With four weeks of the NFL season in the books, all but two teams have played four games. This week we have four teams on Bye, the first time we've really had to deal with that issue this season, so now it's time that many a fantasy football squads depth will be tested. In what follows we'll point out some of the better matchups of the week. Some of the names will be obvious – yeah it takes a genius of immense knowledge to stay start Drew Brees – but some of the suggestions might boost a few of the fellas significantly up your rankings.
A WEEKLY FANTASY BATTLE
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WEEK 5 MATCHUPS
BYE: MIN, PIT, TB, WAS
Dwayne Bowe caught nine balls for 153 yards an a score in his last game versus the Titans. Through four games this season he has only 13 receptions for 148 yards. You can't trust him as anything more than a WR3 with WR2 upside.
Tom Brady has thrown a TD pass in 52-straight games, the second longest streak ever (Mr. Brees threw one in 54-straight). Brady faces a strong Bengals defense this week but in four career matchups he's completed 69.3 percent of his passes for 10 scores an only two interceptions.
Marlon Brown is dealing with a leg issue, but he's expected to play. He's scored in three of his past four games.
Drew Brees has passed for 300-yards in 9-straight games to tie his own NFL record. He's also completed at least 25 passes in 10-straight games.
Dez Bryant and his mates take on the Broncos. In his last six games against the AFC Bryant has scored (eight total scores). He's also scored 14 times in his last 12 games overall. You can't stop the guy.
Jordan Cameron has five scores, the most in AFC history for a tight end in the month of September. He faces the Bills this week, a club that has allowed only one score and an average of 40 yards receiving a game to tight ends.
Marques Colston has gone off for four scores in his last three games against the Bears (playoffs included). He's also caught 19 balls for an average of 80.3 yards a game.
Victor Cruz has faced the Eagles four times and the results have been special: 22 receptions, 399 yards and five scores (playoffs included).
Owen Daniels has made some terrific catches this season, and he killed it the last time he faced the Niners with seven catches for 123 yards an a score. This season the Niners defense has faltered a bit but they have still been tough on tight ends holding them to 14 receptions, 142 yards and two scores. On the other side of the field Vernon Davis lit up the Texans for the best game of his career in the last meeting – seven catches, 93 yards and three scores. Houston has allowed eight receptions and 112 yards to tight ends in four games.
Julian Edelman's outlook will be greatly dependent on whether or not Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski play in Week 5. Stepping up in their absence Edelman has caught at least seven passes in 4-straight games.
Larry Fitzgerald has faced off with the Panthers eight times and has he ever lit them up. In those eight games he's caught 55 balls for 859 yards and three scores, and in six of the eight games he's gone for at least 90 receiving yards.
Joe Flacco hasn't thrown an interception in two games against the Dolphins. He's also only thrown for 498 yards and two scores. Ho hum.
The last time that Matt Forte faced the Saints he went off for 10 receptions and 117 yards. The Saints have allowed only 18 receptions for 194 yards to runners through four games.
Blaine Gabbert is on the road versus the Rams. In his last five road starts he's thrown for an average of 170 yards and one touchdown without throwing an interception. Sorry for wasting the ten seconds it took you to read this.
Antonio Gates has historically lit up the Raiders with 11 career scores. Gates looks rejuvenated, along with Philip Rivers, and they will pose a threat for the Raiders this weekend though Oakland has allowed three scores to the tight end position this season but only 181 yards. As for Rivers, he's tossed six scores while throwing just one interception in his last three versus the Silver and Black.
Tony Gonzalez finally showed up in Week 4 catching two scores. He has scored the last two times he's faced the Jets.
Jimmy Graham has scored in 5-straight games, and his six scores this season were the most in league history for a tight end in the month of September. He's also gone for 100 yards the last three times he faces the Bears.
Jermaine Gresham had a TD catch the last time he faced the Patriots. The Pats have allowed two scores and 22 receptions by tight ends this season.
The last time DeSean Jackson faced the Giants he had six receptions for 99 yards an a score. His last two games this season have resulted in five receptions and 96 yards.
Calvin Johnson has 505 yards and two scores the last three times he's faced the Packers and he's gone for at least 100 yards in each contest.
Chris Johnson has had a disappointing start to the year but he keeps getting 20 touches a week. The last two times he faced the Chiefs he's run for an average of 113 yards. The Chiefs are allowing 124 rushing yards a game this season, the 8th worst mark in the NFL.
James Jones has caught 18 balls for 278 yards an a score in his last two at home. In his last home game versus the Lions Jordy Nelson had nine receptions for 163 yards and three scores. The Packers face the Lions at home this weekend.
Colin Kapernick is 5-1 as starter at home (playoffs included) and he faces the Texans this week. Remember when I touched on Brees completing 25 passes in 10-straight games above? The last three games Colin K. has completed 13, 13 and 15 passes. He better have the wheels working.
Marshawn Lynch has run for at least 85 yards in 24 of his last 29 outings. He faces a Colts team that is allowing 4.7 yards per carry this season and 129 yards a game on the ground.
Eli Manning has been dreadful this season, everyone knows it. Still, history suggests things should be better in Week 5. In his past four games against the Eagles at home he's thrown for 1,152 yards, 13 scores and two interceptions. This season the Eagles are allowing 325 passing yards and 2.25 scores per game.
LeSean McCoy has run for 100 yards in thee of his last four, and four of his last six, games against the Giants.
Lamar Miller continues to look good even if the Dolphins continue to give the ball to Daniel Thomas. Over the past three weeks Miller has run for two scores while averaging 5.8 YPC on 33 totes. Why he's isn't getting the ball more is a mystery. Miller faces the Ravens this week, a club that is allowing only 3.4 yards per carry this season.
Bilal Powell has 266 yards from scrimmage the past two games. He face a Falcons club that is allowing the 14th most points to runners this season. Note though that Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill could miss this game, and if that occurs the Falcons will certainly be focusing their efforts on Powell.
Rueben Randle scores twice the last time he squared off with the Eagles.
Ray Rice had 180 yards from scrimmage the last time he faced the Dolphins (83 rushing, 97 receiving). Hopefully he will have more touches this week after he disappeared in Week 4.
Trent Richardson has scored in two straight games for the Colts. It's not clear if Ahmad Bradshaw will play, he has a neck injury, but he has scored in three of his last four games against the stout Seahawks defense.
Aaron Rodgers has gone 8-0 in his career against the Lions and he's posted an QB Rating of 100 in seven of them. He's also thrown for an average of 280 yards and 2.25 scores per contest.
Tony Scheffler has scored the last two times he's faced the Packers. Green Bay has allowed three scores in three games this season to the tight end.
Since 2011 Alex Smith is 23-5-1 as starter. Just thought I would throw that out there.
I've been hearing reports that Steve Smith is being dropped in leagues. It's not a good time to do that folks. The last time Smith faced the Cardinals he caught eight balls for 178 yards and two scores, and the last eight times he's faced them (including the playoffs) he's torched the Cardinals for 96.3 yards a game and nine touchdowns.
Pierre Thomas may or may not have to battle with Mark Ingram for touches in Week 5. Let's hope he doesn't have to. In his last game against the Bears he went for 146 yards from scrimmage (87 rushing, 59 receiving) and two touchdowns.
Wes Welker has scored every game he's pulled on a Broncos uniform but, more impressively, he's scored in his last six games dating back to last season.
The last four times that DeAngelo Williams has faced the Cardinals he has run for 417 yards and two scores.
The Giants are releasing runners (sorry Mr. Scott), and it really seems like David Wilson is on the cusp of some significant work. The last time Wilson faced the Eagles he had 75 rushing yards an a touchdown catch.
Danny Woodhead has 20 catches the last three weeks. The Chargers face a Raiders team that has allowed only 11 receptions to runners this season, and that's the second lowest mark in football.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Thursday at 7 PM EDT & Friday's at 9 PM EDT. For more of Ray's analysis you can check out BaseballGuys.com or the BaseballGuys' Twitter account where he tirelessly answers everyone's questions.
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