Hopefully by now you've read one of these columns in the past and understand our new approach. If not, head back to last week's article and read the intro there. In the interest of saving us all some time, I'll be cutting out the long explanation moving forward.
Now is a perfect time of year to start taking stock of your fantasy squad and making moves to position yourself for a postseason run. Let's dive into what Week 5 had to offer and what it might mean as we head into Week 6.
percent TS = percentage of total team passing targets player received
percent AY = percentage of total team air yards player received
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
Robert Turbin returned from suspension for this game, but saw the field on just 10 percent of the offensive snaps and didn't register a touch. Hines' advantage over Wilkins in playing time and opportunities is growing, but we'll have to see if Turbin earns a bigger role next week.
Attrition has turned the Patriots backfield into a well-defined fantasy tandem. Michel will handle nearly all of the work on the ground, while White is a chain-mover in the passing game. Both backs look like solid weekly plays, thought White loses a little shine in non-PPR formats.
Edelman's return didn't stop White from leading the team in targets for a second consecutive week. Still, nine targets and seven catches in his first game in over 18 months is a very good sign for Edelman. Gordon's outlook is improving, but he only played on 27 percent of the offensive snaps.
Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills
This ground attack is frustrating for fantasy purposes, as Lewis and Henry split time and carries. At least Henry posted a more respectable yards per carry average this week (5.1).
If you were brave enough to start McCoy, he rewarded your faith with 108 total yards. So, that was nice. When he's healthy, McCoy will dominate the touches in this backfield.
The few words I wrote above apply here as well. Josh Allen finished the game with 82 pass yards, so ... yeah.
Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Falcons were in catch-up mode for much of this game, limiting the opportunities on the ground for this group. Smith plunged into the end zone on a goal-line carry, furthering ruining the day of anyone who started Freeman or Coleman.
The Steelers coaching staff said during the week that Conner needed more carries, and surprisingly they delivered. Conner was a workhorse, aided by gameflow with the Steelers playing with the lead for much of the game. Still, this is encouraging for his outlook moving forward as he'd been on a disappointing streak of games.
The injuries to the Falcons secondary made it too easy for a player of Brown's caliber to carve them up. He notched a 6-101-2 line on 13 targets. Even with a depressed target share, Smith-Schuster still found the end zone.
Denver Broncos at New York Jets
Royce Freeman, RB - 8 touches (Wk 4: 8, Wk 3: 14, Wk 2: 8), 38 percent snap share
Philip Lindsay, RB - 15 touches (Wk 4: 14, Wk 3: 4, Wk 2: 15), 38 percent snap share
Thomas put together a nice final stat line (5-105-1), but much of that came on his 42-yard touchdown reception in garbage time when the Broncos were down 24 points. Sanders looks like Keenum's preferred target regardless of game script.
Have a day, Isaiah Crowell. The big-play has always been a part of Crowell's game, but he had three runs of 30-plus yards in this game, including a 77-yard touchdown run. He's still splitting work regularly with Powell, though, so starting him can be a feast or famine play.
Anderson stepped up big time with Enunwa nursing multiple injuries (hand, hip). He only caught three passes but took two of them to the house. The Jets offense capitalized on several big plays in this game, so don't make too many hasty moves based on these results. Darnold only had to attempt 22 passes in Week 5.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs
Fournette was out and Corey Grant left this game with a foot injury that landed him on IR. Until Fournette heals up, expect heavy usage and playing time for Yeldon.
Blake Borltes threw 61 passes in this game, which is the complete opposite style of offense the team wants to run. Each week seemingly brings a new "No. 1 target," and this week it was Moncrief's turn. We should take too much from this outlier of a game -- the Jags committed four turnovers in the first quarter and were climbing out of that hole all game.
Game script worked in Hunt's favor here, but it was nevertheless encouraging to see him get over 20 touches for the second consecutive week. His passing game usage dipped with Sammy Watkins back on the field, though, limiting Hunt's weekly ceiling.
It took the NFL's best defense to slow down Patrick Mahomes, who threw two interceptions and no touchdowns in this game. He fed his main trio as usual, though.
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
The Packers endured a complete disaster of a first half, with multiple turnovers, unlucky calls and missed field goals putting them in a 24-0 hole by the end of the second quarter. As a result, the team went pass-heavy the rest of the way, taking this trio essentially out of the game.
Johnson left this game with an ankle injury but said he was fine afterward. It is noteworthy that the Lions still opt for Blount at the goal line despite Johnson's recent ascent. Blount punched in two short scores.
The Lions wide receiver corps is basically a pick-your-poison attack, as it's damn near impossible to contain all three. Jones missed a few big plays in this one but it didn't matter because Golladay was there to lead the way. He and Tate are the reliable weekly options of this group.
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
This backfield has morphed into more of a committee the last few weeks, and it's starting to look like Allen has the edge. His involvement in the passing game (27 targets, 11 percent team share) makes him more attractive in fantasy, as he has three games with five-plus catches already this year.
The Ravens passing attack was off in this game, stymied by some strong defensive play and some critical drops as well. Brown's air yards profile remains exceptional for fantasy purposes.
The Browns said they needed to get Chubb on the field more after his breakout game last week. I guess we can't be mad -- because they did keep their promise, even if it was just bringing Chubb up to 10 offensive plays instead of his usual three or four.
New York Giants at Carolina Panthers
Barkley isn't getting much help from his offensive line, but he's making enough plays in the passing game to overcome that setback.
Turns out all the Giants needed to be able to do to throw the ball deep was put the ball in the hands of the best quarterback on the roster ... OBJ. All kidding aside, this game followed the narrative building throughout the week. Beckham complained, Beckham was fed targets. Shockingly, this led to the Giants putting up a bunch of points. Here's to hoping they keep this up.
Christian McCaffrey, RB - 22 touches (Wk 4: BYE, Wk 3: 30, Wk 2: 22), 97 percent snap share
We were sold a false bill of goods this offseason. This is not a committee. It's the Christian McCaffrey show.
It's nice to see rookie Ian Thomas get more involved with Greg Olsen out, but the Panthers spread the ball around too much for Thomas to merit starting consideration yet in fantasy. Six different players had at least four targets this week. Greg Olsen (foot) is pushing to return in Week 6 or 7, too.
Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals
Gore continues to lead the way on the ground, doubling up Drake in carries 12 to six. However, Drake had a huge day in the passing game, which I touched on below.
It seems like the Bengals pass rush was getting to Ryan Tannehill. Or, he just became terrified of throwing the ball down the field. He whipped 48 percent of his passes at Drake and Wilson, and they combined didn't even account for 10 percent of his air yards. Those are checkdown numbers that would make Alex Smith blush.
Welcome back, Joe MIxon. With Giovani Bernard out with an injury, the team wasted no time returning Mixon to featured-back status. He delivered with over 100 total yards and a receiving touchdown.
With Boyd and Green locked into such consistent target shares and air yards profiles there's never a reason to take them out of your lineups.
Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers
Ekeler only had seven touches this week, but took one of them for a 44-yard score. He's a high-variance play given his low touch totals, but he's managed double-digit points in each game this season (in PPR scoring).
No surprises here. Allen led the way, Gordon and Ekeler chipped in their usual amount, and one of the Williams' popped up for a decent outing.
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
This is David Johnson's backfield. The only thing that's changed is I was finally able to remove Chase Edmunds from the ledger here to clean things up and save myself some time. DJ found the end zone twice on the ground, which saved a rough outing otherwise.
Josh Rosen looks like he has a promising career ahead of him. Getting some more weapons around him won't hurt. Ricky Seals-Jones somehow saw 24 percent of the targets and 43 percent of the air yards but dropped a goose egg. I get it if you want to part ways with Larry Fitzgerald, I really do. I'd still hold pat for now, just in case, but his production is getting harder and harder to stomach (3/28, 2/9, 3/28, 2/35 - last four weeks).
For the second week in a row, Garcon and Kittle remained two of C.J. Beathard's favorite targets. The rest of this group is a bit of a grab bag, with a new player popping up on the list each week.
Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles
Ever since Week 1, this Minnesota ground game has been stuck in neutral. Until Dalvin Cook gets fully healthy, it might be best to steer clear of this group, although Philadelphia is a tough front to run against.
No team has come close to slowing down the Thielen-Diggs combo all season. It'll honestly be a shock if/when someone actually does.
The Eagles backfield just can't catch a break. Ajayi suffered a torn ACL and is done for the season. The good news for the Eagles is Corey Clement (quad) is practicing in full for Week 6. He and Smallwood should form a committee moving forward, though Clement might be the favorite to be the "1A" back of the tandem.
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
With the wide receiving corps suffering multiple injuries (Cooks and Kupp - concussion), the Rams leaned heavily on Gurley and, shocking no one ... he delivered another great performance.
Brandin Cooks suffered a concussion, and Kupp left late in the game with a concussion as well. Their statuses will need to be monitored closely heading into Week 6.
Could this be the offense the Seahawks want to run in 2018? Carson and Davis were extremely productive, racking up a combined 202 total yards, but this feels like a one-week aberration and not a statement game. We'll see.
This passing performance was a Brian Schottenheimer fever dream. Russell Wilson only attempted 21 passes. Surprisingly, only one went Doug Baldwin's way, despite Baldwin playing 89 percent of the snaps. At least Lockett found the end zone for those brave enough to start him. Moore caught two touchdowns, but this is not the type of production you want to chase.
Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans
Elliott is giving it his all to carry this offense, but he's only one man. If he keeps up this pace with his touches it'll be amazing if he makes it to the end of the season unscathed. If you have the bench space, grab Rod Smith.
I'm not sure why I even bother writing about this group week after week. Going from watching a competent passing attack to what the Cowboys put on display is like watching two completely different sports.
Lamar Miller was active in this game but he did not play a single snap. Miller's absence gave Blue the featured duties. While he struggled on the ground (20 carries, 46 yards), Blue racked up eight catches for 73 yards to even things out. With Blue stacking back-to-back decent performances together, it's entirely possible this backfield becomes another committee once Miller returns to health.
Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints
Peterson survived what looked like a potentially bad knee injury and returned to the field shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, the Saints quickly built a substantial lead, which forced Peterson to the sideline. This has been the story all year. Peterson should be played in games where Washington figures to be competitive or have a lead. Trotting him out in games like this carries significant risk.
Maybe the Saints wanted Ingram to get acclimated to the game again. Maybe they wanted to protect Kamara after relying on him so heavily to start the season. Whatever the reason, Ingram doubled up Kamara in touches (and scored twice), causing much hand-wringing among fantasy managers on Twitter. Honestly, there's no reason to panic, though. These two were lights out last year and will be again this year. Stay calm.
Drew Brees was an equal opportunity employer on his record-setting night. The biggest story was rookie Tre'Quan Smith flashing his big-play ability with two long touchdowns, including the pass that gave Brees the all-time yardage record. He'll be a name to stash off waivers, as he played on 66 percent of the snaps, too.