Week 5 fantasy football leaders
No matter Week 5 win, lose or draw, by the time fantasy owners read this, most will be researching top Week 6 waiver wire targets to know. So, I created the optimal waiver wire roster from Week 5 leading scorers.
Although they lost to the Colts, the Chicago Bears soft schedule is shaping up to be Brian Hoyer’s golden ticket into fantasy relevancy. In fact, I’m so confident, I’ve started him back-to-back weeks. He’s completed 77 percent of his passes for 399 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions over his past two games. Hoyer faces the Jaguars pass defense next. While Jacksonville’s defense has improved, it has allowed eight passing touchdowns in four games.
Speaking of the Bears, Cameron Meredith’s career-best effort against the Colts came with two fumbles, one lost in the Bears’ territory, which resulted in a Colts fourth-quarter field goal. He’s lost two fumbles on the season, but 12 targets in Week 5 are hard to ignore. With Kevin White on injured reserve, Alshon Jeffery requiring so much attention and Eddie Royal playing hurt, I believe Meredith has carved out a healthy role moving forward.
Matt Asiata finished Week 5 with 17 touches – his most since December 2014. The 14 rushes for 55 yards (3.9 YPR) isn’t going to rock the fantasy world, but 55 rush yards plus three receptions for 46 yards should be enough to raise an eyebrow or two.
Plus, Vikings' running back committee member, Jerick McKinnon, swung and missed on a career-high 20 carries in Week 5.
In fact, since Adrian Peterson was injured, McKinnon has posted two clunkers and one where he shredded the Giants. The good news for his investors is that he’s enjoyed an uptick in carries in each of the past three games. Just don’t expect that total to eclipse 20 carries per game with Asiata lurking.
Over the past two games, Sammie Coates has caught 12 passes on 18 targets for 218 yards. One of his two Week 5 touchdowns was good for 72 yards. So, let’s toss out the go-route reception as an outlier; Coates still caught five passes for 67 yards with a touchdown. What was once Martavis Bryant’s, then Markus Wheaton’s, for one week Eli Rogers’, may actually belong to Coates and his owners.
Don't look now, but Bilal Powell is consistently cutting into Matt Forte's workload.
Forte averaged 25.7 fantasy points per game through the first two weeks. In the previous three games, he’s averaged less than 50 rush yards and 7.6 fantasy points per game. During the same stretch, Powell has averaged 45 receiving yards, six receptions and 12.1 fantasy points per game.
At some point Stefon Diggs will return, but will Adam Thielen still have a seat at Sam Bradford’s target table? The third-year receiver out of Minnesota State has done this before; he’s flirted with fantasy owners in the past. Two years ago, two final stat lines read four receptions for 57 yards and three receptions for 68 yards with a touchdown and in 2015 he finished a game with six receptions for 70 yards and a score. It’s just never been consistent. So, when we see seven receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown, it’s easy to get excited, but I don’t know if he’s earned the benefit of the doubt quite yet.
Owners of Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard continue to pull out their hair on a weekly basis. Look at the game totals over the past four games:
However, I think there's a plan of attack to feel good about. Over the next three weeks, the Bengals play the Patriots, Browns and Redskins. To keep pace with the Patriots' offense, I think Gio Bernard carves out a role in PPR leagues as a low-end RB2, but more worthy of a FLEX role. In games against Cleveland and Washington, Jeremy Hill is in a great position to thrive. After the Ravens game, the Redskins now allow more than five yards per carry and the Browns rush defense can be exploited in a balanced attack. Hill and Bernard remind me a lot of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart back in the day with the Panthers, but owners can still find opportunities to slide them into their starting lineups.
Philip Rivers isn’t married to just one of his, what seems like, 20 receivers. A week after Dontrelle Inman caught seven passes on 11 targets for 120 yards with a touchdown, Rivers targeted Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin 17 times. Inman saw three targets. Benjamin and Williams combined for 12 receptions and 234 yards with a touchdown. Plus, both Chargers’ tight ends, Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates, scored against the Raiders. With no Keenan Allen, Rivers is going to spread the love.
With Latavius Murray sidelined (turf toe), DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard and Jamize Olawale split touches three ways. However, Richard is starting to gain a little bit more traction in PPR scoring leagues. The eight carries for 31 yards aside, Richard caught six passes for 66 yards. Washington caught five for 29 yards. Murray only has two games over the past 20 where he caught more than five passes. In the active lineup or not, the timeshare in the Raiders’ backfield is here to stay.
DeAndre Hopkins’ owners were sweating out another clunker in Week 5.
After that, Hopkins finished with four receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown. Fantasy football doesn’t have to be pretty. It’s a results oriented competition.