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NFL Draft

Fantasy Football: 20 Thoughts Recapping Week 5

  • The Draft Network
  • October 12, 2020
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With each passing week, the NFL schedule gets more and more chaotic. Playing football—and fantasy football—through the COVID-19 pandemic is not easy, and many fantasy mangers are caught in rough spots all the way up until Sunday kickoff. However, Week 5  was an exciting day of NFL action with upsets (Raiders, Pathers), breakout pass-catchers (Clayppol, Fulgham), and plenty of points. 

Before we turn the page to the Monday Night Football and then the start of Week 6, here are my 20 fantasy football takeaways from Sunday, ranked in no particular order. Please note, this article will be updated with the final note after Sunday Night Football.

  1. HENRY RUGGS III: Ruggs only got three targets in his first game back from injury, but he made the absolute most of them. He caught a 46-yard pass and a 72-yard touchdown to finish with a 2/118/1 line. The rookie receiver was my highest-ranked first-year pass-catcher in the preseason, and he showed flashes of why in this game. The Raiders go on a bye before hosting the Buccaneers on Sunday Night Football in Week 7. That will be a fun test for Ruggs, especially since he should be much healthier at that point. 
  2. TODD GURLEY: Gurley had a humongous game against one of the worst rush defenses in the NFL. He got things started with a 35-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter and finished with 121 rushing yards on 14 carries—he also had 4/29/0 in the receiving game. Gurley isn’t getting anywhere close to the workload he had in Los Angeles, but he’ll continue to take advantage of favorable matchups with the Vikings, Lions and the Panthers again on tap for the next three weeks. Lock him into your RB2 spot. 
  3. MATT RYAN: Ryan hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since the first drive of his team’s Week 3 game against the Bears. That’s astounding considering how hot Ryan was to start the season. He threw for 450 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 and had 273 passing yards and four scores in Week 2. The entire Falcons offense lacks consistency right now and Ryan looks completely out of sync. He has a decent matchup against the Vikings next week but will struggle to be ranked in QB1 territory despite Drew Brees and Russell Wilson being out on bye.
  4. MIKE DAVIS/ROBBY ANDERSON: Davis may not be Christian McCaffrey, but he sure looks like him right now. After another huge game (29.9 PPR fantasy points), Davis has cemented himself as not only a no-doubt RB1, but a top-six play at the position until McCaffrey returns. Anderson has also cemented himself as a weekly must-start after another huge game on Sunday. He had eight catches for 112 yards on a team-high 13 targets. He’s a weekly high-end WR2 until further notice, with the chance to spike even higher. The Bears are on tap for the Panthers in Carolina in Week 6, so both Davis and Anderson should continue to succeed. 
  5. TRAVIS FULGHAM: Greg Ward caught a touchdown, but the Eagles receiver who really made an impact and allowed the Eagles to nearly upset their in-state rivals was Fulgham. The former sixth-round pick from Old Dominion has a true breakout game in every sense of the word on Sunday. He had a team-high 13 targets, catching 10 for 152 yards and a score. Does Carson Wentz finally have another weapon? That will be put to the test against the Ravens in Philadelphia next week. Even so, he’s a must-add off the waiver wire if you need receiver help. 
  6. ZACH ERTZ: The tight end position isn’t as deep as we thought in the preseason, so you may not have access to better options, but Ertz is no longer a must-start. He caught just one of his six targets in this game. He has 15 combined receiving yards over the last two games and has only one game this season with 11 or more fantasy points (Week 3, 14.0). He’ll probably be ranked as a TE1 in Week 6, but much closer to No. 12 than the No. 3 or 4 spot we’re used to seeing him in. 
  7. CHASE CLAYPOOL: There are breakout games, then there’s what Claypool did in Week 5. The rookie got 10 total touches and scored on four of them, three in the receiving game and once on the ground. He could’ve had another touchdown as well, as he was called for offensive pass interference to negate another score. Claypool led all Steelers in targets (11) and looks to be a big part of the Steelers’ offense moving forward. Fellow receiver Diontae Johnson left the game early with an injury and didn’t return, but regardless of his status, Claypool will be ranked as a WR3 next week against the Browns. He’ll be the hottest waiver wire pickup of the week and deservedly so. 
  8. GERALD EVERETT: The 4/90/0 line in the boxscore may have caught your attention—especially for Tyler Higbee managers who settles for 2/12/0—but it was the way Everett was used that piqued my interest. For example, he lined up at fullback a few times and it appears that Sean McVay is going to get creative when it comes to his usage. You don’t need to run out and add Everett, but he’s someone to monitor in DFS leagues and as a bye-week fill-in. 
  9. RAMS RBs: With all three Rams running backs heality, the trio received a combined 32 carries against Washington. Henderson led the group with 47% of them (15), with rookie Cam Akers getting 28% (9) in his return from injury and Malcolm Brown getting the remaining 25% (8). This backfield is going to be a three-way timeshare when everyone is active, which is going to be incredibly frustrating for fantasy managers. Brown is droppable, but Akers and Henderson are likely high-end flex plays or low-end RB2s going forward.
  10. J.D. McKISSIC: A name that made my “sneady starts” column this week, McKissic is someone that should be on your radar in full-PPR leagues as an emergency fill-in moving forward. He’s averaging eight touches and 5.3 catches per game over the last four weeks. With more bye weeks on the way and COVID-19 delays, keep McKissic on waiver wire speed dial. 
  11. A.J. GREEN: Green left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury and exactly 0 fantasy points. He’s officially, unequivocally droppable. With three teams scheduled to be on bye next week and the chaotic nature of scheduling that COVID-19 has caused, Green does not need to be rostered in any format. Regardless of which waiver wire player is the apple of your eye this week, the check box next to Green’s name is an easy fill. 
  12. BRANDIN COOKS: Well that’s a helluva way to respond to the goose egg from last week, huh? Cooks caught eight passes for 161 yards and a score in Houston’s first post-Bill O’Brien game. Consistency has been an issue for Cooks this season, as his 0-point Week 4 effort was far from his only underwhelming game. He should be in flex consideration next week against the Titans. 
  13. LAVISKA SHENAULT: Shenault needs to be a weekly flex play moving forward, as he has been the most consistent Jaguars receiver over the last few weeks. D.J. Chark’s ceiling is much higher on a weekly basis, but Shenault has established himself as a high-floor option. He caught seven passes for 79 yards against the Texans and is averaging 6.8 touches per game over the last four weeks. Win or lose, Shenault is involved for the Jaguars. 
  14. KENYAN DRAKE: Drake finally scored another touchdown, finding the end zone for the first time since Week 1. It saved an otherwise meh day, as Drake ran for just 3.3 yards per carry and watched backup Chase Edmonds find the end zone before him. The current string of good matchups (at DAL, vs. SEA, BYE, vs. MIA) will likely keep Drake in RB2 range, but I don’t think he’ll be in many starting lineups come fantasy playoff time.
  15. LE’VEON BELL: Bell’s first game back from injury wasn’t anything special, as he had 7.7 fantasy points on 14 total touches. He had a 13:9 carry split with Frank Gore and only received one of Joe Flacco’s 33 targets. This entire Jets offense is a disaster sans Jamison Crowder, but the injury situation at the running back position around the league dictates that Bell will be in a lot of lineups going forward. Let’s see how he looks against the Dolphins next week. 
  16. RAHEEM MOSTERT: It was a pretty pathetic day for the 49ers overall, but the silver lining for San Francisco was that Mostert looked explosive in his return from injury. He had 119 total yards on 14 touches, including 11 carries for 90 yards on the ground. He'll resume his regular role as a high-end RB2 moving forward.
  17. PRESTON WILLIAMS: Williams had by far his best game of the season on Sunday. He finished with four catches for 106 yards and a score after having six catches for 89 yards and a touchdown for the entire season combined coming in. I'm not sure I'm ready to buy into any Dolphins pass-catcher that isn't DeVante Parker or Mike Gesicki, and I wouldn't pick up Williams just yet, but keep a very close eye on him against the Jets next week.
  18. DEVONTA FREEMAN: If there was any doubt who the lead back in New York's backfield is, that question was answered in Week 5. Freeman finished with 19 touches, 12 more than Wayne Gallman—Gallman had a nice drive in the fourth quarter, but the overall point remains. Freeman finished with 16.7 fantasy points and is a matchup-based flex play moving forward.
  19. DAK PRESCOTT: What a horrible way for the young man's season to end. After an offseason of "will they or won't they" when it came to the Cowboys signing him long-term, Prescott suffered a horrific leg injury against the Giants and his future in Dallas and in the NFL is cloudy. We here at TDN wish him all the best in his lengthy recovery. It feels a bit inappropriate it discuss fantasy implications right now—you can read Zach Cohen's waiver wire article on Tuesday morning if you need a new fantasy quarterback.
  20. DALVIN COOK/ALEXANDER MATTISON: Cook left Sunday Night Football early with a groin injury. His status for Week 6 is still up in the air. With a juicy matchup against the Falcons coming up, Cook owners really hope he can suit up. If he does, and isn't limited, he's the No. 1 overall running back. If not, Mattison, who ran for 112 yards on 20 carries in relief of Cook against Seattle, is a top-10 running back.

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