It’s week 5 and your window to buy Saquon Barkley and Tyreek Hill has now officially closed. Things move quick in the NFL. Very, very quick. And fantasy is no different, obviously. When this piece gets published every Tuesday, you really only have 2-3 days to act on that before the owner is set for their upcoming matchup (unless they truly are in the midst of a meltdown). If you don’t get that deal over the line, you’ve got your fingers crossed for another dud on the buy low target you were after, or a big game for that player you were concerned about and wanted to sell high on.
Things move quickly indeed, so much so that Cordarrelle Patterson is now fantasy’s RB2. Not AN RB2. THE RB2. Did you dream of Mike Davis’ high floor due to his dual threat ability in an above average offence which led you to pick him as a nice value in the 5/6th round of drafts? Forget about it! Generational tight end Kyle Pitts stepping into a huge rookie season workload due to the departure of Julio Jones, and no other discernible receiving talent outside of Calvin Ridley leading you to taking him in 6/7th round of drafts as a potential breakout? No way Jose! Cordarrelle Patterson is just TOO GOOD to NOT get him the ball. Why did YOU not see that, 4 weeks ago?!
I own no Atlanta Falcons in any of my leagues, so don’t mistake my tone for bitterness. But after four weeks of the season, up to months preparation before draft day and hours of research you really do have to sit back, take a deep breath and just enjoy the madness for what it is.
Here’s some buy or sell targets for you:
Kyle Pitts (TE – Atlanta Falcons)
Thru four weeks Kyle Pitts has 24 targets (7th among TEs) and 189 receiving yards (7th among TEs), but just 15 catches (62.5% catch rate, T-Last among TEs with 16+ targets) and zero touchdowns. A mixed bag for the rookie. But honestly, what did we expect from the rookie tight end? We know historically tight ends take longer to find their feet in the NFL. Pitts is on track for 803 receiving yards over 17 games this season. That would be the highest rookie tight end receiving yard total since 2002. There’s only four tight ends in NFL history that have gone for over 800 yards in their rookie season. FOUR.
What Pitts is doing is the minimum we expected and there is absolutely room for improvement. This is a new Falcons offense and over the coming weeks we should see Pitts continue to grow into that offense. The writing is on the wall for a 2nd half of the season breakout – get in there now as you could get him for as low as a WR4/overperforming TE right now. Heck, I bet you could even trade Dalton Schultz for Kyle Pitts right now.
Damien Harris (RB – New England Patriots)
This is Damien Harris’ touch total by week:
Week 1 – 25
Week 2 – 17
Week 3 – 8
Week 4 – 6
Weird right? Well no, it isn’t. In weeks 1 and 2 the Patriots played the Miami Dolphins and NY Jets, in weeks 3 and 4 they played the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They clearly threw the towel in on the run game the last two weeks against two elite run defences, and let Mac Jones throw it a tonne (91 times the last two weeks vs 69 weeks 1 and 2).
Damien Harris still led the team in snaps considerably (62%) and carries (4 of 6 team RB carries) in week 4. What makes him so interesting, is in week 4 Harris ran a career high 17 routes run and was targeted on two of them:
If Harris takes on even a fraction of James White’s receiving routes, he’s going to be a great RB asset for your fantasy team, as we already know he’s going to continue to dominate on the ground. Harris could push for 20 opportunities a game going forward and that is RB1 usage, which you could get at RB3 value right now.
Ceedee Lamb (WR – Dallas Cowboys)
Since Michael Gallup went on IR, Ceedee Lamb has not seen the increased target share we assumed he would. In fact they’ve plummeted – weeks 1 & 2 he saw 24 targets, weeks 3 & 4 he saw 8. The volume instead has gone to the tight ends Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin. From a football sense, this shows how deep the Cowboys passing attack is in that they can essentially say ‘you want to take away Ceedee from us? No problem’ and still win, putting up a lot of points.
I don’t see this continuing and Ceedee Lamb is already, in year two, one of the most talented and physically sensational receivers in the league. If you can buy low on Lamb do it, he should absolutely be pushing for 10 targets a game and with 10 targets he can win you a week.
Daniel Jones (QB – New York Giants)
I don’t know if this makes me sad or happy? Daniel Jones is the QB6 in fantasy after four weeks. He is 3rd among QBs with 188 rushing yards, behind only Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts. He’s 8th in passing yards per game with 296 and crucially, sort of unbelievably, he has just one interception and one fumble on the year. This is huge for Daniel Jones, who notoriously led the league in fumbles in 2020 (18) and 2019 (11), along with throwing 22 interceptions over the two seasons.
This season is just different and he looks to have stepped it up, reducing the turnovers and playing much better quarterback play all round. Having talented receivers like Golladay, Shepard, rookie Kadarius Toney, even forgotten 1st round speedster John Ross and Barkley out of the backfield certainly helps.
Even if Jones can just produce average passing stats, while keep the turnovers to a minimal and keep up the rushing production up, he’s going to be a borderline QB1. So if you’re struggling at QB, go buy him dirt cheap, or even just pick him up off the waiver wire as he’s very likely still available.
Calvin Ridley (WR – Atlanta Falcons)
Was one of my buy low targets last week, saw 13 targets on Sunday. The breakout game will come, potentially as soon as this Sunday in London vs NY Jets. Buy the talent while you can, even performing as he is he won’t crush your team and there’s room for so much more in the 2nd half of the season.
Cordarrelle Patterson (RB/WR/KR/Everywhere – Atlanta Falcons)
Patterson scored three receiving touchdowns this Sunday, tacking on 82 receiving yards and 34 rushing yards, culminating in a 116 yard, 3 TD and 29.6 standard fantasy point day. All this on just 11 touches, stunning.
The Falcons are using him perfectly – defences focus their attention on Pitts and Ridley, while Patterson ‘sneaks round the back’ and scores. And I absolutely think the gadget-like usage will continue and he’ll continue to be a redzone threat for this offense, just not to the extent of week 4’s outburst. I’m not saying this was a freak week exactly from Patterson, as for years we’ve seen him be a game breaking kick returner, as well as utilising his speed out wide on flash plays. We know he can make plays, he’s just never shown this consistently over any stretch of games, let alone a whole season.
Patterson has been in the NFL for 8 seasons prior, and in four games this season has generated:
- Over 10% of his career yards from scrimmage
- Over 25% of his career touchdowns
- Career high 13.1 yards per reception
- Career high 29.8 rushing yards per game
- Career high 6.8 rushing attempts per game
Over 17 games Patterson is on pace for 1,504 total yards and 21 touchdowns. That would likely be overall RB1 and potentially overall FLEX leader by the end of the season. Not gonna happen folks. You picked him up off the waiver, so if someone comes knocking with a package including an RB1 just sell Patterson.
Robert Woods (WR – Los Angeles Rams)
A mid round favourite in drafts, with Stafford rolling into town we all thought the offense would start playing lights ou-…oh, the offense is playing lights out. But wait that means it must be all through the run game and not through Staff-…oh, Stafford’s playing at MVP candidate level.
Woods currently sits at WR34 in standard scoring, and his target share is looking more like Van Jefferson’s than Cooper Kupp’s. The best thing about Woods coming into this year was reliable high volume, and we don’t even have that. He hasn’t exactly ruined your team but he’s just not what you would have drafted him as in this offense with Matt Stafford.
Sunday we saw Woods score a touchdown, so I’d take this opportunity to sell for someone with a better outlook and the volume you hoped of Woods.
James Conner (RB – Arizona Cardinals)
Four touchdowns and 119 yards on 32 touches in the last two weeks, currently sitting at RB16 on the year. In weeks 1 and 2 we saw zero touchdowns and 79 yards on 24 touches, so the yardage and touches really aren’t flying off the screen, it’s the touchdowns. We love touchdowns in fantasy but we also know it isn’t sustainable and when something isn’t sustainable, it represent an opportunity to sell.
James Conner is a decent running back, playing in a great offense. But he’s also injury prone, he doesn’t get involved in the passing game (3 catches on 3 targets all year) and Kyler Murray is always a threat to take a redzone carry for 6 himself.
You drafted him late so you’re likely not starting him unless you have injuries, but you also can’t rely on him. Sell him for someone reliable and with a better outlook ROS – I bet you could trade James Conner for Damien Harris this week.
Jonathan Taylor (RB – Indianapolis Colts)
Was on my sell list last week and predicted a huge game vs Miami. Now is the time to sell. Some might think JT is back and yes he has a very favourable schedule (HOU, TEN, NYJ, JAX over his next 6 games) but I think this is the time to sell high and get out of this Colts team while you can.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – Kansas City Chiefs)
Has been on my sell list for three weeks now, and in the last two weeks has posted back to back 100 yard and 1 touchdown games. If you sold him and saw those two weeks, that’s a bummer, but if you held and waited for the sell high opportunities to present themselves, go for it this week. The Chiefs do seem to be relying on the run a bit more lately after Mahomes seemed to show some struggles. But once they iron out those issues, it’ll be the Pat Mahomes show once again.