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Dissecting the Denver Offense, Looking at Willie Snead, Josh McCown and More Week 5 Fantasy Observations

Demaryius Thomas

Demaryius Thomas

Now that we have passed the quarter pole mark of the 2015 fantasy football season, it's time to look back on Week 5. We lost Jamaal Charles for the season, which is a huge blow to fantasy owners — and to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs' offense simply fell apart without Charles on the field. If they have any hope of regaining control of their season, they are going to have to figure out what to do — quickly. While fantasy owners are scooping up Charcandrick West (and fantasy editors are learning to spell that without double-checking every time), what else happened in Week 5?

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Related: Charcandrick West, Jeremy Maclin, Travis Kelce: How Jamaal Charles' Injury Impacts Kansas City Chiefs' Fantasy Value

Should you just give up on Denver's offense?

Last week, we looked at the disappointing season that C.J. Anderson has put together. We speculated that Ronnie Hillman would slowly take over the starting running back job in Denver. Well, in Week 5, Anderson had 11 carries for 22 yards. Hillman had seven carries for 21 yards. Anderson added two receptions for 18 yards and Hillman had one reception for five yards. Neither looked good, but neither did the entire Denver offense. Both are low RB2s until further notice.

Owen Daniels may have been the biggest disappointment of the week. A tight end, playing Oakland, fantasy owners thought they were going to get double-digit points. The reality? They got a solid zero. No receptions, no touchdowns, just five targets, none of which led to a catch. After four weeks worth of tight ends burned the Raiders, Daniels couldn't even come up with a reception. Was this the fault of the tight end or the fault of Peyton Manning? Either way, Daniels can be dropped in standard fantasy leagues.

If you are a fantasy owner of Manning, you should be nervous. He clearly isn't the Manning of old, or even the Manning of the beginning of 2014. His 266 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions isn't a terrible stat line, but anyone watching the way he threw the ball knew it wasn't pretty. Sure, Emmanuel Sanders put up a nice day (9/111/0) but Demaryius Thomas only had a 5/55/0 stat line. If Manning can't get the offense going, his receivers are going to suffer. Both are still on the WR1 radar, but you don't feel really great about starting either each week.

Are we buying into Willie Snead?

After Week 4, Snead jumped onto the fantasy radar. He had six receptions for 89 yards and looked like someone Drew Brees was going to target in the passing game. In Week 5, he had a team-high 11 targets, which he turned into six receptions for 141 yards, including a 59-yard reception. In the preseason, it looked like Brandon Coleman was going to be vying for the No. 2 wide receiver position in New Orleans. By the end of Week 5, it is safe to say that role goes to Snead.

The news broke Monday that Marques Colston has a separated shoulder and is likely going to miss time. He had either three or four receptions per game in each game so far this season. Those receptions will now likely go to Snead. While Brandin Cooks is still the No. 1 wideout in New Orleans, look for Snead to have fantasy value moving forward. He may be a sneaky WR2, especially Week 6 on Thursday night against Atlanta.

Josh McCown: Fantasy stud?

Have a day, Josh McCown. In Week 5, McCown threw for 457 yards and two touchdowns. Quietly through three games, McCown  has thrown for 1,154 yards and six touchdowns with only one interception. He's helped make tight end Gary Barnidge and wide receiver Travis Benjamin fantasy relevant.

The perennial journeyman, McCown has made his way through seven different teams over the course of 11 seasons. His best season was in 2004, when he threw for 2,511 yards, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He is on pace to crush those figures. While he will come back down to earth (and not throw for over 400 yards on a weekly basis), it's finally time to look at McCown as a viable fantasy starter.

With the bye weeks continuing along, don't hesitate to pick up McCown to fill in your fantasy roster. The Browns do face the Broncos in Week 6, which is not a good matchup for him, but then they face St. Louis, Arizona, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh before their bye week.

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More burning questions

Is Doug Martin going to cover the fact that Jameis Winston isn't that good?

How grateful are you that you drafted Todd Gurley?

Since when is Gary Barnidge for real?

Charcandrick West or Knile Davis?

Will Andre Johnson have a game even close to that good again for the rest of the season?

Is Arian Foster back to RB1 status?

Will Thomas Rawls have a role once Marshawn Lynch returns?

Tyler Eifert, when can we trust you?

If Matt Ryan couldn't throw for a touchdown against Washington's terrible secondary, what does that say?

Are we going to be seeing Alfred Morris and Matt Jones sharing the backfield for the foreseeable future?

What is going on in Detroit?

Seriously, does Sam Bradford hate fantasy football owners of his wide receivers?

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.