Fantasy Football: The Best Players to Start in Week 5

Fantasy Football: The Best Players to Start in Week 5

Thankfully, there are 31 other N.F.L. teams to choose players from. Here’s a look at those with promising fantasy matchups in Week 5.


Philip Rivers (LAC at Giants) — I got accustomed to staying away from quarterbacks who are matched against the Giants, as they allowed the second fewest fantasy points to the position last season. But 2017 has proved that they are beatable. They have yielded the eighth most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, the latest being the Buccaneers’ Jameis Winston and his 26.5 fantasy points in Week 4. The Giants are too talented on defense to write off. Rivers is sixth in the league in pass attempts (150) and capable of wearing them down. The Chargers’ offensive line has been an issue, but the Giants have just eight sacks this season, among the fewest as a team in the N.F.L., and Rivers excels when he has time to throw.

Carson Palmer (ARI at Eagles) — While Rivers throws a lot, no quarterback throws more than Palmer, whose 183 attempts lead the N.F.L. He has not been the sharpest quarterback, but he has managed at least 325 passing yards and a touchdown in each of his last three games. It’s just a matter of time before he puts up big fantasy numbers, and it could be this week against the Eagles, who have given up the second most passing yards and the 10th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

Also consider: Brian Hoyer (SF at Colts)

Running Back

Duke Johnson/Isaiah Crowell (CLE vs. Jets) — I’m cheating by choosing both Browns running backs, but it depends on the format. If you play in a Point Per Reception league, Johnson is the player you want, as he is tied for the fourth most targets per game among running backs (7.0), and has led the Browns in total targets, receptions and receiving yards over the past two games. Crowell has been a disappointment thus far, but this is a good matchup for him, as the Jets have allowed the fourth most fantasy points to the position. This should also be a competitive game, so the run game has a good chance to be active throughout.

Carlos Hyde (SF at Colts) — He has taken advantage of his excellent run-blocking offensive line and is the ninth best fantasy back through four games (13.2 F.P.P.G.). He has been even better in P.P.R. leagues, with his 17 receptions tied for the 10th most among running backs. He has top-five potential against a shaky Colts run defense that has yielded the second most rushing touchdowns as a team (six).

Also consider: Bilal Powell (NYJ at Browns)

Wide Receiver

Larry Fitzgerald (ARI at Eagles) — He has had quality fantasy outings in three of the first four games (quality outing being top 25 among receivers or at least 10 fantasy points) and he is Carson Palmer’s favorite receiver. His 41 targets is the third most among all receivers. The Eagles give up the fourth most fantasy points to the position, and he should be able to take advantage when he is matched with cornerback Jalen Mills, one of the least effective defensive backs on the team.

Chris Hogan (NE at Buccaneers) — His four receiving touchdowns are tied for the second most in the N.F.L. among receivers, and he’ll be up against a Buccaneers secondary that has allowed the most fantasy points to the position. He is likely to be shadowed by the young cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, a much friendlier assignment than facing the Pro-Bowler Brent Grimes, who will be on Brandin Cooks.

Also consider: DeVante Parker (MIA vs. Titans); Alshon Jeffery (PHI vs. Cardinals)

Tight End

Jared Cook (OAK vs Ravens) — It’s not easy recommending any Raiders offensive player, but Cook is the exception. With E. J. Manuel starting at quarterback for the injured Derek Carr, expect Cook to receive plenty of targets, as he did in the second half of Week 3’s game. Cook ended up tying Amari Cooper for the team lead in targets (eight). While he didn’t do much with them, the Ravens will be a better matchup for him than the tough Broncos secondary. Baltimore is the fourth easiest fantasy matchup for opposing tight ends (11.8 F.P.P.G.).

Also consider: Charles Clay (BUF at Bengals)

Defense/Special Teams

OAK vs. Ravens; BUF at Bengals


Jake Elliott (PHI vs. Cardinals); Robbie Gould (SF at Colts).

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