8 Things We Learned: Week 5 (2019 Fantasy Football)
Week 5 started in Seattle with a battle between the Seahawks and the Rams that went down to the wire. In the great Thursday night game, we might have also witnessed the catch of the season with Lockett’s sideline grab to score the first touchdown of the game. If you have been blocked from social media or television for the past five days, here is the catch again.
On Sunday, it was a weird slate in which there were ten 1 PM EST games and only two games on later but still plenty of takeaways from a wild week of NFL action, including a historic performance in Houston (see below). But seriously NFL schedulers, let’s make the action a little more balanced from here on out!
Here were eight takeaways from Week 5:
1. Cooper Kupp (WR – LAR) is a sure-fire WR1 rest of season.
Many questioned if Cooper Kupp would even be the top wide receiver on the Rams’ offense after suffering a season-ending ACL injury last season but he has been Jared Goff’s safety blanket and go-to target to start 2019. On Thursday night, Kupp didn’t have a fantasy point in the first quarter but still managed to finish the game with 26.7 PPR FPTS, nine catches on 17 targets, 117 receiving yards, and a touchdown.
After starting the season with just 46 yards in Week 1, he notched his fourth straight game on Thursday night with 100 yards or more. Kupp is currently on pace for a ridiculous 131 catches that would place him fourth on the all-time reception list in a single season! Maybe he doesn’t reach this type of production but I don’t see Kupp’s production dwindling any time soon in 2019.
2. Michael Thomas (WR – NO) produces regardless of his quarterback.
It doesn’t matter if Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, Taysom Hill, or Aaron Brooks is throwing Michael Thomas the ball, he is going to find a way to get open. On Sunday, Thomas finished with 41.2 PPR FPTS with 10 catches from Bridgewater and one catch (18 yards) from Hill for a total of 182 yards and two touchdowns. The Saints will head to Jacksonville next week which most likely will be without Jalen Ramsey again. Thomas should have another good day for fantasy owners against the Jaguars’ Ramsey-less secondary.
3. Aaron Jones (RB – GB) finally got the touches he deserves and cashed in.
Many have pounded the table, including myself, to get Aaron Jones the ball more and on Sunday it was evident why. With Jamaal Williams sidelined for the Packers’ Week 5 matchup against the Cowboys, Jones was the featured back. He finished his big day with 19 carries for 105 yards, seven catches for 75 yards, and rushed for a career-high four touchdowns. His Week 5 high (pending Sunday and Monday night games) 49.2 PPR FPTS from running backs was aided by the loss of the Packers’ stand-out wide receiver, Davante Adams. If Adams were to miss any more time, Jones should have earned the trust of the Packers’ coaching staff to feature him early and often.
4. Will Fuller (WR – HOU) had a historic Sunday.
On Sunday, Will Fuller had the third-best wide receiver PPR performance since 2000. Only behind Terrell Owen’s 54.8 FPTS in 2000 and Jimmy Smith’s memorable 62.1 point performance in 2000 against the Ravens. Fuller finished with 53.7 PPR fantasy points. Deshaun Watson also had a successful day throwing for five touchdowns in which three of them went to Fuller. In addition to the trio of touchdowns, the Watson and Fuller connection was good for converting 14 of 16 targets for 217 yards.
Even better news about Fuller’s historic performance was that he did it with DeAndre Hopkins also having a productive day. The Falcons’ secondary has been bad but it showed that both of the top wide receivers for the Texans can co-exist. The Texans’ offense will have a somewhat difficult matchup next week at Kansas City where the Chiefs are tough to beat at home. Fuller will be a hard player to bench after this game but don’t expect a fantasy day like we saw on Sunday. He should be back on the WR2/ WR3 radar moving forward.
5. Christian McCaffrey (RB – CAR) remains a fantasy star.
For those that worried Christian McCaffrey’s fantasy production would regress with the loss of Cam Newton as the starting quarterback, you can breathe easy. You might even be celebrating now with the new signal-caller for the Panthers, Kyle Allen. Since Allen was named the starter, McCaffery has totaled 422 rushing yards, 19 receptions for 182 yards, and has added five touchdowns in three games. It is a small sample size but it has been very apparent the Panthers want to get McCaffery the ball more and Allen has done a good job of facilitating him the rock.
6. Allen Robinson (WR – CHI) is the only Bear you can start right now with any sort of confidence.
This one will be painful to write about being a Bears fan but the offense in Chicago has been brutal. They haven’t had 300 yards on offense in any of their five games so far this season. Nothing seems to be jelling on offense except for one bright spot – Allen Robinson. Robinson didn’t find the endzone until today but still was putting up good fantasy numbers despite erratic quarterback play and just a very basic offense altogether. On Sunday, Robinson had seven catches on a team-high eight targets for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bears need to do some serious remodeling to their offense because their schedule is about to get real tough. After their bye week next week, they play the Saints, Chargers, and at the Eagles. Maybe a healthy Mitch Trubisky rejuvenates this offense? Don’t hold your breath on that, but one constant seems to be Allen Robinson being the only Bears offensive weapon.
7. The Steelers’ fantasy stock may have fallen even further.
We knew the Steelers fantasy players would struggle after the loss of Ben Roethlisberger but now they might be without Mason Rudolph. Rudolph suffered a scary injury on Sunday which forced him to leave the game after finishing the game going 13 of 20 for 131 yards and a touchdown. Insert third-string quarterback Devlin Hodges. In the absence of Rudolph, Hodges provided some competent play by completing 7 of 9 passes for 68 yards. It would be hard to believe that Hodges becomes the savior for JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner owners, but we have seen crazier things in fantasy. Let’s hope Rudolph has a speedy recovery.
8. Have you seen Greg Olsen (TE – CAR), Mike Evans (WR – TB), or O.J. Howard (TE – TB)?
The three names mentioned above combined for two PPR FPTS in Week 5…TWO! The only two points came from Howard with both Olsen and Evans being ghosted for zero points. O.J. Howard owners might have to find a new tight end because he has yet to score ten FPTS in a game this year. This is not what you want from a guy that was drafted in the fourth and fifth rounds of drafts before the start of the season.
With the success that McCaffrey has had with Kyle Allen as the starting quarterback, Greg Olsen has not been so fortunate. Olsen had a big game with Allen under center against Arizona but what tight end hasn’t produced against them. His past two games he has combined for just 2.5 PPR FPTS. Like Howard owners, it might be time to head to the waiver wire to find a replacement.
Mike Evans has clearly been the number two option in the passing game behind Chris Godwin for the Buccaneers. Evans had a massive game in Week 3 with 45.9 PPR FPTS and a solid game last week with 18.9 PPR FPTS but the three other weeks he has just 14.9 FPTS combined. If you own Evans and don’t want the headache of figuring out when he will have an efficient fantasy week, it might be wise to wait until his next productive outing and find a trade partner.