We had two big time players return from IR this week, Cooper Kupp and Jonathan Taylor. Both had very different weeks though and we will be making sure to dive into that in the 2023 Fantasy Football Week 5 Usage Report.
I'm also starting to see trends of teams changing their offense usage. Yes, small sample size of one or two weeks, but those are the types of things we want be looking at when making decisions for our teams. Noticing the small changes before others really start to take notice is what wins you your leagues.
Just a note, I'm writing this a day early this week, since I'm not available Tuesday. This means the Raiders and Packers will not be evaluated since they play Monday night.
2023 Fantasy Football Week 5 Usage Report
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As promised I would evaluate the Colts and the return of Jonathan Taylor. Not going to lie I was quite shocked by the usage of Zack Moss and JT in this game.
Did I expect JT to take over fully in his first game back? No. However, for a guy who was seeing over 80% of the teams rushing attempts most games, I thought he would easily see 60%.
Instead we got just a small sample size of JT in his first game back as he saw only 16% snaps and 18% of the carries. For Moss, he saw 80% of the snaps, 70% of the carries and performed very well.
I expect this to change and quickly, especially with the Colts giving JT the big contract. Perhaps this is a time to pounce on a panicking manager who has JT.
James Conner left this game with a knee injury in the second quarter and never returned. We also had Keontay Ingram inactive with a neck issue for the second week in a row. They activated Corey Clement to the active roster but it did not matter, he didn't see any work.
This left Emari Demercado as the only running back to see any usage. Of course, the actual usage numbers are going to be a little skewed because of that, but the noteworthy thing here is they did not give Clement even a single snap knowing Conner was out.
Demercado played well and is worthy of a roster spot, especially if you have Conner. I don't see him getting 100% of the snaps as they will gameplan for Clement or sign another running back if they feel Conner can't go, but it is obvious to me they trust Demercado.
New York Jets
During the week, coach Robert Saleh came out and said Breece Hall would not be on a snap count anymore. It is really hard to predict what exactly that means for how many snaps and carries a player will get, especially when they have someone like Dalvin Cook there as well.
But wow, they weren't kidding. Hall took 52% of the snaps and a whopping 76% of the rushing attempts.
Might be lost in all this was the fact that not only did they not use Cook very much in the running game, but they didn't use him on passing downs much either. He only ran four total rounds (zero targets), compared to Michael Carter who ran 17 routes and saw three targets. No, not enough work to warrant a pickup, but it's something to keep an eye on.
Just remember, Cook is still the true handcuff to Breece Hall if he were to ever get injured. Carter's role will not change.
Other Running Backs
- Falcons - Nice to see Tyler Allgeier back involved a bit more with 17 carries, his most all season.
- Ravens - Gus Edwards still saw more carries but was actually on the field less than Justice Hill. In a game they had the lead in until the very end that was a bit surprising to see.
- Panthers - Yet another game where Chuba Hubbard saw more work than Miles Sanders. Still very close to a 50-50 split though.
- Bears - WIth Khalil Herbert out multiple weeks, it should be Roschon Johnson who can take advantage. However, he is dealing with a concussion so perhaps we see some D'Onta Foreman
- Jaguars - Travis Etienne is entering elite territory with his usage. Over 80% snaps and 70% carries the last two weeks. If he keeps this going he is a locked in RB1 each week.
- Dolphins - Still a pretty split workload with Raheem Mostert and De'Von Achane. Achane is proving he is the far more explosive player at this point. Both are worth starting though.
- Patriots - This offense has been ugly, even Rhamodre Stevenson can't get going. Strangest thing is just how much they are splitting the workload, even in the passing game between him and Ezekiel Elliott.
- Titans - This past week was a close game and the Titans increased Tyjae Spears workload while reducing Derrick Henry's. This feels like its going to be a headache all season.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Los Angeles Rams
One of the other big questions coming into this week was just how would this Rams passing offense look with the return of Cooper Kupp. Those who picked up Puca Nacua were especially worried, this was the end of his run.
I think it is safe to say that there is not much to worry about. Kupp led the team in targets and yards with 8-for-117, but Nacua was right behind him with 7-for-71, oh and he scored a touchdown.
Tutu Atwell was the big loser in all this as he saw his targets drop to a season-low of five. He luckily caught one for a touchdown, but other than that did not do much. This looks like it is going to be the Puka and Kupp show moving forward and it will be fun to watch.
Since the Bears decided to deactivate and then trade Claypool, D.J. Moore has blown up. In Week 4 he caught 8-of-9 targets for 131 and a touchdown. Only to follow that up by catching 8-of-10 for 230 yards and three touchdowns.
Also in that time, Cole Kmet has decided to get in on the fun and score three touchdowns.
We still need to see Fields get his passing percentage higher more consistently, only over 60% twice on the season so far, but if he can do that, then I'll be on board for sure.
Would it surprise you to hear that the 3-2 Cowboys are 17th in yards per game this season? How about if I told you they were 21st in yards passing per game? Well, surprise, they are.
The Cowboys have had some blowout wins, which without looking at it closer makes us think this is a great offensive team.
Fact is those wins came on the heels of their defense and special teams. In those three games, they have a total of 10 turnovers and four defensive touchdowns. This has masked the fact that the passing offense is struggling to get going. We thought it was due to the fact that they didn't need to, but in the two games they needed it to get going it didn't either.
Yes, one was against the 49ers, but let's not forget the Rams had their way with them, so it is possible. However, the other was against the Cardinals, who have allowed the 7th most passing yards in the league.
I'm still starting CeeDee Lamb, but Michael Gallup and Brandin Cooks are not worthy of starts right now. Even CeeDee Lamb is moving more toward a WR2 until further notice. Dak Prescott is definitely not starter-worthy at this point either.
Other Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
- Cardinals - I liked Michael Wilson as a pickup this past week, but am I surprised to see him struggle just one week after catching two touchdowns? No. Hold, but he will have a short leash.
- Falcons - Drake London has an OK game catching 6-of-9 for 78 yards. We got a Kyle Pitts day though. Caught 7-of-11 for 87 yards. Keep in mind Jonnu Smith was still heavily involved. Is this enough to make everybody buy back in? I'm not ready yet.
- Ravens - There just isn't enough here for me to want to start really any of the pass catchers after Mark Andrews and he even hasn't met expectations. With a passing offense that is averaging 189 yards per game. Its going to be hard.
- Panthers - Adam Thielen is proving to be Mr. Reliable and is clearly on the radar to start most weeks on your fantasy teams. He is tied for the league lead in routes run and eight in targets this season.
- Lions - No Amon-Ra St. Brown, no problem. Sam LaPorta to the rescue as he hauled in 3-of-4 for two touchdowns. He is now sixth in total targets for all TE on the season.
- Texans - The receivers let us down a in this one, but Dalton Schultz stepped up. He will probably take a backseat most weeks with all three of Robert Woods, Nico Collins and Tank Dell there, but it's good to see him catching a touchdown in back-to-back games now.
- Colts - Anthony Richardson is going to miss quite a bit of time with a Grade 3 AC Sprain. Enter Gardner Minshew and I don't think this passing offense skips a beat. If anything the receivers will do better with him since they won't have AR5 running as much.
- Jaguars - Calvin Ridley took a nasty hit in this game and came back in looking pissed off and possessed. Maybe he needed that, but I know fantasy managers love to see it. Perhaps it was also the return of Zay Jones who makes it just too difficult for defenses to be able to cover all these pass catching options.
- Giants - Remember what I said about the Ravens... the Giants are actually worse with a passing offense that averages 163 yards per game. Darren Waller, even though he has not had the season we were hoping, has taken 29% of those passing yards. That leaves 115.2 yards per game to be spread out to six receivers. Gross.
- Eagles - We got a Dallas Goedert sighting this week. However, it was at the expense of DeVonta Smith. Looks like its going to be tough for this offense to support three pass catchers.
- 49ers - I mean not sure what to take away from this one. Low volume game all-around from the pass catchers. George Kittle gets in the endzone three times to be the hero of the week for fantasy managers.
- Titans - DeAndre Hopkins has seen very steady usage all year. He sits at ninth for target share and 15th in total targets. This was his first game of over 100 yards, so maybe there are better days ahead.
- Commanders - I agree with fellow F6P Writer, JJ Shultz who said on Twitter that Dotson is looking like he is a stash play at best at this point. I know waivers are thin in most leagues, so I'm fine holding, but he really isn't getting it done. This comes down to the unexpected usage of Curtis Samuel in my opinion.
Hope the 2023 Fantasy Football Week 5 Usage Report was helpful. Don't miss out on the rest of the great Fantasy Football content here at Fantasy Six Pack!