Things I Learned in Fantasy Football: Week 5

Takeaways from Week 5 as told by the tweets of the Fantasy Stronghold.

This is why neither the Giants nor fantasy managers relying on the Giants can have nice things. After watching Big Blue's run game flop around like a one-finned dolphin for four weeks, it looked like Wayne Gallman was going to be the catalyst to getting the ground game moving. So once most of us fantasy geeks start to key in on the rookie, who should re-appear but Orleans Darkwa to score the first rushing touchdown by a Giants running back. It wasn't all terrible for Gallman, who had 82 scrimmage yards on 16 touches. Maybe the biggest upside is that with those two playing better football, we won't have to worry about Paul Perkins anymore -- depending on how seriously Darkwa is hurt, obviously.

Sterling Shepard. Brandon Marshall. Dwyane Harris. Odell Beckham Jr. All gone from Sunday's game with injuries -- and OBJ projected to be out for an extended period of time. To say the Giants are short-handed in the pass-catching department is like saying Batman is moody. The team will certainly take stock of it receiving corps next week but the only ostensibly healthy wideout is Roger Lewis. Yikes. And the Giants have to visit the Broncos next week. Double yikes. The easy answer is to say that Evan Engram absorbs a lot more targets but that's a lot to ask of a rookie tight end who has yet to show any true gamebreaking ability on the professional level. Everything about this offense is a mess right now.

That's it. I'm done. I didn't spend a lot of time crowing about Cutler's matchup this week with a poor Titans defense because deep down, I was afraid that he would burn us all once again. But a little voice in my ear suggested to me on Sunday morning that this would be the week that Cutty turned things around. Why not, eh? Everyone had jumped off the bandwagon and that's when Cutler plays his best ball. I thought maybe he could be a deep sleeper. Instead, he remained asleep. At this point, it's fair to wonder if Cutler is dragging down the entire offense. I don't think this is what Vanderbilt football means by "Anchor Down", Jay.

Yay! It's another running back committee! Please spare me with the narrative that running back is the most important position in fantasy football when nearly every team seems content to roll with multiple backs in some sort of nonsensical rotation that is unintelligble to the common human being while also preventing any of the rushers involved from getting a preponderance of carries or finding anything resembling a rhythm. I know no official decision has been made. I'm just salty and ranting about the dystopian fantasy future headed toward the Green Bay backfield. Please leave me alone to cry silently on my balcony while staring forlornly at the lemon trees across the street.

You know what constitutes a good fantasy tight end nowadays? Catching a touchdown. Sure, it's great when someone has a Ed Dickson-like day (not that many people actually started Dickson) but there aren't many tight ends who are going to post those type of yardage totals. Trying to find those players is a fool's errand. Instead, you're better off focusing on players who have favorable matchups and are likely to see targets near the end zone. Let me know how that works out for you.

Yeah, I'm looking at you Ben Roethlisberger. Plenty of people had hung their hats on Big Ben's poor production on the road and solid numbers at home. That narrative might not have died on Sunday with Ben's bad day against the Jaguars ... but it's in hospice care. When it comes to Roethlisberger, it might be time to fade him until there's a blatantly favorable matchup. That doesn't look like it's coming up anytime soon. It's proabably cool to put Ben on the waiver wire for now.

I was skeptical about Cam after last week's game. I was one of the "but the Pats defense stinks" people out there. I wanted to see if Newton could do it again versus a better defense. I have received my answer ... and I offer an apology for my disbelief. Next week, Newton and the Panthers face an Eagles secondary that has been pretty quarterback-friendly this year. Giddy up.

Wait...what?"

  • Leonard Fournette had 29 touches on Sunday. It's the third time in the first five games that the Jaguars gave the rookie 20 or more touches in a game.
  • Jay Ajayi ran the ball 25 times for 77 yards, dropping his season rushing average to 3.4 yards per carry this season. And that's with Ajayi averaging better than four yards per carry in his first game this season. The Dolphins offense is barely treading water.
  • Antonio Brown saw 56.96 percent of Pittsburgh's targeted air yards in Week 5 -- up quite a bit from his season-long average of 44.76 percent. Chalk this up to the squeaky wheel theory. Also, chalk it up to Antonio Brown being good at football.
  • Joe Flacco's completed air yards coming into Sunday was at 4.3 -- worst among all qualifying quarterbacks. On Sunday, it was 8.9 yards. Time to start picking on the Raiders defense in fantasy?
  • Speaking of the Raiders ... heading into Sunday night, they were the only fantasy defense to have as many points as you or I.

And one for the road...

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com. He loves summer and isn't too keen on the onset of fall in Los Angeles. Though on the flip side, it does mean he can break out his slow cooker and start making all kinds of soups and stews. Life is full of trade-offs. Tweet him about your autumn culinary plans on Twitter @MarcasG. If you read all of that, congrats. He also dishes out fantasy advice -- and life shenanigans -- on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (marcasg9)

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