There was some stat floating around the internet that caught my eye, much like that YouTube video that explains in excruciating detail the sharpest tuna-cutting knife on David Attenborough’s Planet Earth. Now that I’ve lost you in 8 sub-clauses and some exciting tuna talk, I’ll reveal the stat: The Detroit Lions — yes, the Motor City Kitties — were the top-scoring team in the league and had only one win to show for it. Your fantasy teams squealed in delight as Jared Goff and Jamaal Williams — your pre-season all-stars, right? — racked up points and millions of bucks for DFS teams. This week, the Lions faced the Patriots, helmed by the esteemed backup to the backup Bailey Zappe. Shoulda been a slam dunk, right? Well, 161 ground yards by Rhamondre Stevenson later, the Lions got shut out, and Zappe got his first career win, a mere week after nearly felling the great ayahuasca plant that is Aaron Rodgers.
If you find my alliterations abysmal and want all the week 5 reactions from the Fantasy Besties, check out their show on the Razzball YouTube channel at 7:15 Eastern:
Let’s start with some random stats:
|Brian Robinson||9 rush, 22 yards||Outpaced Antonio Gibson’s 6 yards.|
|Jakobi Meyers||7 rec, 111 yards, TD||Bailey Zappe might save your fantasy season.|
|Dyami Brown||2 rec, 105 yards, 2 TD||Our fav last-round pick of 2021 finally shows up.|
|Case Keenum||8 passing yards||Got some playing time after Josh Allen threw for a quarter mile.|
|Jaylen Warren||24 rush yards||Out-rushed Najee Harris|
|Gabe Davis||3 rec, 171 yards, 2 TDs||98-yarder sure helped|
|Breece Hall||97 rush yards, 1 rush TD, 100 rec yards||Jets put up 40?|
|Skylar Thompson||166 yards, 1 INT||The Bailey Zappe of the South.|
|Miles Sanders||15 att, 58 yards||There’s the guy we know|
|Ezekiel Elliott||22 att, 78 yards||Pollard went 8 att/86 yards, yikes|
|P.J. Walker||5/6 for 60 yards||You needed another QB streamer, right?|
Teddy Bridgewater: Well, the one semi-confident fantasy-related thing we could say about the Dolphins’ situation was that Teddy Bridgewater — a veteran signal-caller and all-around smiley Gus — was taking the reins to the Dolphins offense. At least our receivers would be safe! And then something like 5 smiles into the Dolphins game, Bridgewater got slammed into the turf and the doctors felt like they needed to take another look at him for a concussion. This left Skylar Thompson, a 7th-round draft pick, in charge of Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill. Oh and Mike Gesicki, my favorite tight end to draft and then never start. According to my deep-dive research on Wikipedia, Skylar Thompson was one of the top pre-season quarterbacks in the league. Remember the top pre-season rusher DeeJay Dallas? What’s he up to now? Read the article to find out! ENYWHEY. Teddy was supposedly “OK” to return but the doctors wanted to evaluate him further, which makes sense given that they bungled the Tua Tagovailoa situation. If we have more Skylar, I’d put Waddle/Hill down a notch in DFS exposures; we simply can’t give up on them in regular fantasy. Raheem Mostert feasted like me in a Mcdonald’s on Thanksgiving in Bridgewater’s absence, racking up 113 yards and a TD despite the ‘Fins being down throughout the game.
The Jets: So, the Jets had 5 rushing touchdowns on Sunday: 1 for Breece Hall, 2 for Michael Carter, 1 for Braxton Berrios, and 1 for Zach Wilson. Two of those players aren’t running backs, ya dig? Berrios even passed for a touchdown last week, to none other than QB Zach Wilson. What are we supposed to make for this in fantasy? Wish I could tell you. Breece Hall is clearly the #1 back usage-wise in New York, and Michael Carter is holding on to RB2 usage numbers while producing waiver wire outputs. It’s up to you if you want to roll the dice on the Jets — I’m sure the Sharks would — but I think Hall is the only rosterable player from this backfield.
Kenny Pickett: 324 yards in the air for [checks notes] 0 touchdowns and an interception. Well now. Last week I talked about how rookie QBs can be nightmares for fantasy managers. People tend to forget those early games from guys like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson, and other luminaries like Zach Wilson, Sam Darnold, and every other Jets QB. You know who throws 324 yards and 0 TDs? That’s the Derek Carr profile. So grab a cold beverage, bring the beverage into the shower, and spend 30 minutes thinking about your 2024 vision board for your dynasty team while Pickett figures himself out. He’s a backup or streamer for 2022, and a small DFS exposure player, but nothing to get excited about quite yet.
Taysom Hill: Passing TD with 22 yards in the air, 112 yards on the ground with [checks notes] 3 TDs. Gentlemen and lady reader, I present your RB1 for Week 5, the backup quarterback and backup tight end of the New Orleans Saints, Taysom Hill. Also, apparently Taysom is TE4 on the year despite having 1 reception. What position should we give him? And why can’t opposing defenses stop him? I mean, I’m still bitter over the Vikings in week 4 seeing Hill lining up under center and somehow thinking that the guy wasn’t going to run the ball. It’s kind of like when Saquon Barkley lines up in the wildcat — do we really think Saquon is going to launch a ball thirty yards downfield? ENYWHEY. If you’ve got space on your FLEX spot, plug him in and keep your fingers crossed, but don’t be surprised if you get goose-egged. Hill’s done this flash-offense thing so often before — he’s huge for a few weeks and then absolutely disappears for a few weeks. That’s why I love best ball — I can roster Mike Gesicki and Taysom Hill and get zeros on the same week!
Tyler Lockett / D.K. Metcalf: 2 TDs for Lockett, 1 for Metcalf as the reign of terror that is Geno Smith continues to decimate defenses. As Russell Wilson has walked himself out the door of relevance — and we did learn this week that he’s been playing with a partially torn lat muscle — us fantasy managers are saved by Geno Smith. You did add Geno two weeks ago when I told you, right? [stares at Anakin Skywalker] RIGHT? Meanwhile, all of us who were worried about Locket and Metcalf being A) relevant at all, and B) relevant in the same game, have now discovered that C) they are relevant just as they are and that’s all we need to feel happy and secure. Ah, if only I could be as secure in my crypto holdings as I am in D.K. Metcalf’s comforting arms. He comforts the football, all right?
Kenneth Walker III: Walker started out the year with absolutely dismal usage behind Rashaad Penny. However, Penny suffered a fractured tibia on Sunday, and is looking at missing the majority of the remainder of the season. Walker had done very little of note up until week 5, when he put up 88 yards on 8 rushes for a TD. Walker’s a “fine” RB2/FLEX option if you missed out on the Jeff Wilson lottery, which is still somehow going on in 25% of leagues. Oh yeah, pre-season rushing leader DeeJay Dallas got 1 carry for 4 yards, in case you wondered how I feel about the pre-season. Told ya he’d be in here!
Saquon Barkley: As you read 150 words ago, Barkley’s been doing some interesting things in the new-look Giants offense. Even though Barkley missed a chunk of the game while being evaluated for a shoulder injury, he ended up with over 100 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. The Giants were a 10-point underdog going into the game — and if you don’t gamble, the translation is that they were really expected to lose — yet they pulled off a magnificent comeback in London. I dunno what you want me to recommend here — there’s literally warm bodies off the street playing for the Giants. You want to add Gary Brightwell, be my guest — I won’t (Joe) judge you.
Randall Cobb: 7 catches for 99 yards on 13 targets. Sometimes when you get stressed out you go back to your old habits, right? Cobb had as many targets in London on Sunday as he had in his first 4 games combined. Cobb is a statistical avoid — he’s clearly not the future of the franchise, like a Romeo Doubs or Allen Lazard, and Aaron Rodgers had generally avoided him throughout the first part of the season.
Travis Etienne / James Robinson: Much like the portrait of Dorian Gray, when one of them does well, the other looks ugly. After J-Rob looked like he had done the massively improbable and reclaimed the RB1 job in Jacksonville, Travis Etienne seems to be “the guy” for the Jags. At least for now. Maybe it’s a Florida thing — finding a new man every week. Etienne went for 71 yards on 10 carries while Robinson managed 27 yards on his own 10 carries. Another week, another split. We all expected Etienne to be the lead back — he had a third-round ADP, after all — but it’s still surprising and concerning from a fantasy standpoint that no back has truly broken out. It’s tough to say it, but James Robinson is relegated to a FLEX play at best, and he’s probably worth benching in smaller leagues.
David Montgomery / Khalil Herbert: When Frankengomery plays, Herbert stays…on the bench. Herbert got 4 carries to Montgomery’s 12, and Montgomery led the Bears in receiving on Sunday in a surprise come-back game. Hope you moved Herbert while you had time. The Bears came from 17 points down to nearly defeat the Vikings, and I wish I could write that sentence with the least bit of surprise. If 2021 or this week has anything to say about Herbert’s usage going forward, he’s back to being irrelevant.
Rhamondre Stevenson: Damien Harris left the blowout of the Lions with a hamstring injury, and Stevenson took advantage with a wild 25 carries for 161 yards — and 0 TDs! You’ll have to stay tuned to the Week 6 injury report because there were so many intangibles going on in this game that we can’t say that it’s reflective of anything — Patriots are on their 3rd string QB, and the 1A of the committee backfield was injured, and they were playing the Lions, who have allowed 28 or more points in every matchup this year. What, the Lions being awful? Why, I never!
Jeff Wilson Jr.: Because 50% of leagues are abandoned already, and another 25% of leagues fear winning, Wilson has been — much like my work history — “generally available” throughout 2022. I’ve been solving every issue you’ve had for weeks with “drop your guy, add Jeff Wilson.” Even if you came to me asking, “EWB, how do you keep your hair so shiny and slippery?”, I’d still be out here saying, “Add Jeff Wilson.” 120 yards on the ground and a handful of yards in the air and you’ve got your answer to your RB2 woes. And for all of you Zero RB sadists out there celebrating a Rhamondre Stevenson/Jeff Wilson week, I salute you.
Cam Akers: Remember that hot minute when Akers had it figured out? Back to sub-3.0 yards per carry and all of our nightmares are coming true again. Also, I dream of fantasy football, which makes me the saddest person on the planet not named “Baker.”
Rondale Moore: Speaking of all our nightmares, the one, the only — the legend! — Greg Dortch has fulfilled his teleological purpose and given way to Rondale Moore. Moore finished with 7 catches on 8 targets for 68 yards, while Dortch has disappeared into the aether. Tune in to the next five weeks as I repeat this trope with P.J. Walker and Sam Darnold. As much as we would like to say that Dortch’s trip to fantasy relevance will repeat itself in the upcoming weeks, it’s safe to move on. Moore should be a WR3/FLEX going forward.
Let me know how your weeks went down in the comments! If you’ve got questions for Monday Night Football, feel free to jump on YouTube with the Fantasy Besties and see if they can help you get a W.