Who would have thought that the Seattle Seahawks would lose two straight games this year? Would you have guessed that this stretch would have happened when they were playing the Rams? Now factor in the amazing performance that Russell Wilson put out there on Sunday, and it seems crazy. While that was crazy, perhaps the weirdest move of the week was the Percy Havin trade to the New York Jets for a conditional draft pick. Harvin was not finding his groove in the offense, and Seattle didn't want to try and force him into their gameplan. Additional reports have been surfacing about him being a problem within the organization unrelated to his on-field performance, but nothing can be confirmed. His value does take a slight uptick going to the Jets, but for now keep him on the bench until he proves that he will be utilized. As for Eric Decker, his value stays the same for me, as he is doing his damage in the redzone, and has been one consistent receiver for Geno Smith when healthy.
Now that all but the Monday night game has been played, it is time for a weekly look at the top performers from the games on Sunday, and on Thursday. After going over my thoughts on the top performers at each positon, I will also select a few other players who either performed above expectations, or maybe have you questioning whether you should continue starting him or not.
The goal of this article is to highlight those top guys, and if you can expect some similar performances in the future from them or if it was a flash-in-the-pan, and also whether you should be worried about top picks in drafts that put up less than stellar performances. So without rambling on longer in this intro, let's take a look at those who performed well in week 5.
QB - Russell Wilson 313 Passing Yards, 2 Passing TD's, 106 Rushing Yards and 1 Rushing TD, 36 Fantasy Points
This is now the third straight game where Russell Wilson has ran for a TD, and his second game of running for over 100 yards during that span. Wilson is a little inconsistent from week to week as you are not sure what the gameplan will call for in that given week. He has a nice stretch of games coming up, so if you drafted a second QB at the start of the season to go with Wilson, you should drop him and use it on a high upside RB or WR.
QB - Peyton Manning 318 Passing Yards, 4 TD's, 28 Fantasy Points
Another week with Peyton Manning turning in an elite performance. He even did it this week without throwing a TD to Julius Thomas. This Peyton Manning is just like the one who played last year, and is showing those who invested a first round pick in him that it was not a waste.
QB - Aaron Rodgers 255 Passing Yards, 3 TD's, 24 Fantasy Points
Has Tom Brady figured it out now? I was on the fence last week about saying that Brady was back, but this performance here made me feel a lot more confident in him going forward. He is someone you can now trust as your starter, but do not mistake him for a top guy at his position. I would have him as a borderline top 10 guy the rest of the season, but that is only because his WR's are not ideal.
RB - Shane Vereen 11 Carries for 43 Yards, 5 Catches for 71 Yards and 2 TD's, 23 Fantasy Points
We all knew that with Ridley out for the season that Vereen would be featured more in the offense, but it was uncertain if that meant he was getting a huge chunk of the carries. Well Vereen got most of them, but that might be because it was easy to throw the ball against the Jets. The 11 carries he got on Thursday seems right for an average the rest of the year, but his calling card will be as a receiver. It is easier to trust him as a FLEX option each week with Ridley gone, but since he is a Patriots running back, can we really trust them to use him correctly? I think so, but the worries are there.
RB - Matt Forte 12 Carries for 49 Yards and 1 TD, 6 Catches for 60 Yards, 22 Fantasy Points
Again Matt Forte makes his way on this list, and it is because of his skills as a receiver. His running game this week was rather pedestrian, and he did get a short yardage score, but it was his 6 catches that lifted him up into this column. He is a top five
RB - Ronnie Hillman 14 Carries for 74 Yards and 2 TD's, 4 Catches for 29 Yards, 21 Fantasy Points
Apparantly Montee Ball just isn't who we thought he was. Ronnie Hillman has showed us that you can be a very good back in Denver this year, and that Montee Ball just isn't someone special. Because of how Hillman has performed over the last two weeks, I bet that Hillman keeps the job when Ball is healthy. Hillman is easily a top 15 back while Ball is out, and for the first week that Ball is back, he should be around the top 20 just in case he cuts into Hillman's carries.
WR - Demaryius Thomas 9 Targets, 8 Receptions for 171 Yards and 2 TD's, 29 Fantasy Points
Even with the slow start to his season, he has come back to his 2013 form, and will probably finish with similar stats as well. He is my number one receiver for the rest of the season, and it isn't as close as it was before with Antonio Brown, Jordy Nelson, Julio Jones, and the hurt Calvin Johnson.
WR - Sammy Watkins 14 Targets, 9 Receptions for 122 Yards and 2 TD's, 24 Fantasy Points
I loved Watkins this week going against the Vikings, but didn't expect anything like this. I thought at best he would go 100 yards and 1 TD, but he passed that with a great final drive to the game. Kyle Orton is a better thrower than Manuel was and is going to help Watkins continue to be a good receiving option. He is at least a FLEX option going forward, and may be a top 20 guy depending on the opponent on a given week.
WR - Golden Tate 13 Targets, 10 Receptions for 154 Yards and 1 TD, 21 Fantasy Points
The Saints have a terrible defense, which is why Golden Tate did this. Now Tate is a good receiver, and I rank him as such without Calvin, but don't go too far overboard thinking he is a top 10 guy the rest of the way. Rob Ryan is quite possibly the worst Defensive Coordinator in the NFL, and allowed Stafford to do what he wanted to on the offensive end. Tate has reached his peak value, but I don't know if anybody is actually going to give you fair market value for him, so hold tight and ride out this streak.
TE - Gavin Escobar 3 Targets, 3 Receptions for 65 Yards and 2 TD's, 18 Fantasy Points
At no point before the Cowboys game happened did I expect to write about Gavin Escobar in this article. He wouldn't have even been in the top three possibilities for his game if you told me someone was going off in that game. This is a complete mirage, as he probably won't get 2 more TD's the rest of the year, but it is a nice reminder that Jason Witten still can't be trusted.
Now a look at a couple of other performances that stood out to me from Sunday's games:
QB - Carson Palmer 253 Passing Yards, 2 TD's and 1 INT, 16 Fantasy Points
Carson Palmer looks fully healthy now, and he had a decent game against the Raiders. Once again though, he isn't getting Fitzgerald the ball farther down the field, which is making him drop worthy in shallow leagues. Michael Floyd is the guy you want, and he will be a borderline top 20 guy the rest of the way. Carson Palmer has an amazing matchup next week against the Eagles, so if he is available in your league you can stream him if yours is on a bye.
RB - Tre Mason 18 Carries for 85 Yards and 1 TD, 14 Fantasy Points
Zac Stacy's days of being the main ball carrier ended today with Mason putting up a very solid game. Stacy just wasn't an elite talent, and relied heavily on the volume of touches he got last year for his fantasy value. I didn't like Stacy in the preseason for that reason, and now Mason is ready to take over as the lead back here with Cunningham being the compliment to him. Mason is an immediate pickup at this point, and is a potential starter for you depending on his matchup each week.
WR - Doug Baldwin 11 Targets, 7 Receptions for 123 Yards and 1 TD, 18 Fantasy Points
Baldwin is the biggest beneficiary of the Percy Harvin trade, and is someone who should be rostered in all leagues. He has the potential to be a reliable FLEX play each week, or the perfect WR3 in 3 receiver leagues as he should put up solid numbers each week. His value is directly tied to the gameplan in Seattle, but it looks like they are throwing the ball a little more than in the past.
Want thoughts on a specific player? Leave a comment on who it is, and I will respond with my thoughts on that guy's performance and where he stands going forward.