Welcome to week 5 of the Brew Crew Corner. This is the first of many bye weeks. This week the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams and the Washington Redskins are off. You’re now faced with trying to fill in your roster as well as trying to replace players that are injured. If you read my article last week then hopefully you took my advice and made some moves to fill those holes before this week’s waiver request.
Not only is this the first round of bye weeks but we have also completed the first quarter of the NFL season. Let’s take a look at how this season is shaping up.
Through 4 weeks, who knew . . .
That Cam Newton would be 3rd in the NFL in passing yards.
That Chris Johnson would rank 24th in rushing yards with just 199.
That Beanie Wells would lead the league in rushing touchdowns with 5.
That Wes Welker is averaging 154 receiving yards per game.
While Chad Ochocinco is averaging 28.2 receiving yards per game and have no touchdowns.
That Scott Chandler would be second among tight ends with 4 touchdowns.
Through 4 weeks, who knew in Fantasy Leagues . . .
That Wes Welker is the top scoring fantasy player averaging 32.8 ppg.
That Cam Newton is the top fantasy quarterback.
While Matt Schaub is the 21st ranked quarterback.
That Santonio Holmes is averaging just 8.5 fantasy points per game.
That Holmes, Plaxico Burress and Derrek Mason have 91 fantasy points combined.
That Jimmy Graham is the top ranked tight end.
That the Baltimore Ravens’ defense has almost double the fantasy points (86) as the 9th ranked defense the Buffalo Bills (48).
That the Baltimore Ravens’ defense have scored more points in one game, three times more than the Miami Dolphins have scored all season.
The Golden Mug Award
Awarded to the fantasy player who came through for their team.
Hakeem Nicks– 10 receptions for 162 receiving yards 1 touchdown. When Nicks is healthy, he can be dominant but the fact is he’s always banged up which keeps him from being an elite receiver. He’s has a good match-up this week against the Rams.
Wes Welker– 9 receptions for 158 receiving yards 1 touchdown. Mr. Fantasy MVP so far this season. He’s just killing teams.
Matt Forte– 25 carries for 205 rushing yards and 1 touchdown. The past two games against the Panthers Forte has rushed for 371 yards and 3 touchdowns. Too bad they don’t play in the same division twice a year.
The Urinal Cake Award
Awarded to the fantasy player who you would like to, well you know.
Shonn Greene- 10 carries for 23 yards 0 touchdowns. I understand that the Ravens’ defense dominated the game but Greene is averaging 39.2 rushing yards per game with 1 touchdown.
Torrey Smith– 1 reception for 1 yard. After exploding on the Rams in week 3 becoming the hot waiver pick-up, Smith was a non factor the following week. Like I’ve said before, beware of the one week wonder.
Good quarterback match-ups this week:
Kevin Kolb against the Vikings. Kolb’s fantasy points have declined every week for the past three weeks but this is when he puts in a great performance. This could be a game similar to his week 1 match-up against the Panthers where he passed for over 300 yards. The Vikings have proved that they can blow any lead and are playing poorly against the pass. They are allowing 286.2 passing yards per game (28th) with six passing touchdowns allowed. The Vikings might be without Cornerback Antoine Winfield.
Cam Newton against the Saints. Most owners have not started Newton every game because they either have a viable QB1 or they worry that Newton will lay an egg. Well this is a good week to use Newton as a bye week fill in or if you are behind in the standings. There is going to be a lot of passing in this game and the Panthers could be playing from behind early. The Saints are allowing 254.0 passing yards per game (19th) and have given up eight passing touchdowns.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: Mathew Stafford- Currently 3rd in the league in touchdown passes, Stafford has found the magic formula for scoring, just throw it up to Calvin Johnson. Eight of Stafford’s 11 touchdowns have been thrown to Johnson and so in this game you can expect that combo to continue. Chicago has been struggling against the pass allowing 301.5 yards per game (29th) with seven touchdowns given up.
Good running back match-ups this week:
Fred Jackson against the Eagles. The Eagles are in a rut and their run defense is giving up yards at a rate of 5.3 yards per carry. The 30th ranked run defenses is allowing 139.5 rushing yards a game with three touchdowns. Jackson has been running well averaging 92.3 rushing yards and a touchdown per game.
Arian Foster against the Raiders. Foster owners were rewarded last week for being patient with him as he missed 2 1/2 games with a hamstring injury. He seems to be healthy and has a great matchup against the Raiders. The Raiders are 29th in yards allowed with 136.0 but it’s the league worst 5.9 yards per carry that really sticks out. If Foster could rack up the yards he did against the Steelers then he should have a monster day against Raiders.
Sleeper Pick of the Week: Mark Ingram– Ingram hasn’t put up great numbers so far in his rookie season but facing a poor Panthers’ defense that has some injuries is a good match-up. The Panthers are giving up rushing yards in huge chunks as witness last week with Matt forte’s 205 yard performance. The Panthers are allowing 143.8 rushing yards per game (31st) and 4 touchdowns.
Bad quarterback match-ups this week:
Matt Hasselbeck against the Steelers. Hasselbeck has been decent as a fantasy starter as he is the 9th best quarterback though four games. This week he’ll struggle facing the #1 pass defense in the the Pittsburgh Steelers who are holding quarterbacks to just 157.5 passing yards per game (1st) and have allowed just four touchdowns. Tough spot if he’s your bye week fill-in.
Ben Roethlisberger against the Titans. Don’t sleep on the Tennessee defense, they’re 7th allowing 212.0 passing yards per game and like the Steelers, have given up just 4 touchdowns. The Titans have been stingy when it comes to points too as they are allowing only 14 points a game (1st). Roethlisberger was thought to have a broken foot but it turned out to be a sprain and he will play in this game. Expect his mobility to be very limited and for his timing to be a little off.
Tom Brady against the Jets. You’re going to still start Brady, but don’t expect large numbers. This is going to be a dog fight all day as the Patriots will look to step on the Jets throat and hand them their third straight loss while the Jets will look to regain a tie for first place. The Jets still have a good pass defense allowing 180.2 passing yards (2nd) and are the league’s best with only 2 touchdowns allowed.
Bad running back match-ups this week:
LeGarrette Blount against the 49ers. Blount rebounded from an awful Week 1 performance to post three good games in a row including last week when he ran for 127 yards. This week he faces a tough 49ers run defense that is allowing only 74.0 rushing yards per game (4th) and have yet to give up a rushing touchdown. I expect this game to be a low scoring match-up as well.
Maurice Jones-Drew against the Bengals. Surprising this season is the defense of the Bengals which is ranked 7th overall holding running backs to 86.8 rushing yards per game and only three touchdowns, Jones-Drew has not scored since Week 1 and with Blaine Gabbert throwing the ball, each carry will be tough to get yards.
Michael Turner against the Packers. With the Saints playing the Panthers and the Buccaneers playing a winnable game against the 49ers, the Falcons can’t afford a loss against Packers. I haven’t been impressed with how the Falcons have been playing on offense and they face a good Packers team ranked 2nd with just 71.0 rushing yards per game and only one rushing touchdown.
Week 5: Make sure to bench those players that are off this week and get ready for a tough stretch in fantasy.
Good Luck to everyone in Week 5. Follow @BrewCrewCorner