his BYE week). 


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