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Week Five Takeaways: The Essential In The AFC South

@DanT_NFL is here to cover all the essential takeaways from NFL Week Five. Read on about the AFC South.

We are now over a month into this NFL season! We must focus on the top takeaways now that we have film and statistics to study.  No longer can we rest on our offseason takes of who will succeed and who will fail. We now have a reasonably large sample size of NFL football. The fantasy season will move quickly, and in a dynasty, it is essential to acquire players before they break out or unload players before they falter. We can lead our team to a fantasy football title by focusing on weekly top takeaways!

Dameon Pierce Looks Like A Stud

Dameon Pierce is a full-on bell cow in this Houston Texans offense and is getting the Derrick Henry treatment. This week that meant 26 carries for Pierce and five targets. The rookie from Florida has been very impressive this season and is the steal of rookie drafts if anyone selected him after the middle of the second round. 

Pierce served a pivotal role in this offense during Houston’s 13 to 6 victory over AFC South rival Jacksonville. Pierce now has back-to-back games with over 100 yards from scrimmage and three straight weeks with at least 15 touches. The question many dynasty managers have now is whether or not the time is right to move Pierce. Anyone who drafted him this past spring can quickly flip him for a 2023 first-round rookie pick. If your squad was rebuilding and lucked into Pierce, that may be the wise move. 

Robert Woods Eating Without Competition

Treylon Burks is headed to the injured reserve and will miss at least the next four weeks of the season. In his absence, Robert Woods has taken over the alpha dog role. This week, he commanded eight targets that he converted into four receptions for 37 yards. Not a very notable stat line, but it was good enough for a 32% target share in a very limited offense.

We say limited offense because Derrick Henry looks like he is in midseason form. This included today’s performance, where he had 28 carries. Another thing limiting Woods was the lack of offense from the Commanders’ side of the ball. He is the top dog in this passing game, but that won’t be worth more than a WR3 with WR2 upside for your fantasy lineups. 

Alec Pierce Breakout Game

Another week and another breakout for one of the 2022 wide receiver class members. Pierce commanded nine targets in Indianapolis’s Thursday night victory over the Broncos. He turned that into eight receptions for 81 yards. The biggest takeaway, however, might be the timing of those targets. Whenever Matt Ryan needed a clutch first-down or was scrambling around the pocket, it was Pierce that he would find with the ball. 

Pierce has seen a steady uptick in production week after week this season. He has eclipsed the 200-yard mark on the season but has yet to find the endzone. Hopefully, the uptick in production will continue. We generally look for rookie receivers to break the 700-yard mark to solidify a successful rookie campaign, but Pierce is on pace to fall just short of that mark. 

Etienne Taking Over

If we consider Travis Etienne a rookie, this production trajectory makes perfect sense. The problem is that he is not a rookie and most people overlook that he didn’t play last year. In Sunday’s loss to AFC South rival Houston Texans, Etienne and Robinson saw ten carries. Etienne was far more efficient with his given workload, turning in 71 yards compared to only 27 by Robinson. 

For fantasy purposes, looking at the receiving workload may be more critical. In that department, Etienne outpaced Robinson. Travis Etienne could command five targets, while James Robinson only saw two. In the post-game presser, head coach Doug Pederson even emphasized the importance of getting Etienne more involved in the offense. Anyone fan of Etienne should be looking to buy this week before he has a blow-up game. 

Information is the most powerful tool any dynasty fantasy football manager possesses. If you can stay on top of the correct information more than your league-mates, you will come out on top. The AFC South is home to some key fantasy players. Be sure to check back with us, as we will be breaking down takeaways from every division this week. And be sure to come back next week, as we will be doing the same for all 18 weeks of the 2022 NFL season!

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I hope you enjoyed this piece in our Winning With Vegas series. For more content like this, follow me on Twitter @DanT_NFL. DMs are always open for any questions, comments, or craft beer recommendations!

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