In Week 5 of the NFL, wide receivers stepped up their fantasy game from Week 4, while many running backs failed to duplicate their success. Like any week, there were some standouts who most likely helped get fantasy owners a crucial mid-season win.
Quarterback: Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans: 35 points standard, 35.5 points PPR
It’s like déjà vu with Watson because for the second week in a row, he put forth the best fantasy performance of any quarterback. This week, he even managed to have a better game than last week. He threw for only 22 fewer yards but added one more touchdown and cut out the interception. The Texans lost J.J. Watt to a season-ending injury during the game and the defense struggled, losing the shootout with Kansas City 42-34 despite Watson’s stellar play.
Watson has an optimal matchup for another huge game next week against the 0-5 Cleveland Browns, who just let Josh McCown throw for almost 200 yards and two touchdowns. Fantasy owners should have nothing to worry about when starting Watson next week.
Honorable Mentions: Carson Wentz, Dak Prescott
Running back: Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars: 30 points standard, 31.4 points PPR
Rookie number two on this list, Fournette had himself a game. He ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns. Fournette benefitted from a garbage time 90-yard touchdown run after the two-minute warning, taking after his quarterback Blake Bortles, the king of garbage time. Five weeks into the season, Fournette has been a star, hitting the 100-yard mark twice already.
His worst performance to date was when he put up 12 points in standard and 14.1 points in PPR in Week 2 against the Titans. He has also reached the end zone at least once every week he has played, which is something that only he and Devonta Freeman have done. Fournette faces perhaps his toughest test yet next week against an always strong Seahawks defense, so it will be interesting to see the result.
Honorable Mentions: Melvin Gordon, Aaron Jones
Wide receiver: A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals: 24 points standard, 29.9 points PPR
Green had seven catches for 189 yards on Sunday, which was good for the third-highest yardage total of his career. While he did have some troubles with his hands, losing a fumble as well as having a pass bounce off his hands for an interception, he still did enough to be the best receiver in fantasy. After missing six games last year due to injury, he has had a great start to the season and is currently on pace to have his best season yet.
Green is one of the most dominant receivers in the game today, up there with the likes of Antonio Brown, Julio Jones and Mike Evans. He can change the pace of a game like he did during Week 5, when the Bengals defeated the Bills. Fantasy owners will look to Green to continue his dominance in Week 7 following his bye.
Honorable Mentions: DeAndre Hopkins, Davante Adams
Tight end: Ed Dickson, Carolina Panthers: 18 points standard, 22.5 points PPR
Dickson had never broken 100 receiving yards in a game before, but on Sunday he had his best game of his career by far. Dickson caught five passes for 175 yards, 96 more than his previous game-high which came all the way back in 2011. He also had the third-most receiving yards of anyone in the NFL, only behind Green and T.Y. Hilton. It was also the most receiving yards by a tight end all season.
Dickson has filled the hole left by the Greg Olsen injury very nicely so far, although he has yet to catch a touchdown. Olsen, who is one of the best tight ends in the league, will be out for an extended period, so it is possible that Dickson will continue to be greatly utilized in the Panthers’ offense. While a game of this magnitude happening again is very unlikely, he could be worth starting in fantasy, at least until Olsen returns from IR.
Honorable Mentions: George Kittle, Zach Ertz
Defense/Special Teams: Jacksonville Jaguars: 26 points standard, 26 points PPR
The Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense had themselves a day to remember, and Ben Roethlisberger had a day to forget. The Jaguars intercepted Roethlisberger a whopping five times and took two of the interceptions back for touchdowns. They did allow Roethlisberger to throw for 312 yards but did not let him throw a touchdown, at least not to his own receivers.
The Jaguars have been a tough team to figure out so far, holding an offense led by Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell to 370 total scrimmage yards and no touchdowns in week five, but also letting up 471 total scrimmage yards and two touchdowns to an offense led by Josh McCown, Jermaine Kearse and Bilal Powell in Week 4. However, this is their second game with over 25 fantasy points and they have scored at least 10 points in four out of their five games, so they warrant must-start status moving forward.
Honorable Mention: Miami Dolphins
Jorge Eckardt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.