Fantasy Fallout, Week 5: Where Ray Rice says, “Yeah, I’m still a stud.”

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice celebrates his touchdown in the end zone as the official at left signals a touchdown during the fourth quarter of their NFL football game against the Denver Broncos in Baltimore, Maryland October 10, 2010.  REUTERS/Joe Giza (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Ray Rice has been battling a knee injury, but it didn’t appear to bother him on Sunday, as he gained 133 yards on 27 carries with two touchdowns. Willis McGahee failed to punch it in from close early in the game, so the Ravens used Rice around the goal line and he rewarded them with two scores. He’s back in ‘must-start’ territory going forward. Anquan Boldin (1-8) was very quiet and Joe Flacco (198 yards) didn’t throw for a TD, but he snuck one in early on. On the other side of the ball, Brandon Lloyd (5-135-1) — this year’s Miles Austin? — and Jabar Gaffney (9-87) helped Kyle Orton (314 yards, 2 TD) to another good fantasy line.

Another guy who is oscillating in and out of ‘stud’ territory is Maurice Jones-Drew, who only gained 84 yards in a great matchup against a terrible Bills’ rush defense. It’s important to note that rookie Deji Karim (15 carries, 70 yards) was the Jags’ RB2 this week. Marcedes Lewis (4-54-2) and Mike Sims-Walker (4-46-1) led the Jags in receiving. For the Bills, Steve Johnson (5-46-2) caught a TD for the third straight game.

For the Bucs, I’ve seen some owners considering cutting rookie Mike Williams (7-99-1), but his performance in a tough matchup proves that he’s absolutely worth holding onto. The Tampa Bay RBBC is getting ugly with Carnell Williams (11 touches, 33 yards), Earnest Graham (3 carries, 65 yards, TD), LeGarrette Blount (4 carries, 3 yards) and Kareem Huggins (1 carry, 4 yards) all getting some work. For the Bengals, Terrell Owens (7-102-1) had another big game while Chad Ochocinco (3-20) was once again quiet.

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Fantasy Fallout, Week 4: Where we party like it’s 2005

Cincinnati Bengals receiver Terrell Owens (R) catches a second quarter touchdown pass as Cleveland Browns defensive back Shledon Brown (L) falls to the turf during their NFL football game in Cleveland, Ohio October 3, 2010. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Early on, it was almost as we were living in the mid-’00s again, as Carson Palmer (371 yards, 2 TD), LaDainian Tomlinson (155 total yards, 2 TD) and Terrell Owens (10-222-1) led the early games in passing, rushing and receiving, respectively. LT2 and Shonn Greene had the same number of touches (22), but LT2 out-touched Green 16-to-8 in the first half, so Tomlinson has clearly moved ahead of Greene in terms of pecking order in the Jets’ backfield. Braylon Edwards (4-86-1) and Dustin Keller (4-28-2) starred for the Jets in the passing game. It seems like Edwards is focused and playing well after his off-the-field trouble a couple of weeks ago. (Hire a driver, Braylon. You have enough money.)

There are a few things to take from the Falcons/49ers tilt in Atlanta. First, the change at OC for the 49ers looks like it will be a good thing for Michael Crabtree (5-58) who was targeted six times by Alex Smith (188 yards, TD, 2 INT). Secondly, the San Francisco DT is not dead yet. They held Atlanta to 16 points, sacked Matt Ryan (273 yards, TD) three times and picked him off twice. The 49er special teams also came up with a score when Taylor Mays recovered a blocked punt for a TD. Lastly, Harry Douglas (3-59-1) is making his case to be the Falcons’ WR2. He was targeted eight times by Ryan.

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Fantasy Fallout, Week 3: Where you must accept Austin Collie’s dominance

DENVER - SEPTEMBER 26: Wide receiver Austin Collie  of the Indianapolis Colts makes a touchdown reception as Nate Jones  of the Denver Broncos defends at INVESCO Field at Mile High on September 26, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Let’s start with the best game of the day, NO/ATL, where Michael Turner (30 carries, 114 yards, TD) and Jason Snelling (14 carries, 62 yards) wore down the interior of the Saints’ rush defense to triumph in overtime. A few things to note here: 1) Anyone writing off Tony Gonzalez (8-110-1) is making a mistake, 2) Jeremy Shockey (8-78-1) looks like he’ll get some of the short work originally designed for Reggie Bush, and 3) Lance Moore (6-149-2) can still play, and may have usurped Devery Henderson (2-23) and Robert Meachem (1-5) to be the Saints’ WR2. More likely, Drew Brees will continue to take what the defense gives him, which means any of these WRs could go off on any given day.

Over in Baltimore, the Browns were down Jerome Harrison today with a thigh injury, so Peyton Hillis was the feature back and he didn’t disappoint (to the tune of 29 touches for 190 yards and a TD). Baltimore’s rush defense isn’t as good as its reputation, so I tweeted earlier in the day that Hillis was a decent RB3/flex start, and he turned in an outstanding game. Ben Watson (5-47-1) has posted 12-125-1 on the season and is turning into a decent TE2 option. On the other side of the ball, Anquan Boldin (8-142-3, 11 targets) and Joe Flacco (262 yards, 3 TD) are totally in sync. Flacco isn’t as bad as he looked last week against the Bengals and he isn’t as good as he looked this week against the Browns.

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Fantasy Fallout, Week 2: Where you lose the game you think you’ll win and win the game you think you’ll lose

SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 20: Frank Gore  of the San Francisco 49ers scores a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during an NFL game at Candlestick Park on September 20, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Funny story (at least to me): I had two games up for grabs last night. In one PPR league, I was up 13 points facing Marques Colston and wasn’t particularly optimistic about my chances given the way the Seahawks shredded the 49er pass defense in Week 1. But Colston was held to 5-67, so my team held on. In my other league, I was trailing by 12 with Drew Brees (254 yards, 2 TDs), Pierre Thomas (103 total yards, 8 catches) and Michael Crabtree (1-32) going, while my opponent only had Frank Gore. Seven catches, 168 yards and two TDs later, I lost by two. Ugh. To make matters worse, I had Jahvid Best sitting on my bench, which serves as the ol’ double kick in the nuts. UGH.

What’s the lesson? Anything can happen in fantasy football. Just when you think you’ve locked a game up, you’ll find a way to lose, and when you’re holding on for dear life, the lead will be just enough.

Oh, and don’t bench Jahvid Best.

But back to the SF/NO game…Alex Smith (275 yards, TD, 2 INTs) looked pretty good at times, but both interceptions were his fault. He threw a few very nice passes to Vernon Davis (4-78, seven targets) and Josh Morgan (6-70, eight targets), but Crabtree only saw three passes come his way. I’d keep him on the bench until he’s starts producing.

For the Saints, Reggie Bush looked great (34 total yards, TD, four catches) before leaving the game with a leg injury, and now ESPN is saying that he’s going to miss at least 6 weeks. Bump up Thomas and put DeShawn Wynn on your radar. Heath Evans might get some extra work as well, but it’s more likely that Sean Payton will elect to feature Devery Henderson (3-28) or Robert Meachem (0-0) more in the passing game to account for Bush’s production there.

Fantasy Fallout, Week 15: QBs

– When fantasy owners drafted Tom Brady in the second round, I don’t think they were looking for 115 yards, one TD and one pick in Week 15 against the Buffalo Bills.

– Matt Cassel (331 yards, 2 TD) rewarded those owners that were brave enough to start him after a fairly miserable stretch of games. With Chris Chambers and Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs have something going in the passing game.

– I’m actually surprised that Matt Ryan mustered 152 yards and a TD in his first game back against a very stout Jets pass defense.

– Jay Cutler (94 yards, 3 INT) had a miserable day against the Ravens. Meanwhile, Joe Flacco (234 yards, 4 TD) shredded the Bears’ defense.

– Ben Roethlisberger (503 yards, 3 TD) had a MONSTER day against what was a pretty stingy Packer defense coming in. Aaron Rodgers (383 yards, 3 TD, rush TD) did everything to win the game but rush Roethlisberger on his game winning drive.

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