Week 4 left us with questions about many offenses and underperforming players. Week 5 showed up with answers. Most came in the form of buy low targets striking it rich in the end zone. Even ol’ Devonta Freeman made an appearance at the party! Let’s use advanced stats, metrics, and analytics to see what went right or wrong and why.
Lesson One (TNF): Todd Gurley is not going anywhere
Even though Todd Gurley slipped in drafts throughout the offseason, it became clear that the Rams would continue to ride him regardless of how healthy he actually was. He’s not seeing as much work as he did two or three years ago, but seeing him carry the ball 15 times and reel in three catches on a short week was more evidence that even Gurley at 70-percent is better than many running backs at 100-percent. He was the red-zone hammer for the Rams in a back-and-forth game on Thursday night and saw five targets, which makes for 16 over the last two weeks.
Check out Todd Gurley on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Weekly Rankings and Projections:
Malcolm Brown‘s carries have dwindled every game this season, from 11 (and two touchdowns) in Week 1 to just one on Thursday. While Brown still rolls in to vulture away some work here and there, lauded rookie Darrell Henderson has been on the field for a grand total of one snap in 2019. Gurley is not going away. Those who bought low are pretty happy right now.
Action: Darrell Henderson‘s value will continue to dwindle until he experiences a good night while spelling Gurley and Brown. Not a bad time to go out and acquire him if you believe in draft capital. Gurley is back in the “elite touchdown upside” category, a positive sign for those wanting a good DFS pivot going forward.
Lesson Two: Will Fuller, Allen Robinson regression week mega-bomb
Everyone knew it was coming, but few could’ve predicted a 14-217-3 line for Will Fuller in the biggest get right game of the season. Fuller saw 16 targets against a ragged Atlanta secondary that has been so bad, folks are calling for Dan Quinn’s job. It was a downright whipping from Fuller, who has been a frequent member of the Air Yards buy-low club, and the yardage and touchdown regression all hit at once. Headed to Kansas City next week, look for Fuller to stay relevant.
Allen Robinson enjoyed a bounce-back on a day where massive scores overshadowed a Raiders upset in London. Robinson already popped last week with seven catches for 77 yards on seven targets from Chase Daniel, and he followed it up with a 7-92-2 performance. In a season of backups outperforming incumbent starters, Daniel has wisely locked onto the Bears’ best offensive weapon. It remains to be seen who will be under center after Chicago’s Week 6 bye, but an upcoming schedule full of potent offenses (NO, LAC, @PHI, DET, @LAR) should spell negative, pass-heavy game script and continued success for ARob.
Lesson Three: Aaron Jones confirms what we knew
Aaron Jones responded to increased opportunity with a monster day, bringing in seven of eight targets and rolling up 182 yards from scrimmage. Oh, he also scored four rushing touchdowns. With Jamaal Williams and Davante Adams not available, Jones put the team on his back, beating Dallas everywhere. It was the caliber of performance that his believers knew was possible, and with no Williams siphoning off work, Jones delivered. Williams had actually seen his carries increase each week of the season before his injury, but perhaps this explosion opens Matt LaFleur’s eyes and Jones can see even more of a feature role going forward.
Action: Jones is off the main slate for Week 6, but Green Bay might have to dig deep into the bag of tricks to beat a surprising Detroit team on Monday Night Football. Jones’ usage can help them get there. Buy low on Marquez-Valdes-Scantling before he bounces back in primetime.
Lesson Four: Cowboys reverting back to pumpkins in time for Halloween
After failing to defeat the Saints in Week 4 with Teddy Bridgewater leading them to a measly 12-point performance, questions popped up all around Dallas this past week. Who is really running the show? Is Kellen Moore a fraud? Are the #FeedZeke zealots going to win out and see the Cowboys revert back to their old ways? Although three interceptions from Dak Prescott would hamper any possible solution, it still didn’t look like the problems have been solved for the Cowboys.
The good news is that Michael Gallup returned and both he and Amari Cooper had big nights, mostly in catch-up mode. Gallup’s presence was sorely missed last week, where Prescott struggled to find open receivers while chasing the Saints. The two receivers combined for 339 of Prescott’s 463 yards. Constant pressure from the underrated Green Bay defense wound up fueling a Dallas team into a pass-heavy script, regardless of what the coaching staff wanted to do. Dallas should have no problem executing against the Jets in Week 6, then they draw the Eagles at home before the bye. Either way, after a pleasantly surprising first few weeks, Dallas is officially on fraud watch.
Action: Michael Gallup is a buy low, medium or high in dynasty. He has played three games out of five and has a 20-339-1 line. That’s WR36. Good at the game.
Monday Night Homework: Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers face first true test
Tom Brady and his young ward Jimmy Garoppolo remain the only undefeated quarterbacks headed into Monday Night Football. The 49ers scooted by the Bucs, Bengals and Steelers to get here, but now take on a much-hyped (then fraudulent, then hyped again) Cleveland team that’s coming off a 40-25 beatdown of Baltimore. It’ll be an interesting meetup between two teams with “Wild Card contender” written all over them, with both producing balanced attacks week to week. Deebo Samuel and George Kittle have separated themselves as the two focal points of the vertical attack for San Francisco, and Tevin Coleman is slated to return and reintroduce a wrinkle into the ever-productive Shanahan RB system. Look for Deebo to continue his solid start with Greedy Williams questionable and Denzel Ward out.