Week 5 is nearly complete with just Michael Vick and Philip Rivers left to duke it out on Monday night. Sunday brought a healthy dose of fantasy action, as Doug Martin and Devonta Freeman led the running back position in scoring with Josh McCown, Eli Manning, and Blake Bortles pacing all fantasy quarterbacks. Amidst the surprises and disappointments of a busy Sunday, the fantasy world received a tough blow as one of the NFL’s top running backs sustained a major injury. Let’s check out the damage from Sunday and begin to map out the road ahead in Monday’s Daily Dose.
Down Goes Charles
The most devastating news of the day came from Kansas City. Not only did the Chiefs lose a home game to Jay Cutler and the Bears, but they lost running back Jamaal Charles in the process. Initial reports fear that Charles has a torn ACL, which would require season-ending surgery for the stud running back. Confirmation will surface on Monday, but fantasy footballers with Charles leading their team will need to turn their attention quickly to the waiver wire. Behind Charles, Charcandrick West handled seven carries and one reception on Sunday, while Knile Davis ran for just two yards on two carries. West and Davis both figure to mix in for Andy Reid, but West gets the nod in waiver add priority at this juncture due to him handling more work after Charles left the game and the fact that Davis played zero snaps in weeks two and three. West was already trending in the direction of being Charles’ primary backup so let’s hope that he can come in and produce while the fantasy world attempts to bounce back from the loss of Charles. If your team is in dire need of running back help, this is a spot to blow a top waiver priority or make it rain with FAAB dollars.
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In Other News…
Well, it’s official. Todd Gurley is a stone-cold fantasy monster. Jeff Fisher’s new workhorse was outstanding on Sunday, running for 159 yards on 30 carries, giving him 305 rushing yards on 49 carries over the last two weeks, for a 6.2 yards per carry average. With many early-round fantasy backs disappointing or suffering injuries, it is a nice relief for the fantasy world to have a new RB1 on the scene. St. Louis is on bye in Week 6 before facing Cleveland, San Francisco, Minnesota, and Chicago so get ready for Todd Gurley to belly up to the fantasy points buffet. Enjoy.
After a mid-week comment from coach Gary Kubiak that detailed Ronnie Hillman’s need for “more touches,” some clarity was expected to be found in the Denver backfield this week. After Denver put the finishing touches on a boring 16-10 win over the Oakland Raiders, the picture is still as muddled as ever. C.J. Anderson received 13 touches while Ronnie Hillman handled just eight, but neither back stood out from a performance stand point. Anderson did receive some goal line work late in the game, but failed to convert on his attempts. Moving forward, both member of this split are in “hold” territory until Kubiak finally tips his hand as to who will own this backfield down the stretch.
Week 5 was good to the recent crop of waiver wire additions, as the names that were plucked with waiver claims and FAAB bids over the last few weeks delivered once again. Allen Hurns caught five passes for 116 yards and a score. Hurns is averaging 86 yards per game and has three touchdowns on the season. Willie Snead had his best game of the season with 141 yards on six catches, putting him at a healthy 76.2 yards per game this season to go with 33 targets in five games. The Browns’ passing game has erupted lately, giving us two new pass catching stars in wide receiver Travis Benjamin and tight end Gary Barnidge. Benjamin caught six passes for 83 yards against Baltimore, his fourth game this season with 79 or more yards. Barnidge went nuts again for 139 yards and a touchdown and now has 20 catches, 319 yards, and three scores in Cleveland’s last three games. Big Barnidge is a TE1 until further notice.
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Zach Zenner saw ten carries today while the Lions were getting dismantled by the Cardinals, and will likely remain in the mix in Detroit while Ameer Abdullah deals with fumbling issues and Joique Bell is hurt/not good. … Matt Jones left early on Sunday with a sprained big toe and is still locked up in a backfield battle with Alfred Morris, dragging both backs to unstartable status. … Golden Tate led the NFL with 18 targets on Sunday, but caught only eight passes thanks to the inaccurate ways of Matthew Stafford and Dan Orlovsky. … Kamar Aiken led the Steve Smith-less Ravens receiving group with four catches for 78 yards on nine targets and will continue to be involved in Baltimore. … Marquess Wilson also did a solid job with extra work thrown his way, as Wilson caught six of eight targets for 85 yards and a touchdown with Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal out. … Shane Vereen caught eight passes for 86 yards and a score on Sunday night, following two games with no catches. Good luck predicting the games in which Vereen will be used. … Both Cleveland backs were productive on Sunday, with Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell each handling 15 touches. I would still rather own Johnson going forward due to his receiving skills. … Thomas Rawls performed admirably on Sunday while filling in for Marshawn Lynch. Rawls dashed his way to 169 yards and a score on 23 carries in a tough matchup and will continue to be a decent fantasy option with Lynch out. Stay tuned to Rotoworld this week for more on Beast Mode’s Week 6 status.