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USATSI

Cooper Kupp returned to practice this week, and is pushing to play in Week 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles. If he does, I'm starting both Kupp and his teammate Puka Nacua. They both possess WR1 upside, and I'm not leaving that on the bench. What is more interesting is what happens rest of season with the Rams duo.

There are a minimum of three ways I could see this playing out. Kupp could return and claim his 32% target share, leaving everyone else to fight for the scraps. Or, Nacua could be a legitimately great wide receiver who impacts Kupp's target share. And we have to at least acknowledge the possibility that Kupp is re-injured or never fully regains form. Three is the easiest to diagnose, Nacua would remain a top-12 wide receiver for the foreseeable future. The other two are more complicated.

  • Week 5 Previews: RB | QB | TE

In the scenario where Kupp comes back as himself and dominates targets, he's back in the WR1 conversation, Stafford is probably a low-end QB1, and Nacua is much more volatile. About 61% of the Rams targets have gone to wide receivers this year, only a slight downtick from last year's 64% mark. In this scenario there would be 29-32% left for Nacua to share with Tutu Atwell, Van Jefferson, and Ben Skowronek. That likely sets a hard cap around 20% for Nacua, with a projected floor around 15%. That's seven to eight targets a week, which probably makes him a boom-bust WR3 on a weekly basis.

What seems slightly more likely is that Kupp never gets back to 32% after what Nacua has shown. Kupp settling in around 25-27% could leave room for him to be a top-five Fantasy wide receiver while Nacua sticks in the top 20 as well. We've seen that before under Sean McVay, early in his time there with Kupp and Robert Woods

While there are a lot of potential outcomes for Nacua, there are probably only two for Tutu Atwell. If Kupp and Nacua are both healthy, it's hard to see how Atwell will be anything more than a flex at best. 

Here is the rest of the Week 5 WR Preview:

Week 5 WR Preview
WR Preview
Who's Out

The following players are not being projected to play Week 5 at this time. Here's what it means:

CIN Cincinnati • #5
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Tyler Boyd should see an increased target share with Higgins out.
WR Preview
Numbers to Know
  • 38.2% -- Despite leaving Week 5 for a while with a shoulder injury, Davante Adams still leads the NFL with a 38.2% target share. He also leads the NFL with a 52.7% air yards share.
  • 6 -- Nico Collins leads all wide receivers with six broken tackles. He's doing everything well right now.
  • 1.3 -- Jaxon Smith-Njigba's 1.3 ADOT ranks dead last among wide receivers.
  • 18 -- Amari Cooper only has 18 yards of YAC on the season, at least partially because of his enormous 16.6 ADOT.
  • 4.71 -- Brandon Aiyuk leads the league with a monstrous 4.71 yards per route run. No other player is above four.
  • 33.9% -- Rashee Rice has been targeted on 33.9% of the routes he's run. He;'s easily the most promising Chiefs wide receiver right now.
  • 24.5% -- Christian Kirk leads the Jaguars with a 24.5% target share on the season. Calvin Ridley ranks third, also behind Evan Engram.
  • 26.8% -- Wan'Dale Robinson leads the Giants with a 26.8% TPRR. His 1.49 YPRR is also the best on the team, minimum 10 targets. If you want to bet on one Giants wide receiver, he's the guy to bet on.
WR Preview
Matchups that matter
Matchups that matter
Projections powered by Sportsline
WAS Washington • #1
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs CHI WAS -6.5 O/U 44.5
OPP VS WR
19th
PROJ PTS
11.3
WR RNK
37th
YTD Stats
REC
14
TAR
25
REYDS
110
TD
1
FPTS/G
7.8
JAC Jacksonville
Age: 29 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ BUF BUF -5.5 O/U 48.5
OPP VS WR
6th
PROJ PTS
11.1
WR RNK
19th
YTD Stats
REC
15
TAR
28
REYDS
211
TD
2
FPTS/G
12
IND Indianapolis • #11
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs TEN IND -1 O/U 42.5
OPP VS WR
27th
PROJ PTS
12.9
WR RNK
21st
YTD Stats
REC
26
TAR
39
REYDS
245
TD
1
FPTS/G
14.6
DEN Denver • #10
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs NYJ DEN -2 O/U 43
OPP VS WR
3rd
PROJ PTS
10.9
WR RNK
31st
YTD Stats
REC
11
TAR
17
REYDS
158
TD
0
FPTS/G
8.9
WR Preview
Waiver Wire Targets
Week 5 Adds (WR Preview)
CIN Cincinnati • #83
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ ARI CIN -3 O/U 44.5
OPP VS WR
12th
WR RNK
38th
ROSTERED
54%
YTD Stats
REC
17
TAR
27
REYDS
127
TD
0
FPTS/G
7.4
Boyd has 24 targets over the past three weeks and should be the clear No. 2 in the passing game with Tee Higgins out. This is a much better role in PPR than non, because of the low touchdown odds that currently exist in the Bengals world. But that would change if Joe Burrow regains form before Higgins. For now, view Boyd as a low-end WR3 on bye weeks.
DET Detroit • #8
Age: 29 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs CAR DET -10 O/U 44
OPP VS WR
5th
WR RNK
NR
ROSTERED
47%
YTD Stats
REC
12
TAR
19
REYDS
215
TD
2
FPTS/G
11.4
Reynolds is much better than Boyd in non-PPR and slightly better in half. I would not expect Jameson Williams to impact Reynolds for a while, if at all. Reynolds is averaging 11 Fantasy points per game and has at least nine in every game but one. He's the best deep threat on the Lions until Jameson Williams is ready for a full time role.
WAS Washington • #4
Age: 27 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs CHI WAS -6 O/U 44.5
OPP VS WR
19th
WR RNK
41st
ROSTERED
28%
YTD Stats
REC
17
TAR
20
REYDS
178
TD
1
FPTS/G
10.7
I wish Samuel wasn't getting so much work because he's hurting Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson, but we can't very well ignore it, especially when he's playing the Bears. Expect three-to-six catches and a rush attempt, and against Chicago that gives you boom-bust flex appeal. Six receivers have touched the ball at least four times against the Bears this season. Five of them scored double-digit PPR Fantasy points and two of them topped 18.
Stashes (WR Preview)
KC Kansas City • #4
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ MIN KC -4 O/U 52.5
OPP VS WR
32nd
WR RNK
NR
ROSTERED
40%
YTD Stats
REC
13
TAR
19
REYDS
140
TD
1
FPTS/G
8.3
Rice is inching closer to Fantasy relevance, but he's also had a terrible time with drops. This one could legitimately go either way, but no other receiver is doing anything to keep him off the field. Assuming the drops go away, Rice could be a full-time player and a top-20 Fantasy wide receiver in the second half.
WR Preview
DFS Plays
Top DFS Play
Projections powered by Sportsline
MIN Minnesota • #18
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs KC KC -5 O/U 53
OPP VS WR
10th
PROJ PTS
18.5
WR RNK
1st
YTD Stats
REC
33
TAR
47
REYDS
543
TD
3
FPTS/G
25.8
I have Jefferson in a class of his own in the projections in a home game likely chasing the score against the Chiefs. He's projected for three and a half more FanDuel points than Tyreek Hill and Hill is $200 more. There are plenty of other places to get cute this week, I'm going to play the best wide receiver in the game.
Contrarian DFS Play
Projections powered by Sportsline
PIT Pittsburgh • #14
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs BAL BAL -3.5 O/U 38.5
OPP VS WR
17th
PROJ PTS
10.4
WR RNK
28th
YTD Stats
REC
16
TAR
30
REYDS
263
TD
1
FPTS/G
12.1
Part of the theory of the contrarian play is going right back to the high-upside guy who just busted. Don't let a potential Mitchell Trubisky start get in your way; over the past two seasons, Trubisky has been statistically better as a passer than Pickett.
WR Preview
Heath's Projections

My full set of Week 5 Fantasy football projections for every position are now available on SportsLine. Find out which of my favorite plays are projected to score higher than consensus rankings and which don't live up to their draft hype, at least in Week 5. Projected stats for all starting wide receivers are available, so be sure to check out the full set of projections at SportsLine.