In what was one of the most unproductive weeks on offense in recent seasons, this week's list of top performers includes a quarterback who is still available in 89 percent of NFL.com leagues, a tight end who wasn't selected until the middle to late rounds, a kicker who wasn't drafted at all in most formats, and two running backs who aren't even atop the depth charts of their respective teams. What's more, a number of the worst performers of the week are fantasy superstars or players who have posted solid numbers in recent seasons. It's all par for the course in what has been a bizarre fantasy football season.
1. Tom Brady, QB, New England (28 points): If fantasy football drafts were held next week, Brady would be the first overall selection. He threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-17 win over Cleveland, and he's now on pace to finish the season with an unreal 4,426 yards and 51 touchdowns. His scores this week came on a 34-yard pass to Donte' Stallworth and 7- and 25-yard passes to Benjamin Watson. Next week Brady will face fellow fantasy studmeister Tony Romo in what should be a real battle in Big D.
2. Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego (28 points): Rivers has been one of the more inconsistent quarterbacks in the NFL this season, so he wasn't considered an attractive option against Denver and its top-rated pass defense. So much for the numbers. Rivers completed 13-of-18 passes for 270 yards and scored three touchdowns in a 41-3 romp over the Broncos. His scores came on a 2-yard run, a 9-yard pass to Antonio Gates and a 15-yard pass to Vincent Jackson. Rivers should be a nice option in Week 5 against Oakland.
3. Kenton Keith, RB, Indianapolis (27 points): Keith started in the absence of an injured Joseph Addai, but it was hard to tell based on Keith's numbers. The former CFL all-star caught five passes, totaled 158 all-purpose yards and scored two touchdowns in a 33-14 win over Tampa Bay. Keith scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter and a 7-yard run in the third quarter. This could be his one start of the season, however, as Addai (chest, shoulder) should return to action in Week 7 after the team's bye.
4. Gus Frerotte, QB, St. Louis (24 points): Frerotte, who took over the beaten and bruised Marc Bulger, completed 24-of-43 passes for 262 yards with three touchdowns in a 34-31 loss to Arizona. The veteran's numbers would have been even better had it not been for three interceptions, but fantasy owners who started him will take the 24 points and run. Frerotte has a much more difficult task next on the slate in Baltimore, but he is now fantasy relevant in most leagues, especially with six teams on a bye next week.
5. Kris Brown, K, Houston (23 points): No, this isn't a misprint. A kicker made it into our list of the top-10 fantasy performances of the week. Brown connected on field goals of 54, 43, 54, 48 and 57 yards and outscored most skill position players with his incredible stat line. The 57 yarder won the game for Houston, 22-19. Brown tied an NFL single-game record with three conversions of over 50 yards. It should also be noted that no one had kicked a field goal of more than 53 yards before Brown this season.
6. Benjamin Watson, TE, New England (23 points): First a kicker, now a tight end on this list. Watson, who had 11 receptions heading into the weekend, caught six passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Browns. His scores came on catches of 7 and 25 yards. Watson has now scored at least one touchdown in four of five contests this season. He should be active in most fantasy leagues next week when the Patriots head to Dallas to face the Cowboys.
7. Jason Campbell, QB, Washington (21 points): In what had to be the most impressive performance of his NFL career, Campbell completed close to 80 percent of his passes and recorded 248 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-3 win over Detroit. Campbell's two scores came on a 7-yard pass to Chris Cooley and an 8-yard pass to Mike Sellers. Despite these solid numbers, Campbell's success had much to do with the ineffectiveness of the Lions defense. He'll be hard pressed to duplicate such totals in Week 6 at Green Bay.
8. Ronnie Brown, RB, Miami (20 points): LaDainian Tomlinson has a new name: Ronnie Brown. The veteran runner out of Miami has been this season's version of L.T., as he totaled five catches, 153 all-purpose yards and one touchdown in a loss to Houston. Brown has now produced an incredible 17 receptions, 571 all-purpose yards and five scores in his past three starts and has established himself (for now) as the best runner in fantasy football. He should continue to produce solid totals in Week 6 at Cleveland.
9. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis (20 points): Another week, another solid line from the incomparable Manning. The Super Bowl XLI MVP completed 29-of-37 passes for 253 yards and threw two touchdowns in a 33-14 win over the Buccaneers. His scores came on a 10-yard pass to Dallas Clark and a 9-yard pass to Reggie Wayne. What's more, Manning found success without Addai, Marvin Harrison, Aaron Moorehead and Ben Utecht, all of whom where inactive due to injuries. Manning and the Colts have a bye in Week 6.
10. Michael Turner, RB, San Diego (20 points): LaDainian Tomlinson had a nice stat line (three catches, 130 all-purpose yards), but his backup, Turner, posted even better numbers. "Turner the Burner" rushed for 147 yards on 10 carries in a blowout win over the Broncos, and he did most of his damage on one run. The quick and elusive back out of Northern Illinois broke a 74-yard touchdown run that was good for 13 points all alone. It's hard to start him in Week 6, but Turner is still the NFL's top handcuff back.
1. Jon Kitna, QB, Detroit (0 points): Kitna has developed into a must-start fantasy quarterback this season. After all, he was averaging over 20 fantasy points after four weeks and was on pace to throw 32 touchdowns on the season. Well, those numbers took a hit in Week 5 as the veteran quarterback completed just 16-of-29 passes for 106 yards, with no touchdowns and two interceptions in a loss to the Redskins. The Lions have a bye in Week 6, so Kitna and his teammates will have time to lick their offensive wounds.
2. Larry Johnson, RB, Kansas City (1 point): The season of discontent continued for fantasy owners who drafted Johnson in Week 5. The veteran back rushed for 12 yards on nine carries (0.7 YPC) in a 17-7 loss to Jacksonville, and he failed to score a touchdown for the fifth consecutive week. Johnson is now on pace to rush for a mere 880 yards based on his current level of production, but his fortunes should change in Week 6 against Cincinnati. As bad as he has been, owners should keep L.J. active.
3. Chris Chambers, WR, Miami (1 point): Chambers had a solid start to the season with 21 catches for 302 yards in the first three weeks, but his numbers have fallen since. He totaled two catches for 19 yards in a loss to Houston on Sunday, and he now has four catches for 40 yards in his past two starts. Chambers becomes more of a risk with Trent Green's status in question, but he's still a viable No. 3 fantasy receiver next week when Miami travels to Cleveland to face the inconsistent Browns.
4. Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seattle (2 points): Even with NT Casey Hampton and SS Troy Polamalu on the sidelines due to injuries, the Pittsburgh defense still put the squeeze on Hasselbeck and the Seahawks. He completed only 48 percent of his passes and recorded 116 yards, no touchdowns and one interception in a 21-0 loss to the Steelers. Hasselbeck had been one of the better quarterbacks in fantasy football heading into the weekend, and he should bounce back next week at home against New Orleans.
5. Shaun Alexander, RB, Seattle (2 points): Hasselbeck wasn't the lone member of the Seahawks to post a stinker at Heinz Field. Alexander totaled 25 yards on 11 carries and failed to find the end zone for the third consecutive week. In that time, Alexander has also averaged a lethargic 67.6 rushing yards, but he's still on pace for over 1,200 yards on the season. However, he should be able to turn his fortunes around next week against New Orleans; he has posted some monster numbers in Sunday night contests.
6. Vince Young, QB, Tennessee (2 points): Young seemed like a nice option this week based on the stats, but he too failed to meet expectations. The former collegiate hero completed 20-of-33 passes for 157 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions in a 20-13 win over Atlanta. He also rushed for a 27 yards on eight carries. It's been hard to predict what Young will do from week to week, but he remains a viable option in most leagues for Week 6 when the Titans head to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers.
7. Roy Williams, WR, Detroit (3 points): With Kitna's lack of success in the box score, it's no shock that his top wideout is also on our list of the worst performances of Week 5. The talented receiver caught just three passes for 36 yards in a loss to the Redskins, who pressured Kitna all afternoon and caused the Detroit receivers to alter their routes. Williams now has a mere 89 yards and no touchdowns in his past two starts, but he remains one of the premier wide receivers in all of fantasy football.
8. Randy Moss, WR, New England (4 points): After four consecutive unbelievable performances, Moss came back to earth against Cleveland with three catches, 46 yards and no touchdowns. It was the first time he has been held out of the end zone as a member of the Patriots. Despite the poor numbers, Moss is still on pace to finish the season with 109 receptions, 1,763 yards and 22 touchdowns. He remains a must-start option next week in a tremendous battle against Terrell Owens and the Cowboys.
9. Thomas Jones, RB, N.Y. Jets (4 points): One has to wonder about the health of Jones, who has posted bad numbers in four of five weeks and is still without a touchdown on the season. His lack of production continued in Week 5, as the veteran runner totaled two catches and 50 all-purpose yards in a 35-24 loss to the N.Y. Giants. Jones, who had averaged close to 1,300 rushing yards the past two seasons, is now on pace for 928 in 2007. He's a risk for fantasy owners in Week 6 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
10. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans (6 points): Brees has been one of the season's biggest disappointments, and his failures continued in a 16-13 loss to Carolina. The veteran out of Purdue threw for 252 yards, but he tossed two interceptions and was held without a touchdown in the contest. Brees, who had averaged just 13 interceptions over the past two seasons, has already tossed nine in five 2007 starts. He'll be a serious risk for fantasy owners until he can string together a few solid stat lines.