Buhner.com Fantasy Football Week 5 Recap
By Dan Kauffman, Staff Writer, Buhner.com

    A look back at Week 5 (not counting the Monday night game)

    The Good ...

    Rich Gannon, QB, Oakland: All Gannon did was throw for 357 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Heís officially changing his name to ďAgelessĒ Rich Gannon. This guy has gone too low in my fantasy drafts each of the last three years.

    Drew Bledsoe, QB, Buffalo: After another huge day (417 yards passing, two touchdowns), Bledsoe remains on pace to obliterate the NFL record for yards passing in a season. Three interceptions dilute what was otherwise a sensational performance.

    Donovan McNabb, QB, Philadelphia: He woke up disappointed on Monday, but his fantasy owners got a good nightís sleep. Thatís what happens when your QB rushes for 100 yards and a touchdown. Oh yeah, he threw for 230 yards and two TDs, too. In my league, thatís 33 points (not subtracting five points for sacks). In my league, 33 points out of the QB position usually means you win.

    Brian Griese, QB, Denver: 26-for-35, 316 yards, two touchdowns and, perhaps most importantly, only one pick. Steve Beuerlein supporters continue to be quieted.

    Priest Holmes, RB, Kansas City: Anyone who still isnít a believer should quit fantasy football now. Holmes keeps rolling along. 152 yards rushing, 81 yards receiving, two touchdowns ... for a guy who was drafted with the 22nd overall pick in my 14-team league this year! (One more pick, and I would have had him, damnit!) Something to think about ... Marshall Faulk was a very good back in Indy, but it wasnít until he arrived in St. Louis under Dick Vermeil that Faulkís stock exploded. Holmes was steady, but far from spectacular with the Ravens. Perhaps Vermeil deserves more credit than he gets.

    Charlie Garner, RB, Oakland: 177 total yards and two touchdowns (One of more than 50 yards). Whoever picked this guy (likely in the fifth or sixth round, if not later) in your draft should be arrested for stealing. Heís elevated his game, and is clearly the main backfield weapon for the undefeated Raiders.

    Corey Dillon, RB, Cincinnati: 164 yards rushing and two touchdowns (One 67 yards), plus 21 yards receiving. An encouraging performance when doubt was starting to creep into the minds of Dillon owners, even if he did his damage against the Colts. Thereíll be no complaining about him this week. Deuce McAllister, RB, New Orleans: 123 total yards, two touchdowns. Deuce continues to make fantasy owners who took him (many in the early-to-mid second round, if not later) proud. Heís been consistent ó the good kind of consistent ó and praise doesnít get much higher than that from fantasy football owners.

    Jamal Lewis, RB, Baltimore: Would have been even better had he made a trip into the end zone, but still, owners who gambled plugging in Lewis this week (or those who had to due to bye or injury) were handsomely rewarded with 187 rushing yards and 26 more receiving.

    Clinton Portis, RB, Denver: He looks like the real deal, the latest proof being a 20-carry, 102-yard display and an 8-yard TD catch to cement the deal. Much like Garner, Portis is establishing himself as the clear No. 1 runner for his team.

    Garrison Hearst, RB, San Francisco: Itís not just that he rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown that gets Hearst mentioned, itís that he did it on 13 carries. Like many others, Iím very high on Kevan Barlow (10 carries for 50 yards in this game), but Hearst continues to keep the second-year talent at bay while being a productive back.On the other hand, how bad are the Rams?!

    Keyshawn Johnson, WR, Tampa Bay: A 76-yard touchdown catch?! What?! Where in the blue hell did that come from?! With Keyshawn, you expect production ó usually, 70-100 yards receiving ó to go along with a big, fat zero in the TD column. Yesterday, he gave faithful owners 131 yards, and the touchdown was the icing on one sweet cake.

    Marvin Harrison, WR, Indianapolis: A workmanlike nine catches for 145 yards and a TD. Exactly what you expect from Harrison against the Bungles.

    Peerless Price, WR, Buffalo: 126 yards and a touchdown for the beneficiary of Bledsoeís first season in Buffalo (combined with Eric Moulds drawing much of the attention from NFL secondaries). With Drew slinging the ball around with reckless (did I mention the 3 INTs?) abandon, Price has become a top-10 fantasy option at receiver.

    Jerry Porter, WR, Oakland: Seven catches, 117 yards and a touchdown. Porter has tremendous physical tolls (namely, size. They say he has good speed as well, though I have yet to see that on the field), and although heís not likely to have days as productive as this one very often this season (simply too many options for the Raiders), heís showing signs of blossoming.

    Ed McCaffrey, WR, Denver: One of the real feel-good stories of this season. Easy Ed keeps rolling along with six catches for 113 yards, including a 69-yard bomb three minutes in that got the Broncos rolling against San Diego.

    The Bad ...

    Michael Vick, QB, Atlanta: A little harsh, considering his day was ended prematurely by an injury to his (non-throwing) shoulder. Still, injury or not, 37 yards passing (and one yard rushing) will leave fantasy owners in agony. The good news: X-rays were negative. Vick is uncertain for next week. My guess is, heíll play. You donít leave a weapon like Vick on the sidelines.

    Antowain Smith, RB, New England: 14 yards rushing, 4 yards receiving, no touchdowns. Yikes. Itís hard to win with a performance like that in your starting lineup.

    Lamar Smith, RB, Carolina: Things started going downhill for Smith about this point last season in Miami. After an 18-carry, 49-yard lemon of a performance against a bad Cardinals defense, the same thing seems possible ó hell, likely ó again.

    Warrick Dunn, RB, Tampa Bay: 14 yards rushing, no catches, no touchdowns. Meanwhile, T.J. Duckett gets 11 carries for 52 yards. Methinks it's safe to call Dunn dead for this season.

    Eddie George, RB, Tennessee: 40 total yards, no touchdowns. Eddie simply isnít right. One has to wonder whether heís ever recovered from the toe injuries of last season, or if perhaps the poundings heís sustained in previous workhorse years isnít catching up to him altogether.

    Fred Taylor, RB, Jacksonville: No, heís not injured, as far as I know. But a 21-carry, 48-yard rushing day isnít getting it done. Even more alarming is the sudden trend of Stacey Mack getting all the goal-line carries, resulting in four TDs for Mack to one for Taylor the last two weeks.

    Marshall Faulk, RB, St. Louis: Almost unfair, given his recent neck injury and the Ramsí fall from NFL heaven. But the fact is, Faulk came into this season as the clear No. 1 pick, and while 110 total yards is by no means bad, you expect more out of the No. 1 pick.

    Issac Bruce and Torry Holt, WRs, St. Louis: Combined, they caught seven catches for 70 yards and no touchdowns, dooming teams (like mine) who started them (in my case, Holt over Price and David Patten). The Rams are a sinking wreck of a team right now. Trade these guys while they still have value (I never thought Iíd write that ... but thatís what itís come to).

    David Boston, WR, Arizona: Iím getting very, very close to labeling this guy an official 2002 first round bust. Three catches for 43 yards is simply not what one expects out of Boston, who was outdone by Frank Sanders. Frank Sanders! Not very impressive.

    Tim Brown, WR, Oakland: On a day the Raiders put up 49 points, Brown catches four passes for 55 yards and doesnít get in the end zone. Very disappointing.

    The What?! (Guys youíve never heard of who kicked ass this week) ...

    Dante Hall, RB, Kansas City: Who? The guy who caught a 60-yard touchdown pass from Trent Green with 10:15 to play in the fourth quarter, that's who.

    Dennis Northcutt, WR, Cleveland: So you may have heard of him, but youíve never heard of him doing THIS ... eight catches, 165 yards, two touchdowns as the Browns frantically rallied to literally throw a scare into Baltimore. Did you start Northcutt this week? ... Liar.

    Brandon Stokley, WR, Baltimore: He made the most of his opportunities, turning two of his four catches into touchdowns of 30 and 35 yards.

    Guys worth picking up ...

    Patrick Ramsey, QB, Washington: In leagues with 12-plus teams, most (if not all) productive quarterbacks are already taken. Ramseyís 268-yard, two-touchdown performance in relief of Danny Wuerffel makes him the latest ďbest betĒ to be Spurrierís guy. Most indications the last two weeks have pointed to Ramsey becoming the No. 1 signal-caller anyway ó injuries have merely sped up Ramseyís arrival. Donít expect the rookie to put efforts like this out every week, but against weaker pass defenses (like the Titansí), Ramsey should be a solid play the rest of the season.

    Tommy Maddox, QB, Pittsburgh: I donít know what anyone else calls a 268-yard, three-touchdown day, but I call it paydirt. Donít laugh (OK, you will), but Maddox was the MVP of the XFL, and regardless of what anyone thinks of the XFL, itís still being the MVP of a pro football league, which means Maddox has to have some skills. He hit three different receivers for touchdowns and six different targets (at least twice each) all told as the Steelers played New Orleans tough. Heís less of a ďsure thingĒ than Ramsey to start the rest of the season, but if you have a QB coming up on a bye and Maddox is on your waiver wire, give him a shot.

    David Patten, WR, New England: Five catches, 102 yards, two touchdowns. Patten is a guy who gives owners something every week, and on occassion breaks out a big game such as this. If heís available in your league, pick him up as a third or fourth option. Youíll be glad you did.


    Dan Kauffman is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail newspaper in Hagerstown, Md. (www.herald-mail.com). He is covering fantasy football for buhner.com. You can reach him via e-mail at antidan444@yahoo.com or kauffman@herald-mail.com