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Reggie Wayne, Victor Cruz, Marques Colston, and... Josh Gordon? One of these things is definitely not like the others and I don't mean because Wayne is old. The breakdown of receiver performances in Week 5.
Well, if the quarterbacks are going to break all kinds of passing records then those yards have to go somewhere. Will they go to the running backs? The tight ends? Is Mike Vrabel still catching passes?
No, they will mostly go to the wide receivers and then those receivers will in turn give you some fantasy points. Week 5 saw many fantasy points go to receivers with a pair of receivers scoring a trio of touchdowns and then other guys doing other stuff too.
Here is a breakdown of all the receiving games of Week 5 that make you say, "Hmmmm"
It's not like he hasn't been here for years. Can you blame Wayne for a down-year when Peyton Manning missed all of 2011 and can you really call 960 yards a "down year" from which he could not bounce back? I liked Wayne as a legit WR2 this year but he's proven me wrong by being a lot more than that. Reggie had 13 catches for 212 yards (a regular season career-high) on 20 targets against Green Bay and he now has 506 yards in four games.
It's not a comeback... it's a breakout.
Because people like to say, "Sal-sa!"
Cruz had the first hat trick of his NFL career, catching three touchdowns despite only gaining 50 yards. Whatever, we'll happily take the touchdowns and the little dance from Victor. That's now five touchdowns on the year for Cruz, but interestingly Rueben Randle was targeted more (nine to eight) and finished with six catches for 82 yards. Once Hakeem Nicks returns though, he'll go back to being the Cruz's dance partner.
Randall Cobb against the Colts (A WORTHY FILL-IN)
It would appear that second-year receiver Randall Cobb might be a worthy fill-in. Wait, I literally just said that. Anyways, Cobb caught caught all four of his targets for 82 yards and a touchdown. This year he's had three good games and two duds, and while you'd like to see more consistency, Cobb could turn into something special in the Packers offense.
The NFL's leading receiver heading into the week, Hartline had 59 yards on four catches. He's now just over 500 yards on the season. He does get the Rams improved secondary in Week 6.
Well, Bolding had 10 targets and finished with four catches for 82 yards, while Smith caught three of four targets for 38. Neither was a great play, but Boldin finished a decent day. I didn't mean to rhyme, okay? Worse is that Dennis Pitta continues to disappoint after a hot start, finishing with just 22 yards.
With Mohamad Massaquoi out, would someone step up for Cleveland? On the bright side, Gordon had two catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns. On the downside, it took eight targets to get there. He has the talent to definitely develop into a top NFL receiver, but this is probably going to take time to show consistency on such a young offense. Non-Gordon targets caught 20-of-27 attempts, and Greg Little was 0-for-2.
That last one is a joke about how Jones has been dealing with a sore hand. It wasn't bothering him in Week 5 though as Jones had 10 catches for 94 yards and a touchdown against Washington on 15 targets. It's the second-most catches in a game for his career, while Roddy White was targeted just six times. Tony Gonzalez is old and stuff but he had the biggest day for Atlanta with 13 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. It's the second-most catches for Gonzalez in his very, very, very long career. He is old. (He is 36! Oh how sports perceptions are funny.)
Things should continue for the Atlanta offense against the Raiders in Week 6.
Brandon Marshall against the Jaguars (JAY CUTLER AND FRIEND)
Please believe that Cutler has one best friend on Chicago and his name is Brandon Marshall, who was targeted 17 times. The next highest target count was a four-way tie for four targets. Marshall turned that into 12 catches for 144 yards and a touchdown. He now has 35 catches on the season, well on his way to his first 100-catch season since 2009.
The 4-1 Bears have a bye this week, so plan accordingly.
It's hard to describe Harvin's skills. Hard to imagine that a receiver who has never topped 1,000 receiving yards could be among the best at his position. But that's what Harvin is and his skills led to eight catches for 108 yards (on 10 targets) and another score on the ground. Harvin has 38 catches and 407 yards through five games, so he could finally top 1,000 this year. He is definitely one of the best.
I really like Britt but it's hard to buy him (or sell him) right now. Britt was able to get active for the game but he wasn't as active during the game, finishing with 23 yards on two catches. That gives him 83 yards in three games this season. I still believe that Britt will come up big this year, but I can't recommend starting him until he shows something. Maybe wait until Week 7 when he faces the Bills. We can all light it up against the Bills!
Those expecting a Thomas breakout now that he has a real quarterback, well here you go. After 188 yards on Sunday, Thomas now has 513 yards in five games. That leaves him only 38 yards shy of the career-high he set last season with Tim Tebow/Kyle Orton as his "quarterbacks." Thomas looks set as a solid WR1 right now.
15 of Tom Brady's 31 targets? 13 catches for 104 yards? 38 catches for 484 yards? And the Patriots are going to let Welker go? I think his long-term prospects in New England are just fine. However, Rob Gronkowski was held to just 35 yards, leaving fantasy owners with another :( this season. Also, Brandon Lloyd was held to 34.
Michael Crabtree against the Bills (BILLS DEFENSE ALERT! BILLS DEFENSE ALERT!)
Crabtree had 113 yards and a touchdown, just the fourth 100-yard game of his career. It puts him just over 300 yards over five games this season but can you trust Crabtree every week? He came into the game without a touchdown and 122 yards in his last three games so I would say "Probably not" until he plays the Bills again, which won't be any time soon. The potential benefactor of that reward could be Larry Fitzgerald and the Cardinals in Week 6.
Johnson's chances at a third-straight 1,000-yard season got dimmer after another underwhelming game this year. He finished with 39 yards against San Francisco, leaving him with 234 yards after five games. His season-high for a game is 61 and he's being kept alive by scoring a touchdown in each of his first three games but that sure seems like a long time ago!
What is this? Hockey? No, not it is not hockey. But Colston joins Cruz as the tri-scorers for Week 5, catching nine of 18 targets for 131 yards and yes, three of those touchdowns. Why is he trying to steal the spotlight from Drew Brees? Sounds like controversy to me!
Devery Henderson caught eight for 123 yards and a touchdown, leading me to believe that perhaps this Chargers pass defense isn't very good and that this Brees character is actually quite good. Quick, somebody do some research on Drew Brees!