The Chargers traveled east to New Orleans and faced the Saints in a game that ultimately took more than four quarters for a winner to be decided. Drew Brees and the Saints won the game but it was Justin Herbert who stole the show. The Chargers only have one win on the year but their future looks bright under Herbert. New Orleans now has a winning record once again.
Justin Herbert is in the Midst of a Breakout
The Chargers have a single win through five games. They're likely going to miss the playoffs this year and look to build up for 2021 through the draft. The good news is that they will be building on a cornerstone piece at quarterback. Herbert looked nothing short of immaculate versus the Saints. He completed three passes of over 25 yards. Two of those went to Mike Williams while another went to Jaylen Guyton. He wasn't perfect on short and intermediate throws but those will come with time and practice. If Herbert has already locked in his deep ball, Los Angeles will be putting up points for years to come.
The concern moving forward will be the loss of Keenan Allen. The Chargers' star receiver caught both of his targets for 29 yards and a score in the first quarter. He then left with a back injury and never returned to the game. He was seen getting stretched by trainers on the sidelines but missed the ensuing three quarters. In his absence, Mike Williams stepped up in a major way. He caught five passes and turned them into 109 yards and two scores. When everyone is healthy, Herbert is going to have a great set of weapons and all of the talent necessary to take advantage of them.
Fantasy Slant: The Chargers had their bye week moved to this coming week so none of their fantasy players will be available until Week 7. If Allen is still sidelined by then, Williams is an easy plug-and-play starter. Justin Jackson carried the ball 15 times and caught five of his six targets. He totaled 94 yards on the day. Joshua Kelley, on the other hand, only saw 12 touches and managed 38 yards. Jackson is worth considering at the flex when LA returns while Kelley should remain on the bench outside of leagues with deep starting rosters.
New Orleans Does Enough to Win
Monday night wasn't perfect for New Orleans but they left with a win. They have three victories on the year and get a bye week before facing Carolina in a battle for the NFC South. Brees struggled in the first half. He led the Saints to just 10 points prior to halftime and threw an errant pass that was intercepted and nearly taken back for a touchdown by Nasir Adderley. Herbert connected with Hunter Henry for the score shortly after. Brees rebounded in the second half by missing on only one of seven pass attempts at least 10 yards downfield. His arm has looked like it was ready to give up at multiple points this year but Brees continues to bounce back and find ways to win. He ultimately led New Orleans to their third comeback of 17 or more points in franchise history. With Michael Thomas expected to be back after their bye week, he should continue to be an efficient but conservative passer.
Fantasy Slant: Emmanuel Sanders led New Orleans with a whopping 14 targets. He converted them into 12 catches for 122 yards. Sanders won't see that kind of volume once Thomas returns but could resurface in Saints shootouts. Alvin Kamara was targeted 10 times and caught eight balls for 74 yards. In PPR leagues, Kamara remains the RB1 overall based on his role as a pass-catcher.
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The Falcons fired head coach Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff after Atlanta's loss to the Panthers. This doesn't change much for the fantasy players in the mix in Atlanta but it does affect the team's long-term outlook. Atlanta will begin the search for a new leader immediately unless Raheem Morris can turn the team around as interim head coach. Without a win on the books, Atlanta could be faced with a difficult decision in the draft between clinging on to Matt Ryan or beginning again with a young passer.
Dalvin Cook appears to have escaped Sunday night with nothing more than a minor groin injury. The Vikings have a Week 7 bye so he could end up missing a single game. Alexander Mattison remains a solid add off the waiver wire but will only be a one-week rental at best. He went for 112 yards on 20 carries after Cook left versus the Seahawks. Sammy Watkins is set to miss multiple weeks after suffering a hamstring injury against the Raiders. Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman will vie for the No. 2 receiver job in Kansas City. Robinson saw one more target than Hardman in Week 5 but the latter offers more upside with his game-breaking speed. As expected, Christian McCaffrey looks to be out for at least one more game. Mike Davis will continue to do an incredible impression of McCaffrey for another week.