In the Books: Week 5

5 Things We Learned Sunday

By: Chase Wheetley 

 

Percy Harvin is a legitimate top 10 WR

You can debate where he resides within the top 10, but there is no doubt he is an elite receiver in dynasty. No other receiver offers the versatility of Harvin, offering WR1 numbers alone receiving, but also getting a few carries as well. Sunday he had over 100 yards receiving, a receiving touchdown, and a rushing touchdown. The migraines seem to be behind him, and he is a force to be reckoned with. Through 5 weeks, he only has one game under 16 points, and his lowest amount of targets in one game is 6. Harvin is Minnesota’s most explosive player on offense, and they continue to get better at finding ways to get the ball in his hand. In my rankings I ranked him at WR4, ahead of Larry Fitzgerald, Hakeem Nicks, and Andre Johnson among others. That’s higher than most will have him ranked, but I think this kind of production is what we should expect from Harvin moving forward, and he’s still just 24 years old.

 

Michael Vick isn’t a good QB

While Michael Vick still flashes the ability that fantasy owners fell in love with, he’s never been a great quarterback, and at this point he’s not even good for his team. Michael Vick brings the Eagles down, and he’s only scored 20 points or more 3 times in fantasy this year. He has regressed every year since he began starting again in 2010, and may end up with more interceptions than touchdowns this year. At one time I thought his shortcomings as a passer were balanced out by the bonuses he offered as a rusher, but that is no longer true. He is averaging 29 yards per game rushing, but only has one touchdown and has now lost 5 fumbles. Depending on your scoring system, the fumbles alone could outweigh the rushing yards by themselves. If you’re riding with Vick as your QB1 in a dynasty league, it’s time to look for other options. You should target an undervalued quarterback such as Joe Flacco (QB11 in my rankings) or make a package deal to upgrade at quarterback.

 

Cam Newton and the sophomore slump

All summer there was a debate in the fantasy community as to whether Cam Newton would experience a sophomore slump. I thought it was more likely that Andy Dalton’s numbers would take a hit than Newton’s, but I may have been wrong. My opinion on Newton hasn’t changed, but his perceived value may come down a little if things don’t pick up. Newton has Steve Smith and Greg Olsen to throw to, but one more weapon in the passing game could help open things back up for Newton. Brandon LaFell was lauded as a sleeper in the preseason, but he hasn’t done much since Week 2. The Panthers will likely target a wide receiver in the draft or free agency, but Newton will have some off weeks in 2012 if defenses shut Steve Smith down.

 

Is Jamaal Charles the best RB in the league?

Okay, it may sound crazy to say Charles is better than Arian Foster or Ray Rice, but when you look at the numbers it’s not so crazy. He has 2 games of 30+ carries and is still averaging over 5 YPC. Charles is on pace for a 1,700 yard rushing season to go along with 48 receptions, which would be even better than his monstrous 2010 season, after which he was considered a top 5 RB in dynasty. The only thing that holds Charles back from joining the elite of the elite in my mind is that the most touchdowns he’s had is 7, which is in line with this season’s projections, but with the points he racks up from rushing yards and receptions touchdowns are just like a bonus with Charles. No other running back in the NFL is a bigger threat to run for 200+ yards on a weekly basis than Charles.

 

Who said the Wes Welker show is over?

Maybe it’s because Aaron Hernandez is out, and Rob Gronkowski is banged up, but Welker has had 10 targets or more each of the last 4 weeks, and is poised for yet another big season. Welker may see his targets come down some when the tight ends return, but I don’t think we’ll see anything like Week 1 when he was held to 3-14 on just 5 targets. The question now is if the talk about Welker leaving town was a hasty overreaction. Even with his resurgence, I tend to think we’re looking at the end of the Welker era in New England unless he is willing to accept a team friendly deal. As long as Hernandez and Gronkowski are healthy there just isn’t a need for Welker, and they have cheaper, younger options in Julian Edelman and Greg Salas that can fill his shoes.

 

Monday Night Football Preview

This week’s MNF matchup is hard to get excited about, but there are still a few things to watch. Here’s a run-down of a couple dynasty owners may want to watch for on each team.

 

Houston Texans

  • How will the Texans split reps at running back? The expectation with Ben Tate has always been that he’d be a decent flex play and has the potential to be a starter somewhere in the future. He still has potential to start in a couple years, but his workload has been minimal unless playing with a big lead. In redraft he’s a handcuff at this point.

 

  • The other thing to continue watching is the young group of receivers the Texans has accumulated. No one has separated themselves, but if someone steps up they should be able to beat out Kevin Walter next year. Keshawn Martin has made the most noise, but Lestar Jean has a higher upside, and DeVier Posey is a player to keep an eye on for the future, although he has been inactive most weeks.

 

New York Jets

  • Is it Tebow time yet? With the Jets offense becoming more stagnant by the day, what is there to lose at this point? At least Tebow would give viewers a reason to watch the Jets for three hours on Monday night. Sanchez gets a vote of confidence from Rex Ryan every week, but at some point Ryan has to give Tebow a shot.

 

  • Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill, and Dustin Keller are all out, so Chaz Schilens and Jeremy Kerley will be the starting receivers for the Jets. This game should get out of hand early, but I’ll be interested to see how Kerley, Clyde Gates, and new arrival Jason Hill play.

 

 

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