Week 5 fantasy highs and lows: No stopping Taysom Hill

Week 5 of the 2022 fantasy football season was highlighted by Taysom Hill reaching the end zone four times and Josh Allen coming up with another monstrous game. Which developments from the week are worth reading into? Matt Bowen and Tristan H. Cockcroft offer their analysis.

Taysom Hill runs, throws all over Seahawks

He's that tight end who delivers you good fantasy totals in ways you wouldn't expect from a player at the position, scoring 34.08 PPR fantasy points in the Saints' thrilling 39-32 victory over the Seahawks. Hill had nine rushing attempts, three going for scores, and a single pass attempt, that going for a 22-yard touchdown, as he was frequently aligned as a quarterback for rushing purposes in short-yardage situations. His enhanced usage -- he played 31% of the offensive snaps -- was surely fueled partly by the absences of Jameis Winston and Michael Thomas, and it'll be interesting to see how he's used when the offense is closer to 100%. That said, Hill has proved he's a handy weapon for this team. Gadget players like Hill are often tough to evaluate for fantasy because of their limited play time, which explains how he has a pair of big games (Weeks 1 and 5) but was a total nonfactor in Week 2. He should certainly be universally rostered, though, and is well worth the dice roll when he faces weaker defenses, like the Cardinals in Week 6 and Raiders in Week 7. -- Cockcroft

We have to talk about Hill's offensive deployment as a runner here, Tristan. Aligned as a quarterback, the Saints are getting "plus one" to the play side. That opens the door for Hill on power, counter and even QB draw. And, given the production here, we have to think that we continue to see Hill utilized as a runner. -- Bowen

Josh Allen puts on a show

He had a huge, and position-best, 35.16 fantasy points against a bad Steelers defense, capped by a pair of 60-plus-yard touchdown passes (one 98, one 62) to Gabe Davis. Allen has now scored 146.54 fantasy points through the Bills' first five games, the fourth most by any quarterback in history through that stage of the season. -- Cockcroft

Is Justin Fields back on the fantasy radar?

The Bears quarterback logged a season-high 17.02 fantasy points in the Week 5 loss at Minnesota. Yes, the rushing totals were there, as Fields posted 47 yards (on 8 carries). He's going to create plays on second-reaction rushing attempts. But I'm more focused on his efficiency as a passer. Fields completed 15 of 21 passes for 208 yards and a score. He was much more willing to take the throws that were available, working the ball underneath and finding tight end Cole Kmet on middle-of-the-field concepts. Plus, for the second straight week, Fields completed an explosive play throw to wide receiver Darnell Mooney. Some positives here on a day when Fields recorded his highest passing volume of the season. With a Week 6 TNF matchup versus Washington at home, you can play Fields as a deeper league streaming option or as a starter in 2QB formats. -- Bowen

Is Geno Smith now a QB1?

For the second consecutive week, he exceeded expectations, and despite this week's total being the lesser of the two (24.02 fantasy points, compared to Week 4's 31.70), that it came against a tougher defense speaks volumes. The Saints might have some issues with their secondary depth, but Smith still weaved between spots in their defense, finding DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett at opportune times, giving the look of a viable QB1 just as he had previously in Week 1 against the Broncos and Weeks 3 and 4 against the Falcons and Lions. Smith, believe it or not, has the NFL's best completion percentage through five weeks (75.2%). He is available in more than two-thirds of ESPN leagues and is now very much a matchups-candidate quarterback, thanks in large part to the talent with which he has to work. -- Cockcroft

Geno is dealing right now, Tristan. Poise in the pocket. Movement to climb with the eye level up. And the deep-ball accuracy on Sunday. He's pretty dialed in. -- Bowen

Other observations

Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers: This is why you drafted Ekeler as a top-five pick. After posting 34.9 points in Week 4, Ekeler checked in with a season-high 35.9 PPR points in Sunday's win over the Browns. Ekeler has now scored multiple touchdowns in back-to-back weeks, the run game efficiency is up and his red zone usage is leading to fantasy production. Ekeler gets the Broncos' defense in Week 6. -- Bowen

Gabe Davis, WR, Buffalo Bills: Games like his 32.1 PPR fantasy points-on-three-catches masterpiece don't come around very often. In fact, the only other receiver (wide receiver or tight end) to manage a greater score on three or fewer catches was Randy Moss, who scored 39.3 on three catches in Week 13 of 1998. Moss caught three touchdowns of greater than 50 yards in that one, whereas Davis managed 98-yard and 62-yard scores in this game, in a positively Stefon Diggs-esque performance. Chalk the huge gains up to a bad Steelers defense rather than a trend, but it was good to see Davis showing absolutely no ill effect of the ankle injury that cost him Week 2 and had him on the injury report each week since. -- Cockcroft

Breece Hall, RB, New York Jets: Even with the presence of Michael Carter in the Jets' backfield (who scored two red zone touchdowns on Sunday), you can bump Hall into the RB2 mix after he dropped a season-high 27.7 PPR points on the Miami defense. The usage is up for Hall (41 total touches in the past two games), and we're now seeing how explosive he can be as a dual-threat player. Hall posted a 79-yard reception on Sunday. Man-coverage beater. Wheel route. Schemed throw to get Hall loose. And we've seen Hall's deployment in the pass game this year already from multiple alignments. The rookie out-touched Carter 20-to-12 in this one, racking up 197 total yards. Hall and the Jets get the Packers' defense in Week 6. -- Bowen

Matt, Hall is definitely trending brilliantly, and any worry managers had about his "slow start" appear to have faded now. But here's the stat I loved seeing come game's conclusion: He has six goal-to-go rushing attempts to Carter's three through five games, so I see no reason to call this a between-the-20s/goal-line back arrangement. Hall looks like the guy, with Carter more of a change-of-pace option. -- Cockcroft

Dameon Pierce, RB, Houston Texans: It's the running style that pops here. Pierce is going to invite contact now. Downhill juice. And, for the second straight week, the Texans running back posted 20 or more PPR points (20.3) with at least 20 total touches. He's seeing high-end volume -- and that includes some looks in the pass game. With nine total receptions over the past two weeks, Pierce is climbing the PPR ranks, too. The Texans head into the bye week but return in Week 7 with a matchup versus the Raiders' defense. I'm all-in on the Texans rookie as a midtier RB2 in that one. -- Bowen

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks: He scored a season-high 27.4 PPR fantasy points on his six targets while facing the Saints, as Geno Smith, Lockett and DK Metcalf exposed the relative lack of depth in that team's secondary. Remarkably, when aligned against cornerback Marshon Lattimore, Seahawks receivers were targeted just once and didn't have a single catch, but Metcalf, who was lined up against Lattimore most often (17 times), still managed a solid 17.8 PPR fantasy points of his own. It was Paulson Adebo who had the especially rough game in this one, as on his 28 coverage snaps, he was targeted 12 times and surrendered 10 catches for 216 yards and three scores, including both of Lockett's as well as Metcalf's. Let that serve a reminder that receivers often benefit from moving around the formation, easing some of those WR/CB matchup worries, but also that the Saints aren't as good a defense against the position as one might think judging from Lattimore's presence. Teams with multiple elite receivers, like the Seahawks, are going to be in much better shape facing this defense. -- Cockcroft

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars: After an encouraging first three weeks to his sophomore season, Lawrence has taken significant steps backward, following up his 5.66 fantasy points against a tough Eagles defense in Week 4 with only 10.34 while facing a favorable matchup in the Texans on Sunday. Considering he had been projected for a 14th-best-at-his-position 17.10 points, this was well short of the mark. Lawrence's accuracy was sorely lacking in this game, especially on his interception in the end zone during the second half, giving all the look of a quarterback who is still getting his feet wet in the NFL. He remains a worthwhile speculative QB2 in larger leagues but took a major hit in terms of matchups appeal in this one. Here's hoping he'll deliver an encouraging rebound performance sometime in advance of his next few favorable matchups (Raiders in Week 9, Chiefs Week 10, etc.) -- Cockcroft

Raheem Mostert, RB, Miami Dolphins: It's becoming pretty clear that Mostert is the Miami running back you want in the lineup. In Sunday's loss to the Jets, Mostert finished with a season-high 19.2 PPR points, 122 total yards and touchdown off a fly sweep in the red zone. Plus, he out-touched Chase Edmonds 19-to-1. With back-to-back games of 15 or more rushing attempts, and creative deployment in the Miami game plan, Mostert will jump into my RB2 rankings for the Week 6 matchup versus the Vikings' defense. -- Bowen

Jeff Wilson Jr., RB, San Francisco 49ers: He appears to have stepped up as "the guy" for a 49ers team that is notorious for leaning on the running back with the hot hand, playing 57% of the offensive snaps and totaling 18 touches, meaning that in four games since Elijah Mitchell's injury, Wilson has played 60% of the snaps (140-of-232) and totaled 71 touches while scoring in double digits in terms of PPR fantasy points each week. Wilson's 20.2 PPR fantasy points were easily his most all season, capped by a 41-yard run that Next Gen Stats clocked at a 20.8 mph max speed, and he managed a goal-line score to give him a team-leading seven goal-to-goal rushing attempts. He sure looks like an RB2 at this point. -- Cockcroft

Dallas D/ST: There were clear matchup advantages for the Dallas pass rush versus a Rams offensive line that is going through a transition period due to injuries. But to put up 22.0 fantasy points? The Cowboys completely controlled the line of scrimmage in this one, tallying five sacks, a defensive score, two forced fumbles and a pick. They blocked a kick, too. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has the unit playing fast, now. Schemed fronts and pressure. Up next, it's Jalen Hurts and the Eagles in Week 6. -- Bowen

With the performance, the Cowboys are now the third highest-scoring fantasy defense/special teams with 56 points, behind only the 49ers (65) and Bills (64). They are also on pace for 190.4 fantasy points, or 27.4 more than they managed as the league's best D/ST in 2021 (163). -- Cockcroft

Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles: With a season-high 17.5 PPR points in the Week 5 win over the Cardinals, Goedert has now posted 10 or more PPR points in four straight games. He's a critical piece to the Eagles' pass game on RPO concepts. And he can stretch the seams. With 13 receptions over the past two weeks, the volume is moving up for Goedert. He'll be a midtier TE1 for me next week versus the Cowboys. -- Bowen