As we approach the beginning of bye weeks in fantasy football, trading and free-agent pick-ups become even more essential. Naturally, the major focus will be targeting valuable players at a discount. But managers should also be evaluating the players who are currently a cause for concern and the sleepers who they should be finding a spot for as a potential replacement. So, without further ado, let’s get to the fantasy football Week 5 fallout from our fantasy duds and sleeper studs.
*All points-based stats are from full PPR scoring formats.
Fallout From NFL Fantasy Football Week 5
Wide Receiver Tyler Lockett
The Seattle Seahawks were dealt a huge blow in the wake of Russell Wilson’s tendon rupture and fracture of his middle finger during Thursday Night Football. And with the star quarterback due to be sidelined until at least Week 10, the fantasy ramifications are difficult to quantify. Backup Geno Smith did come in and exhibit his credentials in a solid performance in the fourth quarter but this sample size won’t give us enough intel on how we should adjust our expectations for Seattle’s pass-catching options. However, there is value to be had here, particularly for fantasy teams who boast a positive record and have maybe more scope to secure an investment with a slightly longer maturation date. Yes, it’s true that Tyler Lockett (WR63, WR70, WR38) has disappointed for fantasy in his last three outings. But there are three good reasons why managers should trade for him.
Ride the Inconsistency
Lockett, like DeAndre Hopkins, is highly inconsistent for fantasy. Despite finishing last season as the WR8 overall, he still featured outside the top 30 wide receivers on 10 occasions. Although, he wasn’t all that far away from a monster day in Week 5, which many managers might not recall. Considering he had an end zone reception called back on a holding call, coupled with two deep shots, one of which missed by inches, with the other being another surefire touchdown were it not for blatant pass interference. That’s the guts of about 25 points in full PPR. Of course, the reverse argument is, “it didn’t happen, though”. But the point is: Lockett is a major deep threat and he will churn out those big daddy games if you can withstand the poor performances.
His Trade Stocks Have Plummeted
What’s more, trading for him shouldn’t be too difficult right now; since much of Lockett’s value comes from larger passing plays, his current managers will worry that Geno Smith will castrate the wideout’s ceiling and provide an uninspiring floor in the process. Combine this quarterback issue with three dud outings on the bounce and you could have a chance at extracting him on the cheap. Would a running back in the 15-24 range get a one-for-one deal done? If you are in a position to trade say a Leonard Fournette or Chase Edmonds-type for Lockett, you should slam the accept button on that transaction. Of course, this kind of deal requires having three good running backs. So if instead, you wanted to swap pass-catching options, then someone like Emmanuel Sanders or Michael Pittman Jr. could prove a competitive offer right now.
Potential Monster Playoff Producer
Finally, provided Russell Wilson returns fully healthy, Lockett will instantly slot in as a difference-make come playoff time. Currently, the 29-year-old is right in the Marquise Brown/Mike Williams range in yards per reception (15.6). The issue with Seattle’s WR2 is more just getting him the ball. Though with a playoff schedule of the Rams, Bears and Lions and a returning quarterback famed for his deep shots, the scope is there for Lockett to ball out against sides that haven’t shut down pass catchers so far this year.
Running Back Myles Gaskin
Gaskin’s RB3 finish was predicated on a game plan of manufactured receptions to combat a stingy Buccaneers run defense. But his 2021 breakout game also came hand-in-hand with Devante Parker’s absence through injury. So far, the Dolphin’s chief wideout has commanded eight targets per game and thus will wrestle back a chunk of Gaskin’s upside from this week. So strike while the iron is hot and try to shop Gaskin before he returns to his prior form.
Wide Receiver Kadarius Toney
It might seem premature to tout Toney as an instant sell, particularly since many will have just picked him up off of waivers. But the context around his elite output is more prescriptive of the Giants’ current absentees.
With Sterling Shepard (hamstring), Kenny Golladay (knee) and Darius Slayton (hamstring) either limited or out in Weeks 4 and 5, Toney harvested over 30 percent of the team’s targets. Perhaps you can ride this wave through one more big performance, but the rookie’s production will come down significantly soon. Considering the aforementioned trio combined for a whopping 70 percent of targets through Weeks 1 and 2, it stands to reason that these pass catchers will soon start to cannibalize each other’s ceilings.
As such, fantasy managers should monitor the return dates for Shepard, Golladay and Slayton and trade Toney well before they come back and diminish his fantasy appeal. Anywhere between now and pre-Week 6 should get you the best value.
Sound the Alarm?
In this segment, we debate whether or not we need to seriously worry about a poor performer on the back of Week 5’s fantasy football fallout.
Running Back Trey Sermon
Given the hype around him going into the season, Trey Sermon’s touchdown-dependent fantasy output has been disappointing. Worse still, in terms of real football, is the fact that he is well down the depth chart in San Francisco; in the weeks that both he and Elijah Mitchell have suited up together, his partner has out-snapped him 77-3.
Furthermore, there remains the threat of Jeff Wilson Jr., who is extremely well-liked, and due to return from injury around November which will push Sermon further down the pecking order in Shanahan’s scheme. Finally, when Trey Lance eventually takes over the quarterback role, he will likely feast on the opportunities for the 49ers running back room. For instance, in Week 5, he rushed a whopping 16 times for 89 yards which is practically Lamar Jackson-esque.
Sound the alarm!
Wide Receiver Cole Beasley
You can normally rely on Beasley to provide a PPR floor because of the easy completions he offers to Josh Allen; the 10-year veteran’s average depth of target (5.68) ranks 103rd out of 109 wide receivers with at least 10 receptions. But after two consecutive duds (a combined four targets for 21 yards), is his spot in the flex position in jeopardy?
Unfortunately, with the emergence of Dawson Knox, who has seen an increase in both targets and efficiency, Beasley’s consistency has suffered as a result. And, considering the vast majority of his red-zone targets came in Week 3 (five of seven), it appears Allen has him fourth in the pecking order now behind Steffon Diggs, Knox and Emmanuel Sanders. The alarm isn’t ringing in the ears just yet but given just how bad Tennessee’s defense has been, Allen may have plenty of joy on downfield targets for Sanders and Diggs, leaving Beasley a little redundant.
Stash him on the bench for now.
Tight End T.J. Hockenson
It’s now three games with under 10 fantasy points on the trot for the fancied tight end breakout. Although, his performances of late can be explained by factors that don’t detract from his overall value. For instance, his Week 4 outing of four catches and 42 yards still saw him targeted nine times. Meanwhile, in Week 5, he had a 16 percent share of the available targets, it just so happened that Jared Goff only managed to throw a measly 25 times. Ultimately that leaves the Baltimore game as the only aberration on what we have to come to expect for Hockenson.
You shouldn’t panic about him, even though his stat line hasn’t looked all that healthy of late.
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