Week 5 Fantasy Football Rankings: Breaking Down Best Matchup at Each Position

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Week 5 Fantasy Football Rankings: Breaking Down Best Matchup at Each Position
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Fantasy owners sitting pretty with multiple top stars often find it difficult to decide which player gets the start.

One of two strategies is available to lucky owners with this good problem to have. The first is to simply go with the more talented player knowing he will put up numbers.

The second, and one we happen to detail below, is selecting the player with the most favorable matchup. This is a better strategy than the first because a good defense can still shut out a star, but a bad defense has no chance.

Here are the best plays at each position based on favorable matchups. Enjoy.

 

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

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos vs. Dallas Cowboys 

Too obvious? Perhaps, but Denver's Peyton Manning is not only playing like he's 26; he now also has a shot at the No. 27-ranked pass defense.

Manning already has 1,470 passing yards and 16 touchdowns to his name in just four games, but he's just getting started. His vast array of weapons such as Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and more will have little issue spreading out a Dallas defense that gives up 305 yards through the air per contest.

As far as matchups go, this is as good as it gets at quarterback.

 

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 have found little success running the ball this season, but the team has also had no luck in shutting down opposing ground attacks. 

The Giants allow opposing offenses to gash them for 123 rushing yards per game, so when the Philadelphia Eagles and Chip Kelly's offense show up, things are going to get ugly.

LeSean McCoy is playing out of his mind in Kelly's new offense with 608 total yards and two touchdowns in four games. Philadelphia is more physical up front, and McCoy will score his biggest fantasy outing to date.

 

Wide Receiver

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

Victor Cruz, New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles 

The flip side of the date between the Giants and Eagles has another fantasy star set to have his biggest game of the season.

This time it is New York receiver Victor Cruz, who already has 425 yards and four scores to his name this year. He now has a favorable matchup against an Eagles defense that ranks second-to-last thanks to allowing 325 yards per game.

Cruz will have no issue slipping by the spotty secondary as the Eagles are forced to focus on Hakeem Nicks.

Plenty of stars take the field at receiver Sunday, but none have a better matchup against a horrific defense in a game sure to turn into a shootout.

 

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

Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos vs. Dallas Cowboys

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

With the way Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos are playing, it should come as no surprise to see names from the offense litter lists such as this one. 

Julius Thomas has been quite a fantasy surprise this year. Manning has been able to find him consistently through four games with defenses transfixed on bigger names. So far Thomas has 237 yards and four scores. 

Against an aforementioned mediocre Dallas secondary that lacks enough athleticism at linebacker to match up with Thomas, Manning will have little trouble exploiting the mismatch every time it opens up—which will be quite often.

 

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

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It's simply unfair at this point. 

Literally any defense that takes the field against the Jacksonville Jaguars is a smart play, including a St. Louis Rams unit that has been miserable at times in its own right.

Jacksonville has scored over 10 points in a game just once this season as the quarterback situation has failed to sort itself out, and the duo of Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne will find minimal success against a St. Louis secondary led by Cortland Finnegan.

 

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

Matt Prater, Denver Broncos vs. Dallas Cowboys

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Oh look, another player from Denver. 

As if it were not obvious enough above, the Broncos and Peyton Manning are going to score a plethora of points Sunday against Dallas, which sounds about right for a team averaging almost 45 points per game.

That won't stop against the Cowboys. Expect Matt Prater to have the best day of all kickers.

 

 

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

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