The Best of Week 5 - Footballguys

Matt Waldman scouts our in-season content and shares five must-knows and his takes on each.

You guys have a ton of articles.

This statement about Footballguys is a blessing but it can feel like a curse. Our staff delivers insights that change seasons for the better yet realistically, no fantasy owner has the time to read everything we publish in a week.

If this describes you, let me be your scout. Here are five insights from Footballguys articles that I find compelling for the weekend ahead. I'll share what should help you this week, touch on the long-term outlook, and sometimes offer a counterargument.

1. Cutting the cord

When it comes to difficult fantasy decisions, Chad Parsons is the Turk of Footballguys. His Cutting the Cord feature recommends players to cut or trade. Here's are some notable targets where Parsons is bringing down the ax.

Shallow Formats (15-18 roster spots)

Austin Hooper: Despite all the passing production for Atlanta, Hooper continues to be just a guy within the scope of the offense and the tight end fantasy landscape. Hooper has not seen more than five targets in a game this season and is averaging a shoulder shrug 10.4 yards-per-catch. Even with injuries and bye weeks, Hooper will be hard pressed to be a TE1 projection on any given week or worth a shallow format roster spot.

Dak Prescott: Prescott by far had his best game of the season in Week 4. Prescott avoided turnovers, averaged 9.4 yards-per-attempt, and threw two touchdowns with a positive game script for once. However, Prescott was still not a QB1 fantasy option for the week in an NFL where 300 yards through the air is quickly becoming commonplace. Dallas has arguably the worst set of receiving weapons in the NFL and Houston, Jacksonville, and Washington are up next.

Medium Formats (18-22 roster spots)

Jonnu Smith: Despite Delanie Walker being out, Smith has been an absolute afterthought for Tennessee's passing game. Smith has two receptions on the season even having more than three-to-one routes run advantage over the team's TE2 Luke Stocker. Smith has been a massive disappointment considering his pre-draft profile and Year 2 opportunity without Delanie Walker in the lineup.

Cole Beasley: Owned in 40% of MFL leagues, Beasley is the classic low-ceiling option which adds no value to teams pushing for the playoffs. Maybe Beasley sees a rogue start for a team during the bye week gauntlet, but Dallas is one of the worst passing teams in the NFL and Beasley relies on sustaining drives and volume to rise to fantasy-viable production in a given week. With Houston, Jacksonville, and Washington up next, Dallas will have tough sledding.

Deep Formats (22-25 roster spots)

Josh Allen: Outside of QB-premium formats, Allen's struggles warrant using the roster spot for another option. Allen has shown the same accuracy struggles in the NFL as in college and the weapons are him are just as poor. Allen's lone positive addition is his rushing production (QB6 in rushing yards through four weeks) as overall he is QB31 in points-per-game.

Matt's Thoughts: While a believer in Hooper's talent, Parsons is dead-on about Hooper's usage. As someone who studies the Falcons weekly for Footballguys' recaps, I've often had the impression that Matt Ryan is slow to trust certain players. This has been the case with Hooper, who has more upside than the way Ryan targets him. This could be the outcome of the scheme more than the quarterback-tight end relationship but whatever it is, Hooper is a frustrating patience play.

Prescott's line and receivers are issues that will make average quarterbacks perform below-average. Prescott is an average quarterback — good enough to earn quality production with excellent talent but he won't elevate below-average talent.

Smith is the classic case of fantasy players and media getting too excited about a player's athletic profile. He's still a worthwhile patience play in dynasty leagues but not a re-draft target. Beasley is a desperation play for guaranteed points during a bye-week. And Allen is struggling through a punishing rookie year.

2. Footballguys' 5-second primer

The one thing I always admired about Footballguys before I ever became a writer is that there has always been a healthy contingent of innovators and/or early adopters of helpful ideas and technology. This year, Footballguys has unveiled the 5-Second Primer. Adam Harstad introduced the concept earlier this season and it's well worth giving a try:

But your draft is done or about to be done. Now we're in the season. And the single most important feature on Footballguys during the season is the 5-Second Primer. It takes every other bit of information on the site, customizes it for your specific league, and distills it down to a single recommendation, an easy roadmap to success.

The 5-Second Primer saves you absurd amounts of time.

For details on how to use it, check out the article which includes instructions with graphics. Here's the executive summary of how it works:

  1. Import your leagues via MyFBGs.
  2. Review the starters we recommend for your rosters as well as the recommended upgrades via the waiver wire. You'll also get second opinions in the report.
  3. Directly set your lineup within the application.
  4. Lather, rinse, repeat with the rest of your leagues that you've imported to MyFBGs.

That's your 5-Second Primer in 4 Easy Steps.

Matt's Thoughts: Rather than chasing down some of your favorite analysts on Twitter or trying to email them, you get some of our best projection analysts (who have been the very best in the industry for over a decade) giving you recommendations based on the specific parameters of each league.

Even if you want to dig deeper, this is a great place to start. Why wouldn't you try it?

3. Maurile Tremblay's Fanduel, DraftKings, Yahoo!, and FantasyDraft Lineup Optimizers

Another one of the coolest features is this article/worksheet from Maurile Tremblay. Nothing like a template to help you do your own homework using the methodologies of our terrific in-season projection analysts.

Take projections from Tremblay, David Dodds, and Sigmund Bloom to determine a strong DFS Lineup using projected points, projected value, or Dan Hindery's H-value. You can click on a player's name and you'll see that player and his projected points added to your lineup. You can add and remove players as you figure out the combinations that work best for you.

Matt's Thought: This is one of those features that you take an hour to play around with and you'll be thankful that you got the hang of it. It's an awesome tool for DFS.

4. The Gut Check on Keke Coutee

Keke Coutee is a rookie who could earn a consistent spot in fantasy lineups this year. In this week's Gut Check, I gave you a complete breakdown of everything you should know about Coutee as a fantasy player:

  • I reviewed his Week 4 NFL debut with video examples.
  • I shared college video that reveals what else he's capable of doing in this offense.
  • I projected his floor, mid-point, and ceiling of potential fantasy points for the year.
  • I recommended players to drop for Coutee's services.

Here's a taste of what he did and what he can do.

Extension of the ground game

The Texans like to get the defense thinking east-west and then attack deep north-south with the likes of Will Fuller V and DeAndre Hopkins. Extending the threat of the ground game to space players with short passes as well as pre- and post-snap motion across the formation also creates this horizontal stretch of the defense.

untapped vertical threat

A significant component of Coutee's game that we didn't see during his debut was his skill in the vertical game. Coutee has excellent first-step quickness and enough speed to beat cornerbacks on seam routes, posts, fades, and corner routes. These are all strengths of Watson's game.

The Texans will likely feature Coutee as the inside slot receiver and work route combinations where he can run the fade to the sideline like this Red Raiders play below.

When the Texans can identify a coverage that matches Coutee with a safety or linebacker, we'll also see him stretch the seam and track the ball like a top vertical option.

Both of these plays are common in the NFL, play to Coutee and Watson's strengths, and leverage the attention that Hopkins and Fuller earn when on the same side of the field as a third option like Coutee. Big plays are coming as long as Coutee's hamstring is healthy enough to play with the explosion he demonstrated at Texas Tech. If he returned early and isn't at top speed, it might be a few more weeks before they open the throttle of his game.

For the rest, read the article.

5. October Dynasty trade Chart

I look forward to seeing Dan Hindery's monthly analysis of player values. Here's his explanation of his trade charts:

The October version of the Dynasty Trade Value Chart focuses in on the big-picture trends and storylines of the first month of the NFL season. Understanding the direction of the league overall is a prerequisite to properly valuing individual players and formulating a winning dynasty strategy. Specifically, we will focus in on how to adapt to a changing environment where passing productivity has exploded, running backs are catching more passes than ever, and most top offenses are spreading the ball around more.

The dynasty trade value chart is tailored to 12-team PPR leagues a starting lineup of one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, and one flex. It is meant to serve primarily as a guide for trades but can also be a great resource during startup drafts. If the players and picks on each side of the trade offer add up to approximately the same number, the trade would be considered even. If you receive a trade offer that sends you players with a higher total number value than the players you are giving up, the offer is worth strongly considering.

Timing Note: New Dynasty Trade Value Chart articles will appear on the first Tuesday of every month.

Matt Thoughts: Let's discuss some notable options in this month's chart. Dan offers notes in his feature. Below are some of mine that echo or diverge from his perspectives.

Quarterbacks

  • Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz, and Jared Goff headline the list: I couldn't agree more because of their youth, skill, and surrounding talent. In this case, I'd opt for Mahomes and Goff because they have the great coaches. However, Watson and Wentz should not be ignored.
  • Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck are slight bargains: They've dipped for obvious reasons but they're still consistent and capable talents who have another 6-9 years left. They're in that bull's eye of quarterbacks who I'll pay the premium for because they're proven producers regardless of talent and have a lot left at a slightly lower price. If you want to shoot for the stars, Mahomes and Goff are worth the freight but if you want to build a contender and have a little more capital left, Wilson and Luck are wiser buys. Matthew Stafford also belongs on this list and he's even cheaper.
  • Josh Rosen's price is absurd: If Hindery's valuation somehow reflects the public's view (and maybe it does), run...don't walk...to your nearest device and find a way to acquire him. He's the best quarterback of a good 2018 NFL Draft class. He's capable of delivering Goff-like production.

Running backs

  • Alvin Kamara, Joe Mixon, Christian McCaffery, Saquon Barkley, and Todd Gurley are all worth their premium price: If you want one of them, know you're mortgaging your home.
  • David Johnson, Royce Freeman, Sony Michel Kerryon Johnson, and Nick Chubb are slight bargains: Slow starts create reactionary values and while the end of the month helped them recover their values a bit, they're all talented enough and have promising situations to improve upon their current stations. It's time to take advantage or risk paying a premium. Dan says this class has been a slight disappointment. I love your work Dan, but you're too focused on impatient fantasy players who play dynasty like re-draft leagues. THIS WILL BE A TERRIFIC RUNNING BACK CLASS AND WE'LL SEE IT BEGIN TO BLOSSOM NO LATER THAN WEEK 10.
  • Leonard Fournette is a sell-now: I love his game, hate his frame. His ankle issues will be an intermittent issue that becomes less intermittent and a lot steadier as he ages. I don't trust him to stay healthy.
  • Take a chance on Tarik Cohen: He's at a value where he could eventually produce just below the top tier of backs if Matt Nagy's offense succeeds and builds around him like it did this weekend's game against the Buccaneers. If not, you didn't lose much on the deal.
  • This year could be a championship window? Marshawn Lynch and Adrian Peterson. Get a one-year mercenary at a decent price. Both of these guys still run with a ferocity that you don't see with other running backs and the teams are just good enough that they're no worse than fantasy RB2s for the rest of the year.

Wide Receivers

  • Tyreek Hill is a relative bargain: If Patrick Mahomes is the best dynasty quarterback value on the board, Hill should be in the top five of this list.
  • Will Fuller V is slightly overrated: He's young, fast, and getting better catching the ball but Keke Coutee may cut into his production. Expect his value to drop by December.
  • Cooper Kupp might be underrated: He has the most rapport with Goff and greatest long-term potential to stick around L.A. He's earning more deep targets, too. Most fantasy players don't realize that acceleration is far more important than deep speed as a vertical route runner. Kupp has great acceleration and his work in the middle of the field makes him the most versatile and skilled receiver on the roster.
  • Chris Godwin, Keke Coutee, and Quincy Enunwa are buy-lows: These options have quarterbacks to grow with versatility, and games with high ceilings.
  • Invest now in Deon Cain, Josh Reynolds (not listed), and Marquez Valdes-Scantling: These are high-upside athletes with budding skills (in the order they're listed) and good quarterbacks. Opportunities will open for them. Get in on the ground floor.

Tight Ends