Got a few players on bye and need a temporary replacement? Injury woes plaguing your squad? Unfortunately, week 5 was relatively tame as far as “breakouts” go, but here are a some players that have a good chance of putting up quality points going into week 5, as well as a few guys that you would be better off avoiding.
Week 5 Byes: Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, Tampa Bay
Matt Hasselbeck (QB – Ten): Could Jake Locker going down be the best thing for the struggling Titans? Hasselbeck came in and managed to put up two TD’s (albeit, with two int’s as well) against the second ranked Houston passing defense. He was able to distribute the ball to a variety of wide receivers, but more importantly, Chris Johnson showed signs of life for the first time this season. Hasselbeck should build off this due to a combination of having a week with first team practice reps, the probable return of Kenny Britt, and the fact that he faces a far more penetrable Minnesota secondary this week. If you have someone like Romo or Stafford on bye, he should be a very solid option this week.
Bilal Powell (RB – NYJ): The Jets are going to shake things up, and most likely it’s going to be sooner rather than later. They stand at an undeserving 2-2, and are looking at going into week 5 against a top Houston defense with Jeremy Kerley as their #1 WR. Mark Sanchez seems to have waved goodbye to the player we saw dismantle the Buffalo defense in week 1. But more importantly, Shonn Greene is averaging an absolutely gross 2.8 YPC. While Powell’s 3.8 is still nothing to write home about, he saw close to double the snaps of Shonn Greene in the painful loss to SF this weekend. Powell very well might start to see the bulk of work, so if you are short on RB’s and have some roster room, he is definitely worth a flier. Despite this, keep him on your bench this week, as the Jets won’t do much against Houston.
Rashard Mendehall (RB – Pit): Normally I don’t include guys on this list that are owned in more than 50% of leagues. Mendenhall’s ownership has dropped to a surprising 60% in ESPN leagues, but make no mistake, Mendenhall will be the only guy in the Pittsburgh running game worth owning very shortly. He has been practicing every week, yet not activated for games yet, presumably because he needed to get back in shape. Redman and Dwyer have fallen painfully short attempting to deputize the star RB, and week 5 is his projected return. Great chance to capitalize off of trigger-happy owners who dropped him on this one.
Brian Hartline (WR – Mia): Grab him before the next guy does. Don’t realistically expect games like he had in week 4, but he should be a constant producer. Tannehill has notably improved as the season has progressed, and Reggie Bush returning to health should only bolster their production. Again, he most likely just had the best game of his career, yet he has still been targeted a combined 29 times the past 3 weeks which gives him solid value, especially in PPR formats.
Andre Roberts (WR – Ari): Despite virtually everyone expecting Michael Floyd to be the beneficiary of playing next to a double-coverage magnet like Larry Fitzgerald, Roberts has emerged as the clear #2. He has been finding himself open, but more importantly, LEADS THE LEAGUE IN RECEIVING TOUCHDOWNS. Even in games where he doesn’t produce, he still has been managing to score. Consistent, with room for improvement. Sounds like a good waiver wire pickup to me.
Jerome Simpson (WR – Min): Looked solid, but not standoutish in his return from suspension last week. Adds a solid deep threat to a Minnesota offense that had largely been relying on nickel and dime passes and the corresponding YAC from guys like Harvin.
Scott Chandler (TE - Buf): Has arguably established himself as Fitzpatrick’s favorite target in the redzone, and at a staggering 6’7″ it comes as little surprise. Has multi-TD potential as seen in week 4, but most likely won’t blow you away with gobbles of yards.
Jeremy Kerley (WR - NYJ): So he is the #1. Probably not a good thing here. He will be drawing higher skilled DB’s, and more attention from defenses in an offense that has a very hard time passing the ball. There are better options out there in virtually all leagues.
Brandon Bolden (RB – NE): I’m not buying into this. Bolden is an undrafted rookie who came on, and impressed tremendously in week 4. He managed 137 yards on 16 carries, yet it seemed as if the Buffalo defense (who got scored on six straight times) had largely given up when the game got out of hand. Similarly, he is behind Stevan Ridley, and arguably on the same level as Shane Vereen in a depth chart that heavily favors the pass. Keep in mind, that Belicheck is unpredictable, and if I’m wrong this could very well be the worst pick I make all year. Something tells me that won’t happen, though.
Jackie Battle (RB – SD): Another one I’m hesitant about. Put up a mediocre YPC in week 4, but has owners jumping all over him because he managed to score twice. I think that is in large part to due Ryan Matthews being acclimated back into the swing of things after his preseason injury, and partly because the Chiefs’ were guilty of six turnovers that left their defense tired and stranded out on the field for long periods of time.