Takeaways from the Trenches –- Week 5

They say time flies when you’re having fun. Well, my mom has said it for years. And I’d bet she got it from her older—MUCH older and MUCH wiser—sister. And SHE likely got it from her boyfriend’s grandmother, who … well you get the picture. I’m not sure anyone knows where that phrase originated.


But I’m here to say that fantasy football season time flies as well … even when NOT having fun. Or at least when not winning, which I’m experiencing far too often this fake football season. We just completed Week 5 already.

Really, doesn’t it seem like just yesterday we were gearing up to avoid the pointless Bob Costas and Hines Ward halftime editorial perspectives on opening night? I mean, come on, I have nothing against either guy—in fact, I’ve long been a huge Costas guy, and Ward was an on-field fav—but, truthfully, what do they bring to each broadcast? Serious question here. If someone knows, please tweet me.

In the meantime, let’s look at some high-or low-lights from Week 5. Some of these PPR stats are downright sick, I tell you. Sick, as in not good. Not sick, as in very cool.

Stats That Make You Go Hmmmm

  • QB: So yeah. Austin Davis, Brian Hoyer and Kirk Cousins (against Seattle!) all finished with more Week 5 fantasy points than Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan. Just as we all thought.
  • QB Part Deux: In fact, both Davis and Hoyer EACH had more fantasy points than the combined total put up by Nick Foles and Matthew Stafford.
  • RB: Ladies and gentlemen, I present your leading fantasy RB for Week 5 (PPR). One Branden Oliver finished with 34.2 points on 114 yards rushing, 68 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns. Paging Donald Brown. Paging Donald Brown.
  • RB Part Deux: Oliver, undrafted out of Buffalo (college) after breaking James Starks school career rushing yardage record, scored more fantasy points than the combination of LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Giovani Bernard and Alfred Morris.
  • WR: Three of the Top 10 WRs this week were Kendall Wright, (who scored more in Week 5 than combined prior three weeks), Brian Quick and Travis Benjamin.
  • WR Part Deux: Taylor Gabriel, who cannot be higher than fifth in the ‘looks’ pecking order for Cleveland, finished with more fantasy points than Antonio Brown, Wes Welker, DeAndre Hopkins, Marques Colston, Julian Edelman and Steve Smith, Sr. Oh yeah, and more than Percy Harvin. [See below.]
  • TE: Showing up in your Top 10 fantasy TE list for this week? Timothy Wright and Jim Dray, both backup TEs on their respective teams (NE and Cleveland). Yes, I love fantasy football. Really, I do love fantasy football. I keep convincing myself.

Quick Hits

  1. Happy Fun Time with Tom and Bill: Have you witnessed a more annoying, yet comical, presser than Coach Belichick reminding the Boston media who the Patriots next opponent is?

    Repeatedly? On every question? In his monotone drone? I may be getting this wrong, but I’m pretty sure The Hoodie was trying to let everyone know the Bengals were coming to town. I think. And then, Brady’s SNF touchdown celebration (Is that what that was?) took me right back to 7th grade. From an outsider perspective, anyhow, those two seem like such polar opposites. I can just hear one of their conversations now.

TomTerrific: Hey, Coach, how’s it hanging?

Hoodie: We’re on to Buffalo, Tom.

TomTerrific: Whatevs. Have you seen the forecast yet?

Hoodie: [pause] Tom, you know we don’t focus on anything but the gameplan. It’s the Patriot way.

TomTerrific: Chillax, Coach. I just mean, will it be cold enough for me to wear my new Uggs? They’re totes amazeballs.

Hoodie: [irritated glare] We’re on to Buffalo.

  1. Getting Percy’d: I’m starting this new phrase, which of course means getting ripped off, hoodwinked, swindled, victimized, bamboozled. You may recall me lamenting that in Week 2, I lost a matchup due to my opponent unfairly receiving touchdown points on a long run, when Percy Harvin actually stepped out of bounds. In other words, I got Percy’d. But I’m not bitter.

    Well, it happened again in Week 5, when … not one, not two, but three times, Mr. Harvin scored on touchdown receptions. And all three were nullified by penalties. I’m sure I’m not alone here, but I lost a matchup where, this time, I owned him, and obviously didn’t receive those points. I’m starting a Percy Support Group. Won’t you join me?

  2. Have You Lost Faith in Jesus? Clipboard Jesus, that is. Charlie Whitehurst entered the Titans game versus the Browns in the 2nd quarter when—shockingly!!—Jake Locker got dinged up. His first three plays from scrimmage produced this stat line: 2 completions for 86 yards and 2 touchdowns.
    AP Photo/Mark Zaleski
    AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

    I think many believers had hands raised and were singing his praises. He didn’t make any game-changing mistakes on the stat sheet; yet he also wasn’t able to keep the Browns from changing water into wine … or more specifically, a 25-point deficit into victory. And now, rumblings in Nashville are that—assuming The Hurt Locker can’t go Sunday—the Titans may give rookie Zach Mettenberger a look against Jacksonville. Clipboard Jesus, let someone else take the wheel here. Believe me, there are an infinite number of puns to include in one short paragraph here. So many puns; so little space in this story. 

  3. Throwback Top 10: A quick look at the Top 10 fantasy RBs (PPR), through Week 5, provides a couple of major surprise performers from the “After the Top 4” bunch (DeMarco, Forte, Le’Veon, Marshawn); you’ll want to sit down to hear #5, #6 and #8 on the list. That’s right folks, Justin Forsett, Ahmad Bradshaw and Fred Jackson occupy those spots. [Honestly, I’ve discount double-checked this three times to confirm accuracy, because I find it hard to believe.] They all three are part of a timeshare backfield, and their average age is 30—otherwise known as the fated cutoff point for NFL RBs. Granted, receptions play a huge role in all three cases, but it’s still something to watch for. As the season progresses, will the name backs—I’m looking directly at you, Charles, McCoy and Lacy—rise to the top of fantasy lists? Or will it be next man up, in other NFL cities? Speaking on behalf of old guys everywhere, here’s your reminder: Don’t count out the old guys.

Shhhh … Let’s Keep It Our Little Secret

I’m man enough to admit when I got it wrong.

  • I said a Week 5 matchup with the Rams would be Shady McCoy’s slump-buster. Boy was I wrong. He barely topped the 10 point mark (PPR), essentially with volume (28 touches). But he’s still averaging less than 3 YPC and remains outside the Top 25 of fantasy RBs. At this point, you have to wonder if he can be counted on as a reliable RB2. Scary to think, much less, type that last sentence.
  • So, I wasn’t alone on this one! I thought Bishop Sankey would dance like a star against the Brownies. As my friend @RotoPat said, “Did I say more touches for Bishop Sankey? LOL. Whoops. I meant fewer touches for Bishop Sankey. Sorry about that. Love, Whiz.” Seriously, 8 touches, and playing less than 1/3 of the snaps? That’s not gonna cut it for your most talented back. You listening to me, Tennessee Titans? I speak for all of #FantasyFootball Twitter.
  • Jeremy Maclin entered Week 5 as the 6th rated fantasy WR, averaging right at 18.3 points per game. I thought he’d slow a bit, with more target distribution from Napoleon Dynamite’s twin. I was wrong, and I’ll give the fantasy gods their due here for consistency. Maclin finished Week 5 as the 6th rated fantasy WR, and scored right at 18.6 points.

My Arm CAN Reach Around To Pat Myself On The Back

I also pump my chest when I’m right because I’m the MAN!

  • I will quote myself here; I said Demaryius Thomas “explodes back into relevance” in Week 5. Yeah. 8/226/2 isn’t a bad line. And 42.6 (PPR) fantasy points isn’t bad either. And it could have been even more explosive. Thomas had a 77-yard TD called back due to penalty.
  • I predicted that Martellus Bennett’s fantasy value would slow, and I said it would be due to lowered targets. Shazam! Although playing 86% of the snaps, he was only targeted five times, resulting in three catches. He’d averaged 9 targets per game through four weeks. His 4.7 fantasy points were well below his 20.6 average. Sorry, Big Weirdo.
  • So I picked Justin Forsett to have a good game versus the Colts. Fantasy owners like me were pleased with his 13 touches for 97 yards and a touchdown. Oh yeah, the 22.7 fantasy points didn’t suck either. Now, will it last? I have to ask, ya know, “Justin case”.

So, yeah, fun can come in many forms. In my case, I’ll say I’m having fun getting my ass kicked in a couple leagues. Yeah, that’s fun. But at least I always do my best to stay strong, show kindness and NO RAGRETS. You should too. Until next time …

[NOTE: This week’s NFL stats courtesy of ProFootballFocus.com. Fantasy stats courtesy of eDraft.com.]

Jay Marks is the Fantasy Football Lead for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FFHottieAsst.


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