Stars of Week 5 

QB: Deshaun Watson, HOU: 16-31, 261 yards, 5 TDs                 

RB: Leonard Fournette, JAX: 28 carries, 181 yards, 2 TDs

WR: AJ Green, CIN: 7 catches, 189 yards, 1 TD           

TE: Ed Dickson, CAR: 5 catches, 175 yards, 0 TDs            

We’ve got a back-to-back honor roll performance from star rookie Deshaun Watson. While the Texans lost to the Chiefs on Sunday night, Watson delivered another superstar performance, throwing for five TDs. He’s a QB1 going forward. Speaking of rookies, the Jaguars have their franchise player in rookie Leonard Fournette. He’s an unquestioned RB1, so enjoy the ride if you’ve got him. AJ Green’s owners were treated to a monster game against the Bills. No surprise there – Green remains a WR1, even with the Bengals’ struggles. Last but not least, Ed Dickson has thrust himself back into fantasy relevance the past few weeks, and this past Sunday he accumulated a buck seventy five in yardage over five receptions. We’ll take a closer look at Dickson below.

Week 5 Takeaways – A Closer Look 

Each week we take a closer look at a handful of performances and sort out what such performances mean going forward.

- Ben Roethlisberger, QB - PIT: 33-55, 312 yards, 0 TDs, 5 INTs

- Eli Manning, QB – NYG: 21-36, 225 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT

- Philip Rivers, QB - LAC: 21-44, 258 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT                  

Analysis: First up we take a unique look at three QBs, all of whom hail from the 2004 NFL draft class. While the numbers from this past week vary amongst the QBs, their status as fantasy QBs is largely similar. All three QBs will likely end up in the hall of fame (I don’t believe Eli belongs, but he’ll get in anyway), but their best days appear to be behind them. After a solid but not spectacular start over the first two games, Big Ben has saddled the Steelers and his fantasy owners with a 2 TD to 6 INT ratio the past three games. Eli Manning has had a horrible season thus far, and just lost Odell Beckham for the season, while also suffering additional losses to the WR corps. No Odell for Manning equals yuck. Philip Rivers, while the owner of a nice bus to shuttle between San Diego and Orange County, has been inconsistent this season, with warning signs in his underlying stats. The key here – each of these three signal callers should be viewed as QB2s. This isn’t exactly news with respect to Eli, but Rivers was viewed as a QB1/QB2 straddler, while Big Ben had QB1 status. Not anymore – Rivers is a QB2 dependent on matchups, Big Ben should be on your bench until he straightens out and Eli should not be on your fantasy radar for the remainder of 2017. Look elsewhere if you need a QB.

- Marlon Mack, RB – IND: 9 carries, 91 yards, 1 TD

Analysis: We’ve had quite a talented rookie RB class this year, with Leonard Fournette and Kareem Hunt posting gangbuster numbers in the early going, not to mention Dalvin Cook and Chris Carson, both of whom dazzled prior to severe injuries. Another less heralded member of the rookie class had a notable game, as Marlon Mack gained 91 yards on only nine carries against the 49ers, scoring a TD in the process. Mack has more relevance in keeper/dynasty leagues than redraft leagues, but he’s talented and could find his way into a key fantasy role this year. With Frank Gore thirty-four years old and Robert Turbin just another guy, Mack factors into the Colts’ future RB plans. And certainly the future may arrive over the next few weeks, with the Colts very unlikely to factor into the playoff race. If you’re looking to stash an upside RB, then Mack is a solid choice. And if your league has some type of keeper variable in play, then Mack is a great choice to add to your roster.

- Aaron Jones, RB – GB: 19 carries, 125 yards, 1 TD 

Analysis: Injured ribs for lead Green Bay Packers’ RB Ty Montgomery provided an opening for rookie RB Aaron Jones to jump into the team’s RB fray and make some noise. And without a doubt, it got loud this past weekend in Dallas. Jones comfortably passed the century mark in yardage while finding the end zone once. In the process, Jones knocked fellow rookie RB Jamaal Williams to third string. Jones looked the part as a starting RB, although upon Montgomery’s return, he will return to second string. But the key takeaways here is that Jones and not Williams is the guy to start for any games where Montgomery is out, and Jones can produce strong fantasy numbers. What’s left to see is what role Jones will have upon Montgomery’s return. The early guess here is that Jones will get a series or two a game – not quite enough to be startable unless Montgomery is out. But we’ll see – if you’re in a deeper league or want to protect your investment in Montgomery, then Jones is your man.

- Nelson Agholor, WR – PHI: 4 catches, 93 yards, 1 TD 

Analysis: Nelson Agholor came into 2017 with low expectations, as he has largely disappointed thus far in his young career. Could this, his third year in the league, serve as a breakout season? That still remains to be seen, but at the very least, it’s safe to conclude that Agholor has improved. Through five games, Agholor has 3 TDs and has just under 300 yards receiving. The underlying numbers leave more questions though, as Agholor has only been targeted more than 5 times by Wentz on one occasion. Also, it’s worth noting that 72 of Agholor’s 93 yards on Sunday came from one catch, which is not unusual for Agholor – 58 of his 84 yards in week 1 came from one catch, and 36 of his 58 yards in week 4 came from one catch. This means that Agholor has a high level of boom/bust potential in any given week. The two weeks not yet mentioned, weeks 2 and 3, resulted in just 9 and 20 yards receiving, respectively.  So what’s the deal with Agholor? He’s a risky matchup play, but one useful for fantasy purposes. Against weaker pass Ds, Agholor can serve as a WR3 or flex. Until we see more consistency, I would sit him in tougher matchups.

- Ed Dickson, TE – CAR: 5 catches, 175 yards, 0 TDs

Analysis: Raise your hand if you predicted Ed Dickson as the lead tight end for this week. Now keep your hand raised in case you’re telling the truth! Yeah, I didn’t think so. Veteran tight end Ed Dickson caught 5 passes for a stunning 175 yards against the Lions this past Sunday. In Greg Olsen’s absence, Dickson has put together two straight solid performances. Are we looking at a new force at TE? The answer – not exactly. Dickson has been in the league for eight years, so he’s not an upside play. And as for the past two games, note that he was only targeted four and five times, respectively, by Cam Newton. That level of targets won’t lead to consistent fantasy performances. So Dickson remains a TE2 in Olsen’s absence. If you’re in a deep league or otherwise need a fill-in tight end, Dickson is fine. But don’t expect upper echelon performances as the norm.

Rapid Fire Pickups

Each week we’ll throw out potential free agent pickups from each position for deeper leagues, in each case 1) someone who has NOT been referenced above, and 2) a player available in most leagues. 

QB: Trevor Siemian, DEN

RB: Elijah McGuire, NYJ

RB: Wayne Gallman, NYG

WR: Jermaine Kearse, NYJ

WR: Roger Lewis, NYG (Eli needs to throw to somebody!)

TE: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ


Week 6 Rankings


  1. Tom Brady, NE (at NYJ)
  2. Drew Brees, NO (vs. DET)
  3. Aaron Rodgers, GB (at MIN)
  4. Deshaun Watson, HOU (vs. CLE)
  5. Matt Ryan, ATL (vs. MIA)
  6. Matthew Stafford, DET  (at NO)
  7. Kirk Cousins, WAS (vs. SF)
  8. Jameis Winston, TB (at ARZ)
  9. Alex Smith, KC (vs. PIT)
  10. Carson Palmer, ARZ (vs. TB)
  11. Philip Rivers, LAC (at OAK)
  12. Derek Carr, OAK  (vs. LAC)
  13. Jacoby Brissett, IND (at TEN)
  14. Trevor Siemian, DEN (vs. NYG)
  15. Marcus Mariota, TEN (vs. IND)
  16. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (at KC)
  17. Josh McCown, NYJ (vs. NE)
  18. Kevin Hogan, CLE (at HOU)
  19. Case Keenum, MIN (vs GB)
  20. Joe Flacco, BAL (vs CHI)

Running Backs:

  1. Kareem Hunt, KC (vs. PIT)
  2. Leonard Fournette, JAX (vs. LAR)
  3. Le'Veon Bell, PIT (at KC)
  4. Todd Gurley, LAR (at JAX)
  5. Melvin Gordon, LAC (at OAK)
  6. Devonta Freeman, ATL (vs. MIA)
  7. Jordan Howard, CHI (at BAL)
  8. C.J. Anderson, DEN (vs. NYG)
  9. Jay Ajayi, MIA (at ATL)
  10. DeMarco Murray, TEN (vs. IND)
  11. Doug Martin, TB (at ARZ)
  12. Lamar Miller, HOU (vs. CLE)
  13. Marshawn Lynch, OAK (vs. LAC)
  14. Ameer Abdullah, DET (at NO)
  15. Carlos Hyde, SF (at WAS)
  16. Ty Montgomery, GB (at MIN)
  17. Mark Ingram, NO (vs. DET)
  18. Mike Gillislee, NE (at NYJ)
  19. Duke Johnson, CLE (at HOU)
  20. Javorius Allen, BAL (vs. CHI)
  21. Jerick McKinnon, MIN (vs. GB)
  22. Elijah McGuire, NYJ (vs. NE)
  23. Tevin Coleman, ATL (vs. MIA)
  24. Alvin Kamara, NO (vs. DET)
  25. Frank Gore, IND (at TEN)
  26. James White, NE (at NYJ)
  27. Samaje Perine, WAS (vs. SF)
  28. Chris Thompson, WAS (vs. SF)
  29. Tarik Cohen, CHI (at BAL)
  30. Latavius Murray, MIN (vs. GB)
  31. Andre Ellington, ARZ (vs. TB)
  32. Isaiah Crowell, CLE (at HOU)
  33. Bilal Powell, NYJ (vs. NE)
  34. Wayne Gallman, NYG (at DEN)
  35. Alex Collins, BAL (vs. CHI)
  36. Marlon Mack, IND (at TEN)
  37. Theo Riddick, DET (at NO)
  38. Matt Breida, SF (at WAS)
  39. Derrick Henry, TEN (vs. IND)
  40. Shane Vereen, NYG (at DEN)

Wide Receivers:

  1. Antonio Brown, PIT (at KC)
  2. Julio Jones, ATL (vs. MIA)
  3. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (vs. CLE)
  4. Michael Thomas, NO (vs. DET)
  5. T.Y. Hilton, IND (at TEN)
  6. Mike Evans, TB (at ARZ)
  7. Jordy Nelson, GB (at MIN)
  8. Chris Hogan, NE (at NYJ)
  9. Brandin Cooks, NE (at NYJ)
  10. Stefon Diggs, MIN (vs. GB)
  11. Keenan Allen, LAC (at OAK)
  12. Larry Fitzgerald, ARZ (vs. TB)
  13. Tyreek Hill, KC (vs. PIT)
  14. Demaryius Thomas, DEN (vs. NYG)
  15. Michael Crabtree, OAK (vs. LAC)
  16. Davante Adams, GB (at MIN)
  17. Golden Tate, DET (at NO)
  18. Adam Thielen, MIN (vs. GB)
  19. Emmanuel Sanders, DEN (vs. NYG)
  20. DeSean Jackson, TB (at ARZ)
  21. Pierre Garcon, SF (at WAS)
  22. Jarvis Landry, MIA (at ATL)
  23. Amari Cooper, OAK (vs. LAC)
  24. Terrelle Pryor, WAS (vs. SF)
  25. Will Fuller, HOU (vs. CLE)
  26. Rishard Matthews, TEN (vs. IND)
  27. Marvin Jones, DET (at NO)
  28. Danny Amendola, NE (at NYJ)
  29. Tyrell Williams, LAC (at OAK)
  30. Martavis Bryant, PIT (at KC)
  31. Randall Cobb, GB (at MIN)
  32. Willie Snead, NO (vs. DET)
  33. John Brown, ARZ (vs. TB)
  34. Jermaine Kearse, NYJ (vs. NE)
  35. Jeremy Maclin, BAL (vs. CHI)
  36. Taylor Gabriel, ATL (vs. MIA)
  37. Donte Moncrief, IND (at TEN)
  38. Mike Wallace, BAL (vs. CHI)
  39. Roger Lewis, NYG (at DEN)
  40. Ricardo Louis, CLE (at HOU)

Tight End:

  1. Rob Gronkowski, NE (at NYJ)
  2. Delanie Walker, TEN (vs. IND)
  3. Travis Kelce, KC (vs. PIT)
  4. Jordan Reed, WAS  (vs. SF)
  5. Kyle Rudolph, MIN (vs. GB)
  6. Hunter Henry, LAC (at OAK)
  7. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ (vs. NE)
  8. Cameron Brate, TB (at ARZ)
  9. Evan Engram, NYG (at DEN)
  10. Martellus Bennett, GB (at MIN)
  11. Jared Cook, OAK (vs. LAC)
  12. Ryan Griffin, HOU (vs. CLE)
  13. Benjamin Watson, BAL (vs. CHI)
  14. Coby Fleener, NO (vs. DET)
  15. George Kittle, SF (at WAS)
  16. Zach Miller, CHI (at BAL)
  17. Austin Hooper, ATL (vs. MIA)
  18. Eric Ebron, DET (at NO)
  19. George Kittle, SF (at WAS)
  20. Jack Doyle, IND (at TEN)

Defense/Special Teams:

  1. Denver Broncos (vs. NYG)
  2. Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. LAR)
  3. Houston Texans (vs. CLE)
  4. Atlanta Falcons (vs. MIA)
  5. Baltimore Ravens (vs. CHI)
  6. Washington Redskins (vs. SF)
  7. Kansas City Chiefs (vs. PIT)
  8. New England Patriots (at NYJ)
  9. Los Angeles Rams (at JAX)
  10. Arizona Cardinals (vs. TB)
  11. Tennessee Titans (vs. IND)
  12. Green Bay Packers (at MIN)
  13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at ARZ)
  14. Pittsburgh Steelers (at KC)
  15. New York Giants (at DEN)