AFC East Week 5 Preview: Fantasy Relevant Players

AFC East Week 5 Preview: Fantasy Relevant Players
By Scott Lynge

Buffalo Bills @ Cleveland Browns Thursday Night Game

New England Patriots @ Cincinnati Bengals

Tom Brady- Brady is averaging about 250 passing yards and two touchdowns a week which is serviceable but won’t give you much advantage if you’ve been starting him. He goes against a pretty good but banged up Bengals secondary this week that Cleveland quarterback Brian Hoyer nicked for two touchdowns last week, so Brady should be good for at least that. Bengal free safety Reggie Nelson returned to practice Wednesday but cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick and Leon Hall are still missing in action nursing injuries. With receiver Danny Amendola and tight end Rob Gronkowski flirting with the idea of returning soon there are better days coming for Brady.

LeGarrette Blount- As far as fake football is concerned the running back situation for the Patriots is truly a hot mess. It’s hard to recommend any of them at this point, but if you’re in dire straits and have Blount on your roster consider that he did have a nine carry 64 yard day against the Falcon’s highlighted by a nice 47 yard touchdown run where he showed some speed getting around the corner and outrunning a couple defenders to the end zone. The added bonus is that starting running back Steven Ridley has been MIA all week at practice and is a likely scratch this week. The Bengals have stiff run defense but Packer running back Jonathon Franklin had 103 yard day against them in week three so there is hope for Blount.

*Editor’s update* Ridley has been ruled OUT for Sunday’s game against the Bengals.

Danny Amendola- I know you want to read something positive here if you’re an Amendola owner but I think you need to tap the brakes on this week’s news that he returned to practice. He’s a high risk player this week even if he does play and unless you’re prepared to take a goose egg from him when he aggravates his groin in the first quarter I recommend you be patient and let him prove he deserves to be in your lineup.

Julian Edelman- Edelman is coming off a seven reception 118 receiving yard game against the Falcons and has been somewhat reliable through the first four weeks of the season. He hasn’t found the end zone since his week one two touchdown performance but quarterback Tom Brady has been looking for him and he barely missed a couple touchdowns last week. With receiver Amendola and tight end Gronkowski still iffy to play I think you have to keep rolling Edelman out there. I think he’s good for at least nine or ten receptions and around 60 to 70 yards but the Bengals have only allowed two touchdowns to wide receivers through four weeks so a touchdown might not be in the cards for him this week.

Kenbrell Thompkins- Thompkins is coming off back to back quality starts going for six receptions on 11 targets for 127 receiving yards and one touchdown last week and scoring two touchdowns in week three. He was added to the injury report on Wednesday with a shoulder injury so you need to keep an eye on his status and he is facing a tough albeit banged up secondary, but Brady targeted him 11 times last week and that shouldn’t change this week if he plays.

Rob Gronkowski- Refer to Danny Amendola and replace groin with forearm or back.

Miami Dolphins vs Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Miller- With a 5.8 yards per carry average over the last three weeks compared to fellow running back Daniel Thomas’ 1.6 yard per carry average it’s incomprehensible that the Dolphins insist on limiting Millers carries each week. Last week he had 11 carries for 62 yards and a rushing touchdown to Thomas’ four carries for five yards. According to Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin it has to do with pass protection. If this is the case unless Miller’s blocking improves I’m afraid we’re in for more of the same from this situation. He faces a Ravens defense that has only given up one rushing touchdown so far this year so I don’t expect a breakout game but the silver lining is that Miller has looked good on the carries he is getting, he did score last week and the Dolphins are playing at home. I’m thinking around 60 yards and touchdown.

Mike Wallace/Brian Hartline/Brandon Gibson- Last week Wallace had three receptions on seven targets for 24 yards. Hartline had three receptions on four targets for 34 yards. Gibson saw the most targets (8) of the three and converted six for 71 yards. Here are the cold hard facts: Quarterback Ryan Tanny-Hill has been sacked a league high 18 times, he’s fumbled the ball a league high six times, last week against the Saints he threw three interceptions and last but not least his passer rating was a dismal 57.9. Throw in the fact that they are playing the Ravens, who have only allowed one touchdown reception in three weeks, and well…you catch my drift right? One of these guys may get lucky and have a decent game with the possibility of a touchdown reception, but you’re a better man than me if you can figure out which one it will be.

Charles Clay- The minimal value in the Dolphins passing game this week could be provided by Clay who has been steadily receiving six pass targets each week and last week converted all six of his targets for receptions and touchdown. I wouldn’t expect above average numbers this week against the Ravens because other than week two when he had 109 receiving yards he’s been limited to an average of 40 receiving yards per game. Having said that, he is improving and appears to be included in the offensive game plan each week. If you’re a risk taker you could gamble on a short touchdown reception and around 50 receiving yards, but given the fact that I don’t trust any of the wide receivers I’d be willing to take that risk.

New York Jets @ Atlanta Falcons

Bilal Powell- Jets quarterback Geno Smith is struggling and his pass offense has taken a big hit with injuries to the two starting wide receivers so the Jets should lean heavily on Powell against a Falcons defense that is giving up 92.2 rushing yards per game. Running back Mike Goodson is back from suspension and Chris Ivory will return from a hamstring injury soon which will cut into Powell’s touches in the coming weeks so now is the time to use him if you need him. He’s getting about 15 total touches a game with an average of 133 yards so he is somewhat useable as a flex option if you need him, but I wouldn’t feel very confident doing it.

Jeremy Kerley- I really don’t enjoy including Kerley in any article titled fantasy relevant player for week five, but with both starting wide receivers nursing injuries and likely out this week somebody has to catch passes for the Jets and he’s the next man up. If you’re desperate, and I mean that with a capital D I guess you could use him, but I want no part of your decision.

Kellen Winslow- Last week Winslow had six receptions on a healthy nine targets for 73 yards. He also had a nice game week one finishing with seven receptions on eight targets for 79 yards and one touchdown so he is capable. The problem is he’s playing with an inexperienced and erratic rookie quarterback which limits his ceiling and makes him a risky start. The good news is he’s one of a very few options the Jets will have this week and I think his targets will increase so there’s a good chance for a touchdown reception.

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