We’re officially one quarter of the way through the NFL season.
And what a season it has been. With all the off-field legal drama and injuries to key players through the first four weeks, fantasy rankings charts and stat leaderboards everywhere are filled with some unusual names.
Week 4 brought out the beast in Eli Manning (300 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT), Aaron Rodgers (302 yards, 4 TDs), and Andrew Luck (393 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT). Jamaal Charles finally found his groove, going off for 108 combined yards and 3 touchdowns against the Patriots Monday night, while little-known Adrian Peterson-backup Matt Asiata officially put the fantasy world on notice with a monster 100-yard, 3 touchdown performance.
If you checked out the Breakout Alert from last week’s Fantasy Football Preview, both players highlighted had solid games. Khiry Robinson rushed 8 times for 87 yards and caught 2 passes for 18 yards. Robinson will be a sleeper play again this week against a weak Tampa Bay team, but Mark Ingram is scheduled to return after the Saints’ Week 6 bye, so if you can trade Robinson at this point, you should.
Keenan Allen finally looked like a WR1 last week, catching 10 balls on 12 targets for 135 yards against Jacksonville. I like his chances to put up similar numbers against a weak Jets secondary in Week 5. The good times will continue to roll for Allen.
Week 5 kicks off with an NFC North divisional matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings.
Here are this week’s player rankings for all offensive positions (except kicker).
Player Ratings, Week 5
1. Drew Brees, NO (vs. TB)
2. Aaron Rodgers, GB (vs. MIN)
3. Philip Rivers, SD (vs. NYJ)
4. Peyton Manning, DEN (vs. ARI)
5. Andrew Luck, IND (vs. BAL)
6. Matthew Stafford, DET (vs. BUF)
7. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (@JAX)
8. Russell Wilson, SEA (@WAS)
9. Jay Cutler, CHI (@CAR)
10. Colin Kaepernick, SF (vs. KC)
1. Le’Veon Bell, PIT (@JAX)
2. DeMarco Murray, DAL (vs. HOU)
3. Matt Forte, CHI (@CAR)
4. Marshawn Lynch, SEA (@WAS)
5. Giovani Bernard, CIN (@NE)
6. Rashad Jennings, NYG (vs. ATL)
7. LeSean McCoy, PHI (vs. STL)
8. Jamaal Charles, KC (@SF)
9. Alfred Morris, WAS (vs. SEA)
10. Eddie Lacy, GB (vs. MIN)
1. Antonio Brown, PIT (@JAX)
2. Jordy Nelson, GB (vs. MIN)
3. Calvin Johnson, DET (vs. BUF)
4. Julio Jones, ATL (@NYG)
5. Dez Bryant, DAL (vs. HOU)
6. Brandon Marshall, CHI (@CAR)
7. Demaryius Thomas, DEN (vs. ARI)
8. A.J. Green, CIN (@NE)
9. Alshon Jeffery, CHI (@CAR)
10. Keenan Allen, SD (vs. NYJ)
1. Jimmy Graham, NO (vs. TB)
2. Julius Thomas, DEN (vs. ARI)
3. Larry Donnell, NYG (vs. ATL)
4. Martellus Bennett, CHI (@CAR)
5. Rob Gronkowski, NE (vs. CIN)
6. Antonio Gates, SD (vs. NYJ)
7. Delanie Walker, TEN (vs. CLE)
8. Greg Olsen, CAR (vs. CHI)
9. Zach Ertz, PHI (vs. STL)
10. Heath Miller, PIT (@JAX)
1. Bishop Sankey, RB, TEN (vs. CLE) – Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt vowed to get Sankey the ball this week more than he has all season. It looks like Whisenhunt is finally realizing that Shonn Greene and Dexter McCluster are not the answers the team is looking for. This development plays as music to the ears of anyone who took Sankey with an early pick in the draft and were disappointed the first few weeks. Cleveland has given up the 2nd-most points to running backs this season; look for Sankey to have a big day on Sunday.
2. Markus Wheaton, WR, PIT (@JAX) – Wheaton has at least four catches through the first four games of this season, and has been targeted consistently all year. Wheaton could do serious damage against a Jacksonville secondary that has given up the 2nd-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. He’s also fast; although he lost yardage on his lone rushing attempt last week, the Pittsburgh offense allows plenty of screen passes to Wheaton, and he could capitalize big. I predict Wheaton gets his first touchdown of the season this week.
3. LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI (vs. STL) – The running back has been a major disappointment through the first four weeks of the season, with just 192 rushing yards on 70 carries and one touchdown. McCoy continues to insist that he’s healthy, and Chip Kelly has reliably stuck up for his star running back. This week, starting right tackle Lane Johnson returns for the Eagles, which should give McCoy more space to run. The Rams have a decent pass rush, but I think McCoy breaks out of his funk this week. If he doesn’t, it’s time to sound the alarm.
For any last-minute lineup questions, contact me on Twitter @NussBB.