NFL Week 5 Fantasy Prescription Notes: Prayers Up for Dak Prescott
Prayers Up for Dak
As a fantasy football analyst, I hate seeing any major injuries to any player, especially star players. So, when I saw Cowboys QB Dak Prescott being carted off with an ankle injury, it truly made me sad. Prescott had ankle surgery on Sunday night, and we all pray for his speedy recovery. I hope that the Cowboys do the right thing by him and figure out his long-term contract as he was clearly proving that he was well worth every penny before his injury. Luckily, the Cowboys signed Andy Dalton as a backup before the season. Dalton came into the game and engineered the game-winning drive. Dalton will be worth a high bid on waivers, and he is good enough not to devalue the Cowboys' talented receivers greatly.
Old Man Rivers
My best bet of the week (as seen on SI Gambling) was the Browns +2 against the Colts. I hope you went to the DraftKings Sportsbook and made the bet as it paid off handsomely. The Browns defense looked great, but I think the bigger problem lies with Colts QB Philip Rivers. Rivers’ arm strength looks shot, and teams can play up on his receivers because they know that he can’t beat them downfield. Moreover, because of this, opposing defenses are loading up to stop the run, limiting the success of Jonathan Taylor. The Colts can beat teams with their running attack when their OL dominates, but against a good defensive front, the Colts are in real trouble.
Cardinals RB Committee
When Cardinals RB Chase Edmonds ran for a 29-yard TD early in the game against the Jets, I thought that for sure, Kliff Kingsbury would give Edmonds more carries. However, as the game went on, it was Kenyan Drake who out carried Edmonds (18-3). Edmonds did have five receptions on the day to only one for Drake, which complicates matters further for fantasy football managers. I think it’s safe to assume that Drake is still the lead ball carrier for now, but if you can make a trade to stash Edmonds, I would do it sooner rather than later.
Ravens Rock the Rookie
Prior to kickoff, I think I was drinking the Joe Burrow Kool-Aid as I thought to myself that maybe it was possible that he could lead the Bengals to an upset of the Ravens. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Burrow barely had any time to throw and was sacked seven times. He was rushed hard on virtually every play and was lucky that he was only intercepted once. If the Bengals want to get better, they need to protect their star investment before he ends up on the trainer’s table from getting mauled.
Jumping in the Claypool
If you had the Chase Claypool/Travis Fulgham stack in the DraftKings Millionaire Maker, then there is a good chance that you are my rich friend today! Once Steelers WR Diontae Johnson left the game with an injury, Claypool came in and dominated the action scoring a whopping four TDs. I am not sure how Mike Tomlin can sit him moving forward. On the other side, Eagles WR Travis Fulgham had a career game catching 10 passes for 152 yards and a TD. I am not sure if either player will ever have a game like this again, but it was fun to watch.
Mr. Watson, I Presume
I guess all it took for the Texans to win a game was to fire head coach Bill O’Brien—and play the Jacksonville Jaguars. QB Deshaun Watson threw for 359 yards and three TDs and ran for an additional 25 yards. Texans WR Brandin Cooks led the way with eight catches for 161 yards and a TD. This may have been surprising to fantasy football managers considering the goose egg he put up last week. I have said this many times: just because a player screws you one week does not mean that he will the following week. Often I would argue that the player is an even better play on DraftKings considering that his ownership is lowered because of the week prior. It is imperative to have a short memory when playing fantasy football.
Just Win, Baby
Out of all the surprising things I saw in Week 5, nothing surprised me more than the Las Vegas Raiders' defensive effort in the second half of the game against Kansas City. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes looked flustered and could not find any open receivers. Perhaps Jon Gruden found the blueprint for other coaches to follow. The Raiders also showed how much better their offense is with WR Henry Ruggs III on the field. Ruggs only had two catches for 118 yards and a TD, but he spread the field and forced the Chiefs safety to come over to cover him. Once rookie WR Bryan Edwards returns and gets some confidence, you will see this team take off.
When Washington QB Alex Smith got injured in 2018, I wondered if we would ever see him walk again, let alone take the playing field. Two years later, with his family in the stands, Smith came into the game when Kyle Allen got injured. It was an emotional moment for Smith, his family, and Washington fans alike. He didn’t play very well, but that didn't matter. It was his courage and perseverance that will forever stand out to me. As for the game, the Rams dominated in all facets and stymied the Redskins young players, Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson. It was good to see Rams RB Cam Akers back on the field; he will get many more opportunities moving forward.
Last Monday, I wondered whether Falcons QB Matt Ryan had lost some arm strength as he underthrew his receivers all game long in Green Bay. However, I chalked it up to the Packers pass rush and thought that he would rebound against Carolina. Sadly, he looked just as bad—and maybe even worse—against Carolina. Ryan averaged 6.1 yards per completion and only threw for 221 yards. Outside of his arm strength, I think there is another reason why he had a poor outing. The Falcons defense is so bad that offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter needs to run the ball as much as possible to eat up the clock to keep the defense off the field. Because of this, I can easily see Ryan seldomly throwing in the first half of games and only in the second half if the team is woefully behind.
Note: Atlanta fired head coach Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff after the game. It was a long-time coming and not unexpected. Raheem Morris was named interim head coach. I don’t expect any significant changes to the offense.
Not Tua Time Yet
I can speak for (most) Floridians when I say that we are ready to see Dolphins rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa take the field as the starter. However, that won’t be happening for a few more weeks because incumbent Ryan Fitzpatrick is still playing at a high level. Fitzpatrick dominated the 49ers decimated defense to the tune of 350 passing yards and three TDs. While I still think that Tua will eventually become the starter, I think it will be more likely that it happens in Week 10 or Week 12 when they play the Jets who lack any pass rush.
Often fantasy football managers wonder whether they should roster a backup over a starter who gets the bulk of the carries. Some players who fit this profile are Tony Pollard (Ezekiel Elliott), Latavius Murray (Alvin Kamara), and Alexander Mattison (Dalvin Cook). The answer is simple: you must roster them if they are good enough to take over the full-time job in case of an injury. Vikings RB Alexander Mattison came into Sunday night's game after Dalvin Cook left with a groin injury. Mattison rushed for 112 yards and had three receptions for 24 yards, showing all the true RB1 skills. Mattison might not be the starter when Cook returns, but for the next short while, he has immense fantasy value and needs to be treated as an RB1.
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