Fantasy Rankings: Week 5 Matchups to Consider

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The fantasy season is taking shape and it’s time to start either solidifying your case for a playoff spot or start making some bold moves to get your team back into the playoff race! The Ballers have their weekly rankings posted and I’m here to take a look at players from each position that may need a little extra attention prior to locking in your roster for the week.

Of course, I want to hear from you, so drop a comment here or find me on Twitter: @KurtKnowsBest.

Quarterbacks

Geno Smith (SEA) at New Orleans

The Geno Smith experience is in full swing in Seattle. Would you believe me if I told you this wasn’t the first time Smith had consecutive weeks with top-12 QB finishes? You have to dig back to his rookie year in 2013 when he finished QB3 and QB12 in Weeks 16 & 17 respectively.

All that said, Geno is dealing and it’s tough to go away from him at this point with the passing volume Peach Cobbler is giving him. As Andy pointed out on Wednesday’s podcast, this hasn’t been a dink-and-dunk operation. Geno currently has a higher average per attempt than Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen, Tom Brady, Justin Herbert, and Patrick Mahomes.

The Ballers still have Geno projected outside of their top 12 despite his recent QB7 and QB2 finishes.

The New Orleans defense is a tough matchup for the Seattle passing game, as they’re currently giving up the 9th fewest points to fantasy QBs per week and haven’t given up a top-12 QB finish since Week 1 against Atlanta.

Derek Carr (LV) at Kansas City

The wheels fell off the Carr last week as the Raiders QB ended his QB1 streak and didn’t throw a TD for the first time in a game this season. Instead of Carr finding Devante Adams for a fourth straight week, it was Josh Jacobs who found the end zone twice. What should be encouraging for fantasy managers streaming Carr is his continued passing volume, averaging the 9th most passing attempts in the league per game.

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Kansas City’s defense should allow Carr plenty of opportunity to return to a top-12 QB finish. Currently, the Chiefs are giving up the 4th-most points to opposing fantasy QBs. Through the first four weeks, the Chiefs are allowing an average finish of QB9 and have allowed at least two passing TDs per game.

The Ballers are in unison on Carr this week, with all three ranking him as the QB10. If you’re streaming QBs, Carr should be a solid option for fantasy managers.

Running Backs

James Robinson (JAX) vs Houston

Robinson was completely nuclear through the first three weeks of the season, not finishing outside the top eight. Week 4 should have been another game script for the Jaguars to lean on Robinson, but he was limited to just eight carries on the week. Rob Wilson still recommends targeting James Robinson as a trade candidate but notes Robinson’s value may be completely based on the game script.

The Ballers each have Robinson ranked as the RB12 this week against a Houston defense that’s allowing the most points to opposing RBs through four weeks. I’d expect the Jaguars to lean on Robinson again but another week with less than 10 carries will have fantasy managers worried moving forward.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs Las Vegas

Everybody had Clyde Edwards-Helaire as the RB4 through the first month of the season, right? The Chiefs’ usage of Clyde has been interesting, with his opportunities ranging from just 10 in Week 1 to 21 in Week 4. Nevertheless, CEH is getting work consistently and has been efficient with it on one of the best offenses in the league. Matt DiSorbo points out in his Stats and Expectations article for Week 5 that the Chiefs’ offense is one of the highest in regards to passing rate, making Edwards-Helaire one of the best options to hold on to for fantasy managers.

The Ballers all have CEH as a fringe RB1 on the week, with Andy the highest at RB11. Kansas City goes to Vegas for a Monday night AFC West matchup against a surprisingly solid Raiders run defense that ranks in the top 10 against the run. If CEH can continue to see the 13 opportunities he’s averaging so far, he should continue to be at least an RB2 in your fantasy lineups.

Cam Akers (LAR) vs Dallas

After two weeks of Akers looking like a viable fantasy option again for managers, he disappointed Monday night against a stingy 49ers defense. Akers had the fantasy community excited due to the receiving work he could see out of the backfield, but he’s only seen four targets on the season. What’s worse is Akers isn’t even running the ball efficiently, with two weeks averaging less than three yards per carry.

The Ballers aren’t too high on Akers this week, ranking him as a low-end RB3 heading into a matchup with a very good Dallas defense. Fantasy managers may not have a choice but to play Akers due to injuries piling up, but it will be a tough call putting him into your lineup this week unless you have no other choice.

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Wide Receivers

Romeo Doubs (GB) vs NY Giants

It seems the Packers have found their top receiving option after Doubs has seen eight targets each of the last two weeks. Nate Henry notes in his Snap Count Observations article that Doubs is part of a bigger trend with rookie WRs becoming legitimate fantasy options earlier than we expected. It definitely seems Doubs is contributing to those numbers.

Even after two impressive weeks in a row, the Ballers still have Doubs outside their top-24 WRs in their projections, with Jason ranking him highest as the WR27. Doubs faces another tough test in Week 5 against a New York Giants defense that is allowing the 2nd fewest points to fantasy WRs. NBA Jam rules say if Doubs can continue to see targets again, he may be a player in your lineup regardless of the matchup.

I’m willing to ride the hot hand here.

Darnell Mooney (CHI) at Minnesota

Darnell Mooney believers got some vindication last week after a WR23 finish. Mooney has seen five or more targets two weeks in a row, which is saying a lot from a Bears offense that threw the ball more than 20 times for the first time this season last week.

The Ballers have Mooney outside their top-36 WR options for Week 5 and is a tough FLEX option against a Minnesota defense that has allowed the 9th fewest passing yards in the league.

Kyle Borgognoni notes in his Pace of Play article that the Bears continue to be one of the slowest offensive paces in the league. Even so, Mooney’s production proves he could still be a dart throw of a FLEX play this week.

Jaylen Waddle (MIA) at NY Jets

Miami’s shift to Teddy Bridgewater was not a great change for Waddle last Thursday night. As Aaron Larson points out in his Target Trends article from Week 4, Waddle only saw three passes after Bridgewater took over at QB. He even saw fewer targets than Trent Sherfield. In reality, this should only be a big concern if Tua Tagovailoa is out long-term, which is a possible reality for Miami.

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The Jets offer a juicy matchup for Waddle even with the concerns over his targets from Bridgewater. Only Jason has Waddle outside of WR1 range in his rankings ahead of Week 5, putting him down at WR18. As long as he doesn’t remain on the Groin Index ahead of Sunday, Waddle should still be in your lineup.

Tight Ends

Tyler Conklin (NYJ) vs Miami

Conklin saw a dip in production last week after Zach Wilson took back the starting job at QB for the Jets. What should be encouraging for Conklin managers is he still saw five targets, which was 2nd highest on the team behind three players who saw six.

Lauren Carpenter notes in the Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 5 that Conklin is still available in nearly 50% of leagues and could be a real option for managers heading into their matchup with a Miami defense that’s allowing 13 points to opposing fantasy TEs per game. 

Andy and Mike have Conklin outside of their top 12 this week, but Jason has him right on the edge as a TE1. What’s encouraging is the Jets still threw the ball 36 times, and the Jets’ defense still stinks. Conklin can be played in hopes he’ll find the end zone again this week.

Pat Freiermuth (PIT) at Buffalo

Another change at QB that could benefit the shallow TE pool is Kenny Pickett taking over at QB in Pittsburgh for the Muth. After Pickett took over at halftime in Week 4, Freiermuth saw 33% of the passing targets and finished as the TE7 on the week.

A tough matchup for TEs awaits the Muth in Week 5, as Buffalo gives up the third-fewest points to opposing fantasy TEs this season. The Fantasy Hitman thinks you can get “luth” this week, ranking the Muth as his TE11. 

Freiermuth has quietly been the TE8 on the season. I’d roll him into my lineup again this week.

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