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Atlanta Falcons @ Houston Texans
Matt Ryan threw for 330 yards and produced four touchdowns but somehow paled in comparison to Deshaun Watson, who totaled 473 yards (12.9 YPA) with five TD strikes, becoming just the third QB ever to do so while recording a perfect Passer Rating. Watson had been held without a touchdown pass in two of the previous three games but rebounded in a big way, also rushing for a season-high in yards while not taking a sack for the first time since last October. Will Fuller entered among the league-leaders in air yards and due for a major breakout, and it resulted in him going off for 14 catches with 217 yards and three touchdowns (he was also tackled at the 1-yard line twice). Fuller was off to a slow start this season, but he was recovering from knee surgery and has now scored 14 touchdowns through 16 career games with Watson. Fuller should be considered a top-20 WR when healthy.
DeAndre Hopkins, meanwhile, was relatively quiet for the fourth straight game, a stretch in which he’s averaged a modest 59 yards without a score. With upcoming matchups in Kansas City and Indianapolis, it’s certainly worth at least attempting to buy the star receiver now, as his value will likely never be lower … Darren Fells had two TDs, but they were his only targets, and Jordan Akins finished with more yards, so tight end can still be ignored in Houston … The NFL inexplicably went with a 10/2 morning/afternoon split slate this week, and DirecTV left this 53-32 thriller off the Game Mix channel, because who could’ve foreseen it being more entertaining than the Bengals/Cardinals barn burner?
Ryan has averaged more than 44 pass attempts per game this season, which is right there with the NFL record. His setup is quite favorable for fantasy success this year … Devonta Freeman salvaged his fantasy day with five catches and a score (and nearly had another TD run), but he looks just about toast as a runner … Austin Hooper was held in check against a Texans defense that’s stingy against tight ends, while Calvin Ridley woke up and tied for the team lead with nine targets … Julio Jones was quiet for the second straight week but is sure to rebound soon enough, especially given Atlanta’s situation (struggling defense and running game).
This high-scoring affair highlighted a day in which a whopping nine players scored more than 30 fantasy points, as this era continues to be more high scoring (the Cowboys/Packers combined for the most yards ever during their storied rivalry in Sunday’s matchup).
Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys
The Packers scored 34 points while missing Davante Adams and with Aaron Rodgers throwing for just 238 scoreless yards, while game script helped Dak Prescott erupt for 463 passing yards in the loss. Green Bay has outscored its opponents 42-3 in the first quarter this season … Aaron Jones hit pay dirt four times (and could’ve had a fifth, but Matt LaFleur is stubborn at the GL), also hauling in 7-of-8 targets for 75 yards. He’s loving life without Jamaal Williams and looked highly impressive while breaking a bunch of tackles Sunday. Jones is up to eight touchdowns over the last four games (and 15 targets over the last two), locking him in as an RB1 for fantasy purposes … Ezekiel Elliott underwhelmed yet again, but Michael Gallup looked healthy and is back on the scene as a WR2 (he’s top-10 in WOPR this season). Amari Cooper went ballistic for a career-high 226 yards against a Green Bay secondary that entered yielding the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Carolina Panthers
Gardner Minshew threw for 374 yards (8.5 YPA) and two scores on the road against a Carolina secondary that entered allowing just 5.2 YPA on the season. He lost three fumbles but added 42 rushing yards for fantasy gamers, has the guts of a burglar, was playing cornhole when drafted by the Jaguars and remains a legend … D.J. Chark went crazy for 11-8-164-2 against a stout defense. Chark has a strong connection with his QB and looks like a legitimate superstar. He led the league in air yards this week, is matchup-proof and is a must-start in fantasy leagues far more so than a sell-high option … Leonard Fournette took advantage of Carolina’s run-funnel defense, while Christian McCaffrey routinely made highlight plays and has the most yards from scrimmage over the first five games of a season since Jim Brown despite missing time at the end of Sunday’s contest with cramps. CMC is the first back ever to record at least 175 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in four of the first five games and is the undisputed weekly RB1, while Reggie Bonnafon emerged as his clear handcuff who needs to be added in all leagues.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints
Jameis Winston threw for just 204 yards against a New Orleans defense that entered allowing the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, while Teddy Bridgewater played extremely well, somehow helping everyone who’s rostering Michael Thomas not miss Drew Brees … Mike Evans put up a goose egg in a prime matchup, while O.J. Howard might as well be in the witness protection program. Meanwhile, Chris Godwin is on pace to finish with 106 catches, 1,635 yards, and 19 touchdowns … Ronald Jones looks noticeably better than Peyton Barber, while Evans leads the NFL in air yards, so he’s a buy-low candidate.
Chicago Bears @ Oakland Raiders
David Montgomery was badly outplayed by Josh Jacobs in a battle of rookie backs, with the latter heading into his bye looking like an RB1 for fantasy purposes moving forward. An impressive win by the Raiders without Tyrell Williams during Khalil Mack’s revenge game (the Bears missed a ton of tackles Sunday), as this line had big late-week movement toward Chicago (same with Tampa Bay) … Derek Carr managed to lose a fumble without taking a sack (nor did he record a TD or INT), while Darren Waller disappointed in a game he figured to be featured heavily (instead Foster Moreau and Trevor Davis had more receiving yards) … Eddy Pineiro looks like a constant in-game injury risk, while Allen Robinson pulled down a couple of impressive TD grabs and is locked in as a solid WR2.
Arizona Cardinals @ Cincinnati Bengals
Kyler Murray has zero TD passes in three of his last four games but ran for a career-high 93 yards and scored on the ground for the second straight week. He also took just one sack while missing Christian Kirk … Andy Dalton salvaged a terrible day with two TD strikes in the final five minutes, although Tyler Eifert failed to take advantage of Arizona’s leaky defense against tight ends, and Cincinnati fell to the previously winless Cardinals and are now 0-5 … Everyone’s favorite Week 5 DFS punt Auden Tate dropped a TD on the opening drive but made up for it with a late score.
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Lamar Jackson has five picks and two fumbles while taking nine sacks over the last two games, but he helped fantasy gamers with his legs Sunday and should bounce back with a home matchup against the Bengals in Week 6 … Mason Rudolph left with a scary injury, and the fantasy values of James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster are headed downward … If you’re looking for an upside stash for your bench, grab Gus Edwards (7% rostered) ... Justin Tucker’s game-winner in overtime took a circuitous route.
Minnesota Vikings @ New York Giants
Kirk Cousins shredded a horrible secondary, although Adam Thielen benefitted far more than Stefon Diggs with twice as many targets and both of the scores. Minnesota gets another shaky secondary with the Eagles in Week 6 … Daniel Jones has been fun to watch at times, but he had pedestrian numbers in a clean pocket during his big debut, attempted a bunch of short and tight throws during his second game and managed just 3.5 YPA when sack adjusted on Sunday, missing a wide-open Sterling Shepard on a possible 60-yard TD. He’s a work in progress … Wayne Gallman left early (expect Saquon Barkley to return in Week 6), while Darius Slayton had more receiving yards than Shepard, Evan Engram, and Golden Tate despite seeing fewer targets than any of them … Dalvin Cook is a monster (even his lost fumble at the 1-yard line strategically resulted in a safety on the next play).
New England Patriots @ Washington Redskins
If there was a way to unimpressively cover a 16-point spread on the road (and do so easily), the Patriots found it Sunday. But New England’s defense remains no joke, even if its schedule has been especially favorable. They haven’t allowed a touchdown pass this season … Tom Brady wasn’t particularly sharp, overthrowing Josh Gordon on a would-be long TD early. He attempted 31 passes by halftime, producing just 12 points against a bad defense … Sony Michel showed signs of life with Rex Burkhead out (and still no Damien Harris, who must be hanging out with Darrell Henderson), while the early exit of Phillip Dorsett was a tough blow to fantasy gamers … Why isn’t Dwayne Haskins starting? I’m beginning to think Washington may even soon fire Jay Gruden.
New York Jets @ Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz wasn’t needed much during the blowout, and Jordan Howard is up to five touchdowns over the last three weeks. Miles Sanders was helpful as a receiver but managed just 1.7 YPC and remains behind Howard in the pecking order, especially in games in which Philadelphia is favored … Demaryius Thomas immediately stepped in and led the Jets with nine targets (Robby Anderson sadly saw just three), looking decently spry but also committing an absolutely horrific drop on a would-be 75-yard touchdown. Thomas finished second in WOPR this week, so he’s on the radar. The Jets need a healthy Sam Darnold back (and a new coach).
Buffalo Bills @ Tennessee Titans
Marcus Mariota got 8.3 YPA against a tough Buffalo secondary, but it came at the expense of another five sacks and resulted in just seven points, thanks in no small part to Cairo Santos missing four field goals … Josh Allen gutted it out, although more than five targets to John Brown would’ve been nice against a beatable Tennessee back-end … Derrick Henry scored but had a second TD called back, didn’t see a target and disappointed against a Bills run-funnel defense that entered ranked No. 3 against the pass and No. 25 versus the rush in DVOA.
Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Chargers
At home against a pass defense that came in ranked No. 28 in DVOA, Philip Rivers got 4.4 YPA with a 0:2 TD:INT ratio while playing in front of essentially a road crowd in Los Angeles. The 2-3 Chargers missed another field goal and watched Melvin Gordon manage just 38 yards on 18 touches/targets during his return from holding out. Meanwhile, Austin Ekeler set a franchise record with 15 receptions. He entered leading all running backs in yards per route run and is going to remain a big part of LA’s offense moving forward … With Courtland Sutton, Emmanuel Sanders, Noah Fant (check out his workout metrics), Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman, the Broncos have an underrated group of skill position players, although it’s too bad quarterback isn’t one of them. Meanwhile, Denver’s Vic Fangio-led defense opened the season with its first four-game stretch without a turnover in franchise history (they forced three takeaways Sunday). Sutton looks like the real deal.
Indianapolis Colts @ Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs entered with the NFL’s longest streak of scoring 25+ points (25 games) yet ended the night with 13 points in a home loss to an Indy defense that came in ranked second-worst in DVOA and missing Malik Hooker and Darius Leonard. Sammy Watkins exited early, and Patrick Mahomes sprained his ankle, but the offensive line was the biggest culprit for Kansas City’s shocking no show on offense … Damien Williams failed to break loose during his return to action, while LeSean McCoy didn’t record a single carry (but did lose a fumble) after not being listed on the final injury report. Marlon Mack, meanwhile, ran all over the Chiefs despite playing hobbled, helping end many Survivor entries and suddenly leaving only the Patriots and 49ers as the lone undefeated teams in football … Byron Pringle led all KC receivers, and the Chiefs will be hoping Tyreek Hill returns in Week 6, as Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson failed to step up Sunday night … Travis Kelce had a span in which he went nearly three quarters without a catch and is stuck on just one touchdown grab this season after recording 10 last year. He joins George Kittle, Zach Ertz, O.J. Howard and Vance McDonald among the disappointing upper-tier tight ends so far.