Ryan McDowell

Football Daily Dose

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Dose: Week Five Review

Monday, October 9, 2017


Another week of NFL action is near completion, with just the Vikings-Bears matchup and the debut of rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky left on the slate. Unfortunately, it was another week of major injuries to the league’s top stars, specifically Giants WR Odell Beckham, who suffered a broken ankle that will end his 2017 season. Here’s more on that as part of our weekly recap of the Sunday games.

 

Philadelphia- 34

Arizona- 7

 

The Cardinals traveled across the country for a 1:00pm game which stacked the deck against their inconsistent offense even more than normal. Veteran QB Carson Palmer continued to pile up counting stats (291 yards, one touchdown) but his team was out of the game from the start. The Cards continue to use a merry-go-round of pass catchers, making it difficult for fantasy players to choose on a weekly basis. This time, it was WR J.J. Nelson leading the way with 80 yards on four catches, but both RB Andre Ellington (9/65) and WR Larry Fitzgerald (6/51) saw 10 targets from Palmer. The Arizona running game continues to be non-existent and outside of pass-catcher Ellington, no Cardinals RB is worthy of a roster spot in any fantasy format. Ellington has become a weekly RB2, averaging over 10 targets, seven receptions and 82 total yards over the past three games.

 

The Eagles, led by sophomore QB Carson Wentz, took command with three first-quarter passing touchdowns and never looked back. Wentz ended the game with a career-high four scores, along with 304 passing yards, his third 300-yard game in five outings this season. Wentz is living up to the breakout hype and looks like a QB1 moving forward. As expected, the Cardinals and DB Patrick Peterson held WR Alshon Jeffery in check as he finished with three grabs for 31 yards. Jeffery’s teammates picked up the slack with WR Nelson Agholor (4/93/1), WR Torrey Smith (3/70/1) and TE Zach Ertz (6/61/1) leading the way. With RB Wendell Smallwood (knee) out for the game, bruiser LeGarrette Blount controlled the touches, carrying 14 times for 74 yards. Considering the game flow and the early Eagles lead, this is disappointing production for Blount.

 

Indianapolis- 26

San Francisco- 23

 

A fierce fourth-quarter comeback by the 49ers on the road in Indianapolis forced overtime and it looked like San Fran might get their first win of the season, but in the end QB Jacoby Brissett did enough to earn the Colts their second win of the season. It is a good thing for the Colts that Brissett is seemingly improving each week as a Sunday morning report from CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora suggests it would be “highly doubtful” that QB Andrew Luck would play in a game this month. That would mean, at the earliest, a Week Nine return for Luck. Colts WR T.Y. Hilton once again proved he can get it done even without the star QB as he caught seven passes for 177 yards, including a 63-yard bomb. The good news for veteran RB Frank Gore is that he posted a season-high 96 yards from scrimmage and was once again a key part of the passing game, finishing second on the team with 38 yards. The bad news is he continued to lose backfield snaps and touches, this time to rookie RB Marlon Mack, who rank for 91 yards on just nine touches. Mack had one rushing touchdown and lost a second on an official review. I expect Mack to continue to play a larger role in this offense as the season continues.

 

49ers veteran QB Brian Hoyer threw for 353 yards and a pair of scores in what many viewed as a rare smash spot for the Niners offense. Hoyer and his receivers came through for fantasy players who took a chance on the winless team. While it can be argued he shouldn’t have even been playing following yet another concussion, WR Marquise Goodwin racked up 116 yards on five receptions and WR Pierre Garcon caught eight passes for 94 yards. Both wideouts saw 11 targets from Hoyer. The Niners also got some encouraging production from rookie TE George Kittle, who caught seven passes for 83 yards and a score. The story of the day for San Francisco centers on RB Carlos Hyde, who was iffy for much of the week with a hip injury. When Hyde spent much of the day’s game on the sidelines, the assumption was that his injury had flared up. Following the game though, HC Kyle Shanahan explained that the team simply went with the “hot hand” in the form of RB Matt Breida, who totaled 71 yards on 13 touches, both new career-highs for the rookie. This has the makings of a frustrating situation going forward for Hyde fantasy owners and it will make Breida one of the top waiver wire targets of the next week.

 

Editor's Note: Looking for a weekly edge in your fantasy leagues? Get the Rotoworld Season Pass for projections, early-week rankings, WR & RB reports, exclusive columns and chats with our experts and much more for just $19.99.

 

LA Chargers- 27

NY Giants- 22

 

The matchup of a pair of surprising winless teams doubled as the faceoff of top five draft picks from 2004, who were famously traded for one another. While the swap worked out well for both players and teams, 2017 has not been kind to either. While the Chargers pulled out their first win of the season, this game was marred by the loss of Giants WR Odell Beckham, who suffered a fractured ankle late in the fourth-quarter. It was the final straw in a devastating day for the Giants. By the time Beckham was carted off the field in tears, the G-Men had already lost WRs Sterling Shepard, Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris. Even rookie TE Evan Engram, who did not record a catch in the game, missed some time with an early injury. Beckham is the obvious story among the chaos. The team has announced Beckham suffered a fractured ankle and all presumptions are this will end his 2017 season. Fantasy owners need to begin looking for alternatives, which won’t be an easy task. Early reports suggest that Shepard’s injury is similar to the one that kept him out of action in the pre-season and that he is considered week-to-week. The winless Giants look like a team headed for a top-five NFL Draft pick in 2018.

 

Although this was the first win for the Chargers, QB Philip Rivers has been posting big-time counting stats and did so again on Sunday, throwing for 258 yards and three scores. The star for the Chargers was RB Melvin Gordon, who totaled 163 yards and caught two of Rivers' three scoring passes. Chargers top WR Keenan Allen was disappointing, catching just four of 12 targets for 67 yards and the Giants continued to give it up easily to opposing TEs with Hunter Henry posting a 3/42/1 line.

 

Cincinnati- 20

Buffalo- 16

 

In a sloppy field in Cincinnati, the Bengals held off the Bills to get a much-needed second win on the season. Although both took shots and were seen limping at points in the game, QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green did enough to earn a Bengals win. Dalton racked up 328 yards and a touchdown, but also threw a pair of interceptions. Green caught seven of his 13 targets for 189 yards and a score, coming on a breakaway 77-yarder. The Bengals' ground game continues to underperform, though rookie RB Joe Mixon finally scored the Bengals first rushing touchdown of the season, along with 51 rushing yards on 15 carries. Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard combined for six carries for 18 yards.

 

After a Week Four injury to WR Jordan Matthews, Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was really just left with TE Charles Clay and RB LeSean McCoy as reliable targets in the passing game and Clay suffered a knee injury that kept him out for the remainder of the game. We are still awaiting word on the severity of the injury, but considering he was quickly ruled out, it could be a multiple-week absence for Taylor’s security blanket. The loss of Clay resulted in McCoy leading the team with nine targets while TE Nick O’Leary was the team’s leading receiver. This remains an offense to avoid, outside of McCoy. While he’ll likely see increased volume in the passing game, McCoy continue to underperform as a runner, averaging just 42 rushing yards over the past four games. You might think I am just copy/pasting this sentence each week, but rookie WR Zay Jones continued to struggle, catching just one of six targets for nine yards. He’s not worthy of a roster spot in season-long leagues and is bleeding dynasty value each week.

 

Editor’s Note: FanDuel is hosting the Rotoworld Beat the Writers Series, where you can play against five Rotoworld football writers for your chance at cash prizes and free entry into their Sunday Million. Put your knowledge to the test!

 

Jacksonville- 30

Pittsburgh-9

 

It could certainly be an overreaction to one bad game, but this felt like the beginning of the end for Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, and based on his post-game comments, he might agree. Following his five-interception performance, Roethlisberger was quoted saying, “Maybe I don’t have it anymore.” Whether it’s a comment of a man looking for pity after throwing the game away or representative of how Big Ben actually feels, it is certainly not good. Roethlisberger threw for over 300 yards, but failed to find the end zone, unless you count the two of his passes that were returned for Jacksonville defensive scores. The other key members of the Steelers offense somehow managed some decent fantasy production despite Roethlisberger’s subpar play. RB Le'Veon Bell totaled 93 scoreless yards, but caught all 10 of the passes aimed his way and WR Antonio Brown saw a whopping 19 targets, catching 10 for 157 yards. Rookie WR Juju Smith-Schuster continues to see his role grow as he hauled in four passes for 58 yards and WR Martavis Bryant continues his disappointing play, posting a 5/21 line.

 

With the Jaguars defensive play, they didn’t need much offense, but they got it once again in the form of rookie RB Leonard Fournette, who rushed 28 times for 181 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It appeared as if the Steelers had done a decent job of bottling up Fournette, limiting him to only 91 yards and a score before he broke a 90-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter. QB Blake Bortles didn’t need to do much and that’s what he does best. He threw for just 95 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. With that low volume, WR Marqise Lee led the way with only two receptions for 49 yards. It will be very difficult to use any Jaguar outside of Fournette in fantasy lineups the remainder of the year.

 

Miami- 16

Tennessee- 10

 

Here’s a surprise…a game pitting QBs Jay Cutler and Matt Cassel against one another resulted in very little offensive production. After suffering a Week Four hamstring injury, there was little hope QB Marcus Mariota would play and now there is even concern it could become a multi-week injury. Without their leader, the Titans managed just 10 points on the day. Cassel threw for only 141 yards and WRs Eric Decker and Rishard Matthews each posted 34 receiving yards to lead the way. The Titans running game was equally frustrating with RBs DeMarco Murray and

Derrick Henry combining for 18 carries for 67 yards. The near equal touch split we’d seen in recent games disappeared as Murray out-touched Henry 18-4.

 

The Dolphins offense continued their poor play, in large part due to QB Jay Cutler, who managed only 92 yards and a score, going to WR Jarvis Landry. While almost everyone seems to think Cutler should be benched in favor of backup Matt Moore, HC Adam Gase continues to resist, at least publicly. With WR DeVante Parker exiting with an early due to a sprained ankle, Landry saw 10 targets, catching five for 44 yards. No other Dolphin caught more than one pass. Miami RB Jay Ajayi showed some improvement on recent weeks, totaling 79 scoreless yards from scrimmage, but that won’t be enough to keep fantasy players happy.

 


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Ryan McDowell is a senior writer for dynastyleaguefootball.com. You can follow him on Twitter @RyanMc23.
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