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NFL Week 5: Fantasy Football Midweek Update

Taking a look at quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers who you should reexamine this week in your fantasy league.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


Blake Bortles (20% owned)

The Jaguars have gone pass happy with their first round pick from 2014. Bortles is averaging 39 attempts per game this year. Over the last three weeks, Bortles is averaging 271 yards per game, with five touchdowns and only one interception.

It’s almost time to throw our outdated opinions of Bortles out the window. This isn’t 2014 rookie Bortles. This is 2015 Bortles, and he is starting to show some fantasy relevance.

Michael Vick (17% owned)

Michael Vick? Yes. Seriously, yes. The Steelers’ offense is built to throw the ball and score touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger has averaged over 36 pass attempts per game in 2014 and 2015. Vick stepped in last week and threw the ball 32 times. So it’s likely to assume Vick is going to be heaving the ball fairly frequently over the next month – especially as he gets more reps in practice. And he will be surrounded by good targets like Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, and Le’Veon Bell. Vick will have plenty of opportunity - the only question is whether he will seize it and produce.

Jay Cutler (31% owned)

Cutler had a solid game in Week 4 against Oakland with 281 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Take this, and add in the fact that Cutler faces the team giving up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season (Kansas City), and you end up with a trendy add.

Before you add Cutler to your roster, consider a couple things. First, Cutler has thrown an interception in every game this year. He is still Jay Cutler, after all. And one good game at home against a bad Raiders’ secondary doesn’t make Cutler suddenly great. Secondly, while it’s true that KC has given up the most fantasy points to QB’s this year, remember that KC has faced Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Andy Dalton. Most defenses facing that slate of quarterbacks would stand to have ugly defensive stats, this year at least when it comes to Dalton. In other words, Cutler isn’t as good as he looked last week, and KC isn’t as bad as their stats look. If you are desperate for a starter this week, and love the Bears, he’s not a bad add. But he’s not as great of an addition as some are hyping.


Ronnie Hillman (62% owned)

Aaah, the joys of pre-season "coach speak". Before the season, Denver assured us that they were going to use a workhorse, and his name was C.J. Anderson. Anderson has been dinged and unproductive, and the Broncos coaches seem more inclined to play their best players, than honor their pre-season avowal.

To date, Hillman and Anderson are splitting carries evenly this year at 10 per game apiece. But Hillman has done much more with his (341 yards and 2 touchdowns) compared to Anderson (117 yards, 0 touchdowns). This situation is an ugly RBBC, but Hillman has positioned himself to be the better option is the committee.

Anthony Dixon (7% owned)

With LeSean McCoy nursing a hamstring injury, and Karlos Williams in the concussion protocol, Dixon could have use as a 1-game flier, if both McCoy and Williams sit. Together, McCoy and Williams are averaging over 20 carries per game. If they are both out this week, Dixon would be in line for much of that work. Dixon is much like Thomas Rawls last week – a potential one week filler if you need a running back for Week 5.


Kendall Wright (83% owned)

How would you like a wide receiver who is in the top 15 in FFL scoring per game, and is still available in about 20% of Yahoo leagues – oh, and as a bonus, has already past his bye? Kendall Wright is this individual. He may not be a WR1, but he provides good value as a filler when your other receivers hit their bye weeks. Depending on your roster, could be a regular starter for you.

Leonard Hankerson (43% owned)

After suffering through the Redskins' non-existent passing game for the first three years of his career, this product of "the U" was mostly forgotten. This year he is benefitting from landing on a team with a quality quarterback. Hankerson has unseated Roddy White as the Falcons #2 wide receiver with 11 more receptions, 150 more yards, and 2 more touchdowns that White. Hankerson is in the top 30 in points per game among all wide receivers. He is an adequate WR2 and good WR3 going forward.

Next, we look at a couple of popular additions, who are mirages. Owners adding them are trying to chase last week’s points.

Tavon Austin (34% owned)

Owners chasing last week’s points are racing after Austin, thanks to his 96 receiving yard two touchdown performance against Arizona. Last week marked only the second time in Austin’s 40 game career that he has reached 50 or more receiving yards in a game. If you’re an optimist, add him, start him, and laugh at the 66% of owners who don’t have him. If you’re a realist, smile when another owner adds him, and laugh when that owner starts him against you.

Allen Hurns (47% owned)

Owners chasing last week’s points are racing after Allen Hurns thanks to totaling 11 catches and one touchdown last week – after totaling exactly 11 catches and one touchdown for the first three weeks of the year. With Vontae Davis covering Jacksonville’s top wide receiver, Allen Robinson, all game, Hurns was able to put up a monster game in Indianapolis against the Colts’ backup cornerbacks. Hurns likely won’t repeat Week 4’s production, but there’s no harm in taking a flier on the Jaguars second wide receiver if you are a believer in their passing game, or are in a big 14 or 16 team league.