Fantasy Football
Photo Credit: Panthers Wire - USA Today

Week 5 across the National Football League is all but finished, except for one final game Monday night, as of the time that this is written. Now we have to go back and review what happed to our fantasy football teams and the things we can learn from it. With the number of players that put up high productivity, it’s almost inevitable you matched up against one or two of them, unfortunately. Here we take a more in-depth look at some of the studs and duds of Week 5.

Week Winning Performances

Will Fuller

Week 5: 16 targets, 14 receptions for 217 yards and 3 touchdowns – 52.70 points

Will Fuller put not only your fantasy football team on his back, but the entire Houston Texans team as well. What is even more surprising is, it could have been better! Fuller was stopped at the Atlanta Falcons one-yard line twice and at their seven-yard line as well.

Kenny Stills being declared out before the game meant that the Texans’ wide receivers would see an increased share. Some thought this could be the time for second-year WR Keke Coutee to step up and get a more significant role. While Coutee did have a decent game, 4 receptions for 72 yards, no one Sunday compared to Fuller. According to the PFN Offensive Share Metric (OSM), Fuller was the third-best graded WR at 48.00. 

Fuller was likely a start/sit choice for some owners on Sunday, and if a better option was there, he was benched. Moving forward, expect this to change as Fuller showed the type of athlete he is and should be in more starting lineups moving forward. 

Christian McCaffrey

Week 5: 19 carries for 176 yards and 2 touchdowns & 9 targets, 6 receptions for 61 yards and 1 touchdown – 47.70 points 

I don’t think you could find a person who means more for their team than what Christian McCaffrey means for the Carolina Panthers. McCaffrey is scoring at a historic level right now. Not only is he the number one running back in both standard and PPR scoring, but he is also number one overall for all of fantasy football.

After Sunday’s massive game, McCaffrey now sits with 159.6 points overall. Want some context on how good that is? Since 1950, there have only been three better starts to a season through five games. Jim Brown, in 1958, had 176.7 and again in 1963 with 167.8 points, and Priest Holmes in 2002 had 169.3 points. If you are on a list with some of the best to ever play the game, you are doing something right. One of the most significant contributing factors for this is the fact McCaffrey never comes off the field.

Heading into Week 5, McCaffrey had played in 97.6% of the Panthers’ offensive snaps. Every week he is a mismatch for the defense and also your opponent in fantasy football. Ride this for all its worth because this doesn’t come around very often. McCaffrey finished Week 5 with a 22.04 OSM grade, good enough for fifth-best among qualified running backs. He is as close to a lock as it gets to be in this range every week. 

Aaron Jones

Week 5: 19 carries for 107 yards and 4 touchdowns & 8 targets, 7 receptions for 75 yards – 49.20 points

On paper, this game seemed set up for a monster day for Ezekiel Elliott, but Aaron Jones stole the show. The Green Bay Packers were missing on offense both star wide receiver Davante Adams as well as fellow running back Jamaal Williams due to injuries. Jones took over Sunday, not only being the workhorse in the running game but also leading the Packers in targets as well. If it weren’t for Jones’ fantastic performance, the Packers would have struggled as the team just seemed to lack any explosiveness anywhere else.

This is the running back fantasy football owners were thinking he could be when drafting him, but questionable usage has derailed that. Hopefully, this game showed to Packers head coach Matt LaFleur what his backfield could look like when using Jones as the focus piece rather than a committee approach.

Solid Performers

Chris Godwin

Week 5: 9 targets, 7 receptions for 125 yards and 2 touchdowns – 31.50 points

Chris Godwin is the WR1 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After now back-to-back 2 touchdown games, Godwin is the number one WR in both standard and PPR scoring for fantasy football with 120.10 points. Part of this success could come from Godwin playing in the slot and getting somewhat better matchups. Mostly it is just the volume he sees more than anything. Currently, Godwin is on pace for 134 targets. I’m not saying this pace will continue for the season, but moving on, Godwin is a WR1 from here on out. 

Michael Thomas

Week 5: 13 targets, 11 receptions for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns – 41.20 points

Week 5 set season-high marks for Michael Thomas in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. He also equaled his season-best of 13 targets this week. What is so impressive about Thomas is that his stats haven’t taken a sharp decline moving from future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees to Teddy Bridgewater. Sitting currently at number two in PPR scoring, it makes you wonder how dangerous will he be when Brees comes back. Week 6 has the New Orleans Saints taking on the Jacksonville Jaguars. Be sure to see if Jalen Ramsey will be playing as this would be his most likely matchup.

DJ Chark

Week 5: 11 targets, 8 receptions for 164 yards and 2 touchdowns – 36.40 points

There’s a player or two every year that comes out of nowhere that gets snagged off waivers that can win your fantasy football leagues. DJ Chark looks to be that guy this year. With 485 yards and 5 touchdowns on the season, Chark is almost a WR2 in fantasy football. Gardner Minshew has shown he can put the ball where his wide receivers can have a chance to come down with it, and his trust in Chark makes that connection even better.

There are several skills it takes to play fantasy football. Are you a good drafter? A good trader? Do you make the most of waivers and your start/sit decisions? While we all want to say yes to all of those, we have our strengths and weaknesses. Chark is a prime example of knowing when something isn’t just a fad and knowing how to use your FAAB or your number one waiver claim correctly. 

Notable Mentions: Teddy Bridgewater, Adam Thielen, Tyler Boyd, Deshaun Watson, Josh Jacobs, Allen Robinson, Marlon Mack 

Week 5 Disappointments

Mike Evans

Week 5: 3 targets – 0 points

Somehow in a week where Mike Evans was healthy for the entire game, he walked away with just as many catches as he entered. The concerning part of this is Jameis Winston‘s inability to have both Evans and Godwin be relevant in a single game outside of Week 4.

So far, in three out of five weeks, it has been Evans on the outside looking in compared to Godwin with only one poor performance in Week 3 where he injured his hip. If a player is losing me more weeks than he is winning, I don’t want them on my team in redraft formats. I would have no issue trading Evans after his next solid game for a more solid option for your fantasy football teams. 

Stefon Diggs

Week 5: 4 targets, 3 receptions for 44 yards – 7.40 points

Week 5 was the Minnesota Vikings best passing week of the season and yet still nothing for disgruntled wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Fellow WR Adam Thielen got the majority of the work in the air, catching 7 receptions for 130 yards and 2 touchdowns. Rumors over the past week have been swirling around Diggs and his relationship with the team. What will come from them is anyone’s guess. Moving forward into Week 6 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Diggs is a high end WR3 with upside due to his talent. 

DeAndre Hopkins

Week 5: 8 targets, 7 receptions for 88 yards

Deshaun Watson threw for 5 touchdowns, and the Texans put up 53 points, and yet DeAndre Hopkins didn’t find the endzone. Hopkins’s slow start is a huge concern for anyone who drafted him in the Top 6 overall of drafts this year.

Week 5 marked four straight weeks of Hopkins not getting a touchdown. Week 1 was the only game in which he went over 100 yards. Next week the Texans play the Kansas City Chiefs, and if this doesn’t change, owners will be going into full-blown panic mode. Conversely, this could make for an exciting buy-low if you do have an owner panicking if you decide to take that risk. 

Tyler Eifert

Week 5: 4 targets, 2 receptions for 14 yards – 3.40 points

Sometimes the process doesn’t equal the results. Tyler Eifert was the chalk play of the week going against the Arizona Cardinals, who had given up a touchdown to opposing tight ends in every game this year. Playing Eifert this week was the correct thing to do, whether you won or lost because of it. Trust your process and the data. These instances happen as frustrating as it is. 

Notable Mentions: Lamar Jackson, James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, Le’Veon Bell, David Montgomery, Julio Jones, O.J. Howard 

Be sure to follow us on twitter @PFN365 to stay up to date with all things around the NFL. Also, continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis while also visiting our Fantasy Football section for more coverage and our weekly rankings for both standard and PPR scoring. 

Are you looking for information on a specific player? Check out our weekly rankings for both PPR and Standard scoring leagues.

Tommy Garrett is a writer for PFN covering Fantasy Football. You can follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.

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