Fantasy Football Sleepers Week 5
I can’t believe we are already five weeks into the 2020 NFL season, but here we are. Its been quite a ride so far, especially in the past week or so thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak that is slowly affecting teams around the league, which certainly impacts the fantasy football landscape. However, on top of the virus, we must also contend with the injury bug that has been crippling our fantasy football lineups as well. So here are the latest COVID and non-COVID-related injures you should be monitoring entering Week 5’s slate of games.
- Saints TE Jared Cook (groin) practiced in a limited capacity on Thursday
- Sunday’s Bills versus Titans game has been rescheduled for Tuesday pending no more positive COVID tests
- Saints WR Michael Thomas (ankle) practiced in a limited capacity on Thursday
- ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (knee, illness) will be ready for Week 5
- Sunday’s Patriots versus Broncos matchup has been moved to Monday night
- Falcons WR Julio Jones (hamstring) did not practice Thursday
- Falcons WR Calvin Ridley (thigh/knee) was limited at Thursday’s practice
- Raiders WR Henry Ruggs (hamstring) practiced in full on Thursday
- Ravens TE Mark Andrews (thigh) practiced in a limited capacity on Thursday
- Chargers WR Mike Williams (hamstring) did not practice on Thursday
- Bengals RB Joe Mixon (shin) practiced in a limited capacity on Thursday
- Chiefs promote DeAndre Washington from the practice squad
- Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. (toe) was limited at Thursday’s practice
- Eagles WR DeSean Jackson (hamstring) was limited on Thursday
- Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) practiced in full on Thursday
- 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) practiced on Thursday
- 49ers RB Raheem Mostert (knee) practiced in a limited capacity on Thursday
- Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) practiced in full on Thursday
- Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (toe) practiced in full on Thursday
The following is a recap of the players from my Fantasy Football Sleepers article last week, you can read that here.
Fantasy Sleepers Week 4: Full-Disclosure
|Player||Position||PPR Rank||PPR Points|
Looking for winning DFS advice? My co-host at the FF Faceoff Podcast, Mike Hauff, has you covered with his weekly Gridiron 3x: Top Projected Draft Kings Plays for Week 5 column found exclusively at Gridiron Experts. You can read that here.
QB Fantasy Sleepers Week 5
ESPN Start-Percentage: 18.3
Normally a game-manager, Teddy Bridgewater appears to be coming into his own in his role with the Panthers, who aren’t sporting a top-end defense like Bridgewater is used to playing with as an NFL starter. However, he’s led the Panthers to two straight wins without Christian McCaffrey while coming off of his most-produce game as a fantasy QB in 2020. Last week, Bridgewater completed 26-of-37 passes for 276 yards and a touchdown while adding another 32 yards and a touchdown on six carries. He finished Week 4 as the QB4 with 26.7 fantasy points.
Now, Bridgewater will get his softest matchup of the season when he faces-off against the Falcons on the road. Atlanta’s defense is allowing the most fantasy points to QBs at a 33.0 FPPG rate. The Falcons have given up at least 316 total yards and four total TDs in every game thus far in 2020 to the enemy QBs. Bridgewater is set up to surpass last week’s totals in a potential shootout in Atlanta.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 4.4
Kirk Cousins has yet to finish as a fantasy QB1 yet through four games, but the stars are aligning for his first one in Sunday’s encounter with the Seahawks. Since moving off Stefon Diggs this offseason, the Vikings and Cousins struggled to find explosive pass-catchers behind Adam Thielen. And despite a slow start, promising rookie Justin Jefferson began to step up a few weeks back and is now emerging as that legit threat at the WR2 spot, which bodes well for Cousins’ fantasy outlook. In the past two games, Jefferson has accumulated 278 yards with a TD on 11-of-14 targets including back-to-back games with a minimum of 100 yards receiving. That trend should continue in Week 5.
Getting the Seahawks on Sunday, Cousins is set up to have his best game of the year. Seattle is giving up the second-most FPPG to opposing QBs (28.2) and has surrendered at least 315 yards and one TD to every QB they’ve faced in four 2020 contests. Cousins has yet to throw for more than 260 yards in a single game this season. That will change in Week 5. With Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers on their byes, plus, the uncertainty surrounding Ryan Tannehill and Josh Allen’s playing status — that game is one negative COVID test from being outright canceled — you can do a lot worst than Cousins this week.
RB Fantasy Sleepers Week 5
ESPN Start-Percentage: 17.4
Devonta Freeman has been back in the NFL for two games. While the first game he managed five carries for 10 yards back in Week 4, the Giants entrusted Freeman with the bulk of the workload in last week’s loss to San Francisco. He totaled 15 touches (four receptions) for 68 yards (38 receiving). Now, Freeman has an outstanding opportunity to put together his first meaningful game against a Cowboys defense that has yet to show up in 2020. The Cowboys’ defense is yielding the 12th-most FPPG to RBs (21.4) and can be run upon at will. While they have only given up a 12/72/0 line to RBs in the passing game, the Dallas defense has been gashed for 544 yards and four scores on 120 carries through four games. Due to Daniel Jones’ struggles, Freeman should be busy in Week 5, especially if the Giants want to try to keep the Dallas offense off the field. Freeman is an upside Flex option for this week’s slate.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 16.8
Since blowing up in Week 1 for 27.3 fantasy points (RB4 in PPR), Nyheim Hines has totaled 17.7 fantasy points in his past three games. However, in his upcoming matchup against the Browns, he will get a Cleveland defense that is allowing the 10th-fewest FPPG to enemy RBs (16.5). Although the matchup isn’t great on paper, the Browns have given up a 25/206/0 line to pass-catching RBs, which is right in Hines’ wheelhouse. Hines had had at least 12 touches in 3-of-4 games played this season including three games with a minimum of three receptions. The normally high-floor satellite back is a quality Flex option for Week 5 with some upside if he finds the end zone.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 9.5
The Arizona backfield is one of the biggest conundrums in fantasy this year. While Kenyan Drake was set up for a breakout season, he’s been anything but. In fact, although Drake is dominating the backfield in rushes, which is to be expected, he is not heavily involved in the passing game. Edmonds is leading Drake in targets (17-to-5), receptions (13-to-5), receiving yards (73-to-20), and total TDs (2-to-1). Because of Edmonds’ receiving floor, I like him as a Flex option this week with scoring upside facing a Jets defense that is surrendering the ninth-most FPPG to enemy RBs (24.3). If the Cardinals bounce back and dominate this game, there should be plenty of second-half clock-killing opportunities for Edmonds as Arizona will likely want to preserve the starter for later in the year if they have the chance.
WR Fantasy Sleepers Week 5
ESPN Start-Percentage: 26.7
Since exploding for 28.2 fantasy points (WR5) in Week 1, Darius Slayton came back down to earth. Perhaps, matchups against the Bears, 49ers, and Rams played a role). However, Slayton was not the only Giants’ offensive player to falter since the promising season-opener against Pittsburgh. The Giants haven’t scored an offensive TD since Week 2. To make matters even worse, that Week 2 score was on the ground. Daniel Jones has not thrown for a passing score since that Week 1 game against the Steelers. If there was ever a game for the New York offense to come together, it is this Sunday against the Cowboys, who can’t stop anything. The Cowboys’ defense is currently allowing the second-most FPPG to WRs (36.4) and have allowed six different wideouts to accumulate a least 15 PPR points against hem in four games, three of which, going for at least 28 PPR points. Slayton, New York’s top big-play threat at wideout, should be in store for a monster outing in Week 5.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 20.8
Despite Denver’s quarterback deficiencies, Jerry Jeudy has looked the part of a top-end wide receiver in the NFL. Sure, he was brought in to be the WR2 or at worst, WR1B, alongside Courtland Sutton, but the latter is done for the year with a torn ACL, leaving Jeudy atop the Broncos’ wide receiver depth chart. As a result, Jeudy has put up at least 9.6 PPR points in each of the first four games of his career with a 10-point PPR floor in his past three. In last week’s win over the Jets, the rookie hauled in 2-of-4 targets for 61 yards and his first career touchdown on a circus-like catch and run. Jeudy will look to put together a complete game in his upcoming matchup against the patriots. While on paper, New England is a tough matchup, their secondary has been their Achilles heel in 2020.
To make matters worse for New England, their top cornerback, Stephon Gilmore, who is perhaps the best corner in the NFL, has been placed on the COVID list. The Patriots are uncharacteristically surrendering the ninth-most FPPG to enemy WRs (27.1) and that was with Gilmore in the lineup. Without Gilmore, they could struggle even more so, which bodes well for Jeudy’s fantasy outlook for this week’s slate. Whether its Drew Lock, who has resumed practice this week in a limited capacity, Brett Rypien or Blake Bortles under center for Denver this week, Jeudy, who is 19th in the NFL in wide receiver targets (28) should be heavily leaned on if Denver wants a chance to win this game. I’m in on Jeudy in Week 5.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 19.9
After missing the first three games of the year with a foot injury, Deebo Samuel returned in Week 4 in a limited capacity. He only managed a 10-yard catch on his lone target while playing sporadically to not only test his injured foot but to also shake off the rust. Now in Week 5, Samuel should be unleashed in a terrific matchup at home against the Dolphins. While the Miami defense is improving, they can still be exploited through the air, especially with four of their defensive backs including starters Xavien Howard and Byron Jones appearing on this week’s injury report. While they all should play, they could be slowed by their ailments. Miami is yielding the eighth-most FPPG to WRs (27.1) while allowing six different wideouts to finish with at least 10 PPR points against them including three finishing with north of 15. With Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle back in the fold for the San Francisco offense, the Dolphins can’t double everyone. And if they gameplan around Kittle this week, which is expected, Samuel could be in line for a big game.
TE Fantasy Sleepers Week 5
ESPN Start-Percentage: 14.4
In his first two games with the Steelers to open the year, Eric Ebron was a disappointment in fantasy. However, in Week 3, the veteran tight end came to life showcasing why the Steelers will utilize him in the red zone with an outstanding TD grab in the end zone to go along with his five receptions and 51 yards on seven targets. Seeing at least five targets in each of his past two games, Ebron will look to put together his second straight TE1 performance in Sunday’s matchup against the Eagles, whose defense has struggled to contain the tight end position in 2020. Through four games, Philadelphia’s defense has given up the third-most FPPG to TEs (14.6) while allowing the seventh-most receptions (26), the fifth-most yards (276), and the second-most TDs (five). Ebron finished Week 3 as the TE3 with 16.4 fantasy points and could have a similar outcome on Sunday.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 9.0
With injuries to the wide receiver position as well as an anemic passing attack overall, the Colts use two and three tight end sets quite frequently, especially last week since Trey Burton was active for the first time all year — he was on the injured reserve list for the three previous games. However, despite Burton’s return and Jack Doyle’s overall presence, Mo Alie-Cox has been Indianapolis’ most productive tight end for fantasy purposes. In fact, despite his limited target share, Alie-Cox has finished with 111 yards or a TD in each of the past three games. With his size and athletic ability, Alix-Cox is the Colts’ top threat in the red zone. While he may need to score to return fantasy value, Alie-Cox is red hot in the past three games and I will ride the trend entering his Week 5 matchup with the Browns, whose defense is surrendering the fifth-most FPPG to TEs (12.9). The Browns have allowed a tight end to score in 3-of-4 games this season while giving up at least 10 PPR points to four different tight ends in four games. I like Alie-Cox to find the end zone for the third straight game in Week 5.
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Sleepers Week 5