Week 5: Sleepers
Gloating is unbecoming, but last week this post gave you a top 10 quarterback (Teddy Bridgewater), a top-20 running back (Bishop Sankey) and the No. 1 tight end of the week (Larry Donnell). To be fair, no one could have envisioned Donnell scoring three times. And Allen Robinson and Branden Oliver didn't do much, but players listed here can't have a high probability of success otherwise they wouldn't be eligible for discussion in this space. With that said, let's try to repeat last week's unlikely success.
Glennon wasn't a top-10 quarterback last week, but that's primarily because nine quarterbacks finished with 25 fantasy points or more. That's why Glennon's 21 fantasy points weren't enough to make the cut. But he has a chance to be a top-10 quarterback in Week 5 in a good matchup against the Saints, who allow the seventh-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.
The Saints were destroyed byMatt Ryan and Tony Romo, but they heldBrian Hoyer and Matt Cassel in check. True, Glennon reminds you more of the latter pair of quarterbacks, but game flow and, in Cassel's case, injury had something to do with their unflashy stats. Tampa Bay has one of the five worst defenses in the league in terms of points allowed, so Glennon will presumably have to throw a lot to keep pace with Drew Brees and Co.
With DeAngelo Williams suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 4, Reaves is about the only running back the Panthers have left and has already been named the Week 5 starter. The Bears have been a tougher matchup for running backs this year after being one of the best matchups last year, but they're still among the league's bottom 10 in terms of yards allowed per carry. Because almost no one had heard of Reaves before Week 4, he's virtually unowned. If you're desperate for a back, he's worth adding.
As mentioned, Sankey was in this space last week, but he was still started in few leagues. Because his ownership percentage is pretty healthy on the major sites, that means he's mainly sitting on someone's bench. And with only eight touches last week, some people may be hesitant to take him off the bench.
But the reason Sankey didn't get many carries, and the reason he's had limited touches in consecutive weeks, is inopportune game flow. The Titans have fallen behind early in each of the last two weeks and played the majority of those games from behind. That should change this week against Cleveland. Not that Cleveland can't build a lead against Tennessee, but Cleveland isn't as good as the Cincinnati and Indianapolis teams that have beat up the Titans recently. And in particular, Cleveland isn't good against running backs as they've allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to that position so far.
If you're ever stuck in a position where you need to play a backup running back during the bye weeks, just look to see who the Falcons are facing and play that team's backup running back. Three New Orleans running backs had at least eight fantasy points against Atlanta in Week 1. Jeremy Hill had 96 yards and a score against them in Week 2. Jerick McKinnonhad 152 total yards against them in Week 4.
Williams is the backup running back Atlanta will face this week. If he's on your waiver wire and you need a guy, pick him up. If you drafted him speculating that Rashad Jennings might not hold up, Williams is worth flex consideration this week. And if you handcuffed Jennings with Williams, you can start them both if you don't like your other options.
This is probably a good time to remind everyone that only one receiver is getting a higher percentage of his team's target than Hawkins. That one receiver is Jordy Nelson, and other receivers in the top ten of that category include Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant and Julio Jones. Hawkins' matchup with Tennessee is nothing better than an average, but matchup is less of a concern when usage is so high. And Hawkins' usage could hardly be higher. He's available in plenty of leagues.