MNF Fantasy Notes: Week 5, Chargers at Saints

  • A little betting note before we get into fantasy: I hope you hammered the Saints live line when they went down 20-3. I got the Saints live at +250. The Chargers always find a way to blow games it seems like. Anyway.
  • The Saints finally figured out that Emmanuel Sanders is good at football. Who knew? Sanders had 12 receptions on 14 targets for 122 yards, or 24.2 PPR points. And he had a TD that was reviewed and called down at basically the three inch line, so he could’ve had even more points. Will he fade back into obscurity when Michael Thomas comes back? Maybe. Or maybe he’s finally developed a connection with Drew Brees and he’s going to be a bigger part of this offense going forward. Both are probably true to some degree. Don’t expect monster games like this out of him every week, obviously, but his fantasy stock is definitely trending up. My gut says it just took him a few weeks to fully get integrated into the Saints offense, and we can expect him to be more involved from here on out.
  • Alvin Kamara is the best pass-catching RB in the league. That should be obvious by now but his performance Monday night just further underscored that. He had 19.9 PPR points and didn’t even have a TD, showing just how great his floor is. The Chargers have a good defense, too, and largely kept him in check in the running game. Drew Brees’ vultured a TD from him late in the first half, and Taysom Hill had a rushing TD late in the second half, so it was a weird game for Kamara to not get the red zone opportunities. This, to me, is more fluky than a sign of any worrying trend.
  • Mike Williams needs to be added to fantasy rosters. We don’t yet know how long Keenan Allen will be out but once he went down, Williams feasted, posting 5 catches on 8 targets, 109 yards and 2 TDs for the game. He’s one of the better deep threats in the league and quietly posted a 1,000+ yard season last year, but people are still sleeping on the guy. A lot of this has to do with the fact that people didn’t think Tyrod would be airing it out to him, but now Herbert is the full-time starter and Herbert likes to air it out. Even without the Keenan Allen injury, the moment Herbert was named the Chargers starting QB, Williams’ fantasy value shot up. Now it’s even higher with Allen injured. Williams does have some injury concerns of his own, and because he’s a deep threat he’s going to have ups and downs, but this is a guy that should be owned.
  • I own Joshua Kelley, and had decently high hopes for him even before Austin Ekeler went down because I thought he’d be taking over the Melvin Gordon role, but Kelley just has not looked great outside of Week 1 against the Bengals. And that’s probably because he was playing against the Bengals. He and Justin Jackson split time last night and I thought Jackson looked like he was clearly the better runner. It seemed like Kelley was being stopped at the line of scrimmage every time he took a handoff. He finished with 11 carries for 29 yards, with his longest run being just 9 yards. That’s not going to get it done. I’m still going to keep Kelley on my bench in case anything happens to Jackson, but I do not have a lot of faith in the guy going forward. Still, he’s a rookie and might figure things out as the season goes on, so don’t give up all hope on the guy.
  • Justin Herbert is a startable fantasy QB if you’re streaming the position or playing in a deep league. 4 TDs, zero INTs last night. He’s legit. That first TD he threw to Keenan Allen, where he was rolling out of the pocket and threw the ball to him on the run–that was a big-time NFL throw. This kid has serious talent. He can throw it on the run, he doesn’t seem to get rattled in the pocket, and he can throw the deep ball. No, he hasn’t won a game, yet, but he would’ve beaten the Saints in New Orleans if “The Money Badger” (Michael Badgley, the Chargers’ kicker) could hit a 50 yarder. The kid was told after the coin toss that he was the starter the Week 2 game against the Chiefs, and he held his own with Mahomes. Imagine being a rookie QB in your second career week in the NFL and being told minutes before kickoff that you’re suddenly the starter against Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl Champions. Justin Herbert is a stud, both in real life and in fantasy. Pick him up.
  • Is Drew Brees‘ arm done? In the first half, his throws looked positively horrible. He improved as the game went on, and maybe a lot of it had to do with his guys not getting open, but man, anyone who watches him play can clearly see his arm is nowhere close to what it once was.
  • Final point that has nothing to do with the MNF game:

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