Ezekiel Elliott continues to impress, totaling 171 yards (on 18 touches) and running for two scores against a Bengals defense that entered having yet to allow a rushing touchdown on the year. Over the last three games, the rookie has rushed for 412 yards (6.1 YPC), and he’s now up to five TDs on the year. Elliott has gotten better every game, and the Dallas offensive line is starting to dominate again, highlighted by his first carry in the second half Sunday. Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson are the clear top two fantasy backs, but Elliott is right behind them in tier one. He just recently turned 21 years old, and he’s on pace to finish the season with 2,006 yards from scrimmage and 16 touchdowns. And that’s with Alfred Morris, Lance Dunbar and Dak Prescott “stealing” six other rushing scores. Elliott is already one of the five most valuable fantasy players…Andy Dalton saved his fantasy day with two TD passes in the final 10 minutes in garbage time, but the Bengals continue to struggle inside the red zone and badly miss Tyler Eifert.
Tom Brady unsurprisingly looked great in his return, throwing for 400 yards and three touchdowns. Reports surfaced of him having poor chemistry with Martellus Bennett late this week, so naturally the two connected for all three scores. Bennett is locked in as a TE1 moving forward…Julian Edelman should be treated as a top-15 fantasy WR with Brady back. Coming off a down game after a slow start, make sure your league views him as such…Chris Hogan is intriguing, but there are so many mouths to feed in New England, including a seemingly healthier Rob Gronkowski…Cody Kessler became the third Browns QB to get injured this season, with Sunday’s incident occurring on this ugly play that resulted in a safety. Any Charlie Whitehurst at all is bad news for Isaiah Crowell and Terrelle Pryor.
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Coming off a bye and up against a Detroit defense entering with the worst DVOA against QBs, it was an underwhelming performance by the Eagles offense. Jordan Matthews saw just four targets, while Zach Ertz was quiet against a D that entered having already allowed six touchdowns to tight ends. Carson Wentz’s first career interception came on an ill-advised deep throw on first down with the team trying to get into field goal range. No Philly back can be trusted in fantasy leagues, as it was surprising Wendell Smallwood wasn’t given a single touch…Matthew Stafford has thrown three touchdowns in three games this season. He has a 1:3 TD:INT ratio in the other two contests.
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Brian Hoyer got 9.2 YPA with no turnovers and took zero sacks. It’s going to take an injury for Jay Cutler to get his job back…Andrew Luck took five more sacks at home against a Bears defense that entered with six over four games. He’s on pace to be taken down 64 times this season…Phillip Dorsett saw half as many targets (three) as Chester Rogers in a game in which Luck threw 39 times. Dorsett can be safely dropped in all formats, even with Donte Moncrief out…T.Y. Hilton has 387 receiving yards and three scores over his past three games and has seen double-digit targets in every contest this season. He’s become a more valuable fantasy wide receiver than DeAndre Hopkins…Alshon Jeffrey can no longer be considered any more than a WR3, as Cam Meredith saw twice as many targets Sunday…Jordan Howard looks great and will be an easy top-10 RB in Week 6 at home against Jacksonville.
Ryan Tannehill somehow took half as many sacks (six) as he had completions at home against the Titans, as no receiver on Miami saw more than three targets…Andre Johnson was the only Tennessee wide receiver with a touchdown this season until Rishard Matthews found the end zone in the fourth quarter…Marcus Mariota’s four touchdowns Sunday equaled the previous amount he had all season.
Minnesota’s defense is legit, as is its new homefield advantage. Harrison Smith dropped an interception he would’ve easily returned for a score, but the Vikings made up for it by returning an ensuing punt for a TD soon thereafter. Minnesota has allowed an NFL-low 6.0 YPA and has a league-high 19 sacks…The Texans offense entered having scored an NFL-low five touchdowns on the year, and they managed to add just one Sunday (DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller had zero catches at half). Houston is in first place, but Brock Osweiler looks like one of the worst quarterbacks in the league, and Lamar Miller has gotten 3.7 YPC and can’t find the end zone…A really disappointing game from Jerick McKinnon, as Minny continues to struggle to run block…The Vikings head to their bye as the only undefeated team in football, and Sam Bradford gets his revenge game in Philly in Week 7.
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Ben Roethlisberger has a 9:0 TD:INT ratio over the last two weeks and has thrown for more than 250 yards in all five games this season. The 34-3 loss in Philly was no doubt ugly, but Pittsburgh still looks like one of the three best teams in football right now…Brandon Marshall predictably saw 15 targets in a game they had to play catch up without Eric Decker…Down 11 points with 7:36 left to play, the Jets inexplicably punted on 4th-and-2 from midfield up against one of the NFL’s best offenses…Facing a Jets team that entered having allowed the second-lowest YPC (3.0), Le’Veon Bell still totaled 154 yards. He’s going to put up silly numbers the rest of the way if he can stay healthy. DeAngelo Williams is the perfect handcuff too. A backup who’s capable of putting up 80% of Bell’s production if an injury strikes, yet he steals almost no touches otherwise…Sammie Coates had arguably the most memorable day of Week 5, as he had 139 yards and two scores, including this 72-yarder. He also had at least four drops, two of which would’ve been scores. Clearly, Coates can be maddening (a laceration on his hand was partially to blame for Sunday’s drops, but this has always been a problem with him), but the upside is huge.
With news of strong winds and Shareece Wright inactive, no player was removed from DFS lineups Sunday morning more than DeSean Jackson…The wind certainly didn’t help, but the Ravens managed just three points over the final 55 minutes at home against a Washington defense that entered allowing 28.0 ppg…Terrance West shredded the league’s worst run defense, getting 8.6 YPC, but he was given just 11 carries and was robbed of a goal-line carry after C.J. Mosley fumbled out of the end zone (resulting in a touchback) while attempting to return an interception for a score.
Paxton Lynch was a major downgrade, as he got just 6.4 YPA at home against an Atlanta defense that entered allowing the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. He also took six sacks against a Falcons team that came in with the fewest in the NFL…Meanwhile, Matt Ryan got 9.5 YPA without any turnovers on the road against arguably the league’s toughest defense. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman combined for 286 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. The Falcons are officially legit (it’s insane they lost at home to the Bucs), although they face a tough task in Week 6 traveling for the fourth time in five games to face a Seattle team coming off a bye…One week after recording 300 receiving yards, Julio Jones had zero at halftime.
Robert Woods was quiet, although Tyrod Taylor overthrew him while wide open on a would-be 56-yard TD…Dan Carpenter has now missed eight extra points since the beginning of last year…Coming off back-to-back upset wins, it was impressive of Buffalo to travel across the country and record another victory Sunday in the heat…LeSean McCoy continues to look fantastic, while Todd Gurley continues to have nowhere to run (he scored Sunday, but he also lost a costly fumble).
Song of the Week: Funkadelic – Hit It And Quit It
The game with Week 5’s highest over/under didn’t disappoint, as Oakland/San Diego combined for 65 points…Amari Cooper had the most targets in the NFL without recording a touchdown before finally scoring Sunday, and he also added a two-point conversion. Still, his day could’ve been bigger with two other near scores (one review resulted in around a 10 minute delay)…I liked DeAndre Washington as a cheap DFS play with Latavius Murray inactive, but it’s a full-blown committee in Oakland’s backfield, making it a stay away situation for fantasy owners, even when Murray returns…It was more of the same for Melvin Gordon, who got just 4.3 YPC, lost another costly fumble yet once again hit paydirt (he and Jordy Nelson are the only players who’ve scored in every game this season)…Just when you think the Chargers can’t possibly stumble in the fourth quarter again, they do it once more in impressive fashion, botching the snap on the game-tying field goal attempt.
Longread of the Week: The Gruesome November Night In One Of Washington’s Wealthiest Suburbs
Facing a Green Bay defense that was the toughest against the run but allowing 8.9 YPA (second highest in NFL), the setup was perfect for Eli Manning owners, as the Giants figured to have to pass frequently to keep up with Green Bay’s potent offense as well. So it’s more than a little discouraging to see Manning finish with fewer than 200 yards and get just 5.7 YPA…Odell Beckham saw 12 targets, but he managed just 56 yards against a secondary that’s been torched by opposing No. 1 wide receivers, although at least he scored for the first time in 2016…Bobby Rainey led New York with 22 rushing yards. The Giants offense is a real problem…Randall Cobb reached 100 yards for the first time in the last 20 games.