With five weeks of the NFL season behind us, that means just eight remain before the start of the Fantasy Football Playoffs (in most leagues, that is). I know, I know. Time flies around here when we’ve got football games to watch every week. By this point, you probably have a general idea of whether your team is a contender, pretender, or in need of some reinforcements to make a playoff push. No one is completely out of it at this juncture, and the right Fantasy Football strategy can turn around the fortunes of even those teams that appear left for dead.
Hank’s Bank is here to help you do just that, both this week and every week of the NFL season. This week’s edition is once again packed to the brim with advice on how best to manage your team. From Week 6 start/sit calls to trade targets and acquisitions with an eye toward the future, we’ve got it all. Let’s get down to business. BANK THAT!
Hank’s Bank Vocabulary Key
Asset: Trade Target
Transfer: Trade Away
Invest: Free Agent Acquisition
Loan: Weekly Streamer
Week 6 Banking
Cash: Phillip Lindsay | RB | Denver Broncos
The Broncos are slowly getting most of their offensive cast back, undoubtedly benefitting from the impromptu bye last week. Along with quarterback Drew Lock, Phillip Lindsay is the other big name that will be back in the fold for Sunday’s matchup against the New England Patriots. The owner of back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons since entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2018, Lindsay has been sidelined since Week 1 with a toe injury. He couldn’t be returning at a better time for the Broncos.
Denver’s other running back, Melvin Gordon, has been in the headlines throughout the past week. Unfortunately, it has been for the wrong reasons. Gordon was charged with a DUI on Wednesday and there was speculation as to whether he would be available for Sunday’s game as a result. After the arraignment and a possible NFL suspension were pushed to November, Gordon returned to practice Friday, only to test positive for strep throat (and you thought I was going to say COVID!) Saturday morning. Gordon won’t make the trip to Foxborough, putting Lindsay in line for a solid floor as the lead back.
Deposit: D.J. Moore | WR | Carolina Panthers
It was nice to see the Panthers finally get D.J. Moore going last week, albeit in as good a matchup as there is against the Atlanta Falcons. Outside of a 120-yard showing in Week 2, Moore had failed to surpass 65 yards receiving in any game before last week. 4 catches for 93 yards and a touchdown (his first of the season) later and Moore owners probably are wondering why my Fantasy Football strategy for this week involves sitting him.
The final Fantasy points total was rewarding, but in actuality, Moore was only targeted 5 times and did not record a catch in the second half. It’s also worth noting that most of Moore’s 93 yards came on a 57-yard touchdown that was primarily him running after the catch. Robby Anderson continued to dominate the meaningful stats, including target share. Compare Anderson’s 37.1% of the looks from Teddy Bridgewater to Moore’s 14.3%. Running back Mike Davis also had 9 receptions on 28 routes run and last week and continues to fill in admirably for Christian McCaffrey. Add in a matchup against the stout Chicago Bears pass defense that is allowing the second-fewest Fantasy points to opposing receivers and Moore seems to have everything working against him this week.
Asset: Amari Cooper | WR | Dallas Cowboys
The gruesome ankle injury suffered by Dak Prescott last week sent the Fantasy Football strategy outlooks for many managers with ties to the Cowboys offense into disarray. While there’s no denying a drop-off in talent from Prescott to Andy Dalton, I think it’s safe to say that a lot of people have overreacted this week. This makes Dallas receivers such as Amari Cooper prime buy-low trade targets going forward.
Week 5’s poor showing was an anomaly for Cooper’s season numbers thus far. The 4 targets and 2 receptions were far and away his lowest marks of the season. In fact, Cooper has seen 12 targets or more in three games this season and also has a pair of 100-yard efforts to his name. Prescott’s injury did nothing to change the outlook on the Cowboys defense which is not pretty, to say the least. No matter who’s at quarterback, Dallas is going to have to be throwing often and gunning for points just to stay in games. Cooper is the WR8 in PPR scoring on the season. Use the QB situation and the laundry list of other weapons in the Dallas offense to your advantage in trade talks.
Transfer: Clyde Edwards-Helaire | RB | Kansas City Chiefs
The bombshell news in the NFL this week was Le’Veon Bell signing with the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs following his release from the New York Jets. The match could turn out to be a perfect one. Bell is hungry to win at this stage of his career and the Chiefs get one of the most talented running backs the league has ever seen at a discount price. For rookie back Clyde Edwards-Helaire however, the signing figures to weaken his Fantasy outlook in a big way moving forward.
Edwards-Helaire is a smaller back at just 5’ 7” and 207 pounds. This stature makes him relatively inefficient in the red zone and short-yardage situations. After a tremendous debut performance against the porous Houston Texans defense in Week 1, the LSU product has struggled since, failing to reach 65 yards rushing or find the end zone in any game from Weeks 2-5. Such performances have certainly been frustrating for Fantasy managers who likely spent first-round draft capital on him. At best, I see Edwards-Helaire being on the minority side of perhaps a 60-40 percentage split in the carries once Bell is inserted after this week’s game. While it’s far from the sell high Fantasy Football strategy we strive for when trading away players, if you can work out a trade to get any sort of meaningful return for CEH, I would take it.
Invest: La’Mical Perine | RB | New York Jets
The other impact of the Le’Veon Bell movement this week resides in the Jets backfield. And I know what you’re thinking. The Jets are a mess. But remember, even the worst teams provide Fantasy Football value. The Jets are doing just that in the form of Jamison Crowder already. Bell’s departure is huge for the workload of rookie back La’Mical Perine. A fourth-round pick out of Florida, Perine has been used sparingly over the first five weeks of the season. Following Bell’s release, coach Adam Gase made a point of mentioning that Perine will be more involved going forward. Yes, the Jets rank near the bottom in team rushing yards per game (103.4) and offensive line play. Yes, the ageless one, Frank Gore is still there. But in the world of Fantasy Football, RB depth can be hard to come by. Most teams could likely stand to add Perine and at least see how the situation in New York develops moving forward.
Loan: Washington Football Team | D/ST
In what just might be the game of the week, the Washington Football Team brings a wealth of value as a defensive streamer against the New York Giants. As bad as Football Team has looked since their Week 1 victory, the defensive numbers are not bad. Washington ranks fourth in overall adjusted efficiency per Football Outsiders. The defensive line, which features Chase Young and Montez Sweat at either end, is arguably one of the best in football. The secondary has been a pleasant surprise as well, ranking third in terms of fewest Fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. Washington’s offensive line will also struggle against New York’s underrated defensive front, and one could make the case that the Giants defense as a streaming option is another sound Fantasy Football strategy call this week. Given the turnover issues of Daniel Jones (17 interceptions and 14 fumbles lost in 18 career games played), I’ll side with Football Team (40.4% ownership in ESPN leagues) as the better Fantasy option of the two.