Texans Drop 53 Points on Falcons
Deshaun Watson: 426 yards and five touchdowns. Will Fuller: 14 receptions, 217 yards, and three touchdowns. It was signature Deshaun playing at his best, rolling around the pocket and finding receivers downfield for massive gains. This week, it was Fuller, who was every fantasy analyst’s favorite buy low this week, on the receiving end of those Watson bombs. It was as predictable of a 14-217-3 receiving game as it gets. Fuller has elite upside given his speed and ball skills, and he has been just inches away from big plays all season long. If you aren’t familiar with air yards and you play fantasy football, you better get with the program. If you’re looking for air yards charts for every team, every week, then check out my weekly Fantasy Football Forecast. Fuller is squarely on the WR2/3 map as a boom-or-bust fantasy asset. … As for the Falcons, Matt Ryan quietly has over 300 passing yards in all five games, but they won’t win many football games unless the Falcons Defense takes a few steps forward. Dan Quinn just might not survive the season.
Ekeler Ties Franchise Record for Receptions
One of the decision points of Week 5 was what to do with Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler. There were reports have split touches, but nailing down who would play which role was the key. If you projected Ekeler for the receiving work, then you’re a very happy camper. The Chargers fell behind multiple scores and forced Philip Rivers to throw 48 passes. With Chris Harris all over Keenan Allen, Rivers kept checking down passes to Ekeler, who eventually tied the Bolts’ franchise record with 15 receptions. Incredible. For at least the next few games, it’s safe to project Ekeler for most of the receiving work. The unanswered question is what the Chargers will do with a lead. It looked like they were going to use Gordon more than they did in Week 5 if the scoreboard allowed it. Gordon was on the field early in the game and ended with nine more carries than Ekeler. I take that as a sign that Gordon will be the 1A on rushing downs, especially since Ekeler had another goal-line fumble on Sunday. Both backs should be started in fantasy next week, though I’d rank Ekeler ahead of the soon-to-be free agent.
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Jacobs with a Lead
The Raiders were 6.5 underdogs against a Bears Defense that some call the best in the NFL. Since Josh Jacobs hasn’t been used as much when the Raiders fall behind, there were major reasons for concern surrounding Jacobs’ Week 5 outlook. Across the industry, Jacobs was more of an RB2/3 instead of a locked-in RB2. So, of course, the Raiders jumped out to a 17-0 lead by halftime. Once the lead was established, Jacobs was fed the rock (26 carries). And he was eating (123 yards, two touchdowns). Jacobs looks to have plenty of juice as a runner and offers old school power whenever he’s running between the tackles. Exactly the type of back Jon Gruden loves. Week 5’s game was a reminder that talented backs can still have upside in weeks where they project to face negative game script. All it takes is a couple early-game breaks to go in his team’s favor, and all of a sudden, he can have a top-five week. This doesn’t mean to jam him in DFS tournaments all the time, but there are spots to be contrarian with the Jacobs and Marlon Macks of the world.
Monday Night Football Preview From The Fantasy Football Worksheet
49ers (25, -3.5) vs. CLE
Jimmy Garoppolo needed the bye week to reset after some up-and-down individual performances, but he still enters Week 5 with an 8.8 YPA and 6.0% touchdown rate. His problem has been the 49ers’ second-lowest pass rate on neutral-script early downs, and this week’s matchup against the Browns isn’t a layup from a volume and efficiency standpoint. Garoppolo is a standard QB2 at home. … The 49ers have averaged the most running back fantasy points this season, but we are stuck with a massive committee. Tevin Coleman was limited in Thursday’s practice, so he might play on Monday Night Football. But that’s assuming he’s not a healthy scratch, something I’m not ruling out. Matt Breida has been rotating with Raheem Mostert between-the-20s before Jeff Wilson comes in and scores the goal-line touchdowns. It’s a mess overall. If forced to rank these backs, I’d go Breida, Wilson, Mostert, Coleman.
There’s not a 49ers receiver getting bankable volume, but the Browns are likely to be without CBs Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams once again after they both missed Thursday’s practice. Browns CB T.J. Carrie has allowed the 5th-most yards per coverage snap as their replacement. I’m guessing the 49ers spent the bye week focusing on their youngest receivers, so rookie WR Deebo Samuel and second-year WR Dante Pettis may get more involved, but they remain WR5s at best. ... George Kittle was heavily involved when the 49ers were trailing last year, and the 49ers haven’t been trailing in 2019. That’s why Kittle is on pace for 112 targets this season after seeing 136 in 2018. As 3.5-point favorites, Kittle isn’t expected to be peppered with targets, but he is due for some positive YPT and touchdown regression. Kittle is a second-tier TE1.
To view the 49ers' charts, check the Forecast.
Browns (21.5, +3.5) @ SF
Baker Mayfield is fantasy’s QB23 through four weeks. There are actual issues with play-calling, the offensive line, and Mayfield’s ability to diagnose pressure. Those aren’t good things to be dealing with when the 49ers’ defensive line is on the schedule. Mayfield is likely to be pressured often on Monday Night Football, and his volume with a bottom-five paced offense won’t make up for the potential inefficiency. Mayfield is nothing more than an average QB2. … Nick Chubb is tied for second in the NFL with 11 runs of 10+ yards, and he’s locked into about 20 touches per week. The 49ers defense has played the run really, really well, but Chubb is an RB1 in any matchup. Just not expecting a ceiling game here.
Targets are very concentrated on the Browns, so it’s just a matter of time before Odell Beckham starts going off. The 49ers don’t have a corner that matches up with Odell -- nobody really does to be fair -- especially with Ahkello Witherspoon out. This is a game where OBJ can take a 10-yard slant for a 50-yard touchdown. Sign me up for Odell as a strong WR1. … Jarvis Landry has WR2 usage through four weeks, and there’s no reason to expect that to change with targets very concentrated in Cleveland. Landry is a strong WR3.
To view the Browns' charts, check the Forecast.