Welcome week 5, we are now a quarter of the way through the season. Finally starting to feel like fall here in LA, the high was only 74 today, I know how do we Californians survive? The only thing that really makes it feel like fall around here is football season and the arrival of Halloween decorations. Teams we have on bye would be the Bears and the Buccaneers. Ironic they share the bye week together, seeing as Mitchell Trubisky spanked the Bears with his 6 touchdowns last week. It’s like the football gods knew the Bucs would need a week to regain their composure and the Bears would need this week to bask in the victory. Before I jump into Week 5 flex plays, I’ll touch on picks from last week, who you can roll out again and who you can move on from.
Week 4 Calls To Double Down On In Week 5
Cooper Kupp (PPR)
Feels unfair to say I called this. However, week 4 just proved that the Rams receiving core as a whole is legit. Kupp, Woods are all currently ranked within the top 15 receivers in PPR. that’s staggering to have that much talent and have three players evenly seeing that much work. With Brandin Cooks being closer to the WR2 slot as he averages 3 more yards per catch than the others. But this feels like splitting hairs. Kupp has more touchdowns than Cooks and Woods. While Robert Woods has more targets than the other two, with 34 for the season. As a whole, the three combined for 99 targets, 1123 yards, and 8 touchdowns, in just 4 weeks!. Now one receiver will outshine the other two from week to week. Week 4 it was Cooper Kupp with 9 receptions for 162 yards and a cool 2 touchdowns. This week they travel to Seattle. Now the Legion of Boom has been shaken as of late. They’re allowing an average of just over 219 passing yards a game and an average of 6.5 yards per catch. However, you can feel confident starting anyone from this dynamic trio.
Calvin Ridley WR (PPR)
Matt Ryan continues to pepper the field with targets, with Calvin Ridley being amongst the benefactors. Ridley is averaging 2 touchdowns a game. Granted it’s only out of 3 weeks, that’s still a pretty cool stat. Last week he had 6 targets, 54 yards, and 2 touchdowns while seeing 54% of snaps he played. Taking that into this week’s matchup against the Steelers, who’s secondary isn’t up to Steel Curtain standards, Ridley could be in for a big game.
Phillip Lindsay (Standard & PPR)
If you flexed with Phillip Lindsay last week you were probably pleased with what you saw. His 12 rushing attempts for 69 yards and a touchdown, would make any fantasy owner smile. This week, the Broncos travel to Met Life Stadium to take on the Jets, who have been strong against the run. They have however allowed an average of 48 receiving yards to backs. This along with Lindsay’s stealth and big-play ability, have the potential for another strong flex showing.
Week 4 Flops
Might be cliche to say, I’m more disappointed in myself than you are of me on these calls. However, it’s true. Kenyan Drake & Latavius Murray were epic flops for fantasy this week. As for Miami, their undefeated streak was short lived with a near shutout against the Patriots. Kenyan Drake saw a measly 3 yards for his 3 rushing attempts. Then there’s Latavius Murray. Who can’t seem to rise to the occasion while Dalvin Cook is still not fully healthy. There’s a lead role for the taking, and Murray puts up 2 yards on 2 attempts. It’ll take a lot for me to consider starting them going forward.
Fresh Flex Picks
Thursday Night Special, New England hosts Indianapolis Colts. As we watch Andrew Luck shake the rust off, I for one hope to see him stretch the field a bit against the Patriots. Meanwhile, Brady seems to have re-stoked the flame as he completed two-thirds of passes to his receivers in week 4, his best completion rating so far this season.
Julian Edelman WR (PPR)
This brings me to the return of Brady’s favorite target and Sports Illustrated babe, Julian Edelman. I have no shame. Edelman makes his return this week from suspension in a home game, which in my opinion makes it his homecoming game. Edelman had 98 receptions and 158 targets when we saw him last in 2016, and that was when he was sharing targets with Chris Hogan and his best bud Danny Amendola. Now, despite Dorsett and Patterson stepping up this past week, you can count on Brady finding Edelman. The risk here is obvious, is we have yet to see him play. That said, if you have him and you’re weak on options, I say roll him out.
Sony Michel RB (PPR & Standard)
Meanwhile, in the Patriots backfield, Sony Michel had a good looking week 4. He had 25 rushing attempts for 112 yards and a touchdown. He’s being utilized more and more as evident in his bump in attempts. Michel was on 41% of snaps played last week and saw 33 of those snaps. Now, the Colts have been decent at stopping the rush, only allowing 3.62 yards per carry. However, if New England gets the lead early, expect them to manage the clock and see Michel stack up on his carries and rushing yards.
Nyheim Hines RB (PPR)
While we’ve been waiting on Marlon Mack to arrive, Nyheim Hines has been Mr. Consistent back for the Colts. So far this season, he ranks fifth amongst backs in routes run and sixth in targets. Last week he had 9 receptions for 63 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also led in overall snap percentage amongst backs, as he saw 68% of snaps played. Hines is also averaging 5.5 receptions a game. His ceiling is capped slightly as he’s against the Patriots, however with his versatility, he’ll be flex-worthy. Plus Andrew Luck will likely be playing catch up to Brady, so Hines should be in for some targets.
Ryan Grant WR (PPR)
You can always trust a guy with two first names. That’s how the saying goes right? Anyways, TY Hilton has been ruled out this week as he’s dealing with a hamstring injury. I swear I’m going to write an entire article about hamstrings one of these days, so help me. Back to who will be filling the big shoes of TY Hilton, look to Ryan Grant. He’s right behind Hilton in stats on the season as he has 18 receptions behind TY’s 21. He’s averaging 10.4 yards receiving and 4 red zone targets.
Corey Davis WR (PPR)
Week 4 looked like the break out week we’d been hoping to see from Corey Davis for a while. He had 9 receptions for 161 yards and a touchdown, plus he saw 85% off snaps he played. Not too shabby. Davis has also amassed 39 targets over these 4 weeks. Taking these stats into the matchup away in Buffalo bodes well for Davis. The Bills have allowed an average of just over 274 receiving yards a game and allowed 37 fantasy points to receivers so far. I don’t want to beat up on the Bills, but this looks promising for Davis.
Mohamed Sanu WR (PPR)
Jumping back to where I left off with Calvin Ridley, Mohamed Sanu could also be in for a big week. The last two weeks have been prosperous to Sanu, it’s as if with Ridley’s big play success, it opens the field for Sanu as well. Last week he had 9 targets and 111 yards. Really this game has the makings of a shootout written all over it, shaky secondaries and pass-happy offenses.
Austin Eckler RB (Standard)
Both the Chargers and Raiders are head into Stub Hub coming off wins, Raiders with their first of the season. I’d say home field advantage will help the Chargers, however, having been to an LA Chargers game that’s not the case. Sadly, the away fans tend to outnumber the homers, and in this case, there’s a massive love for the Raiders in LA. The battle for LA should make this a fun game to watch. Among the positives for the Chargers offense, is that the Raiders have allowed the 10th most PPR points to backs. While Melvin Gordon has been gobbling up targets, Austin Eckler has held steady flex-worthy numbers. Eckler is averaging just over 40 receiving yards a game, and both his touchdowns last week and in week 1 were on receptions. His snap percentage does put a cap on his ceiling, as last week he saw just 34% of snaps played. But all it takes is a few red zone looks to make him worth your while.