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Week 5 Fantasy Mailbag: What to do about Randall Cobb?

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This week’s questions involve Cobb and the players returning to the Patriots’ roster.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

We are starting a new article series this week: we are going to be taking your fantasy questions and giving advice in the week going forward. We might be off to a slow start at this time, but we are hopeful to be helpful to you and your team(s). Here are a few of the questions we got for week 5.

@HendyLA - “Will Cobb help me at all this season? He was my homer pick this year and he's been killing me.”

Three weeks in and Cobb is a flex option at best so far. Back in 2014, when Cobb was at his best, he was getting major targets. So far this season Cobb is getting the same looks as Davante Adams. Now Adams is getting more yards per catch and has the two touchdowns. At this point the Packers have a clear number one guy. Jordy Nelson has 27 targets to Cobb’s 18 and Adams’ 16. Most likely, you can pick up Jeremy Kerley or or Michael Thomas. Both are better flex options and possible WR2s. Also, both are out-targeting Jordy right now. Sadly, Cobb is now a solid backup, but you are not likely starting him in standard league formats.

@laxangel1 - “Need to get rid of either Dexter McCluster or Kenyon Drake.”

Neither inspires any particular confidence. McCluster appears done to me. Remember that there were two full weeks where he was available to the entire league and no one grabbed him. Even with San Diego’s predilection for having one bigger back and a pass catching back to complement, McCluster could not get touches. He was specifically brought in to make the Chargers function as before (before losing Danny Woodhead), but after two weeks he has just six targets, four catches, and 18 yards. Kenyon Drake is not doing a ton better statistically, but he is doing better. We can all predict Arian Foster will miss more time as well. Also, Drake is someone the Dolphins are going to have to evaluate as the season progresses and they are eliminated from the playoffs. If you are in one of those 25% of leagues where players like Theo Riddick or Charles Sims is still available, go out there. Otherwise, Kenneth Dixon will be the future of the Baltimore backfield very soon (available in roughly 60% of leagues).

@gzil - “I drafted Brady, but I also have Newton. Do I keep both? Trade one or the other?”

Cam is really starting to concern me. Cam should have lit up the Atlanta defense. Everyone else is doing it. Shoot, Derek Anderson was doing it. After Cam left in the fourth quarter, Anderson completed 73.9% of his passes playing catch up, in a rout, where the other team knew he had to throw. Anderson also managed two touchdowns to Cam’s one. Brady is coming back to an offense that clicked along just fine without him (and Gronk by the way). Brady and Gronk coming back should boost the offense. AFC East is weak again, but Brady still has Buffalo, the Jets, Denver, Cincinnati and Los Angeles on the schedule. There are a couple of good defenses in there, but he has generally been matchup-proof. You can afford to wait a week on the trade, watch Brady, and with Cam not starting this week, no harm. I expect Cam might be a sell high at this point and I would look for a trade partner starting Tuesday, If I were lucky enough to have Newton and Brady. If you do trade Cam, remember Brady also still has a bye out there in week nine. Keep an eye on Alex Smith, as he gets Jacksonville at Arrowhead that week

@BadgerNoonan - “Wait for Gronk to show me something and roll with either Pitta or Will Tye, or trust in Gronk's return to form with Brady?”

Well, Gronk will be against the Browns... the team against which Pitta rolled up 9 catches for 102 yards. Gronk was on the field for two-thirds of the Patriots snaps last week. I expect he will see more than that this week. Will Tye is a very intriguing play because the Packers seem to have struggled against tight ends so far (though it was Julius Thomas and Kyle Rudolph mostly). If you are playing for the higher floor, start Pitta. If you want the higher ceiling, start Gronk. Tye does not give me enough to feel confident. In all honesty, I am starting Gronk in the two leagues where I have him because I see an uptick in targets and I see him improving. Getting outside the range of your question, if Cameron Brate is available in your league (available in over 60% of leagues and outscoring both Tye and Pitta so far) grab him now.

That is all I have this week. Please do send any other questions you might have to me (@jbarn54) or to Acme Packing Company (@acmepackingco).