Pittman was trending upwards heading into the draft season this
year and after flying out the gate (9-121-1) in Week 1, he has
sputtered since. His 3-31 on Sunday was his season low, and with
Jonathan Taylor’s injury, someone needs to take the lead and step
up. The Broncos give up 24.3 FPts/G to WRs, the third-fewest in
the league. I think this offense needs to find a way to use its
best weapons to jumpstart the offense and Pittman will be the
With Taylor out for the game, we have to wonder exactly what the
team will get from Hines. Coach Frank Reich said in the offseason
that he would have Hines on his fantasy team. Let’s hope he is
a man of his word against the Broncos. Hines has been a total
non-factor so far this season, 8-11 on the ground and 17-113 through
the air. Maybe he has been pacing himself? He will face a Broncos-D
that gives up 18.5 FPts/G, ninth fewest to RBs. Kind of hard to
have high expectations, so I would steer clear of him this week.
In a play-from-behind game script Sunday, Cox proved to be the
Colts biggest weapon. He tied for the team lead with six targets
and led them with a line of 6-85-2. You should probably temper
your hopes of him becoming a regular contributor. His six catches
were a quarter of his season total from all of last year. He runs
into a more forgiving D that is 20th to TEs, allowing 12.9. FPts/G
but I find it hard to believe his run continues.
IND FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.19
IND FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.15
IND FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.29
IND FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.7
When one door closes, another one opens. With Javonte Williams’
season over, Gordon looks to be the main beneficiary. I like his
prospects, but Mike Boone’s recent emergence might cramp his style
a bit. Gordon is still getting the short-yardage carries, so he
will be the man at the goal line, although they didn’t get to
the goal line on Sunday. A neck injury slowed Gordon (3-8 and
one fumble) and Boone (3-20 and one catch for 9 yards) didn’t
show out either against the Raiders. Gordon does have the inside
track on a team that wants to run and the Colts are 19th against
RBs. He is your man.
The dance continues. Sutton and Jeudy continue to trade places
as the top receiver so far this year. Sutton led the team with
seven targets and had a 5-52-1 line. Jeudy had 4-53-1 to only
remind you it is impossible to try and deduce who will be the
lead every week. They won’t have much to split against Indy
as the Colts tighten up against WRs, allowing 25.5 FPts/G, fifth
best in the league. Maybe neither will be a star, but they both
should be in your lineup every week at this point.
At this point it’s unclear who will play quarterback for the
Giants in London as both Daniel Jones (ankle) and Tyrod Taylor
(concussion) are banged up. No matter which one it is, it’s a
good bet they’ll do a lot of handing the ball to Barkley, who
looks like he may be their lone matchup advantage this Sunday.
With Sterling Shepard (knee) lost for the season, it’s unclear
who the top options are at receiver for the G-Men right now, so
we’ll use James (ankle) as a stand-in for all of them and say
keep all NYG WRs benched.
NYG FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.26
NYG FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.14
NYG FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.30
NYG FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.26
It feels like something is happening in Green Bay right now with
Rodgers starting to put more faith in Doubs. After opening with
a couple of modest outings, the rookie has caught 13 passes for
120 yards and two TDs over the past two weeks -- he also nearly
had a long touchdown grab last Sunday, but the ball squirted away
when he went to the ground in the end zone. Even though Allen
Lazard had the bigger day in Week 5, Doubs looks like a player
on the rise and a definite WR3 candidate this Sunday.
Rodgers played one of his worst halves last Sunday, completing
3 of 10 passes for 38 yards and a pick-six. It got better from
there, though, and No. 12 finished with 251 yards passing, 2 TDs,
and 1 INT (as noted Doubs nearly hauled in a third TD). Green
Bay’s offense continues to go through peaks and valleys
each week, and Rodgers’ numbers have been mediocre. We continue
to see glimpses of the potential, though, and the four-time MVP
could break out at any time. Consider Rodgers a low-end QB1 choice
for the franchise’s first foray to London.
Through four weeks, the top four at the quarterback position
is really no surprise: Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts,
and Patrick Mahomes. But the fifth name on that list? Jared Goff.
No one at the quarterback position is more dramatically outplaying
his draft position than Goff and with one of the league’s best
offensive lines in front of him, there’s a decent chance that
Goff remains a weekly fantasy starter this season. He’s produced
even when he’s been without Amon-Ra St. Brown who might be back
this week, so let’s keep riding Goff as he matches up against
a Patriots defense that has already given up 10 passing touchdowns
through four games - tied for most in the NFL.
Amon-Ra St. Brown was one of the biggest difference-making players
through the first two weeks of the NFL season and he was on his
way to making it three straight big games when he suffered an
ankle injury against the Vikings. He sat out in Week 4, and missed
practice Thursday but may be back here in Week 5. We’ll
have to pay close attention to his status and if the team plans
to put him on a limited snap count, which is why he’s “on
the fence” this week. If we hear good things going into
Sunday, though, he should be back in fantasy lineups as usual.
A hero this past week when Amon-Ra St. Brown sat out, Reynolds
is someone who many managers will be quick to shove back in their
lineups here in Week 5. That might be a risky choice, though,
given that St. Brown is sounding increasingly likely to suit up
in this one. Not only that, but Reynolds is dealing with an ankle
injury of his own that has seen him limited in practice throughout
the week. Reynolds saw just three targets in each of the Lions’
first two games this season and while he’ll certainly still
be involved if he can get on the field, Jared Goff has made it
clear that his top read is St. Brown.
DET FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.3
DET FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.2
DET FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.6
DET FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9
We’re still waiting for the first real big game from Rhamondre
Stevenson this season, but the Patriots running back continues
to impress with the opportunities he’s been given. He’s
now caught four passes in each of his past two games, solidifying
himself as the team’s passing game specialist while also
taking a significant number of the Patriots’ backfield carries.
The Lions have given up the second-most fantasy points to opposing
running backs this season, including a league-most eight touchdowns
to the position, so look for Stevenson to deliver in this one.
Wide receiver Jakobi Meyers missed Weeks 3 and 4 but he could
be back in this juicy matchup against the Lions. Meyers was targeted
19 times in the first two weeks of the season and is clearly the
top pass-catching weapon in this offense, making him a potential
fantasy starter in seasonal leagues even if he’s not expected
to play quite as many snaps as he normally does. The Lions have
given up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers
this season and there really is not another receiver on the team
who’s going to threaten Meyers for targets. We don’t
know who those targets are going to be coming from, of course,
but we’ll just have to hope that whoever is behind center
can key in on Meyers.
Fellow tight end Jonnu Smith is questionable to play this week,
which could lead some fantasy managers to view Hunter Henry in
a more favorable light, but this offense just is not producing
enough for fantasy managers to start trusting the complementary
pieces. Henry has caught just five total passes on the season
despite playing nearly 70 percent of the team’s snaps on the year.
This is a situation to avoid until we see more explosiveness from
this passing game.
The Steelers offense has been rough this season, but two pass-catching
weapons in the offense have stood out. At tight end, Pat Freiermuth
is having himself a nice start and he’s now been targeted
30 times in four games. At a position where half of all fantasy
managers are scrambling for a warm body to put in their lineup,
that’s the type of opportunity that can really make a difference.
The other player who’s seeing significant targets in the
offense is Diontae Johnson who has seen 37 targets in his four
starts. While Johnson has not yet gotten into the end zone, which
has made his season look mediocre, he’s seeing plenty of
passes come his way and some positive regression should be coming
his way in the touchdown department.
The biggest concern with both Freiermuth and Johnson is that
the offense might actually be worse with Kenny Pickett than they
were with Mitch Trubisky. Sure, Pickett gives them a higher upside,
but the downside might also be absolutely horrendous. He threw
three interceptions in his debut this past week, despite not even
starting the game, and that kind of turnover propensity can lead
to an entire offense being bad for fantasy. Against a Bills defense
that’s among the best in the league, that could be an even bigger
A first-round pick in almost every draft, there’s no doubt
that Steelers RB Najee Harris has been a huge disappointment for
fantasy this season. He’s yet to rush for even 75 yards
in a game, he’s only caught 10 total passes, and he’s
only scored two touchdowns through four weeks. Realistically,
though, there just aren’t many teams out there that have
enough depth at the position to even consider benching Harris.
His overall usage (17 touches/gm) remains strong and we’ll
have to hope that Pickett’s mobility causes defenses to
key in on Harris a little less than before.
Rookie WR George Pickens earned his first 100-yard game this
past week against the Jets which is a great sign for his future,
but we need to remain cognizant of the reality that he did it
on just six catches, bringing his season-long total to just 11.
A matchup against an excellent Bills defense makes Pickens and
fellow wide receiver Chase Claypool a very tough start in season-long
PIT FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.16
PIT FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.8
PIT FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.8
PIT FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.18
The Buffalo backfield has been a difficult one for fantasy purposes
for a few years now and much of that has been due to the fact
that they just split snaps so much between their backs. That was
the case early this season, but over the past two weeks, Singletary
has broken away from his backfield mates and he’s playing
almost every meaningful snap for the team. That’s resulted
in two solid fantasy performances in a row, including an impressive
13 catches over that two-game stretch. With the Steelers defense
currently giving up the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing
running backs this season, this is a great opportunity for Singletary
to cement himself as a weekly option going forward.
There’s no doubt that Stefon Diggs is the top pass-catching
weapon in the Bills offense, but this team passes the ball at
such a high rate that there’s plenty of room for complementary
pieces to remain valuable fantasy commodities. Second-year receiver
Isaiah McKenzie has really stepped up in his role over the past
two weeks, having secured 11 receptions for 97 yards and two scores
on 15 targets. He’s facing a Steelers defense that has given
up the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers so
far this season and that’s come against one of the weaker
QB schedules in the league. Josh Allen could have a field day
in this one and McKenzie has a good chance to produce some nice
Gabe Davis was definitely the preferred No. 2 fantasy option
in this passing game heading into the year, but his target share
is now sitting below five percent on the season. Sure, it’s
an extremely pass-heavy offense and sure, he missed a game so
that’s a bit skewed, but still - it’s been brutal
owning Davis thus far. With only four catches on nine targets
over his past two games, let’s give Davis a chance to prove
himself in what should be a good matchup before we trust him in
our lineups again.
The Dolphins offense has taken one of the league’s most surprising
jumps this year, but they will again be without quarterback Tua
Tagovailoa and things just didn’t seem to be clicking quite as
well with Teddy Bridgewater. While that mostly affects the team’s
pass-catching weapons, it also affects the running game and we
saw an interesting shift in Week 4 as Raheem Mostert suddenly
took a huge jump in usage. Mostert and Edmonds had roughly split
snaps through the first three weeks of the season, but Mostert
massively out-snapped Edmonds in Week 4 when the Dolphins lost
to the Bengals. If that trend continues, look for Mostert to again
see between 15 to 20 touches this week, this time in a game that
is unlikely to see them fall behind by multiple scores.
If we’re on the fence about Mostert, it only makes sense to be
fading Chase Edmonds in this matchup. Edmonds is a player who
gave us a lot to be excited about heading into the season, but
his fantasy production has been horrendous, even in PPR formats
where we expected that he’d thrive. Edmonds has caught just eight
passes so far and while he did get into the end zone three times
over his past two games, he’s certainly not some goal line stud
who we can rely on to give us “James Conner 2021” touchdown productivity.
He’s not seeing the field enough to be fantasy relevant in seasonal
formats at the moment.
MIA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.2
MIA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.19
MIA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.10
MIA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.6
It took a few weeks, but it appears as though Breece Hall is
finally happening for fantasy. The Jets running back was out-snapped
in each of his first two games by Michael Carter before playing
nearly identical snaps to Carter in Week 3, but he finally took
over the lead role in Week 4 and that is fairly likely to be the
trend going forward. Hall carried the ball 17 times in the road
victory over the Steelers, but what fantasy managers should be
even more excited about is the fact that he’s now been targeted
28 times on the season - second-most among all running backs,
and only one behind Austin Ekeler. Hall’s abilities are game script-proof
and that makes him extremely valuable going forward.
Tight end Tyler Conklin had his first sub-10-point PPR fantasy
day of the season this past week, but he was still able to secure
three passes for 52 yards against the Steelers. Conklin has been
a surprisingly effective fantasy option at a position that’s
been disgusting to say the least, and he now gets to face a Dolphins
defense that has given up the sixth-most fantasy points to the
position thus far. He’s a solid fantasy starter here in
There was a bit of concern that Garrett Wilson might fall behind
Elijah Moore now that the Jets have gone back to Zach Wilson at
quarterback, but that wasn’t the case at least for one week. Wilson
and Moore both saw season-lows in targets, but Wilson’s six targets
now give him 39 targets on the year compared to Moore and fellow
wide receiver Corey Davis who both have 25. This isn’t likely
to be a great offense anytime soon, but Wilson appears to be the
top option out wide and he’s an explosive playmaker who can turn
opportunities into fantasy production. The Dolphins have already
given up two 100-yard games to young pass catchers this season
in Tee Higgins and Rashod Bateman, and Wilson will be looking
to make it three.
The Jets wide receiver group is very much a three-man show at
this point, with Wilson, Davis and Moore all contributing to varying
degrees, but it appears that the team is most intent on getting
the ball to Wilson as evidenced by their respective target counts.
Sure, Davis has been far more productive on a per-target basis
than Wilson has, but he’s had six or fewer targets in each
of the past three games. There might not be enough passing volume
for any of these receivers to be strong weekly fantasy plays this
season, but we should try to err on the side of volume whenever
I called this one early in the season. RB Cordarrelle Patterson
is headed to IR, unable to physically handle the ridiculous load
the Falcons tried to place on a 31-year old converted WR. Damien
Williams has played in one game, and while Caleb Huntley could
end up being in the mix here, I expect Allgeier to work his way
toward a heavy workload in an offense that wants to emphasize
the run. He’s averaging 5.3 yards per carry in limited work thus
far and has shown and ability to make plays as a receiver. This
Bucs defense has not been the dominant force it’s been in the
past, at least against the run, allowing over 4.0 per carry. Expect
HC Arthur Smith to be stubborn about running the rock with the
rookie putting up RB2 numbers this week.
Pitts is supposed to be the showcase piece in this passing attack,
but it has been anything but so far this season. He has just one
game with more than two catches and 25 receiving yards and has
yet to find the end zone. The Bucs are allowing over 11 fantasy
points per game against TE’s, so if you’ve got him, you’re playing
him. But with an inconsistent Marcus Mariota at QB, Pitts’ ceiling
Tampa Bay’s defense is tough up front with 14 sacks in
the first four games. QB Marcus Mariota struggles with pocket
pressure and has been prone to some ill-advised throws under pressure.
Meanwhile, London goes up against a secondary that is allowing
just 5.6 yards per attempt on the season. London is a weak WR3
play this week at best.
ATL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
ATL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
ATL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.1
ATL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.9
Godwin jumped right back in the fray last week with double digit
targets in his return from injury. If he’s healthy, I expect
a high target share with Brady working the short to intermediate
passing game in a strong matchup against a Falcons defense that
is allowing nearly 26.0 fantasy points per game to WR’s
After announcing his presence with authority in Week 1, Fournette
is averaging 1.5 yards per carry ever since. He has been productive
as a receiver, but with the Bucs’ receiving corps seemingly back
fully intact, I don’t expect a big load for Lenny there, and rookie
Rachaad White is starting to work his way into the game script
now as Fournette works through a hamstring issue. Fournette is
still an RB1 in every league, but you may see a dip in production
coming sooner than later.
Gage was limited to two catches on four targets in Week 4 despite
Tampa attempting just four runs all game. That was due in part
to the return of Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, and with Julio Jones
also likely to be back in the lineup this week, it seems Gage
should be relegated to bench duty.
Forget about Noah Fant, the much talked-about TE who came to
Seattle in the Russell Wilson trade. Dissly is currently third
on the team in targets, receptions, and receiving yards behind
explosive wide receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. He hasn’t
dropped a target yet, going 12 for 12, and he’s also the guy QB
Geno Smith looks for in the red zone with a team high 3 TDs. I
think he’s a sneaky TE1 play this week against a very tough Saints
Penny had his 2022 breakout game against the Lions last week with
157 total yards. But fantasy owners should take note. Penny is
averaging 6.0 yards per carry on the season, and dating back to
2021, he now has five 100-yard rushing efforts and eight touchdowns
over his last 14 games. This week, it will be tougher sledding
against a physical Saints defense, and he’s working through a
shoulder injury suffered last week that has kept him out of practice.
Penny has never been able to sustain success during his NFL career,
so I would have rookie Kenneth Walker at the ready as a handcuff.
Smith has been fine as the Seahawks starter this season. He hasn’t
been spectacular, but he hasn’t been awful. But history
tells us that even on a team that emphasizes running the ball,
he eventually finds ways to stop the flow of the offense. Owners
should not be fooled into thinking he’s an option based
on last week’s breakout against a bad Lions secondary. The
Saints have allowed just three passing TD’s this season
and are yielding just a 58% completion rate and 6.0 yards per
SEA FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.7
SEA FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.4
SEA FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.24
SEA FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.1
Coming into the season, the expectation was that Olave would
be Jameis Winston’s deep threat. He was that early. But last week,
with Andy Dalton under center in place of the injured Winston,
Olave showed an ability to work the underneath routes and find
the soft spots in zone coverages. I don’t know who’s playing QB
for the Saints this week (Dalton likely), but Olave’s performance
last week tells me that it doesn’t matter when it comes to his
fantasy value, and with Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry both
banged up, Olave figures to be a primary target once again this
week. He should pile up some significant numbers against Seattle’s
young corners and makes for a solid WR2 play.
Kamara is still working through the rib injury he suffered at
the very beginning of the season. You may remember I told you
back then that these types of injuries are tough and can linger,
and here we are. He was a surprise inactive last week, but even
when he has played, he hasn’t been the same, averaging just
4.0 yards per carry and 4.0 yards per catch without a single TD,
and he’s yet to post 20 total touches in a game.
Hill had just five carries for 21 yards last week, and he’s
got just one catch on the season. It’s clear that HC Dennis
Allen does not have the same creative gene that Sean Payton possessed
when it comes to finding ways to insert Hill’s athleticism
and play-making abilities into the game plan.
The Jags are allowing over 22 fantasy points per game to wide
receivers, and let’s face it, Cooks is about the only one the
Texans have. Cooks has seen significantly more targets (36) than
Nico Collins (21) making him the only viable fantasy wideout on
the team. He’s only averaging 53 yards per game, but he could
serve as a low-end WR2 in PPR leagues, and if he scores, he’s
a solid play as a WR3 this week.
Burkhead’s 21 targets are tied for second on the team, as are
his 16 receptions. He’s averaging just over 6.0 yards per catch,
but seems to be building momentum as the receiving outlet for
QB Davis Mills out of the backfield. He has clearly lost any chance
at the RB1 role, though. So, unless his target volume picks up
considerably, or he becomes a factor in the red zone, he’s nothing
more than a weak flex option right now. But, the situation bears
We had some hope that Mills would make the big Year 1 to Year
2 jump in talent, smarts, and experience. He hasn’t, at
least not through the first four weeks of the season. He has four
INT’s and a fumble in the last two weeks and was sacked
four times in last week’s game alone. His completion percentage
is up, but he has been reduced to quick outlet passes on many
throws just to avoid pressure.
HOU FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.23
HOU FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.1
HOU FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.23
HOU FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.17
Last week’s game was an anomaly. Playing in a quagmire, there
was little in the way of offense against the Eagles, especially
with QB Trevor Lawrence repeatedly giving the ball away. Over
the first three weeks of the season, Robinson averaged 17 carries
per game, and despite the presence of a healthy Travis Etienne,
has dominated snaps and carries out of the backfield. He’s also
a top consideration in the red zone with four scores over the
first three games. I expect a bounce back game against the Texans
for Lawrence, which should balance out the defense and give Robinson
some running room, especially late in the game.
Jones is second on the team in targets, receptions, and receiving
yards, and that’s even with missing Week 4 with an ankle injury.
If he’s healthy (which it looks like he may be), he’s a double-digit
target candidate and a WR3 this week. If he’s not, handcuff him
with Jamal Agnew (6-73-2), who filled Jones’ shoes nicely a week
Given HC Doug Pederson’s creativity as a play caller, I
expected a big role for Etienne this season. He’s so versatile
on the field as a runner and a receiver. But through four games,
James Robinson has nearly doubled him in rush attempts (59-34),
and the speedy Etienne is averaging less than three targets and
just two receptions a game.
The Tennessee passing game has been predictably brutal this season
and they’re likely about to be without first-round NFL Draft pick
Treylon Burks this week. This is not great news for the offense
as a whole, but if there’s a bit of silver lining, it might come
in Robert Woods’ potential target share. Woods has seen a 27 percent
target share over the past two weeks, resulting in his first two
double-digit fantasy point games of the season. Woods hasn’t yet
done anything exciting, but this very well might be the week as
he faces a Washington defense that has given up the third-most
fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, including
allowing at least one receiver on each team they’ve faced to rack
up over 90 yards against them.
It might be tempting to stream Ryan Tannehill this week given
the injuries at the quarterback position throughout the league,
but this offense is in full “give it to Derrick” mode.
Henry has carried the ball 44 times over the past two weeks while
Tannehill has passed it just 48 times, both resulting in Titans
victories. Even though the Commanders have given up the eighth-most
points to opposing quarterbacks on the season and they’re
holding opposing RBs to the seventh-fewest points, it’s
reasonable to expect that the Titans will again be giving us a
slow-paced, grind-the-clock offense that will result in very little
fantasy production for the quarterback position.
TEN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.5
TEN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.29
TEN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.4
TEN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.2
It’s been a less-than-exceptional start to the 2022 season for
Terry McLaurin, including a horrible 3.5-point fantasy day for
him in Week 4, but this matchup against the Titans might be just
what fantasy managers have been hoping for. Tennessee has given
up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers on
the season and with both Curtis Samuel and Jahan Dotson looking
questionable to play, there’s a real opportunity here for McLaurin
to become the featured weapon that he’s been in the Washington
offense over the past few seasons.
Curtis Samuel has been one of the more surprising breakouts of
the early season, but he’s dealing with some sort of illness
this week that has held him out of practice through Thursday and
is now threatening to keep him out of Sunday’s game entirely.
We’ll have to pay close attention to what the coaches are
saying and the practice reports to get a better idea of how things
are working. A less-than-100-percent Samuel might be someone who
fantasy managers will want to sit. If it sounds like he’s
good to go, though, feel free to start him as usual in what should
be a juicy matchup against a bad Tennessee secondary.
Running back Antonio Gibson now sits at a paltry 3.3 yards per
carry average on the season and with only six receptions over
his past three games, he’s become an afterthought in the
passing game once again. Gibson has touched the ball at least
13 times in every game and is clearly the team’s goal line
back (at least for now), so it’s tough to completely fade
him, but this offense is looking like one that’s going to
be tough to get running back production out of here in 2022.
While J.D. McKissic remains the Commanders’ pass-catching
running back and might end up playing additional snaps if the
team is without Curtis Samuel and/or Jahan Dotson, the upside
that he presents just is not enough to make him a strong fantasy
play at the moment. The Titans have only given up 71 total receiving
yards to opposing running backs through four games this season
and there’s almost no possibility that McKissic suddenly
becomes a threat in the running game.
It’s still too early to tell if Montgomery will return
in Week 4 after missing last Sunday with ankle and knee problems,
but even if he does you have to figure Herbert will remain an
important part of the offense. The second-year back has rushed
for 234 yards over the past two games, and he’ll be facing
a Vikings defense that ranks in the bottom 10 of the NFL with
131 yards per game allowed on the ground. Obviously, Herbert would
hold much higher value if Montgomery were out, checking in as
a viable RB2. However, even in a complementary role he offers
flex appeal with upside.
Chicago’s passing game has been nothing short of abysmal
this season with the club averaging less than 100 yards per game
through the air -- that is 42 yards per game lower than anyone
else. There was at least some positive momentum in Week 4, though,
especially for Mooney, who gained 94 yards on four receptions
after entering play last Sunday with 27 total receiving yards
over the first three games combined. Obviously, there’s
a risk given those early numbers, but there’s also some
upside if you want to roll the dice on Mooney in a flex role.
CHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.20
CHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.13
CHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.32
CHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.23
A lot of the Week 1 luster has come off Minnesota’s offense,
even though they’re off to a 3-1 start. In his last three
games, Cousins has averaged 251 yards passing while tossing four
touchdowns and four interceptions. It’s middling production
at its finest. Cousins managed just 337 passing yards in two games
against Chicago last year, though it’s debatable how much
that means given both coaching staffs have changed. The Bears
have been solid defensively, albeit with an asterisk since, as
aside from Aaron Rodgers, they’ve faced some subpar QBs.
Cousins is hit or miss as a low-end QB1.
Thielen has seen his production tick up each week this season,
starting with a quiet 3-36-0 line in Week 1 and growing to last
Sunday’s 8-72-0 in London. Despite an upward trend, the
veteran still feels more volatile than in season’s past,
and you’d be hard pressed to consider him an integral part
of the offense. With only three teams having allowed fewer passing
yards than the Bears (168.5 per game), it’s iffy that the
Vikings will produce more than one playable fantasy wideout in
Everyone should know the book on Williams by now. If not, just
look at the first four games of 2022. Two games of over 110 yards,
and two games of less than 20. The common thread has been where
the games were played. Both of Williams’ big outings have
come on the road where Herbert is riding a seven-game streak of
passing for more than 300 yards. This Sunday, the Chargers travel
to Cleveland. We all know how volatile Williams’ production
is, but this looks like a good week to trot him out as a WR2.
Everett has been a nice signing for the Chargers, providing the
pass-catching presence at tight end they never quite got from
Jared Cook. The offseason addition has hauled in 13 passes over
the last three weeks, and he has topped 50 yards in all but one
of the Bolts’ four games this season. If Allen (hamstring) returns
this week, though, it may mean a drop in looks for Everett. Even
with that possibility dangling over the matchup, Everett could
be a starting option at a tight end position that’s short on reliable
LAC FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.13
LAC FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.3
LAC FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.9
LAC FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.20
It took a couple of games, but Njoku has started looking like
the player Cleveland spent heavily on to retain in the offseason.
The sixth-year pro has 14 receptions, 162 yards, and a touchdown
in the past two weeks, as he has joined Amari Cooper as the most
reliable options for Jacoby Brissett. While he hasn’t reached
no-brainer status, yet, what was written above about Everett applies
here as well: there simply aren’t that many tight ends putting
up decent numbers, so you’d be well advised to plug Njoku into
your lineup and hope the hot streak continues.
Cooper has been the most hot-and-cold receiver this side of Mike
Williams on the young season, topping 100 yards in Weeks 2 and
3 while managing just 26 yards combined in Weeks 1 and 4. As it
happens, he’s got the reverse split of Williams, with Cooper
doing most of his damage in Cleveland, which is where the game
will be in Week 5. We’ll see if the trend continues, but
Cooper holds enough potential to be played as a WR3 this weekend
against the Bolts.
Wilson is averaging well over 5.0 yards per carry over the last
three games and has two games with 15+ carries. He has taken over
the reins as the RB1 in HC Kyle Shanahan’s run first attack, against
a Panthers team that is allowing over 4.0 yards per carry and
has been run on as much as any team in the league (131 attempts).
He’s a solid RB2 pickup in this matchup.
Jimmy G has been efficient since taking over for the injured Trey
Lance. He’s completing about 60% of his passes for a respectable
8.0 yards per attempt, and he’s thrown a touchdown pass in all
three games he’s played. However, we all know this is not a high-volume
passing attack, so in a good matchup he’s probably only a low
end QB2. This week, even that takes a hit. I expect the Niners
to lean on the run game hard this week, so Garappolo might have
a tough time even getting to 20 attempts this week.
Kittle has yet to surpass 30 yards receiving in either of the
two games he’s played since returning from a groin injury,
totaling just six catches on nine targets. To make matters worse,
he’s taken on more of a blocking role with OT’s Trent
Williams and Colton McKivitz both lost to injury. He’ll
be in run blocking mode against in Carolina this weekend.
SF FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.32
SF FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.31
SF FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.27
SF FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.28
This time last year, backfield mates McCaffrey and QB Sam Darnold
were tearing up the league. The same can’t be said for McCaffrey
and Baker Mayfield this season. With the QB struggling, McCaffrey
is seeing more stacked tackle boxes and working hard for every
inch on the ground, leading to yet another injury (thigh). But
he has at least 100 total yards in each of the last three games,
so he’s your RB1 as long as he remains healthy, but he’s clearly
a Round 1 draft bust at this point.
Moore is one of the most talented WR’s in the NFL, but
playing with yet another struggling passer in Baker Mayfield,
Moore has been relegated to disappointing WR3 status. His 6-50
receiving line last week was unfortunately his best of the season.
He had no more than three catches in any game prior to that.
This ship has sailed. Since his 100-yard day in Week 1, Anderson
has yet to surpass three catches or five targets in a game and
he’s barely averaging 12.0 yards per catch. He is off the
radar until further notice.
Volume has been king for Lamb so far this season. He has averaged
11 targets a game and 16.1 FPts/G which is tied for 12th amongst
WRs with Ja’Marr Chase. Cooper Rush be damned; they have been
feeding him and I don’t expect things to change. Yes, any match-up
with the Rams means Jalen Ramsey, but LA has been very generous
against WRs, allowing 47.9 FPts/G which is 31st in the league.
Turn it up and have a day, CeeDee!
Dallas is going to run the ball and Zeke will be the main protagonist.
His name is still a famous one, but he is only averaging 9.1 FPts/G.
He is getting 15 carries a game, which increases the likelihood
that he might break out in this one. Los Angeles and Aaron Donald
do not mess around on the ground and are allowing a paltry 13.8
FPts/G, tops in the NFL. It seems like other parts of the offense
might be feasting this week, so Zeke isn’t one to get too excited
In his first game back from injury, Gallup reminded the team
what it is like to have another high-quality target. He found
the end zone but the rest of his line wasn’t great, 2-24
on three targets. You have to wonder about him getting into a
rhythm with a new QB in Cooper Rush. This might take a week or
two to establish. As previously stated, the Rams are open for
business in the defensive backfield so the door could be open,
but I am not quite sure if I can let Gallup in yet.
DAL FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.28
DAL FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.21
DAL FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.26
DAL FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.24
Matthew Stafford has started a bit slow this season, but you
would never guess by looking at Higbee’s stats. On Monday night,
he got 14 targets that produced a 10-73 line. He is still the
league leader in targets at tight end and continues to be one
of the only consistent weapons offensively for the Rams. Dallas
is only allowing 8.35 FPts/G so he will have to earn his keep,
but I like my chances with the number of looks coming his way.
The running game never got on track Monday night, which only
produced more questions regarding Akers after the game. He led
the team with eight carries, but could only muster 13 yards. Darrell
Henderson had seven totes for 27 yards and also had three catches
to Akers’ zero. After it looked like Akers had things locked
down in the lead-back role, we are back in a week-by-week situation.
Dallas is middle of the road against the run, 13th in points allowed,
but Akers workload is in question.
Welcome back to the “Fade” portion of the column,
Allen. If you remove his 4-53-1 output in Week 2, Robinson is
averaging three points in his other three games. On Monday night
he had six targets to produce a 2-7-0 line and you could have
easily forgotten that he was even on the field. I think life is
a meritocracy, and he could get things back on track, but that
seems overly optimistic at this point. He should remain as a fade
until a pattern of production is produced.
The Eagles are being rewarded for believing in their guy. Goedert
took over after the team traded Zach Ertz to the Cardinals last
season and is proving to be an asset. He is averaging 11.5 FPts/G
and five targets a game in the high-powered Eagles offense. He
has to be excited about this week as he faces an Arizona team
that is 30th in the NFL against TEs, allowing 20 FPts/G.
It looks like Miles Sanders has found his groove. At least he
found it last week. The Eagles love to run by committee, but Sanders
took over Sunday and rumbled for 27-134-2. He has hit double figures
in three of the four weeks and is averaging a robust 16.3 FPts/G.
I think he is a must start at this point, but Philly’s love
of multiple RBs and multiple RBs scoring TDs, always gives me
pause. Limit your expectations.
Hold on tight, it’s the DeVonta Smith ride! It has been
a tale of two games for Smith so far this season. In the two good
games he averaged 22.9 FPts/G and in the two bad games he averaged
2.3 FPts/G. What’s it going to be this week? The Cardinals
are stingy against the pass, allowing 30.2 FPts/G which is the
eighth best mark. A little consistency would help here, but he
is giving me motion sickness. I look for A.J. Brown to have the
PHI FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.25
PHI FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.17
PHI FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.20
PHI FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.21
It’s payback time for Ertz as he gets to square off against
the team that traded him away last season. He has been rejuvenated
so far this year and has been a consistent outlet for Murray,
averaging 7 targets a game and has scored in double figures every
contest so far this season. Philly is allowing the 12th fewest
points to TEs, but I have to imagine he has something special
waiting for his former employers when they arrive in the desert.
Is the mobile Murray back? His 12 carries on Sunday equaled the
run total of his first three games combined. People might have
been happier if he would have gained more than 26 yards, but people
should be pleased with progress. He will have to incorporate everything
in his bag of tricks this weekend as the Eagles are super tight
against QBs, only allowing 9.6 FPts/G, third fewest in the league.
I hope he is running for designed plays and not his life, so I
am on the fence about him this week.
It was good to see Conner back in the lineup on Sunday after
dealing with ankle issues. He paced the team with a 15-55 line
and caught three passes. The problem with Conner is he just hasn’t
broken through yet. His ankle injury hasn’t helped matters,
but he is only averaging 3.2 yards per carry and 10.8 FPts/G.
I don’t get the sense a breakout comes Sunday against the
Philadelphia-D getting in their groove. The Eagles are 17th against
RBs, allowing 21.1 FPts/G. I think his scuffling start continues
and the breakout is delayed another week.
After opening the year with back-to-back five-catch showings,
Hurst picked up a groin injury in practice before Week 3 and managed
just four receptions over the past two games. The silver lining
is that the Bengals are coming off a mini bye after playing on
Thursday night in Week 4, so Hurst has had extra time to get right.
Perhaps we’ll see the tight end rebound to pre-injury levels
this Sunday, which gives him fringe TE1 value.
In terms of snaps, Boyd has been on par with Higgins most weeks.
The production is nowhere close, however, with the former No.
1 receiver now relegated to third or fourth read on most plays.
A year ago, Boyd topped 50 yards receiving in a game seven times.
Through four weeks this season, he’s done it once. Baltimore’s
last-ranked pass defense provides some hope that Boyd can deliver
a decent return as a flex play, but he’s a risky option
at this point when everyone is healthy.
CIN FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.27
CIN FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.22
CIN FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.22
CIN FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.14
Dobbins’ second game of the season went better than his first,
as he led the team in carries (13), tallied 63 total yards, and
scored both of Baltimore’s touchdowns. His snaps increased as
well, while Justice Hill (hamstring) picked up a hamstring injury
-- it is not thought to be too serious, but there’s no guarantee
Hill plays in Week 5. The balance here is projecting Dobbins’
increasing role with Cincy’s top-five run defense. Pencil him
in as a borderline RB2/RB3.
Bateman (foot) is currently day-to-day with a foot injury, and
though it may not be enough to keep him on the sidelines in Week
4, it could slow him down. It has been feast or famine with the
second-year wideout thus far, as he averaged better than 25 yards
per catch in each of his first three games but has just 11 receptions
on the season. With modest usage and an injury designation, Bateman
is no better than a flex.
It’s amazing how much work you can get done when nobody
is in your way. Jacobs has seized the RB position and showed what
he is possible last week. He had 28 carries for 144 yards and
two touchdowns. He added five catches for 31 yards just to pad
the stat sheet and lead the Raiders to their first win of the
season. His hot streak should continue against the Chiefs who
have been porous against RBs, ranking 28th and allowing 27.6 FPts/G.
The underwhelming 2022 by Darren Waller continues. Three catches
for 24 yards on Sunday was his second straight week he scored
six points or less. The fact that he has only received 5 targets
in each of those contests makes for a credible argument why his
production is down. Is Davante Adams getting too many targets?
Are they running the ball too much? Waller has more excuses than
TD catches at this point. The Chiefs are middling against TEs
and rank 23rd, so maybe this is the week he finds his rhythm,
but I am not holding my breath.
LV FPts Allowed vs. QBs: No.4
LV FPts Allowed vs. RBs: No.10
LV FPts Allowed vs. WRs: No.13
LV FPts Allowed vs. TEs: No.12
CEH looked the part of a lead-back Sunday night. He had 19 carries
for 92 yards and a TD in the Chiefs win. He has not scored less
than 14.9 points in a game this year. Most folks would complain
about only one catch for 2 yards, but when it is for a touchdown,
all is forgiven. He faces a Raiders squad that allows 23.3 FPts/G
which is 23rd, so look for Clyde to not break his stride.
It remains a status quo week for JuJu. He had a solid, but unspectacular
week of 5-46, which is just slightly below his season average
of 9.9 FPts/G. He has yet to score a touchdown which has people
thinking for the fifth straight week, “This will be the
week he breaks out!” JuJu is averaging almost 7 targets
a game, so the volume is there, so is this the week? The Raiders
allow 34.7 FPts/G which is 20th, but I need to see it. I don’t
see a change. Same as it ever was.
There was some scuttlebutt about McKinnon potentially starting
to cut into CEH’s production when McKinnon was averaging
seven touches through the first three games. I think you can put
that narrative away, at least temporarily. Isiah Pacheco had 11
carries for 63 yards Sunday night to McKinnon’s two carries
for negative one yard. Andy Reid will keep us all guessing, but
the preseason buzz about Pacheco might be beginning to become