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Week 5 Fantasy Fact Sheet

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Every week I will give you the facts that you need to know about every matchup in the NFL to help you set your lineup for the highest probability of winning. We are a quarter of the way through the season. Hard to believe. This week four teams are off with Washington, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Minnesota all on their bye week.

Saints at Bears, Sun., 1 p.m. ET

Drew Brees has thrown for 300 yards in nine straight games and has thrown 21 touchdown passes in his last seven. He takes on a Chicago pass defense that has allowed 462 yards and four total quarterback touchdowns over the last two weeks.
Darren Sproles finally got on track in Week 4, with 142 total yards and his first two touchdowns on the year on 11 touches. After receiving just two red zone opportunities in the first three games, he got three in Week 4 and scored twice. It is really a simple formula people!
• Reggie Bush racked up 173 total yards against the Bears in Week 4 and while Sproles won't do that, he could feast on a Bears defense that has surrendered 14 catches and 142 receiving yards to backs in the last two weeks alone.
Marques Colston has not scored since Week 1 and does not have a 100-yard game this season. The good news is that he has not had a four-game stretch without a touchdown or 100 yards since the beginning of the 2010 season. Colston has also scored in all three career meetings with the Bears and faces a Chicago team that has allowed the opposing No. 1 receiver to score five times, tied for most in the NFL.
Jimmy Graham has a touchdown in every game this year. He has 100 yards with a touchdown in three straight games and has 100 yards and multiple scores in each of his last two.
Jay Cutler has three games of 20-plus Fantasy points this year, but will struggle to get No. 4 this week. The Saints are the second toughest team on opposing quarterbacks, giving up just 10.5 Fantasy points per game. The last three quarterbacks to face the Saints have just 22 Fantasy points total and have produced two touchdowns versus eight turnovers. Cutler himself has seven turnovers in his last three games, so don't get carried away this week.
Matt Forte has 10-plus Fantasy points and has placed in the Top 12 at his position in every game this year, something only he and Jamaal Charles can say. The Saints have allowed a running back to score in each of the last two games and are allowing 149 total yards to the position along with a league-high 5.0 yards per carry.
Alshon Jeffery has 12 catches for 158 yards and a touchdown in his last two games while receiving a healthy 19 targets during that span. He has a tough matchup this week against a Saints team that has not allowed a receiver touchdown in two games and no opposing No. 2 has scored on them all year.
Brandon Marshall has not scored or reached 100 yards in either of the last two games. That happened only once in 2012 and he ended that with seven catches for 138 yards and a touchdown. I'd bet on Marshall to end the wide receiver scoring drought against the Saints in Week 5.
Martellus Bennett is fifth among all tight ends with 32 targets, sixth with 20 catches, eighth with 225 yards and fourth with three touchdowns. He is also second with nine red zone targets and first with three goal line targets among tight ends. Bennett is a legit Fantasy starter every week and should play well against a Saints team that has given up a tight end touchdown in each of their two games against legit Fantasy tight ends (Tony Gonzalez and Charles Clay). To be fair though, no tight end has gotten to 45 yards against them this year.
• The Saints defense has produced at least 11 Fantasy points in every game this year. Two defenses have scored 17-plus against the Bears, so yes, they are a nice sleeper.

Seahawks at Colts, Sun., 1 p.m. ET

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• Quarterbacks are averaging 18 Fantasy points per game against the Seahawks when playing at home this year, but just five points per game in Seattle. Fortunately for Andrew Luck, this game is in Indy and he will hope to duplicate the 22-point Fantasy day that Matt Schaub had against Seattle in Week 4. Luck is averaging 23.5 points per game in two home starts this year.
• Despite scoring in both games with the Colts, Trent Richardson has been very unimpressive. He has not been the team's leading rusher in either game and managed just 60 yards on 20 carries against the lowly Jaguars, while Donald Brown had 63 on just three carries. Trent has produced 4.0 yards per carry in just one of his last 10 games dating back to 2012 and does not have a single run of more than 15 yards this year. Richardson also has only one catch for six yards on four targets in two games as a Colt.
• The Hawks are allowing 121 yards rushing to running backs on the road and Arian Foster just produced 171 total yards (102 rushing) and a touchdown against Seattle in Week 4. Still, it is tough to trust T-Rich at this point in what still has to be classified as an unfavorable matchup.
• The opposing top target has recorded 100 yards receiving against the Hawks in each of the last two games. For the year, the opposing No. 1 receiver has produced 10-plus Fantasy points in three of four games against Seattle, so Reggie Wayne seems like a fine play.
• No opposing secondary receiver reached 55 yards receiving or six Fantasy points against the Hawks this year, so T.Y. Hilton -- who has just one game with 50 yards receiving this year -- seems like a risky play.
Coby Fleener has 60-plus yards and a score in two of his three starts without Dwayne Allen in the lineup. Seattle just allowed 11 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown to the Texans tight ends in Week 4, as both produced at least seven Fantasy points. Three tight ends already have five receptions in two road games for the Hawks this year.
• Seattle ranks dead last in the NFL at 26 pass attempts per game, so it is tough to trust Russell Wilson (just one 20-point game this year) on a weekly basis. The Colts are allowing a league-low 0.5 passing touchdowns per game and a league-low 10 Fantasy points per game. Terrelle Pryor ran for 112 yards in Week 1 and is the only quarterback to top 16 Fantasy points against the Colts, who have allowed fewer than 180 yards passing and five quarterback Fantasy points in back-to-back games (one of which was against Colin Kaepernick).
• A running back has scored or produced 10-plus Fantasy points in three of four games against the Colts this year.
Golden Tate and Sidney Rice each have exactly one game with more than 55 yards receiving this year. They both were against the Jaguars in Week 3. Now they take on a Colts pass defense that is giving up 130 yards (fourth fewest) and just 16 Fantasy points to receivers per game (third fewest). Did I mention that neither Tate nor Rice is amongst the 60 most targeted receivers in the NFL?
• No Fantasy defense has produced 10 points against the Colts this year, who are allowing just 5.5 points per game to the position, third fewest in the NFL.

Chiefs at Titans, Sun., 1 p.m. ET

Ryan Fitzpatrick will start against a Chiefs defense that has yet to allow a 20-point quarterback this year despite facing the likes of Michael Vick, Tony Romo and Eli Manning.
• This will be an epic battle between a Titans team that has given up just 5.25 Fantasy points per game to opposing Fantasy defenses -- second fewest in the league -- and the No. 1 Fantasy defense of the Chiefs. My money is on the Chiefs staying red hot.
Chris Johnson is still searching for his first 10-point game of the 2013 season. He was held to just 21 yards rushing on 15 carries by the excellent Jets run defense and could struggle with a Chiefs team that allowed an average of 41.7 yards rushing per game to Maurice Jones-Drew, DeMarco Murray and David Wilson. Only LeSean McCoy has rushed for more than 60 yards against the Chiefs and right now, Johnson isn't being confused with the Shady one.
Nate Washington caught a 77-yard touchdown from Fitzpatrick in Week 4 and has produced 100 yards receiving in each of the last two games. However, Dez Bryant remains the only outside receiver to score or exceed six Fantasy points against the Chiefs defense, who locked down Cecil Shorts (Week 1), DeSean Jackson (Week 3) and Hakeem Nicks (Week 4).
• The opposing slot receiver however, has topped 85 yards against the Chiefs in each of the last two games. Jason Avant had five catches for 87 yards and a score, while Victor Cruz had 10 catches for 164 yards and a touchdown. Cruz's touchdown came while lined up on the outside, but he caught nine passes for 95 yards while lined up in the slot. Kendall Wright has caught at least five passes in three straight games and is a good PPR sleeper in Week 5.
Alex Smith is quietly tied for second among all quarterbacks with three games of 20-plus Fantasy points this year. The Titans have allowed only one quarterback to reach 20 points or throw multiple touchdowns against them and it was Matt Schaub back in Week 2. The Titans even held the red hot Philip Rivers to his only game with less than 20 points or multiple scores in 2013, and they are allowing just 14.5 Fantasy points per game to the position this year, ninth fewest.
Jamaal Charles is the only running back in the NFL to have 100 total yards and a touchdown in every game this year. He leads all running backs with 35 targets, two receiving scores and is second with 213 receiving yards and 23 catches. He is also tied for the NFL lead -- regardless of position -- with five goal line targets!
Dwayne Bowe has not produced 60 yards receiving in a game yet this year. No opposing No. 1 receiver has scored on Alterraun Verner and the Titans this year, so it could be another long day at the office for Bowe.
• For the year, the Titans are surrendering only 16 Fantasy points per game to receivers, fourth fewest in the NFL. They have been even better the last two games, when they have allowed no touchdowns and just 16 points to the position total.
• The Chiefs are No. 1 in scoring defense (10.2 points per game) and the Titans (17.2) are seventh; so don't expect a lot of fireworks here.

Jaguars at Rams, Sun., 1 p.m. ET

Justin Blackmon makes his long anticipated return to action in Week 5 against the Rams. Blackmon was the No. 6 Fantasy receiver from Week 11 on in 2012. He scored in four of his final seven games and caught six or more passes in five of them.
Cecil Shorts is still No. 1 in the NFL with 52 targets after four games and is the only receiver with 10 targets in every game this year. That being said, he still has yet to find the end zone in 2013. Blackmon will most certainly cut into his looks, but Shorts is still worth a start against the Rams. The opposing top target has scored in every game against the Rams. They have given up a league-high five scores to the opposing No. 1s (now it could be Blackmon, but I'll give him a week to get that title), who are averaging 17 Fantasy points per game against St. Louis.
• For the year, receivers are averaging 25.5 Fantasy points per game, eighth most in the league. Six receivers have already produced eight or more Fantasy points against the Rams, who have allowed six touchdowns to receivers, fourth most in the league.
Maurice Jones-Drew is still in search of his first game of 50 yards rushing in 2013. He will face a Rams team that is the most generous to running backs in terms of rushing yards (130.75) and Fantasy points per game (25.5). They have allowed 24-plus running back points in three straight games and in the last two alone, the Cowboys and 49ers running backs have combined for 401 yards and four touchdowns rushing. Both DeMarco Murray (175) and Frank Gore (153) have topped 150 yards, scored and produced at least 21 Fantasy points. So, I'm saying there is chance for MJD this week, but nothing is guaranteed.
• Three of the four primary runners to face the Jags have produced at least 12 Fantasy points this year, including Trent Richardson last week. For the year, the Jags have allowed 19 Fantasy points per game to backs, seventh most. They are also allowing 127.25 yards rushing per game to backs -- second most -- on 5.0 yards per carry, which is second worst in the NFL.
Isaiah Pead was a healthy inactive in Week 4 and Daryl Richardson was the main man, but managed just 16 yards on 12 carries against the 49ers. Richardson is averaging 2.7 yards per carry on the season, which is not inspiring, but someone on the Rams should have success running against the Jags.
• Three of the four quarterbacks who have faced the Jags this year have thrown for multiple scores and produced 20-plus Fantasy points. Sam Bradford started the season very hot, with 651 yards passing and five scores in the first two games (55 Fantasy points). He has just 442 yards and two scores in his last two (25 Fantasy points), but should fare well against the Jags on 10 days of rest.
• The Jags have allowed six receiver scores this year, fourth most in the NFL. Tavon Austin (34 targets), Austin Pettis (31 targets) and Chris Givens (27 targets) pace a balanced passing attack for the Rams. Austin (6.2 yards per catch) and Pettis (9.6) are averaging fewer yards per catch combined (15.8) than Givens, who leads the team at 18.2.
• The top outside receiver has produced 16-plus Fantasy points in each of the last two games against the Jags. Three receivers have topped 10 points during that span, so both Givens and Pettis are decent sleepers.
• The Jags have allowed 15 catches for 210 yards and three touchdowns to tight ends the last two weeks. Both Coby Fleener and Zach Miller hit 12 Fantasy points against the Jags during that span, so Jared Cook has a good shot to get back to 10-plus for the first time since Week 1.
• Opposing Fantasy defenses have scored at least 15 Fantasy points in every game against the Jags this year and that includes the Raiders (15) and the Colts (28). For the season, defenses are averaging 21.5 Fantasy points per game against the Jags, most in the NFL.

Lions at Packers, Sun., 1 p.m. ET

• Every quarterback who has faced the Packers has thrown for multiple scores this year and Green Bay is giving up 323 yards, 2.7 touchdowns (league-high) and 26 Fantasy points per game to the position, fourth most in the league. Stafford himself has multiple scores in every game this year and is averaging a healthy 315.5 yards passing per game.
• In his two healthy games this year, Reggie Bush has amassed 364 total yards (229 rushing, 135 receiving) and two touchdowns. The opposing starter has at least 11 Fantasy points in every game against the Pack this year.
Kris Durham took the place of Nate Burleson as the Lions No. 2 receiver in Week 4. He ran 35 of the team's 37 routes and caught three of his four targets for 58 yards to lead Detroit. He is worth a look on the wire if he maintains this role for the Lions.
Ryan Broyles was the slot receiver this week and ran routes on 22 of the team's 37 pass plays. He was targeted only once and did not make a single catch. He will get better and I'd expect that to start against Green Bay this week.
• An opposing secondary receiver has scored in each of the last two games against the Packers, who are allowing 222.3 yards (fourth most), 1.67 touchdowns (third) and 32 Fantasy points per game (third) to receivers this year. Every receiver group to face the Packers has produced at least 27 Fantasy points this year.
• The opposing No. 1 receiver has scored in every game against the Packers this year and is averaging 18.7 points per game. Calvin Johnson has 100 yards receiving or a touchdown in four straight against the Pack.
Aaron Rodgers had 409 yards and two touchdowns passing in his last two games against the Lions combined. Only Jay Cutler has produced 20 Fantasy points against Detroit this year and he needed 47 pass attempts and two two-point conversions to hit 20 on the dot. That being said, I never bet against Rodgers, especially not after a bye week. Rodgers has 10 touchdown passes in his last three games after a bye.
• A running back has scored in every game against the Lions this year and they have allowed a league-high seven running back scores this year. At least one runner has 13 Fantasy points in every game against Detroit, who is allowing 21.5 points per game (127 total yards and 1.75 touchdowns) to the position this year. With Eddie Lacy expected back following the bye, he'd be my top choice in the Green Bay backfield.
Randall Cobb had 100 yards or a score in both games with the Lions last year producing 16 catches, 195 total yards and a score. James Jones totaled just 60 yards and no touchdowns in his two meetings with the Lions last year, while Jordy Nelson had 45 yards in his only game. Five receivers produced seven or more Fantasy points against the Lions in the last two weeks alone, however, and I roll with all of these guys this week.
• No tight end has scored on the Lions this year, but they have allowed 191 yards receiving to the position in the last two games alone. Jermichael Finley scored in the first meeting with the Lions last year and has at least 55 yards with a score in both full games this season.

Patriots at Bengals, Sun., 1 p.m. ET

Tom Brady had his first 300-yard passing and 20-point Fantasy game of the year in Week 4 and will take on a Cincy defense that has not allowed a 300-yard passer in 15 straight games. The Bengals are banged up in the secondary and both Jay Cutler and Brian Hoyer (268 yards and two scores in Week 4) have hit the 20-point mark against them in 2013.
• The Pats running backs are a three-headed mess right now and it is killing Stevan Ridley's value, as he failed to play 40 percent of the team's snaps for the second straight game. Ridley has exactly 11 carries in each of the last two games and does not have a single game with 60 yards rushing or a touchdown this year. Ridley, LeGarrette Blount (who scored in Week 4) and Brandon Bolden (who almost scored in Week 4) are pretty much splitting the time evenly, which makes all of them risky Fantasy plays.
Julian Edelman is one of three receivers in the league (Julio Jones and Pierre Garcon are the others) with at least six catches in every game this year. He had a season-high 118 yards in Week 4 against the Falcons, all of which came in the second-half.
Kenbrell Thompkins had a career day for the second straight week, catching six of his 11 targets for 124 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons. He has three scores in the last two games and is 13th in the NFL with 39 targets through four games. Brady is beginning to trust the young receiver who made some clutch catches on Sunday night. Thompkins should only find things easier on the outside once Rob Gronkowski returns and starts to occupy safeties in the middle of the field.
• Speaking of Gronk, should he return in Week 5, he would take on a Bengals team that just gave up 10 catches, 91 yards and a touchdown to Jordan Cameron in Week 4. The Bengals have faced only two Fantasy relevant tight ends this year -- Cameron and Martellus Bennett, and both have scored en route to double-digit Fantasy points.
• Without Vince Wilfork in the lineup, the Pats have allowed 5.0 yards per carry to runners since 2009. Wilfork will miss this game, which is great news for Giovanni Bernard, who once again played more than BenJarvus Green-Ellis in Week 4. Over the last two weeks, Bernard has played 80 snaps to 41 for Green-Ellis.
• Bernard took a career-high 16 touches in Week 4 and produced 75 total yards against the stout Browns. He is an every week No. 2 runner to me at this point and at least one back has eight Fantasy points in every game against New England this year, while three have 10-plus.
A.J. Green has not reached 52 yards receiving in three straight games this year and will take on Aqib Talib, who has been a lock down corner in 2013. Talib has faced Steve Johnson (39 yards), Santonio Holmes (51 yards), Vincent Jackson (34 yards) and Julio Jones (108 yards, but only 59 against Talib) thus far. You still start Green, but it could be another low-yardage week for the young superstar, who is averaging just 6.0 yards per target.
Tony Gonzalez roasted the Patriots for 149 yards and two scores on 12 catches in Week 4. He was the first legit tight end that the Pats had faced all year, and he exploded. Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham have not yet scored on 41 combined targets and each has only one game of six Fantasy points.
Andy Dalton has yet to produce 20 Fantasy points or finish in the Top 12 at his position in 2013. Matt Ryan is the only quarterback to top 250 yards or 20 Fantasy points against the Pats this year.

Eagles at Giants, Sun., 1 p.m. ET

• Seriously folks, start everyone in this game in Week 5, as this contest pits two of the most generous defenses in the NFL against each other.
Eli Manning will no doubt get some recon from Peyton this week and should fare well against an Eagles defense that is giving up a league-high 339.5 yards passing, 2.25 touchdowns (fourth most) and 26.5 Fantasy points per game (third) to quarterbacks. Eli had only six multiple touchdown games in 2012 and two of them were against the Eagles. In fact, Eli has 12 passing scores in his last four against Philly, who has given up 35-plus Fantasy points in two of their last three games.
David Wilson had his best game of the year with 55 yards rushing on 13 carries against a tough Kansas City defense last week. Buy low now, because the Giants released DaRel Scott and Wilson should deliver against an Eagles team that has given up 179 total yards and 20.3 Fantasy points per game to running backs over their last three games. Philly is one of only eight teams in the NFL that is allowing over 100 yards rushing per game to backs (105 yards per game and 4.3 yards per carry).
• Wide receivers are averaging 17.75 receptions (most), 227 yards receiving (second most), 2.25 touchdowns (most) and 35.5 Fantasy points (most) per game against the Eagles.
• The Eagles have already allowed a league-high five touchdowns to opposing slot receivers -- including two to Wes Welker last week -- so look for Victor Cruz to stay red-hot. Cruz is currently third in the NFL with 425 yards receiving and four touchdown grabs through the first four games of the year. Amazingly, Cruz had 164 of Eli's 217 passing yards in Week 4 against the Chiefs.
• An outside receiver has produced 10-plus points in every game against the Eagles this year. Two of them have topped 20 points and scored multiple touchdowns as well, so hopefully Hakeem Nicks can get on track. It should be noted that Nicks has not scored against the Eagles since 2010. Nicks has three catches for 33 yards in his last two games combined on 10 targets. He had nine catches for 197 yards on 15 targets in the first two weeks.
• If Nicks is matched up with Bradley Fletcher, however, it could be a long day. Fletcher is leading the NFL, allowing 0.44 yards per cover snap, in 2013 according to Pro Football Focus.
Brandon Myers had 13 catches for 140 yards and a touchdown in the first two games. He did not catch a pass in Week 4 and has three grabs for 33 yards in his last two weeks. The Eagles have not allowed a tight end touchdown this year and only Antonio Gates topped four Fantasy points against them.
• Every quarterback who has faced the Giants has thrown for multiple touchdowns and produced at least 20 Fantasy points. For the year, quarterbacks are averaging 26.5 Fantasy points per game against the G-Men, fifth most in the NFL.
Dwayne Bowe is the only opposing No. 1 receiver to score on the Giants this year. Still, the Giants have held Dez Bryant (22 yards), Demaryius Thomas (52 yards), Steve Smith (40 yards) and Bowe (58) all under 60 yards. After topping 100 yards in each of the first two games, DeSean Jackson has only 96 yards receiving in his last two. I'm still rolling with him this week.
• Tight ends have scored at least 11 Fantasy points in three games against the Giants this year. Tight ends are averaging 6.75 catches (second most), 68.5 yards (seventh most), one touchdown (third most) and 11.5 Fantasy points per game (fifth most), so Brent Celek is a nice Week 5 sleeper.
• Despite the fact that both the Giants (league-high 21.5 points per game) and Eagles (15 which is fourth most) are in the Top 4 in terms of Fantasy points allowed to opposing defenses, I am not starting either of these defenses this week. The Giants are allowing a league worst 36.5 points per game this season, while the Eagles are the second most generous at 34.5 points per game. Shucky ducky quack quack get a second scoreboard operator in town for this one.

Ravens at Dolphins, Sun., 1 p.m. ET

Torrey Smith has at least 85 yards receiving in every game this year and is currently second among all receivers with 435 yards following his 166-yard, one-touchdown effort against the Bills in Week 4. The Dolphins have not given up a touchdown to a receiver all year long, but the opposing top target has produced 335 yards receiving against them over the last three weeks, which averages out to 111.7 per game.
Mike Wallace, on the other hand, has produced more than 25 yards receiving in just one game this year. Dating back to last year, he has been held below 30 yards receiving in seven of his last 11 games. Baltimore just limited Steve Johnson to negative yardage on one catch in Week 4 and since Week 1, no opposing No. 1 receiver has scored or reached 40 yards against the Ravens.
Marlon Brown has a touchdown in three games this year, but Miami remains the only team in the NFL that has not allowed a wide receiver touchdown.
• Neither Ryan Tannehill nor Joe Flacco has been a Top 12 quarterback in any week this year. Drew Brees and Peyton Manning are the only quarterbacks to finish in the Top 12 against the 'Fins and Ravens this year.
Lamar Miller has carried the ball 33 times for 193 yards (5.8 yards per carry) and two touchdowns in the last three games. He needs more than 11 carries per game; so I am pleading with you Joe Philbin, give Lamar the rock. The Ravens have allowed only one running back touchdown all year and the Bills were the only team with a running back to hit 60 yards against the Ravens all season. Given his current workload, it is tough to trust Miller in Week 5, but Miami does have a running back rushing touchdown in all four games this year.
• The Ravens ran the ball an unconscionable nine times in Week 4 against the Bills. That will change this week and with Bernard Pierce banged up, look for Ray Rice to take a full workload for the first time this year.
• Over the last three weeks, running backs have scored in every game and are averaging 24.7 Fantasy points per game against the Dolphins. During that span, runners are averaging 184.4 total yards and 1.3 touchdowns per game. It all adds up to Rice being really nice this week.
Charles Clay has been a Top 12 Fantasy tight end in two of the last three weeks and faces a Baltimore defense that gave up 16 Fantasy points per game to tight ends over the first two games of the year. Since then, however, they have locked down the Texans excellent tight end duo and have given up just 3.5 Fantasy points per game to the position.
• Tight ends have produced 14-plus Fantasy points in three different games this year against the 'Fins. Tight ends have scored in every game against Miami and the 'Fins have given up a league-high six touchdowns to the position this year. Miami is also allowing 82.25 yards per game to tight ends -- fourth most in the NFL -- so it is no surprise that the Dolphins are allowing a league-high 17 Fantasy points per game to the position. Maybe Dallas Clark can be dusted off and used as a Bye Week Broski for Week 5.
Brandon Gibson quietly has six or more catches in three of four games this year.
Brian Hartline is coming off of his least productive game of the year, but the Ravens just allowed 80 yards and a touchdown to Robert Woods -- the No. 2 receiver of the Bills -- in Week 4.

Panthers at Cardinals, Sun., 4:05 p.m. ET

Cam Newton made his NFL debut with 422 yards passing and two scores along with 18 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground against the Cardinals back in 2011. Throw out Mike Glennon's NFL debut in 2013 and opposing quarterbacks are averaging 306.3 yards passing, 2.7 total touchdowns and 27 Fantasy points per game against the Cards this year.
DeAngelo Williams is averaging 97 yards rushing per game -- fourth best in the NFL -- and has not had fewer than 85 yards rushing in a game this year. Arizona has not allowed a single running back touchdown this year, nor has anyone rushed for 65 yards against them. The Cards also held Doug Martin to just 45 yards rushing on 27 carries in Week 4.
• They have, however, allowed at least eight running back receptions in three straight games and are giving up eight per game this year, most in the NFL. Runners are also averaging 64.5 yards receiving per game against the Cards, second most in the NFL.
• Williams did have more than 50 yards receiving and a touchdown in two of the final four games of 2012, but has just four catches for 11 yards in the first three of 2013.
• Calvin Johnson remains the only No. 1 receiver to score on the Cardinals this year. Megatron and Marques Colston are the only two receivers to top 70 yards receiving against this pass defense, so it could be a long day for Steve Smith, who does not have 60 yards receiving in a single game this year.
• The Cardinals have faced two good tight ends this year in Jared Cook and Jimmy Graham. Both exceeded 130 yards and two scores against them, so while I don't expect that for Greg Olsen, he should play well.
• The Carolina defense is averaging 14.7 Fantasy points per game. They face a Cardinals team that has allowed 10-plus points in every game and 16.5 points per game over the last two weeks to opposing defenses.
• No quarterback has topped 16 Fantasy points or thrown for multiple touchdowns against the Panthers this year. Carson Palmer has not topped 13 Fantasy points or thrown for multiple touchdowns in three straight games.
Rashard Mendenhall was back as the lead back in Week 4, but managed just 34 total yards on 15 touches. He will have a tough week against a dominant Carolina front that held Marshawn Lynch and David Wilson to 82 yards on 28 carries in Weeks 1 and 3. C.J. Spiller torched the Panthers for 103 yards, but Spiller Mendenhall is not. In that same game, the Panthers held Fred Jackson to only 2.5 yards per carry.
• Steve Johnson is the only outside receiver to top 55 yards against the Panthers this year. After Larry Fitzgerald showed that he is healthy with a touchdown against Darrelle Revis in Week 4, he is a must start. However, I'd be nervous about Michael Floyd, who has yet to score this year and has been held below 50 yards in two of his last three games.

Broncos at Cowboys, Sun., 4:25 p.m. ET

Peyton Manning leads the NFL with 1,470 yards passing, 16 passing touchdowns, no interceptions and 152 Fantasy points. He has 41 more points than any other player in Fantasy right now. He has exactly twice as many points as Tom Brady (76) and has 12 more than Brady and Colin Kaepernick (64) combined! Tony Dungy said that Peyton knows the Monte Kiffin Cover 2 defense better than anyone in the league and will slice and dice a defense that just gave up 401 yards and three scores to Philip Rivers last week.
Wes Welker is the only receiver in the NFL with a touchdown in all four games and is your league leader with six total.
Julius Thomas failed to score in Week 4 but should bounce back against the 'Boys, who were torched for 136 yards and a touchdown by Antonio Gates on 10 catches on Sunday. No team allows more catches (8.65) or receiving yards (86.5) per game to the tight end position than Dallas in 2013.
• Yeah, yeah, yeah, start Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas too. Decker has at least 80 yards receiving in three straight games and Thomas has 19 catches for 180 yards and two scores in his last two.
Knowshon Moreno was back as the main man in Week 4, running 12 times for 78 yards and a touchdown. He still only played 31 of the team's 60 snaps -- same as Ronnie Hillman, however -- and comes with week-to-week risk. Dallas has not allowed a rusher over 65 yards this year, nor have they given up a rushing touchdown (one of two teams in the entire league). They are vulnerable to pass catching runners as Danny Woodhead illustrated last week. Nine of the 15.5 running back points allowed per game to runners come from the 7.5 catches (second most), 61 yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game they surrender to the position.
Tony Romo has 20-plus Fantasy points in three of his four games this year and is averaging 23 Fantasy points per game at home. He has multiple touchdown passes in six straight home games, with 17 scores during that span. He does not have a 300-yard day this season, however, but that should change against a Denver pass defense that is giving up 330.25 yards passing per game, third most in the NFL.
• Opposing running backs are averaging 22 points per game against the Broncos this year, third most in the NFL. Every running back group has produced at least 17 Fantasy points on the strength of a lot of touchdowns. Denver is only allowing a league-low 53.7 yards rushing per game on 2.7 yards per carry and backs are picking up another 54.5 yards receiving on six catches per game. They have, however, allowed a back to score in every game this year and are giving up two total touchdowns per game.
Terrance Williams caught seven of his eight targets for 71 yards in his first NFL start. He had a costly fumble late but looked good and is a nice sleeper in Week 5 if Miles Austin is out again.
• Denver has allowed over 100 yards receiving to tight ends in three of their four games this year, most in the NFL. For the season, Denver is giving up 86.25 yards per game to the position -- third most in the league -- so Jason Witten should be plenty busy on Sunday.

Chargers at Raiders, Sun., 4:25 p.m. ET

Philip Rivers is the No. 2 overall Fantasy scorer in 2013 with 111 Fantasy points, thanks to his ridiculous 11 touchdown passes. He has three or more scores in three games and has been a Top 6 Fantasy quarterback in all three of those games. Only Peyton Manning has been a Top 6 quarterback in 2013 as often as Rivers. The Raiders have not given up a 20-point Fantasy game to a quarterback at home this year, but they have faced two excellent passers in 2013 in Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning. Those two each produced three touchdowns and put up 28-plus Fantasy points.
Danny Woodhead now has 20 catches for 146 yards and two scores over the last three games and has racked up 236 total yards (78.7 per game) during that span. He is a very solid flex option, with No. 2 runner potential in PPR leagues. He also played the most snaps of any San Diego runner over the last three games as well.
Ryan Matthews led the team in snaps played at running back (35) for the first time all season in Week 4. He had a season-high 103 total yards, thanks to 41 yards receiving. Those were the most total yards for Mathews since Week 8 of 2012 and the most receiving yards since Week 6 of 2012. If Ronnie Brown is indeed phased out and Mathews can get some passing work, he just may be a solid flex option more often than not.
• The Raiders have allowed 159-plus total yards, a touchdown and 21 Fantasy points to running backs in each of the last two games.
Antonio Gates has scored 10-plus Fantasy points in three straight games and is playing better than he has in years. Gates is tops among all tight ends at 11.9 yards per target and is also fourth at 1.56 Fantasy points per target, so his efficiency is phenomenal. Three tight ends have already scored against the Raiders this year, so look for another 10-plus from Antonio in Week 5.
• After seeing 14 targets in the first two games, Eddie Royal has seen five total the last two weeks. He had five touchdowns the first two weeks.
• No wide receiver has seen more than 12 targets, caught a touchdown or produced 10 Fantasy points for the Chargers in either of the last two games.
• If Terrelle Pryor starts this week, remember that he has produced 20-plus Fantasy points in three of his four career starts, including 26 points against the Chargers last year. Every quarterback who has faced San Diego has produced at least 22 Fantasy points and thrown for multiple touchdowns. For the year, the Chargers are giving up 29.5 Fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, most in the NFL. The Chargers have also allowed two quarterback rushing scores this season, so Pryor could stuff the stat sheets and run for a touchdown against the Chargers for the second time in as many meetings.
Denarius Moore has a touchdown in three of the four games started by Pryor and the opposing No. 1 receiver has 100 yards or a touchdown in every single game against the Chargers this year. They have all produced at least 13 Fantasy points and are averaging 18 points per game. I like Moore a lot more with Pryor under center, however.
Rashad Jennings caught eight passes for 71 yards in relief of Darren McFadden in Week 4. He will not get those check downs if Pryor gets the start and could struggle as the primary ball carrier. He averaged just 2.8 yards per carry in Jacksonville last year and produced 16 Fantasy points total in his first four starts.
• Jennings is an OK flex option against San Diego, but have reasonable expectations even though the Chargers are allowing 133.25 total yards per game to backs. Despite facing Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy, Chris Johnson and DeMarco Murray, no one has scored on the Chargers and only McCoy reached 10 Fantasy points.

Texans at 49ers, Sun., 8:30 p.m. ET

Matt Schaub has been a Top 12 quarterback and produced 20-plus points three times already in 2013. The 49ers, however, have not allowed a 20-point quarterback since Aaron Rodgers in Week 1 and have given up just 12 points per game to the position during that span against Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck and Sam Bradford.
• Schaub has also thrown a pick-six in three straight games and his game-loser against Seattle was particularly atrocious. The 49ers defense has yet to score a touchdown this year, so maybe that changes with the generous Schaub.
Arian Foster had his best game of the year in Week 4 as he ran 27 times for 102 yards and added six catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. He finally got a full workload and did not split carries with Ben Tate, who received only seven. The 69 receiving yards were the most for Foster since Week 10 of 2011.
• Three different runners have already scored and produced at least 11 Fantasy points this year against the 49ers, who have allowed 10 rushing scores in their last 10 games. Foster is a solid start again this week, as the 49ers were allowing the most Fantasy points per game to running backs prior to their Week 4 beat down of the Rams. Even with that game, San Francisco is allowing 20 Fantasy points per game to running backs, eighth most in the NFL.
• In his last 16 games, Andre Johnson has more games with 100 yards receiving (seven) than touchdowns (two).
Owen Daniels has six or more Fantasy points in three games this year, same as his running buddy Garret Graham. Daniels has two games with 60 yards receiving and two games with a touchdown. Graham has a touchdown in three games and 60 yards receiving in one. Both have been Top 12 tight ends twice, but they definitely do cannibalize each other's value.
• In their last two games, the 49ers have held Coby Fleener and Jared Cook to just five Fantasy points combined. The 49ers have allowed two tight end touchdowns on the year, however, but only Jermichael Finley has topped six Fantasy points against them.
• No quarterback has thrown for more than 200 yards against the Texans in 2013. The Texans have not allowed a single passing touchdown in either of the last two weeks and only Philip Rivers (back in Week 1) has produced more than 20 Fantasy points against them. Russell Wilson did run for 77 yards against the Texans last week, so hopefully Colin Kaepernick can use his legs and his arm to get back to 20-points, something he has done just once in 2013.
• The opposing starting running back is averaging 12.25 points per game against the Texans this year. Frank Gore has 100-plus total yards in each of his last two games and Marshawn Lynch just put up 143 total with a touchdown against Houston in Week 4. It should also be noted that Gore is averaging 7.6 yards per carry the last two weeks.
• The only two receivers to reach 10 Fantasy points against the Texans -- Kendall Wright and Eddie Royal -- are slot receivers. No receiver has scored against the Texans in either of the last two games, but Anquan Boldin has a chance to snap that streak. Boldin has run 60 percent of his snaps out of the slot this year. And 248 of his 372 yards and one of his two scores have come while lined up inside, so Boldin remains a solid No. 2/3 receiver this week.
Vernon Davis has scored in two of his three full games this year and is averaging 1.76 Fantasy points per target, third among all tight ends. No tight end -- including Antonio Gates -- has reached 50 yards against the Texans this year and only Delanie Walker found the end zone. Walker had one catch for 10 yards and the score in that game. If Davis gets his targets he will produce, but this is a tough matchup as the Texans allow 3.5 Fantasy points per game to tight ends, third fewest in the NFL.

Jets at Falcons, Mon., 8:30 p.m. ET

Bilal Powell has 10-plus Fantasy points in three straight games and has produced 100-plus total yards in each of the last two.
• For the year, three of the running back groups to face the Falcons have netted at least 15 Fantasy points. Interestingly though, the Falcons have only faced running back by committees this year, so Darren Sproles is the only back to hit 10 points or 100 total yards against them and no individual back has rushed for more than 65 yards. A running back has scored on the Falcons in each of the last two games, however.
• The Falcons have allowed at least one touchdown and 22 Fantasy points to wide receivers in every game this year. Seven receivers have produced double-digit Fantasy points against Atlanta, which is allowing 217.5 yards (sixth most), 1.5 touchdowns (fourth) and 30 Fantasy points per game to wide receivers (fourth).
• With both Stephen Hill and Santonio Holmes hobbled, Jeremy Kerley is likely to be the top target for the Jets in Week 5. Kerley has received 10 targets in three games and has totaled 19 catches for 249 yards in them. That's a solid average of 6.3 catches and 83 yards per game, so if you need a Bye Week Broski, he could be the answer.
Kellen Winslow received nine targets with the receivers beaten up last week and caught six passes for 73 yards. He has been targeted eight or more times twice this year and has 70-plus yards receiving in both games, with a touchdown in one of them.
• The Falcons have allowed a tight end touchdown in each of the last two games and in three out of four this year.
• If Steven Jackson is back I will give him a whirl, but this is a brutal matchup. No team is allowing fewer Fantasy points per game to running backs than the Jets at 8.0. The Jets are allowing just 65 yards rushing per game to running backs on 2.9 yards per carry, both of which are second fewest in the NFL. The Jets have allowed only one rushing touchdown all year, so I'd be hesitant to use either Jaquizz Rodgers or Jason Snelling in the Atlanta committee if Jackson remains out.
Roddy White played 74 of the team's 76 snaps in Week 4, up from 47 of 73 in Week 3. It was the most he had played all year and he also saw nine targets in Week 4, the same as he had received in the first three weeks combined. He only caught three of them for 28 yards, but now is the time to buy low on the Hot Rod. He will be back at 100 percent by Week 7 at the latest and can be had well below market value. Act now people! You will not be able to say that Roddy does not have a single game with 40 yards or a touchdown for long.
• The Jets are allowing 26 Fantasy points per game to wide receivers this year -- seventh most -- and outside of Antonio Cromartie, their corners have been brutal. Cro will try to handle the amazing Julio Jones, so don't be surprised if White becomes the fourth No. 2 receiver to score against the Jets.
• Welcome back Tony Gonzalez, who put on a hands catching clinic on Sunday night en route to 149 yards and two touchdowns on 12 catches. He should feast on a Jets team that has allowed a tight end to score in each of the last two games.
• The Jets are providing opposing Fantasy defenses with an average of 21.5 points per game on the road this year. Geno Smith has four turnovers in each of his two road games and the Falcons are a sneaky start this week. They produced 10-plus in their two games against the Dolphins and Rams, while falling short of 10 against Tom Brady and Drew Brees. The Jets offense is nothing like that of the Patriots or the Saints, so this is a very favorable matchup to stream in Week 5.

Bills at Browns, Thu., 8:30 p.m. ET

Fred Jackson is one of only three runners (Jamaal Charles and Matt Forte are the others) to produce at least 10 Fantasy points in every single game this year. C.J. Spiller has only one game of 10 Fantasy points this year, despite touching the ball more than 20 times in all three of his full games.
• With Spiller's status in doubt on the short week, Jackson is worth a start against the Browns if he is close to 100 percent, but he is also hurting. Keep in mind that only Adrian Peterson has reached 60 yards rushing against the Browns and for the year they are allowing just 62 yards per game on the ground to opposing running backs (third fewest) on a league-best 2.7 yards per carry. However, the Browns have allowed a rushing touchdown and a 10-point Fantasy running back in two of their last three games.
Steve Johnson is coming off of a season-low one catch for negative one yard in Week 4. It won't get any easier in Week 5 against Joe Haden, who is playing some of the best cornerback in the NFL. Through four games, Haden has held Mike Wallace, Torrey Smith, Jerome Simpson and A.J. Green to 18 catches for 180 yards combined. That's just 45 yards per game and Haden has yet to allow a single touchdown.
Robert Woods has scored in two of his first four games in the NFL and the Browns have allowed a No. 2 receiver to score in two games as well. No secondary receiver has scored against the Browns in back-to-back games, but Woods has a solid 18 targets the last two weeks. Not a great start on Thursday, but Woods is worth a look on the wire in deeper leagues.
• The Browns are one of eight teams that have not allowed a tight end touchdown this year.
• Before an inexplicable Week 4 game plan from the Ravens that called for a grand total of nine runs, the Bills were giving up league-high 146.7 yards rushing per game to opposing running backs on 4.6 yards per carry. Willis McGahee, who took a team-high 15 carries in Week 4, is worth a look as a flex option this week.
• The Bills have given up seven wide receiver touchdowns this year, second most in the NFL. In the last two weeks alone, three different receivers have topped 100 yards with a score against this defense. Opposing No. 1 receivers Santonio Holmes and Torrey Smith both topped 150 yards with a score against the Bills in the last two weeks, so look for a big game from Josh Gordon.
• The opposing No. 2 receiver has scored in every single game against Buffalo this year (a league-high five total), so maybe Davone Bess finds the end zone for the first time in Cleveland.
Jordan Cameron already has three games with 15 or more Fantasy points this year and is averaging 7.5 receptions, 90 yards and 1.25 touchdowns per game. STUD!
Brian Hoyer has produced 20-plus Fantasy points and thrown for multiple scores in both of his starts this year. The Bills have allowed multiple passing scores in every game this year and each of the last two quarterbacks (Geno Smith and Joe Flacco) to face them have thrown for more than 300 yards. He is a good sleeper in two quarterback leagues, even though it is a Thursday night game.
• The Browns boast the NFL's No. 3 overall defense and are a great start against a Bills team that has produced double-digit Fantasy points to the opposing Fantasy defense in each of the last two games. The Browns have not allowed a single 100-yard rusher or 300-yard passer this year.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Nathan at @nathanzegura .

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Player News
'No plans on how long' QB Logan Thomas plays Sunday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:39 am ET) After earlier saying Cardinals quarterback Logan Thomas would play at least the first half Sunday at San Francisco, coach Bruce Arians said there are "no plans on how long" the rookie will play, reports ESPN.com. Thomas will be making his first start after Ryan Lindley predictably flopped Week 16 against Seattle.

Thomas has appeared in two games, completing 1 of 9 passes. That completion was an 81-yard touchdown to running back Andre Ellington.

Quarterback Drew Stanton (knee) isn't expected to be ready until the playoffs, so Lindley is the only option behind Thomas. Lindley has zero touchdowns and eight interceptions in 225 career pass attempts. Arizona has not scored a touchdown in its past two games.

A 6-6, 250-pounder out of Virginia Tech, Thomas had a "shaky" start to Wednesday's practice before finishing "pretty strong," according to Arians.

Arizona is a 6-point underdog Sunday. The line opened at 4.5 before bettors pounced on the 49ers.

Despite their offensive struggles, the Cardinals can win the NFC West with a victory and a Seattle loss to the Rams.


Seahawks WR Jermaine Kearse not practicing
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:12 am ET) Seahawks wideout Jermaine Kearse, who injured his hamstring Week 16, did not practice Wednesday as the team prepared for Sunday's game against St. Louis. Kearse also would not have been able to participate had the team practiced Thursday.

If Kearse sits out, rookie Paul Richardson would start in his place. Seattle is a 12.5-point home favorite.


Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams practices fully
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:30 am ET) Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams, who's missed three straight games with a hand injury, practiced fully Wednesday and is on track to return Sunday against the Falcons.

However, coach Ron Rivera has indicated he'll stick with Jonathan Stewart as the starting tailback. Stewart has run for 437 yards over the past four weeks.

Carolina is a 4-point underdog at the Georgia Dome.


Chuck Pagano 'hopeful' T.Y. Hilton will play Week 17
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:21 am ET) Colts wideout T.Y. Hilton put in his second straight limited practice Wednesday, with coach Chuck Pagano saying he's "hopeful" Hilton will play Sunday at Tennessee. Hilton sat out Week 16 with a hamstring injury -- the first game he's missed all season -- and Indy got destroyed 42-7 at Dallas.

Hilton leads the Colts with 82 catches for 1,345 yards and seven touchdowns. Indy is a 7-point favorite over the 2-13 Titans.


Ravens RT Ricky Wagner undergoes foot surgery
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:12 am ET) Ravens right tackle Ricky Wagner underwent successful surgery to fix a Lisfranc foot sprain, reports the Baltimore Sun. He suffered the injury in the Week 16 loss to Houston.

Wagner, who allowed two sacks and drew high marks from coaches in his first season as a starter, is expected to be ready for next season, the report said.


Bears sign DE Austen Lane
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/24/2014) The Bears have signed defensive end Austen Lane, Pro Football Talk reports.

Lane will fill the roster spot of defensive end Willie Young, who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. Lane was with the Bears during the preseason but didn't survive the final cuts. He's managed three sacks in 30 career games.


Cardinals' Thomas starts practice 'shaky,' finishes 'pretty strong'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/24/2014) Cardinals coach Bruce Arians indicated that Week 17 starting quarterback Logan Thomas was "shaky" at the beginning of Wednesday's practice but finished "pretty strong" as he developed an understanding of where to throw his passes, ESPN.com reports.

"He's worked, fundamentally, extremely hard and gotten much better," Arians said. "But putting those fundamentals to use in the offense, that's two totally different things."

Thomas has just three days of practice before facing the 49ers in a game that has the possibility of landing his team with a first-round bye with a win and help from other results.

"It wasn't the greatest, but as it went on, it got better and better," Thomas added. "It just comes with reps and comes with time."

The Cardinals are a 6-point underdog in San Francisco Sunday.


Seahawks' Russell Okung, Max Unger practice Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/24/2014) Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung (lung) practiced in full Wednesday, while center Max Unger (ankle) was able to return to practice in a limited fashion.

Okung is on track to return in Week 17 after missing last week's game with a bruised lung. Unger hasn't played in any of the team's last five game due to a high ankle sprain. The Seahawks will earn the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a win Sunday, and it's possible Unger suits up for the crucial game.

The Seahawks are a 12 1/2-point favorite at home against the Rams in Week 17.


Raiders QB Derek Carr practices Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/24/2014) Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was able to practice Wednesday despite dealing with an illness.

"I got here early to work out and see how I would feel during that and after that and I felt pretty good," Carr said at a press conference Wednesday. "So, felt good at practice today, obviously not 100 percent but it felt good to practice and be out here."

Carr has been able to start every game for the Raiders this season, completing 58.6 percent of his passes while racking up 3,112 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Raiders are a 14-point underdog in Denver in Week 17.


Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman practices in full Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/24/2014) Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman was able to practice in full Wednesday for the first time since suffering a left foot injury on Nov. 9, ESPN.com reports.

"We've had a chance to watch him all week, participate and he's obviously further ahead than he was this time a week ago," head coach John Fox said after Wednesday's practice. "And the fact we're on grass, not on Astroturf, lot of variables, but I like what I see."

Hillman has been able to practice in a limited fashion during the last two weeks but hasn't been active on gameday since the injury occured. The Broncos are a 14-point favorite at home against the Raiders in Week 17.


 
 
 
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