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Week 5: The First Month in Review

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We are now done with the first quarter of football. There are still 12 games remaining on the schedule, but for fantasy owners, there are just eight or nine games left. Your goal from here is to try to win at least seven games. I've found that in most leagues, a 7-6 or 7-7 record will often sneak people into the playoffs. So if you are 2-4 or event 1-3, you need to try and win five or six games. It hasn't been easy with players not performing as expected.

This week we will look at how the key skill positions have performed according to where they were drafted by position. These players represent the bulk of the first four rounds of your draft.

QUARTERBACKS

So far, six of the top 12 quarterbacks have performed negatively with
Cam Newton and Tom Brady having the biggest dropoff of the group. I have an asterisk by Aaron Rodgers and Newton because they had a bye in Week 4. Rodgers is averaging 25.3 fantasy points per game and would be ranked 3rd overall. Newton is averaging 20 fantasy points and would rank 10th. Peyton Manning , Matt Ryan , Matthew Stafford and Robert Griffin III are playing better than their draft selection. Drew Brees and Andrew Luck are currently at the same spot they were drafted.

Drafted Player Rank +/-
1 Rodgers, Aaron GBP QB* 10 -9
2 Brees, Drew NOS QB 2 E
3 Manning, Peyton DEN QB 1 +2
4 Brady, Tom NEP QB 15 -11
5 Newton, Cam CAR QB* 26 -21
6 Ryan, Matt ATL QB 5 +1
7 Kaepernick, Colin SFO QB 19 -12
8 Stafford, Matthew DET QB 6 +2
9 Luck, Andrew IND QB 9 E
10 Griffin III, Robert WAS QB 8 +2
11 Romo, Tony DAL QB 13 -2
12 Wilson, Russell SEA QB 17 -5


RUNNING BACKS

Running backs have had a slow start to the season as seven of the top 12 have performed according to their draft spot with many of these players going in the first round of drafts. Ray Rice and C.J. Spiller have been the biggest disappointments, although Spiller played well in week 5. Adrian Peterson has played like the No. 1 pick. Running backs Jamaal Charles , LeSean McCoy , Marshawn Lynch and Matt Forte have played well to start the season.

Drafted Player Rank +/-
1 Peterson, Adrian MIN RB 1 E
2 Martin, Doug TBB RB 11 -9
3 Foster, Arian HOU RB 7 -4
4 Charles, Jamaal KCC RB 2 +2
5 Spiller, C.J. BUF RB 23 -18
6 Rice, Ray BAL RB 37 -31
7 McCoy, LeSean PHI RB 4 +3
8 Richardson, Trent IND RB 19 -11
9 Lynch, Marshawn SEA RB 6 +3
10 Forte, Matt CHI RB 3 +7
11 Morris, Alfred WAS RB 18 -7
12 Johnson, Chris TEN RB 22 -10


WIDE RECEIVERS

While many will point to running backs as reasons they are not winning games, it is the wide receiver position that had the most negative players on the list with nine. The most notable are Roddy White , Larry Fitzgerald and Vincent Jackson . Randle Cobb has an asterisk because he was on a bye in Week 4 but is averaging 20 points a game and would rank 6th. The three players that have performed better than their draft positions are Julio Jones , Demaryius Thomas and Victor Cruz .


Drafted Player Rank +/-
1 Johnson, Calvin DET WR 9 -8
2 Bryant, Dez DAL WR 7 -5
3 Green, A.J. CIN WR 11 -8
4 Marshall, Brandon CHI WR 10 -6
5 Jones, Julio ATL WR 1 +4
6 Thomas, Demaryius DEN WR 2 +4
7 Fitzgerald, Larry ARI WR 21 -14
8 Johnson, Andre HOU WR 14 -6
9 Cobb, Randall GBP WR* 22 -14
10 White, Roddy ATL WR 89 -79
11 Cruz, Victor NYG WR 3 +8
12 Jackson, Vincent TBB WR 37 -14


TIGHT ENDS

The tight end position has been mixed as we have seen players such as Jimmy Graham and Jordan Cameron play lights out but we have six of the top eight tight ends drafted with negative rankings starting with Rob Gronkowski . As we enter Week 5, we have not yet seen Gronkowski on the field. I look at him as a bust so far because owners drafted him as the 2nd tight end overall which is pretty high for a player that could miss five games and still has a bye week yet to come.

As I mentioned, you only have eight or nine games left in the fantasy regular season so if Gronkowski misses Week 5, you are using him for six or seven games at the most. That is a tough task to make the playoffs unless you were able to back him up with a decent option. It could pay off at the end of the season provided he stays healthy. Jermichael Finley and Greg Olsen had a bye in Week 4 so they would rank about 10th for Finley and 11th for Olsen. Jordan Cameron Owen Daniels and Antonio Gates are outperforming their draft positions while Jimmy Graham , Tony Gonzalez and Jared Cook have held their draft position. Cook surprisingly has done nothing since the first game of the season and is still in the top-10 in fantasy points among tight ends.

Drafted Player Rank +/-
1 Graham, Jimmy NOS TE 1 E
2 Gronkowski, Rob NEP TE 80 -78
3 Witten, Jason DAL TE 10 -8
4 Davis, Vernon SFO TE 11 -7
5 Gonzalez, Tony ATL TE 5 E
6 Finley, Jermichael GBP TE* 17 -11
7 Olsen, Greg CAR TE* 13 -6
8 Rudolph, Kyle MIN TE 26 -18
9 Cook, Jared STL TE 9 E
10 Gates, Antonio SDC TE 3 +7
11 Daniels, Owen HOU TE 8 +3
12 Cameron, Jordan CLE TE 2 +10



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