Week 5 fantasy football rankings, game previews, sleepers, and more are here. With them come our first set of NFL byes and two huge potential returns. Will Cooper Kupp and Jonathan Taylor play? Is Jameson Williams worth a start in his first game back? Should you ever skateboard again? Let’s get the answers.
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WEEK 5 FANTASY FOOTBALL PREVIEWS
** BYES: CLE, LAC, SEA, TB **
Bears at Commanders, TNF
- The Bears allow the highest pressure rate (47.4%), but the Commanders have the second-lowest forced 3-and-Out% (21.4)
- Only the Broncos and Chargers are more favorable in defensive PassEPA than the Bears. The Bills are second-toughest, and Sam Howell has fantasy totals of 15.2, 21.3, 19.6 in his three games not against the Bills (0.6). The Cardinals, Broncos and Eagles are fifth, first and 10th most favorable, respectively.
- Week 4 was Khalil Herbert’s first game with over 57.1 RBTouch% and first double-digit performance.
- Brian Robinson is seventh in RBTouch%, and the Bears have allowed every lead running back to score at least 13.8 fantasy points.
Jaguars at Bills, 9:30 a.m., London
- With Zay Jones on the field: Calvin Ridley 28.6 TmTGT% for 16-9-107-1; Christian Kirk 21.4 TmTGT% for 12-9-93-0. Without Zay Jones on the field: Calvin Ridley 13.8 TmTGT% for 12-6-104-1; Christian Kirk 26.4 TmTGT% for 23-15-164-1. Small sample, but Kirk acts more like the No. 1 without Jones and the No. 3 with him.
- The Jaguars are just 24th in percent of plays for a touchdown (3.2%), and the Bills are third at 6.6%
- From Week 1, 2022 through last week, Trevor Lawrence is fifth in points (132.9), 10th in TD:INT (4.7) and seventh in QBR (97.8) among starters with 50+ attempts when down by a touchdown or more.
Texans at Falcons, 1 p.m.
- Surprisingly, the Falcons have the toughest defensive RushEPA, ahead of the Seahawks and Titans.
- Tyler Allgeier’s touches (18-16-9-8), RBTouch% (52.9%-41.0%-39.1%-29.6%) and FPs (22.9-4.8-3.9-1.7) have dropped weekly.
- Dameon Pierce is 14th in RBTouch% but just 25th in points.
- C.J. Stroud pressured versus not pressured: 51.1 to 67.3 Comp%, 4.7 to 9.5 YD/ATT, 0 to 6 TDs, 64.3 to 117.1 QBR.
- Tank Dell in the same situation: 10.0 to 24.4 TGT% on routes, 4-2-17-0 to 20-14-250-2 receiving.
- The Steelers and Ravens are Top 10 in pressure rate, while the Jaguars and Colts are 26th and 27th respectively. Falcons are 17th.
Panthers at Lions, 1 p.m.
- Panthers pressure the QB the second-least (27.6%) and Jared Goff is sixth in QBR when not pressured, and he’s at home.
- Only Zach Ertz (24.8) has a higher TmTGT% than Sam LaPorta (21.8) among tight ends — LaPorta is also second in YPRR (2.30, min 10 targets — Noah Fant first at 2.67).
- Before Week 4 (injured, not 100%), Miles Sanders was 10th in RBTouch% (71.6) and led in targets (20).
- In his three games, Bryce Young has fantasy point totals if 7.5-13.5-7.2 and isn’t running much (7-for-61 on the year).
- There’s a good chance Jameson Williams is on a snap count, making him a Hail Mary play.
Titans at Colts, 1 p.m.
- Since returning in Week 2, Zack Moss has 88.9 RBTouch% and 16.4 FPPG, which ranks first and eighth.
- The Titans have the third-lowest Plays per Game (57.3) and Pass Plays per Game (31.3).
- The Titans’ defense has allowed just 15 explosive yards rushing (rate of 1.0%) and just 5.4% of total rushing yards (second-lowest, 49ers at 9.1%).
- When Anthony Richardson is at quarterback, Kylen Granson sees an 18.6 TmTGT%, 23.2 TGT% on routes and 21.0 TmAirYD%. Those numbers would rank sixth, ninth and fourth among tight ends with 10+ routes.
Giants at Dolphins, 1 p.m.
- Despite having the eighth-highest pressure rate, the Giants are inside the Top 10 for favorable PassEPA and WR-only EPA with the third-highest Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt (Broncos and Bears).
- Before garbage time, Matt Breida had 89.5% of the RB touches and is the clear bellcow if Saquon Barkley is out.
- Tua Tagovailoa leads the league with 13.5 YD/Comp, and the Dolphins lead in TD% (9.0 — Broncos second, 6.7), ExpPlay% (18.8, Vikings second, 14.6) and pressure rate allowed (lowest, 23.8%).
Saints at Patriots, 1 p.m.
- Only the Browns force more 3-and-Outs than the Patriots (44.7% to 58.8%).
- In his first game back, Alvin Kamara had 85.7 RBTouch% and 36.8 TmTGT%.
- Of receivers in the Top 10 for targets and with a 27.0+ TmTGT% (Top 14), Chris Olave and Ja’Marr Chase are the only two without a touchdown and outside the Top 25 in points.
- Rhamondre Stevenson’s RBTouch% when down by 7+ points is 70.6; when tied or losing it’s 68.4; when down or leading by 6 or less it’s 66.3; but once leading by 7+ points, it’s just 52.4%.
Ravens at Steelers, 1 p.m.
- The Ravens allow the third-lowest QBR and ANY/A, fourth-lowest PassEPA and the lowest TD/REC.
- Zay Flowers is the only Ravens receiver since Mark Andrews returned in Week 2 to have over 15.0 TmTGT% (23.5).
- Calvin Austin is second to George Pickens in all Steelers receiving stats the past two weeks.
- Najee Harris just had his best game (10.8 points) but still had just 51.7 RBTouch% with 2-1-32 receiving to 6-6-26 for Jaylen Warren.
Eagles at Rams, 4 p.m.
- Dallas Goedert is 15th in TmTGT% (15.7), 56th in TGT% on routes (13.6) and 58th in YPRR (0.59) for tight ends (min 10+ routes). The TmTGT% is about normal, but previous lows in TGT% and YPRR are 18.0% and 1.44.
- Since Week 2, D’Andre Swift is eighth in FPPG (18.6) and first in rushing yards (361).
- The Rams lead the league with 71.5 plays per game, and the Eagles are fourth (70.3).
- The Rams are 10th in defensive Stuff% but the Eagles allow a league-low 35.3 Stuff% and Swift is third-lowest, behind Austin Ekeler and De’Von Achane (27.1%).
Bengals at Cardinals, 4 p.m.
- The Cardinals get the lowest pressure rate (27.6%).
- Joe Burrow has 64.0 Comp%, 5.5 YD/ATT, 8.4 YD/COMP and 9.6 OffTGT% when not pressured versus 37.8%, 2.8, 7.4 and 13.5% when pressured this year.
- Joshua Dobbs is fifth in FPPG since Week 2 with zero interceptions against NYG, DAL and SF. His season-high 24.2 points came against the 49ers last week.
- Michael Wilson had his breakout game and is now just 6.6 points behind Marquise Brown (49.3) despite having a 13.2 TmTGT% to Brown’s 26.4%.
Jets at Broncos, 4 p.m.
- Broncos defense has the highest Comp% over expectation (12.4 — next closest, Vikings 6.8) and highest allowed AdjComp% (87.3 — Vikings second again, 83.1).
- Broncos also have the highest Explosive Run% allowed (9.5 — Bills second, 9.3) and Breece Hall leads the league with 72.4% of his yards being explosive.
- The Jets pass defense is Top 10 (toughest) in YPPR (9.62), End Zone targets (five) and Pressure Rate (41.3).
- If Javonte Williams plays, he’s riskier than normal and a fringe RB2, while Jaleel McLaughlin would be an RB3. If no Williams, McLaughlin is a fringe RB2 with Samaje Perine, who could see more passing game work, a RB3.
Chiefs at Vikings, 4 p.m.
- No Chiefs wideout has more than 13.3 TmTGT% (Rashee Rice).
- Jordan Addison went scoreless for the first time with just one target in Week 4 and continues to only play in three-wide.
- In his first game with the Vikings, Cam Akers was in the game primarily for two drives and seven touches. Alexander Mattison had 18 touches, 72.0 RBTouch%.
- Isiah Pacheco is in must-start territory now that he’s healthy, with fantasy tallies of 14.8 and 23.3 the past two games, including 17 and 23 touches.
Cowboys at 49ers, SNF
- The Cowboys pressure the quarterback more than any team by a large margin (54.7%, Packers are second at 42.3%)
- The Cowboys run the most man defense (40.2%) — Brandon Aiyuk is Top 10 in YPRR vs. man (4.14) and second-highest graded (Nico Collins first) — Deebo Samuel has just 1.15 YPRR and 72nd graded versus man compared to 2.89 and 15th versus zone.
- Brock Purdy has a 61.6 Comp% versus man compared to 72.4% versus zone with 8.0 YD/ATT to 8.7 YD/ATT but identical 9:2 TD:INT
- The 49ers are sixth in defensive PassEPA but just 27th in RushEPA
Packers at Raiders, MNF
- The Packers run man the second-least (10.3%, Colts 9.1%), and Davante Adams is eighth in YPPR against zone (3.01). Jakobi Meyers is 22nd (2.18).
- The Packers and Raiders are 27th (57.8) and 28th (57.5) in plays per game.
- Josh Jacobs doesn’t have a single explosive run, but he’s second in TmRuATT% (88.6), RBTouch% (84.2) and TmTGT% among running backs (19.1).
WEEK 5 FANTASY FOOTBALL SLEEPERS
These are sleepers (DuckTales and Darkwing Duck style — Woo-oo is worthy of the risk in most leagues, and Dangerous is if you need a Hail Mary). They will not mimic my rankings 100%. This is about chasing upside and often carries more risk — put simply, they are upside plays you might consider over a solid floor option.
- QB: Joshua Dobbs, ARI
- RB: Josh Jacobs; Jahmyr Gibbs, DET
- WR: Zay Flowers, BAL; Michael Pittman, IND
- TE: Zach Ertz, ARI
Let’s Get Dangerous
- QB: Brock Purdy, SF
- RB: Breece Hall, NYJ; Tyler Allgeier, ATL
- WR: Wan’Dale Robinson, NYG; Michael Wilson, ARI
- TE: Tyler Conklin, NYJ
WEEK 5 BUY LOW, SELL HIGH
These are players to maximize value on, as a “Buy Low” doesn’t mean go trade for them everywhere, and a “Sell High” doesn’t mean get rid of them at all costs. These are simply potential under and overvalued players in trades.
- QB: Joe Burrow, CIN (to stash, not start); Trevor Lawrence, JAX
- RB: Aaron Jones, GB; Josh Jacobs, LV; Breece Hall, NYJ
- WR: Jaylen Waddle, MIA; Jerry Jeudy, DEN
- QB: C.J. Stroud, HOU
- RB: De’Von Achane, MIA; Ken Walker, SEA
- WR: DJ Moore, CHI; Christian Kirk, JAX, Nico Collins, HOU
FUN WITH RANKINGS!
Thanks to Jamie S. for this suggestion last week. The original idea was, “10 Things I Can’t Test Myself on Anymore.” I’m taking that and making it the Top 10 Things You Shouldn’t Attempt Once You’re 30! (And with a new clarification… the underlying thought of also, *you don’t already do it on the regular.*) Of course, the exception to the rule would be the Bills Mafia folks, as they regularly jump off buildings, cars, whatever onto unbreakable tables… because… Bills…?
- Skateboarding/Snowboarding — Let’s face it, you weren’t even that good as a teenager. This is just a skin donation to the pavement waiting to happen. And the snow one latches your feet in, asking you to hurt numerous body parts… and this is from someone who was an avid snowboarder.
- Pickup basketball — Blown Achilles, twisted ankle, torn ACL. All that is just as likely as you embarrassing yourself with those air balls.
- Random 40-yard dash — Even better when you see people trying to do this in street clothes/shoes. Another ankle/Achilles injury waiting to happen.
- Backpacking — Casual hiking? Sure. Even then, your feet aren’t prepped for much if you don’t do it semi-regularly with decent shoes. Full-on backpacking of 10+ miles, up and downhill? You’ll see how out of shape you truly are and how duck crap those shoes are when the blisters swell up to the size of golf balls.
- Flag football or Ultimate frisbee on sand — Flag football and ultimate frisbee are pushing it (especially the latter, boomer), but playing on sand is asking for twisted ankles.
- Soccer — You’re not in shape enough for this. Heck, even just taking shots at the goal is going to embarrass you when you can’t hit a gargantuan goal.
- Weightlifting without stretching — Torn pec, bicep, etc. Take your pick. Hey, get in shape! That’s great. But the stretching thing pretty much goes for anything. Your (our) aging muscles, tendons and ligaments aren’t ready to go at any moment like when we were teenagers and could rag doll our bodies from a bike crash and bounce up like nothing happened.
- Tennis — There is a reason pickleball became the craze it is. You 1) don’t have the stamina, 2) aren’t as good as you think, and 3) will want to crush every ball… and that never works.
- Helping someone move — Just give them some money, buy pizza, and celebrate their new place after the paid movers take care of it all. Your back, hands and patience aren’t made for this!
- Clubbing/Dancing — Nobody cares how goofy and dumb you might look at a wedding. Nobody wants to see dad/mom bods on the dance floor looking like, “How do you do, fellow kids?”
Honorable Mention: Gainer (any trick dive?) off a diving board. Shoutout to Jamie’s friend quad, which was torn attempting this.
WEEK 5 FANTASY FOOTBALL PROJECTIONS
🚨 HEADS UP 🚨 These can differ from my rankings, and my ranks are the order I’d start players outside of added context, such as, “Need highest upside, even if risky.” Also, based on 4-point TDs for QB, 6-point rest, and Half-PPR
WEEK 5 FANTASY FOOTBALL RANKINGS
🚨 HEADS UP 🚨
- There is no perfect widget out there, sadly, still. I know many view this on your phone, but 1) use the rankings widget on a PC/laptop/etc. if possible or 2) open in your phone’s browser, especially for Android users, to get the scrolling to properly work.
- ECR = “Expert” Consensus Ranking (which isn’t updated by everyone consistently, so take with a grain of salt).
- Updated regularly, so check up to lineups locking.
(Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)