The Fantasy Fallout Going Into Week 5 of the NFL Season
Strange times for football and otherwise abound, but one thing is for certain and that’s the Fantasy Fallout imparting all the ways we can take advantage of the numerous uncertain predicaments arising before Week 5 of the NFL season…
Broncos – 37 @ Jets – 28
- Brett Rypien looked lost for much of the game on Thursday night, throwing 3 INTs, but with Drew Lock just “50/50” to play the Patriots this week, week could see another start for Rypien. Expect the Patriots to sell out to stop Melvin Gordon and allow Rypien to do his best to win through the air without Courtland Sutton or K.J. Hamler. Tim Patrick could rack up yardage in a negative gamescript, as the less feared starting WR to Jerry Jeudy.
- Expect the Broncos to be without Noah Fant this week as well. Athletic rookie Albert Okwuegbunam could be activated this week and would command decent targets with the numerous injuries to the Broncos receiving corps.
- Some dude named Jeff Smith ended up 2nd on the Jets in targets(9) and receiving yards(81) on Thursday, with Braxton Berrios finally taking a step back and landing a goose egg for any who dared to start him. I know nothing of Smith, except that he was an UDFA in 2019 who spent the first 3 weeks of this season on IR with a shoulder injury. Smith is a deep league/dynasty dart throw against the improving Arizona defense this week.
Ravens – 31 @ Washington – 17
- The Ravens RB situation is truly matchup specific it seems. Gus Edwards has led in carries in games that the Ravens have run away with, so expect him to see plenty of run in positive game-scripts. J.K. Dobbins actually looks like the odd man out in the offense right now, and Mark Ingram is their only startable ball-carrier – And even he is not reliable at all.
- Terry McLaurin and Antonion Gibson are the only Washington football players who are worth starting this week against the Chargers, outside of PPR formats. J.D. McKissic offers a little value in PPR leagues, but his upside is tempered by Gibson.
Saints – 35 @ Lions – 29
- The Saints offense is predicated on the run with no Michael Thomas around, meaning that Latavius Murray has standalone value. He’s gotten double-digit targets in 3 of 4 games this season, and he’s well worth a waiver add with all the injury and covid chaos in the league.
- Tre’Quan Smith didn’t see as many targets as Emmanuel Sanders on Sunday, but he got twice the scores(2). With Jared Cook out with a groin injury, he was the main red-zone target for the Saints. He could retain value even when Thomas returns, as he’s been a better fantasy asset than Sanders with Thomas sidelined.
- Even without the Saints’ top corners on the field, the Lions couldn’t get much going after going out to a 14 point lead in the 1st quarter. Kenny Golladay and T.J. Hockenson are every week starters, while Marvin Jones, Adrian Peterson and D’Andre Swift are just deep league flexes right now. Matt Stafford has yet to throw a 300 yard game this season, and Swift needs double-digit touches to warrant weekly consideration.
Seahawks – 31 @ Dolphins – 23
- Travis Homer scored on a 3 yard pass, but he only had 5 touches on the day. Carlos Hyde will likely return in Week 5, so it’s not worth chasing Homer’s limited upside.
- David Moore scored on a 57 yard bomb on Sunday, and while he’s scored in 2 of 4 games this season his floor is abysmally low, as seen in Week 3 where he had 1 catch for 2 yards against Dallas. He’ll have his big days in this offense, but he can’t yet be relied upon in league long formats. He’s best left to dynasty tournaments for now.
- Preston Williams just isn’t getting enough targets in Miami to keep him in fantasy consideration with just 3 on Sunday. It’s a shame, but Ryan Fitzpatrick relies almost exclusively on DeVante Parker in the passing game, doling what little is left out to Mike Gesicki and slot-man Isaiah Ford. I fully understand if you want to drop Williams for a hot waiver add. Ford is actually worth considering in PPR formats as a volume-based flex.
Jaguars – 25 @ Bengals – 33
- The Jags didn’t come away with a win, but the offense did move better with D.J. Chark back in the fold. He and Lavishka Shenault are distancing themselves from Keenan Cole and Chris Conley it seems, so make sure Shenault is owned in your leagues. He’s only going to increase in usage.
- Tyler Eifert has had 6, 3 and 6 targets in the last 3 games, but he’s still not getting enough action to stream him outside of the deepest of formats.
- For the 2nd straight game, Tyler Boyd(8) and Tee Higgins(7) have been targeted more than A.J. Green(5). You can’t drop Green, he was affected by a shoulder injury, but Higgins has got to be owned in more than the 33% of leagues he’s currently owned in.
Chargers – 31 @ Buccaneers – 38
- Austin Ekeler avoided a season ending tear, but he’ll still be out 4-6 weeks with a hamstring strain. Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson are must adds, as both will be heavily involved in the team’s plans for at least the next month.
- Jalen Guyton and Tyron Johnson both scored on 50+ yard plays on Sunday, but each of their scores was their only target on the day. Guyton has actually scored twice this season now, but he’s averaging 2 targets a game. He’s not roster worthy outside of dynasty leagues right now.
- Chris Godwin looks unlikely to return in Week 5, so keep rolling out Scotty Miller(5 rec, 83 yards, 1 TD) who was 2nd in team targets to Mike Evans on Sunday. Justin Watson also warrants consideration this week against the Bears.
- O.J. Howard is likely out for the season with an achilles injury, bringing Rob Gronkowski a bit closer to fantasy consistency, though it was Cameron Brate who scored on Sunday. I don’t love the situation to be honest, as both players are likely to be highly TD dependent.
- LeSean McCoy suffered an ankle sprain that will make him week-to-week for now. Ke’Shawn Vaughn made an appearance on Sunday, but Leonard Forunette may return this Thursday, so I’m not biting on rostering Vaughn outside of dynasties yet.
Browns – 48 @ Cowboys – 39
- Nick Chubb was sent the IR on Monday, meaning he can’t return for at least 3 weeks. Kareem Hunt gets an obvious boost, but D’Ernest Johnson becomes a must-add this week, as he logged 13 touches for 95 yards in Sunday’s win against Dallas – 2 more touches than Hunt.
- Austin Hooper had season highs in targets(7), receptions(5) and yards(34), but he’s still not a consistent enough part of this offense to be anything more than a plus matchup streaming option.
- I have to take the Cowboys’ box-score with a grain of salt, because they were playing catchup for the majority of the game. I’m not rushing to add Tony Pollard or Cedric Wilson, though Wilson did receive more targets(6) than Michael Gallup(5) on Sunday. Wilson is a deep league flyer.
Cardinals – 21 @ Panthers – 31
- Chase Edmonds looks like the more effective back out of he and Kenyan Drake currently. Only 35% owned, Edmonds needs to be added in most formats as Drake’s leash may not be long with the Cardinals struggling to provide enough offense. I think at worse, we see more of an even split committee emerge.
- Mike Davis put in work as we thought he might on Sunday, but Reggie Bonnafon added his own mark with 71 yards and a TD on 12 touches. With Christian McCaffrey gone at least one more week, Bonnafon may be worth a deep league flex against Atlanta this week.
Vikings – 31 @ Texans – 23
- Rookie Justin Jefferson showed that his Week 3 explosion wasn’t just a phase, as he posted 103 yards on 4 receptions on Sunday. He’s a must-start against Seattle this week.
- Brandin Cooks(3 tar, 0 rec) isn’t a must-own player in fantasy right now. He’s had 5 or fewer targets in all but one game thus far, and he’s yet to score. He does have a much easier schedule for the next several games though, so maybe he’s someone worth targeting in trades if you’re getting desperate at WR.
- Coach Bill O’Brien was fired Monday afternoon. Not sure how this will affect the offense, as Tim Kelly could go back to calling plays, and that hasn’t been very beneficial for anyone except opposing defenses. To be fair, no one can be worse than BOB was against Minnesota, though.
Giants – 9 @ Rams – 17
- The Giants offense is in shambles. Jason Garrett was not the cure, and his unimaginative schemes are hard to stomach. It does look like Devonta Freeman is starting to get his legs underneath him though. Other NYG backs can be dropped. I’m only playing Giants skill players out of necessity at this point. There are generally better options though.
- Surprisingly, Malcolm Brown led the Rams in carries(9) a week after Darrell Henderson went bonkers against Buffalo for 120+ yards. It could be a mystery each week as to who will be the Rams primary ball carrier, but Brown needs to be scooped up in any leagues he’s been dropped in. Cam Akers is week-to-week with separated rib cartilage.
Bills – 30 @ Raiders – 23
- Not much new info came out of this one for the Bills. Rookie Gabriel Davis continues to impress with the minimal targets he’s getting, as he scored for the 2nd time in 3 weeks on his lone target. He needs to be on dynasty teams, and if any of the Bills starting WRs was to go down, Davis would be an immediate season long addition.
- Though Darren Waller led the Raiders in targets(12), Hunter Renfrow led their WRs in looks(8), coming up with 57 yards. Even if Ruggs can make it in Week 5, Renfrow is worth a flex against KC.
Colts – 19 @ Bears – 11
- Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines both had 9 carries to Jonathan Taylor‘s 17 against the Bears on Sunday. With the passing game as flat as it is, All 3 could be serviceable on any given week, with Hines being low-floor flex in PPR formats. Wilkins would need an injury to Taylor to get any real fantasy traction.
- Zach Pascal led the Colts in targets(8) on Sunday, as T.Y. Hilton continues to underwhelm as a deep threat who doesn’t have a QB who can throw deep anymore it seems. Pascal is worth an add as a low-ceiling flex in PPR formats against the Browns this week.
- The Colts have arguably the most stifling defense in the league, so I didn’t expect much from the Bears in this one, though 11 points is pitiful by any standard. Rookie Darnell Mooney is commanding enough targets(9 in Week 3) to warrant flex consideration in deeper formats.
Eagles – 25 @ 49ers – 20
- Greg Ward got the most targets(7), but Travis Fulgam got the yards(57) and a score. John Hightower, who had the most snaps for Eagles WRs last week, had only 22 yards on the day. None of these guys are advised plays against the Steelers this week.
- C.J. Beathard almost brought the 49ers back for a victory after Nick Mullens threw a pick that ultimately cost them the game. Even if Jimmy Garropolo can’t return this week, Mullens’ time under center is likely done.
- Deebo Samuel returned to game action Sunday, catching all 3 of his targets for 35 yards. He’s available in 25% of leagues right now, but keep in mind that he’ll probably be playing with a backup QB this week against the Dolphins.