Well here we are in week 5 – Tampa goes to bye to give their rookie QB some time to figure it out. I get to take a break writing about how you should start Doug Martin (great news for me, haha). New Orleans faces a tough challenge going to Chicago, Carolina gets to play the porous Arizona secondary and Atlanta gets to face the Jets on Monday night at home. Let’s take a look.
New Orleans at Chicago
Drew Brees is finally getting the offense going and scoring a lot of points for his fantasy owners. I don’t think that stops against the Bears defense that Detroit torched last week. Historically Brees has played different in outdoor games, but luckily this won’t be (hopefully) a snowy Chicago game. With the way this offense has been rolling in the past 2 games, I expect another huge game from him.
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Sproles is the only RB on New Orleans that is worth owning. Bush ran all over this defense last week and I think if Sproles can be used like he was last week, he should have a very solid game. New Orleans can’t get the running game going and I think that continues here – so don’t bother with Thomas or Ingram.
I feel that the Bears are going to focus their attention on Jimmy Graham this week. That doesn’t change the fact that he will likely have a big game again. Brees is targeting Graham a ton this year and no matter where Brees throws it, Graham catches it. I don’t think anyone can match up against him on this defense so I think he has another big game. With the focus on Graham and likely Sproles as well, the field could be opened up for Marques Colston as we saw in the 2nd half last week against Miami. Hope he finds the end zone this week but he should have a bunch of catches and yards again this week. Moore is basically invisible in this offense, and Stills/Watson/Meachem/Toon aren’t getting enough work to be worth a start unless you absolutely have no other choices (maybe a 32 team league).
Carolina at Arizona
I like Newton a lot this week – he is going up against the 20th best pass defense and the Panthers likely won’t be able to run the ball much against a stingy Cardinals front (75 yards per game, 5th best in the league). If they are passing a lot it may also open up the field for Newton himself to run the ball if the Cards are dropping 6-7 men into coverage. I’m expecting a big week after the bye and coming off another big game against a weak secondary.
I’m not starting DeAngelo this week. Plain and simple, the Cardinals don’t get run on. They held Doug Martin in check last week and it wasn’t because Tampa was down a lot or they abandoned the run. He ran the ball 27 times for something crazy like 45 yards and the game was low scoring. You could chalk this up to no threat in the pass game, but I still think this Cards defense is solid against the run. If the Panthers get in close, Newton or Tolbert are going to take the TD, so DeAngelo’s not looking good this week unless he can bust off a big run, which I don’t think is going to happen.
So Brandon LaFell……where did that come from?! I don’t think that will continue into the future games. Steve Smith and Greg Olsen are the guys to own and the guys to start in this offense. I don’t buy Ted Ginn either. Steve Smith may be up against Patrick Peterson which depresses his value somewhat, but I feel that Carolina will move him around to get him away from Peterson. Greg Olsen has a good match up as he could be matched up against rookie Tyrann Mathieu or a linebacker. Cam should look for him a lot if Steve Smith is covered.
Jets at Atlanta
I like Matt Ryan and his Merry Men (WRs) this week, a lot. If Jake Locker and his weapons could put up solid numbers against this defense, I think Atlanta is gonna eat. I expect big games for Julio and Gonzalez and maybe even Roddy if he’s finally healthy. Jake Locker didn’t have a ton of yards, but he did have 3 TDs and completed 75% of his passes against what I thought was a solid secondary. Gonzalez and Julio had solid fantasy games against a solid Patriots defense, so I expect much of the same.
In terms of the running game, I don’t like Jacquizz or Snelling this week. CJ2K and Battle couldn’t get anything going against this very solid defensive front and the Titans have a better offensive line than the Falcons. The only way these guys will get value is if they get involved in the run game or manage a short TD, which are both possibilities. Since we’re into bye weeks now, you may have to start one of these guys as a flex or RB2 if you’re in a deeper league. They’re not bad, but I’m looking elsewhere. For what its worth, if I had to pick one guy, it would be Jacquizz: he was more involved in the passing game and had a better yards per carry.