Week 5 of the NFL season, officially in the books. I keep saying this, but this one was truly of the most unusual weeks in recent NFL history, from a scheduling/fantasy perspective. COVID made a dent on most of our Week 4’s, but Week 5 was just utter insanity! All in all, we still had some clutch performances, season-ending injuries, major letdowns, shocking releases, and as always, SERIOUS fantasy implications.
Within our league specifically, it was a TIGHT one. 3 of our 5 matchups were decided by less than 1.5 points. That’s just about as close as it gets. Football is a game of inches, after all, and fantasy football is no different.
The basic rundown of these weekly recap blogs is as follows: Recap the previous week’s matchups, analyze a smidge, and lastly, talk a bit of trash. Let’s dive right into it.
Week 5 Matchups and Recaps:
The Click Baits (Connor Ryan) over Fresh Prince of Helair (Jared Scali) 120.0 to 118.64
The Click Baits won in a dramatic fashion this week, as Fresh Prince of Helair’s skid of bad luck continues. He drops this one by less than 1.5 points, with plenty of bench points that could’ve saved him. No real obvious mistakes on the lineup though, it’s just tough when you have a good slew of skill position players, especially for that FLEX spot. If he does every combination of his RBs/WRs/FLEX lineup, this is probably the 2nd to best outcome possible. BUT, the real mistake was starting Matt Ryan over Ben Roethlisberger. Matty Ice really screwed up Scali’s week by dropping a measly 6.94 points. If he scores just 10 points, Scali wins this week. BRUTAL. The Falcons are a total mess, and between Matt Ryan and his TE Hayden Hurst, Scali is going to have to consider some lineup changes of those two for Week 6.
Connor BARELY Survives
Connor had a difficult week in his own right, with a bunch of inactives and surprise bye-week players. He had just one player on his bench who played this week, his backup TE, Jonnu Smith. So this was all he had to go with. No Julio Jones due to injury. Zack Moss is doing whatever and Buffalo isn’t playing him. The Patriots-Broncos game cost Connor 3 guys in Melvin Gordon III, James White, and Cam Newton. Newton wasn’t likely to supplant Kyler Murray as his QB1, but Gordon would’ve replaced JK Dobbins as RB2, and then perhaps Connor goes with a different WR2/FLEX as a result. It worked out, but man, Connor JUST scraped by here.
Tough Week (and year) for Jared and the Scaliwags
Scali has put 649.82 points, 5th most in the league, but is currently in 9th place. That’s some bad matchup luck if I’ve ever seen it. He’s outscored Powder by 133 points, myself (Gilli) by 112, Brent by 55, Diego by 50 (!!!), and Connor by 15. Just scoring points at the wrong times. Tough pill for anyone to swallow though, outscoring a good chunk of those in front of you in the standings. One HAS the assume that luck should turn around and we’ll see a regression to the mean. Right???
Matchup MVP: Dalvin Cook (19.9 pts)
Cook is the MVP here, despite being only having the 3rd most points on Connor’s team. We’ll revisit this, but Cook went OFF in the 1st half, and then got injured, but doing JUST enough to push Connor to a notch in the win column.
Matchup Letdown: Matt Ryan (6.94 pts)
Matt Ryan is broken. Awful game from a perennial top fantasy QB. No Julio Jones, but with Calvin Ridley balling his brains off, he should be able to put up a respectable stat-line! 21 for 37 for 226 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT.
Honorable mention to Hayden Hurst, another Falcon who let Scali down this week, and in doing so, also inhibited Matty Ice from scoring points.
Wilson! Wilson! (Al Nahigian) over Team Waleed (Waleed Jeha) 126.8 to 125.8
Al wins by a single point against Waleed, in another instant-classic.
Waleed’s Bench Points Proved Costly
Waleed’s lineup is what cost him the matchup this week. Perhaps the Thursday Night game caught him off-guard and he forgot to put in David Montgomery over a guy like Jerick McKinnon? Not 100% sure, but it definitely has him second-guessing putting McKinnon in the starting spot anytime soon. McKinnon has just 2.5 points for the 49ers, while Waleed’s bench RBs both outperformed that by a ton. Montgomery dropped 18.9 for the Bears in that TNF game against the Bucs, and Justin Jackson dropped 14.4 on Monday Night football for the Chargers. If either of those guys are in the lineup, Waleed wins this one.
The IdeAL Lineup
Al’s lineup worked out nearly perfectly. The only slight misstep was completely defensible, with the 49ers D/ST somehow dropping -4 and being outscored by the Seahawks (4 points). 10 times out of 10, you have to roll with San Fran’s defense / special teams there, so can’t even fault Al for that. Otherwise, a clean sweep of a lineup. Sure Christian Kirk slightly outscored OBJ (12.8 to 11.42), but if anyone benched OBJ immediately following a 38 point outing, you’re NUTS.
Matchup MVP: CeeDee Lamb (20.4 pts)
How do the Cowboys find these guys?! The Patriots just need one of these dynamic receivers that the Cowboys seem to always land. Lamb is a BEAST and racked up one of his best games yet, scoring 20 points without a TD. 8 catches for 124 yards! Without Dak, there’s some uncertainty in what the Dallas offense will look like, but Lamb should remain fantasy relevant. CeeDee is as talented as they come.
Matchup Letdown: Jerick McKinnon (2.5 pts)
Tough break with McKinnon doing absolutely nothing in the 49ers offense. To his credit, he only had 3 touches, but STILL. Mostert appears to be back to the lead back role in San Fran, and McKinnon probably can’t be trusted to put up points.
Small State Big Cakes (Gilli, aka me) over Danvers Powderpuffs (Thomas “Powder” Cadmus) 118.4 to 118.04
Our 3rd TIGHT matchup of the week. This one was the closest of the bunch, with a mere .36 of a point being the difference. Poor Powder, the dude simply can’t catch a break this year. No obvious do-over moves for Powder here either. His lineup was the best version it could’ve been, so you can’t fault him for that. That RB2 hole is glaring though, with Jeff Wilson Jr. serving as the biggest disappointment this week, by a large margin. That being said…
D-Hop, Potential Trade Piece?
DeAndre Hopkins has been UNREAL this year, and well deserving of being considered the best WR in the NFL. However, considering Powder’s roster and loss of Saquon Barkley for the year, dare I suggest DHop could be prime-time trade bait to reconfigure his lineup? I understand we just saw a swap with Al in OBJ/Kenyan Drake for Powder’s James Conner/Jerry Jeudy, but I think he needs more moves! He’s still a RB short, with no real replacement of Saquon to serve as the RB2 behind Drake. Hopkins is elite enough to probably dictate the trade negotiation and get a QB, RB1, and a solid WR to play as the 3rd behind Allen Robinson or OBJ.
For Whom the Bell Goes?
My team is not in great shape. Michael Thomas has been AWOL with an injury and now disciplinary issues. Le’Veon Bell was hurt, underutilized,
and now WITHOUT A TEAM?! That’s my 4th round pick, folks. EARLY 4th rounder too, pick #32. This is bad. BUT – Bell is almost guaranteed to land somewhere else. Not sure how much of a fantasy impact he makes the rest of the year, but I intend to hold on and find out. At this point I’ve committed too much, and am totally invested in seeing where he lands. Speaking of which, some rock solid options on that front courtesy of Chris Jones of Couch Guy Sports:
Still read the above blog, but Bell is now a Kansas City Chief. I am okay with this!!! Please Andy Reid, use him well.
— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) October 15, 2020
Matchup MVP: Golden Tate (8.2 pts)
Going very unorthodox here, and choosing the last second add and start, Golden Tate. The Saints decided to wait until after the 1pm games started to announce Michael Thomas would be out, and I had to react quickly. Golden Tate was added at 3:47 PM EST, just before the Giants-Cowboys game. Options were limited, but Tate’s 8.2 points were CLUTCH here. Never have I been so happy for a WR of mine to rack up just 4 catches and 42 yards. Thank you, Golden.
Matchup Letdown: Jeff Wilson Jr. (2.7 pts)
Mentioning the other snubbed RB in the San Francisco backfield, Jeff Wilson Jr. Both McKinnon and Jeff Wilson Jr. had about 25% of the 49ers snap counts, but only had 3 and 4 touches in those snaps. That’s BRUTAL. Those who roster Raheem Mostert in fantasy are happy as can be, but the 49ers screwed everyone depending on just a little more from either McKinnon or Wilson.
The Sharks (Fred O’Brien) over Boston Antidote (Diego Galvis) 167.72 to 99.0
Huge Matchup in terms of 2 teams that both were (and still are) in the top 4 spots, good enough to make the playoffs. It’s been said a million time, but Fred is atop the league for a reason – his team is LOADED.
BIG BRAIN FRED
This week, Fred did the unthinkable, and BENCHED Josh Allen. Not as shocking as it sounds, because of the shroud of uncertainty surrounding the Bills-Titans’ Tuesday Night Game. Josh Allen’s moderately disappointing Tuesday night game (sounds so weird) did not hurt Fred’s Sharks though – as he had the foresight to add and start Teddy Bridgewater as his QB this week. That being said – Allen still had 16.32 points, and Fred would’ve still been coasting comfortably to a dub here.
Diego Blown Out
Diego’s squad never really had a chance in this one, to be honest. Similar to Fred, Diego benched Derrick Henry to avoid the chance that Tuesday night game didn’t get played. Beyond that, his WR1/WR2 combined for 4.1 points, which is never a recipe for success in the a pass-happy NFL. Lamar Jackson had just 13.5 points, outscored by Teddy Bridgewater. Yikes…
Lamar Jackson – 2nd Round Bust?
Yeah, I said it. Boston Antidote’s roster is the perfect antithesis to The Sharks. Diego fell in love with 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson and reached a bit, selecting him with the 13th overall pick. The Sharks? Well they scooped Josh Allen, (albeit a less-promising QB at the start of 2020) in round 12. Through 5 weeks, Lamar Jackson is 11th in points scored among QBs, while Josh Allen is 4th.
Don’t get me wrong, Lamar Jackson is still NASTY, and likely to be a top 5 fantasy QB by the end of the season. However, Lamar as a 2nd rounder in 2021? I don’t see that happening very much next year.
Contagious Case of the Draft Day QB1 Yips
Diego is not alone in his fervor to roster an elite QB1. I, myself, fell victim to that very idea in this league. In part due to Diego’s reach of Lamar Jackson in the 2nd round, I knew to get my target (Pat Mahomes) I would need to reach a bit myself.
Fighting through a clenched butthole and enough palm sweat to would ruin any first date, I was able to get Mahomes at the end of the 3rd round (pick #29). Still a reach, by almost any rankings or measures. Despite a great year from Mahomes (3rd in points among QBs), that pick is still something I would not be shocked to end up as my undoing. This has more to do with me than this matchup, so I’ll move on.
Matchup MVP: Teddy Bridgewater (21.82 pts)
Pretty damn comfortable week for Fred, BUT, the boldness to add and play Teddy Bridgewater must be noted. Fred must’ve been very much at ease when he saw Teddy racking up 21.82 points against the Falcons, a great performance in a spot start ahead of Josh Allen’s unpredictable Tuesday Night game. Finesse move by Fred, to hedge his bets and not be completely stressed about whether or not the Bills-Titans game would happen on Tuesday. Shoutout to Teddy for making it a stroke of genius.
Matchup Letdown: Scotty Miller (0 pts)
GOOSE EGG. That just can’t happen. Miller was on the field for 45 snaps, 63% of the total offensive snaps for the Bucs. I understand Miller is banged up, but to be on the field that much, and get ZERO targets on 41 passing attempts? AND they lost? That’s just awful.
Honorable mention to Amari Cooper, who only accumulated 4.1 in a disappointing effort against the Giants.
CGS President Quags (Nick Quaglia) over Team Chubby (Brent Buckley) 140.54 to 116.16
What a week for Quags. Another relatively comfortable win, against a formidable opponent in Brent. Dak Prescott only scored 13.44 for Quags, due to an unfortunate injury that was much more than a cramp. Sorry Tony Romo, but thank GOODNESS you’re not in the medical field. A cramp? My GOD, LOOK AT IT.
Trouble In Paradise?
As mentioned, Dak Prescott’s very real injury is a blow to Quags, BUT if there’s a team to handle their QB1 going down, it might be President Quags. He’s got a backup QB you may have heard of. One Aaron Rodgers? Rodgers has been incredible so far in 2020, and coming off a bye week, I don’t expect much to change in that regard. But, it seems notable that the Packers have beaten up on some pretty disappointing teams in 2020, without many challenges thus far. Good thing for them, that schedule doesn’t get a whole lot tougher for a bit, giving Quags time to patiently wait to get a QB2. JUST IN CASE.
Team Chubby Missing Their Chubb
Nick Chubb’s eventual return is what Brent needs most. But, it certainly didn’t help that he had to play Justin Jefferson as his WR2 when the Patriots game got moved and Edelman was thrust into a bye. Between Carson, Mostert, and Chubb, that’s as deep of a stable of running backs as we’ve seen in this league.
Powder, Potential Trade Partner?
Hear me out, but I think these two could be a great fit to make a deal. Team Chubby has an influx of top tier RBs, but probably needs another dope WR. Perhaps a trade package of Chris Carson and Julian Edelman lands him DeAndre Hopkins? Maybe Chase Edmonds as a sweetener to seal the deal for Powder to acquire Kenyan Drake’s handcuff? I like this idea. I hope they talk it out.
Matchup MVP: Ravens D/ST (25 pts)
Feels like we haven’t seen the same high-scoring D/STs this year like in years past. The Eagles had a perennially high-scoring defense, and last year’s Patriots were historically dominant in fantasy, but the Ravens might be our next one up. I know the Colts are the #1 defense right now, but I just don’t trust it as much due to who they’ve played thus far. Shoutout to Baltimore for a massive week, giving Quags plenty of cushion.
Matchup Letdown: Joshua Kelley (4.8 pts)
Talk about back to back to BACK weeks of disappointment for those who roster Joshua Kelley! his last 3 games, 5.2, 4.3, 4.8. With Austin Ekeler out, it was expected that Kelley would get more touches, but he hasn’t, and he’s doing less with the touches he’s gotten! Justin Jackson seems like the Charger RB to roster, with Kelley as the rookie back still trying to figure it out.
Some random shout-outs and disses to acknowledge the best and worst performances of the past week.
The Galaxy Brain Award: The Sharks – Fred O’Brien (167.72 pts)
Congrats. You made all the right moves this week. A true galaxy-brain level performance that led to the most points scored.
Fred’s already a regular of this award. Nearly the equivalent of Lou Williams with the NBA 6th Man of the Year award.
The WAP (Weak Ass Performance) Award: Boston Antidote – Diego Galvis (99 pts)
Never fun to be the lowest scoring team of the week.
Diego returns as the WAP, but is still 3-2! His 2 WAP weeks have been his worst of the season, which is interesting. Diego’s Boston Antidote is the pure definition of ‘Boom or Bust’.
The Went Down Swingin’ Award: Team Waleed – Waleed Jeha (125.8 pts)
He did nearly everything right, yet it wasn’t enough. But even in a shootout between a couple of sharpshooters, someone has to lose. Way to go down swingin’ champ, better luck next time.
The Sneaky Snake Award: Small State Big Cakes – Gilli (aka, me) (118.64 pts)
This person won with the lowest score total among all winners this week. A little luck goes a long way in fantasy, and this is symbolic of that. For now, congrats… but it let it be known that we see you slithering your way to a victory! So much of fantasy is playing teams on the right week, the fantasy gods are on your side, for now…
(PS this is the 2nd time I’ve won this award – and I only have 2 wins… that doesn’t seem good.)
The Honey, We’re Going Streaking Award: Danvers Powderpuffs – Thomas Powder Cadmus (5 Losses In a Row)
5 losses in a row for Powder here. I can’t NOT give him this award, to be honest. Tough week, considering he lost to me by just 0.36 of a point.
But now, at least I can root for Powder to rattle off 8 wins in a row and make the playoffs. Honorable mention to Jared Scali’s Fresh Prince of Helair, who has lost 4 in a row, himself.
God, for his sake, I at least hope KFC is still open.
The If You Could Turn Back Time Award, Presented By Cher: Fresh Prince of Helair – Jared Scali
What a song. In back to back weeks, Jared Scali wins the award sponsored by Cher! He wishes he could turn back time to Sunday morning and make a different start/sit decision, which would have resulted in a matchup win, not a loss.
I keep giving this to Scali, but only because he’s constantly a prime example here. To his credit, he’s rostering some pretty damn good players putting up points, which makes it harder to select starters on a weekly basis. This week, Joe Mixon in his FLEX scored 15.4 points, solid. BUT, in a week where he lost by 1.36 points, those other flex options who scored 21.2 (AJ Brown), and 18.1 (Robert Woods) hurt to see. Not only those, but Matt Ryan STUNK, putting up 6.94. If he had started almost any other QB off the waiver-wire, or even his backup Big Ben who put up 21.36, he would’ve won.
*Side note / General disclaimer: Fantasy Football leagues are totally screwed once we figure out time travel. Shit’s going to be defunct so fast when someone cheats, waits until Week 16, and then time travels back to the draft and picks the best performers of the year.
The Byron Leftwich Award: Dalvin Cook (The Click Baits)
New award, a salute to Byron Leftwich and his college heroics at Marshall. Watch that video if you’re unfamiliar with this moment. Pretty wild shit. Shoutout to this fantasy player, for fighting through injury and leading his (fantasy) team to victory.
Dalvin Cook got JUST enough done before getting hurt to push Connor over the edge in this Sunday Night Football matchup. With neither team having a MNF or Tuesday Night Football game, this was the deciding effort to get Connor a W.
Standings After Week 5
Sounding like a broken record, but 5 weeks in, Fred and The Sharks stay KING of the league. At 4-1, Quags and Al are fighting for that #2 spot. Then we have Diego at 3-2, good to stand alone as 4th in standings and holding onto that final playoff spot.
As for the majority of the league, we’re swimming in the gutter fighting for our LIVES. Waleed, Connor, Brent and myself are all 2-3, coming after Diego’s 4th place spot. As for me, I’m ready – I’m scrappy and READY to get messy to be in that 4th spot. Being an underdog is not new to me – some might say the fight is nonstop.
Song Expressing My Current Feelings following Week 5:
Good luck to all in your respective leagues – may the waiver odds ever be in your favor. I’ll be back next week with another recap on the Couch Guy Sports fantasy league.
-Mike Gilligan (@BigGilli, @VerbalCommitPod and @SmallStateTakes Podcast) – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/small-state-big-takes/id1432138166 / https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/verbally-committed/id1516871465