Ten Things We Learned in Week 5 (Fantasy Football)
Week 5 was a brutal one with injuries. Almost every team is dealing with losing players, and some teams are losing multiple starters. It almost seems like each week is getting worse, but hopefully, these players will get back on the field soon. In this article, we will look at a few of those injuries and some other storylines for fantasy football during the craziness of Week 5.
1. Russell Wilson Will Miss Time
For the first time in Russell Wilson‘s career, the Seahawks’ star quarterback will miss games due to an injury to his finger. Wilson played in nine full seasons and was able to avoid injury during that time. Wilson is reportedly targeting a Week 10 return, which would mean he would miss three games due to their Week 9 bye. Hopefully, he gets back sooner rather than later. For fantasy football purposes, it will be interesting to see if Geno Smith will support both D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
2. Robert Woods Sees Volume Increase
Those who drafted Robert Woods were likely concerned that he would not return value based on where he was drafted. Woods has years of fantasy production to look back to, but he had a slow start to the 2021 season, in part due to Cooper Kupp getting a large target share, so managers were understandably concerned. I even wrote last week about how Van Jefferson was carving out a role and was seeing volume similar to Woods. In Week 5, Woods turned it around, catching 12-of-14 targets for 150 yards. Although he likely won’t see a 40% target share each week, it’s encouraging to see a massive volume increase like this.
3. Mission Impossible: Jakobi Meyers Scoring a Touchdown
Fellow Fantasy Footballers writer Aaron Larson pointed out on Twitter that Jakobi Meyers is well “over-due” for a touchdown reception. Going into Week 5, Meyers was first in NFL history in targets (163) and receptions (112) without a touchdown. In Week 5, the streak was almost broken; however, Meyers was tackled at the 1-yard line. Meyers has had a pretty successful career in the NFL despite being an undrafted rookie in 2019. Meyers, unfortunately, has had some less-than-stellar quarterback play during his time in New England, but hopefully, Mac Jones will develop and change that.
Is it safe to say Jakobi Meyers is "due" to catch a touchdown?
— Aaron Larson (@aalarson) October 7, 2021
4. Trey Sermon Won’t Be a Thing
Trey Sermon only had one rushing attempt in Week 5, and I think we can officially write Sermon off being fantasy-relevant this season. Elijah Mitchell is the guy there for now, and things will get more complicated when Jeff Wilson Jr. returns later this season. The only way for fantasy relevance for Sermon is for literally every other runningback to be injured. He might not be droppable just yet due to the fragility of the position, but there is a chance that Sermon just becomes a roster clogger.
5. Trey Lance Rushes, but Justin Fields Doesn’t
Neither Trey Lance nor Justin Fields had much of an impact for fantasy purposes in Week 5. The difference between the two rookie quarterbacks seems to be that Lance may offer a safer floor due to rushing attempts. Lance had 16 rushing attempts for 89 yards and almost had a rushing touchdown too. Justin Fields only had three rushing attempts for 4 yards. He did get a designed RedZone rush, but it didn’t go anywhere. While it is promising that he got the RedZone rushing attempt, it’s disheartening that Fields has only had three rushing attempts in three consecutive games. Justin Fields likely isn’t startable until proven otherwise, whereas Lance is playable as long as he keeps the starting quarterback job in San Francisco.
6. The Giants Can’t Catch a Break
Week 5 was not kind to the New York Giants. They lost to their division rival, the Dallas Cowboys, and also lost three key starters on offense. Saquon Barkley had the most unlucky injury of the week as he was running and accidentally stepped on another player’s foot, causing his ankle to twist. Hopefully, the injury is not as bad as it looks, as his ankle showed significant swelling. Daniel Jones left the game due to a concussion, and Kenny Golladay left with a knee injury. The Giants were already struggling with some injuries to their wide receiver core too.
7. Kadarius Toney Breaks Out
If there were any good for the Giants to focus on in Week 5, it would be that their first-round draft pick, Kadarius Toney, played well. Toney had been non-existent in the first three weeks of the season but has played well in the last two games. In Week 5, Toney caught 10-of-13 passes for 189 yards. Toney’s role in the offense grew partly due to injuries to Sterling Shephard and Darius Slayton, but Toney may force the Giants to increase his role from now on with his excellent play. He was running crisp routes and demonstrated good ball skills on multiple occasions. One negative to mention when talking about Toney’s performance is that he was ejected late for throwing a punch. It’s not currently known if there will be any disciplinary action, but it’s something to keep an eye on.
8. Herbert and the Chargers are Legit
In one of the more exciting games in Week 5, the Chargers edged out the Browns 47-42. Justin Herbert led the now 4-1 Chargers to the win with 398 passing yards and four touchdown passes. He also added 29 yards rushing and another score on the ground. Justin Herbert didn’t fall into the sophomore slump that some thought he might fall into and is proving to be fantasy relevant in most weeks, even without heavy rushing upside. Herbert has plenty of options with budding star Mike Williams and Keenan Allen, and this team is a contender.
9. Undrafted Tight Ends Breaking Out
Two tight ends have played well in the recent weeks and had big games in Week 5. Dalton Shultz of the Dallas Cowboys has picked up where he left off in 2020. He has received at least seven targets in each of his last three games. Shultz is seeing RedZone opportunities as well, catching three touchdown passes in these last three weeks. He almost added another in Week 5 but unfortunately dropped a nice throw from Dak Prescott.
Another tight end that likely went undrafted that is now showing out is Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox. This year is Knox’s third year in the NFL, and he has begun to break out in the first five weeks of the season. While Knox may not receive consistent volume, he is in a high-powered offense, and his role seems to be growing. He has five touchdown receptions in five games and should continue to see scoring opportunities. In Week 5, Knox had 117 yards to go along with a touchdown. He should be a solid play for those who didn’t invest in a tight end early in their fantasy drafts.
10. The Chiefs are in Trouble
The Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Buffalo Bills at home 38-20 on Sunday Night Football. While you can never count the Chiefs entirely out, I do think they are in trouble. They are currently last in their division, the AFC West. With the Chargers looking like a legit contender, the Chiefs don’t have much room for error if they want to win their division. The Chiefs’ defense is a problem, as they have given up the most points allowed through Week 5 on Sunday night. The good news is that the Chiefs’ fantasy assets should be just fine. The offense still looks really good, and you can never fully count them out.