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Week 5 Fantasy Football Recap: Surprises, Disappointments, Key Stats & Takeaways (2021)

by Matt Barbato | @realmattbarbato | Featured Writer
Oct 12, 2021
Robert Woods

At its core, fantasy football is meant to be fun. It’s meant to be a distraction from the things that stress us out in life, not an additional stressor. Sometimes, we need reminders of that.

Because sometimes this game we play can be frustrating – and that might be putting it lightly. We did our prep, we drafted guys we liked and we use the tools offered by FantasyPros to put ourselves in the best position possible to win each week.

Then, the games start. The injuries start racking up. Your team underperforms, or the team you’re facing drastically overperforms. Things don’t go as planned, because nothing ever does.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the insanity, it’s easy to turn a game that’s meant to be fun into something agonizing.

I’ve done it before, and I’m here to tell you that if your season isn’t going as planned, it’s OK.

Stick to your plan, don’t question your instincts. Keep reading this article and all of the great content at FantasyPros to help you shake up your roster. Ask me for advice (I’ll do the best I can) on Twitter @RealMattBarbato. I’m always here to help you win!

And in the end, if it doesn’t work out, be willing to laugh at yourself. Here’s an example: I drafted J.K. Dobbins in the second round of the league I care about the most literally an hour before he tore his ACL.

Stuff happens. Don’t let it ruin the fun you have in playing this game. It’s supposed to be fun.

With that, let’s recap Week 5.

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The Surprises

Davis and Chris Squared

Davis Mills was the QB5 in Week 5. No, this isn’t a typo. After a couple of miserable performances, Mills unleashed on New England’s secondary, throwing for 312 yards and three touchdowns.

The Texans also yielded two fantasy-relevant receivers on Sunday, neither of which were Brandin Cooks. With Cooks being the point of emphasis for New England’s defense, Chris Moore and Chris Conley emerged and finished as the WR12 and WR21, respectively.

What do we do from here? I’m not putting a ton of stock into this performance yet. A couple of Houston’s big plays occurred on somewhat fluky plays, and the Texans offense stalled as the game went on. I’m still avoiding everyone but Cooks until I see consistency.

TB to AB

If not for Justin Herbert‘s ridiculous performance, Tom Brady would’ve been the clear No. 1 fantasy player in Week 5. Brady went bananas on Miami, throwing for 411 yards and five touchdowns.

Two of those touchdowns were thrown to Antonio Brown, who finished as the WR3 this week.

What do we do from here? Not much changes here. Brady is still a fixture in your lineup, and this performance solidifies Brown as a potential WR2 or FLEX on a weekly basis. His upside is too high to pass up, even with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin getting their fair share of work.

Myles Gaskin from the Clouds

So, anyone start Myles Gaskin this week? I understand if you didn’t, as he had just three yards last week on two carries. This week, Gaskin was your RB2 in PPR leagues, and he mainly did it in the passing game, where he caught 10 balls for 74 yards and two touchdowns. He only had five carries for 25 yards.

This is my vote for the most random fantasy performance of the week.

What do we do from here? This is the definition of a fluke performance. If you’re desperate at RB, then Gaskin warrants a start given his involvement in the passing game. But game script also mandated this, as Miami was trailing the entire way. I’ll go ahead and assume Gaskin won’t come close to an output like this again.

The Top 5 Tight Ends

The top five tight ends in PPR leagues last week were… drumroll please…

David Njoku, Kyle Pitts, Dawson Knox, Hunter Henry, and that guy Travis Kelce.

Tight end is such a wasteland, that I’m willing to buy in on the first three guys on this list. Njoku’s performance didn’t appear flukey, as the Browns seemed committed to getting him the ball. We’ve been waiting for a Pitts breakout game, and it finally came against a woeful Jets defense and with Calvin Ridley sidelined. Knox has been bubbling as a viable tight end starter, and he seemingly cemented that in primetime.

The only guy I can’t really get behind is Henry, who didn’t have more than 42 yards in a game until this week. Considering Mac Jones‘ limitations, his performance feels like an anomaly.

What do we do from here? Unless you have Kelce and Darren Waller, I’d view Njoku, Pitts, and Knox as starting options. I’d even consider them over players like T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant, who are clear starters with inconsistent production. Then again, the same thing could occur to each of these guys.

Stop Doubting Robert Woods

Clearly, the Rams had heard everyone talking about how little Robert Woods was involved in the offense. That changed instantly last Thursday night, as Woods caught 12 passes for 150 yards, quieting his doubters.

What do we do from here? If you kept your faith in Woods, congratulations, you deserve the rewards. If not, get him back in your lineups. Also, good luck trading for Woods this week, as his value probably won’t get any lower than it was a week ago. Hope you bought him low.

Kadarius Toney is here

Despite getting kicked out of last week’s game, Toney was awesome. He caught 10 passes for 189 yards and a score, finishing the week as a top 4 receiver.

What do we do from here? Toney will be my top waiver priority in any league where he’s available. I was skeptical of him coming out of college, but his start-stop ability when running routes and in the open field is mesmerizing. Of course, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton both didn’t play in this game, and their returns might muddle things. But how can you deny Toney more opportunity after what he’s done?


Kyler Murray 

Yelp. Those banking on Murray’s magic were left disappointed. The 49ers executed an excellent game plan against Murray, holding him to 239 passing yards, one passing touchdown, and just one rushing yard.

Saquon Barkley and Clyde Edwards-Helaire 

Clearly, getting hurt is nobody’s fault. But it’s disappointing nonetheless, as both tailbacks were finally gathering some momentum.

Stefon Diggs 

The Buffalo Bills passing game went bananas once again, and Diggs was kind of left out of the fun. He caught just two passes for 69 yards in Buffalo’s win. The Bills are finding ways to keep the ball moving, which is great for them but bad for fantasy players.

Week 5 By the Numbers 

75: Khalil Herbert‘s rushing yards against the Raiders, which were 11 more than Damien Williams‘ output. Something to monitor.

113: Alexander Mattison‘s rushing yards last week. If you haven’t handcuffed Dalvin Cook to Mattison in your draft, you’ll definitely want to acquire him. Mattison has proven to be a reputable backup who can put up numbers in Cook’s absence.

130: Chase Claypool‘s receiving yards on just five receptions. Claypool is a big-play threat, but he might get more action with JuJu Smith-Schuster likely done for the year.

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Matt Barbato is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matt, check out his archive and follow him @RealMattBarbato

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