This Week in Fantasy Football: 2014 NFL Week 5

October 1st, 2014
Teddy Bridgewater is among the recommend acquisitions this week in fantasy football. (Photo: Bruce Kluckhohn — USA Today Sports)

Teddy Bridgewater is among the recommend acquisitions this week in fantasy football. (Photo: Bruce Kluckhohn — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Doug Moore

Waiver Wire Pickups

Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants (Owned in 47% of Yahoo! leagues): A 300-yard, four-touchdown game is not something we will see every week out of Manning, especially since he did this against a weak Washington Redskins defense in Week 4, but it is major improvement over what he had done the first three weeks of the season. It took Manning some time to adjust to the new West Coast offense but now that he seems to be making major strides with it, he is definitely worth a look as a QB flier for those going into more bye week trouble moving forward.

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2015 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA

September 30th, 2014
In the midst of another productive season, UCLA's Eric Kendricks is one of the 2015 NFL Draft's top linebacker prospects. (Photo: Geoff Burke — USA Today Sports)

In the midst of another productive season, UCLA’s Eric Kendricks is one of the 2015 NFL Draft’s top linebacker prospects. (Photo: Geoff Burke — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Brian Krosky

Eric Kendricks, who led the UCLA Bruins in tackles and the Pac-12 in tackles per game in 2012 and 2013, is the senior leader for a strong defense which has helped the team start 4-0. A honorable mention all-conference selection and UCLA’s co-captain in 2013, the 6’0″, 230-pound middle linebacker is off to a very strong start this year.

Kendricks was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week after a season opener against Virginia in which he totaled 16 tackles, forced a fumble (returned for a touchdown by a teammate) and returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown. In total, Kendricks has already accumulated 47 total tackles this season.

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Buffalo Bills Giving Up on EJ Manuel, Will Start Kyle Orton; Right Time or Too Soon?

September 29th, 2014
Kyle Orton received the call of duty on Monday to start for the Bills at quarterback in Week 5. (Photo: Mike Dinovo — USA Today Sports)

Kyle Orton received the call of duty on Monday to start for the Bills at quarterback in Week 5. (Photo: Mike Dinovo — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The EJ Manuel era of the Buffalo Bills didn’t even make it to 16 full games. Just four games into his second season after starting 10 games as a rookie quarterback, 2013 first-round pick EJ Manuel has been benched in favor of veteran Kyle Orton, Bills coach Doug Marrone announced Monday.

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Monday Reaction: Coaching Let Down Buffalo Bills as Much as EJ Manuel in Loss to Houston Texans

September 29th, 2014
Doug Marrone and the Bills coaching staff need to reconsider their offensive strategy after Sunday's loss to the Texans. (Photo: Troy Taormina — USA Today Sports)

Doug Marrone and the Bills coaching staff need to reconsider their offensive strategy after Sunday’s loss to the Texans. (Photo: Troy Taormina — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Josh Cornwall

Sunday afternoon was the first time in a long while I have not been able to watch a Buffalo Bills game live. Sitting at an outdoor wedding reception for a friend, phone on lap and scrolling for occasional game updates isn’t the most ideal way to keep track, but nonetheless gets the job done in the short term.

I began to make the three-ish hour trip back to my home in the Boston area right after Manuel’s 80-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams, with the hope that the Bills would find a way to pull out a seemingly sloppy contest in Houston. A short 30 minutes later, stuck on I-84 in Connecticut, the bad news trickled out of the local ESPN Radio syndicate that a late EJ Manuel interception sealed a six-point win for the Texans.

Losses against teams the Bills should be able to beat are always tough to take and the two-hour stewing over the remainder of the car ride was full of angry thoughts regarding the status of the offense.

When I flipped on NFL Game Rewind on Monday morning, my expectation was to have my reactions to ESPN Gamecast be affirmed by bad throws and missed plays. My Twitter feed was full of EJ Manuel-related angst—mine included—and typical bad-loss hot takes only generated by fans of a beleaguered franchise. My expectation was to see an absolute mess of a game, but the mistakes weren’t aren’t as unfixable as the angry sports fanatic in me wanted to believe.

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EJ Manuel, Passing Offense Continue to Struggle as Buffalo Bills Lose to Houston Texans

September 28th, 2014
J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans got the best of EJ Manuel and the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. (Photo: Troy Taormina — USA Today Sports)

J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans got the best of EJ Manuel and the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. (Photo: Troy Taormina — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Fans of a football team tend to give the quarterback too much credit when the team wins and heap excessive blame on the signal-caller when the team loses. That’s especially been the case for the Buffalo Bills and their fanbase, understandably so, in the one season and four games of the EJ Manuel era thus far.

I’m not going to join the fanbase in its cries for Kyle Orton to the Buffalo Bills’ starting quarterback, and even in Sunday’s 23-17 loss to the Houston Texans, a loss that was sealed when Manuel threw an interception into double coverage, I don’t think Manuel deserves all the blame for the struggles of Buffalo’s offense.

That said, Manuel didn’t make himself easy to defend with his poor performance Sunday.

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