Each week, TSN.ca Fantasy Editor Scott Cullen and NFL Editors Ben Fisher and Mitch Ward discuss three hot fantasy football topics.
1) Was Week 5 TY Hilton's coming out party, or is he still just a low-end WR2/flex play?
Cullen: I like Hilton quite a bit, but even though I think his Week 5 performance helps to clarify that he's ahead of Darrius Heyward-Bey in the Colts' wide receiver plans, Hilton hasn't done it consistently enough to be more than a low-end No. 2 or Flex receiver. He has gone over 100 yards twice this season, and those games are great, but Hilton has 78 yards total in the other three games and it's risky to have a starting wide receiver who has that kind of downside.
Fisher: Hilton started the year as nothing more than a flex play as he was behind Darrius Heyward-Bey on the Colts depth chart. But we all knew that wouldn't last long, and now that he's surpassed DHB his weekly totals are more indicative of the type of receiver he is. Hilton is going to have a great career in Indy playing with Andrew Luck but he's still splitting targets with Reggie Wayne this year. There are too many stud receivers more consistent than Hilton to consider him a WR1; I like the sophomore pass catcher more as a solid WR2 for the rest of the year.
Ward: Hilton has tremendous potential and is going to have plenty more days like the 140-yard, two touchdown one he had in Week 5 playing alongside Andrew Luck in Indy. However, he just isn't going to be consistent enough to be considered a WR1 at this point in his career. For now, he is a hit or miss WR2 capable of going off for huge numbers, but equally as capable of being held to only a few.
2) Is Cam Newton worth hanging on to after his slow start?
Cullen: After a Week 3 performance against the New York Giants, in which he counted for four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing), Newton was off to a good start -- his 18.7 Fantasy points per game at that point would rank eighth right now -- but coming off a bye week, Newton laid an egg in Arizona, dropping his numbers. Such is the fluctuation in value this early in the season. Anyway, I say ride with Newton because his next four opponents -- Minnesota, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Atlanta -- are a combined 4-14, so if Newton can't produce against that opposition, it will be readily apparent at that point what the answer should be to this question.
Fisher: Nope. Too many times we hold on to players projected to play better and all they do is burn a spot on our bench. The Panthers have been a mess this year and it's hard to see them improving too much while the owner may or may not be conducting a preliminary search to replace head coach Ron Rivera. If you have the space on your bench then hold on to Newton he finds his game this year, but the third-year QB has barely outscored a number of QBs that find themselves on the waiver wire each week.
Ward: Yes. Newton has underperformed so far this season, but he has more talent and upside than the QBs likely to be sitting on the waiver wire you might replace him with. He also has some pretty juicy matchups in the coming weeks that could be just what the doctor ordered to get his season back on track. Don't give up on him just yet.
3) Considering the team's shaky QB situation, are either of the Jaguars' top WRs worth a spot on your fantasy team?
Cullen: Even with terrible quarterbacks, both Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon are worth owning. Shorts leads the league in targets (61) and his 82.2 receiving yards per game ranks 17th, which is enough to be a low-end No. 2 or Flex starter in most weeks. Blackmon has only played one game, after missing the first four due to suspension, but he still had five catches for 136 yards and a touchdown. One thing about losing -- and the Jaguars will lose a lot this season -- is that teams have to throw the ball in an attempt to cut into the deficit. That means plenty of looks for both Shorts and Blackmon and enough value to be owned in most fantasy leagues.
Fisher: Cecil Shorts has quietly put up a top 25 WR performance in most scoring formats through five weeks. That might not continue however as Shorts should surrender targets to Justin Blackmon moving forward, regardless who's throwing the ball. Blackmon however could be worth starting after his impressive 2013 debut last week. He had five catches for 136 yards and a touchdown, finishing in the top 10 among receivers. You can't expect a touchdown from Blackmon every week – the Jaguars are terrible – but if he keeps out of trouble the young wideout should perform as a strong WR2.
Ward: Yes to both Shorts and Blackmon. I am particularly high on Blackmon who showed exactly how good he can be in his first game of the year with 136 yards and a score. While the QB situation in Jacksonville is iffy at best, the Jags will pretty much always be trailing this season and be forced to throw a lot of passes. This means lots of opportunity for both Blackmon and Shorts. The team might be awful, but these two can help your fantasy roster.