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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - WRs
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 5
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs

Bye Weeks:
Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington

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Demaryius Thomas

Thomas is headed for a top 5 finish.

Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker or Eric Decker v. Any Team Ever: I predicted during the preseason that none of the Broncosí big three would end up in the Top 10 due to Peyton Manning spreading looks around evenly. I guess I was only half right. Heís certainly spreading the ball around (theyíre within three targets of each other), but it hasnít kept them out of the Top 10. Far from it, in fact. Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker are currently sitting at #2 and #3 and Eric Deckerís only hanging back at #22 because he hasnít scored as many touchdowns, something he did with regularity in 2012 and could start doing again soon. If Manning et al. keep up this torrid scoring pace, they will absolutely shatter the league record for most points scored in a season set by New England in 2007 (589). In fact, theyíre currently on pace to tally 716! Do whatever you can to get one of these guys on your squad if they arenít already.

Brian Hartline v. BAL: When the Dolphins added home run threat, Mike Wallace, to the roster this past off-season, it was assumed Hartline would take on more of a supplementary role in the Miami offense. So far, that hasnít been the way itís played out as Hartline, and not Wallace, has been the primary target to date. Wallace is carping about the paucity of deep balls thrown his way, but Miamiís offensive line is struggling to protect Ryan Tannehill (sacked a league-high 18 times) and opponents are employing two-safety coverage to prevent the leagueís most dangerous speedster from victimizing them. It all adds up to a whole bunch more interest in Hartline, the steady but unspectacular mid-range man. Baltimoreís seen plenty of Wallace in years past and will probably be loath to let him hurt them over the top. That means more frustration for the former Steeler and more opportunity for his less celebrated teammate. Give Hartline a look in Week 5.

Tavon Austin v. JAX: I was pretty high on Tavon Austin (or something) when the season began, but he hasnít done a lot to justify those expectations. The two TDs in Week 2 were nice, yes, but heís yet to tally even 50 receiving yards in a game and has only topped double digits in fantasy points that one time. So why is he worth a look in Week 5? First, I like the fact heís getting consistent targets (no fewer than 7 in any game). I also like the fact Sam Bradford doesnít have much time to throw the ball (meaning Austin becomes a regular check-down option). Finally, I love the fact heís playing Jacksonville. The Jagsí numbers against the pass are deceivingly decent, but thatís only because teams are running on them at will. Iím not sure St. Louis can run on anyone, meaning an under-talented Jacksonville secondary could be tested by the explosive Rams receiving corps. Austinís the most explosive of all.

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Reggie Wayne v. SEA: Iíve made it clear Iím not a Richard Sherman fan, but thereís no denying the fact the dudeís got some serious chops. He almost single-handedly turned the tide in last Sundayís dramatic win over the Texans and now draws the challenge of shutting down Indyís primary target, the venerable Reggie Wayne. Iím not betting against him. Wayne is still a productive wideout in this, his 13th season, but itís safe to say heís on the downside of his fabulous career. Sherman, on the other hand, is just beginning his and may already be the leagueís best cornerback (though Darrelle Revis would probably have something to say about that). Unless you donít have other viable options at the position, this might be the week to consider giving Wayne a blow. Heíll help you out down the line but is no sure thing to do that this Sunday.

Any NY Jets Receiver @ ATL: Rex Ryan is being coy about the status of Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill in advance of the Monday night game in Hotlanta, but it appears theyíll both miss the contest. That means the Jets will likely turn to Jeremy Kerley and Clyde Gates at the receiver position. Jeremy Kerley and Clyde Gates attempting to catch passes from Geno Smith sounds like a pretty bad idea on a lot of different levels. Throw in the fact the gameís in a hostile environment against a team with Super Bowl aspirations coming off a tough home loss and it sounds even worse. I doubt you own either of these gents, but if you picked them up off the waiver wire thinking theyíd make good sneaky start candidates, you might wanna reconsider.

Cecil Shorts @ STL: Shorts has been targeted more than any receiver in the league through the season’s first four weeks, but he’s only managed to haul in half of those league-high 52 looks and currently ranks as just the 31st most productive wideout. Love the attention he’s getting, in other words, but don’t love what he’s been doing with it. Now that Justin Blackmon is back from suspension, I’m not sure what to make of Shorts’ overall prospects. He’ll assuredly lose targets to Blackmon and since he wasn’t doing a whole lot with them in the first place, I think it makes the most sense to take a wait-and-see approach. Let’s not forget who will be lavishing the attention on Shorts and Blackmon in the Jacksonville passing game. That would be Blaine Gabbert, easily the league’s least reliable quarterback. Steer clear of Shorts this Sunday.
Good luck, folks!