NFL week five, what a time to be alive. We witnessed history in the NFL this week, as New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees broke the all-time passing yards record while the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams continued their winning ways and currently have 5-0 records. Furthermore, I am certain there were triumphant victories and heart-breaking losses in fantasy football (I dealt with both myself). Without further delay, here are 10 things we learned in week 5.
1(Edel)Man’s Best Friend
Many wondered what Julian Edelman‘s role in the Patriots offense would be upon his return from suspension. With other pass-catching options such as Josh Gordon and Phillip Dorsett establishing themselves, there was the thought that New England may bring along Edelman slowly. That was not the case. He actually led the WRs in targets, receptions and yards. In fact, the only Patriots player with more catches was RB James White. QB Tom Brady leaned on his favorite target late even with a 20-3 halftime lead. 5 of Edelman’s 9 targets were in the 2nd half. Imagine how much Brady will use him when the game is on the line.
2Eating some Crow
I admit it. I was wrong. Last week I wrote about the end of Isaiah Crowell‘s fantasy value. Apparently, he really wanted to prove me wrong as he exploded for 231 scrimmage yards, including 219 gained on the ground. Crowell appeared to invigorate the entire team. The 34 points scored by the Jets was the most since week 1 and this occurred without and defensive or special teams TDs. WR Robby Anderson escaped the fantasy football graveyard as he more than doubled his season-long receiving yards with 123 in week 5 (he had 108 yards in week 1-4 combined). I learned not to jump the gun and dismiss a player too quickly.
3McCoy Not Just A Shade
Another player that I wrote off in 2018 was LeSean McCoy. I went public with my thoughts against drafting him. Personally, I even refused to draft him as late as the 6th round in one league. I did not believe that McCoy could be a productive player on that awful Bills team. It turns out I was wrong about both elements of that statement. During Buffalo’s victory against the Titans in week 5 (I know right… they actually beat the Titans), McCoy gained over 100 yards from scrimmage and led the team in receiving yards. While it was not as significant as Isaiah Crowell’s output, this game demonstrated that McCoy, as the Bills best weapon, is still capable of fantasy production.
4Break for no One
If the Chiefs offense was ever going to have a down game, it would have been in week 5. Facing the Jaguars defense that some consider the best in the NFL, Kansas City should have had their hands full on offense. Instead, the Chiefs moved the ball effectively and managed a 20-0 halftime lead. The Kansas City defense certainly helped, forcing 5 turnovers thus giving the offense good field position. Patrick Mahomes even threw his first 2 INTs of the year. That did not stop him and the Chiefs skill position players from getting decent fantasy production. While Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt and Travis Kelce were already must-starts every week, Mahomes and even Sammy Watkins may have just joined that category.
It took until week 5, but it finally occurred. Kenny Golladay was the player most targeted by Matthew Stafford in a Lions game. Golladay did certainly not disappoint as he turned 9 targets into 4 receptions a 1 TD. While the catch rate is concerning, he had more than half of the Lions’ 183 receiving yards. Golladay proved that he could be the top option for Detroit. That may occur most weeks so fantasy managers who started him can celebrate. Now I’m not talking about having a parade, but instead, celebrate the increase in options that Golladay affords. Once he returns from his week 6 bye, Golladay can be played outside of the most difficult matchups (namely the Vikings). With his ascent early in the year, he could also be traded to improve significantly at other positions. Whatever you decide, Kenny should make you feel as good as if you were on holiday.
A similar breakout to Golladay occurred in Cleveland. TE David Njoku set career-bests in both targets and receptions. He also had a season-high 69 receiving yards in week 5. QB Baker Mayfield looked Njoku’s way as often as he did his star receiver, Jarvis Landry. While no one will question Landry’s status as the top dog for the Browns, it is very encouraging for Njoku that he had more targets in this game. The young TE is just beginning his journey to fantasy football stardom.
Speaking of stars, we shall now look at a player who just recently reached the final frontier known as the NFL. Christian Kirk was the Cardinals leading receiver in week 5. He actually had half of Josh Rosen‘s passing yards and his only TD. Yes, 75 of those yards came on the TD, but Kirk looked impressive by flat-out beating the DB (defensive back) in coverage. That is impressive considering that Kirk was lining up alongside David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. Even more impressive is the fact that two players had more targets than Kirk. If he continues to have these type of games, Kirk will be a must-start in fantasy football when he has good matchups.
While other receivers in this article are ascending to the ranks of every week starter, there is one player who may have dropped off of that plateau. Amari Cooper is as elusive as his namesake plane robber. Few have reported sightings of D.B. Cooper just as few of us have seen the Raiders receiver produce. He occasionally hits the jackpot, such as last week’s 128 yard 1 TD performance. However, he is prone to disappear such as the week 5 contest where he caught 1 pass for 10 yards. He will be known as D.B. Cooper for now. That is because researching the DB that will cover him is of the utmost importance. In games, like the recent matchup against Casey Hayward or in week 3 against Xavien Howard where the CBs (cornerbacks) are extremely talented, Cooper is to be avoided.
9Turn Up the Ertz
Now for someone who is already among the upper echelon of his position: Zach Ertz. As I mentioned in my week 5 DFS article, Ertz had double-digit targets in each of the first 4 games in 2018. That continued in week 5 as he was targeted 11 times. While he was regularly considered in the top 3 at the TE position entering this season, there were probably not many who considered him #1. Well, after his best game of the season, there is a serious argument to be made for Ertz at the top of the TE hierarchy.
10When the Saint Comes Marching In
Fantasy football managers with Alvin Kamara on their teams faced their worst fears on Monday Night Football. Mark Ingram returned and significantly ate into Kamara’s workload. After getting at least 17 touches in every game of 2018, Kamara only had 9 in the blowout victory. Ingram meanwhile had 18 touches, even though he fumbled early in the 2nd quarter. Perhaps the Saints were simply pushing Ingram for touches in order to get him back into a rhythm. This would make sense considering they are on bye in week 6. Maybe Kamara would have gotten more playing time if the game was close as New Orleans ran a lot with Ingram in the 2nd half, in order to kill the clock and the game. If nothing else, we learned that Ingram is a viable fantasy option in 2018.
Thank you for reading. I hope that this article was both educating and entertaining. Going for 2 has many other great articles and content that awaits you right now. For any questions or comments, I can be found on Twitter @nyama_ks. Good luck in week 6.