Welcome to Bruno Boys Ernie’s fantasy football week in review, a weekly installment where he summarizes the aftermath of the past Thursday and Sunday games, but more importantly makes 10 observations and their lasting fantasy impact.
Week 5 - 2017
It was the first bye week of the season and many key players were missed. Also some major injuries took the headlines in a surprising week of football. Some young quarterbacks have entered the conversation of elite, while some are beginning to look long in the tooth. Rookie receivers have failed to impress, but the rookie class of running backs continue to be the story of 2017. Here are the 10 things I took away from Week 5.
1. The state of the Giants’ passing game keeps going further down the toilet and the rest of the Week 5 injuries.
• WR Odell Beckham - The Giants star receiver fractured his ankle, so by now we all know they’re in dire straits. Sterling Shepard hurt his ankle to add insult to injury… but then Brandon Marshall sprained his ankle, too! But no, the nightmare didn’t stop there because kick returner and fourth receiver Dwayne Harris suffered a fracture in his foot, and will join Beckham on the injured reserve. Life goes on and next man up, starting receivers don’t grow on trees, so look for this offense to look worse over the next three weeks.
• RB Bilal Powell was unable to build on his massive Week 4 game after he suffered a calf injury in the second half of the Browns game. He’s going to be week-to-week moving forward but the Jets are already dealing with Matt Forte with turf toe, if you haven’t but a watch on Elijah McGuire, now may be the time to do so.
• DE J.J. Watt fractured his tibia and there’s no need for guesswork, he’s done for the season–again. This is a brutal loss, though the Texans know how to play without Watt. He’s a ferocious competitor but the injuries keep mounting, robbing him of his best years. OLB Whitney Mercilus is done too with a torn pectoral. The Texans defense will bounce back, they’ve done it before, but to lose Mercilus is a bigger loss because they’ve already played without Watt for an extended period. But not Watt and Mercilus. This defense is still trying to fill the holes left from free agency. It’s no longer a defense I want any part of.
• Chiefs TE Travis Kelce is in concussion protocol after leaving the Sunday Night game in the second quarter. WR Chris Conley ruptured his Achilles’ tendon in the fourth quarter and is done for the year. Alex Smith still has his two best playmakers in Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt, but they’ve got two weeks to get healthy or find replacements because they’ll play the Broncos in Week 8.
• Bills TE Charles Clay was carted off to the locker room at the start of the Bills-Bengals game and that immediately hurt the Bills’ offense. He suffered a knee injury and is expected to miss multiple weeks, but is not expected to miss the entire season. The impact was seen immediately as Tyrod Taylor had a terrible game.
• An example of how bad the Bills offense is hurting without any receivers or tight ends to throw to, the Bengals lost starting cornerbacks Adam Jones (lower back) and Dre Kirkpatrick (shoulder) and they still couldn’t throw on them. Bengals DST owners will want to see how they perform in coming weeks to see if these injuries will linger and affect the Bengals back end portion of their defense.
• Another week gone by and another injury to Rob Gronkowski. The elite tight end is elite—when he plays. He’s expected to be back for Week 6 but how much can his owners trust him? That’s the risk you take in drafting Gronk.
2. Where there’s smoke there’s fire
Carlos Hyde was limited with 33 snaps vs. Matt Breida’s 35 snaps. Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan insisted he was riding the hot hand and that Hyde’s hip was not bothering him. This doesn’t make sense given that they were playing the Colts. Hyde was given nine total touches for 18 yards from scrimmage. Breida had 10 carries for 49 yards. Something doesn’t smell right.