Week 5 is almost in the books, hopefully your team is on a roll like the Patriots or Giants as they continue to win. Atlanta and Seattle stubbed their toe this week, and in between there were some strong fantasy performances from some unlikely sources…well, unlikely if you are a new reader to us here at FantasySharks.com. A handful of overtime game dot the landscape as well as the season’s excitement continues.
Abbreviated version this week, still one more day of sausage slinging for the Federal Hill Sausage crew (www.federalhillsausage.com). The annual Columbus Day Feast is in full swing on Federal Hill in Providence, and the weather couldn’t be better. Neither could the sausage and peppers, tremendous sandwich we’re putting together that folks come from far and wide to get. Thanks to my buddy Steve from North East Welding Supply (www.news-corp.com) for hanging out and sharing a few Miller Lites with me, and for helping us out with some propane. Good weekend all around.
Enough of the plugs, let’s get into the games.
Detroit 17, at Atlanta 10
Atlanta looks like it is going to be a funny team this year. While they came into this affair undefeated, there were signs everywhere that the offense was struggling. Those struggles were magnified this week, and now people can see what I was talking about when I said the Lions D was a “fiesty bunch”. The Lions held onto a slim halftime lead by keeping Michael Vick on the run. They picked him off three times and sealed the game by recovering a Vick fumble as the Falcons were driving for the tying score with a minute to play. Warrick Dunn (78 tot yds, TD) the only player from either side getting an official mention this week.
at New England 24, Miami 10
I’m sure there are very few people out there that thought Miami was going to stop the Patriots winning streak this week. Perhaps a few of the Miami players, but that had to be it. As with most divisional games, regardless of the records, the game was close. Miami was hanging around, but couldn’t get much scoring done, complicated by the fact that Olindo Mare hurt himself in warmups (!). Not much to speak of fantasywise here, New England was holding the 24-10 lead late when Miami was threatening to cover the 13 1/2 point spread. After a nice pass and catch, the Dolphins had first and goal inside the one yard line. A QB sneak for nothing, then a QB sack for -13 yards ended any hope of that happening.
Tampa Bay 20, at New Orleans 17
No fantasy performances to speak of in this game either, however there were a few developments worth watching. This was the much anticipated debut of rookie QB Chris Simms, however, he was injured in the first quarter and did not return. Not to worry, enter…..Brian Griese (!?), who performed well enough to guide the Bucs to the close win. On the other side of the ball, Duece McAllister made a suprise return, burning those that were counting on another week of Aaron Stecker (side note, I’m in one ‘experts league’ where a guy traded Amani Toomer for Stecker!?!). Duece ran well, but he did fumble twice as the Saints march to another defeat.
at Pittsburgh 34, Cleveland 23
Pittsburgh continued their rise in in the weak AFC Central (or North, or South, or whatever it is now called) with a nice win here. Plaxico Burress (136 yds, TD) re-emerged from the depths, which will surely prompt a run to the waiver wire after many had given up on him. Ben Roethlistberger (231 yds, TD, rush TD) and Duce Staley (117 yds, TD) also did well for the winners. On the other side, Andre Davis (101 yds, TD) had a strong game, helped out by Jeff Garcia (210 yds, TD) but it was not enough to overcome.
Minnesota 34, at Houston 28 (overtime)
You want offense? We’ve got offense here. Nearly 1000 yards worth of offense. And when regulation was not enough, there was more offense in the fifth frame. Player of the Week Duante Culpepper (396 yds, 5 TD) went wild and his toss to Marcus Robinson (9 for 150, 2 TD) from 50 yards out ended the defensive beatings. Mewelde Moore (182 tot yds) filled in nicely and Randy Moss (90 yds, 2 TD) also did his part. On the other side, Houston scored twice in the final four minutes of regulation to force the overtime, as they had some good fantasy numbers as well. Andre Johnson (12 for 170, 2 TD), David Carr (372 yds, 3 TD), and Derrick Armstrong (101 yds, TD) performed well enough to get a mention here, but it was not enough for the win.
NY Giants 26, at Dallas 10
Perhaps the Giants are for real this season? A tough divisional battle goes to the visitors in this one. I’m not sure there’s a better RB in the league than Tiki Barber (198 tot yds, TD) right now. This and he’s not fumbling the ball. Also for the Giants, Steve Christie (4 FG) did his part in the winning effort. Nothing to see on the Dallas side of the ball, let’s move on.
at Indianapolis 35, Oakland 14
The Raiders were hanging around for a while in this one, until the Colts finally put things away in the fourth quarter. Edgerrin James (136 yds, TD) had a strong day, and his TD late put the game out of reach. The Colts D (3 int, TD) was also in on the action, benefiting from playing against Kerry Collins. Nothing to report from the Raiders.
at San Diego 34, Jacksonville 21
We’re starting to see that the Jaguars 3-0 start was more a product of their schedule than anything else. Not only that, we’re starting to see that the Chargers are an offensive team to be reconed with. Antonio Gates (93 yds, 2 TD) and Ladainian Tomlinson (134 tot yds, TD) led another 30+ point scoring performance as the Chargers register another win. Of note, Tomlinson did aggrevate his groin injury and left the game in the third quarter – allowing backup Jesse Chatman to also click for 100 yards. Byron Leftwich (357 yds, TD, rush TD) the only Jag to be spoken of.
at NY Jets 16, Buffalo 14
Woe is the Bills, who seem to play just well enough to lose. The Bills fall to 0-4, the Jets rocket to 4-0 on the season. Chad Pennington (304 yds, TD) the only player worthy of a mention in this low scoring affair. Funny division the AFC East, the Jets and Patriots undefeated, the Bills and Dolphins winless. At least one of them will win as the winless teams faceoff next week.
at San Francisco 31, Arizona 28 (overtime)
Perhaps now people will start taking me seriously when I talk about Tim Rattay (417 yds, 2TD)? One of the teams Tony and I share in an expert league I was strongly recommending we start him this week, the response was “Are you serious??” Luckily for us I won the battle to have him in the starting lineup. He leads the Niners to a furious comeback and overtime win, helped out by Eric Johnson (13 for 162, TD). Josh McCown (231 yds, 3 TD) did well in a losing effort.
St.Louis 33, at Seattle 27 (overtime)
Speaking of comebacks, the Rams comeback against the Seahawks in this one, and claim an overtime win of their own. Marc Bulger (325 yds, 3 TD, rush TD) performed well in victory while Shaun Alexander (150 yds, TD) and Matt Hasselbeck (216 yds, 2 TD) get a mention in a losing effort.
at Denver 20, Carolina 17
Is Mike Shanahan the bain of the fantasy owner or what? All you need to know in this one is this: Rueben Droughns (211 tot yds, TD). Ugh! On the other side, only Colbert Keary (115 yds, TD) performed well.
Baltimore 17, at Washington 10
Finally this week, zzzzzz. The Ravens D (2 TD) scores twice and they take the win. No Skins to mention here.