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Week 5 Rankings

By Cody Smith

Week 4 resulted in some interesting names at the top of the rankings. At wide receiver, Chris Godwin had the best week followed up by A.J. Brown, Kenny Golladay and Courtland Sutton. Two Rams receivers finished with top-10 weeks in a shootout 55-40 loss to the Buccaneers, as Cooper Kupp finished as WR6 and Robert Woods followed closely behind at WR8.

Speaking of the Rams and Bucs game, Jameis Winston broke out and put up QB1 numbers. Aaron Rodgers’ Thursday night performance netted him a QB2 finish on the week, and Jacoby Brissett picked up a surprising top-5 QB performance. Brissett is now the only quarterback in the NFL to throw for multiple touchdown passes in every game this season. Probably a bet I wouldn’t have made in the preseason.

Leonard Fournette finally topped 66 rushing yards in a game by running for 225 yards against a Broncos defense that had not allowed a 100-yard rusher on the season. Meanwhile the Steelers backfield lit it up Monday night with James Connor and Jaylen Samuel each posting top-10 numbers.

Week 5 brings the second week of bye weeks, but luckily most fantasy teams probably aren’t loaded with Dolphins and Lions players.

Injury Notes

Josh Allen needs to clear concussion protocol in order to play. Even if he does play, he is better left on the bench facing a top-10 defense in Tennessee.

Case Keenum has an “injured foot” but whoever ends up starting for Washington will have a tough go against the Patriots' defense.

Sam Darnold has been cleared for non-contact drills which makes us believe he is still at least another week from returning from his time off with mono. Should he play, he is a decent streaming option against a vulnerable Philly defense. Luke Falk, not so much.

James Connor should be able to go with his ankle injury. If he sits, Jaylen Samuels is a must start.

Marlon Mack is in a similar situation where he should be healthy enough to start. Nyheim Hines takes a jump forward if for some reason Mack can’t go.

Jamaal Williams took a scary shot to the head last week and will have to clear concussion protocol before playing this week. If Williams plays, he is a risky flex play. If he sits, Aaron Jones receives a minimal bump.

Emmanuel Sanders is currently questionable with a sore quad. Keep an eye on this injury, as Courtland Sutton could take a huge leap forward if Sanders sits.

Washington may take things slow with Terry McLaurin coming off a hamstring injury in a game against the Patriots. I would temper expectations. Chris Thompson may be the only Washington player worth starting.

Check out the rankings below.


Quarterbacks I like

Jameis Winston finally seems to be getting a grip of the Bruce Arians' offense. Unfortunately, over the course of his career, that usually means a relapse is soon to follow. I don’t believe that happens this week though as the team gets a match-up with a soft Saints' secondary. Winston, who is suddenly a top-10 quarterback after back-to-back big weeks, faces a defense that slowed down Dak Prescott last week, but also allowed big games from Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson in weeks 1 and 3 respectively.

My Rank: QB2

ESPN Rank: QB10

Jimmy Garoppolo comes straight off an early season bye into a match-up with the Browns on Monday night. Jimmy G hasn’t been spectacular, but I believe an extra week of preparation may bode well for the QB. The Browns picked up a win but failed to slow down Lamar Jackson last week who threw for nearly 250 yards and three touchdowns. I’m placing Garoppolo just inside QB1 territory this week.

My Rank: QB11

ESPN Rank: QB13

Kyle Allen posted a stinker last week with 232 passing yards, zero touchdowns and three lost fumbles. This was coming off a four-touchdown game against Arizona in Week 3. I believe this performance falls somewhere in between - a bold prediction, I know. He could be worth a play in deep leagues.

My Rank: QB18

ESPN Rank: QB25

Quarterbacks to avoid

Matt Ryan had a tough go of things last week in a touchdown-less performance against the Titans. This week he faces the Texans who have been tough on quarterbacks. Houston was solid last week against Kyle Allen and limited Gardner Minshew in Week 2. I expect Ryan to still put up borderline QB1 numbers, but I don’t think you can just set it and forget it with the veteran this week.

My Rank: QB10

ESPN Rank: QB4

Dak Prescott is another QB who couldn’t find the endzone last week even in a weak match-up. This week’s match-up with Green Bay is tougher by a wide margin as the Green Bay defense has been tough on quarterbacks, though Carson Wentz did have his way with them last week.

My Rank: QB12

ESPN Rank: QB6

Mason Rudolph completed 85-percent of his passes last week. The trouble with this is that 66 percent of those completions were to running backs. Rudolph hasn’t stretched the field much since taking over for Ben Roethlisberger. A match-up with the Ravens could be tough, as these match-ups usually result in low scoring contests. The Ravens have allowed over 340 passing yards each of the last three weeks, but unless Rudolph takes a few shots down the field, that won’t happen this week.

My Rank: QB27

ESPN Rank: QB18

Week 5 Quarterbacks Rankings

1. Patrick Mahomes vs. Ind

2. Jameis Winston @NO

3. Deshaun Watson vs. Atl

4. Lamar Jackson @Pit

5. Tom Brady @Wsh

6. Carson Wentz vs. NYJ

7. Jacoby Brissett @KC

8. Russell Wilson vs. LAR

9. Kyler Murray @Cin

10. Matt Ryan @Hou

11. Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Cle

12. Dak Prescott vs. GB

13. Aaron Rodgers @Dal

14. Jared Goff @Sea

15. Andy Dalton vs. Ari

16. Teddy Bridgewater vs. TB

17. Baker Mayfield @SF

18. Kyle Allen vs. Jax

19. Kirk Cousins @NYG

20. Philip Rivers vs. Den

21. Gardner Minshew II @Car

22. Chase Daniel @Oak

23. Joe Flacco @LAC

24. Derek Carr vs. Chi

25. Daniel Jones vs. Min

26. Marcus Mariota vs. Buf

27. Mason Rudolph vs. Bal

28. Luke Falk @Phi

29. Matt Barkley @Ten

30. Washington QB vs. NE

Running Backs I Like

Devonta Freeman has not been great on the ground this season. In three of four games this season Freeman has averaged under three-yards-per-carry. The good news is the Falcons finally expanded Freeman’s role in the passing game last week. The Texans have allowed at least an average of eight receptions to running backs this season for an average of 63 yards per game. Freeman could have a big week if he is involved in the passing game again.

My Rank: RB16

ESPN Rank: RB21

Josh Jacobs is facing the stout run defense of the Chicago Bears this week, which makes me wonder why exactly I have him so high this week. Jacobs hasn’t been involved in the passing game much at all, but I believe he will have to be this weekend for the Raiders to find success. Getting the ball out of Derek Carr’s hands quickly will be key to beating a fierce pass rush. Jacobs gets the lion share of the opportunities at RB which will help his opportunity to score points.

My Rank: RB18

ESPN Rank: RB27

Chris Thompson has been quite consistent through the first four weeks. Thompson has posted either 14 or 10 points in each of the first four games. I would lean closer to 14 this week as Washington should be playing from behind all game against the Patriots.

My Rank: RB21

ESPN Rank: RB29

Running Backs to Avoid

Leonard Fournette finally broke out last week with a 225-yard performance against Denver. Carolina is next on the schedule and have limited opponents on the ground lately, allowing just 255 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown the last three weeks combined. Fournette could slip up this week, but I think you still must play him if you have him, just limit expectations.

My Rank: RB14

ESPN Rank: RB8

Joe Mixon has been a disappointment to fantasy owners this season. He was drafted in some leagues as an RB1 and thanks to the Bengals lack of offensive and defensive production, Mixon has been limited. Mixon has not carried the ball over 15 times a game or had more than 62 rushing yards in a single game. This week Mixon gets Arizona, where the pass defense is far worse than the rush defense. This could be a shootout between two bad teams, but I’m thinking Mixon is closer to a low-end RB2 this week than a low-end RB1.

My Rank: RB20

ESPN Rank: RB12

Austin Ekeler had a good run. Melvin Gordon is back, and the coaching staff believes he is ready. If Gordon is eased back into action, Ekeler may still hold RB2 value, but I believe the Chargers are going all in on Gordon from the start, which may push Ekeler into the flex range.

My Rank: RB25

ESPN Rank: RB14

Week 5 Runningback Rankings

1. Dalvin Cook @NYG

2. Ezekiel Elliott vs. GB

3. Christian McCaffrey vs.Jax

4. Alvin Kamara vs. TB

5. David Johnson @Cin

6. Todd Gurley II @Sea

7. Le’Veon Bell @Phi

8. Derrick Henry vs. Buf

9. Nick Chubb @SF

10. Mark Ingram II @Pit

11. Chris Carson vs. LAR

12. Marlon Mack @KC

13. James Connor vs. Bal

14. Leonard Fournette @Car

15. Wayne Gallman vs. Min

16. Devonta Freeman @Hou

17. David Montgomery @Oak

18. Josh Jacobs vs. Chi

19. Aaron Jones @Dal

20. Joe Mixon vs. Ari

21. Chris Thompson vs. NE

22. Phillip Lindsay @LAC

23. James White @Wsh

24. LeSean McCoy vs. Ind

25. Austin Ekeler vs. Den

26. Damien Williams vs. Ind

27. Royce Freeman @LAC

28. Melvin Gordon vs. Den

29. Jordan Howard vs. NYJ

30. Miles Sanders vs. NYJ

31. Tarik Cohen @Oak

32. Rex Burkhead @Wsh

33. Sony Michel @Wsh

34. Carlos Hyde vs. Atl

35. Tevin Coleman vs. Cle

36. Frank Gore @Ten

37. Ronald Jones II @NO

38. Peyton Barber @NO

39. Matt Breida vs. Cle

40. Jamaal Williams @Dal

41. Jaylen Samuels vs. Bal

42. Devin Singletary @Ten

43. Adrian Peterson vs. NE

44. Duke Johnson vs. Atl

45. Nyheim Hines @KC

46. Giovani Bernard vs. Ari

47. Rashaad Penny vs. LAR

48. Latavius Murray vs. TB

49. C.J. Prosise vs. LAR

50.Dion Lewis vs. Buf

Wide Receivers I Like

Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton were both able to find success last weekend against an above average defense in the Jacksonville Jaguars with Sanders going for over 100 yards and Sutton finding the endzone twice. This week the duo faces the Chargers, though Sanders has been slowed this week with a sore quad. If both go, I’m expecting a repeat of last week, as the LA defense has been just below average against the pass and have allowed four receiving touchdowns to wide outs in four games this season. Last year in LA, Sanders and Sutton combined for seven catches and 134 yards with Case Keenum in the game. Keenum only threw for a total of 205 yards in the game.

My Rank: WR12/13

ESPN Rank: WR24/25

Alshon Jeffery returned from an injury Thursday night against the tough Packers defense and found the endzone. This week he gets to feast on the 30th ranked pass defense of the New York Jets. The Jets have allowed wide receivers to total over 230 receiving yards in two of three games this season with Baker Mayfield (QB23) and Tom Brady (QB13) doing so. This week Carson Wentz (QB5) gets his chance.

My Rank: WR22

ESPN Rank: WR27

Cole Beasley is an intriguing flex play this week. Josh Allen may not play which would force Matt Barkley into action. If Barkley plays, he will more than likely be looking to complete some short passes near the line of scrimmage, something Beasley has excelled at throughout his career. Beasley has seen double digit targets the last two weeks and has hauled in 24 passes in four games this season.

My Rank: WR38

ESPN Rank: WR50

Wide Receivers to Avoid

Odell Beckham Jr. has had two sub-par weeks in a row against the Rams and Ravens. This week a tough San Francisco team awaits that has had a bye week to prepare for the Browns on a cross country trip. I’m expecting a slow night through the air on Monday Night Football for Baker and company. If you have OBJ, you must play him, but temper expectations.

My Rank: WR11

ESPN Rank: WR5

Adam Thielen has expressed his displeasure with the Vikings run-first offense, but at 2-2 on the season is anything going to change? Especially in a week where the team gets the New York Giants and will more than likely be in control of the game. I’m expecting the run-first nature of the Vikings to hold steady for another week, limiting Thielen’s value.

My Rank: WR18

ESPN Rank: WR12

Sammy Watkins got everyone excited Week 1 and since then has produced three straight duds. His time is running out as the No.1 receiver in Kansas City, as Tyreek Hill nears his return to the field. This may be the last chance Watkins has to make an impact. Unfortunately, the Chiefs play the Colts, who have limited wide receiving corps to under 100 total yards twice already this season.

My Rank: WR23

ESPN Rank: WR16

Week 5 Wide Receiver Rankings

1. Mike Evans @NO

2. Michael Thomas vs. TB

3. DeAndre Hopkins vs. Atl

4. Julio Jones @Hou

5. Keenan Allen vs.Den

6. Chris Godwin @NO

7. Tyler Lockett vs. LAR

8. Cooper Kupp @Sea

9. T.Y. Hilton @KC

10. Amari Cooper vs. GB

11. Odell Beckham Jr. @SF

12. Emmanuel Sanders @LAC

13. Courtland Sutton @LAC

14. Robert Woods @Sea

15. Julian Edelman @Wsh

16. Tyler Boyd vs. Ari

17. Sterling Shepard vs. Min

18. Adam Thielen @NYG

19. Allen Robinson II @Oak

20. Brandin Cooks @Sea

21. Marquez Valdes-Scantling @Dal

22. Alshon Jeffery vs. NYJ

23. Sammy Watkins vs. Ind

24. Juju Smith-Schuster vs. Bal

25. Marquise Brown @Pit

26. Larry Fitzgerald @Cin

27. Jarvis Landry @SF

28. Calvin Ridley @Hou

29. Terry McLaurin vs. NE

30. D.J. Moore vs. Jax

31. Stefon Diggs @NYG

32. Josh Gordon @Wsh

33. Jamison Crowder @Phi

34. D.J. Chark Jr. @Car

35. Tyrell Williams vs. Chi

36. Cole Beasley @Ten

37. Mohamed Sanu @Hou

38. John Brown @Ten

39. Geronimo Allison @Dal

40. Robby Anderson @Phi

41. Demarcus Robinson vs. Ind

42. Curtis Samuel vs. Jax

43. Michael Gallup vs. GB

44. Diontae Johnson vs. Bal

45. Will Fuller IV vs. Atl

46. DK Metcalf vs. LAR

47. Golden Tate vs. Min

48. Mecole Hardman vs. Ind

49. Mike Williams vs. Den

50. Auden Tate vs. Ari

Tight Ends I Like

Tyler Eifert gets his crack at the Arizona defense which is historically bad against tight ends. Arizona has allowed at least one touchdown to the position every week and I expect Eifert to continue that trend and post borderline TE1 numbers.

My Rank: TE11

ESPN Rank: TE14

Tight Ends to Avoid

Jason Witten has been targeted exactly four times each game. This isn’t quite a large enough target share to get me excited about playing him. Though the veteran has a pair of touchdowns and no less than three catches or 15 yards on the season, there are many better options this week. Witten plays Green Bay who is ranked 9th against tight ends, allowing just 152 receiving yards and one touchdown to the position in four games this season.

My Rank: TE20

ESPN Rank: TE12

Week 5 Tight End Rankings

1. Travis Kelce vs. Ind

2. Evan Engram vs.Min

3. George Kittle vs. Cle

4. Darren Waller vs. Chi

5. Mark Andrews @Pit

6. Greg Olsen vs. Jax

7. Zach Ertz vs. NYJ

8. Austin Hooper @Hou

9. Will Dissly vs. LAR

10. Jimmy Graham @Dal

11. Tyler Eifert vs. Ari

12. Delanie Walker vs. Buf

13. Jared Cook vs. TB

14. Vance McDonald vs. Bal

15. O.J. Howard @NO

16. Dawson Knox @Ten

17. Eric Ebron @KC

18. Jack Doyle @KC

19. Noah Fant @LAC

20. Jason Witten vs. GB

21. Vernon Davis vs. NE

22. Trey Burton @Oak

23. Gerald Everett @Sea

24. James O’Shaughnessy @Car

25.Jordan Akins vs. Atl

Week 4 likes/dislikes

Quarterback likes

Dak Prescott: My Rank - QB2; ESPN Rank - QB5; Actual finish - QB24

Case Keenum: My Rank - QB5; ESPN Rank - QB17; Actual finish - QB33

Tom Brady: My Rank - QB10; ESPN Rank - QB14; Actual finish - QB27

Quarterback dislikes

Deshaun Watson: My Rank - QB7; ESPN Rank - QB3; Actual finish - QB22

Matthew Stafford: My Rank - QB14; ESPN Rank - QB9; Actual finish - QB6

Matt Ryan: My Rank - QB13; ESPN Rank - QB8; Actual finish - QB16

Running Back likes

Derrick Henry: My Rank - RB6; ESPN Rank - RB13; Actual finish - RB21

Mark Ingram: My Rank - RB5; ESPN Rank - RB12; Actual finish - RB33

Josh Jacobs: My Rank - RB13; ESPN Rank - RB19; Actual finish - RB21

Running Back dislikes

Leonard Fournette: My Rank - RB12; ESPN Rank - RB9; Actual finish - RB3

Todd Gurley: My Rank - RB17; ESPN Rank - RB11; Actual finish - RB7

Phillip Lindsay: My Rank - RB18; ESPN Rank - RB15; Actual finish - RB31

Wide Receiver likes

T.Y. Hilton: My Rank - WR3; ESPN Rank - WR16; Actual finish - N/A

Amari Cooper: My Rank - WR2; ESPN Rank - WR9; Actual finish - WR40

Adam Thielen: My Rank - WR14; ESPN Rank - WR18; Actual finish - WR97

Wide Receiver dislikes

Julian Edelman: My Rank - WR19; ESPN Rank - WR11; Actual finish - WR60

Juju Smith-Schuster: My Rank - WR26; ESPN Rank - WR12; Actual finish - WR75

Chris Godwin: My Rank - WR28; ESPN Rank - WR19; Actual Finish - WR1

Tight End likes

Dawson Knox: My Rank - TE19; ESPN Rank - NR; Actual finish - TE17

Tight End dislikes

Jimmy Graham: My Rank - TE23; ESPN Rank - TE22; Actual finish - TE3

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