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Truths and Lies - Week 5



By Steve Schwarz | 10/6/21

It’s Week 5 of the season and you should not only be trying to win right now, but preparing for the start of “bye season” which begins next week. Make sure your depth can handle the six teams off in Week 7. Make trades or waiver claims to adjust for your needs now, instead of waiting to the last minute, like everyone else.

Truths

“Fight for your opinions, but do not believe that they contain the whole truth, or the only truth.” – Charles A. Dana

Chase Edmonds

1) Chase Edmonds is averaging more fantasy points than Alvin Kamara.

Fact. Edmonds is averaging 14.9 FPts/G and Kamara 14.5 FPts/G and itís because Edmonds has better receiving numbers. Iím very concerned for Kamara for a couple of reasons. First, under Jameis Winston quarterbacking, Kamara isnít seeing the receiving work we are used to seeing. After averaging 102.5 targets and 81.75 receptions in his first four seasons heís on pace for just 60 targets and 42 receptions in 2021. Even more frightening - he wasnít targeted at all in the game against the Giants last week. Secondly, The Saints are frequently bringing in Taysom Hill near the goal line to run the ball in, instead of handing off the ball to their star tailback. Hill has three touchdown runs from 4, 8 and 8 yards. They used to be Kamara points. Iíd like to sell him now, but that would be ďselling low.Ē The next time Kamara puts up a big total, will be the perfect time to sell because I no longer have long-term confidence in his production at his drafted level.

2) Jalen Hurts and Sam Darnold, are both currently averaging 28.7 FPts/G but only one will stay near the top of the fantasy quarterback rankings.

True. Darnold has amazingly already scored five times with his legs and that canít possibly continue. As an example, Lamar Jackson has never produced more than seven rushing touchdowns in a season. Kyler Murrayís best season is 11. Darnold, on pace for 21 rushing touchdowns, isnít in their class as a runner. Meanwhile, Hurtsí Eaglesí defense has been horrible and based on its talent level will likely continue to give up points in bunches allowing the Philadelphia quarterback plenty of garbage-time points.

3) If you think now is the perfect time to trade Daniel Jones after his 402-yards, two-touchdown pass day in Week 4, you might be mistaken.

True, you could get rid of him now, but you should at least wait one more game. In Week 5 he faces the Dallas Cowboys, who rank 31st yielding 30.9 FPts/G. Unfortunately, Jonesí name doesnít usually get fantasy owners jumping to make huge offers. The alternative? You could hold him in a two-quarterback shared ďQBBCĒ situation as he has a number of very favorable matchups throughout the season. He also has at least five quality guys to catch the ball (when healthy) in Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley.

4) Austin Ekelerís zero-target, zero-catch first game this season was obviously a fluke.

Thankfully, the team came to its senses and since then heís been an integral part of the passing game too (20 targets in last three games). That return to normalcy for Ekeler, along with his 12.5 rushing attempts per game, has him ranked No. 2 behind only Derrick Henry in PPR leagues. Heís completely balanced earning 40.3 fantasy points on the ground and 44.1 through the air.

5) Kenneth Gainwell will be the better Philadelphia fantasy back this season.

I canít help it Miles Sanders fans/owners, thatís just the way it is. Donít blame me because you picked him way too high. The rookie Gainwell is averaging 11.2 FPts/G and starter Sanders is averaging 9.6. Gainwell, a former wideout-turned-running back has better hands and when the Eagles get in ďcatchup mode,Ē which based on the last three games will be often, Gainwell will be the coaching staffís preferred back.

Lies

“The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head.” – Terry Pratchett

1) Hold on to Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

I wish I could say yes, but I canít. CEH has put up solid production the past two weeks (18.9 and 19.4), but Iím concerned that the past two weeks are his ceiling and about his ability to continue at this pace. Heís yet to see 20 touches in a game this season. In fact, for his young career, heís only seen 20 touches four times in 19 starts. And heís never scored more than 20.9 fantasy points in any game Ö ever. Patrick Mahomesí ability to throw, and run, and Andy Reidís innovative play-calling near the goal line all impede Edwards-Helaireís ability to go big. After these past two games at near his career ceiling, itís time to ďsell high.Ē

2) Cordarrelle Patterson canít possibly be a top-10 fantasy receiver.

False. Iíve grown to love the role his playing for the Falcons. Heís the Taysom Hill of receivers because he actually runs the ball (27 times) more than catches it (18 times). Given how poorly starter Mike Davis has performed (3.1 ypc), Patterson will continue to get ground work as a much more explosive runner (4.4 ypc). It gives the inept Falcons offense (ranked 25th of 32 teams at 19.5 PPG) another weapon when heís on the field and they just donít have many of them. Will he be top-five as he is right now (20.9 FPts/G)? Probably not, but he should stay in the top-10 if they continue to use him at this level.

3) DeAndre Hopkins will return to his 2020 production level when he was a top-five fantasy wideout.

Iím just not buying it. In 2020 he ranked fourth at 18.2 FPts/G on 160 targets. Heís not going to see that many targets in 2021. The addition of A.J. Green and drafting of Rondale Moore along with the improvement of Christian Kirk will eat into ďNukísĒ target percentage even when he gets over the rib injury that has left him as a decoy the past few games. Quarterback Kyler Murray is playing so well right now that he isnít forcing the ball to any receiver, not even his elite one, therefore Hopkins may very well see a significant drop in fantasy production from his 2020 level.

4) CeeDee Lamb is still a valuable fantasy commodity.

He has value, but itís fading a bit. Part of the issue is the running game of the Cowboys has exploded both from starter Ezekiel Elliott and backup Tony Pollard. Meanwhile, the past two weeks TE Dalton Schultz has become a weapon (43.8 fantasy points over the last two games). Additionally, the Dallas defense has improved to the point where the offense doesnít need to score 40 every night (they are No. 16 of 32 yielding 24.3 PPG). So, the Cowboys are running more and throwing less. In the first four games of 2020 Dallas threw the ball 201 times. In 2021 Prescott has attempted just 133 passes. Heís still No. 2 behind Amari Cooper, but Lamb will end up producing less than last season.

5) A healthy Rob Gronkowski leading all tight ends in scoring is the biggest surprise at tight end so far.

ďGronkĒ has turned back the clock as his 19.5 FPts/G leads the league, but heís led the league many times in the past. The more interesting production at the position is Schultz (ranked No. 4) and Dawson Knox (No. 6). Schultz first had to beat out Blake Jarwin for playing time, then fight off all the Dallas elite receivers for targets. Heís done that and has caught six balls in three of four games. Meanwhile, Knox has never averaged more than 5.9 FPts/G and has a career-high in receptions of 28 (2019). Heís already caught 15-of-20 targets from Josh Allen for 144 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. Our ďrest-of-the-season valueĒ for Knox isnít great (14th) and Schultz (18th), so if they are available on waivers (Schultz 36% rostered, Knox 48%) thatís fine, but trading for them and giving up talent from your roster is discouraged.