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Most Fantasy rosters are back at full strength heading into Week 5. Miami and Oakland are the only teams on a bye, and there isn't much Fantasy talent on those two rosters.
We get a lot of reinforcements this week with the six teams on a bye in Week 4 -- Denver, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Seattle, Cleveland and Arizona -- back in action, and injuries aren't a dire concern based on the overall health of the league in this scoring period. Now, we just want all our key players perform.
Jamaal Charles returned with a bang in Week 4, but could this be LeSean McCoy's breakout performance against the Rams? What about Eddie Lacy against the Vikings? Calvin Johnson has struggled of late, but if his ankle is fine the production should follow against the Bills.
Tom Brady, Cam Newton and Nick Foles have Fantasy owners scratching their heads wondering what to do with their expected No. 1 quarterback. And Jordan Cameron is in need of a big outing at the Titans, along with several other players.
We hope most Fantasy owners have survived some of the duds from the early-round selections. And if you're in good shape heading into Week 5 then your team could be great if your No. 1 option starts playing as expected.
When the week is over, we want to praise our stars instead of panic to trade them. Obviously, we want all of you to feel good about your Fantasy teams heading into the middle of the season.
Maybe it's the awkward passing motion that comes out sideways and looks like his shoulder is about to fall off. Maybe it's the cocky disposition on the field. Maybe it's just a lack of awareness.
For some reason, Fantasy owners aren't buying into Philip Rivers as a must-start quarterback yet. His start percentage as of Wednesday is just 68 percent on CBSSports.com. But he enters Week 5 against the Jets as the No. 3 Fantasy quarterback in standard leagues behind just Andrew Luck and Matt Ryan.
We hope this is the week Fantasy owners finally start Rivers with confidence. He's scored 30 and 33 Fantasy points in his past two home games against Seattle and Jacksonville, and the Jets shouldn't pose much of a threat with their secondary. All four opposing quarterbacks against New York have thrown multiple touchdowns with no interceptions, and only Derek Carr in Week 1 failed to reach at least 20 Fantasy points.
Rivers is carrying the San Diego offense now with Ryan Mathews (knee) and Danny Woodhead (ankle) out, and he's using all of his weapons with Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd, Eddie Royal and Antonio Gates. The Chargers should have too much offensive firepower for the Jets to handle, and Rivers should do well leading the charge.
He should once again have the chance for a Top 5 finish in Fantasy points this week. But this time, we hope he does it in your starting lineup and not just on your bench.
Roethlisberger was great in Week 4 against Tampa Bay with 28 Fantasy points, and he should stay hot this week. The Jaguars have allowed every opposing quarterback to throw multiple touchdowns against them, with Luck getting four in Week 3 and Rivers getting three last week. Roethlisberger has five touchdowns in his past two games, and we expect him to stay hot in this matchup, especially coming off last week's disappointing loss against Tampa Bay at home.
The Falcons allowed their first opposing quarterback to score more than 17 Fantasy points in Week 4 when Teddy Bridgewater went for 22 at home, including matchups with Brees and Andy Dalton. But Manning should make it two in a row with the way he's been playing the past three games. He has 80 Fantasy points over that span, including 40 points in Week 4 at Washington. The Falcons won't be the cakewalk the Redskins were last week, but Manning finally looks comfortable in this new system under coordinator Ben McAdoo. He's been sacked just twice in the past two games, and his lone interception over that span was off a deflection out of Rueben Randle's hands. The Giants could easily run all over the Falcons, but Manning looks his best since the Super Bowl run in 2011.
I was nervous watching Kaepernick as the Start of the Week in Week 4 because he didn't look good. He completed just 57 percent of his passes for 218 yards, his first touchdown was a broken play on a throw across the field to Frank Gore and he had his fourth interception in two home games. But the bottom line was his production with a season-high 23 Fantasy points, giving him three 20-point outings in four games. His legs have been saving him with 176 rushing yards in his past three outings, and I expect him to play well again this week. The Chiefs shut down Ryan Tannehill and Brady the past two games, but they allowed at least 23 Fantasy points to Jake Locker and Peyton Manning to open the season. After a big win against the Patriots on Monday night, the Chiefs could be in for a letdown on the road. Kaepernick should be able to take advantage for another solid outing.
Prior to this season we would shy away from Wilson on the road in an outdoor game since he didn't have much Fantasy success in those outings. We only have a one game sample size of his performance in that setting this year, which was Week 2 at San Diego, and he did well with 21 Fantasy points. He has scored at least 21 Fantasy points in all three games this season, and he faces a dream matchup with the Redskins on Monday night. Washington has allowed 625 passing yards and seven touchdowns the past two games against Foles and Eli Manning. Wilson also has at least 18 Fantasy points in four of six primetime games in his career. The two times he scored less than 18 points was against division rival San Francisco.
Brandon Marshall was able to practice in full Wednesday, which is a great sign his injured ankle is close to 100 percent. That's good news for Cutler in this matchup. Cutler has looked great in two games this season against the 49ers and Jets and struggled against the Bills and Packers. The good news is he has at least 20 Fantasy points in every game, and his best games have been on the road. The bad news is he could implode at any moment, so take that into consideration. I'm still starting Cutler this week since the Panthers have allowed multiple touchdowns to three quarterbacks already this season, including Josh McCown, Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco. Cutler should have another solid outing, especially if he can eliminate the turnovers, and the Panthers have no interceptions the past two weeks against Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
SleepersCam Newton (vs. CHI): We can trust him in this matchup at home.
Alex Smith (at SF): He's playing well heading into this revenge game.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (at DAL): Three QBs have scored 20 Fantasy points vs. DAL.
Brady is going to need one of his biggest statistical games in recent memory for Fantasy owners to continue owning him, let alone start him. He's been terrible this season with 15 Fantasy points or less in all four games, including a season-low six points in Week 4 at the Chiefs, and he hasn't scored 20 Fantasy points in his past six outings going back to last year. It won't be easy against the Bengals, who have yet to allow multiple passing touchdowns in three games, including matchups with Ryan and Flacco. Last year, the Bengals held Brady to 197 passing yards, no touchdowns and one interception, and he was sacked four times. It's hard to argue against dropping Brady at this point in the season.
No one was going to start Cousins this week even if he played well in Week 4 against the Giants. But after he looked lost last Thursday night with seven Fantasy points on four interceptions, it's time to drop him in all leagues. He might be able to redeem himself in Week 7 against the Titans or Week 8 at Dallas, but you can't trust him even in two-quarterback leagues against the Seahawks this week or at Arizona in Week 6. Seattle might have allowed five passing touchdowns and 587 passing yards the past two games against Rivers and Peyton Manning, but Cousins has little chance of playing well this week, even at home.
Glennon looked solid in Week 4 at Pittsburgh, which was his first start this season. He had 22 Fantasy points, including a game-winning touchdown to Vincent Jackson. I don't mind stashing Glennon in two-quarterback leagues, but I wouldn't start him this week. He won't have Mike Evans (groin), and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (foot) is banged up. And even though the Saints have struggled against opposing quarterbacks this season with Ryan and Romo both scoring at least 30 Fantasy points, it's been hard for quarterbacks to have success in New Orleans dating back to last season. Ryan in Week 1 of 2013 is the last quarterback to have 20 Fantasy points in New Orleans, including matchups with Kaepernick, Romo, Newton and Glennon, who had 18 points on 219 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception in Week 17. He could repeat that performance, but that's likely the high end of his production. We'd sit Glennon in most formats this week.
Flacco is coming off his best game of the season in Week 4 against the Panthers with 31 Fantasy points behind 327 passing yards and three touchdowns. And while the Colts have allowed multiple passing touchdowns to Peyton Manning and Blake Bortles this year, Flacco isn't the best quarterback on the road. He has just two games with at least 20 Fantasy points in his past 10 games away from Baltimore, and he was held to 12 Fantasy points at Cleveland in Week 3. I'd still use Flacco in two-quarterback leagues this week because of the potential for a high-scoring affair against Luck. But I also wouldn't be shocked if he has 18 Fantasy points or less, which he's done three times in his first four outings.
Dalton isn't a horrible starting option this week if you're stuck, especially in two-quarterback leagues. He could be getting Marvin Jones (foot) back, and the Patriots were just embarrassed in Kansas City, with Alex Smith throwing three touchdown passes for 25 Fantasy points. But Dalton hasn't been a quality Fantasy quarterback to start this season. He has just one 20-point outing, which was Week 1 at Baltimore, and he only scored 11 points in Week 3 against the Titans because of a touchdown catch off a trick play from Mohamed Sanu. Last year, Dalton was held to 212 passing yards, no touchdowns and an interception against the Patriots, and he sometimes flops on the road with six touchdowns and seven interceptions in his past five games out of Cincinnati.
Foles is looking like a bust Fantasy quarterback through four games. He has just one 20-point Fantasy outing, which was Week 3 against the lowly Redskins, and this was after nine 20-point performances in 10 starts last season. He's also already doubled his interception total from 2013 with four, and I'm hesitant to start him in standard leagues this week. He is getting help on his offensive line with right tackle Lane Johnson back from suspension, and the Rams have allowed all three opposing quarterbacks this year to score multiple touchdowns, including Josh McCown running for two in Week 2. But no quarterback has topped 220 passing yards, and the Eagles should look to get LeSean McCoy going this week against a porous run defense, which has struggled with Bobby Rainey and DeMarco Murray in consecutive games. We hope Foles can turn things around, starting this week, but I don't consider him a Top 12 option in the majority of leagues.
Asiata isn't going to win you over with how he runs or his yards per carry (3.4 on the season), and we'd love to see rookie Jerick McKinnon get more work (consider McKinnon a sleeper this week). But he's been productive since taking over for Adrian Peterson in Week 2 with two games with at least 13 Fantasy points over that span. He was awesome in Week 4 against Atlanta with 20 carries for 78 yards and three touchdowns and three catches for 22 yards, and he has 11 catches for 106 yards and a touchdown on the season. The Falcons were a cake matchup for Asiata, but the Packers aren't far behind. Green Bay has already allowed five touchdowns to opposing running backs and four to reach double digits in Fantasy points. We'll see how the Vikings use Asiata this week, but he has a great chance to score. Based on that potential alone he's worth using as a No. 2 running back or flex option in this matchup.
Maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves here. The Titans have yet to commit to Sankey, and he could be a total bust this week. But we're not sure what coach Ken Whisenhunt is waiting for to turn Sankey loose. The Titans have a three-game losing streak and have looked lost offensively since Week 1. Sankey has looked good the past two games with 10 carries for 61 yards and one catch for 9 yards at Cincinnati in Week 3 and six carries for 34 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 23 yards at Indianapolis in Week 4. This is the perfect matchup for him since he's at home, and Cleveland has already allowed five touchdowns to opposing running backs and four to reach double digits in Fantasy points. I'm starting Sankey in at least two leagues, and I hope Whisenhunt doesn't let us down. If Sankey gets the work, he should come through with a solid stat line.
We hope Ellington used the bye week to rest his nagging foot problem, and he should be fresh heading into this matchup. He has the chance to help Fantasy owners in all formats, especially in PPR leagues. Denver has allowed four touchdowns to opposing running backs, but Ahmad Bradshaw and Marshawn Lynch have already scored at least seven Fantasy points in standard leagues (at least 12 in PPR) against the Broncos through the air. Ellington has nine catches on the season, and the Cardinals will try to open the offense and get him in space. If he's close to 100 percent healthy, this could be his best game to date, and he has just one game with double digits in Fantasy points, which was Week 2 at the Giants.
Gore is like Rivers in that he doesn't get the respect he deserves. He was amazing last week against the Eagles with 24 carries for 119 yards and one catch for 55 yards and a touchdown. He now has double digits in Fantasy points in two of his past three games, and the 49ers should continue to ride him this week. Kansas City has yet to allow a running back to score a touchdown, but teams are averaging 5.5 yards per carry against this defense. We expect Gore to come through at home since he has 100 rushing yards or a touchdown in each of his last 12 regular season games played in San Francisco, including two this year.
After a rough Week 1 against Minnesota when he was held to 11 carries for 43 yards and one catch for 8 yards, Stacy has rebounded the past two games to play like the standout rusher he showed last year. He had 19 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown in Week 2 at Tampa Bay and 12 carries for 67 yards and five catches for 54 yards in Week 3 against Dallas. Benny Cunningham doesn't appear to be a significant factor any more, and Stacy should do well against the Eagles. Philadelphia has already allowed five touchdowns to opposing running backs, and Gore ran through the Eagles last week. He's also scored a touchdown in three of his past five road games.
SleepersJustin Forsett (at IND): He's the No. 1 RB in BAL until further notice.
Khiry Robinson (vs. TB): He came through last week with 105 total yards.
Andre Williams (vs. ATL): He could get another garbage-time touchdown.
Ben Tate (at TEN): He returns to action as a solid No. 2 running back.
Reggie Bush (vs. BUF): Joique Bell (concussion) could be out this week.
We had high hopes for Brown last week in his first start for the Chargers. He was facing a good matchup against the Jaguars, but he finished with just 10 carries for 19 yards and four catches for 35 yards. This is now two weeks in a row with extended touches, and he has just 12 Fantasy points combined against Buffalo and Jacksonville. The Jets won't be easy to run on since no running back has gained more than 46 rushing yards on the ground, and they have yet to allow a running back to score. Brown remains an OK stash candidate with Mathews and Woodhead out, but we wouldn't start him in most formats this week.
The last time I had Ridley in this spot was Week 2 at Minnesota, which ended up as his best game of the season. He had 25 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown. Since then, Ridley was a flop as the Start of the Week in Week 3 against Oakland with five Fantasy points, and he bottomed out in Week 4 at Kansas City with five carries for 28 yards. He missed last year's game at Cincinnati with a knee injury, and he will likely struggle this week. It will take Ridley scoring a touchdown for him to be a viable Fantasy option, and he has just one touchdown in his past 10 regular season games. The Bengals also have allowed just two touchdowns to opposing running backs, and Forsett is the lone running back to score double digits in Fantasy points.
Jackson came close to scoring a touchdown in Week 4 at Minnesota, but the officials reviewed the play and said he was down at the 1-yard line. He ended up with just 13 carries for 49 yards and two catches for 13 yards. He has one game this season with double digits in Fantasy points, which was Week 3 against Tampa Bay in the blowout victory, and this game could become a shootout with the Falcons chasing points. If that happens, Jackson's touches will be limited, and he continues to share playing time with Antone Smith, Jacquizz Rodgers and Devonta Freeman. The Giants have allowed three touchdowns to opposing running backs and five have scored at least eight Fantasy points already this year. But Jackson has struggled outdoors since coming to Atlanta in 2013 with just one game with more than seven Fantasy points in six outdoor road outings.
We said last week that Sproles was going to be tough to trust outdoors, and he's been a terrible Fantasy option two weeks in a row against Washington and San Francisco with a combined three Fantasy points. He could easily reverse his fortunes this week against the Rams, who have struggled against opposing running backs all year, but this game should feature a lot of McCoy and not much from Sproles. The good thing with him is it only takes one play to save his Fantasy production, and he could still be a flex option in PPR leagues with at least three catches in three of his first four games. But I'd be hesitant to start him in most standard formats this week. Look for Sproles to be a solid option again in Week 8 at Arizona and Week 9 at Houston when the Eagles play indoors, where Sproles tends to shine.
Bell is dealing with a concussion, so keep an eye on his status heading into Week 5 against the Bills. Even if he plays, his production could be limited again. Bell played just three quarters at the Jets in Week 4 and finished with eight carries for 32 yards and two catches for 7 yards. That's now three games in a row with seven Fantasy points or less, and he has just one touchdown on the season. Buffalo has yet to allow a running back to score a touchdown, and Matt Forte in Week 1 is the only running back to reach double digits in Fantasy points. We still have high hopes for Bell this season, and we hope he's OK with the head injury. But keep him reserved this week, and Bush could end up as a solid No. 2 running back or flex if Bell is out.
Morris has not reached the status of must-start running back despite the matchup, and he should struggle this week. The Seahawks have allowed one touchdown to an opposing running back, but it was fullback John Kuhn in Week 1. They have shut down or injured Lacy, Mathews and Montee Ball the past three games, with none rushing for more than 38 yards. Morris does have at least 14 Fantasy points in two of his past three games, both at home, and he's scored at least seven Fantasy points in every game this season. He also faced the Seahawks in the 2012 playoffs as a rookie and had 16 carries for 80 yards, but we're not expecting him to repeat even those stats. If the game gets out of hand then look for Roy Helu to get increased playing time, and Morris should be benched, if possible, in the majority of leagues.
We're not sure what Benjamin has to do for Fantasy owners to buy into starting him in all leagues. He has three games with double digits in Fantasy points in four outings with at least eight targets each week. And this week he has a great matchup against the Bears, who have allowed a receiver to score in three consecutive games, including Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb combining for four touchdowns in Week 4. If Newton plans to get on track this season, he needs to continue forcing the ball to Benjamin, and we hope Fantasy owners benefit from it. That is if they start him in all leagues because so far so great from the rookie from Florida State.
When Hopkins caught two touchdowns in his first two games this season against Washington and Oakland, we chalked it up to nice plays against bad defenses. But he didn't stop there. Hopkins then had six catches for 116 yards at the Giants in Week 3 and five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown against Buffalo last week. Houston Chronicle beat writer John McClain said last week on our Eye on Fantasy Football show on the CBS Sports Radio Network that Hopkins is the best receiver he's seen in 35 years going up for a ball, and he's outplayed Andre Johnson, who is battling an ankle injury. Hopkins is No. 10 in Fantasy points in standard leagues, but Johnson is just No. 43. The Cowboys have allowed just two receivers to score touchdowns this year, but Hopkins is proving to be a must-start option in all formats.
Last week, as expected, Tate took advantage of a weak Jets secondary with season-highs in targets (10), catches (eight) and yards (116). He's still looking for his first touchdown with the Lions, but he could get it this week against the Bills. Buffalo has already allowed five touchdowns to opposing receivers, and secondary receivers have done well against the Bills the past two games. Royal had four catches for 42 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3, and Floyd had two catches for 98 yards. And last week it was DeAndre Hopkins catching five passes for 64 yards and a touchdown. We hope Calvin Johnson is more of a playmaker this week than a decoy, but if the Lions go that route again then look for Tate to have another solid outing.
We'll stick with our guy Smith until he proves us wrong, and he's been great so far this season. He went off against his former team in Week 4 with seven catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns on 10 targets against the Panthers, and he has at least seven Fantasy points in all four games, with double digits in points in three outings. He also has at least 10 targets in three of four games, and Flacco is clearly in sync with Smith in their first year together. The Colts have allowed three touchdowns to opposing receivers, but the only true No. 1 threat to hurt them was Jeremy Maclin in Week 2 with four catches for 45 yards and a touchdown. Otherwise they limited Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders to 10 catches for 125 yards and no touchdowns in Week 1. Still, Smith is rolling right now, and we hope Fantasy owners are buying in with him as a must-start option in all leagues.
I like Wayne and T.Y. Hilton this week since the Ravens have not been good against No. 1 receivers. And it's hard to say who the No. 1 option is for the Colts. Wayne is the more productive of the two with 23 catches for 307 yards and one touchdown compared to 22 catches for 291 yards and no touchdowns for Hilton. But Hilton leads the Colts in targets with 38 to 33 for Wayne. Both played well in Week 4 against the Titans as Wayne had seven catches for 119 yards and a touchdown on eight targets, and Hilton had six catches for 105 yards on 10 targets. The Ravens have allowed every No. 1 receiver they've faced this year -- A.J. Green, Antonio Brown, Miles Austin and Benjamin -- to score double digits in Fantasy points with three touchdowns allowed, and Wayne or Hilton should continue the trend. We like Wayne better but both should be considered No. 2 Fantasy options in the majority of leagues.
SleepersSammy Watkins (at DET): The targets should increase with Kyle Orton.
Rueben Randle (vs. ATL): He has 20 targets in the past two games.
Brian Quick (at PHI): He has at least 14 points in a PPR league each week.
Andrew Hawkins (at TEN): He has at least 13 points in a PPR league each week.
Eddie Royal (vs. NYJ): He and Malcom Floyd should (again) stay hot this week.
I'd be nervous starting Garcon and DeSean Jackson this week against the Seahawks. The Redskins receivers were terrible last week against the Giants with three catches for 38 yards combined, and that was a much easier matchup. We've seen the Legion of Boom give up some decent production to receivers this year with Cobb, Nelson and Sanders each scoring at least eight Fantasy points, but Cobb is the lone receiver to score against Seattle. Garcon could still be useful in PPR leagues, and he does have two games with at least 10 catches this season, although both were on the road. Jackson only has one game with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league, and it was the revenge game against the Eagles in Week 3. If you can avoid the Redskins receivers this week, it might be the safe move given the matchup and how poorly Cousins looked in Week 4 against the Giants.
The secondary was expected to be a weakness for the Chargers this season, but so far they have been exceptional against opposing receivers. Michael Floyd had 119 receiving yards in Week 1 and John Brown scored a touchdown, but those are the only receivers to hurt them through the air (Percy Harvin scored on a run in Week 2). Otherwise the only receivers to gain more than 40 receiving yards against the Chargers were Jermaine Kearse in Week 2 and Allen Hurns last week. Decker played through a hamstring injury last week and had four catches for 48 yards and a touchdown on nine targets against Detroit, and he's scored double digits in Fantasy points in two of his past three games. But we're buying into this pass defense, and Decker also had just five catches for 94 yards in two meetings with San Diego last season when he was with Denver.
The Vikings either don't trust Patterson or have little interest in using him, at least based on what happened in Week 4 against Atlanta. They switched quarterbacks from Matt Cassel to Bridgewater and still nothing changed for Patterson. Kyle Rudolph (groin) was out, and Jairus Wright got 10 targets while Patterson was still left with only four. He finished with two catches for 38 yards, and he's combined for 14 Fantasy points the past three weeks with just 21 targets on the season. Maybe if Bridgewater (ankle) is out this week then Christian Ponder can get Patterson going, but until we see it happen he can't be trusted in the majority of leagues.
Wright should get a boost this week with Locker (wrist) expected to return, but he has been miserable since Week 1 with 10 Fantasy points combined the past three weeks. He only has five catches for 55 yards as his high over that span, so even his 10 points in a PPR league isn't cutting it. We hope to see some improvement this week with Locker back, but the Browns have been tough on opposing receivers. Antonio Brown and Steve Smith are the only receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points against Cleveland, and Brown is the only one with a touchdown. Until Wright starts playing on a consistent level again, he should be benched in all leagues, including PPR formats. I'd rather have Royal, Quick or Hawkins on my team.
Fitzgerald and Floyd will be tough to trust in Week 5 at Denver because it appears like Drew Stanton will be starting again for the injured Carson Palmer (shoulder). Fitzgerald has been bad all season, but he has just nine catches for 85 yards despite 17 targets in two starts with Stanton against the Giants and 49ers. Floyd was better against the 49ers with five catches for 114 yards on nine targets, but against the Giants he had one catch for 19 yards on six targets. I'd still use Floyd as a low-end No. 2 receiver, but Fitzgerald has to prove himself first, especially with Stanton. The Broncos also have allowed just two touchdowns to an opposing receiver, which were Hakeem Nicks in Week 1 and Ricardo Lockett in Week 3.
When the season started, I never thought I'd be mentioning to sit any player of significance against the Cowboys, let alone someone like Johnson. But he's been less than stellar as a Fantasy option this year, and the Cowboys defense has actually been a pleasant surprise. Johnson has yet to score a touchdown. His best game was Week 1 against Washington with nine Fantasy points, but since then he's combined for 14 points against Oakland, the Giants and Buffalo. The targets are still there with 34 on the season, but Hopkins has proven to be the better Fantasy option. The Cowboys have allowed two touchdowns to opposing receivers, which were Quick and Austin Pettis in Week 3. They have limited Michael Crabtree, Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks to a combined 10 Fantasy points, and tight ends have done the most damage against this secondary. I'd still start Johnson in PPR leagues since he has six catches in three of four games. But in standard leagues, until he does a better job finding the end zone, I'd consider other options if possible.
I was excited about Miller this season, I liked him last week against Tampa Bay and I expect him to keep it going this week against the Jaguars. He had a season-high in targets (11), catches (10), yards (85) and his first touchdown against the Bucs, and the Jaguars have struggled against tight ends this season. They've already allowed four touchdowns to tight ends, and Gates last week is the first starting tight end to not reach double digits in Fantasy points. Miller has the chance for another Top 5 finish again this week.
Donnell was good to start the season with at least eight Fantasy points in two of his first three games, but he was great in Week 4 at Washington with seven catches for 54 yards and three touchdowns. The only difference for Donnell was the multiple touchdowns since he's had at least eight targets in three of four games and five catches in every outing. There's always the fear that he doesn't score and leaves you with a minimal stat line, and the Falcons have yet to allow a touchdown to an opposing tight end, including Jimmy Graham in Week 1. But Graham is the only legitimate tight end they've faced, including matchups with Cincinnati, Tampa Bay and Minnesota without Rudolph, and Graham had eight catches for 82 yards. We'll buy into Donnell as a Top 10 tight end, and his performance to start the season warrants a starting spot in the majority of leagues.
Kelce has been building a case for more playing time since the preseason, and slowly coach Andy Reid has bought in. He had four catches for 81 yards on six targets at Denver in Week 2, three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown on four targets at Miami in Week 3 and then he was unleashed against New England in Week 4 with eight catches for 93 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. He has the potential to be a standout tight end, and he should be the best receiving option in Kansas City for the rest of the season. This week, Kelce faces a San Francisco defense that has been hit or miss against tight ends this season. The 49ers held Jason Witten and Zach Ertz to a combined six catches for 57 yards, but Martellus Bennett had seven catches for 37 yards and a touchdown. We expect Kelce to again be peppered with targets, and he should be started in all leagues just for his upside alone.
SleepersGarrett Graham (at DAL): DAL is the worst team at defending tight ends.
Owen Daniels (at IND): Daniels gets boost with LaRon Landry out.
Clay Harbor (vs. PIT): He led the team in targets in Blake Bortles first start.
I like the way Allen has played this season with at least nine Fantasy points in three of four games, and he has three touchdowns on the year. We wish Coby Fleener would get out of the way, but Fleener also has scored a touchdown in each of the past two games. This week, Allen faces a defense that has been great against tight ends this year. The Ravens have already held Miller, Jordan Cameron and Greg Olsen to a combined eight Fantasy points, with none of them gaining more than 35 yards. If Allen doesn't score a touchdown in either of his past two games against Jacksonville or Tennessee then he's looking at four Fantasy points as his best outing. That could be his fortune this week against Baltimore.
If you listen to coach Jason Garrett then you realize Witten is having a tremendous season, mostly because of his blocking. He's a big reason why Murray has been so successful, but Fantasy owners would like more from a receiving standpoint. Witten had his best game of the year in Week 4 against the Saints with five catches for 61 yards on five targets. But he has yet to score a touchdown, and the Texans have allowed just one touchdown to a tight end, which was Daniel Fells in Week 3. Houston is actually the only team to contain Donnell, who was held to six catches for 45 yards in that game. We hope Witten comes around this year, but until he does you shouldn't feel confident starting him in the majority of standard leagues.
It was good to see Ebron score his first NFL touchdown in Week 4 at the Jets. He took advantage of Joseph Fauria (ankle) being out and had three catches for 34 yards and the score on four targets. He could repeat that stat line again, especially if Fauria remains sidelined, but the Bills have done a nice job against tight ends of late. Bennett had eight catches for 70 yards and a touchdown in Week 1, but Charles Clay and Gates were limited against Buffalo with eight catches for 39 yards combined. We hope Ebron's role continues to grow, but we're not expecting a big outing this week against Buffalo at home.
We're not giving up Ertz yet. It's too soon, and he's too talented. He could easily have a big game this week, even in a tough matchup at home. But he's been bad the past two games with six catches for 57 yards and a fumble, and he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 1. He has a difficult assignment this week since the Rams have allowed just three tight ends to reach double digits in Fantasy points in their past 19 games. This year, St. Louis allowed a touchdown to Rudolph in Week 1, but he and Witten have combined for six catches and 65 yards as the top tight ends the Rams have faced. Ertz, with his slump, is someone you can bench if possible, and I like Garrett Graham and Daniels better than him this week.
We hope this isn't a situation where the Seahawks only score touchdowns, and Hauschka is limited to a boatload of extra points and minimal field goal attempts. He's already had one game like that in Week 2 at San Diego when he had three extra points and no field goals. But he's scored at least eight Fantasy points in his other two games, and Seattle should be able to move the ball at will against the Redskins, giving Hauschka plenty of scoring chances. The past two kickers against Washington, Cody Parkey and Josh Brown, have scored at least nine Fantasy points, so we're counting on Hauschka to play well this week.
SleepersBlair Walsh (at GB): He made four field goals at Green Bay last year.
Brandon McManus (vs. ARI): This could be his last game as the starter.
Shaun Suisham (at JAC): Kickers have crushed the Jaguars all season.
Bryant remains an excellent Fantasy kicker with plenty of upside, but he's not helping owners much with his lack of field goals. He has one made field goal in his past three games, and he's attempted just one field goal in the past two outings. He also hasn't been trustworthy outdoors with just two made field goals in his past four games outside going back to last season. The Giants have allowed one made field goal and seven Fantasy points combined the past two games against Randy Bullock and Kai Forbath, and Bryant could be limited in his field goal attempts again this week.
The Bengals faced the Patriots last year and held them to six points with four sacks, one interception and a fumble recovery. New England is coming off a miserable performance Monday night at Kansas City where Brady was sacked twice and threw two interceptions. The Bengals are rested coming off their bye week, and they have been great so far this season with six interceptions, seven sacks and allowing an average of 11 points per game against the Ravens, Falcons and Titans. This could be another long day for the New England offense.
SleepersBroncos (vs. ARI): DEN should be able to force some turnovers this week.
Browns (at TEN): We like the matchup even with Locker back.
Lions (vs. BUF): The Lions should make things tough on Orton at home.
The Ravens DST has played well at times this season, especially Week 2 against the Steelers and Week 4 against the Panthers. But they've only generated one interception, which was against Roethlisberger, and they have just four sacks and three fumble recoveries. Luck is the frontrunner for MVP right now, and it will be hard for Baltimore to slow him down on the road. The good news is Luck has four interceptions on the season and has been sacked five times, but we would avoid the Ravens in this matchup.
Week 4 got off to an awful start for me last week. I liked Eli Manning and shouldn't have made him a sit, but I was swayed by his poor history against the Redskins prior to last Thursday. Conversely, I shouldn't have bought into Cousins as a starting option.
But after Thursday night, things got much better Sunday and Monday. We recommended five quarterbacks who finished in the Top 12 with at least 23 Fantasy points, including Kaepernick as the Start of the Week. We had three running backs in the Top 15, including Asiata as a sleeper. And we had three receivers in the Top 6, including the No. 1 scorer in Smith and Royal as a sleeper, and two tight ends in the Top 5 with Miller and Bennett.
We also had our share of disappointments, aside from Manning and Cousins. Kelce was a nice surprise against the Patriots, and I didn't expect Walsh to be a Top 12 kicker, let alone finish No. 1. I also expected a lot more from Brown and Gates at home against the Jaguars.
The week culminated with a great review from Fantasy Pros, which informed me I had the most accurate rankings in the industry for Week 4. This is now the second time this year I've finished No. 1 out of 128 experts in the field. I'll try my best to keep it going!
|Player||Fantasy Pts. (proj.)||Fantasy Pts. (actual)||Pos. rank|
|Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers||23||23||12|
|Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers||26||33||4|
|Steve Smith, WR, Ravens||14||25||1|
|Lamar Miller, RB, Dolphins||15||16||5|
|Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers||8||3||26|
|DeSean Jackson, WR, Redskins||8||0||89|
|Darren Sproles, RB, Eagles||8||0||61|
|Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins||20||7||25|
|Donald Brown, RB, Chargers||15||4||37|
|Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers||14||3||23|
|Eli Manning, QB, Giants||19||40||1|
|Blair Walsh, K, Vikings||10||17||1|
|Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs||8||15||2|