by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Those who selected Green Bay in your knockout pools were handsomely rewarded, as you were able to kick your feet up and relax after Julius Peppers returned an interception for a touchdown around mid-way through the second quarter. From a fantasy perspective, though, it led to many disappointments (outside of one true breakout performer) as there were seemingly underachievers across the board. Who should we be concerned about? Let’s take a look at the noteworthy numbers and what we need to know coming out of last night’s action:
1) Eddie Lacy’s breakout finally came…
The touchdowns didn’t come until the second half, when the game was well in hand, but Lacy was tearing Minnesota up before the breakout as well. He finished with 13 carries for 105 yards and 2 TD, as well as adding 3 receptions for 27 yards (on 3 targets). James Starks played a significant role (12 carries for 46 yards and 2 receptions for 2 yards), but this is likely similar to last week with the New York Giants. In other words it was a short week, which often leads to an expanded role for the second back.
This was obviously Lacy’s best game of the season, as he hadn’t clear 48 rushing yards or average more than 3.3 YPC in any week. He also had faced some difficult rushing defenses, and things continue to get easier with Miami (14th most fantasy points to opposing RB), Carolina (tied for 6th) and New Orleans (tied for 6th) coming up the next three weeks. Will he match these types of numbers? It’s unlikely, as you’d expect more from Aaron Rodgers and company (Rodgers threw for just 156 yards), but things should continue to get better. Stay the course with Lacy.
2) Matt Asiata & Jerick McKinnon disappoint owners…
What we cautioned about yesterday ultimately is what happened. The Vikings fell behind early and the Vikings’ running back duo simply didn’t put up big numbers:
- Asiata – 15 carries for 72 yards
- McKinnon – 7 carries for 24 yards (3 receptions for 22 yards)
Just to make it a little bit worse, Christian Ponder scored the only TD of the night on a 6 yard run.
Asiata is dependent on volume and touchdowns, neither of which are a given (the former may be the more questionable number as McKinnon’s workload increases). At least he averaged 4.8 YPC, but he still failed to eclipse 12 yards on a single run (his long for the night was 11 yards) and also lost a fumble. As for McKinnon, he continues to operate as a change-of-pace option, and one that the team doesn’t seemingly trust in pass protection. Until he earns more snaps, he’s going to be a risky option.
Neither Minnesota running back is much more than a FLEX option.
3) Should we stop waiting for Cordarrelle Patterson’s breakout…
He had 2 catches for 8 yards on 4 targets… This when he is the clear top offensive player the team has… What exactly can we say?
Yes Christian Ponder’s presence under center, as opposed to Teddy Bridgewater, had a clear influence on his production. However he had just 2 catches for 38 yards last week an hasn’t had more than 4 catches or 61 yards in any game. Additionally his only TD came on the ground, and that was back in Week 1.
He also missed time due to a hip injury, but according to Master Tesfatsion of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (click here for the post):
“Coach just told me to shut it down,” Patterson said. “Just going into the third quarter to just [play it] safe,” Patterson said.
The injury seems like nothing to be concerned about. His performance, on the other hand, is a different story. For now he’s a boom or bust WR3, at best, and better suited for your bench until he proves otherwise.
4) Can Davante Adams develop into a viable fantasy option…
We can’t read anything into his opportunities last night, as no receiver had more than 4 targets for the Packers. At the same time he managed just 1 catch for 11 yards and 1 TD, despite assuming full-time WR3 duties with Jarrett Boykin out.
The upside is there if he can maintain this type of role, but he hasn’t surpassed 2 receptions in each of the past 3 games and has totaled just 10 catches on 17 targets for the season. While I’m sure there were many who hoped that he could emerge as an immediate WR3 for fantasy owners, he’s not there yet. Consider him an upside WR5, and someone to stash, but a player who is impossible to trust.
5) The Vikings desperately need Teddy Bridgewater under center…
Christian Ponder was a disaster, going 22-44 for 222 yards, 0 TD and 2 INT (though he did run for a TD). He also helped keep any Vikings receiver from putting up usable numbers, including Week 4 breakout performer Jarius Wright (3 catches for 27 yards, despite 8 targets). That’s not to say that Bridgewater would’ve changed the game dramatically, but it’s obvious that Ponder has little appeal. All signs point to Bridgewater returning in Week 6, so hopefully there are better days ahead.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Make sure to check out all of our Week 5 rankings: