Fantasy Noise: Week 5 Recap
Week 5 was supposed to be about separation. This was a week where we were going to see the cream start rising to the top. The real contenders were going to establish themselves as the weak would perish. However, 2020 had something else in mind.
Friday morning an unnamed Jets player tested positive for Covid 19. It turned out to be a false positive as the Jets and Cardinals game was spared. The Patriots and Broncos game though was not. A positive test Saturday night forced the NFL to postpone that game until the following weekend. The Titans had another positive test within their organization, bringing the total to 24 including 13 players and 11 personnel. The Titans and Bills game was then pushed back until Tuesday evening.
All of this kept fantasy managers scrambling to keep up with the news. Injuries, byes, and postponed games had managers trying to set their lineups as if they were jig saw puzzles. Frequently checking the news and waiver wires to see if they’d be able to scrap together a lineup, week 5 had managers pulling their hair out.
With 14 games still on the slate, plenty of football was played. So we’ll try and keep up with the Jones’s, major injury news, and some wide receiver performances.
Let’s get to the noise.
Keeping up with the Jones’s
First the good Jones. Since injuries to both LeSean McCoy and Leonard Fournette, Ronald has been on a roll. The last 2 weeks he’s gone over 100 yards rushing twice and has averaged 21.8 fantasy points per game. On top of that, he also has 9 catches, which was supposed to be his weakness. Even with just 1 touchdown on the year, he’s scored in double digit fantasy points in every game while averaging 16.26 points per game.
This week Ronald hopes to exploit a Green Bay defense that has given up 7 touchdowns to running backs through 4 games. Green Bay does have a top 10 rushing defense though and has yet to allow a 100 yard rusher on the year.
Will McCoy and Fournette return to the lineup and eat into Ronald’s work or will he continue the hot streak with another 100 yard game?
And then there’s Daniel. Everyone knew he had a tough opening schedule but there was still optimism that he’d progress coming off a promising rookie year. In year one, he flashed some big game potential with 3 fantasy games of 40 or more points.
Flash to 2020 and his turnover problem from his rookie year continues. Through 5 games, he has 5 interceptions and 3 lost fumbles to go along with only 2 touchdown passes.
In a more than favorable game against a Cowboys defense that has given up 12 passing touchdowns in the last 3 games and an average of 255 passing yards a game, Daniel managed only 222 yards passing and no touchdowns.
Daniel is averaging only 8.75 fantasy points the last 4 games and now faces a Washington pass D that is only allowing 226.8 passing yards a game.
Aaron and Marvin were on byes. Julio was out with a hamstring injury and Zay had 1 catch for 2 yards.
Dak’s Injury Impact
Last weekend, Dak Prescott suffered a gruesome dislocation and compound fracture of his right ankle that was hard to watch. Even though the Cowboys are 2-3, Dak was on pace for some historic numbers throwing the ball.
Now Andy Dalton inherits the Cowboys high powered offense which has fantasy managers nervous. Will teams stack the box now to stop Zeke and force Dalton to throw? Can Dalton feed his talented trio of wide receivers and keep the offense rolling or are the Cowboys no longer fantasy gold?
First test for him is Monday night against the Cardinals.
Surprising Veteran Wide Receivers
A couple of veteran former teammates are producing at surprising rates so far this year.
First one is Jamison Crowder. Coming into his 6th year, the 27 year old Crowder was looked at mainly as a possession slot receiver. In 2019, Crowder had no 100 yard games and only 3 double digit target games. His ADP coming into the 2020 season, because of this, was the WR42 according to the consensus at fantasypros.com.
Through 3 games in 2020 (missed 2 games due to a hamstring injury), Crowder is 2nd in WR fantasy points per game at 24.5 (ESPN PPR). He already has 3 100 yard games and 3 double digit target games, which includes both Sam Darnold and Joe Flacco as his quarterback.
More importantly for Crowder managers is that the Jets are bad. They’ll be in negative game scripts for most of the year and open as 8 point underdogs against Miami this weekend. All this should translate to more opportunity and volume for Crowder.
As for Crowder’s former teammate, that is Robby Anderson of the Panthers. The 27 year old Anderson is coming into his 5th season and was a boom or bust wide receiver last year. In 2019, Anderson had 3 100 yard games and because of his inconsistency was the WR54 coming into 2020 according to fantasypros.com.
Anderson in 2020 though, has been a model of consistency with already 3 100 yard receiving games and another of 99 yards. Scoring double digit fantasy points in every game, Anderson is 6th in total fantasy points scored amongst wide receivers. Averaging 19.48 fantasy points per game, Anderson has established himself as Teddy Bridgewater’s favorite target through 5 games.
Not surprisingly though, Anderson will look to continue building his rapport with Bridgewater Sunday against the Bears.
Surprising Rookie Wide Receivers
A couple of wide receivers drafted in the 2nd round in 2020 are producing on par or better than some of their 1st round peers.
First is Laviska Shenault. Coming into his rookie year, Shenault was the 42 pick overall and in fantasy drafts was the WR80 according to consensus on fantasypros.com. Shenault, through 5 games, has scored in double digit fantasy points in 4 of them. Coming off the best game of his young career and averaging 12.62 fantasy points per game, Shenault is also involved in the run game with 9 rushes on the year.
With D.J. Chark nursing an ankle injury and questionable, Shenault could be in line for even more work this weekend.
Fellow 2nd round draft pick and 49 overall pick, Chase Claypool has already shown big game ability. In just the 4th game of his career, Mapletron had 7 catches for 110 yards and 3 touchdowns to go with 3 rushes for 6 yards and another touchdown. This marked the 2nd time in 4 games that he has gone over 20 fantasy points scored.
With Diontae Johnson questionable with a back injury and Cleveland giving up the 3rd most passing yards per game, Claypool could be in for another huge game this weekend.
Justin Jackson has assumed the Austin Ekeler role and looks like the back to own in L.A., 15 rushes 71 yards, 5 catches on 6 targets for another 23 yards . . . . sportsline.com next coach to be fired odds Doug Marrone +150, Adam Gase +250, Matt Patricia +400, Anthony Lynn +450 . . . . Travis Fulgham 10 catches 152 yards 1 TD, he plays for the Eagles . . . . Looking for clarity in the Ravens backfield, snap% : Gus Edwards 40%, Mark Ingram 30%, J.K. Dobbins 29% . . . .Christian McCaffrey is eligible to come off the I.R. list this week, unlikely to play even if he does though . . . . Le’Veon Bell released by the Jets, Frank Gore is once again a starting RB in the NFL . . . .Adam Thielen has 29 catches for 364 yards and 6 TDs . . . . Stefon Diggs has 36 catches for 509 and 2 TDs . . . . In 2019, Kirk Cousins was QB17 in per game average.