5 Things We Learned in Week 5 NFL DFS
Todd Gurley is a top three running back
Want to criticize me for getting way too ahead of myself? That’s fine. But there is not one flaw in this man’s game. Vision? Check. Speed? Check. Acceleration to the hole? Check. Agility? Check. Can play between the tackles? Check. Pass-blocking? Check. Pass-catching? Check.
He clearly showed it against the Cardinals, a defense that has been hitting on all cylinders so far this season.
He followed that up with another brilliant performance at the Packers, the best team in the NFC (sorry Falcons fans)
We see a lot of players who dominate in college who don’t pan out in the NFL, but often times, we can at least find a few holes in someone’s game. You can’t with him (apologize for the music).
Yes, in a few clips he has superb blocking from his offensive line, but in a majority of these highlights, it’s his individual effort that makes these plays happen.
This doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Now, imagine what Gurley will do in a game where the Rams are winning the whole game, or heck, just a matchup where they play against a poor rush defense at home? Imagine if Nick Foles stops turning the ball over?
This is just the beginning for Gurley. His upside is outrageously high.
We have an Andre Johnson sighting
I said after Week 3 that Andre Johnson wouldn’t bounce back this season. It’s only one week and Johnson’s outstanding game did come in revenge form against his former team in the Houston Texans, but I think I jumped the gun too early on this one.
I pointed out the snap count percentages for the Colts in my article a couple weeks ago. I’ll do the same here through five games.
A Johnson 82%
D Moncrief 74%
T Hilton 68% (injured middle of the game)
T Hilton 84% (injured in 4th quarter)
D Moncrief 78%
A. Johnson 69%
T Hilton 95%
D Moncrief 90%
A Johnson 68%
T Hilton 84%
D Moncrief 72%
A Johnson 66%
T Hilton 77%
D Moncrief 62%
A Johnson 62%
It looks like Week 3 was just a bit of a different story. Perhaps Johnson needed to be looked at by the trainers for something we are unaware of that turned out to be fine. It happens.
But in case you completely missed it Thursday night, Johnson emerged against the Texans for 22.7 FPTS by catching six of his seven targets for 77 yards and two touchdowns. This is much improved after two weeks of nothing.
So, what’s the truth on Johnson moving forward? I think we’re seeing Indianapolis turn into a similar situation that the Arizona Cardinals had last season. We have three wide receivers who are all playing a majority of the snaps in some distribution, and they are going to divide up the stats in some form. Hilton is still the No. 1 guy since he sees the most snaps and is clearly the best while being in his prime. Johnson was targeted a handful of times in both weeks where he didn’t record a catch. There were several reasons for this: one time Johnson had a long reception that was called back for holding, Andrew Luck and Matt Hasselbeck simply missed their throws, the offensive line didn’t give the quarterbacks enough protection to allow them to make accurate throws, or Johnson simply didn’t get open. Basically, some bad luck, poor offensive line play and Johnson aging a bit.
But as for his last game, you saw what happened when Hasselbeck actually had more time to throw the ball (while playing really sick nevertheless), and Johnson hauled in six of seven targets. However, we certainly shouldn’t expect two touchdowns out of Johnson each week. This was definitely close to his ceiling.
Most fantasy websites project Johnson from anywhere between 8-11 FPTS on a weekly basis pending what format you’re playing in. That’s a pretty fair assessment given that’s approximately what any of the Cardinals wide receivers would’ve been last year. Johnson is $6,000 on FanDuel and $4,300 on DraftKings next week. Johnson is a little bit underpriced, but not too far off from being accurate either.
The Buccaneers rushing game is officially back on track
The Buccaneers rushing game looked like it had been the past couple seasons through three games. Doug Martin had 46 rushes for 176 yards for 3.83 YPC and no TDs.
His last two games? 44 rushes for 229 yards for 5.2 YPC and four total TDs (three rushing, one receiving).
What’s particularly impressive about this is that it came against the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars. Why is that impressive? The Panthers are allowing a seventh-best 3.8 YPC and an NFL best 368 yards on the season. The Jaguars going into that contest allowed an NFL best 3.1 YPC and now are tied for first allowing 3.5 YPC. The Panthers and Jaguars may have their flaws and it is early in the season, but both rush defenses are for real.
The Buccaneers had a huge issue on offense the last two years – health. That goes for both Martin and the offensive line. Martin was banged up, but there were very few holes for him or any of the other backs to hit. Remember, this is a running back who rushed for 1,454 yards and 11 TDs his rookie season. That talent doesn’t just disappear. Plus, it’s not like Martin is in his 10th year in the league and coming off multiple surgeries. This was just a rough situation for Tampa and Martin the last couple seasons.
I’m expecting the good numbers from Martin to continue.
The Ravens secondary is as bad as advertised, and it’s only going to get worse
Once upon a time, the Baltimore Ravens secondary were an elite defense all around. Well, their rush defense is still pretty solid, but my goodness they are struggling defensively.
First, we can start with the injuries.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 12, 2015
With Webb dealing with thigh injury, Ravens again getting short on healthy corners.
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) October 12, 2015
This also doesn’t factor in the loss of Haloti Ngata to the Detroit Lions or the injury to Terrell Suggs. Plus, No. 1 corner Jimmy Smith has really struggled this year as well.
This is something NFL coaches are taking advantage of on a week to week basis.
— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) October 11, 2015
Through five games, Baltimore is 25th in pass defense allowing 278 yards per game. Here are the QBs they have faced: Peyton Manning (passing offense a work in progress), Derek Carr, Andy Dalton, Michael Vick, Josh McCown.
Big time issues in Baltimore.
Tyrod Taylor never had the ball in the first half, and he still crushed
Taylor was 0-for-4 passing in the first quarter, the Bills had the ball for about four minutes in the first half and didn’t score until after the break. Yet, the Bills won the game with Tyrod Taylor racking up 22.86 FPTS. This came on just 10-of-17 passing for 109 yards and a TD, but he also had eight rushes for 76 yards and a TD. Plus, he nearly caught a TD pass.
And get this, Taylor is still doing this well in the league.
Tyrod is top-10 in passing touchdowns, completion percentage and QB rating. I selfishly just want to tweet about him. I apologize.
— Adam Pfeifer (@APfeifer24) October 12, 2015
This is why I continue to believe Taylor is a top five fantasy QB. Even when his defense can’t get off the field, even when his offensive line did a poor job, and even when his top two running backs and top wide receiver were sidelined, Taylor was one of the best quarterbacks this weekend. Even though he comes in without all the hype, he’s one of the best running QBs we’ve seen in the last few years. The Bills should absolutely let him run more, but even when he isn’t, he’s been very accurate. For those who play college football daily fantasy, you know how high dual-threat quarterback ceilings can be. Taylor may not be running it 20 times a game and run read-option more than half the time, but we’re seeing as good, maybe better rushing numbers than RGIII had his rookie season.
So, to those who say Taylor has a very low floor and a decent ceiling, how could the situation get that much tougher for Taylor than this past weekend? His floor is incredibly high, and his ceiling hasn’t been close to being reached given that he can still combine those running numbers with better passing statistics when the defense gets off the field more frequently.View all posts by Nick Juskewycz