Giving you Dynasty Football takeaways from 5 games every week
Week 6 edition of the DFF Fantasy 5 Spot brings you 5 games, and 5 takes from each team. Join us each week as we watch and break down the action from a dynasty perspective.
Philadelphia Eagles 28 vs. Carolina Panthers 23 — ShaneSays (@DFF_Shane)
- With Aaron Rodgers presumably lost for the season due to a broken collarbone, Carson Wentz may be the best Quarterback in the NFC.
- QB Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone. There’s a chance he could miss the rest of the season.
- — Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 15, 2017
Calm down Cowboy fans, Dak Prescott in is that conversation as well. On just 30 attempts Wentz threw for 3 more touchdowns and went into to Sunday tied with Rodgers for most in the league with 13. Other than the mental maturation that Wentz has displayed this year the most significant addition to his game is the utilization of him as a runner. After running for 150 yards last season, he already has 133 yards in just six games this season. It can not be understated how valuable those extra rushing yards help bolster his fantasy and real-life NFL value. Watching Wentz develop is a beautiful thing as fantasy football owner, NFL fan and die-hard Eagles fan.
2. Zach Ertz is the best Tight end in football. His 27% target share is the most among Tight Ends and would rank in the top 10 for wide receivers. After being ignored as a scoring option the first four seasons of his career Ertz has already tied his career high in touchdowns with 4. The 6’5” Ertz is finally being used as a red-zone target, ranking 5th in the league with 8 targets in the red zone and 3rd with 4 touchdowns. On Ertz’s second touchdown Thursday night Wentz targeted Ertz at the goal line on a 20-yard strike without Ertz being particularly open. Wentz trusted that his big bodied athletic Tight end to would get inside leverage and also go up and get the ball. And that’s precisely what Ertz did. Best Tight end in the NFL.
3. Doug Pederson is a fan of rotating backs and using specific players for specific roles, but I want to see what LeGarrette Blount could do with 20 + carries. On Thursday Blount went for 67 yards on just 14 carries. I’ve said it before, but Blount looks quick, powerful and decisive and utterly crushes the soul of any defender that tries to tackle him one on one.
4. It was nice to see Mack Hollins again(before leaving the game due to a hamstring). On a night that saw Wentz complete passes to 8 different rreceiversHollins made the most of his targets. He was able to convert his 2 targets into 2 receptions for 38 yards. If you available roster space pick up this kid up and stash him. Consider this season his red-shirt, after primarily being a deep threat at UNC he’s showing he’s much more than that with the Eagles and learning his craft under Alshon Jeffery’s wing.
5. Buy low on Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery had 4 receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown. You can see Jeffery and Wentz are starting to get in synch with each other. A run of WR1 weeks is coming I promise you.
- Cam Newton’s early season struggles seemed firmly planted in the past. Having not watched much game tape of Carolina this season I can’t say how well Newtown was taking to the plan to protect him by limiting his rushes. I can say this. Newton ran the ball tonight, and it seemed to elevate his overall game. I understand the want to protect Newton but taking his rushing ability as a threat seems like a poorly thought out idea. Newton did throw 3 picks, but he also put up 52 attempts while the Eagles D completely shut down the Panthers run game.
- Christian McCaffreyChristian McCaffrey does not look special to me. He has excellent hands, but I can count on one hand the number of times I saw him make someone miss. He went down on first contact on every play I saw him touch the ball. I’m ready to bail and sell high on McCaffery. If you only look at the box-score McCaffery had a hell of a game. 15–22 points depending on your scoring. Digging deeper or actually watching the game tells another story. McCaffery needed 15 targets to get those points; his rushing output was minimal 8 yards on 4 carries. How often can you expect to get a running back to see 15 targets in a game? Not many.
- Devin Funchess had an uneven performance. He made a beautiful catch on the sideline showing great awareness getting both his feet down. But partially due to Newtown’s inaccuracy and his own inability to bring in a couple of catchable passes ended the day converting just 3 of 9 targets for 36 yards. My untrained eye says that Funchess is at best a WR3 and that’s about all he’ll ever be.
- In what seems to be a theme for me this week I have to admit I was wrong about a player. I joined in on all the fat jokes about Kelvin Benjamin this off-season. I lazily bought into the usual narrative surrounding him, he drops too many passes and is an inefficient receiver. Lost in the jokes about his weight and general criticisms of his game the fantasy community lost sight of an important fact. Cam Newton trusts the 6’5” Benjamin without any hesitation. Thursday night saw Benjamin convert 9 of 13 targets for 99 yards. On plays where Cam wasn’t dumping the ball off to McCaffery, he consistently looked to Benjamin to make a play. Including critical 3rd down plays, behind the sticks for some reason, Benjamin was and is clearly Newtown’s favorite receiving option.
- Jonathan Stewart has had a nice NFL career. Based on what I saw on Thursday that career has 10 games to go. He has no burst, didn’t display any power and was completely shut down rushing for -8(that’s a negative) on 4 carries. The Eagles own the 2nd ranked run defense in the NFL, so that played a part in Stewart’s performance, but he still looked washed up to me.
New England Patriots 24 vs. New York Jets 17 — Randy Young (@DFFMemphis)
New England Patriots
- Brandin Cooks continues to look more and more comfortable with Tom Brady and offense in general. Cooks had a season-high nine targets and converted five of them into catches. His 93 yards was his second-best total of the 2017 season. The game was an unexpected dogfight with the Jets and Mo Claiborne, but Cooks looked sharp. The fact that he was held out of the end zone may be the only thing that will allow you to try and acquire him at a somewhat reasonable price.
- You do not hold Rob Gronkowski in check; you merely try to avoid getting embarrassed while playing against him. Gronk recorded his second 10 plus target game of the season. He also had his first multiple touchdown games of 2017. He has now recorded a score in three of five games played this year and had scored double-digit PPR points in four of those same five games. He is an amazing “buy” for contenders and an equally amazing “sell” for those in rebuild mode. He is 100% worth the cost for a team chasing a championship and is also worth a handsome price of rookie picks and young players for an owner looking to cash out their investment in Gronk.
- There is always an odd man out, and today it was Chris Hogan. Hogan’s one catch for 19 yards has to be a disappointment for owners that had become accustomed to the WR1 numbers he’s put up all year. There are going to be days like this in the New England offense, but don’t worry too much. Hogan was held to one catch in week 1 as well. He then went on a four-game run where he posted 22 catches for 280 yards and 5 TDs. Take cheap shot an over-reactionary owner with a short memory.
- Dion Lewis is looking good, and Mike Gillislee is looking like a man that might have lost his gig. We’ve all assumed that Gillislee was the goal line back, but Dion Lewis was the one that converted a one-yard run into a TD today. Lewis’ 11 rushes were only one more rush than Gillislee’s 10. The New England run games continue to be a hot mess for fantasy owners and one that we should all be avoiding where possible. Every one of the New England running backs is equally capable of putting up a monster game as well as a stinker. Good luck if you’re chasing one of these three, and soon to be four, running backs.
- Tom Brady never really kills you, even when it looks like he’s going to kill you. Brady’s 257 yards and two touchdowns with one interception isn’t great, but it won’t be the reason you lose your week either. The man is the GOAT and should be the number one fantasy QB the rest of 2017 now that Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone is as shattered as the hearts of his owners.
New York Jets
- Josh McCown did precisely what you would have expected him to do against the very porous New England defense. He posts a season-high 354 passing yards with two touchdowns. It should have been three, but more on that in a bit. He is firmly on our streamer radar, but probably not next week. He faces a Miami defense that is giving up just 17 points per game in 2017. Keep McCown on your radar and scope his matchups two weeks in advance. Kyle August of the dynastyfootballfactory.com talks about this concept in his weekly, “Waiver Wire Sniping” article. It’s an excellent strategy for players like McCown.
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins has rewarded all of my preseason praise. He had another 11 targets, which is his first double-digit target game of the season. ASJ has recorded a touchdown two weeks in a row and looks to have become the favorite target of QB Josh McCown. He should have had a second TD, but was robbed by a terrible call in the end zone. It’s hard to hoist him into the conversation with tight ends like Gronk, Travis Kelce, and Zach Ertz, but he is getting closer every week. ASJ might be a fellow owner’s second or third TE. Get those offers in now as the price will only rise exponentially.
- A lot of teams have copied the New England Patriots, but why do the Jets have to copy the way the Patriots handle their running backs? Eli McGuire had 22 yards on 10 carries while Matt Forte had the same 22 yards on only nine carries. At least Forte salvaged his day with 8 receptions and 59 yards receiving, especially in PPR formats. Imagine the fun owners will have once Bilal Powell is healthy and added into the mix. Try to avoid this backfield if you can, but hold on until someone gets hurt. It’s not a matter of “if,” but “when.”
- Robby Anderson had a decent little day on Sunday with a season-high four catches for 76 yards. He’s not worth starting unless you’re in bye week hell or injury hell. He’s certainly on a bench somewhere in dynasty, or he should be and is worth a stash on the bench in redraft.
- Jermaine Kearse is the quietest WR2 in all of PPR fantasy right now. His 4 catches for 79 on Sunday should be enough to keep him as a WR2 as well. He’s been a double-digit PPR scorer in four of six weeks as Jet and is someone you can start with some confidence during the bye weeks.
New Orleans Saints 52 vs Detroit Lions 38 — Dan Cook (@seahawksdan8)
New Orleans Saints
- For those of you Drew Brees owners who didn’t watch the game, seeing the score you probably thought: AWESOME, Brees must have feasted! The opposite was true unfortunately 21–31 for 186 yards, 2 TDs, and 2 INTs. The 2 TDs were the saving grace, but the damage was done through the running game and defense. The score got out of hand early so Brees didn’t have to do much this week.
- The running game was excellent as the now two-headed attack of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara dominated the game. Ingram carried 25 times for 114 yards, 2TDs, and caught 5 passes for 36 yards. Kamara carried 10 times for 75 yards and added 4 catches for 12 yards. These two both saw their stock rise with the trade of Adrian Peterson (who looked fantastic today) as the crowded backfield looks like a timeshare that fantasy owners can live with. Ingram should be the lead back and get the goal line work, and Kamara will spell Ingram and get a share of the 3rd down work.
- With Brees not having to throw all over the place, the receivers didn’t get much action. Michael Thomas was mostly shut down as he had 6 targets but only managed 3 catches for 11 yards. Ted Ginn Jr. had the most significant day (4 catches, 66 yards, and a TD), thanks to an acrobatic leap to get his TD.
- Nobody else on the Saints offense is worthy of words, so let’s talk IDP! Kenny Vaccaro had a fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown, an interception, 3 passes defended, and 3 solo tackles on the day. He’s making plays all over the field. SOme may have soured on him, but I still believe he is a DB1 most weeks.
- Vaccaro wasn’t the only Saints defender to have a day. Saints 1st round pick, Marshon Lattimore, caught and returned his first career interception for a TD. Also, Cameron Jordan intercepted Matt Stafford in the end zone for a touchdown and sacked him twice on the day (we told you to start him: IDP Starts Sits).
- Matthew Stafford]/profiler] did everyday Matthew Stafford things. He threw for 312 yards, had 52 attempts, 3 TDs, and 3 INTs. He had passes tipped at the line all day, and the defensive line had Stafford on the move all day. He’s a QB1 even if the 1st half of every game you wonder when he’s going to get it rolling.
- This backfield is one of the more frustrating in the league. Considering Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick were always drafted in the 1st 10 rounds of startups (Abdullah 56th and Riddick 100th in latest DFF ADP Data), owners don’t have much to show for it. This game was not much different, though Riddick had his best game since Week 1. Riddick had 2 rushes for 8 yards and 5 catches for 45 yards. Abdullah had 14 carries for 54 yards, and was targeted twice, but had no catches. I have a couple of shares of these guys, and I can’t start them with any confidence.
- [profiler]Golden Tate made an amazing catch and run (below) in the first quarter and finished the day with 6 catches for 96 yards and a score. He left the game in the 3rd quarter and did not return. Tate, when he is suited up, is always a favorite target of Stafford.
- Today, Matt Stafford was looking for Marvin Jones Jr. a lot. In fact, 14 targets, 6 catches, 96 yards and a TD while being interfered with. Jones has had a few big games but is mostly a WR3 and bye week fill in. If you filled him in this week, then you got a decent day out of him.
- Darren Fells may actually be a thing. 3 TDs in 2 weeks along with Eric Ebron struggling in general means that Fells could actually be the tight end to own here. Albeit in deep leagues like 2 tight end or tight end premium, but still worth a pick up in those formats, especially if it’s best ball.
Los Angeles Chargers 17 Oakland Raiders 16 — Anthony Zaragoza (@ZaragozaAnthony)
- Derek Carr returned against the Chargers this past weekend, after missing last week’s game with a transverse fracture in his back, and looked rusty. Carr went 21/30, 174 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs against the tough pass defense of the Los Angeles Chargers (#4 in pass yards allowed). The offense is still struggling to find their form from a year ago, and Carr looks frustrated. After only throwing a total of six interceptions last season, he already has four this season.
- Amari Cooper is alive. After a three-game stretch that yielded four catches for 23 yards, Cooper responded with five catches for 28 yards. Not stats to go crazy over, but Cooper had two long catches neglected by penalties. This is a good sign for the long-term feelings for fantasy owners.
- Michael Crabtree continues his dominance in the Raiders offense with six receptions, 52 yards and one touchdown in Oakland last Sunday. This gives Crabtree a total of five TD’s this season and on pace for a career year for touchdown receptions. Crabtree is 30 years old but looks like a wide receiver who could give you a couple of more strong seasons before he calls it quits.
- Seth Roberts is the forgotten WR in Oakland. But the former West Alabama star still produces, even in this crowded offense. Roberts caught three passes for 35 yards versus the Chargers. Nothing to go crazy over, but you can see Carr go to Roberts when plays needed to be made. Keep Roberts in mind when you’re thinking of stash-worthy players.
- Similar to Cooper, we finally have a Bruce Irvin sighting. Irvin, who came into the game with 13 tackles and one sack, tied for second in tackles (six) versus the Los Angles Chargers and added a sack on Philip Rivers in this afternoon. The OLB has had a quiet season so far, so this game could be the spark he needed to get his year going.
Los Angeles Chargers
- After torching the Giants last week for over 160 yards from scrimmage, Melvin Gordon took the game over from the start and finished for a Chargers victory on Sunday. Gordon scored two touchdowns, one on the ground and the other catching, and amassed 150 yards on 34 touches. On the afternoon, Gordon led the team with nine receptions versus the Raiders. Gordon looks like he is ready to go on a run this season.
- Philip Rivers threw for 268 yards and one touchdown last weekend in Oakland. In a low scoring game, the Chargers elected to ride the back of Gordon to their second victory of the season. Rivers didn’t have the great fantasy day many had hoped, but he did operate the offense with no interceptions and little mistakes.
- The NFL debut of first-round pick Mike Williams was on Sunday. After missing all of training camp and the preseason this year, Williams caught his only target for 15 yards in the third quarter versus the Raiders. Williams will be eased into the offense this year, but the former Clemson star looks like he can be a strong force in the offense for years to come.
- Hunter Henry lead the team with 90 receiving yards in Oakland. On seven targets, Henry routinely beat Raiders safeties Reggie Nelson and Karl Joseph in route to his five catches. Even though he didn’t catch a touchdown in this juicy matchup, you can tell Rivers trust Henry in crucial times during the game. This is precisely the game Henry needed to jump-start his season.
- The former Jacksonville Jaguar, Hayes Pullard III lead the Chargers in tackles on Sunday with 10. In addition to the tackles, Pullard added a PD and a TFL on his day. Starting his third game of the season, Pullard has increased his tackles in each game this season. Pullard has a nose for the football and looks like he could be the team leader in tackles by seasons end.
Washington Redskins 26 vs. San Francisco 49ers 24 — Michael Stephenson @Mste_DFF
San Francisco 49ers
- Out of nowhere, there is a new QB in town after Brian Hoyer was pulled in the 2nd quarter after going 4 for 11 for 34 yards. Rookie, CJ Beathard did a decent job in keeping the 49ers in this game until the death, he completed 19 of his 36 pass attempts for 245 yards, 1 INT, 1 huge 45 TD in just over a half of football. With the 49ers now 0–6, they are rolling with their rookie going forward. Feel free to drop Brian Hoyer anywhere you have him.
- Apparently, If you want the best out of Carlos Hyde all you have to do is leak out a couple of trade rumors before the game. After a slow start, Hyde became an early favorite weapon for Beathard who targeted him 6 times for 5 catches and 47 yards. Hyde didn’t do too much in the running game, averaging just 2.2 YPC on 13 attempts, but he did score twice on goal-line plunges. Matt Breida resumed his role as the clear backup in San Francisco.
- Pierre Garcon continues to be a target-hog, catching 5 of 12 targets for 55 yards. While he is yet to catch a Touchdown on the season, he continues to be the ‘go-to’ in the passing game. Garcon has been targeted 56 times through 6 games, pay close attention to his rapport with Beathard next week against a beatable secondary when Dallas come to town.
- George Kittle has now had 17 targets through 2 games and caught 11 for 129 yards and a TD. This usage looks like it will continue now that Kittle’s College teammate has just taken over at QB, Beathard targeted Kittle 6 times after taking over in the 2nd quarter. In the desolate TE market usage like this cannot be ignored, get him on your team and start him!
- The 49ers are officially the unluckiest team in NFL History, becoming the first team ever to lose 5 games in a row by 3 points or less. Just 18 points more across 5 games could have seen them 5–1 rather than 0–6. Beathard showed the ability to move the ball well in this game; it is a matter of time before the 49ers win this season. Mark my words, they will not go 0–16 this year!
- Kirk Cousins let this become a competitive game after the Redskins took an early two-score lead. Despite only completing 25 of 37 attempts he put up 330 Yards and 2 TDs with 1 INT. His fantasy day was boosted by his 26 rushing yards including a 7-yard rushing TD.
- The screen pass to Chris Thompson is like an emergency 40-yard cheat code. Thompson was named as the starter pregame, and they were true to their word, He was given a career-high 16 carries for just 33 yards. Thompson took his 4 receptions for 105 yards for his 3rd 100+ yard game of the season. There are going to be dud weeks like week 4, but his upside makes Thompson unbenchable right now.
- Samaje Perine was being touted for a big week with Rob Kelley ruled out and the 49ers being atrocious vs. the run. While he did post his best fantasy output of the season, it was on fewer touches than he’s had all season. It was in the passing game he found his value catching all 3 of his targets for 24 yards and a Touchdown. He was fairly inefficient on the ground taking his 9 carries for just 23 yards. With Chris Thompson lighting defenses up it’s hard to see much of a role of Perine when Kelley returns.
- The TE position in Washington has always been fruitful for fantasy, usually in the form of Jordan Reed, but a mix of injury an inefficiency has seen Reed fail to post a game with more than 50 receiving yards since week 12 of last year.Since Reed’s return, veteran Vernon Davis has been more efficient than him in the past 2 weeks catching 5 passes on 7 targets for 154 yards. This is a muddy situation and is one I will be avoiding, but eventually, the cream rises to the top and Jordan Reed will be once more become the center of this offense.
- It’s time to give up on Terrelle Pryor; he just is not on the same page at Kirk Cousins. Pryor has only caught 16 passes from 29 attempts so far and has only managed 1 game which wouldn’t have disappointed his fantasy owners. (Week 4) There is not a startable receiver currently on the Redskins as Kirk spreads the ball around way too long.
Thanks for reading! Check out our Week 7 articles as they roll out to get you ready for waivers, and start sit decisions.
Originally published at dynastyfootballfactory.com on October 16, 2017.