Week 5 marked the return of two key veterans to the NFL landscape as Julian Edelman (New England) and Mark Ingram (New Orleans) both rejoin their respective teams after serving four-game suspensions.
We’ll see Edelman back in action Thursday night. Ultimately, he should be a big boost to the Patriots’ offense, likely helping to raise all tides.
Edelman missed all of 2017 with a torn ACL but he totaled 98 receptions in 2016.
For Ingram, fantasy owners are no doubt excited to add a player who was the sixth-best fantasy running back last season, averaging 96 yards per game, to go along with 58 receptions and 12 touchdowns.
Expect those per-game numbers to come down as Alvin Kamara (New Orleans) is clearly the lead back although Ingram will have plenty of fantasy value in an offense that can sustain two running backs.
One thing for certain though is Kamara’s elite fantasy production isn’t likely to be impacted much with the return of Ingram.
Kamara was the third-best running back last season sharing the workload with Ingram. In the second half of the 2017 season Kamara was the best fantasy running back, even with Ingram there.
Kamara is producing perhaps the greatest fantasy season ever: He is on pace for 1,100 rushing yards, 1,344 receiving yards, 24 touchdowns and 140 receptions — simply amazing.
▪ Matthew Stafford (Detroit) has thrown multiple touchdowns in seven straight games against the Packers and over his past four games against the Packers he averages 354 passing yards and 2.5 touchdowns.
▪ Andy Dalton (Cincinnati) and the Bengals offense somewhat quietly are fourth in the NFL in points per game (31.5) and Dalton is only one of two quarterbacks (along with Philip Rivers) to throw multiple touchdowns in every game this year.
▪ Speaking of Philip Rivers (LA Chargers), he looks set up for a huge game against a Raiders defense ranked 31st in points allowed (30.0 per game).
▪ Christian McCaffrey (Carolina) should be in store for another strong game coming off a bye, averaging 143 total yards and going against a Giants’ defense ranked 29th against the run.
▪ James Conner (Pittsburgh) has dipped of late though he should bounce back this week against a Falcons defense allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.
▪ T.J. Yeldon (Jacksonville) will start with Leonard Fournette (hamstring) ruled out for Week 5 and he gets a Kansas City defense that allows the most fantasy points to opposing running backs.
▪ Aaron Jones (Green Bay) should get more work after leading the team in rushing last week and this week he gets a Lions defense ranked last against the run. Jones is averaging 6.3 yards per rushing attempt to 3.4 for teammate Jamaal Williams.
▪ John Brown (Baltimore) has clearly established himself as the top Ravens wide receiver averaging 85 yards per game -- Brown also leads the NFL with 17 targets of 15-yards or more on the season.
▪ With tight end points so difficult to come by this season, Austin Hooper (Atlanta) is worth consideration this week. For starters, there should be many points to be had in a game that has an extremely high “over/under” of 57 points plus Pittsburgh has allowed a league-high 30 receptions to tight ends this year and the most fantasy points to opposing to tight ends.
▪ Russell Wilson (Seattle) was last year’s top fantasy quarterback but he hasn’t gotten things going this year (the 20th-ranked quarterback). He isn’t likely to break out this week against a Rams defense that held him to less than 200 yards passing in both of their games last season with one touchdown in each game.
▪ Dalvin Cook (Minnesota) and his hamstring are hard to trust -- he averages 2.7 yards per carry and this week he plays at Philadelphia, which allows the fewest rushing yards per game (63.8).
▪ Carlos Hyde (Cleveland) could lose some carries to Nick Chubb after his explosive two touchdowns last week, plus Hyde will have to go against a Ravens defense allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing to running backs.