Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen had the second-most passing yards (348) in any half of football since 1991 and outscored all other fantasy quarterbacks this week in the first half alone. Allen finished with a career-best 422 pass yards and would've had an even bigger fantasy day if not for the lopsided score.
Buffalo averaged the sixth-most yards per play (10.2) in NFL history!
After the Bills returned the opening kickoff to their own two-yard line, Gabe Davishauled in a 98-yard touchdown. He followed that with maybe an even more impressive TD grab on his next catch (putting him at 80.0 yards per catch at the time).
Davis has a history of not performing when playing through injuries but appeared closer to full strength after returning to a full practice last week, and Sunday resulted in him finishing as fantasy's No. 1 WR of Week 5. Davis' target rate remains way down, but his return to health is huge news for managers who were patient. His fantasy upside is massive moving forward in the league's pass-happiest offense.
Khalil Shakir had a drop but otherwise impressed while replacing Jamison Crowder and Isaiah McKenzie as Buffalo's slot receiver. Shakir was one of three Bills who finished as top-15 PPR receivers in Week 5, but his value depends entirely on McKenzie's future health status … It was a blowout, but Kenny Pickett posted a positive completion percentage over expectation and is now the top-scoring fantasy QB against Buffalo this season. Not bad by the rookie.
Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Marcus Mariota still hasn't thrown more than 26 passes in a game since Week 1, as the Falcons remained incredibly conservative even when trailing 21-0 in the fourth quarter. Atlanta nearly came back anyway, with Tampa Bay benefitting from this roughing the passer call:
That kind of violence has no place in sports.
In all seriousness, that awful penalty can be considered a makeup call after the refs missed a blatant pass interference by Atlanta on the previous play (says someone who picked TB in my $6 Million Survivor pool) … The Falcons smartly went for 2 down eight points, putting them in position to possibly win if not for the whack flag … Facing a Falcons defense that somehow entered with just three quarterback hurries over four games, Tom Brady wasn't sacked but managed just 6.8 YPA with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both finally healthy … Leonard Fournette is another fantasy player who was off to a slower start but finally erupted Sunday, tying as the week's top PPR back while recording 10 catches on 11 targets. That said, Rachaad White absolutely should be rostered in all fantasy formats; he remains available in 65% of Yahoo leagues.
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets
An early Teddy Bridgewater exit likely affected all pass catchers in this game, but either way, both backfields took center stage. Breece Hall continued to see increased snaps, and while the rookie saw only two targets, he turned them into 100 yards. Facing a Miami defense that entered ceding the fourth-fewest EPA/rush, Hall was a top-three fantasy RB this week (197 YFS) despite Michael Carter stealing two touchdowns (and Zach Wilson running in another inside the five).
It required some patience, but Hall should be treated as a top-20 fantasy player moving forward.
Raheem Mostert continued to act as Miami's clear lead back, recording 18 carries compared to just one for Chase Edmonds. Mostert also saw more targets, nearly scored a second touchdown and was terrific (6.3 YPC). Mostert is crazy good when healthy and is a must-start in all fantasy leagues — until his next injury hits.
New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers (London)
Despite a sprained ankle, Daniel Jones outplayed Aaron Rodgers, who failed to complete any of his six deep-pass attempts. Green Bay's struggling offense failed to score during the second half of the first-ever matchup in London between winning teams. Randall Cobb saw as many targets (13) as Romeo Doubs and Allen Lazard combined! … AJ Dillon wasn't targeted, hasn't scored since Week 1 and can be benched in fantasy leagues until further notice (although next week's game script could prove favorable) … Saquon Barkley lost a touchdown while getting checked for a shoulder injury in the locker room, but fantasy managers are just happy that he returned.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Cleveland Browns
Nick Chubb was a beast as usual and is somehow (essentially) tied with Saquon Barkley as fantasy's top-scoring PPR back despite being completely ignored in the passing game (zero catches on one target Sunday) and consistently losing touchdowns to Kareem Hunt (another one Sunday) … Austin Ekeler countered by being fantasy's RB1 for the second straight week, and while favorable opponents have certainly helped, Ekeler was terrific Sunday while getting 10.8 YPC … Mike Williams continued to put up big numbers when Keenan Allen is sidelined, while Amari Cooper has now been a top-10 WR in all three home games this season, yet is averaging 13.0 yards with zero scores on the road … David Njoku has topped 70 receiving yards in three straight games, which makes him an elite fantasy tight end … Justin Herbert's streak of seven straight away games with 300+ passing yards ended in a matchup dominated by both rushing attacks.
Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Coming off a game in which he became the first player to lose four fumbles this century, Trevor Lawrence — who typically plays far better at home — was brutal in his return to Jacksonville, posting a -10.5 CPOE with an ugly late pick in the end zone. Jacksonville managed just six points and were shut out in the second half at home against a shaky Houston defense. In hindsight, a matchup against the league's best slot corner was especially bad for Lawrence (Jamal Agnew scored twice last week after Christian Kirk moved outside with Zay Jones sidelined).
Travis Etienne nearly had an even bigger game and suddenly appears like the preferred Jacksonville fantasy back — like he was on draft day … Dameon Pierce had the best run of Week 5 and would be a second-round fantasy pick in a draft today. The rookie is so good, and the upside is clearly there as a receiver too.
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins threw a touchdown for an NFL-high 35th straight game, while Justin Jefferson was fantasy's WR2 this week, recording 10 catches by halftime … Darnell Mooney would be a fantasy star in the right situation, but he remains unusable in his current one … Chicago was aggressive, going for 2 followed by an onside attempt (both failed) in the second quarter … Justin Fields got 9.9 YPA and had a long, highlight-worthy late touchdown run called back by a questionable penalty:
Detroit Lions @ New England Patriots
The Lions could really use their upcoming bye to get healthy, while Rhamondre Stevenson took advantage of Damien Harris exiting with an impressive 175 yards from scrimmage. The Patriots next get a Browns run defense that allowed 10.8 YPC to Austin Ekeler this week after entering the game allowing the second-most EPA/rush in the NFL, so Stevenson would be a top-five fantasy RB in Week 6 if Harris is out. Other backs would be involved, but Bill Belichick treated Stevenson as a true workhorse Sunday, and the RB is too good for the coach not to continue doing so … Bailey Zappe benefitted from never having a Lions pass rusher within 4.5 yards of him, but he's been more than competent … Jakobi Meyers should be treated as a top-25 PPR receiver moving forward, and he's available in more than 50% of Yahoo leagues.
Seattle Seahawks @ New Orleans Saints
Alvin Kamara was a top-10 back this week despite Taysom Hill running for 112 yards and scoring all three Saints rushing touchdowns. With no Michael Thomas or Jarvis Landry and Chris Olaveleaving with a scary injury during a touchdown catch, Hill and Kamara dominated touches Sunday. Hill is now remarkably the TE4 this season with one reception … With Rashaad Penny suffering an unfortunate serious ankle injury, Kenneth Walker looks like a potential fantasy league winner. Even if the rookie loses passing-down work, there's a ton of fantasy upside in a shockingly potent Seattle offense featuring a much healthier DK Metcalf and an incredibly impressive Geno Smith. Smith has been a top-10 fantasy QB this season and is a borderline top-five option this week at home against the pass-funnel Cardinals defense.
Tennessee Titans @ Washington Commanders
Derrick Henry was given 30 touches and is likely sad to see the team's bye week here. He still isn't running many routes, but the Titans continue to emphasize him (another designed screen Sunday) in the passing game more than ever before; he was even a receiving decoy during Dontrell Hilliard's TD catch. Henry historically gets stronger during the second half of the season, so congratulations to those who weren't scared off from drafting The Big Dog.
With all the injuries to Tennessee's receivers and given eight targets, it was a massively disappointing game by Robert Woods … Considering Jahan Dotson and Logan Thomas were out, Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel were also letdowns. Instead, we watched Dyami Brown score touchdowns on both of his catches Sunday … Brian Robinson (62% rostered in Yahoo) made his NFL debut and immediately led Washington in carries.
I'm beginning to think the Commanders coaching staff is down on Antonio Gibson.
San Francisco 49ers @ Carolina Panthers
Despite a horrible matchup, Christian McCaffrey managed 104 total yards and scored, thanks to a whopping 12 targets. CMC looks about as good as ever, but Carolina might be down to its QB3 right now. Matt Rhule's seat remains the hottest in the league, and he fell to 1-27 with his 25th straight loss when the Panthers have allowed 17+ points.
It's going to take a McCaffrey injury for DJ Moore to be worth starting in fantasy leagues.
The 49ers had a pick-six and have recorded a whopping 13 sacks over the last two games; their 21 sacks are the most through the first five games of a season since 1998.
Jeff Wilson Jr. and Tevin Coleman were both top-12 fantasy backs this week, and Coleman needs to be added in fantasy leagues (0% rostered in Yahoo). Tyrion Davis-Price should return soon, but Wilson is about to be 27 and has never reached even 130 carries during his career. The 49ers are among the most run-heavy teams in the NFL.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Arizona Cardinals
Jalen Hurts once again did most of his fantasy scoring in the first half, while Arizona has been outscored 38-0 in the first quarter this season. Hurts threw for just 239 yards (6.6 YPA) with zero TD passes yet comfortably finished as fantasy's QB2 this week. His 36 pass attempts were a season-high … James Conner and Darrel Williams both left injured, so Eno Benjamin (10% rostered) could quickly become a must-fantasy-start depending on their severities … Kyler Murray and Hollywood Brownboth arrived in style and connected on a nice score, but it was an ugly ending in Arizona.
Kliff Kingsbury failed to use a timeout before the two-minute warning, although that time lost ultimately wouldn't matter when Murray inexplicably spiked the ball on 3rd-and-1 with 22 seconds left! It was a comedy of errors leading to a missed field goal by their backup kicker during the Cardinals' eighth straight loss at home. Murray has somehow yet to surpass 6.5 YPA in any game this season.
Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Rams
Dallas keeps winning thanks to its defense and not asking much from Cooper Rush, while Tony Pollard nearly doubled Ezekiel Elliott's fantasy output despite getting 14 fewer touches … Matthew Stafford was responsible for another defensive score Sunday, and after posting an NFL-best 12:0 TD:INT ratio during the fourth quarter last season, he's recorded a 0:4 TD:INT ratio in the final quarter of games this year. Stafford and Matt Ryanshare first names and identical stat lines right now … Cooper Kupp did the majority of his damage on one play, while the Rams had to use a silent snap count inside their $5 billion home stadium.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens
Neither Joe Burrow nor Lamar Jackson threw for 220 yards during a subdued fantasy matchup (other than Mark Andrews' usual production). Jackson missed both Devin Duvernay and Tylan Wallace for wide-open touchdowns during the same third-quarter drive in what was far from the QB's best game, but at least he continues to run as much as ever after a quiet Week 1 on the ground. Still, Jackson's splits without Rashod Batemanhave been pronounced. The win ended Baltimore's five-game losing streak at home.
Tee Higgins was active but frustratingly barely saw the field, yet Ja'Marr Chase managed just 50 scoreless yards on 12 targets anyway. Chase was due for some touchdown regression this season, but few could've predicted how much he's been affected by the change in defensive coverages. Better days are ahead.