From The Godfather: Week 5

Sat Oct 5 11:20pm ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
Contributing Writer

Well, there’s no Miami to pick on this week because the Dolphins have a bye along with Detroit.  The Rams played the Seahawks on Thursday night, taking away some other players, so the options for Sunday get a little more limited.  The Raiders play the Bears in London, so after the long journey across the ocean, don’t expect much offense from either team in this game.

With a fourth of the season gone, you can draw a few conclusions about the teams that are good and the teams that are bad this year.  The bad are easier to spot. Just look at the points they’ve scored and the points they’ve given up.  Miami jumps to the top of the bad list with 137 points allowed. That’s losing by an average of over 34 points per game!  The schedule has been tough on them as three of their four games have been against the better teams, so it will get a little better for them as they play some of the weaker teams. I’m not sure they’ll win a game, but they won’t lose by as much.   

The other “bad” teams are Cincinnati (-53), Washington (-52), Arizona (-41), New York Jets (-37), Atlanta (-29) and Denver (-23).  Pittsburgh’s (-12) only win was against Cincinnati. Atlanta’s only win was against Miami.  Two teams trying to stay respectable are Indianapolis (-8) and the New York Giants (-10).  When your players are playing against these bad teams, make sure you have them in your lineup.

On the other side, the best team appears to be the defending champion Patriots, who are the class of the NFL.  And they don’t seem to be playing their best football yet, scoring 122 points and being +95.  They continue to be a hard team for fantasy players to figure out with no real fantasy superstar and different players stepping up each week with the most fantasy points.  Even Tom Brady is mediocre, playing good enough for them to win, but when they are not challenged, the passing game goes away.  

The other good teams are Dallas (+51), San Francisco (+42), Kansas City (+41) and Baltimore (+35).  Keeping themselves on the plus side are Seattle (+14), Los Angeles Rams (+13), Tampa Bay (+6) and Philadelphia (+5).  I’m still trying to figure out how Tampa Bay put up 55 points and held the Rams to 40 last Sunday in the same game. But they did and changed the thought process on both teams in doing so.  The players  on the good teams, all of which have scored over 100 points (San Francisco has only played three and has 96 points) are the players you want on your fantasy teams.  Just some food for thought.

Using the above analysis, the three matchups of good against bad this Sunday are Baltimore at Pittsburgh, New England at Washington, and New York Jets at Philadelphia.  The first game is a divisional battle, and I expect a hard fought game on both sides.  Baltimore doesn’t have as much advantage as they should and they’ll be in Pittsburgh’s home. I expect it to be more of a defensive battle than offensive.  Yes, play Lamar Jackson, but I don’t see any big fantasy numbers coming from anyone else.  New England at Washington will be another yawner with the Patriots defense dominating, and their offense moving the ball at will on the ground.  Philadelphia might be the most lopsided game. The Eagles offense will get a chance to let loose.  I see big games from Carson Wentz, Jordan Howard, Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery.

Quarterbacks: The guys I like best this week other than the obvious (see above) are Jacoby Brissett, Jimmy Garappolo and Andy Dalton.  Brissett should be in a shoot out with the Chiefs. And if TY Hilton is back, he could have a 300-plus yard passing day.  Jimmy Garappolo and the 49ers get a home game against the Browns, who have really struggled to shut down the passing game.  I trust Mike Shanahan to come up with an effective passing game plan to dominate this game.  Cincinnati and Andy Dalton get one of the worst passing defenses in the league (the other being his team), and he should get over 300 passing yards in this projected high scoring affair.

Running Backs: Minnesota likes to run the ball and the Giants can’t stop the run, which lines up Dalvin Cook for a huge game.  James White should be the feature player in the lopsided game in Washington. Jaylen Samuels is shaping up to be a sleeper at running back.  It looks like James Conner will miss this game against the Ravens, and Samuels has lots of ways to be productive.  His wildcat plays last week showed how dangerous he can be, and the Ravens defense hasn’t play well yet.  And Nyheim Hines could be in the right place at the right time as the Colts play catch up. He fits the game plan.

Wide Receiver: Larry Fitzgerald could torch the Bengals defense.  Arizona is a pass happy team and with Christian Kirk likely out, look for Kyler Murray to lean on his veteran playmaker.  Alshon Jeffery can make Carson Wentz look like the top quarterback of the week against a Jets defense that’s given over 300-passing yards two of the last three weeks.

Tight End: Travis Kelce will remind everyone why he’s the number one fantasy tight end, again.  Mahomes had no passing touchdowns last week. I predict two this week to Kelce.  My sleeper pick is Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert.  He gets an Arizona defense that’s given up more yards and scores to tight ends than any NFL team this year.

Defense: The Patriots are on the top of my list, playing a pathetic Redskins team.  My sleeper pick is the Eagles at home against the New York Jets, who can’t seem to find any offensive.

Have a great week 5!

Charlie Wiegert was the sixth person to be inducted in the Fantasy Sports Hall Of Fame in 2001. He is a founder of CDM Fantasy Sports and Fantasy Sports Trade Association. He has been playing and winning fantasy baseball leagues since 1984. If you have any questions for Charlie, email them to cwiegert@cdmsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.

Player Notes
Randall Cobb Oct 13 3:33pm ET

Dallas Cowboys WR Randall Cobb (back, hip) has been declared inactive for the team's Week 6 game.

From TheHuddle

Baker Mayfield Oct 13 3:30pm ET

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield appeared to injure his lower back in the third quarter against the Seahawks. Mayfield was taken to the locker room for evaluation, but he promptly returned without missing a single snap and is currently back in the game. It appears Mayfield will tough this one out, but his Week 7 status needs to be monitored.

From RotoBaller

Demaryius Thomas Oct 13 3:23pm ET

New York Jets WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring, knee) is officially active for the team's Week 6 game.

Fantasy Spin: Thomas likely will receive a handful of targets against the Dallas Cowboys, but fantasy players may be able to find better options for their lineups this week.

From TheHuddle

Will Dissly Oct 13 3:00pm ET

Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly went down in Week 6 against the Browns with an injury to his achilles. The injury was non-contact, and Dissly was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game. At the time of the injury, Dissly was just targeted just once and failed to haul it in. Luke Willson is in at tight end for the rest of the afternoon, and currently has one catch for five yards. Dissly's Week 7 status is in doubt and needs to be monitored.

From RotoBaller

Christian Kirk Oct 13 2:53pm ET

Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Kirk (ankle) has been declared inactive for the team's Week 6 game.

From TheHuddle

David Johnson Oct 13 2:53pm ET

Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson (back) is officially active for the team's Week 6 game.

Fantasy Spin: Johnson likely will receive a lot of touches during the game despite the injury and should be a starting option in all fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

George Kittle Oct 13 2:53pm ET

San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle (groin) is officially active for the team's Week 6 game.

Fantasy Spin: Kittle is one of the best right ends in the NFL and is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Carolina Panthers Oct 13 2:40pm ET

The Panthers Defense brutalized the Tampa offense during the Week 6 matchup in London. With seven sacks on the day, including receiving 2.5 from Gerald McCoy against his former team, Carolina was relentless by also forcing quarterback Jameis Winston to throw five interceptions. With a week off, the team will have a stiff challenge against a sound 49ers offense in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Greg Olsen Oct 13 2:30pm ET

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen was targeted seven times against the Buccaneers on Sunday and finished with four catches for 52 yards. After failing to record a catch against the Jaguars in Week 5 while recording just two in Week 4, the veteran's performance in London was a slight improvement. Nonetheless, Olsen has been a disappointment from a fantasy perspective and should only be expected to produce efficient performances on sporadic occasions throughout the remainder of the season regardless of who is under center for the Panthers.

From RotoBaller

Will Dissly Oct 13 2:30pm ET

Seattle Seahawks tight end Dissly missed last season with an injury to his right knee, so this is a brand new injury to his left Achilles. We don't know the severity yet, but it was bad enough to immediately rule him out for the rest of the game. It took him a couple of minutes to get off the turf and it sure seems like this is a serious injury. Stay tuned. At tight end, Luke Willson will take over and he's an athletic TE who may become a threat.

From RotoBaller

Peyton Barber Oct 13 2:30pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Peyton Barber was unable to get anything going against the Panthers in Week 6, gaining just 28 yards on 10 carries on the day. Barber did get more carries than backfield mate Ronald Jones II, but could not find any holes and was otherwise a non-factor in what turned out to be a pass-heavy game. Barber has established himself through the first 6 weeks of the season as borderline unstartable in any fantasy format and should be treated as such. The Bucs have a bye in Week 7 before another tough matchup against the Titans in Tennessee in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Ronald Jones II Oct 13 2:20pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II was unable to get going Sunday, gaining only 10 yards on four carries, but did score a touchdown to save his day. Jones again fell victim to the Bucs unpredictable backfield rotation after starting to seemingly separate himself from the pack, seeing fewer snaps and touches than fellow backfield mate Peyton Barber in Week 6. It will be hard for fantasy owners to trust any of the Bucs running backs until something changes in that backfield. Until then they can both be considered very low-end bye week fill-in options. The Bucs are off in Week 7 before a tough matchup against the Titans in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Jameis Winston Oct 13 2:10pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston disappointed fantasy owners in a big way Sunday, completing 30-of-54 passes for 400 yards and a touchdown to go along with an absurd five interceptions. Winston wasn't given an inch on the day, getting sacked seven times and losing a fumble in the process. Anything Winston did through the first four weeks to gain fantasy owner's confidence has been thrown out the window over the last two weeks. This shouldn't come as the biggest surprise though, as inconsistency has been the theme of Winston's career. The Bucs have a bye in Week 7 before a tough matchup against the Titans in Tennessee, Winston will slot in as a mid-range QB2 for that matchup.

From RotoBaller

Curtis Samuel Oct 13 2:10pm ET

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel recorded four catches for 70 yards, while also recording a pair of touchdowns against Tampa Bay on Sunday. Samuel got it done in all areas in London, rushing for a score midway through the third quarter before catching a touchdown off of a 13-yard pass from quarterback Kyle Allen in the fourth. With Cam Newton (foot) potentially returning after the Week 7 bye, the 23-year-old will continue to split the bulk of the targets with fellow wideout D.J. Moore and running back Christian McCaffrey regardless of who is under center.

From RotoBaller

D.J. Moore Oct 13 2:00pm ET

Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore recorded 73 yards off of seven catches during the win over the Buccaneers in London. With 10 targets on the day, Moore kept it going after recording six receptions for 91 yards against the Jaguars in Week 5. The quarterback situation remains a mystery as the team heads toward the bye, but the 22-year-old should remain involved regardless of who is under center while continuing to split the majority of the targets with Curtis Samuel, who finished with two touchdowns on the day.

From RotoBaller

Christian McCaffrey Oct 13 1:50pm ET

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey recorded just 57 total yards against Tampa Bay on Sunday, but still managed to find the end zone twice in Week 6. While McCaffrey was stuffed by the Buccaneers Defense by rushing for an abysmal 31 yards on 22 attempts, he offset his shoddy numbers with a touchdown run late in the first quarter, while acquiring his second off of a 25-yard pass from Kyle Allen. With the team heading into a bye, the potential MVP will look to keep it going in Week 8 against the 49ers.

From RotoBaller

Kyle Allen Oct 13 1:40pm ET

Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen recorded his fourth straight win on Sunday against Tampa Bay in London. While Jameis Winston recorded five interceptions on the day, Allen was able to get it done by finishing with 227 yards and two touchdowns on 20-for-32 passing. With the Panthers heading into a bye, things will get interesting for the Panthers if Cam Newton (foot) can return for the Week 8 matchup with San Francisco. Fantasy managers will want to monitor the situation, but Allen should remain on rosters until Newton is officially back in the mix as a starter.

From RotoBaller

Alvin Kamara Oct 13 1:00pm ET

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (ankle) is active against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kamara gets a juicy matchup in Week 6, though he might be limited. Even if he has a smaller role, he should still put up RB1 numbers against Jacksonville.

From RotoBaller

Marquise Brown Oct 13 12:50pm ET

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown (ankle) is inactive against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 6 while tight end Mark Andrews (shoulder) will play. Andrews is a TE1 with upside, as quarterback Lamar Jackson will lean on him in the passing game. Ravens slot receiver Willie Snead could be a sneaky sleeper without Brown in the fold.

From RotoBaller

Sammy Watkins Oct 13 12:40pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring) is officially inactive for Week 6. His absence should give the rest of the Kansas City offense more opportunities. In a likely shootout against the Houston Texans, Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson are flex plays while Tyreek Hill is back and ready to resume his WR1 role.

From RotoBaller