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Truths and Lies - Week 5

By Steve Schwarz | 10/4/23

The bye weeks are here and significant injuries continue to pile up. This is why you drafted for depth. Later in the season, when we get closer to the playoffs, you can trade off all that depth to put out your best starting lineup and finally grab the championship ring.

Byes: Cleveland, LA Chargers, Seattle, Tampa Bay


“Every single player matters. Every single player can change the course of a game.” - Bill Belichick

1) “Ultimately, the team has to come first even though we all have individual goals and preferences.” – Bill Belichick

True. Many fantasy owners were disappointed in Jahmyr Gibbs’ usage in Week 4 after seeing 18 touches in Week 3, but Head Coach Dan Campbell has to do what is best for HIS team… not your fantasy lineup. David Montgomery saw 34 touches against Green Bay (34.1 fantasy points) and the Lions won by two touchdowns. I’d like to tell you that Gibbs will take over this backfield this season, but I can’t. As long as Detroit keeps winning they aren’t going to change their strategy no matter how much fantasy owner complain. Dynasty leagues can be patient and Gibbs will eventual rise to the top.

2) Two big names are likely to be activated this weekend, but only one is worth taking a flyer.

A shortened suspension for internet gambling means Detroit Lions’ 2022 first-round draft choice Jameson Williams (No.12 overall) can play this week, while the Colts’ Jonathan Taylor had his 21-day window activated on Monday. Williams practiced with the team during training camp and should be ready to go as a deep threat, but Taylor was a disgruntled contract holdout over the summer and I’m not expecting him to be in uniform for Week 5.

3) The Christian McCaffrey trade was the biggest “steal” since the Great Train Robbery of 1963.

Fact. Carolina traded McCaffrey in October 2022 for a 2023 second-, third- and fourth-round pick (Brenton Strange, Darnell Washington and Nick Herbig) and a 2024 fifth rounder. In exchange the 49ers received the best running back in the league, who has scored 17 times in 15 games, and averages 106 yards-per-game from scrimmage. He’s averaging a league-leading 30 FPts/G.

4) Of the three rookie starting quarterbacks, Carolina chose the worst of the three.

At least for this season… yes. Bryce Young (13.1 FPts/G) is well behind C.J. Stroud (22.4) and Anthony Richardson (24.4) in production. The Texans have better receivers for Stroud and he’s throwing 38 times a game. Meanwhile, Richardson is looking a little bit like Cam Newton when he runs, though he’s not as good a passer as Newton was as a rookie (Newton threw for 4,051 yards and averaged 27.6 FPts/G).

5) I’m still not sold on Justin Fields despite his monster 35.3 fantasy points against the Broncos.

Fact. It was Denver, the team which gave up 70 points the previous week. They were still shell shocked from the experience. But the Bears are in the middle of a five-game span facing bad pass defenses and Fields should be fine for the next four opponents: Washington, Minnesota, Las Vegas and the Los Angeles Chargers. The Broncos rank last allowing 29.3 FPts/G and the remaining four rank, 25th, 24th, 23rd and 31st, respectively. If you want peak trade value for Fields, wait until Week 9. Or by then he may have “sold” us on his ability to continue playing at a high level after a slow start.


“Former Bucs coach John McKay when asked about his team’s execution (they had lost 26 games in a row over two season)… said, “I’m in favor of it.”

Jahan Dotson

1) Stumbling Jahan Dotson, Brandin Cooks and Elijah Moore can turn it around after a slow start.

Sorry, no. I’m ready to punt on these guys. After catching seven touchdowns passes in 35 receptions last season, the world (and I) thought Dotson could keep up that pace… he couldn’t. Dotson has one touchdown catch in four games this season despite seeing more targets-per-game (5.1 to 6.3). Cooks ranks fifth on the Cowboys in total targets and is averaging a career-low 8.3 yards-per-reception. Finally, Moore has seen plenty of targets (29), but is also averaging a career-low in yards-per-reception (8.7) and hasn’t scored.

2) Falcons’ pass-catching duo of Drake London and Kyle Pitts can still be fantasy-worthy this season.

False. At least not with their current quarterback and offensive strategy. Desmond Ridder is only throwing 29.8 times a game and has completed just 74 passes over four games. Plus, Ridder’s top target is running back Bijan Robinson with 19 receptions, not the wideout or tight end. In fact, the backup tight end, Jonnu Smith, has more receptions than either London or Pitts.

3) Of the current top-10 wideouts based on FPts/G, Nico Collins is the most likely to drop out.

I’ve got to say false. Collins finally has a quarterback who can find him and he’s producing a stunning 19.5 yards per reception which is third overall, but leads all receivers with at least 10 catches. Stroud appears to be the real deal, so Collins could continue at this pace. For me, the correct answer is Mike Evans. I will likely never trust quarterback Baker Mayfield and Evans has to share targets with talented Chris Godwin. Also, Evans suffered a slight hamstring “issue” in the last game and wideouts with leg problems should concern you.

4) “Buy low” on Deshaun Watson.

Sorry, no. He’s a quarterback with a shoulder problem. He’s a quarterback, who even when healthy, hasn’t returned to the impressive production of his Houston days. He’s also throwing less than he did in Houston (30.2 down from 32.4), his completion percentage is down significantly (67.8 to 60.3) as is his yards per attempt (8.3 to 6.5). He’s just not the flamboyant “gunslinger” he was for the Texans. I’ll have to pass.

5) Jordan Love can’t possibly keep up at this high level of production.

Wrong. I love how consistent and efficient Love has been to date. Through four games he’s scored at least 21.9 fantasy points each week. He’s 13th it passing attempts after a busy Week 3 in which he threw it 44 times, but ninth in FPts/G for those with more than one start. He’s done all that despite missing weapons. Christian Watson just made his first appearance in Week 4 and Aaron Jones missed two games with a hamstring injury. Apparently, Love was paying attention while sitting behind Aaron Rodgers for two seasons. His immediate schedule is quite favorable with Las Vegas, Denver and Minnesota the next three opponents.