Fantasy Football 2020: Week 5 FAAB Guide
Welcome to the Fantrax Week 5 FAAB Guide! After an action-packed week of breakout performances, unlucky injuries, and startling COVID-related schedule changes, we are eager to move on to a new slate of games in the National Football League. There is a new batch of readily available players that could provide a much-needed boost to your roster. But which one(s) should you grab? Are they starters that you can rely on for the rest of season (ROS), or just another batch of one-hit wonders? This weekly Fantrax FAAB Guide will help you with these decisions and serves as a resource on how to manage your FAAB, i.e. Free Agent Acquisition Budget.
Each week, I’ll outline available players (with <70% Fantrax availability) that should be picked up and my recommendations on how much of your FAAB should be used on your bids for them. If you don’t see a popular name mentioned below, then they are likely already rostered on over 70% of Fantrax leagues (e.g. Brandon Aiyuk, Tee Higgins, Chase Edmonds, etc.). If your league utilizes standard waiver claims instead of the FAAB system, then you can still use these recommendations to prioritize your waiver claims. Also, make sure to catch our weekly Waiver Wire report as well.
Since each Fantasy Football league’s format is different, I will suggest bid amounts by percentage rather than dollar amount. Also, since each league is different, use this guide as general advice but apply it with your knowledge of your own league-mates. For example, if you want to bid on Travis Homer but your league is full of Seahawks fans, then you should probably bid higher than suggested below.
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Week 5 FAAB Guide
Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (56% in Fantrax Leagues)
What. A. Show. Rookie QB Justin Herbert was on fire in a competitive loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He completed 20 passes for 291 yards, three TDs and one INT. That is a bonafide QB1 performance against a tough defense. Despite suffering three losses in a row, Herbert’s impressive gameplay has been a breath of fresh air for the Chargers. He faces the New Orleans Saints next, who have been unexpectedly generous to QBs. And though Tyrod Taylor’s return looms, it would be unwise for the team to go back to him when Herbert has looked so good. Even the aloof Bill Belichick praised how “special” Herbert is, telling Chargers coach, Anthony Lynn, he has a “great one.” This may be your last week to grab Herbert off the wire, so make sure to bid on him — especially if you need help at QB.
Recommended Week 5 FAAB Bids: 5% in regular leagues, 20% in 2QB or SF leagues.
— NFL (@NFL) October 4, 2020
Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers (68%)
Did you know that in Week 4’s upset against the Cardinals, Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater scored more times than he had done in the first three weeks — combined? He threw 26 completions for 276 passing yards and two TDs, plus six carries for 32 yards and another score. Before that, he only managed a passing TD each against the Raiders and Chargers, while going scoreless against the Buccaneers. While his fantasy production has been sporadic, he does get to face the hapless Atlanta Falcons’ defense next. Here’s how QBs have done against ATL this year: QB1, QB1, QB16, and QB3. This ideal matchup puts Bridgewater in serious streaming consideration. Expect to see his name all over Fantasy Football “streamers” and “sleepers” articles this week.
Recommended Week 5 FAAB Bids: 3% in regular leagues, 20% in 2QB or SF leagues.
D’Ernest Johnson, Cleveland Browns (1%)
Prior to joining the Cleveland Browns in 2019, undrafted RB D’Ernest Johnson was a former Orlando Apollo in the short-lived AAF and a mahi-mahi fisherman. Now? He’s my top waiver pick heading into Week 5. Lead RB Nick Chubb is on IR after suffering an MCL injury during the first quarter in a win against the Cowboys. Cleveland’s “1B” rusher, Kareem Hunt, filled in valiantly for Chubb, rushing 11 times for 71 yards and two TDs. However, it was Johnson who saw the most touches, carrying the rock 13 times for an impressive 95 yards. Prior to this, he had only five total carries since 2019. And honestly? He looked pretty good. Chubb will be out for a minimum of three weeks. Hunt should command the backfield going forward, but it’s worthwhile to note that he was limited with a groin injury. Johnson’s newfound opportunity warrants a decent FAAB bid as he could take on the “mini-Chubb” role in a prolific, run-heavy offense that’s starting to catch fire.
Recommended Week 5 FAAB Bids: 10-12%
All of D'Ernest Johnson's carries from week 4 vs. the Cowboys to help you better make your FAAB decision pic.twitter.com/pcUCu0Hbsg
— JWack (@JaredWackerlyFF) October 5, 2020
Carlos Hyde, Seattle Seahawks (69%)
Lead back Chris Carson — who was already nursing a knee injury — got hurt again last Sunday against the Dolphins. He returned to the game but appeared to feel lingering pain. Meanwhile, journeyman RB Carlos Hyde was inactive last week against the Miami Dolphins but is trending to return this week. IF Carson is limited or inactive, AND if Hyde returns as expected, then he’ll have a boosted workload on a red-hot offense. Plus, they have a charitable Minnesota defense up next. It’s not a guarantee until we receive further information, but Hyde is worth a flier if he’s available.
Recommended Week 5 FAAB Bids: 5% (20% if Carson is confirmed OUT and Hyde is IN).
Travis Homer, Seattle Seahawks (32%)
Speaking of the Seahawks, third-string RB Travis Homer may have an opportunity if Carson and/or Hyde are inactive. When Carson left the game last Sunday, Homer quickly capitalized by scoring a receiving TD. The downside? He only saw five touches, meaning Homer is only playable if Carson AND Hyde are both out. And even if that’s the case, it’s entirely plausible that his workload is siphoned by rookie DeeJay Dallas. Homer is simply a lottery ticket that can only be cashed in if the other two guys ahead of him are too injured to play. If the waiver wire is barren and you have the bench space, then it wouldn’t hurt to take a chance on Homer.
Recommended Week 5 FAAB Bids: 3% (15% if Carson AND Hyde are confirmed OUT).
Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (53%)
Remember him? Rookie Ke’Shawn Vaughn was an early offseason darling who quickly faded into Fantasy Football obscurity. Head coach Bruce Arians made it clear that Ronald Jones was his lead back. Then they signed veteran LeSean McCoy. And later, Leonard Fournette. But the ugly truth is that football is a full-contact sport where no one is safe. Fournette was inactive last week with an ankle injury. McCoy suffered his own ankle injury last Sunday and is now week-to-week. Jones produced great fantasy numbers and was not hurt, but he egregiously dropped three passes. He was already on thin ice as Arians had previously benched Jones for a fumble. If Fournette and McCoy are inactive, there’s a possibility that Arians deploys Vaughn — not Jones — as his lead back against Chicago. This is even more likely as they’ll have a short week to prepare for the Bears as they play on Thursday Night Football. He did score his first NFL touchdown against the Chargers last Sunday with limited touches. If you think he’ll do it again on primetime this Thursday, then place a bid on Vaughn. Just be aware that there’s an inherent risk with playing him while he’s buried on the depth chart and under Arians’ regime.
Recommended Week 5 FAAB Bids: 3-5% (10% if Fournette AND McCoy are confirmed OUT).
Damien Harris, New England Patriots (58%)
Rookie Damien Harris was activated off IR against the Chiefs after Sony Michel was surprisingly placed on IR. Though he had to work under the lackluster QB combo of Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham, he certainly took advantage of the situation. Harris led all RBs in touches with 17 carries for 100 yards. But keep in mind, this backfield does not belong to Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, or even Harris. The Patriots’ backfield belongs to Bill Belichick, who does not care about your fantasy team. If you snatch Harris, then you’ll need to wait before you can reliably play him. But the upside and potential is clearly there.
Recommended Week 5 FAAB Bids: 5%
Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos (14%)
Not Courtland Sutton. Not Jerry Jeudy. Not KJ Hamler. No, turns out the Broncos’ leading wideout after four weeks is perennial practice squad receiver, Tim Patrick. Though his name doesn’t carry the same allure as the heavily-hyped rookies, he’s shown great rapport with the backup QBs and it shows through his fantasy production. At some point, we’ll need to take him seriously as a reliable option for QBs Rypien/Driskel/Lock. I believe we’re already at that point. The fact that I need to mention three different QBs is never a good thing for their receiving options. But Patrick has been heating up lately and could catch fire against the Patriots this week. He just caught six of seven targets for 113 yards and a TD, ending as Week 4’s WR7. It helps that breakout TE Noah Fant is week-to-week with an ankle injury. It’s quite possible that Patrick is just another unfamiliar, “unsexy” guy that proves to be a reliable flex option. The jury’s still out, but if you need WR help then he’s worth bidding on. You just gotta ask yourself, “Do you believe in Patrick?”
Recommended Week 5 FAAB Bids: 10%
— NFL (@NFL) October 2, 2020
Scotty Miller, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (41%)
Training camp favorite Scotty Miller has shown flashes of brilliance with Tampa Bay. He most recently caught five of seven targets for 83 yards and a TD in a win against the Chargers. Miller is clearly a benefactor of vacated targets from injuries to WR Chris Godwin and now TE O.J. Howard. So long as they’re inactive, he’ll continue to see a higher target share in a volatile offense. And while Godwin is very questionable to play this Thursday, Howard likely has a torn Achilles and will be out for the season. With so many injuries to the Bucs’ starters, Miller has a straight yet murky path towards fantasy relevance. His growing rapport with Brady should help with clearing the road. But beware that he could just as easily bust on any given week.
Recommended Week 5 FAAB Bids: 7-10%
— NFL (@NFL) October 4, 2020
Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints (44%)
During lead receiver Michael Thomas’ absence, third-year WR Tre’Quan Smith has been QB Drew Brees’ preferred target over veteran Emmanuel Sanders. Smith caught all four passes for 54 yards and two TDs in a victory over the Detroit Lions. Unfortunately, his value seemingly exists only without Thomas, who will likely return next week against the Chargers. That’s not the greatest matchup, and worse yet, it’s followed by their bye week. But Smith’s production cannot be ignored, and he deserves to be rostered in 12-team leagues.
Recommended Week 5 FAAB Bids: 5-7%
Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers (33%)
Welcome to the big show, Mr. Robert Tonyan! The third-year TE absolutely detonated in an easy win over the Falcons, catching all six targets for 98 yards and THREE TDs. This was an unexpected delight for those Davante Adams managers who had to “resort” to playing Tonyan when Adams declared himself inactive. His performance warranted a finish as the week’s TE2, just under George Kittle’s ridiculous onslaught against the Eagles. More importantly, Tonyan is the de facto overall TE1 of the season so far. And that includes a target-less Week 1 game in Minnesota! But here’s the kicker: He’s only done this when Adams isn’t playing. With Adams (and Allen Lazard) back, Tonyan’s target share will presumably be reduced back to the low numbers we’re accustomed to in Green Bay. But since the TE landscape is sketchy at best, Tonyan is worth reaching for. Who knows? He just might be Rodgers’ TE savior that all fantasy players have been waiting for.
Recommended Week 5 FAAB Bids: 10-12%
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) October 6, 2020
Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys (61%)
THIS MAY BE YOUR LAST CHANCE TO GRAB TE DALTON SCHULTZ. He has proven himself worthy with consistent performances after hyped TE Blake Jarwin was ruled out for the season. Schultz has taken advantage under Dak Prescott’s record-setting offense, finishing as the overall TE5 after four weeks. The cherry on top is that he gets to face the vulnerable Giants next, who have given up the 3rd most points to TEs. Like I said before, there are plenty of mouths to feed in Dallas. But Schultz has seen a reliable number of targets to provide a stable floor for fantasy GMs. He’s also now caught two TD passes, showing a stronger connection with Prescott where it matters most.
Recommended Week 5 FAAB Bids: 7-10%
Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts (49%)
It’s pretty simple. Curmudgeonly QB Philip Rivers loves his TEs. He had over a decade long relationship with legendary TE Antonio Gates during his tenure with the Chargers. However, Colts’ veteran TE Jack Doyle is just not cutting it. The once-hyped Trey Burton has never cut it. You know who has been cutting it? Human colossus, Mo Alie-Cox. The human specimen only saw two targets but caught one for a 13-yard score in a win over the Bears. Despite being buried on the initial depth chart, Alie-Cox is now just 0.1 points shy of TE1 status. And though his target share was low, he still gets the important end zone looks. In fact, his four red-zone targets is tied for 20th most in the league — in all offensive positions. If you’re tired of unreliable results from your TE, then place a bid on Alie-Cox.
Recommended Week 5 FAAB Bids: 5-7%
Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11%)
Buccaneers’ head coach Bruce Arians notoriously does not utilize his TEs. But with fellow TE O.J. Howard suffering an Achilles injury and likely out for the season, there is suddenly room once again for Brate to succeed. It doesn’t hurt that WR Mike Evans was shaken up last Sunday, and Chris Godwin is likely out next week. Rob Gronkowski doesn’t appear to be a major factor in the offense. Brate has previously shown flashes of fantasy relevance, and just caught his only target this year for a TD. Opportunity is king. The doors of fantasy success have just opened for Brate and we’ll have to see if he can walk through it. But with TEs, you’re just hoping for a TD unless you have a rare target hog like Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, etc. Brate is not that type of player. But he could be an occasional magnet at the goal-line for GMs struggling at the TE position.
Recommended Week 5 FAAB Bids: 3-5%
For more help in identifying this week’s top pickups, check out Corbin Young’s Week 5 Waiver Wire.
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