Good morning, my fellow FAmily members! How are we feeling out there after another incredible week of football? Week 5 of the NFL season delivered everything you want out of an October slate, and there is a lot to process. It all started with a comeback win by the Giants against the Packers with a fourth quarter Saquon Barkley touchdown, and it didn’t let up from there. Josh Allen unleashed a 98-yard touchdown bomb to Gabe Davis on the Bills’ opening possession, Taysom Hill WENT OFF (igniting some pretty extreme feelings about his positional eligibility on the bird app), and Leonard Fournette carved up the Falcons’ run defense like Freddy Krueger. There were also some pretty big surprises, with the Jets putting a beating on the Dolphins, the Cowboys upsetting the defending Super Bowl champion Rams, and the Texans getting their first win of the year against the Jaguars. So what do we do with all this information overload? We fire up the hot takes machine, of course!

There are so many things to talk about this week, but in case you’re new around here, we don’t just recycle takes like old newspaper. We take that newspaper and some lighter fluid with us to get a blazing bonfire going! It’s cold enough outside, so why put up with lukewarm takes? Pull up a chair and come cozy up with us for the best of what Week 5 has to offer.


Taysom Hill is a Must-Start as Long as Jameis Winston is Out

Look, I know what you’re all going to say. “But, but you said he wasn’t consistent and you can’t start him.” That’s right, I did. (In case you missed it, you can check it out here.) I stand by what I said at the time, but, like the leaves at this time of year, things change, people! Between then and now, not only did the Saints lose Jameis Winston to injury, they also lost their core three receivers, with Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry out and Chris Olave entering concussion protocol today. Taysom is like Obi-Wan Kenobi at this point; he’s the Saints’ only hope!

And just like Obi-Wan, Hill showed up just in time to save the day! If you were fortunate (or desperate) enough to start Taysom Hill at tight end, you were rewarded handsomely. He had 112 yards and three touchdowns on just nine rushing attempts, and to put some icing on that already delicious cake, he completed a touchdown pass to the actual tight end on the team, Adam Trautman. In fantasy, the tight end position is so murky outside of Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews that you’re not really changing the floor by putting Hill in your lineup. His ceiling is so high, especially on a positional level, that you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t. Now, will this change when everyone returns from the injury list? Most likely, but until that happens, plug him in!

Brandon Aiyuk is Overtaking Deebo Samuel as the Better Fantasy Receiver in San Francisco

Hey, you came looking for the heat! As we say in the South, if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen, and I’m not turning it down. Nothing is more apparent at the moment than the emergence of Brandon Aiyuk as the better fantasy receiver in this San Francisco offense with Jimmy Garoppolo under center. If you look at pure target share, yes, Deebo is leading, but it’s the depth of target and yards per reception that really make you start to question some things. Today, Deebo saw nine targets, but he only hauled in two of them. What’s worse? He only finished with 20 yards on those two catches. Luckily, his fantasy day was saved by a trip to the end zone, but this is not what you want out of someone you drafted in the second or third round. 

Aiyuk, on the other hand, only saw four targets, but he hauled in three of them for 58 yards, nearly double the yards per catch as Deebo. Want more proof? Aiyuk has out-snapped Samuel every game this season, AND he ran a higher route percentage than him in Week 4. As far as points per game? Barring the outing Samuel had last week, Aiyuk is the more consistent of the two. While this may not turn into a WR1 role overnight, Aiyuk is definitely the monster lurking under Deebo’s bed waiting to pounce. Keep the covers over your feet, Deebo. 

Dalvin Cook is a Sell High Candidate

It may be harder to sell high on a running back at this point in the season than it is for the kids to moderate their sugar intake, but Dalvin Cook is a prime sell-high candidate, especially in PPR leagues. Looking at his stat line today, you wouldn’t think so, but Alexander Mattison is creeping in to steal Cook’s thunder. (Yes, bad Vikings pun intended. Ba dum tsss.) This week, Cook only saw a 57% snap share, and to make things worse, he saw less than a 6% target share for the third straight week. Even after his two touchdown outing today, Cook is still only averaging 14.3 fantasy points per game, and that’s not going to be enough to win you a championship going forward.  The Vikings do have a favorable schedule over the next three weeks, but then they face the Bills, Cowboys, and Patriots, so the window to sell is closing fast. 

The Dallas Cowboys Will Win the NFC East

As a life-long Dallas fan, it’s easy to say this take is just my fandom talking, but I’m going to rip the muzzle off and just say it. The Cowboys will win the NFC East this year! All the haters out there are eating crow after today’s win over the Rams, and it’s looking like the Big D's recent success isn’t a fluke. Dads always preached that defense wins championships, but the Cowboys are taking it to another level. For the first time since 1972, they have held their opponents to 20 points or less in five straight games. Cooper Rush is getting all the credit in the press, but can you really praise him for the win when he only threw for 102 yards? That’s peak participation trophy energy right there. 

No, the defense deserves the credit, and when Dak Prescott returns from his thumb injury, this team will be one of, if not the, most balanced teams in football. CeeDee Lamb is a target monster, even with Michael Gallup back, earning a 30%+ target share in four of his five games, and the upcoming schedule is delightful. Next week, Dallas faces the Eagles, who almost fell on their faces today against the Cardinals, then it’s a stretch of the Lions, Bears, Packers, Vikings, and Giants. Barring more injuries, Dallas is the team to beat in the NFC East. 

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