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Fantasy Football: Three Lessons Learned From Thursday Night Football Week 5

Salvatore Stefanile learned some important fantasy lessons during Thursday Night Football including the possible resurrection of Brandon Weeden .

Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden
Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden

Oct 3, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) throws a pass during the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills at FirstEnergy Stadium. Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Knee injuries to both starting quarterbacks, EJ Manuel of the Bills, and Brian Hoyer of the Browns, were the main storylines to take away from Week 5’s Thursday Night Football game, but below are some fantasy relevant storylines of note from the Browns’ 37-24 victory.

1. Brandon Weeden is alive

Some people might have scoffed when Brandon Weeden said he would start again, but it looks like that’s exactly what’s going to happen. We don’t know the extent of Brian Hoyer‘s knee injury suffered Thursday Night, but from the look of things, he could be out a while.

Filling in for the man that took his job, Weeden performed admirably, going 13 for 24, totalling 197 passing yards, one touchdown, and most importantly, zero interceptions. The offense was moving smoothly enough with Weeden under center, and Willis McGahee fighting for every inch of his 72 rushing yards. Willis did have a pedestrian 2.8 yards per carry average, but remember, there’s value with plodding running backs in fantasy.

In 2-QB leagues, Weeden’s back in the QB2/QB3 game, as he was able to connect with Josh Gordon multiple times, highlighted by Gordon’s 37-yard touchdown grab, which will hopefully keep both of their fantasy values intact going forward. While Weeden looked to be on the outs with Hoyer putting up back-to-back respectable performances, there’s nobody else in the fold for Weeden to worry about losing his job to, as evidenced by perceived back-up quarterback Jason Campbell being leapfrogged on the depth chart by Hoyer.

2. Josh Gordon’s fantasy value isn’t dependent on Brian Hoyer

Gordon and Weeden did not get a chance to see what they could do together this year prior to Thursday Night, as Gordon was serving a two game suspension during Weeden’s first two starts, and Weeden was out with a thumb injury by the time Gordon returned. Hoyer and Gordon had some chemistry together, as Hoyer targeted Gordon 31 times during his two starts, which lead to 217 receiving yards and one touchdown catch.

On Thursday Night, Weeden and Gordon were sort of in rhythm, leading us to believe that it doesn’t really matter who Gordon is catching passes from. Especially not when he can make highlight reel catches like his touchdown catch Thursday Night. If you own Gordon, you won’t have to worry about Weeden coming back under center, as Gordon has too much talent to be brought down by bad quarterback play.

3. Tuel Time isn’t going to be pretty

As a 2-QB league owner of EJ Manuel, having to start him as a bye week replacement for Robert Griffin III, you might imagine how I felt watching Manuel leave the game with his own knee injury. We won’t know exactly how long Manuel will miss time, but the Bills will need to be on the lookout for a veteran quarterback to bring into the fold if Manuel misses an extended amount of time. Why? Jeff Tuel.

The undrafted free agent out of Washington State was being propped up by Bills head coach Doug Marrone earlier this year, when there was a slight possibility he would have to start Week 1, but after watching what he did Thursday Night, you’re going to want to stay very far away from Tuel, even in 2-QB leagues. His eight of 80 for 80 passing yards, and one interception night could have been worse if he didn’t connect on some late dump off passes. He was also sacked twice, and rushed out of the pocket on numerous other occasions.

What you should consider doing is going over the Bills’ schedule, and streaming the opposing fantasy D/ST against them each week. Tuel’s interception near the end of the game was a laser to T.J. Ward. Unfortunately Ward plays for the Browns. Nobody else had eyes for that ball, and Brad Nessler had the line of night, saying that Ward, “read it [the interception] like a batman comic.”

The Bengals are next on the schedule, and they are owned in a majority of fantasy football leagues, but after that it’s the Miami Dolphins and the New Orleans Saints. Tuel Time Team Stream could lead to plenty of fantasy points.

Stats used in this article from


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