Reminder: Before we get into the Week 5 matchup rankings – Fantasy Points Adjusted for Defense (FPAD) is a calculation that can be the difference between celebrating a win or cursing a high-scoring option on your bench. I developed it years ago, and it accounts for defensive quality of play by position, adjusts for game situations and strength of offenses and spits out an adjusted Fantasy Points allowed. Using Fantasy Football Points allowed is valuable in itself to help make lineup decisions, but it’s imperfect, as a team facing Aaron Rodgers and the Packers should give up more points and passing yards than one facing Jared Goff and the Rams. This isn’t a tool to argue benching Odell Beckham for Robert Woods, but it helps you decide which RB3 is a better play or which WR4 could put up a WR2 type week.
Fantasy Football Week 5 Matchup Rankings
QB Matchup Rankings[table “2213” not found /]
Carson Palmer vs. Ben Roethlisberger
Despite a rough Week 1, Palmer has at least 21 Fantasy points in each of the last three games with 325 or more passing yards. It would be nice to see a higher touchdown total, but the Eagles present a terrific opportunity for that. Eli Manning and Philip Rivers combined for 713 yards and five touchdowns against the Eagles the past two weeks. Even before that, the Eagles allowed 19.0 Fantasy Points to a struggling Kirk Cousins and 18.7 to Alex Smith.
Yes, it’s a home game, but the matchup doesn’t get any worse. The Jaguars boast the top corner duo in the league with Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. They have also given up just three passing touchdowns and allow an average of 167 passing yards. No one is stopping Antonio Brown, and Martavis Bryant can always hit a big play, but the risk is too great here. Roethlisberger is a decent upside/risk option, but he’s on the fringe of QB1 conversation despite being home.
Also Good: Philip Rivers – Giants defense is surprisingly vulnerable. The yardage isn’t high, but they’ve allowed seven touchdowns with zero interceptions.
Also Bad: Andy Dalton – The Bills are what the Giants should have been. Quarterbacks have thrown for just one touchdown (was Matt Ryan) while getting picked off six times against the Bills.
Other Matchup Boosted QBs: Jameis Winston, Jay Cutler… ugh, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Jacoby Brissett
RB Matchup Rankings[table “2214” not found /]
Duke Johnson vs. Wendell Smallwood
Yes, I would trust Johnson over Isaiah Crowell at this point. If Crowell can’t get something going against the Jets this week, he’s droppable in 10-team leagues. There is no excuse against the Jets, DeShone Kizer killing this offense or not. Johnson is a Top 20 running back in both formats and has shown he’s the only good thing going for the Browns offense right now. The Jets have already allowed five double-digit games to opposing running backs, and that’s with Jay Ajayi putting up a dud in Week 3.
I trust Smallwood more than LeGarrette Blount, as Smallwood fills the Darren Sproles role and more. However, a shared backfield is always a risk, and the Cardinals defense is still dominant against the run despite their surprising drop-off against the pass. Only two running backs have scored (Ezekiel Elliott, Frank Gore) and managed a double-digit score. It’s possible that Smallwood or Blount could make it three, but it would be way less risky if one were in line for workhorse use.
Also Good: Carlos Hyde – He’s healthy… ish, and he’s proving that it’s never been a question of talent. The Colts entire defense is terrible.
Also Bad: Theo Riddick – Even in PPR, Riddick has been disappointing. The Lions are using Ameer Abdullah at a high rate, and the Panthers run defense is stout.
Other Matchup Boosted RBs: Thomas Rawls… maybe? Le’Veon Bell, Frank Gore, Marshawn Lynch, Jay Ajayi, Ezekiel Elliott
WR Matchup Rankings[table “2215” not found /]
Jarvis Landry vs. Allen Hurns
There are plenty of owners souring on Landry, but this is a good week to reward your patience… if you’ve kept it. The Titans secondary is extremely poor, especially against slot receivers where Logan Ryan is one of the worst defenders in football. The Titans have already given up eight touchdowns to receivers with three coming last week. Sure, DeAndre Hopkins is tough to stop for anyone, but allowing Will Fuller to score twice on four catches and 35 yards in his first game back is inexcusable.
Marqise Lee is nursing a rib injury, and even if he misses Week 5 that won’t vault Hurns’ value given the matchup. While Hurns might see more targets, the last thing he needs is more defensive attention from the Steelers. One two receivers have found the end zone against them and not one has topped 55 yards. Those two touchdowns just happen to coincide with the only two Fantasy performances that were over 4.4 points.
Also Good: Cardinals WRs – Lean Larry Fitzgerald, but it’s not going to be easy picking which receiver(s) show up. Good news is that this matchup will support more than one.
Also Bad: Raiders – Amari Cooper is in his own head, and Michael Crabtree isn’t 100 percent. The Ravens secondary isn’t a recipe for getting on track.
Other Matchup Boosted WRs: DeVante Parker, Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Pierre Garcon, Rishard Matthews, Packers
TE Matchup Rankings[table “2216” not found /]
Hunter Henry vs. Jack Doyle
How much explaining do you really need after last week, when Cameron Brate was a lock against the Giants? It’s quite simple for the foreseeable future: start your tight end against the Giants. They are the only team to allow a TE1 performance in each week, and they allowed two last week. Yes, there have been five TE1 games in just four weeks against this team. Henry is a great bet to score.
Even with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, the matchup doesn’t help Doyle’s potential. The 49ers are one of two teams to yet allow 100 receiving yards and a touchdown to tight ends… for the season. Greg Olsen only had two catches for 18 yards in Week 1, Jimmy Graham had one catch for one yard in Week 2, and not one of the rest of the mediocre tight ends topped 25 yards. It helps not needing the tight end too when the run game and receivers already do enough damage.
Also Good: Jared Cook – Ugh. I know as soon as I mention his name in a positive light that Cook will disappear. That’s the only good thing here is that I won’t have to deal with him anymore if he bombs in this matchup. No, EJ Manuel is not an excuse with how weak the Ravens are against tight ends.
Also Bad: Eric Ebron – Ebron’s hands are failing him again, and the Panthers are not the matchup to get things right.
Other Matchup Boosted TEs: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jesse James, Ben Watson, Zach Miller, Delanie Walker