Alex Smith (at New Orleans)
Smith has been good with limited attempts in wins over Green Bay and Arizona and wasn’t able to finish drives against an overachieving Colts defense. The Washington offense should be rested with two weeks to prepare for a Saints defense that is better against the run than the pass with deficiencies in the secondary. Smith should be forced to open up the passing game to keep up with the Saints and could get into a shootout with Drew Brees if he is efficient and effective in the Superdome.
Blake Bortles (at Kansas City)
Bortles has oscillated between the poles of lineup liability and week winner in four games this year. He is on an odd week, which have been down weeks for him, but he is headed to Kansas City. Facing the Chiefs defense at home wasn’t good enough for Case Keenum last week, so there’s additional risk here, but Bortles has the highest ceiling of any streaming quarterback this week with the potential for a high-scoring game at Arrowhead.
Marcus Mariota (at Buffalo)
Mariota finally broke through with a triumphant game against the Eagles at home, with lots of signs that the passing game is clicking with Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor. Mariota is also looking good as a runner and scored on the ground last week. The Bills defense isn’t an easy draw in Buffalo, but the potential for short fields set up by the Titans defense and the ability to pick on Bills corners not named Tre’Davious White could set Mariota up for his second big week in a row.
Derek Carr (at Los Angeles Chargers)
Carr was all over the place against the Browns, but he made more than enough plays to Amari Cooper, Jared Cook and Jordy Nelson to have a nice fantasy line before overtime. He faces a Chargers defense that is vulnerable without one of their top corners and ends - a defense that just allowed a solid fantasy game to CJ Beathard. As long as Carr can finish drives like he did against Cleveland, this should be a good result for him.
Aaron Jones, Ty Montgomery (at Detroit)
The Packers are facing one of the worst run defenses in the league and their top three wide receivers are all hurting, with Randall Cobb (hamstring) likely out, Geronimo Allison (concussion) likely out, and Davante Adams (calf) up in the air. Jones has been terrific this year in limited duty. We can only hope Mike McCarthy has seen enough and feels comfortable giving Jones a full workload in a week that they need him with Aaron Rodgers also not 100%. Montgomery is a smart PPR play with his ability to line up at multiple positions, including Randall Cobb's vacated spot in the slot.
Kerryon Johnson (vs Green Bay)
In chapter two of our assumption of rational coaching quiz for Week 5, we’ll have to project whether the Lions will a) feed their running game after neglecting it in Week 4 after feeding it successfully in Week 3 and b) give their best running back the vast majority of the carries. Johnson had a touchdown trucking at the goal line as dominant as anything LeGarrette Blount has ever done in his career, and he can play in every situation and aspect of the position. This could be his breakout game after Adrian Peterson ran over the Packers in Week 3.
Matt Breida (vs Arizona)
Breida’s knee issue adds some risk to his outlook, but he was fine with his typical burst against the Chargers in Week 4, and he also got goal to go touches even though he didn’t convert them. This week against the Cardinals, Kyle Shanahan should attack the soft underbelly of the Cardinals defense with the run. Breida has already shown the ability for big games this year, and Arizona just made Mike Davis look like Stephen Davis last week after making Adrian Peterson look like well, Adrian Peterson in Week 1.
Derrick Henry (at Buffalo)
Henry hasn’t gotten on track for fantasy yet, but he could be due in Week 5. The Titans offense and defense are both dangerous now and should allow Tennessee to control the game script on the road, which in turn should result in Henry getting a lot of carries. As we saw last year, Henry running against tired defenses in the fourth quarter can often equal a long touchdown that makes your fantasy week.
Corey Grant (at Kansas City)
Grant is more of a long shot, but he is facing a Kansas City defense that has been lit up running backs as receivers this year. The Chargers backs combined for 14-189-1, Steelers 7-72, 49ers 6-83-1, and Broncos 4-51 last week. The last time the Jaguars went into a game with a pass heavy game plan, Grant caught six balls for 56 yard against the Patriots, and he could be on the field a lot more this week if the Jaguars are playing from behind.
Chester Rogers (at New England) **Thursday**
Rogers looked swift on short catches designed to get the ball to him in space, and he made some clutch catches in the Colts comeback attempt against the Texans. With TY Hilton out and little running game to speak of, there should be a lot of targets for Rogers to collect against the Patriots this week. If the Colts line can give Andrew Luck time to throw downfield, Rogers could also get some deep targets and make your week with a long score.
Jamison Crowder (at New Orleans)
The Saints already lost their top slot corner and last week Sterling Shepard caught all ten of his targets for 77 yards and a score operating mainly from the slot. That’s Crowder’s territory and Washington is unlikely to test Marshon Lattimore outside or rely on Adrian Peterson and the running game against a stout Saints front that just shut down Saquon Barkley and Tevin Coleman. Crowder get a ton of short targets and he and Alex Smith hooked up for their first touchdown connection of the season going into the bye.
Taywan Taylor (at Buffalo)
If the Bills put Tre’Davious White on Corey Davis, Taylor should get a chance to line up against a very inexperienced corner on most snaps. He has the ability to break a long gain on short catches and also got free deep last week but couldn’t finish the play. The Titans offense is starting to come into focus and part of that was the jettisoning of Rishard Matthews to open up even more playing time for Taylor. He should have a chance to be a high volume/high ceiling play this week.
Keke Coutee (vs Dallas)
Coutee might be too obvious as a sleeper with his 11-catch debut, but some are worried about his Week 5 outlook with Will Fuller V (hamstring) returning to practice after leaving last week’s game. Coutee was used as a substitute for the running game at times, catching passes close to the line of scrimmage and adding yardage after the reception. The Cowboys pass rush should force the Texans into a similar game plan this week and allow Coutee to rack up catches with or without Fuller in the lineup.
Mohamed Sanu (at Pittsburgh)
Sanu scored in Week 3 and came alive for a 100-yard game in Week 4. He should be called on often against a Steelers pass defense that is very exploitable in what should be the highest scoring game of Week 5 in Pittsburgh. The Steelers showed an inclination to play it safe and not gamble with pressure against Baltimore, which could create conditions for all three Falcons receivers to be good plays for the third straight week as Matt Ryan attempts to carry their ailing defense.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (at Detroit)
As mentioned above, the Packers will be without at least one, if not all three of their top trio of receivers this week. Even if Davante Adams can play, he might not 100% and he’ll likely see a lot of Darius Slay. Valdes-Scantling is next in line for snaps at wide receiver, he can play in the slot where Slay won’t line up, and he has Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback. You could do worse for a desperation play this week.
Ricky Seals-Jones (at San Francisco)
Seals-Jones is excited about his new quarterback and tight end streamers should be excited to play this week against the 49ers. Tight ends have scored in every week against the 49ers, and Seals-Jones has one of the three Cardinals passing touchdowns this year. Josh Rosen’s downfield passing was a lot better than Sam Bradford’s, giving Seals-Jones potential to do a lot more this week against going forward.
Rhett Ellison (at Carolina)
Ellison is a boring play, but one destined to get multiple targets against a Panthers defense that gave up 5-59-1 to Austin Hooper and 9-109-1 to Bengals tight ends in Week 3. Ellison had a chance for a score last week and he scored in Week 3 in relief of Evan Engram.
Dallas Goedert (vs Minnesota)
Goedert is a risky streamer, but we’ve already seen his upside, and Nelson Agholor faltered in a super-sized role last week, possibly encouraging the Eagles to go back to Goedert this week. The Vikings allowed 5-90 to George Kittle with the potential for a lot more left on the table in Week 1, 6-95 to Jimmy Graham in Week 2, and 3-44-1 to Buffalo Bills tight ends in Week 3, suggesting a weak spot to attack in their defense. The Eagles love multi-tight end sets and the matchup this week is begging them to use more of Goedert than they did in Week 4.
Austin Hooper (at Pittsburgh)
The Steelers-Falcons game might be high-scoring enough for everyone to get fed, including Hooper. Ravens tight ends had 10-99 against them last week, Bucs tight ends had 9-106-1 in Week 3, and Travis Kelce had 7-109-2 in Week 2. The Steelers inside linebacker and safety positions have been weak spots all year and the corners will need all the help they can get against the Falcons wideouts this week, leaving Hooper as the “we will allow him to beat us” option in the passing game this week.