Fantasy Football Week 5 Rankings: Rounding Up Top 50 Players

Richard Janvrin@@RichardJanvrinFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2017

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) tuns the ball, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
Jason Behnken/Associated Press

It feels like yesterday that we were all preparing for our fantasy football drafts. But before we know it, we're four weeks deep and so much doesn't make sense.     

The New York Jets are 2-2, the New England Patriots are also 2-2 and the Los Angeles Rams are 3-1.

Point is: There are a lot of things no one saw coming, and as a result, the fantasy landscape changes a bit.

In Week 4 we saw quite the rash of injuries after a fairly silent Week 3. The injury list was highlighted by Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, who is out for the season with a torn ACL, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. 

There's some other important news: The Chicago Bears will start rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in Week 5 against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football, according to Schefter.

We have four teams on bye this week: the Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints.

Let's take a look at this week's schedule and the top 50 players for Week 5:

NFL Week 5 Schedule
DateGameTime (ET)
Thur. 10/6New England at Tampa Bay8:25 p.m.
Sun. 10/9NY Jets at Cleveland 1 p.m.
Sun. 10/9Carolina at Detroit1 p.m.
Sun. 10/9Tennessee at Miami 1 p.m.
Sun. 10/9Buffalo at Cincinnati 1 p.m.
Sun. 10/9LA Chargers at NY Giants 1 p.m.
Sun. 10/9Jacksonville at Pittsburgh 1 p.m.
Sun. 10/9Arizona at Philadelphia 1 p.m.
Sun. 10/9Seattle at LA Rams 4:05 p.m.
Sun. 10/9Green Bay at Dallas 4:25 p.m.
Sun. 10/9Kansas City at Houston8:30 p.m.
Mon. 10/10Minnesota at Chicago 8:30 p.m.

Rankings

Rank, Player, Position, Opponent

1. Mike Evans, WR, TB, vs. NE

2. Antonio Brown, WR, PIT, vs. JAC

3. Kareem Hunt, RB, KC, @ HOU

4. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, DAL, vs. GB

5. Le'Veon Bell, RB, PIT, vs. JAC 

6. Alshon Jeffery, WR, PHI, vs. ARZ 

7. Stefon Diggs, WR, MIN, @ CHI 

8. Brandin Cooks, WR, NE, @ TB 

9. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, NYG, vs. LAC 

10. Todd Gurley, RB, LAR, vs. SEA 

11. Keenan Allen, WR, LAC, @ NYG 

12. A.J. Green, WR, CIN, vs. BUF 

13. Ty Montgomery, RB, GB*, @ DAL 

14. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU, vs. KC 

15. Jordy Nelson, WR, GB, @ DAL 

16. Leonard Fournette, RB, JAC, vs. PIT 

17. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI, @ PHI 

18. Tyreek Hill, WR, KC, @ HOU 

19. Jay Ajayi, RB, MIA, vs. TEN 

20. LeSean McCoy, RB, BUF, @ CIN 

21. Dez Bryant, WR, DAL, vs. GB 

22. Carlos Hyde, RB, SF, @ IND

23. DeMarco Murray, RB, TEN, @ MIA

24. Golden Tate, WR, DET, vs. CAR

25. Tarik Cohen, RB, CHI, vs. MIN

26. T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND, vs. SF

27. Melvin Gordon, RB, LAC, @ NYG

28. Doug Baldwin, WR, SEA, @ LAR

29. Zach Ertz, TE, PHI, vs. ARZ

30. Duke Johnson, RB, CLE, @ NYJ

31. Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE, @ TB

32. Jarvis Landry, WR, MIA, vs. TEN

33. Bilal Powell, RB, NYJ, @ CLE

34. Davante Adams, WR, GB*, @ DAL

35. Rishard Matthews, WR, TEN, @ MIA

36. Sammy Watkins, WR, LAR, vs. SEA

37. Jordan Howard, RB, CHI, vs. MIN

38. Pierre Garcon, WR, SF, @ IND

39. Chris Hogan, WR, NE, @ TB

40. DeSean Jackson, WR, TB, vs. NE

41. Doug Martin, RB, TB, vs. NE

42. Mike Gillislee, RB, NE, @ TB

43. Christian McCaffrey, RB, CAR, @ DET

44. Adam Thielen, WR, MIN, @ CHI

45. Theo Riddick, RB, DET, vs. CAR

46. Travis Kelce, TE, KC, @ HOU

47. Michael Crabtree, WR, OAK, vs. BAL

48. Lamar Miller, RB, HOU, vs. KC

49. Jason Witten, TE, DAL, vs. GB

50. Amari Cooper, WR, OAK, vs. BAL

* = if he plays

            

Players to Watch

Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 1:  Wide receiver Mike Evans #13 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers makes his way through the tunnel before taking to the field with teammates before the start of an NFL football game against the New York Giants on October 1, 2017 at Raymond
Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Even on a short turnaround, Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans is poised to have a week for the record books in Week 5.

On Thursday Night Football, Evans and the Bucs will host the New England Patriots.

In each of the first four weeks, the Patriots have allowed over 400 yards per game to their opponents and quarterbacks are averaging an astonishing 335 yards and nearly three touchdowns per start.

Looking at the Bucs and Patriots, these are two offenses that are just destined for a shootout.

Besides the Saints in Week 2, every opposing team has put up at least 30 points against the Patriots.

If the Patriots have been unable to handle guys like Tyreek Hill, DeAndre Hopkins and Devin Funchess this season, Evans, alongside a speedster in DeSean Jackson, is going to create headaches for the Patriots.

Don't be surprised if Evans scores a couple of touchdowns in this game. He's the No. 1 player on my board for a reason.   

        

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 01:  Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at AT&T Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

  

After scoring a pair of touchdowns in Week 4, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will look to maintain that pace against the Green Bay Packers in Week 5.

This season, the Packers are allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.

In those games, the Packers have faced Eddie Lacy, Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Joe Mixon, Jeremy Hill, Gio Bernard, Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen.

Overall, that's a talented group of backs, but none are at the level of Elliott.

This game has the makings of a high-scoring affair, and Elliott will be the primary option for the Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott.

The Packers struggled against receiving backs, ranking 31st in defensive DVOA against them, and Elliott is pretty good at catching the ball.

Elliott should see upward of 25 touches in this contest, making him a top-two running back on the week in PPR leagues.

        

Ty Montgomery, RB, Green Bay Packers

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 24:  Ty Montgomery #88 of the Green Bay Packers runs with the ball in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lambeau Field on September 24, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Sticking with the Cowboys vs. Packers' game theme, Ty Montgomery should be in for a pleasant afternoon if he can play through a rib injury.

Although he left the team's Week 4 game against the Chicago Bears early with a chest injury, Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the injury is not as bad as the team first thought and he could play against the Cowboys.

Conversely, Jason Wilde of the Wall Street Journal and ESPN reported something that may give a bit more insight into how Montgomery is feeling.

The presence of rookie back Aaron Jones may give you pause when it comes to Montgomery, but prior to leaving the game against the Bears, Montgomery was running well, totaling 28 yards on five carries. A converted wide receiver, Montgomery also catches a ton of passes.

It's not yet known if wide receiver Davante Adams will play after taking a brutal headshot Sunday, but if he doesn't, that means more looks for Montgomery.

Ranking 25th in DVOA against pass-catching running backs, the Cowboys also allow over 50 yards receiving per game to opposing running backs.

That's PPR gold.

If Montgomery plays, you play him, too.

       

Potential Sleeper

Torrey Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Ed Zurga/Associated Press

This is partially a gut call, but Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith has an excellent opportunity to capture his first touchdown of the season in Week 5. At home, the Eagles will be hosting the Arizona Cardinals.

When you think of the Cardinals, you think of cornerback Patrick Peterson. While Peterson may be a feared cornerback in the league, he's actually been fairly average in 2017, ranking 43rd by Pro Football Focus.

The Cardinals also sport Justin Bethel and Tyrann Mathieu, who rank 59th and 100th, respectively.

Smith may be a bit of a one-trick pony, but with Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor on the field with him, Smith may get a few opportunities at one-on-one coverage.

From there, it's just a matter of whether or not quarterback Carson Wentz can connect with him.

As Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes, the Eagles will continue to try to feed Smith the ball to break him out of his funk.

It's a bit of a boom-or-bust proposition, but if you're in need of a flex player, Smith could be your man. 

        

Statistics courtesy of Football Outsiders, ESPN.com and Pro Football Focus.