We've been slightly distracted this week with Hurricane Matthew since we're based in South Florida and we hope everyone who might be affected by this storm is safe. It could also cause problems for NFL games on the East Coast, so keep an eye on TEN-MIA, WAS-BAL and even TB-CAR on Monday night before setting your lineups.
As for Week 5, we hope to see several stars step up who have been struggling. The Patriots passing game should dramatically improve with Tom Brady back from his four-game suspension, which is good news for Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman. Start all three of them against the Browns this week.
Odell Beckham should have the chance for a big game if cornerback Sam Shields (concussion) remains out for the Packers, and he will hopefully have more highlights this week than tirades. Also, in that same game, don't be surprised if Randall Cobb plays well given how slot receivers have done against the Giants this year.
One player we're a little worried about this week is DeAndre Hopkins at Minnesota. You can't outright bench him, but this could be another tough week of limited production.
And don't be surprised if Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, off their dominant performance against the Panthers with 500 passing yards and 300 receiving yards, respectively, struggle this week at Denver. The Broncos defense is nasty and Ryan and Jones could see a decline in production. You're not benching Jones, but you might sit Ryan.
We're also hopeful Cam Newton (concussion) plays against the Buccaneers since it's a great matchup, but Carson Palmer (concussion) is out against the 49ers. And we have four teams on a bye with Seattle, New Orleans, Jacksonville and Kansas City, so finding the right quarterback might be tough without Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. But as you'll see below, we like a certain rookie to deliver at Detroit.
Editor's Note: Projections are provided by CBS Sports and not Jamey Eisenberg.
Start of the Week
This is a terrible week for quarterbacks with Brees, Wilson, Blake Bortles and Alex Smith on a bye, and Palmer and Newton dealing with injuries. Then you factor in tough matchups for Ryan and Matthew Stafford (vs. PHI), and Fantasy owners could be scrambling for a starter in Week 5.
Wentz could be your hero this week.
The rookie from unheralded North Dakota State, who played a total of 39 snaps in the preseason, has been a star so far in his young NFL career. In three starts, Wentz is averaging 256 passing yards a game with five total touchdowns and no interceptions.
He has at least 23 Fantasy points in a standard league in two of three starts, including his last outing in Week 3 against Pittsburgh when he had 25 points, and we don't expect him to slow down coming off a bye. Speaking of bye weeks, Eagles coach Doug Pederson worked for Andy Reid in Kansas City, and Reid is awesome in his career coming off a bye (15-2). Maybe that same bye-week karma works here for Philadelphia.
More likely, Wentz will take advantage of this Lions defense, which has been awful against the pass this year and has allowed the second-most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Andrew Luck, Marcus Mariota, Aaron Rodgers and Brian Hoyer have all scored at least 20 Fantasy points in a standard league against Detroit, with an average of 283 passing yards, 12 total touchdowns and just one interception.
The Lions are dealing with injuries to key members on defense, including Ezekiel Ansah (ankle) and DeAndre Levy (quad). Meanwhile, the Eagles are getting healthy with Zach Ertz (ribs) coming back this week.
Wentz should finish as a Top 10 Fantasy quarterback this week. He's a great replacement option for the quarterbacks on a bye or dealing with injuries if they are out, and Wentz should have a higher ceiling this week than Ryan and Stafford.
Carr has a roller coaster of a track record against the Chargers in his career with two games of at least 29 Fantasy points and two games with 17 points or less in a standard league. If there's a trend, his two big games against San Diego have come in the first meeting of each matchup in every year. He comes into this game with at least 23 Fantasy points in three of four games, and he scored 30 points in a standard league in his lone home game against Atlanta in Week 2. The Chargers have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in three of four games this year to Smith, Bortles and Brees, and collectively quarterbacks are averaging 307 passing yards with eight total touchdowns and six interceptions. Carr has been great so far this season and should stay hot for another week in this matchup at home.
As we said in the waiver wire column this week, if you couldn't grab Wentz as a starter with all the quarterbacks hurt or on a bye then Hoyer was an excellent fallback option. He's been great so far in two starts for the injured Jay Cutler (thumb) with 619 passing yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, and he's averaging 23 Fantasy points a game in standard leagues. We actually wouldn't mind if he kept the starting job for a few more weeks if he continues to play like this because he faces the Colts, Jaguars and Packers in his next three games, and this matchup with Indianapolis is promising, even on the road. The Colts are coming off the long road trip from London, and there could be plenty of tired legs on defense. Indianapolis also just made Bortles look competent with 29 Fantasy points, and Stafford also beat up this defense for 31 points in Week 1. Hoyer should stay hot for another week and is a great streaming option in all formats.
As you would expect, Rivers has a long track record against his AFC West rivals, and in his past five trips to Oakland, he's averaging 308 passing yards with 10 total touchdowns and four interceptions. He's had multiple passing touchdowns in three of those games and at least 310 passing yards in three as well. The Raiders come into this matchup having allowed just one passing touchdown in their past two games against Mariota and Joe Flacco, but Flacco, Brees and Ryan still scored at least 23 Fantasy points in a standard league (Flacco ran for a touchdown in Week 4). Flacco also fell 2 yards shy of becoming the third quarterback to throw for at least 300 yards against Oakland, and this game has the makings of a shootout. Carr and Rivers should put on a show in this matchup, and Rivers should have his third game this season with at least 22 Fantasy points in a standard league.
Dalton has been on the cusp of some big games this year, but he has yet to have that breakthrough performance. It could happen this week. He scored 20 Fantasy points in Week 2 at Pittsburgh, but he doesn't have multiple touchdowns in any game this season. The Cowboys have allowed two quarterbacks (Manning and Hoyer) to throw multiple touchdowns, and both scored at least 22 Fantasy points in a standard league. Cousins also managed 20 Fantasy points against Dallas in Week 3, and Blaine Gabbert last week is the lone quarterback to struggle against this defense. Dalton has a good track record against uncommon opponents, and he hasn't faced the Cowboys since 2012. And this also will be a homecoming of sorts for the former TCU quarterback. He could benefit greatly if Tyler Eifert (ankle) makes his debut this week, but even without Eifert we expect Dalton to be a Top 12 quarterback in Week 5.
Manning has been a mediocre Fantasy quarterback at best this season, and he has just one game with more than 16 points in a standard league. He was awful in Week 4 at Minnesota with 261 passing yards, no touchdowns and one interception, and he has one touchdown and three interceptions in his past three games. A road trip to Green Bay is tough for the Giants, but garbage time is a Fantasy owner's best friend at times. And Manning should find plenty of that this week. Stafford passed his way to 385 yards, three touchdowns and one interception at Green Bay in Week 3, and Sam Bradford had 286 passing yards and two touchdowns against the Packers in a competitive game in Week 2. With Shields (concussion) likely out, this Green Bay secondary is vulnerable, which is good news for the struggling Beckham (No. 1 receivers have dominated the Packers in the past two games with Stefon Diggs and Marvin Jones). Manning also has made several trips to Lambeau Field in his career, with his last one in the postseason in 2011 when he had 330 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
- Joe Flacco (vs. WAS): He's scored at least 20 FPTS in two of his past three outings.
- Ryan Tannehill (vs. TEN): He should improve now that his offensive line is healthy.
- Jameis Winston (at CAR): Let's hope his trend of playing great on odd weeks continues.
Things fell apart for Stafford last week at Chicago when he had a season-low seven Fantasy points in a standard league, and it was the second half of back-to-back road games. He's home this week, but things are stacked against him to fail. The Eagles are coming off a bye in Week 4 and have been exceptional on defense, ranking No. 1 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. Granted, they faced Cleveland and Chicago to open the season, but Philadelphia dominated Ben Roethlisberger in Week 3 with just 257 passing yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Stafford also has to face his former head coach in Jim Schwartz, who has turned around this Eagles defense as the defensive coordinator. The last time these two met was also in Week 5 in Detroit in 2014 when Schwartz was the defensive coordinator for the Bills. Stafford had just 231 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception, and he was sacked six times in a game where Schwartz was carried off the field on the shoulders of two Buffalo linebackers. We doubt there's a similar display this week, but there could be a similar stat line for Stafford. He's a quarterback to avoid this week if possible.
The Bills are riding high with their most impressive two-game winning streak under Rex Ryan. They beat Arizona at home in Week 3 and then won at New England in Week 4. It doesn't matter that the Patriots were without Brady, Ryan was in a celebratory mood, and rightfully so. But despite the good fortune of Buffalo's team, we are still getting mediocre Fantasy outings from Taylor, which also coincides with Sammy Watkins (foot) being out. He only has one game with more than 17 Fantasy points, which was Week 2 against the Jets (29 points), and he's only thrown one touchdown and ran for another in the past two weeks. The Bills are now going on the road for the second game in a row, and the Rams have only allowed Winston to score more than 20 Fantasy points against them, including matchups with Wilson and Palmer. Taylor is a borderline starting option in two-quarterback leagues this week.
If the trend continues for the Vikings defense then Osweiler is looking at fewer than eight Fantasy points in a standard league this week. Minnesota went from 19 Fantasy points allowed to Mariota to 18 points for Rodgers to 12 points for Newton and then eight points for Manning on Monday night. That's a murder's row of quarterbacks to face Rodgers, Newton and Manning in consecutive weeks, but the Vikings emerged with just one passing touchdown and five interceptions allowed to that trio. We doubt Osweiler is the first Minnesota opponent to score 20 Fantasy points this week, especially on the road, and we consider Osweiler just a low-end No. 2 quarterback at best. He's even risky in two-quarterback leagues despite all the injuries to the position this week.
Prescott has been on an impressive roll the past two games against Chicago and San Francisco with at least 21 Fantasy points in a standard league in each outing. He's done a nice job commanding the offense as a rookie, and his game is starting to open up as he gets more comfortable, even with Dez Bryant (knee) out. We doubt Bryant plays this week, but Prescott would likely struggle even with Bryant in this tough matchup. The Bengals have allowed two quarterbacks to score at least 25 Fantasy (Roethlisberger and Trevor Siemian), but Cincinnati was without standout linebacker Vontaze Burfict in those games. He returned from his three-game suspension in Week 4, and the Bengals defense was able to dominate Tannehill, holding him to just nine Fantasy points. Prescott should easily do better than that, but it likely won't be by much. He's only worth a look in two-quarterback formats in Week 5.
We'll find out who remains stingier against the pass, Miami's defense or the Titans offense in this matchup. Despite leaky cornerbacks, the Dolphins haven't been destroyed by opposing quarterbacks yet, with only Jimmy Garoppolo scoring 27 Fantasy points in Week 2. Miami held Wilson to 13 points in Week 1 and Dalton to 17 points in Week 4, and the Dolphins also got Cody Kessler in his first NFL start in Week 3, holding him to nine Fantasy points, which isn't worth boasting about. Mariota and the Titans could play well here, but that would be the exception for that offense, which wants to be run dominant. Mariota had 39 Fantasy points combined in his first two games against Minnesota and Detroit, but he followed that up with 12 points combined against Oakland and Houston. He hasn't thrown a touchdown since Week 2 and has three combined interceptions over that span. He's not a horrific play this week given the opponent, but he's also hard to trust in anything more than a two-quarterback league.
Ryan has been arguably the best surprise of any player this year for Fantasy owners. Through four weeks, he's the No. 1 Fantasy quarterback, and he's been excellent each week with at least 23 points in a standard league. He's taken advantage of a gorgeous schedule with matchups against Tampa Bay, Oakland and New Orleans, but his best game was against Carolina in Week 4 with 503 passing yards, four touchdowns and one interception in the game Jones went for 300 yards and a touchdown on 12 catches. Obviously we're setting you up for something because of the category he's in, and that's to say he should come crashing down this week against the Broncos. Denver hasn't allowed multiple passing touchdowns in a game this season, including matchups with Newton, Luck, Dalton and Winston, and Dalton has the high for passing yards with 206. Now, Newton scored 22 Fantasy points in Denver with a rushing touchdown, but quarterbacks are averaging just 13 Fantasy points against the Broncos this year. Along with that, Ryan averaged less than a touchdown per game outdoors last year, although he was great at Oakland in Week 2 with 396 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. We hope Ryan keeps up his strong play at Denver, but we're skeptical and would recommend finding another quarterback this week. However, if he comes out of his two-game stretch at Denver and at Seattle in Week 6 with more positive production then he's set up to be a potential Fantasy MVP based on his strong start.
Last week against Oakland should be a preview of what will happen this week against the Redskins, who have been terrible against opposing running backs so far this year. Washington is second in Fantasy points allowed to running backs, and five running backs (DeAngelo Williams, Ezekiel Elliott, Shane Vereen, Orleans Darkwa and Isaiah Crowell) have already scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. West got the chance to start in Week 4 against the Raiders and delivered a standout stat line with 21 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown. He could lose work this week to rookie Kenneth Dixon, who is expected to make his season debut after being out with a knee injury, but we expect West to dominate touches in this matchup. And based on what running backs have done against Washington so far this year it's easy to start West in the majority of leagues.
Howard had the best performance for a Bears running back in Week 4 against Detroit with 23 carries for 111 yards and three catches for 21 yards, and we expect a similar outing this week against the Colts. Indianapolis has to be tired after playing in London and then returning home for a game since most teams are on a bye after playing overseas. Howard should be facing a tired defense, and the Colts have already allowed five running backs to score double digits in Fantasy points this season in a standard league, including one in each game against Detroit, Denver, San Diego and Jacksonville. Howard will again dominate touches with Jeremy Langford (ankle) out, and he should continue to solidify himself as the starter for the rest of the season. Howard could easily be a Top 10 running back in all leagues this week.
Blount remains the No. 1 running back to use for the Patriots this week even with Brady back, but this could be the time when White gets going also. And we consider him more of a sleeper in Week 5, especially in PPR leagues. Blount has been fantastic to start the season even with a clunker of a performance in Week 4 against Buffalo with just 13 carries for 54 yards. Prior to that, he had at least 11 Fantasy points in a standard league in each of the first three weeks, and he should do well against the Browns, who have allowed a touchdown to a running back in three of four games, including two in a row. White had his best game against the Bills with four carries for 12 yards and five catches for 50 yards. We expect his receiving stats to take off now with Brady, who likes throwing to his running backs, and Cleveland allowed Jay Ajayi and Chris Thompson to catch touchdowns in the past two games.
It was great to see McKinnon play well in Week 4 against the Giants, and hopefully that game will inspire confidence from Fantasy owners who bought into him once Adrian Peterson (knee) went down in Week 2. He had 18 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown and three catches for 10 yards on five targets against the Giants. We hope he continues to get extended looks in the passing game because he could be extremely productive there, and it was nice to see him get a goal-line touchdown even though he lost one to Matt Asiata earlier in the game. This week, McKinnon should again have success against a Texans defense that struggled in Week 4 in their first game without standout defensive lineman J.J. Watt. DeMarco Murray had 25 carries for 95 yards and two touchdown and two catches for 24 yards. We're not expecting 23 Fantasy points in a standard league for McKinnon like Murray had, but he should have the chance for double digits in points in this matchup at home. McKinnon is a strong No. 2 Fantasy running back in all leagues this week.
I find myself defending Lacy on a weekly basis, including his bye week, which is hard since he didn't play. But he should come back from being off in Week 4 and ready to build off his strong showing in Week 3 against Detroit when he had 17 carries for 103 yards. He's still looking for his first touchdown, but he has a chance to score this week against a Giants defense playing on the road for the second game in a row, including a short week off a Monday night game. The Packers are generally dominant at home in prime-time games, and Lacy has three outings with at least 100 rushing yards in his past four home games going back to last year. The Giants also just allowed two rushing touchdowns to McKinnon and Asiata in Week 4, and we expect Lacy to score for the first time in 2016 this week.
- Wendell Smallwood (at DET): He could easily be the best RB for PHI this week.
- Jay Ajayi (vs. TEN): If given the chance for a full workload he could deliver as a flex.
- Duke Johnson (vs. NE): He's being used again with 15 catches the past 3 games.
- Bobby Rainey (at GB): He's the Shane Vereen replacement with 7 grabs last week.
- Bilal Powell (at PIT): He played more snaps than Matt Forte in Week 4 vs. SEA.
- DeAndre Washington (vs. SD): He'll get plenty of work with Latavius Murray hurt.
The thing that saves Sims is Doug Martin (hamstring) is not expected to play this week against the Panthers, but still coach Dirk Koetter talked about reducing Sims' workload. He also could be hurt after injuring his right knee in Week 4 against the Broncos. We expect him to play against the Panthers, but he might not be at 100 percent. I still consider him a flex option this week, but it won't be an easy game at Carolina. The Panthers gave up double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league against C.J. Anderson in Week 1 and Devonta Freeman last week, but they also shut down Carlos Hyde in Week 2 a and McKinnon in Week 3. And only Anderson had more than 65 total yards, so if Sims doesn't score this week then his production should be limited.
Having Coleman here isn't really about his expected performance as much as his expected playing time - if he'll play at all against the Broncos. Coleman has sickle cell trait, and sickle cell disease is a blood disorder that can lead to health problems, especially in situations with low oxygen like Denver and its high altitude. If you recall, former Steelers safety Ryan Clark, who carries the sickle cell trait, lost his spleen and gall bladder after becoming sick from playing in a game in Denver in 2007, and he never played a game in Denver again. Coleman is hopeful of playing this week, but even if he does then his touches could be limited. We would play it safe and plan for another option this week.
The projection for Darkwa is so low because of the chance Rashad Jennings (hand) plays. If that happens then he and Darkwa are both sits, but I would try and avoid Darkwa in this matchup even if he's the starter. While he delivered a positive stat line each of the past two weeks against the Redskins (10 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown) and Vikings (12 carries for 48 yards and a touchdown), the Giants were in competitive games and could run the ball. This week, we expect the Giants to be chasing points at the Packers, and Darkwa could lose playing time to Rainey and Paul Perkins. It will likely be a committee anyway no matter the score, but Darkwa offers little in the passing game. And the Packers have been stingy against the run with no running back gaining more than 39 rushing yards and only one touchdown allowed against Jacksonville, Minnesota and Detroit. Darkwa is a flex option at best in standard leagues.
In PPR leagues you're going to keep starting Riddick, who has at least four catches in every game this season and 20 for the year, but it's becoming harder to trust him in standard formats even though he's becoming the last man standing for Detroit. We'll find out if Dwayne Washington (ankle) is able to play this week, but if he's out then Zach Zenner will take his place. We doubt Zenner takes on a heavy workload, and Riddick has at least 10 carries in each of the past three games. But he's averaging just 4.1 Fantasy points a game in a standard league over that span, and this is a tough matchup with the Eagles. Philadelphia has allowed two rushing touchdowns this season to Crowell and Langford, but only Crowell scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. Crowell is also the only running back with more than 28 rushing yards, including a game against DeAngelo Williams while Le'Veon Bell was still suspended. So hopefully Riddick continues to make plays in the passing game this week to help his value in PPR, but we would sit him in standard leagues in this matchup.
Bernard's Fantasy points in a standard league so far are 2, 15, 3 and 3. And Fantasy owners have to decide is he a guy who will turn it around and start giving you consistent production, or is he someone who just has an occasional big game? Our four-game sample size suggests the latter, and it's hard to trust him as a weekly starter while Jeremy Hill is healthy. This should be a game where Hill has a quality stat line since the Cowboys have allowed rushing touchdowns to the past two running backs they have faced with at least 13 carries in Matt Jones and Hyde, and Hill is averaging 14.5 carries for the season. Bernard's season-high for carries is 10, which came last week against Miami, but he only has four games with double digits in carries in his past 15 games going back to last year. And over that span he's scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league just three times. Those kind of stats make him difficult to trust, and we would bench him if possible this week at Dallas.
Most Fantasy owners can't afford to bench Forte this week with four teams on a bye and all the injuries at the position, but you shouldn't expect a dominant stat line on the road against the Steelers. After Forte's hot start through two games against Cincinnati and Buffalo with a combined 42 Fantasy points in a standard league, he's slowed down with nine points combined against Kansas City and Seattle in his past two outings. Part of that has been game flow with Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing nine interceptions over that span. But we've also seen Powell take on more work, and he played more snaps than Forte (37-34) against the Seahawks. Powell also has been more productive in the passing game with 12 catches to four in the past two outings, and the Steelers have had more trouble with secondary running backs in the passing game (Bernard and Darren Sproles) than the starter, with Spencer Ware gaining a season-high 82 rushing yards against Pittsburgh last week. We hope Forte delivers for you this week since he'll be active in most lineups, but single digits in Fantasy points in a standard league is likely for the third game in a row. You'll also want to keep an eye on his knee since he could be dealing with an injury.
He's been awesome so far this season and is showing no signs of slowing down. Now, he did just blow up for seven catches, 88 yards and three touchdowns on 12 targets at Baltimore, so a letdown is coming. But a letdown for Crabtree at this point could still be quality production since he's had at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league every week. He's dominated targets from Carr in the past two games with 23 over that span, and two No. 1 receivers have beat up the Chargers this year with Jeremy Maclin in Week 1 and T.Y. Hilton in Week 3. At this point, it's hard not to consider Crabtree the No. 1 receiver ahead of Amari Cooper, and you should start Crabtree in all leagues.
Edelman has struggled so far this season with the lack of quality quarterback play with Brady out. Even when Garoppolo was playing well the best Edelman did was seven catches for 76 yards in Week 2 against Miami, and he hasn't scored a touchdown this year. But now with Brady back we should see the best of Edelman, and the Browns have struggled with receivers in three of four games this year, including guys in the slot. Jordan Matthews and Jarvis Landry both had 100 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland, and we could see Edelman go off if this passing game performs as expected in Brady's first game. It's safe to start Edelman again in all leagues this week.
Smith has played well the past two games, which was punctuated by his performance against Oakland with eight catches for 111 yards and a touchdown. He's had at least 11 targets, eight catches and 87 yards in his past two outings against the Jaguars and Raiders, and he should have the chance for another big day this week. The No. 1 receivers against the Redskins this year (Antonio Brown, Bryant, Beckham and Terrelle Pryor) have all scored a touchdown or had at least 100 receiving yards, and six receivers have scored double digits in Fantasy points against Washington. We don't expect Smith to play at this level all season, but while he's being heavily targeted and producing he should remain active in all leagues as at least a high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver.
Matthews has slowed down since a big game in Week 1 against Cleveland when he had seven catches for 114 yards and a touchdown on 14 targets. Since then, he's had eight catches for 89 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets in two games combined against Chicago and Pittsburgh. But things should get back on track this week against the Lions, who have allowed six touchdowns to opposing receivers and three to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. We expect Matthews to avoid facing Lions cornerback Darius Slay because he plays inside, and Matthews had three catches for 60 yards and a touchdown against Detroit last year. He's a solid No. 2 Fantasy receiver this week.
We'd love the Redskins to get Jackson matched up with Ravens cornerback Shareece Wright, who has struggled in coverage all season. Baltimore has allowed at least one big game to a receiver in the past three outings against Corey Coleman in Week 2, Allen Robinson in Week 3 and Crabtree last week. Jackson was a letdown in Week 4 against Cleveland with one catch for 5 yards on two targets, but he's bounced back from one bad game already (he had four Fantasy points in Week 2 and followed it up with 15 points in Week 3) and another rebound game should happen here. He's a high-upside play in all formats as a No. 2 Fantasy receiver.
- Sterling Shepard (at GB): He'll get back to scoring double digits in FPTS this week.
- Chris Hogan (at CLE): Look for Brady to take shots with him down the field.
- Randall Cobb (vs. NYG): Slot receivers have done well vs. NYG this year.
- Sammie Coates (vs. NYJ): He just led PIT in targets, catches and yards in Week 4.
- DeVante Parker (vs. TEN): If he lines up on Perrish Cox he could have a big day.
It wouldn't surprise me if Diggs played well this week, but he's more of a No. 3 Fantasy receiver than a Top 24 option. His targets have declined the past two weeks against Carolina and the Giants to 14 in those two games compared to 19 in his first two outings against Tennessee and Green Bay. He's also been held under 50 receiving yards, and this should be a tough test against the Texans, who have allowed just one receiving touchdown to a receiver, which was Eddie Royal in Week 1. Alshon Jeffery went over 100 yards in that game, but every other receiver was held to minimal production, including Maclin in Week 2. Granted, the competition was Kansas City, New England (without Brady) and the Titans, but the Vikings could run on Houston in this matchup with McKinnon. And Kyle Rudolph has emerged as the go-to threat for Bradford, which has hurt Diggs.
The past two games for Pryor have been impressive with 33 combined Fantasy points against Miami and Washington, but he could struggle in this matchup with the Patriots. New England will likely try to eliminate Pryor with standout cornerbacks Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan, and the only outside receiver to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league against the Patriots this year was Parker in Week 2, including a matchup with Hopkings and Will Fuller. Pryor should still be considered a high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver because of his targets (32 in the past three games) and his snaps at quarterback, which is always an added dimension. But there's a good chance Pryor doesn't find the end zone for the third game in a row because of the Patriots defense.
If Tate hits his projected stat line here then he would set a season-high in Fantasy points for 2016 since his best performance was four points, which he did twice. The Lions benched Tate in Week 4 at Chicago after he ran a bad route, which resulted in an interception for Stafford, and he's yet to score a touchdown this year. We hope things turn around for Tate, but you can't play him in the majority of leagues this week. Marvin Jones is about the only safe play for the Lions against the Eagles, who have yet to allow a touchdown to a receiver this year.
All the Cardinals receivers get a downgrade this week with Palmer out, which is frustrating given the matchup with the 49ers. But John Brown and Larry Fitzgerald are still low-end No. 2/high-end No. 3 receivers even with Drew Stanton starting since they don't need to make plays down the field to be successful. That's not the case with Floyd, who has yet to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league despite two touchdowns in his past three games. He's a good buy-low candidate because when Palmer is back he should start playing at a high level, but you don't want to use him as anything more than a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in deeper leagues with Stanton starting.
We've had one big game from Benjamin so far this season and three duds. Maybe he's not ready to ascend to the No. 1 receiver spot with Keenan Allen (ACL) out. He's had a fumble problem the past two weeks with one lost in each game, which has left him with a combined eight Fantasy points in a standard league over that span. Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman have stepped up to help Rivers, as well as tight end Hunter Henry. Oakland cornerback David Amerson has also played well in coverage and could make things tough on Benjamin, who should be considered a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in this matchup.
This is probably the wrong matchup for Hopkins to be struggling because it won't be any easier against the Vikings. He comes into this game with five catches for 60 yards and no touchdowns in his past two outings against New England and Tennessee, and he only has 14 targets over that span. We'd love to see Osweiler feed Hopkins more, but that's not likely to happen when Fuller is playing well and Lamar Miller is getting plenty of carries. This week, Hopkins could have a tough time with Xavier Rhodes and Terrance Newman, and the Vikings have eliminated the past two No. 1 receivers they've faced in Kelvin Benjamin and Beckham, who combined for three catches for 23 yards and no touchdowns on 10 targets. Jordy Nelson is the lone receiver to score against Minnesota this year, but he did that when Rhodes was out. Hopkins is just a No. 2 Fantasy receiver this week, and Fuller should be considered a No. 3 option.
Ertz returns from his two-game absence from a rib injury at the right time with a game against the Lions, who have allowed the second-most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends this year behind only the Falcons. A tight end has scored against Detroit in every game this season against the Colts, Titans, Packers and Bears, and Dwayne Allen, Jack Doyle and Delanie Walker have all scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league. Ertz was injured in Week 1 against the Browns, but he had six catches for 58 yards on seven targets to open the season. He's a PPR star, but this week he should be considered a Top 5 Fantasy tight end given the matchup with Detroit.
It appears like Antonio Gates (hamstring) will remain out for at least another week, which gives Henry the chance for extended playing time for the third game in a row. Through two games, he's been productive with nine catches for 133 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets, and he also lost a fumble in Week 3 at the Colts. But last week against New Orleans was a breakout game with 12 Fantasy points in a standard league, and he should have the chance for another solid outing this week. Henry is a great streaming option while Gates is out, and he should be considered a starter in all formats in Week 5.
The Panthers suddenly cannot stop tight ends, and they have allowed a tight end to score in three games in a row, including four touchdowns to the position over that span. It should have been a touchdown allowed to a tight end in all four games this year if Siemian didn't have a ball knocked down in Week 1 with Virgil Green in the back of the end zone. Brate has been great the past two weeks and has become a significant part of the offense. He has 18 targets over that span for 10 catches, 113 yards and two touchdowns, so this is a good week to trust him as at least a streaming option. Winston loves using his tight end, and Brate should continue to rack up targets and production. He's got the chance to be a Top 10 Fantasy option this week.
- Zach Miller (at IND): He's got three touchdowns in two games with Hoyer.
- Jesse James (vs. NYJ): Travis Kelce and Jimmy Graham just dominated the Jets.
- Martellus Bennett (at CLE): Brady's return means everyone is in play with this offense.
Since scoring a touchdown in Week 1 against Detroit, Allen has watched his production fade, and he's had to share the ball with Doyle. Allen went from 13 Fantasy points against the Lions to a combined seven points over the next three games against Denver, San Diego and Jacksonville. We doubt things improve this week against the Bears, who have allowed one touchdown to a tight end this season, including matchups with Jason Witten and Eric Ebron. At this point, if Allen doesn't score a touchdown he's pretty useless for your Fantasy roster in all formats, so don't plan on starting him in Week 5.
Tamme has helped Fantasy owners over the past three weeks with two touchdowns over that span, and he's been part of the reason for Ryan's big season so far. But this week he should be shut down by the Broncos, who are great in coverage of tight ends. No tight end has scored against Denver, including matchups with Greg Olsen, the Colts duo of Allen and Doyle and Brate. Olsen had the season high of seven Fantasy points in a standard league, but it's doubtful Tamme gets to that total, even against his former team. As you can see, we have little faith in the Falcons offense this week on the road aside from Jones and Freeman, and Tamme is a tight end you can avoid this week in most formats.
Witten has kind of settled back into his usual role for Fantasy owners like we've seen the past couple of years where's serviceable in PPR leagues but does little in standard formats. He has yet to score a touchdown this year and is averaging 4.1 Fantasy points in a standard league. That's not going to cut it in most formats, and this week is a tough matchup against the Bengals. Cincinnati allowed three touchdowns to tight ends in the first three weeks of the year, but that was with standout linebacker Vontaze Burfict suspended. With Burfict back, it should be hard for tight ends to produce against the Bengals, including Witten this week. He's a No. 2 option in the majority of leagues, with his value slightly higher in PPR.
Ebron started this season with a quality game in Week 1 against the Colts with 10 Fantasy points in a standard league, but he's faded since then. And we don't expect him to break his slump against the Eagles. He's averaging just 5.0 Fantasy points in his past three games against Tennessee, Green Bay and Chicago, and the Eagles won't be very forgiving this week. Philadelphia has allowed the fewest Fantasy points to opposing tight ends this year with just eight catches for 52 yards on the season in three games. Now, the best tight end the Eagles faced was either Miller or Gary Barnidge, which isn't the best competition, but Ebron will still struggle to produce at a high level this week. He's a low-end starting tight end at best in most formats.
Steelers (vs. NYJ)
- Week 5 projected stats: 10.6 FPTS
The Steelers get the chance this week to have Fitzpatrick throw them passes since he comes into this game with nine interceptions in his past two outings against the Chiefs and Seahawks. Fitzpatrick was also sacked four times against Seattle, and the Steelers DST just had its best performance of the season in Week 4 against the Chiefs with one interception, four sacks and a fumble recovery. We expect the Steelers DST to stay hot for another week with Fitzpatrick in town, and they are a solid starting option in all formats for Week 5.
- Eagles (at DET): Hopefully the bye week didn't slow down this dominant DST.
- Bills (at LAR): BUF has eight sacks and four INTs in the past two games.
- Bears (at IND): IND allows the most FPTS to opposing DSTs this year.
Jets (at PIT)
- Week 5 projected stats: 7.8 FPTS
The Jets DST has been awful over the past three weeks against Buffalo, Kansas City and Seattle, and they have combined for just 12 Fantasy points in a standard league over that span. The Jets have just two interceptions on the season and only four sacks in their past three games. It won't be easy to slow down this Steelers offense in Pittsburgh, and the Jets DST has minimal upside moving forward. It's safe to drop them in all leagues.
You probably dropped Crosby in the majority of leagues with his bye in Week 4, but he's worth adding again in all leagues and starting for the rest of the season. And he should do well this week against the Giants, who allow the second-most Fantasy points to opposing kickers. Three kickers have multiple field goals against the Giants this year, and Crosby is coming off his best game of the season in Week 3 against Detroit with two field and four extra points. Another game with double digits in Fantasy points is a strong possibility, and Crosby should be owned in all leagues and started this week.
- Caleb Sturgis (at DET): He has at least nine FPTS in three games in a row.
- Mike Nugent (at DAL): He has three games this year with at least 10 FPTS.
- Connor Barth (at IND): Three kickers in a row have at least 3 field goals vs. IND.
Bryant has been a great Fantasy kicker so far this year with at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league in each outing and three games with multiple field goals. But he will likely struggle this week on the road in Denver. The Broncos have allowed only two kickers to score eight Fantasy points in a standard league, which were Graham Gano in Week 1 and Adam Vinatieri in Week 2. In their past two games combined, Nugent and Roberto Aguayo had one field goal and three extra points against the Broncos. We expect Atlanta's offense to move the ball on Denver this week, but there won't be a lot of scoring chances for Bryant. He's a low-end starting option at best on the road.