NFL Week That Was: Week 5
Glenn Colton takes an in-depth look at the past week of the NFL season and how everything turned out for fantasy football owners.
Adam Thielen : He reeled in seven catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday’s win over the Giants. Yep, that is more like it. For all the worry about Thielen, he does have four touchdowns in five games and is coming off two straight 1,200+ yard/90+ catch seasons. What is really telling however is that Thielen vastly outperformed Stefon Diggs . There was a narrative coming into the game that Diggs, who skipped practice this week in apparent protest of the game plans, would get fed the ball to appease him. It did not happen. Diggs was targeted only four times, resulting in a 3-44 stat line. On the year, Diggs has topped three receptions only once. Once. Thielen is clearly the Vikings wideout to own in 2019. Stated another way, with Dalvin Cook getting a ton of touches and Thielen being the prime target, there are not many touches left for Stefon. Act accordingly.
Teddy Bridgewater : You want to know how bad the Bucs pass defense is? Well, Teddy Bridgewater lit them up for 314 yards and four touchdowns. Yep, that Teddy Bridgewater . Before Sunday, Teddy had thrown for four touchdowns exactly one time – four years ago. Do not get me wrong, Teddy’s comeback from that devastating knee injury is amazing. However, he is not an amazing quarterback. The Bucs just made him look that way. Kyle Allen and Marcus Mariota both become sure thing fantasy starters when they get their turn against the Bucs in the next two weeks. If you need a bye week replacement, you know what to do.
Le'Veon Bell : The Jets are not good but Bell is. He puts up the fantasy points even on bad days. Sunday against the Eagles, Bell rushed for only 43 yards. However, his seven catches for 45 yards means that even without a touchdown, he put up over 15.5 PPR fantasy points. That is not too shabby for a bad day. He has only one touchdown in four weeks. He will score some touchdowns. In those games he does, he will be in the 20+ point range, if not higher. Again, his team is bad, but he has real fantasy value – value that his current owner may be overlooking.
Gardner Minshew: Ok, I buy it. Minshew put up a strong fantasy performance Sunday throwing for 374 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 42 rushing yards (the equivalent of another passing touchdiwn in most formats). The Saints will be a huge test next week though, and they are not as scary on the road. However, after that, the Jets and Bengals are on the schedule. Sign me up for those tasty matchups. There are a lot of reasons for optimism but think about this – Minshew has not thrown an interception in his last four games. That is pretty good for a rookie who was never supposed to see the field. Moreover, he has a special connection with D.J. Chark . I can see those two lighting up the fantasy scoreboards many times this year (at least until Nick Foles gets back).
Deshaun Watson : Last week we wrote: “The highly touted quarterback once again failed to throw for even 200 yards on Sunday, completing 21 of 33 for just 160 yards and no passing touchdowns. This is the second time in four games, Watson has failed to throw for 200 and failed to complete a touchdown pass. Fear not for all is not lost. First, Watson has rushed for a touchdown in three of his four games and remember, in most leagues, quarterback rushing touchdowns are worth 1.5x passing touchdowns. Second, his upcoming schedule is mouth-watering: Atlanta, KC and Oakland are three of the next four opponents. If you own Watson, hold. If you do not, this is a very good time to quote the above “bad” stats and try to buy low. [Final note – for those who like to look forward to these types of things, week 16 shows Tampa on the schedule for the fantasy title game. I know, too early but it is fun to think about.]” Yeah us. Actually, Yeah Watson. All the Houston quarterback did was complete 28 of 33 passes for 426 and five touchdowns. Oh, and he added 46 yards on the ground as well. Lesson learned. Matchups matter and the Falcons are one of the tastiest. Kyler Murray , Jared Goff and Russell Wilson are lined up to shred the birds in the next three weeks. Wilson will not be available in yours or any league, but the other two might just be undervalued and available for a cheap price in your league. Check it out.
Final Note: Worst kept secret – I am a Cowboys fan. Observation: The roof is not caving in. Bad start with a tipped interception set the whole game rolling in the wrong direction. Cooper catches that ball, the whole complexion of the game changes. So, if you are a Cowboys fan or a fantasy owner whose team has hit a rough patch, do not panic. Now, that said, I have to call out Jason Garrett for the boneheaded move of drawing a 15- yard penalty. Yes, maybe the ref had a trigger temper. Yes, maybe it was unwarranted. However, you are the HEAD COACH. You cannot put your team in a hole. Ok, rant over. Good luck in Week 6 and good luck to all those Yankees, Astros, Twins, Rays, Dodgers, Nats, Cards and Braves fans whose teams are still in the hunt for a World Series title.