The injuries continued to pile up in Week 5, especially if you owned any part of the Giants receiving corp. Add in a hobbled Matthew Stafford, a season-ending surgery for Tyler Eifert and a possible six game suspension for Ezekiel Elliott and we’ve got plenty of shifting Fantasy Football values to discuss. Jerick McKinnon opened eyes last week, filling in for Dalvin Cook, one of the biggest losses of the season. He and Aaron Jones, filling in for the injured Ty Montgomery, garnered plenty of attention on the waiver wire this week. Now, let’s play that funky music…
Lucky by Britney Spears
Remember when you drafted Andrew Luck thinking he’d be back in action by now? That is not looking so good right now. He’s reportedly out until next month at minimum. Luck is a franchise QB in every sense of the word, but this could end up a lost year in his otherwise trending towards a Hall of Fame career. What do the Colts have to gain by bringing him back this year? In redraft leagues, if you have deep rosters, you simply need to hold onto him at this point. In dynasty leagues, resist the urge to move him and instead stay patient with eyes on 2018. That is, unless you can get a massive haul for his talents that would propel you into championship contention. The Colts’ offense has suffered in general, though Jacoby Brissett has been a nice surprise relatively speaking. Still, you have to downgrade key Colts offensive players for as long as Luck remains silenced. Brissett is an intriguing streaming / DFS play based on matchup.
Don’t by Bryson Tiller
Alex Smith is having himself a season with over 1,300 passing yards, an 11:0 TD to INT ratio and a rushing TD for good measure. The Chiefs’ offense is perhaps the most exciting in the league, something that has literally never been said about an Alex Smith-led offense. Tyreek Hill is not your traditional number one receiver, but he is absolutely electric. Travis Kelce is an alpha receiving threat and one of the best TEs in the game. Kareem Hunt has exploded out of the gate and is looking like an RB1 the rest of the way. With all that talent, it can be a little easier to move the ball. Can Smith keep up his QB1 play? The easy answer, historically speaking, is no. It is not something he’s ever done before over the course of a season. This season is different, though, and those aforementioned playmakers give him a lot of rope. I’m selling high if I can but your fellow owners also have the internet. They know what Smith has been and what his reputation is. You are better off riding him as your starter, while snagging an upside bench QB, roster space permitting. If you keep your expectations in check, I think you’ll actually be quite happy with Smith’s production from here on out.
Monster by Adele (original lyrics by Nicki Minaj on Kanye West’s Monster)
Leonard Fournette is a man-child. It is apparent that the Jaguars are going to lean on him heavily this season and that is great news for his Fantasy value. He’s had 20 or more touches in four of five games thus far and at least one score every time out. This is exactly the type of impact Fantasy owners expected and there is no reason to think it will not continue. The Jaguars defense is legit and Blake Bortles is not, making it the perfect situation for a power back to excel. He’s a definite RB1 talent and could push for a Top 5 finish thanks to the volume and TD potential.
Back and Forth by Aaliyah featuring R. Kelly
Ezekiel Elliott’s season feels like a weird, back and forth case on Law & Order. Honestly, I do not know if he is going to serve the full six game suspension or if we are going to get another appeal. We can only deal with the facts that we have and those are not great if you are an Elliot owner. Hopefully, you were successful in the mad dash for Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris. You really do not have a choice but to sit tight with Elliott, unless someone is going to get cute and try to deal for him. The workload has been there, but the production is not what Elliott owners had hoped for given the beating he put on the entire league last year. The ideal plan is that he can come back during your playoff push and put your team over the top. Last year’s Elliott certainly would.
Hogan Keeps You Rolling by Hogan Tire
Is Chris Hogan going to end the season as a WR1? If I had him on my roster, I would not be sticking around to find out. Don’t just sell him off because you are worried about a production dip, however. You should only do so if the return is too good to pass up, like say Julio Jones. Otherwise, ride it out for the rest of the season. His red zone activity is heavy and should certainly help his cause, but sustaining this level of Fantasy production could prove difficult over the course of a full season thanks to the TD rate. Hogan has already scored a career high 5 TDs and is on pace to dwarf his yardage high water mark as well. Sure, there will be a few quiet games, but he’s a key piece to one of the best offenses in football.
Baller Alert by Young Dolph
Juju Smith-Schuster not only has a really cool name, but it’s one you need to pay attention to. For right now, he’s a player I am adding speculatively off the waiver wire in seasonal leagues and targeting hard in dynasty formats via trade. Smith-Schuster is outplaying Martavis Bryant as a 20-year-old rookie. That is impressive. He is in a great spot for production, especially if Ben Roethlisberger can snap out of his funk. Bryant is immensely gifted as well, so there is no guarantee that JJSS is consistently productive this season, but he’s been impressive early on. The Steelers offense needs a reset button, as there is too much talent for them to be struggling like this.
Oh Boy by Cam’Ron featuring Juelz Santana
Cameron Brate was thought to be pushed aside with high ceiling prospect O.J. Howard drafted in April, but last year’s breakthrough TE is not going away that easily. He has scored a TD in three straight games, reminding everyone about the rapport he had with Winston, specifically in the red zone. Until Howard forces his way into the passing attack, Brate should continue to be deployed as a TE1 option.
Let It Go by James Bay
Eric Ebron has been talked about as a breakout player since he was drafted four years ago. He has one game with more than 40 yards and three games with under 10. That is just not going to cut it, even with the lackluster TE landscape this season. Give Ebron his walking papers and grab someone like Austin Seferian-Jenkins or even Tyler Kroft. There is no need to keep waiting around for him to figure things out. But Eric Ebron was a first round pick and has plenty of athletic ability? Yes, this is true and one of the reasons I’ve been following his (painfully slow) development closely. What you can do is drop him and then check the box scores after each Lions game to remind yourself that you made the right call.