Fantasy Football Week 5 Start 'Em & Sit 'Em: Jay Ajayi breakout coming, while Dak Prescott and Deshaun Watson set to keep rolling
Jamey Eisenberg says disappointing players like Jay Ajayi, Marshawn Lynch, Isaiah Crowell and T.Y. Hilton, among others, are due for a rebound game in Week 5 in his weekly Start 'Em and Sit 'Em.
This feels like a survival week for a lot of Fantasy owners. We have a slew of injuries, and there are four teams on a bye. It might be a struggle filling out a quality starting lineup in competitive 12-team leagues or larger.
Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans and Washington are off this week, and you know the stars who are missing from those teams. And we have to find replacement options for injured guys like Dalvin Cook (torn ACL) and Chris Carson (broken ankle), among others, which isn't exactly easy.
If you're 0-4 or 1-3 in your league, you likely can't afford another loss if you want to make the playoffs. And those owners at 2-2 or better don't want to slip in the standings.
The good news could be some struggling stars have the chance for a bounce-back game in Week 5, including our Start of the Week in Jay Ajayi. I also have confidence in disappointing players like Marshawn Lynch, Isaiah Crowell, T.Y. Hilton and several more.
Maybe if those players turn things around then it might not be so bleak after all. And that would make all of us happy heading into Week 5.
Editor's Note: Projections are provided by CBS Sports and not Jamey Eisenberg.
Start of the Week
Ajayi has been awful this season. You can make a case that he's been the biggest Fantasy bust through four weeks given his draft stock compared to his production.
But now is not the time to give up on Ajayi. He's still going to be an elite Fantasy running back, starting this week against the Titans.
Ajayi opened the season with a solid first outing in Week 2 at the Chargers with 28 carries for 122 yards and two catches for 4 yards. But things have been messy since. In two games that were considered plus matchups against the Jets and Saints, Ajayi combined for just 23 carries for 62 yards and three catches for 17 yards.
He's missed practice time with a knee issue, and the Dolphins offense has been a mess with only six points scored the past two weeks. However, that will change in Week 5 against Tennessee.
The Dolphins will finally play their first official home game against the Titans - Week 1 vs. Tampa Bay was postponed due to Hurricane Irma, and the Dolphins have played in Los Angeles, New York and London in the past three weeks - and that should help their outlook. The Titans are also playing their second road game in a row, and Marcus Mariota (hamstring) is likely out.
With Matt Cassel under center, the Titans offense should struggle, which should allow the Dolphins to control time of possession and lean on their ground game. And Tennessee has allowed a running back to score or gain at least 90 total yards in every game this season.
Ajayi should follow suit. And this matchup in Week 5 last year was the game when Ajayi got going in his breakout campaign.
He wasn't dominant against the Titans then with just 13 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown, but he scored 10 Fantasy points in a standard league. And he followed that up with three games in a row with at least 100 rushing yards and a touchdown, including two games with at least 200 yards.
I'm not suggesting the same thing will happen after this game. I'm just focused on this week.
And while Ajayi has been a Fantasy disappointment thus far, this should be his breakout game of 2017. Don't give up on him yet.
I'm starting Ajayi over: LeSean McCoy (at CIN), Carlos Hyde (at IND), Jordan Howard (vs. MIN), DeMarco Murray (at MIA) and Lamar Miller (vs. KC)
|23.6 Projected points|
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
|Prescott has increased his Fantasy production each week this season, from 18 points in Week 1 to 28 points last week. And this week could be his first game with at least 30 Fantasy points. Prescott faced the Packers twice last season, including the playoffs, and he passed for 549 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions combined in those games. He's dialed in now, and I expect Prescott to be a top-three Fantasy quarterback this week.|
|21.0 Projected points|
Jameis Winston Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
|The Patriots defense is a mess, and Winston should take advantage of this situation at home on Thursday night. Alex Smith, Drew Brees, Deshaun Watson and Cam Newton have each scored at least 24 Fantasy points against New England, with all four passing for at least 300 yards. Winston just shredded an excellent Giants defense in Week 4 with 332 passing yards and three touchdowns, and he now has 660 passing yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions in his past two games. Winston should stay hot in this matchup, and he's a potential top-five quarterback in Week 16.|
|15.7 Projected points|
Deshaun Watson Houston Texans QB
|The Chiefs defense will be the toughest test of his young career, but we expect him to do fine at home and continue to post quality stats. After scoring 24 Fantasy points at New England in Week 3 and a whopping 41 points against Tennessee in Week 4, which might be two of the worst defenses in the NFL right now, he's due for a letdown. But he looks great throwing the ball, especially after getting Will Fuller back at 100 percent last week, and he's making plays with his legs. Watson has at least four Fantasy points on the ground in three games in a row and two games over that span with at least eight points. The Chiefs have allowed two of the past three opposing quarterbacks to score at least 23 Fantasy points, and Watson should be started in all leagues.|
|18.9 Projected points|
Eli Manning New York Giants QB
|Manning has caught fire for the past two games, and there are two reasons why. First, Odell Beckham is back to being Odell Beckham, and hopefully he's not bothered by his injured ankle or finger in this matchup after he was slightly hobbled in Week 4 at Tampa Bay. Secondly for Manning, he hasn't been sacked in the past two games against Philadelphia or Tampa Bay, which is huge given the offensive line woes for the Giants. This will be a tough test in Week 5 against a Chargers defense featuring standout pass rushers in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, and only one quarterback has scored 20 Fantasy points against this defense, which was Trevor Siemian in Week 1. But I'll buy into Manning as a top-10 quarterback as long as Beckham is healthy, and he should play well at home after two games in a row on the road. This should be the Giants first victory of the season.|
|17.4 Projected points|
Alex Smith Kansas City Chiefs QB
|It's hard to grasp the concept of Smith being a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback, but it might be time to accept that reality. Through the first quarter of the season, Smith has been great, and you should buy into him as a starting option, even in a tough matchup in Week 5 at Houston. Only Tom Brady has more than 12 Fantasy points against the Texans, but that includes matchups with Blake Bortles, Andy Dalton when he was really struggling in Week 2 and a combination of Marcus Mariota and Matt Cassel in the game where Mariota was hurt. Smith comes in on fire with at least 18 Fantasy points in all four games, including three games with multiple touchdowns. He has yet to throw an interception, and he should continue to post top-10 production this week. Through four weeks, he's made me a believer.|
- Carson Palmer (at PHI): I don't love Palmer on the East Coast for a 1 p.m. start, but he should be good for at least 18 Fantasy points. He's done that in consecutive games, and he's passed for at least 300 yards in three games in a row. The Eagles also have struggled in the past three games against Smith, Manning and Philip Rivers and are allowing 20.5 Fantasy points on average to opposing quarterbacks this year.
- Jay Cutler (vs. TEN): I'm expecting Cutler to benefit this week from being home and facing a terrible defense for the Titans. After three games on the road, Cutler gets his first official game in Miami, and Tennessee should help him rebound from two awful starts against the Jets and Saints. The Titans are allowing an average of 29 Fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, and I consider Cutler a low-end starting option this week.
- Jacoby Brissett (vs. SF): The last time Brissett was at home in a favorable matchup was against the Browns in Week 3, and he scored 29 Fantasy points. We hope he follows suit this week against the 49ers. Now, San Francisco has only allowed one quarterback to score 20 Fantasy points this year, which was Jared Goff in Week 4, but the 49ers are averaging 19.5 points on average to quarterbacks. Brissett, like Josh McCown and Brian Hoyer, is a good streaming option in Week 5.
|15.2 Projected points|
Philip Rivers Los Angeles Chargers QB
|Rivers has had mixed results playing on the East Coast for 1 p.m. starts over the past three years, with five games of at least 20 Fantasy points and three games of 17 points or less. I expect this to be one of his lower-scoring games given the Giants defense, although if Rivers has the chance to succeed he could find it with how New York defends tight ends. That should help Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates. Still, the Giants have held three of four quarterbacks to 18 Fantasy points or less in three of four games, and Rivers is more of a No. 2 quarterback this week than a starter.|
|14.3 Projected points|
Andy Dalton Cincinnati Bengals QB
|Dalton has been fantastic the past two games with a combined 55 Fantasy points against Green Bay and Cleveland, and he did that in two matchups on the road. He's back home this week, and the Bills are playing their second consecutive road game after beating the Falcons in Atlanta in Week 4. But Buffalo's pass defense has been impressive in holding Josh McCown, Newton, Trevor Siemian and Matt Ryan to a combined 36 Fantasy points. That's insane, and Ryan is the only one to throw a touchdown pass against the Bills. There's no way you can trust Dalton in this matchup.|
|14.9 Projected points|
Tyrod Taylor Buffalo Bills QB
|Taylor has played well in helping the Bills get off to a surprising 3-1 record, but his Fantasy production has been split in his home and road starts. In two home games, he's scored 21 Fantasy points exactly against the Jets and Broncos. In two road starts at Carolina and Atlanta, he's scored a combined 24 points. He's back on the road this week, and the Bengals have only allowed one quarterback to score more than 17 Fantasy points this year, which was Aaron Rodgers in Week 3. Otherwise, Cincinnati has limited Joe Flacco, Watson and DeShone Kizer to a combined 31 points. Taylor will likely score fewer than 20 Fantasy points this week, making him a No. 2 quarterback in most leagues.|
|13.8 Projected points|
Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams QB
|Goff has been great so far this year, and he's done a nice job the past two weeks in taking advantage of good matchups against the 49ers and Cowboys. In those two games, Goff has scored at least 22 Fantasy points with 547 passing yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. But this will easily be his toughest matchup to date against Seattle (he also played Indianapolis and Washington at home), and he should struggle against the Seahawks. In one meeting with Seattle last year, Goff passed for just 135 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions, and the Seahawks have allowed just one quarterback to score more than 20 Fantasy points this year, which was Mariota in Week 3, including a game against Rodgers. Goff is just a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback this week.|
For what it's worth, I've been wrong about Newton the past two weeks. He was bad as the Start of the Week in Week 3 against New Orleans and awesome at New England in Week 4. But did Newton do enough in last week's 38-point performance against the Patriots, who have been the worst defense in the NFL through four games, to warrant being a must-start quarterback again? This is a tougher defense he's facing against the Lions, who are allowing just 12.5 Fantasy points on average to opposing quarterbacks, including matchups with Palmer, Manning and Ryan. This is the second consecutive road game for Newton, and he combined for just 33 Fantasy points in his first three games against San Francisco, Buffalo and New Orleans. I certainly understand keeping Newton in your starting lineup with the hope he can build off what he did last week. But I expect a letdown game for him this week on the road.
|11.6 Projected points|
Bilal Powell New York Jets RB
|Ever since Matt Forte popped up on the injury report with a torn meniscus in his knee in Week 14 last year, we've seen Powell play well when Forte was hurt or out, which is a span of five games. He's averaging 18.8 Fantasy points in a standard league in those five games, including his 24-point outing in a standard league in Week 4 against Jacksonville. Forte is expected to sit again this week against the Browns with a toe injury, and Powell should again have the chance for a big game. He'll share touches with rookie Elijah McGuire again, but Powell played 46 snaps against the Jaguars, compared to just 19 for McGuire. And while the Browns have been stingy against opposing running backs, four guys have still scored double digits in Fantasy points in the past three games against Cincinnati. Powell should be in every lineup this week.|
|8.1 Projected points|
Marshawn Lynch Oakland Raiders RB
|Lynch should get a heavy workload this week with the Raiders likely leaning on him to avoid backup quarterback EJ Manuel being forced to make plays. Derek Carr (hamstring) is out, and this should be a game where the Raiders feature Lynch against the Ravens at home. The last time Lynch played in Oakland, the Raiders were routing the Jets, and Lynch only had 12 carries for 45 yards and a touchdown. He's combined for two Fantasy points in the past two games at Washington and at Denver, but the Ravens are missing a big piece of their run defense with Brandon Williams (foot) and Brent Urban (foot) out. In two games without Williams, the Ravens gave up at least 13 Fantasy points to Leonard Fournette and Le'Veon Bell in the past two games. We'd love to see Lynch follow suit, and he's worth trusting as a No. 2 Fantasy running back this week.|
|8.6 Projected points|
Latavius Murray Minnesota Vikings RB
|Murray isn't a must-start Fantasy option by any means, but he should be slated for a heavy workload in Week 5 at Chicago with Cook out and Jerick McKinnon (ankle) banged up. The thing that will likely save Murray's Fantasy value will be scoring a touchdown, and the Bears have allowed every opposing running back with at least 12 carries to score this year, including Devonta Freeman in Week 1, Jacquizz Rodgers in Week 2, Bell in Week 3 and Aaron Jones in Week 4. And going back to last year when Murray was with the Raiders, he had 12 games with at least 11 touches, and he scored at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league in nine of those outings. I'm OK with him as a No. 2 running back this week.|
|8.2 Projected points|
Frank Gore Indianapolis Colts RB
|This is the first time Gore will face his former team, and he played 10 seasons for the 49ers from 2005-14. Along with the revenge angle, if that matters this week, Gore has been productive so far at home this season with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in Week 2 against Arizona and Week 3 against Cleveland. He hasn't run for more than 60 yards in a game yet and is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry, but he finally got involved in the passing game last week against Seattle with three catches for 34 yards and had 80 total yards, so hopefully that continues. It also helps Gore that the 49ers have allowed a running back to gain at least 100 total yards in three games in a row. He's worth using as a low-end starting option this week, and he could benefit with center Ryan Kelly (foot) making his return to action.|
|8.0 Projected points|
Isaiah Crowell Cleveland Browns RB
|I would stick with Crowell for one more week, and I also like Duke Johnson (6.1 projected points) in this matchup with the Jets. The Browns should be able to keep the game close, which means Crowell should remain a factor. He's still looking for his first touchdown this year, and he's scored just 18 combined Fantasy points in a standard league. But the Jets have already allowed five running backs to score double digits in Fantasy points through four games, and Crowell will hopefully get close to 20 touches. His best outing this year was Week 1 when he scored eight Fantasy points against the Steelers on 19 total touches. As for Johnson, he's actually scored in each of the past two games and has been impressive catching the ball with 15 receptions for 128 yards on 17 targets over that span. Johnson is a must-start option in PPR.|
Running back sleepers
- Alex Collins (at OAK): He's averaging 8.2 yards per carry on just 25 carries in the past three games, and he deserves more work, especially ahead of Terrance West and Javorius Allen. This is a game where the Ravens can control time of possession, which should lend to Baltimore running the ball more, and the Raiders have allowed a running back to gain at least 90 total yards in three games in a row.
- Andre Ellington (at PHI): Ellington looks like a must-start running back in PPR leagues with his performance over the past two games, and that shouldn't change this week. He has 14 catches for 145 yards on 22 targets against Dallas and San Francisco, and Ellington should get more work than Chris Johnson until David Johnson (wrist) returns.
- Wayne Gallman (vs. LAC): Paul Perkins (ribs) could play this week, which would ruin the upside for Gallman after a strong showing in Week 4 against the Buccaneers when he had 11 carries for 42 yards and two catches for 8 yards and a touchdown on two targets. Even if Perkins plays, the Giants should lean on Gallman in a positive matchup against the Chargers. Four running backs have scored at least 12 Fantasy points against the Chargers in the past three games.
- James White (at TB): The Buccaneers have struggled with pass-catching running backs this year, and three guys have already scored at least five Fantasy points in standard leagues with their production in the passing game against Tampa Bay with Tarik Cohen, Cook and Gallman. White is obviously better in PPR leagues, and he has two games with at least eight catches in the past three weeks. I'm expecting Tom Brady to lean on White a lot in this matchup, and he's a flex option in standard leagues and a solid starting option in PPR.
|8.2 Projected points|
Tarik Cohen Chicago Bears RB
|I'm hesitant to completely bench Cohen, especially in PPR, but he is a risky Fantasy option this week. The matchup is tough since the Vikings have only allowed one touchdown to a running back this year, and clearly Jordan Howard is going to lead this backfield in touches. But we also saw in Week 4 at Green Bay that the Bears are going to give work to Benny Cunningham , which was a letdown for Cohen. Howard played 35 snaps per Pro Football Focus against the Packers, Cohen played 18 and Cunningham played 16. We hope that isn't a sign of things to come, but Cohen ended up with his fewest touches on the year with just 10. I consider Cohen just a flex option this week in the majority of leagues.|
|3.3 Projected points|
Eddie Lacy Seattle Seahawks RB
|With Carson out, it's hard to know how the Seahawks will use their running backs between Lacy, Thomas Rawls , C.J. Prosise and J.D. McKissic. Coach Pete Carroll seemed to indicate Rawls would replace Carson, but Lacy will still get his touches. He ran well in Week 4 against the Colts with 11 carries for 52 yards, and this could be a messy backfield with all four guys potentially getting touches. You should plan to add Lacy if he's still on waivers, but you don't have to start him this week at the Rams. Our main hope for this week would be to have some clarity out of the situation to see if Rawls or Lacy will be the better Fantasy option moving forward.|
|7.7 Projected points|
Jonathan Stewart Carolina Panthers RB
|Stewart will eventually find the end zone, but he's still looking for his first rushing touchdown of the year and has only scored on a receiving touchdown in Week 1. Since then, he's combined for 13 Fantasy points in three games against Buffalo, New Orleans and New England. Stewart offers little in the passing game with three catches for 21 yards on the season, and he lost a fumble in Week 4 against the Patriots. We'd love to see more of Christian McCaffrey in this game, and Stewart is just a No. 3 Fantasy option at best in most leagues.|
|3.8 Projected points|
Jacquizz Rodgers Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB
|Rodgers did a nice job with Doug Martin out, but Martin is back for Week 5 now that his suspension is over. And even though Martin could be limited in Thursday night's game against the Patriots, which could leave Rodgers in a prominent role, the threat of a reduced workload should make you concerned about his outlook. In three starts, Rodgers had at least 10 Fantasy points in a standard league in two of them, including Week 4 against the Giants when he had 16 carries for 83 yards and two catches for 25 yards. If Martin is healthy for the rest of the year, that game against the Giants will likely be the best outing for Rodgers in 2017.|
Abdullah was excellent in Week 4 at Minnesota, and I hope that's a sign of things to come because I'm excited about him for this season. He had 20 carries for 94 yards and a touchdown and three catches for 15 yards against a good Vikings defense, but I'm nervous that a letdown is coming this week. While the workload has been great for Abdullah this year -- he has at least 17 touches in every game -- he only has one game with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league, which was was last week. And the Panthers are a tough opponent, with no running back scoring double digits in Fantasy points against them in a standard league this year, including matchups with Carlos Hyde and LeSean McCoy. I'm OK with Abdullah as a flex option, but he's not a must-start running back for me this week.
|6.5 Projected points|
DeSean Jackson Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR
|Jackson has been frustrated with his lack of production, and he was limited to two catches for 20 yards on six targets in Week 4 against the Giants. But a big game could be on the horizon Thursday against the Patriots. New England has been abused by receivers this year with six scoring at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league and five touchdowns allowed. Look for Winston to take some shots downfield to Jackson, and it's a good bet that he delivers solid production in Week 5.|
|7.5 Projected points|
Randall Cobb Green Bay Packers WR
|We'll see if Davante Adams (concussion) is able to play this week against the Cowboys, but it shouldn't matter either way with Cobb based on his performance so far this season. He's catching 76 percent of his targets and has either 85 receiving yards or a touchdown in both games he's been able to finish. He's faced the Cowboys three times in the past two years, including the playoffs, and has 22 catches for 196 yards and a touchdown over that span, and Dallas has allowed five touchdowns to receivers already this year. Cobb could be a top-10 receiver this week.|
|7.8 Projected points|
Pierre Garcon San Francisco 49ers WR
|Garcon was bottled up last week at Arizona when he spent a lot of time matched up with Cardinals standout cornerback Patrick Peterson. The Colts don't have a cornerback like that, including Vontae Davis, so look for Garcon to play well. He's still looking for his first touchdown with the 49ers, but he does have two games with at least six catches for 80 yards, which were Week 1 against Carolina and Week 3 against the Rams. He had 10 targets in both of those games, and we expect him to be heavily involved again this week in a revenge game against his former team. Garcon played for the Colts from 2008-11.|
|9.0 Projected points|
DeVante Parker Miami Dolphins WR
|No team has allowed more touchdowns to opposing receivers than the Titans, which makes Parker and Jarvis Landry (8.5 projected points) excellent starting options this week. Parker has been solid to start the year with 18 catches for 230 yards and a touchdown, and Landry has continued to rack up catches with 25 through three games for 166 yards. Tennessee has allowed a pair of receivers to score in three of four games this year with Oakland (Amari Cooper and Seth Roberts), Seattle (Doug Baldwin and Paul Richardson) and Houston (DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller). And seven receivers have scored at least seven Fantasy points against the Titans in standard leagues. This should be a breakout game for the Dolphins passing attack, and Kenny Stills should be considered a sleeper.|
|10.2 Projected points|
T.Y. Hilton Indianapolis Colts WR
|Andrew Luck (shoulder) is getting close to a return, which means the best of Hilton is yet to come. You might want to buy low on him now in case Luck returns in Week 6. For this week, Hilton should have the chance for a solid game against the 49ers even with Brissett under center. San Francisco has already allowed five touchdowns to opposing receivers and five to score at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league. Hilton had a similar matchup like this at home in Week 3 against Cleveland, and he finished with seven catches for 153 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. He has four Fantasy points or fewer in his three other games, but this is a good week to trust him in the majority of leagues.|
Wide receiver sleepers
- Adam Thielen (at CHI): Thielen's done a nice job for owners in PPR leagues with five catches in every game this season, but he's still looking for his first touchdown. That could happen this week since the Bears have allowed six touchdowns to receivers and four to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league.
- Jaron Brown (at PHI): Brown has done a nice job each of the past three games with at least seven Fantasy points in a standard league in each outing. He has 29 targets over that span, and Palmer is leaning on him as the No. 2 receiver behind Larry Fitzgerald. Brown is facing an Eagles defense this week that has allowed four receivers to score at least 13 Fantasy points in a standard league.
- Danny Amendola (at TB): Amendola has played in three games this season, and he has seven targets in two of them. In those games, he has six catches and has scored 10 Fantasy points in both outings. This could be a game where Tom Brady leans on guys like Amendola, White and Rob Gronkowski, and Amedola is worth using as a low-end starting option in every format.
- Cooper Kupp (vs. SEA): Kupp has three games this season with at least six targets, and he's scored at least 12 Fantasy points in two of them, including Week 4 at Dallas with five catches for 60 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. Seattle has been vulnerable to slot receivers this year, and cornerback Jeremy Lane (groin) is banged up. It could be another solid outing for Kupp in Week 5.
- Jermaine Kearse (at CLE): Kearse has cooled off recently following a hot start, but he remains the No. 1 receiver for the Jets. And the No. 1 receiver opposite Cleveland has done well this year, with Antonio Brown, Jeremy Maclin, Hilton and A.J. Green all scoring at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league. Kearse is a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in Week 5.
|8.6 Projected points|
Alshon Jeffery Philadelphia Eagles WR
|Jeffery has quietly been a disappointment so far this year. While he does have two touchdowns, he's scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league just once, which was Week 2 at Kansas City. He also has two games with just five Fantasy points. This week, he'll likely contend with Cardinals standout cornerback Patrick Peterson, which is bad news for his Fantasy outlook. He's barely a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week.|
|7.3 Projected points|
Sammy Watkins Los Angeles Rams WR
|Just when we thought Watkins was on the verge of starting to play well after he had six catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets at the 49ers in Week 3, he pulled a disappearing act again in Week 4 at Dallas. Watkins managed just one catch for 17 yards on two targets, and it's hard to trust him as a starting Fantasy option, especially in a tough matchup against the Seahawks. It's not all his fault since Goff has targeted Watkins five times or less in three games this year. But given the total situation for Watkins against Seattle, he's not worth starting in most leagues this week.|
|6.8 Projected points|
Amari Cooper Oakland Raiders WR
|Michael Crabtree (chest) could return for the Raiders this week, but both guys will be stuck with Manuel at quarterback with Carr out. And Cooper has clearly struggled this year with three Fantasy points combined in his past three games against the Jets, Redskins and Broncos. He has seven catches for 48 yards and no touchdowns over that span on 18 targets, and the Ravens have allowed just two touchdowns to opposing receivers this year. We'll wait to start Cooper again when Carr returns because until then the production should be minimal.|
|6.3 Projected points|
Tyrell Williams Los Angeles Chargers WR
|Williams had a breakout game in Week 4 against the Eagles with five catches for 115 yards and a touchdown on six targets. He scored on a 75-yard reception, which shows his big-play ability, but this was just his first game this year with more than five Fantasy points in a standard league. He should struggle again this week against the Giants, who have allowed just two touchdowns to opposing receivers and only Mike Evans to score double digits in Fantasy points. Williams is just a No. 4 Fantasy receiver this week in the majority of leagues.|
As you can see, I'm not expecting a big game from the Panthers this week, and Benjamin is another player who could let you down given the matchup with the Lions. He's expected to see plenty of coverage from Detroit standout cornerback Darius Slay, and no No. 1 receiver has scored against the Lions this year, including matchups with Fitzgerald, Beckham, Julio Jones and Stefon Diggs. Now, Jones and Diggs both had at least 91 receiving yards, but Benjamin has one game this season above that total, which was last week against the Patriots. And he's also still looking for his first touchdown this year. Benjamin is only a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week.
|6.3 Projected points|
Cameron Brate Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE
|Brate has another solid matchup in Week 5 against the Patriots, and New England has allowed three touchdowns to tight ends this year, along with a tight end scoring at least six Fantasy points in a standard league each week. Brate just came off a productive game in another good matchup against the Giants with four catches for 80 yards and a touchdown on six targets, and he now has eight catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns on 10 targets in his past two outings against the Vikings and Giants.|
|5.4 Projected points|
Charles Clay Buffalo Bills TE
|Clay has been excellent this season, and his value should go up with Jordan Matthews (thumb) now out for at least a month. Clay has scored at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league in three of four games this year, and he's reached that mark in six of his past seven outings with Taylor under center. The Bengals have only allowed one tight end to score more than one Fantasy point this year, which was Lance Kendricks in Week 3, but that doesn't matter for Clay. He's a must-start tight end until further notice.|
|5.4 Projected points|
Austin Seferian-Jenkins New York Jets TE
|Seferian-Jenkins faces the Browns this week, and Cleveland has been awful against opposing tight ends. Three tight ends have already scored at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league with Jesse James, Benjamin Watson and Tyler Kroft, and James and Kroft both had two-touchdown outings. Seferian-Jenkins has 10 targets for nine catches and 77 yards in two games since returning from a two-game suspension. He's the best streaming option at tight end this week if you can still add him off waivers.|
Tight end sleepers
- Evan Engram (vs. LAC): Engram hasn't had a big game yet, but he's on the verge of that happening given his targets. He has 25 targets in his past three games, and he's come down with 15 catches for 156 yards and a touchdown over that span. He faces a Chargers defense this week that hasn't allowed a touchdown to a tight end this season, but Engram still has top-10 potential, especially in PPR.
- Benjamin Watson (at OAK): Watson didn't have a great game in Week 4 against Pittsburgh with five catches for 43 yards on six targets, but he's still been heavily involved in the offense, which shouldn't change this week. And he's facing a Raiders defense that has allowed a tight end to score at least seven Fantasy points in a standard league in three of four games this year.
- Hunter Henry (at NYG): Henry and Antonio Gates are both sleeper options this week given the matchup with the Giants, who have allowed five touchdowns to tight ends this year and at least one in each game. Henry finally scored his first touchdown of the season last week against the Eagles.
|5.6 Projected points|
Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys TE
|The Packers have been tough on opposing tight ends so far this year with a combined eight catches for 88 yards and no touchdowns to the position. Granted, the only legit tight end Green Bay has faced was Jimmy Graham in Week 1, but he was held to one catch for 10 yards. Witten has faced the Packers three times in the past two years, including the playoffs, and he has 15 catches for 141 yards and one touchdown over that span. In his past two games, Witten has two catches for 12 yards and no touchdowns on six targets, and he's not worth starting this week.|
|5.7 Projected points|
Eric Ebron Detroit Lions TE
|Ebron is another tight end not worth trusting this week given his recent production. In his past two games, Ebron has four catches for 36 yards on 11 targets, and he only has one game this season with decent production, which was Week 2 against the Giants with five catches for 42 yards and a touchdown. But every tight end scores against the Giants. He faces the Panthers this week, and Carolina has yet to allow a tight end to score, including matchups with Rob Gronkowski and Clay. Ebron is someone you can drop in most leagues.|
|4.4 Projected points|
Tyler Kroft Cincinnati Bengals TE
|Kroft was awesome in Week 4 at Cleveland with six catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets, but you don't want to be chasing production here. A lot of what Kroft did had to do with the Browns and their inability to defend tight ends. The Bills, who Kroft faces this week, are a much tougher opponent. Buffalo has yet to allow a touchdown to a tight end, and Austin Hooper in Week 4 had the best game for a tight end against the Bills with five catches for 50 yards on seven targets. Now, Buffalo hasn't faced a great tight end for a full game yet since Greg Olsen hurt his foot in Week 2. But Kroft is still more of a gamble than a sure thing, and I would only consider starting him in deeper leagues this week.|
Bennett is due for a big game soon, but he's been a total dud so far this year with his production. Despite 28 targets on the season, Bennett has just 17 catches for 141 yards and no touchdowns. He has combined for 12 Fantasy points on the year, and it's impossible to trust him against the Cowboys. Dallas has allowed just one touchdown to a tight end this year and none to score more than seven Fantasy points in a game.
Jets (at CLE) - 14.5 Projected points
This is a play against Kizer and the Browns offense as much as trusting the Jets DST, but they've played well the past two weeks and are worth using as a streaming option in Week 5. In the past two games against Miami and Jacksonville, the Jets have allowed a late garbage-time touchdown to the Dolphins at the end of regulation and just one offensive touchdown to the Jaguars. Now, they only have three turnovers and six sacks for the year, but Kizer already has eight interceptions, one fumble and has been sacked 11 times. Cleveland has scored fewer than 20 points in three of four games, and the Jets DST has a good chance to finish as a No. 1 unit this week.
- Eagles (vs. ARI): Palmer has been hit a lot, and he's been sacked 16 times in the past three games. Arizona has also scored fewer than 20 points in three games in a row. The Eagles DST has only averaged 6.0 Fantasy points per game over the past three weeks, but this is a good week to trust them in a home matchup with the Cardinals.
- Giants (vs. LAC): The Giants DST has yet to score 10 Fantasy points in a game this year, and they've generated just two fumbles with no interceptions through four games, along with only eight sacks. Rivers has only thrown four interceptions and been sacked six times, but I'm expecting him to struggle this week on the road. The Giants DST has the chance to be a solid top-10 unit in this matchup.
- Lions (vs. CAR): The Panthers turned things around last week against the Patriots, but in the three previous games against the 49ers, Bills and Saints, the opposing DSTs combined for 40 Fantasy points. Newton has been sacked 12 times and has six interceptions on the season, and the Lions DST has scored at least 14 Fantasy points in four games in a row. It's time for you to buy into the Lions DST as a weekly starter in all leagues.
Jaguars (at PIT) - 10.0 Projected points
The Jaguars DST has been phenomenal this year, and they come into this game with at least 17 Fantasy points in three of four games, with two games scoring at least 20 points. But the Steelers allow the sixth-fewest Fantasy points to opposing DSTs, and the Bears in Week 3 are the only DST to score more than seven Fantasy points against the Steelers. If this game was in Jacksonville then I would consider using the Jaguars DST, but in Pittsburgh you should expect the Steelers offense to play at a high level as always.
Elliott needs to be owned in all leagues because he's been amazing the past three weeks. Sure, a letdown is coming, but Elliott is averaging nearly 12 Fantasy points a game since becoming the Eagles kicker in Week 2. He's 8-of-10 on field goals, including two from 50-plus yards, and he's made all seven of his extra points. The Cardinals have already allowed two kickers to make multiple field goals this year, including Phil Dawson last week when he made five field goals. Elliott should continue to be a difference maker for Fantasy owners in Week 5.
- Greg Zuerlein (vs. SEA): The Seahawks have allowed two kickers to make at least three field goals already and score at least nine Fantasy points, and Zuerlein has been awesome this season with 14-of-14 field goals and 14-of-14 made extra points. He's scored at least 11 Fantasy points in three of four games this year.
- Harrison Butker (at HOU): Butker did well in his first game for the Chiefs in Week 4 against Washington with 3-of-4 made field goals and two made extra points. The Texans haven't allowed a field goal in the past two games against New England and Tennessee, but in their first two games, Jason Myers and Randy Bullock combined for six field goals and two extra points. Butker should be a solid Fantasy kicker this week.
- Ka'imi Fairbairn (vs. KC): Fairbairn has been great for the past two games with 32 combined Fantasy points against the Patriots and Titans. And he's made seven field goals and nine extra points over that span. The Chiefs have allowed multiple field goals in three games already this year, and Fairbairn should once again finish as a No. 1 Fantasy kicker this week.
Gano has been solid so far this year, and he's scored at least nine Fantasy points in three of four games. But I'm expecting him to have minimal production this week against the Lions stingy defense. Only Matt Bryant in Week 3 made multiple field goals against Detroit, and Bryant is the lone kicker with more than five Fantasy points. Gano will likely score single digits in Fantasy points this week and is not worth starting in this matchup on the road.
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