NFL Week 5 TAKEAWAYS

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT ATLANTA FALCONS


Winner: RB Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers

There were several candidates for the winner here, as most fantasy-relevant players had either 100 yards, a touchdown or both. Davis was able to rush 16 times for 89 yards in part due to Reggie Bonnafon not playing. What was even more impressive was leading the Panthers in catches with nine — that led to 60 yards and a TD. Davis' fantasy value will take a big hit once Christian McCaffreyreturns from injury, but it would be hard for Davis to go back to not seeing any playing time.

Loser: TE Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons were not putting up big passing numbers in this game until Calvin Ridley had a few good catches later in the game. Any of the Falcons receivers not named Ridley could have been listed here, as no one had more than 17 yards. Hurst had the highest expectations coming in but disappointed with two catches for eight yards. It’s the second time in three weeks he was held to single-digit yardage and the second straight game without a touchdown. He probably still should be in fantasy starting lineups if the matchup is right, but he’s not a must-start each week like he had the potential to be before the season.

Player to Cut: WR Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers

Robby Anderson has been the clear favorite among the Panthers receivers, while D.J. Moore has continued to see significant targets and made the most of them today. Samuel is setting playing time but not the opportunities. He had nine touches for 64 yards today, which were both season-highs for him, but it’s unlikely he continues to see the ball that much. Once Christian McCaffrey is back, Samuel will rarely see carries. With how well Mike Davis is playing, it wouldn’t be surprising for the Panthers to have both backs on the field at the same time. If that happens, Samuel is likely the odd man out of those formations. He’s not doing enough with his opportunities to hold onto him when he’s likely to see fewer soon. 


CINCINNATI BENGALS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS


Loser: RB Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens’ running back rotation has been a headache for fantasy owners all season. All three backs have played between 95 and 105 snaps on the season. Edwards has recently been seeing more opportunities with Mark Ingram II getting less, especially when the Ravens were winning. The blowout against Cincinnati should have been the Edwards game script. Instead, Ingram had more carries and played better. We still can’t trust any of these backs. 

Sell High: WR Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens

Brown was the biggest fantasy star of the game with a six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. He only had three games of more than 50 yards as a rookie and now has had three games of over 75 yards in five weeks. Now that he’s had his first touchdown of the season, it would be a good time to trade him due to the upcoming schedule. According to our strength of schedule tool, the Ravens have the second-most difficult schedule for wide receivers over the rest of the season.

Injury: WR A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

Green left the game early in the third quarter with a hamstring injury. In the first half, Green, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins were all within one snap of each other. Mike Thomas took his spot in the second half. If Green were to miss time, it would mostly mean more targets for Higgins and Boyd. Higgins is still available in plenty of leagues, so regardless of Green’s injury he needs to be picked up. In deeper leagues, it would be worth picking up Thomas if Green is out.


JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT HOUSTON TEXANS


Winner: WR Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans

Cooks had his best game in a while with a 161-yard performance on eight catches with a touchdown. That’s the most yards for him in a game since 2016. After a total of 23 yards and no touchdowns over the last two weeks, Cooks ended up as a free agent in over half of Yahoo leagues. With a new head coach, there’s a chance Cooks can continue to be the team leader in targets. It’s unlikely he will see a third of the teams total targets in many more games, but he at least should be on rosters and could be a starter in the right matchups.

Loser: RB James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars

Robinson was held to less than 50 yards rushing on 13 carries. In PPR leagues, he was somewhat redeemed by five catches, but those went for 22 yards. What was just as disappointing was his usage. Despite how well Robinson has played as a receiver, Chris Thompson remains the third-down back. Due to the game script, Jacksonville was passing to catch up in the fourth quarter and the two backs basically split playing time that quarter. This will continue to be a problem in games where Jacksonville is losing. It will be even more of a problem for Robinson once Devine Ozigbo is ready to come back from injury.

Injury: WR D.J. Chark Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars

Chark left this game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. He had a disappointing day before departing with three catches for 16 yards. After he left, Keelan Cole remained the leader in snaps, playing nearly every fourth-quarter snap with a three-man rotation for the other two receiver spots. If Chark were to miss time, rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. would benefit the most. He led the Jaguars in catches and yards — this could lead to even more targets for him.


LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS


Winner: RB Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

Jacobs has had an odd career when it comes to touchdowns. He’s only scored in six career games, but five of those were multiple-TD games. The Raiders ran 23 times for just 77 yards, but the second touchdown saved his fantasy performance. There was optimism in the offseason that Jacobs might be more involved with the pass game, but he had just two catches for eight yards and played five of 14 third-down snaps. He might not be a top-five running back this year without a receiving bump, but with more performances like this he can still have a great season.

Waiver Wire Target: WR Henry Ruggs III, Las Vegas Raiders

Ruggs missed the last two games with injury after catching four passes for 59 yards through the first two games. That has led plenty of people dropping him. Today he caught two passes for 118 yards and a touchdown. Once he’s closer to 100%, he should see more playing time, which should lead to more targets. He’s still the same player he was when people drafted him — add where available. 

Injury: WR Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs

Watkins left the game in the second quarter with a hamstring injury. He returned to play a little bit in the third quarter but ended up missing all of the fourth. Before he left, he caught his second touchdown of the season. In the fourth quarter, Tyreek Hill, Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman all played over 79% of snaps. If Watkins were to miss time, this would give Hardman the playing time he needs to be a fantasy starter in the right matchups.


ARIZONA CARDINALS AT NEW YORK JETS


Sell High: RB Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals

Drake had 18 carries for 60 yards and his first touchdown since Week 1. Hopefully the touchdown gives him some value because there are reasons to believe his fantasy stock will continue to decline. Chase Edmonds continues to eat into Drake’s playing time. For the first time this season, Drake played less than 60% of the Cardinals offensive snaps. Edmonds had five catches for 56 yards compared to one catch for two yards for Drake. Edmonds also had the most impressive run of the day. This backfield will be one to monitor for several weeks, but for now it’s Drake trending down while Edmonds trends up.

Player to Cut: TE Chris Herndon, New York Jets

Herndon had less than 25 yards and no touchdowns for the fourth-straight game. What makes matters worse — the Jets have started to cut into his playing time. Over the first four games, Herndon had played 74.0% of snaps, including 89.7% of third-down snaps. Today that was down to 42.0% of 61.6%. It’s one thing to hold onto an under-performing tight end who has the clear receiving role. It’s another to hold onto one that didn’t lead his team’s tight ends in pass routes.

Buy Low: RB Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets

Bell saw 93.1% of offensive snaps in the first half of Week 1 before getting hurt in the third quarter. Bell didn’t quite see the same playing time as he did in Week 1, but he did play two-thirds of the Jets offensive snaps — he had 60 yards on 13 carries and a seven-yard catch. Those stats might not be super exciting, but the Jets have great matchups for their running backs the rest of the season. Now that he’s healthy and the clear starter, it would be a good time to try trading for him.


PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS


Winner: WR Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers

Claypool had a few highlight plays over the first month of the season and added four more plays to that highlight package with three receiving touchdowns and one rushing. He’s been mentioned as a waiver wire pick-up before, but this week he will end up being one of the most popular waiver wire options. 

There is reason to be concerned about his playing time. Diontae Johnson injured his back and left the game. Four wide receivers had more snaps than Claypool on the team’s first drive, and the injury led to the increase in playing time. If Johnson misses time, then Claypool would basically be a starter. If Johnson is good to go, then Claypool would still be fighting for playing time with James Washington, making it hard to start him.

Waiver Wire Target: WR Travis Fulgham, Philadelphia Eagles

Fulgham was the receiving star for the Eagles offense, with more receiving yards than the rest of the Philadelphia offense combined and a touchdown. After becoming the Eagles third wide receiver last week and scoring a touchdown, he broke out even further today. No wide receiver on the team has had close to as good of a game this season. Once the Philadelphia top receivers get healthy, there will be less playing time available but there’s a decent chance Fulgham could keep a role, particularly in the slot. He’s not a sure thing, but the upside is there.

Loser: TE Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

Ertz saw enough opportunities for a big fantasy day but ended up with one catch for six yards. He played in all but three snaps, which is very good for a tight end as far as playing time goes. He had six targets, which was tied for second-most on the team. When Dallas Goedert went down with injury, that should have been an opportunity for Ertz to put up the bigger numbers he used to. This was his second-straight game with single digit yards and fourth-straight without a touchdown. It wouldn’t be surprising for Ertz to rebound at some point, but in a bad matchup it is worth considering benching Ertz.


LOS ANGELES RAMS AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM


Winner: RB Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams

Henderson is the winner in this one thanks to a two touchdown performance. He was the Rams lead rusher with 15 carries, although he only managed 38 yards. He also had the most catches for Rams backs with three. Now that Los Angeles is a clear three-man rotation at running back, it will be harder to trust any of them. There were a number of reasons to be optimistic about Henderson going forward. He had all three of the Rams’ goal-line snaps. The return of Cam Akers cut more into Malcolm Brown’s first and second down snaps than it did Henderson’s. The main worry is that Akers played a lot better as a runner than Henderson, so there is a chance Akers can also cut into Henderson’s time in the future.

Loser: WR Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team

McLaurin is typically the one player who continues to put up good fantasy performances even if no one else in the offense does. Unfortunately, this week McLaurin was held to three catches for 26 yards. None of the skill players ended up with more than 55 yards. McLaurin should be able to rebound just fine against teams with cornerbacks who aren’t as good. 

Waiver Wire Target: TE Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams

Everett led the Rams in receiving yards at 90, catching all four passes thrown his way. That was much better than teammate Tyler Higbee, who caught two passes for 12 yards. There really wasn’t much difference in how they were used this week compared to previous weeks. On the season, Everett has been outplaying Higbee as a receiver. Everett has 2.88 yards per route run to Higbee’s 1.96, largely due to playing better after the catch. Everett isn’t someone to be trusted to start in fantasy lineups now, but if he can start taking away Higbee’s playing time, he would have high TE1 potential.


MIAMI DOLPHINS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS


Winner: RB Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins

Gaskin had a solid game with 57 rushing yards, a touchdown and five catches for 34 yards. While other running backs had better fantasy performances today, there were excellent signs for Gaskin’s future. This was his second-best yardage total — both rushing and receiving. Jordan Howard was a healthy inactive for the first time this season. He had been the goal line back — the main reason Gaskin didn’t score a touchdown over the first four weeks. Gaskin saw all of the goal line work today, leading to a 1-yard TD. If Gaskin can get the goal line work going forward, he moves closer to being a must-start.

Player to Cut: RB Jerick McKinnon, San Francisco 49ers

McKinnon saw his role in the 49ers offense greatly diminished with the return of Raheem Mostert. On first and second downs, McKinnon was in for just four of a possible 50 snaps. He retained his third-down role, but had just three touches for five yards. Mostert looked just fine running the ball on his return. If there was any game script for McKinnon to have a big game, this was it. It’s unlikely for his role to change, and he could be playing even less in games where the 49ers have a lead and are running a lot. It could be worth trying to find a trade partner, but if not you can let him go.

Loser: WR Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

Last week Samuel returned to the 49ers in a limited capacity. This week he played the vast majority of snaps, so he was used without restrictions. He led the team in targets with eight, but that led to two catches for 19 yards. Any 49ers receiver could have been picked for this spot, but among the starters he had the fewest yards.Going forward, he should have bigger games thanks to his playing time and targets, but this week was a disappointment.


INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS


Winner: RB Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns

Hunt fantasy owners were cautiously optimistic coming into the week. He was in a three-player timeshare after Nick Chubb went down with injury, but there was definitely reason to believe his role would be bigger today. Chubb ended up playing two-thirds of early down work while also maintaining his usual third-down role. This led to a 72-yard rushing performance on 20 carries, as well as three catches and a receiving touchdown. The Colts have been one of the best teams at stopping fantasy running backs this season. As long as Chubb is out, Hunt is likely to have even better weeks in the near future.

Player to Cut: RB Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts

Over the last two weeks, while Jonathan Taylor has been the clear starter in all situations, Hines has still played in 35% of snaps. Today the Colts weren’t planning on using Hines as much, giving him just 23.5% of snaps over the first three quarters. In the fourth quarter, Indidanapolis was passing to catch up, which increased his usage. He had a total of three carries and two catches. Coming into the season, Hines had some upside because he was expected to be the third-down back. Since Taylor has overtaken that role, it would be hard to ever start Hines. Depending on how deep your league is, it could be fine to keep Hines as a handcuff. In leagues with shallower benches, he can be cut.

Loser: TE Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts

Alie-Cox was a breakout tight end just a few weeks ago, but he’s found himself back at the bottom of the Colts depth chart. He had the fewest snaps among the three tight ends, which led to the fewest targets. He was thrown at once and didn’t catch the pass. Receiving tight end Trey Burton had the second-most targets on the team with six, leading to five catches for 33 yards. Alie-Cox can also be dropped at this point.


NEW YORK GIANTS AT DALLAS COWBOYS


Winner: RB Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

Elliott has yet to have a 100-yard rushing game after having seven last year. Fantasy owners haven’t been disappointed because he keeps putting up solid numbers and touchdowns. Today was his second two-touchdown performance of the season, and he had over 100 total yards. With Dak Prescott out for the foreseeable future, there’s a chance Dallas will be running a little bit more. It should only be a matter of time before he gets his 100-yard rushing game.

Loser: TE Evan Engram, New York Giants

Engram has not had a strong start to the season. He’s yet to catch a touchdown and yet to have more than 65 yards in a game. Today he was held to a 16-yard catch. What’s making things worse is that the Giants are slowly decreasing Engram’s playing time. Over the first two games, he played 95.5% of snaps — that decreased to 84.2% over the last two. Today it was down to 80.9%. The Cowboys have typically given up a lot of points to tight ends, so this should have been a good opportunity for him. At this point I wouldn’t trust starting him.

Injury: QB Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

Prescott has a compound ankle fracture and dislocation requiring surgery. This means Andy Dalton is the new starting quarterback for Dallas. He looked good in limited time, completing nine of 11 passes for 111 yards and leading the Cowboys to victory. While he’s not as good as Prescott, he should be a waiver wire pickup. Even if they run a little bit more, the Cowboys should still pass plenty to help prop up Dalton’s numbers. There aren’t likely to be many more weeks with a waiver wire option like Dalton. If your team has been in need of a quarterback, this is the time to jump.


MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS


Winner: WR Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings

The expectations were high for Thielen coming into the game, as he was set to take on a Seahawks secondary that had given up a considerable amount of fantasy points in the weeks prior. Thielen didn’t disappoint, catching nine passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns. It’s the fourth time of his career that he has found the end zone twice in a single game, though it's his second two-score game of the season. D.K. Metcalf also deserves plenty of praise in this game for his game-winning touchdown, but he notched slightly fewer PPR points than Thielen did when all was said and done.

Buy Low: WR Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks didn’t particularly put up gaudy fantasy numbers. The team tallied only 217 total passing yards — with a lot of that coming on the last drive of the game — while the running backs notched just 66 total rushing yards. That was largely due to the Vikings dominating time of possession, but some poor first-down plays also didn't help matters. Lockett’s performance was furthest away from expectations, with four catches for 44 yards and no touchdowns. It’s his second straight game with fewer than 50 yards, but his targets should rebound, and the schedule looks great for the Seahawks receivers going forward. Despite these two games, he remains a must-start every week.

Injury: RB Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

Cook left the game early in the third quarter with a groin injury. And while he returned for one play in the middle of the third quarter, he ended up heading back to the sideline where he remained for the rest of the game. Alexander Mattisonplayed the vast majority of snaps in Cook's stead, and even though Cook had a relatively good game before the injury, Mattison was looked even better — he averaged more yards per carry and even put up more yards per pass route run. If Cook were to miss any time, Mattison would likely be a top-10 RB for as long as he's standing in.

9 views

© 2020 BY FONTAINE'S 5. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.