Fantasy Football Believe it or Not: Does Odell Beckham's injury sink all the Giants? Has Deshaun Watson replaced Ben Roethlisberger as an elite QB?
Deshaun Watson was incredible again in Week 5. He looks like the best quarterback in Fantasy. How long can it last?
More Week 5 reactions:-
Injuries are a major part of football and one of the worst aspects of Fantasy is how we have to instantly react to someone else's pain, talking about the opportunity it provides for the next man up. But it's also one of the most important.
Age is one of the few undeniable truths we have left, as is the realization that in some point in our lives Father Time will claim victory and maintain his undefeated record. When he takes down one of the greats, it can be hard to watch.
In Week 5 we had plenty of injuries and saw some really bad signs for a couple of aging quarterbacks. Of course, we've written Tom Brady off in the past and been wrong, so let's get started by diving into whether what we saw in Week 5 was a blip or the beginning of the end.
It's time to write off the Giants in Fantasy
Generally, an injury means opportunity for the next guy up. But what if the next three guys all got hurt as well? The Giants lost Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard and Dwayne Harris on Sunday. They also lost their fifth game in a row. Roger Lewis is the only healthy wide receiver on the roster. Beckham and Harris are done for the year and the Giants are hopeful Sterling Shepard only misses a couple of weeks. This is a disaster.
You can cut each and every Giants player you own. Eli Manning has no one to throw to, Shepard isn't worth a stash, Marshall hasn't been good since 2015 and a rookie tight end isn't going to be consistent with no one else to draw coverage.
What about the running backs?
Sure, they looked better in Week 5 running against the defense that leads the NFL in missed tackles. But this team couldn't run block when they had the threat of a passing game? Now? It's going to be a disaster.
Verdict: Don't believe it
Opportunity is still king in this game and there is a ton of opportunity in New York. It's just that the next two weeks (at Denver, vs. Seattle) are going to be rough.
That's why I wouldn't get too excited about Lewis as the only healthy receiver, and I would be perfectly fine cutting Manning loose, who was a borderline Fantasy quarterback anyway. But I'm holding onto Evan Engram and Wayne Gallman, knowing that I won't start either the next three weeks. I'm also actively adding Sterling Shepard when he's inevitably dropped this week.
Shepard will be the team's No. 1 receiver as soon as he's healthy, likely after their Week 8 bye. After that bye, Shepard will have four outstanding matchups left on his schedule (rank vs. WR)
You know it's bad when Ben Roethlisberger is acknowledging the possibility that he doesn't have it any more.
While Roethlisberger was throwing five picks at home, Carson Wentz was dealing on the east side of the state, carving up the Arizona Cardinals for four touchdowns. Yes, that's the Arizona Cardinals defense with Patrick Peterson. Wentz spread the ball around to everyone but his No. 1 receiver, averaging more than 10 yards per attempt in the process. Roethlisberger spread the ball around to four different Jaguars defenders.
It was pretty clear watching on Sunday that it's over for Roethlisberger and Wentz is a top ten quarterback.
Verdict: Believe it
Well, part of it. I'll believe that Wentz is going to be the best quarterback in Pennsylvania this season. He is thriving in his second year in Doug Pederson's system and the addition of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith has really opened up the offense. Wentz looks like a top ten Fantasy quarterback for the rest of the year and one that I would only sit against the most difficult matchups.
I'm not quite ready to give up on Roethlisberger yet. This was a very difficult matchup, and yes, he played awful. I have concerns about the Steelers chemistry and Roethlisberger's desire to play, but with more byes this week and a decent matchup against Kansas City I'll likely start him again in Week 6.
You should sell Joe Mixon after his Week 5 touchdown
Joe Mixon scored his first NFL touchdown on Sunday as the Bengals improved to 2-3 on the season with a win over the Bills. He's now received at least 15 carries in each of his last three games and he's scored at least nine Fantasy points in two of them. That's not an extremely impressive resume, but if it's enough to get someone in your league excited about him you should move him quickly.
It's not that I think Mixon is a bad running back. He's the best option the Bengals have for a feature role and I believe he's a net positive as a running back. But this situation is awful. The Bengals cannot block anyone and the team is still going to give a majority of the work in the passing game to Giovani Bernard, as they should. Mixon has No. 2 RB upside this year, but his floor is much lower each week.
Verdict: Believe it
Volume is valuable, and so is talent. Mixon has both, we think. So far, however, the numbers are questionable. No, I won't cite his 2.79 yards per carry (although it's abhorrent). How about Pro Football Focus' missed tackles forced? Two running backs have more carries than Mixon and fewer missed tackles forced: Frank Gore and Mike Gillislee.
That doesn't scream difference maker to me.
But even if you believe he is a difference maker, there just hasn't been anywhere for him to run this season. Even with all that volume he has one game this year with more than the 51 rushing yards he totaled on Sunday. Also, the fact that nearly half of the respondents to this poll disagree tells you that there are some people who still see a breakout coming. Take advantage of them on his bye week.
Ameer Abdullah's Week 4 was a mirage, you can't trust him each week
In Week 4 Ameer Abdullah topped 100 total yards and scored a touchdown. He had 23 touches. He looked like the workhorse running back the Lions had talked about this preseason. In Week 5 he turned back into Ameer Abdullah and the Lions turned back into the lambs. He only saw one target (Theo Riddick had five), and he only had 10 carries (Zach Zenner had three and a touchdown).
It's just difficult to be a reliable Fantasy running back without consistent usage in the passing game or the red zone. He's a matchup-dependent No. 2 running back who is better served as a flex.
Verdict: Believe it
Abdullah did get two carries inside the Pathers 20 on Sunday. They went for a combined one yard. He's had a low success rate on the few red zone carries he's received this year and that only reinforces the Lions inclination to give Zach Zenner those carries. Abdullah cannot be trusted against anything close to a tough matchup. Lucky for him, he has the Saints in Week 6 so he should be just fine.
Deshaun Watson is a top-six Fantasy quarterback
Does this just become a weekly part of this piece, where we continue to raise the bar for Watson each and every week? Probably, as long as he continues to raise the bar himself. Remember, Watson didn't even start Week 1 for the Texans. He's currently the No. 1 scoring quarterback in CBS leagues. Yet, we keep finding reasons to doubt him.
After a long TD run salvaged his Week 2 performance we questioned whether he could get it done through the air. After Week 3 and Week 4 we talked about how bad the Patriots and Titans were defensively. Now, this morning, after a five-touchdown performance I'm hearing an awful lot about garbage time.
Enough. Watson is a clear No. 1 QB and he may just be in the top five.
Verdict: Believe it
This is cautious optimism because there are some things about Watson's performances that don't seem sustainable and I would expect teams will have better game plans for him moving forward. But with the Texans defense falling apart and the weapons Watson has outside I have a really hard time finding six quarterbacks I would rather have than him.
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