Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 6/30/14
Oh byes. We don’t like them, but the players do need their rest.  With the rest periods starting now, there are some crucial decisions that need to be made regarding your roster. Who is going to fill in for Ray Rice?  Issac Redman can’t carry the load for an injured Mendenhall…can he?  And so many more. Now is the time that we want to highlight players who might be on your bench or floating around on waivers waiting to be picked up in hopes that he can provide that stopgap service.  Everyone knows that Jason Witten is good for your health but how about Brandon Pettigrew? There are questions galore to be answered in the Week 5 stock report. Fantasy Football Week 5 Stock Report: Stocks Up Matt Hasselbeck Going up against a Steelers defense is something that no quarterback wants to deal with.  Taking out Chris Johnson is a natural part of the game plan but what about the passing game?  Most people project the game to be close and even if it is, the Titans will have to throw the ball to keep it that way; but if it isn’t and Pittsburgh gets out to a big home lead, the ball could be thrown all over the place. Mark Sanchez Now before you hang, draw, and quarter this installment of the fantasy stock report, just give it a chance.  I did have Mark’s stock down last week and that horrid -4 point performance came along, but for some reason it is up this time.  The reason is that the New England defense is really bad right now in terms of fantasy, scoring a total of FOUR points for the entire year thus far.  The Jets need a spark on offense and if it is to come from anybody, it has to be Sanchez. Michael Bush Keep a few things in consideration.  There are a lot of teams that are on bye weeks that have major fantasy RBs and Bush almost always gets touches down around the goal-line.  Add to that the fact that the Raiders will be trying to use the running game to slow down that Houston offense, nd he could prove to be fairly valuable. Isaac Redman-* That is an asterisk for the simple fact that teammate Rashard Mendenhall may or may not play this week.  If Redman is the starter, he does possess the skills to help the Steelers offense remain respectable. Jonathan Stewart Carries between Stewart and Williams have been split pretty evenly this year, but the Panthers seem to involve Stewart in the passing game a little more.  It is very possible that the Saints will jump out to a 14-0 lead within the first 10 minutes of the game leaving the projection to pan out. Eric Decker If you haven’t been drinking the Kool-Aid, then the time to do so would be now.  Things are changing in Denver and fast.  Anybody who has a hot-streak going for them will be seeing some playing time.  Averaging five catches per game, Decker has been receiving a lot of attention from quarterback Kyle Orton which is proving to be well deserved. Johnny Knox Until the Bears give Jay Cutler some time to throw the ball, this passing game is going to be inconsistent at best.  Having said that, if there is one receiver that Chicago can, well actually has to rely on as a downfield threat, that would be Johnny Knox because the play of the other wide-outs on the roster is very weak. Brandon Pettigrew As the Detroit Lions attempt to prove that they have a balanced offense when teams decide to send the cavalry at Calvin Johnson in the red-zone, Pettigrew has already proven he can be reliable in the passing game, which should help him finally score a touchdown. Bengals D/ST It is very surprising as to why this defense doesn’t receive more attention than it already does.  This unit doesn’t intercept passes very often, but it will recover a couple fumbles and keep the opposing team from scoring a lot of points.  Another case for the underrated defense is the fact that they have rookie Blaine Gabbert on the schedule.  If you have the Ravens defense, these guys could serve as a decent one week option. Fantasy Football Week 5 Stock Report: Stocks Down Ryan Fitzpatrick It’s no secret that the Eagles have been struggling as a team, but the pass defense can’t take all the blame when the unit doesn’t do a good job stopping the run.  As for Fitzpatrick, those first three games came against some poor defenses.  Once he went up a decent Bengals D, the numbers dropped a little.  Now the stock isn’t exactly in the dumps but a number in the neighborhood of 10-12 should be expected. Josh Freeman Freeman tends to stay solid regardless of the situation on the field, but this San Francisco defense is good, especially against teams that lack playmakers.  The Bucs are one of those teams.  Not that any respect should be taken away from Freeman but in the fantasy world, where individual stats matter, teammates are important as well. Marshawn Lynch Now who is guilty of drafting Lynch just because of the touchdown run against the Saints last year?  Well, he actually does have some value because he is the only guy in the Seattle backfield that has the ability to start week in and week out.  The problem is the two straight road games in the Eastern Time zone that west coast teams usually have a problem with.  Besides, the Seahawks have trouble moving the ball as a whole.  So if they don’t score, he won’t. New York Jets RB’s If the Jets want to have a remote chance at slowing down the Pats’ aerial assault, then the ground game is going to have to be clicking on all cylinders.  That’s the problem; it hasn’t all year.  Only averaging a dismal 71 yards a game, things look grim; and if Nick Mangold doesn’t play, the situation could be worse. Denarius Moore As a receiver Moore is most likely the best on the team, but after Heyward-Bey’s 115 yard game I can only think of one thing.  Al Davis to Jason Campbell, “throw him the damn ball!”  One must hope the play calling will do what is best for the team and throw to who can get open and actually CATCH the ball. Marques Colston Don’t take this an ax to his fantasy value, but expecting a lot of points this week could be wishful thinking.  The Saints have more than enough talent on the roster to work Colston in slowly and besides, even on the road the Panthers don’t look like a daunting matchup. Falcons D/ST This is the team that put a fair amount of eggs into the basket of one Ray Edwards to help boost a pass rush that was more than weak last year.  Did they forget that Edwards was a great compliment to Jared Allen, not literally Jared Allen?  Aside from that, Aaron Rodgers is coming to town and we all remember what he was able to do in the dome during the playoffs. Jets D/ST All the grumbling about whether or not the Jets are for real could be answered this week.  All of the defensive touchdowns scored by the Ravens can’t be blamed on the defense but the stat-line still reads, 64 points over the last two games.  Rex thinks he can slow down Tom Brady but that isn’t likely in New England.  Expect an old western shootout on

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