What a WILD week of NFL and fantasy football action we all witnessed in Week 5 of the 2022 regular season. Some of the biggest stars lived up to high expectations, while others flopped. Some rookies made their presence known while others failed to live up to the hype.
Let’s break it all down with my fantasy football Week 5 takeaways.
Fantasy Football Week 5 Takeaways
- Sometimes players can get lost in the shuffle when they start out a new season inactive in Week 1. Let’s make sure we don’t ignore the strong start to the season Allen Lazard has had. With his 4/35/1 performance in London on Sunday morning, Lazard has caught a touchdown in three of his four games played this season—he had six catches for 116 yards in the only game he didn’t score in. While we’ve seen Romeo Doubs and Randall Cobb pop up—and both will have some value as we get into bye weeks—Lazard is the Packers receiver you want.
- While he’s likely not a starting-caliber player outside of an inexpensive DFS play, Josh Reynolds deserves some recognition as a player to keep an eye on as a bye-week fill-in option once the Lions return from their Week 6 bye. He has 28 targets over the last three games, catching at least six passes in each of those contests. He’s showing some carry-over chemistry with Jared Goff not only from last year but from the duo’s time together with the Rams.
- Rhamondre Stevenson took advantage of Damien Harris’ injury, but this is the third straight game with 16 or more touches. Stevenson’s 27 touches were a new career high and he could be in line for a massive workload with low-end RB1 upside if Harris misses time. Stevenson is a weekly flex play as is and could be a matchup-winner in Week 6.
- He might not be a sexy option, but in PPR formats, Jakobi Meyers is a player. His presence on Sunday made things noticeably easier for rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe. In his three games played this season, Meyers is averaging 6.7 receptions and 87 receiving yards on nine targets per game. That’s worthy of being in the lineup conversation each week.
- It’s been a rough year for Najee Harris fantasy managers—and it was more of the same in Week 5. Harris barely reached the five-point plateau against the Bills and is now averaging single-digit points per game this season. It’s hard to consider him anything more than a low-end RB2 right now. With the Buccaneers on tap next week, he may be riding the bench or only a flex play in Week 6.
- Although he ended up third on the team in targets, rookie George Pickens was the most productive Steelers wide receiver against Buffalo. He caught six of his eight targets for a team-high 83 receiving yards. Pickens continues to show chemistry with rookie passer Kenny Pickett and is now fantasy-relevant.
- Welcome back to stardom, Gabe Davis! A 98-yard touchdown plus a 68-yard touchdown equals a mega-productive day for the boom-or-bust receiver. Davis has matchup-winning potential each and every week, but the only Bills receiver you can trust to be productive week in and week out is Stefon Diggs. I’d like to have Davis as my WR3 or flex if possible.
- If there was any doubt, Raheem Mostert has completely assumed the lead-back role for the Dolphins. Chase Edmonds hasn’t gotten more than seven touches in a game since Week 1 and had a season-low one against the Jets. Mostert turned his 19 touches into 121 total yards and a touchdown and carries low-end RB2 value going forward. Edmonds should remain on your bench for the next few weeks at least, but Mostert’s injury history may allow him to return to your lineup later in the season.
- Breece Hall is turning into a fantasy star before our eyes. He had 197 total yards and a touchdown on his 20 touches against the Dolphins, including a massive 79-yard reception. More importantly, he’s seeing enough snaps in enough weeks now to be truly considered the 1A in New York’s backfield. He’s a weekly must-start moving forward.
- Outside of Sunday Night Football in Week 1, Leonard Fournette’s rushing prowess has left a lot to be desired. But he’s been a MONSTER in the receiving game lately. With 22 catches, 175 yards, and two touchdowns through the air over the last three weeks, Fournette is coming through when Tom Brady needs him. The rushing yards should come eventually, but there’s no reason to expect a major slowdown for Fournette as a receiver—he just had 10 catches and 11 targets in a game where Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Russell Gage all played.
- If he’s available in your league, Ken Walker III should be the top pick-up of the week. Rashaad Penny’s injury looks significant and possibly season-ending and Walker has all the talent in the world to carry the load for Seattle. He had a beautiful 69-yard touchdown run against the Saints and 88 total yards on eight carries. Even if Penny wasn’t injured, Walker needs to be rostered in way, way more than 48% of leagues.
- I’ll be honest, I have no idea what to do with Taysom Hill. He had monster fantasy games in Weeks 1 and 5, did nothing in Week 2, missed Week 3, and had a decent game due to a touchdown in Week 4. If you’re scrambling at tight end, Hill is as worthy of a dart throw as any non-top-half TE1 option. Just temper your week-to-week expectations if you ride the wave,
- Travis Etienne is starting to heat up a bit. He went over the century mark in total yards for the first time in his NFL career, totaling 114 on 13 touches. He was effective as a rusher with 71 of those yards coming on his 10 carries. With bye weeks on the way, Etienne is a matchup-based flex option. If you need running back help, he should be a trade target.
- What should you do with Antonio Gibson? At this point, he’s just a bench player. He hasn’t been particularly effective overall and he now had Brian Robinson Jr. to deal with. Neither player is anything more than a speculative flex on Thursday night against the Bears—you probably have better options.
- In case there was any doubt, Austin Ekeler is ALL THE WAY BACK! His second consecutive multi-touchdown game was nice, but he ran hard, got touches in key scoring moments, and for the second week in a row looks like the top-three overall player fantasy managers drafted. After three tough weeks, Ekeler managers can breathe a sigh of relief.
- We saw a little bit of a George Kittle re-emergence as he caught a season-high five passes for 47 yards. He had a fumble and was quiet in the second half, but it was at least a glimmer of hope for fantasy managers. He’s still just a low-end TE1 right now, but you likely don’t have a better weekly option.
- There should be no more debate about whether or not Jeff Wilson Jr. is a starter for your team. His name comes up frequently in start or sit questions but should be locked into your RB2 spot until Elijah Mitchell returns from IR. Wilson Jr. has averaged 104 total yards per game with a pair of touchdowns in his last two games.
- While it’s been a very boom-or-bust first five weeks for DeVonta Smith, he’s still someone you should start with confidence as a flex or WR3. He’s getting a ton of target volume, averaging 8.5 per game in the last four weeks—that goes up to 10 per game if you don’t include the monsoon against Jacksonville. A.J. Brown might make flashier plays at times, but Smith is getting the consistent volume to produce.
- While we’ve seen plenty of volume for Marquise Brown and Zach Ertz in recent weeks, it’s worth noting that Rondale Moore received eight targets and nine touches against the Eagles. He caught seven passes for 68 yards and rushed twice for -7 yards. He’s not worth starting yet, but if he consistently gets the same sort of work Greg Dortch received when Moore was injured, he’ll be worth rostering.
- For the fourth time in five games this season, Matthew Stafford was held to fewer than 11 fantasy points. He now has 10 turnovers this season compared to five passing touchdowns and simply can’t be trusted as anything other than a QB2/Superflex right now. Maybe it’s a Super Bowl hangover; maybe it’s his arm injury. Regardless, he’s not producing. Feel free to look elsewhere—even dropping him if necessary—in single-QB leagues.
If you have any specific fantasy football questions or want to know more about what I think of certain players in my fantasy football rankings this week, follow me on Twitter (@JaimeEisner) or Instagram (@JaimeEisnerTDN). I’d be happy to chat with you!