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Target Analysis: Week 5 (2020 Fantasy Football)

Oct 14, 2020

Robby Anderson saw a season-high 13 targets in Week 5.

We’ve seen it time and time again. Volume is the clearest indicator of fantasy success, as it’s rare for a player to be a fantasy football stud without the opportunity to convert touches into points. Pass-catching opportunities, especially in PPR leagues, are often a bigger determinant of fantasy success than a player’s talent or circumstances.

So, every week of this fantasy season, I will diagnose the target landscape in the NFL. Who’s seeing the highest share on a team? Who’s trending downward? And most importantly, what takeaways can we draw from this data to ultimately help you make better fantasy lineup and roster decisions?

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Here is your Week 5 Target Analysis:

Arizona Cardinals

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
DeAndre Hopkins 7 28 9.33 53 10.60 ⬇️
Christian Kirk 7 12 4.00 21 5.25 ⬆️
Larry Fitzgerald 7 13 4.33 25 5.00 ⬆️
Chase Edmonds 6 14 4.67 23 4.60
Andy Isabella 3 10 3.33 12 2.40
Darrell Daniels 2 4 1.33 5 1.00 ⬆️

 
The game started a little slow for DeAndre Hopkins, but he picked up the pace in the second half. Hopkins finished the game with seven targets, catching six balls for 131 yards and a touchdown. Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald saw an equal amount of targets to Hopkins, but they did not do nearly as much with their opportunity. Chase Edmonds continues to prove he’s the best runner and pass-catcher in this backfield, out-rushing and out-targeting his counterpart Kenyan Drake in this match.

Christian Kirk may have seen an increase in targets since his return in Week 4, but he’s barely been fantasy relevant. His Week 4 performance was buoyed by a touchdown catch, while his Week 5 output was mediocre at best. There are simply not enough targets to go around in Arizona with DeAndre Hopkins commanding double-digit looks per game. Kirk and Fitzgerald may have one or two great performances this year, but they will be entirely unpredictable; you can drop them in favor of higher upside options. Meanwhile, Edmonds’ increased workload has put him ahead of Kenyan Drake in fantasy points scored on the season, so he’s a worthwhile RB3 to put into your lineup every week.


Atlanta Falcons

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Calvin Ridley 10 28 9.33 50 10.00 ⬆️
Hayden Hurst 6 15 5.00 28 5.60
Russell Gage 5 11 3.67 32 6.40 ⬆️
Todd Gurley 5 8 2.67 13 2.60 ⬆️
Olamide Zaccheaus 4 19 6.33 20 4.00 ⬇️
Brian Hill 2 7 2.33 11 2.20

 
After a bizarre target distribution last week against the Packers, the Falcons returned to normalcy in Week 5. With Julio Jones missing in action, Calvin Ridley responded from last week’s goose egg with eight catches on ten targets for 136 yards. Hayden Hurst was the second in targets on the day, but he barely did anything with his opportunity, as he caught just two balls for eight yards. Russell Gage and Todd Gurley each saw five targets, with the latter garnering more receptions and yards.

Calvin Ridley is a must-start WR1 every week. Aside from one odd game last week, he’s been incredible this season and seems to thrive despite the dysfunction around him. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Hayden Hurst. After being acquired from Baltimore in exchange for a 2nd round pick, Hurst has largely disappointed through five weeks. Hurst only has one game with double-digit PPR points, finishing outside the top-12 tight ends on the season. He’s purely a streamer at this point, and you shouldn’t have qualms about dropping him for a lesser-known tight end with a better matchup. The biggest story-line from this game may be the resurgence of Todd Gurley, who has now put together two consecutive RB1 performances; his increased usage in the passing game is a nice sight for fantasy managers who were tilting early.


Baltimore Ravens

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Marquise Brown 10 24 8.00 36 7.20 ⬆️
Mark Andrews 9 20 6.67 29 5.80 ⬆️
J.K. Dobbins 3 9 3.00 10 2.00 ⬆️
Willie Snead V 3 7 2.33 13 2.60 ⬆️
Gus Edwards 3 3 1.00 3 0.60 ⬆️
Miles Boykin 2 8 2.67 17 3.40 ⬇️

 
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. The only two options in this offense in which you can have a semblance of confidence are Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown. After several down weeks, Brown finally had a solid game, catching six of his 10 targets for 77 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Andrews caught six of his nine targets for 56 yards and a score; Andrews has now scored three times in two weeks. J.K. Dobbins, Willie Snead, and Gus Edwards each saw three targets, with the latter two catching zero passes.

As always, Andrews is a touchdown-dependent tight end, and Brown is a boom-or-bust WR3. You’ll never be able to trust them every week, especially as Lamar Jackson seems to have regressed as a passer through the first five weeks of the season. Yet, you will really never feel comfortable benching either of them, given the upside they can provide. J.K. Dobbins is purely a hold in redraft leagues, but that is more so due to his potential to take over as the lead runner in this backfield as opposed to his pass-catching viability.


Buffalo Bills

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Stefon Diggs 16 29 9.67 51 10.20 ⬆️
Gabe Davis 9 14 4.67 17 3.40 ⬆️
Cole Beasley 6 17 5.67 30 6.00 ⬆️
Isaiah McKenzie 4 7 2.33 12 2.40 ⬆️
Dawson Knox 3 6 2.00 12 3.00
T.J. Yeldon 3 4 1.33 4 0.80 ⬆️

 
If this was your first time watching the Bills this season, don’t let this abysmal performance detract from how good they have been. After game-planning for two different teams given the unknown status of this game, the Bills came out flat on both sides of the ball. With John Brown and Zack Moss missing in action, Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis saw a majority of the work. Diggs caught 10 of his 16 targets for 106 yards, while Davis caught five balls for 58 yards after a touchdown catch was called back via penalty. Beasley became a safety blanket for Allen after the Bills had to go up-tempo to recover from their second-half deficit, allowing him to end with six catches for 53 yards.

Diggs is still a WR1 going forward and should see consistent production for the rest of the season. He’s Josh Allen’s first-read seemingly every play and often his last resort when things break down. Putting up 10 catches on a bad night is a testament to his reliability. With Brown out, rookie Gabe Davis stepped up as the WR2 for the team and put together a solid fantasy day. He’s flashed before, having caught touchdowns in several games this season, but this was his most usage by far. If he’s on your waiver wire, he’s a solid stash, given the uncertainty surrounding John Brown’s injury.


Carolina Panthers 

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Robby Anderson 13 30 10.00 48 9.60 ⬆️
Mike Davis 10 25 8.33 33 6.60 ⬆️
D.J. Moore 5 15 5.00 37 7.40 ⬇️
Curtis Samuel 5 13 4.33 23 4.60 ⬆️
Ian Thomas 1 8 2.67 10 2.00 ⬇️
Pharoh Cooper 1 1 0.33 1 0.20 ⬆️

 
Last week, I said we had to finally accept that Robby Anderson is the WR1 in Carolina. If you didn’t take my word for it last week, this week’s performance should’ve convinced you. Anderson saw a season-high 13 targets in this matchup with Atlanta, catching eight passes for 112 yards. D.J. Moore caught four of his five targets for 93 yards and a touchdown; however, that output sounds a lot less impressive when you learn that 61 percent of his yardage total came off one catch. Mike Davis continues to do his best Christian McCaffery impression, catching nine of his ten targets for 60 yards and a touchdown. He may not have his role for too much longer, but he’s certainly living up to all of the FAAB you may have spent on him.

It’s tough to accept that Robby Anderson is a WR1. Even saying it sounds weird, especially since he never lived up to his hype when he played in New York. Nonetheless, we have to adjust to the new data, which definitively states that he is a top-12 fantasy wideout. D.J. Moore is still FLEX-worthy, but he won’t live up to his August draft capital. It’s unfortunate for those who believed he would have a third-year breakout, but that’s the reality we face. Meanwhile, Davis’s receiving workload is phenomenal; he has 25 targets over the past three weeks and has been an RB1 in that stretch. Continue to start him with confidence as long as McCaffery remains sidelined.


Chicago Bears

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Allen Robinson 16 39 13.00 57 11.40 ⬆️
David Montgomery 8 17 5.67 23 4.60 ⬆️
Darnell Mooney 5 19 6.33 25 5.00 ⬇️
Jimmy Graham 5 20 6.67 28 5.60
Anthony Miller 4 14 4.67 23 4.60 ⬇️
Cordarrelle Patterson 3 5 1.67 8 1.60 ⬆️

 
Allen Robinson continues to thrive with mediocre quarterbacks. It’s sad to admit that Nick Foles is the best quarterback that Robinson has played alongside, but at least Foles is propelling Robinson’s target share. Chicago’s WR1 had a whopping 16 targets last Thursday Night, catching nine passes for 90 yards. David Montgomery continues to thrive in the receiving game with Tarik Cohen on injured reserve, as he’s seen 14 targets over the past two weeks compared to nine through the first three weeks. He may not be doing much with his passes, but that doesn’t matter much for those in PPR leagues; his fantasy managers will happily take his seven receptions for 30 yards as that wasn’t really a possibility with Cohen in the lineup.

Allen Robinson is an every-week starter, but I recommend you don’t watch the games. He’ll do great every week, but it won’t look pretty. Meanwhile, Jimmy Graham continues to be a streaky tight end streamer. If you are desperate, you can trot him out in any matchup and hope he uses his large frame to get a contested touchdown. Darnell Mooney and Anthony Miller are merely bench stashes, as neither has the consistency nor upside in a low-volume Chicago passing offense.


Cincinnati Bengals

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Tee Higgins 8 24 8.00 30 6.00 ⬆️
Joe Mixon 8 17 5.67 23 4.60 ⬆️
Tyler Boyd 6 27 9.00 40 8.00 ⬇️
Drew Sample 2 8 2.67 18 3.60 ⬇️
Gio Bernard 2 5 1.67 17 3.40 ⬆️
A.J. Green 1 12 4.00 34 6.80 ⬇️

 
It happened much quicker than we all anticipated, but Tee Higgins has officially surpassed AJ Green in the Bengals’ wide receiving pecking order. Sure, the Bengals reported that Green did not return to the game due to injury, but let’s look at the facts. Higgins has doubled Green’s target totals over the last three weeks. He has more catches, yards, and touchdowns in the span as well. I am still unsure if Green simply doesn’t have the chops anymore to be a dominant WR1 or if he’s just not getting utilized properly in this offense. Whatever the case, Boyd is the WR1, and Higgins is the WR2 in Cincinnati; Green may not be in Ohio for much longer. Another bright note is Joe Mixon saw eight targets in this matchup compared to Gio Bernard’s two. Obviously, Mixon’s target total is inflated due to the game script, but the key feature here is that Bernard wasn’t utilized much.

Higgins is worth a start as your WR3 every week. Despite the tough matchup versus Baltimore, he finished second on the team in catches, first in yards, and first in yards per reception. Tyler Boyd is a low-WR2 who has thrived with Joe Burrow thus far; he’s the safety net over the middle of the field and a great asset in PPR leagues. A.J. Green belongs firmly on your bench, and if you are short on room, you can drop him. Unless he’s traded midseason to a high-octane offense (*cough* *cough* Packers), he’s not going to be start-worthy. If you can’t start him, he doesn’t belong on your roster.


Cleveland Browns

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Austin Hooper 10 21 7.00 27 5.40 ⬆️
Odell Beckham Jr. 9 23 7.67 39 7.80 ⬆️
Jarvis Landry 9 19 6.33 28 5.60 ⬆️
Kareem Hunt 4 7 2.33 15 3.00 ⬆️
Rashard Higgins 3 3 1.00 4 0.80 ⬆️
Harrison Bryant 1 7 2.33 11 2.20 ⬇️

 
This Cleveland offense has taken off in recent weeks, and they continued to thrive versus the leagues’ No. 1 defense in Week 5. Austin Hooper, who was rightfully dropped by many in prior weeks, saw a season-high 10 targets; he caught half of those looks for 57 yards. Odell Beckham Jr. cooled down from his historic performance last week in Dallas, catching five of his nine targets for 58 yards. Jarvis Landry led all Browns in receiving yardage, catching four passes for 88 yards.

Despite Hooper and Landry’s decent performances, I hold steadfast in my opinion that they should either be on your bench or the waiver wire. Mayfield has an outlier of a day, throwing 38 passes in a game that was within one possession for most of the contest. This offense cannot support more than one receiver, and that role firmly belongs to Beckham. Despite ten and nine targets, respectively, neither Hooper nor Landry surpassed 12.5 PPR points. These players don’t provide nearly enough upside in a low-volume passing offense to be rostered.


Dallas Cowboys

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
CeeDee Lamb 11 24 8.00 39 7.80 ⬆️
Amari Cooper 4 32 10.67 55 11.00 ⬇️
Cedrick Wilson 4 17 5.67 17 3.40 ⬇️
Michael Gallup 4 18 6.00 28 5.60 ⬇️
Dalton Schultz 3 17 5.67 31 6.20 ⬇️
Tony Pollard 3 6 2.00 10 2.00 ⬆️

 
First and foremost, I need to take a moment to talk about Dak Prescott. No matter how you feel about him or the Cowboys organization, Prescott has proven to be an incredible player and human being on and off the field. His injury is an unfortunate part of football, and I hope he can recover quickly and safely. The Dallas offense was still able to put up impressive numbers against the New York Giants defense, with rookie CeeDee Lamb being the main beneficiary. Lamb caught eight of his 11 targets for 124 yards, proving to be an integral piece of this offense and the clear WR2. Amari Cooper, meanwhile, was extremely disappointing, only seeing four targets catching his lone two passes from Andy Dalton. Gallup also saw most of his success under Dalton, with more than half of his yardage total coming on the Cowboys’ game-winning drive.

We have little data to show how this offense will operate with Dalton under center. It’s doubtful they will be as prolific as they were under Prescott. Mike McCarthy likes to be pass-heavy and aggressive, but Dalton is by far the least talented quarterback he has ever coached. I would speculate that only two Dallas wideouts will be fantasy relevant going forward, as this offense becomes more focused on short, quick throws and a dominant running game. It’s best to wait and see before doing anything drastic with your lineup, but the only wideouts I would feel comfortable starting next week are Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb.


Denver Broncos

PLAYER WEEK 4 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Tim Patrick 7 16 5.33 21 5.25 ⬆️
Noah Fant 6 21 7.00 27 6.75 ⬇️
Jerry Jeudy 4 20 6.67 28 7.00 ⬇️
Melvin Gordon 3 12 4.00 15 3.75 ⬇️
DaeSean Hamilton 3 6 2.00 9 2.25 ⬆️
Royce Freeman 2 4 1.33 5 1.25  —

 
The Denver Broncos’ Week 5 game has been postponed. The above represents their Week 4 target distribution.


Detroit Lions

PLAYER WEEK 4 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Kenny Golladay 8 15 5.00 15 7.50 ⬆️
T.J. Hockenson 4 15 5.00 20 5.00 ⬇️
D’Andre Swift 4 11 3.67 16 4.00 ⬆️
Danny Amendola 3 14 4.67 21 5.25 ⬇️
Jesse James 2 6 2.00 6 1.50 ⬇️
Marvin Jones 2 11 3.67 19 4.75 ⬇️

 
The Detroit Lions are on a bye this week. The above represents their Week 4 target distribution.


Green Bay Packers

PLAYER WEEK 4 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 8 19 6.33 25 6.25 ⬆️
Jamaal Williams 8 9 3.00 13 3.25 ⬆️
Robert Tonyan 6 14 4.67 14 3.50 ⬆️
Aaron Jones 5 17 5.67 23 5.75 ⬆️
Darrius Shepherd 3 4 1.33 4 1.00 ⬆️
Tyler Ervin 2 5 1.67 6 1.50

 
The Green Bay Packers are on a bye this week. The above represents their Week 4 target distribution.


Houston Texans

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Brandin Cooks 12 20 6.67 33 6.60 ⬆️
Will Fuller 8 20 6.67 30 6.00 ⬆️
Randall Cobb 6 15 5.00 24 4.80 ⬆️
David Johnson 4 10 3.33 18 3.60 ⬆️
Darren Fells 2 6 2.00 12 2.40
Kenny Stills 1 9 3.00 13 2.60 ⬇️

 
Welcome back to relevance, Brandin Cooks; I thought we lost you there for a second. After seeing just 21 targets through the first four weeks of the season, Cooks saw 12 targets in Week 5 and caught eight balls for 161 yards and a touchdown. Cooks finished as a WR1 this week despite multiple disappointing outputs leading up to this matchup. Meanwhile, outside of his Week 2 goose-egg, Will Fuller continues to be remarkably consistent. Fuller has scored 15+ PPR points in four of his five matchups but has only managed over 20 PPR points just once. For many who expected Fuller to be a boom-or-bust receiver, they should be pleasantly surprised.

Cooks and Fuller should be the only Houston receivers on your roster this season, with the latter being a desperation start going forward. Cooks is still Deshaun Watson’s WR2, so he has enough value to be held on your bench. Still, there’s no formula as to whether he would be a good start each week. Unless you are desperate, leave Cooks sidelined for now. Fuller is a weekly start, despite his injury risk. I know we all have some general distrust about Fuller being able to keep up his consistent pace, but he’s been able to perform so far. You should keep him in your lineup until proven otherwise.


Indianapolis Colts

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
T.Y. Hilton 10 18 6.00 32 6.40 ⬆️
Trey Burton 6 11 3.67 11 5.50 ⬆️
Nyheim Hines 4 12 4.00 21 4.20 ⬆️
Jonathan Taylor 3 5 1.67 13 2.60 ⬆️
Marcus Johnson 3 4 1.33 4 0.80 ⬆️
Zach Pascal 2 14 4.67 21 4.20 ⬇️

 
T.Y. Hilton finally saw increased utilization this week, putting up his first double-digit target performance of the season. Hilton caught six passes for 69 yards in a relatively tight contest with the Cleveland Browns. Trey Burton was second in targets on the team, catching five passes for a mere 33 yards. There weren’t many other contributors in Indianapolis’s receiving game, as Philip Rivers struggled against an above-average Browns defense.

I don’t feel confident starting any Indianapolis pass-catcher. Hilton finally had a solid performance, but it was far from what we expected he could provide coming into the season. Rivers’ arm strength has rapidly declined, with most of his passes going near the line of scrimmage or before the first down marker. Hilton is a risky FLEX play, as he’ll never have those deep targets on which he has historically thrived. Nyhiem Hines is also risky, despite Rivers’ propensity to throw to the running back. Frank Reich’s running back committee is not conducive for fantasy performance, so I would avoid these options if at all possible.


Jacksonville Jaguars

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Laviska Shenault 8 20 6.67 28 5.60 ⬆️
Tyler Eifert 7 16 5.33 23 4.60 ⬆️
James Robinson 7 17 5.67 22 4.40 ⬆️
Keelan Cole 6 16 5.33 28 5.60 ⬆️
D.J. Chark 4 13 4.33 20 5.00 ⬇️
Collin Johnson 4 6 2.00 10 2.00 ⬆️

 
D.J. Chark just hasn’t lived up to all of the hype he garnered from last year’s breakout performance. After an 8-95-2 stat-line last week versus Cincinnati, Chark thoroughly disappointed in Week 5 by catching three of his four targets for a measly 16 yards. Chark has been extremely inconsistent and hasn’t lived up this his 5th round ADP thus far. Meanwhile, Laviska Shenault continues to get increased involvement every week, seeing eight targets this week and catching seven of them for 79 yards. James Robinson saw seven targets in this game, but Chris Thompson was entirely too involved in the offense. Robinson should receive more involvement, but this Jaguars coaching staff continues to allow the mediocre veteran to steal snaps.

You will reluctantly need to start Chark each week, but you’ll never truly know what you are getting. Some days he will be heavily targeted and be a WR1, while he will be an afterthought in the offense on other days. If you want a high floor and consistency, then Laviska Shenault is your guy. Shenault has scored 10-15 PPR points in four of his five contests, despite scoring only one touchdown on the season. If you want a solid baseline, Shenault should be in your lineup.


Kansas City Chiefs

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Travis Kelce 12 25 8.33 45 9.00 ⬆️
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 8 17 5.67 27 5.40 ⬆️
Tyreek Hill 6 18 6.00 35 7.00
Darrell Williams 5 8 2.67 11 2.20 ⬆️
Demarcus Robinson 4 5 1.67 15 3.00 ⬆️
Mecole Hardman 3 13 4.33 17 3.40 ⬇️

 
The Chiefs lost? They lost at home to the Raiders? 2020 is just plain unpredictable. Nonetheless, the story is the same for Kansas City. Travis Kelce leads the Chiefs in targets, having seen 12 looks in this game and caught eight passes for 108 yards and a touchdown. Tyreek Hill caught three of his six targets for 78 yards, but he also scored a touchdown on an end-around. Clyde Edwards-Helaire tied his season-high in targets in this game, catching three of his eight targets for 40 yards.

You are starting Kelce, Hill, and Edwards-Helaire every single week. In Week 5’s edition of “Ancillary Piece Roulette,” Sammy Watkins came up as the winner. For those who haven’t read this series until now, the third wideout for the Chiefs always changes as far as fantasy relevance. Sometimes it’s Hardman, while other times it’s Watkins. This week, Watkins pulled in a touchdown grab despite two targets. As always, starting any Chiefs wideout not named “Tyreek Hill” is a risk, and you should proceed with an abundance of caution.


Las Vegas Raiders

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Darren Waller 7 23 7.67 47 9.40 ⬇️
Jalen Richard 5 12 4.00 13 2.60 ⬆️
Alex Ingold 4 7 2.33 9 1.80 ⬆️
Josh Jacobs 3 11 3.67 20 4.00 ⬇️
Henry Ruggs 3 3 1.00 11 3.67 ⬆️
Nelson Agholor 2 9 3.00 11 2.20 ⬇️

 
They may have scored 40 points in Week 5, but the Raiders’ offensive strategy has largely stayed the same. Getting Henry Ruggs back was huge for their offensive execution, as he brings a vertical element that forces the safeties to vacate the middle of the field; he even caught a 72-yard touchdown. However, this offense flows through the tight end and running back. Once again, Darren Waller was the most-targeted player for Las Vegas; last year’s breakout tight end caught five of his seven targets for 48 yards and a touchdown.  Aside from Waller, the targets were distributed relatively evenly among the other pass-catchers.

Here is the list of Raiders you can start with each week with relative confidence: Darren Waller, Josh Jacobs, and that’s it. Derek Carr just doesn’t show any preference for his receivers other than Darren Waller. If you want a boom-or-bust player, Henry Ruggs and Nelson Agholor are your best bets. Aside from them, you can’t start any Las Vegas wideout without an injury occurring along the offensive side of the ball.


Los Angeles Chargers

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Hunter Henry 8 18 6.00 34 6.80 ⬆️
Mike Williams 8 9 3.00 22 5.50 ⬆️
Justin Jackson 6 8 2.67 8 4.00 ⬆️
Jalen Guyton 3 7 2.33 10 2.00 ⬆️
Keenan Allen 2 33 11.00 51 10.20 ⬇️
K.J. Hill 2 6 2.00 6 1.20 ⬆️

 
Justin Herbert shined in primetime, throwing for four touchdowns in an overtime loss to the Saints. Without Austin Ekeler in the backfield, one of the bigger questions in this game was how the backfield target distribution would break down. That was only compounded with the injury to Keenan Allen, who left the game early in the first half following a touchdown grab. All indications point to Justin Jackson being the favorite in this backfield, as he saw four more carries and five more targets than his rookie counterpart; he was also used more on third downs and obvious passing downs. Meanwhile, Hunter Henry and Mike Williams stepped up with Allen out, as both saw eight targets apiece.

Justin Jackson is seeing enough work to be a weekly FLEX play, but his ceiling is minimal. If you are weak at the running back spot, you can plug him in and expect eight PPR points. The same goes for Josh Kelley, even though his value is more predicated on red-zone work than targets. Hunter Henry is a clear start at the tight end every week, as he ranks second on this team in targets and acts as a safety blanket for Herbert. Williams showed some FLEX-viability in this game, but one has to wonder how much that has to do with Allen’s absence instead of his own fantasy capability.


Los Angeles Rams

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Cooper Kupp 8 25 8.33 36 7.20 ⬆️
Robert Woods 5 18 6.00 31 6.20 ⬇️
Josh Reynolds 4 13 4.33 16 3.20
Darrell Henderson 4 8 2.67 11 2.20 ⬆️
Gerald Everett 4 7 2.33 9 1.80 ⬆️
Malcolm Brown 2 10 3.33 14 2.80 ⬇️

 
The Los Angeles passing offense got back on track last Sunday versus Washington, with Jared Goff passing 30 times for 309 yards and two touchdowns. The main beneficiaries of Goff’s performance were Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and Gerald Everett, who each caught at least four passes for at least 65 yards. Woods and Kupp are always fantasy viable, despite the latter being a bit more inconsistent; however, it was surprising to see Gerald Everett be the tight end of preference in lieu of Tyler Higbee. Everett caught all four of his targets for 90 yards, while Higbee only saw two targets and converted his opportunity into just 12 yards.

Tyler Higbee hasn’t had a decent fantasy game since his three-touchdown performance in Week 2 versus Philadelphia. He’s no longer a breakout tight end candidate, nor is he an every-week start; he’s a streaming candidate that you should put into your lineup if you have no better options. Like Hayden Hurst, there are too many great options in this offense, so it is never a certainty whether Higbee will be involved. If you want to continue plugging Higbee into your lineup every week, I can’t really blame you given the state of the tight end fantasy landscape. However, your expectations for his output should be adjusted.


Miami Dolphins

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Mike Gesicki 6 12 4.00 28 5.60 ⬆️
Myles Gaskin 5 14 4.67 25 5.00 ⬆️
Preston Williams 5 10 3.33 22 4.40 ⬆️
DeVante Parker 3 20 6.67 32 6.40 ⬇️
Jakeem Grant 3 8 2.67 12 2.40 ⬇️
Isaiah Ford 2 14 4.67 28 5.60 ⬇️

 
Ryan Fitzpatrick’s incredible beat-down of the San Francisco 49ers should keep him in the starting lineup for a little while longer. That is great news for fantasy football managers. Fitzpatrick continues to be a gunslinger and passes the ball with reckless abandon, which is the best-case scenario for the Dolphins’ pass-catchers. Mike Gesicki led Miami in targets on the day, seeing six targets and catching five of them for 91 yards. Meanwhile, Preston Williams reasserted his position as the team’s WR2 by catching four of his five targets for 106 yards and a touchdown.

I said previously that Isaiah Ford was now the WR2 in Miami and Preston Williams should be relegated to the bench; after this week’s performance, I am starting to doubt that position. I don’t want one performance to outweigh a season’s worth of data, but with a matchup against the abysmal New York Jets on the horizon in Week 6, I wouldn’t bench Williams if I had him on my roster. The upside is too great with Fitzpatrick in the lineup. Parker and Gesicki continue to remain weekly starts, and while Isaiah Ford should be sent right back to the waiver wire.


Minnesota Vikings

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Adam Thielen 13 28 9.33 44 8.80 ⬆️
Justin Jefferson 5 19 6.33 25 5.00
Dalvin Cook 5 12 4.00 16 3.20 ⬆️
Irv Smith Jr. 5 6 2.00 11 2.20 ⬆️
Alexander Mattison 3 3 1.00 9 1.80 ⬆️
Kyle Rudolph 2 7 2.33 10 2.00

 
The matchup dictated that the Vikings-Seahawks matchup would be good for all wide receivers involved, and apparently, Adam Thielen got the message. Thielen put together an incredible fantasy day, catching nine of his 13 targets for 80 yards and two touchdowns, making him a top-three PPR wideout on the season. Thielen has been masterful thus far through 2020, and despite the struggles of his quarterback Kirk Cousins, he is thriving as the No. 1 receiving option in Minnesota. Meanwhile, following his two 100-yard receiving performances, rookie Justin Jefferson cooled down a bit by catching just three of his five targets for 23 yards. Surprisingly, second-year tight end Irv Smith was more productive with the same number of targets, catching four passes for 64 yards last Sunday Night.

Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson are reliable starts every week. It will be rare for both wide receivers to put up top-24 performances each week, but they both have WR1 capability in an offense that thrives off play-action and needs to make up for a sub-par defense. Dalvin Cook’s injury status is certainly worth monitoring, as Alexander Mattison could see a huge surge in value should last year’s RB6 miss any time. The tight ends in Minnesota, meanwhile, should remain on your waiver wire.


New England Patriots

PLAYER WEEK 4 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Damiere Byrd 10 22 7.33 22 5.50 ⬆️
James White 8 8 2.67 11 5.50 ⬆️
Julian Edelman 6 23 7.67 30 7.50
N’Keal Harry 6 22 7.33 28 7.00 ⬆️
Ryan Izzo 3 6 2.00 8 2.00 ⬆️
Rex Burkhead 1 17 5.67 17 4.25 ⬇️

 
The New England Patriots’ Week 5 game has been postponed. The above represents their Week 4 target distribution.


New Orleans Saints

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Emmanuel Sanders 14 28 9.33 36 7.20 ⬆️
Alvin Kamara 10 28 9.33 45 9.00 ⬆️
Marquez Callaway 6 7 2.33 7 1.40 ⬆️
Bennie Fowler 6 6 2.00 6 1.20 ⬆️
Tre’Quan Smith 3 13 4.33 21 4.20 ⬇️
Jared Cook 3 6 2.00 18 4.50 ⬆️

 
There was entirely too much Taysom Hill in this offense. Hill became an extreme annoyance to fantasy managers, as it seemed he was far too often taking over quarterback duties on key downs and in high-value situations. He vultured a touchdown near the goal line that could’ve gone to Brees or Kamara. Nonetheless, despite Hill’s presence and Brees’ early struggles, Emmanuel Sanders and Alvin Kamara had plenty of work in this offense. Sanders saw a season-high 14 targets, catching 12 passes for 102 yards; Kamara, meanwhile, caught eight balls for 74 yards in addition to his ever-present rushing work.

With Michael Thomas expected to enter the lineup following the Saints’ Week 6 bye, we are bound to see large scale regression for Sanders and slight regression for Kamara. Brees’ arm strength has clearly diminished, so I would not be surprised to see Kamara maintain his incredible target pace. However, you would be hard-pressed to argue that there are enough passes to go around to give Thomas, Kamara, Sanders, and Cook fantasy relevance. Sanders and Cook will be high-risk FLEX options moving forward, as their fantasy viability will likely be touchdown-dependent.


New York Giants

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Darius Slayton 11 25 8.33 40 8.00 ⬆️
Golden Tate 5 18 6.00 23 5.75 ⬇️
Dion Lewis 4 10 3.33 16 3.20 ⬆️
Devonta Freeman 3 7 2.33 7 2.33 ⬇️
Evan Engram 2 17 5.67 32 8.00 ⬇️
Wayne Gallman 2 5 1.67 6 1.20 ⬆️

 
The Giants were so close to their first win of the season, but they came up just short. Nonetheless, this matchup had “breakout” written all over it for the offensive weapons. Darius Slayton certainly enforced that narrative, catching eight of his 11 yards for 129 yards. Unfortunately, he was the only one who got the memo. Golden Tate only managed four catches for 42 yards on five targets, while Evan Engram had one measly catch for 16 yards. Devonta Freeman had a solid day on the ground, but his two catches for 27 yards left much to be desired.

You can only start Darius Slayton in plus-matchups. The Giants still have a few of those left on the schedule, given they have five more division games left to play. Still, even in those matchups, you cannot trust Golden Tate, Evan Engram, or Dion Lewis. This offense, plainly, just isn’t very good with Daniel Jones at the helm. Slayton is a solid stash, but you can send every other Giant to the waiver wire in more shallow leagues.


New York Jets

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Jeff Smith 11 20 6.67 20 10.00 ⬆️
Jamison Crowder 10 20 6.67 33 11.00
Chris Hogan 3 14 4.67 26 5.20 ⬇️
Chris Herndon 3 11 3.67 22 4.40
Braxton Berrios 1 8 2.67 16 3.20 ⬇️
Le’Veon Bell 1 1 0.33 3 1.50 ⬆️

 
In Joe Flacco’s first start as a New York Jet, 63 percent of his passes went to Jeff Smith and Jamison Crowder. Crowder had another amazing fantasy day, catching 8 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown; the former Washington slot receiver has been the lone bright spot in this New York offense and a consistent asset for fantasy. Smith, on the other hand, only caught three of his 11 targets and was a downright disappointment. No one started him, but you would rather his targets go to someone who could catch them. Le’Veon Bell returned for his first game since Week 1, but he only saw one target.

As usual, Crowder is the only New York pass-catcher you can start in fantasy. All other Jets should be left on your waiver wire. Given this franchise’s state and the ineptitude of the offensive play-caller, you would have to be truly desperate to even consider rostering another player on this team.


Philadelphia Eagles

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Travis Fulgham 13 16 5.33 16 3.20 ⬆️
Zach Ertz 6 21 7.00 35 7.00 ⬆️
John Hightower 6 11 3.67 15 3.00 ⬆️
Greg Ward 5 23 7.67 31 6.20 ⬇️
Miles Sanders 4 16 5.33 23 5.75
Richard Rodgers 1 7 2.33 7 1.40 ⬇️

 
I ask this question again: Who is Travis Fulgham? The 6’2″ Old Dominion product came out of nowhere the past two weeks to lead the Philadelphia Eagles in receiving yards and receptions. Fulgham caught 10 of his 13 targets for 152 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, the more notable story is Zach Ertz is no longer an elite tight end. Ertz saw six targets in this game but only caught one pass for six yards. This comes one week after Ertz put up four catches for nine yards. After many of us believed Ertz would return to his top-three tight end status with Dallas Goedert out of the lineup, it appears Ertz was the reason for his own poor performance.

I honestly don’t know what to tell you about Zach Ertz. Like Hayden Hurst and Tyler Higbee, Zach Ertz cannot be considered a reliable performer at the tight end position. Yet, given the state of the position, you likely don’t have any other options. Unless you were fortunate enough to draft Jonnu Smith late or pick up Robert Tonyan last week, you are probably stuck with Ertz for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, even if you picked up Travis Fulgham, you will probably keep him on your bench unless you are desperate.


Pittsburgh Steelers

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Chase Claypool 11 15 5.00 20 5.00 ⬆️
Eric Ebron 6 13 4.33 20 5.00 ⬆️
JuJu Smith-Schuster 5 10 3.33 24 6.00 ⬆️
James Washington 4 11 3.67 19 4.75 ⬆️
James Conner 3 8 2.67 14 3.50 ⬆️
Ray-Ray McCloud 3 3 1.00 3 0.75 ⬆️

 
Welcome to the NFL, Chase Claypool. After being out-shined for most of the 2020 season by fellow rookies CeeDee Lamb, Justin Jefferson, and Tee Higgins, Claypool put on a show in Week 5 following Dionte Johnson’s departure. Claypool saw a career-high 11 targets, catching seven passes for 110 yards and three touchdowns; he also ran the ball in for a score. His utter dominance took the spotlight off of the other Steelers’ pass-catchers, as no other Steelers wideout had more than 30 receiving yards. Eric Ebron had a solid five catches for 43 yards, but aside from him and Claypool, every other notable Pittsburgh pass-catcher was extremely disappointing.

Johnson’s injury allowed Claypool and Washington to vie for the WR2 receiving job behind Juju Smith-Schuster, and it is clear as day the Claypool has surpassed Washington on the depth chart. I expect the rookie to see greater involvement going forward, so he should be in FLEX consideration for the foreseeable future. Smith-Schuster, Johnson, and Claypool are all start-worthy, while Ebron is a volatile streamer that needs more red zone productivity to be worth keeping on your roster.


San Francisco 49ers

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
George Kittle 8 23 7.67 28 9.33 ⬇️
Deebo Samuel 8 11 3.67 11 5.50 ⬆️
Brandon Aiyuk 6 19 6.33 22 5.50 ⬆️
Jerick McKinnon 4 16 5.33 22 4.40 ⬇️
Kendrick Bourne 4 16 5.33 26 5.20 ⬇️
Raheem Mostert 3 3 1.00 10 3.33 ⬆️

 
What happened in this game? After missing several games due to injury, Jimmy Garoppolo returned to the starting lineup only to throw two interceptions and get benched at half-time. C.J. Beathard came in to finish out the game, but the 49ers’ fantasy day was already over. George Kittle managed to return a semblance of production, catching four passes for 44 yards, while Brandon Aiyuk tied Kittle’s receiving total on one less catch. Deebo Samuel saw more snaps as he worked his way back from injury, but he only mustered two catches on eight targets; better days are ahead for the sophomore wideout. Jerick McKinnon saw very little work with Raheem Mostert back in the lineup, receiving one carry and four targets despite a game script that favored his skill set.

The 49ers’ schedule over the next several weeks is extremely difficult; they have to play the Rams, Patriots, Seahawks, Packers, and Saints over the next five weeks. Given the defense just gave up 40 points to a Ryan Fitzpatrick-led offense, the passing volume should be high for San Francisco. The only 49ers I would start next week are Kittle and Mostert, as they had the most production despite the turnover at quarterback. Garoppolo might come back, but it is just as plausible to see Kyle Shanahan stay the course with Beathard. Until we get more clarity, Aiyuk, Samuel, and McKinnon are strictly holds.


Seattle Seahawks

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
D.K. Metcalf 11 25 8.33 39 7.80 ⬆️
Chris Carson 7 14 4.67 23 4.60 ⬆️
Tyler Lockett 5 22 7.33 38 7.60 ⬆️
David Moore 3 8 2.67 14 2.80 ⬇️
Freddie Swain 2 6 2.00 7 1.40 ⬇️
Greg Olsen 1 14 4.67 19 3.80 ⬇️

 
D.K. Metcalf is simply incredible. Despite a slow start, the second-year wideout finished the game strong and caught the game-winning touchdown on 4th down with 15 seconds left to spare. Metcalf saw 11 targets in his Sunday Night matchup with Minnesota, catching six balls for 93 yards and two touchdowns. There’s little that this player can’t do (except run the three-cone, apparently), and he should be regarded as a top-five fantasy wideout moving forward. Tyler Lockett has disappeared a bit since his three-touchdown performance against Dallas, but he’s still a focal point in this offense; four catches for 44 yards isn’t a bad output given how this game started. Chris Carson, meanwhile, saw much-needed involvement in the receiving game; Carson caught six of his seven targets for 27 yards.

Metcalf and Lockett should be in your lineups every week, regardless of the matchup. Both are explosive, big-play wide receivers that could put up a top-ten week at the drop of a hat. I would not be shocked in the slightest to see both players finish the year as WR1s. However, aside from these two perennial talents, you don’t want to start any other Seahawks pass-catcher. Greg Olsen only saw one target in this game, while Will Dissly turned his lone opportunity into a touchdown grab. If you want a part of this Seahawks offense, you’ll need to either acquire Metcalf, Lockett, or Carson to get in on all of the fantasy points being scored.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
Mike Evans 9 21 7.00 35 7.00 ⬆️
Rob Gronkowski 6 16 5.33 20 4.00 ⬆️
Cameron Brate 6 7 2.33 8 1.60 ⬆️
Tyler Johnson 6 6 2.00 6 1.20 ⬆️
Ronald Jones 5 18 6.00 23 4.60 ⬇️
Tanner Hudson 4 4 1.33 4 0.80 ⬆️

 
Tom Brady may not know what down it is, but he still found some success versus this Bears defense despite being down his starting slot receiver. Without Godwin, Mike Evans became a target hog and leveraged his nine looks into five catches for 41 yards and a touchdown. Evans has not dominated in terms of targets or receptions this season, but his hyper-utilization in the red zone has made him a WR1 this season. So long as Evans keeps getting used around the goal-line, you’ll be happy with a lower than average target share. Meanwhile, the rest of the notable Buccaneer pass-catchers that you started thoroughly disappointed. Gronkowski only caught three passes for 52 yards, Scotty Miller put up a goose-egg in this game, and Justin Watson was completely uninvolved.

Mike Evans is still a WR1 going forward despite his high volatility; there will be games in which he won’t get into the end zone, and you will be disappointed, but that’s the risk you take with him. Once Godwin returns to the lineup, I would expect even greater volatility. Scotty Miller really hurt your chances of winning last week with a Thursday Night goose-egg, but he’s been above-average in three of his five games this season; I would continue to hold him if you haven’t dropped him already. Gronkowski should be on your waiver wire, as he only averaged four targets per game and has yet to get into the end zone. Without touchdown opportunities, Gronkowski is unplayable.


Tennessee Titans

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
A.J. Brown 9 9 3.00 17 8.50 ⬆️
Jonnu Smith 7 15 5.00 27 6.75 ⬆️
Anthony Firkser 5 5 1.67 11 2.75 ⬆️
Derrick Henry 2 5 1.67 10 2.50 ⬆️
Kalif Raymond 2 5 1.67 6 1.50 ⬆️
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine
1 3 1.00 3 0.75 ⬆️

 
With everything that has happened surrounding the Titans over the past several weeks, it’s a credit to their coaching staff that they could start hot and keep the offense rolling against the Bills. The Titans scored 42 points in this matchup, with A.J. Brown and Jonnu Smith doing most of the heavy lifting. Brown’s return from injury brought him a solid 7-82-1 stat-line off nine targets; he’s a dominant outside receiver who just seems to have a tremendous rapport with Ryan Tannehill. Jonnu Smith was once again a mismatch, especially against the Bills’ depleted linebacker core, having caught five of his seven targets for 40 yards and two scores.

I don’t need to see much from Brown to declare he’s a must-start every week. Even though the absence of Corey Davis and Adam Humphries allowed him to be the focal point of the offense, he absolutely bullied Josh Norman all night. He has deep-play ability and the physical presence to consistently win his routes; he may have an even better outing versus the putrid Texans defense next week. Jonnu Smith continues to be a TE1 play weekly, especially as his red-zone usage has increased. Smith is probably the most likely tight end to join the elite tier of Kelce, Kittle, Waller, and Andrews following this season if he keeps up this level of high productivity.


Washington Football Team

PLAYER WEEK 5 LAST 3 AVG SEASON AVG TREND
J.D. McKissic 8 20 6.67 25 5.00
Terry McLaurin 7 29 9.67 46 9.20 ⬇️
Antonio Gibson 5 13 4.33 17 3.40
Logan Thomas 4 15 5.00 32 6.40
Dontrelle Inman 1 12 4.00 22 4.40 ⬇️
Isaiah Wright 1 12 4.00 12 2.40 ⬇️

 
In one of the best moments we will see all year, Alex Smith returned to the field following an arduous comeback from his devastating leg injury. Performance aside, it’s incredible to see a consummate professional and great human being make a return to the NFL despite all of the obstacles he has faced. With Alex Smith and Kyle Allen splitting duties for their contest against the L.A. Rams, we saw two primary tendencies of both quarterbacks. First, Terry McLaurin is going to get his targets. McLaurin continues to be a dominant WR1 despite the dysfunction around him; he has a safe target floor regardless of who is taking snaps under center. Second, the running back position is getting a solid PPR boost. Through four games with Dwayne Haskins, J.D. McKissic, and Antonio Gibson combined for 42 targets. In Week 5 with Allen and Smith, they combined for 13. The running back position will be extensively targeting going forward, which suggests Gibson’s long-awaited breakout could be on the horizon.

McLaurin is an obvious auto-start despite the turmoil in Washington. He didn’t have a good statistical output given he was shadowed by Jalen Ramsey and had to play with two different quarterbacks, but he’s a focal point of this offense that needs to be involved. On the other hand, Gibson is a viable RB3 candidate that could leap into RB2 territory as the season progresses. I think now would be a great time to buy Gibson on the cheap, as he has the depleted Giants and Cowboys defenses on the docket over the next few weeks.

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Dan Ambrosino is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Dan, check out his archive and follow him @AmbrosinoNFL.

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