Before we even get into the Week 5 Rankings, take a moment to think… October is here. The bye weeks are here. Week 5 is already here! Before we know it, we’ll be decorating for Christmas… and maybe even finally watching Andrew Luck play football… wait, did I just see a Christmas commercial for Disney World already?!
The bye weeks can be frustrating, but they also present opportunities for the savvy owners. There are many ways to attack them and better your team.
1) Simplest strategy is to search through other owners’ teams and find holes left from bye week players. Take your bench depth and offer a trade, especially if they don’t even have enough of a position to start. Owners don’t look ahead enough and will often find themselves needing multiple options off the waiver wire just to field a full team.
2) As just mentioned, look ahead. If your quarterback has a Week 7 bye, check out the available quarterbacks and their matchups. You don’t want to wait until the Week 7 waivers (if possible) and overspend to make sure you get the only quality streaming quarterback available.
3) In conjunction with the first point, buy low on bye week players and/or watch that waiver wire closely. Often, the players underperforming are the first to go when owners need to pickup players for the bye weeks. Additionally, the prices drop on players during their byes because “out of sight, out of mind” or “bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” and all that… enough clichés for now. Don’t be surprised to see Jamison Crowder hit the waivers this week. Heck, you could probably buy him for some waiver scrub you grabbed earlier due to his performance so far. The same goes for players that aren’t quite as terrible: Demaryius Thomas, Willie Snead, Mark Ingram, etc.
Take advantage of the bye weeks and create a better team from them. Not enough owners do this.
TL;DR version – byes are here; steal value from bye week blues owners.
As a reminder, if you missed this week’s Waiver Wire piece, click over to find help at every position, including quarterback streamers and some help for David Johnson owners.
Week 5 QB Sleepers
Jameis Winston, TB – Winston isn’t your prototypical sleeper, but two things here: 1) I didn’t want to use Carson Palmer again, although, he’s a top sleeper this week for sure and 2) Digging deep at quarterback is playing Russian roulette this week. Jacoby Brissett? Brian Hoyer? Jay Cutler? Starting any of those would take nerves of steel.
Just because the matchups are terrific doesn’t mean you should go putting them in your lineup. Hey, we learned that with Jay “let me get rattled early because of the communication system and never get out of my funk” Cutler last week. Not a very catchy nickname; I know.
Week 5 RB Sleepers
Marshawn Lynch, OAK – Lynch is tough to trust, but that’s what makes him a sleeper, as much as no one would have expected that this year. The Raiders are without Derek Carr, and that means the Raiders will aim to keep EJ Manuel in check. They don’t want Manuel throwing it 30-plus times if possible, and the Ravens run defense is actually quite weak this year, especially after the loss of Brandon Williams. Lynch hasn’t reach 20 touches yet and has just 15 carries in the last two games. The Raiders should play ball control this week, giving Lynch his highest ceiling to date.
Duke Johnson, CLE – Raise your hand if you would have said Johnson would be the Browns running back ranked RB20 and Isaiah Crowell at RB48 through four weeks. Thought so. People seemingly forgot how talented and explosive Johnson is after last year’s struggles (also wasn’t 100 percent at times). Johnson doesn’t have much in the rushing department, but surprisingly, that’s where his touchdowns are and he still has 207 yards receiving. The Jets defense is all-around poor with LeSean McCoy, Jalen Richard and Leonard Fournette all notching 49 or more receiving yards.
Thomas Rawls, SEA – This is like playing Russian roulette with only one empty chamber. The Seahawks backfield is a true committee with Rawls, Eddie Lacy, C.J. Prosise returning and Week 4 wonder, J.D. McKissic. Pete Carroll alluded to Rawls replacing Chris Carson, but he said similar things this preseason about Rawls and even Lacy. Nevertheless, no team is worse against the run than the Rams are with six rushing touchdowns allowed already.
Week 5 WR Sleepers
Jaron Brown, ARI – The Eagles can’t stop the passing game, having allowed 565 yards and four touchdowns in the last two games alone. The Cardinals receivers are dicey, as this is a perfect example of my “buy the cake, not the icing” motto. Palmer is the cake; he’s the trustworthy base.
However, this Brown is seeing a high snap count and target share even with John Brown back. On top of that, the Eagles let two receivers go off in the last two weeks with Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard then Tyrell Williams and Keenan Allen. This matchup can support multiple Cardinals receivers.
Adam Thielen, MIN – Everyone knows about Thielen at this point, but even if Sam Bradford doesn’t return, Thielen is a strong play against the Bears. Thielen has been up and down so far and hasn’t scored yet, but the Bears give Thielen a good opportunity to find the end zone, having allowed six wide receiver touchdowns already. With Dalvin Cook out, the Vikings may need to pass more no matter who is at quarterback. That’s the other reason Thielen is a sleeper though, because the risk associated with a muted run game and the Bears sitting back in coverage adds uncertainty.
Pierre Garcon, SF – Just like Thielen, Garcon had a nice Week 1, quiet Week 2, bounced back in Week 3 and fell back last week. And just like Thielen again, it’s rebound time. By now you know that the Colts secondary is one to attack with your receivers, as they have allowed the fourth most receiving yards. Garcon lines up all over the field, and as seen with Tyler Lockett last week, you can exploit the Colts out of the slot easily. Look for Brian Hoyer to target Garcon early and often, pushing him to double-digit targets. In the two games with 10 targets each, Garcon has 13 catches for 223 yards.
Week 5 TE Sleepers
Hunter Henry, LAC – Hey look, it’s the Giants. Start.your.tight.end! Honestly, both Henry and Antonio Gates could have big days just as Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard did last week. To be honest again, Henry is kind of an obvious sleeper, so I’ll give you one more: Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The Browns are second to the Giants in tight end points allowed with Jesse James and Tyler Kroft both notching a touchdown two-fer. The other two opponents were the Ravens and Colts, and Ben Watson went 8-for-8 with 91 yards against them. ASJ has 10 targets, nine receptions and 77 yards in his two games since returning, and we know that McCown loves his tight ends… *phrasing*
Fantasy Football Week 5 Rankings | Week 5 Flex Rankings
Fantasy Football Week 5 Projections: QBs
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Fantasy Football Week 5 Projections: RBs[table “2210” not found /]
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Main Image Credit: AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack