Welcome to Week 5 of the NFL! Injuries keep rolling in, this time opening up some value QB options and making the RB position an absolutely wasteland. Additionally, we are seeing almost every quarterback in the league finding fantasy success which means plenty of wide receiver values.
If Brian Hoyer gets another nod for Chicago (and he should), you have to consider him at this fair price tag. Hoyer was one of only five QBs to eclipse 300 passing yards last week and tallied two TDs while not throwing a single interception. I was thrilled with his efficiency, completing 28 of his 36 passes against the Lions. In two games as a starter, Hoyer has racked up 619 yards, four TDs and zero INTs. Now he will face and Indy team that has been brutal defensively and again, doesn’t get a bye after playing in London (which I didn’t think was possible).
With Cam Newton in the league’s concussion protocol, we may see Derek Anderson shoulder the workload on Monday Night versus Tampa Bay. That would be a very good thing for Greg Olsen who was shut out last week before Anderson entered the game. Olsen finished the game with six catches, 76 yards and a TD after Anderson took over. It was clear that DA was opting for the safe pass, which also included RB Fozzy Whittaker. With only three carries, Whittaker did his damage through the air, hauling in all nine targets for 86 yards. This is a trend we usually see with backup QBs who are more risk adverse than their starting counterpart, which leads to check downs more often.
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With Jeremy Langford on the shelf, it’s the Jordan Howard show for the Bears. Howard saw 23 carries (of 26) for the Bears which he converted for 111 yards. If you haven’t seen Howard play yet, has a nice combination or patience and speed who now will see all the market share for Chicago. The Bears will now travel to Indy to face the Colts who have allowed the third most points per game this season (31.7) and are making the trip back from London for this game.
I don’t need to tell you how good Le’Veon Bell is at football. He’s incredible and can do everything for the Steelers. He showed no rust in his first game back from suspension, rushing 18 times for 144 yards and tacking on another five catches. The point of this paragraph is to show you how consistent Bell has been over the last two seasons. Dating back to Week 1 of 2014, Bell has played 23 games and has accounted for 100+ total yards in 18 of those contests. In two of the five games that he didn’t hit 100 total yards, he scored a TD. His floor is so incredibly high, he appears to be a lock to score 15 DraftKings points on a weekly basis with RB1 upside.
I was surprised to see that Terrence West dominated the Ravens rushing attempts like he did last week against Oakland. West saw 21 carries, with Buck Allen seeing the only other RB touches (3). West took advantage for 113 yards and a TD. My surprise was because he only saw 12, 11 and 10 touches in the previous three games. If West skews closer to 20 carries a game, he’s going to be an excellent play against the Redskins who are allowing the 9th most rushing yards to opposing teams and got gashed for 163 yards on the ground last week courtesy of Isaiah Crowell (!!) and Duke Johnson.
3 Wide Outs
Michael Crabtree has more targets and receptions than teammate Amari Cooper and has found the endzone four times compared to Cooper. Now the touchdowns can be fairly random, but what a great sign to see him so heavily involved in the Raiders offense. He’s earned 11 and 12 targets over the last two weeks and will now go home to play the lowly Chargers who have allowed the 5th most passing yards in the league. Take a look at Crabtree’s routes last week, he can do a lot of nice things!
It’s an interesting situation where the third ranked WR last week may be overlooked this week. That’s A.J. Green who hauled in 10 catches for 173 yards and a TD. That’s already the second game of the season he’s caught 10 passes for at least 173 yards! With the combination of Green playing last Thursday and Julio Jones having a historic day, many owners will forget all about Green when it comes to making lineups this week. Jones has been insanely good and a date in Dallas should allow him and Andy Dalton to keep the good times rollin’!
We cashed in on a Will Fuller double-dip if you paired him with the Texans defense. Unfortunately, the Texans didn’t score a ton of fantasy points despite the defensive touchdown. Admittedly, I was concerned about Fuller’s ability to get enough of the Texans market share to stay relevant, but through 25% of the season, he has one more target than teammate Deandre Hopkins (34 vs 33). Not to mention he leads the team in receptions, yards and TDs. It’s going to be a tough matchup this week against Minnesota, but Fuller’s prospects moving forward are definitely positive.
Buying low on the September player of the month, LeGarrette Blount who is coming off a dud against Buffalo. In the other three games, Blount has averaged 25 carries per contest, finding the endzone four times. The Patriots are heavy favorites against the Browns this week, which should indicate plenty of time to pound the ball with Blount. In the four games where the Patriots were favored the most last season (all -8.5 or better), Blount scored 28.2, 21.9, 5.4 and 23.4 DraftKings points.
I’m buying on Mike Evans who got shut down by the Broncos defense to the turn of five catches for a mere 59 yards. That’s the Broncos D! They shut down everyone! Let’s cut Evans some slack as he hauled in a TD in the three other contests this season, scoring 26.9, 26, and 32.3 DraftKings points. Now, the Panthers are certainly a tough defense, but obviously not immune to a big day through the air. This will be just eight days after Matt Ryan threw for 500+ yards and Julio Jones hauled in 300 of his own yards against the Panthers. Note this is the Monday Night game, so he won’t be available on all slates.
Buy low on Julian Edelman. It’s been a slow start for Edelman, but understandly so as the Patriots have been forced to start their backup and third string QBs this season. Edelman has only earned 10 targets and five catches over the last two weeks. With Tom Brady coming back to New England this week, expect Edelman’s stock to jump. In the last 13 games with Brady under center, Edelman is averaging 10 receptions and 7 receptions per game, while hauling in nine TDs in the process.
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