by Alan Branch —
This week, week five in the NFL season, was a coming out party that brought fantasy redemption for some struggling NFL fantasy football stars, like New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Ring a bell? He’s notorious for super bowl victories and fantasy football superiority, but consequentially began his 2014 campaign with a slow start averaging just below 11 points a week before week five.
The 37-year-old future Hall of Famer proved all his critics wrong against a shell-shocked Cincinnati Bengals defense that was previously ranked number one on www.nfl.com’s power rankings, and also had not given up more than 18 points to opposing quarterbacks. Brady totaled 292 passing yards, two touchdowns and 24 total points. Below is a graphic of him and three other players who also had breakout games in week five, after a slow start to the season.
|Players||Total Yards||Touchdowns||Total Points||Avg. Points Before Week 5|
|QB Tom Brady, NE||292||2||24||10.8|
|RB Eddie Lacy, GB||127||2||24||5.3|
|WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN||226||2||34||7|
|RB Branden Oliver, SD||182||2||29||1.5|
With San Diego Chargers running back Donald Brown leaving the game due to a concussion, who would have guessed the rookie of a Division III university in Buffalo would shine in the spotlight against the number one ranked defense? Fantasy owners everywhere feel like the Einstein of fantasy football if they initially picked Oliver off waivers, or even started him before his spectacular performance. And if you haven’t grabbed him off waivers yet, it’s safe to believe in the hype that surrounds this fantasy football rookie star who remains available in 45 percent of ESPN fantasy football standard leagues.
Fantasy owners fear it. Football players can’t escape it. Injuries are the one of the least preventable and predictable aspects of fantasy football, but are inevitable year in and year out. Week five had its fair share of star players who caught the injury bug. New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham went down with a right shoulder injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the game. NFL.com reports that it wasn’t serious, so take a sigh of relief if you picked him as your starting tight end.
Wide receiver Calvin Johnson, otherwise known as “Megatron,” is still dealing with a high ankle sprain that he’s unlikely to recover from before his next game. Expect wide receiver Golden Tate to shine once again in his absence, if Megatron is inactive. Running back Montee Ball suffered a serious groin injury, which might result in him missing a significant amount of time, but will not require surgery. Be on the lookout for a running back committee hosted by Ronnie Hillman–who in the past, has suffered from fumblitis–veteran CJ Anderson and rookie Juwan Thompson.
As for me, I’m keeping my head high, although it’s barely above water, as I’m coming off a two-game losing streak. Sitting with three wins and two losses in the fifth place of my league, I’m still optimistic as I wait patiently for my running backs Knoshown Moreno and Mark Ingram to return from injuries to give my team the running back depth it desperately needs. My advice to you: stay hopeful and optimistic fantasy football owners. Playoffs are still a while away.
– The Commish