Fantasy Football Fun: Week 5

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This is Gross.

Jordan Gross, who entertained us all with a so-named podcast late in his career that turned into a television show following his retirement, turned heads on the fantasy front in Week 4. After a sluggish start that had the once-hulking left tackle/now-skinny Idaho farmer wondering if he should be put out to pasture, Gross came alive. His 141.9-point performance, powered by Jared Goff and Alvin Kamara, blew the best previous individual week out of the water by nearly 40 points.

My 113-point showing that also included Kamara in his final game without running mate Mark Ingram would have been a record-setter if not for Gross, who went from seemingly being buried in last overall all the way up to third. We now have a serious horserace at the quarter pole, with Bill Voth's 332 points still leading the way but with all but one competitor right behind him in the 300s.

Bryan Strickland
Max Henson
Bill Voth
Jordan Gross
Jim Szoke
Total Pts (rank) 306.00 (6th) 326.72 (2nd) 332.00 (1st) 315.36 (3rd) 300.82 (9th)
Last week 90.44 (3rd) 103.10 (3rd) 76.40 (9th) 141.90 (1st) 92.58 (5th)
QB Roethlisberger J. Flacco C. Newton C. Newton Roethlisberger
RB T.J. Yeldon M. Gordon T.J. Yeldon T. Gurley C. McCaffrey
RB S. Michel C. Hyde M. Breida S. Michel M. Gordon
WR A. Brown D. Funchess K. Allen M. Thomas G. Tate
WR R. Woods T. Boyd J. Edelman S. Diggs C. Kupp
TE I. Thomas J. Cook V. McDonald V. McDonald J. Reed
Jourdan Rodrigue
Mike Solarte
Kelsey Riggs
Josh Klein
John Halpin
Total Pts (rank) 310.02 (5th) 301.78 (8th) 291.96 (10th) 303.44 (7th) 313.94 (4th)
Last week 87.16 (7th) 87.86 (6th) 82.28 (8th) 59.18 (10th) 98.70 (4th)
QB C. Newton P. Rivers D. Carr M. Ryan M. Ryan
RB S. Barkley T. Gurley C. McCaffrey C. McCaffrey T.J. Yeldon
RB P. Lindsay K. Hunt M. Breida T.J. Yeldon J. Conner
WR A.J. Green DJ Moore K. Golladay D. Hopkins J. Jones
WR S. Shepard C. Davis J. Crowder M. Sanu A. Cooper
TE Seferian-Jenkins J. Reed A. Hooper V. McDonald I. Thomas

This week, given that non-Panthers can only be picked once all season (each Panther can be picked three times), the idea of choosing a player that finds himself in a favorable spot because of a teammate's absence continues. Four of the panelists are rolling with Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon, filling in for injured starter Leonard Fournette against the Chiefs' dead-last defense. Yeldon should be a bargain in salary-based daily fantasy contests this week.

Similarly, seven panelists picked Kamara during Ingram's four-game suspension, and so far seven have picked James Conner during Le'Veon Bell's holdout. Fantasy football analyst John Halpin becomes the seventh to choose Conner this week, when panelists are hoping to cash in on a potential shootout between the Steelers and Falcons. Seven of 10 have a least one player from one of those teams in their lineup (I'm rolling with both Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown).

In four cases, the Steelers-Falcons game in included by normally off-the-radar tight ends Vance McDonald and Austin Hooper, but then again the tight end spot has been uncharacteristically quiet this year. Halpin and I are both taking a shot with Panthers rookie tight end Ian Thomas this week, but the most popular Panther is running back Christian McCaffrey. I wanted to take McCaffrey coming off the bye against a vulnerable Giants run defense, but ultimately I decided to hold off for another day and went with Thomas before Greg Olsen's seemingly imminent return. It's hard to forecast a big day for the rookie, but that's been the case pretty much across the board at tight end so far.

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