What We Saw: Week 5

The What We Saw team recaps everything you missed from Sunday's games

Lions @ Patriots

Final Score: Patriots 29, Lions 0

Writer: Ryan McDonough (@RyanTalksFF on Twitter)


In a game that garnered a lot of hype due to its featuring the return of the throwback Patriots uniforms, Bill Belichick put together another staple defensive performance against what had been the NFL’s top scoring offense entering Week 5.

The Lions didn’t really have any trouble moving the ball downfield early in the game, but a redzone interception by rookie defensive back Jack Jones and constant pressure from Matt Judon left Jared Goff helpless in Sunday’s action, especially with the absence of D’Andre Swift. Detroit definitely didn’t help their cause by going 0/6 on 4th down, including one instance right before halftime where they elected to go for it on 4th and 9, fumbled the ball, and had it returned for a score by Kyle Dugger.

This game never really felt close due to the defensive dominance provided by the Patriots, but there is definitely some fantasy intrigue going forward.

I would also like to make note of the injury suffered by Saivion Smith in the first quarter. He appeared to have sustained a neck injury that resulted in him being transported via ambulance off the field. Keep him in your thoughts, as we have to remember that these guys are human beings.


Detroit Lions




Jared Goff: 19/35, 229 Yards, INT | 3 Carries, 7 Yards, 1 Fumble (Lost)


I can’t say that I entirely blame Jared Goff for his performance this week, as he was constantly running for his life with the consistent pressure being put on him by the Patriots’ defense. Goff made some nice throws and tried to stay in the pocket, but several schematic errors with blocking techniques lead for edge rushers and outside linebackers to get through with minimal resistance.



No one felt the absence of D’Andre Swift more than the quarterback today, as a lot of their bread-and-butter plays for their RB1 were not nearly as effective with other guys that are typically further down the depth chart stepping in. Goff tried his best to make do with what he was given, but most people’s best isn’t enough to get past a Belichick gameplan.


Running Back


Jamaal Williams: 15 Carries, 56 Yards

Craig Reynolds: 6 Carries, 24 Yards | 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 68 Yards

Justin Jackson: 3 Carries, 14 Yards | 1 Target


There weren’t a whole lot of opportunities for rushing the ball with how this game played out, but Jamaal Williams has continued to evade any real reason to not be getting touches. Williams runs tough, finds holes, and drives his legs once he hits the pile to gain every last inch. While this may be a frustrating comment to hear for fantasy managers with D’Andre Swift on their roster, it is the harsh reality of today’s NFL. Dan Campbell doesn’t want to rely on a workhorse back, and Williams has given him no reason to change his mind.

Craig Reynolds was quiet for most of the game, but was solid in the satellite role, as he managed to rip off a 19-yard rush and gain 36 yards on a swing pass when matched up with a linebacker. Reynolds may be a casualty of Swift returning to the lineup, but he looked more than serviceable today.

Justin Jackson has more than likely lost any trust that he had from the coaching staff in Detroit with his offensive pass inference infraction that negated what would have been Hardknocks darling Tom Kennedy‘s first career touchdown reception.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Josh Reynolds: 10 Targets, 6 Receptions, 92 Yards

Kalif Raymond: 7 Targets, 5 Receptions, 45 Yards

Amon-Ra St. Brown: 6 Targets, 4 Receptions, 18 Yards

T.J. Hockenson: 4 Targets, 1 Reception, 6 Yards

Tom Kennedy: 1 Target


If you need any evidence that things were not clicking for the Lions’ offensive unit, here it is. Even Josh Reynolds‘ numbers are a bit misleading, as 31 of those yards came on a prayer thrown by Goff towards the end of the fourth quarter. Out of everyone, Reynolds certainly looked the best, but still nothing great. Nonetheless, he had really good fantasy production today despite sustaining an injury on a jump ball in the end zone late. Reynolds and Goff have had a solid connection since their time together on the Rams, so it shouldn’t be surprising to see him get looks in games where Goff needs someone who he trusts.

Kalif Raymond had some solid production in garbage time, but wasn’t a consistent threat throughout the game. Could be someone to keep an eye on if Reynolds is slated to miss some time.

The biggest story out of this group should be the lack of production from Amon-Ra St. Brown and T.J. Hockenson. Given, Brown was returning from an injury, but more was expected of him based on his hot start to the season. Hockenson was definitely the biggest beneficiary of Brown missing time with his monster performance last week, but was very quiet today.

It really is just football basics: if you can’t keep your quarterback upright, then your pass catchers can’t produce.


New England Patriots




Bailey Zappe: 17/21, 188 Yards, TD, INT | 5 Carries, 5 Yards


In all honesty, there isn’t a whole lot to talk about here. Zappe stepped in admirably for the second straight week and did what it took to win the game. He displayed good chemistry with Jakobi Meyers throughout and they hooked up on a nice touchdown score in the third quarter.



The stats won’t reflect this, but Zappe’s pick came as a result of Nelson Agholor mishandling and popping the ball up in the air on a slant route. Overall, it was a really clean day for Zappe and the passing offense.


Running Back


Rhamondre Stevenson: 25 Carries, 161 Yards | 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 14 Yards | 1 Fumble (Recovered)

Damien Harris: 4 Carries, 11 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 1 Yard


As of this moment, I would like to make my proclamation that it is officially, undoubtedly, and inarguably Rhamondre Stevenson season. After Damien Harris exited the game with a hamstring injury, Stevenson just took over. He makes the physical part of football look so easy as he runs through just about anybody that tries to stop him. The New England offensive line deserves a ton of credit for how they performed in today’s game, but Stevenson created a hole more than once with his combined strength and elite field vision.



What should make Rhamondre especially enticing for fantasy managers is how quick his feet are despite this size. This creates total unpredictability for tacklers as they try to gauge whether they want to go low to clip his power or stay upright for his cutbacks.




If Harris is set to miss any sort of time, be ready for Stevenson to get some bell-cow looks. There is a lot to be excited about with the sophomore running back’s upside and future in this backfield.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Jakobi Meyers: 8 Targets, 7 Receptions, 111 Yards, TD

Hunter Henry: 5 Targets, 4 Receptions, 54 Yards

Tyquan Thornton: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 7 Yards

Kendrick Bourne: 1 Carry, -1 Yard | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 1 Yard

Nelson Agholor: 1 Target


I am not sure if there is a single guy in the NFL that quarterbacks would trust more to make a catch than Jakobi Meyers. This guy just simply does it all out of the slot. In a New England system that has produced some of the best slot receivers to ever play the game, there is a legitimate argument to be had that Meyers is the most versatile out of all of them. He is fast enough to beat you downfield, he can win jump balls, he is shifty enough to lose you on quick routes and he rarely drops the ball. Meyers is Belichick’s offensive dream player and it is only natural that he excelled with a third-string quarterback stepping in. If there is anyone in this receiving room that is safe to start just about every week, it is Meyers.




Hunter Henry was involved a lot more due to the absence of Jonnu Smith and took advantage of the holes that were created due to all of the speed around him. Henry has never been the guy that is going to outrun you or break a lot of tackles like Smith, but more of a possession tight end that can win you some jump balls in the end zone. With the offense toning down on dynamic plays with Zappe under center, Henry fit the play style a lot better today.




Second-round draft pick, Tyquan Thornton, made his NFL debut today after coming off of the IR. Thornton didn’t make any major mistakes that would warrant him being brought along slower, and may have actually gained some traction on the depth chart with Nelson Agholor‘s miscue, which removed him from playing the rest of the game. Kendrick Bourne was on the field a lot despite his lack of numbers, which could be a good sign for those who have him rostered in fantasy leagues with Mac Jones likely to return next week.

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