2021 Fantasy Three Things/Five Players from Sunday’s Games: Week 5
Did your FF Sunday kinda go like this (or some version thereof)…?
NoonET: ‘Wow, great game by Patterson and/or Pitts…and I wasn’t hurt by the SEA-LAR TNF game. I’m going to kill it this week, just like last week!
1:30pmET: Diontae TD right away…yes! So much scoring for me!!
2:30pmET: I’m projected to do so well already, especially with many of my top guys going in the 4pmET game.
3:30pmET: You know…my opponent sure is scoring some points despite my big projected lead. Good for them. Sucks that they will score well and lose to me.
4:30pmET: Just need some good stuff from the Arizona defense and hopefully LAC-CLE is a defensive slugfest.
7pmET: Why is there so much fantasy output in the LAC-CLE game? Will they please stop with the offense! Where’s that defensive struggle? How am I projected to lose my Fantasy game now?
8:30pmET: Oh, good…no rain in KC. Mahomes and/or Tyreek will pull me through.
9:30pmET: Eric Bieniemy and Andy Reid are going to ice out Tyreek again by sending him deep every play, aren’t they? At least it’s not raining…I still have time.
10:30pmET: Game delayed due to massive rain coming. I’m done. How did I lose this week? I’m scoring huge!
10:30pmET: Thank God for the new Mahomes-Kelce…Allen-Knox, I knew I was going to win!!!
Live by the Mahomes-Tyreek, die by the Mahomes-Tyreek. Or live by the Allen-Knox…or live by the Herbert-Mike Williams.
There was no rhyme or reason to this week in FFM-land. One common theme: massive scoring for all, but some won, and some lost…about a 60-65% win-rate across the board. Sad losses where your scoring would have likely won 90% of most weeks.
This is what makes Fantasy Football so great…and maddening. You never know the backdrop of a given week. It’s hard enough to figure out your own lineup, but then sometimes you face the team with healthy McCaffrey…or healthy Cook…or healthy Barkley…and sometimes you face those teams when those big-name players are missing, and we could give ten thousand other examples to blame for losses.
Your job is to put a lineup together to score points. You can’t control what team you play and when you play them.
Some of you won big…or a close win with a big scoring week. If you did win this week, then you feel great. No pick me up message needed.
Some of you lost while scoring big, but the opponent scored bigger. If you are top 1-2-3 or top half in your league in scoring for the season but lost this week…and/or you have a (2-3) or (1-4) record because you have one of the worst or the worst points against schedule this year…there’s nothing you’re doing wrong. Don’t try to feverishly fix something that isn’t broken this week. Stick with the plan – we smartly buy low and sell high, and make our typical waiver moves…we don’t go out and flail away with a bunch of wild moves because Sunday’s RBs feel like they are killing you.
Fantasy is being ruled by top QBs and WRs, and Derrick Henry. Everyone’s RBs are killing them. Don’t overreact this week if you scored big/have been scoring big. Stay the normal course. There is no real answer to the fake ‘RBs are killing me’ problem…while you’re still scoring big anyway. Just keep making smart, savvy moves for undervalued anything…not just reaching for breathing RBs.
(1-4) teams…you’re a win next week away from (2-4) with (3-3) as the likely ‘if the playoffs started today’ line to get to…one game to make up with like 8 weeks to go. Even if you’re two games back next week…you have two games to make up in 8 weeks. If you close it to one game after Week 7…you have one game to make up with like 7 weeks to go. Seasons are not over yet, so don’t manage like it this week. (2-3) teams…you’re fine.
Same for (5-0) and (4-1) and (3-2) cruising along teams…the job is to expose the panicked (2-3), (1-4), (0-5) teams in deals this week.
It was a crazy week…they’re all crazy weeks in their own way. Don’t panic if you lost/have a losing record (with a nice scoring roster on the bench and among the starters)…and don’t get complacent if you won this week and have a nice record and everything seems rosy – you might only have a nice record because of your schedule being fortuitous.
Buy low. Sell high. Don’t reach. Don’t panic. Don’t overreact (good or bad) to a very bizarre week in Fantasy. Stay focused. The bye weeks are at hand. This is where our depth and our always tough sit/start issues come into play as an advantage over teams with dead benches/depth. We’re entering the next phase of the FF season, an all-new season…the bye week season. This is where we make our move…injuries willing.
We’re hitting my favorite stretch of the FF season, the bye weeks. The whole Fantasy season, especially the bye week stretch is a crazy time…looking at the available waiver/starter options during the bye weeks can make you squeamish…navigating the personnel dilemmas during the bye week stretch feels like you’re trying escape a mental institution. Don’t worry, I’m here to help you navigate through (I’ll let you guess which character I am in this): https://youtu.be/WLb7WFAknpA
-- We saw more Sony Michel (11-37-1, 1-8-0/1) here than expected, but it’s still the Darrell Henderson (17-82-1, 1-17-0/1) show as the lead…but a 70/30 split is coming to keep DH fresh…especially when they can get a lead and sit on it – like this one. Michel is still ‘just a ‘cuff’.
-- Geno Smith (10-17 for 131, 1 TD/1 INT) makes D.K. Metcalf (5-98-2/5) a very random WR1 or WR3…a random big play in a game making the difference. Tyler Lockett (5-57-0/10) is more in trouble…he needs Russ…he’s falling to WR2-3 or worse.
-- Chris Carson (DNP) could miss a couple of weeks…or be back next week. It’s tricky with neck injuries. Alex Collins (15-47-0, 2-25-0/3) is an RB2-2.5 with Carson out and Geno in.
-- Cordarrelle Patterson (14-54-0, 7-60-0/9)…21 touches Week 5…great for an RB or WR. Now, the discussion should shift from ‘this can’t keep up’ to ‘is CP a simultaneous RB1 and WR1 now?’. That answer is ‘Yes, RB1/WR1’.
-- Was this the Kyle Pitts (9-119-1/10) moment? Yes and no. Yes, it was a step forward in his play/trust from Ryan. Kinda ‘no’ because we have to see if Matt Ryan abandons heavy Pitts once Calvin Ridley is back. It was a really great performance, however. We’re getting closer to ‘game on’ then ‘struggling/lost rookie’ but we haven’t made the full turn yet.
-- The Jets D wasn’t terrible, but they got punched early on…some unfortunate (BS) penalties to extend drives and then Pitts-Patterson were just too good…but this Jets D took the early punch, down 20-0 and then held down ATL until giving up a 4th-quarter back-breaking TD. You can’t trust this DST for FF because the offense is giving them zero help, but they are on the rise…and not easy for your opposing FF weapons, it’s just that Pitts and CP are on another level.
-- When the defenses get tougher, Sam Darnold (21-37 for 177 yards, 1 TD/3 INT) will fold…and he cost them the game here. And when Darnold fades…D.J. Moore (5-42-0/7) loses that WR1 juice/hope. And Robby Anderson (2-3-0/7) is a nothing…and has been nothing, regardless.
-- Miles Sanders (11-45-0, 5-6-0) had another dud FF-game, but Kenneth Gainwell (2-16-0, 1-8-0) did not take advantage/gain any ground in the race…a race that I think Gainwell can win soon, just not there yet.
-- Ian Thomas’s (4-40-0/5) targets have been upped with the Dan Arnold trade away, but we’re not ready to talk FF usefulness yet…maybe deep TE bonus for a catch/FFPC look for those in TE depth need.
-- Joe Burrow (26-38 for 281 yards, 2 TD/2 INT) reverted back to his shaky self this week. He had been playing more tough the past two weeks, but he got hit 8 times for 3 sacks here and started getting jumpy…throwing 2 picks and near-miss others. A slight breather with the Lions defense next week and then a string of bully Ds (BAL-NYJ-CLE). Not good for him, or the WRs in that tougher stretch.
-- So, now…A.J. Dillon (8-30-0, 4-49-1/4) is a better receiver than Aaron Jones (14-103-0, 4-6-0/5)? It means AJD is the better all-around RB than Jones, just less experienced. He’s been gaining touches from Jones the past two weeks. This may be more of a split/share than we all want to admit.
-- Any hopes that Robert Tonyan (1-8-0/2) would feed on some occasional crumbs from Rodgers-Davante have pretty well been dashed.
Targets in games this season (starting with Wk1): 2-7-1-3-4
Yards in games this season: 8-8-6-52-8.
-- I didn’t realize Chris Moore (5-109-1/5) was still in the NFL until his name popped up here…the ex-Raven backup/nobody WR. How he got a 100+ yard game is an act of God.
-- Davis Mills (21-29 for 312 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT) had a better game than Mac Jones (23-30 for 231 yards, 1 TD/1 INT)…which is unreal. That’s an act of Bill Belichick has totally lost his fastball.
No Brady = Belichick as an average/good coach that players mostly don’t like to play for. Don’t tell me about ‘Belichick is kryptonite for rookie QB’ theories again. He just got punched by Davis Mills…
-- Rhamondre Stevenson (11-23-0) got a bunch of touches here because Damien Harris (14-58-1, 0-0-0/0) got banged up. He might be the starting or lead run RB next week with Brandon Bolden (2-25-0, 4-6-0/4) starting/heavy receiving back.
-- I’m not getting suckered by the Jags WRs anymore when the matchup looks good. Trevor Lawrence is not a good thrower to main WRs…thus Marvin Jones (1-25-0/5) and Laviska Shenault (1-58-0/3). They are to be seen as WR2.5s for PPR…run of the mill guys you can equal-to-or-better-than off waivers.
-- I thought Ryan Tannehill (14-22 for 197 yards, 1 TD/ 0 INT, 3-21-0/8) would take advantage of the weak JAX secondary AND with A.J. Brown (3-38-0/6) back. Nope. Tannehill is very good for the NFL, but not so much for FF this year. Four of 5 games in 2021 with 1 or fewer passing TDs. Maybe when AJB and Julio are back?
-- Dan Arnold (6-64-0/8) has walked right onto the Jags team, and right into Trevor Lawrence’s heart. Two weeks in a row, his first two JAX games, and Lawrence is leaning on and looking for Arnold.
-- After being their best receiver the last two games, Kalif Raymond (0-0-0/2) was a ghost here. Probably the best FF-advice I could give for 2021: avoid any Lions passing game WRs-TEs-QBs.
-- After two hot games to start the season, T.J. Hockenson (2-22-0/3) has averaged 2.8 rec., 24.8 yards, 0.0 TDs per game the last 3 games. Defenses are keying on him…and TJH isn’t that good…and this whole offense is an Anthony Lynn garbage heap.
-- The Vikings passing game is becoming like most top 10 type passing games…everything to one WR (Jefferson) and sparse, random targets everywhere else. Tyler Conklin (2-25-0/3) and Adam Thielen (2-40-0/4) are tumbling down. Thielen has 50 yards or less in his last 4 games straight.
-- It was heading towards a weak FF-game for Courtland Sutton (7-120-1/11) but Denver was down big/most of the game and garbage-timed their way back into it and Sutton got in on the fun. Sutton is so good, but this passing game is so bad on purpose. He’s a WR2…WR1 upside/ability working on a WR3 offense.
-- This loss may push the ‘change at RB’ strategy for Denver. It may be time to feature Javonte Williams (8-61-0, 3-25-0/3) over Mel Gordon (9-34-0, 2-9-0/2). Vic Fangio’s job is slipping away, he needs to do something. There’s been a lot of discussion of it in Denver this past week, now it will be louder and more vigorous.
-- Ben Roethlisberger (15-25 for 253 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT) looked dreadful in this game…a continuing theme as he is falling down a well further and further each week. Some very lucky ‘guess’ throws to a spot and hope the receiver gets it that ended up connecting a few times…Chase Claypool (5-130-1/6) led the bailout with some remarkable plays because he’s awesome but very fortunate here.
-- Myles Gaskin (5-25-0, 10-74-2/10) turned into a WR this week, figuratively…because Miami cannot run the ball because they have a dreadful O-Line…and O-C and HC. Gaskin as a 4-8 catch a game guy could be a thing ahead…out of necessity.
-- The reason I’m pro-Tom Brady (30-41 for 411 yards, 5 TDs/0 INT) for FF 2021…because unlike any player in football, Brady can do whatever he wants and what he wants to do is amass stats – so he just piles it on no matter the situation. And AB-Godwin-Evans benefit with this ahead of the RBs.
-- Cameron Brate (1-12-0/1) did nothing with his 2-game stint with Gronk out of the way…1.5 rec. (3.5 targets), 20.5 yards, 0.0 TDs per game the past two games. Note to self: it’s about Gronk, not the label/position. See also: Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith are not Gronk/Hernandez reborn, as was mentioned ten thousand times this summer by people.
Brady doesn’t ‘love the TE’…he loves Gronk, Period.
-- Deonte Harris’s (1-72-1/1) game here is everything right and wrong with Jameis Winston (15-30 for 279 yards, 4 TDs/1 INT) as an NFL team’s starting QB. Limited completions, 50% accuracy, targets to the wrong people more times than not…and the occasional long pop play.
Harris was out ‘outta nowhere WR’ of the week…he got all his points on just one target. Prior week he had 8 targets.
-- Washington’s defense is now getting stomped by everybody. What a fall from grace. Ron Rivera should fire D-C Jack Del Rio for this – there’s no reason for this massive fall off after making such an investment in free agency to go with the young/talented base. It’s all systems go running your FF weapons against Washington.
-- Rookie LB Pete Werner (13 tackles) is beginning to play heavy snaps and making numbers…11.5 tackles per game the past two weeks.
-- That was as impressive a game by a QB as you will see, by Justin Herbert (26-43 for 398 yards, 4-29-1)…considering he’s missing his left tackle and was down 27-13 in the 3rd-quarter and facing what was one of the best defenses in the NFL the past two weeks – and then he goes on a 34 point barrage for a comeback win.
The question isn’t ‘is he elite’…we know he is. The question now is – is he the single best QB in Fantasy Football for 2021, but also long-term in Dynasty over Mahomes?
-- Because Herbert is great, the two ace WRs are going with him…
I stuck with my love for Mike Williams (8-165-2/16) as top five FF WR…no need to blink on it off last week's FF dud. Now, the question is…is he top 3…top 2?
-- The way you beat the Chargers, if you can, is run the ball. They will be the #32 run defense in the NFL after this week. The RB’s opposing LAC are a boost for FF…
Nick Chubb (21-161-1, 1-9-0/1) and Kareem Hunt (12-61-2, 5-28-0/6) led a 230 rushing yards game by Cleveland.
Oops…the Ravens next week. Sorry, they have no run game with their triumvirate of ancient RBs.
-- Damien Williams (18-75-0, 2-20-0/3) started but rookie backup Khalil Herbert (18-75-0) ended up out-carrying DW. Looks like a split role with Williams as the lead until David Montgomery returns.
-- Remember that huge Darren Waller (4-45-0/8) opening day? 4.5 rec. (7.3 targets) for 54.3 yards and 0.25 TDs per game) since/the last 4 games.
-- Another week, another Justin Fields (12-20 for 111 yards, 1 TD/0 INT, 3-4-0) dud…even worse, my great fear for him in scouting him…he’s not really an interested runner. He’s fallen to #5 on the ‘big 5’ rookie QB power rankings…and maybe #6 if you think of Davis Mills.
Chicago, you have no idea what trouble you are in. You got a decent but not great, self-centric QB…and you won’t realize it for 2+ years. You’ll make excuses for him for about that long…like you defended Nagy for about 2 years (and the media excused him for 3+). Nagy will take the blame here when the losses come in. For Fantasy, Fields is not that exciting at all. He’ll have better days ahead, but he’s not what everyone thinks.
-- Kyler Murray (22-31 for 239 yards, 1 TD/0 INT, 7-1-0) hurt his shoulder/rotator cuff area in this game. Last year, when Kyler got dinged up in the shoulder…his rushing numbers fell off a cliff. This game…7 carries, 1 yard. Could be an issue for him, for FF…and all the guys related.
We’ll all be watching his practice reports this week. I suspect he’ll not throw until Thursday. If he’s right back in practicing Tue-Wed., then that’s a relief for Kyler owners.
-- Trey Lance (15-29 for 192 yards, 0 TDs/1 INT, 16-89-0) was pretty decent here. He got short changed by a tough Arizona defense, holding calls, and Deebo Samuel (3-58-0/9, 1-13-1) dropping passes all over…Lance was better than the score and his final output.
I’m not sure Jimmy G. will be the starting QB for the 49ers going forward. SF isn’t going anywhere, so they should just let Lance go take his bumps and bruises. If Lance is a starter ahead, he’s a potential QB1 in 4pts per pass TD leagues quickly.
-- Elijah Mitchell (9-43-0, 2-19-0/2) returned and looked fine, played well…just Arizona was bunched up to stop the run/Lance and also SF was in 1st & 15 or 1st & 20 so much due to penalties every other play (seriously, it was nuts) they were passing a lot in their limited time with the ball, trying to stay in the game. Mitchell is the lead. Trey Sermon (1-7-0) is not in Shanahan’s heart at all.
-- That was a ‘wow’ game by Kadarius Toney (10-189-0/13). I don’t see ‘wow’ that often, it’s a rare feat/commodity. All I can say is ‘wow’. I knew he was physically talented, high-end. I just believed that his mind/personality would hurt him more than his talent would help him…that he’d have a hard time getting to playing time and out of the coach's doghouses as a rookie, which was coming true. However, injuries have pushed him to the field…and ‘wow’.
Now, he’ll probably be suspended for a game…but we’ll deal with all that ahead. As far as on-field…’wow’. A gamma-radiated Tyreek Hill of sorts…but big risk he ‘acts’ his way out of the league in short order.
-- Amari Cooper (3-60-1/6) catches in Week 1 = 13.
Amari’s catches Weeks 2-5 = 3-3-3-3.
3.0 rec. (4.5 targets), 47.3 yards, 0.50 TDs per game Weeks 2-5.
Dalton Schultz (6-79-0/8) is the most important receiver to Dak now.
-- Saquon Barkley is likely done for a while. Devontae Booker (16-42-1, 3-16-1/4) was paid well to be a backup and will be the lead guy for the time being. If Saquon is down long-term and/or the Giants feel like the season is ‘over’ – they will add a young RB and give rookie Gary Brightwell (0-0-0/0) some looks too.
-- Anybody in the NFL or FF media want to retell their Josh Allen (15-26 for 315 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT, 11-59-1) is an obvious regression candidate theory again from August? What Josh Allen is…is an MVP candidate that has a 0.0% chance of winning the MVP, ever. The media is secretly/quietly against him, so he and Russell Wilson will never see that MVP trophy.
The media was wishing Allen would fall, but now they must go into hiding because he just ended that narrative here.
There’s a reason why he was our #1 ‘most undervalued’ player for 2021. His 3rd-round+ redraft value allowed you to skip Mahomes early and take other things.
-- How about Dawson Knox (3-117-1/4). I think we’re moving from…’My TEs are killing me’ to Pitts-Knox-Schultz are better than Darren Waller (and I’ll try and make that case a tiny bit, in a moment).
If you have Knox and Schultz, and probably Pitts…and you’re whining about getting a bigger name TE – that’s your mind warp…not a reality.
-- Clyde Edwards-Helaire (7-13-0, 1-11-0/2) was carried off the field by teammates, but as of this writing…we have no idea if a serious injury or cramp or what. If he’s out, Darrel Williams (5-27-0, 3-18-0/5) and Jerick McKinnon (1-2-0, 2-13-0/2) will split Williams into an RB2 and McKinnon to an RB3.5-4.0.
*Latest report: Sprained MCL for CEH. Out for a few weeks.
===== FIVE PLAYERS… =====
*** FIVE WAIVER PLAYERS TO TRUST***
*Looking at players owned less than 50% on average in leagues across the whole FF-landscape. Your league, obviously, may be different/deeper.
**Adding a school grade to show my interest level (A-F)…and I don’t mean that a D-F grade is ‘bad’/just showing how pressing/important to me, your situation may differ due to injury, etc..
***FAAB % mentioned at any time below is based on a 17-20 man roster league. And it’s hard to predict the right bid % because every league, situation, and lineup needs are so different. So, doing the best I can to ‘project’ (i.e. ‘guess’) what they will be based on early chatter.
1) WR Kadarius Toney, NYG (Grade B) *Again, note…not a grade on talent…just how important/urgent/great the waiver move is in context.
*Late breaking news: Toney injured his ankle late Sunday and was carted off the field to go get X-rays. It seems he’s OK/not season ending, but we don’t know if it's Week 6 ending or not. Have to factor that in now. Here was my initial take:
Last week, Toney was on our waivers to distrust and ‘sell high’ on the hype lists…I was not a believer that this was something sustainable because I believed (1) that Sterling Shepard would be back and send Toney to the bench/#4 WR. (2) The ever-lingering risk that Toney would do something stupid to ruin any momentum he’d achieve
Both 1 & 2 above are still true…even more this week but trumping that is…I cannot believe how good Toney looked. I know to trust my eyes, because I watch tape 5-8+ hours a day almost every day, even in the offseason – I have a library of visuals for comparisons in my brain, way past 10,000+ hours necessary to be elite at something…and when my eyes/brain says ‘wow’, I don’t ignore it.
There are only a few ‘wow’ players in the NFL…and Toney looks like a possible one. I always want in on ‘wow’…but I have to acknowledge all the risk (thus ‘B’ grade).
The information changed…I am changing with it.
I think Toney may be so good and the Giants season going down so fast, that they will look to move Sterling Shepard at the trade deadline or run Toney as a starter in three WR sets. Kenny Golladay may be out for a week+, so Shepard could return and KG could go, keeping the opening for Toney.
All I know is…I want to take a look to see where this goes but am aware it could go nowhere quick when Shepard returns, and a suspension possibly coming for that stupid punch…and possibly going in a Joe Judge doghouse.
2a) RB Devontae Booker, NYG (Grade B-)
Barkley will be out a while, so everything shifts to Booker…you’d think but the Giants didn’t go fully all-in on Booker when Barkley was out earlier this season. This will likely be a 4+ week opening, and the Giants might add backs to go-with. But Booker should get the first opportunity Week 6.
2b) Darrel Williams, KC (Grade: B-)
Last year, with CEH out late in the season and the beginning of the playoffs, Williams would take 10+ carries and catch 3-5 passes in games, typically. He touched the ball like CEH did when he was healthy/starting/normal…like an RB2-2.5. He’ll be in that role again with pressure from Jerick McKinnon taking over a 50-50 split/hot hand because he’s more dynamic.
3) WR Rondale Moore, ARI (Grade C)
This guy is going to be a star…at some point. Will probably be better than Kadarius Toney long-term because he has the kind of brain you want in a super-talented body. However, Toney is getting way better treatment in their respective offenses/QBs/coaches right now. Moore is taking steps forward each week the last few weeks. If he can get to 6+ touches per game, then he’s a legit WR2 threat.
4) TE Dan Arnold, JAX (Grade C)
The available TE pool is drying up, Arnold is the best of the likely-available group. Arnold instantly had a connection with Trevor Lawrence and had an 8-target game Week 5. Downside to this is…BYE Week 6, so you’d have to sit on him for two weeks before his next availability.
5) QB Trey Lance, SF (Grade C-)
I think we moved a step closer to Lance as the rest of the season starter. However, Kyle Shanahan is stubborn and keeps yammering about Jimmy G. as starter…so, he’ll likely go there. But the 49ers are a couple more losses away from tossing in the towel on the season and letting Lance run the rest of the season.
In a 4pts per pass TD league, Lance can be a QB1 in short order. He’s quite a Fantasy-talent.
6) RB Alex Collins, SEA (Grade: D+)
This Chris Carson neck injury could linger on for weeks…maybe, maybe not. Collins without Carson is better than Booker without Barkley. We just don’t know if Carson is back this week…or what?
7) RB Kenneth Gainwell, PHI (Grade: D)
RBs are starting to go down…if you want to sit on backup RBs hoping an injury hits and you have a sudden starter – Gainwell is an option, Plus, there are whispers of frustrations with Miles Sanders in Philly.
8) RB Khalil Herbert, CHI (Grade: D)
Got a surprising amount of touches Week 5…like a split with Williams. I think the plan is 70/30 Damien/Khalil but the flow of the game can change anything…and Herbert is the handcuff for if Williams gets hurt, and then Herbert would be the lead guy with no sharing with the likes of Ryan Nall.
9) RB Marlon Mack, IND (Grade: D-)
Again, are you looking at sitting on a #2 RB hoping the starter goes down? With the bonus of the fact that Indy is fine trading him for a team in need (just, no one is that interested).
***FIVE WAIVER PLAYERS TO DISTRUST***
1) WR Chris Moore, HOU
100+ yard game out of nowhere gets attention, but it’s a safe bet that this isn’t a new reality.
2) QB Davis Mills, HOU
300+ yard game…against the vaunted rookie killer Bill Belichick! Seems like a good thing? There was a lot of luck here…and Mills doesn’t have ‘it’, so don’t get suckered into the rookie unicorn story.
3) QB Taylor Heinicke, WSH
Analysts are crowing because he gets KC next week, but Heinicke sucks…so why get excited? He may be all that’s on your waivers for a Week 6 bye week guy, and you have to hope and pray…but other than that, not interested.
4) WR Rashod Bateman, BAL
Same as last week…there will be a ton of love for this name among the FF community, because rookies are magical unicorns…and maybe he is like Kadarius Toney! I don’t think so. Different type of WR, different passing game. And Toney needed a rash of injuries to see field/heavy touches…Bateman isn’t walking into that this week, if he even comes back this week…he might take 2-3 weeks to get integrated.
5) TE David Njoku, CLE
You may be desperate and want to take a one week shot…not crazy, but Njoku has been so nothing for most of his games during the new regime that why would we think something has changed? Usually, these three Browns TEs in a rotation have a good game out of nowhere and get some FF-attention then disappear for the next 2-3-4-5 games.
Njoku is playing the most snaps of the group in passing situations but that has meant very little until this one game.
***FIVE BUY LOW PLAYERS***
*NOT ‘Buy at any price’…it’s Buy LOW. Try to find a deal. If none to be had, walk away. It’s also NOT…go immediately ask the owner ‘What do you want for ____’, don’t telegraph your desires.*
1) WR Cooper Kupp, LAR (trying to buy as a falling WR1.5 type of price bargain, after two ‘meh’ FF games…panic by losing record teams especially is setting in)
He’s going to be a WR1 this season, likely a top 3-7 PPR WR overall. He’s had two lower FF games the past weeks after a blazing start. People fear Robert Woods has been found…and Kupp is going to be dragged to WR1.5-2 land. Buy on the discount, don’t pay full price.
2) RB Dalvin Cook, MIN (trying to buy as a top 7-12 RB, not a top 2-3 guy)
Recent history/memory is so powerful in setting current values on players. Cook has been hurt and then missed Week 5 entirely. His current owner, if with a losing record, has to be getting panicky. Not that they would give Cook away…just now the window is open to pull some sleight of hand to con them out Cook with some tempting concoction of a 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 of quantity over quality move, if you catch my drift.
3) RB Javonte Williams, DEN (Redraft he’s an RB2.5 value steal hope. Dynasty…a great trade for the future paying RB1.5-2.0 value if you can get away with it. Some people panicked and moved Kyle Pitts last week, Javonte is now a similar panic-ish type stirring by impatient owners)
Rookies are magical unicorns…until they start playing and producing ‘meh’ FF scoring week-after-week, like Javonte. But note the Javonte backfield takeover may be coming real soon (whatever split that still means) and also remember that he is a great talent. A great buy
4) TE Dalton Schultz, DAL (Buy as a ‘who cares’ back-end/lucky TE1)
Schultz is the top target for Dak the past 4 weeks. He’s a top 3-5 TE being sold off like a #10-14 TE. Hell, he was still on waivers on over 50% of the leagues still last week!
The last 4 games:
20 catches (25 targets), 235 yards, 3 TDs = Schultz (Weeks 2-5)
18 catches (29 targets), 214 yards, 1 TDs = Waller (Weeks 2-5)
26 catches (31 targets), 280 yards, 3 TDs = Schultz (season)
28 catches (48 targets), 319 yards, 2 TDs = Waller (season)
People who have him will sell him desiring to ‘sell high’ at the peak of the market, they think…the crowning achievement of every FF-owner’s daydreams, the vaunted sold at the exact right peak moment/just in time of escaping the perceived collapse.
Schultz doesn’t look like a fad to me, right now…and hasn’t for weeks of trying to get him/possess him
5) WR Kadarius Toney, NYG (Dynasty Alert…DON’T buy this week)
Let this cool off. Let him get suspended. Let him go to the bench when Shepard is back. Let him have a 2-19-0/5) game. Let this cool…then look to try to pay a price to acquire.
Yes, it would have been better to have him all along. It’s great to be right first/ahead of everyone. But it’s also great to be right in the end. There is risk with him, personally/emotionally, but I see some signs of ‘special’ here…so I’m going to camo myself and wait for the right time to pounce.
***FIVE SELL HIGH PLAYERS***
*NOT ‘Sell at any price’…it’s sell HIGH/sell good. Try to find someone in love with your player or values thrown into a multiplayer deal. If no one respects the player/buys right…then walk away.*
1) WR Deebo Samuel SF
Saved his Week 5 with a rushing TD but had 3 catches on 9 targets otherwise. He’s fine. He’s the 49ers #1 WR. He is not to be taken lightly – but he’s not a top 5 FF WR. He’s more like a #12-20 FF WR, but because he’s scoring with the top 5 WRs YTD…and the WR desperate (in their minds or in reality) see him as a great get today.
I’m willing to use him as a trade asset to fix whatever other issues I have because of my WR depth otherwise or I can replace WRs easier than any other position right now. Trade like a strong, very strong WR1 value.
2) WR Robert Woods, LAR
Huge game THU Week 5, after whining and complaining to the coach coaches (it appears). The first 4 weeks, he was ‘meh’. I don’t think a new trend is starting…just an opportunity to cash out on him as a strong WR1.5-2.0 valuation.
3) WR Diontae Johnson, PIT
Another nice FF scoring week…an early 50-yard TD got him started hot, and then he next saw a target in the 4th-quarter. I’ve lost all faith in Ben…and I know DJ is his #1 throw and he’s going to produce in PPR. I’m not ‘dumping’ DJ. I am willing to explore trading him as a top WR1 to address other needs/wants if someone is willing to pay up.
In WR terms: If I could have Cooper Kupp or Diontae Johnson…I’d take Kupp in a second. I would slide into Kupp to take Diontae risk off the table. That would be my bet, that's not a sure thing bet, but one I’m willing to make based on what I’m seeing. But Diontae traded for other needs is usually my main thrust…not just shuffling WR names.
4) RB Damien Williams, CHI
Solid debut week. Split with Khalil Herbert. Has about 3-5 weeks of value left. The RB desperate are always desperate for RBs, especially in the bye weeks.
5) QB Davis Mills, HOU
In Dynasty, if you own for some reason…this is a great moment to cash out. Two QB SuperFlex leagues…work him to get into another QB. I’m not a believer in him, that 300+ yard game, or the Texans offense -- so I’m good to take profits here.
***FIVE DEEP SLEEPER WAIVER PICKUPS***
*Total flyer/lowly owned or not-owned players
1) RB Jerick McKinnon, KC
Is probably going to be in a 70/30 split with Darrel Williams…as the 30%. BUT, there’s a chance the old JMK magic returns and he becomes a revelation and actually makes KC think about splitting him more with CEH in the weeks to come.
2) RB Joshua Kelley, LAC
The Chargers need an Austin Ekeler alternative…and the best guy they got, I believe, is Joshua Kelley. We’re starting to see RBs go down all over, and the plug & play backups coming in and doing well – the best alternative/emergency use RB if Ekeler goes down is Joshua Kelley, to me.
Kelley has been buried so far with the new regime, until Week 5 he finally got some work and looked pretty good. He’s a talent that I’m not giving up on. I’m not selling my soul for it…Week 5 may be his peak as a Charger for all I know…but I think there’s something here still.
3) RB Brandon Bolden, NE
Bolden has value as the new, watered-down James White…but as the Pats’ RBs drop like flies…Bolden is the veteran hand Belichick trusts. Bolden deserves to be mentioned with the McKissic’s Gio’s, etc. Bolden is averaging 4.33 catches per game since James White went down (from Weeks 3-5).
4) RB Gary Brightwell, NYG
If Saquon is down for a while, then all eyes turn to Devontae Booker…but if Booker goes down and/or the season is over for NYG…Brightwell is the next man up, the youngster NYG would want to take a look at. He’s not terrible.
5) WR James Washington, PIT
Set inactive Week 5, which means (to me) there’s an elevated chance he’ll get traded…but depending on how badly JuJu hurt his arm, maybe Washington stays.
6) TE C.J. Uzomah, CIN
Remember Week 4…with the two TDs? That was fun. Back to his normal nothing Week 5, but we thought it was a bad matchup for a TE with GB anyway. Better matchup Week 6 with DET, as a flyer TE/Pitts bye Week replacement.
7) RB Jaret Patterson, WSH
If you’re worried about Antonio Gibson’s shin…Patterson would be the main ball carrier in a split with McKissic.
8) WR Jamal Agnew, JAX
He was on the list last week…theorizing that the Chark injury would open up a path for a Jags WR to step up and Agnew got some elevated work in the Chark injury game.
63% of the snaps Week 5 and 8 targets (and 6 catches) is an excellent start. He is their Tyreek Hill, but not anywhere close to the Hill talent…a guy who can take jet sweeps and bubble screens and do damage. His rise hurts Shenault’s PPR catch counts. Easier to work a small game with Agnew.
9) WR Denzel Mims, NYJ
Played some Week 5 and caught a couple of passes. Based on talent, the Jets need…or the possible NFL trade deadline approaching – Mims is seeking FF life, hopefully, ahead.
-- FIVE…IT’S OK TO QUIT THEM PLAYERS (for REDRAFT) --
1) RB/WR Ty Montgomery, NO
Big opportunity for an RB to step up and fill the opening left by Tony Jones…and with Montgomery involved in the passing game some Week 4 plus taking carries, Ty seemed like a very interesting look to see what developed. Ummm, no stats Week 5 in 25 snaps. I’ll be moving on…
2) Demetric Felton, CLE
I’m impressed with the talent, for sure. When he had that Week 2 great TD and we all got excited, but his snap counts in games since: 11-6-3. The Browns-Chargers game was a video game of offense…and Felton played all of 3 snaps. That’s all you need to know.
3) WR Bryan Edwards, LV
For four weeks, Bryan Edwards has been doing things to get noticed…and the Raiders/Carr didn’t notice/Carr to explore it any further. Week 5…Edwards buried himself. A key drop. A wrong route run at a key time (diff. page than Carr on a choice route, I think). For a guy already being ignored, he loaded bullets into a gun and handed it to Gruden to further bury his career. I can’t hold on forever. In redraft, I’ve expunged him from all teams. Dynasty, I’ll hold if I have a deep roster need or nothing else better, but I’m moving on from this scene.
4) TE Robert Tonyan, GB
Barely see touches in this offense anymore. Rodgers is starting to trail off a bit. Maybe when the O-Line is all healthy Tonyan’s work will change, but if you aren’t Davante Adams, you can go pound sand in Green Bay if you’re a WR or TE.
5) WR Curtis Samuel, WSH
He’s been injured since the summer. The WSH offense is dying without Fitz. Love the talent but there are too many other WRs to work with in redraft rather than to hold into this for some turn not likely to happen this year/in this offense. Moving on for sure in redrafts unless deep roster ones.
***STREAMING DSTs OFF WAIVER(?) OPTIONS***--
In a massive shootout Week 5, so any interested parties will bail, especially with at BAL Week 6…no reason to chase LAC, for the mainstream there. Week 7 bye.
Where I want LAC is Weeks 8-17. *Listing ARI-DST because that’s the #1 most-owned DST along with BUF-DST.
Week 7 = BYE (ARI-DST v. HOU)
Week 8 = NE
Week 9 = at PHI
Week 10 = MIN (ARI-DST v. CAR here, to avoid LAC)
Week 11 = PIT
Week 12 = at DEN
Week 13 = at CIN (ARI-DST at CHI as an option)
Week 14 = NYG
Week 15 = KC (ARI-DST at DET, to avoid LAC here)
Week 16 = at HOU
Week 17 = DEN
You can run the table the rest of the season with LAC, if they are as good as I believe they are (but that’s still fluid…we need Kenneth Murray back to aid the cause fully). The CLE game is not scaring me off of LAC or CLE defenses…it makes me more think they are the #2 and #3 team in the NFL now…behind #1 BUF.
2) Browns-DST (not under 50% owned, but putting them on here because a mass exodus of them being dropped is coming)
I love the way this defense looked in Week 4…and then they got slaughtered in Week 5, as I hoped as someone looking to Weeks 7-12, if I want.
Week 6 is v. ARI, which means more people will bail after the Week 5 assault.
Week 7 = v. DEN
Week 8 = v. PIT
(two of the worst teams/O-Lines in football Weeks 7-8)
Week 9 = at CIN…terrible O-Line, good QB
Week 10 = at NE…terrible O-Line, weak QB
Week 11 = v. DET
Week 12 = at BAL, I’m fine with this but not my fave.
I liked this a lot better before Jaire Alexander went down Week 4…not sure his status for Week 5+, but he’s a big factor in how excited to get here. I see the Packers-DST on-the-come with Alexander/Stokes as the starting CBs now, among other indicators. The schedule for the next three weeks is promising too…
Week 6 = @CHI
Week 7 = WSH
After Week 7, they are dead until Week 14 (v. CHI).
Week 6 at DET is the reason for them to be on here. Week 8 at NYJ works too as a holdover through Week 7 (streaming some other D).
Only here for Week 6 v. HOU. *Any player you want to drop in the MNF game tonight, on your bench, to preemptively grab IND for Week 6?
If the Colts-DST could get it together, they have Week 7 at SF, Week 9 NYJ, Week 10 JAX stretch coming, but this defense is weak, right now. If it changes, I’ll let you know.
-- Sleeper/lesser-name IDP’s whose box scores or live watch caught my attention --
1) LB Quincy Williams, NYJ
I’ll just keep putting him on here until everyone loves him like I do!!
7.8 tackles, 1.25 TFLs, 0.75 FF, 0.25 sacks, 0.25 PDs per game since starting for NYJ Week 2. Plus, he’s awesome at football tackling.
2) LB David Long, TEN
Starter Jayon Brown on IR, so Long has started 4 games now…7.3 tackles, 0.75 TFLs per game in his starter stint. He is the king of TFLs back from his college days. I’m a big Dave Long fan. As long as Brown is out, this works.
3) LB Pete Werner, NO
12.0 tackles the past two weeks as a starter. He’s a solid talent but I’m a bit suspicious of him fully, but the numbers are hot.
4) LB Alec Ogletree, CHI
Starting for CHI and putting up numbers. 9.0 tackles per game the last 2 weeks. 6.0 tackles per game for the season.
5) CB Desmond King, HOU
8 or more tackles in three of his 5 games this season…including two games in a row at 9+ tackles. Has 9.5 total tackles per game the past two weeks, 6.0 total tackles per game this season.
Good luck to us, one and all, in Week 6…
Outro: In places that me/we lost this week, Sunday kinda felt like this...https://youtu.be/E7Nuytq8vs8