In Week 5 of the NFL season there were three players who surprised everyone by putting up some particularly shocking performances.
First, was Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams. With Miles Austin held out for a second consecutive game, Williams stepped up and amassed 151 receiving yards on just four receptions. He also scored a touchdown on an 82-yard pass from Tony Romo. In standard leagues he put up 23 Fantasy points, while in PPR leagues Williams notched 27 points.
Another player who had a great performance was New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith. His outstanding Monday Night Football performance against the Atlanta Falcons resulted in 199 passing yards and three touchdowns. It was also his first game without any turnovers. Smith also ran the ball three times, resulting in 21 rushing yards. He put up 21 Fantasy points, good for the fifth most among quarterbacks last week.
Finally, there was New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas. Thomas scored both of the Saints touchdowns, leading the team to a 26-18 victory over the Chicago Bears. Thomas actually struggled on the ground; he had 19 carries and amassed just 36 yards. However, he did most of his damage in the receiving game, accumulating nine receptions for 55 yards and the two touchdowns. Thomas put up 20 Fantasy points in standard leagues, 29 in PPR format.
Let’s take a look at my sleeper picks for Week 6.
Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – @BUF – Even though the 2013 season has been a disappointment for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, he is poised to turn it around. It’s just a question of when. After struggling in his last two games – throwing two interceptions, zero touchdowns and amassing an average of just 209 yards per game – Dalton is ready to become Fantasy relevant. The Bengals offense, as a whole, haven’t played well, as star wide out A.J. Green has just two games in which he put up over 10 Fantasy points this season. Dalton will go up against the Buffalo Bills defense, who are the 17th ranked defense against quarterbacks. With an explosive Green and a run game that is becoming more threatening, Dalton will begin to see more opportunities for big games. He will prove that being owned in less than 25 percent of leagues is a mistake, especially after putting up a great week against Buffalo.
Willis McGahee – Cleveland Browns – DET – After Trent Richardson was traded to the Indianapolis Colts, Willis McGahee was signed and was lined up as the starting running back for the Cleveland Browns. In Week 3 he made his debut, but he saw an increase in workload over the last two weeks, amassing 26 carries against the Buffalo Bills. With those 26 touches, McGahee amassed 72 rushing yards and scored one touchdown. He has seen a 33 percent increase in ownership, but is still only around 55 percent owned. This week, McGahee will go up against the Detroit Lions, who are the 27th ranked defense against running backs. Now that McGahee will likely get 20 or more carries per game, he has the potential for a big production for the rest of the season, and could end up being one of the biggest waiver wire additions of the year.
Ted Ginn – Carolina Panthers – @MIN – One of the more underrated wide receivers in the NFL is Carolina Panthers wideout Ted Ginn. Other than Week 1, in which he had just one reception for 10 yards, Ginn has been one of the biggest contributors to the struggling Carolina offense. He has 211 yards over his last three games with two touchdowns and 10 receptions. Ginn is owned in about seven percent of leagues, which is very low for a guy who has been putting up solid numbers. Ginn will have another solid day against the Minnesota Vikings, the 19th ranked defense against wide receivers. Ginn will run right through their secondary and drop that ranking further.
Garrett Graham – Houston Texans – STL – In the middle of the week the Houston Texans learned that their starting tight end, Owen Daniels, would miss over a month of the season due to a broken fibula. This recent injury has opened a hole for backup tight end Garrett Graham to become a relevant Fantasy option going forward. Over the first five games of the season, Graham has three touchdowns on 141 receiving yards. Graham is now one of the top options for quarterback Matt Schaub and will continue to rack up Fantasy points at least until Daniels returns. This week, the Texans face the St. Louis Rams, who are the eighth best defense against tight ends. Although they are in the top ten against tight ends, Graham should be able to get by the linebackers and notch some decent numbers with the tight end touches all to himself.
New Orleans Saints Defense / Special Teams – @NE – Even with a banged up defensive team, the New Orleans Saints are having a great year. Other than their bad week against the Chicago Bears, the Saints have scored at least seven points with two turnovers in those games. The Saints defense is owned in around 24 percent of Fantasy leagues, abnormally low for a Top 10 defense. This week, the Saints face the New England Patriots, who are coming off an awful game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Unfortunately, the Pats’ bad luck will continue, as they will fall to the Saints this week too.