The Sunday games are now in the books, and it's been an interesting Week 5 thus far, here are my early takeaways...
(1) No Longer on the Mendy: Well, so much for a wait and see approach on Rashard Mendenhall, he looked fantastic vs. the Philly defense. He probably rotted on your bench this week, but that won't be the case going forward. Absolutely nothing scary about his next three games (TEN/CIN/WAS), so he should be a must start going forward.
(2) Tasty Rueben? : If you called Rueben Randle over Hixon this week, good for you, Spider. Problem is, with Nicks out with an injury, it's been Barden, Hixon and now Randle in successive weeks. Hard to trust anyone other than Cruz at this point. Worth a pickup? Sure, just hard to trust anyone's role week to week.
(3) Speaking of the Jints': Like Mendy, Ahmad Bradshaw looks to be finally healthy and BEASTLY (30/200/1), and with Andre Brown leaving the game with a head injury it FINALLY opened a return for the talented David Wilson, who broke off a 40-yard TD in the 2nd half against CLE. Expect Bradshaw to still take the lion's share of the workload, but Wilson could see an uptick with Brown likely missing at least one game. Worth noting the Giants do face a stout SF run defense in week 6, so temper expectations a bit...or sell high on Bradshaw if you're set at RB.
(4) Third Cousins Twice Removed: When RG3 gambled once again with Dan Snyder's money, and scrambled off of a broken play, he got rocked in his chin, received stitches and was knocked out of the game. Enter Kirk Cousins, who connected with Santana Moss for a 77 yard TD. Run out and get him off waivers? Not so fast. If RG3 isn't concussed, he'll likely play in week 6 vs. MIN. If you have a solid QB2, have them ready just in case. Cousins did end up throwing 2 INTs late in the game, so pray that RG3 is okay if you're a Skins fan. *UPDATE* Skins are reporting RG3 has a mild concussion, so it's unlikely he'll play next week, make other plans.
(5) Josh Gordon Told Us All: Or maybe it was just the patchwork Giants secondary. Either way, I don't trust Weeden enough to waste waiver priority. Pass.
(6) Mike Vick is Brutal: Seriously, if they weren't winning, he'd be benched and therefore a fantasy bust. His three fumbles were offset by two passing touchdowns, but even still, he's being outscored by QBs with less talent.
(7) Drop Dead Ced: Ced Benson left the Indy game with a left leg injury, and gave way to young Alex Green to take over lead back duties. Not sure of the severity of Benson's injury, but Green is the pickup with Starks still battling a turf toe injury...which tends to linger.
(8) Patty Cake: As expected Wes Welker had a busy day vs. Denver, with Brady locking in to his go-to WR for 13/104/1. Ridley was the more effective RB on the day, with Bolden not looking as explosive when he touched the football. We mentioned last week that you didn't have to be too concerned with Bolden ripping into Ridley's workload, and it appeared to be a safe bet going forward...unless he fumbled. Sure enough, a costly fumble late in the game gave way to a heavy dose of Bolden. With Vereen making an appearance early in the game, don't be surprised if Week 6 is a tad maddening. The truth, above all, is Ridley has earned his keep. Jamaal Charles fumbles a lot, yet he produces. Problem is, Belichick doesn't care about stats...only wins. Gronk was still productive despite playing with an injured hip, and Lloyd continues to develop strong chemistry with Brady, even though both had quiet fantasy days. If you traded for Aaron Hernandez this past week (count me as one of them) then you could be in for a treat come week 6, as he's nearing a return, and was a GTD week 5. Brady? Well, he was just being himself...and by that I mean the offensive equivalent of a shark with a laser beam on his head.
(9) Pey-Pey's Kids: A costly strip/fumble of Demaryius Thomas didn't deter the passing game much, as Thomas continued to be a big playmaker for Manning, and Tamme was targeted at will vs. the TE susceptible Pats defense, with White Chocolate Joel Dreessen finding the end zone as well. Ronnie Hillman actually looked more explosive vs. the Pats run defense, as McGahee appeared sluggish at times. Manning got plenty of garbage time production and was once again fantasy relevant for a second week.
(10) Percy Galore: When he's good, he's damn good. Adrian Peterson is still a high end RB2 at the moment, but Harvin is the straw that stirs the drink in Minnesota. You have to take the good with the bad with Harvin (injuries, migraines etc.,) but he's always worth the risk.
(11) Chris Johnson: Still a bust.
(12) Beer Goggles: Rodgers, Newton, Nelson, Torrey Smith, Flacco, Steve Smith all came up relatively small today. Why? Who the fuck knows. Hartline came back to Earth too, especially when someone game plans to keep him in check. Again, good story, not a special talent.
Jamaal Charles is still a one man-wrecking crew. Maybe next year he'll actually have a QB.
Sunday Night Football "40-Ounce": If you turned up your nose on the prospect of drafting Marques Colston...whoops! Drew Brees loved him long time to the tune of 9/131/ and 3 TDs. Devery Henderson also got into the mix (due to Lance Moore's absence) with 8/123/1TD. I don't expect Henderson to repeat this feat once Moore is back, or if Jimmy Graham (left the game with an ankle injury) is back to form after the bye week. The Saints running game was an afterthought, as Drew Brees lit it up with 370 yards and 4 TDs.
The Chargers and Norv Turner continue to baffle the fantasy football world, as well as anyone with the gift of sight, in using any RB not named Ryan Mathews. Especially baffling since the Saints can't stop a fat kid with asthma on the ground. Shout out to our buddy from PFF.com, @Bryan_Fontaine, who nailed his Robert Meachem sleeper pick this week, as Meach found the end zone not once, but TWICE...in the same game! Anyway, Rivers put up solid numbers in defeat, and Malcolm Floyd was a decent flex play with 5/108. Again, even in a pitiful workshare, Mathews had over 80 yards, 1 TD, and 6 catches for 69 yards. Fire Norv...yesterday.
Stay tuned on Tuesday morning for the MNF wrap-up, and follow me at @RumfordJohnny on Twitter, for more NFL related hijinks. Cheers!