Jacksonville Jaguars vs Buffalo Bills
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 9:30 am @ Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
- Weather – Sunny
- What Vegas is saying – Line (BUF -5.5) & Over/Under 48.5
Identifying the Game Script
The last time that the Jaguars and the Bills played each other was back in 2021. Shockingly, the Bills would lose a close one, 9-6, to a poor Jacksonville team. I believe that was the Josh Allen DE sacked Josh Allen QB. The Bills are coming off a dominating performance against a division rival, as the offense looked unstoppable. The Jaguars slightly rebounded and won in London. This is another international game, and the Jaguars could be at an advantage staying in the UK over the Bills having to travel. We could see a lower-scoring game between these two games. There hasn’t been a team that has scored over 30 points since 2019. The London game always seems to be a surprise in fantasy. We could see this game turning into more running and defense rather than a passing shootout.
Josh Allen is coming off his best game of the season and perhaps one of his best career games ever for fantasy. Allen has to travel to London to play the Jaguars pass defense. They are a beatable secondary that Josh Allen can thrive against. In Weeks 1-3, the Jaguars allowed a QB1 finish from their opposing quarterback. The Jaguars have made two young rookie quarterbacks stand out in fantasy. Josh Allen is a seasoned pro and should continue to be a QB1 in week five. Don’t expect another four-touchdown day, but a more realistic 250 passing yards and two touchdowns.
Trevor Lawrence is coming off another mediocre performance, as he was under 20 fantasy points again. The Jaguars staying in London may give them an advantage. Lawrence has the worst matchup in fantasy, as the Bills are the best team in the league vs. fantasy quarterbacks. They have a league-high eight interceptions, which could cause trouble for Lawrence. The one good news for the quarterback is that star cornerback Tre’Davious White is now out of the season. Last year, the Bills secondary did not look the same without him there. The Bills have only let up three touchdowns and one quarterback over 200 passing yards. Lawrence could be in for a rough day. Lawrence is a borderline QB1 for me with bust potential.
The Bills backfield is slowly becoming a committee approach, but we aren’t talking about it. James Cook has been solid with double-digit carries each week, but his targets have dropped since week one. The Bills have been ahead in most of their matchups since week one, but it’s a concern that Cook isn’t being gameplanned to see a heavy workload. The Jaguars are in the top 10 at stopping fantasy running backs this year. They allowed Bijan Robinson to produce over 100 rushing yards, but they have been mostly good at containing them. This game could be much closer, allowing Cook to see more work as they seem to fade him when they are rocking a lead. Cook should be considered a high-end RB2 in week five.
Latavius Murray remains the better-looking back between him and Damien Harris. Murray has out snapped him in every game this year and is seeing work in both phases of the offense. The Bills may get out to lead in this game so that Murray could have some value. He is the one playing most of the third downs and two-minute offense. Murray is a high-end RB4.
The Jaguars backfield is a one-man show with Travis Etienne at the helm. He has been inconsistent, with two games over 15 plus fantasy points and two under ten fantasy points. He sees over 60 percent of the backfield carries and targets on the season. The Bills have allowed a ton of yardage to running backs this season. They have allowed three running backs over 70 yards on the year. They just gave up their first rushing touchdowns in week four. I expect Etienne to see over 17 carries in this game; that could end up being closer than we think. If they fall behind, we’ve seen Etienne thrive as a pass catcher, especially in week three, where he had four receptions for 50 yards. Etienne should be an RB1 in this matchup. The backup role for the Jaguars has turned into a three-way committee, and they should not be near starting lineups for now.
Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis are the only two with fantasy relevance for the Bills pass catchers. The Jaguars secondary is a decent matchup, as receivers can beat them. They haven’t faced a duo like Diggs and Davis yet, so they could be in for a tough day covering them. Stefon Diggs will continue to be a WR1 in week five. Gabe Davis is too boom/bust and has been very touchdown-dependent the last three weeks. In a matchup I expect to be lower scoring. Davis is a risky play that is better left on the bench.
The tight end position continues to be split, but Dalton Kincaid is starting to separate from Dawson Knox. Week four was the first time that Kincaid out-snapped Knox. While it could be the blowout that led to that, it’s a start. We know that Kincaid is running all the routes over Knox and continues to see more targets than Knox. The Jaguars allow the fifth most fantasy points to tight ends this year. Kincaid has sleeper potential in a favorable matchup. He averages about four targets per game, so he isn’t quite start-worthy in most leagues, but a mid-range TE2. Dawson Knox isn’t seeing enough targets, making him outside the top 24 tight ends.
The Jaguars pass catchers have gotten a slightly easier matchup. The Bills have been in the top 10 vs fantasy receivers, but they just lost Tre’Davious White. While the Bills have solid backups, they can’t replace White’s coverage level. The Bills still have only allowed one receiver over 60 receiving yards this season. Calvin Ridley has been a big disappointment since his big week one performance. It could have been an awful day if he had not caught a touchdown in week four. If he saw another seven-target day, I’d trust him as a WR2, but the lack of production/targets is concerning in a tough matchup. Ridley is a high-end WR3 in week five.
Christian Kirk has been productive after his goose egg in week one. He has averaged 14 fantasy points over the last three weeks. The Bills allow the slot to be a vulnerable place in their secondary, which could help Kirk have another strong outing. I’m thrilled with the targets he is receiving, and I have him valued over Ridley in week five for the first time. Kirk should be a mid-range WR2 in this matchup. If Zay Jones does return, I’m not considering him a startable piece heading into a tough matchup. Evan Engram has been the most consistent player all fantasy season. He has three straight games over eight targets and over 50 receiving yards. The Bills show as a top-three defense vs fantasy tight ends, but they haven’t played any tight ends that are used like Engram. He is a TE1 in week five.
Houston Texans vs Atlanta Falcons
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 1:00 pm @ Mercedes-Benz Stadium
- Weather – Indoors 🙂
- What Vegas is saying – Line (ATL-1.5) & Over/Under 41.5
Identifying the Game Script
It’s been a while since these two teams have played each other. The Texans would win in a blowout fashion, 53-32 over the Falcons. The last two times these teams played each other, the average total score has been 77 points. The Texans are coming in on a two-game win streak, thanks to their offensive production. The Falcons lost in London to the Jaguars, as they are on a two-game losing streak. I don’t expect this game to be high-scoring. The Falcons will manage the clock with the run game, allowing less opportunity for a possible shootout. This game may help keep the Texans more balanced as they focus on the passing attack. Overall, the Falcons should run well on a poor Texans run defense, and the Texan offense may stay more balanced for us in fantasy.
CJ Stroud has been on fire as a rookie since week two of the season. He has 900 passing yards, six touchdowns, and one turnover during that time. This matchup is more challenging than most folks think. The Falcons haven’t allowed a passer over 250 yards, and just one quarterback has seen over one passing touchdown. Stroud could try to run more, as they give up rushing to quarterbacks, but that’s not part of his game. I think the run game will struggle, so Stroud will likely be forced to throw the ball in this game. I’d rank Stroud as a high-end QB2 that you could start with some confidence.
Desmond Ridder continues to be inefficient for fantasy football. He has back-to-back games under ten fantasy points. He is thrown for 69 attempts but has come away with 400 yards and one passing touchdown. His matchup won’t be easy, as the Texans are in the top 10 in stopping quarterbacks. They have kept most quarterbacks under 200 passing yards and just two passing touchdowns on the season. Even with decent attempts in the passing game, Ridder can’t be trusted. At this point, don’t be surprised if he is benched mid-game. He is a QB3 that shouldn’t come close to starting lineups.
The Texans backfield is in for a world of trouble this week. The Falcons averaged the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs. Running backs have averaged around 55 rushing yards per game, but the Falcons haven’t let up a rushing touchdown on the season. They have not allowed much production in the passing game to backs this year. Dameon Pierce is coming off back-to-back double-digit fantasy point outings, but if you look at his stats, it’s not all that great. In those last two games, he has 38 carries for 119 yards with touchdowns. His small saving grace has been as a receiver, with four receptions for 55 yards. Pierce also is missing three offensive linemen that could be back this week. In this tough matchup, Peirce is more of a high-end RB3 who will likely need a touchdown to have a strong day. The rest of the backfield is useless in fantasy, with Pierce seeing 60% of the touches each week.
Bijan Robinson certainly has this backfield to himself, seeing his offensive usage increase weekly. In week four, he doubled the touches of Tyler Allgeier. The matchup in week five is a favorable one for this run-first backfield. The Texans have allowed a 70-yard rusher in three straight games. I mean, they made Najee Harris look like an efficient runner. Robinson should have no issues seeing 20-plus touches in this matchup and be another RB1 play. After seeing double-digit carries the first two weeks, Allgeier has finished with seven in back-to-back games. His fantasy points per game have gone down each week. Allgeier is dropping to more of a high-end RB4 that has wild card upside if the Falcons pull ahead.
The Texans pass catchers have been solid this season for fantasy. Nico Collins looks like he is turning into a star, with over 400 yards on the season. Bob Woods is solid but not great for fantasy. Tank Dell has flashed in a few games already this year. This trio does have a tougher matchup vs. the Falcons. They have allowed just two receivers over 60 yards and the fourth fewest receiver yards on the season. Their one weakness has been in the slot, as that receiver usually performs the best. Bob Woods maintains most of the slot work so that he could be a sneaky deep sleeper in week five. Woods could be a borderline WR4 in this matchup. Nico Collins has shined this year, and if he can see nine-plus targets, then he’ll have WR2 upside in this matchup.
Tank Dell will be part of the script, depending on how the games go. If Stroud can reach 40 pass attempts, Dell could be in for a nice week. When Stroud is under 35 pass attempts, we see that either Collins or Dell will see less work. Collins has shown the most promise of a true WR1 due to his size compared to Dell. I think Dell is more of a borderline flex/high-end WR4 in week five. Dalton Schultz is coming off a great week with 42 yards and a touchdown. His matchup is solid, as the Falcons have allowed three tight ends over 40 yards in a game. Schultz is risky as he continues to see his offensive snaps drop because he is not much of a blocker. The Texans are not using 12 personnel often, which is limiting Schultz. He is a mid-range TE2 in week five.
Since the quarterback situation for the Falcons is terrible, it has directly affected the pass catchers. Drake London has all the talent in the world, but the quarterback situation won’t save him with Ridder. London does not see the work we want in fantasy outside of some lucky touchdowns. He averages seven targets per game but only 42 yards per game. The Texans are elite vs fantasy receivers this year, ranking second in the league. London is a high-end WR4 that would be a risky flex play. No other receivers are making an impact worth mentioning.
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Kyle Pitts is another headache for fantasy, but he is just not being used right in the offense. After a solid week three, he came back down, which is concerning for fantasy. He is no longer a must-start TE anymore. The Texans have allowed some production to tight ends, but that’s not the issue for Pitts. He is sharing more time with the rest of the tight ends. He had his fewest plays in the offense in week four, allowing Jonnu Smith to act as more of a partner than a backup. Pitts is a high-end TE2 at best. Jonnu Smith has been rising after playing much better in the offense. He has two more targets over the last three games than Pitts. He has seen six-plus fantasy points in the previous three games. I’m not ready to start him in most leagues, but he is a low-end TE2 with some upside.
Carolina Panthers vs Detriot Lions
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 1:00 pm @ Ford Field
- Weather – Indoors 🙂
- What Vegas is saying – Line (DET -10.0) & Over/Under 44
Identifying the Game Script
The last time the Panthers and the Lions faced off was last season. The Panthers would blow out the Lions 37 to 24 on Christmas Eve. The Panthers are coming off a close loss to the Vikings, 21 to 13. The Lions would win a big division game over the Packers last TNF. The Lions key to success should be continuing to run the ball vs. the Panthers’ terrible run defense. The Panthers under Young will need to get going with their own run game to be competitive in this game. In the end, this could be a one-sided game as Detroit’s defense looks tough this year, and their offense is getting some firepower back as well.
Bryce Young has not been that great as a passer this year. His completion percentage is under 60% for the season, and he only has 500 yards in three games. His matchup is decent, but he had a great one last week and failed. The Lions have shut down quarterbacks that aren’t that good, which Young falls under this year. The pressure from the Lions’ front seven will make it hard for Young to be successful since he has been sacked 11 times over these last two games. Young is outside the top 24 quarterbacks and should not be a start in Superflex leagues.
Jared Goff is off to a decent season, but not the elite level we thought he could have with this offense. We saw that when the run game goes, Goff doesn’t have to do much. We could see a similar situation in week five. The Panthers limited fantasy quarterbacks in the first four weeks. They have allowed just one passer over 250 passing yards and two passing touchdowns. Goff will likely be limited in passing in a favorable run matchup, so expect Goff to finish as a mid-range QB2.
The Panthers backfield has not been pretty so far this season. Miles Sanders has dealt with injuries but continues to see a significant workload in the offense. This past week, it seemed like Chuba Hubbard was the better back and played most of the second half over Sanders in a close game. The matchup against the Lions is tough as they allow the second-fewest yards to running backs. They haven’t allowed a rusher over 50 yards this season. I could see this game getting out of hand early, allowing Hubbard to see some work. Miles Sanders is not 100% and should be valued no higher than a high-end RB3 that you could flex. Chuba Hubbard could continue to see work with Sanders unhealthy, but I don’t expect too much. He is a borderline RB3 in week five.
The Lions backfield has a fantastic matchup in week five. The Panthers allow the fourth most fantasy points per game to running backs. The Panthers have allowed six rushing touchdowns and back-to-back 90 rushing yards. Based on what we saw from last week, David Montgomery is the 1A in the offense, and Jahmyr Gibbs is the 1B. We assume that Gibbs will overtake Montgomery, but that doesn’t seem to be happening right now. Montgomery, in this favorable matchup, should be able to see the groundwork and reach low-end RB1 numbers. Gibbs has the talent, but I need to see more opportunity in the offense. He is averaging 12-14 touches per game and giving decent production. He is a flex option as a borderline RB2 until we can see more from him.
The Panthers pass catchers might want to start playing better, as the Panthers are in the market for a new receiver. They have a decent matchup in week five. They don’t allow many blowup games, but receivers can produce decent yardage. They have given up five receiving touchdowns so far. At his age, Adam Thielen continues to be the team’s WR1. Thielen is a nice WR3 and good flex play. He offers a nice floor with the number of targets he gets in the offense. DJ Chark is outside the top 60 receivers since his only good game came with Andy Dalton. He only saw four targets in a favorable matchup last week.
Jonathan Mingo missed last week with a concussion, which led to Terrace Marshall stepping in with nine receptions for 54 yards. Whoever plays, it seems like they have a good connection with Young so far this season. I rank either one as WR5, but it depends on whether or not Mingo plays. Hayden Hurst has fallen off since his week one performance. The matchup is decent as the Lions allow, on average, 35 yards to tight ends, but Hurts is a borderline TE2.
The pass catchers for the Lions have been great for fantasy. The Panthers are a decent matchup for this Lions receiving group. They have allowed an 80-yard receiver in three straight games. Amon-Ra St. Brown hasn’t been practicing this week but claims he will be good for Sunday. As long as he is on the field, he is a WR1 in week five. Josh Reynolds is playing the deep threat for the team and has three of four games with 60-plus yards. I don’t expect a ton of passing from the Lions, so his value is likely limited. He should be considered a WR5 in this matchup. His value will not be affected by the return of Jameson Williams. Speaking of Williams, he is a sit in week five. He is a talent but has yet to show he can be an NFL star. The concern he could be limited or brought in slowly concerns me for the first few weeks.
For Sam LaPorta, he has been fantastic for fantasy football. LaPorta has 50 yards in three straight games. The Panthers haven’t given up a touchdown to the tight end position. LaPorta is a big part of the offense and should continue to see five to six targets. He is a TE1, even in a difficult matchup.
Tenneessee Titans vs Indianapolis Colts
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 1:00 pm @ Lucas Oil Stadium
- Weather – Indoors : )
- What Vegas is saying – Line (TEN -2.5) & Over/Under 43
Identifying the Game Script
This AFC South division game could be the game that puts one of these teams in the driver’s seat for the division. Over the last five games, these two teams’ total points have averaged 49.6. The Titans have won five straight over the Colts, including the previous game, where the Titans won 19-10 over the Colts. The Titans are coming off a surprising win over the Bengals. The Colts would lose a close one to the Rams. I expect this game to be higher scoring thanks to both secondaries not being all that good. We could have a passing battle between Ryan Tannehill and Anthony Richardson. OH GREAT! The real test could be the return of Jonathan Taylor against that Titans front defense that has stopped everyone this year.
Ryan Tannehill hasn’t been much of a starting option in fantasy outside of his week two matchup. In week three’s article, I said you can’t trust Tannehill to score a rushing touchdown every week. He hasn’t put up more than 14 points since Week 2. Tannehill is struggling with a poor offensive line and injured pass catchers. It is a favorable matchup as the Colts give up the fifth most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. I can see him having a similar game to what Matthew Stafford gave us in week four, with 280 yards and one touchdown. He finished the week as QB21 on the week. Tannehill hasn’t impressed me much, so he is likely a borderline QB2 who is a floor play to get you 14 fantasy points.
Anthony Richardson has been fantastic for fantasy football. In the two games that Richardson has played in the entire game, he has over 20 fantasy points. He is averaging 42 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in each game. The Titans are a solid matchup for the young rookie quarterback. In half of their games, the Titans have given up a QB1 performance in two of four games this year. Richardson doesn’t seem like he can be stopped as a rusher. He’ll give us a solid floor and do enough as a passer. He is a QB1 in week five.
The Titans backfield has been hot and cold all season so far. The backfield was on fire in week four, with Derrick Henry rushing for 122 yards and Tyjae Spears producing another 58 total yards. The Colts have an average run defense that can be run on this year. Last season, Derrick Henry averaged 120 yards per game vs. the Colts. As long as Henry can continue to see 18-plus carries, I have no worries he won’t be an RB1 in week five. Tyjae Spears is more interesting since he averages six YPC on 20 carries this season. In games where he saw five more carries, he had 40 rushing yards. Spears should be a high-end RB3 with some upside.
The Colts backfield has some question marks as we head into week five. Jonathan Taylor is back from the PUP and practicing in full. There has been no official word that he is playing on Sunday, but we have to assume he is. The Titans have a tough run defense, allowing just one rusher over 60 yards since week three of 2022. Taylor has averaged 59 rushing yards in five career games vs the Titans. If he plays, you must assume he will see his workload again. I don’t think he will be all that productive. He is a low-end RB2 in that matchup if he plays. If he plays, I don’t expect Zach Moss to be more than a mid-range RB4 since he’s not much of a pass catcher. Moss would jump back to a low-end RB2 if Taylor doesn’t play.
For the Titans pass catchers, it’s hard to want to start any of them in fantasy right now. DeAndre Hopkins is continuing to see under 75% of the offensive snaps. The ankle injury he is dealing with has limited his snaps. He has been seeing seven targets per game and getting 50 yards. Treylon Burks is dealing with an injury but has barely done anything this year. The official report is that Burks is out for week five. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine has probably been the best receiver in fantasy for the Titans, but he is very inconsistent. Second-year receiver Kyle Phillips may return from the PUP in this matchup. The Colts pass defense is a favorable matchup for these Titans receivers.
Hopkins should be a low-end WR3 and a risky flex. In his first game back, Kyle Phillips is too risky to play if he does. I would be surprised if he did well. Westbrooke-Ikhine is likely a boom-or-bust WR5 that could have another touchdown on Sunday. I probably wouldn’t want to start any of them. Chig Okonkwo, I want to do well so bad, but he has had good matchups but has done nothing in them. He is a sit and a borderline TE2.
The Colts receivers have not been that trustworthy this season. Michael Pittman has been great when he has seen double-digit targets, but it wasn’t all that great in week four. Alec Pierce and Josh Downs aren’t seeing enough work with Richardson at quarterback. The Titans’ secondary is a favorable matchup. Up until week four, they allowed 100-yard receivers in each game. They shut that against the Bengals, which was a surprise. Pittman didn’t do that well vs the Titans last year, with just 45 yards on average in both games. Richardson is an upgrade to whatever they had in 2022. Pittman should be a mid-range WR2 in week five. Peirce and Downs are outside my top 60 receivers for the week. The Colts tight end has been a full rotation all season, and the Titans are good vs. fantasy tight ends. I wouldn’t recommend starting anyone there.
New York Giants vs Miami Dolphins
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 1:00 pm @ Hard Rock Stadium
- Weather – Cloudy with afternoon thunderstorms
- What Vegas is saying – Line (MIA 12.0) & Over/Under 47.5
Identifying the Game Script
The last time that the Giants and the Dolphins played each other was back in 2021. The Dolphins would win easily 20-9 over the Giants. The Giants are coming off another gross performance on MNF. The Dolphins high power offense could not overcome the Bills better high-power offense in a big blowout loss. The Giants team has a favorable matchup, as the run and the pass have beaten the Dolphins’ defense. I expect if a certain star player returns, they will get him the ball as much as possible. The dolphins don’t pressure that well, which could give Jones more time to look for options. The Dolphins offense seems primarily unstoppable, and the run game can outdo a poor Giants run defense.
Daniel Jones has been a complete bust in 2023, minus his comeback game vs. the Cardinals. Jones has been held under ten fantasy points in three of four games. He also has returned to his turnover-prone ways with six interceptions on the season. It’s not all his fault, as his offensive line has been terrible, with 22 sacks in four games. He is also missing one of his best players, Saqoun Barkley. This shows that Daniel Jones is not a great quarterback. Jones has rushed for 40 yards in three of four games, but that rushing floor isn’t enough to make him great for fantasy.
Jones will get another opportunity for a favorable matchup, as the Dolphins have allowed the third most fantasy points to fantasy quarterbacks. The Dolphins were a team that allowed yardage but minimal passing touchdowns. They have allowed two rushing touchdowns to a quarterback, so if Jones can get his legs moving, it could give him a prime opportunity to score. The Dolphins don’t sack the quarterback enough, so it could help give Jones more time to throw the ball. Jones comes with a high upside, but we know he is. The safest bet is that he finishes as a high-end QB2, but it is risky for single-quarterback leagues.
Tua Tagovailoa has been a very inconsistent fantasy option in 2023. He has put up monster games over 30 fantasy points, but he averages about 16 fantasy points in tougher matchups. Quarterbacks have not put up great numbers vs. the Giants defense. Not because they are good but because opposing defenses have held the Giants offense in check. This situation makes it so that the passing game doesn’t need to do much. Even with this recent success with the run game, the Dolphins should be able to bounce back to the happy passing, where Tua finishes between 20-25 fantasy points. He should be a low-end QB1 in week five.
The Giants backfield is still a mystery whether or not Saquon Barkley will play. He has a high ankle sprain that should take four weeks at least to recover, but he is only going into week three of it. There is a chance he does play, but will he be at 100%? The offensive line has been awful with their run blocking, as the Giants backups have been unable to move the ball. Barkley is a different beast, but still, it’s tough. The Dolphins have calmed down by letting big runs since week one. They haven’t allowed a single rusher over 50 yards since then but have allowed backfields, on average, about 75 rushing yards per game. They also have given up a rushing touchdown in three of four games. If Barkley is back, then I value him as an RB2. His fantasy points could come from the passing game, as I expect the Giants to be behind. If Barkley misses again, Matt Breida has to take command of the backfield touches with over 70% of the work these last two games. He has nine points in back-to-back games, which would be good enough for a low-end RB3.
The Dolphins backfield has turned into a hot comedy for fantasy football. The Giants run defense has been terrible, as they have allowed 70 rushing yards and a touchdown to each running back this season. The Dolphins seem to have found a new star in DeVon Achane, as he has exploded over the last two weeks with 353 total yards and six touchdowns. Let me be the voice of reason, as I don’t expect Achane to be able to score multi-touchdowns in every single game. It was clear he was the new lead rusher for this backfield. As in week four, Achane controlled most of the workload as he saw a 60/40 snap count over Rasheem Mostert.
Achane isn’t going to just run away with the backfield as a true workhorse back. I expect the Dolphins to continue to use Achane in a favorable matchup, making him a borderline RB1 for week five. Rasheem Mostert is going to continue to see work in the offense. He is the veteran with the speed to break off a run, just like Achane. Mostert should be a high-end RB3 that you can flex, and he should continue to see work in this offense. Jeff Wilson is supposed to be coming off the PUP list this week, but I don’t think he’ll make an impact if he does.
The pass catchers for the Giants continue to be a headache in fantasy football. Darren Waller was supposed to have a fantastic season, where he returned to his old form. Waller has had two of four games under five targets. Since the Cardinals game, he has been under 30 yards on ten targets in the last two games. It’s causing concern since he has been off the injury report for a while but is not producing like he used to. Miami, compared to most of the NFL, looks terrible on paper vs tight ends, but they are not. They have limited tight end production outside of Hunter Henry’s 50 yards and a touchdown game. We have to hope the Giants can get back on track in the passing game and start feeding the ball to Waller. Waller is a low-end TE1 that you can still start and hope for the best.
The receivers for the Giants may be taking a turn toward the youth side of things. While young, Isaiah Hodgins saw his playing cut in half during week four. He is out of any fantasy radars moving forward. Darius Slayton played the most snaps among the receivers but only saw three targets. He has been held under ten fantasy points in each game. He is outside the top 60 receivers. Wan’Dale Robinson has been decent since returning, with nine receptions for 61 yards in two games. These are not great numbers, but he is getting more involved and could eventually take over the slot role. He is a WR5 with some upside in this matchup. Miami has given up four receivers over 60 yards in the last two games. This game could be interesting for a guy like Robinson to make some noise. Jalin Hyatt also saw a big jump in his snap count in week four but only has five targets on the season. The two young receivers are names to watch over the next few weeks.
For the Dolphins pass catchers, they should continue to run through Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. They both had down weeks in that blowout lost in week four. I do expect both to bounce back in this matchup vs the Giants. The Giants have only let one receiver over 80 yards this season. This Dolphins offense will find a way to get their passing game going. Tyreek Hill should bounce as a WR1 and Jaylen Waddle as a WR2. Braxton Berrios had a nice week, but I can’t trust that for week five. The Giants have given up yardage to tight ends, but Durham Smythe isn’t seeing enough volume to be used unless he scores a touchdown. Dolphins also just traded for Chase Claypool, but we’ll talk about him next week.
New Orleans Saints vs New England Patriots
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 1:00 pm @ Gillette Stadium
- Weather – Sunny
- What Vegas is saying – Line (EVEN) & Over/Under 39
Identifying the Game Script
The last time these two games faced off was back in 2021. The Saints would win big over the Patriots 28 to 13. The Saints are coming off a bad loss to a division foe as they try to hang on with their injured quarterback. The Cowboys’ defense would crush the Patriots, losing by over 30 points. The Patriots need to get back to running the ball well in this game and could do that, as the Saints run defense has holes. The Patriots don’t force Mac Jones to do too much and get back to running the ball. The Saints pass attack can win over the Patriots, but Derek Carr needs to be good for them to do well on Sunday.
Derek Carr was terrible for us in fantasy for week four. He played with that injured throwing shoulder rather than sitting and resting it. It will get better as time passes, and we should see a slightly better version in week five. The Patriots have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season. They have allowed two quarterbacks to get 250 passing yards but have only allowed three passing touchdowns on the season. Carr has not had a multi-touchdown game yet in this season. Carr hasn’t shown he can be trusted as anything more than a borderline QB2 in week five.
Mac Jones has been horrible since his week one QB1 finish. He has seen his passing yards drop in each game and has just two passing touchdowns since week one. Jones has never been a reliable fantasy option for us. The Saints were a lockdown unit in fantasy until week four. They allowed Baker Mayfield to throw for 250 passing yards and three touchdowns. Jones has always been a little better at home, but trusting Jones is still hard. Jones has little upside but is likely a borderline QB2 in week five.
The Saints backfield is back to being Alvin Kamara to own in fantasy. He ran well in week four, but don’t expect another 13-reception game that often again. The Patriots’ run game has held most of their opposing backfields in check outside the Dolphins game. They have allowed three-plus receptions to each backfield in each game. Due to Carr’s limits, Kamara may see another eight-plus targets again to create some spark for the offense. Expect Alvin Kamara to return to normal full workload and be a low-end RB1 in week five. Kendre Miller isn’t being used as a 1B for the offense, so he should be outside the top 50 running backs.
The Patriots backfields were slowed down in week four as Rhamondre Stevenson and Zeke Elliott combined for 46 rushing yards. The Saints are a decent run defense and haven’t allowed a rusher over 65 yards this season. The Saints have allowed some production in the receiving game, with four-plus receptions to backs in the last three games. This calls for a Rhamondre Stevenson type of game with his ability in the receiving game. I expect this game to close scoring, allowing both running backs to stay involved in the offense. Rhamondre Stevenson should be a low-end RB2 in this matchup. He is playing most of the offensive snaps in the backfield. Zeke Elliott hasn’t done much of this since outside of his week three game. I don’t expect much for Elliott, so he is, at best, an RB4.
Derek Carr’s injury hit the Saints pass catchers as their big three combined for 90 total yards. The Patriots have allowed just two receivers over 60 yards this season. The Patriots secondary has been banged up with injuries that they need to go out and trade for JC Jackson. They still don’t allow big plays downfield, which was the strength of this offense. The Saints will have to find more creative ways to get their playmakers the ball since they won’t be throwing deep with Carr’s injury.
Chris Olave is a borderline line WR1 and should hopefully bounce back in this match. Michael Thomas is a WR4, just like he has been all season. He will get you seven to nine points, and that’s all. Rashid Shaheed has seen his fantasy points drop in each game and will be outside my top 60 this week. The tight end room for the Saints has been a headache this season. Juwan Johnson is hurt, and Taysom Hill is too much of a wild card.
For the Patriots pass catchers, it is tough to want to play any of them in fantasy football. The Saints have been decent against fantasy receivers but not unbeatable. Every Patriots receiver will be outside the top 60 in this matchup. Kendrick Bourne has been under seven fantasy points in the last three games. Devante Parker has been under ten fantasy points since he returned from injury, and JuJu Smith-Shuster has been under six fantasy points. The rookie receiver, DeMario Douglas, may have the best game among this group. Hunter Henry may be the only pass-cacher I’m trusting for fantasy. The Saints have been a nightmare for fantasy tight ends over the years. Henry is a mid-range TE2 in this matchup.
Balitmore Ravens vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 1:00 pm @ Acrisure Stadium
- Weather – Partly Sunny
- What Vegas is saying – Line (BAL -4.0) & Over/Under 38
Identifying the Game Script
Our final division game of the week is the Ravens and Steelers. Over the last five games, the Steelers have won four out of five vs the Ravens. They have averaged 26.2 total points over those five games. In those games, Lamar Jackson has not played in the last three games for the Ravens. The Ravens are coming off a crushing win over a Browns team that had to start a rookie quarterback. The Steelers got their butt beat by an up-and-coming Texans team. This rivalry always seems to be a tough one on both sides. The Ravens’ defense will have the advantage, so it’s not looking great for the Steelers’ offense this week with a banged-up Kenny Pickett. The Ravens should be able to run on the Steelers. History tells us that no matter the season, these two will play each other hard, and it could be a lower-scoring game.
After his week one game, Lamar Jackson has been on a hot streak with three straight games over 26 fantasy points. He has eight total touchdowns over this streak. He plays the Steelers, who have allowed back-to-back 300 passing yards and two touchdown games. Those quarterbacks were Jimmy G and rookie CJ Stroud. The last time Jackson played the Steelers, he had 300 yards and a touchdown. Jackson has shown he can do it with his rushing or passing this season. He should be in line for another QB1 finish.
Kenny Pickett is dealing with a knee injury that knocked him out of the game last Sunday. Reports are that he will be playing against the Ravens. If Pickett is to play, he is a QB3 in fantasy and not startable in superflex leagues. The Ravens allow the third-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. They have yet to allow a quarterback over 250 passing yards this season. If a healthy Pickett averages 201 passing yards and barely a touchdown per game, then a hurt Pickett is a sit.
The Raven backfield seems like a carousel for older washed running backs. Gus Edwards continues to be a solid YPC running back with the opportunity he is given. He was the lead guy in week four as Justice Hill was limited by his injury. The Steelers are a decent run defense that allows tons of yardage but not many touchdowns. They have allowed five 60-yard rushers in their first four games. Gus Edwards is the primary back in the offense and will likely see double-digit carries. He is only a threat on the ground with minimal passing usage. He is a usable RB3 with limited upside. Justice Hill has been recovering from a toe injury that limited him in week four. Hopefully, we can see more work from him in week five since he looked good on limited touches. He should be a low-end RB3 with some upside.
The Steelers backfield is now a two-man committee. Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren each played 29 offensive snaps and ran 14 routes in week four. Harris led on the ground with more carries, while Warren led in the air with six targets. The Raven matchup is decent as they allow yardage to the running back but have yet to let up a rushing touchdown. In two games last season, Harris and Warren combined for over 230 rushing yards vs the Ravens. This Steelers offense is having a tough time moving the ball this year, and it doesn’t help that Kenny Pickett is banged up. Pickett’s injury could lead to more rushing work in the offense. They are both mid-range RB3, with Warren better in full PPR leagues. You can flex them but don’t expect the world.
The Ravens pass catchers will have a favorable matchup in week five. The Steelers allow the second most fantasy points per game to receivers. They have allowed a 100-yard receiver in three of four games, and the one missed game was a 90-yard receiver. Zay Flowers is the most trusted receiver, as he is better in full PPR leagues but a solid receiver for a rookie. I like his chance for his first breakout game of the season and to potentially score a touchdown. The Steelers have allowed six touchdowns on the year so far. He should be a mid-range WR2. Odell Beckham was still limited at practice on Thursday, so there is a chance he won’t play again. It is likely hard to trust him as anything more than a WR5 if he does play. Rashod Bateman looks back and is ready to go in week five, but his playing time has been limited this season. He may go for a long touchdown, but it’s not worth the risk in his play.
Mark Andrews is the primary receiver for the Ravens team, but he is a tight end. The Steelers have been decent vs. fantasy tight ends. They have allowed over 40 yards in two of the four games this year. Andrews, in eight career games vs the Steelers, has averaged 48 receiving yards and has never scored in a game. Mark Andrews is an elite talent, so he is still a TE1, but maybe lower your expectations. Some of Andrews’s best games are when he scores; if not, he averages five receptions for 43 yards.
The Steelers pass catchers are almost unstartable in fantasy right now. The injury to Pickett may lead to quick, short passes all game to avoid him hanging on the ball too long. The Ravens are in the top ten vs. stopping fantasy receivers. They have allowed two 80-yard receivers, but that’s it for production. George Pickens is standing as team WR1 in the offense, but he hasn’t been all that great. Outside of his 72-yard touchdown in week two, he has ten receptions for 152 yards and zero touchdowns in the last three games. He should be considered a mid-range WR3 in week five. The rest of the receivers aren’t anything to brag on for fantasy. Calvin Austin is a risky WR5, and Allen Robinson is outside my top 60 receivers.
Pat Freiermuth will likely miss week five with an injury. I assume Connor Heyward would be the next man up, but he will likely split time with Darnell Washington. The Ravens have allowed the second fewest fantasy points per game vs tight end. They have allowed one tight end over 20 yards this year. They are both likely outside my top 24 tight ends.
Philadelphia Eagles vs Los Angeles Rams
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 4:05 pm @ SoFi Stadium
- Weather – Indoors 🙂
- What Vegas is saying – Line (PHI -4.0) & Over/Under 50.5
Identifying the Game Script
These two teams haven’t played each other since the 2020 season. The Rams would steamroll over the Eagles 37-19. The Eagles are coming off a tough division win in overtime to the Commanders. The Rams are coming off a tough overtime win over the Colts. We could have ourselves a high-scoring game here. The Eagles offense doesn’t seem like it will be stopped, especially by the Rams defense. The Rams pass attack will be favorable here since the Eagles secondary is terrible this season. This game will come down to the wire, and the team that can get a defensive stop will win.
Jalen Hurts is having another fantastic season but doesn’t feel elite. He does have over 20 fantasy points in the last three games. He is showing off his rushing floor with 134 yards on the season. He has eight total touchdowns over his first four games. He has increased his passing yards in each game this season. The Rams were pretty good at keeping fantasy quarterbacks to a minimum, but rookie Anthony Richardson played well in week four. He has 256 total yards and three total touchdowns. I expect Jalen to do that and have more yardage. He is in for another QB1 performance.
Matthew Stafford gave us a scare in week four, but he will be ready to go in week five. Stafford has looked much improved compared to what he showed us last season. He isn’t playing close to a QB1 value at all this season. He has been under 18 fantasy points in each game this year. The Eagles are in the bottom ten vs fantasy quarterbacks. The Eagles gave up 600 yards and seven passing touchdowns during the first two weeks of the season. They gave up 430 yards and two passing touchdowns in the last two weeks. I’d be intrigued by Stafford with the return of Cooper Kupp, but I’d still rank Stafford as a mid-range QB2 that’s great to start in Superflex leagues.
The Eagles backfield has become a two-man committee. The Eagles continue to rotate D’Andre Swift and Kenny Gainwell in the offense all game in week four. In the end, Swift would play more, but he is not a full-time player yet. He is taking most of the offensive work outside the two-minute offense, as it is still Kenneth Gainwell’s role. The Rams run defense is a favorable matchup for this backfield. They have allowed a 60-yard rushing in each game this season. They don’t allow much work in the passing game to backs, but neither Swift nor Gainwell are seeing much passing work anyway. D’Andre Swift is playing like an RB1 in fantasy and should likely be one in this matchup. Gainwell is seeing decent backup opportunities and isn’t producing with them. He should be an RB4, and I wouldn’t consider playing him.
The Rams backfield has been fantastic for fantasy, with Kyren Williams handling the entire workload. Williams isn’t running all that well, but he has six total touchdowns and 11 receptions over the first four weeks. The Eagles allow the fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. In week four, they gave Brian Robinson a decent fantasy day as he saw a rushing touchdown. The Eagles have kept rushers under 50 rushing yards in each game. We can’t just keep relying on Williams to find a way to get rushing touchdowns, right? Probably not. He should be a high-end RB2 with upside. Williams is getting all the work and seeing the targets share. That’s good enough to play even in a terrible matchup.
The Eagles pass catchers continue to be a two-man role. AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith combine for over 50% of the targets from Jalen Hurts. They are both playing at separate times as WR1s. The Rams are a top 10 unit vs. fantasy receivers this year. They have allowed just one receiving touchdown to a receiver and kept all but one receiver under 65 yards. I trust this offense more than the secondary for the Rams. They both should be WR1s, but one will outproduce the other. Dallas Goedert has a favorable matchup vs. the Rams, as they are in the bottom ten. He isn’t doing much with 18 targets; he has just 88 yards. He hasn’t finished over seven fantasy points this season. You must start him because he is attached to this high-power offense. He is a TE1 but on the low-end side.
The Rams pass catchers could look very different in week five with the potential return of Cooper Kupp. The Eagles allow the fourth most fantasy points per game to receivers this season. They have allowed seven receivers over 50 yards and have given up six receiving touchdowns this season. Cooper Kupp is expected to play in this game, but we have no idea if his snaps will be limited. I’d value him as a low-end WR2 with potential upside in week five. Puka Nacua shouldn’t go away. He is still a WR1 in week five, but we will talk more about him after week five if that changes. Tutu Atwell is a low-end WR4 with Kupp returns in this matchup. Van Jefferson is outside my top 60.
Tyler Higbee has been decent the last two weeks but hasn’t scored a touchdown yet this year. He also hasn’t eclipsed over ten fantasy points this season. The Eagles allow the third most fantasy points per game to tight ends. In the season’s first two games, the Eagles allowed 171 yards and three touchdowns to tight ends. They have allowed 63 yards and zero touchdowns to tight ends in the last two games. I still rank Tyler Higbee as a borderline TE1 in the tight-end world. There is a concern with his target share with the return of Cooper Kupp.
Cincinnati Bengals vs Arizona Cardinals
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 4:05 pm @ State Farm Stadium
- Weather – Indoors 🙂
- What Vegas is saying – Line (CIN -3.0) & Over/Under 45
Identifying the Game Script
It’s been a while since the Bengals and the Cardinals played each other. In 2019, the Cardinals would win a close one over the Bengals 26-23. The Bengals are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Tennessee Titans. The Cardinals continue to fight hard but lose to the 49ers. This game could be full of surprises as the Cardinals could have a chance over the Bengals. I don’t think either defense is all that good, so that the Bengals could have a bounce-back game for us in fantasy this week. The Cardinals have been poor vs the pass and the run, so expect the stars to shine. The Bengals defense can be beaten, and this Cardinals offense could continue to surprise us in fantasy in this week five matchup.
Joe Burrow has been tough to start in fantasy. Burrow has had under ten fantasy points in three of four games this season. This also feels like a big Joe Mixon game, as Burrow is still recovering from that calf injury. The Cardinals are in the bottom ten vs fantasy quarterbacks this year. They have allowed 250 passing yards or more in the last three games. They have given up a rushing touchdown in three of four games this season. I think they are better than what they have shown on paper. This Cardinals team plays tough, and if the Bengals don’t step up, then it could be another bad day for an injured Joe Burrow. I can’t trust him as QB1 but as a high-end QB2.
Joshua Dobbs has been a man on fire for the quarterback world. Since week two, Joshua Dobbs has been QB6 on the season. He has seen a rushing floor that not many predicted would happen, as he has averaged 40 yards per game. His matchup vs the Bengals is favorable, as the Bengals have allowed passers at least 240 passing yards in each game. We’ve seen a mobile quarterback average 40 rushing yards per game, too. The only strength is that they have only given up five passing touchdowns on the season. This Cardinals offense is tough. Dobbs has found a way to make this team competitive, and Dobbs has true sleeper appeal. He is a high-end QB2 in week five, which is weird.
Joe Mixon leads the Bengals backfield. Mixon is seeing a heavy workload in the offense, with double-digit carries in each game. His passing work has dropped in the last two weeks, which is strange with Burrow’s injury. The Cardinals allow the third most fantasy points per game to running backs. They have given up a 100-yard rusher in back-to-back games. They are allowing seven total touchdowns to running backs. They are beatable in the air, so it would be interesting if the Bengals used Mixon. Since Mixon has no true backup, he should be able to eat in this matchup. Mixon is an RB1 in week five.
The Cardinals backfield also runs as a workhorse, with James Conner as the lead runner. Conner is seeing double-digit touches and playing as a borderline RB2, but when he scores, he jumps to a high-end RB2. The Bengals are a decent matchup for Conner. They have allowed two 100-yard rushers when a running back sees 15-plus carries. The Bengals are not in a winning mindset with their star quarterback hurt. The Cardinals run game with Conner can take full advantage like the Titans did last week. Conner is a mid-range RB2 that you should have full confidence in. The Cardinal backups aren’t seeing enough work to mention here.
The Bengals pass catchers have suffered this season with Joe Burrow’s injury. The Cardinals have allowed plenty of yardage to receivers this season but just one receiving touchdown on the year. They have allowed six receivers over 50 yards this year. Ja’Marr Chase is doing his best, but he has looked much like himself in the last two games. Without Tee Higgins in this matchup, he should have double-digit targets in a decent matchup. Chase still has a WR1 upside finish for week five. If Tee Higgins does happen to play, I’m not trusting him in lineups. He is a WR4 at best if he plays. If Higgins misses, Tyler Boyd will move into the second role. He hasn’t made the most of the opportunity when given. Boyd, either way, sits as a low-end WR4, primarily based on how the offense is producing. I’m not trusting any Bengals TE in this matchup.
Hollywood Brown leads the Cardinals pass catches, and recently, has been putting up solid WR2 numbers with 16+ fantasy points in three straight weeks. Rookie Michael Wilson had a blowup game for fantasy with two touchdowns in week four. He has seen his receiving yards go above 70 yards in back-to-back games. The Bengals are a decent matchup. They have allowed only one receiver to score on them and haven’t had a receiver over 75 yards this year. They have allowed six receivers to finish in the 50 to 70 range in terms of yards. This matchup is good for Hollywood Brown. He should continue his streak of five receptions for 60 yards and a hopeful score. Brown should finish around a low-end WR2. Wilson is attractive because his upside is significant if Dobbs can feed him the ball. Wilson is likely a high-end WR4 with an upside you can flex in a desperate situation.
The tight end room with Zach Ertz has been good but not great. He averages seven targets per game, which is great for a TE1, but he only did well in two of four games. He has yet to score, but that could change in week five. The Bengals allow the fourth most fantasy points per game to tight ends. They have allowed three touchdowns to the position this year. I think Ertz should be a borderline TE1 in week five.
New York Jets vs Denver Broncos
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 4:25 pm @ Empower Field at Mile High
- Weather – Sunny Afternoon
- What Vegas is saying – Line (DEN -2.5) & Over/Under 43.6
Identifying the Game Script
The last time the Jets and Broncos faced off was last season. The Jets would win a low-scoring game 16-9 over the Broncos. The Jets are coming off an impressive loss to the Chiefs. The offense may be turning a page as they looked good. The Broncos finally got their first win of the season over the Bears as they look to continue that momentum this week. This game could be a sloppy one, as we know that both offenses are inconsistent in fantasy. The Jets have a prime opportunity to do well, as the Broncos’ defense can stop the run or the pass. The Jets haven’t shown that they can do that much on offense. I expect this game to be lower scoring, with the Jets’ run game being a key factor.
Zach Wilson had himself a fantasy day on SNF in week four. Wilson finished with 250 yards and two touchdowns against a strong defense in the Chiefs. Wilson has the best fantasy matchup for a quarterback in week five. The Broncos allow the most fantasy points per game to the quarterbacks on the season. In the last three games, the Broncos have allowed 300 yards and two touchdowns to each of their opposing quarterbacks. They have made Jimmy G and Sam Howell look good. They even brought Justin Fields out of his slump last week. If Wilson had another bad week in four, I probably wouldn’t rank him all that high, but he is mid-range QB2 here. The only issue is if the run game dominates the Broncos, leaving Wilson not to throw much, but he is startable in Superflex leagues as an upside play.
Russell Wilson, despite the Broncos record, is QB9 on the season. His worst game has been 16 fantasy points, and he has two games over 28 fantasy points. The Jets are a slightly tougher matchup for fantasy quarterbacks. They haven’t allowed a passer over 260 yards yet, and just one quarterback has thrown for more than one passing touchdown. Russell Wilson can have a decent outing, but the Jets are tough. I’d expect low-end QB2 numbers from him that are good enough to start in Superflex leagues but not in a 1QB league.
The Jets backfield has been terrible since week two. Their top three running backs have combined for 140 yards in the last three games. Like Zach Wilson, the backfield has the best matchup for running backs this weekend. The Broncos allow the most fantasy points to running backs. Some of that is due to that Dolphins game, but they still have allowed four 80-yard rushers in the last three weeks. Breece Hall seems prime to break out in this game. His coach was saying that he would no longer be limited. I expect Breece Hall to have double-digit touches and play well over 50% of the offensive snaps in week five. I’m putting Breece Hall in as an RB1 in week five. Dalvin Cook, sitting with 2.4 yards per carry this season, has not looked all that good. He is, at best, an RB4 with some upside, but it’s risky with him to play him. Michael Carter is mostly playing third down, but I’d expect that to decrease with Hall being unleashed in week five.
The Broncos backfield is going to be a mess in week five. Javonte Williams suffered that hip injury in week four but did return to practice on Thursday on a limited basis. Williams, leaving in week four, led Jaleel McLaughlin to have a monster game with over 100 yards and a touchdown. Samaje Perine is the veteran who has fewer yards on the season than Mclaughlin had in week four. The Jets are a decent matchup; the defense has allowed a ton of yardage on the season. They have allowed a 70-yard rusher in three straight games now. I’d put them all back to back as low-end RB3s. Perine may be an RB4 based on his production in his season. If Williams misses, McLaughlin is an exciting sleeper that may be valued as a high-end RB3 with upside.
The Jets pass catchers are mostly just Garrett Wilson. Wilson has been the only startable receiver since week one. He has double-digit fantasy points. The matchup with the Broncos is solid, as they are in the bottom ten vs. fantasy receivers this year. They have allowed six receivers to score and a 100-yard receiver in back-to-back games. Wilson has seen eight-plus targets over the last three weeks, and while they aren’t all quality targets, it’s still targets. I expect Garret Wilson to have his first WR2 game in week five. I don’t expect Patrick Surtain Jr. to cover him the whole time. Allen Lazard is the only other one that I consider mentioning. He had three catches for 60 yards and a touchdown last week. He is a borderline WR5 in this matchup. Tyler Conklin has seen his snap count decline the last few weeks but still leads that position. The Broncos allow the second most fantasy points to tight ends. When Conklin sees six targets, he can produce at least 50 yards. He is a mid-range TE2 with some upside in week five.
The Broncos wide receivers have been decent this season so far. Courtland Sutton has been a usable flex every week. Jerry Jeudy, coming off an injury, has almost been a serviceable flex in fantasy. Marvin Mims has been a boom/bust option for fantasy lineups. This matchup with the Jets is a tough one for the Broncos. The Jets allow the third-fewest fantasy points per game to receivers this year. After letting up back-to-back 100-yard receivers to start the season, they have kept receivers under 50 the last two weeks. They played the Patriots and Chiefs in the previous two weeks, who don’t use their receivers much.
The Jets secondary is very good and fast, so they are tough. Courtland Sutton seems to have built a connection with Wilson this year, and I trust him as a borderline WR2. Jerry Juedy is more of a low-end WR3 that you can flex, but it’s risky. Marvin Mims is that boom/bust WR5 that is too risky to play here. Keep your eyes on Mims. He has jumped into about 35% of the offensive snaps after being in the 20% range for most of the season. Adam Trautman has the best matchup for tight ends, but he is 0-4 in the last three games. I can’t trust him in starting lineups with that usage.
Kansas City Chiefs vs Minnesota Vikings
Details of the Script
- Sunday – 4:25 pm @ U.S. Bank Stadium
- Weather – Indoors 🙂
- What Vegas is saying – Line (KC -3.5) & Over/Under 52.5
Identifying the Game Script
The last time these two teams faced off was back in 2019. The Chiefs would win a close one at home, 26-23 over the Vikings. The Chiefs are coming off a close win against the Jets, as the offense looked out of sync. The Vikings finally got a win over the young Panthers team. This game is my game of the week, with two high-power offenses fighting it out. The Chiefs passing game should get back on track, as the Vikings have a terrible secondary. I expect the Chiefs to get an early lead, allowing the Vikings to play catch up. I’m looking at this game like the Vikings and Chargers game in week three. You should want to play the stars in this game script.
Patrick Mahomes looked like ‘just a guy’ in week four with costly mistakes that made his fantasy day not so great. He barely had 200 passing yards and threw two interceptions, which is rare. He has a favorable matchup with the Vikings, who are in the bottom ten vs fantasy quarterbacks. The Vikings have allowed the elite fantasy quarterbacks to produce QB1 games. I’m expecting Mahomes to be able to bounce back on the road in a dome for another QB1 week.
Kirk Cousins had his first poor game of 2023 in week four. He threw for 130 yards with two touchdowns but continued to turn the ball over with two more interceptions. The Chiefs are a tough matchup, ranking in the top 10 in stopping fantasy quarterbacks. Before Zach Wilson’s surprise game in week four, they were pretty good at stopping elite fantasy quarterbacks like Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. This game calls for a fourth-quarter garbage time production for Kirk Cousins. The Vikings are likely to be behind in this game, forcing the Vikings to throw. It may not be pretty all game, but Cousins should finish as a low-end QB1 in week five.
The Chiefs backfield seems to be Isiah Pacheco’s after his monster game in week four. He had 20 carries for 158 total yards with a touchdown. Pacheco had a season-high 60% of the offensive snaps, likely due to playing ahead all game. Jerick McKinnon is still holding on to the third down work and two-minute offense but isn’t seeing the touches like Pacheco is seeing. The Vikings have a tougher matchup for fantasy running backs. Outside of the D’Andre Swift blowup game, they have allowed just 92 yards to the other three opposing running backs. Pacheco is seeing the work we want in a startable running back. Due to the potential of a shootout, Pacheco is best valued as a mid-range RB2. Jerick Mckinnon is a low-end RB4, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire is just outside the top 50 running backs.
In the Vikings backfield, we may see this turn into more of a committee, with Cam Akers now in his second game as a Viking. For now, Alexander Mattison will continue to be the first back to see rushing work and likely play as the passing down back. Cam Akers came in on the goal line and short yardage plays with some early down work. We’ll see if that changes this week. The Chiefs are a tough matchup for this backfield as they rank in the top 10 vs. fantasy running backs. Since week two, they haven’t allowed a back over 60 yards and zero rushing touchdowns. This backfield could be in for a rough day in a game that will likely force the Vikings to come back from behind. Mattison is probably a borderline RB2 in this matchup. I would be surprised if the Vikings use the hot-hand approach. Cam Akers is a mid-range RB4 that is not yet worth a start.
The Chiefs wide receivers are a major headache for fantasy football. I don’t trust any of them in starting lineups. In week four, the Chiefs didn’t have a receiver play over 65% of the snaps. From what I’ve gathered, MVS is playing the most snaps. MVS, Skyy Moore, and Justin Watson are running the most routes. According to PFF, Rashee Rice is the best-rated receiver but is not seeing an increase in snaps yet. The Vikings allow the third most fantasy points per game to receivers this year. They have allowed seven receivers over 50 yards and given up a touchdown in three of four games. If I were to take a shot at anyone, it would be Rashee Rice. He has seen 12 targets over the last two games. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has his breakout game in week five. I consider Rice as a borderline WR3 with a big upside. Skyy Moore, I’m willing to give one last chance as a low-end WR4, and everyone else is outside the top 60 receivers. Of course, you start Travie Kelce, as he is a TE1.
The Vikings pass catchers in week five have a tough matchup vs a Chiefs team that allows the fifth-fewest fantasy points to receivers. It will be interesting in this game to see who the Vikings put in the slot. They have mixed receivers into the slot all season and don’t use 11 personnel as often. The Chiefs are excellent vs. outside receivers but have struggled with receivers in the slot. Justin Jefferson is still a WR1; that doesn’t change. Jordan Addison could be back for a bounce-back game and should be a high-end WR3. KJ Osborn mostly plays on the outside, so I don’t expect much besides maybe a garbage-time touchdown.
TJ Hockenson had a down week in week four with just two receptions for 24 yards. The Chiefs are in the bottom ten vs. tight ends this year. They have allowed at least two tight ends over 50 yards this season. Hockenson should be able to dominate in week five with the receivers tight up on the outside. Hockenson is a TE1 in this matchup.
Dallas Cowboys vs San Fran 49ers
Details of the Script
- SNF – 8:20 pm @ Levi’s Stadium
- Weather – Clear Night
- What Vegas is saying – Line (SF -3.5) & Over/Under 45
Identifying the Game Script
The Cowboys and 49ers have a long history, almost like a rivalry. The last two times they have played each other have been in the playoffs, and the 49ers have won both times. Over the last decade, outside of playoff games, the Cowboys always beat the 49ers in the regular season. The Cowboys are coming off a dominant win over the Patriots as their defense leads the way. The 49ers also had a dominant offensive performance over the Cardinal. This game could be very low scoring as both defenses are elite. We will learn a lot about both these teams in week five. The Cowboys’ offense could get exposed for not being all that good. At the same time, we can see how the 49ers offense can respond to an unstoppable defense.
Dak Prescott is having a very down season for us in fantasy. While it’s not all his fault, the defense has kept the offense off the field with numerous turnovers for touchdowns. Dak hasn’t needed to do much of this offense this year, and that’s not great for fantasy. For Dak, this matchup isn’t going to be that easy as the 49ers are top 10 vs. fantasy quarterbacks this season. The 49ers had made it rough for fantasy quarterbacks until they played Joshua Dobbs in week four. If the Cowboys can help keep the pressure off of Dak, he can use his legs to be a playmaker. He may have a chance to do well. Dak hasn’t shown much playmaking ability this season; it could be a rough outing. Prescott is a low-end QB2 and a risky play.
Brock Prudy has been solid this season as he sits as QB11. Unfortunately, his elite-level games are minimal due to CMC running every which way. The Cowboy defense is no joke, as they rank second in stopping fantasy quarterbacks this season. The Cowboys have yet to allow a passer over 200 yards and only two passing touchdowns. While they haven’t played any good offense, it’s still a tough matchup for Prudy. Purdy should be considered a low-end QB2 in week five.
The Cowboys backfield has one name, and it’s Tony Pollard. Pollard has dominated the touches through three quarters in the backfield. The one issue with Pollard is that he doesn’t play much of the fourth quarter of games. This could be a game where Pollard’s services are needed more. The 49ers are a tough run defense that has allowed the fewest rushing yards on the season. They haven’t allowed a rusher over 55 yards in a game. I do expect that Pollard is going to have to play this game in full. Most of his success will likely come in the passing game, as the 49ers have allowed the third most receptions to backs this season. We’ve already seen a game where Pollard saw eight targets. That 49ers pressure will likely force Dak to dump the ball off to Pollard more often in week five. Pollard should be an RB1, but I’d lower expectations in this matchup. No one else in this backfield is making an impact, so it’s all Tony Pollard.
Christian McCaffery runs the 49ers backfield. CMC is on a historic pace with 600 total yards and seven touchdowns through four games. The Cowboys are the second-best team against fantasy running backs this year. The Cowboys haven’t played an offense like the 49ers. The Cowboys let James Connor 98 yards and a touchdown. CMC should be fine and finish as an RB1.
For the Cowboys pass catchers, CeeDee Lamb stands out from the rest. Lamb has also struggled to be an elite fantasy option due to the lack of need on offense. Lamb is seeing an average of eight targets per game, which is healthy for solid production, but he only gets 77 yards per game. The 49ers have given up a few WR1 performances this season, so an opposing receiver can be successful. Lamb has been consistent for us in fantasy and in matchups that will require him to step up in a big game. He should be considered a low-end WR1 in week five.
The rest of the receivers are not easy to judge, but Michael Gallup has overtaken Brandin Cooks in targets. Gallup has seen six targets in back-to-back games and has had decent production. He is likely not the best flex option, but a WR5 in week five. Brandin Cooks has been a big disappointment this year. Perhaps it’s the injury slowing him down, but he is not productive in fantasy. He is outside the top 60 receivers this week. Jake Ferguson has been a pleasant surprise in fantasy. The 49ers have been in the top 10 vs. fantasy tight ends, but they allowed Zach Ertz over 53 yards. While Ferguson isn’t breaking away, he sees an 18% target share in the offense. Ferguson should be a borderline TE1 in this matchup.
The 49ers pass catchers have their big three: Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Geroge Kittle. The Cowboys allow the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers and are in the top 10 vs. fantasy tight ends. When Aiyuk is on the field for a full game, he shows he is the WR1 on this team. In two full games, he has 277 yards and two touchdowns. I have no issue with him as a borderline WR1 in week five. Deebo Samuel is battling a knee injury that showed he isn’t 100% in week four. He was a decoy with three carries, not even a target on the day. Deebo is probably best left as a borderline WR2, which may be risky. George Kittle is who he is. He is a boom/bust tight end that can give you 2 or 25 points in any given week. The matchup is tough, but you have to throw Kittle out there.