Week 5 Fantasy Football Projections: Slow-Starters Who Will Have Breakout Games

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2013

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 5: Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates his touchdown run in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos during the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 5, 2013 in Denver Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

After four weeks of the regular season, there comes a point where players have to start performing, or get replaced. 

A number of players who were drafted high in fantasy football have failed to live up to expectations to start the year. That includes running backs C.J. Spiller and Chris Johnson—two players who have been unable to create much efficiency with their carries.

Unfortunately for fantasy owners who have either player on their rosters, a turnaround is unlikely to happen in Week 5, as they face tough competition again.

But there are other early disappointments who will have a big showing in Week 5 after a slow start to the season.

If you have one of them on your roster, do not give up on them just yet.

Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 26: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers passes against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on September 26, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images)
Michael Thomas/Getty Images

After a couple of bad showings in a row against the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts, Colin Kaepernick needed a good performance in Week 4 to get his confidence back.

Although he did not do much from a fantasy perspective, he played relatively mistake-free and helped his team to a dominant win.

Now that he has regained the trust of his coaching staff, he will need to do a lot more in order to beat the Houston Texans. The squad has allowed the fewest total yards per game this season and will be tough to score against.

That being said, Russell Wilson was able to run for 77 yards in a winning effort against this unit in Week 4. Kaepernick will be able to use his legs to move the football, which could set up more success in the passing game.

Even against this tough defense, the 49ers quarterback should be able to find a way to score points.

Projection: 18-for-27, 210 passing yards, two touchdowns; seven carries, 65 rushing yards (22 points)

Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Just as they've done in the past few seasons, the Baltimore Ravens seemed to forget how to run the ball in the loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Ray Rice only had five touches in the game, as did Bernard Pierce. This is not a new strategy for Baltimore, but it is not a smart one either.

This is the sixth game since 2011 that Rice played but received fewer than 10 carries. The Ravens lost all but one of these contests. They usually learn their mistake, giving Rice an average of 22 carries in the next game when there is one.

Next week, the running back will be even healthier against a Miami Dolphins defense that has allowed a couple of big games on the ground this year. Hopefully, Baltimore gives him a chance to show why he is still one of the top players in the league at his position.

Projection: 18 carries, 102 rushing yards, one touchdown; three catches, 17 receiving yards (17 points)

Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Since the start of the season, Roddy White has been dealing with a high-ankle sprain that has limited his production. The man who was one of the most consistent players in the NFL over the past six years has not topped 30 receiving yards in a game this year.

However, you can tell he is starting to get closer to full strength. In Atlanta's last game, he did a better job of getting separation from defenders and was targeted a season-high nine times.

Next week, the Falcons return home to face the New York Jets, who are prone to allowing big plays to receivers. Nate Washington scored twice against the defense this past week—one of them on a 77-yard play.

As teams continue to focus more on Julio Jones, White will remain a big part of the offense. As he gets healthier, he will become a quality fantasy player.

Projection: Six catches, 84 receiving yards, one touchdown (14 points)

Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 02:   Jason Witten #82 of the Dallas Cowboys makes a pass reception against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on December 2, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

After putting together a 19-point outing in Week 1, Jason Witten has been relatively silent while totaling 11 points in standard leagues over the last three games.

The good news is that Tony Romo seemed to acknowledge that this was a problem last week, giving him a team-high 10 targets in the loss. After finding him on the field last game, the next step is to throw more accurate passes.

It should be easier for the two to connect next week against the Denver Broncos. For all the things the defense does well, it has given up at least 100 yards to opposing tight ends in three of its four games.

Considering the Cowboys will likely have to pass the ball virtually all game to keep up with Peyton Manning on the scoreboard, Witten should be in line for a big performance.

Projection: Nine catches, 102 receiving yards, one touchdown (16 points)

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