Welcome to Week 5 of the National Football League fantasy division. We have a few game-time decisions and with all of these injuries you never know when something wacky will pop up, so stay tuned to the Rotoworld News Page and also check out our live blog which I’ll be live blogging starting whenever I can roll out of bed Sunday morning.
We also have Week 5 rankings from Mr. Pat Daugherty, Nick Mensio’s sleeper picks, and Evan Silva's detailed look at every game in his Matchup Column. So click on all of those and read them word for word and I'd like for you to be able to repeat those in a microphone without looking and send them to Rotoworld HQ for my inspection.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $15,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 5. It's just $5 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the link.
Patriots at Bengals
* Danny Amendola (groin) is listed as questionable, but is tentatively expected to play. Be sure to check back to see if he’s active.
* Stevan Ridley (knee) is out and LeGarrette Blount should take the lead back role for this week.
* Brandon Bolden (knee) is listed as questionable and was limited in practice. He is tentatively expected to play.
* Rob Gronkowski (back) is listed as questionable, but all reports are that he will not play this week.
* Vince Wilfork has been placed on IR and will not return this season. Upgrade the Bengals rushing attack.
* Many Patriots players are listed as questionable who are most likely not so questionable, like Kenbrell Thompkins.
* Leon Hall (hamstring) is doubtful to play. He is the Bengals’ best defensive back.
Lions at Packers
* Calvin Johnson (knee) is listed as questionable and was limited in practice on Friday, but there is nothing to make us think he won’t play and play well in a plus matchup.
* Chris Houston (hamstring) is listed as questionable. The Lions are optimistic he will play, but he won’t be 100% and will square off with Jordy Nelson.
* Eddie Lacy (concussion) practiced all week, is probable and has a good matchup.
* James Starks (knee) is out. Johnathan Franklin will be Lacy’s backup.
* Jermichael Finley (concussion) practiced in full and will play.
Seahawks at Colts
* Max Unger (arm) is questionable and Breno Giacomini (knee) is out. They are both offensive line starters.
* SS LaRon Landry (ankle) and DE Ricky Jean-Francois (groin)
* Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) is out once again and could be for a while. Trent Richardson will get the bulk of the work.
Ravens at Dolphins
* Jacoby Jones (knee) was limited in practice Friday and is listed as questionable. He will be a game time decision.
* Marlon Brown (hamstring) is listed as questionable after a limited practice on Friday. He is tentatively expected to start, but could lose some snaps to Jacoby Jones if he plays.
* Brandon Stokley (thigh) did not practice and is listed as questionable. He most likely will not play.
* Brandon Gibson (ankle) is listed as questionable, but practiced on a limited basis all week.
* Cameron Wake (knee) is listed as questionable and is considered a game-time decision.
Saints at Bears
* Mark Ingram (toe) did not practice this week and is out once again. Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles should see a bump in snaps.
* Lance Moore (wrist) has been ruled out. Nick Toon saw a bump in snaps with him out last week, but only had two targets.
* Brandon Marshall (foot) is listed as probable. Play him as you normally would.
Eagles at Giants
* Corey Webster (groin) is doubtful, Aaron Ross (back) is out and Jayron Hosley (hamstring) is also out. The Giants secondary is in shambles.
Chiefs at Titans
* Anthony Fasano (knee) is listed as questionable and Travis Kelce (knee) is out again. We may see Sean McGrath starting once again. Fear the beard.
* Jake Locker (hip) is out and Ryan Fitzpatrick will get the start.
* Kenny Britt (neck) is listed as questionable, but practiced in full. His usage is completely up in the air at the moment.
Jaguars at Rams
* Cecil Shorts (groin) did not practice this week, but is expected to play. He will most likely be playing at less than 100%, but with Stephen Burton and Mike Brown out, he will give it a go.
* Marcedes Lewis reinjured his calf last week and is out indefinitely.
Panthers at Cardinals
* There are no fantasy-relevant injuries to report.
Broncos at Cowboys
* Champ Bailey (foot) is questionable, but looks likely to miss yet another week.
* Miles Austin (hamstring) is listed as doubtful and won’t play. Terrance Williams will once again pick up his snaps.
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Texans at 49ers
* Andre Johnson (shin) is listed as questionable, but will play. He had a productive game last week with the same ailment.
* Patrick Willis (groin) is listed as questionable, but he was able to practice on Friday and is trending in the right direction.
* Quinton Patton fractured his foot and is off the redraft radar now.
* Vernon Davis (hamstring) is listed as questionable, but is 10 days removed from playing last Thursday night and should be good to go.
Chargers at Raiders
* Ryan Mathews was a late addition to the injury report as being limited with a hamstring. He is still listed as probable, but late additions are always concerning.
* Marcel Reece (knee) was listed as questionable, but should play.
* Darren McFadden (hamstring) is listed as doubtful and Rashad Jennings should get the bulk of the carries this week.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Jets at Falcons
* Santonio Holmes (hamstring) hasn’t practiced this week and can be ruled out for the Monday night tilt.
* Stephen Hill (concussion) practiced on Friday in a no-contact jersey and is still trying to get medical clearance to play.
* Chris Ivory (hamstring) returned to practice on Friday and could be ready for Monday night. He is a dicey play for sure, but could cut into Bilal Powel’s upside if he goes.
* Roddy White (ankle) had a setback against the Patriots in Week 4 and no matter his designation, can’t be trusted on Monday night.
* Steven Jackson (hamstring) has yet to resume practicing.
Matchups Of The Week
Victor Cruz vs. The Philadelphia Eagles: Cruz has been able to put up big numbers while the rest of his team crashes down all around him. This week the Giants come home after playing three of four games on the road and face an Eagles defense that ranks 32nd in points allowed, 32nd in receptions, 31st in receiving yards and 32nd in touchdowns allowed to wide receivers. Those aren’t very good rankings unless they added about 100 NFL expansion teams without me noticing.
Eddie Lacy vs. The Detroit Lions: Lacy left the Washington game in Week 2 with a concussion after his first run, which went for 10 yards. Then James Starks took over and ran wild. Lacy is finally back and gets another choice matchup, this time against the Lions who are giving up 5 yards per carry and seven total touchdowns to running backs.
Terrelle Pryor vs. The San Diego Chargers: So far this season the Chargers have given up 346 yards passing and three touchdowns to Matt Schaub, 428 yards passing, two touchdowns, 23 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown to Michael Vick, 299 yards passing, one touchdown, 68 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown to Jake Locker and 244 yards passing and two touchdowns to Tony Romo. I don’t want to sound like an alarmist, but that’s not very good.
Pryor is coming off of a concussion, but thankfully got an extra week off and should be good to go. He looked sharp against the Broncos in Denver as a passer, which is what most thought was a long shot to ever happen. The Chargers don’t have much of a pass rush and what they did have was mostly Dwight Freeney who tore his quadriceps and is out for the season. Pryor should have no trouble putting up yards through the air and on the ground while the rejuvenated Philip Rivers slices and dices the Raiders defense, making it mandatory that Pryor take matters into his own hands.
Julius Thomas vs. The Dallas Cowboys: Thomas failed to record a touchdown for the first time last week against the Eagles and has only had eight targets over the last two games. Peyton Manning won’t let that stand. He is an equal opportunity employer and this game against the Cowboys is perfect to get Thomas his stats. Last week the Cowboys gave up 10 receptions on 12 targets for 136 yards and a touchdown to Antonio Gates. At 6’5” 255 pounds, Julius Thomas, the former basketball player is quite comparable in physical attributes to the 6’4” 260 pound Antonio Gates, the former basketball player. Besides getting torched by Gates, the Cowboys also gave up seven receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown to Brandon Myers, then not much to the juggernaut tight ends of Kansas City, and then 10 receptions for 80 yards to the Jared Cook and Lance Kendricks. And unlike many of Denver's games this year, the Cowboys should be able to make it close for at least a little while, which should keep Broncos' starters in longer.
SURVIVOR PICK OF THE WEEK
I took last week off and once again and picked Denver over Philadelphia, in turn ruining an easy pick at some point with Denver playing someone even worse. This week I’m in a bit of a bind with most of the teams I’d like to pick having already been picked. The pick against Jacksonville strategy is decent, but the Rams are reeling right now and I’m just a little gun-shy. So I’m going to take the Atlanta Falcons in the dome over the New York Jets on the road.
Geno Smith looked like a rookie last week in Tennessee and now he’s most likely without Santonio Holmes and possibly Stephen Hill again. The Falcons are desperate to salvage their season and their only win was at home and their only home loss was last week against the 4-0 Patriots. The Jets are 0-2 on the road and I don’t see Smith having what it takes to win in Atlanta. It’s not my ideal pick, but I believe in the Falcons ability to mitigate turnovers and score while I do not believe in the Jets ability to do either of those things.
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