Fantasy Football Risers & Fallers: Week 5
Sunday in Week 5 saw another Cleveland Browns overtime game, 10/13 home team victories, and Odell Beckham Jr.’s first two touchdowns of the season (one passing and one receiving). Meanwhile, Julio Jones still hasn’t found the end zone, Kenyan Drake went for 115 total yards and a score after combining for six rushing yards over the previous two weeks, and Mason Crosby missed four field goals and an extra point. After another wild Sunday, here are my risers and fallers from Week 5.
Calvin Ridley (WR – ATL)
I’ve been away over the past couple weeks, but I’ve wanted to write about Ridley for some time now. After the first game of his career where he saw just two targets and zero receptions, Ridley has exploded. He’s caught at least four passes in every game since then and has found the end zone six times over his last four games. That’s more than any other receiver in the league. Since 2010, 23 receivers have had at least six touchdowns in their rookie seasons. Ridley needed only five games to hit that mark. Mohamed Sanu is still a part of the Falcons offense, but Ridley is slowly edging him out as the second option, and both benefit from the focus that Julio Jones receives.
Mitchell Trubisky (QB – CHI)
Over his first three games, we saw more of what we remembered from Trubisky last year. He had two touchdowns, three interceptions, and averaged 197 yards per game in that span. Then in Week 4, his inner beast was unleashed on the NFL. He completed 73% of his passes for 354 yards and six touchdowns. I don’t want to overreact to one explosive game, but this was the Trubisky that many expected to see with Matt Nagy calling the offense and the new weapons he has in Allen Robinson and Trey Burton. It looks like things finally clicked, and now the Bears have had their bye week to work on capitalizing on what worked so well in Week 4.
Sony Michel (RB – NE)
It appears the Michel era has officially begun in New England. Michel has increased his yards per carry average in every game he’s played in so far, culminating in a 5.4 YPC effort against the Colts on Thursday. The Patriots have put up 38 points in both of their last two games, and everything seems back to normal after an unorthodox 1-2 start to the season. The rate at which they score gives Michel plenty of opportunities to find the end zone, and Rex Burkhead’s injury clears his path to volume.
Kerryon Johnson (RB – DET)
Johnson has all but established himself as “the guy” in Detroit, and the only thing standing in his way to fantasy dominance is LeGarrette Blount’s goal-line job. Johnson has clearly been the most efficient back the Lions’ have, averaging at least 5.4 YPC in four out of his five games. He eclipsed double-digit carries in two of his last three games and became the first Lions running back in 70 games to have 100 yards in a game. We’ve already seen the Lions increase Johnson’s workload, and I expect that trend to continue in his favor. This is a case where I believe the talent will win out.
Keke Coutee (WR – HOU)
Coutee has 22 targets in his first two career games. Will Fuller has been dealing with an injury over the past two weeks, but has seen only three targets in his last five quarters played, and his job as the number two receiver may never be the same. The Texans were trying to find ways to get Coutee the ball, and he appeared to already have great chemistry with Deshaun Watson. Coutee has speed, separation, and smarts when on the field and he’s put that all on display in his first two games. He could develop into Watson’s go-to possession style receiver.
Keenan Allen (WR – LAC)
Allen only has one touchdown on the season, and that came in Week 1. While he hasn’t had a game with fewer than seven targets, his 26% target share hasn’t quite been enough. Philip Rivers has spread the ball around considerably, and Melvin Gordon has been the preferred target in scoring position. Gordon has 32% of the team’s targets inside the 20-yard line, and 41% of the targets inside the 10. Until Rivers starts looking back in Allen’s direction in the red zone with some consistency, he’s going to be a relative boom-or-bust play.
Marcus Mariota (QB – TEN)
I gave Mariota the benefit of the doubt when he was injured, and then he played well in Week 4 against the Eagles, but his performance against the Bills yesterday was atrocious and unacceptable. 129 passing yards and an interception is about as bad as you can be. Mariota has never been a “great” quarterback and certainly not a consistent one. If you went for him in your draft, there are surely better quarterbacks you can stream on a weekly basis.
Keelan Cole (WR – JAC)
Wide receivers on the Jaguars can only go as far as Blake Bortles takes them, and over the past two weeks, he’s been awful. Bortles started his season in promising fashion with five touchdowns to only two interceptions after his first two games. People were just about to change their minds about him after his impressive performance in a victory over the Patriots, but then “bad Bortles” returned. Since the Patriots game, he’s had three touchdowns compared to five interceptions, and just when Cole was looking like a solid option, Bortles started throwing it to the other team. Additionally, Donte Moncrief, Dede Westbrook, and T.J. Yeldon are all within two targets of Cole on the season, and the idea of him being the number one option hasn’t quite panned out.
Alex Collins (RB – BAL)
Collins has eclipsed 60 rushing yards in a game only once this season, and Javorius Allen has been a bigger part of the Ravens’ offensive game plan than any Collins owner wants to hear about. The Ravens simply haven’t run the ball well. They are currently 25th in the league in rushing yards per game, and since Collins has to split that work, the outcome is going to be poor. He has managed to find the end zone twice, but not since Week 3, and he isn’t involved in the passing game at all, totaling only nine catches so far on the season.
Doug Baldwin (WR – SEA)
Even before the season began, there was a cloud hanging over Baldwin when he announced that his knee wouldn’t be 100% throughout the season. In Week 1, he sprained his MCL to make matters worse, and has been irrelevant in the two games he’s played since then. Despite the Seahawks scoring 31 points yesterday, Baldwin only had one catch on one target for one yard. It’s as if he was only being used as a decoy. He may have a big game or two over the rest of the season, but it doesn’t look as though he’ll be what we expected in the offseason from Russell Wilson’s “number one” target.