All aboard the S.S. Fantasy Football! We’ll be making our way to Week 6, doing our best to avoid traps like the Week 5 Fantasy Football icebergs that sank teams this past week. The older the season gets, the more important the games become; you don’t want to lose a winnable matchup because you were too short-sighted to see an iceberg waiting to rip your heart out.
Here are some of stars who made you rue the day you put them in your lineup, as well as what to expect from them in Week 6.
Amari Cooper – 4.1 points (PPR)
I’m sure you’ve seen Dak Prescott’s gruesome ankle injury by now. Brutal. Hope he makes a speedy recovery. While it would be easy to blame Cooper’s 2/23/0 performance on the fact that Dak was out for a big chunk of the game, that argument doesn’t hold water.
Yes, Dak has been throwing the ball like the Cowboys are running Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense. However, Andy Dalton went 9 for 11 for 111 yards after replacing Dak. He looked good. Amari’s back-breaking fantasy game, which was made all-the-more painful by the 34.15-point game that preceded it, was due to a concerted effort by the Giants to make other pass catchers beat them. And guess what? The Cowboys had no problem doing that. That’s the luxury afforded to a team that has CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup to throw the ball to as well. Dallas will gladly take what the defense gives them if their #1 receiver is drawing extra attention.
The ‘Boys will face off against the Cardinals at home in Week 6. Arizona has a decent pass defense, but Andy Dalton is no slouch. What’s more, he had plenty of weapons to deliver the ball to while he was in Cincy, so he is more than capable of getting everyone quality targets. Cooper is still the top dog in this passing game, and Arizona is unlikely to replicate the Giants’ strategy of taking him out of the game (Dallas still put up 30 points on offense). I’d expect a solid game from Cooper, albeit unspectacular. He was one of the Week 5 Fantasy Football icebergs, but it should be relatively smooth sailing this week.
Hayden Hurst – 2.8 points (PPR)
The Falcons, man. Sheesh. This offense begins and ends with the play of their quarterback, and Matt Ryan has just been a train wreck after two excellent games to start the season. Their Week 5 matchup against the Panthers looked relatively appetizing for Hurst owners, but those who started him were surely disappointed by his 2 catches for 8 yards and no TDs.
Hurst had been Steady Eddy for the Falcons prior to this past week. He had a breakout Week 2 performance, but he put up no less than 6.8 points in any other game through Week 4. He and Ryan were just not on the same page against Carolina, though. Hurst generated a healthy 6 targets, but only reeled in 2 of them for short gains. Not great, Bob.
The Atlanta Falcons are swirling around the toilet bowl right now. They’ve yet to win a game, Matt Ryan looks like a shell of himself, key players are dealing with nagging injuries, and the Head Coach and GM have been fired. They will head to Minnesota this week to take on the Vikings, who have been excellent against tight ends this season. Todd Gurley has had a lot of success as of late. Will the offense now run through him? Will Ryan look elsewhere after he and Hurst were unable to connect consistently against Carolina? Is Julio Jones healthy enough to return and soak up some of Hurst’s targets? There are a lot of question marks in Atlanta. Hayden Hurst might end up being serviceable once again, but there are too many variables to consider this week. Sit him if you have a safer option.
Devin Singletary – 4.3 points (PPR)
The Bills had arguably the hottest offense in the league leading up to their Tuesday night game against the Titans. Tennessee whooped that ass, though, and Singletary sank a lot of fantasy teams in their quest for glory. He rushed for a measly 25 yards on 11 carries, and brought in 1 pass for 8 yards. He didn’t find the end zone.
Devin Singletary was far from the only Buffalo Bill who looked bad on Tuesday night, but the issue is one specific player who did thrive: T.J. Yeldon. The veteran backup led the Bills rushing attack with 52 yards on 7 carries, and also scored on a 22-yard reception. Singletary accounted for 16.1 and 18.7 points in Weeks 3 and 4, respectively, as the clear lead back in Buffalo’s high-powered offense. Yeldon outplayed him against Tennessee, however.
Singletary’s run as an RB2/3 might be over. Sorry to break it to you. Yeldon is a solid, experienced running back, particularly as a pass-catcher. What’s more, the Bills will most likely be getting Zack Moss back against the Chiefs in Week 6. Moss’s presence will negate some of Singletary’s involvement in the red zone. Will he get enough touches to warrant plugging him into your starting lineup? It’s a valid, troubling question. The KC game will probably be a shootout, which helps Singletary’s situation. But beware, sailor, this could be a back-to-back iceberg.
Lamar Jackson – 13.5 points
The 2019 MVP making a second appearance on the iceberg list?! Yep. It’s been a decidedly underwhelming season for Lamar Jackson, who struggled against a bad Bengals team. He completed just 51.4% of his passes, threw a pick, and ran the ball twice for 3 yards. That is certainly not the Lamar Jackson we have come to know over the last two seasons, but it’s 2020, baby.
Thing is, Jackson’s play hasn’t really affected the Ravens; they haven’t needed him to be Superman. Baltimore is 3-1 and all of their wins have been by at least two touchdowns. Jackson isn’t playing up to the standards he set last season, but this team is full of quality players and is led by an elite coach in John Harbaugh. Can we expect more sub-par games from Jackson if the Ravens keep trouncing their opponents, allowing the offense to take its foot off the gas?
Jackson scored 25.02 points the last time he made it onto this list. Do you really think he’s gonna run the ball 2 times for 3 yards again? No shot. The Eagles are hopeless on offense, but they are respectable on defense. This might actually help Jackson’s prospects. Philly’s D has a chance to make this game respectable, which will force Lamar to be locked in as a dual-threat for the entire game. You want an active Lamar Jackson in your lineup. The Ravens star was one of our Week 5 Fantasy Football icebergs, unfortunately. This will not happen in Week 6.
Zach Ertz – 2.35 points (PPR)
Things just make too much sense sometimes. The Eagles have been hit by the injury bug in a major way. Zach Ertz has a long-established rapport with Carson Wentz. He is the only healthy pass catcher with any kind of résumé. So what happens? He accounts for 15 total receiving yards in a two-week span, including 6 this past week against the Steelers. What the shit is going on?!
I’ll tell you what’s going on. Ertz is talented, to be sure, but he is not on the level of the players who can consistently thrive even when the defense is keyed in on them. Wentz trusts Ertz, but not enough to force feed the ball to him when he’s being double- or triple-covered. Few players can succeed in those circumstances, and even fewer can do it week-in and week-out. Zach Ertz isn’t one of them. Opportunity is the life blood of Fantasy Football, I get it. In this case, however, it helps if the offense has more mouths to feed.
You’ve probably cursed the day Ertz was born after his recent performances. It’s been bad. Real bad. But let me tell you, my friend, there are brighter days ahead. DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey both have a chance to play this week against the Ravens, who do not cover tight ends well. If one or both of them play, it will immediately draw attention from the defense and stretch the field for the Eagles, giving Ertz more room to work underneath. Ertz was arguably the most devastating of the Week 5 Fantasy Football icebergs. Stick with him, though. It’s gonna better. Zach Ertz is still a very good player to have on your team.