Byes really stink. Injuries are even worse. Let’s see to which players to lock in and a few to lock out of your fantasy football line-ups in Week 5 in the latest edition of Studs, Duds and Sleepers.
Stud: Jay Cutler – Cutler will bounce back this week after a bad start to the season. He hasn’t gotten close to throwing for 300 yards and only has two touchdown passes this season. Why am I so confident he will post big numbers this week? The Tennessee defense will make average offenses look great. They’ve allowed the most passing touchdowns in the NFL and the second most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Cutler will get on the same page as Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and company (at least for this week) and post QB1 numbers.
Dud: Alex Smith – Smith is the second best fantasy quarterback through four weeks behind Tom Brady. He burst onto the scene in Week 1 and followed up two down weeks with another top performance in Week 4. Smith should come back down to reality this week against the Texans. It’s a road game and even though the Texans’ defense has given up points this season, they should be able to slow down the Chiefs. Smith has been sacked 13 times in the last three games. He’s handled the pressure well. He hasn’t thrown an interception and is completing 76 percent of his passes, which leads the NFL. He has a safe floor of around 12-15 fantasy points, but this isn’t the week to play him. Avoid him in daily formats and most season-long leagues.
Sleeper: Brian Hoyer – Hoyer has struggled in three out of four games this season. He does get a vulnerable Indianapolis defense in a dome this week. DeShone Kizer had a big fantasy week against the Colts and Hoyer could follow suit. He’s hard to trust, but Hoyer is worth a dart throw in daily games and two-quarterback leagues.
Stud: Jay Ajayi – Ajayi has yet to post RB1 numbers so far this season. He’s battled a knee injury, but practiced in full this week. After two dreadful performances by this Miami offense, I think they get back to basics early, which means establish Ajayi and the rushing attack. He doesn’t have a rushing touchdown this season. The Titans have a allowed a running back to score a touchdown in three-straight games. Ajayi is a solid buy-low candidate and worth a look in all fantasy formats.
Dud: Latavius Murray – Murray was one of the top waiver-wire adds this week, but fantasy owners shouldn’t throw him into their lineups. He admitted earlier in the week that he wasn’t 100 percent healthy after having offseason ankle surgery. Now he’s supposed to carry the Vikings’ backfield? Chicago is the sixth-best run defense so far this season. They’re allowing 85.5 yards per game on the ground. Murray could get a goal line touchdown, but it’s hard to imagine a breakout performance this week.
Sleeper: Isaiah Crowell – Crowell hasn’t scored a touchdown and has yet to rush for more than 44 yards this season. He’s been the definition of a fantasy bust. That could change (at least for one week) this week against the Jets. New York is allowing the fourth most fantasy points to running backs on the season. I expect the Cleveland offense to score and that should me Crowell gets a goal line carry or two. He’s worth plugging into a flex spot this week. Fantasy owners that drafted him early have to hope this is his ‘get-right’ game.
MORE WEEK 5 ADVICE:
- GSI Cheat Sheet – Rankings
- Listen: Weekly Fantasy Segment on ESPN 1530
- FOX19 Fantasy Friday: Week 5 Lineup Advice
- Week 5 Podcast – Fantasy Happy Hour – coming soon
- Office Pool Picks: Week 5
Stud: T.Y. Hilton – Hilton is the definition of a boom-or-bust wide receiver without Andrew Luck on the field. He should boom this week. The 49ers are allowing the sixth most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Hilton should be able to get behind the San Francisco seconary for a few big plays. He’s a WR2 with upside this week against the 49ers.
Dud: A.J. Green – Green is a weekly WR1, but he has a tough matchup on Sunday. The Bills have yet to allow a wide receiver to score 10 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues this season. Green has reached the end zone in consecutive weeks, but the Bills and Bengals probably won’t be a high-scoring affair. You have to start him in season-long leagues, but avoid him in daily games.
Sleeper: Jermaine Kearse – The Jets play the Browns in a matchup of two Super Bowl contenders. The Browns’ secondary is below-average and Josh McCown has shown he has a decent rapport with Kearse. I expect this matchup to be high-scoring, which could mean a surprisingly high fantasy output from Kearse.
Stud: Hunter Henry – Henry scored his first touchdown of the season last week and now has a great matchup against the Giants. New York has a great secondary, which could limit the Chargers’ wide receivers, but it shouldn’t hurt Henry. The Giants are giving up the most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Henry is a low-end TE1, with upside.
Dud: Kyle Rudolph – The tight end position is bare and some owners may consider starting Rudolph despite his early-season struggles. I won’t be. He’s not being used like last season and that could mean Rudolph becomes droppable in the near future. The Bears’ defense has only allowed eight catches to opposing tight ends this season.
Sleeper: Austin Seferian-Jenkins – This is a deep sleeper, but Seferian-Jenkins is worth a look this week. He has ten targets over the past two weeks. The Browns’ defense has given up the second most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Jesse James and Tyler Kroft combined for four touchdowns against this defense. Seferian-Jenkins should get targets and is worth a look in deeper leagues.
Stud: Philadelphia – The Eagles are at home and get an Arizona offense that is just plain old. Some of them can still play, but age is a factor from Carson Palmer to Larry Fitzgerald and Chris Johnson. The Eagles’ defense has yet to have a big week, but this could be it. Arizona is giving up the fifth most fantasy points to opposing defenses this season.
Dud: Tennessee – Some may consider the Titans because of Miami’s struggles on offense. Tennessee can’t be counted on and will likely be on the field more than normal because of Marcus Mariota’s injury. The Titans aren’t considering in any formats this week.
Sleeper: Oakland – The Raiders’ defense is going to have to step up with Derek Carr injured. They have a prime chance to do so this week against a poor Ravens’ offense. Joe Flacco doesn’t look anything like the quarterback he was a few years ago. The Ravens’ offense is one of the worst in the league and the Raiders have a chance to post solid numbers this week. Baltimore is allowing the 11th most fantasy points to opposing defenses this season.