Just when you thought it was safe to drop Tom Brady…
Did anybody have more fun in Week 5 than Mr. Suave? It’s easy to kick a guy while he’s down, especially when you’re used to seeing that guy be on top of his game for as long as Tom Brady had been. Some were even suggesting the Patriots should trade him…I took a lot of pleasure in seeing Brady be Brady again. Against the Bengals, a top 5 defense this season, Brady threw for 292 yards and 2 touchdowns. Credit his offensive line for keeping the pocket clean, but also the game plan to utilize both Rob Gronkowski and newly acquired TE Tim Wright. We’ll see if that formula works on the road in Buffalo, where the Bills defensive line is really getting after the quarterback (19 sacks, 18 hits, and 50 hurries). It was good to see Brady get his high-fives again though.
More Week 5 Recap:
– There was a united Tiger Woods style fist pump for Eddie Lacy owners. If you held onto hope (like I did), you reaped all the benefits of a 105 yard rushing, 2 TD showing against the Vikings. As the Packers offense seems to be getting back on track, expect more goal line opportunities for the 2nd year back…You should see exactly why you took him with either of your first two picks.
– Tony Romo made my favorite throw of the weekend. After nearly being Watt-Smashed, Romo shook off the $100 million monster and threw this bomb…How’s that back, Tony?
– Are you okay, Percy Harvin owners? I may have lost years off of my life watching each of his 3 touchdowns called back because of penalties (2 of which were highly questionable). Here’s a reminder of what could have been.
– And wha-happened to that epic Broncos-Cardinals matchup we were looking for? It felt like a Thursday Night Football game. If you had Peyton Manning (479 yards, 4 TDs), Demaryius Thomas (8 catches, 226 yards, 2 TDs), or Julius Thomas (6 catches, 66 yards, 2 TDs)…you weren’t too upset about it.
I’m happy to see that we have more than WR questions this week from the mailbag. As much as I love you guys asking me for input, variety is the spice of life.
Andrew Hirt on Facebook: “Dalton or Roethlisberger?”
We saw this question repeatedly last season. Being in the same division, there are plenty of comparisons between the two quarterbacks on a regular basis. Dalton has had a slow start scoring with just 4 touchdowns in 4 games and only 1 interception. Reason for that is the lack of attempts in Hue Jackson’s system. That could change against Carolina as the Panthers are 7th in pass attempts against them, but losing AJ Green to a foot injury in practice suggests otherwise. After the game Matt Forte had in Week 5 (61 yards rushing, 12 catches for 105 yards receiving), anticipate the bulk of the workload to go to Giovanni Bernard and Jeremy Hill…You probably hoped for a better game out of Ben Roethlisberger against the Jacksonville defense, which makes me concerned for the Steelers offense in general. The Cleveland secondary is ripe to bounce back against though. Joe Haden is hurt and likely not playing this week. First Round draft pick Justin Gilbert was benched against Tennessee for getting continuously burned by Kendall Wright. Start Roethlisberger in the AFC North rivalry game, despite Snoop Dogg (err Lion?) hating his offensive coordinator.
Chris Hankins on Facebook: “Picked up Hillman now that Ball is out. Should I start him over Trent Richardson?”
I know you weren’t the only one to pick up Ronnie Hillman in the mad dash following Montee Ball’s injury. Keep in mind though, CJ Anderson is a favorite of Peyton Manning’s and better built for around the goal line. Only reason Anderson wasn’t active last week was because he doesn’t play special teams. Carries are sparse to begin with in the Manning system, so I don’t feel great about the potential for Hillman’s touches against an already stout Jets run defense…And then there’s Trent Richardson. Richardson continues to just be flat out underwhelming and is being outplayed by Ahmad Bradshaw. Richardson a pretty weak flex start at best on the road going to Houston. The edge goes to Hillman simply for his pass catching ability.
Bob Kakareka on Facebook: “Should I trade Cobb and Megatron for Julius Thomas and Kendall Wright?”
I was asked about a Megatron trade a few weeks ago and was super confident he would bounce back from injury and do his thing again. That hasn’t happened yet and Calvin Johnson is still hurt. What makes this a tough call is Randall Cobb leading all receivers in receiving out of the slot and the Packers offense catching fire. Cobb has a great matchup this week alone going up against Cortland Finnegan. The question is how desperate are you for wins in the short term? Johnson could sit this week and be down for a few games but then come back and be Megatron again. Julius Thomas will continue getting touchdowns with Peyton Manning. And Kendall Wright has 3 favorable matchups against Jacksonville, Washington, and Houston in a row…If you need the wins now, DO IT. If you’re in a comfortable spot in the standings and think you’ll make the playoffs, don’t do it. Calvin Johnson could be your difference down the stretch.
Rachel Bruce on Facebook: “Cutler or Wilson?”
If you’re a Bears fan, Jay Cutler has probably bummed you out throwing bad interceptions at really bad instances. From a Fantasy Football standpoint though, Cutty Does It. Only Andrew Luck has thrown more touchdowns this season and he has multiple TDs in every game this season. The Falcons have one of the worst secondary units in football right now with starting safety William Moore injured. This weekend has strong shootout potential between for the Bears on the road…On and off the field, I love Russell Wilson. Wilson continues to prove he is one of the best in the league every week. However, his matchup with Cowboys is tougher than what he had against Washington on Monday Night Football. The Cowboys pass defense is much improved from a year ago, so it might be a heavy volume of Marshawn Lynch carries for the Seahawks. Go with the points and take Cutler.
Brennan Casey on Facebook: “Start 2: Chris Ivory, Ahmad Bradshaw, Branden Oliver.”
First, go with Branden Oliver. Oliver is a player made for the Mike McCoy offense in San Diego and you have to like his matchup against the Raiders. Even when Ryan Matthews returns, one should assume Oliver will take on the Danny Woodhead role from a year ago…This is where it gets tricky. Chris Ivory is clearly the best player in the Jets backfield, but how many chances will he get when they are forced to play from behind against the Broncos? I like Ahmad Bradshaw better after he finally got more attention than Richardson last week. Texans are the 4th worst defense against the run, and Bradshaw should be able to take advantage of that.
Sam Kalmar on Facebook: “Do I sit DeMarco murray against Seattle?”
I understand the worry when playing anyone against Seattle’s defense. They are the 2nd best run defense right now and have only given up 1 rushing touchdown. When you have the league’s leading rusher, you have to play him. DeMarco Murray is also a great threat in the pass game, and that could be the route the Cowboys offense goes if they can’t get the run going early. Keep an eye on Murray’s carries though as the season progresses. He’s on pace for more than 400 carries, and that’s just ridiculous for a back who hasn’t stayed healthy for an entire season yet.
Great stuff this week! If you have more questions, you are welcome to ask on Facebook and Twitter through the weekend.