Fantasy “Believe it or Not?”: Knee-Jerk Reactions After Week 5

Fantasy “Believe it or Not?”: Knee-Jerk Reactions After Week 5

by October 14, 2020 0 comments

Five weeks down, and the 2020 NFL season remains a rollercoaster for fantasy managers. Uncertainty on a Tuesday, choosing backup players, and rescheduled games have riddled the schedule of late. These issues are likely to continue, so keying on valuable free agents and strengthening your bench is of utmost importance. Likewise, there are valuable streaming options for any last-minute changes.

It is time for another entry into the annals of “Believe it or Not?” As always, these players are less of a deep dive. With that said, it is important to examine whether to buy into the hype of some popular free agent additions headed into Week 6.

Remember when JuJu Smith-Schuster was the de facto No. 1 option in Pittsburgh?

Chase Claypool has taken over that role, right? He had a coming-out party on Sunday, hauling in seven catches on 11 targets. 110 yards later, he had found paydirt three times and added a rushing score for good measure. His 11 targets were more than double that of Smith-Schuster, who only got five looks from Ben Roethlisberger. Something special is going on in Pittsburgh and we are seeing a “changing of the guard”.

So, do we believe it or not?

Tempting, but impossible to go all-in without knowing the extent of the back injury suffered by Diontae Johnson during the game. Claypool is a great story and certainly worth a flier in leagues with unlimited moves, but without knowing about Johnson, he is not worth any significant amount of FAAB. If the Steelers’ receivers are healthy, he becomes a gimmick player. Lest we forget that before Johnson’s injury, Claypool had six catches on nine targets in the first trio of games before his breakout. Of course, this all changes if Johnson is expected to miss significant time.

Remember when Le’Veon Bell was the starter in New York?

Ageless wonder Frank Gore is about to do his usual act, you can just feel it. Sure, it is the abysmal New York Jets. However, for fantasy managers searching for a starting running back to bridge a gap between injuries (and were not able to land Alexander Mattison), Gore seems like a logical choice.

So, do we believe it or not?

No sir. This might be the ugliest backfield situation in football. Gore has lost a step, Kalen Ballage has been cut, and La’Mical Perine got precisely zero carries against Arizona. Expect Gore to get the start but after managing just 2.3 yards per carry last Thursday, the most intriguing option moving forward is Perine. If Adam Gase sticks around longer than many expect, you would think he may be anxious to put his fourth-round pick on the field to see what he can do. Perine was slow at the combine (4.62 40-yard dash) but had many huge runs while at Florida. He could be worth the gamble, but again, this is a Jets offense that is playing from behind often.

Remember when the Broncos played on Thursday Night?

It seems like ages ago, but it was just last Thursday. Tim Patrick showed out, catching six of seven passes thrown his way for a total of 113 yards and looked good doing it. 40 of those yards were on one touchdown reception. He is the real deal and should be able to continue putting up big numbers down the stretch. Patrick is a must-add.

So, do we believe it or not?

This is a buy, especially for fantasy managers with lower waiver priority looking for a receiver. Courtland Sutton is done for the season, and Patrick put up these numbers with Brett Rypien under center. He was on the field for 76 percent of the offensive snaps and displayed some nifty route running. The Broncos will be willing to design plays for him and Drew Lock is likely back this week or next. This Sunday, they face a Patriots defense that is talented but has surrendered nine passing touchdowns in four games. It gets even better going forward: Dates with the Chargers, Falcons, Raiders, Dolphins, and Saints are still on the schedule and Denver has already head their bye. Believe that.

Remember when Austin Ekeler went down?

Joshua Kelley is still the back to own in Los Angeles, isn’t he? Sure, he got four less carries than Justin Jackson on Monday, but Jackson has not even taken the ball into the end zone thus far. Not only that, but Kelley also has the pedigree and the big body to mash through the line of scrimmage at will. With the Chargers on bye in Week 6, Anthony Lynn is about to game plan for the talented rookie.

So, do we believe it or not?

Absolutely not. The veteran asserted himself over the rookie on Monday Night Football. Not only did Jackson get the start, he out-snapped Kelley 59 percent to 33 percent. The rookie has had several designed plays from the pistol offense, and seems comfortable there, but it is simply not feasible to run it often in the NFL. On Monday, he managed just 2.64 yards per carry while Jackson racked up 4.73. Kelley also was on the field for few passing situations (one target) and was rarely called upon to block for a rookie quarterback behind a decimated line. For his part, Jackson did block, and caught five-of-six targets. He is still available in 56 percent of leagues while Kelley is likely rostered. Look for more of the same from Jackson after the bye week.

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Covering NFL, MLB, Fantasy Sports, and NCAAB. Cincinnati raised, Los Angeles resident with a stop in Philadelphia in between. Joe Mixon truther, fan of "The Answer". Joey Votto is an international treasure.

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