Week 5 of the 2018 Fantasy Footballs Season is done and there was no shortage of drama, thrills, and in some case, tears. Here’s hoping that you are looking at more than just the bottom line of stats and box scores.
If you look between the lines and beyond the stats, what do your eyes tell you about the latest week of the season? Each week carries its own bit of valuable information. For example, how to set your lineup each week, when it’s time to improve a portion of your roster or perhaps when it’s time to cut someone loose before it’s too late. The following are observations that Ernie Estrella has made about the week that was, and how it will affect the weeks yet to come.
Here is What I learned in Week 5 of the 2018 Fantasy Football Season.
1. Rinse (in tears) and (fantasy) spin
1. The Rams lost two of their three starting receivers to concussions. Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp left and did not return to the game. Each needs to pass concussion protocol before they’re eligible for Week 6 and fantasy. Teammate Josh Reynolds looks to be a key pickup if one or both are unable to return in Week 6. Other key injuries include:
• 49ers running back Matt Breida bowed out of the first half against the Cardinals with an mild-ankle sprain. Alfred Morris took control of the carries with 18 carries for 61 yards. Kyle Juszczyk took over as the pass-catching back. He could potentially miss a game or two depending on how practice goes this week.
• The Niners also lost Pierre Garcon in the game with a shoulder injury, increasing the looks for Trent Taylor who caught a touchdown.
• Eagles running back Jay Ajayi is done for the season with a torn ACL. Suddenly the wheels are coming off in Philadelphia, losing close games and teammates left and right. With Corey Clement already nursing an injury, Wendell Smallwood figures to split carries with Clement when he returns.
• Another running back lost for the season is the Jags’ Corey Grant with a Lisfranc injury. He was placed on injured reserve, continuing T.J. Yeldon‘s run as the team’s best running back whenever Leonard Fournette is less than 100 percent, and has been a reliable source of points this season.
• Ryan Kalil, center for the Panthers was injured at the bottom of a pile with a concussion. He has a history of neck injuries and shoulder injuries. Tyler Larsen is slated as his replacement. Monitor this situation to see if it affects Cam Newton or Christian McCaffrey.
• Broncos starting left tackle Garrett Bolles left the second half with a right ankle injury. Already without right tackle Jared Veldheer, the Broncos might face the Rams’ pass rushers, down their starting tackles in Week 6.
• Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan injured his right foot and did not return against the Bills. They’re offense is already struggling.
• Miami Dolphins’ starting left tackle Laremy Tunsil exited Sunday’s game with a concussion, which led to a big breakdown in pass coverage from the left side.
• And if the Cardinals’ O-line couldn’t get any worse, right tackle Andre Smith injured his hamstring. In addition to an earlier elbow injury, an already weak offensive line could get thinner moving forward.
• In what was a frustrating night for owners who had key Redskins playing last night, RB Adrian Peterson strained his shoulder and will get an MRI, WR Paul Richardson who returned from injury, got another one, this time his left knee. And TE Vernon Davis hurt his hamstring.
2. Outside of Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon, the Chargers are tough to predict.
We get a lot of questions regarding Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler but it has been very difficult to find a trend in the way the Chargers run their offense. Historically, Rivers has a heavy preference of two receivers, a tight end and a running back, and Allen and Gordon support the first two. But without Hunter Henry, the third target has been in flux, spread evenly between Williams, Tyrell Williams, Ekeler and to a lesser degree, Antonio Gates and Virgil Green.
Seven different Chargers have caught touchdowns, and besides Gordon and Allen, all other receivers are averaging below 50.0 yards per game. Just when it seems like Ekeler has a worthless day, he catches his lone reception for a 44-yard touchdown. He’s done that three times, while rushing under 50 yards four times with little in return. Williams had a two week streak where he scored a total of three touchdowns, but has gone scoreless the last two against very weak secondaries. The Chargers, besides the usual suspects, are a highly volatile bunch and it’s best not to chase fantasy points down this road.