James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, NM and has been playing fantasy sports for just over 15 years. Not only does he write the Bengals fantasy section, but he also does the Miami Dolphins fantasy section. Crossing over, Morris writes the fantasy sections for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA. Just send him an email and he will reply back the same day with your answer. Or, find him on Twitter (Fantasyguy23) and get all your NFL news before it hits the national media.
The big news of Week 5 is that the Buccaneers cut ties with QB Josh Freeman after the team failed to find a trade partner for him. It really only confirms what we already knew with his benching and Mike Glennon taking over the reins in Week 4. Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams’s values take a hit, while Doug Martin’s value gets a slight increase as Glennon had a tendency to check down in college. The Bucs are actually on a bye this week, so Glennon will get a little extra time to work with his receivers and get things right for the second half of the NFL season.
With players like Adrian Peterson, Antonio Brown, Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris out this week due to a bye, depth and the waiver wire is going to be crucial if their owners want to pull out a win. The Patriots signed WR Austin Collie on Thursday and I got a flood of messages from people wanting to know if he would make an immediate impact. Danny Amendola is questionable to play this week, but has been moving well in practice according to reports. If Amendola is a go this weekend, he is an immediate must-start player. On the other hand, Collie is nothing more than depth and isn’t even a lock to be active this weekend if Amendola is back. I wouldn’t add Collie unless I was in the deepest of the deep leagues.
This week’s winner of a copy of Madden25 for the Xbox 360 courtesy of EASports was Joshua Floyd of Norfolk, VA! He wanted an autographed ball from Bengals great Chad Johnson, but said this will do.
BYE WEEK: Vikings, Steelers, Buccaneers, Redskins
Terrelle Pryor – QB, Raiders: If you happen to have Ben Roethlisberger or RGIII on your team and you need a replacement this week, you could do worse than Pryor here. The Chargers defense gives up a league-worst 30.1 fantasy PPG to opposing QBs this season, so the opportunity is there for Pryor. I personally believe that Pryor is being overrated by the big box fantasy websites considering he’s averaging 208.0 YPG passing with a 2-2 TD-INT ratio. But, the Chargers do have a generous defense this season.
Sam Bradford – QB, Rams: Bradford is little more than a QB2 in fantasy leagues these days, but playing the Jaguars has a way of turning so-so quarterbacks into fantasy starters. The Jaguars give up 24.2 fantasy PPG to QBs, eighth-most in the NFL. Bradford has the offensive weapons to be a QB1 against an obviously weak defense, so he isn’t a terrible plug-and-play option if you need him.
Eddie Lacy – RB, Packers: Lacy is back and ready to tear up the field for the Packers as they take on the Lions this week. The Lions are giving up 110.8 rushing YPG, and 23.2 fantasy PPG this season. Lacy is an immediate RB2 play against the Lions defense given Green Bay's plentiful weapons in the passing game.
David Wilson – RB, Giants: Wilson is currently owned in 82.3 percent of NFL.com leagues thanks to his 9.80 total fantasy points and No. 65 ranking among RBs this season. However, the Giants recently cut their other RB, Da’Rel Scott, and that will open more opportunities for Wilson to get a rhythm going on the ground. The Eagles give up 19.2 fantasy PPG to RBs in standard scoring formats, and I think Wilson will finish this week with RB2 numbers for those brave enough to play him in their flex.
Hakeem Nicks – WR, Giants: As you can see, I think this is the week that the Giants get their offense back on track. The Eagles defense is riddled with weaknesses, and the Giants are in need of a win after starting the season 0-4. The Eagles give up 36.1 fantasy PPG to WRs this season, and Nicks is seeing his start percentage drop with each passing week. I like Nicks this week as a WR3 with upside into the WR2 range.
Denarius Moore – WR, Raiders: Moore is actually ranked 30th among fantasy WRs in standard NFL.com scoring, which puts him as a solid WR3. He’s only owned in 61.4 percent of their leagues, and started in a mere 14.5 percent of them. I already talked about how generous the Chargers defense has been this season, and I think he could have another game like he did earlier this season against the Broncos, where he put up 124 receiving yards and a touchdown. Play him as a WR3 with upside.
Charles Clay – TE, Dolphins: Clay is ranked eighth in NFL.com standard scoring formats and has been a nice surprise for many owners who listened to me a few weeks back. Tight end is a boom-or-bust position in fantasy football, but Clay has put up consistent stats at the position and actually ranks 12th for TEs with 25 targets this season. Clay is still more of a low-end TE1, but a lot of people got stuck with Zach Sudfeld (free agent) or Kyle Rudolph (No. 26 at TE) and need a replacement. Clay’s only owned in 27.0 percent of NFL.com leagues right now.
Carolina Panthers Defense: The Panthers defense currently sits in the No. 16 spot on NFL.com in standard scoring formats. What puts them in my top 3 defensive starts for this week is Cardinals QB Carson Palmer, who currently ranks 28th on NFL.com for fantasy quarterbacks. Palmer is not what he once was in Cincinnati, and Rashard Mendenhall hasn’t put up more than 66 yards on the ground yet this season. The Panthers defense is a prime sleeper defense this week with their 27.3 percent ownership.
Russell Wilson – QB, Seahawks: Did you know the Colts defense is the best in the NFL at holding QBs at bay with their 14.4 fantasy PPG this season? Did you also know that Wilson is only averaging 14.65 fantasy PPG in NFL.com scoring? Right now he is ranked 18th on NFL.com and his average is right on par with what the Colts give up, setting him up for a QB2 kind of day.
Jay Cutler – QB, Bears: After last week’s 317 passing yards, 2 TDs, 2-2PT conversions and No. 13-ranked finish for QBs, Cutler has seen his start percentage drop by 6.3 on NFL.com. The Saints defense is actually ranked 11th in standard scoring formats, and they allow just 14.5 fantasy PPG to QBs (No. 2 behind the Colts). I wouldn’t play Cutler this week unless you have to.
Jacquizz Rodgers – RB, Falcons: Rodgers has taken over the RB lead with Jason Snelling by seeing 89 snaps to Snelling’s 68. Because of that Rodgers's ownership has peaked at 41.4 percent on NFL.com. But, the Jets defense is as stingy as ever, only allowing 9.2 fantasy PPG to RBs this season. I wouldn’t trust Rodgers as anything more than a dicey flex play this weekend, and would cut Snelling loose all together in all but the deeper leagues.
Chris Johnson – RB, Titans: Why is NFL.com projecting Johnson to run for 135 yards and a touchdown this weekend against the Chiefs, who have allowed just 79.3 YPG on the ground and one rushing TD? Further, why are they projecting a dominant game for CJ2K on the ground when the Titans are forced to play Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB? Moreover, why would they project him to score 20.10 fantasy points this week when his season high is 9.70? The Chiefs defense is ranked No. 2 with 12.2 fantasy PPG allowed to RBs this season.
Reggie Wayne – WR, Colts: If there is one thing you don’t want to do in fantasy football, it is play a QB and WR against the Seahawks defense this season. So far they have given up just 40 receptions (tied for fourth best) for 466 yards (third) and one TD (second). Wayne is owned in every league out there, but he is started in 92.0 percent of NFL.com leagues. This is the week where you go grab Moore or say Justin Blackmon (47.5 percent owned on NFL.com) and plug him in there.
Steve Smith – WR, Panthers: Smith is owned in 94.9 percent of NFL.com leagues, but started in 56.8 percent of them due to his No. 61 ranking at the WR spot. The Cardinals are allowing WRs to score 16.7 fantasy PPG on them, which is the third-best number in the NFL so far this season. Cam Newton is ranked 17th for QBs on NFL.com, so there is little reason to think he and Smith will somehow beat the odds against the Cardinals this weekend.
Brandon Myers – TE, Giants: People are going to read above and see where I think the Giants offense gets back on track somewhat this weekend and assume that means to start Myers. Wrong. The Giants still have O-line problems, which has forced Myers into being primarily a blocker this season. Beyond that, the Eagles are giving up just 6.3 PPG to fantasy TEs this season, which is 10th best in the NFL. I feel bad for the 74.7 percent of people who own Myers on NFL.com, and cannot understand why they just don’t pick up Clay from the Dolphins.
Chicago Bears Defense: The Bears defense goes through the same laundry list of injuries every season, and 2013 is no exception. DB Charles Tillman has knee problems and DT Henry Melton tore his ACL and is done for the season, and the Bears are ranked 16th for fantasy points allowed to QBs this season with 20.6 per game. The Saints specialty is the pass, and the Bears have given up 1,167 passing yards and 6 TDs from QBs this season. They could finish as a low-end starting defense this weekend with an interception and fumble recovery, but nowhere near the top 3 defense they’re being played as right now.
Don’t forget that I am giving away copies of Madden 25 on Xbox 360 and PS3. All you have to do is Tweet the article from the link at the top, and then get your friends to click on the link via your Twitter page and Tweet the article on the Bengals webpage. The person who gets the most Tweets will win a copy. It is important that they click like INSIDE the article, and not retweet from the link on your timeline.