For those faithful Fantasy Baseball readers, I have decided to bring my talents to Fantasy Football after my stint with The Hitting Planner. On a weekly basis, this article will be centered on bye-week replacements, but the only teams on bye for Week 5 are the Dolphins and DA RAIDERS. Nobody has a better Raiders call than Chris Berman. On a serious note, though, unless your team is dependent on Lamar Miller, Mike Wallace, and James Jones, there isn’t too much demand for bye-week replacements this week. Let’s think of this inaugural edition as a sleeper one.
While we did see Teddy Time come into fruition last week, this ankle injury does scare me. Part of Bridgewater’s game is being able to escape the pocket and make plays with his legs, as we saw on his 13-yard touchdown run. If it weren’t for the ankle sprain, I would have him as a top-notch sleeper this week against a porous Packers defense. That being said, I still think he is worth adding and could have serious long-term value this season. His schedule is favorable and he has a savvy football head on his shoulders, a combination I’m willing to invest in.
Remember that time when Peyton Manning was on a bye and played in disguise as Eli Manning against the Redskins on Thursday Night Football? Right, it was just last week. Now that Peyton is back for Week 5, could Eli go back to his dreadful ways from Weeks 1-3? Not so fast. The Giants get the Falcons this week and that game has shootout written all over it. While the New York defense has been solid against the pass, it will be hard to contain all of Matt Ryan’s weapons. The Falcons have given up the second most passing yards this season and, aside from that Buccaneers blowout, they’re allowing 17 Fantasy points per-game to opposing quarterbacks. Should Roddy White and Julio Jones break off big plays in this game, Eli should be able to answer back with Victor Cruz and Larry Donnell. You can’t spell Elite without Eli . . .
Start Eli Manning over: Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady
Looking deeper: Whoever starts for the Rams between Shaun Hill and Austin Davis in Week 5 could be in line for a big performance going up against the Eagles secondary. The Eagles have given up the second most passing touchdowns this season with 10 and are giving up the fourth most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. When the Rams are trailing in this game, they will be forced to pass.
In a game where it never really was a game, the Titans once again chose to give Bishop Sankey the most carries. While he only received six totes, he turned those carries into 34 yards and a touchdown. His six carries were also more than Shonn Greene and Dexter McCluster combined. This week, the Titans get the Browns and this has all the makings of a coming out party for Sankey. The Browns are allowing 5.2 yards-per-carry this season and have allowed four rushing touchdowns in just three games. The game is in Tennessee, and I could envision Ken Whisenhunt giving the home crowd a peek at the potential lead back they drafted.
Start Bishop Sankey over: Either Jets running back, Donald Brown, Fred Jackson, Toby Gerhart, Steven Jackson
Looking deeper: The Panthers currently have a train-wreck at running back but the bottom line is . . . somebody has to start. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart will more than likely be out, leaving the job up to Fozzy Whittaker and Darrin Reaves. The Panthers play the Bears, who are giving up 122.5 yards-per-game on the ground and three rushing scores through four weeks. Whittaker is currently nursing a thigh injury but could return. Keep tabs on which running back could get the nod for Week 5, as he could make for a cheap flex option.
It’s no secret that the Jets are prone to giving up the big play, and I predict Week 5 will be no different. While most people will be running to the waiver wire to scoop up Eddie Royal, I actually think it’s Malcom Floyd that will carve up the Jets. Gang Green is allowing the third most Fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and has allowed nine touchdowns through the air thus far. Add in that Phillip Rivers has thrown for at least three passing touchdowns in four of his last five home games dating back to last season, and this is a recipe for success.
Since I’ve played a bit of wide receiver over the course of my life (flag football), I’ll throw in a bonus player who I am in love with this week. Ever heard of handcuffing wide receivers? Me neither, but I did have a man-crush on Mike Evans. With his unfortunate groin injury looming (expected to miss 2-4 weeks), an opportunity has been created for one Louis Murphy. In the leagues where I own Evans, I will most certainly be putting in a claim for Murphy. Last week, he saw a team-high 11 targets and made a huge play, setting up the Buccaneers on a winning drive. I’d say he’s earned his way into the starting lineup and has a dream matchup this week against the Saints. They are allowing 33.6 Fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers and this week should be no different.
Start Malcom Floyd and Louis Murphy over: All Redskins, all Jaguars and all Vikings receivers
Looking deeper: John Brown is quickly making a name for himself in the NFL. The Cardinals took a chance on this kid because he is a speedster, clocking a 4.34 40 time at this past year’s combine. He isn’t getting too many targets in this offense but when he does, he is making the most of them as he has more touchdowns this year than Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd combined. He’s also caught one from each starting quarterback for the Cards, indicating that chemistry isn’t a problem either. They could be trailing against a high-powered Broncos team, leaving a prime opportunity for him in Week 5.
While this game could get out of hand rather quickly, Heath Miller could find himself in the end zone come Sunday against the Jaguars. They are giving up the third most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends and it has become obvious that they simply cannot stop anybody. If he doesn’t score early in the game, he might not get the chance, but I see the Steelers coming out pretty strong after last week’s disappointing loss.
Start Heath Miller over: Travis Kelce, Jason Witten, Dwayne Allen, and Jordan Cameron
Who in their right mind would have thought the Dallas Cowboys would be 3-1 at this point, and that their defense would be playing inspired football? Call me crazy, but I am picking “America’s Team” to make a big play or two on defense in Week 5 against turnover prone Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Houston Texans. They are playing at home and would love nothing more than to start 4-1 before taking on the Seahawks in Week 6.
Start the Cowboys D/ST over: Rams, Jets, and Panthers
So why is this column called Bye, Bye, Bye? Find out here.
Yes, I was a 90’s kid and who doesn’t love a good old fashioned boy band?