Week 5 Heat Index: Kadarius Toney, Davis Mills, Alexander Mattison (2021 Fantasy Football)
With Week 5 in the books, fantasy managers will have to start planning around bye weeks. Moving forward, at least two teams will be on a bye through Week 14 (so through the rest of the regular season in most fantasy leagues). With the byes come more adds and drops, so gauging who can help you fill the gaps in your roster will become more important than ever.
But never fear — the Heat Index is here to help! Below are the players who surprised us the most in Week 5. As always, we’ll take a deeper look at each and rank them on a scale of 🔥-to-🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 for their prospects moving forward. Note: the ranks below are based on half-point PPR scoring through Sunday’s games.
Davis Mills (QB – HOU)
Stat line: 21-29 passing for 312 yards and 3 TDs
QB Rank: 5
Analysis: After struggling in his first two starts, Mills came out of nowhere to put up a strong line against a New England defense that had been tough against opposing quarterbacks. Is the rookie learning and improving, or was this just a letdown game for the Pats after their big Week 4 matchup against Tom Brady and the Bucs? Perhaps Mills could emerge as a potential bye week replacement or 2QB/Superflex option moving forward (as long as Tyrod Taylor doesn’t return and push him to the bench), but we need to see it again before I’m convinced.
Heat Index: 🔥
Kadarius Toney (WR – NYG)
Stat line: 10 catches on 13 targets for 189 yards, 7 yards rushing
WR Rank: 6
Analysis: The only thing missing from Toney’s resume Sunday was a touchdown. He filled in magnificently for injured receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. As his snap count has increased the past few weeks, Toney has emerged in a big way, showing why the Giants nabbed him in the first round of the 2021 draft. As his team’s injury woes continue to mount, Toney could be a nice option over the next few weeks or longer — if he is healthy himself and doesn’t get suspended. He was ejected and suffered an ankle injury yesterday, so keep an eye on his status if you’re considering making a play to add him to your roster.
Heat Index: 🔥🔥🔥🔥
Marquez Callaway (WR – NO)
Stat line: 4 catches on 8 targets for 85 yards and 2 TDs
WR Rank: 8
Analysis: After an impressive preseason performance, Callaway emerged as a trendy sleeper pick during draft season. However, he has been mostly a boom-or-bust deep threat in the regular season. On days he booms, like last Sunday, he can be quite productive. Otherwise, he won’t typically be that useful from a fantasy standpoint. With the Saints on a bye next week and the potential return of Michael Thomas shortly thereafter, Callaway is probably nothing better than a deep-league flier going forward.
Heat Index: 🔥🔥
Chris Moore (WR – HOU)
Stat line: 5 catches on 5 targets for 109 yards and a TD
WR Rank: 12
Analysis: As unlikely as Davis Mills’ performance was Sunday, Moore’s was an even bigger surprise. He was elevated from Houston’s practice squad for this game and made the most of his 37 snaps. Perhaps this will earn him a permanent place on the Texans’ roster, but for fantasy purposes, we’ll need to see a bit more to get excited.
Heat Index: 🔥
Myles Gaskin (RB – MIA)
Stat line: 25 yards rushing on 5 attempts, 10 catches on 10 targets for 74 yards and 2 TDs
RB Rank: 3
Analysis: After playing only 12 snaps in Week 4, Gaskin played 69% of Miami’s offensive plays in Week 5 and put together a day that his fantasy managers have been waiting for. Unfortunately, he was probably on the bench for those managers who have stuck with him to this point. Pretty much all his damage came through the air as the Dolphins didn’t even try to run against Tampa Bay’s strong front. Gaskin proved that he’s the best pass-catching back on the Dolphins’ roster, but it’s still going to be hard to trust him moving forward. His usage may depend on the game script.
Heat Index: 🔥🔥
Alexander Mattison (RB – MIN)
Stat line: 113 yards rushing on 25 attempts, 7 catches on 7 targets for 40 yards and a TD
RB Rank: 8
Analysis: The question isn’t whether you should start Mattison when Dalvin Cook is out — that much is clear. Rather, the question is whether he has done enough to warrant more snaps when Cook is healthy? He has been long viewed as one of the league’s premier handcuffs, but one could argue that he has earned a share of Minnesota’s regular backfield duties based on his Week 3 and Week 5 performances. This may be more of a detriment to Dalvin Cook than anything else, as we’ve yet to see Mattison produce consistently when Cook is active. But it is a situation to watch moving forward, particularly if Cook continues to have nagging injuries.
Heat Index: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 when Cook is out, 🔥🔥 when he’s healthy
David Njoku (TE – CLE)
Stat line: 7 catches on 7 targets for 149 yards and a TD
TE Rank: 1
Analysis: Njoku is the latest deep-option tight end to come through with a big week. He led the Browns in targets, receptions, and receiving yards in the shootout against the Chargers on Sunday. His seven catches for the day matched his total for Weeks 1-4 though, and he was still out-snapped by Austin Hooper. So congratulations to Njoku for a great day, but we’re not buying into this as anything much more than that.
Heat Index: 🔥🔥
Hunter Henry (TE – NE)
Stat line: 6 catches on 8 targets for 75 yards and a TD
TE Rank: 4
Analysis: Henry put together his second solid fantasy week in a row in Week 5. He led the Patriots’ passing attack in all receiving categories. Most people preferred Jonnu Smith to Henry during the preseason, but Henry has been more productive through Week 5. Henry is a viable fantasy starter when he gets into the end zone, as he has the past two weeks. But you could say the same about most tight ends. That said, Henry is a proven talent, and he has played well enough to warrant consideration as a fantasy starter. He appears to be a viable bye-week streamer at worst.
Heat Index: 🔥🔥🔥
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