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Week 5 Bye Weeks
Players to replace:
DL – Kahlil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman
LB – Danny Trevathan, Roquan Smith, Eddie Goldman
DB – Adrian Amos, Eddie Jackson
Players to replace:
DL – Jason Pierre-Paul, Vinny Curry, Gerald McCoy
LB – Kwon Alexander, Lavonte David
DB – Justin Evans, Jordan Whitehead, Brent Grimes
Week 5 Notes
Rams DT Aaron Donald started slowly but he exploded in Week 4, finishing with 3 tackles, 2 assists and adding 2 huge sacks. Donald, the reigning defensive player of the year, may have needed a few weeks to get in football shape but owners can rest easy and trust him in your lineups.
Second-year Falcons DE Takk McKinley was all over the Bengals offensive line last week, exploding for 3 sacks in 49 snaps. After playing in less than 40% of snaps early in the year, Takk’s snap count jumped to 67% in Week 4 for a team that is looking for a spark in the pass rush. Snatch him up this week if he’s on your waivers. While he is not a great play this week against the Steelers but even if he’s on your bench his big games are coming.
The Bengals made a big move late in the pre-season when they moved on from veteran S George Iloka to hand the starting role to rookie S Jesse Bates. So far the decision looks to be the right one. Iloka was never very productive as an IDP asset but Bates is balling out. In Week 4 he finished with 7 solos and 1 assist and is a big part of this secondary. Bates is averaging more than 10 fantasy points per game and is an every-week DB2 moving forward.
Former Colts DL Henry Anderson is slowly carving out a role with the Jets. He has registered at least a half sack in three straight games, last week adding 3 solos and 1 sack. While the Colts played him as a DE, the Jets are playing him inside and he’s been productive. While his snap count is still low, about half the snaps, he is a good pickup in DT required leagues.
The Patriots may have done it again. Last week the team signed DE John Simon as they were desperate for a pass rush. Simon, a surprising cut for the Colts in the pre-season, was one of the better players on the Colts defense in 2017 but he was let go because he didn’t fit the scheme. Trust NE to find a way to use him and check your league settings, Simon may qualify as a DE where he has big-time value.
Former number one overall selection, Texans DT Jadeveon Clowney looks healthy and explosive. He recorded 2 sacks last week and gas a great matchup this week. Don’t be scared off by the Cowboys offensive line matchup. While the Cowboys are 30th in fantasy points allowed to DE they are 1st in points given up to DT at over 20 a game. This could be another multi-sack game.
Jets S Jamal Adams is showing the league why he was considered such a special player coming out of LSU. Adams is an amazing athlete and is having an impact in this Jets secondary. Adams finished with 10 solos and 2 assists, improving on solid games in September. He is averaging more than 15 fantasy points per game and is right in line to challenge for the top overall DB in 2018.
I’ve never been a big Kiko Alonso fan but the veteran Miami LB has been a solid LB1 this season. It’s clear he is an upgrade over Avery Williamson in the middle of the Dolphins defense. There is no reason to believe that he will slow down this week, as he’s had three straight games of 10+ total tackles.
Four weeks into the season and one surprising name is in the top 5 amongst LB scoring, 49ers LB Fred Warner. The kid is balling and I think it will continue. He’s owned in less than 50% of ESPN IDP leagues but owners are ignoring his production. Four straight games of 10 or more total tackles isn’t a fluke, that’s a trend. One that I expect to continue. Warner and Rueben Foster are the only Niners playing 100% of the snaps. We already know Foster’s value but Warner is a sneaky IDP gem.
Four weeks into the season and the leading IDP safety is Chargers S Derwin James. He’s averaging more than 15 points a game and making big plays every week. Coming in the season owners felt the Chargers would have a top 10 defense but that just hasn’t been the case. Giving up close to 400 yards a game, this team is on the field more than they want which leads to more opportunity for IDP players.
One of the surprising stars of the LA Rams defense has been S John Johnson. Johnson is playing every snap, has made big plays and last week finished with 11 total tackles. He’s been a top 10 safety this year and still is just owned in 37% of ESPN IDP leagues. That’s criminal. Check your wire and see if he’s available. The Rams late third round pick in 2017 looks to be a fantasy difference maker this season.
Dallas DE Demarcus Lawrence has been an absolute monster early in the year. Lawrence finished September of 2017 with just one sack before finishing the season second with 14.5 sacks. This September Lawrence has 5.5 sacks and looks to be the same dominant player that closed out last December with 7.5. While Bears DE Kahlil Mack is the clear front-runner for DPOY, the War Daddy is right behind him.
Seahawks LB Mychal Kendricks has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL, after 2 weeks of solid production. He sure to find his replacement on the wire this week.
Finally, Seahawks star safety Earl Thomas said goodbye to the team in the most emphatic way Sunday. Thomas broke his left leg Sunday, just one week after dominating the Cowboys and showing exactly why he is one of the very best players in the league regardless of position. Thomas told the Seahawks exactly what he thought of the organization when he exited on a cart and made an obscene gesture to the Seahawks sideline. We have seen the emotional Thomas before, just a few years ago when he broke a leg he threatened retirement. You can be sure Thomas will be back patrolling the middle of the field but for some other team next season.
Below are the full IDP rankings for Week 5 thanks to this widget from FantasyPros: