Stars of Week 5
QB: Deshaun Watson, HOU: 28-33, 426 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs
RB: Aaron Jones, GB: 19 carries, 107 yards, 4 TDs (7 catches, 75 yards, 0 TDs)
WR: Will Fuller, HOU: 14 catches, 217 yards, 3 TDs
TE: Gerald Everett, LAR: 7 catches, 136 yards, 0 TDs
Nothing gets a quarterback back on track quicker than a matchup against the Atlanta Falcons’ morbid defense. Deshaun Watson found the end zone five times, hooking up with Will Fuller for three of those TDs. Watson bounced back from last week’s uber quiet start versus the Panthers, reminding anyone who had forgotten (which was hopefully no one) that he’s a comfortable top 5 fantasy QB. Will Fuller can be a maddening player to own in fantasy, as he’s not a weekly start, but he can go off in any given week. According to Matthew Berry at ESPN, Fuller was only started in 11% of leagues this week. So if you sat him, just know that you’ve got lots of company. Fuller had yet to score or exceed 70+ yards receiving in a game this year, so your decision to sit him was likely justified. Moving forward, consider Fuller a matchup based flex play. Next, Green Bay running back Aaron Jones had one of the best PPR days ever for a running back this past Sunday against the Cowboys. Jones found the end zone four times, crossed the 100 yard plateau rushing while also hauling in 7 passes for 75 yards. We’ll take a closer look at Jones’ performance below. Last but not least, Rams’ tight end Gerald Everett had a career day against the Seahawks on Thursday Night Football, catching 7 passes for 136 yards. This is quite newsworthy for a Rams’ offense that focuses almost exclusively on its RBs and WRs. We’ll examine what Everett’s performance means going forward as well.
Week 5 Takeaways – A Closer Look
Each week we take a closer look at a handful of performances and sort out what such performances mean going forward.
- Gardner Minshew II, QB - JAC: 26-44, 374 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
Analysis: In some respects, one must feel sorry for Jaguars QB Nick Foles, who fled Philadelphia in order to have a chance to captain his own team. Well, after breaking his collarbone in week 1, Foles is in danger of being Wally Pipp’d by Minshew mania. The rookie QB from Washington State has been a revelation thus far this season, breathing some life into a mostly dormant Jaguars’ franchise. Minshew has a sparkling 9 to 1 TD-INT ratio through five games, passing for an average of 256 yards per contest. While Minshew doesn’t have a strong arm, he does have an accurate one. Furthermore, he plays intelligently and reads the field incredibly well for a rookie, going through his progressions. While defenses will continue to adjust to Minshew now that they have considerable film on him, the young QB has the moxie to adjust back and continue to move the Jaguars down the field. Minshew comfortably sits as a QB2, but he’s a serviceable starter in deep leagues (14 plus teams) and a solid fill-in on bye weeks. If quarterback is a weak spot for your team, give Minshew a look – he’s legit.
- Aaron Jones, RB – GB: 19 carries, 107 yards, 4 TDs ( 7 catches, 75 yards, 0 TDs)
Analysis: Each year in my draft guide, I highlight a few players at each position who I feel will outperform their ADPs. Packers’ RB Aaron Jones was one of my favorites for this year, with increased opportunity being the only thing keeping him from becoming an RB1. Jones was stuck in a timeshare with Jamaal Williams, despite averaging more than 1.5 yards per carry over Williams in 2018. Well, with Williams injured, the shackles have finally been lifted off of Jones, and he has run rampant with his new freedom. Jones scorched the Cowboys in both the running and passing game, and his four TDs led both the Packers and most of his fantasy owners to victory. Jones came into the season as an RB2, with the occasional benching in the toughest of matchups. He’s now a full blown, must start RB1 each week. Williams will be back soon, and he’ll siphon off some carries from Jones, but don’t expect the previous relatively even split to continue. Jones should keep at least seventy percent of the snaps going forward, which is enough to carry his RB1 status. Aaron Jones has been freed – enjoy!
- Courtland Sutton, WR – DEN: 4 catches, 92 yards, 1 TD
Analysis: The Broncos have had a rough start to 2019, losing their first four games before coming through with a victory against the Chargers this past Sunday. The team has been in transition over the last year plus, jettisoning leading WR Demaryius Thomas and their entire QB room for the next wave of franchise leaders. QB of the future Drew Lock lies in wait behind Joe Flacco, and once Lock is ready to assume the duties, he’ll be throwing to Courtland Sutton as a primary target. The second year WR from Southern Methodist has had a breakout campaign, with 401 yards and 3 TDs over the team’s first five games. Very importantly, Sutton has been targeted at least 7 times in each game thus far. Flacco has been ok this season, but with improved QB play, Sutton will be a monster. As for this season, Sutton falls into the low end WR2 / high end flex category. He should be in lineups in all but the shallowest of leagues.
- Gerald Everett, TE – LAR: 7 catches, 136 yards, 0 TDs
Analysis: The Los Angeles Rams’ offense featured a 31 lineup in over 90% of their offensive formations in 2018 – meaning three WRs and 1 TE, to go along with 1 RB. Last season’s Rams’ offense was humming until they faced the Detroit Lions, who confronted them with quarters defense. This D divides the field into, well, quarters, where each defensive back is responsible for a quarter of the field. Teams started running varying versions of this defense once the Lions had success with slowing down the Rams’ offense, with the Patriots mastering this setup in route to winning the Super Bowl last year. The Rams’ offense has had to make changes in order to adjust, with tight ends being featured more as one key adjustment. See, I’m going somewhere with this! So, fast forwarding to week 5, the Rams finally utilized tight end Gerald Everett as a top receiving option, as he was targeted 11 times en route to his 136 receiving yards. Everett was also targeted 8 times in week 4 against the Bucs, so this is not a one-off trend. McVay has likely figured out that he’ll need to continue to utilize his tight end more in order to adjust back to league defenses’ adjustments to the Rams’ offense. So in short, this means more of Everett in the passing game. He’s got TE1 potential, so if you need a TE, put a claim in for him.
Rapid Fire Pickups
Each week we’ll throw out potential free agent pickups from each position for deeper leagues, in each case 1) someone who has NOT been referenced above, and 2) a player available in more than 50% of leagues.
QB: Kyle Allen, CAR
RB: Rashaad Penny, SEA
RB: Chase Edmonds, ARI
WR: Jamison Crowder, NYJ
WR: Auden Tate, CIN
TE: Chris Herndon, NYJ