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
Travis Fulgham Aug 11 3:20am ET

The Green Bay Packers have claimed wide receiver Travis Fulgham off waivers from the Detroit Lions. A sixth-round pick out of Old Dominion last season, Fulgham appeared in three games for Detroit, playing 42 offensive snaps against Green Bay in December but not recording a target. With Devin Funchess opting out and a top-heavy receiving corps, it makes sense for Green Bay to add someone at the position, but Fulgham's a longshot to make any kind of impact on this team in 2020.

From RotoBaller

Alex Smith Aug 10 10:40pm ET

At one point, it looked like Washington quarterback Alex Smith would never step onto a football field again after a devastating leg injury in 2018, but head coach Ron Rivera says that if Smith is healthy, he'll have a chance to compete for the starting job. That's bad news for second-year passer Dwayne Haskins, who struggled as a rookie. Haskins not winning the starting job this year would signal bad news for his future in Washington and could suggest that the team will be looking for a new quarterback in 2021, as Smith's not the long term answer at this point in his career. This is a quarterback room to avoid in re-draft leagues this season.

From RotoBaller

Lamar Miller Aug 10 10:30pm ET

The New England Patriots have signed former Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller to a one-year deal. Miller missed all of 2019 after tearing his ACL and MCL in preseason, but the veteran back has shown some explosiveness in the past and adds important insurance to this backfield, especially with Sony Michel (foot) not a lock to be healthy Week 1. Miller's been good before, but he's likely just keeping the seat warm for Michel and even if Michel does miss time, Miller's likely to be part of a committee approach in New England. There's not a ton of reason to be excited about this signing for fantasy purposes, but Miller could be worth a late-round dart throw in deeper formats.

From RotoBaller

Sony Michel Aug 10 10:30pm ET

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel (foot) isn't a lock to be recovered by Week 1, putting a major question mark beside the back who most expected to lead this New England backfield in rushing attempts. The team signed veteran Lamar Miller as insurance on Monday, further complicating things and suggesting that Michel's injury issues will bleed over to the regular season. You almost have to be more wary of drafting Michel than you already were with this news, and you already should have been fairly low on him. He's not undraftable, but he's become a huge risk without a lot of upside.

From RotoBaller

Alvin Kamara Aug 10 5:30pm ET

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara spoke to the media earlier Monday and offered more details about his injury-plagued 2019 season. Kamara said he "tore his knee' in Week 5 against Jacksonville last year and that he had to deal with it the rest of the season. The 25-year-old didn't require surgery, though he spent the entire offseason rehabbing the knee and said he feels healthy now. Kamara finished as the RB16 in PPR formats despite dealing with the knee and ankle injuries. Coming into 2020 a bit leaner after adopting a plant-based diet, Kamara is poised to have the best season of his career in a contract year. He should be a top-five pick in both formats and could be taken as early as the third pick in PPR leagues.

From RotoBaller

A.J. Green Aug 10 2:30pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green reportedly has been impressing teammates in practices this week as he works back from injuries that robbed him of his entire 2019 season. Tight end C.J. Uzomah told reporters, "We're just running routes and haven't gone full speed against the defense. Drew (Sample) only saw him last year for, what, that first practice? He said, 'I forgot how explosive he is.' I told him, 'You haven't seen the half of it yet.'" Green has serious bounce-back potential as the No. 1 WR in a Bengals offense that should be one of the most-improved in the league. He can be treated as an upside WR3 in fantasy drafts.

From RotoBaller

Carl Davis Aug 9 8:33pm ET

Free-agent CB Tramaine Brock and DT Carl Davis were signed to undisclosed contracts by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Aug. 9.

From TheHuddle

Derrius Guice Aug 9 7:33pm ET

Free-agent RB Derrius Guice (Football Team) passed through waivers unclaimed Sunday, Aug. 9.

From TheHuddle

Kenjon Barner Aug 9 6:13pm ET

Free-agent RB Kenjon Barner (Falcons) is expected to sign with the Baltimore Ravens in the near future, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Caraun Reid Aug 9 5:33pm ET

Free-agent DT Caraun Reid (Cardinals) signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Aug. 9. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

From TheHuddle

Marqui Christian Aug 9 5:23pm ET

Free-agent S Marqui Christian (Jets) recently met with the Chicago Bears.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Reed Aug 9 4:53pm ET

Free-agent TE Jordan Reed (Football Team) officially signed a one-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Aug. 9. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Fantasy Spin: Reed has dealt with injuries during his career but has posted solid numbers when healthy. He will be the No. 2 tight end for the 49ers behind George Kittle but should have a decent role in the passing game. Reed probably should be considered a No. 2 fantasy tight end in most leagues.

From TheHuddle

Tramaine Brock Aug 9 4:53pm ET

Free-agent CB Tramaine Brock (Titans) is meeting with the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Aug. 9, and likely will sign with the team if the meeting goes well, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Jatavis Brown Aug 9 4:23pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles LB Jatavis Brown was placed on the Reserve/Retired list Sunday, Aug. 9.

From TheHuddle

Mike Daniels Aug 9 3:33pm ET

Free-agent DT Mike Daniels (Lions) is meeting with the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Aug. 9, and is expected to sign with the team, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

A'Shawn Robinson Aug 9 3:03pm ET

Los Angeles Rams DT A'Shawn Robinson (undisclosed) is expected to play at some point during the 2020 season, but the team will take things slow with him since he was diagnosed with a medical issue during the medical on-boarding process.

From TheHuddle

Aug 9 2:53pm ET

Buffalo Bills WR Duke Williams was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, Aug. 9. The team also released CB Akeem King.

From TheHuddle

Logan Thomas Aug 9 2:33pm ET

Washington Football Team TE Logan Thomas was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, Aug. 9.

From TheHuddle

J.J. Wilcox Aug 9 1:13pm ET

Free-agent S J.J. Wilcox (Falcons) officially re-signed with the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Aug. 9. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

From TheHuddle