Week 5 was a roller coaster ride. It had everything from last-second victories to atrocious field-goal kicking. Today we are going to focus on breakout performances from multiple players.
Here are a few takeaways from Week 5.
Kyle Pitts, the new King of England
Someone get his Hall of Fame jacket ready! Alright, that may be a little premature, but Kyle Pitts‘ breakout finally happened in Week 5. Pitts was a man amongst boys, posting 9 receptions for 119 yards and 1 TD. This resulted in him finishing as the TE3 on the week as well as seventh in target share (22.2 percent) and third in receiving yards.
So much for rookie tight ends not performing for fantasy huh?
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) October 10, 2021
So, we established he had an amazing game but did Pitts only have one because Calvin Ridley wasn’t in the lineup?
Not necessarily. Pitts’ breakout performance was inevitable based on his usage all season. Before Week 5, Pitts was 10th among tight ends in target share (16.7%), eighth in receiving yards per game (47.3), and tied for second in red-zone targets (6). Basically, the opportunities have always been there. It just took leaving the country to unlock his true potential, apparently. Despite Ridley being the number-one option, Pitts has and will continue to be highly involved in Atlanta's offense. With that being said, we need to discuss expectations for Pitts for the rest of the season.
I would love to say he is going to have the best tight end season ever. Instead, I’ll temper expectations and say his ceiling is finishing in the Top Three. Luckily, he doesn’t have far to go as he is currently the TE7 on the season. Meanwhile, Pitts should continue to see a sizable target share as the Falcons are third in passing attempts and 14th in passing yards.
The Falcons, unfortunately, have a Week 6 bye but Pitts should feast in Week 7 against the lowly Miami Dolphins’ defense.
Myles Gaskin had a field day on most fantasy managers' benches in Week 5. He went from a drop candidate to a must-start in one week. He did his best Cordarrelle Patterson impression as he had 99 scrimmage yards on 5 carries and a career-high (and team-high) 10 receptions, finishing as the week's RB2. Based on this performance, is it now safe to say that Gaskin has earned back our trust?
Myles Gaskin had the most receptions (10) and targets (10)of any running back in Week 5 after having 0 the week before. pic.twitter.com/gfDICZwD42
— Troy King🧙🏾♂️✨ (@TKingMode) October 11, 2021
Trust is a strong word, but I’m willing to risk being heartbroken after his latest performance.
At this point, we have to consider last week an outlier. Outside of Week 4, Gaskin has averaged a 58% opportunity share and 6.5 targets a game. Also, Malcolm Brown, who was the RB1 for the Dolphins last week, had no rushes or targets this week. Brian Flores stated after the game that Gaskin’s role is expanding and they are going to continue to get him the ball more. All things considered, you should feel comfortable putting Gaskin back in your starting lineup.
But should we expect this same type of utilization for Gaskin moving forward?
It's important to note that game flow may impact the Dolphins’ running back usage in future matchups. Brown may be utilized more in games where the Dolphins are favored. However, most game scripts should benefit Gaskin as the best pass-catching running back since the Dolphins are one of the worst-ranked defenses, but 11th in passing attempts. Even though the Dolphins are favored in Week 6 against the Jaguars, Gaskin should see enough touches to be a solid play against their 29th-ranked defense, which just allowed Derrick Henry to rush for 130 yards and three touchdowns.
Lenny from the Block
When you think about the electric Buccaneers’ offense, it’s easy to forget about their rushing attack. Leonard Fournette has been quite impressive leading the charge this season. “Regular Season Lenny” basically had the backfield all to himself as he had 12 rushes for 67 yards and a rushing touchdown. You could also call him “Wide Receiver Lenny,” as he caught 4 balls for 43 yards which allowed him to finish as the RB14. Despite his great game, should we be concerned about the other running backs eating into Fournette's workload in upcoming matchups?
#Buccaneers Week 5 RB opportunities (carries + targets):
Leonard Fournette - 17
Ronald Jones - 6
Gio Bernard - 6
— Jared Smola (@SmolaDS) October 11, 2021
Well, it doesn’t look like the “Lenny Show” is getting canceled anytime soon. Ronald Jones has only had a 23% opportunity share and played 19% of snaps on the season. Giovani Bernard’s role has been limited to third downs and he's only commanding a 9.6% target share compared to Fournette's 10.9%. Even though Bernard will be more involved when the Buccaneers are trailing, Fournette still has a stranglehold on overall opportunities in the offense. Also, the Buccaneers are usually favored in the majority of games, which will lead to more rushing opportunities for Fournette. What's also promising is seeing him get such a sizable workload despite being part of the best passing offense in the league.
Fournettes’ workhorse role has resulted in his RB15 ranking, 15th in opportunity share (60%). He is also averaging almost 5 targets a game, which is in the top-10 among running backs. Fournette has clearly established himself as the RB1 in the league's third-ranked offense, which is encouraging for his usage going forward. He should be a locked-in RB2 against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 6, who are ranked 30th in rushing defense.
Chase is on the Case
I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
Ja’Marr Chase is ridiculously good at football.
Ok, not much of a secret, but we need to talk about his dominance. Chase was virtually unstoppable in Week 5, catching 6 receptions on 10 targets for 159 receiving yards and a touchdown and finishing as WR6. You could say he was a “ball magnet” as he commanded a team-leading 27% target share. With this kind of performance, it’s easy to forget that he is only a rookie. What’s even more surprising is that he has been playing like a seasoned veteran all season.
While being the focal point of the Bengals’ passing game, Chase is averaging a 25% target share and 91 receiving yards a game. He is pacing with the best receivers as he is currently seventh in the league in total receiving yards (456) and second in receiving touchdowns (5).
What Chase is doing in his rookie year is nearly unprecedented:
.@Real10jayy__ is looking to become the 5th rookie all-time to post 50+ receiving yards in each his first 5 career games when the @Bengals host @packers on @NFLonCBS (1:00 PM ET). pic.twitter.com/o2ACUQbicU
— NFL345 (@NFL345) October 9, 2021
Based on all this, can we say that Chase is already a top-three fantasy WR?
I know it’s easy to come down with rookie fever, but Chase isn’t there just yet. He is flirting with the top five as he is currently the WR8 on the season. Unfortunately, he is just outside the top 12 in receptions (23) and outside the top 15 in target share. He'll need further growth in those departments to sneak into the top three by the end of the season.
Nonetheless, Chase will continue to be a must-start in Week 6 as he faces the 25th-ranked Detroit Lions, who just allowed Justin Jefferson to post 124 receiving yards in Week 5.