Fantasy Football Starts and Sits - Week 5 Matchups

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Welcome to our Week 5 matchups analysis and starts/sits column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every matchup from every Sunday game to help you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. We'll also be updating this as injury reports come in so check back often.

I'll be on Reddit each Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning to answer all your start/sit questions as well. You can also reach me directly on Twitter @ChrisMangano if you can't wait.

Let's get to the matchups for Week 5!

Editor's note: For a limited time, purchase an NFL Premium Pass (including weekly DFS tools), and get NBA DFS Premium for free! Check out our NFL and NBA Premium tools, and crush your leagues. Sign Up Now!

 

Week 5 NFL Matchups - 1:00 PM ET Games

Important note and credits about data used in this article:

  • All snap counts taken from Football Outsiders. Adjusted line yards also taken from Football outsiders. You can read more here.
  • Success rate is taken from Sharp Football Stats (Warren Sharp). You can read more about it here.
  • Wide receiver snap percentages and corner grades/stats are taken from Pro Football Focus.

 

Jets at Browns

Matchups We Love:

Josh McCown (QB, NYJ)
Calling McCown a matchup we love is tough, but this is one of the softest matchups a quarterback can get. The Browns are allowing 8.2 YPA, a 52% success rate on throws and have allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. They have given up nine touchdowns through the air versus just two interceptions and are also poor at rushing the passer as they rank 23rd in adjusted sack rate. McCown isn't someone you should depend on in one-quarterback leagues if you can help it, but he makes a solid play in two- quarterback and superflex leagues.

Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (TE, NYJ)
Jenkins has seen six and four targets in his two games back and now draws one of the best tight end matchups. The Browns are allowing a 63% success rate on throws to tight ends (28th) and 7.5 YPA (14th). They have given up the second most points to the position as well. Jenkins makes for a great streaming option for those in need.

 

Matchups We Hate:

Seth DeValve (TE, CLE), David Njoku (TE, CLE)
DeValve and Njoku both played 33 snaps in Week 4 but DeValve out-targeted Njoku four to two. They get a tough draw against a Jets defense that allows a 38% success rate on throws to tight ends (2nd) and 4.6 YPA (2nd). They've allowed the seventh fewest points to the position as well. Neither Browns tight end can be trusted this week.

 

Other Matchups:

With Matt Forte (RB, NYJ) out in Week 4, Bilal Powell (RB, NYJ) played a team high 46 snaps and had a monster day turning 21 carries into 163 yards and a touchdown while adding four receptions for 27 yards on five targets. The Browns present a tougher test than the Jaguars, as they rank fourth in adjusted line yards and are giving up the 14th fewest points to the position. They are also fairly good against pass catching backs as they allow just a 42% success rate on throws to running backs (12th) and 6.6 YPA (18th). Still, if Forte is out again Powell makes for a solid start in any format. Rookie Elijah McGuire (RB, NYJ) played 19 snaps and had a highlight reel 69 yard touchdown run. With his low snap count he is better served as a bench stash for now. Jermaine Kearse (WR, NYJ) has seen just seven or more targets twice this year, but did play a team-high 96% of snaps. He plays 69% of his snaps on the outside which will give him plus matchups against Jason McCourty (12 catches and 152 yards on 19 targets) and Jamar Taylor (18 catches, 268 yards, one touchdown on 22 targets). When he plays in the slot he will get a bit of a tougher matchup against Brian Boddy-Calhoun who has given up just two catches for 11 yards but has allowed one touchdown. Kearse's lack of volume and low aDOT (9) make him little more than a flex in PPR formats. Robby Anderson (WR, NYJ) has seen six targets in each of the last two games and brings boom/bust potential against outside corners McCourty and Taylor. He leads the team with a 14.6 aDot and 350 air yards. Slot receiver Jeremy Kerley (WR, NYJ) has now gotten five targets in each of the last two games but draws the toughest matchup against slot corner Boddy-Calhoun. He should not be started in any format.

DeShone Kizer (QB, CLE) has had an up-and-down year and draws a Jets defense that is surprisingly better against the pass than expected. They are allowing just six YPA and a 46% success rate while giving up just the 17th most fantasy points to the position. One area they do struggle is pass rush, ranking 29th in adjusted sack yards, so that should play to Kizer's benefit who holds the ball longer than any other quarterback this season. The Jets have allowed seven touchdowns through the air but have also intercepted opposing quarterbacks four times. Kizer is nothing more than a low-end QB2. Isaiah Crowell (RB, CLE) played a season low 22 snaps and was out-snapped 36-22 by Duke Johnson (RB, CLE). While the Jets do rank eighth in adjusted line yards, they are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs. Crowell just cannot be started outside of very deep leagues due to his lack of production and low snap count. Johnson has a better matchup this week as the Jets have allowed a 50% success rate on throws to running backs (21st) and 7 YPA (23rd). He leads the team in targets and is a solid start in PPR formats. The Browns continue to play musical chairs with their receivers as Ricardo Louis (WR, CLE) led the team in snaps and saw nine targets. Playing half of his snaps on the right, he draws a tough matchup against left corner Daryl Roberts who has allowed just eight catches for 87 yards on 16 targets, though he has allowed one touchdown. Louis is a low-end flex in deep PPR leagues. Kenny Britt (WR, CLE) saw eight targets in Week 4 but looks lost and disinterested on the field. Hue Jackson even said if the Browns receivers were healthier he would have benched him. Unlike Jackson, you can bench Britt. Week 3 hero Rashard Higgins (WR, CLE) has seen just 10 targets since his 11 target game and like Britt should be left on benches.

 

Panthers at Lions

Matchups We Love:

Golden Tate (WR, DET)
Tate gets a great matchup against slot corner Captain Munnerlynn who has allowed all seven of the targets against him to be completed for 89 yards. Tate has seen double-digit targets in two games and should be in line for another strong performance.

 

Matchups We Hate:

Cam Newton (QB, CAR)
Don't get suckered in by Newton's huge Week 4 performance. The Patriots were the worst defense against the pass and Newton still missed plenty of easy throws. This week he draws a Lions defense that is allowing just 7.1 YPA, a 45% success rate and has given up the fourth fewest fantasy points to the position. While they only rank 18th in adjusted sack rate, the secondary is strong enough to make things tough for Newton as they've allowed just four touchdowns versus seven interceptions. He is back to QB2 status this week.

Ed Dickson (TE, CAR)
Dickson had four targets on Sunday and caught three passes for 62 yards but gets a tough draw against a Lions defense that is allowing a 46% success rate on throws to the position (7th) and 4.6 YPA (12th). On a low-volume passing offense, and in a tough matchup, Dickson can be left on benches.

Ameer Abdullah (RB, DET)
Abdullah finally had the breakout game his owners had been waiting for, but now draws a matchup against a tough Panthers run defense that ranks 10th in adjusted line yards and is allowing the fifth fewest points to the position. Abdullah should continue to get the carries but will find success difficult against a stout Panthers defense.

Theo Riddick (RB, DET)
Riddick saw the fewest snaps of the Lions running backs with just 18 in Week 4. The Panthers do a good job stopping pass catching backs holding them to just a 47% success rate (18th) and 4.3 YPA (4th). Riddick is a risky start on Sunday.

 

Other Matchups:

Jonathan Stewart (RB, CAR) only saw 28 snaps on Sunday but had 13 carries. He continues to lead the backfield in carries and draws a good matchup against a Lions defense that ranks 28th in adjusted line yards and 13th in points allowed to the position. Still, his low usage makes him barely a RB2, even in this contest. Christian McCaffrey (RB, CAR) led the team in snaps with 48 but was relatively quiet with just six carries and four receptions. The Lions present an OK matchup as they allow a 41% success rate on throws to running backs (10th) and 7 YPA (24th). McCaffrey is a RB2 play in PPR formats only. Devin Funchess (WR, CAR) broke out in a big way against an awful Patriots secondary, but will find things tougher this week. Playing 44% of his snaps on the right he's likely to square off a lot against corner Darius Slay. Slay has allowed 16 catches for 175 yards on 28 targets. Funchess moves around enough to avoid Slay but owners should still temper expectations. Kelvin Benjamin (WR, CAR) has only seen more than five targets once this year but draws the better matchup against right corner Nevin Lawson (11 catches and 133 yards on 17 targets). Even with a good matchup, Bejamin will need more volume to be trusted as anything more than a WR3.

Matthew Stafford (QB, DET) draws an OK matchup against a Panthers defense allowing just 6.3 YPA but a 52% success rate on throws. They are giving up the 11th fewest fantasy points to the position and rank 10th in adjusted sack rate. They have given up five touchdowns versus just one interception, however, so Stafford could find the end zone. Still the matchup isn't great and owners should temper expectations. Marvin Jones (WR, DET) plays over half his snaps on the right and will draw left corner James Bradberry (15 catches, 198 yards and one touchdown on 28 targets). While the matchup is OK, Jones has yet to see more than six targets in a game and gives little more than flex appeal. Apart from one half of football against the Giants, Eric Ebron (TE, DET) has disappointed. He gets an OK matchup against a Panthers defense allowing a 58% success rate on throws to tight ends (22nd) and 8.1 YPA (19th) but is allowing the third fewest points to the position. Ebron is hard to trust and is nothing more than a low-end TE2.

 

49ers at Colts

Matchups We Love:

Brian Hoyer (QB, SF)
Another bad quarterback in a great matchup. Hoyer draws a Colts defense that is allowing 8.1 YPA and has given up the fifth most fantasy points to the position. They also are bad at pressuring the quarterback as they rank just 27th in adjusted sack rate. They have allowed just four touchdowns versus four interceptions, however, so Hoyer's ceiling could be limited. Still he makes for a solid QB2 play in Week 5.

Pierre Garcon (WR, SF)
Garcon plays 75% of his snaps on the outside and will draw a mix of outside corners Vontae Davis (five catches for 101 yards on six targets in his Week 4 return) and Rashaan Melvin (16 catches, 162 yards and two touchdowns on 29 targets). Garcon has seen at least eight targets in three games and 10 in two. He makes for a great start.

T.Y. Hilton (WR, IND)
Hilton lines up all over the field and will get a mix of 49ers corners who have allowed a combined 51 catches, 647 yards and four touchdowns through four games. Because of the offensive struggles and Hilton's low target totals (he's averaging just 7 per game) Hilton is just a spot start now. This week is one of those spot's. Get him in your lineup if you own him.

 

Matchups We Hate:

None

 

Other Matchups:

The Colts have been surprisingly good against the run, but Carlos Hyde (RB, SF) has had success against tough defenses this year and should do so again this week. The Colts rank 14th in adjusted line yards and are allowing the 11th fewest points to the position. Hyde did lose some snaps to Matt Breida (RB, SF) in Week 4 as he nursed a hip injury, but he is still a solid start each week. Breida still remains nothing more than a handcuff, but he could begin to see a larger role and is one to keep an eye on. Marquise Goodwin (WR, SF) suffered his fourth concussion on Sunday and is questionable to play. He will draw a good matchup against outside corners Davis and Melvin and had seen at least five targets in each of the first three games. If Goodwin can't play it will likely be Aldrick Robinson (SF, WR) who saw 12 targets in place of Goodwin in Week 4. Robinson could be a great spot-start for those in need of a wide receiver due to injuries or byes. George Kittle (TE, SF) gets one of the best tight end matchups as the Colts are allowing a 67% success rate on throws to the position (30th) and 10.1 YPA (29th). Since seeing six targets in week one Kittle has seen two, three and three. Despite the good matchup Kittle is nothing more than a low-end TE2 in deep leagues.

Jacoby Brissett (QB, IND) came back down to earth against a tough Seahawks secondary, but draws a much better matchup this week against the 49ers. The 49ers are allowing 7.2 YPA, a 50% success rate and have given up seven touchdowns versus two interceptions. On top of that their pass rush is almost non-existent as they rank 31st in adjusted sack rate. Brissett should have plenty of time in the pocket to pick this secondary apart and makes for a solid QB2. Frank Gore (RB, IND) led the backfield with 35 snaps but saw just 12 carries. He gets a good matchup against a 49ers defense that ranks 22nd in adjusted line yards and is allowing the fifth most points to running backs. This game should be closer so Gore is likely to see more work. He makes a solid RB2 start. Jack Doyle (TE, IND) has been ruled out with a concussion but neither Brandon Williams (TE, IND) or Darrell Daniels (TE, IND) are worth a start.

 

Titans at Dolphins

Matchups We Love:

Marcus Mariota (QB, TEN)
Mariota is listed as day-to-day with a hamstring injury, but he has practiced this week. If he plays he'll draw a great matchup against the Dolphins. The Dolphins pass defense is allowing 8.2 YPA, a 56% success rate on throws and has yet to intercept an opossing passer. They also rank just 28th in adjusted sack rate so Mariota should have plenty of time in the pocket. If he plays he's a locked in QB1.

Rishard Matthews (WR, TEN)
With Eric Decker (WR, TEN) struggling, and Corey Davis out, Matthews continues to operate as the team's number one receiver and now has at least eight targets in three games. Playing 67% of snaps on the outside, he draws a great matchup against corners Xavien Howard (16 catches and 144 yards on 21 targets) and Byron Maxwell (seven catches and 112 yards on 11 targets). Matthews makes for a great start.

Jarvis Landry (WR, MIA)
Landry should feast against slot corner Logan Ryan (10 catches, 137 yards and two touchdowns on 14 targets). The Titans have given up four top-12 PPR wide receiver finishes and seven top-20 finishes this season. Landry had seen 26 targets through the first two games before seeing just seven last week, but should once again be heavily involved and is a must start.

DeVante Parker (WR, MIA)
Parker plays on the outside 76% of the time and will line up against corners Brice McCain (six catches for 86 yards on 12 targets) and Adoree' Jackson (17 catches, 185 yards and three touchdowns on 28 targets). Parker has seen at least eight targets in every game and should be started everywhere.

 

Matchups We Hate:

None

 

Other Matchups:

DeMarco Murray (RB, TEN) played 23 snaps while Derrick Henry (RB, TEN) played 18. With the Titans getting blown out the team was forced to abandon the run early. The Dolphins rank 7th in adjusted line yards and have given up the 17th most points to the position. Murray and Henry will likely continue to split the work which makes either of them risky starts at the moment. Delanie Walker (TE, TEN) has emerged as Mariota's number two option with 13 targets over the last two weeks, second only to Matthews' 18. The matchup this week is OK as the Dolphins allow a 52% success rate on throws to tight ends (14th) and 6.6 YPA (9th) while allowing the 19th most points to the position. Walker is a must start in this tight end landscape.

Two weeks, two great matchups for Jay Cutler (QB, MIA) and two disappointing results. He draws another weak defense this week against a Titans unit that was just torched by DeShaun Watson. They are allowing 7.7 YPA, a 54% success rate on throws and have given up 11 touchdowns versus just three interceptions. They rank just 26th in adjusted sack rate so Cutler should actually have time in the pocket. Normally this would be a matchup we love, but Cutler has burned us one too many times. Being at home helps, but starting him is still risky. Jay Ajayi (RB, MIA) played just 32 snaps and saw only 12 carries, both season lows. Whether the Dolphins are being careful because of his knee injury or just trying to limit his touches, it is hurting his value. He draws a good matchup this week against a Titans defense that ranks 23rd in adjusted line yards and allowing the 22nd most points to the position. Ajayi has a chance to bounce back this week and remains a solid start. Kenny Stills (WR, MIA) has seen just 18 targets through three games and 10 of those came in Week 3. Still, the Titans secondary is a great matchup for any receiver and Stills makes for a boom/bust flex play. Julius Thomas (TE, MIA) has yet to record more than three catches and will face off against a Titans defense allowing a 57% success rate on throws to the position (19th) and 7.4 YPA (11th) while ranking 15th in points allowed. Thomas is better left on the bench.

 

Bills at Bengals

Matchups We Love:

None

 

Matchups We Hate:

LeSean McCoy (RB, BUF)
McCoy continues to see 20+ touches but has underwhelmed thus far. He draws a tough matchup this week against a Bengals defense that ranks 19th in adjusted line yards and has allowed the sixth fewest points to the position. They also do well against pass catching running backs allowing just a 41% success rate (8th) and 3.9 YPA (3rd). You have to keep starting him just based on volume but expectations should be tempered.

Tyrod Taylor (QB, BUF)
Taylor typically offers a safe floor with his legs, and he will need it this week against a Bengals defense that allows just six YPA and a 40% success rate. They have given up just four touchdowns versus three interceptions and rank fourth in adjusted sack rate. Against a defense that is allowing the 10th fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks, Taylor is a low end QB2.

Andy Dalton (QB, CIN)
Taylor has a tough matchup, but Dalton's is even tougher. The Bills are allowing just 6.3 YPA, a 47% success rate and have allowed just one touchdown versus seven interceptions. They are giving up the second-fewest fantasy points to the position and rank ninth in adjusted sack rate. Dalton can't be considered more than a low-end QB2 this week.

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)
Mixon led the team with 31 snaps and 17 carries in Week 4, but looked mediocre. He has a tough matchup against a Bills defense that ranks third in adjusted line yards and is allowing the 10th fewest points to the position. Mixon will likely be the starter again but owners should not expect a breakout performance.

 

Other Matchups:

With Jordan Matthews out with a broken hand, Zay Jones (WR, BUF) and Andre Holmes (WR, BUF) will be asked to pick up the slack. Jones has just 17 targets on the season while Holmes has just eight. Neither can be trusted on a team that has thrown 50% of its targets to the tight end and running backs. Charles Clay (TE, BUF) leads the team in targets with 25 and is basically the team's WR1. He draws an OK matchup against a Bengals defense allowing a 50% success rate on throws to tight ends (11th) and 7.8 YPA (17th), but give up the fifth fewest points to the position. Clay is in must start territory for tight ends and should be in all lineups.

Gio Bernard (RB, CIN) played 21 snaps but had just six touches. He turned one of them into a 61-yard touchdown on a screen pass and draws a good matchup against a Bills defense that allows a 47% success rate on throws to running backs (18th) and 5.8 YPA (13th). He's a flex start in PPR formats. Jeremy Hill (RB, CIN) continues to be the odd man out playing just 12 snaps and getting just six carries. He should not be started anywhere and isn't a must-own at this point. A.J. Green (WR, CIN) is a weekly must-start, but gets an OK matchup against outside corners E.J. Gaines and Tra'Davious White who have combined to allow 24 catches and 257 yards on 49 targets. Tyler Kroft (TE, CIN) has emerged as the team's primary tight end in the absence of Tyler Eifert, having seen 11 targets in the last two games. His matchup against the Bills is average, as they are allowing a 64% success rate on throws (29th) and 7.6 YPA (15th), but have yet to give up a touchdown and are allowing the sixth fewest points to the position. He makes for a solid TE2 or streaming option.

 

Chargers at Giants

Matchups We Love:

Keenan Allen (WR, LAC)
Allen is playing 54% of his snaps from the slot and will draw slot corner Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie who has allowed eight catches for 89 yards on 10 targets. Allen has seen at least double-digit targets in three games and nine in the other. He is a locked in start.

Hunter Henry (TE, LAC), Antonio Gates (TE, LAC)
It's too bad the Chargers are still using these two in a 50/50 split because the matchup this week is fantastic. The Giants allow a 57% success rate on throws to tight ends (20th), 8.6 YPA (26th) and are allowing the most points to the position. Both have TE2/streaming value with the plus matchup though it should be noted that Gates has out-targeted Henry in every game but one.

Sterling Shepard (WR, NYG)
Shepard draws the best matchup of the Giants receivers against slot corner Desmond King (10 catches and 130 yards on 12 targets). With Beckham battling Hayward, and Marshall battling Williams, Shepard could be the benificiary. He makes a solid spot-start this week.

Evan Engram (TE, NYG)
Engram has seen 25 targets over the last three games and gets a Chargers defense that is allowing a 58% success rate on throws to tight ends (22nd), 10.8 YPA (31st) but is allowing the eighth fewest points to the position mainly because teams haven't thrown to their tight end against them. Engram should change that and is in the TE1 discussion.

 

Matchups We Hate:

Odell Beckham, Jr. (WR, NYG)
Beckham draws a tough shadow coverage matchup with Casey Hayward who has allowed just 11 catches and 158 yards on 23 targets. You can't sit Beckham, he is a stud and is way too involved, but owners should temper expectations.

Brandon Marshall (WR, NYG)
After just nine targets in the first two games, Marshall has seen 21 in the last two. Marshall has benefited from the Giants quicker passing attack but draws a tough matchup this week against corner Trevor Williams (seven catches and 71 yards on 13 targets). Marshall is in the WR3 range based on volume alone.

 

Other Matchups:

Philip Rivers (QB, LAC) draws a favorable matchup against a Giants defense allowing just 7 YPA and a 46% success rate but allowing the eighth most points to the position and giving up seven touchdowns versus zero interceptions. The Giants rank 13th in adjusted sack rate so they are just average at applying pressure. Rivers should be a solid start this week. Melvin Gordon (RB, LAC) continues to dominate the running back snaps but only saw 10 carries and two targets in Week 4. His matchup with the Giants is OK, they rank 22nd in adjusted line yards and are allowing the 16th most points to the position. They do a good job stopping pass catchers, however, as they are allowing just a 29% success rate on throws to running backs (2nd) and 7 YPA (23rd). Gordon makes for a solid start. Tyrell Williams (WR, LAC) will see a mix of outside corners Janoris Jenkins (nine catches and 108 yards on 22 targets) and Eli Apple (21 catches, 234 yards and four touchdowns on 30 targets). He has seen at least six targets in three games and will get chances against Apple which makes him a decent spot start.

Eli Manning (QB, NYG) has a solid matchup against a defense allowing 7.5 YPA, a 50% success rate and giving up the 17th most fantasy points to the position. The Chargers do have an elite pass rush as they rank second in adjusted sack rank, however, so Manning will face plenty of pressure. Still, the Giants have moved to an up-tempo, quick passing attack that has helped Manning the last two weeks. He should be a solid start once again. Wayne Gallman (RB, NYG) made his NFL debut in Week 4 and led the backfield in snaps with 30 and carries with 11. He looked far better than any other Giants runner and now it looks as if he will get the start on Sunday. He draws a good matchup against a Chargers defense that ranks 29th in adjusted line yards and is giving up the eighth-most points to the position. He should be a solid start in standard leagues. Paul Perkins (RB, NYG) played 28 ineffective snaps totaling just 13 yards on nine carries. He's been ruled out for Week 5, so even if you had him in your lineup for some reason, take him out. He could soon be phased out a la Jeremy Hill. Shane Vereen (RB, NYG) played 22 snaps and continues to be used as the change-of-pace back but his touch share remains very low. He saw just five carries and two targets in Week 4 and will remain a low-end flex in PPR formats only.

 

Jaguars at Steelers

Matchups We Love:

Le'Veon Bell (RB, PIT)
Bell finally had the breakout game his owners had been waiting for and should follow it up with another huge game on Sunday. While the Jaguars have been great against the pass they have struggled against the run. And by struggle we mean they rank 30th in adjusted line yards and have allowed the third most points to the position. Bell could very easily finish as the overall RB1.

 

Matchups We Hate:

Blake Bortles (QB, JAC)
Bortles draws a tough matchup against a Steelers defense allowing just 5.4 YPA, a 48% success rate and giving up the third fewest fantasy points to the position. They also rank fifth in adjusted sack rate and have given up just three touchdowns versus four interceptions. Bortles should not be started in any format.

Ben Roethlisberger (QB, PIT)
Roethlisberger has had a slow start to the season and now draws one of the toughest pass defense in the league. The Jaguars are allowing just 5.8 YPA, a 43% success rate and giving up the fewest fantasy points to the position. They also lead the league in adjusted sack rate and have given up just three touchdowns and five interceptions. Being at home is of course a boost but owners should temper expectations.

Antonio Brown (WR, PIT)
Brown will likely draw shadow coverage from stud corner Jalen Ramsey (seven catches and 42 yards on 19 targets). You can't sit Brown, and Roethlisberger could force-feed him after Brown complained about not getting the ball enough last Sunday, but owners should temper expectations.

Martavis Bryant (WR, PIT)
With Brown likely to be shadowed by Ramsey, Bryant will be left against the Jaguars other stud corner, A.J. Bouye (11 catches and 174 yards on 24 targets). Bryant has been close to some big plays of late and will likely need to hit one to pay off for owners.

 

Other Matchups:

Leonard Fournette (RB, JAC) and Chris Ivory (RB, JAC) split the snaps fairly evenly in Week 4, 39 to 34 respectively, but Fournette once again dominated the carries 24 to nine. More importantly for PPR owners he out-targeted Ivory five to two.  The Steelers are not a great matchup, they rank sixth in adjusted line yards but are allowing the 20th most points to the position. Fournette is a weekly must start regardless of matchup based on volume alone. Ivory does have some value as a deep league flex play. Marqise Lee (WR, JAC) saw just three targets in Week 4 and draws an OK matchup against outside corners Joe Haden (13 catches and 181 yards on 19 targets) and Artie Burns (11 catches, 61 yards and one touchdown on 21 targets). Lee is tough to trust and can't be considered more than a flex. Allen Hurns (WR, JAC) saw a season-high 10 targets after only seeing 14 total in the previous three games. He did have a soft matchup last week so the Jaguars likely took advantage of that. His matchup is tougher this week against slot corner Mike Hilton who has allowed just eight catches for 57 yards on the season.

Juju Smith-Schuster (WR, PIT) has taken over as the Steelers slot receiver and gets an OK matchup against slot corner Aaron Colvin (nine catches and 84 yards on 15 targets). Smith-Schuster has seen 10 targets the last two weeks and makes for a low-end flex play in PPR formats. Jesse James (TE, PIT) has only seen seven targets the last two weeks but could get more involved against a Jacksonville defense that allows a 59% success rate on throws to the position (29th) and 8.3 YPA (22nd). They have also allowed the 27th most points to the position. James is a low-end TE2.

 

Cardinals at Eagles

Matchups We Love:

Carson Palmer (QB, ARI)
Palmer is trending into every-week starter territory and draws another good matchup against an Eagles secondary that is allowing 8YPA, a 52% success rate and giving up the sixth most fantasy points to the position. They have also allowed seven touchdowns versus three interceptions. The Eagles will get pressure on Palmer behind a suspect offensive line, but Palmer should be able to have success throwing against this secondary.

Larry Fitzgerald (WR, ARI)
Fitzgerald gets a plus matchup against slot corner Patrick Robinson (nine catches, 144 yards and one touchdown on 13 targets). Fitzgerald is tied for the league-lead in red zone targets with 10 and is a must start.

Jaron Brown (WR, ARI)
Brown has lined up outside on 79% of his snaps and will see a mix of outside corners Jalen Mills (31 catches, 294 yards and one touchdown on 46 targets) and Rasul Douglas (15 catches, 222 yards and one touchdown on 21 targets). Brown played 95% of snaps in Week 4 and had 12 targets. He makes for a great start Sunday.

 

Matchups We Hate:

Chris Johnson (RB, ARI)
Johnson continues to start for the Cardinals but was out-snapped by Andre Ellington 45 to 36. He did lead the team with 12 carries and should continue to see the bulk of the early-down work. His matchup with the Eagles is tough as they rank second in adjusted line yards and have allowed the sixth fewest points to the position. The Cardinals could look to attack this defense through the air and Johnson should be viewed as nothing more than a flex this week.

LeGarrette Blount (RB, PHI)
With Sproles out, Blount played 26 snaps and had 16 carries. He looks to be the early-down back and ran the ball well last week. It will be tougher this Sunday against a Cardinals defense that ranks fourth in adjusted line yards and is giving up the fourth fewest points to the position. Blount should be considered a low-end RB2 based on volume.

Wendell Smallwood (RB, PHI)
Smallwood led the team with 35 snaps and had 10 carries and six targets. He will remain invlolved especially in the passing game. Unfortunately this week he draws a defense that not only excels in stopping the run, but in stopping pass catching backs as well. The Cardinals are allowing a 29% success rate on throws to running backs (3rd) and 3.8 YPA (2nd). Smallwood should still have flex value in PPR formats despite the tough matchup. Smallwood has been dealing with a knee injury that has kept him from practicing and is looking unlikely to play. If he sits Blount and Corey Clement should get a bump.

Alshon Jeffery (WR, PHI)
Another week, another brutal matchup for Jeffery. This week he draws shadow coverage from Patrick Peterson (five catches, 56 yards and one touchdown on 13 targets). In the three weeks he's drawn tough shadow coverage, Jeffery has seen just seven, eight and six targets. The one week he didn't face tough coverage he saw 13 targets. It's tough to sit him unless you have better options but owners should once again be prepared to be let down.

 

Other Matchups:

Andre Ellington (RB, ARI) led the team in snaps and saw just five carries but had a team-high 14 targets. The Eagles do a good job against pass catching backs allowing just a 40% success rate (7th) and 7.5 YPA (27th). Ellington should remained a big part of this passing game and makes for a solid start in PPR formats. John Brown (WR, ARI) returned from his quad injury and played 62% of snaps and saw seven targets. He plays 83% of his snaps from the slot or right and will draw a mix of Robinson and Mills. He should build off his Week 4 performance and have another strong game. The Cardinals are never a great place for fantasy tight ends, but Jermaine Gresham (TE, ARI) is starting to have some value with 12 targets over his last two games. The matchup this week is OK as the Eagles are allowing a 51% success rate on throws to tight ends (12th), 6.2 YPA (6th) but are giving up the 22nd most points to the position. Gresham is not someone you want to rely on outside of very deep leagues but could start creeping into that TE2 range.

After a hot start, Carson Wentz (QB, PHI) has cooled off. He draws just an OK matchup this week against a Cardinals defense allowing just 6.6 YPA and a 43% success rate. The Cardinals have allowed six touchdowns versus just three interceptions and rank 17th in points allowed to the position. They also rank just 20th in adjusted sack rate so Wentz should have time to throw. Still, against a tough secondary owners should temper expectations. Running back Corey Clement (RB, PHI) played 19 snaps and had 10 carries and looked productive, but in a tough matchup he isn't someone you should be starting in any format. Torrey Smith (WR, PHI) gets a plus matchup against corner Justin Bethel (14 catches, 253 yards and three touchdowns on 28 targets) but has only seen 16 targets through four games. He makes a boom/bust flex play. Nelson Agholor (WR, PHI) draws a good matchup against slot corner Tyron Mathieu (13 catches and 177 yards on 18 targets) but will need to see more than the 3.5 targets he is averaging over the last three weeks to have any kind of value. Zach Ertz (TE, PHI) leads the team with 36 targets and has yet to see less than eight targets in a game. The Cardinals are an OK matchup allowing a 58% success rate on throws to tight ends (22nd) and 7.7 YPA (16th) while giving up the third fewest points to the position. But teams are only attempting five throws a game to tight ends against the Cardinals. Expect that to change this week. Ertz is a must start every week.

 

NFL Week 5 Matchups - 4:00 PM EST Games

Seahawks at Rams

Matchups We Love:

Doug Baldwin (WR, SEA)
Baldwin looks to be back to 100% health and draws a good matchup against the Rams slot corners who have allowed 20 catches, 186 yards and a touchdown on 30 targets. Baldwin played just 68% of snaps in Week 4 and saw a season-low three targets, but should play his usual number of snaps this week and be a good bet for close to double-digit targets.

 

Matchups We Hate:

Jared Goff (QB, LAR)
Goff has been a great waiver pickup this year, but will get a real test this week against a stout Seahawks secondary. They are allowing just 6.4 YPA, a 45% success rate, and allowing the sixth fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. They have given up just three touchdowns as well. While their pass rush has struggled, ranking 17th in adjusted sack rate, the secondary should keep Goff from finding many open targets.

Tyler Higbee (TE, LAR)
Higbee played 68% of snaps in Week 4 and out-targeted Gerald Everett (TE, LAR) six to three. He has now out-targeted Everett in two straight and appears to be the Rams tight end to own. Unfortunately this week he draws a Seahawks defense that is allowing a 48% success rate on throws to tight ends (10th), 6 YPA (5th) and the 10th fewest points to the position. Higbee is a tough start this week.

 

Other Matchups:

Russell Wilson (QB, SEA) has had two straight monster games but may cool off this week against a Rams defense that is allowing 7.9 YPA but just a 43% success rate. They are allowing the 15th most fantasy points to the position and have allowed six touchdowns but also have four interceptions. Wilson is a solid QB1 but owners should expect a more standard scoring week. With the injury to Chris Carson, the Seattle backfield will now be left to Eddie Lacy (RB, SEA) and Thomas Rawls (RB, SEA). Rawls was a healthy scratch in Week 4 and Lacy got the bulk of the early down work after Carson left the game. The matchup is fantastic as the Rams rank 25th in adjusted line yards and are allowing the most points to the position. Unfortunately, without clarity and in what could be a timeshare, both Lacy and Rawls will be hard to trust going forward. One thing we know for sure, Lacy and Rawls likely won't be involved much in the passing game. That should open things up for J.D. McKissic (RB, SEA) who looks set to take over pass-catching duties again with C.J. Prosise (RB, SEA) still not ready. Against a defense that allows a 44% success rate on throws to running backs (14th) and 7 YPA (22nd) McKissic should be a flex play in PPR formats. Paul Richardson (WR, SEA) and Tyler Lockett (WR, SEA) each played 50 snaps last Sunday and combined for just eight targets (Richardson - 3, Lockett - 5). The matchup this week is OK against Trumaine Johnson (13 catches and 260 yards on 26 targets) and Kayvon Webster (seven catches, 78 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets) but it will be hard to predict who will be Seattle's number two from week to week. Jimmy Graham (TE, SEA) has 17 targets over the last two games and once again looks healthy. The Rams are an OK matchup allowing a 56% success rate on throws to tight ends (18th) and 8.2 YPA (21st) while allowing the 13th most points to the position. Graham is a solid TE1.

Todd Gurley (RB, LAR) continued to play with the form that he showed as a rookie in 2015. The biggest boost to his fantasy value this year has been his role in the passing game, as he saw another seven targets on Sunday and continues to lead the team in targets. He draws a good matchup against a banged-up Seahawks defense that ranks 18th in adjusted line yards and is allowing the 19th most points to the position. Gurley is a locked in weekly start and should have another solid game. No Rams receiver has seen more than seven targets in a game which makes starting one week to week tough. Cooper Kupp (WR, LAR) has the best matchup of the group against the Seahawks slot corners allowing 26 catches, 259 yards and a touchdown on 39 targets. Robert Woods (WR, LAR) has emerged of late with 13 targets over that stretch but draws the toughest matchup as he lines up on Richard Sherman's side 55% of the time. Sammy Watkins (WR, LAR) has a good matchup against rookie corner Shaquill Griffin (14 catches, 125 yards and one touchdown on 20 targets). Unfortunately, Watkins has only seen 16 targets on the year and will need a larger role in this offense to be considered a safe start.

 

Ravens at Raiders

Matchups We Love:

Jeremy Maclin (WR, BAL)
Maclin has a great matchup against Raiders slot corner T.J. Carrie (13 catches, 103 yards on 15 targets). The problem for Maclin is he has yet to see more than six targets in a game and hasn't seen a red zone target since week two. The matchup gives Maclin flex value, however.

Mike Wallace (WR, BAL)
Wallace had nine targets through the first three games then proceeded to rack up 10 last Sunday. The Raiders outside corners David Amerson and Gareon Conley have combined to allow 16 catches, 246 yards and three touchdowns on 24 targets. Wallace should have spot-start value.

Marshawn Lynch (RB, OAK)
Lynch has yet to see double-digit carries in the last two games but draws a great matchup against a Ravens team getting gashed on the ground without interior lineman Brandon Williams. The Ravens have given up the most rushing yards over the last three weeks without Williams and it seems likely the Raiders will lean heavily on Lynch to take the pressure off E.J. Manuel. Lynch makes for a solid start this week.

Jared Cook (TE, OAK)
Cook has seen at least five targets in every game and draws a great matchup against a Ravens defense that allows a 53% success rate on throws to tight ends (16th), 10 YPA (28th) and is allowing the fourth most points to the position. It's unclear if Manuel will target Cook like Carr did, but the matchup is great and he is a part of the game plan. Cook is a high end TE2 and a good streaming option.

 

Matchups We Hate:

E.J. Manuel (QB, OAK)
With the news that Derek Carr will miss two to four weeks, backup E.J. Manuel gets the start for the Raiders. It couldn't be much of a worst spot as he will face a Ravens defense allowing 7.1 YPA, a 43% success rate and have given up the ninth fewest points to the position. They also have nine interceptions and rank 14th in adjusted sack rate. Manuel should be in for a tough day and should not be started in any format.

Amari Cooper (WR, OAK)
Cooper has seen just 18 targets the last three weeks and draws a tough matchup against Ravens corner Jimmy Smith (six catches and 66 yards on 15 targets). While E.J. Manuel is a competent backup, that plus the matchup means owners of Cooper should once again temper expectations.

 

Other Matchups:

If Joe Flacco (QB, BAL) can't do anything this week he is officially no longer a fantasy asset. He may already be at that point. The Raiders are allowing 8 YPA, a 52% success rate and have given up eight touchdowns versus zero interceptions. They are allowing the ninth most points to the position and rank just 24th in adjusted sack rate. Almost any other quarterback would get a matchup we love but Flacco has look so inept that we can't trust him. The Ravens backfield is the stuff of nightmares. Javorius Allen (RB, BAL) led the team with 40 snaps but got just two carries and six targets. Alex Collins (RB, BAL) started and played 17 snaps seeing nine carries and two targets, but fumbled for the second time in three weeks. Terrance West (RB, BAL) appears to be the odd man out playing just 11 snaps and getting just five carries. The matchup against the Raiders is decent as they rank 20th in adjusted line yards and have allowed the 16th most points to the position. If any of these backs will have success this week it will likely be Allen in PPR formats as the Raiders are allowing a 57% success rate on throws to running backs (28th) and 10.8 YPA (32nd). Allen makes for a flex start in PPR formats while owners should take a wait and see approach with Collins and West if they can. Ben Watson (TE, BAL) shared snaps and targets with Nick Boyle (TE, BAL) but still appears to be the teams number one tight end. The matchup this week is good as the Raiders allow a 58% success rate on throws to tight ends (21st), 8.4 YPA (23rd) and are allowing the 22nd most points to the position. We'd like Watson a lot more if Boyle wasn't in the picture, but Watson is still a fine streaming option this week.

Michael Crabtree (WR, OAK) is practicing in full and appears set to return from his chest injury that kept him out of Week 4. The matchup is just OK against Barndon Carr (eight catches, 102 yards on 19 targets). Having backup quarterback Manuel playing for Carr should worry Crabtree owner's but you likely have to start him unless you have better options.

 

Packers at Cowboys

Matchups We Love:

Jordy Nelson (WR, GB)
Nelson lines up all over the field and should have his way with a Cowboys secondary that is allowing 13 catches, 142 yards and more than one touchdown per game to opposing wide receivers. Nelson is always a must start and is setup for another big day.

Randall Cobb (WR, GB)
Cobb draws a plus matchup against the Cowboys slot corners who have given up 19 catches, 157 yards and one touchdown on 31 targets. With Devante Adams still in concussion protocol Cobb could see even more of a bump. He's a solid start.

Dez Bryant (WR, DAL)
Bryant gets a great matchup against outside corners Kevin King (10 catches, 124 yards on 20 targets) and Damarious Randall (13 catches, 173 yards and one touchdown on 17 targets). Bryant has seen nine or more targets in three games and seven red zone targets. He is a must start.

 

Matchups We Hate:

Martellus Bennett (TE, GB)
Bennett continues to be heavily involved as he's now up to 28 targets on the season. Unfortunately he draws a very tough matchup against a Cowboys defense that allows a 47% success rate on throws to tight ends (8th), 6.4 YPA (7th) and is giving up the 10th fewest points to the position. Bennett is tough to sit given the tight end landscape but owners should temper expectations.

Jason Witten (TE, DAL)
After seeing 22 targets in the first two games, Witten has seen just six in the last two. He draws a tough matchup as well against a Packers defense that allows a 39% success rate on throws to tight ends (3rd) and 5.9 YPA (4th). They have allowed the second fewest points to the position. With Witten not seeing the target share, and in a tough matchup, he is best left on benches this week.

 

Other Matchups:

Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB) draws a favorable matchup against a Cowboys defense allowing 6.8 YPA but a 54% success rate and giving up the seventh most points to the position. They have given up eight touchdowns versus just two interceptions. They do pressure the quarterback as they rank seventh in adjusted sack rate. Still, Rodgers should have no problem picking this defense apart. Ty Montgomerey (RB, GB) is questionable with what he says are multiple broken ribs and we'd lean towards him not playing this week. That would leave Jamaal Williams (RB, GB) and Aaron Jones (RB, GB) to pick up the slack. Williams carried the ball four time for 11 yards before also eaving with an injury, while Jones turned 13 carries into 49 yards and a touchdown in relief on Sunday night. They get a matchup against a Cowboys defense that ranks 21st in adjusted line yards and is allowing the 11th most points to the position. Still with the Packers likely to use a mix of both running backs if Montgomerey sits, neither can be trusted. If Davante Adams (WR, GB) sits out with a concussion, look for Geronimo Allison (WR, GB) to pick up his snaps. Allison saw eight targets the week Cobb sat out and could see similar volume this week. He would make for a good spot-start for desparate teams.

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL) gets an OK matchup against a Packers defense that is allowing 7.4 YPA and a 50% success rate, but just the fourth most points to the position. They have allowed just four touchdowns on the season through the air and rank 3rd in adjusted sack rate. Prescott is a weekly must start but owners should temper expectations. Ezekiel Elliott (RB, DAL) has now seen over 20 carries in three of four games and gets a good matchup against a Packers defense that ranks eighth in adjusted line yards but is allowing the ninth most points to the position. Elliott is a locked in weekly start and should be in line for his normal big game. Cole Beasley (WR, DAL) and Terrance Williams (WR, DAL) each saw six targets in Week 4 but neither is involved enough to be anything more than low-end flex plays in PPR formats despite the plus matchup.

 

NFL Week 5 Matchups - Sunday Night Football

Chiefs at Texans

Matchups We Love:

None

 

Matchups We Hate:

DeShaun Watson (QB, HOU)
Watson is coming off back-to-back great performances but will find things tougher this week against a Chiefs secondary that allows 7.3 YPA and just a 43% success rate, while giving up the 10th fewest points to the position. Watson is dynamic with his legs, however, and owners should still feel comfortable starting him as a QB2.

 

Other Matchups:

Alex Smith (QB, KC) continued his hot start and draws an OK matchup against a Texans secondary that is allowing 7.8 YPA and a 48% success rate. They are giving up the 15th most points to the position and Smith makes for a solid start this week. The matchup for Kareem Hunt (RB, KC) is not great as the Texans rank 13th in adjusted line yards and are giving up the third-fewest points to the position. Still, you can't bet against Hunt at this point and he is a must start regardless of who he plays. Tyreek Hill (WR, KC) lines up all over the field and gets a good matchup against a Texans secondary that is giving up 134 yards and one touchdown per game to the position. Hill has seen at least six targets in every game but not more than eight. He should be considered a WR2 with upside. Travis Kelce (TE, KC) draws an OK matchup against a Texans defense that allows a 48% success rate on throws to tight ends (9th), 8.1 YPA (20th) and is allowing the 15th most points to the position. Kelce is a locked-in must start regardless of opponent.

Lamar Miller (RB, HOU) broke out in Week 4 as the Texans offense was clicking on all cylinders. Things will get tougher this week against a Chiefs defense that ranks 16th in adjusted line yards and is allowing the 10th fewest points to the position. Miller out-snapped D'Onta Foreman (RB, HOU) 57 to 24 and out-touched him 23 to 13. Miller should continue to be the lead back and makes for a solid RB2 start. Foreman remains little more than a flex given his current workload. DeAndre Hopkins (WR, HOU) lines up on the left 56% of the time which means he will avoid Marcus Peters most of the night. He'll matchup against Terrance Mitchell (19 catches, 320 yards on 37 targets) who is no slouch but you're starting Hopkins no matter what. Will Fuller (WR, HOU) returned from his injury in a big way with six targets and two touchdowns. He will see Marcus Peters on most of his snaps who was a stud in 2016 but has allowed 13 catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns on 20 targets thus far. With Hopkins getting so many looks Fuller will likely need a touchdown to pay off this week. Ryan Griffin (TE, HOU) has seen 11 targets in the last two games and gets an OK matchup against a Chiefs defense that allows a 41% success rate on throws to tight ends (4th), 8.4 YPA (24th) and has given up the 19th most points to the position. Griffin is a low-end TE2 play in Week 5.

 

More Week 5 Lineup Prep