Fantasy Football Week 5 Fantasy Awards
By Guest Writer John Belaska:
Week Five of the 2013 NFL season was one of the craziest fantasy football weeks in recent memory. This is the type of week that drives fantasy football fanatics up a wall. To sum it all up, if your star players were not in the Cowboys versus Broncos game they probably either were a bust or just average. This was a weekend for the sleepers. In fact, the bench might have even outscored some owners’ starting line-ups this week. It is very hard to give out awards for this type of week because the top performers were more than likely sitting on the sideline and not doing your team any good. With that in mind, we have some awards to hand out.
Quarterback of the Week- Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys)
Do you think Jerry Jones plays fantasy football? This is the only explanation for calling the week five loss a “moral victory”. Jones must have started Tony Romo this week and beat the pants off his fantasy opponent. Romo had the best fantasy performance since Peyton Manning’s unreal week one performance. Going into this past weekend, nobody would have imagined Romo putting up more points than Peyton. The Dallas quarterback threw for 506 yards and five touchdowns. The fantasy points he lost with the last minute interception were made up for by completing a pass on a two point conversion. Do not expect a similar showing against the Washington Redskins, but Tony Romo is still a good start for next week.
Runningback of the Week- Ray Rice (Baltimore Ravens)
Finally the Ravens learned they have better chances of winning when they give the ball to their best player. Technically, Rice was outperformed this week by Pierre Thomas and Fred Jackson, but it is very difficult to crown a player who sat on the bench as the best of the week. Aside from that, the two just barely surpassed him in points. Therefore, the honor must go the person who was actually in fantasy line-ups this week. Owners who kept their faith in Rice were rewarded with 72 rushing yards and two touchdowns, as well as 28 receiving yards on six catches. Rice would have scored more fantasy points than Thomas and Jackson had it not been for losing a fumble. Next week the Ravens host the Green Bay Packers. They will want to give Ray Rice the ball as much as possible in order to keep Rodgers and company off the field. Rice is a beast as long as he is touching the rock and proved this weekend fantasy owners should never doubt their star players.
Wide Receiver of the Week- Alshon Jeffery (Chicago Bears)
Alshon Jeffery had a career week. His ten catches went for 218 yards and a score. His situation is a bit different from choosing between Rice, Thomas, and Jackson. Jeffery was only started in eight percent of leagues, but he completely out performed every other wide receiver by a long shot. The only true star that would compare is Dez Bryant of the Cowboys, but Jeffery’s numbers completely over shadow his. This kid has some major potential going further. Everyone thought if you were starting him, you were simply chasing fantasy points. However, Jeffery has increased his number of targets and receptions each week this season. This proves he is a major part of the Bears offense and will continue to produce. Obviously fantasy owners should never expect 200 yard receiving games from anybody, but there is no reason to think he will not eclipse 100 yards next week against the Giants.
Tight End of the Week- Julius Thomas (Denver Broncos)
Julius Thomas is making a very strong case for the biggest breakout player of the season. The third year tight end was Manning’s favorite target in the Broncos’ victory over the Cowboys. Thomas caught nine balls for 122 receiving yards and two touchdowns. If you were one of the smart ones who grabbed him off the waiver wire in week one, you made the best pick up you possibly could get. Thomas will always get looks and he has very sure hands. His size and speed make him very tough to take down. He is poised for another monster game in week six when the winless Jaguars come in town.
Kicker of the Week- Mason Crosby (Green Bay Packers)
Nobody ever gives the kicker enough credit. Most fantasy owners draft them in the last round and the two or three that go before then are normally guys who had a breakout season the previous year and come out and stink it up the next. This is not case for Crosby. The Packers’ kicker is one of the most consistent fantasy kickers in the game and has been the past couple years. Last year, he dropped off the radar because the Packers scored every time they had the ball. This meant Crosby owners were only getting a single point for his point after attempts. This year, he is back. Crosby hit five field goals and one point after attempt. Three of those five field goals had some distance to them, including one 50 yarder. To illustrate how good this kicker was this week, he outscored top draft picks like Demaryius Thomas, Victor Cruz, and C.J. Spiller. Green Bay will travel to Baltimore this weekend. The Ravens still have defense capable enough to slow Rodgers down on some drives, which means Crosby will get more chances to put up points.
Team Defense of the Week- Arizona Cardinals
This is just another reason why week five was such a crazy week. Nobody would have imagined the Cardinals would record seven sacks, one of which was a safety. To go along with that amazing total, they also recorded three interceptions and a fumble recovery. Possibly the most surprising statistic is holding the Panthers to only six points. However, if you shuffle through defenses week to week, Arizona should not be in your line-up next week since they play the revitalized 49ers.
Rookie of the Week- Terrance Williams (Dallas Cowboys)
Terrance Williams had a breakout performance against the Denver Broncos. He showed he can catch the deep ball and work the outside of the field very nicely. Williams had four receptions for 151 receiving yards and one score. More than likely, Williams is still available in your fantasy league. Perhaps it is time to pick him up and keep him on the bench for some added depth. It does not look like he will have a repeat performance this weekend against the Redskins, but he should get some looks deep down the field.
Sleeper of the Week- Alshon Jeffery (Chicago Bears)
There are so many players to consider for this award this week. However, Alshon Jeffery was the absolute biggest sleeper possible. In fact, this is one of the biggest sleeper performances I can remember. Jeffery was only started in eight percent of leagues and is only owned in about half of all fantasy leagues. This is about to change. Jeffery is the real deal and a perfect complement to Brandon Marshall. We will be hearing more about this guy by the end of the season, but by then he will not be a sleeper anymore.
Bust of the Week- Marques Colston (New Orleans Saints)
Again, there were a number of candidates for this award. At the end of the day it just has to go to Marques Colston. Colston is the number one wide receiver on one of the most explosive offenses in history. His coach is an offensive genius. He gets the ball chucked to him by one of the best quarterbacks in history. With all this going for him, there is absolutely no reason why he should ever only catch the ball twice and even less reason for him to only post fifteen yards. Hopefully this was a fluke. Colston should bounce back; after all he has a lot of reasons why he should always post good numbers.
Comeback Player of the Week- Ray Rice (Baltimore Ravens)
Some fantasy owners were ready to give up on Ray Rice. It took a long time to get him the ball, but the Ravens finally decided to stop passing a hundred times a game. For some reason the Harbaugh brothers decided to try passing more this year and give up on the reason they were facing each other in the Superbowl: power running games. Jim did it until Frank Gore complained. Sure enough, big brother John was doing the same thing with his featured runningback until someone finally shouted out “Hey! What about Ray?” Who would have ever expected giving the ball to the best player on the team would be a good idea?
And of course…
Fanspeak.com Most Valuable Player of the Week- Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys)
It was pretty obvious Tony Romo would get this from the beginning. After all he did have the best fantasy performance since Peyton Manning’s unbelievable week one performance. The Cowboys may have lost to the Broncos, but Romo’s stats were much more impressive than Peyton’s. After all, it is not everyday a quarterback throws for over 500 yards. This just proves what everybody has always thought about Romo: his stats are amazing, but he cannot win the game. Fantasy owners who started him in week five are not complaining.