Things we learned in Week 5
Compiled by Thomas Harrigan, Jesse Pantuosco, and Steve Schwarz

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - This is Peyton Manning's world and the rest of us are simply window dressing.

Below are a few more things we observed.

New Orleans at Chicago

Alshon Jeffery announced his presence with 10 receptions, 218 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets. That should give Brandon Marshall more room to work in the coming weeks.

Marshall has been clamped down by opposing defenses for 16 receptions and 161 yards over the last three weeks. He had four catches for 30 yards Sunday, but caught a late touchdown, to salvage his day.

There has been a stark difference between Darren Sproles at home and on the road this season. In three home games, Sproles has averaged 103 yards from scrimmage and 10.7 touches with two touchdowns. In two road games, he has averaged 51.5 yards from scrimmage and 9.5 touches with zero scores. He had 10 rushing yards and 31 receiving yards on six touches against the Bears.

Sometimes the Saints just feel like running the ball. Pierre Thomas had a season-high 19 carries Sunday, and while he only had 36 rushing yards he added 55 receiving yards on nine catches and added two receiving touchdowns. Thomas is going to be tough to trust week-to-week, though. Here are his touch totals in order this season: 13, nine, 17, nine, 28.

Jimmy Graham had 10 catches for 135 yards ... and we're mildly disappointed. Graham set the bar extremely high with 458 yards and six touchdowns over his first four games.

New England at Cincinnati

LeGarrette Blount had his chance to claim the starting job with Stevan Ridley inactive, and he fumbled it away early. Blount finished with 12 carries for 51 yards but just three carries and nine yards coming in the second half. Blount had a chance to punch one in from the one-yard line in the fourth quarter and was stuffed.

Danny Amendola was not the potion to cure the Patriots' passing ills. Amendola saw nine targets in his return to action after a three-game absence, but had just four catches, for 55 yards. That led all New England receivers even though Tom Brady threw the football 38 times.

Giovani Bernard may have lost some ground to BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Even though Bernard had 62 yards on 13 carries to Green-Ellis' 67 yards on 19 carries, Bernard lost a fumble and Green-Ellis scored his third touchdown of the season.

The Bengals are having trouble getting the football to A.J. Green. After catching nine passes on 13 targets for 162 yards and two scores in the season opener, Green has 22 receptions on 46 targets (.478) for 199 yards and one touchdown the last four games.

Detroit at Green Bay

With Calvin Johnson out with a knee injury, Matthew Stafford looked pretty average. Most of his throws were dump offs or safe passes between the numbers and he finished with 262 yards and one touchdown.

The Packers have had difficulty in the red zone over the past two games and Aaron Rodgers has thrown for just two touchdowns. His lone touchdown Sunday came on an 83-yard bomb to James Jones, who had four catches for 127 yards.

Green Bay featured Eddie Lacy, giving him 23 carries in his return from a concussion. Lacy turned that into 99 rushing yards, while fellow rookie Johnathan Franklin had three carries for one yard.

Rodgers hasn't been able to hook up with Randall Cobb as easily this season after connecting on 80 of 104 targets (.769) last season. He has 25 catches on 40 targets this year (.625), including four for 35 yards on eight targets Sunday. Cobb did have a 67-yard run and finished with 72 yards rushing for his third game with at least 100 yards from scrimmage.

Seattle at Indianapolis

T.Y. Hilton had five catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns, but his lack of targets makes him a boom-or-bust player. He had six targets Sunday, giving him 21 over five games.

The Colts version of Trent Richardson hasn't been much different than the Browns one. He has rushed for 151 yards on 51 carries (2.96 ypc) since joining the team, including 56 yards on 18 carries against the Seahawks. He didn't get the short touchdown Sunday; that went to Donald Brown.

Sidney Rice caught two touchdowns against the Jaguars in Week 3 but he has just one reception in each of the last two games. Golden Tate (11 targets, five receptions, 61 yards, one touchdown) and Doug Baldwin (nine targets, five receptions, 80 yards) are both ahead of Rice for fantasy relevance.

Run Russell run! Russell Wilson had 102 yards on 13 carries, giving him 179 on 23 runs the last two games after rushing 17 times for 54 yards total over the first three weeks.

Wilson needs the rushing production because he hasn't been a reliable passer this season -- Sunday was his second best fantasy passing game of the year and he had 210 yards, two touchdowns and one pick.

Baltimore at Miami

As they promised, the Ravens went back to Ray Rice and the running game. Their running back combination of Rice and Bernard Pierce attempted 38 running plays in contrast to last week when they ran the ball just nine times.

The result of all the running the ball was Rice had an excellent day for fantasy owners with 102 yards from scrimmage and two scores. And the Ravens won the ball game. Coincidence - we think not.

The Ravens had no answer for Mike Wallace in the first half (6-for-99), but found one in the second half as he caught just one more ball for six yards.

Ryan Tannehill threw for 307 yards and a score without an interception. That's the second 300-yard bonus he's earned this season after doing it just once in 16 games during his rookie season.

Philadelphia at New York Giants

Michael Vick rushed for 79 yards in the first 25 minutes, but on his seventh carry he grabbed his right hamstring. Nick Foles finished the first half and played the entire second half and despite his limitations in the Chip Kelly offense he played well throwing for 186 yards and two scores.

The Giants figured to have a good passing day against Philadelphia's porous secondary and Eli Manning did throw for 334 yards and two scores, but he also suffered from three interceptions.

New York has turned the ball over a league-high 20 times, so get your fantasy defenses in the lineup when facing the turnover-prone Giants and the inept Jaguars.

Welcome back to fantasy relevance Hakeem Nicks. Nicks had more yards in the first half (120) than in any of the first four games this season. He finished with 142 yards on nine receptions, but Reuben Randle caught the only two touchdown passes from Manning.

Jacksonville at St. Louis

In the first game after his suspension, Justin Blackmon made an immediate impact with a 67-yard touchdown catch and finished with five catches for 136 yards.

Gabbert threw two first-half touchdowns, unfortunately, one to each team. After a second interception he left with a hamstring injury.

Zac Stacy (14-78) ran better than Daryl Richardson (13-48) while it appears Isaiah Pead and Benny Cunningham are out of the picture. Stacy is the guy to have next week.

Sam Bradford threw for 128 yards and two first-half scores and finished with 222 yards, three scores and no interceptions. Fantasy owners will take that anytime.

Austin Pettis grabbed two of the three touchdowns, but targets were evenly distributed between five receivers. It will be tough to pick out the fantasy- worthy receivers each week if this balanced attack continues.

Kansas City at Tennessee

A toe injury didn't stop Jamaal Charles from posting 145 total yards from scrimmage and a score.

Dwayne Bowe continues to be a fantasy non-entity in the Andy Reid-Alex Smith offense. He was targeted just six times, catching four for 35 yards.

The first half was visible proof that Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't a starting quarterback in the NFL. He started out 1-for-9 for 4 yards and finished the half with all of 31 passing yards.

In the second half Fitzpatrick showed why he's still a backup option for teams as he rallied the team for 17 straight points to take a 17-13. He finished the day with a respectable 247 yards and a score, but was picked off twice. Fantasy owners should stay away from him.

Carolina at Arizona

Cam Newton played better in the first half, but that didn't translate to good numbers for No. 1 receiver Steve Smith. Newton threw for 215 yards in the first 30 minutes, but Smith caught just one for 15 yards as the quarterback looked to Greg Olsen, Ted Ginn Jr. and Brandon LaFell more often.

The second half was a disaster for Newton and the Panthers.

Andre Ellington ran for 12 yards and caught two balls for 22 yards, but his 34-yard total in the first half was still better than Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall did come on in the second half, scoring from 1-yard out and finishing with more fantasy points, but Ellington is much more explosive and someday soon could become a Reggie Bush-like running back.

Denver at Dallas

The Cowboys found a way to make the Denver Broncos offense "ordinary." in the first quarter. They only allowed them six plays. Still, Denver high-powered offense put a touchdown on the board.

Manning threw a second touchdown pass on a seven-play drive in the second quarter. Thirteen plays - 14 points. Manning's third touchdown pass of the half finished off a six-play drive. Nineteen plays - 21 points.

When Manning ran in the final touchdown of the first half, his first rushing TD in five years, the scoreboard read 28 points in 26 plays. Oh well, in theory keeping Manning's snap count in check should have been a good plan.

Manning finished 33-of-42 for 414 yards and five touchdowns (four passing) with one interception, his first of the season.

Week 5 was like Week 1 when Manning featured tight end Julius Thomas (8-114-2). This time around, however, Thomas was started in 80 percent of all leagues.

Knowshon Moreno is perfect for this offense. He blocks for Peyton, runs hard and has good hands. Considering on draft day he was thought of as the team's No. 3 running back he's come a long, long way.

Tony Romo had a great day too (25-of-36 for 506 yards, 5 TDs and one INT), and on this day, was every bit as good as fantasy's "superman."

Dez Bryant is unstoppable near the end zone with great hands and the ability to get his feet down from almost any angle. He's pretty tough to stop everywhere else too (6-141-2).

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at

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