Fantasy News & Analysis

NFL Week 5 Fantasy Football Recap: New England Patriots vs. Detroit Lions

Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson (38) rushes against the Detroit Lions during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Rhamondre Stevenson: 25 carries, 161 yards, 2 receptions, 14 receiving yards

Jakobi Meyers: 7 receptions, 111 yards, 1 touchdown

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Monitor the Damien Harris injury: Harris suffered a hamstring injury in the first quarter and was ruled out by the start of the second half.

    • The Patriots started the game with a similar running back rotation as last week, with Harris starting and Rhamondre Stevenson going second while also taking third downs.
    • Stevenson took every snap over the rest of the game, as he was the only other active running back on the roster.
    • He achieved career highs in both carries and rushing yards.
    • In all likelihood, some combination of rookie Pierre Strong and practice squad veteran J.J. Taylor would be active and seeing some playing time if Harris misses time.
    • Stevenson would still be a must-start in fantasy football even if he’s not playing 100% of offensive snaps. He would lead any kind of rotation and see more playing time than usual.

The return of Tyquan Thornton: The New England rookie wide receiver made his regular season debut after a pre-season injury landed him on injured reserve.

    • Nelson Agholor started the game but oddly didn’t see another snap in the first quarter. Kendrick Bourne took all of the snaps in three-receiver sets for the rest of the quarter.
    • Agholor played four snaps in the second quarter, suffered a hamstring injury and didn’t return.
    • Thornton saw his first action of the game in the second quarter before the Agholor injury.
    • The rookie played significantly in the second half, largely because the game was a blowout victory for New England.
    • His snaps all came in place of DeVante Parker, so we can likely expect Parker to see some decline in playing time going forward.
    • We are likely back to the point of Jakobi Meyers being the only wide receiver on this team to trust. He gained over 100 yards while everyone else was held to single digits.

Don’t add Hunter Henry: The veteran tight end had by far his best game of the season with Jonnu Smith out of the lineup.

    • Henry played nearly every offensive snap and caught four passes for 54 yards.
    • Smith was limited in practice late in the week and was doubtful as of Friday. There is a chance he misses more time due to his limited practice time this week.
    • Expect this to become a rotation again once Smith is healthy, so his window of being a fantasy starter is limited.
    • The Patriots play the Browns next week — a team that has been relatively good at preventing fantasy points to tight ends.

Monitor the health of the Lions: The Lions were not at 100% at running back or wide receiver, with the team’s bye week coming at a perfect time.

    • Craig Reynolds took more of D’Andre Swift’s role this week, leaving Jamaal Williams limited on opportunities.
    • Amon-Ra St. Brown played after missing last week but was on a clear pitch count. He played on less than one-third of the team’s offensive snaps but saw a target on 37.5% of his pass routes.
    • D.J. Chark Jr. was also missing from the Lions’ lineup, as was backup Quintez Cephus.
    • Josh Reynolds was the top wide receiver for Detroit, similar to last week, with Kalif Raymond and Tom Kennedy also seeing significant time.
    • The Lions are on a bye week next, so chances are the offense will be back to normal in two weeks.

Table Notes
  • Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.
  • Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.
  • Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.

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