Mon Oct 12 9:22am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Watson comes up big in Week 5
Well, Week 5 wasn’t the best for fantasy teams. There were just a handful of really big fantasy performances. For the most part, scoring was down across the board. There were just three 100-yard rushers and many of the big fantasy games came from players that likely weren’t in fantasy lineups (eg. Chase Claypool, Travis Fulgham). Hopefully, you had enough good performances to overcome the low scoring output. It was a fitting conclusion to a week of uncertainty because of COVID concerns with several teams.
Bears 20, Bucs 19
Fantasy Stud: Allen Robinson. Robinson continued his great play, catching 10 passes for 90 yards. Robinson has double-digit receptions two of three games. He also has 100-yard games two of three. He was targeted a season high 16 times this last game. Robinson is posting elite numbers on a weekly basis, especially since Nick Foles has been inserted into the starting lineup at quarterback.
Fantasy Dud: Scotty Miller. Miller was active in this one but went without a catch. It was a really disappointing showing after having two straight games with 83 yards. It was an unexpected showing, especially with Chris Godwin out of the lineup once again. Miller showed he isn’t a player you can totally trust right now. He is going to be erratic.
Game Notes: David Montgomery struggled running the ball, rushing 10 times for 29 yards, but got his most work catching the ball. He had seven receptions for 30 yards. Montgomery did find the end zone on the ground, giving him 59 total yards, seven receptions and a score in the game.
Tyler Johnnson made his Bucs debut and played well, catching four passes for 61 yards. He could have a bigger role in the offense going forward, especially if Godwin misses any more time.
Panthers 23, Falcons 16
Fantasy Stud: Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater continued his very good play for the Panthers. He was 27-of-37 for 313 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. He has five touchdowns his last two games and at least 275-passing yards three of four. Bridgewater is having a very good season as the starter for his new team and is worth using on a spot start basis for fantasy teams.
Fantasy Dud: Matt Ryan. Ryan was unable to find the end zone, causing a very poor fantasy day. He was 21-of-37 for 226 yards with an interception. Ryan has really cooled since a fast start to the year, having just one passing touchdown his last three games. He might be worth going to fantasy benches until his production starts to get better.
Game Notes: Todd Gurley had his best with the Falcons. He ran 14 times for 121 yards and a touchdown. He also had four receptions for 29 yards.
Calvin Ridley rebounded in a big way after a terrible showing last week. He had eight receptions for 136 yards. Ridley has four 100-yard games this season.
Ravens 27, Bengals 3
Fantasy Stud: Marquise Brown. Brown was iffy to play but was active and produced big for the Ravens. He had six receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown. This was his first score of the season. Brown does have 75-plus yards two of three and three of five this season. Brown is producing well as the top target in this passing game.
Fantasy Dud: Joe Burrow. Burrow had his first really down game of his rookie season. He was 19-of-30 for 183 yards with an interception. He failed to score a touchdown. Burrow had three straight 300-yard showings before this game. This also was the first game this season Burrow failed to score. The matchup was tough, but you still expected better from Burrow.
Game Notes: A.J. Green injured his hamstring and was unable to return. He had one target on the day and finished without a reception.
Tee Higgins led the Bengals in receiving, catching four passes for 62 yards. Higgins has at least four receptions three straight games. He has emerged as a top target in this passing game.
Texans 30, Jaguars 14
Fantasy Stud: Brandin Cooks. Cooks finally had a big showing with the Texans. He led the way at receiver for the team, catching eight passes for 161 yards and a touchdown. Cook has been all over the map this year, having three games with fewer than 25 yards and two gams with 90-plus yards. He is a boom or bust play but certainly has the potential for big things any given week.
Fantasy Dud: James Robinson. Robinson had one of his first poor fantasy showings of his career. He ran 13 times for 48 yards and caught five passes for 22 yards. He had 70 total yards and five receptions. He’ll be fine going forward but proved he isn’t an elite thing every week just yet. He might have a few more games like this going forward. The good news is he had 18 total touches in the game.
Game Notes: Deshaun Watson had his first three-touchdown game of the season. He was 25-of-35 for 359 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. His passing numbers also were a season high for Watson. He has multiple scores three straight and two consecutive 300-yard showings.
D.J. Chark was banged up in the game and had to leave early. He had three receptions for 16 yards before leaving the game. This is an injury to watch because he has already been beat up this season.
Rams 30, Washington 10
Fantasy Stud: Darrell Henderson. Henderson led the Rams in rushing. He had 15 carries for 38 yards and a touchdown. He also had three receptions for 30 yards and a score, giving him 68 total yards and two scores. Henderson has found the end zone three of four games for the Rams. The one concern is Cam Akers ran nine times in the game and Malcolm Brown had eight carries. This really looks like a three-headed monster at running back for the Rams.
Fantasy Dud: Terry McLaurin. Conditions had a lot to do with it, but McLaurin was a big disappointment for fantasy teams. He had three receptions for 26 yards. It was rainy and windy much of the game, though, leading to poor passing numbers across the board. McLaurin should be fine going forward.
Game Notes: Kyle Allen started the game but couldn’t finish because he took a big hit, leaving with a possible concussion. Allen was 9-of-13 for 74 yards and ran once for a seven-yard touchdown. Alex Smith made his remarkable return to the lineup, finishing the game for Washington. Smith was 9-of-17 for 37 yards.
J.D. McKissic had six receptions for 46 yards, leading the team in receiving. McKissic has 13 receptions his last two games.
Cardinals 30, Jets 10
Fantasy Stud: Jamison Crowder. Crowder continues to be the one bright spot for the Jets offense. He had eight receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown. Crowder has 100-yard games every game this season. He gets a ton of weekly targets and has become almost a must start for fantasy teams. His production has been off the charts.
Fantasy Dud: LeVeon Bell. Bell actually played just fine but didn’t help fantasy teams. He caught just a pass and finished with just 67 total yards. He ran 13 times for 60 yards and caught a pass for seven yards, giving him fewer than double-digit fantasy points. Hopefully, his production starts to improve in the coming weeks with more touches.
Game Notes: Joe Flacco got the start and played alright, going 18-of-33 for 195 yards and a touchdown with an interception. He wasn’t explosive but moved the offense some.
Kyler Murray had his first 300-yard game of the season. He was 27-of-37 for 380 yards and a touchdown with an interception. He also ran nine times for 31 yards and a touchdown.
Steelers 38, Eagles 29
Fantasy Stud: Chase Claypool. Claypool had a breakout performance, scoring four touchdowns. He actually scored a touchdown in each quarter. Claypool had seven receptions for 110 yards and three touchdowns. He also had three carries for six yards and a score. Claypool is going to be a huge part of this offense going forward. He has really made plays when given the chance.
Fantasy Dud: Zach Ertz. Ertz continues to be the forgotten man in the Eagles passing game. He caught just a pass for six yards. Ertz has four catches for nine yards his last two games. He also has less than 45 yards all but a game this year. You would think he would break out of this at some point but it might be time to start considering other options for your fantasy teams.
Game Notes: Travis Fulgham has emerged as the top target in the Eagles passing game. He had a career day, finishing with 10 receptions for 152 yards and a touchdown. Expect him to continue to play a big role in this offense going forward.
Miles Sanders didn’t get a ton of work at running back but made the most of his chances, breaking off a couple big plays. He ran 11 times for 80 yards and two touchdowns. He also had two receptions for 19 yard, giving him 99 total yards and two scores.
Raiders 40, Chiefs 32
Fantasy Stud: Josh Jacobs. Jacobs got back to his big ways after a few down games. He ran 23 times for 77 yards and two touchdowns. Jacobs had two receptions for eight yards. This was the first time since Week 1 that Jacobs found the end zone. He looked a little healthier and was running with a lot of power throughout the game.
Fantasy Dud: Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Edwards-Helaire had a great matchup but just didn’t do much for his fantasy teams. He didn’t get the work, rushing 10 times for 40 yards. He also had three receptions for 40 yards, giving him 80 total yards. You just expected more from Edwards-Helaire in this prime matchup against a team that struggled to stop the run going into this game.
Game Notes: Henry Ruggs returned to the lineup and made his presence felt. He had two receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown was the first of his career as well as his 100-yard showing.
Travis Kelce caught eight passes for 108 yards and a touchdown. Kelce has 70 or more yards four straight and scores three of five.
Dolphins 43, 49ers 17
Fantasy Stud: Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is on one of his hot streaks. He was 22-of-28 for 350 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. He has 300-yard games three of four and multiple scores three of those games. He also has 26-plus fantasy points four straight games. Fitzpatrick has been a rock solid starter for fantasy teams with his consistent play lately.
Fantasy Dud: Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo was a disaster in his first game back from injury, getting benched eventually. He was 7-of-17 for 77 yards with two interceptions. It was not a good showing for Garoppolo, maybe returning too soon from his ankle injury. It will be interesting to see what the 49ers do at quarterback next week after this terrible game.
Game Notes: Raheem Mostert looked good in his return from a sprained knee. He ran 11 times for 90 yards and caught three passes for 29 yards, giving him 119 total yards.
Myles Gaskin carried the land at running back for the Dolphins once again. Jordan Howard was a surprise inactive, giving Gaskin and the rest of the running backs more chances. Gaskin had 16 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown. He also had five receptions for 34 yards.
Browns 32, Colts 23
Fantasy Stud: Browns defense. The Browns had a very good showing defensively. Cleveland had a sack, two interceptions and allowed 23 points. Plus, the Browns returned one of the picks for a touchdown, which was a huge bonus for the squad. The Colts had just 308 total yards of offense in the game. Cleveland’s defense has really picked it up. The Browns have a top pass rush, a solid defensive line that can stop the run and an above-average secondary. This unit is becoming a must start for fantasy teams.
Fantasy Dud: Philip Rivers. Rivers had an awful showing in this game. He made some poor throws and was picked off two times in the game. He was 21-of-33 for 243 yards with two interceptions. He did not have a touchdown in the game. Rivers has really declined in recent years. You have to wonder if the Colts made the right decision bringing him in.
Game Notes: TY Hilton didn’t have a huge game but it was his best showing of the season. He had six receptions for 69 yards, leading his team in receiving. This was his first game all season with more than 55 yards.
Kareem Hunt got most of the work at running back with D’Ernest Johnson getting most of his carries very late. Hunt ran 20 times for 72 yards while Johnson had eight carries for 32 yards. This doesn’t seem to be quite the timeshare for the Browns when Nick Chubb was healthy.
Cowboys 37, Giants 34
Fantasy Stud: Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott had one of his better fantasy games of the young season. He ran 19 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a catch for 14 yards, giving him 105 total yards and two scores. This was his second multiple touchdown game of the season. Elliott has topped 100 total yards four of five games but is yet to have a 100-yard rushing game this season.
Fantasy Dud: Amari Cooper. Cooper had a rare down game for his standards, catching two passes for 23 yards. He had 80-plus yards every game this season before this one. Cooper also had 16-plus fantasy points all four games before this dud. He’ll be fine going forward but you do have to worry some about his prospects with Andy Dalton his starting quarterback now.
Game Notes: Dak Prescott suffered a gruesome ankle injury during the game. He had surgery and is expected to miss the rest of the year. This is a huge loss for the Cowboys, leaving Andy Dalton as the starter for the team going forward. Dalton played well in relief of Prescott in this one, going 9-of-11 for 111 yards. He led his team to a game-winning score at the end of the game.
Darius Slayton had his best game of the season. He had eight receptions for 129 yards. This was his first 100-yard game of the season since Week 1. Slayton has at least three receptions every game.
Seahawks 27, Vikings 26
Fantasy Stud: DK Metcalf. Metcalf continued his breakout season with another big showing. He had six receptions for 93 yards and two touchdowns. Metcalf has scores all but a game this year and at least 92 yards all five games. He is on his way to a huge season, making big plays on a weekly basis for the Seahawks.
Fantasy Dud: Justin Jefferson. Jefferson came back down to earth after two straight 100-yard games. It was a surprise to see him struggle in a very favorable matchup. Jefferson had three catches for 23 yards. He might continue to be hit or miss like this in an offense that likes to run the ball.
Game Notes: Dalvin Cook injured his groin and was unable to finish the game. He was off to a great start before the injury, rushing 17 times for 65 yards and a touchdown. He also had five receptions for 24 yards. Alexander Mattison played great in his place, hitting the 100-yard mark. He ran 20 times for 112 yards.
Russell Wilson had another three-touchdown game. He has at least three scores in all but a game. Wilson was 20-of-32 for 217 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. He also led the team in rushing, running five times for 58 yards.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Five Hot Plays: Week 7
Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson was dealing with a knee injury heading into the bye week, but now that he's rested, he's ready to go for Week 7 against the Arizona Cardinals. He's the RB8 on the year despite playing in just five games, and he's firmly entrenched as his team's starter. He has 45 more carries than any other Seahawks running back and he's added on to that with 18 more receptions than either of the other two backs on the team. The Cardinals are allowing a healthy 19.7 fantasy points per game to running backs, and Carson has a safe floor as an RB2 with RB1 upside.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf is the WR8 on the year through six weeks, and he's looking to keep that rolling in Week 7 against the Arizona Cardinals. Metcalf is expected to match up with cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, and that's an advantage in favor of Metcalf, who has a decent speed advantage over Kirkpatrick. Metcalf has gone for at least 90 yards in every game thus far, and he's scored a touchdown in four out of five games. With the connection he has with quarterback Russell Wilson right now, he's an easy start in all formats this week as a WR1.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett cooled off in Weeks 4 and 5 after a hot start to the year, but he has a strong chance to bounce back in Week 7 against the Arizona Cardinals. Lockett has seen at least four targets in every game, and he's quarterback Russell Wilson's first or second read on every play. He's catching just under 80 percent of the passes thrown in his direction, and he's been a great threat to all areas of the field over the last three seasons. With players on byes, you can have a good amount of confidence slotting him into your lineups this week as a WR2 in Seattle's high-scoring offense.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods has played well to start the year, as he's the WR10 through six weeks, but his matchup for Week 7 against the Chicago Bears is going to make things very difficult to maintain that pace. The Bears are allowing just 17.4 points per game to fantasy receivers, and Woods primarily lines up outside, where Chicago's two best corners are. The matchup is certainly a difficult one, but Woods has been the Rams most consistent wideout this year as a chain-mover. Because of his consistent target share, he remains in play as a WR2 in PPR leagues, albeit one with a lower floor this week.
The Los Angeles Rams Defense has been one of the better units through the first six games of the season, and they should be able to continue that in Week 7 against the Chicago Bears. Outside of their Week 1 win over the Detroit Lions, Chicago has turned the ball over at least once in every game. They've also given up 11 sacks so far this year. With a couple of good defenses on byes this week, the Rams slot in as a solid top-five option this week. They should be able to keep the score low while generating turnovers and sacks while looking to bounce back from their divisional loss to the 49ers in Week 6.
Los Angeles Rams kicker Samuel Sloman has some heat on him after the team signed kicker Kai Forbath this week, but he's still the starter for Week 7 against the Chicago Bears. This matchup has the potential to be a defensive struggle like it was in 2018, and that could give Sloman more scoring chances if the offense moves the ball consistently enough. If they're able to get the ball into field-goal range, he could put up some points, but the Bears are allowing fewer than 20 points per game to opposing teams. Although four teams are on byes this week, you should be able to find a better option than Sloman in standard-sized leagues.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is well-rested following his bye week, and he'll be looking to continue his quest for an MVP in Week 7 against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are allowing fewer than 17 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, but they haven't faced an outfit like the one Seattle is trotting out. With two top receivers along with a strong leading running back in Chris Carson in tow, Wilson has too many weapons at his disposal. In addition to that, the Cardinals lost star edge rusher Chandler Jones for the season due to injury. They won't be able to generate a consistent amount of pressure, and you'll feel extremely confident with Wilson in your lineups in all formats.
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff has been a low-end QB1 for the majority of the season, but that is not the case in Week 7 against the Chicago Bears. The Bears Defense has been playing lights-out football through the first six weeks of the season, and they haven't shown signs of slowing down. They're allowing an average of just under 17 points per game to the quarterback position. Goff has solid weapons all around him, but this is just a brutal matchup from a fantasy perspective. With four quarterbacks on a bye this week, Goff could be in the streaming conversation in deeper leagues, but you should temper expectations. He should be in the middle tier of QB2s this week.
Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson will be looking to bounce back in Week 7 against the Chicago Bears after a decent performance in Week 6, but it won't be that easy. The Bears are tied for 10th in fewest fantasy points allowed to the running back position, and Henderson remains in a crowded backfield that also includes rookie Cam Akers and Malcolm Brown. Week 6 was the first game that Henderson cleared 50 percent of the offensive snaps this season, and he just barely beat out Brown for that honor. Due to his command of the carries as of right now, you have to slot him in as an RB2 option, but temper your expectations against a strong Bears Defense.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp had a down game in Week 6, and it looks like those struggles could continue in Week 7 against the Chicago Bears. The Bears are allowing just 17.4 points per game to the wide receiver position, and their cornerbacks are playing lights-out. The one advantage that Kupp may have in this game is that he plays primarily out of the slot. With cornerbacks Jaylon Johnson and Kyle Fuller primarily operating on the outside, that gives Kupp the easier matchup against Buster Skrine. Against a strong Bears Defense on Monday night, Kupp should be considered more of a low-end RB2 play. He just hasn't found the connection with quarterback Jared Goff this year yet that his fantasy managers expected.
Cincinnati Bengals DLs Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap are being phased out of the team's defensive game plan, and they're each frustrated with their lack of playing time, according to multiple sources. Atkins was on the field for 18 snaps in Week 6 against the Indianapolis Colts, mostly on third down, while Dunlap was in for 28 total defensive plays.
The Carolina Panthers Defense, though improving and showing signs of efficiency, is not a viable starting option this week. They face the Saints, who have a potent offense consisting of Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Jared Cook, and elite WR Michael Thomas, who could potentially return this week. In addition, the Saints have been the third-worst matchup for fantasy defenses. The Panthers' defense should be on the bench this week.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore should best be viewed as a low-end WR2 for this week. Moore hasn't been the most productive receiver for Carolina this season as Robby Anderson has emerged into a top option. Nevertheless, Moore's role is still decent as he has seen at least four targets in each game. There is no reason to discount the WR's value completely as he has still gotten over 90 yards in three games as well. That's enough to give him starting value against a New Orleans defense allowing the 11th-most points to fantasy WRs.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel is currently dealing with a knee injury and his status for Week 7 remains unclear. Samuel also missed Week 6. The WR has offered very modest value in the passing and rushing game this season, getting no more than 51 receiving yards and 28 rushing yards in any contest. Even if he's active, there are certainly better flex options for this week.
The New York Giants Defense has been better in recent weeks and has another good matchup in Week 7 with a Thursday night matchup with a banged-up Eagles offense. Philadelphia is missing starters across the offensive line and skill positions, and will face the challenge of playing on a short week. Led by cornerback James Bradberry, whose shut down play on the outside has taken away opposing number-one receivers, the Giants are a startable unit in fantasy at Philadelphia.
Carolina Panthers tight end Ian Thomas is well off the fantasy radar heading into Week 7. The TE has only gotten three receptions for 14 yards and a score on seven targets in the past three games. His role is simply not large enough for him to merit good fantasy value.
Updating a previous report, New York Jets QB Sam Darnold (shoulder) saw limited reps in practice, and head coach Adam Gase spoke about it after. 'Right now, we're just saying that all options are available,' Gase said Wednesday, Oct. 21. 'We'll have him on a pitch count.'
Fantasy Spin: Darnold sprained the AC joint in his right shoulder on Oct. 1, and he hasn't played or practice since, with Joe Flacco starting the previous two. Even if Darnold were able to play against a very giving Buffalo Bills pass defense, only fantasy owners in deeper leagues using two starting quarterbacks should even consider him at this point.
New York Giants tight end Evan Engram is off to a disappointing start to the season, but draws another favorable matchup in Week 7. Philadelphia allows the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, though it may not matter as Engram has not taken advantage of other favorable matchups. Engram has not found the end zone this season and has just one game with more than 35 yards. New York completed just 12 passes last week so it's hard to trust anyone in this pass offense. Engram is a risky starter, but does possess upside and can be started in deeper formats.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson is a WR2 this week against New Orleans. Anderson has emerged as the top target for Teddy Bridgewater this season and already has three 100-yard games. He has also seen at least four receptions and five targets in all six games. Given the increasing rapport with Bridgewater along with a large role in this offense, Anderson is a solid starter against a Saints team allowing the 11th-most points to fantasy WRs.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is a QB2 for this week against the Saints. From a fantasy perspective, the QB has been mostly mediocre aside from Week 5 against the Falcons and overall has six passing touchdowns to five interceptions thus far. Though the Saints allow the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, Bridgewater hasn't proven that he can be an explosive fantasy option. Only consider him in two-QB leagues for this week but there are certainly better options based on matchup.