Week 5 fantasy football recap: All muscle, no hamster

Another week of football, another weird week of fantasy scoring. After the early slate of games, Josh McCown was the highest scoring player in fantasy football. Yes, that is correct. Thanks to his 457 passing yards, and three total touchdowns (one rushing), Johnny Manziel's mentor led the way with 35.48 fantasy points. That's more than Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees had in Week 5 combined. Along with the weirdness came some sad news, too. Jamaal Charles was likely lost for the season with what is believed to be a torn ACL, casting a pall over the whole afternoon. We hope you have a speedy recovery, Jamaal. The rest of the fantasy season won't be the same without you.

Below are the full recaps for all of Week 5's games.

San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants

Top performers:
» Colin Kaepernick, QB: 262 yards, 2 TDs, 23 rush yards, 20.78 fantasy points
» Anquan Boldin, WR: 107 yards, 1 TD, 16.70 fantasy points
» Carlos Hyde, RB: 97 yards, 1 TD, 15.70 fantasy points
» Eli Manning, QB: 452 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 28.74 fantay points
» Odell Beckham Jr., WR: 124 yards, 1 TD, 18.40 fantasy points
» Shane Vereen, RB: 110 yards, 1 TD, 17.00 fantasy points

Just when everyone had given up on Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers quarterback put together a nice outing. It might have something to do with a Giants defense that has struggled to stop the pass all season long. Or it might have something to do with a coaching staff that trusted its quarterback to throw the ball down the field. Whatever the reason, Kap put together one of his best outings of the season. Those good tidings were spread around the offense with Anquan Boldin and Carlos Hyde posting nice fantasy numbers as well.

Who knows what's going on with the Giants running back rotation but until they figure it out, the offense is squarely in the hands of Eli Manning. The veteran set a franchise record with 41 completions (on 54 attempts) and posted a season-high 28.74 fantasy points. As expected, Odell Beckham had a big game before sitting out much of the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. As for the aforementioned running backs -- Rashad Jennings led the way on the ground, while Shane Vereen dominated as a pass catcher. That's not likely to get us any more clarity in that situation.

Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions

Top performers:
» Carson Palmer, QB: 161 yards, 3 TDs, 18.34 fantasy points
» Chris Johnson, RB: 11 carries, 103 yards, 10.3 fantasy points
» David Johnson, RB: 3 carries, 6 yards, 2 TDs, 12.6 fantasy points
» Andre Ellington, RB: 3 carries, 63 yards, 1 TD, 12.3 fantasy points
» John Brown, WR: 4 catches, 73 yards, 1 TD, 13.3 fantasy points
» Larry Fitzgerald, WR: 5 catches, 58 yards, 1 TD, 11.8 fantasy points
» Matthew Stafford, QB: 188 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs, 5.72 fantasy points
» Zach Zenner, RB: 10 carries, 30 yards, 3.7 fantasy points
» Theo Riddick, RB: 10 catches, 53, 1 TD, 11.3 fantasy points
» Golden Tate, WR: 8 catches, 74 yards, 6.2 fantasy points
» Calvin Johnson, WR: 5 catches, 67 yards, 6.7 fantasy points

In a disaster for the Lions, this game was never close. The Cardinals clearly, and completely, outclassed Detroit. Carson Palmer essentially did whatever he wanted, tossing three touchdowns and spreading the ball around. Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown each caught a red zone score. All the Cardinals running backs put together double-digit fantasy outings. Chris Johnson was indeed the starting running back, and led the team in carries. He'll be the easiest one to trust going forward. David Johnson bumped in two goal line touchdowns, and Andre Ellington took one carry 63 yards to the house. Those two are likely dependent on those type of scores to maintain value going forward. It's scary to think that all of these players could have had even bigger days had the Lions kept it close. Alas, the other team did not cooperate. Matthew Stafford got benched in a miserable outing where the Lions offense performed without any sign of life. Dan Orlovsky relieved him, and actually pushed the ball downfield to his good receivers. If for some reason you were relying on Stafford, stop. You might want to consider selling off any piece you own of this Detroit offense if this this team should continue to sink into the oblivion. The only other major note to take away was Zach Zenner getting some playing time. Ameer Abdullah fumbled twice, which paved the way for the explosive UDFA to get 10 carries. He might be worth a look on the waiver wire.

Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders

Top performers:
» Emmanuel Sanders, WR: 111 rec yards, 11.10 fantasy points
» Peyton Manning, QB: 266 pass yards, 2 INT, 6.64 fantasy points
» Demaryius Thomas, WR: 55 rec yards, 5.50 fantasy points
» Marcel Reece, RB: 6 rush yards, 49 rec yards, 1 rec TD, 11.50 fantasy points
» Derek Carr, QB: 249 pass yards, 1 pass TD, 1 INT, -1 rush yards, 1 fumble, 9.86 fantasy points
» Latavius Murray, RB: 39 rush yards, 18 rec, 5.70 fantasy points

Peyton Manning struggled against a supposedly good matchup, throwing no touchdowns and getting picked off twice by fellow old person Charles Woodson. That didn't dampen Emmanuel Sanders' numbers. The speedy wideout caught nine passes for 111 yards making him far and away the top Broncos receiver. Demaryius Thomas had a lackluster day and it's starting to look like this is the new way of things in Denver. The Broncos running game continued its poor status quo with C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman combining for fewer than 50 rushing yards. This is one committee meeting that you can skip out on.

The Raiders put up a fight on the scoreboard, but went out with a whimper in the stat sheets. Derek Carr couldn't consistently get the ball to his pass-catchers and failed to reach double-digit fantasy points against one of the league's toughest defenses. Latavius Murray struggled in the first half then left the game for an undisclosed reason. That led to a lot of Marcel Reece and Jamize Olawale on the field. Don't count on that duo for any real fantasy production going forward.

New England Patriots at Dallas Cowboys

Top performers:
» Tom Brady, QB: 275 pass yards, 2 pass TDs, 3 rush yards, 1 rush TD, 25.30 fantasy points
» Dion Lewis, RB: 34 rush yards, 59 rec yards, 1 rec TD, 15.30 fantasy points
» Rob Gronkowski, TE: 67 rec yards, 6.70 fantasy points
» Julian Edelman, WR: 120 rec yards, 1 rec TD, 18.00 fantasy points
» LeGarrette Blount, WR: 74 rush yards, 7.40 fantasy points
» Joseph Randle, RB: 60 rush yards, 13 rec yards, 7.30 fantasy points
» Darren McFadden, RB: 16 rush yards, 62 rec yards, 7.80 fantasy points

This game pretty much went as we expected it to. Tom Brady and co. shredded the Cowboys on their way to a 30-6 win in Dallas. Coming into Week 5, Brady had yet to post fewer than 22 fantasy points in a game this season, and did it again on Sunday with a 25.30 point performance. Brady's two touchdown passes went to Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis, who both had big days as well, even without their scores. Lewis proved again that he needs to be started each and every week, shedding tackles and making defenders miss the entire game. Rob Gronkowski had his worst fantasy game of the season thus far with just 67 total yards and failed to get into the end zone, but he's still Gronk and will still eat. For the Cowboys, quarterback Brandon Weeden just looked awful and couldn't connect with anyone in the end zone to save his life, hurting the value of guys like Terrance Williams and Jason Witten. Joseph Randle finished with 15 carries on the day but Darren McFadden ended up out-producing him from a fantasy standpoint, as he now looks like the team's pass-catching back in Lance Dunbar's stead. If McFadden stays healthy, his new role could be a valuable one for fantasy owners in PPR leagues for the rest of the season. The Cowboys have a much-needed bye next week after three straight losses.

St. Louis Rams at Green Bay Packers

Top performers:
» Nick Foles, QB: 141 yards, TD, 4 INT, fantasy points
» Todd Gurley, RB: 30 carries, 159 yards, 15.9 fantasy points
» Tavon Austin, WR: 28 total yards, TD, 8.80 fantasy points
» Aaron Rodgers, QB: 241 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, fmbl, 40 rush yards, 15.64 fantasy points
» Eddie Lacy, RB: 35 total yards, 3.5 fantasy points
» Ty Montgomery, WR: 4 rec, 59 yards, TD, 11.9 fantasy points
» James Jones, WR: 2 rec, 77 yards, TD, 1.70 fantasy points
» Packers D/ST: 3 sack, 4 INT, TD, 21.00 fantasy points

For 25 carries, the Packers bottled up Todd Gurley. Then he got loose for a 55-yard sprint much to the delight of his fantasy owners. He's incredible, and is without a doubt a weekly must-start the rest of the season. Even though the Rams were trailing, they fed him the ball. Tre Mason had two carries. TWO. Hope you stashed Gurley on your bench those first three weeks. The reward will be high. Foles was awful today. There are no two ways around it. He would have had less than 100 passing yards on the day had it not been for a 68-yard garbage time hookup with Stedman Bailey. Last week, Tavon Austin did work on traditional wide receiver plays. Today, he was back to his gadget-y ways. Either way, he's getting it done and needs to be rostered in more leagues. The Packers offense struggled today, but fantasy owners shouldn't panic. James Jones still got it done despite a hamstring that was less than 100 percent. Speaking of being less than 100 percent, Randall Cobb might still be dealing with his shoulder injury, as he was limited to just three catches for 23 yards. The Packers running game went no where today, with both Eddie Lacy (13 carries, 27 yards) and James Starks (five carries, 17 yards) struggling to find any space to run. The Rams vaunted defensive line got it done against the run today. The Packers defense was the best play of the day, constantly harassing Foles and forcing him into costly turnovers.

Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons

Top performers:
» Kirk Cousins, QB: 218 yards, TD, 2 INT, 8.86 fantasy points
» Matt Jones, RB: 37 total yards, TD, 9.7 fantasy points
» Pierre Garcon, WR: 3 rec, 51 yards, 5.10 fantasy points
» Jamison Crowder, WR: 8 rec, 86 yards, 8.60 fantasy points
» Matt Ryan, QB: 254 yards, 2 INT, fmbl, 6.16 fantasy points
» Devonta Freeman, RB: 153 rush yards, TD, 44 rec yards, 25.70 fantasy points
» Julio Jones, WR: 5 rec, 67 yards, 1 TD (fmbl rec), 12.70 fantasy points
» Jacob Tamme, TE: 8 rec, 94 yards, 9.40 fantasy points
» Falcons D/ST: 1 sack, 2 INT, TD, 12.00 fantasy points

For much of this game, it was as if no one wanted to score. Both quarterbacks played poorly, throwing four interceptions and averaging 6.4 yards per attempt between the two of them. Yuck. No interception was bigger than Kirk Cousins' in overtime (which the Falcons returned for a touchdown). Without Jordan Reed, Cousins continued to target Jamison Crowder, who hauled in all eight of his targets for 86 yards. He'll be a name to target on the waiver wire this week. Meanwhile, the Washington backfield continues to be one of the most frustrating in fantasy, as the touches were split as follows: Matt Jones - 11, Chris Thompson - nine, Alfred Morris - eight. Good luck starting any of these backs with confidence. Pierre Garcon had a rough outing, dropping a couple catches (one of which turned into an interception). He'll rebound, though. Julio Jones seemed to be bothered by his hamstring injury (which will need to be monitored closely), but his owners were given a gift from the fantasy gods when he recovered a Devonta Freeman fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. Speaking of Freeman, what a revelation he's been. He ran with conviction and did it all for the Falcons today. Seriously. He accounted for 47 percent of the team's total yardage, and scored their only offensive touchdown. He is not giving up the lion's share of these backfield touches, even though Tevin Coleman returned from his rib injury. The team was probably working Coleman back slowly, but they'll be hard-pressed to turn away from Freeman with the production he's churned out the last three weeks.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Top performers:
» Blake Bortles, QB: 324 total yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT, 28.22 fantasy points
» T.J. Yeldon, RB: 16 touches, 62 total yards, 1 TD, 12.3 fantasy points
» Allen Robinson, WR: 7 catches, 72 yards, 2 TDs, 19.2 fantasy points
» Allen Hurns, WR: 5 catches, 116 yards, 1 TD, 17.6 fantasy points
» Julius Thomas, TE: 2 catches, 20 yards, 2 fantasy points
» Jameis Winston, QB: 209 yards, 1 TD, 15.26 fantasy points
» Doug Martin, RB: 27 touches, 158 total yards, 3 TDs, 33.8 fantasy points
» Charles Sims, RB: 16 touches, 136 total yards, 13.6 fantasy points
» Vincent Jackson, WR: 1 catch, 14 yards, 3.4 fantasy points
» Mike Evans, WR: 3 catches, 41 yards, 4.1 fantasy points

The Jaguars offense was explosive from a fantasy perspective, but again, mostly on the back of volume. With Blake Bortles needing to chuck the ball 33 times, many of their players got to eat. Bortles threw four touchdowns himself, but threw a rather brutal interception. Robinson caught seven passes, including two end zone targets for scores. He made good on a friendly matchup, after a long stretch of rough cornerback battles to start the year. Hurns continues to make plays, and is looking like an every week flex consideration. T.J. Yeldon ran well when he had room, and contributed in the passing game with a touchdown reception. As long as the Jaguars continue to find themselves in catch-up situations, we like this offense for fantasy. The Buccaneers didn't have to do much through the air, and Jameis Winston kept things relatively mistake-free. Mike Evans just doesn't look like himself, and is getting dicey as a fantasy play. Tampa Bay finally figured out the strength of their offense should be the backfield. Their running backs got 43 touches in this contest. Both Sims and Martin can be contributors to your fantasy team. Sims a flex play in PPR leagues, and Martin an every week RB2 regardless of the format.

Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans

Top performers:
» Tyrod Taylor, QB: 185 total yards, 2 TDs, 22.36 fantasy points
» Dan Herron, RB: 9 carries, 28 yards, 2.8 fantasy points
» Chris Hogan, WR: 3 catches, 52 yards, 1 TD, 11.36 fantasy points
» Charles Clay, TE: 1 catch, 7 yards, 0.7 fantasy points
» Marcus Mariota, QB: 234 total yards, 1 INT, 10.18 fantasy points
» Dexter McCluster, RB: 9 touches, 18 total yards, 1.8 fantasy points
» Antonio Andrews, RB: 10 touches, 52 yards, 11.4 fantasy points
» Justin Hunter, WR: 4 catches, 38 yards, 3.8 fantasy points
» Delanie Walker, TE: 4 catches, 36 yards, 3.6 fantasy points

Tyrod Taylor didn't have a completion until midway through the second quarter, but went on to surpass 20 fantasy points for the third time this season. He did this with the third-string running back starting, his number-one receiver out, and his good tight end blotted out. This was a bigtime performance for him, and we can comfortably say he's not going anywhere. Boobie Dixon, Cierre Wood and Boom Herron all took part in replacing the absent LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams. None of them proved worthwhile for fantasy. Chris Hogan stepped up to score the touchdown in their WR-by-committee approach. Charles Clay let down fantasy owners. We'll need to review the tape to see what happened there. Marcus Mariota didn't look so good in the first game back from a bye week. This is an aggressive defense, and they were able to force him off his spot a number of times. The Titans backfield continue to be a quagmire. Running back Antonio Andrews got the touchdown, while everyone else divided up the touches for nothing else of consequence. The receivers all sputtered with Mariota going through his lumps. We'll have to see if this offense can get back to the efficient level we saw them perform at early in the season.

Seattle Seahawks at Cincinatti Bengals

Top performers:
» Russell Wilson, QB: 213 pass yards, 1 pass TD, 1 INT, 21 rush yards, 12.62 fantasy points
» Thomas Rawls, RB: 169 rush yards, 1 rush TD, 22.90 fantasy points
» Jimmy Graham, WR: 30 rec yards, 3.00 fanatsy points
» Jermaine Kearse, WR: 38 rec yards, 1 rec TD, 9.80 fantasy points
» Doug Baldwin, WR: 70 rec yards, 7.00 fantasy points
» Andy Dalton, QB: 331 pass yards, 2 pass TD, 1 INT, 18 rush yards, 1 rush TD, 27.04 fantasy points
» Jeremy Hill, RB: 13 rush yards, 12 rec yards, 2.50 fantasy points
» A.J. Green, WR: 78 rec yards, 7.80 fantasy points
» Tyler Eifert, WR: 90 rec yards, 2 rec TDs, 21.00 fantasy points
» Giovani Bernard, RB: 80 rush yards, 21 rec yards, 10.10 fantasy points
» Marvin Jones, WR: 61 rec yards, 6.10 fantasy points
» Mohamed Sanu, WR: 69 rec yards, 6.90 fantasy points

It looked like the Bengals were toast, down 24-7 at the start of fourth quarter. But they fought back and scored 20 unanswered points to beat a tough Seattle defense. Cincinnati got the win in overtime to remain undefeated. For fantasy purposes the big stars of this game were clearly Thomas Rawls, Tyler Eifert and Andy Dalton. Rawls had a huge day thanks in part to a 69-yard touchdown run early in the second half. He made the most of his opportunity to start at running back with Marshawn Lynch out again. Any Lynch owners need to add or trade for Rawls immediately for insurance. He's an every-week starter until Lynch returns healthy. For the Bengals, Dalton hit Eifert for two touchodowns in the game and Dalton even rushed in a score of his own. As for the Bengals RBs, Giovani Bernad posted double-digit points in standard scoring for the third time this season while Jeremy Hill was a big disappointment and is becomding a low-end, hit-or-miss RB2.

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens

Top performers:
» Josh McCown, QB: 457 pass yards, 2 pass TDs, 12 rush yards, 1 rush TD, 35.48 fantasy points
» Duke Johnson, RB: 22 rush yards, 55 rec yards, 7.70 fantasy points
» Isaiah Crowell, RB: 49 rush yards, 38 rec yards, 1 rec TD, 14.70 fantasy points
» Travis Benjamin, WR: 83 rec yards, 8.30 fantasy points
» Gary Barnidge, TE: 139 rec yards, 1 rec TD, 19.90 fantasy points
» Joe Flacco, QB: 210 pass yards, 1 pass TD, 2 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 24.60 fantasy points
» Justin Forsett, RB: 121 rush yards, 49 rec yards, 1 rush TD, 23.00 fantasy points
» Kamar Aiken, WR: 78 rec yards, 7.80 fantasy points
» Kyle Juszczyk, FB: 31 rec yards, 1 rec TD, 9.10 fantasy points

Johnny who? ... Josh McCown led the Browns to a 33-30 overtime win in Baltimore and at the end of Sunday's late games, the Cleveland signal-caller was the highest scoring fantasy player for Week 5. McCown connected for passing TDs to both Gary Barnidge and Isaiah Crowell and even scored a rushing touchdown himself. McCown's fantasy totals the last three weeks are 19.64, 22.24 and 35.48 making him quite a DFS stud for those savvy enough to start him. It was also Barnidge's third straight game with a touchdown as he led the Browns in receiving. He's a legit TE1 from here on out. For the Falcons, Joe Flacco's two rushing scores helped boost his fantasy totals, while Justin Forsett had his second big game in a row, but left the game early with an ankle injury. Popular sleeper wideout Kamar Aiken had a big first quarter but he quieted down as the game went on. Flacco targeted him deep and in the end zone several times but the two just couldn't seem to connect on any big plays that would have really boosted Aiken's day. He still needs to be started for as long as Steve Smith remains sidelined

Chicago Bears at Kansas City Chiefs

Top performers:
» Jay Cutler, QB: 252 pass yards, 2 pass TD, 15 rush yards, 1 fumble 17.58 fantasy points
» Matt Forte, RB: 71 rush yards, 38 rec yards, 1 rec TD 16.90 fantasy points
» Marquess Wilson, WR: 85 rec yards, 1 rec TD, 14.50 fantay points
» Alex Smith, QB: 181 pass yards, 1 TD, 21 rush yards, 13.34 fantasy points
» De'Anthony Thomas, RB/WR: 5 rush yards, 24 rec yards, 1 rec TD, 8.90 fantasy points
» Jeremy Maclin, WR: 85 rec yards, 8.50 fantasy points
» Jamaal Charles, RB: 58 rush yards, 26 rec yards, 8.40 fantasy points

It wasn't pretty for Jay Cutler (then again, it normally isn't), but in the end it turned out to be a nice day for the Bears quarterback -- and that was without Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal. Who knows if Marquess Wilson has a long fantasy shelf life, but as long as Chicago is short-hnaded, he'll have some value. Matt Forte didn't have a huge yardage day, but a late touchdown helped salvage things.

The biggest news for Kansas City was the apparent loss of Jamaal Charles. The star running back left the game with a non-contact knee injury. We'll know more later this week, but the team is fearing the worst. As for the remaining players, Alex Smith was his typical mediocre self which led to some pretty ho-hum numbers from his pass-catchers. The eight catches and 85 yards from Jeremy Maclin reinforce the notion that Andy Reid is doing more to get his talented wide receiver involved.

New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles

Top performers:
» Brandin Cooks, WR: 107 rec yards, 1 rec TD, 16.70 fantasy points
» Drew Brees, QB: 335 pass yards, 2 pass TD, 1 INT, -1 rush yards, 2 fumbles, 15.30 fantasy points
» Willie Snead, WR: 141 rec yards, 14.10 fantasy points
» DeMarco Murray, RB: 83 rush yards, 1 rush TD, 37 rec yards, 18.00 fantay points
» Sam Bradford, QB: 333 pass yards, 2 pass TD, 2 INT, 3 rush yards, 17.60 fantasy points
» Ryan Mathews, RB: 73 rush yards, 1 rush TD, 23 rec yards, 15.60 fantasy points
» Josh Huff, WR: 78 rec yards, 1 TD, 13.80 fantasy points

It was another frustrating day for Drew Brees and the Saints offense. The veteran quarterback turned the ball over three times, but had a late touchdown drive to spruce up his final totals. Brandin Cooks was the dictionary definiton of a fantasy garbage man with a touchdown catch as time expired. It shouldn't overshadow Willie Snead, who had more than 140 receiving yards and looks to be the top wideout in the Saints offense.

DeMarco Murray actually did things Sunday. Productive things. The kind of things for which you drafted him. After such a rough start, 120 scrimmage yards and a touchdown look pretty fantastic. But that wasn't all. Ryan Mathews (96 scrimmage yards, TD) did things too. Sam Bradford wasn't great, but as a volume passer, his 333 yards helped make up for it. At some point, we're going to have to give up on Jordan Matthews (5 rec, 44 yards) as he hasn't been a fantasy factor since Week 2.

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