Week 5 Fantasy Football Rankings: Early Look at Best Play for Each Position

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Week 5 Fantasy Football Rankings: Early Look at Best Play for Each Position
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

With Week 4 in the books, it is never too early to begin the search for a quality lineup in preparation for next week's slate of fake football.

As always, the owners who know when to sit or start players given certain matchups come out ahead in fantasy.

This week, the best plays at each position are highly contested given the variety of top stars in favorable matchups, but being able to discern which star to roll with will weigh heavily on the outcome of all fantasy showdowns.

Here's a look at rankings for each position followed by the absolute best play.

 

Note: The Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on byes this week. All stats courtesy of NFL.com.

 

Quarterbacks

Week 5 Quarterback Rankings
Rank Name Team Opponent
1 Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers Detroit Lions
2 Peyton Manning Denver Broncos Dallas Cowboys
3 Matt Stafford Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers
4 Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons New York Jets
5 Michael Vick Philadelphia Eagles New York Giants
6 Philip Rivers San Diego Chargers Oakland Raiders
7 Cam Newton Carolina Panthers Arizona Cardinals
8 Tom Brady New England Patriots Cincinnati Bengals
9 Drew Brees New Orleans Saints Chicago Bears
10 Sam Bradford St. Louis Rams Jacksonville Jaguars

Chris Roling's Rankings

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Denver's Peyton Manning has a favorable matchup against Dallas in Week 5, but so does Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers.

Not only is Rodgers red hot after an upset loss to Cincinnati, but he's also coming off a bye week in which he's had ample time to prepare for a weak Detroit secondary.

The Detroit Lions have surrendered almost 270 passing yards per game and allowed Chicago's Jay Cutler to go for over 300 last week. Rodgers is just a few weeks removed from a 480-yard performance against a similarly weak Washington defense, so a repeat performance is likely.

Manning is the hot hand at the position, but all signs point toward Rodgers exploding in a big way.

 

Running Backs

Week 5 Running Back Rankings
Rank Name Team Opponent
1 LeSean McCoy Philadelphia Eagles New York Giants
2 Reggie Bush Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers
3 Matt Forte Chicago Bears New Orleans Saints
4 Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs Tennessee Titans
5 Marshawn Lynch Seattle Seahawks Indianapolis Colts
6 Frank Gore San Francisco 49ers Houston Texans
7 Arian Foster Houston Texans San Francisco 49ers
8 DeMarco Murray Dallas Cowboys Denver Broncos
9 Ryan Mathews San Diego Chargers Oakland Raiders
10 Ray Rice Baltimore Ravens Miami Dolphins

Chris Roling's Rankings

LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants

The New York Giants are a team in disarray in all areas, which is beautiful news for LeSean McCoy owners. The star running back has already amassed 608 total yards and two touchdowns in four games for the Philadelphia Eagles.

McCoy has been the biggest benefactor of head coach Chip Kelly's high-octane offense, and that will only continue against a New York Giants defense that ranks near the bottom and allows 123 rushing yards per game.

Plenty of backs have favorable matchups this week, but none trump "Shady" given his stellar start in a new system.

 

Wide Receivers

Week 5 Wide Receiver Rankings
Rank Name Team Opponent
1 A.J. Green Cincinnati Bengals New England Patriots
2 Demaryius Thomas Denver Broncos Dallas Cowboys
3 Victor Cruz New York Giants Philadelphia Eagles
4 Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers
5 Dez Bryant Dallas Cowboys Denver Broncos
6 Julio Jones Atlanta Falcons New York Jets
7 Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears New Orleans Saints
8 Jordy Nelson Green Bay Packers Detroit Lions
9 Wes Welker Denver Broncos Dallas Cowboys
10 DeSean Jackson Philadelphia Eagles New York Giants

Chris Roling's Rankings

A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals vs. New England Patriots

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

While A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals may seem like an obvious play, he's anything but a shoo-in as the No. 1 fantasy wide receiver.

Plenty of big names, such as Julio Jones and Victor Cruz, have favorable matchups in Week 5, and Green is coming off a down week after notching only 51 yards in Week 4 against Cleveland.

The good news is Green won't face another Joe Haden in Week 5. Instead, Green will see Aqib Talib and an iffy New England secondary that allowed Julio Jones to notch 108 yards while Matt Ryan threw for over 400.

Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton is no Ryan, but considering Dalton found Green for 162 yards in Week 1 versus Chicago's Charles Tillman, it's a safe bet Green can notch a big game against a weak secondary.

Expect Green to explode after a down week.

 

Tight Ends

Week 5 Tight End Rankings
Rank Name Team Opponent
1 Jordan Cameron Cleveland Browns Buffalo Bills
2 Jimmy Graham New Orleans Saints Chicago Bears
3 Tony Gonzalez Atlanta Falcons New York Jets
4 Julius Thomas Denver Broncos Dallas Cowboys
5 Martellus Bennett Chicago Bears New Orleans Saints
6 Antonio Gates San Diego Chargers Oakland Raiders
7 Jared Cook St. Louis Rams Jacksonville Jaguars
8 Jermichael Finley Green Bay Packers Detroit Lions
9 Greg Olsen Carolina Panthers Arizona Cardinals
10 Vernon Davis San Francisco 49ers Houston Texans

Chris Roling's Rankings

Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns vs. Buffalo Bills

Jordan Cameron has arrived as an elite tight end option along with New Orleans' Jimmy Graham.

Cleveland's superstar is a byproduct of the vertical passing game implemented by coordinator Norv Turner. Owners who bought the hype are reaping the benefits in a big way.

In the past two weeks alone, Cameron has caught four touchdowns to go with 157 yards.

As the clear No. 1 in Cleveland against a Buffalo defense that gives up 277 passing yards per game, Cameron will once again get his in a big way. It has been a long time since Cleveland has fielded an elite fantasy weapon, but Cameron is the definition of elite from a fake football standpoint, and he's the best play of Week 5 at the spot.

 

Defense/Special Teams

Week 5 Defense/Special Teams Rankings
Rank Team Opponent
1 St. Louis Rams Jacksonville Jaguars
2 Kansas City Chiefs Tennessee Titans
3 Seattle Seahawks Indianapolis Colts
4 Buffalo Bills Cleveland Browns
5 Baltimore Ravens Miami Dolphins
6 Cleveland Browns Buffalo Bills
7 Miami Dolphins Baltimore Ravens
8 Houston Texans San Francisco 49ers
9 San Francisco 49ers Houston Texans
10 Tennessee Titans Kansas City Chiefs

Chris Roling's Rankings

St. Louis Rams vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The St. Louis Rams have been miserable on defense through one month of football and rank No. 24 overall thanks to a putrid rush defense that allows 134 yards per game.

Luckily for St. Louis and owners smart enough to grab the unit, the Jacksonville Jaguars are on the menu in Week 5.

Jacksonville has scored over 10 points in a contest just once in four attempts and ranks near the bottom of the barrel in most offensive categories. St. Louis and talented linebacker James Laurinaitis will have little issue generating top fantasy production.

 

Kickers

Week 5 Kicker Rankings
Rank Player Team Opponent
1 Stephen Gostkowski New England Patriots Cincinnati Bengals
2 Matt Prater Denver Broncos Dallas Cowboys
3 Matt Bryant Atlanta Falcons New York Jets
4 Garrett Hartley New Orleans Saints Chicago Bears
5 Mason Crosby Green Bay Packers Detroit Lions
6 Robbie Gould Chicago Bears New Orleans Saints
7 Nick Novak San Diego Chargers Oakland Raiders
8 Justin Tucker Baltimore Ravens Miami Dolphins
9 Steven Hauschka Seattle Seahawks Indianapolis Colts
10 David Akers Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers

Chris Roling's Rankings

Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

With so many obvious scoring options, there's not much to worry about in the way of kickers, but New England's Stephen Gostkowski will rise above the rest with a favorable matchup against Cincinnati.

Last week, the Bengals had issues stopping Cleveland thanks to injuries to safety Reggie Nelson and corner Leon Hall. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will have little issue moving the ball against the weak Bengals secondary. Gostkowski will have plenty of chances to put points on the board.

 

Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling

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