The bad news for fantasy football owners is the Miami Dolphins are on bye this week. The good news is there are still a bevy of teams with bad defenses that should result in nice matchups for fantasy players.
Below are some good plays for Week 5, as well as some guys you should consider avoiding if you can.
Who to Start
— Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs (QB): Brissett threw three touchdowns on Sunday without his top receiver, T.Y. Hilton, who should return this week. It’s likely that the Colts lean heavily on the passing game based on game script, and running back Marlon Mack may be out after exiting last week’s game with an ankle injury. With neither team having a stellar defense, this will probably be a shootout with Indianapolis trailing frequently. Brissett should have a lot of passing opportunities and is a solid QB1 against the Chiefs.
— Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants (WR): After three very pedestrian games to start the season, Diggs caught seven of seven targets and had his first 100-yard game on Sunday in Chicago. Fantasy owners have been understandably displeased with his production thus far, especially in light of where he was drafted. That said, his feeble stat lines should be more of a reflection on quarterback Kirk Cousins and head coach Mike Zimmer, since Diggs certainly has top talent. Nevertheless, this matchup against a Giants team that just lost another key player in Ryan Connelly to a season-ending injury should be a good opportunity for both Diggs and Adam Thielen to put up big numbers. Diggs is high-upside WR2 this week.
— Robby Anderson, New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles (WR): Anderson had a rough Week 3 against a lights-out Patriots secondary that has not allowed a passing touchdown this year. He tallied three catches on five targets for 11 yards while drawing shadow coverage from cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Meanwhile, the Eagles secondary was exposed by the Packers on Thursday night and they hobble into this game with very few defensive starters available. Anderson is a low end WR3/flex with upside this week, even with Luke Falk possibly remaining the Jets starter with Sam Darnold recovering from mono.
— Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Arizona Cardinals (RB): The Bengals and Cardinals enter Week 5 winless on the season. The Bengals hope to bounce back from an embarrassing Monday night loss to the Steelers in which Mixon had 62 yards on 15 attempts. They were unable to get any momentum on offense, but are in a good position to bounce back. The Cardinals defense is a disaster: Most recently, they allowed struggling Seattle running back Chris Carson to have a season-high 22 rush attempts for 104 yards, with an additional four catches for 41 yards. The Bengals should lean heavily on Mixon, who is a solid RB1 this week.
— Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons at Houston Texans (RB): The Texans are coming off of a game in which Christian McCaffrey rushed for 93 yards and a touchdown, and caught 10 passes for another 86 yards. They will face another solid pass-catching running back in Freeman, who has 17 catches so far this season and had a 100-yard game against Tennessee in Week 4. This all points to Freeman having another good game. He is a RB2 this week with upside.
— Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams (TE): Dissly has scored four touchdowns in the last three games. He is tied for third in end zone targets behind only Kenny Golladay and D.K. Metcalf and the Rams are a decent matchup. Play the hot hand and continue to treat Dissly as a TE1.
— San Francisco 49ers D/ST vs. Cleveland Browns: With all the talk about Kyle Shanahan’s offensive play calling, the 49ers defense has flown under the radar. They have held opposing teams to an average of 16 points per game. They will be well-rested coming off their bye and have a great Week 5 matchup against a vulnerable Browns offensive line.
Who to Sit
— Daniel Jones, New York Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings (QB): After a stellar first start in Tampa Bay in Week 3, Danny Dimes came back down to earth last week against the Redskins. He threw two interceptions opposite a secondary that pales in comparison to the Vikings. Minnesota’s defense has allowed no more than 16 points in a game. Jones’ rest-of-season outlook is positive, but he is not a smart start this week or next week when he faces the Patriots in New England.
— Golden Tate, New York Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings (WR): This will be Tate’s season debut and first game as a New York Giant as he returns from his four-game suspension. He should be a welcome addition to a lean Giants receiving corps and a reliable weapon for Jones. As a slot receiver, he should not draw coverage from Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes, but he has yet to take the field in the regular season this year. He may need some time to shake off the rust and integrate into the Giants system. Sit Tate if you have better options until we see how he meshes with this offense, especially in a tough matchup against Minnesota.
— D.J. Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars at Carolina Panthers (WR): None of Houston’s receivers, including DeAndre Hopkins, had much luck versus Carolina on Sunday. In fact, the Buccaneers’ Chris Godwin has been the only receiver to have a significant game (in Week 2) going up against the Panthers secondary. Chark caught four of his eight targets on Sunday in Denver for 44 yards and there is a good chance he has another quiet game in an unfavorable Week 5 matchup in Charlotte.
— Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders vs. Chicago Bears (RB): It is no secret that Chicago has one of the top run defenses in the league. Most recently, they held a red-hot Dalvin Cook to 35 yards on 14 attempts, though he did get into the end zone for the first rushing TD against the Bears this season. Jacobs has not scored since Week 1 and Oakland’s offensive line has struggled all year.
— Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins vs. New England Patriots (RB): Thompson was held to four yards on four attempts on Sunday against the Giants. He had some success in the passing game with four catches for 56 yards, but he has his toughest matchup yet versus New England in Week 5. The Patriots defense has led the league in fantasy points through four weeks and have yet to allow a touchdown to a running back this year. They should have no problem keeping Thompson and the Redskins feeble offense in check this week.
— Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills (TE): Walker started the season out strong with a two-touchdown game against the Browns, but has been quiet since. In Week 4, he caught one pass for four yards in Atlanta and faces a formidable Bills defense that contained Tom Brady and the Patriots a week ago. Walker is usually a middle-of-the-pack TE1, but temper expectations this week, as the Bills have allowed a mere 76 total yards and zero touchdowns to tight ends through the first four weeks of the season.
— Green Bay Packers D/ST at Dallas Cowboys: The Green Bay defense came to a screeching halt in Week 4 against Philadelphia. They had no answers for the Eagles running backs, who racked up a collective 187 yards and three touchdowns, and allowed receiver Alshon Jeffery and tight ends Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz to have big games as well. Dallas has a top offensive line that will not present a ton of opportunities for sacks. They also have plenty of weapons, including Ezekiel Elliott, who could run all over this defense.