Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2018
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 5 of the 2018 NFL season. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.
Please Note: This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Aaron Rodgers, Rob Gronkowski, or Antonio Brown. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.
Start 'em Matthew Stafford (DET, QB)
Stafford faces the Packers twice a year and has historically made the most of those games averaging 327 yards per game. He averaged a phenomenal 27.2 fantasy points per game against them last year, so looking solid as Rodgers will likely have him throwing it all 4 quarters.
Start 'em Jared Goff (LAR, QB)
The Seahawks have not faced a tier-1 QB or dominating offense yet this year. That'll change this week when they face Jared Goff and the Rams. Goff catches the Seahawks down top DB Earl Thomas. It's a mere bonus for a QB who's compiled 350+ yards in each of his last 3 outings -- plus 9 total scores.
Start 'em Ben Roethlisberger (PIT, QB)
When the Steelers take on the Falcons, we are expecting a lot of yards. Vegas has this as the highest scoring game of the week. This should be another shootout involving these 2 teams as they give up a whopping 30 fantasy points per game to QBs.
Start 'em Mark Ingram (NO, RB)
You've held onto him for 4 weeks and it's time to plug him into your lineup. The Redskins have the potential to be good against the run, but they do give up 4.8 YPC and 7+ catches/game to RBs, so he should be fine. Kamara will still get his, but we're anticipating a similar split as we saw last year.
Start 'em Aaron Jones (GB, RB)
Jones is ranked 34th this week making him an ideal Flex option. Even though he's in a timeshare, he's averaging 6.3 YPC in his two games back. He'll face a Detroit defense that's averaging 6.1 YPC and allowed Zeke Elliott, Matt Breida, and Isaiah Crowell to score more than 20 fantasy points in both standard and PPR formats.
Start 'em T.J. Yeldon (JAC, RB)
Fournette has already been ruled out, so it's Yeldon's turn again to get the start. The Chiefs give up a promising 36.9 FPG to RBs including 8 catches/game to RBs, so he definitely has upside this week. The Chiefs give up the 5th-most yards on the ground per game and every starting RB they've faced has scored double digit fantasy points in both standard and PPR formats.
Start 'em Julian Edelman (NE, WR)
Just like Mark Ingram above, you've been holding onto Edelman for four weeks. He may need some time to get acclimated, but he's Tom Brady's top target and they definitely need him. Edelman not only returns from his 4-game suspension, but also from last year's torn ACL. He looked fine this preseason, tallying 7 catches in 2 outings. Consider him a WR2 in PPR formats with upside for Week 5.
Start 'em Golden Tate (DET, WR)
Tate averaged a healthy 20.9 fantasy points last year against the Packers with 14 catches and he has the best matchup in the slot. It seemed that whenever the Lions needed a big play last week, Tate was there waiting. It was Tate's first career game with 100-plus yards and two touchdowns. The stud 30-year-old will hope to keep the train rolling when the Lions return home to face Green Bay in Week 5.
Start 'em Tyler Boyd (CIN, WR)
Tyler Boyd had a huge game last week catching 11 of 15 targets. Miami gives up the 7th-most yards per game through the air, and they will be without cornerback Bobby McCain for this game. He's ranked as a low-end WR2 this week with the potential to put up double-digit points in all formats.
Start 'em Jordan Reed (WAS, TE)
Jordan Reed caught 4-of-7 targets for 65 yards in the Redskins' Week 3 win over the Packers. Fresh off a bye, Reed's yardage has gone up each week, though he has not scored since Week 1. He will have a great shot at rectifying that in Week 5 against the Saints.
Start 'em Eric Ebron (IND, TE)
Ebron has tallied 2 straight 5-catch outings on 21 total targets. He should be busy again on Thursday night with TE Jack Doyle and WR T.Y. Hilton likely out. Ebron has been a steady presence in the red zone for the Colts. With the Colts throwing so much and Ebron catching touchdowns, he's on the TE1 map moving forward. The Patriots are up next in Week 5. Expect plenty of Ebron in a likely blowout.
Start 'em Tennessee Titans (TEN, DEF)
The Titans are expected to dominate the Josh Allen and the Bills who went scoreless against Green Bay last week.
Start 'em Chris Boswell (PIT, K)
After a slow start to the season, Boswell has three field goals in the last two weeks. In what is expected to be a shootout, Boswell should have plenty of opportunities to put points on the board.
Sit 'em Andrew Luck (IND, QB)
Luck will head to Foxboro on Thursday night without his 2 favorite targets in WR T.Y. Hilton and TE Jack Doyle. RB Marlon Mack is expected to miss this game as well. He's ranked 16th this week on FFN, but big projected volume keeps him in the low-end QB1 mix, though. He's averaged a whopping 46.5 pass attempts through 4 weeks. And the Colts are 10.5-point underdogs to the Patriots.
Sit 'em Dak Prescott (DAL, QB)
Dak enjoyed a breakout game last week vs. Detroit. He'll face a much tougher pass rush this week against Houston, although their secondary remains beatable. A lack of weaponry ultimately marks the key reason why Dak ranks deep in QB2 territory.
Sit 'em Russell Wilson (SEA, QB)
Russell Wilson finds himself ranked 18th this week on FFN. He certainly has upside beyond this week, but he enters this one in poor form, notching only 42 rushing yards on the year. He at least draws the Rams without CB Aqib Talib.
Sit 'em Dalvin Cook (MIN, RB)
Cook did not practice on Wednesday and remains questionable for this week, but you likely drafted him as your RB1 or RB2. After a disappointing game last week where he saw just 10 carries for 20 yards against a tough Rams D, he'll face another tough team in Philly. Scary matchup on the ground as they give up just 2.7 yards per carry and nobody has given up fewer yards than the Eagles.
Sit 'em Derrick Henry (TEN, RB)
Henry has yet to find the endzone, but that could very well change this week against Buffalo. He has to find the endzone eventually, right? Unless he scores a touchdown, his value is questionable. Henry is averaging an anemic 3.0 yards per carry and the Bills have largely kept running backs in check averaging just 95 yards per game.
Sit 'em Lamar Miller (HOU, RB)
Miller disappointed last week with 14 carries and no touchdowns and no targets. The Texans opted to use Alfred Blue for some reason. Miller (chest) was limited at Wednesday's practice and HC Bill O'Brien said Miller was "a little banged up" after Sunday's win.
Sit 'em Devin Funchess (CAR, WR)
Fresh off a bye, Devin Funchess has become Carolina's leading receiver in the absence of Greg Olsen. He had a good game in Week 3, but the Giants have given up only 2 TDs to WRs thus far. Expect a lot of cornerback Janoris Jenkins who kept studs Michael Thomas and DeAndre Hopkins to 6.6 points (STD) and 11.6 (PPR).
Sit 'em Larry Fitzgerald (ARI, WR)
This isn't the way Fitz is supposed to go out in what is likely to be his last year. Fitzgerald is nursing back and hamstring injuries. He played his usual snaps Sunday against the Seahawks but was held in check, managing just three catches for 28 yards on seven targets. With the Cardinals in free fall, the aging Fitzgerald won't be more than a WR3/flex option against the Niners in Week 5.
Sit 'em Will Fuller (HOU, WR)
Will Fuller was limited at Wednesday's practice after being forced from the second half of Sunday's win after re-injuring his hamstring. It's a good sign he was able to get in some work Wednesday, but he's not a lock to play this week. Keke Coutee went over 100 yards in his debut and would pick up Fuller's targets if he sits.
Sit 'em Tyler Kroft (CIN, TE)
With Tyler Eifert out for the season, Tyler Kroft assumes the top spot in a solid offense. He underwhelmed last year filling in for Eifert and the Dolphins have yet to give up a TD to a TE, but not a terrible longshot if desperate.
Sit 'em Jesse James (PIT, TE)
James saw only 1 target last week as Vance McDonald is emerging as the primary pass-catcher (4-112-1). James had benefited as Pittsburgh's sole pass-catching tight end to start the year, but he'll likely fall back to the end of the line with McDonald now healthy.
Sit 'em Jacksonville Jaguars (JAC, DEF)
The Jaguars have been underwhelming so far, and opposing defenses have only been able to average 1.8 fantasy points per game against that powerful Kansas City offense.
Sit 'em Sebastian Janikowski (SEA, K)
Janikowski has 3 field goals the last 2 weeks, and while we could see him coming through in this game, kickers have not fared well against the Rams this year.