Week 5 delivered a few exciting finishes and big time performances. I was at the Bears game in Kansas City where Jamaal Charles tore his ACL on a non-contact injury. Charles is one of my favorite players to watch and watching him in person confirmed the level of athlete that flashes on the TV screen. My heart goes out to him and his family as he starts the recovery process and I hope he can get back to something close to where he has historically been. If you happen to have Charles on your fantasy squad, it's a tough blow for your team as well as you will be unable to replace his production. Injuries happen; it is part of the game, and now the real work starts as the rest of the year will be without your 1st rounder. Let's get into the bullets.
- Our old friend Josh McCown paced the field with 457 yards and 3 total TDs. Hopefully you read last week's preview column where I called out McCown as a good play (ignore all the advice that didn't pan out). Sound off in the comments if you made the bold play but whatever you do, please sit him against the Broncos this weekend.
- Eli Manning set a career high in attempts as he led the Giants to a late victory in a highly entertaining game against the 49ers. That last TD catch was a thing of beauty but the throw was a crazy accurate pass. Eli is off to a really nice start and it is safe to say that he is the preferred Manning to own at this point.
- Aaron Rodgers had his second straight down week, turning the ball over twice. I mention this as 16 QBs had better days. Sometimes, it makes sense to play matchups and trust your gut. Sound off below if you made a gutsy benching and it paid off.
- If Andy Dalton can put up 331 yards and 3 total scores against the Seattle defense, it is time to trust him. If you drafted Dalton as a backup to a marquee name, shop around your starter to a QB needy team for a skill position player and hand over the keys to Dalton.
- I assume everyone saw Doug Martin's big game coming and started him with confidence this week...
- We're still waiting for the first Todd Gurley TD, but I think all Gurley owners are excited about the last two weeks. Gurley carried 30 times (!) for 159 yards against the Packers Sunday. I have Gurley on one team and took him 51st overall (1st pick in 6th round) and it might be the pick that makes me a contender. Hold onto this guy.
- DeMarco Murray had his first legitimate game of the season with 120 YFS and a TD. If you're uneasy about the long term prospects of the Eagles, it might be time to try and shop Murray.
- Thomas Rawls likely won't have much value when Marshawn Lynch is active, but keep in mind that Lynch has a history of back issues that could shelf him at a moment's notice. If you're a Lynch owner, keep Rawls or try to pick him up if he's dropped when Lynch comes back. He's shown enough to be the full time back in an offense that likes to run the ball.
- DeAndre Hopkins is ridiculous. He's clearly the only viable threat in the Texans passing game and he still was able to turn 14 targets into 11 grabs for 169 yards. I tried and failed to pull Hopkins away in a trade last week and after the nationally televised game where he dominated, I doubt anyone will let him go.
- I'm all on board for the Odell Beckham Jr. before the whistle. Afterwards...I'm already getting irritated. Rule #1 - Don't hurt yourself on celebrations.
- Those Jaguars receivers (Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson) both put up nice days against a bad Bucs defense. Bortles has a big arm and he's likely to throw a lot over the rest of the year. Hurns might still be available in your league.
- Last call on Willie Snead. Drew Brees looked Snead's way 11 times on Sunday, which led to 6 catches for 141 yards. Put in a claim on the waiver wire this week and play him on Thursday if you need help. Brees will keep throwing all year and Snead has solidified his spot.
- If you would've asked me who Gary Barnidge was a month ago, I would've guessed you were talking about your dentist, but he has put up three good weeks in a row. At a position with Gronk and not a lot behind him, Barnidge appears to have season long relevance.
- That Antonio Gates game was coming a mile away. Back off suspension, Gates put up a vintage performance with 9 catches for 92 yards and 2 scores. Rivers loves Gates. It is known.
- Tyler Eifert put up his second big game of the season. Attached to the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals squad, Eifert is someone you can't sit, despite the fact that he can disappear. Expect a good day against the Bills this weekend.
- Matt Forte - Forte managed only 71 yards on 18 carries but chipped in 38 yards on 5 receptions, including the big go-ahead TD at the end of the game. Forte again topped 100 yards from scrimmage and currently leads the league in rushing yards and is second in yards from scrimmage. He's on pace for 1,400 yards rushing and 547 yards receiving.
- Martellus Bennett - The Unicorn was the focal point of the KC defense all day and his numbers reflected that - 4 catches on 11 targets for 32 yards. Tight ends can disappear on your fantasy team and this was one of those days for Bennett. Look for more success against the Lions.
- Jay Cutler - After a slow start, Jay paid the fantasy bills in the 4th quarter, finishing with 252 yards, 2 TD and 1 turnover. It was a much better real life day for Cutler as he was constantly under pressure and made a lot of crafty moves in the pocket to keep plays alive. These numbers won't carry your fake franchise, but they won't lose it for you either. Brighter days are ahead as we get healthier.
- Marquess Wilson - Wilson caught 6 of 8 targets for 85 yards and a score on Sunday. For the second week in a row, Wilson played well overall and put up respectable numbers. I don't know that he can retain this value when Alshon returns but it was nice to see as a Bears fan.
- Jeremy Langford - Langford only received 2 carries on Sunday but he did catch a nice pass split out wide. He was covered by Derrick Johnson and ran a slant route, beating a fast linebacker for a nice gainer. It was an impressive play for the rookie.
- Alshon Jeffery - Injured and did not play.