Throwback Thursday: Week 5

Rams vs Seahawks:

This was overall just a good game to watch. The Rams didn’t play as bad as I initially thought and were leading or in the game the whole time. But just like in weeks past the same issues keep plaguing the Rams. The O-Line is a sieve. Goff is constantly under pressure and Gurley has few if any running lanes to work with. In fact it’s so bad Gurley is frequently in only to be a blocker for Goff. Goff had another unimpressive outing with 1 TD and an INT. He really is a match-up dependent QB and should no longer be considered a weekly starter. Kupp is absolutely dominate and should be viewed as a top 10 WR each week. Woods is still second fiddle and will have a healthy amount of targets each week. He was inches away from catching a TD so don’t panic on him. Everett has started to emerge as a solid TE option with increased targets over the last two week. On the ground game Gurley looks fine to me and salvaged his day with two beautiful TD runs. He’s getting more targets but as I said previously he’s hamstrung by bad O-line play. 

The Seahawks are a force to be recognized. Wilson is playing as well, if not better than Mahomes and we will see them in the Playoffs this year. He is able to scramble out of the pocket and find open receivers for ridiculous TDs. He will spread the ball around as much as he can but Lockett and Dissly are the main targets. In certain match-ups Metcalf should be considered for his deep threat and Red-zone abilities. On the ground Carson has returned to form and will be the lead dog from here on out. With Penny back healthy they will bring him in from time to time and is more of the pass catcher. He ran a beautiful wheel route early in the game but this week Carson got the TD and is the main Red-zone option there. 

WW: (Rams) With Cooks hurt Reynolds could be an option. If you need a TE, Everett is looking like a solid option. (Seahawks) There’s a small chance Dissly is still available. In deeper leagues Metcalf could be an option. Check and see if Penny is available. 

Jets vs Eagles:

I hope Darnold comes back this next week because this is starting to get out of hand. Falk is unable to do anything and it’s costing them games. He committed both turnovers that went for defensive TDs. In the receiving game Thomas and Bell are the top target leaders with Crowder and Anderson pulling up the rear. In game 1 with Darnold we saw Crowder with 17 targets and Bell (9) and Anderson (7) each. Granted Thomas wasn’t on the team but overall the targets have to go up because it certainly can’t go down. In the rushing game Bell is doing everything he can and looks solid. DEFs are stacking the box knowing the team can’t throw. The logical assumption here is with Darnold back the passing will have to be respected so Bell should get more room to work. 

The Eagles had a rather pedestrian day against the Jets and really won because of defensive scores. Wentz had a poor outing fantasy wise but got the job done and finally got Ertz the TD he was overdue. In terms of targets Ertz and Jeffery are still the clear leaders. Sanders has been relegated to passing work and spelling in Howard when needed. I don’t know what’s going on with DeSean Jackson but I wouldn’t expect him back anytime soon so it’s time to dump him to the waiver wire. Pederson has come out and said he will be giving the ball to Howard more. I don’t blame him has Howard is looking solid and got himself another TD this week on a tough run. I don’t think you can drop Sanders yet but if you have to make a roster move because of bye weeks and injures, do it. 

WW: (Jets) With the hopes of Darnold coming back maybe it’s time to see if Anderson and Crowder are available. (Eagles): Honestly no one is standing out to pick up. Think about dropping Jackson and Sanders. 

Jags vs Panthers:

Gardner Minshew is doing to Nick Foles what Foles did to Carson Wentz. He is playing so much better and making the team look good. He’s managing the game well and has thrown for a couple of TDs for consecutive games now. His favorite target by a wide margin is DJ Chark Jr aka “Baby Shark dodo do do dodo”. The fact is he’s scored every week except last week and that was because of a penalty. Time to stop being a snob and recognize the talent and more importantly the opportunity. Westbrook is the #2 on the team with a surprisingly equal amount of targets but is mainly the possession receiver over the middle. Fournette is starting to look pretty good and put up another 100 YD game on the ground with a TD this time. He’s even getting passing work being the 3rd highest target. Looks like we were wrong about him. 

CMC will be the #1 RB at the end of the season. Thus making me look like a genius. He put up 3 total TDs this week. Two on the ground and one through the air. Add in over 200 all purpose YDs and it’s amazing he still wasn’t the #1 overall RB this week. Allen is doing what he needs to do in managing the game. Not a lot of passing YDs and only 1 TD to CMC. But when the ground game is so potent who needs to throw. CMC, Moore and Samuel are the top targets. Moore and Samuel don’t seem to be getting the TDs and that probably won’t change until Cam gets back. Olsen has all but disappeared and it’s rather concerning. 

WW: (Jags) Chark is only 72% owned. You may be lucky and he’s out there for the taking. DO IT! Westbrook is 62% owned and can be a fine PPR add. (Panthers): I’m concerned about Olsen’s usage, maybe time to consider another option if you have one. I don’t trust Samuel enough to say go out and get him. 

Vikings vs Giants:

After all that controversy with Diggs and Theilen dumping all over Cousins we get ourselves a passing game. Let’s be fair it is the Giants after all. Next week they do have the Eagles who have a terrible secondary so it may look good two weeks in a row. Cousins actually looked like he wanted to throw the ball and like he wanted to win. Although after all that he threw to Theilen over Diggs by a 2:1 ratio. Theilen balled out with 2 TDs and over 100 YDs. Diggs looked good but he’s the X receiver so it’s always a boom or bust type of game anyway. On the ground Cook continues to look dominate. I guess Rudolph doesn’t exist anymore because they certainly don’t throw to him. 

Surprisingly the box score doesn’t show that the Giants are playing much better. Even against a superior defense like the Vikings. Jones is doing what he can with the talent around him but it’s not looking good. With a poor O-line and tons of injuries, I don’t see it getting better any time soon. Especially when they have the Patriots on Thursday and Shepard and possibly even Engram could be out. The rushing game is non-existent with Barkley gone. There are rumors he could be back soon but don’t hold your breath. To top it off Gallman, who looked rather good, is out with a concussion. Don’t bother with whoever the next man up may be. In the receiving department Engram and Shepard are the target leaders even with the return of Tate. 

WW: (Vikings) Cousins is a good QB stream. (Giants) See if Golden Tate is available. 

Falcons vs Texans:

I don’t think either of these teams know what the word defense means. The Falcons were well within the game the whole time till the typical Matt Ryan INT at the end of the game. Up until that point he was eviscerating them with 3 passing TDs and even added a rushing TD. Ridley came back to life and showed you why he can be a valuable player week in and out. Hooper and another solid performance and can safely be considered a week to week start at TE. Interestingly Jones pretty much disappeared for the second straight game. It looked like he was just schemed out by the defense more than anything. Freeman finally got his first TD but it was through the air. Not like we’re complaining since he’s been rather fantasy irrelevant up till now. Look for the Falcons to continue to provide fantasy relevance next week against the Cardinals. 

Watson finally faced a team who couldn’t pass rush so he was able to show off his true talent. Which pretty much meant throw to Fuller deep. Which worked for 3 TDs and 217 YDs. Fuller almost had 5 TDs but was stopped on the 1 YD line twice. Those TDs interestingly went to the TE Fells. Hyde was rather ineffective going 23 carries for 60 YDs but saved his day with a goal line TD. I am growing concerned with the lack of Hopkins usage this season. It looks like Watson is happy spreading the ball around. Hopkins is still the target leader and talent should win out in the end. But if you get some ridiculous offer to sell I wouldn’t be opposed. 

WW: (Falcons) Sanu as seen an increase in targets. May be worth the pickup. I don’t think Smith is worth it unless your desperate. (Texans) For some reason Fuller is only 84% owned. See if he’s out there. Coutee is a good PPR add. Hyde is also widely available. 

Bucs vs Saints:

I guess the fun thing about the Bucs is we’ll never know which version we’ll get. This week against a less potent offense and a better defense they go and blow the game. Don’t let the final score fool you as they were only in the game during the first half. Winston played well enough but he also got lucky and had 2 INTs called back because of penalties. Godwin has now surpassed Evans in targets and it looks like he’s the only player Winston looks at most games. Adam did state that “in Bruce Arians systems the slot receiver out performs the X receiver”. It appears this is still holding true as Godwin is the #1 WR on the year. Adam did take Godwin as his “BYAH” player this year, good call! Also you can forget about the TEs, they aren’t used. On the ground the workload is split between Barber and Jones. Jones is out snapping and taking more carries over the last 3 weeks than Barber. But Barber has gotten the two TDs in the red zone. They are tough to make a decision on but I have a feeling as the season wears on Jones will pull ahead. It’s a money thing; they spent a second round pick on Jones and have more to lose by not using him. 

The Saints threw all over the Bucs. I think the Bucs defense is just like the Eagles. You can’t run on them but boy can you throw on them easily.  Thomas annihilated them with 2 TDs and 182 YDs. Hell even Bridgewater was able to throw for 4 TDs against them. He made Cook and Ginn relevant this week. Those two haven’t done anything all year. On the ground, everyone was held in relevant check as the Bucs only gave up a combined 112 YDs on the ground. Look for them to get right next week against the struggling Jags Def.

WW: (Bucs) Barber and Jones are both ~55% owned so they may be worth a stash if you have the space. It’s time to officially drop their TEs. (Saints) Bridgewater is another stream-able option this next week against the Jags. 

Bills vs Titans:

This game was boring, it actually lulled me to sleep. Allen managed to get through the concussion protocol despite knocking himself out last week. He did manage to throw 2 TDs and only 1 INT and another 27 YDs on the ground making him a usable fantasy asset. Brown is still the main target leader and Knox has emerged as another target hog. Beasley was scripted out of this game but it makes sense considering the Titans play Def like the Pats. On the ground Gore didn’t get a lot done and you hopefully didn’t expect him to. They do go on bye next week which should help get any nagging injuries healed. We should see the return of Devin Singletary who looked electric in the first couple of games. When they do get back for week 7 they play Miami so if you can stash anyone, including the defense, do it. 

The Titans lost this game due to kicking. Santos missed 4 FGs and was promptly let go by the team after the game. The Bills have a very good pass DEF and when you already have a lackluster passing offense like the Titans you’ll see if get shut down. On the ground Henry continues to rumble his way to being fantasy relevant. He’s currently #9 overall on the year and has either a TD or 100YDs in every game. The Titans will not give up on the run so don’t expect that to change. As for everyone else, even with the very poor outing against the Bills, I don’t think you can trust anyone. 

WW: (Bills) If you can stash; Allen, Singletary, and the Def, do it. Brown and Beasley are good PPR adds. (Titans): Nothing to see here, move along. 

Cardinals vs Bengals:

The Cardinals get their first win of the season against the Bengals. Surprisingly Murray didn’t have any passing TDs but managed to get one on the ground. In fact the whole game was them destroying the Bengals out of the backfield. Chase Edmunds is becoming relevant with increased workload week over week. He even broke out for quite a nice TD run. Johnson is still the dominant back receiving the vast majority of snaps, touches and targets. But Edmunds is moving out of just pure handcuff to more of a usable flex play against the right opponent. With Kirk still sidelined Fitzgerald is the main target with Keesean Johnson being the next man up. Johnson got the workload but didn’t do anything with it. Kirk did practice this week so hopefully we see his return in the next week or two. 

The Bengals can’t catch a break. They are the most talented winless team by a wide margin. As with most terrible teams it’s the offensive line that is hampering them. Dalton had a predictably good game against a bad defense but was pressured frequently. He pretty much only threw to Boyd who lit up the Cardinals for 123 YDs and a TD. Let’s be honest Boyd is the best receiver on the team by a wide margin. Auden Tate got the snaps and targets but really didn’t do much with it. He did manage to save his day with a TD. He might just be a desperation play against the right match-up. Mixon looks good as always but he’s limited by the line. 

WW: (Cardinals) Edmunds should definitely be considered if you have the space. In deep leagues Keesean Johnson may have value for one more week. (Bengals) Dalton and Tate may get you something against the Ravens. 

Pats vs Redskins:

The Pats cruised to another solid victory. They have a very easy schedule up till week 9 when they play the Ravens. Brady had another solid fantasy outing and has only been slowed down by the Bills. Edelman, Gordon and White are the top target leaders and that won’t change till Dorsett comes back. Michel had a solid day on the ground and got himself a TD. It appears that they only way to make any fantasy sense of that backfield is if someone is out injured. This week it was Burkhead. If he’s back look for it to be murky again. It’s a short week till they play the Giants so I bet this is a running game. 

For one shining quarter the Redskins looked like an NFL team and were winning. Even at the half you thought they might still have a chance only being down 12-7. Then the second half occurred and it was gross. The Redskins had no offense to speak of from the second quarter on. It was so bad they fired their coach Jay Gruden. I’m not sure what that means in terms of fantasy. Thompson and McLaurin are still the target leaders. AP is still getting the bulk of the rushing work. They are playing the Dolphins next so there will be fantasy relevant players. We need to see how this new coach handles things in order to be able to make any relevant suggestions. 

WW: (Pats) Dorsett has been dropped due to injury. If you have the space he may be worth the stash. (Redskins) For this week only you may very well be able to fire up AP and Thompson. 

Ravens vs Steelers:

The Ravens narrowly escaped losing 3 games in a row. As usual when it’s a divisional game, things don’t go as planned. Jackson looked rather subpar in the throwing depart especially because he threw 3 INTs. I’ll give him 1.5 of those as his fault. The first one was tipped up, the second one was definitely his fault and the last one was ripped out of his receivers hand because he placed it too high, ergo 1.5. Andrews and Brown remain the top targets with Hurst getting some work in the game as well. On the ground Ingram had a tough day but saved it with a TD and some passing work. Look for this offense to rebound hard against the Bengals. 

The Steelers have no luck at all this year. Rudolph was playing well and they were in the game the whole way through right until he got knocked out. Now they are down to Devlin Hodges because even Jaylen Samuels is out with a knee scope. Johnson and JuJu are the top targets and McDonald was getting targets now that he seemed to be getting healthier. JuJu had an amazing TD that showed why he is the top talent on the team. On the ground Conner is now the sole RB with maybe Snell coming in for breaks. It was tough sledding but Conner did manage to save his day with a goal line TD. They do have the Chargers next who are decimated with injuries so fantasy relevance is dependent on whether Rudolph can make the game or not. 

WW: (Ravens) If Andrews is hurt Hurst seems like the next man up. (Steelers) Dionte Johnson is still getting lots of targets and can be a nice PPR add. McDonald may have been dropped due to injury, see if he’s available. 

Bears vs Raiders:

In our first London game of the year we actually had a good game. The Bears made a comeback in the 3rd quarter, dropping 21 PTs on the Raiders. But surprisingly the Bears elite defense couldn’t stop the Raiders. Daniel is a serviceable QB although he threw 2 costly INTs especially the game winning one with a couple of minutes left on the clock. Robinson is performing like the top 24 WR we would hoped for as Daniel is hyper targeting him. Miller and Cohen are only relevant in PPR scoring. On the ground I still don’t know what to make of Montgomery. He was out-snapped by Cohen but had more carries. It doesn’t seem to be a talent issue but more of an offensive line issue.

The OAKLAND RAIDERS(yell it as Chris Berman would)! Are they legit? They’ve beaten the Colts and the Bears in back to back weeks. The ground game is really picking up as Jacobs was able to get over 120 YDs rushing as well as 2 TDs. Hell even Washington was able to get a rushing TD. In the passing game they were stifled by the DEF and Carr did enough to not lose the game. There’s not much to talk about since no one got more than 4 targets all game. It still looks like Waller is the lead dog with Williams coming in second. They are also on bye next week. 

WW: (Bears) Cohen’s not worth holding through the bye. (Raiders) Zay Jones was traded to them after the game. May be worth a stash in deep leagues. 

Broncos vs Chargers:

The Broncos end the losing streak and beat their division rivals. Most of the game was Lindsay breaking loose and getting the YDs and TD. Interestingly for the second week Freeman out snapped him and saw more red zone opportunities. But Lindsay is the target leader of the two and that’s where he’ll continue to outpace Freeman. Flacco did just enough to not lose and was really saved by Sutton breaking free for a long touchdown. Sanders was taken out of the game with Hayward covering him so I wouldn’t expect him to have another down game. Up next is TEN and that is not going to be pretty. 

The Chargers lose another game and boy are they looking rough. Even with the return of Gordon it wasn’t enough spark to push them past the Broncos. Rivers had 0 TDs and 2 INTs, not a good day. He hyper targeted Ekeler who ended up with 15 receptions. Talk about a PPR performance. Williams was second in targets this week and it’s good to seem him start to get healthy as they need all the help they can get. Allen ended up on the “Shit the Bed” list again but don’t count on that being a reoccurring event. As mentioned Gordon made his return and got 12 rushing attempts and 6 targets which is pretty decent to start. He played on 46% of snaps and got a couple of goal line rushes that didn’t go anywhere. This is what we predicted would happen and Gordon needs another week or two to get into his final form. 

WW: (Broncos) Freeman might be out there and could be worth the stash. But only for handcuff purposes. (Chargers) There’s talks of Hunter Henry coming back soon. Maybe be worth a stash if you’re TE needy. 

Packers vs Cowboys:

The Pack goes into Dallas and drops the rushing hammer on them. With Williams injured Jones was able to put up the #1 overall RB performance with 107 YDs rushing, 4 TDs, and 7 catches for 75 YDs. Finally showing off why in his draft class Jones was considered to be one of the top talents. Williams will come back and eat into his workload some but this should show the coaches who should get the ball. In the passing department it was rather mundane. With Adams gone the supporting cast isn’t cutting it. MVS and Allison were both disappointments and without Adams there to take the serious coverage they won’t be able to do anything. You need to start viewing Rodgers as a QB you play in the right match-ups instead of an every week starter. 

They were so close to a comeback but turnovers cost them the game. Prescott threw 3 INTs but I’ll only blame him for 2 of them since 1 was tipped up. He did throw a costly one in the 4th quarter that may have been a chance to bring the score closer. But when you throw 2 TDs, over 400 YDs you can still salvage your fantasy week. Cooper needs to be viewed as a WR1 from here on out. Gallup had a very nice return off of injury and gave this offense a much needed spark. Definitely start him up as a WR2 most weeks. Elliot is the alpha but for some reason they aren’t giving Pollard many snaps. Pollard is a high value handcuff at this point and not a flex play. 

WW: (Packers) I don’t think you can trust anyone outside of Adams and Jones. (Cowboys) Pollard only for the handcuff. 

Colts vs Chiefs:

My boys go into Arrowhead and get the critical win. Even with a depleted defense we were able to hold Mahomes in check. This was really a clinic on rushing the ball. The O-Line is one of, if not the best in the game and Mack was able to rush for 132 YDs. In the passing game everyone was really limited by how much rushing was done. Hines and Hilton were the target, reception and yardage leaders this game. It won’t always be this slow and they’ll bounce back after the bye week. Brissett had a poor showing and threw an INT that would have gone for a TD. Look for a shootout in week 7 against Houston. 

The injuries were already mounting against the Chiefs and they racked up even more this week. Mahomes finally looked mortal and we now know what his secret is, his mobility. Once his ankle got re-tweaked in the second quarter then crushed by his offensive linemen in the 3rd he was never the same again. He had to sit in the pocket and take sack after sack as his O-line is terrible. Kelce remains the target leader and Watkins went out immediately due to his hamstring. This left the WR corp down to Robinson, Hardmen and Pringle. This week Pringle received an inordinate amount of targets and got a lucky TD. If Hill and Watkins are both out next week Robinson has received an average of 6.25 targets per game over the last 4 weeks. He’s the most trusted option over Hardmen then Pringle. In the rushing game Damian Williams came back and took over as the lead back. He had the most snaps, rushes and targets. McCoy was banished for a fumble in the 2nd but look for them to split work in coming games. 

WW: (Colts) Dump everyone but Hilton and Mack through the bye week. Once they return, Brissett is a good steaming candidate against Houston. (Chiefs) If Hill and Watkins are both out Robinson, Hardmen and Pringle are widely available in leagues. 

Browns vs 49ers:

This was not a good game for the Browns. Baker couldn’t get much going through the air and threw 2 INTs. I’ll forgive him for 1 of them since Callaway tipped a TD up in the air for an INT. In terms of targets Landry and OBJ continue to be the leaders. Callaway did get 3 in his first game back so we’ll need to monitor if a trend starts occurring. On the ground Chubb did what he could and got 87 YDs running at a 5.4 YPC. Still solid numbers but he was definitely limited. Up next is Seattle at home so they should play a tad better against a less superior DEF. 

The 49ers might actually be legitimate. The defense is playing lights out and the running game is superior. Where they lack is in the passing game. Outside of Kittle no one seems to be stepping up. Pettis has all but disappeared and he was supposed to be the good WR. On the ground Coleman is back from injury but Breida stole the show. On the opening possession, the first play, he takes it 83 YDs for a TD. Throw in a passing TD in the second quarter and he was looking great for fantasy. Coleman ended up with more carries and also got a TD. In terms of snaps both Coleman and Breida got 26 and Mostert got 24. It’s hard to extrapolate data from only two games with all 3 of these RBs playing. But if we use snaps from week 1 and 5. Breida has 38%, and Coleman and Wilson have 30% of snaps. I think as time wears on Breida and Coleman will become the 1-2 punch in this offense with both having week to week relevance. 

WW: (Browns) STOP PLAYING MAYFIELD. (49ers) There is actually a 10-15% chance Breida or Coleman is available in your league, you better get them. As for everyone else don’t trust it till you see it.