So you went through your fantasy football draft. You made a trade or two, picked up a guy off the waiver wire. But then before everything went live ... something didn't feel right. Maybe you had a player who was a game-time decision. Or there was a matchup that wasn't in your favor. Whatever the reason, you decided it was time to make a bold choice. You know what they say ... No Guts, No Glory. So this column is for you. Every week here, we'll salute the outside-the-box thinking that was rewarded with big fantasy production. Fortune favors the bold, so here's to you. We sent out the call early Monday morning, and here's what you came back with. Congratulations to those of you who are looking at a Week 5 win!
With Marshawn Lynch sidelined for the second straight week, RB Thomas Rawls drew the start for the Seahawks. We saw him garner over 100 yards on 16 carries after Lynch left Week 3 early, but last week against the Lions, the undrafted rookie struggled to produce. So fantasy owners were left with a tough choice: Start Rawls and hope for the best against a Bengals defense that hadn't allowed a rushing TD entering Week 5, or go with another question mark running back like C.J. Anderson or Ameer Abdullah. Welp, we all know how that worked out. Rawls posted over 22 fantasy points in standard leagues with a 169-yard, one-touchdown game against the Bengals. He averaged 7.3 ypc and, while it may have taken a certain amount of guts to slot him into your lineup, we're all about going big or going home. And thanks to Rawls, you went big!
For the second straight game, Titans running back Antonio Andrews was the biggest fantasy contributor out of the Tennessee backfield. He's now scored double-digit fantasy points in two consecutive games and is owned in just 1.4 percent of NFL.com leagues. While it was more of an even split in terms of carries in Week 5 between Bishop Sankey, Dexter McCluster and Andrews, the latter has led the group with 23 touches in the Titans' last two games and seems to be emerging as a viable flex in fantasy leagues, even if he's just getting goal-line work going forward. Our waiver wire guy, Alex Gelhar, told you to scoop him up last week as a speculative add, but if you were forced to make a bold move and start him in Week 5, it surely paid off.
While we don't condone this type of behavior, it's hard to argue against the call on Monday morning. McCown ended up as the highest scoring player in fantasy when Sunday came to a close and has been on fire for the last three games. Now, we can understand if you had to stream McCown to fill in for someone like the injured Andrew Luck or maybe you've been playing the matchups in the weeks since Tony Romo went down, but to start the Browns signal-caller over Aaron freakin' Rodgers just because, well then you might need to get your head examined. Or maybe you just have in insane amount of guts. I mean, why settle for Rodgers' measly 15.54 fantasy points when you could have McCown's 35.48? That'll win your week.
A few weeks ago, we wouldn't have said that this move really took any guts. Jones looked like he was running away with the lead role in the Washington backfield after a Week 2 breakout game. Alas, he's slipped back into a full blown committee rotation along with Alfred Morris and Chris Thompson. So heading into Week 5, Morris and Thompson were sort of desperation flex plays, but for the most part we were recommending for fantasy owners to steer clear of this backfield entirely, even in what looked like a favorable RB matchup against Atlanta. So of course, Jones tallies a 1.8 ypc average on 11 rush attempts but sees three red zone touches and takes one into the paint. The volume wasn't there. Neither were the yardage totals. But if you only needed approximately six points to boost your squad to a win like this guy did, well then Jones hooked it up. Definitely a gutsy move after the way he had performed the last few weeks.