Patrick Daugherty

Goal Line Stand

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Week 5 Rankings

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Updated 10/8 at 12:00 PM ET. Added Sam Bradford. Added Marqise Lee. Ticked Wayne Gallman and Aaron Jones up. Flipped Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls following numerous reports. Moved J.D. McKissic up. Ticked Kyle Rudolph up.  

If not for Kareem Hunt, Todd Gurley would have 36.1 more fantasy points than any other running back. Second in rushing, Gurley is also second in running back receiving (234). He leads the league in total touchdowns (seven). His “worst” performance was a Week 1 where he totaled 96 yards and found the end zone. This isn’t just the back people were hoping for in 2016, he’s been better.

It’s quite possible, if not probable, regression is coming for the entire Rams offense. The schedule has been pillow soft through the season’s first month. Week 5 opponent Seattle will be far and away the best defense Sean McVay’s unit has faced. It’s daunting news for Jared Goff, a little less so for Gurley. The Seahawks have been surprisingly vulnerable on the ground, allowing five yards per carry and 134 weekly yards. That, coupled with Gurley’s monstrous touch floor — he’s averaging 27, and has yet to see fewer than 19 — keeps him locked in as an elite RB1.   

Week 5 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Tom Brady at TB -
2 Aaron Rodgers at DAL -
3 Jameis Winston vs. NE -
4 Dak Prescott vs. GB -
5 Russell Wilson at LAR -
6 Carson Palmer at PHI -
7 Deshaun Watson vs. KC -
8 Eli Manning vs. LAC -
9 Matthew Stafford vs. CAR -
10 Cam Newton at DET -
11 Philip Rivers at NYG -
12 Ben Roethlisberger vs. JAC -
13 Andy Dalton vs. BUF -
14 Alex Smith at HOU -
15 Carson Wentz vs. ARZ -
16 Sam Bradford at CHI Questionable (knee)
17 Tyrod Taylor at CIN -
18 Jay Cutler vs. TEN -
19 Jacoby Brissett vs. SF -
20 Jared Goff vs. SEA -
21 Josh McCown at CLE -
22 DeShone Kizer vs. NYJ -
23 Brian Hoyer at IND -
24 Joe Flacco at OAK -
25 Mitchell Trubisky vs. MIN -
26 Matt Cassel at MIA -
27 Blake Bortles at PIT -
28 E.J. Manuel vs. BAL -
29 Case Keenum at CHI -

QB Notes: Averaging 2.4 more weekly fantasy points than any other quarterback, Tom Brady gets a banged up Bucs defense allowing the third most quarterback fantasy points on a short week. … Aaron Rodgers is returning to Dallas, where he eliminated the Cowboys with 355 yards and two touchdowns last January. The Boys’ keepaway plan of attack has sprung some leaks this season. Through four games, the Cowboys are averaging 28:24 of possession, good for just 23rd in the league. Last year, they were third with 31:23. They won’t be keeping Rodgers off the field. … It hasn’t necessarily been pretty, but Jameis Winston has five touchdowns and is averaging 330 yards over his past two starts. Now he gets the league’s worst defense on a short week. The Pats’ 324 weekly passing yards allowed are by far the most in the NFL. The Bucs are second worst at 316. … Dak Prescott did what he was supposed to do against the Rams, finishing as the QB8. The Packers aren’t as inviting of a matchup, but should provide shootout conditions in Big D. Prescott is the QB6 by average points.  

Making mincemeat of cream puff opponents, Russell Wilson has gotten hot, averaging three scores and 334 yards over his past two starts. The Rams are a stiffer challenge than the Titans or Colts, but have quietly been touched up for the most points in the NFC. They are allowing 7.8 yards every time the opposing quarterback attempts a pass. … Carson Palmer has absorbed a league-worst 17 sacks, and, per Pro Football Focus, is getting pressured on a bonkers 42.3 percent of his snaps. That’s a major concern against the Eagles’ pressure-creating defense, though the matchup is right in many ways. Only the Bucs and Patriots are allowing more weekly passing yards, while the Eagles are sixth in quarterback fantasy points allowed. Despite his offensive line woes, Palmer has reached 320 yards in three straight games. With no running game to speak of, the Cardinals aren’t going to stop passing. … Fresh off immolating the Titans, Deshaun Watson is averaging 32.9 fantasy points over his past two starts. The Chiefs are a step up from the Patriots and Titans in the matchup department, but hardly impenetrable. They are allowing 248 passing yards per game, and have served up the second most quarterback rushing yards (93). This is a test Watson could ace.

Eli Manning has been left for dead many times, including by this author. His latest reinvention has focused on getting the ball out as quickly as possible, racking up short gains and giving his pass catchers the opportunity to rack up yards after the catch. In a thin week at quarterback, he gets the QB1 benefit of the doubt against a cross-continental tripping Chargers D that’s failed to shut down any of Jay Cutler, Trevor Siemian, Alex Smith and Carson Wentz. … Merely the QB19 by average points, Matthew Stafford is hosting the Panthers. Carolina has mostly played to the level of its quarterback competition, erasing Brian Hoyer and Tyrod Taylor while getting tagged for big days by Drew Brees and Tom Brady. Stafford is somewhere between those two extremes. … Philip Rivers committed only one turnover last week. It was still enough to doom the Chargers in a two-point loss. The Giants’ defense isn’t playing up to its 2016 standards, but has an opponent it can tee off on in the interception-happy Rivers. Rivers’ fantasy saving grace remains his extreme volume. … Reasons to stream Mitchell Trubisky? He’s not Mike Glennon. The Vikings are a tough matchup for an NFL debut.

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Cam Newton passed the statistical test against the Patriots. More importantly, he passed the eye test, challenging more often down field and asserting himself in the running game. The upstart Lions are a daunting road challenge. This is probably too high for a quarterback who’s had one good game. I’ve simply decided to bet on Newton’s dual-threat upside in a vexing landscape at quarterback. … Two things that can be true at the same time: 1. The Jaguars’ excellent on-paper pass defense has been living up to the hype. 2. The eye-popping stats — such as 147 weekly passing yards allowed — are at least half fraudulent considering the slate of quarterbacks (Tom Savage, Marcus Mariota, Joe Flacco and Josh McCown). Ben Roethlisberger has really been struggling this season, but rare is the home game where he doesn’t get at least two scores. …  The Bills contained Matt Ryan in Week 4, but could be missing No. 1 CB E.J. Gaines (shoulder) for Week 5. Averaging 25.8 fantasy points under new OC Bill Lazor, Andy Dalton should have at least a passable day at home. … If Sam Bradford (knee) gets cleared, he will be ranked in the QB14-16 range. The same is true of Marcus Mariota (hamstring).  

Alex Smith has been methodically coming back down to earth since his Week 1 shredding of the Pats, but the Texans are not a stay-away matchup. … Carson Wentz has only six touchdowns in four games. His route to a QB1 day is probably blocked by Patrick Peterson squaring off with Alshon Jeffery. … Tyrod Taylor has just one touchdown across two road starts. Trying to change that for Week 5 is a Bengals defense silver plattering the most quarterback rushing yards. … Jay Cutler has been a David Lynch-ian nightmare as a Dolphin. Of course, he’s also yet to have a home game. This week he does, and against a Titans defense getting shredded through the air. … I thought Jared Goff was a bust, so it’s possible I’m being stingy with his weekly ranks. The QB15 by average points, Goff has easily his stiffest test of the young season in the Seahawks, who are allowing the fifth fewest quarterback fantasy points, and just 6.1 yards per attempt. They’ve allowed four aerial scores in four games. … DeShone Kizer has been one of the 2-3 worst QBs in the league, but his legs still make him a better fantasy than “real-life” bet. … E.J. Manuel is the worst play of the week.

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Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for He can be found on Twitter .
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