Fantasy Attack: Week 5

Scraping the bottom of the TE barrel 

by Lead Fantasy writer Steve Cook | @SteveCook84 |

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Welcome to Week 5! How are your teams doing? Mine are actually doing pretty well, even though it feels like everything is on the verge of going off the rails. Injuries have been a major concern for most of my teams, and it feels like one position is more snake-bitten than the rest.

It’s tough enough to find a good tight end. Once you get past Rob Gronkowski & Travis Kelce, you’ll see a lot of argument over who’s on the next tier below them. A number of those names have missed significant time this season. Hunter Henry was done before the season started. Greg Olsen & Delanie Walker went out almost immediately. Evan Engram has missed one game already and will miss more. Tyler Eifert will be out indefinitely. Even Gronkowski finds himself on the injury report and could miss New England’s game with Indianapolis on Thursday night.

This should be the part where I tell you who to pick up, but honestly I’m kind of stumped. There just isn’t a lot of depth at tight end. Jared Cook is the top-scoring TE at the moment, and he’s only really produced in two games. Only fifteen tight ends have scored over twenty points for the season, and you’ll notice that a lot of the guys that have got most of their points in one game. Jesse James got 19 of his 28 points in Week 2. O.J. Howard has a 15 & a 0 to his credit. Kelce is the only TE with three double-digit games.

It’s a mess out there, folks. Heck, I’m starting Antonio Gates in a league where I had Engram & Eifert, and I legit thought he was retired until I saw him on the wire. On the bright side, most of your opponents have the same issue. All you can hope for is some luck.

We’re back to the Fave 5, Fearful 4 & 3 Sleepers this week. Hopefully their absence last week didn’t mess you up too much.

Fave 5
Matt Ryan (19.9 DRAFT proj.): Matty Ice has a new toy. Calvin Ridley has been lights out the last couple of games, boosting Ryan’s numbers to elite levels. The Falcons play the Pittsburgh Steelers this week, whose issues defending the pass should easily be exploited.

David Johnson (17.3 DRAFT proj.): Its been a rough start to the season, but Johnson finally had a good game last week against Seattle. His matchup with Arizona this week should lead to his second straight good game.

Adam Thielen (14.2 DRAFT proj.: Thielen & Kirk Cousins got on the same page pretty quickly. He’s gone over 100 yards in each game this season. The Eagles are sixth-worst against wide receivers, so expect another big week.

Keenan Allen (14.0 DRAFT proj.): Allen’s a pretty reliable source of points when he’s on the field. For now, he is, and he’s playing a Raiders team that got gashed by Baker Mayfield last week.

Vance McDonald (8.4 DRAFT proj.): After a brief return to relevance by the Road Dogg Jesse James in Week 2, McDonald has solidified his grip on the Steelers’ TE1 spot over the past couple of weeks. He gets a Falcons defense that’s very weak against tight ends & other passing & running options.

Fearful 4
Patrick Mahomes (19.9 DRAFT proj.): Yeah, I know Mahomes is already the all time GOAT Quarterback. He’s getting it done every single week and looks like the future of the business. He’s got a big test in front of him this week though. The Jaguars defense has stopped everybody in their path. If anybody can figure out Mahomes’ weaknesses, it’s Doug Marrone & Tom Coughlin. Don’t expect multiple TDs & over 300 yards this week. Expect an average quarterback.

Carlos Hyde (10.6 DRAFT proj.): He had a good week against Oakland, but don’t expect the Browns’ RB1’s luck to continue against the Ravens. Baltimore has done a good job against the run this season, and should continue to do so this week.

Josh Gordon (3.8 DRAFT proj.): I’m not high on Gordon’s odds of getting a lot done on a short week in an offense he’s still learning. Add in the return of Julian Edelman & you have to think that Tom Brady will focus on more reliable targets.

Eric Ebron (13.3 DRAFT proj.): Speaking of returns & Thursday night games. Jack Doyle’s return should cut into Ebron’s targets & productivity. You’ll still take what you can get from him because TE is a wasteland.

Three Sleepers
Blake Bortles (39% Yahoo-owned): There are times when Bortles looks like a legitimate star in the making. There are times where he looks like the worst QB in the league. A game against the Chiefs’ sorry no-account defense will make him look legit.

Tyler Kroft (3% Yahoo-owned): Tyler Eifert has the worst injury luck in the history of the NFL and is heading to Injured Reserve. Who will replace him as the Bengals TE1? Well, there are two options. One is C.J. Uzomah, who has a touchdown to his credit this season. Tyler Kroft was Eifert’s replacement last season, and he did…ok. Only 42 catches & 404 yards, but you’ll take 7 touchdowns out of your tight end. If your TE waiver wire is completely bare, you could do worse than take a flyer on Kroft. Or Uzomah.

Corey Grant (3% Yahoo-owned): Speaking of great players with injury issues, Leonard Fournette’s finding it tough to stay on the field. It’s not exactly surprising if you followed his college career. Grant actually got the start in Week 3 over T.J. Yeldon, but was so ineffective against the Titans that Yeldon did most of the work anyway. Grant will have more room to run against Kansas City.

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