In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter, presented by Manscaped, we look at the biggest signals and noise from Week 4, drop early Week 5 ranks, and check out Cooterdoodle’s favorite tweets. It's 10/6. Take it away, Peter Overzet…
It’s Wednesday, which means we have a jam-packed newsletter. Before we get to the meat, we did have one interesting piece of news this morning as the Patriots surprisingly released cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
Gilmore was eligible to come off the PUP list after Week 6, but both the team and Gilmore could not agree to terms on a restructured contract. Let’s all try to not act too surprised when Gilmore lands in Tampa Bay, okay?
💥 SIGNALS & NOISE
Ben Gretch (@YardsPerGretch) writes the terrific Stealing Signals newsletter where he does a weekly deep dive into the previous week and shares his biggest signals (players who could sustain their production) and biggest noise (performances that were likely fluky). Here are some of his observations from Week 4…
* Chuba Hubbard — lead back, but ran routes on just 22% of dropbacks after 51% in place of CMC last week (Rodney Smith led the RBs in routes after being inactive Week 3, plus D.J. Moore ran some out of the backfield)
* Kenneth Gainwell — 7 high value touches to Miles Sanders’ 4, now leads Sanders 15 to 13 for the season, and has been very efficient in his limited role so could be in line for more work
* Dalton Schultz — season-high 76% routes, Blake Jarwin down to 36% routes (the two had been almost equal for first three weeks)
* Kadarius Toney — solid day with 9 targets and good efficiency while running 81% routes, but health of other WRs will need to be monitored
* Latavius Murray — 62% snap share, highest for any BAL RB this year (calling this noise because we’ll have to see if Ty’Son Williams is inactive again next week, which I doubt)
* J.D. McKissic — two more green zone touches (on back-to-back plays, didn’t convert either, his third and fourth touches of the game late in the third quarter on a drive Gibson had four touches for 30 yards, and Gibson had one earlier that he did convert)
* Deebo Samuel — 76-yard TD on total broken coverage, running white hot on efficiency overall right now
* C.J. Uzomah — spike in target rate and also efficiency, in the same week (ran a bunch of routes first three weeks and did nothing; can pop off at times but isn’t a consistent option, especially when Tee Higgins comes back)
To see all of Gretch’s biggest signals and biggest noise analysis from Week 4, subscribe to his substack.
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🥇 WAZ'S .5 PPR RANKS
Here are the early Week 5 rankings from Rob Waziak aka "Waz" along with some notes on specific situations he’s monitoring:
After a massive shake-up in the rankings following last Wednesday’s newsletter, I realized that so much can change between Wednesday morning and Thursday night. Therefore, to save us all time and confusion, I’m going to limit the player blurbs included in Wednesday’s newsletter to only those playing on Thursday. Hopefully, this gets you in the habit of seeing the upcoming week’s fantasy landscape through a macro lens while narrowing in and focusing most of your early-week attention on those fantasy-relevant players scheduled to play before Sunday.
* Matthew Stafford (QB03) and Russell Wilson (QB09) should continue the trend of efficient quarterback play and should be started in all formats.
* Darrell Henderson’s (RB12) ribs injury didn’t limit him much last week. He averaged 6.4 yards per carry on 14 attempts and caught five of his six targets for 27 yards. This week, he should continue to display his workhorse role against a no-frills Seahawks rush defense. If Henderson plays, Sony Michel (NR) isn’t start-worthy.
* Pay close attention to Chris Carson’s (RB18) neck injury and his practice activity this week. He didn’t practice Tuesday which leaves his availability in question. If he trends further down before tomorrow night’s game, Alex Collins (RB43) would creep into Top 30 running back territory against a Rams team that ranks 22nd in Rush DVOA.
* As you would any week, lock and load Cooper Kupp (WR02) and D.K. Metcalf (WR08) into your lineups. Tyler Lockett (WR16) has cooled off recently, but this is the kind of game (LA -3, O/U 54.5) where you don’t consider benching him. If your best option from this game includes Robert Woods (WR29) or Van Jefferson (WR53), and either of them is your team’s third- or fourth-best WR or Flex option, I’d consider leaving them on the bench. Woods and Jefferson have been limiting the other’s upside, and the last thing you want to do is start your week in the hole when you had better options on Sunday.
* Tyler Higbee (TE10) continues to be among the group of tight ends where they’re okay to start when you don’t have any other choice. He has 15 receptions on 18 targets this season and has seen fewer than five targets in a game just once. In a game that is expected to be close and high-scoring, Higbee has a legitimate chance to score a touchdown against a Seahawks defense that ranks 27th in Pass DVOA.
Waz is a fantasy football analyst who competes in draft and season-long expert rankings competitions. He's consistently been at or near the top of all industry-wide leaderboards since 2017. He’ll be back on Saturday with an update.
🐦 COOTERDOODLE'S FAVORITE TWEETS
- Pete Overzet