15 Fun Facts to ponder for Week 5
15. A key stat as Denver hosts unbeaten Arizona on Sunday: Since 2005, Peyton Manning is a perfect 8-0 immediately after his club’s bye week.
His last post-bye defeat came with Indy against the Jaguars in 2004 — a 27-24 loss in which he passed for 368 yards and three scores. Within this nine-game, 10-year span of success, Manning holds the following averages immediately after a bye: 297 passing yards and 2.8 touchdown passes.
14. Here’s the key to fantasy happiness with Matt Asiata: When the Vikings tailback collects the magic number of 16-plus touches, he averages 90 yards and 2.8 TDs per game.
Here’s another key stat for Thursday’s game in Green Bay: In their past 15 games, the Packers have surrendered 100-plus rushing yards 13 times — including eight straight.
13. Falcons wideout Julio Jones (29 catches, 447 yards, three TDs) has been targeted eight or more times in 11 straight games (dating to the 2012 NFL playoffs).
But no one can match the pace of Philly’s Jeremy Maclin, the only NFL wideout with double-digit targets in every game this season. The Eagles host the Rams on Sunday.
12. It’s been a long time — try 2009 — since Philly’s LeSean McCoy endured five straight games without rushing for 80 or more yards. But there’s a ray of light to celebrate:
The Rams have the NFL’s 30th-ranked defense, allowing 155.3 ground yards per game, and in his only career effort against St. Louis … McCoy rolled for 137 total yards and two scores in 2011.
11. The Steelers visit the Jags on Sunday, and through the years, the state of Florida has been kind to Ben Roethlisberger, who owns a 5-1 lifetime record inside the Sunshine State borders, including a last-gasp victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.
But from a fantasy perspective, Big Ben holds only modest averages when playing the Dolphins, Bucs or Jaguars on the road … or for a neutral-site Super Bowl: 239 passing yards and 1.8 touchdowns.
10. Buffalo may currently boast the NFL’s No. 4 rush defense (72 yards per game), but the Bills undoubtedly will have trouble keeping Lions running back Reggie Bush in check on Sunday.
Charting Bush’s 10 career home games at Detroit’s Ford Field, the slippery Lions tailback has a sterling average of 117 total yards per outing.
9. Here’s a fun factoid from FootballGeography.com:
The Cardinals and Bengals, the NFL’s remaining unbeatens at 3-0 (both had byes last weekend), both could go down on the road in Week 5 … with Arizona traveling to Denver and Cincy trekking to New England for "Sunday Night Football".
8. This isn’t a good time for the woozy Panthers (average margin of defeat for Weeks 3 and 4: 23 points) to run into the Matt Forte buzzsaw.
In his past seven games against NFC South foes, the Bears running back holds an absurd averages of 159 total yards.
7. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (999 passing yards, nine TD passes), who’s on pace for his fifth career campaign of 4,000 yards, has superb averages of 299 yards and 2.5 TDs in his past six outings against the rival Vikings (including the playoffs).
6. The 2013 Jaguars were absolutely wretched in the first half of last season, incurring eight straight defeats by double-digit points. Of equal (ir)relevance, Jacksonville tallied only 86 points in the first eight games.
Spinning forward a year … the 2014 Titans, despite a healthy cast of rushing and receiving playmakers, are averaging only 15 points. And the Raiders — now without deposed head coach Dennis Allen — haven’t cracked the 15-point barrier in any of their four losses.
5. Food for thought: In the Eli Manning era prior to this season (2004-13), the Giants notched 70-plus combined points in back-to-back games eight times (2007, 2010, 2011, 2012 and twice for 2008 and ’09).
4. It’s easy to mock the Bills’ panic-driven decision to bench EJ Manuel against the Lions … in favor of 31-year-old Kyle Orton, who’s been with the club for just a month.
However, in fairness to Orton, he claims respectable averages of 260 passing yards and 1.4 TD passes in his past 11 completed starts.
Still, does that make him attractive for a Week 5 fantasy start? Uh, no.
3. For what it’s worth, when Ben Tate served as Arian Foster’s backup tailback in Houston … he produced three separate outings of 100-plus total yards against the Titans — the opponent for Tate and the Browns in Week 5.
2. Tom Brady might be in a tailspin of passing efficiency right now — even if his Patriots are still the AFC East’s best team — but there are reasons for optimism with Sunday’s showdown against the unbeaten Bengals:
Of Brady’s past 10 regular-season outings against the AFC North, he has rock-solid averages of 288 passing yards and 1.9 TD passes.
1. It’s getting harder to accept Percy Harvin as a starter-worthy contributor in the fantasy world.
Through six career games with the Seahawks, Harvin has 24 total targets and just two touchdowns — one as a kick returner in the Super Bowl and one TD run against the Chargers in Week 2 that shouldn’t have counted (stepped on the sideline).
Flash back to the 2012 season: With the Vikings, Harvin enjoyed five outings of double-digit targets — including 11 catches and 133 yards against the Redskins, this week’s opponent.
Jay Clemons, the 2008 Fantasy Football Writer of the Year (Fantasy Sports Writers Association), can be reached via Twitter, day or night, at @FOX_JayClemons.