Fantasy Football Week 5 Live Tracker

The whistle in fantasy football owners’ ears signaling the start of the second quarter of the 2013 NFL regular season in Week 5 is either music to their ears or an alarm.

Some owners need to wake up after lackluster starts. Their players dug them holes in the standings, failing to live up to their draft spot through Week 4. Whether by blockbuster trade or eying the waiver wire like a hawk, those owners must make moves to turn the season around before their holes turn into graves.

This tracker is here to help them.

Other owners simply need to keep doing what they’re doing to earn a playoff berth. However, that doesn’t mean the fortunate shot-callers shouldn’t be alert for unsigned sleepers as well as the previously mentioned desperate owners trying to turn their team inside out via trade. Lucky draft days alone don’t guarantee championships.

Underperformers who the fantasy world—struggling owners in particular—will have on its radar this Sunday are running backs Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Giants’ David Wilson.

They have combined for just 271 yards from scrimmage, one touchdown and three lost fumbles, but both backs’ circumstances changed this past week. Baltimore upgraded Rice’s blocking by trading for offensive tackle Eugene Monroe (via ESPN) and New York released Da’Rel Scott (via Giants.com), who had stolen 26 offensive touches and three touchdowns from Wilson this year.

Stay tuned for updates on whether or not Rice and Wilson take advantage of their upgraded situation as well as the most explosive performers and influential injury implications of the week.

David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor of Wade-O Radio. 

Follow @TheRealDDaniels

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Due to Calvin Johnson’s injury, fantasy owners who started Detroit Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles in Week 4 should get over their bitterness stemming from his zero-catch performance and try him in their lineup one more time.

The Lions reported from their official Twitter account that Johnson would not suit up for their game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

WR Calvin Johnson won’t play today. First regular season game inactive since the finale in 2010. #DETvsGB

— Detroit Lions (@DetroitLionsNFL) October 6, 2013

Detroit’s injury report already included Nate Burleson out with a forearm injury. Now Broyles’ greatest competition among wide outs for targets is Kris Durham. 

Fear not—Broyles won’t lay another goose egg on fantasy owners’ score sheets like he did against the Chicago Bears. Not only will Broyles be a higher priority for Matt Stafford to throw to this week than the last, but Green Bay’s pass defense surrenders over 33.2 more yards per game than Chicago’s.

The Packers’ secondary allowed Anquan Boldin to finish with 13 receptions for 208 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. It’s weak. And the Lions’ fifth-ranked passing attack has to go through someone.

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Justin Blackmon’s greatest obstacle to start his campaign off with a bang is his own quarterback.

Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert are mediocre when they’re at their best. They boast a combined touchdown-to-interception ratio of 1-to-7 this season. Henne—and his 68.8 passer rating—has his rare moments of success, but Gabbert—and his 30.7 rating—doesn’t.

Blackmon, back from his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy (via CBS Sports), still managed to reel in 64 balls for 865 yards and five touchdowns catching passes from Henne and Gabbert as a rookie last season. Success isn’t impossible, especially considering that Jacksonville Jaguars’ wide receiver Cecil Shorts has averaged 7.7 catches and 99.0 yards receiving over the past three weeks. In fact, against a St. Louis Rams secondary in which three out of its four top cornerbacks are on the injury report—Cortland Finnegan being doubtful, Trumaine Johnson questionable and Brandon McGee probable—success isn’t even improbable.

Blackmon should be good for at least a half dozen receptions and 80 yards on Sunday.

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Expect St. Louis Rams running back Zac Stacy’s career rushing totals to skyrocket against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 5.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported that Stacy will start behind Sam Bradford in the St. Louis backfield on Sunday. 

Sources tell me #Rams will give RB Zac Stacy first crack at starting today. Tried to pick him up in my league. Someone already had him.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 6, 2013

It will mark the first start of the 5’8″, 224-pound rookie fifth round pick’s career. And he couldn’t have picked a better team to debut against. 

Jacksonville has surrendered more rushing yards than any team in the NFL this season, allowing 165.0 per game. Week 2 was its worst in terms of allowing an individual running back to abuse them as Darren McFadden rushed for 129 yards on 6.8 yards a pop.

Stacy has carried the ball just once this regular season for four yards, but fantasy owners shouldn’t be shocked if he reaches the century mark on the ground against the lowly Jaguars, especially if he carries the workload for the Rams.

In three preseason games, Stacy only rushed for 68 yards on 3.0 yards per carry. But then again, he didn’t face the Jaguars’ defense. Expect him to at least equal his preseason rushing total and add a touchdown.

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Wes Welker’s replacement Danny Amendola is back for Tom Brady’s using in Week 5.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported that, according to sources, Amendola has finally healed enough from the groin injury that he suffered in the season opener to be able to suit up. 

Clarity on #Patriots WR Danny Amendola: Source tells me he’s “good to go.”

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 6, 2013

In Week 1, Brady targeted the former St. Louis Rams wide out 14 times and he racked up 10 receptions for 104 yards. However, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported that he won’t receive Welker-like offensive attention this week against the Cincinnati Bengals.

@NYYNYRNFL: @JayGlazer What’s the latest on Amendola?” >playing but they are planning to limit his reps

— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) October 6, 2013

Due to likely limited targets, Amendola is a risky start. Or at least, he would be if nearly Brady’s entire receiving corps wasn’t ailing. 

Kevin Patra of NFL.com reported that Rob Gronkowski is still out of the Patriots’ lineup. And according to ESPN, receivers Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson are questionable for Sunday’s action.

Brady can’t throw to Julian Edelman every passing play. With so few competent receivers healthy, New England needs Amendola to play a key role in its passing attack at Cincinnati.

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