Week 5 saw some of the elite players perform at the level you should expect, while a few relatively unowned players went out and put up fantastic performances. Too bad Jake Locker had to get hurt, as he was on pace for an incredible performance on Sunday. Charlie Whitehurst then came in and performed at the same level, and if you combine the fantasy point totals between the two, they would have tied Peyton Manning at 31. The early departure of Calvin Johnson was a huge blow for his owners, as that is two consecutive weeks that he has been worthless. Keep a close eye on him during the week, as he could be another game-time decision, and potentially not play at all in week 6. 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 position, 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 - Peyton Maninng 479 Passing Yards, 4 Passing TD's and 2 INT's, 31 Fantasy Points
This marks two straight weeks that a Manning is the top QB performer of the week. Last week it was Eli with his five TD effort, and now this week it is Peyton. This performance will be his best on the season with 31 fantasy points, but there will be a lot more games of him going over 20 fantasy points. This is the guy you drafted in the first round, and now looks like he is holding that value.
QB - Austin Davis 375 Passing Yards, 30 Rushing Yards, 3 TD's, 26 Fantasy Points
This was surprising to see, as there were questions during the week about if he was actually going to be the starter or not. Expectations do need to be tempered here as he did it all against the bad Eagles pass defense. This is great news though for players like Brian Quick who has put up a great season so far, and shows no reason to stop. With Davis showing that he is capable, Quick needs to start rising up higher in my WR ranks starting next week.
RB - Branden Oliver 29 Carries for 114 Yards and 1 TD, 4 Catches for 68 Yards and 1 TD, 29 Fantasy Points
Not the San Diego back you would expect to be here, but injuries to the top three backs over the past few weeks have now opened the door for Oliver. He is a great pass catcher, and showed on Sunday that he is also a decent runner. The Jets have a great run defense, so putting up numbers like this against it is something to keep in mind. Sure the Jets looked out of sorts all game, but Oliver is now in consideration for an RB2 spot as long as he is the starter, since we don't know the status of Donald Brown's concussion yet.
RB - Arian Foster 23 Carries for 157 Yards and 2 TD's, 2 Catches for 15 Yards, 28 Fantasy Points
Foster didn't look hurt this week, as he was making some great runs. His decisiveness was back this week, and hit each hole that he had with conviction. The vision that has made him a top fantasy back for all those years was still evident in the game against the Cowboys. Currently I would have Arian Foster just after my top five RB's for the rest of the season behind Murray, Bell, Charles, Forte, and Lynch for sure, and then he enters in the conversation.
RB - Andre Ellington 16 Carries for 32 Yards and 1 TD, 4 Catches for 112 Yards and 1 TD, 26 Fantasy Points
Couldn't get much going on the ground, against the Broncos, but made up for it with his one long TD catch. That TD shouldn't have happened, but since Logan Thomas was the QB, he forced the ball into a very tight window, and somehow Ellington was able to get it and then did what he does best, and that is move with the ball in the open field. If you take away his 81 yard TD reception, he had a very pedestrian game, which is worrisome. Once Carson Palmer is healthy, I think that Ellington will be back to the guy we though he was, but until then, he will be unpredictable.
WR - Demaryius Thomas 16 Targets, 8 Receptions for 226 Yards and 2 TD's, 34 Fantasy Points
This is what happens when Peyton Manning is on his game. Thomas finally had his breakout game of the season, and it comes at a time most fantasy owners needed. I heard rumblings from people that were scared a little bit about hi performance up to this point in the year. Don't worry about him, as he is easily a top 5 WR the rest of the way.
WR - Kendall Wright 8 Targets, 6 Receptions for 47 Yards and 2 TD's, 2 Rushes for 43 Yards, 20 Fantasy Points
A pleasant surprise for Wright owners who saw him catch a TD with two different QB's. His yards per catch isn't great, but it never will be. He is relied upon as a possession receiver, who will always make his value through volume. He is a decent FLEX play or WR3 for owners during the bye week portion of the season.
WR - Brian Quick 9 Targets, 5 Receptions for 87 Yards and 2 TD's, 20 Fantasy Points
Wrote a little about him already when covering Austin Davis, but to sum it up here again, this is for real. He was touted up as an exciting prospect his rookie year, and like most didn't do well that season. He was completely forgot about last year with the new shiny toy in Tavon Austin, and same goes for this season. The athletic ability was still there, and now he has refined his route running skills to make him a great weapon for any QB. This will continue, and should be ranked much higher next week in my rankings.
TE - Greg Olsen 9 Targets, 6 Receptions for 72 Yards and 2 TD's, 19 Fantasy Points
Been listed here before, and it won't be the last time either. He is a top 5 TE and is only battling for targets with Kelvin Benjamin. Great guy to put in a lineup and know that a solid performance will at least be there.
TE - Antonio Gates 6 Targets, 4 Receptions for 60 Yards and 2TD's, 18 Fantasy Points
Well this is the third Charger to make the list, so you know how that game went. They had their way with the Jets on offense, and Gates was a major beneficiary of that. After two bad weeks, Gates comes back out and puts up another monster game. I think if you take away the Eddie Royal magic of the last two weeks that can explain why Gates wasn't producing. He is a borderline top 5 TE the rest of the way.
TE - Julius Thomas 7 Targets, 6 Receptions for 66 Yards and 2 TD's, 18 Fantasy Points
Yeah Thomas makes the list again, and shows how Peyton can help out many. Even Emmanuel Sanders had a good game. He is quite possibly the most potent redzone target in the NFL right now, and will continue to rack up the TD's. He has 7 through 4 games right now, and I wouldn't be shocked if he does come close to finishing with 18-20 TD's by year end. Don't try to trade him, as you won't be able to receive fair value in return, just ride out his greatness each week.
Now a look at a couple of other performances that stood out to me from Sunday's games:
QB - Cam Newton 255 Passing Yards, 2 TD's and 1 INT, 14 Fantasy Points
I was a big believer in Newton before the season saying that you shouldn't worry about his targets, since they weren't that great the past few years anyways. I was right about the second part, but he hasn't been the same player this year. He has yet to break over 10 rushing yards in a game this year, and isn't showing a willingness to run the ball right now. I would be very concerned as an owner and would try to find another QB on the waiver wire to start until Newton picks up his game. Keep Newton if possible as once he is fully healthy I think he will go back to being his old self, but that may not happen for another five weeks at this rate.
RB - Ben Tate 22 Carries for 123 Yards and 0 TD's, 1 Catch for -2 Yards, 12 Fantasy Points
Ran strong in the game, and showed why he is the starter when healthy. He would personally be in my top 15 RB's each week that he is healthy, but how long will he stay healthy this time? If you are not the Crowell owner, see if the guy who does own him drops him after this week, if not try and make a trade for him.
WR - Vincent Jackson 12 Targets, 8 Receptions for 144 Yards and 0 TD's, 14 Fantasy Points
Mike Glennon is the best thing to happen to Vincent Jackson's value. Josh McCown is not the same guy we saw under Trestman. Now that McCown is currently hurt, Glennon can take back the starting job, and pick up where he left off last season, throwing the ball up to Jackson. I think that Jackson will return to his old 2013 value now, and is a guy you should not sell high on.
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.