Top 3 Fantasy Surprises of Week 5

By Chip Bayless (click Howie for more Chip)



1. Myles Gaskin

ESPN projected Week 5 points: 8.5
Actual points scored in Week 5: 31.9

After a quarter of a season of fantasy irrelevance and putting up a miserable week that undoubtedly got many of his owners to cut him, Gaskin suddenly reminded everyone why he was drafted so highly in Week 5. After turning in his worst performance in over a year, getting zero catches, and finishing with 0.3 points the week prior, Gaskin turned in his best performance of the young 2021 season.

Against Tampa Bay, Gaskin caught a eye-popping 10 balls for 74 yards and 2 TDs to go along with 25 rushing yards on just 5 carries. While the Bucs secondary has been roasted consistently so far this season, this game was indicative of Gaskin’s talent level and role.

No, Gaskin isn’t what his owners hoped for when they drafted him. He’s not the lead horse of Miami’s backfield, nor does it seem like he’s receiving even 60% of the backfield’s touches, like many had predicted.

Although, Gaskin is the Dolphins unquestioned receiving back which is a role that we’ve seen garner fantasy relevance in itself a la James White, Nyheim Hines, J.D. Mcsteal Gibson’s points, etc. Furthermore, if you throw out the miserable game against the Colts he’s gotten at least 5 carries in every game, so their are worse backs to have than someone who essentially has Chase Edmunds’ role in a worse offense.

Yes, last game was a slight fluke and I’d bet the Tony Soprano’s psychiatry appointment that Gaskin won’t put up 30 again this week. But don’t forget that he finished 7th among RBs in receiving yards thanks to an 87% catch rate (2nd best) and finished with 8.3 yards per target (best) just last season.

Against an absolutely porous Jacksonville team, you could do much worse than Gaskin, a team’s #1 receiving back and a player who just put up 30 points, in your flex this week in a pinch.


2. Kadarius Toney

Projected: 11.1
Actual: 29.6

If you watched Kadarius Toney’s college career (or even just his college highlights), you know he’s a special player. His change of direction, acceleration, and ability to break tackles is the best the Giants receiving position has to offer.

No matter how many times I watch that play (and many others from his college highlights), I still can’t believe he broke all those tackles. It is also hard to believe so many NFL fans assumed the Giants got completely screwed by the DeVonta Smith pick, when in reality they might have gotten someone who is equally explosive.

Don’t get me wrong, Smith is a generational athlete and likely the better pick. But don’t sleep on Toney as a potential play going forward.

Hopefully his most recent performance is an indication of things to come and the Giants have finally realized they should be giving their dynamic rookie dynamo more playing time, and more targets.

Last weekend, he finally showed that promise and brought in 10 of 13 targets for 189 yards against the Cowboys. With the rest of the Giants’ top 4 receivers all injured, Toney showed he can step up when called upon.

If Toney ends up being healthy enough to suit up Sunday AND Golladay, Shepard, and Slayton are all injured again, he’s damn near a must start in all leagues due to his talent level and target share (at least 9 targets the past two weeks while Shepard/Slayton have been injured).

Toney is at least worth a flex start (unless you have a top 10 WR or an RB1/RB2 to slot in there) almost no matter what your roster looks like if he ends up being the #1 WR on the Giants depth chart due to injuries.

A fun fact that might give you confidence too: he caught a draft class-high 90% of his catchable targets in college.


3. David Njoku

Projected: 4.0
Actual: 27.9

David Njoku has always had promise but has had a few injury-plagued campaigns since he last showed those skills in 2018.

He was Baker Mayfield’s top option last week as Njoku paced the Browns in catches, targets, and receiving yards. His 149 yards more than doubled the next-best total by a Cleveland receiver (Donovan Peoples-Jones with 70).

It was the TEs first 100-yard performance in his career, and the former 2017 first-round pick is finally showing off the talent level NFL scouts and fans alike thought he had.

Against an undefeated Cardinals team, the Browns will likely find themselves down and needing to throw for a good deal of the game. Furthermore, it could turn into another shootout against Kyler Murray and an Arizona offense that loves to throw it around.

With byes wrecking rosters and an always shallow TE pool to choose from, you can do worse than the former Miami Hurricane standout this weekend if you don’t have a top-10 TE or another you like.

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