This is The Two-Minute Drill: Fantasy Musings Week 5!
Justin Fields: Part Two
Justin Fields passed for a career-high four TD passes and 335 passing yards. However, Chicago fell at home to the lowly Denver Broncos 31-28. Chicago then headed to FedEx Field on a short week against the Commanders with Matt Eberflus coaching for his job.
Fields played remarkably well, passing for four TDs again and adding a season-high 57 rushing yards. Chicago won their first game of the season with a 40-20 exclamation point. Fantasy managers who drafted Fields are feeling great with back-to-back smash games. Fields gets a chance to build on his fantasy success with back-to-back fantasy-friendly home games against Minnesota and Las Vegas.
Travis Etienne SMASH GAME
Jacksonville ended their two-game London road trip with a massive 25-20 win over the Buffalo Bills. Trevor Lawrence passed for 315 yards, Calvin Ridley bounced back with 122 receiving yards, and Christian Kirk chipped in six catches for 78 yards. But the story of the day was Travis Etienne. Etienne had his signature game as a Jacksonville Jaguar. He finished the day with 184 combined yards and two TDs- on a bell cow-like 30 touches. Etienne added four catches, giving him 18 total on the year. Last season, Etienne had 35 catches all season long, frustrating fantasy managers who expected him to be way more of a two-way threat out of the backfield. He is now on pace for 61 catches. The Jaguars have turned it around, and Etienne managers have much to be excited about moving forward.
A Kyle Pitts Sighting in Atlanta
Jonnu Smith paced the Falcons in Week 4 with 95 receiving yards, while Pitts failed to get going with only two catches for 21. Arthur Smith hinted at Pitts still working to get fully healthy. In Week 5, fantasy managers finally saw the sort of Pitts game they anticipated this summer, with 11 targets, seven catches, and 87 receiving yards- all season highs. Atlanta won a close game 21-19 over Houston, and Desmond Ridder passed for a season-high 329 yards. This may be a sign of things to come. It is hard for fantasy managers to fully trust Arthur Smith, but one thing is certain. Pitts is capable of games like this. Fantasy managers will be hoping for more to come.
No Amon-Ra St. Brown, No Problem: Detroit is a MACHINE
The Lions were missing St. Brown and Jahmyr Gibbs, but rolled with a 42-24 victory over Carolina. Detroit is an offensive force. David Montgomery followed up his huge three TD performance in Week 4, with 129 combined yards and a TD. Josh Reynolds had another strong performance with 76 receiving yards and a TD, and Jared Goff passed for three TDs and no interceptions. Oh, and that Sam LaPorta kid is pretty good. LaPorta has a chance at the best rookie season for a TE ever.
Against Carolina, LaPorta added two more TD catches- giving him three on the season to go along with 25 catches. Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson will be one of the hottest names this offseason and a candidate for all head coaching vacancies. The Lions are 4-1.
De’Von Achane Superstar
Achane continued his legendary rookie season, with 165 combined yards and a TD. Over his last three games, Achane has rushed for 454 yards and five TDs. He is drawing comparisons to Jamaal Charles and Chris Johnson (OK, I have called him CJ2K 2.0 any chance I get.) These comparisons are not hyperbole. Achane is the real deal and one of the most exciting RBs in football. He is a top-five play at the position next week when Miami hosts Carolina.
That Tyreek Hill Guy is Pretty Good Too
The Miami attack did not end with Achance. Hill caught eight passes for 181 receiving yards and a TD- a 69-yarder that opened up a one-score game. Hill now has seven games with 150 receiving yards or more in 22 regular season games as Dolphin.
He is one of the most exciting players to every play the game and is attached to one of the best minds in the business in Mike McDaniel. Get your popcorn out anytime Miami is playing.
Alvin Kamara Bell Cow Usage
The Saints game plan with Alvin Kamara is simple: get him the football. Kamara has been a busy man since returning from suspension. In Week 4, he had 24 touches (13 receptions and 11 carries). In Week 5 Kamara saw even more volume, as he had 25 touches (22 carries and three receptions). Head coach Dennis Allen will get Kamara the rock, whether it is targets out of the backfield or carries. New Orleans rolled 34-0 over a hapless New England Patriots. New Orleans has established an offensive identity with Kamara as the offense’s focal point.
George Pickens BEAST MODE
Pickens put his stamp on the Steelers-Ravens rivalry in a major way. Down 10-8 in the 4th Quarter, Pickens beat Marlon Humphrey for a 41-yard TD catch. Pittsburgh held on for a 17-10 victory. The win leaves the Steelers in a two-way tie with the Ravens atop the AFC North. Pickens has now had two games with 127 receiving yards or more this season after only posting one game over 100 all of last year. The 22-year-old is the focal point of the Pittsburgh passing game and has a ton of momentum heading into the Bye week.
Indianapolis Colts Emotional Rollercoaster
Jonathan Taylor returned, and Indianapolis was not lying when they said he would be eased into action. Taylor had six rushing attempts and caught one pass for minimal production, while Zack Moss rushed for 160 yards and two TDs. Expect Taylor to take over most of the carries, but Moss’ strong play cannot be ignored.
The Colts will need all the RB production they can get, and Anthony Richardson was lost with an AC joint sprain. This was the third time Richardson was forced to exit a game early. Gardner Minshew filled in to close out an AFC South win over Tennessee, and Minshew Magic has been solid in relief when needed this season. Still, Richardson’s continual struggles with injuries put a damper on a win and the return of the Colts star RB. Next week, the 3-2 Colts host Jacksonville, with the winner taking over sole possession of first place in the division. Will this be a Minshew Magic revenge game?
A.J. Brown Smash Season
The Eagles won again, pushing their season record to 5-0 with a 23-14 win over the Rams in LA. Once again, Philadelphia leaned on A.J. Brown. Brown caught six passes for 127 yards, continuing his torrid recent pace of play. Over the last three games, Brown has 433 receiving yards. Much was made this offseason about the ceiling Brown presented drafters with his end of the first-round ADP. Many analysts argued that DeVonta Smith was the more valuable Eagle at cost. All those arguments look moot. Brown is not only smashing his ADP value, but he is one of the dominant WRs in fantasy football.
Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua: Target HOGS
Cooper Kupp returned from injury and did not miss a beat. Kupp finished with eight catches on 12 targets with 118 receiving yards. Puka Nacua remained and thrived next to Kupp. Nacua finished with seven catches for 71 yards and a TD on 11 targets. The Kupp-Nacua combo combined for 67 percent of the Rams’ targets. Kupp is the focal point, but Nacua is a locked-in high-end WR2. The Rams lost the game, but fantasy managers who have them rostered look like big winners.
Ja’Marr Chase Explosion
Ja’Marr Chase is heating up. Chase was dominant a week after a frustrating 27-3 loss to Tennessee where he was held in check with only 73 yards receiving. With Tee Higgins sidelined, Chase saw even more work than usual, finishing with an incredible 19 targets. Chase ended the game with 15 catches, 192 yards, and three TDs.
His 15 receptions broke the Bengals record for most ever in a single game held by Carl Pickens since 1988. Joe Burrow had his first 300+ passing game this season. Despite all their early season struggles, the Bengals are 2-3 and very much in the mix for the AFC North. Four out of their next six games are at home. Expect a lot more smash games from Chase this season. He is sensational.
Breece Hall Revenge Game
Breece Hall returned to Denver- the same field where he suffered his season-ending ACL injury in 2022. Hall exacted revenge in a redemption game, reminding fantasy managers and NFL fans alike about what sort of a special talent he still is. He finished with 177 rushing yards and a TD and added three catches. Trailing 13-8 at the beginning of the third quarter, Hall broke off an explosive 72-yard TD run. The Jets won 31-21 and now head back to Metlife to host the undefeated Eagles with a chance at a season-defining win. In a must-win game, Hall had 22 carries- equaling his total in Weeks 2, 3, and 4 combined.