The Fantasy Footballers’ Rankings Audit & Podcast Highlights for Week 5
Welcome in, #Footclan! It’s football time!
We’re hot on the heels of Thursday Night Football, where the Chicago Bears pulled off an upset victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We saw a heated Tom Brady get sacked a few times, go off on his linemen, then sealed the loss with a reckless pass after mistakenly thinking it was only third down. Unfortunately for Brady, it was fourth down and his infamous reaction is now forever inscribed on the internet. But he was not the only struggling player, as QB Nick Foles frequently missed wide-open targets and threw absolutely terrible passes. However, it was not all bad on Thursday night. We did get to see WR Mike Evans continue his 1+ TDs per game streak, rookie WR Tyler Johnson debut as a new sleeper option (to the detriment of Scotty Miller), RBs Ronald Jones AND David Montgomery excelling in the run game, and Khalil Mack brutally dominate the Bucs’ offense after he “smelled blood in the water.”
When Khalil Mack comes around the edge: 😨😨😨
— NFL (@NFL) October 9, 2020
What a great way to kick off an exciting new slate of games in Week 5 of the National Football League!
As a reminder, this article is another weekly installment where I’ll review the Fantasy Footballers’ player rankings and highlight a few specific players per position that deserve extra attention. I’ll also recap important moments from the past week’s Fantasy Footballers’ podcast episodes with links to each episode provided. So be on the lookout every week for this series!
Also, please keep in mind that the Footballers’ rankings are constantly being updated whenever any breaking news is released. So always refer to their rankings page or click on a specific player below to see their latest rankings!
Now without further ado… let’s go already!
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Regression sure has hit hard for QB Lamar Jackson, who finds himself as the overall QB8 after four weeks. Will the tide turn this week in a divisional matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals? It hurts that they’ve given up the 8th least points to QBs. It also hurts that Jackson is hurt with an ankle injury, although coach John Harbaugh claims he’s 100% and “good to go.” What helps is that the Ravens have a beautifully high 32.25 implied point total, and Jackson should feast. It also helps that he has an A-rated Consistency rank. You’re obviously starting him if he’s on your roster, but he may not produce the insane numbers you expected on draft day. Last year, he finished as a top-three QB NINE times. This year? ZERO. I personally don’t think he’ll break the streak this week. Andy and Mike disagree, ranking Jackson as their QB3, while Jason has him lower at QB5. Do you think he’ll end up in the top-three this week? Answer in the comments section!
Daniel Jones, New York Giants
Do you feel lucky, #Footclan? Well, you’re gonna have to if you start Daniel Jones after he’s repeatedly “pooped in his big boy pants” this season. After a moderately impressive showing against the formidable Steelers in Week 1, he’s since disastrously plummeted as the QB31, QB33, and QB28. Remember, there are only 32 teams in the league. That’s how bad he’s been. To be fair, those slaughters were against the Bears, 49ers, and Rams, who all have intimidating defenses that can bring on the pressure. He was also missing his top weapon in RB Saquon Barkley and WR Sterling Shepard. Fortunately for Jones, he finally gets a favorable matchup when he faces Dallas this week, who have allowed the 4th most points to QBs. His rushing upside will help secure his floor and boost his ceiling. He’s the ‘Ballers consensus QB16 as they believe the matchup will reward faithful fantasy managers with his highest finish yet. Though he’s certainly not for the faint of heart as he exemplifies boom-or-bust, Jones is a risky candidate to provide great value in DFS, 2QB or Superflex leagues.
HOW DID DANIEL JONES DO THIS!?
— Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) October 4, 2020
Running Back Rankings
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs
This is the week Clyde Edwards-Helaire managers have been waiting for. Though he’s been satisfactory, he certainly hasn’t been worth the draft capital nor met his insane offseason hype. He is the RB13 after four weeks, just barely missing the coveted RB1 echelon. Despite having the 6th most red zone carries, he only has one TD under his belt. But again, this is the week. He gets the best matchup for RBs: the Las Vegas Raiders. Their first three opponents this year have all finished as the RB2 for their week. Last week’s opposing RB, Buffalo’s Devin Singletary, finished as the RB14, which was his best performance thus far. The Chiefs currently have a 33.25 implied scoring total, inferring a positive game-script for CEH to thrive in. He’s the gang’s consensus RB3, though it’s worthwhile to note that Mike is the only dissenter with an RB6 ranking. I agree moreso with Andy and Jason, as Edwards-Helaire is a lock for high volume and will very likely break his scoring slump with multiple TDs.
Jerick McKinnon, San Francisco 49ers
It’s been awesome watching Jerick McKinnon excel after spending years of his prime away from the field due to injuries. While lead back Raheem Mostert has been out rehabbing an MCL sprain and “1B” Tevin Coleman on IR with his own knee injury, McKinnon has taken full advantage of the opportunity. His increasing snap count and usage have grown close to workhorse numbers, and that trend should remain against a charitable Miami defense. He’s now gone from a fringe RB2 to a top-ten RB thanks to his workload and remarkably consistent efficiency. As a matter of fact, he currently has the 11th best consistency rating among RBs. This week, Andy and Jason have McKinnon as their RB17, while he’s Mike’s RB12 and Start of the Week. The clock is ticking before Mostert and Coleman return, but until then, McKinnon will remain a great play. He’s scored in every game so far, has a great matchup, and might even have his handsome QB Jimmy Garoppolo back. Simply put, if he’s starting for the 49ers, then he should also be starting on your lineups.
Jerick McKinnon making something out of nothing, as was a game theme. Not many backs can shake off a crashing hit from Derek Barnett.
McKinnon is one of the 49ers' weight room leaders. He's one big muscle. Actually has a power back component on top of the speed. We saw it Sunday pic.twitter.com/N2B71rYw4o
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) October 8, 2020
Wide Receiver Rankings
DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
WR superstar and B.o.B. survivor DeAndre Hopkins has been outstanding in his new home in Arizona. But after finishes as the WR6, WR9, and WR10, he came crashing back to earth as the WR46 in a shocking loss to the Carolina Panthers. Is this a sign of things to come? Were we all too early with crowning Hopkins as a fantasy league-winner? If you know any Hopkins’ manager that feels this way, then do yourself a favor and trade for him — immediately. Hopkins is set to return to WR1 glory with an absolute smash-spot against the tragic New York Jets. He should easily produce against struggling CB Blessaun Austin, who is also nursing a calf injury. Fun fact: Hopkins has surpassed 100+ yards on both odd weeks this season while hitting middling double-digit yards on the even weeks. But gimmicky narratives aside, he has all the makings of a BOOM performance. With a juicy matchup and consistently high target share and fantasy results, “Nuk” is set to erupt at MetLife Stadium. Let’s just hope the game is actually played this week.
Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers
Panthers WR Robby Anderson has been a late-round/waiver wire darling this year and is currently the WR14. However, he’s recently declined in fantasy production, averaging as the WR37 in the past two weeks. But this week’s opponent presents a prime bounce-back opportunity against generous CB Kendall Sheffield and the Falcons’ 23rd ranked defense against WRs. Better yet, there’s a potential shootout brewing in Atlanta with the game having a projected 53.5 scoring total. The general public appears to anticipate that this will be a breakout game for “lead” receiver D.J. Moore. But if you believe that will happen (I do), then just imagine how well Anderson will do as the Panthers’ bona fide WR1. Not only does he lead the team in targets, he also leads ALL WRs in receiving yards after contact. He’s the ‘Ballers consensus WR18 and Mike’s Start of the Week. If you thought he already broke out in Week 1 against the Raiders… just you wait. Anderson is set for takeoff this Sunday and I’m confident he has enough upside to finish as a top-12 WR.
Real life 🚀 pic.twitter.com/rPp3Xgeqr9
— Robby Anderson (@chosen1ra) August 21, 2020
Tight End Rankings
Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers
Chargers TE Hunter Henry has been a serviceable yet mediocre player this season. He was drafted as the 6th TE off the board, yet is currently the TE14. He’s only had one top-12 performance this year, which was in Week 2 against the Chiefs where he finished as the TE12. He saw his lowest number of targets, yards, and fantasy points just last week against the Buccaneers, finishing as the TE27. So why is he the ‘Ballers’ consensus TE4 and Jason’s Start of the Week? Maybe it’s because standout rookie Justin Herbert has officially been named the starting QB for ROS, boosting the entire offense. Maybe it’s because star RB and target hog Austin Ekeler is out with a hamstring injury, inferring more targets for short-yardage possession receivers like Henry. Or maybe it’s because they face the New Orleans Saints, who have given up the 2nd most points to TEs AND allowed a TD or more to every TE they’ve faced, something Henry has yet to do in 2020. But there’s a good chance that he’ll nab his first TD on Monday Night Football. He is more than capable of producing a monster game and has enough scoring upside to warrant a top ranking. Henry is my personal bet to end as the number one TE this week.
Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers
In the harsh TE landscape, TDs are king. If your TE scores, then chances are high that he’ll end up as a TE1. That’s how the likes of Jason Witten and Donald Parham Jr. finished as top-12 TEs last week. Perhaps that’s why TE Eric Ebron has been a popular streaming option on most fantasy articles, as he has a great matchup against Philadelphia’s 30th ranked defense against TEs. He’s the crew’s TE17, Andy’s Start of the Week, and Mike’s Taking It Up To 100 player. But I’m not so convinced. The Steelers are projected with a 25.75 implied scoring total, or 3.5 TDs (assuming no field goals). They’ll have WR Diontae Johnson back, who has been a growing deep threat for QB Ben Roethlisberger. There’s also JuJu Smith-Schuster, who’s averaging a TD per game, and rookie sensation Chase Claypool, who’s shown flashes of being a breakout end zone threat. Plus, RB James Conner will continue to be the favorite option at the goal line. It does help that his target share has grown each week, but if you’re starting Ebron, then you’re obviously banking on a TD. He is certainly capable of doing so as he has in the past, but he’ll have to do it amongst these scoring monsters. I’m not as confident as most on Ebron, but he’s a fine streaming candidate in such an unpredictable position.
Biggest Takeaways from the Week 5 Podcasts
Monday (Week 4 Studs & Stinkers + Picture-in-Picture)
We kick off the week with Andy, Mike, and Jason sharing their favorite Monday Punday submissions at 03:50. At 05:00, Jason laments the tragedy that is Kenyan Drake. Next is a recap of last Sunday’s game on the Weekly Rewind at 09:50. The ‘Ballers then discuss all their Fantasy Studmuffins at 18:05, including a debate on Joe Mixon or Chris Carson for ROS:
Joe Mixon or Chris Carson rest of season? #fantasyfootball
— Fantasy Footballers (@TheFFBallers) October 5, 2020
Tuesday (Week 5 Waivers + Droppable Names, Hamstrung)
In this episode, Andy, Mike, and Jason recap the two Monday Night Football games at 03:45. They move on to News & Notes at 19:30, including Andy’s ultra serious reenactment of how Texans’ fans reacted to head coach and GM Bill O’Brien’s firing:
Texans fans reactions to Bill O'Brien being fired…
— Fantasy Footballers (@TheFFBallers) October 6, 2020
We then hit the juiciest part of the episode: the Week 5 Waivers at 27:30. Next up are their choices for Team Defense Streamers at 56:20 and QB Streamers at 57:10.
Wednesday (Fantasy Retirements + Week 5 Buy or Sell, Crazy Eights)
The ‘Ballers kick off this episode with the Buy or Sell segment at 03:25, discussing hot-topic players like Deshaun Watson, Kareem Hunt, and Allen Robinson II. They move onto News & Notes at 08:10, discussing the latest COVID-related updates and injury reports. Next up at 17:30 is a somber Fantasy Retirement Ceremony, sending off once-prominent players like A.J. Green, T.Y. Hilton, and Larry Fitzgerald. Afterward, the guys get into the Thursday Night Preview for the Super Bowl LII rematch between Tom Brady‘s Buccaneers and Nick Foles‘ Chicago Bears at 22:10. They then finish up the episode by answering Mailbag questions at 31:10.
Thursday (Starts of the Week + Week 5 Breakdown, BOGO)
Thursday’s episode starts with the Taking It Up To 100 segment at 04:20, where the guys plant their flag on blowup candidates Darius Slayton, Eric Ebron, and Laviska Shenault Jr. That’s followed by the News & Notes at 08:00, then the ‘Ballers talk about the upcoming matchups in the Fantasy Forecast at 14:40, including a Water Bet between Jason and Andy about JuJu Smith-Schuster and Justin Jefferson:
— Fantasy Footballers (@TheFFBallers) October 8, 2020
We then get to the meat & taters of the episode at 55:15: the ‘Ballers Starts of the Week! And don’t forget Jason Moore’s Iron-Clad Locked and Loaded 100% Guaranteed Boom-Boom Kicker of the Week at 01:02:15!
Friday (Week 5 Matchups + Tuesday Night Football, Dr. Mike)
The ‘Ballers recap the Chicago Bears’ upset victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football at 00:45, including pouring one out for those who started Scotty Miller. They then discuss the News & Notes at 06:30 before hitting the Footclan Fridays segment at 12:45. Afterward, the crew details the Fantasy Forecast for the remaining Week 2 matchups at 13:45, before rounding off the episode at 56:20 with their can’t-miss segment, Prop It Like It’s Hot!
Have a great weekend #Footclan and let’s crush all our matchups! If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you check out the awesome Week 5 DFS Podcast by Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg) and Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT). And as always, remember to tune in Sunday for Mike’s livestream where he provides last-minute updates to help you make those crucial roster decisions!