Fantasy Football Week 5: Injuries, bye weeks shake up rankings, with Deshaun Watson, Bilal Powell, Stefon Diggs moving up
Get ready for Week 5 with a breakdown of our expert rankings for the upcoming slate of games.
Editor's Note: All rankings updated as of Friday at 2:30 p.m. EST to reflect the latest news and changes our experts have made. This will be updated throughout the week.
We're one-fourth of the way through the season, and that means bye weeks are starting. You've got holes to fill in your lineup, which is no fun for those of you who have been relying on Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones and others who won't be available this week.
Those bye weeks might leave you hurting as you set your lineup, but they also lower the bar for Fantasy relevance each week, meaning more unexpected players can sneak into the rankings than usual. That can make setting your lineup a chore, and makes our expert rankings even more valuable.
Here's this week's breakdown:
Note: All rankings for Standard scoring.
- Injury updates: Marcus Mariota (hamstring) and Sam Bradford (knee) have made progress, and could be game-time decisions for Week 5. The good news is Mariota plays at 1 Sunday, so you'll have a chance to get him in or out of your lineup when the decision is made. Bradford doesn't play until Monday, and isn't a recommended start, because your alternatives in the event of an inactive designation are Case Keenum and Mitchell Trubisky in his first start. Steer clear of that one.
- Breaking Out: Dak Prescott was pretty unanimously considered a borderline starting option coming into the season, but he's inside everyone's top-four this week. A matchup against the Packers doesn't hurt, but his recent performance is really helping. He has multiple touchdowns in three straight games, and has been throwing more than he did last season to make up for a rushing game that hasn't been quite as effective. Averaging 22.8 Fantasy points per game, he could get there again in what could turn into a shootout.
- Bounceback Alert: Ben Roethlisberger just hasn't given us that trademark huge performance yet. His high for the season is 19 Fantasy points. That's not what you were hoping for, but in fairness, three of his first four games have come on the road, where he has struggled in recent years. The Jaguars' defense is improved, but expect Ben him to play better this week.
- Buying In: If you predicted that Alex Smith, Jared Goff and Deshaun Watson would be top-eight quarterbacks in Fantasy scoring by the quarter mark of the season, please email me immediately so we can set up a Biff Tannen-esque sports betting scheme. Smith and Watson are consensus top-12 options this week, while Goff even sneaks into the top-12 in Dave's rankings.
- Injury update: Matt Forte (toe) has been ruled out. Paul Perkins (ribs) too. Wendell Smallwood (knee) did not practice this week, and is questionable. He likely will not play. Ty Montgomery remains a question mark.
- Back on top: Le'Veon Bell just needed a few weeks to get going after holding out for all of training camp. He got going in a big way in Week 4, rushing for 144 yards and had 42 more on four receptions. He also scored twice. It was a vintage performance, and now he gets to go against a Jaguars defense that is allowing 5.7 yards per carry to opposing running backs. Not that you were ever thinking of sitting him.
- Keep on rolling: Bilal Powell benefited from an iffy call that resulted in a 75-yard touchdown, but even taking out that run would have given him 88 yards on 20 carries, to go with four catches for 27. He had a good week, and some help from above, perhaps. He probably won't need much help in Week 5, however, with the Browns on the way. Keep him in your lineup.
- Bust alert: Latavius Murray could be in line for a big role now that Dalvin Cook is out, but Heath isn't convinced; he has him 34th at the position, 15 spots lower than either Dave or Jamey. In fact, he has Jerick McKinnon just two spots lower than Murray, a sign that he likely expects a pretty even split here.
- Injury updates: Davante Adams remains in the concussion protocol, and his status will likely be determined when the team travels Dallas Saturday afternoon. Keep a close eye on reports.
- Jekyll and Hyde: T.Y. Hilton and Martavis Bryant have both had up-and-down seasons. At least Hilton has an excuse because quarterback Jacoby Brissett is still very much a work in progress. Bryant has the rust excuse, but that's holding less and less weight every week. We know how high the ceiling is for these two, but both are extremely risky starting options.
- Bad QB Watch: Should you avoid wide receivers with bad quarterbacks? DeVante Parker, Jarvis Landry and Pierre Garcon are the biggest question marks in regards to that this week, as all three have seen their production fluctuate this season along with their inconsistent quarterbacks. Like Hilton and Bryant, you can start any of these three, but you might have to deal with some indigestion when you hit "submit."
- Is he really a No. 1?: Expectations were sky-high for Brandin Cooks after he was traded to New England, and they went even higher after Julian Edelman's preseason injury. However, at the quarter mark of the season, he looks a lot like... Chris Hogan? Hogan has 15 catches for 214 yards and four touchdowns on 26 targets. Cooks has 13 catches for 294 yards and two touchdowns on 24 targets. If Cooks is getting six targets per game moving forward, he's going to be just a No. 2 WR, at best.
- Welcome back!: Will Fuller returned from injury with a bang, scoring two touchdowns on four catches and six targets. He only had 35 yards in the game, but a healthy role in his return to action is enough to convince Jamey to move him into his top-24 this week.
- Injury updates: Jack Doyle (concussion) was ruled out for Week 5.
- ¯\_(ツ)_/¯: Who knows what to make of Hunter Henry at this point. The talented young tight end caught a touchdown in Week 4, but he was still targeted just three times in the game. He is playing about half of the team's offensive snaps overall, and hasn't even been targeted in two games. We know how high the ceiling is for him, but this has been a huge disappointment. He is only Fantasy relevant right now thanks to the lack of any quality depth at the position, but it's going to be hard to bench him against a team that can't cover tight ends like the Giants.
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