Week 5 Fantasy Football Workshop: Win Your League
Week 5 Fantasy Football Workshop: Win Your League
Every week in the fantasy football workshop, I will go through all the important news + notes, take a look at any important statistical oddities that can improve our process in fantasy football (and help our rosters) while also posting my rest-of-season rankings. The idea behind this space is to give readers an insight into how rankings are made and for all of us to keep track of players’ values throughout the course of the season.
Week 4 + 5 Fantasy Football News And Notes
-KJ Hamler is not practicing for the Broncos on Tuesday, Noah Fant is expected to miss multiple games and it is unclear if Phillip Lindsay will be able to play this week (though we anticipate him being active). Jerry Jeudy was not the most beloved rookie WR for fantasy football but he is going to have an immediate opportunity to see 6+ targets per game the rest of the way. He is a sneaky buy low candidate in fantasy football.
-Every Buccaneers player on offense is dying, apparently. Leonard Fournette has a high ankle sprain and Chris Godwin/Mike Evans/Scotty Miller/Justin Watson ALL did not practice on Tuesday while OJ Howard is out for the season with an Achilles injury. Cam Brate has a legit chance to be an every-down player on Thursday and is not owned in any format. For my TE-premium grinders in the Scott Fish Bowl and FFPC Main Event, he is a mega-sneaky cheap add.
-With Deebo Samuel healthy, the 49ers have released Mohammed Sanu. This is sort of an interesting time to send trade offers out for Deebo because the 49ers offense has been terrible and Samuel has shown nothing flashy YET. My guess is he can be had below market price in many casual leagues.
– Diontae Johnson has cleared concussion protocol and will be able to play in Week 5 for the Steelers. Holding a 30% target share through 3 games is a pretty solid spot for Johnson and if you buy the Steelers current distributions as accurate, this may be the last time to sell JuJu Smith-Shuster at the top. Personally, I think JJSS will be able to hold even with Diontae for the rest of the season but all aspects of the market do not agree on that point.
-Joe Flacco and not Sam Darnold is likely to be the QB for the New York Jets in Week 5 as Darnold tries to recover from an injured shoulder. This is obviously terrible for the Jets, Jamison Crowder and Jeff Smith but great news for the Cardinals defense as a streaming candidate.
-Given that the Dolphins felt the need to announce that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be starting in Week 5, it is just about time to pick up Tua in your superflex/2 QB fantasy football leagues. Given how much he ran at Alabama, there is a chance that he has a few 25+ fantasy point performances down the stretch that would be very useful to many teams.
– We all love Julio Jones but it might be time to start thinking of him as heading into a different part of his career. The 31-year-old wide receiver has been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury every since Week One and was not able to play in the second half of Monday Night Football with his injury.
– Cam Akers is expected to be back for the Rams in Week 5. With both Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson having forgettable games in Week 4 against the Giants, there has to be some likelihood that Akers gets another audition as the true lead running back for the Rams. He is another quality buy low target.
-We can only hope for good things to happen and it appears that the Titans are abiding as the team has now gone two days with no positive COVID-19 tests. If the Titans are able to play against the Bills this week, that is one potential hiccup avoided and a smoother fantasy season ahead for us all.
– With James White back with the team, Damien Harris off IR and Sony Michel placed ON injured reserve, Rex Burkhead is back to being an ancillary piece of a team whose primary rusher is their quarterback. The 35 point game was great but the back to own in the Patriots backfield, it seems, is going to be Damien Harris.
-Good riddance, Bill O’Brien. The largest fantasy-actionable information here, if we try to glean the cube, is that the over-reliance on David Johnson through four weeks is going to be a thing of the past. The Texans refusal to turn things over to DeShaun Watson fully is why they are in this mess in the first place.
Week 4 +5 Team Level Fantasy Football Analysis And Player Usage Notes
-Last year one of my favorite things in fantasy football was using the Air Yards charts (that are normally found from AirYards.com but with the NFL working through some data issue at the moment, are instead from AddMoreFunds.com for right now) to create something I called the “Unrealized Air Yards” chart as well as “Unrealized Fantasy Points” which was basically just to see how many fantasy points wide receivers were leaving on the field. The formula is not tricky, it is just Air Yards subtracted by actual yards as well as yards after the catch.
This is the table after four weeks of football:
-Some fantasy relevant observations: Marquise Brown is perhaps the best buy low in all of fantasy football at the moment. Massive games are imminent for him. Jerry Jeudy has a huge role for the Broncos with Noah Fant and KJ Hamler dinged and is already showing up as leaving fantasy points out on the field. Tee Higgins and Scotty Miller are two other players who might not appear as great buys but actually have WR3-level usage so far.
-We always knew that tight end was going to be a disgusting position for fantasy this year but the expected points leaderboard from Rotoviz really clearly shows just how brutal it has been. Undrafted players like Dalton Schultz and Logan Thomas being top-10 in expected points while guys like Rob Gronkowski, Austin Hooper and Tyler Higbee are outside the top-20 in expected points really shows the advantage of having spent a pick on Travis Kelce, George Kittle or Mark Andrews (all players who have performed over expectation). Also, you should probably be sending trade offers for Evan Engram and Zach Ertz who really have no been productive fantasy players thus far but have seen loads of opportunity and snaps in every game they have played.
-There have really only been six elite running backs in fantasy this season and truly Alvin Kamara looks like the player who is going to be most highly correlated with winning in 2020. Obviously, there are some great buy lows here: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jonathan Taylor, and Antonio Gibson in particular. There are plenty of games left to be played this season but I think this does highlight the fallacy that just getting a “starting running back” will get you gaudy fantasy point totals. Robust RB drafters are having a tough season.