Green, Jones solid plays in Week 5
“Moss and Toss” defined a playing style and immediately conjured images of Randy Moss posterizing a helpless defender.
“What’s the tag to describe the 2011 season?
“I haven’t found the quick and easy way to market the Stafford-Johnson connection.
“I’d appreciate your input so that we can launch a marketing plan (send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org). I don’t like leaning on the Transformers franchise.
“Celebrate the glory of the passing game in 2011. I’ll lament the loss of power running attacks in silence. Let the big receivers go out and make big plays, and let their dominance lead you to fantasy glory.
Exclude: Calvin Johnson, Wes Welker, Hakeem Nicks, Vincent Jackson (watch his injury status), Roddy White, Mike Wallace, Larry Fitzgerald, Greg Jennings, Dwayne Bowe, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Steve Smith
Week 5 Heroes
Santonio Holmes, NYJ at NE: I know it was ugly. I know that you heard the chirping following last weekend’s debacle against the Ravens. Holmes was still targeted 12 times in the loss. He’s been quiet thus far, producing just 13 receptions for 164 yards. I hold out hope that Mark Sanchez becomes the latest to hang pinball-like numbers on the New England defense.
While we’re at it, let’s promote Plaxico Burress to hero status. Throw it up and let the big man make plays. It’s a formula working throughout the NFL. Burress caught three or more passes in each of the Jets’ first four games.
A.J. Green, CIN at JAC: Green is a budding star in Cincinnati for fellow rookie Andy Dalton, who performed nicely in the first quarter of the season. He’s caught four or more passes in three straight games after starting his NFL career with a bang (he logged a 41-yard touchdown reception in Week 1, his lone reception of the day). Green follows up his strong date against the Bills with a big road effort against the Jaguars (238.5 yards and 1.5 passing touchdowns allowed per game).
Jordy Nelson, GB at ATL: Nelson claimed the No. 2 role opposite Greg Jennings and has earned Aaron Rodgers’ trust in big spots. He’s been targeted 21 times this season, producing 15 receptions for 292 yards (77 or more receiving yards and a touchdown in three of four games). The football world anticipates a shootout on Sunday night, and Nelson will undoubtedly be in the mix.
Julio Jones, ATL vs. GB: Jones has been as good as advertised for the Falcons through four games. In the past two weeks, he’s logged a total of 17 receptions for 242 yards working opposite Roddy White. The continuing greatness of Tony Gonzalez affords Jones operating space over the middle. I anticipate another huge effort in Week 5 in the dome.
Stevie Johnson, BUF vs. PHI: I picked the Bills to win in our weekly log on FOXSports.com. That doesn’t happen unless Ryan Fitzpatrick and Johnson find success downfield. You know that he’ll most definitely be targeted a fair amount against a secondary that has yet to find its stride under its new defensive coordinator. Johnson is averaging nine targets per game.
Johnson was shut out of the end zone for the first time by the Bengals (four receptions for 58 yards). I’ll go against the crowd by promoting Johnson this week.
Percy Harvin, MIN vs. ARI: The Vikings are starting to find ways to get Harvin the ball. It’s about time. Hand him the ball five times per game, if necessary. Get the ball into the hands of your playmakers.
Interestingly, Harvin has only been targeted 24 times this season. That ties him for 59th among all receivers. That’s unacceptable. I’ll bang the drum for Harvin this week in a home tilt against the Arizona secondary. Celebrate from those $4 seats you nabbed through the ticket resale channels!
Lance Moore, NO at CAR: Moore didn’t post huge stats in Week 4, as the Saints sputtered in the red zone. He did, however, catch five passes for 50 yards, a worthy follow-up to his nine-reception effort from Week 3. Moore is the No. 1 fantasy option in the crowded New Orleans receiving corps alongside Jimmy Graham.
Drew Brees will shred this secondary, and Moore will find a space to sit down in the red zone. I also like Marques Colston to take on an expanded role in his second game back from injury.
Brandon Lloyd, DEN vs. SD: Go deep early and often. Lloyd caught eight passes for 136 yards in Week 4 against the Packers. Throw it up and let Lloyd sprint downfield to make plays.
Lloyd performed well against the Chargers last season (five receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown in their last meeting) without much support in the passing game. Eric Decker’s arrival (he’s a strong play as well, particularly in PPR leagues) affords Lloyd additional opportunities downfield.
The song remains the same. The defense is improving under John Fox, but it’s not there yet. As a result, the game is on Kyle Orton’s arm.
Reggie Wayne, IND vs. KC: It hasn’t been pretty at all. Wayne has caught only 18 of the 40 passes for which he’s been intended. He’s topped 66 receiving yards once (Week 1, when he logged 106 yards with a touchdown). That hardly sounds like a ringing endorsement.
Curtis Painter continues to target him frequently, and I expect to see that relationship progress week over week. The Chiefs allow nearly 250 receiving yards and 2.5 receiving touchdowns per game. Pierre Garcon is the more obvious play here (add him to the Heroes log following his long-distance heroics in Week 4), but I’m bullish on Wayne for a nice rebound effort.
Week 5 Ninja Alerts
Derrick Mason, NYJ at NE: Why not? Owners in PPR leagues have to be contemplating the addition of Mason for this week’s tilt against the heretofore sieve-like New England pass defense. He’s the fourth option on paper, but I fully anticipate a hefty dose of underneath routes in this one.
Kevin Walter, HOU vs. OAK: Walter left me flat last week as a starter opposite Andre Johnson. He was targeted only once against the Steelers and finished the game without a reception. With Johnson out, he stands to take on a larger target count alongside Owen Daniels (the true No. 1).
Jacoby Jones is worth a shot as a home run threat. He’s been hit-or-miss during his career, but definitely warrants a look-see against the Oakland secondary.
Steve Breaston, KC at IND: Breaston has come on strong in the past two weeks, generating seven receptions for 146 yards against the Chargers and Vikings. The return of Jonathan Baldwin to the field spreads out the Indianapolis secondary. I don’t expect a ton of scoring from the Chiefs (the Colts defend the red zone well), but Cassel will move the ball between the 20s.
Deion Branch, NE vs. NYJ: I couldn’t hype the Jets without getting at least one New England receiver on the board for this week. Enjoy the fireworks!
Michael Crabtree, SF vs. TB: Crabtree is back on the radar following his five-reception, 68-yard effort in Week 4. Unfortunately, Crabtree returned to the injury list and missed Thursday’s practice. If available, I’m putting him on the board as a low-end WR2 at home against the Buccaneers.
Vincent Brown, SD at DEN: Antonio Gates remains sidelined, and Vincent Jackson has sustained several injuries that kept him out of mid-week workouts. Second receiver Malcom Floyd has experienced both groin and shoulder injuries.
As such, I’m bullish on rookie Vincent Brown, the team’s third-round pick out of San Diego State. He had two catches for 26 yards in Week 4. Stake your claim for a big effort in the vein of 2010 spot starter Seyi Ajirotutu. You knew I’d get his name into a piece!
Week 5 Flop Alerts
Mario Manningham, NYG vs. SEA: Manningham’s hold on the No. 2 slot has been challenged by Victor Cruz in the past two weeks. I’m not ready to toss Manningham aside altogether. He’s still a WR3 option against the Seattle secondary in a big home spot, but health concerns combined with bad practice notes force me to temper expectations at this time.
Nate Washington, TEN at PIT: It’s gut-check time for the banged-up Steelers at home against the Titans. Washington has ascended to the top spot in Kenny Britt’s absence and will undoubtedly see his share of targets here. However, he’s facing a Pittsburgh secondary that ranks first in receiving yards allowed (168.5 per game) and has surrendered one touchdown per game. Start him as a No. 3 because of the target count, but don’t expect a huge effort in his return to Pittsburgh.
Mike Williams, TB at SF: I just can’t trust him right now. Williams has caught five passes in back-to-back games, but has yet to get on track while drawing No. 1 coverage. His 66 receiving yards in Week 4 against Indianapolis established a new season-high mark. I like Preston Parker and Arrelious Benn better in this matchup.