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Random observations on the fantasy implications of a week in which Jay Cutler faded even further from fantasy relevance than usual.
Brian Hoyer's latest moment of fantasy stardom. If someone's talking about someone named Hoyer in Chicago this month, you might assume it's Jed Hoyer, GM of the NLDS-winning Cubs. But Bears QB Brian Hoyer is also having a good fall, having compiled a series of fantasy-worthy starts in place of Jay Cutler, the most recent a 397-yard outing in Week 5. He's in the top three or four in QB fantasy points in most formats the last three weeks. Looks like he will start again against JAC this weekend, and arguably should keep the starting job the rest of the way. He's got a history of being streaky, and he's not much of a deep passer, but he's plays quick (sometimes meaning more plays, more chances), and usually avoids negative points.
Ezekiel Elliott has run to the top of the fantasy RB class. Three straight weeks of 130 or more rushing yards and five TDs this season show us the Cowboys rookie is getting better every week. With so many RBs injured and last year's rookie sensation Todd Gurley not doing much this season, Elliott is locking himself in as a top-five pick next year. It will be interesting to see what he does this week against the highly-regarded Green bay rushing defense, but seems there's no reason for him to slow down.
Will Tyler Eifert ever return? Yes, the former Notre Dame, current Cincinnati TE was supposed to be out four to six weeks, and it's just now Week 6, but a new back injury and scant details suggest he could be out longer. At draft time, he seemed worthy of a pick with the potential to be a late-season fantasy savior, but now with the emergence of TEs like the Bears' Zach Miller and the revival of Seattle's Jimmy Graham and Baltimore's Dennis Pitta, he's starting to look like a wasted pick and a waste of a roster spot.
A fantasy-relevant 40-something not named Bartolo Colon. The chunky NY Mets pitcher is an outlier in a sport where you don't see a lot of 40+ players. In football, that age category usually indicates kicker, and Colts veteran Adam Vinatieri is coming off a 23-point outing against the Bears. Sure, a game like that is rare from a kicker, but get this: Vinatieri hasn't missed a field goal on 13 tries this year and he's made five of 50+ yards (worth five points in most leagues). He's also made 38 straight FGs going back to last season. He was still available in 24% of Yahoo! leagues as of Wednesday, and might even be worth seeking in a trade package (though your league mates surely will mock you for wanting a kicker in a trade package.)
Dan O'Shea is our man on fantasy island. He welcomes your comments.