By: Alex Michael (Twitter: @DynastyGuruNFL)
QB – Start ‘Em
Jared Goff (LAR vs Washington Football Team)
I actually traded Jared Goff away last weekend in one of my leagues for Baker Mayfield (who you will find in the Sit-‘Em section for this week’s games)! However, that is nothing against Goff who has a great match-up on Sunday against the Washington Football Team. Whilst the Washington defense has improved considerably from last season and looked great Week 1 against the Eagles, they have only managed 3 sacks in their last two games. Washington have allowed on average 230 passing yards to opposition QBs so far and have also allowed 3 rushing TDs from QBs (it is worth mentioning that those QBs were Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson). Goff has made on average 4 runs in each game so far and already has a rushing TD to his name and this could be where he has an opportunity to provide a boost to fantasy managers this week. With a new-look Washington offense, Goff and the Rams should also see a lot more time on the field.
Teddy Bridgewater (CAR vs Atlanta Falcons)
Teddy Bridgewater has had a mixed start to the season so far but, he is going into Sunday after his best game so far as a Panther, which was against a tough Cardinals defense. If Bridgewater can replicate last week’s performance against a depleted Atlanta Falcons, he can potentially be the difference in your fantasy match-up this week. The Falcons who are 0-4 have had a sorry start to the season and this essentially stems from the Falcons defense allowing at least 383 scrimmage yards in Weeks 1-4. Each opposition QB (including a combination of Foles and Trubisky’s stats in the Falcons’ game against the Chicago Bears) against Atlanta has scored 4 TDs in total, either through the air or on the run (mostly in the case of Dak’s hat-trick of rushing TDs in Week 2). With DJ Moore still looking to break-out this season, it could be a great chance for both Teddy B and the WR corps to kick the Panthers up to the top-spot in the NFC South division this weekend.
Russell Wilson (SEA vs Minnesota Vikings)
This one might be a “state-the-obvious” call for Week 5 but it should be constantly recognised that Russell Wilson is as ever, putting himself in the candidacy for MVP and with 16 passing TDs already to his name through 4 games, it is more than likely that this will continue in this weekend’s match-up against the Vikings. With both Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf in-tune with Wilson, it has crumbled opposition so far, and the Hawks will definitely be looking to maintain their perfect record so far against a Minnesota team who are 1-3 and have allowed 7 TDs to wide-receivers. In each of the 4 games that the Vikings have played so far, they have allowed at least one receiver to get 100+ receiving yards and this looks favourably on both the Seahawks WR and TE corps, as well as Wilson.
QB – Sit ‘Em
Baker Mayfield (CLE vs Indianapolis Colts)
Now I know what you’re thinking, Baker Mayfield is one of the most in-form QBs at the moment and the offense orchestrated by Kevin Stefanski really seems to be clicking. You would be correct. However, they are coming up against a very strong Colts defense. The Colts in Week 1 conceded 27 points against the Jaguars in what was their only loss so far this season. Since that loss in Week 1, the Colts have only allowed a total of 29 points (including minimising the Vikings to just 11 points in Week 2) in their last three games. Baker and the offensive-line have a lot to contend with this week and so he may not be the safest option.
Daniel Jones (NYG vs Dallas Cowboys)
Daniel Jones hasn’t really been allowed to come into his own this season and there are a lot of problems with his offensive-line. The Giants find themselves 0-4 and have scored the lowest points in the entire NFL, after week 4 (that’s right, they’ve scored 18 points less than the Jets)! With Barkley on IR and no clear WR1 in New York it is a big-risk play to start DJ this week. However, he is coming up against a Cowboys defense who have conceded the most points in the NFL, after week 4 (that’s right, they’ve allowed 15 points more than the Jets)! To add, this is also a divisional game and the Cowboys who are 1-3 will be reluctant to give Daniel Jones an easy job on Sunday.
Matt Ryan (ATL vs Carolina Panthers)
The Atlanta Falcons are currently undergoing their worst start to a season with Matt Ryan at the helm and whilst Ryan hasn’t necessarily been the catalyst, the Falcons are up against a Panthers team that has conceded only 1 TD per game to opposition wide-receivers (1.25 TDs per game when including tight-ends). With that in mind, Julio Jones is still questionable to start and Calvin Ridley drew a blank last week on 5 receptions, scoring zero points (this probably won’t ever happen again) and so, it doesn’t give too much confidence that the Falcons offense and Ryan in particular will help win your week’s match-up. To summarise, Ryan’s production will largely depend on Ridley this week.
RB – Start ‘Em
Antonio Gibson (WAS vs Los Angeles Rams)
I know what you’re going to say fantasy players, “that the Washington Football Team have just changed their QB mid-week and there is absolutely no way this will be a good week for Gibson.” However, Gibson has on average 11 carries and 3 targets so far and after each week that production seems to be increasing including in Gibson’s most recent game against a tough Baltimore defense. It’s no secret that Ron Rivera is a big fan of Gibson, having compared him to Christian McCaffrey after the draft and with Kyle Allen now taking the hot-seat and familiar with a Rivera style offense, it has the potential to be his best week yet for the RB who already has three rushing TDs to his name. The Rams have conceded a few rushing TDs already this season so there may be opportunities for Gibson to sneak through and snag another.
Josh Jacobs (LV vs Kansas City Chiefs)
I know what you are thinking. “Jacobs hasn’t scored a touchdown since his explosive performance in Week 1”. But, in the last two games, Jacobs has only amassed 16 and 15 touches respectively may is a key factor as to why JJ has not performed as strongly as expected, especially when comparing his production to the first two weeks of the season. As Gruden has noted in the past, he is wary about giving Jacobs too much of a heavy workload but, after two losses in a row, this is very likely to change and Jacobs could be given between 20 and 25 touches again this Sunday. Even though the Chiefs have only allowed 1 rushing TD from a running back this season, a saving grace for Jacobs owners is that last week the Chiefs allowed former Alabama running-mate Damien Harris (of the Patriots) to run for 100 yards. It is going to be a “give the ball to Jacobs” kind of game for the Raiders.
Jerrick McKinnon (SF vs Miami Dolphins)
Last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, McKinnon took the lion’s share of offensive plays for the 49ers and was on-the-field for 92% of offensive snaps. Since the injuries to both Coleman and Mostert, McKinnon has established himself as “the guy” by scoring a TD in each of his games so far this season. McKinnon has so far scored 3 TDs on-the-ground and one in-the-air proving to be useful in both the running and passing game. This should prove to be a favourable match-up against the Dolphins who have conceded at least 2 rushing TDs in 3 out of the 4 games they’ve faced so far (the only exception being the Bills who went big on the passing-front in Week 2). It is worth noting that McKinnon owners should keep an eye out for whether Deebo Samuel is cleared to play. If Samuel looks to feature, this could reduce some of McKinnon’s production potential, if McKinnon is to line-up as a receiver.
RB – Sit ‘Em
Melvin Gordon (DEN vs the New England Patriots)
Phillip Lindsay is back. It has already been mentioned by the Broncos coach Vic Fangio and the intention is that both backs will be used in Monday’s game against the Patriots. Whilst Gordon is still expected to be involved considerably in the game, it is difficult to tell what sort of role he will carve out for himself now that both Gordon and Lindsay will take the field for a large percentage of offensive snaps. The Broncos are without both Courtland Sutton and seemingly Noah Fant so, this could see Gordon double-up as the pass-catching back, leaving Lindsay in-line to take home the goal-line rushes, similarly to the Hunt/Chubb combination in Cleveland Weeks 1-3. To caveat this decision, Gordon is unlikely to be a complete bust this week but, if you have options available, you may want to pick them ahead of Gordon.
Kenyan Drake (AZ vs New York Jets)
What is Kenyan Drake doing here, you say? Well, I’ll tell you! Kenyan Drake has underwhelmed so far this season, and with this, it has given Edmonds a chance to impress, at least as a receiver. Edmonds has 2 receiving TDs to his name already and is giving Kliff Kingsbury every reason to keep him on the field and there is an inclination that Edmonds may see an increased number of touches in a game that favours skill players, such as Edmonds. Even though Drake is facing a very poor New York Jets who have conceded a rushing TD in all four games, the Cardinals could line-up with two RBs in most formations but the Jets are more likely to have Drake under-wraps more so this could mean that goal-line opportunities could fall for Edmonds.
James White (NE vs Denver Broncos)
I think we are going to see a “changing of the guards” in New England in the running game. With Newton likely to be out of action under the COVID-19 protocols it could lead one to believe that James White will take the stand in his absence. If last week’s match up against the Chiefs is anything to go by then it is more likely that Damien Harris will take the mantle from here onwards as the team’s “out-and-out” back and White is likely only to feature in the passing game. White only had three rushing attempts against the Chiefs in last week’s loss and whilst he emerged as a top target in the passing game, it is more likely that Byrd, Harry and Edelman are likely to be tasked with any scoring opportunities. It must also be said that we don’t yet know who the starting QB will be in New England this week, which could also factor into White’s Week 5 production.
WR – Start ‘Em
DK Metcalf (SEA vs Minnesota Vikings)
In tandem with the small segment on Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf (aside from his rare lapse in concentration against the Cowboys in Week 3, throwing away a TD) has been an outstanding performer and has already averaged over 100 yards per game on an average of 7 targets (and 4 receptions)! It has definitely helped Metcalf that Russell Wilson is playing brilliantly and with that being said, the 2nd year receiver Metcalf, can hope that his rapport with Wilson stays strong and he continues to be involved in almost all offensive snaps. The Minnesota Vikings secondary has been somewhat lacklustre so far and Metcalf and the Seahawks will be looking to take advantage of that to add to Metcalf’s 3 receiving TDs.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT vs Philadelphia Eagles)
After a tepid 2019 season, Smith-Schuster has emerged back on to the scene and is fully-fit ahead of his Week 5 match-up against a “battered and bruised” Eagles team. With Wentz’s offensive options looking thin, we can expect both Big Ben and JuJu to see the field a lot more than expected. The 4th year receiver also has 3 TDs to his name and will be looking to maintain his nearly 90% reception to target ratio against an Eagles team who have allowed several TDs to wide-receivers.
Amari Cooper (DAL vs New York Giants)
Amari Cooper after Week was one of three receivers to have accumulated an average of 100 receiving yards per game (the others being Metcalf and Diggs) and similarly to Robby Anderson he has been the main target for his QB except, Cooper has averaged nearly 13 targets per game. At the beginning of the season there were doubts as to how many targets Cooper would receive given the WR corps going into the season consists of Cooper, Gallup and rookie CeeDee Lamb. In contrast, Cooper has been able to free himself up a lot easier. After scoring his first TD of the season last week, he will be raring to get the Cowboys back on a win-streak.
WR – Sit ‘Em
Jamison Crowder (NYJ vs Arizona Cardinals)
The Duke University product has only featured in two out of the four games of the season so far, and had been relatively productive scoring a TD and accumulating 115 and 104 receiving yards in those two games, respectively. However, there has been a change in QB this week and with Flacco given “the nod” ahead of Sam Darnold (who is OUT for this week’s game), it could upset the rhythm Crowder has been able to find with Darnold calling the shots. Crowder is also up against a very touch Cardinals secondary and will likely be ear-marked by Budda Baker and Patrick Peterson for the entirety of the game.
Hunter Renfrow (LV vs Kansas City Chiefs)
Don’t hate me Raiders fans, but the Raiders favourite finds himself on the Sit ‘Em section for the Week 5 games. Having a few shares of Renfrow myself I was left a little disappointed last week that he couldn’t replicate his performance against the New England Patriots in Week 3. Nonetheless, the Chiefs have only allowed 2 TDs this season (Jalen Guyton and N’Keal Harry) and in last week’s win against the Patriots defended 14 passes and as such this won’t be an easy match up for Renfrow. To caveat my selection slightly, the WR1 for the Chiefs’ opposition have been able to tally-up over 80 receiving yards in three out of the four games this season (the exception being the Ravens).
D.J. Moore (CAR vs Atlanta Falcons)
Needless to say that wide-receivers have a great season so far when facing the Atlanta Falcons but, D.J. Moore has been relatively quiet this season and most of credit in helping the Panthers recover from 0-2 to 2-2 after Week 4 goes more to Robby Anderson who has become a key target for Bridgewater. This season, Moore has amassed an average of 72 receiving yards per game which is a little underwhelming , having participated in 85% of offensive snaps, which is considerably more than his counterpart Robby Anderson. Anderson has proved more productive than Moore this season and has built up a lot of trust with Bridgewater. In what is a favourable match-up for Moore and the Panthers, we can still expect to see much of the same.
TE – Start ‘Em
Eric Ebron (PIT vs Philadelphia Eagles)
Ebron, you say? Oh yes, get excited folks! Eric Ebron is up against a Philadelphia team who have allowed (wait for it), 5 TDs to opposition tight ends already this season. George Kittle had a stand-out performance against the Eagles last week when he amassed 183 receiving yards and TD and don’t forget Tyler Higbee’s 3 TDs against the Eagles in Week 2. The 7th year veteran has increased his target share as the season has progressed and seems to be generating a good connection with Roethlisberger, which resulted in a TD in the Steelers’ last game against the Texans in Week 3. If you have Ebron on your bench, and/or he is available on your wire, you may want to sneak him into a flex position or as your starting TE.
Hunter Henry (LAC vs New Orleans Saints)
Hunter Henry may still be without a TD but after Week 4, Henry is ranked as the #3 tight-end when it comes to receiving yards. His 245 yards amassed so far have come from only 18 targets, and in this week’ match-up against the Saints, he may finally be able to convert some of that production into a score. The Saints have allowed a touchdown by a TE in every game this season (if we count Robert Tonyan as a tight-end) and the New Orleans secondary is wearing a little thin. T.J. Hockenson managed to scoop a score last week on 4 targets, so we can expect that if Henry gets 5+ receptions as he did have in Weeks 1-3, that it will likely be a great week for Hunter Henry.
Jonnu Smith (TEN vs Buffalo Bills)
I was a little reluctant to include someone in the Tennessee game, given the situation that has prevailed over the last couple of weeks in the Titans’ camp but, if the game goes ahead I would be remiss not to mention Jonnu Smith this week. I know Jonnu already has a huge following, myself included but this game against the Bills have allowed a considerable amount of receptions to go to tight-ends in the first four weeks of the season which includes 12 receptions for Darren Waller last week and 11 for Mike Gesicki in Week 2. Jonnu is proving himself to be a force to be reckoned with this season, and can foresee that he will have more joy again this week.
TE – Sit ‘Em
Dalton Schultz (DAL vs New York Giants)
With Blake Jarwin on IR, Dalton Schultz has really taken the most of his opportunity as the starter and with the chance he has been given, has racked up 2 scores and over 200 receiving yards since becoming the starting tight end in Week 2. However, what could seems a favourable match-up this week against the New York Giants in can be argued otherwise. The Giants are yet to concede a receiving TD to a tight-end (omitting Gerald Everett’s carry for a TD last week). Whilst the opposition WRs have had a lot of joy against the Giants defense, that hasn’t benefited tight-ends so far and so if you have a better option at TE, you may want to bench Schultz this week.
Christopher Herndon (NYJ vs Arizona Cardinals)
There was a lot of excitement before the start of the season about Christopher Herndon and his production so far has been very disappointing, to say the least. The Jets’ system has not been complimentary to Herndon whatsoever and now with Darnold out his chances may be reduced even further in Week 5. The Cardinals held off a score from Kittle in Week 1 but in the past two weeks they have conceded TDs to a tight-end so there could be room for a score but not on a very short-TD. If you’re flirting with Herndon on your starting line-up it may be better to stream a TE this week, especially if any of the above guys are available on the wire.
Mo Alie-Cox (IND vs Cleveland Browns)
No doubt MAC has been a revelation so far with 2 scores and a great Week 2 performance against Minnesota which saw him have a “career day” with 111 receiving yards. It has been a great season so far for the 4th year tight-end but the re-emergence in Trey Burton this will evidently have a dampener on his party. Twinned with Doyle free of injury and Burton expected to get 5 or so targets a game, it can’t be certain that Alie-Cox will play a major part, or in fact, any part in Colts offense this week.