The Good, Bad, & Ugly from Week 5

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Alex Kurpeski 

This was a very good week. My fantasy team scored 214 points and I won 20 dollars on Fan Duel. Let’s talk about football.

The Good

Adam Thielen returns to the WR1 scene

Have a day Adam Thielen! Going off for 130 yards and two touchdowns (in a very favorable matchup against the Giants secondary), we saw shades of the guy that was the top receiver in fantasy during the first half of 2018. While I doubt there will be a return to that same form (this season at least), Thielen has a chance to reestablish himself as a top 10 fantasy receiver if he can continue this level of play in the next few weeks. 

Will Fuller wrecks Atlanta

Will Fuller, the touchdown machine who played like Randy Moss when paired with Deshaun Watson in 2017 and 2018 went into Week 5 with zero touchdown receptions on the year. Something had to give. That something was the Atlanta Falcons defense, who felt so generous that they gave Fuller the third best fantasy receiver performance (PPR) in history. 14 catches, 217 yards, and three touchdowns (3!). While Fuller’s performance was marvelous we must remember that he will not be playing Atlanta every week. Don’t overpay for Fuller yet, as he is due to crash back down to Earth very soon. 

D.J Chark is the real deal

For the longest time I resisted against the possibility of Chark being a legitimate WR1 in Jacksonville. After all, he was nonexistent in 2018, consistently losing reps to bonafide fantasy scrubs like Keelan Cole and Donte Moncrief. Likewise, I had put my “Jaguars breakout receiver” eggs into the baskets of Chris Conley and Dede Westbrook before the season. Through 5 games, Chark has 5 receiving touchdowns and finds himself as the WR3 in fantasy. While I doubt he can sustain this absurd pace, Chark is clearly the receiver to own in Jacksonville. 

“Teddy Two-Gloves” torches Tampa 

“Drew who?” Now I see why the Saints decided to invest so much in Bridgewater as a backup. His 300 yard passing performance (with four passing touchdowns sprinkled in) was Brees-esque, as the offense was run perfectly through all-pro receiver Michael Thomas. It’s nice to see that New Orleans is in good hands while Brees rests up.  

Time to trust Aaron Jones?

For the first time in a long time, the Packers used Aaron Jones as the “bellcow” in their run game. He rewarded the team with four trips to the endzone and 107 yards on the ground. Against a sturdy Cowboys defense, this performance was among the week’s most impressive. If you can still buy Jones at a relatively reasonable price, he has a chance to be a fringe RB1 down the stretch. 

Waiver Wire Warriors of the Week 

  1. WR Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears 
  2. WR Dante Pettis, San Francisco 49ers 
  3. RB Jonathan Hilliman, New York Giants
  4. TE Chris Herndon, New York Jets
  5. WR Albert Wilson, Miami Dolphins

The Bad

Washington, NY, and Cincinnati racing Miami to the bottom 

This week we will find out who the heaviest tank in the league is, as Washington and Miami will play, with the loser presumably being the eventual owner of the first pick in the 2020 draft. However, these two teams have some company in their race to disgrace, as the absolutely awful Jets and Bengals still find themselves winless, with just as few answers to their woes available. Should Cincinnati or New York somehow manage to squirm by Miami and Washington it would certainly make the draft more interesting. 

Mike Evans goose-eggs while Godwin goes off

I don’t understand Mike Evans at all. I love the guy but he’s been about as boom or bust of a fantasy option as a player of his caliber can manage to be. It’s becoming clearer by the day that getting Chris Godwin the ball is as much of a priority as getting the ball to Evans is. If Evans is the WR1 in the offense, then Godwin is the WR1A. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but there will be weeks when Evans loses out on targets because Godwin has the easier matchup in coverage, and vice-versa. 

The Patriots don’t care about your fantasy team

Touchdowns to Brandon Bolden and Ryan Izzo reminded us just why we dislike the Patriots so much in the fantasy community. They’re not gonna throw to their best players in the red zone, they’re gonna throw to the guy that happens to be open. It’s going to be a long road for anyone counting on Julian Edelman or Josh Gordon as their WR1, as neither has been able to get much going (aside from a short Edelman touchdown reception this week). 

Dak dissapoints in big D

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 22: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys on the sidelines as the Cowboys take on the Miami Dolphins in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Will the real Dak Prescott please stand up? Some weeks, this guy looks like the best passer in the league. Then there are games like this one, where he looks lost, throwing terrible pass after terrible pass. It wasn’t all bad for fantasy purposes however, as Amari Cooper was able to rack up over 200 yards receiving thanks to the deficit that the team faced thanks to Dak’s poor start.

The Chargers spiral even further

Losing to the Lions, not great but at least they have a winning record. Losing to Houston, also acceptable but in context a pretty ugly loss. But losing to the Joe Flacco era Broncos? Absolutely pathetic. Something is wrong here, maybe it’s injuries, or coaching, or even Philip Rivers. Whatever it is, these Chargers are in danger of once again falling out of contention due to early season tomfoolery. Heads will roll if this team can’t turn it around, I guarentee you that. 

The Ugly

Mason Rudolph’s injury sinks Steelers offense even further

If you haven’t seen the hit on Mason Rudolph, maybe it’s for the best that you don’t. The young QB was knocked unconscious by a hit from veteran safety Earl Thomas, leaving Develin Hodges as the starter. It will be interesting to see what the team will do if Rudolph missed significant time. Maybe Hodges will prove to be a fine interim starter. Or maybe Jaylen Samuels will take over fully as QB, while the team installs a Wildcat/Triple Option offense. Either way, the playmakers on the Steelers should once again lose value due to the injury at the position. 

Atlanta’s window is closing quickly 

Another week, another ugly loss for the Falcons. From a fantasy perspective, these high-deficit, high-scoring games have been pretty kind to the team’s pass-catchers. However, the run game has been almost nonexistent for Atlanta, so it would be smart to sell Devonta Freeman before he sinks his value any further. It’s possible that this season will be the last time we see this iteration of the Falcons, as Freeman appears to be on his way out the door this off-season. 

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