Fluke or Truth: Week 5 Overperformers
Author: Matt Gifford
Welcome back to Fluke or Truth! Week 5 did not disappoint and will definitely be a memorable point of this season as it offered some of the largest fantasy performances we’ve seen in a while. Christian McCaffrey continues to do Christian McCaffrey things, the squeaky wheel (Adam Thielen) got the oil and Aaron Jones was freed. Fantasy teams scored league-high total for the season and DFS required 250+ points to be competitive and 300+ points to even have a chance in tournaments. As the season progresses and more teams move into their bye weeks, it’s important to know which player’s performances you can trust when considering your starting lineup and waiver wire claims. Let’s take a look at some Week 5 top fantasy scorers to determine whether they are the real deal.
Matt Ryan (ATL): 32/46, 330 yards, 3 PaTDs, 1 INT, 3 car, 7 yards, 1 RuTD - 32.90 points
Don’t let the Atlanta Falcons’ 1-4 record affect your perception and outlook for Matt Ryan this season. Ryan has excelled from Week 1 despite the struggling run game and lack-luster defense. In every contest so far, Ryan has thrown for over 300 passing yards and has recorded at least two touchdowns in four of five outings. Although he has had seven interceptions, Matt Ryan is second in passing yards this season, trailing only Patrick Mahomes and has also completed 70.3% of his passes. Another bright spot for Ryan is the playmakers on the Falcons’ offense. With Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley on the outside and Mohamed Sanu in the slot, defenses are kept honest, usually offering an opening spot on the field for Ryan to throw the ball. Additionally, Austin Hooper has emerged as a reliable target and has quickly developed as Matt Ryan’s safety valve. With the struggling defense, expect the Falcons to be in some shootouts moving forward and the offense to be passing late which bodes well for Matt Ryan’s fantasy value. Ryan should be started jut about every week and should have many 20+ point performances to come.
Josh Jacobs (OAK): 26 car, 123 yards, 3 rec, 20 yards, 2 TDs - 27.80 points
As the dust settles from Week 5, Josh Jacobs leads all rookie running backs in productivity and fantasy points. Two of the other top projected rookie running backs this season, David Montgomery and Miles Sanders, have each had their own struggles, whether it is a limited workload or a mediocre offense. Jacobs retains an advantage as the Oakland Raiders continue to trend upward. After a win against the Indianapolis Colts last week and an upset win versus the Chicago Bears in London this week, the Raiders have shown their ability as a contender. Going into London, the Chicago Bears had only allowed an average of 61.5 rushing yards per game and prevented the run-heavy Minnesota Vikings offense to only forty yards on the ground. Josh Jacobs went on to humble the stout defense as he accounted for 123 of the team's 169 rushing yards while tacking on two scores. Supplementing his rushing numbers, Jacobs has began to develop as pass catchers since entering the NFL. With success receiving the ball at Alabama, he has now caught all five of his targets over the past two weeks. Josh Jacobs can easily be a RB2 on your starting roster every week and expect more out of him as his receiving potential improves.
Sony Michel (NE): 16 car, 91 yards, 3 rec, 32 yards, 1 TD - 19.80 points
After five weeks of play, the New England Patriots continue to roll as one of the two remaining undefeated teams in the league. Sony Michel pleased fantasy owners, scoring 19.80 points after holding a previous high of only 11.30 points this season. Is this something we should expect from him going forward? Well, the simple answer is no. First of all, Sony Michel is not a pass-catching running back. Throughout the entirety of the 2018 season, Michel recorded a total of seven receptions and has only been targeted one time this year aside from the three catches in this week's Redskins matchup. So don’t expect 5+ points of receiving production from Michel every week. Additionally, Michel is amongst an always crowded backfield in New England. With Burkhead on his way back from injury and White’s continued presence, Michel’s workload remains slim. He can still be a start at FLEX but understand that he realistically needs to score a touchdown to reach value. With thisweek’s performance, I would be looking to trade him away as weeks like this will be few to none moving forward.
Will Fuller (HOU): 14 rec, 217 yards, 3 TDs - 45.70 points
If this week could be summarized by one player’s performance, it would be Will Fuller. Fuller had an absolutely monsterous performance with over 200 yards and three scores and gave fantasy owners who put him in their starting lineup, slim to no chance of losing this week. Accruing 14 catches on 16 targets, Fuller would tie the franchise record for most receptions in a game and enter into the top 5 list for receiving yards in a game for a Houston Texan. But let’s come back to reality. First off, Fuller has never successfully played through an entire season, now five games into his fourth year, due to injuries. Fuller has suffered hamstring sprains and strains, multiple fractures and most recently, a Grade 3 ACL tear in 2018. With a long injury history, his future health and reliability is always uncertain. As the deep threat in the Texans offense, currently sitting in fourth place for air yards this season, his production has always been boom or bust. Reviewing his stats over his career, he’ll have weeks over 20 points and weeks with five or less points. As far as a weekly start, Fuller is a fluke but expect another game or two this season where he shines once again.
Amari Cooper (DAL): 11 rec, 226 yards, 1 TD - 34.10 points
Another player who needs to be recognized, outside of the team they reside on, is Amari Cooper. After a easy start to the season, the Dallas Cowboys have lost two straight matchups to muh more competitive team in the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers. Despite the ups and downs of this team already this season, Cooper’s production has remained consistent. Since Cooper has assimilated into the offense, he has an established floor of five targets and has already seen two games above 100 yards this season. As the clear WR1, he has definitely showed his ability to generate big plays including a 53 yard score with a memorable spin move this week. Furthermore, Cooper has the pieces around him to make defenses honest. With the explosiveness of Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott’s ability to scramble and Gallup as another downfield threat, Cooper will continue to get his share of opportunities with limited coverage. With a score in four of five outings, Cooper can be counted on to get the points you need weekly with the upside for massive performances. Watch out as Dallas will have a second meeting with the Washington Redskins and New York Giants both of which offer large openings in the secondary.
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