Top NFL Fantasy Football Performers, Week 5: The Packers Rack up Fantasy Points in Defeat, More

Top NFL Fantasy Football Performers, Week 5: The Packers Rack up Fantasy Points in Defeat, More article feature image

Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) scores a touchdown during the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

  • Week 5 has featured high-scoring games all over the NFL.
  • Jets running back Isaiah Crowell rushed for a franchise-record 219 yards on Sunday.
  • Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes is apparently human but can still put up numbers against a top defense.

You may have laughed, or you may have cried. Ultimately, all of us were winners after experiencing yet another full Sunday of non-stop football.

This week’s action featured an abundance of late-game heroics, missed field goals and plenty of scoring everywhere in between.

The following four players were the brightest Week 5 stars at their respective positions.

Fantasy Quarterback of the Day: Aaron Rodgers

Sunday afternoon didn’t go particularly well for the Packers, but Rodgers at least offered a gentle reminder to fantasy owners that he’s still the league’s most fantasy-friendly quarterback on a week-to-week basis.

Rodgers has now thrown multiple touchdowns and scored at least 24 DraftKings points in six consecutive matchups against the Lions:

  • 2018 Week 5: 442 pass yards, 3 pass TDs, 33.7 DraftKings points
  • 2016 Week 17: 300 yards, 4 TDs, 37.2 points
  • 2016 Week 3: 205 yards, 4 TDs, 26.4 points
  • 2015 Week 13: 273 yards, 2 TDs, 26.6 points
  • 2015 Week 10: 333 yards, 2 TDs, 25.1 points
  • 2014 Week 17: 226 yards, 2 TDs, 24.4 points
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) drops back to pass the ball during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) drops back to pass at Ford Field.

Rodgers possessed minuscule 3.1% ownership in the DraftKings Millionaire Maker and appeared in all five of the contest’s top-scoring lineups. It’s safe to say he won’t catch the public by surprise in Week 6 at home against the 49ers’ dreadful secondary.

Fantasy Running Back of the Day: James Conner

Conner became the latest running back to absolutely toast the Falcons’ injury-riddled defense:

  • Week 1 Jay Ajayi: 15 touches, 62 total yards, 2 TDs, 20.2 DraftKings points
  • Week 2 Christian McCaffrey: 22 touches, 139 yards, 30.9 points
  • Week 3 Alvin Kamara: 31 touches, 190 total yards, 37 points
  • Week 4 Giovani Bernard: 19 touches, 96 yards, 2 TDs, 25.6 points
  • Week 5 Conner: 25 touches, 185 yards, 2 TDs, 37.5 points

Even more impressive than Conner’s box score was how he went about picking up his yards. Per PFF’s Pat Thorman, Conner now has as many career games with 12 broken tackles as Le’Veon Bell.

James Conner broke six tackles on this play. Falcons couldn't stop him all game. #Steelers

— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) October 7, 2018

Antonio Brown also chipped in two touchdowns during the Steelers’ 41-17 win over the Falcons. The Steelers have now scored at least 30 points in three of their last four games

Fantasy Wide Receiver of the Day: Davante Adams

The Packers were without Randall Cobb (hamstring) and Geronimo Allison (concussion) Sunday afternoon, so Adams (12), Jimmy Graham (11) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (10) each wound up with double-digit targets. Adams finished with a sterling nine catches, 140 yards and one touchdown for a position-high 32 DraftKings points despite seeing plenty of All-Pro cornerback Darius Slay.

Adams’ touchdown against the Lions gives him 26 since Week 1 of 2016. This mark is matched by only Antonio Brown and demonstrates the consistent upside of Rodgers’ No. 1 receiver.

Sunday marked Adams’ first game with at least 100 receiving yards since Week 10 of 2017. He’s an every-week WR1 and has racked up at least 12 targets in three of the Packers’ last four games. Up next is a borderline erotic spot at Lambeau Field against the artist formerly known as Richard Sherman.

Fantasy Tight End of the Day: Zach Ertz

Ertz joined Odell Beckham Jr. and Julio Jones as the only players with at least 200-plus yards and zero touchdowns entering Week 5. The two receivers posted respective 10-110-1 and 8-131-1 lines, while Jones has now gone a career-long 10 consecutive regular-season games without a touchdown.

The return of Carson Wentz hasn’t yet returned Philly’s offense to last season’s prolific attack, but it’s clear who Wentz considers his most-trustworthy target:

Eagles targets in Weeks 3-5 with Carson Wentz:

Zach Ertz (35)
Nelson Agholor (21)
Alshon Jeffery (17 – only 2 games)
Wendell Smallwood (14)
Dallas Goedert (11)

— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) October 8, 2018

Overall, Ertz has 12 touchdowns in 28 games with Wentz, and 12 touchdowns in 56 career games without. Up next is a matchup with the Giants, who Ertz has averaged 14.7 DraftKings PPG with a +5.02 Plus/Minus against since 2014 (per our NFL Trends tool).

The Chiefs are Matchup-Proof

The Chiefs’ 30-14 victory over the Jaguars included a defensive score, but their 23 offensive points still demonstrated their ridiculous fantasy floor in a rainy matchup against the league’s best defense.

  • Patrick Mahomes threw for 313 yards and added 13 yards and a score on the ground. He has 300-plus yards or multiple touchdowns in every game this season.
  • Kareem Hunt racked up 94 total yards and a touchdown on 23 touches. His touches per game this season: 16, 19, 18, 22, and 23.
  • Tyreek Hill gained 87 scoreless total yards, including a 36-yard gain on Jalen Ramsey. His average target depth of 15.2 yards bests last year’s 11.7 mark.
  • Travis Kelce now has at least 100 receiving yards in three of his five games with Mahomes. Kelce had four such games in the entire 2017 season.
  • Sammy Watkins has at least 55 receiving yards in three of five games this season, bringing him within just one game of his 2017 total (4).

Goodness Gracious, Isaiah Crowell!

Isaiah Crowell converted 15 carries into a franchise-record 219 yards Sunday against the Browns. His average of 14.6 yards per carry is the highest single-game mark from any running back since 1999 (min. 15 rush attempts).

There’s certainly a (good) case to be made that Crowell’s breakout performance should lead to more touches, but it remains to be seen if the Jets will ever deviate from their committee backfield. Sunday was no exception despite Crowell’s massive performance:

  • Crowell: 25 snaps, 15 carries, 1 target
  • Bilal Powell: 34 snaps, 20 carries, 0 targets
New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell (20) carries the ball in the second half against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium.
Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jets running back Isaiah Crowell (20) carries the ball at MetLife Stadium.

It’s Joe Mixon Szn (Again)

The Bengals were reportedly planning on easing Mixon back into the offense after he missed the last two weeks with a knee injury, but that didn’t exactly go as planned. Overall, the three-down workhorse played 47-of-60 snaps (78%) and handled 100% of the position’s rush attempts.

Backup Mark Walton saw three targets, but Mixon stole the show by catching three of his four targets for 22 yards and a touchdown. There’s little reason to believe Mixon won’t continue to work as the Bengals’ featured back regardless of the health of Giovani Bernard (knee).

Garbage-Time Blake Bortles is an American Treasure

Bortles was a popular streaming option this week against the Chiefs’ mostly helpless defense, but he helped dig the Jaguars into a 20-0 halftime hole. It was then that the B.O.A.T completed 33-of-61 passes (54%) for 430 yards and one touchdown … along with four additional completions to Chiefs defenders. Still, Bortles further salvaged his fantasy performance with 34 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

The Jaguars are forced to rely on Bortles for better and for worse when Leonard Fournette (hamstring) is sidelined. Even when the Jags get the bad version of their quarterback, he offers unique rushing upside. Entering Sunday, Bortles’ average of 23.4 rushing yards per game was the fifth-highest mark among all quarterbacks (min. 16 starts) since 2014.

Adam Thielen is a Top-5 WR

The Vikings’ superstar receiver has caught 47-of-66 targets for 589 yards and three touchdowns this season. Only John Brown (43%) and Julio Jones (47%) have a higher market share of their team’s air yards, as Thielen has regularly demonstrated the ability to beat defenses anywhere and everywhere on the field.

How special Thielen’s first five games have been can’t be understated:

Adam Thielen is the first player with 100+ receiving yards in each of Weeks 1-5 since Bob Boyd in 1954

— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) October 7, 2018

Winning Trends

DFS players and gamblers alike should utilize the FantasyLabs Player Props tool. Our industry-leading tool is composed of projections powered by Sean Koerner, the No. 1 in-season FantasyPros ranker for each of the past three seasons.

The props tool sorts through player props available at various online sportsbooks, compares them to our own set of internal projections, rates the quality of each potential bet on a scale of 1-10 and then identifies the book at which the bet can be made most favorably.

After Sunday, the 2018 NFL player props with a bet quality of 10 are 82-46-2 (63% win rate).

The highlight from Sunday’s crop of winners emphasized attention to the depth chart. Seahawks’ first-round running back Rashaad Penny had a ridiculous over/under rushing yards prop of 22.5 yards, while our projections had Penny gaining just 11.8 yards.

In the end? Penny was active, but didn’t even play a snap.

Hurt in Battle and Returning Soldiers

Week 5 presented plenty of key injuries on both sides of the ball. We won’t know more about Week 6 availability until later in the week, but the following skill-position players will certainly be worth monitoring:

  • 49ers RB Matt Breida (ankle)
  • Rams WR Cooper Kupp (concussion)
  • Rams WR Brandin Cooks (concussion)
  • Eagles RB Jay Ajayi (knee)
  • Lions RB Kerryon Johnson (ankle)
  • Browns WR Rashard Higgins (knee)
  • Jaguars RB Corey Grant (foot)
  • Bengals TE Tyler Kroft (foot)

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