Fantasy NFL Week 5: Is Brees value starting to drop?
The bye weeks are starting to take hold so Neil Monnery is here to find you some alternatives with his Week 5 Fantasy NFL cheat sheet...
' Jared Goff is spectacular and Todd Gurley II is a stud. When you throw in the receivers Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp then you have to pick up any of these players if available.'
What did we learn from Week Four?
Seeing Mitchell Trubisky have his coming out party was arguably the biggest shock of the season so far. The second-year QB had only thrown two touchdown passes through the first three games and in two of them, he failed to reach the end zone.
So his fantasy value wasn't all that but then all of a sudden, he threw for six scores and 354 yards against the Buccaneers and it seems we have to take him seriously. The Bears offense hasn't been explosive for a long time but his outstanding performance helped the likes of Tarik Cohen (174 total yards, one TD) and Taylor Gabriel (104 yards and two TD) become big names in Week Four.
With Chicago being on their bye week, you have a few more days to decide whether this breakout performance is an indication of future success. I'm dubious as it stands.
Elsewhere I have some concerns about Drew Brees after watching his backup Taysom Hill get more snaps in the red zone. The former Purdue Boilermaker is set to pass Peyton Manning's all-time passing yard total on Monday night but a 217 yard and no score performance against a weak Giants defense is awfully troubling. With Alvin Kamara running for 134 with three scores, if the Saints start running the ball more, it will impact Brees' numbers.
It was pleasing to see Ezekiel Elliott finally play up to his RB1 status last weekend with 240 total yards and a touchdown. Week in, week out, he should be a slam dunk star but the Cowboys have really struggled on offense. Expect him to keep up his recent production as they start to gel without Bryant and Witten.
Going back to last Thursday, it is easy to forget about the points explosion in Los Angeles. Jared Goff is spectacular and Todd Gurley II is a stud. When you throw in the receivers Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp then you have to pick up any of these players if available.
On the negative front once more the Pittsburgh Steelers are causing consternation among fantasy owners who have some of their star men. Antonio Brown did grab a touchdown but only had 62 yards of production. Ben Roethlisberger threw that score but that was his only one. As for James Connor, well the Baltimore Ravens well and truly bottled him up. Many Le'Veon Bell owners picked up the former Pitt man hoping to get similar production. That isn't happening.
Also remember the early season love-in for Ryan Fitzpatrick? Well that is over with Jameis Winston looking set to get his starting job back. The Buccaneers are off in Week Five but feel confident about dropping the QB formally known as Fitzmagic.
Week five injury news
All the signs point to Joe Mixon returning for the Bengals this week. Clearly he is an RB1 pretty much every game he starts and this week should be no different. His availability for Cincinnati leads to Giovani Bernard becoming a non-entity in fantasy except for in the deepest of leagues. It is clearly time to drop him as his number of touches are about to diminish dramatically.
Will Fuller V has caught a touchdown pass in three straight weeks but is questionable for the Sunday night game with Dallas due to a hamstring injury. I'm a big fan of the receiver but being the NBC game brings challenges. Do you gamble on his fitness, knowing that if he misses the game, your options are extremely limited? I wouldn't personally but watch the injury report closely and have a good WR on your bench ready for the call-up.
Another receiver in a better position fitness wise is Sammy Watkins. After leaving the Monday night game early due to a tight hamstring, all signs point to the 25 year-old being cleared to play. This gives Patrick Mahomes his full arsenal of weapons but they face Jacksonville. This is not ideal. I'd keep Watkins on your bench but his price to score anytime is tempting.
Dalvin Cook was on a pitch count last Thursday night but that hamstring still hasn't cleared up fully. Another one to be watchful of as when healthy, he is a clear RB2 but with injury questions marks, find alternatives on your waiver wire.
Who to avoid this week
One of the toughest decisions has to be surrounding the juggernaut that is the Kansas City offense. Patrick Mahomes and company face the best defense in the league on Sunday and for that reason, it is conceivable that you bench him and all their skill players.
As an owner of the second-year QB, I am still umming and ahhing about what to do. My trust levels in the Jaguar D is through the roof but the young Chiefs signal-caller has hardly put a foot wrong. This game is in KC, which makes me just lean towards keeping him active. This should be a great game, which I'll go into more detail on in my tip sheet on Saturday.
I'd also go luke-warm on Baker Mayfield this week - 295 yards for two scores against Oakland was more than acceptable production from the number one overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. But Baltimore's defense is a completely different kettle of fish. Don't have the Heisman Trophy man active on Sunday.