Each week in ‘Is It Legit?’, we’ll take a look at noteworthy performances from unexpected sources, and decide whether those performances should inspire fantasy managers to change their future outlook for those players.
While it can be tempting to rush to the waiver wire to take a flier on the previous week’s biggest standouts, it can also be prudent to exercise caution before throwing those players directly into your lineup if their past fantasy-relevant efforts aren’t likely to be repeated. That’s the aim of this column: to sort through the numbers and determine, based on talent and expected opportunity, whether and to what extent certain players should be trusted in lineups for the foreseeable future.
Let’s give it a shot and dive right into our batch of players from Week 5:
Byron Pringle (KC – WR)
Week 5 line: 6 receptions (9 targets) for 103 yards and 1 touchdown, 22.30 PPR points
(Rostered in 1% of Yahoo leagues)
I know what you’re thinking; This man is named after a potato chip. I’m not snagging a crunchy snack in fantasy. And I understand that line of thought, totally. But once Pringle popped, the fun didn’t stop for him Sunday night against Indy. The 25-year-old rookie emerged as the favored target of Patrick Mahomes in Week 5, picking up the slack for the still-absent Tyreek Hill as well as Sammy Watkins, who was injured on the team’s first drive Sunday night.
This was Pringle’s breakout game, as he’d only caught two career passes before Sunday’s explosion. He was a bright spot for Kansas City, finding the end zone on a rare night where the offense struggled to punch it in. Pringle was the beneficiary of another dose of Patrick Mahomes magic, as the gunslinger scurried for an eternity before somehow launching a missile into Pringle’s waiting arms between three Colts defenders.
Yeah, that’s kind of his thing. Though it’s atypical to rely upon plays of that nature for consistent fantasy value, it’s not exactly unfathomable to see these kinds of things happen regularly in a Mahomes-led offense. Still, Pringle’s emergence onto the scene in Week 5 isn’t guaranteed to vault him into weekly relevance, given the crowded stable of play-makers in the Chiefs offense competing for opportunities.
VERDICT: NOT LEGIT. By all means, if Pringle isn’t rostered in all of your leagues, make that happen. But if Hill returns this week, I’m not trusting him in my lineups unless I’m desperate. If only one of Watkins and Hill makes their way back into the Chiefs lineup for Week 6, Pringle is a defensible choice for a FLEX spot, but predicting whether the fantasy-relevant performance will come from Pringle, Mecole Hardman or Demarcus Robinson isn’t a guessing game in which I’m eager to participate. That’s especially true given the banged-up left ankle of Patrick Mahomes; even on one leg, he’s still a wizard with the ball in his hands. But at some point, that ankle that’s been getting battered all season could give all the way out on him. I know it’s sacrilege, but it’s at least something to consider if you’re stacking Pringle against another wideout with perhaps a higher floor for your Week 6 consideration. Once Hill and Watkins both return, it’ll be hard to trust any of Kansas City’s non-Travis Kelce passing targets on a weekly basis.
Gerald Everett (TE – LAR)
Week 5 line: 7 receptions (11 targets) for 136 yards, 20.60 PPR points
(Rostered in 12% of Yahoo leagues)
Week 5 was the second consecutive week in which Gerald Everett exploded with a big impact on the Rams passing game. Though Everett didn’t find the end zone, he got plenty of looks from the inconsistent Jared Goff as the Rams found themselves involved in a couple shootout losses to the Bucs and Seahawks.
Todd Gurley has remained healthy, to this point, but he hasn’t be the workhorse centerpiece of the offense the way he has been in years past. The Rams defense has given up 69 points over the past two games, so it’s meant a heavier burden placed on Goff’s shoulders as he attempts to throw his team back into the win column. If Goff discovers he actually likes throwing to tight ends–that they make his job a little easier–it’s possible Everett establishes himself as a go-to man in an offense that will be forced to air it out frequently.
And not for nothing, Everett showed Thursday another to keep himself on the field:
Holy chip block pic.twitter.com/SpYrzxY3Cs
— Mitchell Schwartz (@MitchSchwartz71) October 4, 2019
If he’s making plays like that in pass protection for Goff, you can bet he’ll see enough snaps to keep himself on the fantasy radar. Coaches–and quarterbacks–certainly appreciate those kinds of blocks.
VERDICT: LEGIT ENOUGH. Look, the tight end position is bleak if you’re a pessimist, and a crap shoot if you’re an optimist. Even the bona fide studs aren’t necessarily scoring every week, so if you’re suffering from the tight end blues early this season as I am (thanks, Vance McDonald), then consider a plug and play on Everett this week. For Goff’s deficiencies as a passer, it’s becoming clear that safety blankets are pretty important to him. Cooper Kupp is obviously at the top of that list, but it appears some trust in Everett as a secondary option could be developing. He’s seen 19 targets the over the past two weeks, and given the wild nature of the TE position, that number merits your consideration. We’ve already seen lower-end options like Austin Hooper and Darren Waller become locked-in darlings at TE this season; snatch up Everett before it’s too late, because it’s possible he follows in their footsteps to weekly relevance as the Rams search for ways to improve their offensive attack amid their current losing streak.
Chase Edmonds (RB – AZ)
Week 5 line: 8 carries for 68 yards, one rushing touchdown, 3 receptions (4 targets) for 18 yards, 17.60 PPR points
(Rostered in 5% of Yahoo leagues)
When new Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said back in June that running back Chase Edmonds would have a “really nice role” in the revamped Arizona offense, his usage in Week 5 is exactly what some people had in mind.
Edmonds was used creatively behind and occasionally alongside David Johnson, resulting in 11 productive touches for the talented young back. Unfortunately, it took more than a month to see this type of script unfold for Edmonds in an actual game, which leads us to question whether Edmonds is to be penciled in for lineups and a double-digit fantasy output week each. But he definitely needs to be rostered in all leagues ASAP, especially considering news that lead-back Johnson dealt with some back troubles in Week 5.
If you’re the David Johnson owner, there’s honestly no excuse for not already having Edmonds tucked away on your bench, but in a week that didn’t deliver a ton of breakout stars that I consider to have staying power, Edmonds is my priority add of the week for teams that are 3-2 or better through five weeks.
VERDICT: LEGIT. Don’t count this LEGIT rating as a license to immediately thrust Edmonds into your RB2 slot next week, but do consider it a wake up call to scour the wire for him. A mid-season addition of a player that stands to gain as much as Edmonds would if an injury befell Johnson is the kind of player that sometimes ends up winning you leagues come playoff time. Edmonds has a three-down skill set waiting to emerge if the situation arises. And if it doesn’t, perhaps Kingsbury starts adapting his game plan to include more Edmonds alongside Johnson following the former’s standout Week 5 effort. At best, another week or two of increased usage for Edmonds would render him a flex-worthy play during some of the more grueling bye week upcoming. At worst, he’s a potential second-half breakout star as a handcuff. If you’re a winning team with the luxury of doing so, you can’t really go wrong with adding Edmonds this week.