I think about Steve every single day. Steve (not his real name) was in a bind; a life event would take him away from his longtime home league draft. Fearful an auto-drafted team would sink his chances and lead to ridicule, he reached out for help. I happily obliged, as my principal purpose is to help people win their leagues. We discussed strategy beforehand; he liked early running backs and was fine waiting on the quarterback, as most of his league was overly aggressive at the position. Certainly not a stranger to fantasy football drafts (I tend to be in some sort of slow draft from January until September), I thought a local home league would be no problem.
And then the draft happened.
I kept his wishes in mind and hit two early running backs from a late draft position. In round three, I grabbed one of my favorite targets, a player I wrote about this summer, tight end Kyle Pitts. I followed it up with other players in elite offenses I was high on in wide receiver Allen Robinson and running back Elijah Mitchell and topped it off with a dual-purpose quarterback I also wrote about: Justin Fields.
I feel awful.
This team is terrible.
I know it is terrible because these players dot many of my rosters, and I am painfully aware of the lack of production they are giving weekly. Now do not feel for me, I am doing just fine, and I know sympathy in the mean streets of fantasy football is a need not apply basis. I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge everyone makes mistakes. Most of the best analysts practice what they preach. They are with you when they miss a call, experiencing that loss.
But outside of best-ball formats, the difference is in how we rebound—adjusting quickly to new information and continuing to read progressing situations.
Week 5 had plenty to digest.
The most eventful fantasy game occurred in New Orleans. For the second week in a row, the Seahawks played the highest-scoring game of the day. The pertinent news item from their side is the loss of Rashaad Penny, who looks to have lost most, if not all, of his season with a leg injury. With injury comes opportunity, and Dynasty rookie draft darling Ken Walker III III will get his chance to shine. Walker saw nearly 90% of the work after Penny departed and responded with a 69-yard touchdown run. DeeJay Dallas will see some work on passing downs, but this should be a workhorse situation for Walker. The last two weeks have shown the Seahawks are not just an offense that can support the ADPs of their two top receivers, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, but one that will look at game scripts we want to pursue actively.
The Seahawks' opponent, the victorious Saints, is a hot-button emerging story. First, rookie wide receiver Chris Olave has staked himself at the top of this receiving tree, scoring another touchdown before departing with a scary concussion. Monitor that situation, but Olave is a top 24 wide receiver this season moving forward. But this is burying the lead as it was Taysom Hill's day. Hill's 112 rushing yards represented his second career game over 100 yards, and his three touchdowns were a career-high. Hill has had a risky floor, but the Saints can not ignore the contributions he adds to this offense. They have hunted a complimentary back to Alvin Kamara since 2021 started and they should view Hill as that piece. Hill's tight end eligibility makes him a cheat code at the position, where he sits as the TE3 in PPR formats and the TE1 in standard leagues. Given the landscape at the position, ranking him as the TE3 moving forward feels entirely reasonable. If the Saints continue to embrace this package, he may emerge as having one of the safest floors at the position.
Recognizing the players that move with him, primarily Adam Trautman, is essential. Trautman was a buzzy name entering 2021, but he started slow until a Week 8 emergence led to a four-game run where he saw nearly seven targets per game before an injury knocked him out. He contributed nothing through the first three games but has seen back-to-back games with three targets and scored Sunday. He still has a long way to go before fantasy utility, but he is an excellent blocker who will play in sets with Hill and could emerge if he's fallen to the waiver in deep leagues.
Week 5 was all about showcasing the volatile nature of the tight end position. Heading into Monday Night Football and two elite tight end options in Travis Kelce and Darren Waller, the tight end leaderboard is an assortment of names you would be forgiven for not knowing in even deep leagues. Trautman. Rookie tight ends Daniel Bellinger and Cade Otton took advantage of opportunities; Bellinger scored on a rushing chance, while Otton drew seven targets with Cameron Brate out of the lineup. A concussion for Pat Freiermuth allowed Zach Gentry an opportunity, and in Denver, everyone's favorite preseason sleeper Albert Okwuegbunam looks to have completely lost the starting job to Eric Saubert. These situations bear monitoring as these players could grant spot starts or fill out roster depth.
Before moving on, it is important to highlight three receivers that may be worthwhile to raise the alarm about Allen Robinson, Elijah Moore, and Christian Kirk. Robinson has been discussed ad nauseam throughout fantasy circles, and it looks like the Rams have systematic issues that will make his success very unlikely. Robinson must be pulled from even deep lineups until he sees consistent volume. Kirk was an early-season darling but has recorded back-to-back quiet games. As a fifth-year pro, the book is out on him and defenses adjusted to treat him like the primary option, a treatment he may not be able to beat consistently. Trevor Lawrence struggled for a second straight week, and it was again secondary Jaguars receivers who benefited; Marvin Jones Jr Jr. topped 100 yards in Week 5 after Jamal Agnew had a big Week 4. The differences in ability between Kirk, Jones Jr, and Zay Jones is not so great as to warrant forcing the ball against alpha corners. If Kirk continues to see this treatment, he will quickly progress to the point of a fringe lineup consideration. A disappointing turn after his strong start.
Lastly, Elijah Moore. The game script allowed the Jets to rely on the run, a far cry from Joe Flacco averaging 51 pass attempts through the first three games. Moore wasn't a fantasy play during that high-volume stretch and completely disappeared on Sunday. This style is the way the Jets would like to play, with the emergence of Breece Hall and easing the pressure on Zach Wilson. With Garrett Wilson and Corey Davis crowding space for targets and a game that does not lend itself to vertical splash scoring plays, Moore becomes a sit in deep leagues until meaningful volume change occurs.
We all make mistakes. And we are all presented with opportunities to recover. If you are a disappointing 0-5 or 1-4 team, it is time to make aggressive moves to position yourself for the future. If you are a surprise 3-2 team, look to veterans like Adam Thielen or Raheem Mostert to help fill out roster spaces. But most importantly, keep your head up. Always look for opportunities to help Steve, as kindness and an open mind will do much more for people than hitting one start/sit question correctly.
Week 5’s group saw huge receiving days off minimal receptions. Can you place this production?
Revenge! A Dish Best Served On The Field
- WR Julio Jones, Tampa Bay vs Atlanta - inactive
- WR Russell Gage, Tampa Bay vs Atlanta - Won 21-15, 2-20
- TE Zach Ertz, Arizona vs Philadelphia - Lost 20-17, 6-48
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