Week 5 Underperformers: Fluke or Truth?
Author: Jair Oglivie
I am starting (and publishing) this slightly late this week and I deeply apologize for that, life has been nuts lately.
Welcome back! If you’re new to this series, this is a weekly piece on fantasy stars that have may have performed below our weekly or season long expectations and it is my job to tell you if that is something that should be expected to continue or if it is simply, a fluke. We’ll be starting off hot this week, with a certain star down in the bayou who may have lost some people their matchups this past week.
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
Line: 6 carries, 24 yards. 3 catches, 15 yards. 6.9 points (PPR)
First off, welcome back Mark Ingram. The former Heisman winner returned with a vengeance on Monday night in a game where the show was stolen, rightfully so, by Drew Brees setting the all time record for career passing yards. Kamara owners were likely very unnerved by what they saw on Monday, but it is important that you guys read what I say right here:
Through 4 weeks before this game Kamara recorded a total of 91 touches or 22.75 per game! That’s nuts for a runningback of his stature and style, not known for being a bruiser. The Saints likely planned this lack of involvement for Kamara on purpose in order to: A) give Kamara’s body some rest and B) get Ingram back up to speed in a plus matchup against a Redskins team that, lets face it, got blown off the field. There is no reason to believe that Kamara’s role is going to continue to be like this in the coming weeks. They are on a bye for week 6 giving Kamara essentially 2 weeks of rest. Be prepared to fire up Kamara in all of your lineups in week 7, with your expectations to see an offense similar to what we saw last season, heavily featuring Ingram AND Kamara. The latter was a league winner (trust me, I know) last season in that role so there’s no reason to worry my friends.
I hesitate to call this performance a “fluke” because this was likely the plan the whole time by the Saints, but it is clearly not the truth, so my options are limited here.
Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions
Line: 5 catches, 42 yards. 9.2 points (PPR)
Here is a player who I believe no one is talking enough about and it’s criminal if we’re being honest. Coming into Week 5, Golden Tate was the 4th ranked wide receiver in fantasy on an offense that also boasts 2 other fantasy relevant wide receivers (Marvin Jones, Kenny Golladay). This game against Green Bay was his first this season where he posted single digit fantasy points, a trend I’ll spoil for you right now, I don’t expect to continue. Golden Tate is a WR1. He will WIN you weeks. He’s got a bye this week which could work to your advantage if you’re a Tate admirer like myself. Is the Tate owner in your league is worried? Send an offer, I promise you won’t regret it. I’m not even going to entertain this anymore. It’s a fluke.
Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans
Line: 2 catches, 15 yards. 3.5 points (PPR)
This spot almost went to Calvin Ridley but, let’s face it, he’s a rookie who had a phenomenal couple weeks. We have to see if that is really who he is or if he just hit a hot streak. No matter how much I wanted the Cowboys to draft him in April (I only cried a lot). The reason I chose Fuller here is because this game against Dallas was the first game he played with Deshaun Watson as a pro where they did not connect for a touchdown pass. The amazing streak of 7 games where they both started and connected for a touchdown ended and even if we all knew it had to eventually, it still was disappointing.
There are concerns now arising with Fuller. Keke Coutee has emerged over the past two weeks and it appears that may be a hit on Fuller’s fantasy value. There is also the issue of Fuller’s hamstring and it would be guesswork if i told you the true status of it. He has remained limited in practice at the time of writing this article. His poor performance against Dallas could be because of the hamstring still bothering him, the emergence of Coutee, or a mix of both. It’s hard to say. What is easier to say, is that I don’t have much confidence in Fuller at the moment when there are more inspiring options available. You may be forced into starting Fuller this week but I would avoid it if possible, especially in PPR leagues. Until we see that Fuller has recovered from his injury and that his role is not threatened by young KeKe Coutee, I would consider benching Fuller in all formats. I’ll say truth for now.
Thanks for reading! The next edition of this series will be back next week. Until then, be smart, don’t panic, and hit that waiver wire.
See ya next week!
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*All statistics taken from ESPN Fantasy