Week 5 Fantasy Football Matchups

Breaking down the Week 5 fantasy matchups.

Chicago Bears @ Indianapolis Colts

Colts -4; O/U 47.5

BearsBrian Hoyer should be a reliable start if fantasy owners are desperate for quarterbacks. He has looked very good in his two weeks and gets to play a bad Colts defense in a dome. If you have a QB on bye, or don’t want to start Matt Ryan vs the Broncos for instance, Hoyer isn’t a bad option. Jordan Howard should be featured once again in the offense and is a must play this week. The Bears receiving options are where it gets tricky. Alshon Jeffery is a weaker play from the combination of Hoyer at QB, and his injuries. Kevin White was just placed on IR, meaning that both Eddie Royal and Zach Miller become very nice plays this week.

Colts – Playing at home this week greatly benefits the Colts. Andrew Luck should do his usual thing where he starts off slow before firing off 300 yards and a couple scores in the second half. It’s not a 5-star matchup for Luck, but it’s certainly not a lock down defense. Old Father Time Frank Gore refuses to answer the call at age of 33. He’s put up double digit points every week, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t do it again. With the injury to Donte Moncrief, TY Hilton has really stepped up his game. Philip Dorsett is one guy many are expecting to take on a bigger role, but he’s yet to show the ability to do so. Jack Doyle has also become the tight end to own in Indianapolis over Dwayne Allen. Average matchup here, these two would be touchdown dependent.

Houston Texans @ Minnesota Vikings

Vikings -6; O/U 40

Texans – Houston, we have a problem. The Vikings defense is scary legit, making numerous Texans very questionable to play in fantasy. Brock Osweiler cannot be started unless you literally have no other potential replacements. Running back Lamar Miller will get his touches, but I would lower your expectations of what to expect from your RB1. Same goes for receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who is coming off a dud week and gets top corner Xavier Rhodes. You can’t sit him, but don’t be surprised with a lackluster game. If anyone has a glimmer of hope, its Will Fuller. He’s so goddamn fast and could capitalize on the attention Hopkins garners. Even then it’s still a stretch, but at least there’s hope.

Vikings – Sam Bradford should never be your starting fantasy QB, especially against this defense. Running back Jerick McKinnon showed great flashes Monday night, and would be a great flex play or RB2 if you need assistance. I could see him being more involved. Matt Asiata is a great goal line vulture who could steal a touchdown should you be uber desperate for RBs. The only real receiving options the Vikings have are Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph. It’s not a plus matchup for the two but Diggs has worked his way to be a solid WR3 while Rudolph has entered into the “must start” category after three straight weeks of scoring.

New England Patriots @ Cleveland Browns

Patriots -10; O/U 47

Patriots – It’s Week 5, which means that Tom Brady is back in New England and we couldn’t be happier. Owners can finally plug him into that starting spot for the rest of the season. LeGarrette Blount (if he’s active) provides some upside if this becomes a blow out and the Pats elect to just run the ball to end the game. He could score some garbage time or goal line touchdowns. James White gets a considerate bump, as he better fits with Brady as a receiving back out of the backfield. He could be a nice RB2/Flex play this week. Patriots receivers all get a huge boost as Julian Edelman and Martellus Bennett are the two biggest risers. I’m not sold on Rob Gronkowski being fully healthy and “Gronking out” just yet, so Bennett could flourish in a larger role. Receivers Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola could be viable streaming options if necessary.

Browns – After what seemed like a potentially promising fantasy offense in the preseason, it turns out the Browns will always be sub-par. Isaiah Crowell has looked great and could be used early to set the tone for Cleveland. Duke Johnson could be a possible target hog if the Browns fall behind fast and are forced to pass. At receiver, Terrell Pryor is really the only guy worth starting, but knowing Belichick, he’ll look to take away Pryor. Gary Barnidge has some potential with most of the attention shifted to Pryor.

New York Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers -7; O/U 48.5

 Jets- Ryan Fitzpatrick has looked like utter dog shit the last two weeks. I’d avoid him at all costs. The Steelers represent a good matchup for running backs which help both Matt Forte and Bilal Powell. If the Jets fall behind though, Powell could be used more in the receiving game which would limit Forte’s touches. Knowing that Eric Decker is out, the duo of Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa are nice starts this week. Again, with the Jets likely to fall behind, there will be plenty of passes to go around against Pittsburgh.

Steelers – This is a great matchup for Ben Roethlisberger, and he’s got the chance to put up the most fantasy points this week. The Jets secondary isn’t what it used to be, while their front seven has been very good against the run. Throw, throw and throw some more Ben. Le’Veon Bell may not get a ton of yards on the ground, but he’ll get his share of receptions. DeAngelo Williams though, has seen his usage plummet. He should not be in your lineup any longer. Antonio Brown at home against the aging Darrelle Revis? Yes please. Sammie Coates looks to be the #2 receiver in Pittsburgh over Markus Wheaton and Eli Rogers — while he’s out with an injury. Coates would make for a nice flex option. Like most tight ends, Jesse James is touchdown dependent. He’s got a plus matchup against the Jets.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lions

Eagles -2; O/U 46

Eagles – Philly fans are all hyped with the emergence of rookie Carson Wentz, who has a great matchup against Detroit. The Lions have been one of the worst teams in fantasy points allowed to QBs. Wentz and company have had a week to get ready for this one. RB Ryan Mathews is still a little banged up but is expected to start. He’s a RB2 for this matchup, but there could be a big ceiling for Darren Sproles. He would make a nice flex play. With Mathews starting, Wendell Smallwood can’t afford to be started in leagues. Jordan Matthews has a plus matchup against the Lions secondary, as does tight end Zach Ertz. The Lions have given up at least one touchdown to a tight end every week so far this year.

Lions – Not many people are talking about the Eagles defense, which held Big Ben and the Steelers to three points in Week 3. This is a bad matchup for Matthew Stafford, with his only silver lining being that its at home. Theo Riddick is the only startable backfield option as a flex play knowing he will get receptions for PPR leagues. I don’t see many rushing yards for the Lions this week. Marvin Jones doesn’t have the most ideal setup going against Philadelphia, but you’re not benching him at all. The same can’t be said for Golden Tate however, he’s struggled greatly. Eric Ebron (ankle, knee) is most likely out for Sunday.

Tennessee Titans @ Miami Dolphins

Dolphins -3.5; O/U 44

Titans – Former Heisman winner Marcus Mariota has struggled recently for the Titans, and although he gets a decent matchup against the Dolphins, he’s not worth starting this week. DeMarco Murray on the other hand, has been phenomenal and has an advantageous Dolphins defense to run against. He could be in for another big game, while his smashing success has really limited Derrick Henry‘s usage. The Titans receivers have been very lackluster so far. Delanie Walker has a plus matchup here and could very well be targeted heavily by Mariota. Tajae Sharpe could be a desperate WR3/Flex play if necessary, but nobody else is worth rostering in this offense.

Dolphins – The Titans have been very stingy against the pass, best seen by limiting DeAndre Hopkins to one catch last week. This is a poor matchup for Ryan Tannehill, along with most of the Dolphins offense. Jarvis Landry is the only one guaranteed to produce, whereas DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills will both need touchdowns to be fantasy relevant. Look elsewhere than Parker and Stills for receiver options. Jordan Cameron is unlikely to play this week.

Washington Redskins @ Baltimore Ravens

Ravens -3.5; O/U 47

Redskins – Last week against the Browns, Kirk Cousins threw for three touchdowns but under 200 yards. It was an interesting stat line, but one we expected. The Ravens defense brings a much better challenge making Cousins a middle-tier QB play. After Matt Jones exploded last week, don’t expect to see that production again this week. The Ravens are stout against the run. The Redskins have a lot of options through the air, making it hard to predict who will have the big day. DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed all have the potential for big days. The only question is, which one? The smart money is on Reed, but the matchup says Jackson.

Ravens – There’s nothing special about this matchup for Joe Flacco. He should be used out of desperation or if the defense is a juicy one, which this is not. Running back Terrance West has a great matchup against Washington who has struggled against the run. They were burned by Isaiah Crowell last week, and John Harbaugh should look to ride his hot hand in the backfield. Hopefully the return of Kenneth Dixon doesn’t eat into his touches too much. It is also a plus matchup for wide receivers, as Steve Smith should continue to put up great numbers. Mike Wallace could also bounce back this week as a streaming/flex option. Dennis Pitta will see his share of targets, but there’s nothing special here.

Atlanta Falcons @ Denver Broncos

Broncos -6; O/U 47.5

Falcons – Atlanta gets the dreaded fantasy matchup against the elite Broncos defense. Matt Ryan has been the best QB in fantasy football through four weeks, but it’s tough to start him against a defense that has allowed a maximum of 206 passing yards in a single game. The only ounce of hope for Atlanta fantasy owners is Devonta Freeman, as he should be getting a ton of work on Sunday. Tevin Coleman suffers from sickle cell trait, which makes it difficult to play in high altitudes. He’s already worried about his ability, so he could be dialed back immensely, working in Freeman’s favor. It’s not a great week to expect elite numbers from Julio Jones as the defense will look to lock him down all night. It’s best to just avoid playing all Falcons players except Jones and Freeman.

Broncos – The one player who should benefit the most from the QB situation is CJ Anderson. If Trevor Siemian dresses, he won’t be at 100%, and if he can’t play, then Paxton Lynch would be the guy making his first NFL start. Either way, Denver should feed Anderson the rock early and often. Receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders have plus matchups against the Falcons secondary, its just a matter of whichever quarterback being able to get them the ball.

Buffalo Bills @ Los Angeles Rams

Rams -2.5; O/U 40

Bills – The fantasy weapons in Buffalo are few and far between. LeSean McCoy is an elite RB1 and should be used heavily in an offense missing some weapons. The Rams secondary has had some issues, making this an intriguing play to new #1 receiver Robert Woods. He could build on his success the past two weeks with Sammy Watkins sidelined. Aside from McCoy and Woods, I wouldn’t feel very comfortable starting anyone else on this offense.

Rams – Similar to the Bills, the Rams also have struggled to produce fantasy talent. Star Todd Gurley has looked like anything but the part so far, while no receivers are really worthy of putting in your lineups. The Bills provide a plus matchup for running backs so this could be the week Gurley breaks out and looks like his rookie version. If you absolutely are scraping for flex receivers, possibly use Kenny Britt (questionable). He’s at least been consistently average. Still a big stretch.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys -1; O/U 45.5

Bengals – The Red Rifle Andy Dalton has put together a quietly good season thus far. Take out his game against the elite Denver D, and the customary low scoring Thursday Night game, and Dalton’s numbers look pretty good. It doesn’t help that Tyler Eifert injured his back at practice and will likely be out Sunday. The Cowboys secondary is pretty good at limiting opposing receivers, so stud AJ Green isn’t completely in the clear. Same goes for running backs Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard. The Cowboys have limited the number of points they allow to receivers and running backs.

Cowboys – The Bengals aren’t the most welcoming defense for Dak Prescott to face, then again, they certainly aren’t the worst. I would expect Ezekiel Elliott to be the face of the offense again with Dez Bryant questionable for Sunday. If Dez can’t go, that would be big for Cole Beasley and Brice Butler. The Cincinnati defense is pretty good, so there are no ideal matchups to exploit for the Cowboys.

San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders

Raiders -4; O/U 52.5

Chargers – Now this is a plus matchup for Philip Rivers. Oakland has given up a lot of fantasy points to QBs and Rivers should be thrust into a shootout with the Raiders. Elite RB1 Melvin Gordon also has a plus matchup, as the Raiders defense struggles to contain opposing offenses. Gordon has been operating as the sole running back while dominating goal line looks. This should continue, much to the chagrin of Gordon owners. Someone from the trio of Travis Benjamin, Dontrelle Inman and Tyrell Williams should put up serious numbers. Inman was the guy last week, but Benjamin has been more reliable over the course of the season. Tight end Hunter Henry also has great value as long as Antonio Gates is sidelined. He found the end zone last week.

Raiders – Similar to Rivers, Derek Carr finds himself in a good spot. He’s looked very good this season and will only get better as time goes on. As far as running backs go, the Chargers should present a very nice opportunity to run wild, but with Latavius Murray very doubtful for the game, the backfield will be pretty muddy with DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard most likely splitting duties. Washington — who would get the crack at RB1 — would be the only play if you’re desperate for a Flex play. Amari Cooper has really struggled to get things going, while watching Michael Crabtree pull down TD after TD. The Chargers are sneaky good against wide receivers, making these two options a little less valuable.

New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers

Packers -7; O/U 48

Giants – Eli Manning on the road in Lambeau on prime time television? No thanks. We saw Bobby Rainey have some success receiving out of the backfield against the Vikings, but I think it’s best to avoid Giants running backs against the Packers’ front-seven. Where New York can do damage though, is through the air. The Packers rate as a plus matchup for Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz. We’re all waiting on ODB’s huge game, could SNF be the perfect stage? The Wolf thinks so.

Packers – Aaron Rodgers at home in Lambeau on prime time television? Yes please. Rodgers usually tears it up in the prime time games, which I’m very excited about. They could try and get Eddie Lacy going early on, but I would expect a lot of balls being thrown to Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb on Sunday night.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers

No line yet, due to Cam Newton being questionable

Bucs – What a difference a year makes for the Carolina defense. After being TORCHED by Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, you have to think that Jameis Winston has a chance to look good Monday night. The running game with Charles Sims has been very poor, forcing Winston to throw tons of passes. Beneficiary #1 from that? Enter Mike Evans. Guys a touchdown machine and could carve up this defense. It’s also a great opportunity for Cameron Brate to step out and make name for himself on a national stage. It’s best to add him before Monday night, because he will most likely be a prime waiver wire target next week. There’s some promise here against what once was a great Panthers defense.

Panthers – The big question is Cam Newton’s availability. He’s been in the concussion protocol all week, and we should know more on Friday or Saturday. If he does clear, the Bucs are a defense ripe for the picking and Cam should be licking his chops. Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen would both be very strong plays in Newton’s presence, as those two get targeted very heavily. Should Newton miss the game, those two take major hits as expected. Fozzy Whitaker provides the only streamable running back option, as he was used as a receiver often last week.

Author

  • THE Inaugural 2016 RSJ Fantasy Football League Champion. Owner of a #bigbrain, and lover of football, baseball and college hoops. When not grinding for the RSJ, can be found captaining his beer league softball team.

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