What Are the Comfort Levels for Fantasy Studs Heading into Week 5?
Now that we're four weeks into the fantasy football season, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect out of teams on a week-to-week basis.
Because of this, judging our comfort levels on certain players is made infinitely easier.
For example: We know the Miami Dolphins have been sputtering, so running back Jay Ajayi will give us pause until the Dolphins can somehow turn it around.
Yes, that was a spoiler alert for what you're about to read.
There were a good number of injuries in Week 4 that also impact the comfort level for certain players. For example, Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr's back injury.
Well, before any more spoilers are released, go ahead and read the slideshow. There are seven players here with varying levels of comfort.
Good luck in Week 5.
Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins
While the talent is there for Ajayi, the current state of the team makes it hard to get excited about starting him.
Over their last eight quarters, the Dolphins have scored just seven points. And those seven came in one quarter against the New York Jets in Week 3.
Due to the team's lack of offensive production, Ajayi has just 62 yards rushing on 23 carries over the past two weeks.
The offensive line hasn't helped set up enough blocks for Ajayi, and quarterback Jay Cutler has been abysmal.
It's so hard to sit Ajayi because of his talent, but we're at the point now where we're not surprised if he puts up a poor fantasy performance.
Comfort Level: Realizing your clothes were stolen while in the shower at the gym
Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders
After missing Week 4 due to a chest injury, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree is coming back to a dumpster fire at the quarterback position.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, quarterback Derek Carr is set to miss time with a transverse process fracture in his back.
Guess who the backup is? E.J. Manuel.
This is not a drill.
Look, Crabtree is a productive player and otherworldly talented, but he needs someone to be able to throw him the ball.
Manuel just cannot do that. Factor that with Raiders taking on a Baltimore Ravens secondary that is loaded with talent and this has the makings of a miserable stretch of time for the entire Raiders offense.
Comfort Level: Like having your starting quarterback be E.J. Manu...oh wait.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
There are three constants in life: death, taxes and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs in points-per-reception leagues.
Diggs will get to have his way with the Chicago Bears secondary in Week 5.
Against No. 1 wide receivers, the Bears struggle. They rank 29th in DVOA against them.
Even in a tough matchup in Week 4 against the Lions and his team scoring just seven points, Diggs still finished two yards shy of 100.
There's no arguing it anymore: Diggs is not only quarterback-proof, but he's a consistent top-five wide receiver in PPR leagues.
If you're not comfortable playing Diggs, you might want to give up on this fantasy football thing.
Comfort Level: Hanging out in a hot tub with a butler
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There's really not a lot to say here: Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans is excellent at football and the New England Patriots defense is not.
Going up against a Patriots defense that has allowed over 400 yards in every game this season, Evans might be the single tallest task it has faced after Thursday.
Being on a short week won't change anything here. Evans is my top overall player for Week 5.
The speed of fellow wide receiver DeSean Jackson combined with Evans being Evans is going to create a nightmare all night long for the Patriots defense.
Evans is scoring twice in this game.
Comfort Level: Similar to the person who wins the lottery
A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Coming off a 31-point offensive outburst in Week 4 against the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals will have a much more difficult test when they host the Buffalo Bills.
Sticking with Week 4, we saw the Bills go into Atlanta and take down the vaunted Falcons offense by allowing only 17 points.
With A.J. Green, it's not a matter of any sort of matchup or talent, but I'm not sure how many points are going to be scored in this game.
If you're in a PPR league, enough catches and yards will suffice. With that said, you still want touchdowns and there isn't a lot of confidence Green gets one here against a Bills defense that has two highly graded corners in Tre'Davious White and E.J. Gaines.
Play Green, but temper expectations.
Comfort Level: Eh. Whatever happens, happens.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
Not only that, but they give up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to the position, allowing under four points per game.
This game is expected to be a shootout, so that could throw both of those two negatives out the window, but it's something to note.
For me, I'd lean toward the idea of a shootout—Gronk will need to be a part of whatever the Patriots do in Week 5.
Put it this way: If Gronk doesn't perform well, the stats are out there to show why, so don't say we didn't tell you so.
Comfort Level: It's Gronk, but numbers never lie.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans
Real quick: If Matt Cassel starts at quarterback for the Tennessee Titans, running back DeMarco Murray is screwed.
Even if Marcus Mariota suits up, Murray hasn't offered a ton of hope this season besides his Week 3 performance, where he ran for 115 yards and a touchdown.
In Week 5, the Titans will visit the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins have been horrendous lately, so it's possible Murray could get extra touches should the Titans have a lead.
Either way, the Dolphins only surrender just over 70 rushing yards per game to running backs. Where they get burned by running backs is in the receiving game, but Murray has barely caught the ball all season.
Don't rely on Murray to be your RB1 in Week 5. There are way too many question marks.
Comfort Level: Staying at that cheap hotel to save money only to find out they had bed bugs.