5th Down’s Matt New weighs in with his unique take on who he’s high on and who might be better sitting this week out from a fantasy perspective.
Sit: James Conner (RB, ARI)
(aka Kam Curl is going to eat James Conner for Breakfast)
The fourth-year Washington safety’s job is to stop the run. He’s quick to the line of scrimmage, an excellent open-field tackler, and has a keen sense as to where the ball is going. He’s decisive, and it’s proved to be an issue with opposing offenses.
Teamed with fellow smash mouth Darrick Forrest, they have a unique skill at stopping running backs’ receiving game. Last year’s running backs averaged 18 yards per game in the air. Yes, this was one of the lowest in the league. Consider that with a defense posting 4th overall rank in rushing yards allowed and rushing attempts, it is quite difficult to gain yards on the ground against this defense, the strength of which runs along the line. Montez Sweat. Daron Payne. Jonathan Allen. Chase Young. These are large, athletic men who are effective at terminating run plays while also pressuring the quarterback.
All of this to say is: James Conner won’t have time to run the ball. Not with the interior of his offensive line against that defensive front. He won’t have time to catch the ball, because his quarterback will be constantly flushed out of the pocket, and even if Josh Dobbs/Clayton Thune do get it out in flat on time, he’ll just be gobbled up for a one-yard loss by Kameron Curl. He will be there waiting.
Start: Jahan Dotson (WR, WAS)
Jahan Dotson is so good and the Arizona Cardinals defense is so bad. Arizona is following up finishing 24th in yards allowed and 28th in touchdowns allowed against the pass by losing their top pass rushers in JJ Watt and Markus Golden.
The shakiest group on this defense is arguably the secondary, and that’s even considering the group is led by Budda Baker. Kei’Trel Clark was just drafted in the sixth round, Garrett Williams is coming off an ACL tear and then there’s Marco Wilson. Isaiah Simmons was just traded to New York. They allowed the highest success rate in 2022 and look to continue that trend this year.
Enter Jahan Dotson. An ascending zone-beating sophomore receiver with stellar hands may find himself as the primary receiver this week. He has excellent hands, dominates press coverage, and is keen to find clear blue skies in zone defense for those easy lay-ups. He’s also a killer downfield. He excels at the nine route, at posts, and at corners.
He’s also freakishly fast. 4.43-second forty, and the ability to make any play explosive. He also has a knack for the end zone. 20% of his catches last year were for pay dirt. He’ll have many chances against the Cardinals. Play him with confidence.
Subscribe to our newsletter on Substack to get full access to 5th Down Fantasy’s award-winning fantasy football player rankings and our weekly playbook email packed with everything you need to win big on Sunday. Your subscription will also help keep 5thDownFantasy.com the best FREE fantasy football advice website on the planet. Learn more.