My favorite lesson from the weekend is don’t upset Patrick Mahomes II. After arguing with the Raiders’ defense, he put together two clock-killing drives to gain the lead and secure the win for Kansas City. The intensity almost made me forget how the week started on Thursday night with Colts-Broncos. As it comes screaming back to me, it leads us to my first of the three lessons from Week 5.
Quarterback: Russell Wilson, Broncos
Week 5 Results: (Projected) 17.1, (Actual) 9.2
Thursday night was the definition of insanity. We’ve watched these quarterbacks for a month and, for some reason, expected different results. For Russell Wilson, maybe it was hope alongside expectations. His thumb injury could explain his slump over the back half of last season. Nanobubbles partially saved his 2015 campaign. But I can’t explain what we’re seeing now, as Wilson isn’t the only problem in the Broncos’ offense.
Advice Moving Forward
Bench Wilson until further notice. It’s not just Wilson’s performance. The entire offense is in disarray. Without any positive signs of improvement, fantasy managers should look for streaming options.
This version of Wilson is unrecognizable. Unwatchable, sure. But it’s hard to square such a gap between a perennial top-12 quarterback and who we saw on Thursday night. And Wilson’s not underperforming relative to his final few seasons in Seattle. He’s hitting all-time lows.
I used just the first five games of each season since Wilson’s rookie season and got the same result. His -3.1% CPOE is the worst of his career. But traditionally, even when Wilson’s faltered, the offense has stayed afloat. Not anymore. The Broncos are generating points on 18.5% of their red-zone plays. However, while Wilson and the offensive playcalling should draw the most of our ire, the rest isn’t much better.
I mentioned Wilson’s lacking accuracy, but his receivers aren’t helping much on the other end of his attempts. Denver’s 13 drops lead the league. But it’s ok. Hackett’s offenses relied on a strong and efficient ground attack. Oh, wait. They’re 24th in rushing success rate, and their quarterback is responsible for a third of their rushing scores. Their issues are systemic.
There are many reasons why the Broncos are a disaster, and Wilson is chief among those reasons. But he’s not the only one. Fantasy managers should have no confidence in starting Wilson if we don’t even have confidence in his team. Until there’s a noticeable turnaround, look for streaming options to replace Wilson.
Running Back: Breece Hall, Jets
Week 5 Results: (Projected) 14.2, (Actual) 27.7
It’s a leak in my game, but I couldn’t buy into the Jets’ backfield this offseason. Well, specifically, I couldn’t buy into Breece Hall. His talent aside, New York’s problems under center were enough for me to stay away. Zach Wilson didn’t appear to have taken a step forward in the preseason. Then Joe Flacco enters after Wilson’s injury. Michael Carter II’s multi-round ADP discount caught my eye. But, again, the entire situation didn’t seem conducive to fantasy production. I was wrong.
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