There seem to be two overarching constants in fantasy football on a weekly basis. Firstly, the usual suspects generally put up numbers in line with expectations. Think Deshaun Watson or Christian McCaffrey on Sunday. But every week, there are players who not very many people started or even rostered yet were among the highest-scoring players at their respective position. It’s a fascinating topic for discussion and in this column, we highlight those who impressed despite low ownership rates in Week 5 fantasy football.
Note: all ownership percentage numbers come from Yahoo Sports leagues.
Week 5 Fantasy Football Surprise Sensations
It appears that the New Orleans Saints are going to be just fine with Bridgewater holding the fort down until Drew Brees returns. He remains undefeated as the Saints starter and had one of the best games of his career against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 5. He totaled 314 yards passing and threw four touchdowns for just the second time as a pro. And his 28.26 fantasy points were fourth-best among quarterbacks despite an ownership rate of nine percent in Yahoo leagues. He’s definitely worth considering if you’re in need of a waiver wire addition at quarterback. The Saints Week 6 opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars, is conceding the 14th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
TEDDY BRIDGEWATER ⚜️⚜️⚜️
314 passing yards
4 passing TDs
— ⚜Gino⚜ (@WhoDat_Joness) October 6, 2019
The Kansas City Chiefs came into Sunday night’s battle with the Indianapolis Colts somewhat banged up at wide receiver. Tyreek Hill was inactive once again and Sammy Watkins left early due to a hamstring injury. It opened up opportunities for lesser-heralded players to catch passes from reigning MVP, Patrick Mahomes. And let’s just say Pringle stepped up. The undrafted second-year player out of Kansas State caught his first career touchdown pass, led all Chiefs receivers in yardage, and finished with 22.30 PPR points. That certainly qualifies as a surprise considering his ownership rate in Yahoo leagues was zero percent. But even if Watkins and Hill can’t go in Week 6, he’s a risky add as players such as Travis Kelce and Mecole Hardman have the potential to siphon away targets.
Still, gotta love the Macarena touchdown celebration.
Byron Pringle's touchdown celebration: 12/10 ?
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 7, 2019
Let’s just say this didn’t concern you too much if you started Christian McCaffrey. And that makes McCaffrey’s performance on Sunday all the more impressive as he totaled a whopping 47.70 PPR points. Nevertheless, Bonnafon deserves mention this week. Prior to Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he totaled a minuscule five rushing yards on two carries in 2019. But he managed 80 yards and a touchdown run in the Carolina Panthers 34-27 win. His production played a significant role in Carolina finishing with 285 rushing yards, the third-most single-game total in franchise history. And of the 16 running backs who registered at least 14 fantasy points in Week 5, Bonnafon was the only one owned in zero percent of Yahoo leagues.
Reggie Bonnafon gashes the Jags for a 59-yard score!#JAXvsCAR
— PFF (@PFF) October 6, 2019
Any seasoned fantasy player is well-aware that tight end is arguably the most fickle of the skill positions. Sure, the top players tend to be reliable as George Kittle crossed the 20 PPR point threshold this week. But even the Tier 1 guys can have off days as Travis Kelce managed just four catches for 70 yards and no touchdowns. And then there’s Fells who returns to our surprise sensation list after making an appearance in Week 3. He certainly was a beneficiary of Deshaun Watson’s monster game as he caught two touchdown passes in the Houston Texans 53-32 win over the reeling Atlanta Falcons. His 16 PPR points were third-most among tight ends in Week 5. Yet similar to Week 3, zero percent of owners in Yahoo leagues had him on their roster. He might get a slight bump in Week 6 with the Texans facing a Chiefs team who have been susceptible to tight ends. But he’s certainly a risky streaming option given the presence of DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller.
Darren Fells has two touchdowns and also is letting Kemal Ishmael know that he can't reach the top of the shelf.
Excellent throw from Watson under pressure. pic.twitter.com/cvyx1htVXF
— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) October 6, 2019
The Cincinnati Bengals have endured a miserable start to the 2019 season, Zac Taylor‘s first as head coach. They currently stand at 0-5 and lost in heartbreaking fashion on Sunday as Zane Gonzalez hit a 31-yard field goal as time expired to give the Arizona Cardinals a 26-23 victory. In so doing, Cincy earned the distinction of giving rookie quarterback Kyler Murray his first career NFL win. But, hey, at least Bullock impressed on the day. He was perfect on both PATs and field goals, totaling 12 fantasy points. Only five NFL kickers finished with more this past week. But chances are he didn’t help your fantasy team as he garnered an ownership rate of just one percent in Yahoo leagues. Next up for the Bengals is the Baltimore Ravens who are giving up the fifth-most fantasy points to kickers. So he’s certainly an intriguing streaming option.
— uhmmnn what Dey Is it? (@CincySad) October 6, 2019
Indianapolis Colts Defense
Prior to Sunday night, Patrick Mahomes had made a total of 21 regular season starts in his pro career. The lowest single-game point total the Chiefs managed in that span was Week 10 of last year when K.C. defeated Arizona 26-14. Nevertheless, that was in a winning effort. In front of a national television audience on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, the Colts held the Chiefs to half that with their 19-13 victory arguably the biggest upset of 2019 thus far. What makes it all the more impressive is they did it with a defense beset by injuries to multiple key players. And among defenses that managed double-digit fantasy points, Indy’s had the lowest ownership rate in Yahoo leagues at 13 percent. Give Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus an immense amount of credit for having this unit capable of keeping last year’s league MVP in check.
— LastWordOnNFL (@LastWordOnNFL) October 7, 2019