1:00PM ET Games
Chicago @ Kansas City
Bears-Chiefs boasts a middling 45-point Vegas total with Kansas City favored by a whopping 9.5 points. The Chiefs’ team total is aggressive at over 27. … Leading all running backs in fantasy scoring, Jamaal Charles is a chalk play against a Bears defense permitting 4.42 yards per carry to running backs, and in a game where Kansas City should be nursing a lead. Averaging over 114 total yards per game, Charles is on pace for 20 all-purpose touchdowns through four weeks. … While Knile Davis has not logged a single offensive snap the last two weeks — but has continued to return kicks — Charcandrick West has played 25 downs and rotated with Charles in the second half of last week’s loss to Cincinnati, handling six touches. Davis appears to have fallen to No. 3 on the depth chart. … Chicago has been torched by Carson Palmer, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Derek Carr for a combined 75-of-110 passing (68.2%), 805 yards (7.32 YPA), and a 10:2 TD-to-INT ratio. Despite his slow start, Alex Smith is firmly in the QB1 streamer discussion against a Bears pass defense that ranks 29th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. For daily fantasy purposes, there is some merit to at least considering playing Smith and Charles together in the same lineup. Smith is priced very cheaply, while Charles has scored 11 receiving touchdowns over his last 22 games. With field general SS Antrel Rolle (ankle) in danger of missing Sunday’s contest, the Bears are in bad shape in an already porous backend.
Smith’s target distribution in Weeks 1-4: Jeremy Maclin 40; Travis Kelce 28; Charles 26; Jason Avant and De’Anthony Thomas 9; Chris Conley 8; Albert Wilson 7. … The Bears have permitted stat lines of 8-112-3 (Larry Fitzgerald), 4-51-2 (James Jones), 4-49-1 (Amari Cooper), 5-38-1 (Randall Cobb), 5-80 (Michael Crabtree), and 6-76 (Jermaine Kearse) to opposing wideouts. Quietly seventh in the NFL in receiving yards and tied for second in 20-plus-yard catches, Maclin warrants WR1 treatment in this matchup. … Although Kelce’s box-score production has been hit or miss, he ranks sixth among tight ends in targets and second in fantasy points. Kelce is a mid-range TE1 with top-end upside against a Bears defense that has major talent shortages at safety and linebacker. Jimmy Graham ripped Chicago for his best game so far this season (7-83-1) two weeks ago. … With Wilson (shoulder) inactive for last Sunday’s loss, the Chiefs started deep threat rookie Conley against the Bengals. Conley played 91% of Kansas City’s snaps and saw seven targets, but dropped one and only caught two for 53 yards. Still, Conley is big (6’2/213) and can run like the wind (4.35). If Wilson is again inactive this week, Conley will be worth a look as a dart-throw WR3 with big-play potential in this sneaky potential shootout game.
The Bears have a shockingly low team total of under 18 points at Kansas City. I’d bet heavily on Chicago exceeding that number with Jay Cutler at the forefront. It’s fair to opine that Cutler’s bum hamstring is actually working to his benefit, forcing him to stay confined to the pocket and on schedule. Cutler played comfortably and intelligently in his Week 4 return, keeping the Bears’ offense on the move against Oakland. Kansas City’s pass defense has been torched this season, yielding a combined 11:2 TD-to-INT ratio to enemy quarterbacks and 295.5 passing yards per game, the fifth worst clip in football. Cutler is squarely in the QB1 crosshairs. … A usage machine for run-devoted coach John Fox‘s team, Matt Forte is averaging over 24 touches per game and 4.37 yards per carry, up from last year’s concerning 3.90 clip. Ranked a middling 17th in Football Outsiders’ run-defense DVOA, the Chiefs are coming off a Week 4 game where Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill combined to paste them for 102 yards and four rushing TDs on 22 carries (4.64 YPC). Forte is a top-five fantasy running back play every single week.
Cutler’s target distribution with Alshon Jeffery in the lineup in Week 1: Jeffery 11; Forte 8; Martellus Bennett 7; Eddie Royal 5; Marquess Wilson 2. … The tentative expectation is that Jeffery will return after missing the last three games with calf and hamstring injuries. If so, Jeffery will project as a target monster with Royal’s (knee) status in doubt against a Chiefs defense that has so far surrendered WR stat lines of 7-91-3 (Randall Cobb), 9-98-2 (DeAndre Hopkins), 8-87-2 (Emmanuel Sanders), 7-139-1 (James Jones), 8-116 (Demaryius Thomas), 6-105 (Nate Washington), 7-82 (A.J. Green), and 4-84 (Mohamed Sanu). As The Fake Football‘s Rich Hribar has noted, the Chiefs are the only team in the NFL to have allowed two wide receivers to top 80 yards in each of their first four games. … K.C. has been stingier against tight ends, ranking 22nd in fantasy points allowed to the position. Still the No. 8 overall fantasy tight end through one month, Martellus is an every-week mid-range TE1 play. If Jeffery is again declared inactive before Sunday’s game, Bennett would become a top-three option on the week. … Wilson will start at Z receiver if Royal is unable to play. Although Wilson did very little in the Bears’ first three games, he flashed big-play ability after the catch last week against the Raiders en route to 80 yards on nine targets, including a 35-yarder that beat D.J. Hayden.
Score Prediction: Chiefs 27, Bears 24
Seattle @ Cincinnati
Favored by three in a game with a 43.5-point Vegas total, Cincinnati’s Week 5 team total is just over 23 against a Seahawks team that is traveling cross country on a short week. … Having faced Nick Foles, Jimmy Clausen, and a bumbling Matthew Stafford so far, Seattle’s pass defense has yet to truly be tested this season. This may sound wierd, but that will change Sunday against Andy Dalton, who ranks third in the NFL in passing yards (1,187) and touchdown passes (9), and second to only Tom Brady in passer rating (123.0). No quarterback in the NFL has completed more than 20-plus-yard throws than Dalton. Perhaps we’ll finally see “Bad Andy” against the Seahawks and I’ll live to regret this, but I think Dalton’s to-date fantasy performance has earned him every-week QB1 treatment in season-long leagues. … Whereas last week set up as a Jeremy Hill game, this one lays out more favorably for Giovani Bernard. Immovable up front with NT Brandon Mebane (groin) returning from a two-week absence, Seattle has held enemy running backs to 284 scoreless yards on 82 runs (3.46 YPC). As the Patriots showed in February’s Super Bowl, the best way to attack Seattle is with a high-volume, quick-route passing game and speed tempo. While Hill will be a solid bet for goal-line TDs all season long and is therefore a worthwhile RB2, I’d look for Bernard to out-snap and out-touch Hill against the Seahawks.
Dalton’s target distribution this year: A.J. Green 35; Tyler Eifert 24; Marvin Jones 18; Mohamed Sanu 15; Gio 13; Hill 1. … It’s difficult to pinpoint how much of Richard Sherman Green will see in coverage. Calvin Johnson lined up across from Sherman on roughly 30% of the Lions’ Week 4 snaps in Seattle, finishing at 7-56 on 11 targets, not including a narrowly-missed touchdown at the end of the game. While Green is a dicey daily fantasy option against a Seahawks defense that hasn’t allowed a single offensive TD since getting back SS Kam Chancellor two games ago, AJG should stay in season-long lineups even in tough matchups. He’s on pace for 100 catches, 1,668 yards, and 12 scores through one month. … Since his dominant opener, Eifert has seen disappointing target totals of 5, 3, and 4 the past three weeks. Eifert remains a top-ten tight end play against a Seattle defense permitting the 11th most fantasy points to tight ends, but owners expecting high-end TE1 production on a week-by-week basis are likely to be disappointed in one of the league’s deepest offenses. … As the Bengals mixed more of Sanu into last week’s game plan against the Chiefs, Jones saw two targets and caught one for four yards. Jones has playmaking ability, but his usage and production figure to be up and down all season as a role player fighting Eifert and Sanu for scraps behind Green and the Cincinnati running backs.
Scuffling on offense to begin the season while dealing with line issues and multiple injuries to foundation player Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks’ Week 5 team total is barely over 20 points against a hot Bengals defense. … Cincinnati has been especially stout on the ground, ranking No. 6 in Football Outsiders’ run-defense DVOA while holding opposing running backs to zero rushing touchdowns thus far. Enemy RBs have had more success in the passing game versus the Bengals, combining for an AFC-high 35 receptions. Underdogs on the road against a solid run defense, this isn’t a great spot for Seattle’s backfield. Rookie Thomas Rawls would operate as an every-down back if Lynch (calf/hamstring) sits because Fred Jackson is out with a high ankle sprain. Lynch will be a boom-or-bust RB1 play if he gives it a go. Marshawn is shaping up as a game-time decision. … Only slightly more vulnerable in the air, Cincy is 12th in pass-defense DVOA with a 6:3 TD-to-INT ratio and 94.9 passer rating allowed. Ranked No. 9 overall in fantasy quarterback scoring in a mediocre to sub-par matchup with a low team total, Russell Wilson is more of a mid-range to low-end QB1 play this week. Still, Wilson has shown a relatively high weekly floor by rushing for 177 yards through four games, third most among quarterbacks. I’m firing up Wilson in season-long leagues, but only viewing him as a tournament option in DFS.
Wilson’s Weeks 1-4 target distribution: Doug Baldwin 24; Jimmy Graham 23; Jermaine Kearse 20; Lynch 14; Tyler Lockett 12; Jackson 9; Luke Willson 8. … Baldwin plays Z in Seattle’s base offense and mans the slot in sub-packages. He will move back and forth between burnable LCB Dre Kirkpatrick and stingy slot CB Leon Hall. Albeit never a high-ceiling play, Baldwin is on the WR3 fringe in PPR leagues. He’s on an 80-catch pace through four weeks. … Kearse already has three games over 75 yards, but also mixed in a goose egg and has now gone 15 straight regular season weeks without a touchdown. Kearse gets a tough Week 5 draw versus seemingly ageless RCB Pacman Jones, who has a top-three cornerback grade at PFF. … Disappointingly ranked 11th in fantasy tight end scoring, Graham has seen uneven weekly target totals of 8, 2, 8, and 5 in his first four games as a Seahawk. In theory, this game gives OC Darrell Bevell an opportunity to create mismatches for Graham against Cincy’s coverage-deficient linebackers; the Bengals are allowing the tenth most catches to tight ends. In theory, teams that trade first-round picks and Pro Bowl centers for pass-catching tight ends should incorporate those tight ends heavily into their passing game. … Super-sub/special teamer Lockett has logged snap rates of 37% and 55% over the last two weeks. He has ten catches and one rushing attempt through four games. Lockett is better viewed as an asset to Seattle’s D/ST than as a standalone fantasy option.
Score Prediction: Bengals 21, Seahawks 20
Washington @ Atlanta
Redskins-Falcons has a 48-point Vegas total — third highest of Week 5 — with Atlanta installed as a 7.5-point favorite. Atlanta’s team total is aggressive at nearly 28 points versus a Washington defense allowing under 20 per game. … The Redskins have been leakier versus the pass than the run, allowing Ryan Tannehill, Eli Manning, Nick Foles, and Sam Bradford to combine to go 77-of-126 for 927 yards (7.36 YPA) with a 7:0 TD-to-INT ratio in Weeks 1-4. The Redskins are one of just three teams yet to intercept a pass this season. Coming off a Week 4 box score where his production was limited by blowout-induced game flow, Matt Ryan is a high-floor QB1 with elite upside at home against Washington. … Even with Tevin Coleman (ribs) due back, Devonta Freeman has played his way into every-week RB1 treatment as the clear lead runner in one of the NFL’s top offenses. Atlanta’s patched-together line opened gaping holes the last two weeks against Cowboys and Texans teams that entered those games previously playing excellent run defense. Freeman is also an outstanding receiver, repeatedly making tough catches in traffic and downfield. To this point, Washington’s defense has been stout on the ground, holding opposing running backs to 3.37 yards per carry and the fewest fantasy points in the league. Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan‘s red-hot rushing attack will give the Skins their stiffest test yet.
Ryan’s target distribution in Weeks 1-4: Julio Jones 52; Leonard Hankerson 29; Freeman 23; Roddy White 13; Jacob Tamme 10; Coleman 3. … Washington has coughed up receiving lines of 7-116-1 (Rueben Randle), 7-79-1 (Odell Beckham), 2-72-1 (Riley Cooper), 8-53 (Jarvis Landry), 4-34-1 (Rishard Matthews), 2-51-1 (Miles Austin), and 2-44-1 (Kenny Britt). Julio should go wild against Redskins RCB Chris Culliver, who underwent an early-week MRI on his knee after getting burned for long catches by dead-legged Austin and rookie Nelson Agholor last Sunday. It’s also possible Culliver won’t play, which would be a huge concern for Washington when DeAngelo Hall (toe) is already missing. … Averaging 8.3 targets across his last three games, Hankerson needs to be taken seriously as a WR3. White has devolved into a late-career blocking receiver with eight yards over his last 12 quarters, while the Falcons are getting almost nothing from their tight ends. … Tamme will play after missing Week 4 with a concussion. In the two games Tamme has played start to finish this season, he has logged 75% of the Falcons’ offensive snaps with target counts of 6 and 3. As a potential tight end streamer, Tamme will probably only pay off if he scores a red-zone TD. The Redskins are 17th in fantasy points allowed to tight ends.
Road dogs by more than a touchdown, the Redskins’ Week 5 team total is just barely over 20 points. Washington will attempt to do what it does every week; stay committed to the run and control the clock. The Redskins lead the NFL in time of possession and rank second in rushing attempts. … Even with rushing volume on their side, the Skins’ musical-chairs deployment at running back combined with being a heavy road underdog render the individual members of Washington’s backfield untrustworthy in fantasy. In last week’s upset of Philadelphia, Alfred Morris reemerged as the Redskins’ lead runner with 19 touches on 42% of the snaps. Rookie Matt Jones lost a goal-line fumble the previous week and was reduced to a 19%, seven-touch contributor. Passing-down specialist Chris Thompson‘s role appears most secure coming off an eight-touch game where he logged 40% of the downs. If the Redskins fall behind as the Vegas line implies they will, Thompson could conceivably end up with more overall usage than both Morris and Jones, much like Thompson did two weeks ago against the Giants. The good news is Atlanta’s run defense has been suspect, coughing up the most fantasy points in the league to running backs. The bad news is the Redskins’ backfield has become a true fantasy quagmire.
Kirk Cousins will see scant passing volume on the off chance the Redskins keep this game close, while he will become a good bet to turn the football over if Atlanta blows Washington away. Cousins is a quarterback to stream defenses against. Ranked 19th among fantasy passers through four weeks, Cousins’ Week 5 outlook is particularly bleak without safety blanket Jordan Reed (concussion/knee/ankle). … Cousins’ Weeks 1-4 target distribution: Pierre Garcon 35; Reed 34; Jamison Crowder and Ryan Grant 20; Thompson 16. … Garcon has five-plus catches in each of Washington’s first four games. His target projection rises with Reed out of the lineup, and DeSean Jackson (hamstring) expected to miss another week. As Jay Gruden is constantly moving him around, Garcon should avoid stationary LCB Desmond Trufant‘s coverage on most of Sunday’s snaps. Even with Trufant shutting down one side of the field, Atlanta is in the bottom half of Football Outsiders’ pass-defense DVOA ratings. … Athletic phenom Derek Carrier will replace Reed and is worth a look as a TE1 streamer. The Skins are high on Carrier, sending San Francisco a 2017 fifth-round pick to acquire him before final cuts. At 6’3/238, Carrier blazed a 4.5-flat forty with a 38-inch vertical coming out of Beloit College in 2012. A converted wideout, Carrier is a fourth-year developmental project. … Grant and fourth-round rookie Crowder will handle complementary receiver duties at Atlanta. Both are desperation WR3 options. Crowder is the superior PPR play with 13 catches on 18 targets the last two weeks. He played 72% of the Redskins’ offensive snaps in last week’s win over the Eagles.
Score Prediction: Falcons 24, Redskins 20
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.