Week 5 Rankings Analysis - Pierre Camus vs. Industry Consensus

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Now things get interesting. We have some high-profile offenses taking the week off and it seems like all the matchups this week are all or nothing. There could be upwards of 60 points on the board in the Pats-Bucs, Packers-Cowboys, and Chiefs-Texans games. Then there are the games that you only watch when Red Zone channel has nothing else to show you because the others are all on commercial break: 49ers-Colts, Jets-Browns, Titans-Dolphins. Of course, we have a rooting interest in all of these, because chances are you either own or are going up against a player on one of those teams. That's doing NFL right, my friends.

As an expert ranker for RotoBaller and FantasyPros, I'll put my own personal rankings out on the table for you here and show you how they stack up against the consensus of the other 100+ experts at FantasyPros. Each week, I'll list my Top 10 per position, plus a few notable players that have risen or fallen in my rankings more than the expert consensus this week.

Note: all rankings are for standard leagues and all opinions are my own. If you have questions, comments, or nothing better to do in the last five minutes of your lunch break, hit me up on Twitter @pfunk00 to continue the weekly rankings conversation.

Editor's Note: For a limited time only, our Premium Tools - including DFS cheat sheets, expert lineups, and matchup ratings - are only $9.99 for the rest of the season! Sign Up Now!

 

Week 5 Quarterbacks - Rankings Analysis

Top 10, plus notable outliers (deviation from consensus)

So, it appears that 90% of this week's passing offense will come from two games. I'm writing this before Thursday night's game, so if it's completely wrong and Tampa Bay winds up winning 9-6 or something, don't @ me.

I am believing the Deshaun Watson hype because I believed it even before the draft. When he wound up in Houston, it was obvious he'd be the starter early on. The only surprising part is how he's doing so much with so little in the receiver department, which includes a carousel of backup tight ends. Will Fuller's return should only help.

The Jags are dominating opposing passers, but Big Ben is back at home where he plays best. Something's gotta give and I'm leaning toward the Jags (giving, that is). Ben might not go off for 300+ yards and three TD, but I don't think he has to in order to be a top-10 QB this week with Drew Brees, Kirk Cousins, and Matt Ryan all on byes. Yes, you count too Trevor Siemian, but you're never in my top-10 anyway. I also like Brian Hoyer to come back strong against the Colts defense, which was embarrassed by a Seattle team with no run game and a terrible offensive line.

Russell Wilson and Cam Newton should both plummet back to Earth after tremendous weeks against god awful opponents on defense. The Lions have a great due in the secondary with Darius Slay and Glover Quin and they are a tough team to beat at home. Likewise, Wilson faces a Rams team that is susceptible to the run, but tough against the pass. They need to find a replacement for Chris Carson (who thought we'd be saying that in the middle of the season?), so I expect a heavier tilt toward the run game with Thomas Rawls and (shudder) Eddie Lacy.

 

Week 5 Running Backs - Rankings Analysis

Top 10, plus notable outliers (deviation from consensus)

No surprises at the top. Hunt is established as a top-five back, as is Gurley. On the other hand, LeSean McCoy is going to have to show something in order to maintain that status. Yardage-wise, he's gone over 100 total in two games and under 70 in two others. He's also failed to reach the end zone at all, leaving a sour taste in the mouth of standard-league owners. I think he breaks that streak this week and should be given the benefit of the doubt as long as he's healthy. The Jordan Matthews injury should make them lean even more run-heavy, if anything.

Speaking of last chances, I've written ad nauseam about Jay Ajayi's struggles and how it's not really his fault, but the offensive line's, but he still has to stay patient and settle for short gains rather than nothing and... I'm just tired of it. He just needs to obliterate the Titans, rip off some huge gains and put this all to bed. Otherwise, he can't be trusted as an RB1 any more.

I'm always going to carry the torch for ex-Cane great Frank Gore, but you have to like this matchup regardless of your feelings about him. This year's 49ers defense isn't horrible as last year's, but it's not exactly great either. They give up 106 rushing yards per game and last week's game against the Cardinals, who are dead last in rush offense with 57 Y/G, has skewed those numbers. He's still a low-end RB2 in standard leagues. Alex Collins should be shooting up the rankings, but people are still skeptical. I get it - he's another fumble away from a permanent seat on the bench and has to compete with Buck Allen and Terrance West. In PPR, he's a high-upside flex play, but in an RB-desperate world, he is worth starting in standard leagues based on his breakaway ability. Continuing the theme of being overly optimistic on recent waiver wire adds, I'm also boosting Elijah McGuire because he faces the Browns and Matt Forte is still out, while Wayne Gallman has the best scoring upside of them all.

Joe Mixon is still a hold/buy-low for me too, but I'm not putting him in my lineup just yet until he catches up to the speed of the NFL. Marshawn Lynch is still trying to catch up to himself in his 20s and it's not happening. No Derek Carr means less red zone chances and the Ravens still have a formidable run defense. I'm benching Beast Mode everywhere, or at least I would if I owned him.

 

Week 5 Wide Receivers - Rankings Analysis

Top 10, plus notable outliers (deviation from consensus)

This has to be the lowest I've put Antonio Brown in my rankings for quite a while. As mentioned earlier, the Jags have the highest-graded CB duo in the league with A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey, so it'll be tough sledding even in Pittsburgh. Big Ben can get away with dump-offs to Le'Veon Bell and secondary receivers, but the Jags won't let Brown beat them. Of course, you're still starting him...

I'm also on the verge of putting Stefon Diggs higher than OBJ or A.J. Green this week. It'll be back to last year's offense for the Vikes now that Dalvin Cook is gone. I expect a ton of targets for Diggs and the re-emergence of Kyle Rudolph (more on that later).

Putting T.Y. Hilton in the top 10 might be overly optimistic, but keep in mind that his three relative duds this season have come against superior pass defenses (Seattle, Arizona, L.A. Rams). It's tough not to overreact to such a plus matchup, but in Hilton's case he's got the track record to make it worthwhile. For that same reason, I think Jermaine Kearse bounces back with a solid game at Cleveland. He's not more than a WR3, but with several quality receivers out due to the bye, he could slide into a lineup spot for deeper leagues.

While I'm slightly down on AB, I'm way down on Martavis Bryant. Physical talent be damned, he just isn't producing like most people expected. One big play in Week 2 and a 43% catch rate is all we have to show for a 4th/5th round pick? This matchup is tough enough that I'll stay completely away. And he'll probably get loose for a 75-yard score just to prove the fluky nature of this fantasy game we play, but I'll still sleep good at night.

 

Week 5 Tight Ends - Rankings Analysis

Top 10, plus notable outliers (deviation from consensus)

The only reason Rudolph doesn't crack the top-five is how bullish I am on Charles Clay (this week) and Hunter Henry. Clay is proving to be Tyrod Taylor's go-to in this offense and who can blame him? Jordan Matthews is out, his rookie WR is still learning the system, and Andre Holmes is not ever going to be a target hog. Clay has seen 25 targets over four games and could reach double-digits in Week 5.

I know we're all sick of Hunter Henry and his goose eggs, but this time'll be different! Promise! The Giants have shown absolutely no interest in pretending to cover the tight end this season, allowing an average of 77 yards per game and a league-high five touchdowns to the position. He's a must-start in any format.

As far as Rudolph, he's been asked to block twice as much as last season and his targets have taken a hit. That will change, unless Latavius Murray or Jerick McKinnon suddenly step their game up and keep the running game near the level it was with Cook. Rudolph's stock takes another jump up if Sam Bradford does return this or next week.

Zach Ertz gets the anti-Henry effect this week, as Arizona is stingier than a GOP Congressman when it comes to defending the tight end. It might be curious to see any Buccaneer on the lower end of rankings this week, but O.J. Howard's one big play won't convince me to expect more of him until I see more than three targets head his way on a regular basis.

 

More Week 5 Lineup Prep


Check out all of RotoBaller's 2017 fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.